Thursday, 27 December 2012

Bringing in the New Year

I start this final post of 2012 in my blog with a warning to other authors -

When writing a final post in a year, NEVER go back and see what you wrote at the end of last year! You'll get disappointed with all the goals you had that you never achieved!

But we don't want to sound the doom bell at the start of a post now, do we?

We want to bring the New Year in with aplomb!

I am still writing Hotel Nomad, my heavily populated, ultra violent, vampire hotel drama and I am currently 22,000 words in.

The party (mentioned in the last post) is over and my characters are picking up the pieces, some of their actual body parts! Others are left pondering the ramifications of said night's festivities. One thing is certain; the party has given the story a much needed breath of life and I have ideas spiraling all over the place. Now it's a matter of containing them in a cohesive and engaging narrative.

I've recently started work again on a few screenplays that I had quit. I've five fully complete original scripts but these few orphans had tested my limits and therefore, like a responsible parent, I'd abandoned them. It's time to see what can be wrangled from them.

Work on my other two novels, Last The Day and Mary Happened As We Speak (both non vampire related), continues tentatively. Hotel Nomad is really where my affections lie for the foreseeable future.

I'm still in contact with a few agents regarding my scripts (man, American movie agents are RUDE!) and a few UK publishers regarding my officially-published-but-currently-homeless novella, Swan Song. It would be amazing to finally be able to hold Swan Song in my hands as a paperback. The novella has received nothing but delightfully surprising praise upon publication and it would be an honour to have it back out there again. (If you would like to read Swan Song, please contact me).

So what does 2013 hold?

Well, flying cars is much on the agenda, I believe, as is a new Child's Play movie, featuring the murderous doll Chucky (What? Hey, that's important too, you know!)

Me? I'm blissfully happy with my gorgeous wife, Kira, and I'll keep dragging myself away from the X Box to deal with the many characters, plot strands, ideas and themes that seem to invade my head on a regular basis.

I'd like a real agent this coming year so that's where my focus ultimately lies.

The beautiful thing about being a writer? Unlike, say, the pop industry, there's really no sell by date. There's no time limit and we can happily pen ourselves into old age. I don't why that reassures me quite so much.

Roll on 2013! I'm ready for ya!

Catch you on the flip side!


Saturday, 3 November 2012

Party Hard! - For the characters who come alive!

I am currently 18,000 words into Hotel Nomad and my characters have come alive! Writing has once again become fun!

How did I do it? Simple. I threw a party.

I now have a situation where all of my characters are interacting, drunk, and some of my favourite lines of dialogue have been borne of this. It's just, well, fun!

I'm having a real opportunity to explore character motivation, divulge plot exposition and generally advance theme and tone in one scene. I'm having a blast.

So I'm about 15% through Hotel Nomad, about 5% through Mary Happened As We Speak ( A theatrical twist on a Basic Instinct premise. I didn't mention this new novel previously? I will, eventually. I got the title from a misheard Seal lyric in Crazy, go figure!) and 4% through Last The Day (A very black comedy about a break up. I didn't mention this new novel either? Sue me. I'm writing, damnit! Don't sue me, I'm broke!)

But it's Hotel Nomad that keeps bringing me back.

It's everything Swan Song wasn't and I am very proud of that. I don't know why every writer who pens a successful story always feels the need to write a sequel. For me, I want to be ever changing. Every story different, in tone and content. I write self contained stories. When it's over, it's OVER! I'll never pander to expectations.

Ahem...(climbs off soap box).

Basically, I've rediscovered why I write. It's hard work, frustrating and taxing, but oh so rewarding, it's hard to describe.

I want this finished by Christmas but I don't see that happening.

In the meantime, I am contacting agents regarding my screenplays. Is playing my X Box 360 a complete waste of my time? Probably. I'm trying to combat this with production of material that may actually improve my life.

(Curse you, Red Dead Redemption! Why are you so awesome?!)

This blog post is dedicated, as always, to Carlsberg.

Without you, I'd be nothing! Sniff!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Writers Who Write

Anyone seen Californication?

Great series starring David 'Will-anyone-ever-see-me-as-anyone-other-than-Mulder Duchovny.

(EDIT - David is SO much more Hank than Mulder in real life!)

David plays Hank Moody, a writer who wrote one book, then, hmmmm, doesn't seem to write ever. Like ever.

Except occasionally.

(Sounds a lot like me).

It's a funny series, highly sexual, a kind of bloke's version of 'Sex And The City,' except every time I watch it, despite his amusing adventures, all I think is :

'Okay, he's shagging another stunning broad, good for him, but shouldn't he be writing?'

So shouldn't I BE WRITING?

I can be very lazy.


Current update!

I have THREE ongoing projects for my first full length novel, and I do look at them from time to time, but I have to admit, since my publisher dissolved the company, I've lost my motivation.

Not my inspiration. My motivation.

Big difference, people. (Non literary people (or non English speaking people), go get a dictionary)

Ideas are never the problem. I have ideas coming outta my........ahem, X Box. I get story ideas arguing with my beautiful wife. I get ideas watching my mates do 'things-they-shouldnt-do' (I'm no rat!)

Ideas aren't the problem. It's nailing them to the page that proves difficult.

I can't remember who said it, but a famous person once said :

'Ideas are perfect. They're pure, unfettered, uncomplicated. As you start to write, you should start to question how badly you can fuck up that great idea.'

Nowadays, I'd be happy just to be bothered to fuck up a great idea.

But it's not all doom and gloom.

I've decided to get an agent.

Yep. I am selling my screenplays. Scripts. Movies.

I'll always be a story teller, a novel writer, but why not sell something to Hollywood in the meantime, eh?

If I can be bothered to go to a meeting with Spielberg.

(I sleep late on Saturdays, just so you know, Mr Spielberg).

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Iceberg! Right ahead!

So I'm changing publishers.

And it sucks.

It's taken me a little while to think of how to put this into my blog; but I've decided to forego all the gory details (the other Vamplit writers know what happened) and just state the facts.

I'm changing publishers.

End of.

So, yes, the paperback edition of Swan Song has been cancelled.

It fucking sucks, but what can you do, eh?

Anyhoo, I'm shopping my four screenplays around Hollywood now. Yep. I'm getting myself an agent!

Established, best selling author, Colin Bateman, actually advised me to get a literary agent too. So who am I to argue with such advice?

So it's still full steam ahead on my second novel while I find a new home for my first.

In addition, I am currently writing a VERY black comedy about a break up (non vampire related) and toying with numerous ideas for additional short stories.

You gotta roll with the punches, man.

A special thank you to Facebook for allowing me to reach out and talk to some of my biggest creative influences, I never thought I'd have a chance to tell Clive Barker personally how much his work means to me.

Keep on writing, guys.

'Cause what else is there?

Monday, 4 June 2012

Full steam ahead.....

It's been ages since I updated this blog but that's okay.

You know why?

My second book is kicking off! Finally, I've hit my stride!

Populated with colourful, unpredicatable characters, this second book is practically writing itself! Careful not to let the narrative get ahead of itself, I'm having so much fun, letting ideas flow and seeing where they lead, creating dramas and allowing them to resolve themselves (or thread their subplotted way through the main story).

At last, my second book has a distinctive voice, and a distinctive title.

Yep, I have named my second baby already, and here, for the first time, I shall announce it's title.....

Hotel Nomad

It's confirmed!

For the story I am weaving, it's a succinct, self-explanatory, non-pretentious moniker.

Well, that and I don't think the book needs a title that gives you anything other than a sense of 'locale.' It's perfect for the world I'm creating.


That's my excuse for not blogging for so long.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go write a vampire poker card game where if an immortal player loses, he has to slash his owned mortal's throat and let the other players feed, like an ill-gained bounty......

Oooops, damn spoilers!

Friday, 30 March 2012

The 'Lad Factor'


I am three complete chapters into my new book and something has hit me.

(I'm not sure it's actually a problem per se, but it's definitely caused me to pause and consider a few things).

Swan Song had a likeable immortal femme fatale and a very unlikable very human male (upon which the story rested). It was an intimate character study into two characters and their relationship. It existed between them and for them, so whatever they got up to, hey, it's how they get their yucks, right? No matter how doomed or damaged, essentially it was a love story.

Well, sort of.

The new book has been designed to have multiple characters, multiple scenarios and be everything Swan Song wasn't. Dialogue heavy, humourous, quick paced, more complicated, more epic, etc...

Basically, everything Twilight was, Swan Song was designed NOT to be.

Basically, everything Swan Song was, this new book is designed NOT to be.

(Get to the point, Jev!)

Okay, so now I'm free to run wild, right?

After all, this is unforgiving, British vampires at their most unremorseful we're talking about. Red blooded males with ferocious tempers and more ferocious sex drives.....

Well, I may have gone too far, as early as in the second chapter.

I may have fallen foul of the 'Lad Factor.'

Essentially, without giving anything away, the second chapter is a boy's wet dream, a boy vampire's wet dream.

It's playful and not at all smutty but loose, slutty and surprising, too early in the book. I know men will love it but what about my female readers?

(At this point, I think it's safe to say more women have read Swan Song than men!)

The only reason I bring this up is because recently I attempted reading Flirt by Laurell K Hamilton and couldn't get past the first twelve pages.

It was the work of an author who WISHED she was her main character, who had two vampires and one lycanthrope as her lovers/slaves and, naturally, they were GORGEOUS! By Chapter Three, all four of them were snuggling publicly in a restaurant and discussing which of the males would be lucky enough to take her home.

It was pure tripe. Wanton fantasy along the lines of the worst Myer condition and I couldn't get any further.

It is now I look at my second book with subjective eyes.

What if my beloved female audience (whom I worked hard to attract with Swan Song) get two chapters into my new book and hit such a laddish scene that they can't continue?

Don't get me wrong! I want to distinguish my London vampires from the immortal pussies out there, but I don't want to alienate my female readers doing so.

I am currently rolling on, full steam ahead, and leaving the chapter intact, for the moment, but the thought keeps coming back....

Do girl readers REALLY want to see boy vamps acting out?

And mortal girls paying the heavy, sexual, fatal price?

As of writing, I am undecided.......

Saturday, 18 February 2012

A Much Needed Update


Has it been that long since I updated this thing?

I think I'm going to have to be a little tougher on myself in regards to keeping this blog updated.

I have a good reason for not blogging though, I've been hard at work on my second book.

As previous posts have shown, I've agonised over this book far more than Swan Song which, if I'm honest, kind of wrote itself. The story was so self contained, driven and simple that writing it was a breeze.

This book, however, will require all of my skills.

It's fun but much harder than I expected. What's that saying? 'Nothing that comes easy is worth anything.'

Or something like that.....

Anyhoo, been a good start to the new year for me. Pretty damn happy about a lot of things.

I'm writing more notes on character, plot, structure and theme than ever before, which really helps me in the long run.

As it currently stands, a FREE ebook of six brand new short stories by yours truly should be online very soon.

Following quickly on it's heels should be the much heralded Swan Song Exclusive Paperback, which will include the aforementioned six stories PLUS a further six stories that you won't be able to find online.

All pretty exciting stuff!