Category Archives: my work

My Writing Process

This week I’m taking part in the My Writing Process blog hop, which was recommended to me by Dave Sivers. I interviewed Dave about his crime fantasy novels here, but he also writes crime novels too. He wrote about his writing process last week, so be sure to check out Dave’s blog.

So this hop consists of four questions about my work:

1) What am I working on?

Most writers have a number of different projects on the go, so I’ve always got a few short stories and a dozen novel ideas I’m tinkering with. However my main project is an epic fantasy. The story had its genesis in the Ballad of Thomas Rymour, a Scottish folktale of a man who is spirited away to the realm of Faerie. I imagined Tom would develop a sort of Stockholm Syndrome so he would want to go back once he was forced to leave Faerie.

So I’m writing an epic fantasy in which the world is embroiled in a war between elfs and men, where dragons are enslaved and turned into weapons of mass destruction, and all Thomas Rymour wants to do is get back to his beloved Queen of Faerie. Obviously it’s not going to be easy for him.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Legends and myths often play a large role in epic fantasy, but I wanted folklore and fairy tales to influence mine. It gives the world a different flavour, as the rhythm of folklore is very different to that of mythology.

The fay themselves are different, too. I wanted to do something new with them, so their personalities are tied into the time of year. For one half they are light and fey, for the other they are dark and dangerous. A fay in summer will play a harmless prank and laugh. The same fay in winter might maim you and react the same way.

3) Why do I write what I do?

That’s a tough question. I suppose a lot of it comes from reading other books and thinking “but what about this?” So what does Thomas Rymour do and feel after he leaves Faerie? What if the “good” fay and the “bad” fay are different sides of the same coin? What would really happen when a messiah came back to us? I sit and decide what I think the answers to those questions are and then I write down what I think would happen.

4) How does my writing process work?

The process itself doesn’t begin with writing. It begins years before with random thoughts and ideas that conglomerate into a “what-if?” question that interests me. That question usually prompts more thoughts, which turn into ideas and probably some research.

But the process of writing is pretty straightforward. Each morning I sit down for an hour before work and pick up where I left off yesterday. That’s it. I don’t revise or rewrite unless I feel it’s crucial; I just write the next thousand or so words. Sometimes if the hour doesn’t go well I’ll write in snatches throughout the day. But, if I’m lucky, the hour produced some good work and I’m free to spend my time thinking about the next hour or about future projects.

I find the routine helpful; as time has gone on it needs less time to change gears and be ready to write. Doing it first thing also means that, no matter what the rest of the day is like, my writing is in the bag. It also can’t be affected by the detritus of the day!

Anyway you’ve probably heard enough from me. Time to hand over. I’m passing the hop to two fantastic authors: Ginny Lurcock and M. Latimer-Ridley!

Ginny Lurcock lives in New Hampshire with her husband whom she adores, her daughter whom she also adores, and their cat who she likes alright. Her father and his two cats also inhabit the space.

*shifty*

When not writing, she enjoys playing games (of the board and video variety) or reading to the point of obsession (she’s not an addict, she can quit whenever she wants), watching intelligent television, mindless television, sports, movies and listening to music.

Basically, she likes all the things.

And somehow, she still manages to find the time to be bored.

You can check out Ginny’s blog next week to read about her writing process. Check out Bad Blood in the meantime. It’s excellent.

Latimer (Karen) and Ridley (Rachel) are two eccentric best friends with far too many obsessions and a frightening addiction to tea. When they aren’t reading stories filled with magic, passion and adventure, they’re writing them. A writing duo for the last nine years, they’ve always dreamed of sharing their imaginary worlds and quirky characters with others.

While they live in Ireland, they would love to spend their lives travelling the world. But for now, they can be found happily wandering the internet.

Check out M. Latimer-Ridley’s blog next week to see their take on this blog hop.

In the meantime, tell me how your writing process works or about your WIP in the comments below!

Free Stories for January

January’s a time for tightening belts. Literally and figuratively. While we’re trying to work off the Christmas pounds, we’re also staring at our bank balances and our credit card bills in disbelief. Time to start cutting back on a few luxuries. Like books. (Although I think books are necessities, I’m aware that some people don’t see it that way.)

January is a good time for freebies.

So anyone who subscribes to my newsletter gets two short stories for free. The first is You Are Just A Guest, a suburban horror told via social media about a young couple in a house that’s home to something else. The second is The Homeless Hero, a superhero tragedy about a man trying to help everyone but himself.

They’re available in MOBI, EPUB and PDF format so you can read them on a Kindle, iPad, Kobo, Nook or even your computer. There’s no DRM either so you can share them with your friends and family if you want.

And if you enjoy them, please review them on Amazon. Posting reviews is a great help to authors!

So let me treat you to a freebie and subscribe today!





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A Free Story For Halloween

You Are Just A Guest was my first short story, about a newly married couple who move into a house that is more than they expect. It came from my own fear of ghosts, the spooky noises that houses make at night, and the idea that houses themselves might be more than we’ve given them credit for. It’s a story I’m very proud of and I’ve received some great feedback on it.

But I was never happy with the cover. So I went back to it, gave it a new cover that reflects the story better and, hopefully, gives a better feeling of the sort of story it is. I’m a lot happier with this cover and so, to celebrate, I want to give it away.

To that end I’ll be sending a code to all subscribers on 31st October, Halloween. The code will let you download You Are Just A Guest for absolutely free. Just click here or use the form in the sidebar. And, of course, all new subscribers get a code to download The Homeless Hero for free too!

I’ll be sending out the code on the 31st so sign up now to make sure you get it!

The Homeless Hero: A New Short Story

It’s safe to say the batteries are recharged after the Zeldathon so it’s time for the announcement I was putting off: it’s new short story time!

It’s called The Homeless Hero and it tells the story of a young journalist who becomes involved with the world’s only superhero, Pinnacle. Pinnacle wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and help others. But he gives too much and it’s killing him. She needs to encourage him to be a little selfish before it’s too late.

Last time I was writing about how houses can be scarier than any of the demons and ghosts we can conjure to put in them. This time I’m writing about what it means to be a hero. What does it mean to devote ourselves to helping others? Superman has a life, a job, a wife (depending on DC’s mood that morning). He eats and sleeps like the rest of us. But there’s seven billion people in the world and someone always needs help. How does a superhero draw a line in the sand and say “this is my time; you’re on your own”?

These are the things I think about when I see Clark Kent doing, well, anything.

A copy of The Homeless Hero cost you only $0.99 from Amazon, Apple, Nook and Smashwords. But if you sign up to my newsletter, you can get a copy for absolutely free!




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A Short Story For Halloween

I’m very pleased to announce that my horror short story You Are Just A Guest is now available to purchase from most major eretailers just in time for Halloween!

This short story has its beginnings in my English Literature degree. I wasn’t not one of those students who started their work weeks beforehand. I was one of those students who started it the night before the deadline. So I pulled a lot of all-nighters, hammering away at a keyboard and trying to ignore all the weird noises that houses make in the middle of the night.

I wrote the first draft of this story for my course and so spent a couple of nights writing about houses making weird noises while my house made weird noises. I think I was in a state of self-fulfilling terror by the time I handed it in.

Since then I’ve tweaked it and cut it down and turned it into a leaner, hopefully spookier story. (In fact, the best comment I’ve received so far is from my brother, who said he was too scared to look at his mirror any more!) So please download a copy now and let me know what you think!

I hope you enjoy it.