JUST A BRIEF UPDATE:

Someone asked me the other day if I’ve given up on my blog. I haven’t posted anything on here in almost four months so I can see where he got that impression. But that’s not the case.

I still have at least a year’s worth of finished articles (mostly writing advice) sitting in a folder on my desktop. On top of that I have numerous book reviews and plenty of ideas and half-sketched outlines for future blogs. All the material is there, waiting to be unleashed upon my subscribers and anyone else unlucky enough to get caught in the crossfire.

However, I’m going through a busy writing period, with a stack of editing jobs on the side, so I’ve put the blog on temporary hiatus until I can dedicate a little more time to it. If it was as simple as copying and pasting from my computer, then I’d do it. But usually it takes at least a couple hours (minimum) to put up a blog, mainly due to the malfunctioning-format-fuckery of WordPress, but also in part due to my need to scan every article at least fifty times in case an error or typo gets through unchallenged (and even then, I’m sure it probably still does).

Anyway, so this is just a quick update to let you guys know what I’ve been up to, and what’s in the works. Just keep in mind the blog will be back, and more active, later in the year.

Firstly, before anything: In April I got signed by a literary agent. I was signed to one years ago and in the end nothing came of it (I’ll explain why in a future blog), but I feel quietly confident about this one. My agent seems to get my style and he’s already filled my head with compliments and enough smoke to kill a giraffe, including the line: “You have the ability to take the reader to places that they only drive through at best.” It’s the kind of quote I’d like to see in a paper one day, next to a picture of my bestselling book.

Or on my gravestone . . .

But anyway, we’re now in the process of restructuring my crime novel One Knife Stand, which means I have some extensive rewriting to do, and then, hopefully, my agent will sell it and make me some money. In the meantime, we’re in talks with a celebrity who wants me to ghostwrite his autobiography. I can’t say much about it (I’m meant to be a ghost after all), but if all goes well I should be able to take up writing full-time and jack in all the editing work. 

Secondly (or should this be thirdly?), I’m currently working on a collection of short horror stories, which should be out later in the year. I recently received the artwork from the highly talented Theo Cane.

Check it out below and let me know what you think:

18192481_1668344493180820_2491835963073453666_o
And finally, my short story The London Eye Baby was just published in April’s edition of The Literary Hatchet. You can buy a hard copy of the book or download the free version here (issue #17). And if you do read the story, let me know if you liked it (or hated it) and why. All constructive feedback, positive or otherwise, is welcome. I’m always learning and always open to grow from my mistakes (as you should too, whether you’re an aspiring writer or a serial killer). 18556597_1696248350390434_267256459119504194_oAnd that’s about it for now. Thank you for your patience, and I hope to post some more motivating material soon.

Until then: go and do some writing. Your pad is waiting for you to show up and get to work.


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Enough Rope by Lawrence Block

imgres“I’d rather be carried by 6 than judged by 12.”

Enough Rope is a gargantuan collection of one hundred short stories by Lawrence Block, spanning over 40 years’ worth of material. Many have previously been released in magazines or other compilations or online, but near to the end of the book, there are also some unpublished pieces for those who’ve read all of his older work.

In any case, Enough Rope is currently the most complete gathering of his stories, and a must-have for any Block fan. Out of the 100 stories, about ten percent are duds, which is an amazing ratio, giving you nine classics out of ten. Some stories you’ll guess the twist near the beginning; others you won’t see it coming, even if you’re looking for it. Not all of the stories end with a twist, but many do. Either way, each piece pulls the reader in. Block has such an easy, fluid writing style, making his stories a pleasure to read. And each one offers something new.

However, the collection does slow down about halfway through.

This is because Block sections off the book with the “regulars” — short stories based on regular characters from his novels — and although some of them are interesting, the Martin EhrenGraff stories are especially repetitive and predictable, and you’d be forgiven for skipping them. Five or six stories later, the collection picks up pace again.

The creativity and imagination to produce so many unique works is astounding. Block has managed to keep his writing inventive and gripping for over four decades. The man is a writing machine; a well-oiled, productive, over-functioning member of the writing elite. This book is a testament to his hard work, and a celebration of his talent.

If you enjoy the short-story format, or you’re a fan, you’ll love this collection.

Pick it up, read it, and don’t stop until the final twist spins your mind backwards.


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