Tag Archives: wayne haag

BRING YOUR OWN LIGHT

I’ve announced this on Facebook already, so it might not be news to some of you, but here it is: my debut short story collection is due to be released next year by TTA Press, publisher of Black Static magazine. The awesome Wayne Haag will provide the cover art, and in the coming months I will be revealing more about the book and talking about some of the stories that will be included in its pages…watch this space.

It’s been a couple months since SO MANY HEARTBEATS, SO MANY WORDS appeared in Black Static (#46), and it’s fair to say that it has been generally well-received by readers and reviewers alike. A number of people messaged me on Facebook to share their thoughts, and one or two even posted some kind words on here. If you were one of them, please accept my deepest thanks. It’s appreciated, believe me. If you want to read the story, you can download the issue onto your Kindle from Amazon or buy issues (or even a subscription) direct from TTA Press. It’s a wonderful magazine, and I’ve been pretty lucky to be a part of its history.

The latest issue (#47) is out now, featuring columns by Stephen Volk and Lynda E. Rucker; fiction from James Van Pelt, Kate Jonez, John Connolly, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Ray Cluley, and Eric J Guignard.

I will be back in September’s issue (#48) with THE SUFFERING, and hopefully I’ll be in a position to share the artwork that will accompany that story in the next few weeks…

Meantime, I’m working on something new. PERSPECTIVE is an ambitious multi-viewpoint story (it’s written in First, Second, and Third Person) that deals with an historical rape, hysterical blindness, and a marriage feeling the strains of both. It’s about power and powerlessness, the need to be seen, and the need to see. Hands down, it’s the darkest, most disturbing thing I’ve ever written. But I feel it has some important things to say. All going well, it will be ready soon. As it’s my first project following a long break I am taking my time and getting it right…

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Hm.

During breaks from writing (when real life intervenes), I spend a lot of time assessing my position.  For example, why do I write?  Is it worth it – the sacrifice of time and energy?  Should I perhaps try a new direction?  A different genre?  Maybe I should quit, walk away, redefine myself.  That kind of thing.  Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean I don’t love writing – the creative part of the process anyway – I just find myself increasingly disillusioned by the business side of it, and by the conduct of certain writers and editors on social media.  But I’m going to stop there.  This isn’t that kind of post.

Recently, after a three year hiatus in which I was the stay-at-home parent, I returned to the 9-to-5.  I decided to take some time off from writing to adjust to the new routine.  Simple as that.  Again, time away from it usually makes me ask those questions above.  Something always pulls me back, though.  The itch returned about a week ago, on the back of a couple of new and promising story ideas.  But I didn’t act on them other than to scribble some notes and put them aside for possible future use.  Sometimes, and it seems more frequent in recent years, I need a sign.  A little something to spark the fire underneath me again.  I don’t know why, exactly, and I’m pretty sure you probably don’t want to read my theories.  It’s just the way it is for me now.  My ambition is still there, it’s never left – oh, it wanes at times, but it never dies:  I’m just more of a realist these days, I suppose.  Maybe something of a dumb old romantic, too.  I want the words to do the talking for me not the number of posts I make on social media.  Anyway, a couple of nice things happened to me this week, and that’s what I want to share with you here.

First, someone read one of my stories and posted their thoughts on Facebook.  The story was “The Broken and the Unmade.”  I won’t repeat here what they said, but it was complimentary.  A couple of other people joined in with positive comments about me and another story of mine.  Thank you, much appreciated.

Second, Ellen Datlow, the editor of Best Horror of the Year posted her longlist of Honorable Mentions for 2013.  I was lucky enough to receive three.  Cue the usual debate on Facebook (and elsewhere, I’m sure) about the validity of such things.  After all, don’t they mean that you’re not good enough to get into the actual book?  Well, yes and no and yes.  These things are all subjective anyway, one person’s opinion on what works and what doesn’t, as is the Honorable Mentions shortlist and even the book’s contents itself.  But I’ll tell you what it means to me:

Encouragement.  No more, no less.

It’s akin to someone saying they enjoyed my work, and I’ll take that, I’ll take that every fucking time and say thank you for it.

So, if you want to peruse the entire HM longlist (posted in four parts) then follow this link to Ellen Datlow’s site.  It’s a good place to start if you are looking to try out some new authors.

Here are my stories that each received an Honorable Mention:

  1. “Men Playing Ghosts, Playing God” – published in Black Static #35.
  2. “The Sound of Constant Thunder” – published in Black Static #37.
  3. “The Space That Runs Away With You” – published in Crimewave 12: Hurts.

Thank you, Ellen.

And thank you again to that Facebook user who said he enjoyed “The Broken and the Unmade.”

In other news…I have been asked by Interzone editor Andy Cox to interview his 2014 cover artist, Wayne Haag.  It’s something I was more than happy to do since Wayne provided this beautiful artwork for one of my stories.

Machinehouse

Once the interview is done and gone live, I’ll post a link here.

Have a great weekend, people.

Artwork for “The Machinehouse Worker’s Song”

Hot on the heels of the Interzone cover (art by Jim Burns), here is the incredible interior artwork for my contribution, THE MACHINEHOUSE WORKER’S SONG.  The artist is Wayne Haag, whose film credits include: THE LORD OF THE RINGS; THE FIFTH ELEMENT; SUPERMAN RETURNS; and the forthcoming THE WOLVERINE.  He also worked on the science fiction television series, FARSCAPE.  Wayne has created two oil paintings for the May/June issue of Interzone, the first of which you can see below.  If you click on the image, not only will you be able to enjoy the painting in more detail, but you should be able to read the opening of my story.  Copies can be purchased from TTA Press.

The Machinehouse Worker's Song