Thursday, April 30, 2009

'This Life Sucks' wins poll

Each quarter, Flash Me! Magazine holds a poll to find the most popular story in their previous issue. This time round, I'm delighted to discover that 'This Life Sucks', my short vampire tale, took first place in the most recent poll! I'm really pleased because the story is a little on the dark side and I wasn't sure that readers would enjoy it, but clearly they have.

Thank you to everyone who voted - it's really made my day!

If you haven't yet read the story there's still time, and it's still available free. Simply pop along to Flash Me and check out Issue 23. And I hope you enjoy it (and the other great stories) as much as everyone else seems to have.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Google Opt In/Out

Fellow authors should take a look at this deeply worrying article on the Google Opt In/Out agreement on Jessica Freely's Friskbiskit blog.

Apparently we have only one week to decide whether to opt into or out of Google's settlement, both of which options have hidden pitfalls and neither of which can prevent Google from scanning our work and making it avalable online without our permission.

This has huge implications for anyone with an out-of-contract e-book that they were hoping to release in print. Please read the article, take the time to consider your options, and as Jessica says, spread the word. I didn't know about this, and I'm quite sure I'm not the only author who didn't.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A toast rack?

I've been looking out for something to keep letters and odd scraps of paper tidy on my desk for ages. This afternoon I pottered round to the local high street and happened to stumble across exactly what I needed in one of the charity shops. It's a small silver-coloured (don't suppose for one moment it's real silver!) toast rack, very old fashioned with pointed arches and a looped handle at the top. It's seen better days as the arches are all skew-whiff, but it cost me the amazing sum of... 99p. So I don't really mind. I've already stuffed a load of stamps and business cards in there and it's doing exactly what I wanted, which is making a bit more space on my desk. Thank goodness for charity shops - you never know quite what you're going to find next.

Friday, April 17, 2009

'Men of Mystery' to be republished

Haworth Press, the original publishers of the 'Men of Mystery' anthology containing my short story Any Means Necessary, ceased trading as a fiction publisher before the book could be distributed properly. The editors, Sean Meriwether and Greg Phillips, have worked long and hard and have just negotiated a new deal with Lethe Press, a publisher specialising in gay and lesbian titles. The book is due out later this year with the same contents and in pretty much the same format as before. It's excellent news because this is a top-notch anthology full of cracking good stories and it was a shame that it didn't receive the best 'after-sales care' that it could have done.

I'll be posting more details about the release etc in due course so watch this space.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

'I Do' success

Early indications are that the charity anthology 'I Do' has already raised over $1,000 for the Lambda Legal Fund in its first quarter. This is terrific news. It's always nice to take part in a worthwhile project, but it's even nicer to know one's efforts are having a positive effect.

If you haven't yet bought a copy of the book, either in print or electronic format, and would like to contribute to the cause, feel free to pop along to my website for further details on where and how to purchase.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Read the guidelines, stupid!

I spent a long time the other day writing a new short story with a Christmas theme for a contest in Words Magazine. The word count was a measly 1,000 words and I did struggle to fit everything I wanted to say into such a short space, but eventually after a tussle and a lot of hacking, I got it down to 997 words including the title and was reasonably happy.

And then I re-checked the guidelines to see how and where I should send it, and found that the word count was actually... 2000.

Goodness knows where I got the lower figure from but now the story is too short, feels rushed, and there's a danger that I haven't expanded the theme strongly enough to really make the point I wanted to. I'm going to have to sit down and try to fit some more detail in, but without making it feel padded in any way. It's a good job the deadline isn't till June because I've a feeling I'm going to need the extra time.

Memo to self: read the guidelines first, stupid. 8-)

Monday, April 06, 2009

I review a gay historical

And not a terribly good one, sadly. You can read my review of David Pownall's 'The Ruling Passion' (which might have been better named 'Not Much Ruling Passion') at Speak Its Name.

Stuck in traffic....

I had to laugh this morning when the local news programme featured an item about slow-moving traffic on the motorway, caused by an accident involving a cement lorry. Not so much slow-moving as stuck fast, I should think....