Monday, 19 December 2011

A white snippet


Beams glinting off cruelly-sharp crystals; she couldn’t see the particles, only white globular outline, archetypally familiar, but she knew what it was made of. Dagger crystals, broken snowflakes, crushed and reformed like her arthritic knuckles. Daggers that caused invisible punctures of cold stabbing straight to the swollen bones. Beauty and cruelty in coldness.

Once she, too, had those properties. The world was different then, better, even with the suffering. She was loved, adored, maybe worshipped; it was too easy to think it would last forever. So arrogant.

The snow-woman stood alone. The white was desert around it, barren. The sun moved higher and it began to melt.

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Sunday, 11 December 2011

My novel 'Turner' is now available


"Hello, dear reader. Please, come inside. No, don't be so jumpy - that howling is just the wind. Pray sit down. No, not on that chair, sit on the comfy one. By the fire. See how I make every attempt to put you at your ease? Please relax. Ha ha, no, the sword above the mantelpiece is just for show. Howling noises? What do you - ah! No, that's the kettle. I put it on so we could have a nice cup of tea. Do you take sugar? Why do you look so pale? Ulterior motive? Nothing bad, I assure you. I just want to try and sell you a copy of my book..."

Turner has now been published! Read a bit about the background here or watch my recent talk about the novel's genesis. As many of my readers will know, the book is a tense rural thriller / horror about an outbreak of apparent insanity on a remote Welsh island. The novel is a labour of love and a homage to my favourite horror tropes, films, novels, games and comics. It has been a stormy road, and there have been casualties along the way, but Turner is available for your delectation as an e-book - or in print, if you prefer. This page lists the main purchasing options, and I will keep updating it as it filters through to new distribution channels. In some cases, such as if you have a Kindle, you can buy the book through the device itself. Note the discounts I have included - 20% on the e-book at Smashwords; 10% discount on the print version at Lulu. I have also allowed people to read the first 60% of the novel for free at Smashwords.

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Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Talking about Turner

I mentioned giving talks in my last post. Last night I gave a talk about Turner at the Aberystwyth University Book Festival. The focus was on the genesis of Turner, and I was one of four university-connected speakers talking about their books, as well as viewings of digital stories made by writers and mulled wine and mince pies. I even managed to place some copies of my book in the Aberystwyth Arts Centre Bookshop.

 
It took a long time, and great expense, but the massive video of my talk has squeezed through the data pipes to the multimedia reservoir of Youtube and is now available for your viewing pleasure

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Giving talks about writing

Me reading at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on the 27th May 2010

Last night I gave a talk about Turner at the Aberystwyth University Book Festival. It went well; the talk had the audience smiling, and I'll upload a video of it in the near future. However, giving talks on the topic of my creative work is strange. I am used to speaking to large groups in my role as a librarian, both to students and at conferences - last month one of the talks I gave (Plagiarism and Good Academic Practice) was to 265 first year undergraduate business students, the largest group I've ever spoken to. And I wasn't in the least bit nervous; in fact, I enjoyed it immensely. However, when I give talks about my fiction I do tend to get slightly nervous, since it feels much more like I myself am being judged, and my creative competency is bared, leaving no protection for the ego. What will friends, colleagues and family think of my work? It is so much more personal. Still, I am sure that, too, will become easier over time.

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