Literature Long Read: You Better Watch Yourself

In the Quentin Tarantino film Kill Bill 2 the titular character Bill, played by David Carradine, delivers a withering critique of Superman, saying that Clark Kent – a clumsy, skittish, slightly nerdy and shy figure – is Superman’s critique on the human race; that that personality is what’s needed to fit in. It’s a flawedContinue reading “Literature Long Read: You Better Watch Yourself”

Literature Long Read: There’ll Always Be An England in Mythago Wood

Dame Vera Lynn’s version of the unabashedly patriotic 1939 song There’ll Always Be An England would no doubt have helped bolster the spirits of the British Tommys during the unending days of slogging their way through the western front during World War II. The song is like White Christmas in that respect; just as theContinue reading “Literature Long Read: There’ll Always Be An England in Mythago Wood”

For Writers, Lady Luck Likes A Target. A Big One.

One of the themes that emerged from the Chronscast interview with Stephen Palmer which will be released in January was the extent to which luck influences the career path of a writer. Stephen is the author of sixteen novels, so he should have some idea of how things work. Looking at his publication history, he’sContinue reading “For Writers, Lady Luck Likes A Target. A Big One.”

Write Beat Death: Words To Save Your Soul

Writers are strange creatures; we tend to get rather anxious about almost every aspect of the creative process. The first draft, writer’s block, the editing process, our characters, narratives, plot mechanics, writing query letters, writing synopses, submitting queries, and generally anything else that goes along with the whole business. That’s even before you actually getContinue reading “Write Beat Death: Words To Save Your Soul”

Literature Long Read: The Abyssal Awakening of Mankind in Northern Lights and Paradise Lost

A couple of weeks ago I read Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights for the first time. There’s a reason for this, which shall become apparent soon, but for now, I’ll regurgitate the reason for missing it when it was first published. Just as I did for missing H.P Lovecraft the first time around, I dismissed itContinue reading “Literature Long Read: The Abyssal Awakening of Mankind in Northern Lights and Paradise Lost”

The rich heritage of ghost stories

Over the summer I managed to visit the crumbling ruins of Lindisfarne Priory, which sits at the southern tip of the geographically modest but culturally significant Holy Island, a mile or so off the coast of Northumberland. This spit of marsh and rock can only be access via a tidal causeway – miscalculate your journeyContinue reading “The rich heritage of ghost stories”

Agency: Not Just For Characters

One word which crops up time and again among writers’ groups is agency. You gotta make sure your characters have agency. Your characters can be good, bad, ugly, beautiful, have a myriad of character tics, discourse markers and fascinating mannerisms, but without agency, they’re just cardboard cutouts, shadows of what they could and should be.

Literature Long Read: Gott ist tot, but Yog-Sothoth Lives! The perfect historical oddity of H.P Lovecraft

I’m a latecomer to Lovecraft. I knew who the man was when I first dabbled in horror and SFF when I was a schoolboy, but for some reason passed him by, maybe labouring under the idiotic impression that he was too pulpy for my tastes. The irony was that the many things I did spendContinue reading “Literature Long Read: Gott ist tot, but Yog-Sothoth Lives! The perfect historical oddity of H.P Lovecraft”