Lilian’s Spell Book – free on Kindle for the next five days

  I wrote Lilian’s Spell Book to be a really gripping supernatural adventure story, a Chinese box of a haunted house mystery, and a study of a normal family in a very weird place. Here’s a plot summary: Lilian’s Spell Book is a paranormal adventure novel about an ordinary English family – mother, father, pre-teen […]

Writing and Shit – part 37 – Writing, fast and slow

Cast your mind back to the recent and the twenty year-old books I asked you to pick out and read – it’s very likely that within the first five or ten pages of the recent one more takes place, and what does happens is faster. Scenes in movies have become shorter, scenes in stories have […]

Republic of Consciousness Prize Readings

Instead of a reading event, the Republic of Consciousness Prize asked all the authors/translators to do a reading from their shortlisted books. Here we are:           The books are Jean-Baptiste del Amo’s Animalia, translated by Frank Wynne and published by Fitzcarraldo; Minoli Salgado’s Broken Jaw, published by The 87 Press; Hanne […]

9 Things You Need to Write a Novel (COVID-19 Version)

But right now a lot of people, and I’m guessing that includes you, are going to have a lot of spare time – or potentially spare time. You can use this positively. You can learn to do something you’ve always wanted to do. But I suspect that a lot of you are going to go back to the novel you’ve already dreamed about or half-started or abandoned midway.

Writing and Shit – part 35 – If you want to be published, you mustn’t write for the dead

If a reader doesn’t know a word, if they are forced to look it up in an online dictionary, it will stop them dead. It will break them out of the reading trance (I’ll write about this soon). And – almost certainly – it will them feel lacking in intelligence, stupid. It’s not a good […]

Writing and Shit – part 30 – The horror! The horror!

Let’s spend a moment examining what story-time means for one particular genre: horror. (Some generalisations follow. Not all horror novels may conform, I realise.) The story-time of a horror novel depends upon a specific form of suspense, namely dread. Horror novels are dread-ful. But we can subdivide them in terms of microgenres, in terms of […]