Tag Archives: workinprogress

I am a Horrible Author

I’m a horrible person.

When writing, that is. In real life, I’d hope I’m kinda nice.


When people don’t piss me off too much.

(Mostly joking! I’m usually incredibly polite and friendly, with the usual proviso of “slight introvert so finds it hard to start a conversation”. If you ever see me, do come and say hi!)

I was thinking about No Man’s Dawn, which is sort of a prequel to No Man’s Land. I’m not entirely happy about it, so I’m just letting it stew…so I was thinking about it in the car as I drove down to see a friend.

And I had the BEST* idea.

You know it’s bad when I start giggling to myself. It’s even worse when I start laughing. And when I lean back and go, “Oh, now that’s GOOD” is when it’s going to be really bad.

Have I told you that my beta reader didn’t talk to me for two days after That Ending in No Man’s Land? I’m still quite proud of that as it’s entirely deserved. I’ve now got a little private bet with myself as to what names she’ll call me after she reads this one – I may have to create a bingo sheet.

Off to do some writing I go! There may be evil chuckles.


*Worst. For my characters.

Writing update: June

I’ve mostly been editing for the past few weeks, but have managed to do a bit of writing…

“Drop the girl, get out of the mess you’re tangled in, and get us our information.” He gave me a thin smile and waved a hand at the door. “That is all.”

I had my hand on the door handle when the additional sentence that I’d been expecting slid out, smooth and barbed.

“We are watching you.”

I slammed the door after me.


It usually hurts when you find out that someone’s been lying to you, or cheating you, or stealing. It’s worse when they’re dead, and you can’t scream at them.

Luckily, if they’re a zombie, they can hear you just fine, and screams are normal around zombies. Something to do with the whole ‘living dead’ thing. People can be so judgmental.

So, say hello to Zombies R Us! That’s my service. I deal with anyone who’s got a grudge, and…give them a target. For a fee.

After all, it’s not like the zombie cares any more.


“I tried to get onto the project!” The man was probably drunk, Zack thought. Or at least had supped a few gulps of something potent. “I tried to get information!”

“It doesn’t look like you tried very hard,” Zack said, tired of the man already. “Otherwise I wouldn’t have been sent here.”

“They don’t trust me!”

“Well, of course they don’t.” Zack managed to not roll his eyes. “You haven’t exactly been a fount of information, have you? Most of the things you were telling us during the war were wrong.”

“That wasn’t my fault.”

“Of course not.” Zack took another sip of his drink, almost enjoying how frustrated the man was getting. He was definitely near the end of his use. “By the way, I saw your daughter before I left. She’s nearly fully grown, you know. Quite a woman.”

It took the man a moment to realise what was being implied, and Zack saw his fists clench. But as he’d expected, the man was too much of a coward to cause a scene. “What did you do to her?” he whined.

“Nothing she didn’t enjoy.” He leaned forward, dropping his faint smile. “But don’t forget that Jirlaen can do worse. She’s well cared for at the moment, but that doesn’t have to be the case.”


“Luk, how do you tell if someone’s a vampire?”

“Usually, wait until they try to drink your blood.” He spotted her expression and rolled his eyes. “It was a joke. Joking!”


Discoverability Challenge: Six months in

Let’s face it, I’m not doing good with this one.

I’ve read two books on my list. I’ve got a third waiting to be read.

I think I have two major problems.

The first is that these aren’t books that fit into my usual reading lists. I know the aim is to read something outside that, but frankly, I don’t have the time. In between review reading and the books I want to read for pleasure (which usually ends up being slightly ‘work’, as they’re in the same field as me) I am struggling to fit additional reading. With women authors, I had so many that I wanted to read anyway, it was just a case of prioritising those books on my lists! With this, I have to read specific books – and that means they get added to the pile along with everything else, or purchased specially. (Yes, I know I should do libraries. My local has awful opening hours – even when I was freelance and working from home I struggled to get down there!) and Gloucester Library doesn’t have a particularly good stock collection. I struggle with libraries, despite being a librarian.)

And the second problem is that my commute isn’t as long. I don’t have as much time where I’m doing nothing; I am struggling to fit my review reading into my schedule anyway. Lunchtimes seem to be the best bet so far…

I’m going to leave the challenge up, but hold up my hands and say that it’s a lot harder than it was last year. Onward with the reading!

Terra Nullius: editing an anthology

terra nullius coverHave I mentioned that I’m editing an anthology for Kristell Ink? With Ellen Crosháin? That’s a sci-fi collection focusing on life at the edge of the universe, with fabulous cover art by Nele Diel? And after a LOT of reading we’ve finally picked 12 amazing stories for it?

Well, I am, and we have.

Land belonging to no-one. An anthology of speculative fiction that explores the colonisation of our Solar System and far beyond, where pioneers carve out a new existence under other stars.

New worlds and new challenges bring the potential for rich stories filled with alien races and strange technology, but against this backdrop we want to experience the many facets of human emotion during the struggle to make a new home. Show us human life on the final frontier.

The contents list is…

Regolith – Nina Johnson
A Salt Moon – Jessica Reisman
Reaper – Matthew Pederson
Terra Incognita – Jessica Rydill
The Chlorophyll Run – Erica Eastick
Countdown to Deliverance – Thomas Spargo
My Sister’s Grave – Jonathan Oliver
Tap – Shaun Brassfield-Thorpe
Wind and Stars and All Creation – Gregor Hartmann
No-Name – John Bayliss
The Brides of Rack and Ruin – Jill Hand
First Contact – Will McMillan-Jones

It was SO HARD to choose. Seriously. We managed to get the list down to about 20 stories, and then went “Sammy’s going to kill us if we ask her for a 200k anthology. Or a 150k one. We gotta shorten this.” So Ellen and I sat down and hammered it out…we both had some favourites, and the compromised on the rest – which I actually love, as it means it’s a mix of both of our favourites. The stories range from horror to humour to pure sci-fi, and I love them!

We’ve got a bit of tweaking to do, but the anthology is due out later this year. Keep an eye on the Kristell Ink Facebook page for news!

Crafty Update: May 2017

Now everything’s got there ok, I can reveal what I was crafting for the Big Geeky Craft Swap!

My prompt was “Wonder Woman”, and while I did consider a few useful things (mostly bookmarks) I didn’t have the right fabric to make one that would actually be useful in a book, and not break the spine (Librarian Tut!) So I ended up going with just a cross-stitched piece, and used an image from the DC Superhero Girls as a template. I ran out of flesh thread, which annoyed me (and I couldn’t get any more of the right colour!) and also managed to run out of black, although that was more easily fixed :-/ but it was a fun piece to do! I didn’t have time to fill in the background, but I think it does work.

I’m also getting there with my Superhero and Dinosaur alphabet – I’m just finishing off Robin, and I’ve got the rest all planned out! This one has been super fun, too – can you get all of them so far?

And finally, a picture of my helper…for once, not asleep on my lap!