Friday, 20 December 2013

End of Year Round-up - Part II 'Life'.

I don't write so much personal stuff on the blog - figure it's more about me as a writer, than as a person. Humans are odd. I am one of the human race. Figure it might be interesting for someone...

This year's been a tough one on my health, in the early part of the year. Had scans, test, etc, for strokes, brain tumours...all the scary stuff.

I looked like this:

Turns out, it was electronic cigarettes - something in them was making me ill. At least, this is my self-diagnosis - the doctors put my funny turns down to migraines - personally, I think they were wrong.

But either way, turns out it was a good kick up the butt.

Started exercising, eating a bit more sensibly. Neither thing to excess, but I'm fitter now, I think, than I was at 30. I'm 41 now...and I'm not dead yet.

So, yeah - health, it turns out, is pretty important. I don't sit at the PC all day anymore. I get up and move around a bit. I feel better for it.

The kids are getting easier as they get older - less stress, more fun. People enjoy the baby stuff...not me!

It's nice to be sleeping all night again. :D

Work (see part one) is going year, it's got to be more about balance. I can't write 16 hours a day anymore. I think at some point I made a decision not to spend all day in the shed, working, and to have a life, too. Good choice, I think. A writer who only ever writes isn't much use to his family, or, in the end, himself.

So, next year, on the personal front? More exercise, less fat. Try and knock the cigarettes on the head (my one remaining vice). Less work, more fresh air.

In short, I'm trying to achieve that fabled, mythical 'Work/Life Balance' shit that people talk about. I'm beginning to think there might be something to it.

Anyway - cholesterol's down, weight's down, no funny turns since summer...I think I'll go have a bacon sandwich.

Love you - hope to see more of you all in the New Year.


Saturday, 7 December 2013

End of Year Round Up

My first novel was published in 2011. 2012 was mostly about publishing my backlog of novels and novellas, which, thankfully, I was able to do.

This year, by and large, has been about figuring out the business of being a writer. I've found this more difficult than the writing part, not as difficult as getting that first breakthrough in 2011.

In March, I attended Comic Con and signed for my first book this year - A Home by the Sea.

In October, I attended my second book signing, for my last novel of the year, The Estate. Both of these books were published by Crowded Quarantine Publications, and they've done a stirling job of getting me out there, with some great advice, and with The Estate, also published my first hardback book, with cover art by the brilliant Jethro Lentle.

In between times, I published the short novel The Noose and Gibbet (Anachron Press).

And also the novella The Dead Boy, the first in a series of zombie/apocalyptic novellas (Grand Mal Press).

I received an honourable mention for my short 'Mr. Wobble' in Ellen Datlow's honours list.

A short of mine 'Sleep and the End' was accepted for Bizzaro Bizzaro, from Bizzaro Pulp Press.

My horror hero, author of two of my favourite horror novels, the venerable Bill Hussey, gave my work a wonderful endorsement.

This year also saw the release of Great British Horror, vol. 1, including my novella 'Insulation'. All proceeds for the project go to Centrepoint, a charity for homeless children in the UK. To be among the writers including is both an honour and a pleasure, and it's a great project. I hope it continues.

And, finally, accepted into the ranks of DarkFuse, who I've been aiming for since starting out on the path of the horror writer, with my novella 'Bloodeye'.

I think that's by and large, it. More than enough! I consider this year, on the writing front, to be a resounding success. I think success depends, largely, on your goals. DarkFuse has been my goal for two years, and publishing The Estate, my first horror novel, my goal since I wrote it. This year has been wonderful. I have achieved my publishing.

As for my next dream? This is where I come to the 'business' part of writing. The next dream is to make a good living from writing. For this to be my main income. I don't have expensive tastes, nor do I have expensive needs. I'd settle for a bigger shed and maybe a Chinese takeaway once a week.

This is the business side. The vast majority of writers do not make a good living. There is a ton of competition, and the big five publishers, where the bulk of the money (and promotion) is, are notoriously hard to crack. But there are other ways.

For the beginner (and two years in, I still consider myself a beginner) my advice is write, write, write. Get more work out (preferably quality work) and increase your visibility. Go to conventions. Network there, and on FB. Meet people, talk to people, watch the industry. There are other ways to make money from your writing.

Next year, I hope to begin to earn a decent wage from my work, and I hope to do this yearly update (which, it seems, is becoming a kind of tradition) and let you know, finally, that I have a few pennies in my pocket. Also, next year, I'm going to FantasyCon - hopefully I'll meet some of you there.

Which reminds me - I also self-published the final volume of The Line of Kings Trilogy, as Craig R. Saunders, entitled 'The Queen of Thieves'. I'm sure I've forgotten some other stuff...but that's enough to be going on with...

Love you, and thanks for reading! xxx

Sunday, 1 December 2013

DarkFuse acquires Bloodeye...sample here!

Title gives it away a bit. DarkFuse, an absolutely fantastic dark fiction publishing house, has acquired my novella 'Bloodeye', for publication September 2014.

As usual, I've added a sample over on the right side of the blog (under 'Published Novel and Novella Excerpts).

Here's the link: BLOODEYE.

It's in capitals so you can't miss it if you've a shaky mouse hand. ;)

Here's the run-down of Bloodeye:

*** Keane Reid is tired of living. He's bored with his very existence following the suspicious death of his wife seven years earlier. He's not interested in TV, reading, dating or a social life.

But when he is called on a routine plumbing job at a local pub, he discovers the corpse of a young girl crucified and nailed to a wall, her eyes torn out and a third eye carved into her forehead. Keane has seen this mark before, and soon his life is thrust between the present and past, reality and fantasy, darkness and light.

As Keane loses his grip on sanity, a long-forgotten shadow begins whispering to him once again, ushering him toward the void, where the ghosts of his past reside, waiting to show him what truly lies behind the veil. ***

I also wanted to put a link in to DarkFuse, so you can see what and who they publish - some great fiction by people I know, people I don't, all of whom are admirable writers and well-established within the darker halls of speculative fiction.


Well worth a look.

Hope you'll have a read of the three chapter sample of Bloodeye, and let me know what you think.

Love you! x