A Weekend With The Dresden Files

If truth be told, I’m still feeling a little shellshocked from Worldcon.  Usually I come back from events eager to push my writing harder but after a double weekend of Nine Worlds and Worldcon I instead find myself feeling like I still need to decompress.  As a result, I’ve got very little actual writing done. It always bothers me, and especially so when I have so much work to do, when I get behind on writing.  I’ve tried to go a little easy on myself.  House buying radiates stress in the background and I keep reminding myself that some time, hopefully soon, I’ll be moved with dedicated writing space.  Then the word count will mount like the bodies in a George R R Martin novel! Coming off the tablets for the duration of the events gave me some problems with the leg, so combined with out of hours on-call work from the day job there’s been no geocaching this weekend.  It looks like it’s stopped bleeding finally which is good because it kept sticking to my bandages, causing me to reopen the wound every night when I came to remove them. The net result is a bank holiday weekend where I’ve not done much. That would usually feel like a wasted opportunity but instead I’ve been reading a lot.  I’ve found, especially this year, that writing is eating into my reading time and I’ve made a conscious effort to claw some of that time back. […]

August 25th, 2014|Reading|0 Comments

The 2013 End Of Year Review

In many ways I should look back on 2013 as a shit year. It challenged me in ways I could never have imagined. But in reality, I think it was actually a really good year. The universe decided to throw everything it possibly could against me… and it lost. Leggedon was a defining moment and I surprised myself with how I reacted. If I’m being honest, I would have pegged myself as someone who when faced with overwhelming adversity would have turned away. But I didn’t (probably more out of stupidity than courage), and in doing so discovered some inner strength I didn’t know I had. This came at the same time as a second draft of the sequel to Four Realms seemed to collapse on me. As much as I like to use fate, destiny and divine providence as a storytelling device, it’s not something I really believe in. But if the fates really wanted to try and stop me in my tracks they made a bloody good attempt in 2013. But I still won. […]

December 31st, 2013|Geocaching, Health, Publishing, Reading, Writing|0 Comments

Libraries Are A Right

When I was writing The Four Realms and I felt I’d hit a real roadblock with the writing, I would take a pen and some paper and go visit my local library.  Somehow, that break away from the computer, armed with only the bare basics of writing could break even the knottiest of problems. Whilst [...]

November 7th, 2013|Reading|0 Comments

Broken Homes (Not A Review)

I don’t tend to write book reviews these days. A large part of that is because I’m now part of the industry and as a result have lost a little bit of objectivity. I know how much effort goes into a book, I know the anguish in trying to make a book all it can be, and as a result I empathise. But I also unpick as I read. Too often I’m analysing and editing another person’s book as if it were my own. I’d move that scene forward, I don’t see the point of that character. It’s not that I think myself a better writer, I’ve learnt much from seeing how other authors do things, it’s just that writerly eye is almost always on, knowing how the magic on the page is constructed. So it’s a joy when a book comes along that makes me switch all that off, just read and leave the analysis for later.  Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant books are just that, a pure joy to read. […]

August 6th, 2013|Book Reviews, Reading|0 Comments

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

As a writer there are very few books I wish I could have written. My head is so full of my own ideas and nonsense that the voice of others isn’t something that interests me. Instead I dissect, tear open story like some mad doctor as I read and analyse its various organs. I’m sympathetic as I read and cut, I just want to know how things work. […]

June 21st, 2013|Book Reviews, Reading|0 Comments

Bookshelf Bombshells Rates The Four Realms As A “Buy It!”

Given how much writers struggle with putting together the synopsis of a novel, I'm starting to wonder, following this brilliant summary of the setup of The Four Realms, whether authors should employ reviewers to write them. I jest, of course, but this review does a really good job of getting 'inside' the setup of the [...]

April 10th, 2013|Book Reviews, Reviews|0 Comments

New Year’s Resolution

I only made a couple of resolutions this year. This first, in a humorous reference to all those years I said that forthcoming 12 months would see The Four Realms complete, is that I will get The Thieving King done this year. The second was to do with my reading. […]

January 7th, 2013|Reading|0 Comments

The GI Joe Re-read

If I had to list my heroes you’d probably not know one of them. Everyone has heard of George Lucas, Clive Barker and JRR Tolkien but not so many have heard of Larry Hama,. For me he’s up there with those icons. Larry Hama was the writer of a toy tie-in comic called GI Joe, released by Marvel in 1983 to cash in on the toy run’s popularity. The thing is, it would have been easy for Hama to dial this in. But he didn’t. Sure it had to feature toy of the month and some of those were pretty whacky, but Hama always embraced it, treating his tie-in universe with the respect you’d expect on a big A-list project. No-one was expecting it to last for years, yet I believe at one stage it was Marvel Comics’ biggest seller. […]

July 5th, 2012|Comics, Reading|0 Comments

Storm of Swords

I’d put off reading Storm of Swords. It’s a big book and I’m a slow reader. I’d also not enjoyed Clash of Kings. The circumstances regarding Renly annoyed me greatly, as if the tone of the worldbuilding suddenly shifted. It felt a forced book, one where the writer’s machinations were too clearly on show. However, I greatly enjoyed the HBO show of Game of Thrones (as well as the book of the same some years prior). George R R Martin proved to be an excellent reader at Eastercon so I decided to give Storm of Swords a go. […]

June 15th, 2012|Reading|0 Comments

Epic Fail!

Not sure if something is wrong with me or if I’m coming down with something but I’m falling out of love with Epic Fantasy. For years, I would say my subgenre of choice was the Epic. I love the whole ‘bigness’ of it all – vast casts, vast worldbuilding and story with such massive consequence. [...]

April 13th, 2012|Genre, Reading, Writing|0 Comments