Anthologies & Genres

I’ve decided to talk about two different subjects this time, although they are connected. Anthologies Here’s a strange situation. I’ve written, revised and edited an episodic novel and three anthologies of dark urban fantasy, science fiction and horror, with more than one of the genres and sub-genres often blended into a single story. I have another five collections I’m still working on. The thing is, publishers and agents keep telling me that anthologies and story collections are on the way out; no one is interested in either publishing them or reading them, they…Read more

Originality

This is not one of my posts but something I am cross-posting from Edgeverse with their permission. It says something I've long suspected and have been saying for some time. I remember reading an interview with Frank Zappa in NME years ago. Despite its claims to the contrary, he said, the music industry was not looking for "the next great thing". Instead, they wanted the previous great thing. When the Beatles hit the scene, every label wanted a band with multiple guitar players. Boy bands were a non-starter until the first one became…Read more

Handling Rejections

As I’ve promised before, it’s time to talk about rejections. “Rejection” is a harsh word to hear when you’re a writer, even though it’s part of the process. It’s painful to get a rejection because it means that someone doesn’t like your writing for some reason. And it often doesn’t matter what the reason is, it still hurts! However, I’m becoming hardened to it. Or so I like to think. I’ve recently started compiling statistics on my submissions and rejections, and it makes for interesting reading. I’ve been sending out submissions for the…Read more

Sharing Knowledge

Despite the horrors of Covid-19 and lockdowns, I hope this year brings you joy, good experiences and new knowledge. Apropos knowledge, I remember coming across a “law” of life some time ago, similar to Murphy’s Law: Roger Lincoln’s 2 Rules for Success:1. Never tell everything you know. It’s a good joke, but nowadays, hoarding knowledge is greedy, arrogant and, ultimately, insane. It’s greedy because knowledge doesn’t belong to anybody. Oh, I know that there is proprietary information, like the exact form and contents of a company’s databases or their communications protocols. Even their…Read more

Looking for Publication?

One of the problems of the modern writer is getting noticed by agents and publishers. There are places you can search, of course, like Query Tracker or Submission Grinder. But that's hard work, working your way through hundreds of entries to find a couple that are actually what you want. I know, I've been doing that for the past few weeks...! How about getting three curated selections every week, sent regularly to your inbox? Interested? Then you should sign up with the Writing Gym at 3 Paying Lit Mags With Upcoming Submission Deadlines.…Read more

Submission is a Numbers Game

When I first started submitting my work to agents and publishers a couple of years ago, my writing coach Annalisa Parent told me that it is a numbers game. I didn't understand what she meant. However, I did submit 75 times from the beginning of May last year and managed to get two short stories published, as I mentioned here and here. I had been submitting before, but it was somewhat haphazard and sporadic. Annalisa told me that I should strive to get 100 rejections before analysing what I needed to change. 73…Read more

A Few More Publishers

Some time ago, I self-published my self-help book "Unleash Your Dreams: Going Beyond Goal Setting" on Smashwords. Unfortunately, the automated analysis program called "The Meatgrinder" had problems with my formatting, but did not tell me exactly was wrong, nor how to correct it. After I discovered their book about reformatting, I was able to get everything right in a couple of days. My book is now also available from the following suppliers: Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/682994 Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1177089529 Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940164771447 Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/Search?Query=9780992744120 Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/search?query=9780992744120 It will also be available from Gardners Extended Retail…Read more

Yet Another Interview

I mentioned some time ago, in the post Another Interview, that I was interviewed by my friend Janine Bolon, a writer from America. We talked about being a writer, and what that can entail. Well, a few weeks later, we got back together again and had another chat, this time about my book Unleash Your Dreams. Here is the link to our conversation.Read more

Killing Time in Cambridge

This is not part of my publishing career, but I would like to promote a novel written by a friend of mine, Philip Cumberland. It is a cross between a time-travel adventure and a police procedural, with intense descriptions of local colour. The premise is fascinating, and the execution extremely well done. The tale gripped me from the beginning because of the interesting, quirky characters, like Arnold, Sylvia... and, of course, Marvin. Their interactions were believable, and the character-building using dialogue was credible. The world-building, basing itself on the real Cambridge and the…Read more

Publication!

Yay! The second book with one of my stories was published today. I had pre-ordered it and noticed it on my Kindle Fire at two minutes past midnight. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MBMW6GB Oh, and I received my complimentary copy of the other book to publish one of my stories a couple of days ago. My story is published! Both can be found on my Books page.Read more