Thursday, 6 November 2008

This is Halloween

As an affect of the peculiar time lag that haunts my blog, I am now able--albeit a week after the event--to announce the Halloween issue of the excellent Estronomicon e-zine features my story Ein Normales Leben.

I urge you to download this fine e-zine and indulge yourself. It is, after all, both completely free AND a damn good read.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


I know, I know. I'm late again, aren't I? You came here expecting to hear all about my new course, and how it's changed my writing and transformed me into a god astride the your puny world, right?

Wrong? Probably just as well, because instead you're getting this: a blog about time.

Now, for the word 'blog', you can substitute any of the following: whinge, rant, diatribe, moan, beef, lament, grumble and all the other words my handy Thesaurus can recommend. Because that's essentially what I'm going to do today: complain.

Recently I've stumbled upon a happy place in my work. I'm getting bits and pieces in print (with more on the way!), the Valentine Chronicles continues to gain more and more hits per month, and I'm happy with the way my writing's developing. I've noticed a hardening in that little kernel all writers must nurture; that belief that maybe--after all the rejections and hard work and self-doubt--just maybe, I can make it. It's a belief I hope other writers I admire like Lee Moan and Allyson Bird have discovered: the belief that they can take the next step and make this writing lark a career. Because that's what I'm starting to believe. I could do it, I really could. If only I had the time...

And that's the thing, isn't it? If I didn't have to work do a Normal Job to pay all the bills and loans and mortgages that make a Normal Life, I could just and concentrate on my work. I could produce tale after glittering tale of wonder and daring do. I could write that "third time lucky" novel, or that comic series, or finish the Valentine Chronicles etc. But, dammit, Real Life just keeps getting in the way, doesn't it?

I'm sure this is a barrier all successful writers must overcome... have overcome... and I'm sure that, if I am to succeed, I have to as well. Maybe this is the biggest test? Maybe the next barrier isn't the material I'm producing, but finding the time to produce it?

Only time will tell.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Lead a Normal Life

There are highs and lows to any given pursuit. Be it a leaning toward sporting excellence, a high standard of artistic accomplishment, the satisfaction of a job well done, or the thrill of a well cooked meal, each carries presents us with those days when we throw our hands in the air and decry a cruel and petty world that thwarts our every move.

God knows I'm no stranger to that feeling. From the time I was a young illustrator chasing that Big Break, to my present endeavours as a writer, there have been times I've almost wept with frustration. I've torn up rejection letters in fits of pique, I've hurled abuse at my unsuspecting computer monitor, I've stamped around the house like a petulant child, all the while pulling at what little hair I have left (hey, don't feel sorry for me; it's ginger. the sooner I lose the damn stuff the better). It's at times like those that little voice pipes up in the back of my mind, the one that always ask me if it's all worth it, if I wouldn't be happier leading a Normal Life.

You've heard of the mystical Normal Life, haven't you? One where your moods and outlook aren't so dependant on the opinions, whims, and needs of various editors. One where you can just enjoy a few hours relaxation without feeling guilty because you're not writing. One where those little flashes of inspiration and insight are left safely tucked away in your head and aren't exposed to the indifference and ridicule of others. You know: a kinda... well, boring life.

There are highs and lows to every pursuit, and the highs always make the lows worth while. This past week, for instance, I've been blessed with two bits of great news: two bastions of the UK's proud indie circuit, Twisted Tongue and Estronomicon, want to publish pieces of my work (brand new stories On the Air and Ein Normales Leben, respectively). This, my friend, is what it's all about. The feeling that somebody, somewhere, likes that little idea that you've nurtured, that little flash of inspiration, enough to publish it, to share it with their readers who trust them to entertain and challenge them. That's what it's all about.

Yes, the lows are frustrating, but aren't the highs worth it? Yes, I could lead a Normal Life, but wouldn't that be boring?

Here's to many more lows, and the highs that make them worth it.

Saturday, 5 July 2008


Hey, haven't I been here before? Didn't I used to write some sorta blog, or something? Is 'blog' the right word? Back in my day, 'blog' was shorthand for 'bolognese', but, then again, I remember when Dr Who wasn't camper than a row of tents.

So, how y'been? You look... a lttle tired. Shouldn't you be in bed at this hour?

Me? Well, I'm not too bad. I do, however,have a confession to make.

It may suprise you to know that I'm essentially a very shy person. Yes, really. I write under a pseudonym. I draw under a pseudonym. For all my burning desire for my stories and characters to dominate the world, I'm quite content to stay in the background. You won't be seeing me hog the red carpet when the Valentine Chronicles film premieres. I couldn't. I hate attention.

With this in mind, I'm deeply embarrassed to announce that the latest issue of Twisted Tongue magazine features an interview with yours truly (as well as the usual array of great stories and excellent value for money). It's a strange feeling. It makes me feel a little... exposed. Does that make sense? Is this, I wonder, what I can look forward to when my career takes off?

Is that part of parcel of being a writer? The ability to whore yourself without hesitation or shame?

I wonder if it's too late to employ a body double ....

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Growing Up

Today is a special day for me. Today my little baby website, www/, is one year old.

This is a big deal for me. A year ago I had no web-presence, a questionable knowledge of HTML and a little ambition. A year on, nothing's really changed, but at least I chug on!

I'm sure one day I'll look back at the Valentine Chronicles and cringe. I'm sure the stories, like new serial Hearts and Bones will seem badly written and embarrassing, but, right now, I don't care. All writers grow up in public, stamping their feet and crying for attention, and the Valentine Chronicles is no different.

Here's to many more years, and many more embarrassing stories.