With one thing and another, editing Greaveburn and working on my Open University assignments, I’ve not had much time to write lately. The problem, of course, is that my current WIP isn’t going to write itself either. I think there might have been an issue around my character development that I haven’t been confident enough to tackle just yet. My main character (Alan Shaw, see the WIP page for more) has to fall in love with another character; enough to get hurt later. Now, for regular viewers of this particular blog channel, you’ll know that romance isn’t exactly my forte. Creepy beasties from the netherworld, fine. Falling hopelessly in love, not so good.
And so I’ve been putting it off, telling myself that I need to think about it more. That I don’t understand how to write simple romance, never mind the complicated love/hate divide necessary for this part of the plot to really work. What’s an author’s favourite word? Procrastinate! So the assignments and Greaveburn work has been a happy distraction. Until last week.
Finding that I hadn’t taken my alloted amount of holidays this year, and that I have to take them by April or lose them, I ended up with Monday through Thursday off last week. Laura was at work all day. I had just finished the latest round of assignments and no more are due for a couple of weeks. Basically, I was in the perfect position to get some serious writing done. All I could think was “shit, I’m going to have to write that romance section”.
So, I set my jaw, opened my notebooks to the copious amount of research and plotting I’d done over the last couple of months when nothing else was forthcoming, and started to type…
And, as always, I was proved wrong by my own lack of confidence.
My fingers couldn’t type fast enough. The images were coming thick and fast, the dialogue made sense. What my main character found compelling about his love interest was the very thing she hated in him, but they have so much in common despite wildly different cultural and social backgrounds. Where was this stuff coming from!?
Suffice to say, by the end of the four days, I hadn’t exactly broken any word count records, but a good chunk of work had been produced. And, when I read it back, it was actually ok! I’ll leave the final decision as to whether it works to you lovely readers when The Adventures of Alan Shaw (working title) is released eventually finished. But for now, I’m happy with it.
The next step…ripping out my main character’s heart. Now that I can do!
Thanks for reading.
That’s right, kids, I don’t just write short stories. And, to be honest, I avoid poetry like the plague. But Haiku are nice little snippets that I can get really engrossed in. Sorting them into syllables is like a little creative writing brain-teaser. A crossword for authors, if you like. And so I can’t get enough of them! Now, I know that traditionally, haiku are supposed to reference a season at some point, and theyre supposed to follow the 5/7/5 syllable rule, but some of these don’t. What can I say, I’m a callous, literary rebel. But anyway, have a look. I hope you enjoy them.Meteor Shower Sparks shed a trail. Atmospheric Grinder. Wormwood coming home. The Beautician Above a crest of plastic breasts and Matalan tan, not much goes on. Guitar Poor dusty Fender, Missing a string, out of tune. I’ll pick you up soon. Made-up words If there is one thing I absitivley hate, it’s comboined words. Woman on the train New haircut, old face. New bagm new shoes, new coat. Same old face. View from a frosted window Trees expose themselves, despite Winter’s bitter bite. Rough, naked skins.
That’s enough for now, I reckon. Hope you enjoyed them.
Thanks for reading.
With things really starting to spark off with Greaveburn and my next novel underway, I’ve been thinking about how long it’s taken to get here. It’s been a long process with lots of hard work and plenty of setbacks. There’ve been things to jump over, scuttle underneath and generally steamroll through at times, but in the end, I think it’s turned out pretty well. Some of the scars are even starting to heal. But my nostalgia took me back to a simpler time when I first put pen to paper with a vivid image in my head and a character with a story to tell; way back when I was still in school with a haircut like a pineappale and NHS glasses (I’ll show you a photo one day if you’re good). And, since I was bored, I broke out my Photoshop (you know how much I love it), and thought I’d share with you the result. And so here it is, a history of Me, a timeline of how I went from that spotty little toerag to a larger Pseudo-writer toerag you now know:
A real tear-jerker, eh? I’ve decided that Alan Rickman will play me in the movie. He looks nothing like me, but he has such awesome sarcastic delivery. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little forray into my seedy past. There’s a lot left out of this little infographic for the sake of your sanities, but I hope it’s been at least mildly amusing. See you next time!
Thanks for reading.
As the Indie Publishing Steamroller really gathers speed, we’ve started to see developments in the way books are advertsied. If they’re ever going to compete with movies or tv, for example, they’re going to need proper adverts that move and not just static images in a newspaper or on a website. And that’s where book trailers come in.
This phenomenon is turning into a real franchise with plenty of companies springing up in people’s garages who are willing to produce one for you. Let’s look at a few good ones while we’re here, eh?
Here’s one for LEVIATHAN by Scott Westerfield which uses the illustrations in his book for an epic effect:
Or what about this one for Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters,which still gets me howling with laughter:
These two were the exception to the rule with an excellent budget and proper backing, however, for the rest of us, there are some that are simple but effective:
And so the question is, do these things really work? Well, based purely on the amount of hits on Youtube, I’d say yes. We have to bear in mind that the forst two trailers were exceptional and/or very funny which increases the hit-rate. But if you can make yours intriguing enough, or funny or scary or anything else that people want to see (smexy?) then yes, the trailers work.
Now, as I’ve said for those of us with no budget at all such as myself, there’s ALWAYS a cheap option, and it’s very easy to make your own trailer. This is where I go all Blue Peter on you and tell you to go scrounge some empty toilet rolls, sticky backed plastic, ols washing-up liquid bottles and PVA glue…so go ahead, I’ll wait…
…got it? Good, now throw it away, what do you think this is, the 80′s?
Most of you out there with your brainstem jacked directly into the internet will have free software on your computer such as Windows Movie Maker which will allow you to make your own trailer. Most of you will have a mobile phone which can take video or photographs. And most of you have fingers with which to operate the aforementioned gadgets. Do I have to spell it out for you? Get out there and start taking some pics/videos/voice recordings. Get them on your computer and have a play around. It can take days, hours or minutes, as much or as little as you like, to create your own book trailer. And, just to prove it, I’ve made one of my own to show exactly how terrible the results can be.
I’ve cheated a bit here. I googled a lot of images to make sure they were appropriately creepy. I also downloaded the free sound file for the backing track. The movie maker “skills” are my own, of course. But I think you’ll get the idea of what I’m going for. And so, in celebration of me moving on from my old project, and with my next novel in sight, I’ve created a commemorative trailer for Not Before Bed before I finally stop bashing on about it. Here it is. Don’t have nightmares (yeah, right).
…Ok, don’t judge me.
Thanks for reading.
March 2, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: alternate history, author, book trailer, horror, indie publishing, leviathan, scary, sense and sensibility and sea monsters, Steampunk, writer, writing tips | 11 Comments »
Thanks to the very kind H. Conrad Miller, Not Before Bed has had another great review! Take a look:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A great collection of horror short stories ranging from Lovecraftian to werewolves to that thing that goes bump under your bed. Each story is finely crafted by Craig Hallam in an enjoyable and easy to read way while still having each story have it’s own voice and feel. I think that is one of the most remarkable things about this collection. While it is easy to see how all of the stories came from one author, each story was told with a voice all it’s own that was perfect for that specific sub-genre of horror.
Craig out did himself with his variety of stories. The dark sci-fi in Mandy in the Jar-O have an alien abductee’s horrific realization that her wildest dreams of being wanted are not so wonderful. The Lovercraftian tale of Albert that has little dialogue but such gripping description that every pool of water larger than the size of a drop suspect from harboring tentacled elder gods. These stories have the ability to catch and hold a reader’s attention. After every story I was left asking “When can I read a full story about this?”
I highly recommend this to anyone who loves horror. But I especially recommend it to anyone who wants to look into horror for the first time. It will give you a great primer for the genre and help you find a niche inside of it you will like.
Good job Craig
Well, I could hardly have asked for a better review than that! Let’s hope that it hitting Goodreads and the web in general gives Not Before Bed another little jolt of downloads. I think this is probably the appropriate time for me to give you some updates on the collection itself, too.
Since moving the collection from Smashwords to Kindle Direct Publishing, I’ve forced myself to NOT constantly check how many downloads I’ve been getting every month. And, because of that, I actually forgot to check altogether. Until today. And so, I can now inform you all that in the last year Not Before Bed, Amazon and Smashwords combined, has had a staggering…
I have no idea how this happened, but July last year showed a massive surge which then frittered out to just a few a month. And since I’ve only been looking at the last few months, I almost missed the huge 12,000ish downloads from middle of last year.
I think this causes for a huge thank you to everyone, whether they’re reading this or not, who has taken the time to download Not Before Bed. I never thought my shoddy little short story collection would be such a (relative) hit. I have no idea WHY this happened, but I’m not going to argue. If I can get but a portion of those downloads for Greaveburn, I’ll be a very happy camper. Special thanks, of course, go to those who went the extra mile to review it, too; you’ve all been extremely supportive and helpful in your feedback.
And with that, I think it’s time to put Not Before Bed to….well, to bed. It’ll still be out there to download for all those people who still manage to stumble onto it. But for me, it’s been a great experience that’s over now. I’m going home to concentrate on the next project. From here on in, it’s all about Greaveburn’s release later this year. And so, I’d like to bid a final thank you to everyone who made Not Before Bed a huge personal success. Stick around, there’s more writing to come!
Thanks for reading.
February 29, 2012 | Categories: amateur writer, author, epublishing, flash fiction, ghost story, horror, indie author, kindle, short fiction, short story, steampunk, writer, writers, writing | Tags: alien abductee, author, conrad miller, ebooks, elder gods, flash fiction, Goodreads, horror, kindle, Kindle Direct Publishing, monsters, not before bed, short stories, the supernatural, vampires, werewolves, writer, writing, zombies | 8 Comments »
It seems to me that with the internet being the beast that it is, it’s very easy for people to only show the parts of them that they want to. People I’ve met on Twitter give their 140 character bio, and that’s all you see. People on Facebook only post photos of themselves having a massively good time, drinking and holidaying, so that we think they’re fun people to be around. But are we giving the internet community a true vision of ourselves? Is that even important? Well, to me it is, yes. I think that I want people to get a real feel for who I am, rather than just a Cardboard Cut-out Writer who hits all the artistic marks but has no real depth.
This post started off with me trying to think of something interesting and non-writing related to post so that my regulars (you know who you are! Thanks Guys and Gals!) don;t get bored of listening to me bash on about Greaveburn or the next writing project. And so I thought, “what else can I do?”. That led me in a round about way to the philosophical debate you see above. Let me know what you all think about internet personas and how realistic they are/need to be.
But anyway, in order to show you that I DO HAVE another facet to my personality (or what there is of it :D), let’s talk music.
Recently, I was bought a new guitar by my lovely girlfriend (Yes, geeks and Fuglies do get them sometimes, you know) and I have to say that it’s been hard to put down since. Now let’s not give any false illusions here, I’m no fantastic guitar player. Eric Clapton doesn’t come round my house asking for tips on how to play, neither does Joe Satriani ask me to get him out of a sticky situation with any of his compositions. I can’t read music, and I definitely can’t sing. What I do is find a song I like the sound of and then simplify it to the point that I can play along and it still sounds vaguelly recognisable. See? Honesty on the internet! It can happen!
But what kind of things do I like to play? Well, I’m a serious rock music fan. I don’t mean scream-at-your-mic-with-unintelligable-syllables rock. I mean rock that makes you tap your feet, sing along and play air giutar like a mental.
Foo Fighters are my epitome of awesome. Dave Grohl and the boys have managed to win God-like Genius Award, 5 grammys and the Brit Award’s Best International Band in the last year. Say no more. But I love the old-style rock, too. Give me some Boston (see the vid above), Styx, KISS, Kansas, Whitesnake….dear lord, I could go on forever…and I’d be forever happy. Let’s have another vid to emphasise the point:
So, you see, I don’t just write. I Rock, too
Thanks for reading.
February 23, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: boston, brit awards, dave grohl, Foo Fighters, godlike genius, grammys, indie author, internet philosophy, kansas, KISS, music, rock music, styx, vintage rock, writer | 6 Comments »
Well, it’s finally that time I’ve been waiting for since November. The stars are aligned. In the dark treeline, the black mass is on the lips of the hooded monks. And on the central dais, hog tied and with fear in her eyes, is the sacrifice. We are about to invoke the spirit of The Editor…
Luckily for me, my Inspired Quill editor, Peter Stewart, doesn’t really need any of this. So, I send the monks back to their day jobs as civil servants, cut the sacrifice free and give her a tin foil blanket before making sure she’s home before 10 pm. The sacrificial athame goes back in the kitchen drawer with the spoons and pizza cutter.
The point of this elaborate introducion is this…
The edits for Greaveburn are finally back!
The last few months have been a steady stream of flop sweats and half-believed self assurances as my mind flits between ‘they’re going to tear my book apart and salvage its parts for the black market’ and ‘it’ll be fine, they like it enough to edit it, so they won’t be too cruel’. The former has definitely been winning in terms of brain space. In fact, when my inbox pinged, I froze. Do I really want to read this? Can I take the beating if the result is a complete rewrite/cutting of beloved characters/stylistic overhaul? The answer, as I’m sure you’ll guess, was ‘we’re about to find out’.
Email open, file downloaded, hovering of finger over OPEN.
Like some rabbid lipstick merchant had taken slashing across the pages, there was red text. EVERYWHERE. My heart sank. But I decided to read the actual words before checking the tensile strength of the light fittings for noose-application. And you know what? It wasn’t so bad. Hell, the comments are GOOD! Useful! I find myself nodding, whisking through the pages focussing on just the comments rather than overthinking what I’ll do about them. They all make perfect sense. Little things I’ve missed with grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure, all easily fixed with Peter’s expert suggestions. A few little vocab comments where words could be changed for better effect.
And all of a sudden, I was at the end.
What the hell had I been worried about? This guy knows what he’s doing. I didn’t find a damned thing that I disagreed with or anything I couldn’t easily fix. There were just as many positive comments as negative (although none were really negative, more like necessary highlights). It may have been preying on my mind for the last few months, being the first and last things I think about on a day to day basis, but it’s all come out ok. To be honest, as I read through the suggestions and comments and tweaks, I realise that with Peter’s help, this novel has the potential to go somewhere!
I’ve always been told (as have you, for that matter, fellow Writer) that Editors are essential. They know their shit, if you’ll excuse the French. You should take their comments seriously and take them without offence or that horrible knee-jerk reaction that makes us scream “WHAT DO YOU KNOW!?” and stomp off to sulk. But you don’t really believe it until you’re on the receiving end of a bloody good Editor.
The point of this blog, dear friends, as well as to throw on the net whatever oddments cross my mind, is to teach. Looking back over previous posts, you’ll see all the mistakes I’ve made. All the assumptions and diversions that have led me not only down the wrong path but into the soul-sucking quicksands of Indie Writer Hell. And I want you to make these experiences your own. Learn from what I’ve done wrong and don’t bloody do it yourself (using Createspace if you’re not from America, for example. Waste of time and money, folks). But sometimes, just sometimes, I get to tell you about something I’ve done RIGHT. Not very often, mind. But here’s one of those times. Submitting my work for a proper read-through and commenting may just be the scariest and best damn thing I’ve ever done. INDISPENSIBLE is the word I’m looking for.
And now the hard work really starts. The revision stage. I’ve never hit this part before. Taking someone else’s thoughts on my work and moulding them not only as they suggest, but keeping with my own style and intention toward the novel. This is going to be a lot like a collaboration. I’m out of my depth again, folks. But I’m actually looking forward to it! Stay tuned for how well/badly this next bit goes And when all’s said and done, this has made me realise something which, at the back of my mind, I’ve still doubted; that Greaveburn is going to be a reality. These edits are going to sharpen it up, make it really rock, make it a book that YOU might read soemtime soon. With discussions on potential cover art going on (more on that in a later post), things are rattling along at an alarming rate. Sometime this year, my book, my words, my characters and plot twists and dark descriptions are going to hit the public. It’s fantastic, and I’m suddenly petrified all over again, with a big old grin on my face
Thanks for reading.
As you can see, my little blog has had a make-over. I’ve retro-fitted the whole thing with a slightly Steampunky edge in a homage to the recent acceptance of Greaveburn to Inspired Quill (IQ) publishing. In the true Steampunk tradition, I’ll no doubt be tinkering away at it for quite some time but the rivets and stanchions are there for now.
Speaking of Steampunk and Greaveburn, I’ve recently bought tickets to the Asylum Weekend Convention 2012 in Lincoln’s historic city. A whole weekend of ‘punkery with loads of great exhibitions, entertainments and of course the fabled Bazaar Eclectica where ‘punks fence their wares. I’ve been in touch with Tinker, the convention’s organiser, and he’s been kind enough to offer me a spot in the exhibition area. So there’ll be me (in my neo-victorian gear, by Jove!) and copies of Greaveburn for sale and even signing if you’re that way inclined.
But there’s more…the enthusiastic and very helpful Tinker has also offered me a spot on a panel, potentially alongside the likes of Robert Rankin, Toby Frost, Sam Stone and others! Of course, I accepted, but I’m PETRIFIFED.
It strikes me that the good thing about going nowhere with my writing is that I always know what to do. All of a sudden I’m very far from home with no map and the nagging sensation that I’m going to make an ass out of myself! Still…I’m excited enough that I’ve completely forgone sleep since signing to IQ.
In other news…I’ve re-released Not Before Bed in print (only from the american Amazon, I’m afraid) but it’s also now available for your Kindle (all over the globe). I know, the sensibility isn’t very Steampunk but than again neither is Not Before Bed. I think those short stories deserved one last flourish of attention before I pass it into the hands of fate entirely. While my Horror writing has served me well with some great publications that I’m very proud of and practice with submissions etc. I think I’ve moved on, now. Not Before Bed was an earlier me, one who was still finding his feet. Greaveburn is the next step in the journey, not away from those much-loved old stories and everything they taught me, but moving a little down the road to where there are whole new set of things to learn.
And I can’t wait to start!
Thanks for reading.
December 8, 2011 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: author, authors, automaton, books, clockwork, cogs, Craig Hallam, gears, gothic, horror, indie author, neo-victorian, short stories, speculative fiction, Steampunk, writer, writing | 4 Comments »
Hi everyone, and welcome to the blog post I never thought I’d write.
Those of you who’ve been reading my blogs for a while now (even since the beginning?) will know exactly how long I’ve waited for this moment. It’s been a year and a half of hard work, trawling through the literary agencies online and off, making my submissions fit their precise and often wildly different criteria. The hardest part, as always, has been the waiting. Then there’s the mountain of rejection slips, most very nice, that came without fail every time. That’s a whole lot of envelopes and whole lot of stamps. I think I’ve kept Royal Mail in business all by myself!
But the time has come. The time when I can make this announcement. Something I’ve been dreaming about since I was a teenager, and working towards with bleeding fingers for the last five years.
Milking it? Me? Oh, ok. I’ll get to the point.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, after much searching and sweating, Craig Hallam (slipping to third person for effect) has found himself a publisher!
Yeah, you heard right. My debut novel, Greaveburn, has been read, liked and accepted to the loving embrace of Inspired Quill publishing house! I’ve put off writing this post for almost a week now, mostly because I’ve been making little squee noises in the back of my throat and wandering around dazed since I got the email. But now I think it’s time to share my fantastic news!
As I’m sure you can all imagine (writers and readers alike) I’m over the moon. I’ve had to choke it back a little, letting Laura do most of the celebrating on my behalf, and letting my professional self take the reins. I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself. I’m trying not to think about who will be the first person to buy it. Nor my first bad review or (hopefully) my first good one. No signings or promotions ahead of me. I’m definitely not imagining what the cover will look like…although I could draw you a picture if you like
It’s hard to stay in the moment but I’m doing ok. I want to enjoy this little nibblet of a win but don’t want to throw it around until there’s nothing left to play with. There’s a lot of work to do from here on in. Thinking about the first round of edits, for example, is making little brown cakes in my undercrackers. But it’s also going to be fun. And the IQ team all seem fantastic, so far. My alloted editor, Pete Stewart, is a Steampunk fan so Greaveburn will hopefully go down well.
Anyway, I thought you should all know, being true believers and wonderful supports throughout my struggle. When it eventually hits the shelves, shiny and awesome and without a single spelling mistake (unlike these posts), be assured that you’re all invited to the party and, by God, there’ll be hangovers the next day!
Thanks for reading!
November 24, 2011 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: author, books, Craig Hallam, fantasy, gothic, indie author, Inspired Press, published, publishing, speculative fiction, Steampunk, writer, writing | 2 Comments »
*Feel free to play Dangerzone by Kenny Loggins as you read this post*
I feel juiced! I’m not sure why. I’ve just mashed out two assignments for my OU literature courses (Ingesting unhealthy amounts of info about John Webster’s Duchess of Malfi in the process). That left me pretty mentally exhausted. Then I’ve been on the good old night shifts which, during winter, means I don’t see daylight for five days. When I got up this afternoon, I clutched my hands to my face like Christopher Lee and hissed! I need Vitamin D!
Despite that, I feel good.
Submitting Greaveburn to Independent authors has thrown up some lovely (rejection) comments. More along the line of “good, but we’re not buying”. My shoulders have become so sloped with the weight of these flooding replies that they slide right off. No harm, no foul, thanks for your time. And so when I found (or was found) by Inspired Quill Publishing via my Twitter feed, I didn’t think anything of it. I reciprocate follows with quit a few publishing types, but not for any backdoor attempts to get noticed (which is good, because it wouldn’t work). But in my hour of need, when I tweeted for the assistance of my loverly (sp. intended) followers, for any indie publishing houses that might be looking for new authors, it was Inspired Quill who answered. Unlike most indie’s at the minute, they were open for submissions.
Why the hell not, thought I. So I did.
With only the first two chapters of Greaveburn (IQ’s sub policy) to make it stand out, I’ll admit I was worried. We all hope that the vital intro is awesome, and Greaveburn has just had a major overhaul, but would it be enough?
Enough, at least, to warrant my first EVER callback. IQ liked the intro and wanted to read THE WHOLE THING!
Queue me dancing around the room making WHOOP WHOOP noises like a lunatic. Then the sobering thought…this would be the first time that anyone other than Laura (my very encouraging partner and earnest critic) had read the novel. Holy Schmoly! All my little characters were going to get the treeatment in the confines of a stranger’s head for the first time. How would they hold up? Professor Loosestrife could hold his own. In fact, I pity the poor reader who lets him loose in their cranium. But Abrasia, Darrant and Steadfast? Could they take it?
But, like all good cliffhangers, I’ll have to leave you dangling. It’s only been a few days since I sent the full manuscript and I’m not expecting a reply for quite some time yet. I imagine vetting a novel to be a much harder and time consuming process than we authors would like to think. But I have patience…oh yes…lots…Ok, not that much.
This minor step forward has also spurred me out of a little writer’s rut I’d got into. I’m back in the saddle after an extended absence and writing the Alan Shaw Adventures again. While on the night shift, I’ve finished the third adventure (the novel being a series of adventures spanning the eponymous character’s life) and really starting to enjoy it again. Let’s hope this spurt continues!
And so, now that I’ve kept you for far too long, I’ll leave you be. As soon as I hear something, so will you. In fact, you’ll probably the hear the sobs or cheers from wherever you are in the world. Keep your ears peeled. It comes on the wind!
As always, thanks for reading.
Oh yes, dear friends, it’s been a funny old week…fortnight…month…you get the idea. The Open University courses are keeping me tied up indefinitely. The day job has me rushed off my feet. And promoting Not Before Bed is taking up the rest of my time. Suffice to say I feel hog-tied and gagged at the minute. No wonder the blog has suffered and the WIP is screaming for attention.
The reactions to Not Before Bed have been fantastic (bar one review which had me hitting the bottle and weeping into my string vest) and to those who’ve taken the time to comment I owe a debt. They’ve been so good, in fact, that I’ve toyed with the idea of ordering 100 copies and selling signed editions (probably £5 each, I think). But therein lies a risk! Of course the money for the copies and delivery will be coming out of my own ragged pocket. The question I need to ask is humbling: Am I good enough that people will be interested in buying it?
And that leads me to a philosophical frame of mind. Can we, as writers in a digital age, really translate our online ‘successes’ (meagre ones in my case) to the physical realm? For all those wonderful people, from all over the globe, will my self-published book sell?
Don’t worry, this post is rhetorical, I’m not expecting hard answers. But it makes ya think, right?
And so, with that, my focus on traditional publishing has been reaffirmed (Although, I never truly wavered). Greaveburn needs a home, a publisher, a team behind it and a space on a shelf. Patience isn’t just a virtue, it’s the reality and the necessity.
And so it has heen distributed again. This time to independent publishers, minus the agents’ intervention. I’m willing to skip the safety of representation and go for broke. Let’s hope the good stuff is to come. Let’s hope that if it does, I don’t get ripped off. Let’s hope you don’t cringe at the final cliche…
He who dares, wins!
Thanks for reading
Banshees and Ghouls!
This may be a bit of a surprise to you, but Not Before Bed has released a new edition! New cover, new stories, new horrors. Bigger, better and more petrifying than ever before. The really cool bit? IT’S IN PAPERBACK!
That’s right, you denizens of the night, Not Before Bed just made all your fears so horrifyingly real that you can now touch them. The problem is, they can touch you too!
And you could have YOUR copy ready for the fateful All Hallow’s Eve. It’s already available on the Creatspace eShop. And it has just hit Amazon too. But, because I love you, and I have a thirst for hunting long-pig, you can compete against the other victims to win yourself a copy RIGHT NOW over on Goodreads *EDIT – Competition has closed. thank to all who entered*. Go ahead, take a look.
Check behind the curtains, kiss your loved ones good bye.
Then turn out the light, if you dare.
I’ve had two large thuds on my doormat this week, and for once it isn’t the neighbour’s kid posting frozen poop.
The first package, I cracked open to find this inside:
If you like werewolves and creature features, you’ll love this collection. I’ve only got throgh the first few stories, but I’m so impressed with the quality that Misanthrope Press have injected into their book. I’m very proud to say that my short story ‘Hunting Grounds’ is nestled in those dark pages. And more than that, Paul Anderson gave my story an honourable mention in the Introduction. I could just wee!
The second thud came much later as it was originally delivered to the wrong address; ironically to the house on my street which I have long suspected of harbouring vampires (more on that in a future post). But once I scraped off the dried virgin blood and native soil encrusted on the package from next door, I found this inside:
What a cover! Where Misanthrope Press went creepy, Pill Hill Press have gone for a full-on awesomeness. This one is taking pride of place on my shelf from now on. In this anthology is my own tale ‘The Fly Man’ (page 105 if you want to skip that way :D). But the other stories are absolutely immense in their scope and diversity. This one will keep you up at night, for sure. If you want to invest in something for Halloween this year, then I’d suggest the hardcopy version. Worth every cent!
I couldn’t be more pleased. In one month, I’ve had two stories printed in two fantastic anthologies. This has given me a real spur to submit to more anthologies in the future. Remember guys, if you’ve read the stories, I’d love to hear what you think!
Thanks for reading.
October 7, 2011 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: anthology, author, Craig Hallam, creepy, halloween, horror, Hunting Grounds, indie author, Misanthrope Press, Pill Hill Press, short stories, the fly man, werewolf, writer | 2 Comments »
This is it. No more looking over my shoulder. No takesies-backsies. I’m moving on.
Greaveburn has had its final edit. I’ve added more chapters where the plot was slack, and managed to bulk out the characters a little in the process. It’s clean, punchy and (I bloody hope) error free. And I’m not doing any more. It’s taken almost four years to get to this point (with one year out for personal catastrophes and including loads of short stories slowing my progress). I’m really, truly, happy with it. I love my characters and I hope they love me back (except Professor Loosestrife, he can gladly stay at home). But it’s time to move one.
Greaveburn has been sent out to quite a few agents already with some very polite and encouraging rejection slips to show for it. Angry Robot Publishing is currently reading he first five chapters and will hopefully decide it’s worth reading the rest even if they don’t take it on. But while it isn’t in print yet and I’m going to be trying to rectify that for the foreseeable future, Greaveburn is being put to bed. Night night, sleep tight.
The question is…what comes next? Well, I’ll be focussing on The Alan Shaw Chronicles from now on. For those of you who haven’t been bored to death with me talking about it, TASC is a Steampunk Epic chronicling the life of the eponymous character as he grows up on the streets of Victorian London. It’s styled as a series of snapshots; each story an episode in his life, and each one a new adventure. Sometimes swashbuckling, sometimes dark, I’m aiming to give a solid overview of a life’s ups and downs and the trails our main character goes through.
I already have 25k down on this one and it’s growing fast, but I’m only on the third story so it’s going to be a long one! I’ll try to keep you all up to date with the novel’s progress via the W.I.P page, but I won’t be giving away any more plot details/adventure titles so as not to spoil it
So, a new era begins and a load of new adventures for new characters. I’m really excited about this project. It’ll be my first forray into Steampunk properly, too. Automatons and trains. Gears and goggles. Corsets and cranks. Woohoo! I was getting stagnant staring at Greaveburn all the time and this new project feels like I’ve been cut loose. Like being lashed to your grandma’s corpse as you sink in a river; You love her, but you know if you can slip free, you’ll float to safety.
And after that horrific image (for which I apologise), I’ll end how I always do.
Thanks for reading.
I can’t believe how fast this has come around. It only seems like two minutes since I was submitting Hunting Grounds to Misanthrope Press’ Children of the Moon anthology. And now the release is almost upon us. According to the lovely people at MP, the print version will be available to buy next week. From what I hear, it’s chock-full of werewolfy goodness to keep your inner beast satisfied until the moon is fat once more.
As you can see, the introduction is written by Paul Anderson, who apparently mentions my little story in particular (looking forward to reading that!). So keep your eyes peeled, kids, because this one is going to be a corker! And then let me know what you think!
MP have the usual ways of contacting them, too:
Twitter or @misanthropepres (just one ‘s’)
and, of course, the website which will be the first place you can order the anthology.
Just dropping in really quick to let you know about a new 5* review for Not Before Bed which hit Goodreads recently. It’s by the very nice D.H. Nevins, also a writer who had this to say about my short story collection:
I loved the twisted little stories of Mr. Hallam’s imaginings. Whether the tale is deliciously creepy or falls into the realm of the downright weird, each one will leave you turning page after page into the wee hours of the morning. And above all else, Not Before Bed is FREE! What more could a reader ask for?
Indeed, what more can you ask for? Thanks D.H.!
And coming real soon in September, myself and D.H. will be swapping blog interviews. So stay tuned for that!
Thanks for reading.
Thanks to Deidre at A Storybook World Blog for awarding my little blog their Enchanting Entertainer Blog Award!