We’re all about the writing this week, as our reviewer and sometime podcaster Kieran Mathers takes us on a whirlwind tour of his forthcoming fantasy novella.
What’s the working title of your book?
‘The Darkness Embraces’
Where did the idea for the book come from?
Bizarrely enough, the idea came from playing Skyrim. In that, you often explore great underground tombs and temples, either on your own with a companion. While I was thinking about this general fantasy trope, I found it interesting to imagine what would happen if, instead of a small group fighting another small group, you had entire armies underground who were trying to prosecute a military campaign. So it was a narrative leap into the darkness of the cave, and the very first title was actually Legion in the Dark. Plus, I was raised in Yorkshire, and we’ve got massive caverns and a great tradition of caving there, so I tried to bring some of what I know about that to the book as well.
The book was actually my attempt at NaNoWriMo, the National Write a Novel in a month contest, but it turned out so well that I thought I’d continue it towards publication.
We’re pleased to announce that Psuedopod – ‘the world’s premier horror fiction podcast’ – have published The Trinket, a short, dark fantasy tale penned by our very own P.G. Bell. And it’s yours to download FREE, right here or listen in the player below.
When a young legionary finds himself caught between cowardice and friendship on the harsh frontier of Roman Britain, his only hope is a Celtic woman with a sinister agenda. Can she really help him flee the bloodshed? And what powers lie within the golden pendant she so desperately seeks?
So go ahead, have a listen and feel free to discuss the story here or on the Pseudopod forum.
“They burned Gederus in the yard outside the barracks. Dawn had brought the first break in rain for ten days and the men, still cold and filthy from the construction work, cast anxious glances at the black weight of cloud that threatened to stamp out and drown the struggling flames. Those closest to the pyre stole a guilty pleasure from its warmth.
All except Rufinius, who stood to attention at the head of the bonfire, his nostrils thick with the smell of pitch and roasting meat…”
At the end of November, I finally finished all the amendments to the novel, was really happy with it and sent it off to John Berlyne. ‘Don’t expect anything fast’, he told me, so I didn’t, trying to forget about what might potentially happen next, about whether he’d like it or not, about whether he might be able to sell it to publishers. It’s not easy to clear something like that from your mind, though, and every day I opened my e-mail hoping to see something back from John. In the last month of last year, to be honest, I was making myself more than a little stressed about it, until I managed to find a way of stopping worrying about the novel. So, how did I do that? Continue reading →
Horror writer extraordinaire, Simon Kurt Unsworth, brings us up to speed on the life of his new novel. And he’s had some very exciting news…
I shouldn’t have been so cocky.
It all felt like it was going so well; I’d sent the novel off and I was proud of what I’d accomplished in it. The final draft felt like it worked as a thriller and as a horror, I was happy with my imagery and its pace, and I liked my characters enough to have some emotional investment in them. I had two writing courses lined up to teach which I was set to be paid for, and life felt good. And then things started to, if not go wrong exactly, then at least yaw. I like the word ‘yaw’; it’s got a dizzying, oscillatory sort of feel to it, and it’s pretty much exactly how life’s felt these last months.
In a break from our usual content, our very own P.G. Bell takes part in ‘The Next Big Thing’, a short interview that’s bouncing from writer to writer on a weekly basis. Next week, he passes the torch to our Editor in Chief, Caleb Woodbridge, as well as writer and film maker Aurélien Lainé.
1. What’s the working title of your next book?
‘An Unwanted Miracle’
2. Where did the idea for the book come from?
I’ve always been a zombie fan but it’s easy to forget they weren’t invented by George A. Romero in the 60s as so many of the stories out there follow his model – society crumbles, leaving a small cast of characters under siege from the flesh-eating hordes. That can be great fun, but the zombie has very different origins. They weren’t usually dangerous in themselves, but were more often tools of some more calculating, malignant force, operating in secret. (“White Zombie” or Hammer’s “Plague of the Zombies” are great examples). That’s something I wanted to revisit, whilst grounding the story in a thoroughly modern setting.
It’s the end of the world… again. Whether it’s a zombie outbreak, nuclear war, alien invasion or just some unspecified Terrible Event, it seems that many of us love a good apocalypse. But why the obsession with the destruction of human civilization? What’s the appeal of seeing society collapse, and is it a healthy thing to dwell on? What do our fears of the future tell us about our societies now?
Big thanks to the panel and BristolCon organisers for letting me loose with a microphone, and stay tuned for the full BristolCon convention report, coming soon! Booking is now open for 2013′s event, and I can definitely recommend it.