Over the last couple of months, life has been somewhat surreal. With COVID-19 making half the world housebound and work all but drying up for a scary amount of people I’ve been running myself ragged promoting my novella Confession and finishing the first draft of my follow-up novella, In His Words.
Who are some of the most memorable characters you remember from books you’ve read? One character that always leaps to mind when I’m asked this question is Daemon Sadi from the Black Jewel novels. The way Anne Bishop describes him, the way he walks, talks and moves are amazingly detailed and evocative.
When I was putting together my debut novella Confession, I spent a lot of time experimenting. The whole purpose of the story was for me to play. I wrote for my enjoyment and, to paraphrase Marie Kondo, if a section or action didn’t spark joy for me as the creator I cut it. Or rewrote it. Confession was born from one need. The need to finish a story. To take a tale from beginning to end and see what there was to see on the journey. Confession isn’t the first story I’ve written. Far from it, but it is the first one I’ve taken through the drafting process to actually finish it. Confession, put simply, is here because I wanted to see if I could do it. And I think I have. Writing the book, I came across three key lessons that will stand me in good stead for future writing projects. I wanted to discuss them briefly here:
The editing of my eBook, Confession, is rapidly drawing to a close in preparation for the release on Friday, March 13th, 2020. In the next week or so pre-orders will open, and I have to say I’m a little nervous. Actually, that would be an understatement. I’m starting to feel like a proper, grown-up writer and my moods are swaying between absolute confidence and ‘omg what am I doing?’ So, what am I up to today? I thought I’d give you a slight taste of the first chapter – not all of it, just a taste. This is the first 1,700 words of Chapter one. I hope you enjoy it. And, if you do make sure you stick around for the pre-order launch next week.
Late last year I finished doing the Masterclass.com course by best-selling writer, Neil Gaiman. In it, he discussed a variety of issues and concept for young writers. Fun Fact 1: He called everyone starting out a young writer regardless of age, which frankly made this 46-year-old feel positively 18 again.
So, It comes as no surprise to anyone who has ever read this blog or even glanced at it on the way to something better that I intended to be a novelist. A storyteller. Today, I can announce that my first self-published eBook, Confession, will be released on digital platforms on Friday, March 13th, 2020. I had planned on doing it in February, but come on, who’d give up publishing a horror novel on Friday the 13th? Confession is the story of Sydney heiress Emily Lee. The only survivor of a house fire that killed her parents and brother when she was only 10 she has been raised by her maternal Grandmother ever since. After the death of her Grandmother in a household accident, Emily begins to experience sightings of her Grandmother and the badly burned ghost of her brother Marcus. As Emily is pushed to breaking point by her dead family members, her girlfriend Gabriella, her local parish priest, Father Eugene and the family physician, Doctor Becker struggle to keep Emily from shattering into …
I wrote this short story last month for the Furious Fiction writing competition at the Australian Writers’ Centre. It didn’t place, but that’s okay. It was my first attempt at entering any sort of competition so that’s all good. Besides, it means I can share it with you. If you’d like to check out the winning and recommended stories from October’s Furious Fiction click on the hyperlink. There are some fab stories there for you to read. Mike
After all the lovely comments on my previous piece, Knit one Purl One, I thought I’d put up the second part of the writing exercise from the other day. It’s called The Golden Moose Café and picks up the story later in the afternoon of the day the first story is set in. Hope you enjoy! Mike
Another writing exercise from the Neil Gaiman The Art of Storytelling Masterclass. The prompt I selected was ‘Two old women sitting together knitting on a park bench.” Beyond grammar checking and a light polish, this is what my brain came up with. Knit one, Purl One is after the break
It’s been many a long day since I last posted in here, I had no idea. Quick update: Still sober, still cigarette free, still working from home so not much has changed in the last 2 years. I have been working on my novel, and I’m currently undertaking the Art of Storytelling Masterclass led by Neil Gaiman on Masterclass.com. This little story was one of the writing exercises. With it, you had to take a favourite fairy/folk tale and re-write it from the perspective of a different character as a newspaper article. The story I chose was The Princess and the Pea and the article is written, from the perspective of the mattress salesman who gets an order for 20 luxury feather mattresses to be delivered to the palace. Hope you enjoy, Mike The short story, Local Mattress Salesman Hits the Big Time, is after the cut.