Let me tell you about the time four old ghosts held death captive in a basement. Let me tell you what that power can do to a man and the sacrifice he will make for the gift of time. But first, let me tell you how we became ghosts in the first place.
– MEN PLAYING GHOSTS, PLAYING GOD
The new issue of Black Static (#35) is available now from TTA Press. Stories by Daniel Mills, Steve Rasnic Tem, Michael Griffin, Caspian Gray, Jason Gould, and Carole Johnstone. The cover artwork is by Richard Wagner, who also provides the interior art for my contribution, the 9800-word novelette, MEN PLAYING GHOSTS, PLAYING GOD. It is particularly satisfying for me to see this story in print because the character, setting, and a (very) small part of the plot first appeared in an unfinished story of mine from 2004, OF BEE AND UNDERTOW. For 8/9 years I’ve wanted to find out what happened to Henry Eddowes in that residential care home, and now – now I know.
Other stories coming soon are THE SPACE THAT RUNS AWAY WITH YOU (novelette) in Crimewave 12 (publication date still to be announced) and A TRICK OF THE NIGHT (short story) in Fireside Magazine (due Dec 2013/Jan 2014).
It’s been a quiet time for me on the writing front (personal issues, Life, call it what you will) but I’m feeling reenergised and ready to get back to some black business… Indeed, I have a number of projects and ideas in the pipeline that just need prioritising before I mention them on here. So, expect some more updates soon.
Since my return to writing short fiction last year (following a three year hiatus in which I finished my novel), I have found the process of getting new ideas spookily consistent. An idea invariably comes to me either while I am writing the current story or right after its completion. I’m not one of these writers who walks around with a thousand of them jostling for attention inside my head. Yes, I have other ideas, usually in note form and stockpiled in a box somewhere, but recently they’ve all arrived at precisely the right time. Which is: Just When I Need Them.
Take the new one, for example.
At the time of writing this blog post, it is shaping up as WATERSHIP DOWN meets POST OFFICE meets…something else. The inspiration struck on Saturday, while my wife and I were out walking in Salisbury. When we crossed a bridge over the river Avon, I saw below us, on the river bank, a number of (what I assumed were) rabbit holes. I stopped. I took it in. I walked on. During the next few hours, I thought about the road traffic noise and what it must be like for those rabbits in their holes, how it must drive them insane sometimes. Right there. The spark. And all going well, THE SOUND OF CONSTANT THUNDER should end up being my next project. The bones need a little meat still, but that should come, if the pattern continues, while I am putting the finishing touches to my current project, a love story with a dark, supernatural twist called MEN PLAYING GHOSTS, PLAYING GODS.
I know. I probably shouldn’t question or analyse inspiration and the origin of ideas, but after many years of writing, the process – if it can be called that and not simply good fortune – still amazes me.