A Beginner’s Tale #3

Large FoJIt has been a long journey, but here I stand on the verge of publishing my first novel.

I always wanted to write, but my first High School English teacher convinced me I was barely literate. I think he resented me being taller than him, as a later (taller) teacher promoted me from bottom of the class to (almost) pole position.

Too late!

It was my final year of school and my small fantasies had been strangled. Hurrah for education! Continue reading

Spooky Times

31-days-of-october

Well, that Brexit thing was a blast. Britain will pull out of the EU (European Union). To some, it’s like Hawaii pulling out of the US of A. (It isn’t.) And lots of lies on all sides, it seems.

Gosh! Anti-establishment folk, politicians and urban elites telling lies? Unbelievable! Spooky times!

Continue reading

So Where Have I Been?

Debt Collector in Storm in the Stars

Andy as Debt Collector in A Storm in the Stars

I took a long break between posts this year. I’m sure you noticed.

So where have I been? Continue reading

Mancunicon (Eastercon 2016)

mancunicon

I’m still recovering from a splendid few days at the annual British Science Fiction Convention, held at Easter and generically named Eastercons. 2016 was the turn of Manchester, England to host 1200 sci-fi and fantasy fans, and a fine job the organising team did. Continue reading

Dysprosium : SciFi Convention

dysprosiumDysprosium was the 66th annual UK SciFi Convention, held at Easter 2015.

(Yes, I’m still playing “catch-up”.)

Overview

Weird and wacky, thoughtful and intelligent, and a Real Ale bar permanently packed-out with hobbits. Well, not real hobbits, but hairy folk wearing homespun and sandals. (For my non-UK readers, Real Ales are traditional beers produced by smaller breweries with love and care and no artificial additives.) The Bar seems to be a popular recurring feature of these conventions.

Differences

This was my first “big” scifi convention. I’d attended Luxcon a week earlier (see post): the difference was remarkable. Most Luxembourg attendees lived locally and needed no hotel accommodation. UK attendees were from a wider catchment area so most needed hotel rooms. As a result, the age profiles were radically different. LuxCon folk were predominantly young adults, with a greater cosplay tendency: the UK folk were generally older, more likely to have spreading waistlines, receding hairlines and greater disposable income (to afford the travel and hotels).

I’d say there was more pop-scifi in Luxembourg, and more fantasy in the UK.

Workshops and Beyond

I submitted different pieces of writing to three writing workshops. Due to the number of attendees, time constraints prevented full analysis of the submissions, but each presenter team provided follow-up:-

  • Elsewhen Press – critique session
    • submitted : a short story, “Homo sapiens inferior
    • follow-up : Elsewhen invited attendees to submit a story after the convention for a full critique
  • Terry Edge and Kim Horwood – improving writing and achieving goals
    • submitted : the first chapter of my far future novel-in-progress, “Succession!
    • follow-up : Terry and Kim sat with me between other sessions for valuable informal chats
  • Donna Scott (editor and chair of the British Science Fiction Association) – critique session
    • submitted : the first page of my noir novel-in-progress, “Private Vices
    • follow-up : Donna edited the entire submission after the convention and sent me her comments

Thank you to them all.

Conclusions

Between the Real Ale and the wonderful attendees I met, the excellent session presenters and the great folk running the workshops, I had a great time and learned so much. Already looking forward to next Easter’s Convention, “Mancunicon” (in Manchester, UK).

Afternote : Only a few people ignored the “No Bare Feet” notices. I do hope they enjoyed their pedal fungal infection transfers.

 

Press Release: The Future Is Short Vol 2

A new anthology that contains two of my own stories…

THE FUTURE IS SHORT: SCIENCE FICTION IN A FLASH, Volume 2 Now Published
ISBN: 9 781514 151518 (trade paperback) Published June 3, 2015
E-book published June 11, 2015

TFIS 2 - 100x150Thirty-six authors took a leap of faith in January 2015 to contribute their stories to The Future Is Short: Science Fiction in a Flash, Volume 2. Twenty-two of them, published in the inaugural volume in June 2014, returned to present new ideas, tales and imaginative spins on specific topics in this latest edition; over a dozen of Volume 2’s contributors are new writers, many being published for the first time in this anthology. The Future Is Short: Science Fiction in a Flash, Volume 2 includes seventy-six glimpses at what the future might hold, arranged under 14 themes: among these are Apocalypse, It’s a Wonderful Life, Distance, First Contact, Unwanted Gift, Adolescence and Espionage. Continue reading

Anthologies and Contests #2

250px-Quill_(PSF)Last time, I praised the opportunities for unpublished writers offered by submitting to Anthologies and Contests.

So where do you start in your search for Anthologies and Contests seeking submissions? Continue reading

Anthologies and Contests

I hope at least a few of my readers noticed I’ve been away for a few weeks 😉

Science Fiction Consortium

Between family issues, travel to internet-free zones (yes, they do exist – welcome to the 21st century!), laptop failure (I smugly take full backups daily) and various other distractions, I have had to let my blog simmer unattended for a while.

Those “distractions” were not all bad; they included a determination to make serious progress on my novel and the final edits on three short stories in soon-to-be-released anthologies. Meanwhile, Continue reading

WRITE, DARE, SUBMIT – Guest Post

Today’s post is a departure – a guest post from I.O. Kirkwood – but still within my “How to get Published” series theme. IO is a rising writer with a refreshing viewpoint. She, too was an unpublished writer until recently.  Now read on…

IO KirkwoodWRITE, DARE, SUBMIT

Write

Since the age of 12, in almost 32 years, I have written over one-hundred beefy novels of complete crapola.

That’s ten million words, folks. I have authored my own Encyclopedia Crappanica, and I mean the umpteen-volume-set that requires a magnifying glass to read the entries. I don’t regret a single word (as long as they remain unread) because those ten million beauties reached critical mass in 2013.

Other people have a swifter learning curve than me:  Continue reading

Quick Fixes To Attract Publishers

ID-10075291Last time, I covered the need for an unpublished author to demonstrate a large Following for his/her as-yet-unpublished work and ended with the tantalising hint of a Quick Fix… Continue reading