It’s been a while since I did a promotion as a thank you for sticking around thus far. And a great way to thank someone is with a gift! My book The Battle of Watling Street is available on Kindle for free during a five-day promotion on Amazon UK between the 10th and 13th of […]
Ice, Rain, and Submission Squalls- Should I Self-Publish a Short-Story Collection?
Firstly, Happy New Year to you, constant reader! I hope your Christmas and holiday season was restful and joyful, and spent with loved ones. It always feels for me like a physical and mental trudge up a steep hill at the start of a new year, but I know that some brisk walking to shake […]
Anthology Review – Symphony of The Damned
…no matter what the reader fancies, as long as it’s unsettling, s/he is certain to find something melodiously creepy in Symphony of the Damned. Rebecca Rowland, Horror TREE In my last post, I announced that one of my horror short stories features in a new anthology, Symphony of the Damned. You can still pick up the […]
New Horror Anthology – Symphony of The Damned
I signed my first actual, honest-to-god contract for a piece of fiction at the start of the month, for a horror anthology published by Savage Realms Press, called Symphony of The Damned. The book was published a couple of days ago, and I may have to frame that contract! I submitted “Shadows Under Leamouth”, my […]
Troubling Fascinations – Belfast on My Mind
It’s been eighteen months since I last visited Northern Ireland, and I doubt I’ll be able to get over this summer; as of the time of writing, the GOV.UK site still advises against all but essential travel to NI (or at least I think it does; it may be downright illegal, depending on your source). […]
Winter 2020 Update – Reasons To Be Cheerful, New Short Fiction, And What’s a Chapbook?
In my July update I hoped for the best but prepared for the worst, and here we are in another year, in another national UK lockdown, with a very unprecedented Christmas behind us.
If I distilled anything palatable from the bitter brew of 2020, it was to be actively grateful – not in a wishy washy, Pinterest board way, but to frequently and actively list out on a piece of paper all the reasons to be cheerful whenever the new normal threatened to overwhelm. We are safe, we are fortunate that we can work from home, we continue healthy, we have a good broadband and Wi-Fi connection so we can connect to friends and family online, as well as buy most of what we need in the same way. We did manage to get out and about for some hiking trips in between lockdowns (pic above is from a brief trip to the Lake District in September), but I’m now doing my part as a stay-safe couch potato.
July Update and New Flash Fiction
Flowers are wilting My enthusiasm, too Only weeds survive.” – Gaia Garden The weeds are not only surviving; they’re winning, and a lot of my time is taken up with tackling them; in the garden and in my writing commitment. With lockdown easing, we’ve ventured out for a few walks, but always in less frequented […]
Begin at The Beginning -Does My Novel Need a Prologue?
I’ve been thinking about beginnings a lot, since, well, the beginning of this new year. I’m currently reviewing my manuscript for And The Buntings Flew, having put it away for a few months; that distance allowed me to clean up what I’ve written to date, and forge on with the story. I’ve now got 35,000 […]
June ’18 Update – More Flash Fiction, and Seeking Inspiration for My Writing
Make voyages. Attempt them. There’s nothing else. – Tennessee Williams Sometimes, rather than peace coming to me “dropping slow“, it’s inspiration. The inspiration to realise my writing dreams waxes and wanes, given the daily grind of job, commute, and paying the bills. Waiting for inspiration doesn’t get things done, and it can be interminably slow […]
They Loved My Writing – But Turned it Down. When Constructive Criticism is More Valuable Than Publication
I’m not going to list out all the famous authors who had to persist through dozens of rejections until their magnum opus was snapped up. And I’m not going to name that Decca manager who rejected the Beatles as a passé guitar group on their way out. I’m not even going to dwell on Stephen […]
March ’18 Roundup – Bruges, Website Makeover, Short Stories and Nano Probes
I posted in January about the snow hanging around like an impervious, unwelcome house guest; this week we’ve just seen the back of the latest batch! Some gloomy forecasters predict the UK will have a white Easter; I choose to ignore these pessimists (with fingers crossed). It has been an unseasonably cold late winter and […]
Imbolc in Literature – the Stirring of New Life, but Pregnant with Meaning
Blessed Imbolc! The ancient Gaelic celebration of Imbolc, or its Christian equivalent Candlemas, is observed today (the date moves around, but it’s usually on the 1st or 2nd February), halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Imbolc heralds the start of Spring, and for (Irish) Christians it marks the feast day of St […]
Guess Who’s Back…News Roundup
It’s been a few months since I’ve posted, even though in the interim I’ve had a couple of flash fiction stories published; my non-writing life got in the way, and family comes first. I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year’s, constant reader; a gift I inadvertently gave myself for 2018 was […]
June Roundup: flash fiction published and revisiting the draft of my first novel: it does get better!
May and June have been busy, momentous even, and I’ve struggled to find time to write and update the blog. I did, however, snatch the time for a quick trip to the seaside; we are pretty much in the centre of the landmass of England, and the coast is a long drive in every direction, […]
#MysteryWeek on Goodreads – My Five Sentence Original Mystery
It’s nearly May, and as well as hopes for warmer (or at least consistent) weather, my thoughts have turned to murder mysteries and crime; May 1st – 7th is Mystery Week on Goodreads, and I’m taking part this year! Goodreads have organised a raft of activities for mystery writers and readers between the 1st and […]
The Battle of Watling Street is Published!
I am a published author of a historical/science fiction/alternate history novella! Yesterday was D-Day. After feverish last-minute formatting and some tiny revisions (how can I still find things to tweak after dozens of self-edits, software edits, beta readings and more edits?), I took the plunge and submitted my book to Kindle. I’ve entered Amazon’s Storyteller […]
My Second Work-in-Progress: The Bondage of The Soil
I love reading spooky tales at Christmas; M.R. James is a firm favourite, and I usually reread H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Festival” to celebrate the Yuletide season. The idea for a short horror story in the tradition of these greats came to me last December when I was deep into my ghostly reading season; I have a […]
Flash Fiction June 2016 – “Glaucus”
One of my 100-word stories has been published today by John Xero in Issue 12 of 101fiction.com . The theme of this issue is “underwater”. I love reading the other stories published at 101fiction; the quality is very high, so if you like reading bite size horror, Sci-Fi, fantasy and surreal tales, please check it out. […]
My Research Trip to Belfast for “And The Buntings Flew”
I’ve just returned from a three-day break to Northern Ireland; the trip was definitely a mix of pleasure and writing research – the first thing I did after checking in at the wonderful Europa Hotel (the most bombed hotel in Europe) was to head for the Belfast Central Library Newspaper archive. And The Buntings Flew, the […]
Flash Fiction April 2016 – “The Expedition”
Today I’ve had a piece of flash fiction published at Ad Hoc Fiction, a Bath Flash Fiction Award project. The title of my story is “The Expedition” – it was published in the 27/4/16 weekly edition, but if you have difficulty locating it in the Flash eBook format, I’ve saved a copy for your perusal here! As with much […]