Can’t blog… writing.

cartoon_gravy_train_grinding_haltYou’ll have noticed I’ve been rather less than my usual chatty self lately.  There’s a good reason for this – I’ve been working hard on rewrites to my first novel, ‘Gravy Train’, as well as a number of other projects.

‘Gravy Train’ started life as a novella, rather like ‘Raise the Blade’, but when several of my writer friends pinned me to a wall and threatened me with dark deeds if I didn’t make it longer, I decided to have a go at just that.  And after many months of scribbling, I’ve got it from 35,000 words to almost double the length.

Now comes the scary bit – submitting it to publishers.  My first choice regretfully rejected it (no hard feelings – it just didn’t fit).  But this morning I’ve taken the bovine by the facial protuberances and sent it out again.  After first re-formatting the entire manuscript to take out lots of pesky extra spaces after all the full stops.  And finding a few typos and howlers as I went.

On top of that, I’m about to submit two more short stories, one to an anthology and one to a magazine.  Cue yet more fiddling and polishing, and a couple more deep intakes of breath.

After that, I’m hoping things will quieten down a little, and I’ll have time to catch up on all the blogging I haven’t been doing for a while. As long as my own gravy train doesn’t come shuddering to a halt…

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Stories are like buses

You get none for a while, then three turn up at once!

In other words, I’m delighted to report that I have three new stories coming out in the next few weeks/months.  All three are in charity anthologies; two are completely new and one is a reprint of a story I had in Betty Fedora #2 before that sold out.

rabbitstewFirst off is ‘Rabbit Stew’, a tongue-in-cheek tale based on an old (and terrible) World War 2 joke my Mum told me years ago, which is due out in Kannibal Cookbook from Down & Out Books soon, with proceeds going to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Then I have a rather more thought-provoking story called ‘Bang to Rights’, about animal liberation activists and the sense of belonging, which should be appearing in Paladins 2, in aid of cancer charities.

Lastly, ‘Last Chance Saloon’, featuring a dirty weekend, a clapped-out car, and a deserted country road, will be re-published in the second Crime & Publishment anthology, working title Wish You Weren’t Here, soon.  This is very much a work-in-progress, but donations will be heading to a respite holiday charity, possibly the Calvert Trust.

Do keep checking back for a revised timetable, cancellations, fares and more, which I’ll post as soon as I have them.  Just don’t get run over by the bus…

Enjoy the Trip

Bananas at the ready… Enjoy the Trip is available to read today, completely free, over at crime and noir magazine Shotgun Honey.

In case you haven’t seen previous posts, this story was inspired (if that’s the right word) by a quotation from Cullen Hightower:

Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it.

The result is a twisted little romp involving pick-pockets, banana skins, and a crime boss from hell. I hope you like it.