Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Faking It

Writers make stuff up.

For years that has been my unspoken motto. Research is boring and time-consuming but fortunately I write fiction so I don't need to worry about little details like facts. Especially as a lot of my stories fall into the SF/F/H bracket. If I'm writing about elves or demons or little green men then obviously I'm making it up and so obviously there's no need for me to do research.

But ...

Even if my stories contain elements of the fantastic they tend to have mundane, everyday settings. Settings that people will recognise and will know if I've got wrong. So some research is called for after all.

Plus, I always hate it whenever I spot a writer making a stupid mistake, often to the extent that it will spoil my enjoyment of the rest of the story. Unless I want to run the risk of alienating my readers in the same way I need to avoid mistakes. And that means research.

Also, I enjoy it when a writer manages to educate me on an obscure topic whilst simultaneously entertaining me with a well-crafted story. A lot of the knowledge that I used to impress my teachers when I was a kid was gleaned from reading well-researched fiction. There's a part of me that wants to write that kind of story so other kids can impress their teachers. Which means that, yes, I spend my time reading textbooks, trawling the Internet and picking the brains of people far more knowledgeable than myself.

Hopefully this means my stories are more rounded, with a greater sense of depth and veracity. They feel more real. And it's all thanks to research.

I still hate doing it though.

Monday, January 30, 2006


My story, 'Face at the Window', is featured in Albions Alpträume: Zombies , an anthology co-edited by Paul Kane and Walter Diociaiuti. Features an inroduction by Simon Clark and stories by Christopher Fowler, John B. Ford, Tony Richards, Paul Finch, Maynard and Sims, Derek M. Fox, Mark West, Simon Bestwick, Tim Lebbon and ME!!!!!!

Now I've got you all excited I'm going to spoil it all by admitting that the entire book is in German.

Fortunately there are plans to do an English language edition at some point so hopefully you won't have to enrol at evening classes in order to read the stories ;-)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

To Blog Or Not To Blog

I'm not sure about this.

I tried a blog before and I was terrible about updating the entries. Personally I don't think that my every thought needs to be logged on a website for all and sundry to see. Terribly old-fashioned viewpoint for this day and age I know but that's just the way I feel.

Still, my girlfriend has kindly set up this blog for me to try and promote my short stories and novellas so I suppose I should at least try to make use of it. Particularly if I want her to ever have sex with me again.