Friday, September 23, 2005


Agent Sienna Orange

Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 39.

I have given up the fight against passing time. Passing time will always win. I'm trying not to think about all the things I should have accomplished at my age but haven't. It's just too depressing. Still, there's no harm in trying to make the coming years better than the ones that have gone...

There's a nip in the air, a subtle but profound change in the atmosphere. I am suddenly aware that winter will be approaching soon. The sky is greyer, a gloom seems to have settled over Swansea. My least favourite time of the year is fast approaching -- that onward rush, punctuated by pumpkin heads and fireworks, towards Midwinter Day. I'm not sure I can bear it again. I am reminded of poverty, damp rooms in unheated houses, menace on the streets among the fudge stalls of the Winter Fair. I cling to my dreams of travel. I must head south! November 7th and I will be on my way to Portugal, thank goodness!

I finally have a literary agent. John Jarrold will be representing me from now on. I partly chose this agent over others because he represents Thomas Disch and Zoran Zivkovic, two remarkable writers. I particularly recommend the works of Disch, especially Camp Concentration and 334. The latter novel is truly excellent.

There's a good chance that THE SMELL OF TELESCOPES is going to be republished. I have just sent the entire text to a publisher, who seems enthusiastic. While preparing the text I was astonished to discover that it is almost exactly 120,000 words long, twice the length of my forthcoming AT THE MOLEHILLS OF MADNESS collection (see post below).

Talking about numbers, I have finally conducted a wordcount of all my completed short stories. The final total is: 1,450,000 words! Yes, almost a million and a half words of fiction in the past 15 years. My most prolific years were 1995, 1999, 2000 and 2001. This total does not include the half completed stories and novels I have lying about waiting to be finished. It is not an automatic virtue for a writer to be prolific but I must confess to some pleasure that I have passed the million mark!

Saturday, September 10, 2005


HP Lovecraft Sauce

I have just sold another short story collection to a publisher... This one is a retrospective of my 'horror' work between 1992 and 2003 and features many of the most terrible tales I've ever written.. Naturally I leave it to the reader to judge which kind of terrible I mean...

The collection in question is entitled AT THE MOLEHILLS OF MADNESS as a sort of ironic nod to Mr Lovecraft himself. The stories contained in the book were not directly inspired by the long faced Bard of Blasphemous Behemoths but there are some parallels between Lovecraft's work and mine, chiefly the grumpy misanthropy and neurotic frustration...

This book will be my darkest creation so far... I believe that one of the stories has one of the most offensive titles in the history of short story writing, so offensive that I blush to reproduce it here... So I won't...

In the meanwhile here's a new (inoffensive) online story that has absolutely nothing to do with Lovecraft:

Travel fund = £1399

Next pipedream: unfeasibly long sponsored bicycle ride...

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