New Look!

Hi everyone,

So, just a quick post to let you all know that the blog has a new look. Instead of having to trawl through my terrible posts first, you should now hit some pics and details of my books. Hopefully the whole thing is easier to read and use.

If you have the time to check it out, I’d appreciate it. Please feel free to let me know if you find any broken links etc.

In other news (just to make this posts a little less boring) I’ll soon be sharing guest posts from my fellow Inspired Quill authors! They’re nice folks with a lot of talent so I hope you’ll greet them well.

I hope you’re all having a good weekend. I’m off to plot a comic book (May Cthulhu save me).

Thanks for reading!

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Back to Hopeless Maine (or did we ever leave?)

Hi everyone,

I wanted to let you guys know about the release of a project that I’m very passionate about. Written and illustrated by the incomparable Nimue and Tom Brown, the brand new edition of Hopeless, Maine graphic novel has been uneashed upon the populace!

Here’s how Tom and Nimue describe their brainchild:

Hopeless is a strange, gothic island off the coast of Maine, cut off from the rest of reality for the greater part. Hopeless Maine is also a graphic novel series, the peculiar child of Tom and Nimue Brown. Here’s a little taste of island life.

Now what made me fall in love with these Graphic Novels was the artwork; a visceral Gothic masterpiece of landscapes and creatures that slithers in the dark reaches of the imagination like nothing else. I loved it from the very first images. Then, I read it, and fell in love with the brilliantly simple storytelling that gives plenty and leaves plenty, too, so that the reader can’t help but soar away on flights of their own dark fantasy.

As an honoured part of the Hopeless, Maine blog tour, I’ve been blessed with the presence of one of Hopeless’ denizens, the utterly creepy Owl Demon:

owl-demon601

Owl Demon. To confuse matters, residents of the island of Hopeless, Maine tend to call anything unfamiliar a demon. This has included especially funny looking chickens, and a parrot who came ashore with a shipwreck. It’s difficult, when faced with some of the island’s resident life forms, to ascertain exactly how unnatural they are. However, if you scrutinise them closely, you will see that genuine demons seldom have plausible anatomies. They don’t need to, on account of being demons. Laws of physics and biology hold no interest for them. If you stop to scrutinise an entity for long enough to identify its demonic status, this is probably the last thing you’ll ever do. Understanding the nuances of islander demonology (assume it is a demon and run away) makes a good deal of sense if you aren’t interested in having your body parts slowly rearranged. For much the same reason that islanders do not look too closely at the anatomy of demons, no one asks too many questions about where the demons actually come from.

Cooking instructions: if you were even thinking about it, seek medical or spiritual help as a matter of urgency.

Brilliant isn’t it? And the graphic novels themselves are cover-to-cover with darklings and demons, nightmare creatures and cryptozoological monstrosities.

For newbies to the series, the books are available from all good comic stores and online sites. The best place, however, would be The Book Depository where you can get the preceding volumes as well as the latest instalment, Gathering.

gathering600

I can’t recommend the work of the Browns highly enough.

Go get it. Get it now. Before it gets you!

Thanks for reading.

Guess who’s back…

This place is a little dusty…it can’t have been that long since I…

TWO YEARS!

I’m so sorry, guys! I’m afraid this blog fell down the back of the radiator in the spare room and I’ve only just found it.

Oh my. What’s happened in two years?

Well, I’ve still been writing, if that helps. I just today finished the last strokes on The Adventures of Alan Shaw volume 2. It’s a doozy. I hope you’ll all like it.

Oh, and I finally did give up the day job, despite people telling me not to (or was that because of my singing? I forget.). Anyway, you are now looking at a full-time author. Which is how I’m thinking about it, rather than as a complete lack of direction or plans or financial support or…I think I need  moment.

Anyway, here I am. I’ve started up a little editing/proofreading service to make sure I can still eat. That’s going well. I just finished editing a great Steampunk Children’s book called Verity Twigg and the Da Vinci Quill Mystery, which I’m sure you’ll all enjoy when it hits the shelves. I’ve also just done a foreword for an upcoming collection of anecdotes about playing RPGs such as Dungeons and Dragons. I was asked to do it as the editor knew I ran my own games, so that was nice of him.

What else?

Oh yes, you can get in on some of that juicy experience, if you like. I’m adding a new page to the blog with some reviews of work I’ve already done and a contact. Feel free to drop me a line if you are in need of editing, proofreading or general assistance with your stories or manuscripts. Hell, I’ll proofread your business’ menus if you like (Don’t you hate ordering from a miss-spelled menu? Just me then).

Oh, my next writing project is a book called Down Days, which is a first hand account of someone with depression. Me, that is. I’ll talk about that a bit more in another post, I think.

To clarify, I’m back. Hopefully with more than a bi-annual visit. I hope you’re all still there, and all still well. This is going to be a tough ride so I appreciate your patience.

 

As always, my friends, thanks for reading!

Not Before Bed…the return

Oh yes, it has been a long time in the making but it’s finally here. The short story collection which I put together and self published before Greaveburn was accepted by Inspired Quill has finally come home. IQ have graciously accepted to reprint the old warhorse of nightmaresthat is Not Before Bed. With new editing, amazing new cover and even some re-hashings and new endings for some of my old work, the beast is definitely back.

The inimitable Charley Hall has produced a creepy cover, and there is even an internal illustration inspired by NBB by Chloe Lisa. It looks pretty great, I have to admit. I’m very chuffed with it. Check out the Tour Deets page for where me and the new books (The Adventures of Alan Shaw is still doing the preliminary rounds), or follow my Facebook page to stay up to date.

Other than that, feast your eyes on this juicy cover art and await the release date on 15.12.14 (Just in time to darken your Christmas, Horror-fans).

NBB ebook cover

 

Thanks for reading!

Happy New Year!

Hello, fellow readers!

Once again, time seems to have totally evaded my grasp. I can’t believe how fast everything seems to be moving of late. As a Whovian, I’d suggest some kind of time-dilation anomaly that only The Doctor himself can save us from. But until he turns up, we’ll just have to deal with it.

In case you missed the title of this post, and have been in a particularly potent coma of late, you’ll know that we are now firmly placed into the year 2014. Every time I look at that date, I can’t help thinking how close we are, or even how we have passed by, some of the predictions made by favourite sci-fi movies. Here’s hoping that Skynet doesn’t finally get traction, eh?

But this year, while swift, has been good to me. Greaveburn has sold more and more copies and gained a growing group of appreciative readers (Fans is too strong a word). The reviews have remained brilliant, although I’m still waiting for that first stinker of a one-star, since I’m an optimist, you know. And I think it’s time for this year’s Greaveburn Awards. Three people made special contributions to my sanity this year, letting me know that it’s ok to get lost in my fantasy worlds. And those are:

Jess Booth

jessJess bought Greaveburn at the 2013 Weekend at the Asylum convention, and promptly read it in about 6 hours. She also left a lovely review on Amazon. This kind of book-fanatical behaviour warms the cockles of my heart. Thank you, Jess. The next time I’m in Widow Cullen’s Well, I’ll make sure to buy you a pint ;D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ash Lithgow

ashI think Ash made it into the awards last year, too, but he has maintained his uber-fandom this year by reading Greaveburn more times than I ever did. He also stepped in as assistant fact-checker in a workshop I did at the Steampunk Doncaster convention this year, because he knows the characters better than I do. I actually had to defer to him once or twice in the workshop. God bless you, Ash!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frances Rockett

Not only does Fran win an award for the most Steampunk name on her birth certificate, she has been a huge help to the Greaveburn movement this year. She has acted as shop girl for me at several events, drawing in the crowds and then promptly sending them away again, one book heavier. She’s  a machine. A book-selling automaton.

fran

So thank you to those three people in particular, but to everyone else to picked up a copy of my work, read it, borrowed it, reviewed it, entered the Readers’ Gallery, Liked, Shared, or told a friend. You’re all my favourite people.

But now we have hit 2014. A new year means moving forward.

This year is going to be a busy one, too. The itinerary goes something like this:

  1. I turn 30 (yikes!)
  2. I finally finish my university course, giving me my second degree (this times in English). So look out for photos of me in a silly hat later this year!
  3. I get married (double yikes!)
  4. My next novel, The Adventures of Alan Shaw gets released! YIPPEE! That’ll be around June time with a new shiny edition of Not Before Bed, too.
  5. At some point, Greaveburn will develop a cult following and the masses will demand a movie be made. I already have the cast list in my head ;D

Ok, so maybe that last one is a push. But the others are very true, and very scary. I really can’t wait for you all to meet Alan Shaw. But I’m very nervous about it, too.

Anyway, whatever it is you have planned for this year, I wish you all the best of luck and happiness. Remember that the lows never sink the highs, they’re just anchor points between your adventures.

 

Thanks for reading for another year.

Reader’s theories on your work.

As soon as your novel, poem, screenplay or artwork leaves your hand, it’s open to the interpretation of others. That’s just how it goes. And to a certain degree, that’s the whole point. Especially with books. How I imagine one of my favourite characters, Harry Dresden, is mine alone and will be subtley different from how others imagine him. It’s part of the fun of picturing things in your head.

The way that I’ve come across this kind of thing is in readings, workshops and at signings. People seem to really want to know what Greaveburn “is”.

There have been several theories offered to me:
1. Greaveburn is an alternate history.
2. It’s a parallel universe.
3. It’s an alternate dimension.
And, most recently,
4. It’s a post-apocalyptic city.

That last one came from a recent review by Scott Kinkade, which I won’t link to as it has lots of spoilers in it, but his theory is a good one, as theories go.

I’ve wondered whether to dispel these theories or just let people carry on, and I’ve finally decided to do the latter. What people get from the book is their own personal experience and I’m happy to have it that way.

But it points to something interesting in human nature, I think. The constant search for solid answers. None of the people who made these theories could just let Greaveburn be. It has to be something. Odd don’t you think? And worth bearing in mind when you write your own work.

Thanks for reading.