Sunday, 30 September 2012

Christmas tales of terror

My new Christmas Tales of Terror ebook is out this November.  It does not follow the same structure as the other Tales of Terror books, in that it does not have a narrator and wraparound story.  It is - for the moment anyway - simply a collection of unconnected stories.

Writing these stories really has proved to be one of those fork in the road moments for me.  I have been encouraged - for perfectly understandable and sensible reasons - to write novels and I will certainly continue to do that (I have lots of ideas for which a novel is the only vehicle), but I want to write short stories too.

Short stories have been a problem for publishers - particularly of children's books - and we have taken care to give the Tales of Terror books a structure that gives them a narrative flow like a novel.  But I wonder whether they will be seen as such an issue in the age of the digital download.

As for the Christmas Tales of Terror, I will write a few more and also write a narrative to go round them as I have with all the other books.  I already know what I want to do and hopefully this might mean the book will have another life in the printed world.  We'll see.

More about these stories later...

Saturday, 29 September 2012

What am I doing?

A good question.

I have had a weird couple of months.  I have gone through a period of frantic activity in which I wrote seven stories for the Christmas Tales of Terror collection, completed the final edit for Through Dead Eyes and finished the first draft of my upcoming book, We Pass Like Night.  I feel like I have been propelled from a waterfall into a calm mill pond.

Of course, if you write for a living, calmness is an indulgence - an expensive one, but nevertheless I am allowing myself a couple of weeks to look at the dozens of projects I could do, shake them about a bit and see what comes to the top.

I have certainly decided that I am going to write more short stories.  I thoroughly enjoyed writing the Christmas Tales of Terror and I intend to write more creepy stories.  I have discovered lots of notebooks recently and there are lots of ideas I haven't used or explored fully yet.  I am also forming a view that I have slightly been knocked from the course I had chosen for myself as a writer.

Over the next few weeks I intend to plot out a couple of novels, work on something for younger readers and also something for adults.  I also intend to work on something that is predominantly visual.  I do not know what form this will take at the moment, but I am determined to produce something that makes use of my skills as an artist.

I have illustrated books - both my books and those of other writers, but I have never really done anything more than that.  What I am talking about here is a book in which the visuals play a leading role.  In fact I would not rule out producing a book that is entirely wordless.

I will start with the pictures and see where they lead me.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Where am I going?

I have a few events scheduled over the next couple of months.

I am at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival on Saturday 13 October.  I have never been to the Isle of Wight and am very much looking forward to it.   I am on at 1pm and will be talking about Mister Creecher and possibly reading one of my Christmas Tales of Terror as well as having a chat about what I do and why.

I am at the Lancaster LitFest on 17 October at 7.30.  I'm sharing the stage with Celia Rees and Cliff McNish.  We will be talking about Gothic Young Adult Fiction.  Details on their website.

I am at the Halifax Ghost Story Festival on 17 and 18 November as part of their celebration of the work of M R James.  I will be reading one of my stories - The Demon Bench End from Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror - on Saturday 17 and introducing Lawrence Gordon Clark's adaptation of M R James' The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral - one of Lawrence's famed Ghost Story For Christmas series for the BBC.