Short Story of the Week – Poppy Z. Brite’s Calcutta, Lord of Nerves

Some short stories you just remember. Maybe it's an image you remember, maybe an emotion or maybe the entire story. When it comes to Calcutta, Lord of Nerves, it's a passage for me. A single passage that made me go "Ugh, what the.... are you allowed to write that?" I read the story in John… Continue reading Short Story of the Week – Poppy Z. Brite’s Calcutta, Lord of Nerves

This is How a Flash Fiction Contest on Chuck Wendig’s Website Got Me a Playwriting Gig and Then a Writing Residency in England.

This is the story of how I turned a flash fiction story written in an hour for a Flash Fiction thing on Chuck Wendig's blog into a week-long writing residency in Exeter in the U.K. Chuck Wendig is the author of numerous books (buy Wonderers and thank me later) but I first encountered him as… Continue reading This is How a Flash Fiction Contest on Chuck Wendig’s Website Got Me a Playwriting Gig and Then a Writing Residency in England.

5 Rather Excellent Noir Crime Books

I got to spend a week in Exeter this summer, as the International Writer-in-Residence at the Quay Words literary festival. Part of the deal was to give a talk on Icelandic crime writing and at the end of that talk (which I may post here later) I told the audience about the books that most… Continue reading 5 Rather Excellent Noir Crime Books

The Sublime Weirdness of Jeff Vandermeer’s FINCH

FINCH is one of my favorite books. I can't understand why it hasn't been made into a series, or why there aren't more people running through the streets, thrusting a copy of FINCH upon random strangers exclaiming "You need to read this!" Ok. That last one was maybe a bit much. It's about a detective,… Continue reading The Sublime Weirdness of Jeff Vandermeer’s FINCH

How Douglas Adams wrote The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

I was thumbing through my copy of Don't Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (a book on Douglas Adams written by Neil Gaiman!) and came across a great passage. It certainly made me feel a little better about my glacial writing pace. This is Douglas describing how the Restaurant at the… Continue reading How Douglas Adams wrote The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Now That’s a Simile

These days I'm re-reading Raymond Chandler's masterpiece, The Long Good-bye. I do this as I'm nearing the completion of my own book; I don't avoid fiction as some writer's do to avoid being overly influenced but knowingly read books I want to be influenced by. In this case it's mostly four books I read and… Continue reading Now That’s a Simile

Take a Look at Joe Lansdale’s Writing Schedule

Us writers can obsess endlessly over the optimal amount of daily writing time. Should it be measured in words written? Pages? Hours spent ass-in-chair? I try to get up at around 5:30 to get some writing done before going to work. It doesn't always happen, but I've learned that the best time is from 6:00… Continue reading Take a Look at Joe Lansdale’s Writing Schedule

The 79 Authors You Need to Read to Become a Writer According to Dan Simmons

Dan Simmons is a writer you might know, and he once said something about writing and reading that has stuck with me ever since. His best-know books are The Terror, Summer of Night, Drood (personal favorite) and Carrion Comfort.  The Terror was recently made into a fantastic, if somewhat slow, TV-series, and the book is… Continue reading The 79 Authors You Need to Read to Become a Writer According to Dan Simmons

The Best Writing of the Week – Wuthering Heights

Sometimes you come across passages that remind you again of what good writing is. I just started the classic Wuthering Heights last night (yes, you need to read the classics) and was taken aback by a passage not just because of the quality of the prose but also by the tone. It was like the… Continue reading The Best Writing of the Week – Wuthering Heights

Two Awesome Quotes From The Hobbit’s 1973 Introduction

In my edition of The Hobbit, cheap mass-market paperback, there is an introduction by Peter S Beagle from 1973 that contains not one but two passages that are amazingly political and powerful. A Quote For Today, From 1973 The Sixties were no fouler a decade than the Fifties - they mere reaped the Fifties' foul… Continue reading Two Awesome Quotes From The Hobbit’s 1973 Introduction