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Category: Writing

Progress Report, and a New Subscription Service ?>

Progress Report, and a New Subscription Service

This past six months, you might have noticed I’ve been working on two books – entirely by accident, as one was only meant to be a *cough* short story. It’s one of my failings as a writer that things grow on me; I’ve never been able to write short stories unless they are tied into a larger franchise – and sometimes, not even then. Books, by and large, take a lot of work, and they’re going to take the same…

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My Nefarious Past in Fanfiction ?>

My Nefarious Past in Fanfiction

For a lot of years, especially during my twenties, I wrote mainly fanfiction. I don’t think it’s particularly uncommon for authors to start out that way; Joanne Harris has admitted to writing and even posting fragments of Lost, House, and other fanfiction (good on her!). At it’s core, it’s ripping way to learn: you can experiment with techniques that might be a bit experimental for mainstream fiction; you have a ready-made audience; and you make a lot of good friends….

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Progress ?>


Alpha has been a nightmare to write. Some stories spring, fully formed, from the pen; others must be cobbled painstakingly together, a patchwork quilt whose stitches come undone the moment they are sewed. The first incarnation of this story-turned-novella was a disaster: I knew it, even when I gave it to my mother, my Ideal Reader, to look over. I found myself apologising for it, for goodness’ sake. I’d never done that before. She confirmed what I’d known all along:…

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A Wonderful Use of Literature ?>

A Wonderful Use of Literature

I recently had a reviewer wonder why I’d included so many references to H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, and I didn’t immediately blog anything in explanation because I worried I would be giving away important plot details for later books if I did. But I’ve just found a wonderful short vampire story by Gahan Wilson, called The Sea Was Wet As Wet Could Be, and not only did I love it, it also allowed me the perfect forum in…

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Introducing a New Point of View, and Some (Tiny) Spoilers ?>

Introducing a New Point of View, and Some (Tiny) Spoilers

In many ways, Out of Egypt is becoming a different animal to Dark. Oh, I don’t mean in terms of characters or content, or even in tone – in that sense I think they’re pretty even. But the necessity of telling two sides of this story in two different locations through Out of Egypt has led me to introduce a second viewpoint character: Stryke. I’ve always loved Stryke, even though he didn’t quite have room to shine in Dark. He’s…

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A Kindred Spirit and a Blog I Wish Every Reader Would Visit ?>

A Kindred Spirit and a Blog I Wish Every Reader Would Visit

I know my last two blogs here have been somewhat . . . down. Over several months I’ve slowly been discovering something about a number of modern readers which I never suspected: They don’t like series. This genuinely flummoxed me because there’s nothing I like better than to engage with a world and its inhabitants, make friends with them, and come back to visit again and again. I’m re-reading The Vampire Chronicles right now for just that reason. So it’s…

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Is the Internet Review System Flawed? ?>

Is the Internet Review System Flawed?

Okay, I give up. There’s been much debate amongst author forums as to whether customer reviews are a good or a bad thing, and I think most of us were kind of on the fence about it. When you get good ones they’re a massive incentive; when you get balanced and constructive criticism they can be extremely helpful. But then there’s the bad ones that are unimpressed because they’ve misunderstood something, and that can be damaging. I’m afraid it’s happened…

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Cliffhangers: Or, What Do You Do If the Book’s Too Long ?>

Cliffhangers: Or, What Do You Do If the Book’s Too Long

For a very long time, I’ve kept my mouth (or my laptop!) shut about some of the reviews for Dark. Before I go any further, let me say first that I’m eminently grateful for the time people take to write such things, because when they’re well-reasoned and clearly put they can be an enormous help in working out what it is that people want. My own reading habits are somewhat unusual in the modern day; it’s easy for me to…

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Some Sneek Peeks at “Out of Egypt” ?>

Some Sneek Peeks at “Out of Egypt”

  If you visit the static pages on this site regularly, you might have spotted an update on Out of Egypt‘s page that features the entire Prologue available to read for free. But that’s only one of the peeks I promised, and here’s some more. For the two years since Dark first came to me in a dream, I have to admit I had no idea what his real name was. He was like the Doctor or Spock in that…

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About “Alpha”, and Progress on “Out of Egypt” ?>

About “Alpha”, and Progress on “Out of Egypt”

The last few weeks, I have to admit I’ve run into a bit of a problem. Something about Alpha just isn’t working; it’s like the more I look at it, the more I realise it was never intended to stand alone and would only work as part of a longer piece. Maybe I’m simply making a mistake in splitting it in two: the first half of the story is depressing as all get-out and the second half isn’t. It’s like…

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