Thursday, 28 December 2017

Looking to 2018

Well, I've already written Hush, Ghost Voices and Beneath Rythe, to that's three to sort. I've decided against sending Hush to Angry Robot, because I don't want to send what equates to a rushed novel out. I'll sit on it for a while and come back to it when I'm fresh.

Red Ice Run, with Ryan C. Thomas, is done. That's the next job.

After that, I'm going to write the first of three for Severed Press, and I imagine (without intervention from life) I'll fulfil the contract and get all three done in 2018.

Hush will go to agents, and I'll submit 'Ghost Voices' first thing in January to JournalStone, I think.

I intend to write through to the conclusion of the Oblivion series, but that's two books so I ain't promising. Coachman (concluding 'Hangman' and 'Highwayman'), too, but again, can't promise much on that front.

Reissues - I still have four DF reissues to finish up, which is formatting and covers, really, so I'll do one or two of those in between writing.

Otherwise, I've a ton of books to write, so hoping (unrealistically) to get a few of the longer projects (trilogies) finished and move on.

I'd love to go to a convention or two, but unless I get some kind of deal where I've got actual spare earnings not earmarked for living, I probably will just stay in the shed.

The blog'll keep going - I like the blog. The YouTube channel I really don't like, but maybe I'll grow to like it. Never used to like Twitter but now I love it, so...

Anyway, that's it for now.

P.S. New Year's Resolution? To try to be better than I was the day before.

Love you. x

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

R.I.P. Hush

I wrote this with Angry Robot's submission window in mind, from the beginning of November until today. It's 73K.

I'm sending it out to agents, too, so whether AG want it or not it'll go somewhere. I'm under no illusions - 'not' is by far the odds-on favourite - but I like it, so it's not going in the bin. Also, I worked really hard on it.

Either way, new novel done, so I'll take that.

R.I.P.
Hush
1st November - 27th December.

It's about a big spaceship.*

*Not actual pitch.





Thursday, 21 December 2017

What does it mean to be a man?

Odd question, isn't it? Is it strength?

I dunno. That's the answer. That's the answer I came up with. Thinking about it, just now.

No. I don't think it is. I think the question, the important thing is, what is it to be a human?

I've always had this thing. My dad was a man's man. That's a thing, right? He was strong, right 'til the end.

Recently I found out I have arthritis. I'm fucked. I can't lift weights anymore. My wrists hurt, dudes. I can barely open a fucking jar of pickles. I'm aching or in pain every day now. Is that what it means to be a man?

My nan, she was like 80 or something when she died. She died in hospital. I was there. I'm going somewhere with this. Bear with me.

She was fucked with arthritis. She had no finger joints. They were all plastic. And she never, ever, not once complained about the pain.

I'm in pain all the time. Chronic pain's weird. You kind of just sink into it. If people were suddenly hit by that pain? After not knowing it? They'd be fucked.

She never complained.

She wasn't a man. It hurts me, more than the joint pain, to realise I'm never going to lift weights. I'm never going to grow old able to lift washing machines and sheds and shit. I used to be able to do that. Now I hurt all the time. I'm bitching about it, believe me. I'm a fucking wuss. It hurts, man.

But my nan? She must have hurt like you wouldn't believe. She wasn't six feet two inches like me. I'm used to being able to lift up whatever I fucking want. Now? It's like my balls are cut off.

What is it to be a man?

Not being able to shift stuff, that's for sure.

My nan. That's what it is.

It's not a weird word, like 'man'. It's heart. It's soul. Doesn't matter what gender you are, or aren't. Doesn't matter what you consider yourself to be. Hard for me, old school fella that I am, to admit that, to come to terms with that. 'Be a man'. 'Man up'. Honestly, doesn't mean shit. What really means something? Trying. Living. Having a fucking soul. Taking the pain in a hard world that doesn't give a fuck about you. Getting knocked down and saying fuck you, I'm gonna make some soup and shit.

It's not about being tough. It's about being human.

Anyway, thought for the day.

Love you. xxx

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

ALT Reich Character Interview and Interview with ME!

The very nice Meghan Shena Hyden asked me over to her blog TWICE! Links below are for an interview with the main characters from 'ALT-Reich', below that it's just an interview with me, Craig. We've met before.

Okay, not that exciting for you, but I love being interviewed. It's like being Tom Cruise. But sane.

Interview with Henry Brandon and Franziska Grim from ALT-Reich:

https://the-gal-in-the-blue-mask.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/the-gals-2017-halloween-frivolities-day_13.html

Interview with me, the author. ME! Craig. That's me:

https://the-gal-in-the-blue-mask.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/the-gals-2017-halloween-frivolities-day_23.html

Well famous.

The characters are talking about this, my latest release, from Severed Press.


Available eBook and paperback:

Amazon US:


Amazon UK:


Love you. 

Friday, 8 December 2017

Nice Things - Authors/Books I Like

Trying to do some nice things this month as it's Christmas - more than the usual 'Buy This' or 'Evil Nazi' blogs...(Insert Cheeky Emoji Face)

Writers and Books I Like

Terry Pratchett - made a whole generation of humans think about what it means to be human while talking about trolls and dwarves...pretty cool.

Iain M. Banks (I prefer his Culture novels, but writing as 'Iain Banks' wonderful, too - Crow Road, or Feersum Endjinn)

Robert McCammon - Swan Song for sure, but I adore 'Boy's Life'.

Anything by Pat Cadigan.

Ursula Le Guin - Cool.

Alan Dean Foster - mostly read his movie adaptations, not because I don't know what happens - he's just really talented.

Robert Silverberg

Poul Anderson - Enjoyed everything I've read.

David Gemmell - 'Boy's own' novels.

Alice Hoffman - Magical, beautiful.

Shirley Jackson (We Have Always Lived in the Castle)

Annie Proulx - brilliant, although I confess I can't pronounce her name. Sorry, Annie.

Peter Straub - (Shadowland, Ghost Story - read Ghost Story in Japanese, looking up about everything tenth kanji, and still worth it...read it again years later in English, which was much more fun...and took around a week instead of three months...)

Neil Gaiman (My favourite is The Ocean at the End of the Lane)

Edward Lorn - I read him even though I know him, which is silly, isn't it? But I loves him.

Carl Sagan - Astoundingly human.

Haruki Murakami - Beautiful and haunting - shout out to Alfred Birnbaum who did such an amazing job in translating the novels of Murakami's I've read, too.

Andy Remic - Good bit of blood and thunder.

Isaac Asimov - What you gonna do? Genius.

Keith Deininger - Reminds me of China Meiville, but more fun, and because I never remember which way round their 'i' and 'e' go...

Charlie Huston - Short, snappy, enjoyable. I'd read him over Cormac McCarthy if I'm looking for top, spare prose.

Stephen A. North - Writes fast, enjoyable action sci-fi and zombies. Great fun, and a wonderful feel for pace.

Gregory Norris/Gregory L. Norris - I think 'straight' people don't read enough of Gregory's work, because men kiss and stuff, but they should - he's one of the best I've ever read and I've read a fair few of his, and he's a great, nay, fantastic man, too.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - I'll happily pick and read anything, anytime.

King (Older/Middle Era)

Joe Hill's 'The Fireman' and 'Heart-Shaped Box'.

Brian Hodge - Unsettling, and what seems an innate way with words, but story, and feel, and structure, too.

Joe Abercrombie - Fantasy books that zoom along and make you laugh just the right amount.

Lee Child - (Earlier Works) An amazing talent and I wonder if not slightly hampered by success. The earlier 'Reacher' novels...man's got mad skills.

Tim Lebbon (In the Valley where the Belladonna Grows is one of my favourites of his)

Anita Shreeve - Romance novels, really not my thing, but what a terrific writer.

Dan Abnett - he's a cracker, a great teller of tales.

Ian Woodhead - swift prose, very English horror stories, and always enjoyable.

There are hundreds more writers I enjoy, and thousands of books I've enjoyed, but that's enough for now, isn't it?

Love you. x


Thursday, 7 December 2017

ALT Reich Released Today


Think you’ve got what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the Nazi war machine? 

Then step up, because this time, it’s not just your country. 

Your world wants YOU.


Henry Brandon’s an old school gamer, real old school – nudging fifty, and living in heart attack county. A game falls into his ample lap, a game called ‘The New Reich’, in which he plays John Severance, badass last hope of mankind against the Nazi threat.

Henry races across the world, to Europe, Asia, fighting the menace which rules most of the world. But the true fight is at home. The U.S.A. is in the Nazis’ crosshairs, and only John Severance has the skills to save it. 

From VR to Reality, Henry has only one ally - Franziska Grim, a woman raised to fight the Nazi however she can. Together, they learn there are no reloads. When the Nazis march on the Capital, it falls to Franziska and him to fight the big boss, and save the free world from itself.

It’s only a game, though, right? One with an engine so good you can practically feel the warmth of all the blood on your hands...but sure, it’s just a game.

LINKS:



New from me. Published by Severed Press.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

I'm Angry

I'm angry. I'm always angry, so I'm nice to people. I'm angry because people aren't nice to people, so being mean doesn't make sense. The angrier I get, the nicer I am. The sadder I become, the more stupid things I post on FB or Twitter.

Why?

Because anger, hate, vitriol, denigration...these things don't make anything better.

Hate begets hate. I feel this. I won't say I believe it, but I do feel it. Feels right to me. Feels just in a world without justice.

But in a world where paedophiles, racists, rapists, homophobes, bigots, zealots, xenophobes, misogynists rise?


Let's not beat about the bush. If you're a cunt, you're a cunt. There's no way around that. If you're fuelled by hatred, by the wish to elevate the self above the many, if you renounce kindness as the universal law, if you are an adherent of any church of hate, you're a despicable human, a lesion on humanity.

Money and fame does not change that. Money and fame are not a shield. They are not.

I hear you.


People are arseholes, you say. Sure, some are.

Most aren't. Most people are awesome. People have the potential to reach the stars, if they will it.

Those who don't, they hold us back. A weight on our shoulders, driving us into the dirt. They're the problem, not those who dream.

So dream. So be angry. So fight, speak, use your voice or whatever you're able to. I don't fight, but I do write, and I will continue to do so, in between stupid tweets and Facebook updates.

Freedom's a hard thing. Happiness, ignorance is a comforting blanket. But when one's freedom entails removing the freedom from another by force or hate...that's not freedom but oppression, and let's call that what it is and not dress it up in excuses.

Love you.

Monday, 4 December 2017

End of Year Round-Up #2

Short Stories

I wrote some. Can't remember what, but 'Raintown Sam' definitely came out, in Matt Shaw Presents 'Masters of Horror' anthology, which was a #1 Bestseller. That's nice, isn't it? One of mine 'The Mirror and the Chair' was released in an anthology compiled by Duncan Bradshaw.

'To Knit a World, to Darn a Life' is the last one this year, as far as I'm aware, and it's in 'C' is for Cabbage, a charity anthology.

I just wrote 'A Man Lives in the Space Between a Pack of Cards' and submitted it a couple of days ago. If it's rejected, I'll send it somewhere else.

If I remember.

New Ventures/Future Projects

Severed Press very kindly agreed to publish a novel if I wrote it. So I did - 'ALT-Reich'. This will be out soon.


Lastly, this year, Ryan C. Thomas finished a final go on 'Red Ice Run', so that will be out in 2018.

I just finished the first draft of a novel called 'Hush' to be submitted to Angry Robot (for their open submissions period) by Dec. 31st. If they turn it down, that'll go out to agents in the New Year.

Ghost Voices (a novel) is sitting on the PC, doing nothing, because I don't know what to do with it.

Beneath Rythe is finish in first draft, so I'll spend a few months, probably in the summer, issuing final paperbacks of all four 'Rythe' books, with this as the last release.

Other things I wanted to do this year I'm still planning on - finishing the Oblivion series, a sequel to 'Masters of Blood and Bone', the conclusion to the Hangman/Highwayman stories ('Coachman') - I have not done. I did other stuff, though, so you can't yell at me.

Conclusion, Or What I Learned At School

If I learned one thing (which I haven't) it's to not promise anything, because life/work has a way of turning things on their head.

Either way, happy New Year/Christmas/Holidays/Whatever if you have any of those things. Whatever you've got, or haven't got, I love you, so there's that at least, eh?

x

December Promotion - 27 Free Books!

Through December (from tomorrow, the 5th) until the 31st, all bar a few books from my back catalogue are free. That's 27 books, all free for download.

The list:

The Love of the Dead
The Outlaw King
BLOOD DRUGS TEA
The Walls of Madness
Insulation
Bloodeye
The Lies of Angels
Deadlift
A Scarecrow to Watch over Her
Flesh and Coin
Death by a Mother's Hand
Rain
Spiggot
The Dead Boy
Spiggot, Too
Days of Christmas
The Thief King
Dark Words
The Cold Inside
The Line of Kings Boxed Set Edition
Cold Fire
The Queen of Thieves
A Stranger's Grave
Dead in the Trunk
A Home by the Sea
Highwayman
Hangman



There are at least three books available at any one time. It'd be nice if you leave a review, but don't feel obliged. I'm happy enough if they're read, and if you do download something, hope you enjoy it. It's Christmas, anyway, so knock yourself out.

x

Author Page Links (where you can find all of the things):

US
amazon.com/author/craigsaunders

UK
amazon.co.uk/Craig-Saunders/e/B003TYAKFO

Sunday, 3 December 2017

End of Year Round Up #1

Whoa...it's been a whole year!?

Oh.

Writing

Hmm...I had plans, but I didn't achieve what I wanted. I sat here, in my tiny shed, wondering what I actually have done...

Turns out I've failed most of my professed goals with quite impressive vim. Well done, Craig.

I have, though, done an awful lot which wasn't on my list.

I finished my bit of 'Red Ice Run' (with Ryan C. Thomas), finished a novel 'ALT-Reich' coming soon from Severed Press, the first draft of 'Hush' for a vaguely hopeful Angry Robot submission.

Audio

Molly King and Lee David Foreman worked solidly on these, and they're not all out, but at some point every one of my independent issues will be out in paperback, kindle and audio.

New out:

Edward Lorn and I published 'PIG'.

Reissues, Covers, Edits, Formatting and Paperbacks

In last year's 'End of Year Round-up' I said something along these lines - 'DarkFuse haven't taken me round the back of the shed and shot me'. Turns out, they put themselves down and went bankrupt. Bit of a bummer for them and those relying on them, though it didn't make much (financial) difference on a personal level. Either way, it's not the first time things have gone tits up, and I'm sure it won't be the last. What it did mean was that I've had to reissue a shit ton of work on my own. Which was a kick in the nuts.

That took up much of the latter part of the year. I've put the covers in here, which I did. I made the words, too. Clever, ain't I? Aaaand...I'm just going to leave this episode at that, because when I think of the amount of time this took it brings me to the edge of the pit of despair...

But...still love you. x