Monday, 24 December 2012

The Killing... of Daniel

Sarah Dobbs reading from 'Killing Daniel'. Below: Sarah, Debz and I.
I had a lovely time reading at the launch for Sarah Dobbs' novel 'Killing Daniel' in Salford earlier this month. I read from my story 'The Monolith' which features in Unthology 3 (a collection of stories from Unthank Books which also features a piece by Sarah). Fellow Unthologist Debz Hobbs-Wyatt also read her story 'The Theory of Circles'. Sarah then read a selection of excerpts from her book - a literary thriller - and kept the audience enchanted throughout. (You can read more about the launch at Sarah's blog here and Debz's blog here.) I wish Sarah the best of luck with the novel - go buy a copy and treat yourself to a cracking read.

In other news: I  was recently interviewed by Laura Besley over on her blog. Also, I'm just a bit happy about having been awarded a K. Blundell Trust Award from The Society of Authors for my novel-in-progress - a lovely surprise just before Christmas. Finally, here are links to those who took up the Next Big Thing challenge after I tagged them earlier this month: Gill Blow and Cassandra Parkin.
Happy Christmas!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Salford reading

Sarah Dobbs has invited me along to read at the launch event for her book 'Killing Daniel' tonight (Thursday, December 13th) in Salford. Before Sarah reads from her novel, I will be reading from my story 'The Monolith', which features in Unthank Books latest anthology Unthology 3 (Sarah also has a story in the collection). Another Unthologist will also be reading at the event - Debz Hobbs-Wyatt with her story 'A Theory of Circles'. So do come along. The event takes place at the King's Arms, Salford, from 7.30pm. It would be lovely to see you there.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

On Kindle

The intro to the TLS review
My short story collection has been out for a year now - and, yes, it's flown by. It's been an interesting year. I've taken part in readings at literary festivals, been reviewed in the TLS (see right) and a number of other places, answered interview questions and tried to work on new writing (see my Next Big Thing answers below). And considering the anniversary, it's rather apt that my book is now available on Kindle (see Salt's special Christmas offer here for my collection and five other Scott Prize-winning books). So, if you haven't got hold of a copy - I understand it's being reprinted at the moment so physical stocks may be difficult to find - and you have a Kindle then you can download it now. Thanks to all those who've bought, read, reviewed and/or spoken to me about my book over the past 12 months - it's really nice to know you have, in the main, enjoyed it. Here's to whatever the next year brings!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Next big thing

I've been tagged by Elizabeth Baines in a blog meme called The Next Big Thing. Read Elizabeth's post on this over at her excellent blog. I have to confess I've no idea what a meme is (and I'm happy to remain ignorant) but I'm very pleased to take part anyway! I therefore have to answer a series of questions on a recent or forthcoming book. I don't really like talking about current writing but, rather than chicken out and answer questions about the short story collection, I'm going to be brave - but very vague - and talk about my novel. Here are my answers:

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Possibly from watching too many science shows and documentaries.

What genre does your book fall under?

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Paul Giamatti (who plays Miles in the film 'Sideways') seems to have a lot of soul and depth and there's a poignancy to his acting that is really endearing. I would like soulful actors - the more understated and low-key the better - so I wouldn't be overly bothered about who they are as long as they can make you feel something.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
I don't want to say too much but it is about the unearthing of a dark secret.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I would very much hope that I'd have an agent once it's finished.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I've only just started it so I'm a long way off the first draft.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I think I inspired myself - and the science shows helped.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
I will probably have to go on a field trip to do some research - I'm saying no more.

All that's left for me to do now is to pass the baton to five other writers so that they can answer the same questions - so may I introduce you to:

* Novelist and short story writer Ashley Stokes, whose short story collection 'The Syllabus of Errors' is forthcoming from Unthank Books;
* Fellow Scott Prize winner Cassandra Parkin, whose collection 'New World Fairy Tales' was chosen as one of New Writing North's Read Regional books for this year;
* My writing pal Gill Blow, who has just published a collection of short fiction called 'Split Seconds';
* Online writing chum Joel Willans, whose debut short story collection 'Spellbound' has just been published by Route (and must surely be in line for a cover of the year prize);
* And, finally, another online writing chum and fellow Willesden Herald shortlistee Adnan Mahmutović, whose collection 'How to Fare Well and Stay Fair' has just been published by Salt.

They will be posting their answers on Wednesday, December 12th so pop over and see them then to find out more about their recent or forthcoming work.