provide links to other writers.
This blog is predominantly political events, my writing is done on another page but I am going
to cover both in this post as this is my only Blog..
My new Facebook page contains both my most recent Blog posts and my fiction, it is here
What am I working on?
My blog posts are very much driven by events as they happen and by long term situations that I
consider to be important. So my blogging happens in bursts as there are changes to subjects I follow
or events in the world that interest me or annoy me enough to write about them.
As such I do not have any blogs that I am working on apart from a large and growing article on the
nature of employment and lack thereof in the post industrial world. This is now many pages long and
steadily growing as I add to it every other week or so. I may even post this at some point.
In terms of my writing I am working on a number of things.
I have just concluded the ten chapters of my first short story “Trouble on the docks”, this is the first
of at least six stories that each lead to the next or lead back to the last in some convoluted way. This
may well become a full book called “A Year in Bristol”. All ten chapters are on my Facebook page.
I have started the second and third stories of this set; I have ideas for four and five, a layout for the
battle in six and several side stories covering the background and history of some characters.
I have entered another short story into an anthology contest, my story is “Before the flood came” .
I am planning to follow my first Gnome story with others. Enough to make a book of linked short
stories in the same way as a year in Bristol above.
I have notes for several stories and have done a chunk of work on all the many creatures that inhabit
the world of the gnome tales; this will grow much larger as I have a lot of ideas about the various
creatures and races to flesh them out.
I am 6k words into one Sci-Fi story that has come out of the background and campaign I wrote for a
Sci-Fi role playing game called 2300 based on the Traveller rules.
I am also taking another Traveller campaign and converting the notes and backgrounds from that into
another story, so far this one is about 10k of tech notes and background and no story but the campaign
is huge and should provide plenty of ideas.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don’t write to a fixed genre. My work is my work not something that must be run along the railroad
tracks of an exacting genre limiting what I can or cannot write.
Much of what I am doing is sort of steam punk and sort of Cthulhu mythos. Some is Sci-Fi with a strong
mythos/horror theme. My first story for a year in Bristol feature less steam, no punk and some mythos
because that was how I wanted that story to be. The second is far more steam, more fighting and
some mythos. Other stories in the set may be no steam at all and lots of Cthulhu mythos and horror.
Each story is its own story, I don’t include steam powered devices into Victorian era tales because they are
steam punk, I include the steam because I want it in that story. I include or do not include horror and the
supernatural for the same reason.
If I want it in the story then it is in the story, if not I leave it out.
So I don’t write to a genre. To be honest I don’t care about genre, I don’t want to be restricted by outside
limits. If I want steam punk and magic then I will have steam powered land frigates of the Royal Naval Land
Cruiser squadron fighting the walking dead summoned by cultists of an alien power (this is coming soon).
Why do I write what I do?
Madness and coffee. Mostly madness.
I write blogs and stories because I must. The words whisper to me, they talk to me, they shout and scream
in my mind.
Sentences follow me around insisting I write them, entire paragraphs haunt me at night, refusing to let me
sleep until I have composed them and written them.
I find myself wide awake at two or three in the morning with blog posts or stories buzzing in my mind and
I cannot sleep. So I compose a new article or a new paragraph and then I am allowed a few hours of sleep
before my mind wakes me and the words are screaming for attention again.
Sometimes I will get up, turn on my computer and type everything that I have just thought of, other times
I sleep and wake remembering clearly that I had composed half a chapter but unable to remember the details.
My blog posts and writings are the most recent outlay for my restless mind, prior to this I have written entire
campaigns for role playing games, or used weird science to build highly detailed devices inside my mind. Last
year I spend most of a week designing the shoulder and arm articulation for a suit of utterly ridiculous Manga
style battlearmour from a game called Battletech. The armour was art and clearly no one had bothered to
think how a human could fit inside it and move it without breaking every bone in their body, so I spent
sleepless nights thinking just that.
So basically, madness.
My blog posts are on subjects that I am interested in or which concern me or annoy me. They are on subjects
that stir my interest. Generally I don’t plan to write something for my blog, the world comes along and slaps
with me a wet kipper of a news story and I am off and running with a blog post.
My writing comes from the twisted depths of my imagination which has been described as a strange place.
Some of it comes from role playing games I have run or played over many years, some come from history,
some from good ideas I had read in the work of other writers. Some of it pops out of the void or is
whispered in my sleeping mind by Cthulhu.
I write because I am interested in the subject, if it’s hard work I leave it in a folder and may go back to it later.
If I am not interested then I don’t do it.
How does your writing process work?
Madness, see above.
I am of the opinion that either I am mad or my mind works in a way that comes from outer space, perhaps
some passing aliens dropped my mind why flying past in a saucer.
I look at things and see patterns of possibilities and probabilities. I see an event and follow it forward to its
conclusion filling in events in between. In my blog posts sometime I write because I am annoyed or concerned
enough to quickly write something, at other times I see a story and I find as much as I can from all three sides.
As the Vorlons’ say the truth is a three edged sword, there is your truth, their truth and the truth. Every event,
every news article has the truth that each side tells, what I do or try to do is find the other truth.
I looked at Putin and what he was up to at the winter Olympics and then once the Crimea situation started, I
tried to look at events from the West’s view, from his point of view and then tried to see what was really going
to happen (hint, it’s not a happy ending if you are a western Ukrainian).
So my blog posts are all too often driven by the patterns I see. Which is clearly weird and therefore madness.
My writing is the same thing but rather than use existing events I create events and apply the same process.
I often take the starting situation and work out how it will end and how it gets there, this becomes the basic
As I flesh this out new data is added and the patterns change but the process remains the same. I wrote the
beginning and ending of “Trouble at the Docks” and the steps in between then set to work writing the actual
chapters. Not in a set order but as a series of major events in the pattern and then adding the minor stuff.
I often write parts of chapters or stories then jump to another point and write that then jump again, filling in
the connecting bits only as I am finishing. I have written the first chapter of “War is Coming” and not a word
of the second chapter but I have written perhaps half of three chapters much later in the story.
I jump to the main points in the pattern and fill in from there.
I create characters and plots or take events and people and put them together; I create scenarios within my
mind and run them to see what would happen. Then I change the plots a little or the characters a little and
run the scenarios again. At some point in the process I end up with a story or a blog post. I do the same with
role playing campaigns or engineering ideas.
So basically it is either madness or I am an Alien.
I was forced to write this by Pete Sutton, there was talk of white hot needles in the brain and swallowing jagged chilli covered glass if I did it so I didn't dare ask what would happen if I refused.
Also I received no money for saying nice things about any other writers which is why I didn't............
Five follow on writers:
Sarah Jayne Townsend
Other writers well worth a visit and a read:
Gaie Sebold: Babylon Steel & Shanghai Sparrow books. Great stories, ask her about cardigans.
David Gullen: Shopocalypse, shopping and insanity in one book,
Andrew Goodman. Tiberius Found and Tiberius Bound, ignore the young adult bit and read them.