If you haven’t read my debut novel DIAVOLINO, now is your chance to do so for virtually nothing. Amazon has made it 77p/99cents – but I don’t know for how long and I have no control over it. Plenty of people have been taking advantage, as you can see from the Amazon image. Nice to be in such good company.
There’s a new meme doing the rounds and this is it. I was tagged by talented author Catherine Cavendish – author of the dark and spooky (do go check her out, that link on her name works!). She challenged me to answer a few questions about my writing. So here goes…
What am I working on?
It would be easier really to say what I am not working on. My writing has led me off in different directions and whilst I wouldn’t claim to be a polymath there are times I feel ever so slightly like an emerging polymathette (if anything ending in -ette can be so physically large! Maybe a couchette? In leatherette?).
Have I had some terrific feedback on this from test readers! But, to date, the agents I have approached, whilst commending my writing, say they wouldn’t have a clue how to sell it. If you’ve ever read Anne Rice‘s vampire books, or Joanne Harris‘s Sleep, Pale Sister, then you’ll have a teeny weeny idea of what Blood of the Gods is. I have combined ancient Rome and the god-emperors with a dreamy, dark, parallel world of bad business in the present day. And my vampire is, well, let’s say traditional (ie. no sparkles and no hint of empathy with mankind) and different, too. I continue to seek a suitable lair for this but will wait for the right offer as it has been a labour of love and a result of which I am proud.
My first foray into the psycho-sexual, written together with author Julia Kavan. I write the part of a troubled psychiatrist, Julia the part of a disturbed young woman who enters his life. There were times we doubted we would get to the end without one of us killing the other, but here we are. It was a great experience – I hope for Julia, too – and has produced a tight, chilling tale that almost all readers have loved. I say almost because one said it was too disturbing to finish – and that was such a compliment! As with Blood of the Gods, we are looking for a suitable institution to take this one forward.
Alert: Overuse of the word ‘proud’. But I am. We are. Of this new venture. What Julia and I realised was that the established publishing world seems afraid to touch real horror, and this means that there a good writers of it not being published. So we had the idea to produce a new magazine which would take only the edgiest of submissions, the stories that push the boundaries, and instead of trying to make money out of it simply use it as a vehicle for exposing horror writers we think deserve a chance. We’ve had some terrific stuff in the first two editions and just wait until you see what’s in Issue 3 next month! Our thanks to all those who have subbed from all over the world – and thanks to those who have published with us. There is still lots to do, but progress is sound and the feedback positive.
My little eBook – rather an ePamphlet – The A-Z of Understanding Italians has been such a success that I have decided finally to write my semi-autobiographical novel about the hiarious adventures of a struggling ex-pat estate agent in Italy. Yes, this was the book I wanted to write in 2008 and was told by ‘those who know’ not to bother. Well, I reckon they were wrong. The reaction to A-Z has astonished me and that’s market research in my book. So, right now this new one has the working title Mozzarella and Mayhem and is in the early stages. Watch this space.
It seemed to me that as I enjoy writing stories, and it was suggested to me that I could ghost write family stories/autobiographies, that I could probably do something useful and rewarding with this skill that I seem to have. You know, I have always fancied being a cardinal or bishop, but being an atheist is rather a block to that. So when I saw that the British Humanist Association was looking for new funeral celebrants I was almost defeaned by the bells ringing. If you want to know more about this side of my life please visit my other website:
It’s a reflection of my own life: three steps forward, two back. I stagger around bumping into ideas and try to keep them in my head for a time when they might come in useful. I lay awake at night worrying about a new novel and only when I feel I have a decent idea do I begin to write anything down. Then I try to be strict, by starting at 9am (ish) and not stopping until I have written at least 1,000 words each day. Some days I manage more, but rarely. I can’t leave a crap sentence on the page/screen, you see. I read published books with lines like, “She sat up and threw her legs off the bed,” and “His eyes bounced off the top of the cupboard.” Well, sorry and all that, but it is crap writing and doesn’t get near my second draft. I tend to turn in on myself and woe betide anyone who disturbs me just as the right word is emerging.
So says Diana Lord at the Monster Librarian of my horror novelDiavolino. She liked it!
“This book started slowly, in building up the characters and setting the mood, but once it got going, it was relentless, non-stop action. There were plot twist and turns that kept this reader guessing who was on what side – good or evil – and which side would win in the end. Recommended for adult readers”
Can you please go to this wordpress blog http://etopiapressblog.wordpress.com/ and see if you can find my book Diavolino? But before you go, please try to find it without using my name or the title of the book – in other words, as if you are a total stranger coming to the site for the first time knowing only that you are interested in horror stories.
Then let me know by responding to this poll:
In return, if you let me know who you are either by email or by commenting here, I’ll enter you into a draw to win a signed copy of Diavolino.
I really appreciate your help – and please do entertain friends and family by asking them to take part. The more the merrier.
Remember, don’t use my name or the title when searching – that would be too easy!
Just because it’s dark doesn’t mean it isn’t lovely!
The highly energetic Ally Shields is to thank for my prestigious award. Thanks, Ally! Please make sure you nip over to her website: http://www.allyshields.com
Along with this award, I’ve accepted three conditions. The first is link back to Ally – no problem there – and the second is to reveal seven things about myself. What, another seven? I seem to be doing this rather often these days. Okay, here we go… Uno
I’m an obsessive checker. Before I leave the house I check all the appliances are turned off, windows and doors locked. Then I go round and check again. And again. Sometimes, after locking myself out, I let myself back in again to check one more time. Sometimes, I get as far as the car then go back for just a last check. Very occasionally I will drive away then just pop back to make absolutely sure.
I think you all know about my Dalek suit, but my other treasure when I was a child was a shiny, black, plastic Beatles wig. I should have looked after it better actually as it would come in handy now.
Whilst I can’t say the film is among my favourites, CHUCKY will always be a part of me. Some of you know my nickname is Chukkie (usually mispelled as Chucky). It’s a term of endearment that my son lavished on me when he first learned to speak, and it’s stuck. According to my mood I can be Cheerful Chukkie, Cheeky Chukkie or Silly Chukkie. Not very PC, I know, but one Chinese New Year as I donned appropriate costume I was called Chinkee Chukkee.
One thing I cannot be is Churchie Chukkie! I am a Humanist and am currently training to be a funeral celebrant. I love it, to be honest. If you want to know more about the subject, here’s a link to the British Humanist Assocation.