Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Greatest Novels Of 2014 So Far, Chosen By Twitter

We're halfway through the year.  How'd you like them apples, Charlie?

To mark the occasion, I asked Twitter-folk to tell me the one best 2014-released fiction novel they've read so far.  It's clearly an imperfect science, canvassing opinions like this.  Depends on who happens to be passing by on Twitter, instead of getting work done.  But when someone takes the time to enthuse about someone else's novel, even in the breath of a tweet, it's surely worth checking out.

So here are the novels people tweeted back about, in absolutely no particular order.  Neatly, there are 20 of them - a pleasing mix of Big Five, indie and self-pub.  Of genres, too.  I'm including the recommendations of tweeters who have read proofs or review copies of books coming out later in the year.  If the hardback came out last year but the paperback came out this year, I included the title. All book-title links go to Amazon, while clicking author names takes you to their Twitter profiles where applicable.

The Girl With All The Gifts - M.R.Carey (Orbit)

Terra's World - Mitch Benn (Gollancz)

Resistance - Samit Basu (Titan)

The Boy With The Porcelain Blade - Den Patrick (Gollancz)

The Three - Sarah Lotz (Hodder & Stoughton)

The Martian - Andy Weir (Del Rey)

The JackPort Killer - Kneel Downe (Lulu.com)

An Officer And A Spy - Robert Harris (Arrow)

The Incorruptibles - John Hornor Jacobs (Gollancz)

The Cormorant - Chuck Wendig (Angry Robot)

The Humans - Matt Haig (Canongate)

Words Of Radiance - Brandon Sanderson (Gollancz)

The Dark Inside - Rupert Wallis (Simon & Schuster Children's Books)

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt (Little, Brown)

Grasshopper Jungle - Andrew Smith (Electric Monkey)

Smiler's Fair - Rebecca Levene (Hodder & Stoughton)

Annihilation (The Southern Reach Trilogy) - Jeff VanderMeer (Fourth Estate)

Galveston - Nic Pizzolatto (Sphere)

California Bones - Greg van Eekhout (Tor)

Dirty Magic - Jaye Wells (Orbit)

Because it's my blog, I get to throw in a further three great books not mentioned above and you cannot stop me.  You are powerless and can only watch as the words pour forth:


So what about you?  Want to lend an extra tip of your hat to one of the above?  Or recommend one amazing 2014 release which isn't listed above and which you didn't write yo'self?  Go right ahead, in Comments below, you irrepressible scamp.


* * *


Want to feel afraid in your own home?  My short story A Sincere Warning About The Entity In Your Home can help.  Presented as a letter to YOU which is delivered to YOUR house, this grave warning from the previous resident tells you things you really don't want to hear.  A Sincere Warning... can be purchased as a low-priced ebook or as a uniquely personalised physical letter which is mailed to your home address!  Full details at ScaryLetter.com

My novella Beast In The Basement is a twisted tale of obsession, revenge, censorship, blame culture and parental responsibility.  In a big house in the country, an increasingly unstable author toils over a new hotly-anticipated novel which will close the best-selling trilogy of Jade Nexus books.  A violent incident tips him into a downward spiral with horrific consequences.  Beast is available for Kindle (which can be read on most devices) at Amazon UK, Amazon US and more.  It's also available as half of Brandy In The Basement, a collaboration with JMR Higgs.  More details here.

My acclaimed non-fiction ebook How To Interview Doctor Who, Ozzy Osbourne And Everyone Else aims to tell you everything I learned about interviewing people, in my past life as a journalist.  It's available via Amazon UK, Amazon US and Amazon Germany, among others.  You can also buy it direct from me, in a Triple Pack of all three major file-types (PDF, ePub, Kindle), via PayPal.  Full details here, you splendid individual.

How to Interview Doctor Who, Ozzy Osbourne and Everyone Else

Friday, 27 June 2014

Five Things You May Not Know About Twitter

Twitter has been around since 2006 (yes, I know, terrifying), but it still holds small mysteries.  Little quirks that some folk miss out on or misunderstand.  You might very well know them all, but if just one blows your skirts up then my work here is done.

1) HOW TO NARROW YOUR AUDIENCE
If you start a tweet with a username, then only people who follow you both will see it.  I still see relatively seasoned Twitter users do this.

For instance, if I tweet the following...

@johnhiggs' book on The KLF is mind-blowing - read it now!

... then only people who follow both me and @johnhiggs will see it.  Which is a waste.

In case this confuses you, think of it in terms of tweeting directly at @johnhiggs, rather than tweeting about him.  In the former case, it's generally well known that only people who follow you both can see the tweet.  But when you're tweeting about someone, it seems like a whole other situation.  To Twitter, it isn't.  That tends to be why you often see tweets starting with a full-stop, followed by a username - it starts the tweet with a buffer before the username, so Twitter doesn't misunderstand and shows all your followers the tweet, just like you want it to, you attention-hungry, power-crazed MONSTER.

Incidentally, that full-stop isn't some kind of specific code - it's just the most-used buffer symbol.  You could start with a '&' or a '$', but it might well look more obstrusive.

2) USERNAMES AREN'T CASE SENSITIVE...
There's no need to search for someone's username to check up on whether it should be written as @PumpkinFace666, @Pumpkinface666 or even @pumpkinface666.  Twitter doesn't care - it recognises them all as the same person.  Otherwise @StephenFry would be plagued by copycats with the name @StEpHeNfRy and the like.  Many Twitter clients correct your version to however the user normally presents it themselves anyway.

Same goes for hashtags.  #SetFireToYourHeadDay equals #Setfiretoyourheadday, equals #setfiretoyourheadday.

3) LISTS CAN BE USEFUL, NO, REALLY, COME BACK
Twitter lists have fallen by the wayside over the years.  A while back, I gathered together various lists of various types of Twitter users and occasionally maintain them now, but mostly forget to tell people about them.  Here they are, if you're interested.

These days, I have one main use for lists - to help me filter my feed.  I have a private Priority list of people whose tweets I really don't want to miss.  This is installed in my Tweetdeck, but most apps (I use the mighty Tweetbot) should let you manage lists too.  And no, I'm not telling you who's on the list.  And yes, I do of course still read the main feed - the Priority list is just a handy tool.

4) DON'T FRET OVER APOSTROPHES
Or at least, don't fret over them when it comes to putting them at the very end of usernames in tweets.  Usernames can only ever consist of letters, numbers or underscores, so apostrophes won't upset the apple-cart if you add one right at the end.

So you can tweet...

I am loving @SarahLotz1's The Three!

or

I can't wait to get my hands on @LaurenBeukes' new novel Broken Monsters!

or

.@JasonArnopp's tweets drive me insane with boredom, and yet lust, which confuses me!

...there's no need for a funny-lookin' space in between the username and the apostrophe, which is good to know if you're tight on space.

5) CALL OFF THE STAT-ATTACK

If you align your Twitter account with a statistical analysis app which regularly tweets this kind of thing to followers on your behalf...

New followers this week: 256,021
RTs this week: 2,768,098
My tweets favourited this week: 10,000,001

... most people will think you're a buffoon and probably unfollow you.

You're welcome.  And so are your followers.

But I know you wouldn't do that.  You are, after all, smart enough to read this post.  You're special and I adore the very bones out of you.

Good day to you.

I SAID GOOD DAY.

(Got a handy Twitter tip of your own that you'd like to share?  Do so in Comments below...)

* * *


Want to feel afraid in your own home?  My short story A Sincere Warning About The Entity In Your Home can help.  Presented as a letter to YOU which is delivered to YOUR house, this grave warning from the previous resident tells you things you really don't want to hear.  A Sincere Warning... can be purchased as a low-priced ebook or as a uniquely personalised physical letter which is mailed to your home address!  Full details at ScaryLetter.com

My novella Beast In The Basement is a twisted tale of obsession, revenge, censorship, blame culture and parental responsibility.  In a big house in the countryside, an increasingly unstable author toils over a new hotly-anticipated novel which will close the best-selling trilogy of Jade Nexus books.  A violent incident tips him into a downward spiral with horrific consequences.  Read it before someone spoilers you!  Beast is available for Kindle (which can be read on most devices) at Amazon UK, Amazon US and more.  It's also available as half of Brandy In The Basement, a collaboration with JMR Higgs.  More details here.

My acclaimed non-fiction ebook How To Interview Doctor Who, Ozzy Osbourne And Everyone Else aims to tell you everything I learned about interviewing people, in my past life as a journalist.  It's available via Amazon UK, Amazon US and Amazon Germany, among others.  You can also buy it direct from me, in a Triple Pack of all three major file-types (PDF, ePub, Kindle), via PayPal.  Full details here, you splendid individual.

How to Interview Doctor Who, Ozzy Osbourne and Everyone Else

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Five Reasons To Read Your Work Aloud

I enjoy the editing process.  The knowledge that you’re boiling your work down to its bare bones; that every nip and tuck improves what you have.  After a few passes, though, it becomes hard to see the words for the trees.  You lose perspective.  You know that typos, logic problems and awkward sentences still lurk on these pages, but you can no longer see them.  Your eyes have become so accustomed to these words that they’re overlooking what they need to zero right in on.

That’s when you open your toolbox and employ a different technique.  You read your work aloud, opening up a whole new world of editing potential.  Five reasons why:

1) Reading stuff aloud forces each and every word to earn its keep.  This is why you must read it yourself, rather than getting some voice-software programme to do the honours.  The very act of rallying all those small muscles and making sounds rise up out of your voice-box changes your perspective.  You’re forced to say every single word.  Suddenly, you’re not so inclined to hand free passes to superfluous, inappropriate or just plain stupid words, sentences, paragraphs or even whole sections.

2) Your eyes don’t need to pause for breath, but your mouth does.  So when you’re reading your stuff aloud, those over-long and ungainly sentences become screamingly apparent.  You physically feel those problems.  You’d taken it for granted that they were fine, because your eyes could flit right over them, but your lungs find them way less zippy.  If you’re out of breath by the end of a sentence, then it’s probably too long.  Unless of course a sentence is supposed to have that freefalling, overwhelming, stream-of-consciousness effect.  There are always exceptions.

3) You know that dialogue of yours?  It’s supposed to be stuff characters actually would and could say.  If you’re writing a script, then actors will actually have to say it.  Prose dialogue needs to flow just as naturally, without snagging in your reader’s brain – or, for that matter, the reader of the eventual audiobook.  So when you actually speak dialogue aloud, you soon realise if you’ve been kidding yourself about this stuff.  Maybe it’s too much of a mouthful.  Maybe it’s too rat-a-tat-tat staccato for anyone to actually say.  Maybe it doesn’t reflect the emotion or attitude you were gunning for.  You also get to check whether these words really do fit the character’s dialect.  Especially if you can do accents.

4) Reading your characters’ thoughts and spoken words aloud brings you closer to them.  Sure, you poured untold empathy and emotion into them on the page, but something about physically saying that stuff slides you right inside their skin.  For the duration of this read, you are them, regardless of acting ability.

5) Reading your work aloud makes it feel more real, reminding you that others will try to engage with it.  As you go, imagine you’re giving a reading in a crowded bookshop.  The pressure mounts.  How proud of this stuff do you feel?  Applying that kind of criterion to your work makes you stricter with the old red pen.  And again, you become far more conscious of how crisply and neatly these words fall off the tongue.

Just try not to read 37,000 words in one day, as I did yesterday.  Croak...

Another edit-related post from me, Ten Screw-Ups You'll Fix In Draft Two.

* * *


Want to feel afraid in your own home?  My 10,000-word short story A Sincere Warning About The Entity In Your Home can help.  Presented as a letter to YOU which is delivered to YOUR house, this grave warning from the previous resident tells you things you really don't want to hear.  A Sincere Warning... can be purchased as a low-priced ebook or as a uniquely personalised physical letter which is mailed to your home address!  Full details at ScaryLetter.com

My dark thriller novella Beast In The Basement is a twisted tale of obsession, revenge, censorship, blame culture and parental responsibility.  In a big house in the countryside, an increasingly unstable author toils over a new hotly-anticipated novel which will close the best-selling trilogy of Jade Nexus books.  A violent incident tips him into a downward spiral with horrific consequences.  Read it before someone spoilers you!  Beast is available for Kindle (which can be read on most devices) at Amazon UK, Amazon US and more.  It's also available as half of Brandy In The Basement, a collaboration with JMR Higgs.  More details here.

My Amazon-acclaimed non-fiction ebook How To Interview Doctor Who, Ozzy Osbourne And Everyone Else aims to tell you everything I learned about interviewing people, in my past life as a journalist.  It's available via Amazon UK, Amazon US and Amazon Germany, among others.  You can also buy it direct from me, in a Triple Pack of all three major file-types (PDF, ePub, Kindle), via PayPal.  Full details here, you splendid individual.

How to Interview Doctor Who, Ozzy Osbourne and Everyone Else

Saturday, 7 June 2014

The British Fantasy Society Awards 2014


Just an uncharacteristically brief post to say that I'll once again serve jury duty for the British Fantasy Society Awards 2014.  I'm handling Non Fiction in the distinguished company of Djbril al-Ayed and Emma Newman.  You can see the full list of juries here.

And here's the full list of nominees.  Naturally, I'm always especially interested in the Best Horror Novel category, which this year sees some really fierce competition between great books from the likes of Lauren Beukes, Sarah Pinborough and Joe Hill.  Quite frankly, I'm glad I don't have the task of judging that one.

Bye for now!

***



Want to feel afraid in your own home?  My 10,000-word short story A Sincere Warning About The Entity In Your Home can help.  Presented as a letter to YOU which is delivered to YOUR house, this grave warning from the previous resident tells you things you really don't want to hear.  A Sincere Warning... can be purchased as a low-priced ebook or as a uniquely personalised physical letter which is mailed to your home address!  Full details at ScaryLetter.com

My dark thriller novella Beast In The Basement is a twisted tale of obsession, revenge, censorship, blame culture and parental responsibility.  In a big house in the countryside, an increasingly unstable author toils over a new hotly-anticipated novel which will close the best-selling trilogy of Jade Nexus books.  A violent incident tips him into a downward spiral with horrific consequences.  Read it before someone spoilers you!  Beast is available for Kindle (which can be read on most devices) at Amazon UK, Amazon US and more.  It's also available as half of Brandy In The Basement, a collaboration with JMR Higgs.  More details here.

My Amazon-acclaimed non-fiction ebook How To Interview Doctor Who, Ozzy Osbourne And Everyone Else aims to tell you everything I learned about interviewing people, in my past life as a journalist.  It's available via Amazon UK, Amazon US and Amazon Germany, among others.  You can also buy it direct from me, in a Triple Pack of all three major file-types (PDF, ePub, Kindle), via PayPal.  Full details here, you splendid individual.

How to Interview Doctor Who, Ozzy Osbourne and Everyone Else

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Easter Insanity: Free Book! Half-Price Books!

Hello to you and your amusingly eccentric collection of severed heads on spikes.

Wanted to tell you about some discounts on books with my name on them, this Easter.  These promotions run for the duration of this fine Easter weekend, up until and including Monday April 21, 2014.

A SINCERE WARNING ABOUT THE ENTITY IN YOUR HOME: FREE!

There's an unbeatable 100% discount on this chilling short (10,000-word) story at Amazon sites around the world.  It's yours for zero pence from now until Easter Monday inclusive! Free, free, free.  So go on and grab the deeply troubling ghost story which is set in YOUR home.  Yes, yours.  Readers have described it as "highly original and chilling" and "the creepiest fucking thing I've read in an age".  If you end up agreeing with those readers, the story is also available as a Paper Edition - a physical letter (imagine!) in which key details are tailored to you, and which is snail-mailed to your letterbox.  Hundreds of people have purchased these - especially for loved ones, funnily enough.

Here's your handy list of global Amazon sites to grab it for nowt:

Amazon UKAmazon US Amazon Canada
Amazon Germany Amazon France Amazon Italy
Amazon Spain Amazon Japan Amazon Brazil
Amazon India Amazon Mexico Amazon Australia

I'm sure you know this, but you don't need a Kindle to read Kindle books, thanks to Amazon's multi-platform Kindle app.

Are you reading this post after Easter 2014?  This either means A Sincere Warning... has reverted to its usual price of £0.96 and/or the world has been over-run by Satanic nanobots, hungry for wet, tender flesh .  Still, if you're an Amazon Prime member you can still rent it for free up until mid-July 2014.  Which is almost as good as getting it for free.


HOW TO INTERVIEW DOCTOR WHO, OZZY OSBOURNE AND EVERYONE ELSE: HALF PRICE!

This non-fiction book aims to tell you everything I learnt about interviewing people, in my past life as a journalist.  It shares all the tricks, all the secrets and seems to have gone down very well with newcomers and professionals alike.  I started a Formspring account, in case any readers still had a lingering question afterwards... and I've only had to answer one question since it was published.  So hopefully this means the book is doing its job.

How To Interview Doctor Who... is usually priced at £6.34.  When you buy it direct from me this Easter weekend, it's under half-price at £2.99.  You'll pay by PayPal (which takes all major credit cards, etc etc) and the process will be automated by the Pulley system.  A handy Triple Pack of all-purpose, DRM-free file formats - ePub, mobi and PDF - will be whizzed to your inbox, so you can read the book on pretty much any platform you like.

Here's the link to buy at the special price of £2.99.  It will open up a new window and take you to PayPal.  Be quick!  Or be... uh, without a book about interviewing people.


BRANDY IN THE BASEMENT: HALF PRICE!

Shock!  This weekend, there's a further discount on this collaboration between the author JMR Higgs and I, which already offers splendid value!  You get two mind-bending book in one special combined volume: my novella Beast In The Basement and Higgs' short novel The Brandy Of The Damned.  It includes a special introduction from us both (which you can read for free if you like, by downloading the sample section from Amazon to your chosen device.)

Brandy In The Basement is available at its regular full price of £2.98 at the Amazon sites below...

Amazon UKAmazon US Amazon Canada
Amazon Germany Amazon France Amazon Italy
Amazon Spain Amazon Japan Amazon Brazil
Amazon India Amazon Mexico Amazon Australia

... or you can get it direct from us for the special discounted Easter Weekend half-price of £1.49, using the neatly automated PayPal/Pulley system, which gets you three different file types - ePub, mobi and PDF - auto-whizzed to your inbox.  Nice!  This link here will open a new window which takes you to PayPal.

Quite clearly, there's no excuse whatsoever for having nothing to read this Easter.  Have a tremendous weekend and don't forget to verify that all the shadows in your bedroom correspond to actual objects, before you sleep.

Monday, 10 March 2014

The Blog Tour: What, Why & How I Write

There’s this cyberspace thing called The Blog Tour: an ongoing chain of bloggers tagging other bloggers to blog.  I have no idea who started it.  For all I know, the whole thing could be secretly funding Al-Qaeda in some obscure way.  But when William Gallagher asked if I’d like to be ‘tagged’ into writing a post answering four set questions about writing, I said yes, because it sounded like fun and also William is a very nice man with no known terrorist affiliations.  Here are some biographical facts about William, with a picture of his face:

William Gallagher is a writer, dramatist and lecturer. He writes Doctor Who audio dramas, stage plays and has appeared extensively in Radio Times and BBC News Online. He’s also the author of the British Film Institute book BFI TV Classics: The Beiderbecke Affair, B7 Media’s Blake’s 7: The Ultimate Guide and co-author of Radio Times Cover Story. He once had afternoon tea on a Russian nuclear submarine and regrets calling the place a dive. 


And now I’ll answer those same four questions, right here.  Off we go...

***

1) What am I working on?

This month?  Just one thing. 

One.  Thing. 

Oh, the joy of that.

As you might have gathered, the sheer singularity of this thing is significant to me. 

That's because I’ve spent the last four months squirrelled away in my own private development process.  I hesitate to call it a personal Hell, but it’s been trying at times.  A bit of a wilderness.  This period has involved coming up with ideas for novels, developing them, testing their viability, then either discarding them, putting them on the back burner or taking them further.  I aimed to come up with three great, viable ideas.  And while all this was technically fun, it also felt like my brain was being tugged in several directions by Hellraiser-style hooks, for months.  It didn’t help that I was regularly maintaining a Word document entitled Top 10 Ideas Chart, which listed, funnily enough, nutshell-descriptions of my current 10 best ideas, in their current order of appeal to me.

Sometimes writers really need focus and limitation.  Otherwise it’s so easy for their minds to fire off in countless directions, which can lead to a terrible, grinding creative paralysis.  And when you’re spending your days generating and furthering ideas, it’s harder to maintain a sense of how much work you’re actually doing.  The whole thing's more abstract than the usual markers, like a word count for instance.  So it was such a relief to have lunch with my new book agent Oli Munson (see joyful announcement-post here) last week and agree on going for gold with a proposal for one of these novels.  Just one.  Maybe with a single page at the end of the proposal, summarising a second book, but essentially just one.  My Hellraiser-hook-stretched brain suddenly pinged back into itself and became one again. 

So, for the first time in a while, I have a specific writing mission.  I need to write the first 15,000 words of this novel by March 31 ― a deadline inspired by the London Book Fair on April 7-8.  I have 21 days, then, in which to write 15,000 words.  It’s pressure, for sure - especially since I want to make those words, you know, great and stuff.  But I love deadlines.  Deadlines are our friends.  I was raised by deadlines, out in the field of rock journalism for weekly mag Kerrang!  To paraphrase something the Tenth Doctor says in Doctor Who’s Silence in the Library, deadlines give us size and perspective.  Otherwise we are liable to meander on in a void, typing away, unsure of when to stop.  Or we simply don’t write at all.  Except on social media, obviously.

This novel is a supernatural horror story.  Which leads me on to the next questions...


2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Bit of a poisoned chalice, this question.  Kind of wish I’d read the four questions more closely, if I’m honest, then told supposedly-nice William to shove them.

Having thought about it for a while, though, I’ll tell you how I want my work to differ from others of its genre  Over the years, I’ve absorbed a great deal of horror fiction ― probably more than is sensible or sane.  Pretty much every possible kind of scary tale has been fed into my brain, making me aware of what’s been done ― what worked and what didn’t.  And while there are only so many story archetypes ― just as there are allegedly only seven magic tricks ― I still aim to devise new things to do with horror.  Or, at least, new ways to couch horror.  I tend to steer away from horror’s established tentpole monsters ― the vampires, werewolves and zombies (except for my recent zombie comic story Consumed for the Dead Roots anthology).  That’s just personal taste and of course other writers play with those iconic monsters superbly. 

So, new stuff ― ‘next level’ horror ― is something I always aspire to.  Whether I ever achieve it is very much for the reader to decide.  And, of course, loads of other writers aspire to that too, so it's not unique at all.  Gah.



3) Why do I write what I do?

The writer’s brain generates two types of viable story.  There’s the story which is intimately connected to some part of you ― to your personality, experience, preoccupations or all three.  Then there’s the story which isn’t really connected to you at all.  It might work fine as a story, but there’s no emotional umbilical cord.  The latter type of story, I reckon, is best forgotten about, or at most saved for later when you might discover a personal link to it, or handle it in a completely different way.  Always go with the story which resonates with you.  Happily, those are the stories which tend to persistently bubble up in your mental cauldron, anyway.

I think I tend to focus on horror ― and supernatural horror in particular ― because I’m perhaps more preoccupied with death than the average person.  Death is this gigantic elephant in the room of our lives and I can’t seem to help glancing awkwardly at it, several times per day.  I’m also a worrier, regularly imagining terrible events which will most likely never occur.  And horror is a vicarious rehearsal for the worst possible things that could ever happen in life, death and beyond.  An invaluable vomitorium for our darkest fears and urges.  Compared to most horror stories, life hopefully isn’t going to be quite so bad.

Hopefully.



4) How does my writing process work?

A typical writing day ― on Draft Zero, at least ― involves the steady build-up of tension.  

I’ll generally start with a mere trickling undercurrent of tension over breakfast, reaching often excruciating levels of tension and frustration by mid-afternoon when no words have been written.  

Finally, often towards the end of the afternoon, all that frustration will explode onto my screen, as I hammer out about 2000 words in the space of an hour or two.  So my writing tends to be quite compressed and intense.  I’m not sure that’s ideal, but I’m positive that whatever gets the job done is valid.  Of course, every single day, I forget that the build-up of tension will result in actual work, and become infuriated with myself as I dick about on the internet, looking at old VHS films on eBay or something.  It’s important to remember that the brain has to be ready to write - it needs to carry out a whole load of background checks in the subconscious and unconscious, before permitting the words to splurge forth.  And yet, each and every time, we forget.  Which must be part of the ritual, too.  Best not to question it.

***

The three writers I've asked to hop aboard The Blog Tour, next Monday on March 17, are as follows:


Phillip Barron is a UK scriptwriter who's had nine feature films produced. In addition to movies he's written for BBC3's BAFTA and Rose d'Or nominated sketch show, The Wrong Door, and co-created Persona, the world's first smartphone-delivered drama series.




Catherine Ryan Howard is a writer, TV-watcher and coffee enthusiast from Cork, Ireland. She's self-published a couple of travel memoirs,Mousetrapped and Backpacked, which she followed up with the obligatory 'how to': Self-Printed: The Sane Person's Guide to Self-Publishing. Now she does social media stuff for a major publishing house and is working on a novel she hopes someone else will publish. She currently divides her time between the desk and the sofa and wants to be a NASA astronaut when she grows up. (She's 31.)
 


Piers Beckley came into this world naked, screaming, and covered in blood, and feels that this has coloured his outlook ever since.

He’s been a production manager, stage manager, project manager, line manager, extra, actor, web producer, theatre producer, short film producer, copywriter, interviewer, sub-editor, and editor. He’s also directed two short films, and a radio play.

He does not photograph well. As you can see.

***

They all wrote these bios themselves, by the way, just in case you thought I was being terribly and unnecessarily rude about Piers.  If you so choose, you can check out their splendid blogs now, by clicking on their names above.

Have a delightful day.  Just look out for face-eating weasels.  They're everywhere.

***


Want to feel afraid in your own home?  My 10,000-word short story A Sincere Warning About The Entity In Your Home can help.  Presented as a letter to YOU which is delivered to YOUR house, this grave warning from the previous resident tells you things you really don't want to hear.  A Sincere Warning... can be purchased as a low-priced ebook or as a uniquely personalised physical letter which is mailed to your home address!  Full details at ScaryLetter.com

My dark thriller novella Beast In The Basement is a twisted tale of obsession, revenge, censorship, blame culture and parental responsibility.  In a big house in the countryside, an increasingly unstable author toils over a new hotly-anticipated novel which will close the best-selling trilogy of Jade Nexus books.  A violent incident tips him into a downward spiral with horrific consequences.  Read it before someone spoilers you!  Beast is available for Kindle (which can be read on most devices) at Amazon UK, Amazon US and more.  It's also available as half of Brandy In The Basement, a collaboration with JMR Higgs.  More details here.

My Amazon-acclaimed non-fiction ebook How To Interview Doctor Who, Ozzy Osbourne And Everyone Else aims to tell you everything I learned about interviewing people, in my past life as a journalist.  It's available via Amazon UK, Amazon US and Amazon Germany, among others.  You can also buy it direct from me, in a Triple Pack of all three major file-types (PDF, ePub, Kindle), via PayPal.  Full details here, you splendid individual.

How to Interview Doctor Who, Ozzy Osbourne and Everyone Else