Still writing… slowly

Long time since my last blog post I think.

Despite the lack of contact, I am still writing, albeit very slowly. My main WIP is fighting me every step of the way, and my complete mastery of procrastination isn’t helping. But I know if I keep working at it, and accept that a lot of what I’ve written might need to be thrown away and the plot rethought, I will reach the breakthrough it needs.

It’s not the first time a book has proved difficult. In fact, most of my books hit that wall at some point – The Village Witch (published last year by Omnium Gatherum) hit the wall numerous times during its creation. Plot lines changed, characters came and went, thousands of words were written, dumped and then rewritten. It’s all par for the course. The one exception was Hard Winter: The Novel (also from Omnium Gatherum) – that one just flowed. But it’s unusual for it to be that easy.

I still write the occasional short story, because it’s nice to see something completed in a relatively short time. I’ve about 10 or 11 out at the moment, waiting for acceptance or rejection (mostly rejection based on experience) and I keep an eye on upcoming themed anthologies in case one just catches my interest. But I can’t deny that my main focus is on the longer pieces of fiction – novellas and novels. That’s where I get the chance to develop characters and more complex storylines. It’s the type of writing I enjoy the most.

In a potentially soul destroying decision, I’ve engaged the services of my son and his English Literature degree to rip my writing apart – which is something he takes an inordinate amount of pleasure in doing. The hope is it will improve my overall writing, if my ego allows me to survive it! Through working with the excellent editing skills of Omnium Gatherum’s Kate Jonez, I have become completely convinced in the usefulness of having someone who knows what they’re talking about look at my writing. A good editor, and I’ve been mostly fortunate, can really help improve the writing and the flow of a story (I’ll ignore the bad ones who think editing means rewriting – they can crawl away and die). Both my wife and my son are very good at improving the readability of a story, finding those lines that are clumsy or just suck! But my son currently has the time, and can bring the skills he picked up doing his degree to the task. If nothing else, it should be interesting.

If you’ve liked some of the books I’ve written so far, stick with me. More are on the way. It just takes time…

Slave to distraction

You have no idea how many times I’ve intended to update this blog, only to be distracted by something else I must do at that precise moment. Even now I minimized this window and went and did something else, having to force myself back here to write this. Distraction is my enemy, particularly when it comes time to write. There seems to be no end to the previously unimportant things that suddenly must be done NOW when I’m sitting down to write. Annoying!

Anyway, I’m here and I thought I’d bring things up to date, since it’s been a while. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter (or LinkedIn or Google+ etc.) you probably know a lot of this stuff already, but for everyone else, here’s a round up of where I’m at.


THE VILLAGE WITCH – my latest horror novel, published by Omnium Gatherum, is available for pre-order on the kindle right now. The actual release date (kindle and paperback) is June 8. I’m proud of this one. I really hope you like it.

The Village Witch

She sits on the headstone, claws flexing, wings furled, as she has for almost four centuries.

The people of Byre live in fear. A centuries-old evil that grows stronger with each human sacrifice threatens their village. If all goes according to her plan, the Village Witch will unleash almost four hundred years of resentment, hatred and homicidal rage on the town. Tim Galton, an ex-special forces soldier, Professor Alexander Hall and his daughter Susan, paranormal investigators, and a few, brave villagers are all that stand in her way. Can they prevent the Village Witch from setting the evil free? Or will it destroy them and everyone else in Byre?

Pre-order on Amazon.com

Pre-order on Amazon.co.uk


Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine Spring 2015

My short story THE FAILURE appears in the latest Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine – Spring 2015.

Buy the kindle version here:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Buy the paperback here:

Createspace


No Place For Us

My short story SUBS appears in the anthology No Place For Us

Kindle and paperback available

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


In The Trenches

My short story THE TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY is placed with the anthology In The Trenches.

I don’t have a publication date for this yet, but it’s coming soon. I’ll let you know as soon as I know.


Other short stories are out there and I’m just waiting to hear back from the various publications. The waiting is always the worst part!

I also have a short novel awaiting a response – it’s a space adventure, but I don’t like to tell titles until work is accepted.

I’ve got plenty of short story and longer works waiting to be written (including, of course, the concluding part of The Szuiltan Trilogy – The Offspring) and several are already underway. Keep watching. There’s more coming soon.

If you want to view my full bibliography then CLICK HERE or on the menu button at the top of the page.

Thanks for your ongoing support. Bye for now.

Current WIP and probable next release… maybe… and it’s about vampires… probably…

Welcome to 2014 – thought I’d give you an idea of what I’m up to.

I’m not overly inclined to talk about stuff I’m still working on, at least not with any certainty, because I know my amazing ability to abandon projects for a long time when they’re almost complete. But I think this is safe… I think.

I am currently mid way through the second draft of a new novella and, like The Lion On Androcles last year, this is based on an old story by my brother, Colin P Davies. However, whereas TLOA was very much a joint effort (in that I was able to use most of the incidents and characters from the original story, add some of my own and concentrate on the writing), this one uses some major plot points and versions of the original characters but is much more my own story – in other words if you hate it, blame me not my brother!

The original story was called The Evil Incantation and this may yet be the title of the new novella too, I haven’t decided. The original, not surprisingly, was very much a product of its time (early to mid 70’s) and of my brother’s interests back then – Martial Arts and classic Horror movies, such as those made by Hammer in particular. Indeed his story involved a Martial Artist taking on Dracula, as in the Shaw Brothers/Hammer co-production The Seven Golden Vampires (a must see for any lovers of the two genres like me!). It was very much kung fu meets Hammer’s Dracula and there was nothing wrong with that (back then or now for that matter). It even had a Van Helsing character in “The Professor”. What I wanted to do was try and update it without losing its classic horror and action roots.

Now, an admission… I had already “stolen” the two main characters for a novel (that I’m still writing), although I had fleshed them out and made a few changes – gave the Professor a family life and changed the Martial Artist to an ex-Special Forces soldier for example. The novel originally started as a kind of prequel to The Evil Incantation (with my brother’s permission I might add) and shows how the Professor and Tim Galton meet and why they end up travelling together. I’m a good two thirds through the first draft of the novel and hope to finish it before too long. However, I got distracted by the idea of taking that original story, The Evil Incantation, and using my variations on the characters to rewrite it. First draft was finished just after Christmas and now I’m working on the second draft. It can be read as a standalone novella, but it does drop occasional hints towards events from the novel. I hope it will serve as a nice short introduction to these two main characters and that readers will be intrigued enough to want to learn how they met – when the novel is finally finished. It may seem a back-to-front way of doing it but I think it works.

No final decision has been taken on it yet but I am considering combining the novella with some of the vampire-based short stories I’ve written over the years and making a vampire themed collection out of it. That way the reader gets more for their money.

Anyway, that’s where I’m up to. As things become more finalised I will let you know.

Hope 2014 turns out to be a good one for all of us.

Unpublished/Work In Progress Opening Lines

Following on from the last post, I’ve decided to list the opening lines (well, opening sentence really) of novellas/novels that are either finished and awaiting publication or are Works In Progress. Given their nature, both the opening sentence and titles are subject to change (particularly with the WIP). Question is, have my opening sentences improved? In no particular order…

“The pain he felt as he lay dying in the gutter, aged 27, the victim of a random, frenzied knife attack, could not compare to the agony he felt four years later when he was reanimated.”
Reanimated

“Earth Controller, he liked the sound of it.”
Liberation Of Worlds (Book Two in The Szuiltan Trilogy)

“She sat on the headstone, claws flexing, wings furled, as she had sat for almost four centuries.”
The Village Witch

“Six minutes before he died, Dr Lau Ka Ting knew they had killed him.”
The Wizards Of Yradion

 

WIP going slowly but still going…

My current WIP is a short zombie novel, mainly because I’ve never written a zombie story before and, as is often the case, wanted to try something new. While I am not claiming to have a new twist or angle on the zombie story (I’m not that arrogant, honest) it will be my zombie story and, as such, is likely to be somewhat different to many others for that reason alone. Needless to say, plot and even some main characters have already changed since writing began… but that’s par for the course I’m afraid. Never been very good at sticking to a plan! Writing is going slowly (largely because of the alternating numbness and intense pain I’ve been getting in my left thumb and forefinger – combination of arthritis and some dubious nerve connection to my neck apparently) but it is, at least, going. Just need lots of Zapain, anti-inflammatory gel, pepsi-max, tea and frequent breaks. Just another day at the office… if I had an office that is… ok, just another day in the corner of the bedroom 🙂