Tuesday, 18 September 2012


Shred has entered the editing/proofing stage!
The first part of my six part series of novellas is now being dissected and rehashed to finalise plot points and add some much needed sparkle. It has in some ways been tougher than writing a novel, as I have to lay plot strands (some of which will run all the way until the final part) without making the story too diffuse. As usual my main man Bentley Drummle is on hand to help with the plot points (cheers!) but anyone else who wishes to give me their two pence worth (I'm British innit) is welcome. As it's a novella it's only 22000 words, so not quite the task of my previous books. I will also be trying out new covers, and will probably put the final two or three up for a vote to see which one is the most popular (or least hated).
Here's a little bit of un-proofed goodness...
He saw a second body.
She was sprawled half out of the kitchen door on the way to the garden, her stick thin arms twisting around her body in her blood stained white and yellow floral dress, as her head rested on the gravel outside at a sickening angle to the rest of her body. When she had died, she had for some reason pulled her hands in, curling them to her torso with a strange protective action that reminded him of a dead spider. Her eyes were stretched wide, a sense of dread forever etched on her cold features as her mouth hung open in a silent scream, blood staining her teeth and showing through various cuts and lacerations that covered her face.
He quietly approached and glanced inside the kitchen. The house was still, quiet as the grave. Was the killer gone? The most likely suspect was still the husband at this time, though he could have suffered the same fate if there was another party in the mix. As he stared down at the corpse of Jacqueline, Aleister half hoped that whoever had done this was still around so that he could beat the living shit out of them before the police arrived – in self defence of course...
She looked emaciated, not only from lack of food but her drawn features seemed dehydrated as well, almost mummified. Having never seen a photograph of her it was possible that she was this thin, he supposed... if she had an eating disorder of some sort. Perhaps the suspected infidelity had driven her onto a self destructive course that she hadn't wanted to reveal in the emails.
Aleister reached down and gently closed her eyes, though the action did not make her look any more at rest as the last shriek of terror had forever transformed her face into a terrifying milk-white mask.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The blessing (and curse) of the magic coffee bean.

How long can I burn my brain like this?

Another week off work next week, and a perfect opportunity to get the majority of my next novella done.  I've already finished around a third of it and have a pretty concrete plan of the rest (although I like to add plot elements on the fly if they seem right), so I may even be able to finish the first draft.  It will however mean using more and more of the magic bean...
I've always been pretty sensitive to coffee (anyone who has ever worked with me will know it sends me a bit doolally) and when I had two weeks off in summer I relied on it to get me up at 5 am to start my daily writing stint, in the effort to get 3000 words done daily (most of them before my kids woke up).  It worked, but at a price.  I'm now re-addicted, and I mean that truthfully.  I love the buzz, the flavour is secondary (but still good).  I've recently looked into the properties of coffee for Shred, particularly its effect on blood flow, and was only partially surprised to see that it has the same addictive qualities as cocaine.  It also relieves pain by shrinking the blood vessels in the brain, which then expand if a constant supply of caffeine is withdrawn (as anyone who has tried to kick coffee cold turkey will attest).  What affects me the most though is the paranoia... I worry a hell of a lot more when I'm on the bean, also losing focus, which isn't great when trying to tightly plot a book.  All in all, it sounds pretty bad right?  It's pretty much a no brainer that I should kick the habit... but I also feel fired up, and get so many words out when I'm juiced up that I managed to write a whole first draft in 2 months. 
So will I bean up and try and finish Shred over the next two weeks, or lay off and give my body a rest? 
Time will tell...