One thing I have learned since I first decided I wanted to get better at writing by learning from others, is that the writing community is an incredibly accepting, encouraging and helpful environment. I don’t think I have ever had someone refuse to help me, from anything like answering a question about grammar to reading and feeding back on an entire novel draft.
We love what we do, be we writers of literary fiction, erotic romance or steampunk YA alternative historical, we are a bunch that like to share. We share our highs and lows, share our opinions and experience and we’re never stingy with any of it. This wonderfully open and generous attitude means there will always the chance to learn and grow, no matter what peaks or pitfalls you may navigate on your journey.
Bravo to us. Let’s keeping sharing the love!
And in the spirit of this I have a few recommendations and bits of news which fans of speculative fiction might find intriguing.
I’ve just finished reading The Wary Traveller by fellow blogger, illustrator and fantastic flash fiction writer M. C. Dulac. This book was like a wonderful little escape from reality and I recommend to anyone who fancies a breath of fresh air for their imagination.
It’s the story of young student traveller staying in the Alps with some friends, who craves something a little more authentic than the constant beer festivals and bar staff dressed in tired costumes.
You know that saying, be careful what you wish for? Yeah. That.
The story is elegantly told, the language clean and fresh. The sense of place was wonderfully established. I felt I could smell the mountain air as I read it. As pleasant as the setting is, however, I also really enjoyed the sense of expectation that fills the tale: the sense that something is not quite right never wavers.
M. C. Dulac has managed to keep the language light, even with the narrative’s depth, so escaping to it between two heavy-going tomes that I am working my way through at the moment really was like drawing a deep breath in an alpine meadow.
Grab yourself a couple of hours, put your feet up, get a cup of tea and let there writer whisk you off the the alps for a trip unlike any other.
I would also recommend check out the writer’s blog which is stuffed to bursting with excellent flash fiction, as well as brilliant drawings and engaging musings on writing.
And if you are looking to bulk out your speculative fiction reading list, I’m thrilled to announce that on the 25th Jan 2014 Dagda Publishing are releasing their next collection of dystopian science fiction short stories, All Hail the New Flesh. My short story Ash was featured in their last collection, Tuned to a Dead Channel (see my publications page for details) and I have been lucky enough make it into All Hail also. The theme was ‘technology gone mad’ and my response was Isaac Heights (extract available here), the story of a newly qualified doctor taking up assignment in a mental asylum for androids with programming malfunctions. The anthology promises to be an intriguing one so watch this space for cover art reveals and more details soon.
Last, but by no means least, in the continued spirit of sharing, I wanted to mention some opportunities that I have come across in the last few weeks that might well be of interest to writers of paranormal, suspense, horror, science fiction, post-apocolyptic or indeed anyone who likes to write their fiction dark and different.
First, I will point you towards Samhain Publishing: I found their website quite by accident whilst mooching about online, but then discovered two books that I have read and enjoyed recently (Hemovore by Jordan Castillo Price and The Gentleman’s Madness by Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon) were published by them and so have taken the opportunity to have a further mooch around and add to me to-read list.
But that is not all! Samhain also accept submissions (details here). They release a rather interesting range of genres, seeming to focus on horror and romance but with an intriguing amount of crossover. I can’t say I am huge fan of romance in general, but when there are vampires or mental asylums stirred into the mix I find it a lot more engaging.
You can also follow them on twitter @samhainpub. I’m hoping to write something to submit for them by the end of the year. I’ve been bitten by the vampire bug again.
I have also found Dark Futures Fiction: another publisher that accept submissions and not only of fiction. They also accept poetry, visual art, music and comics focussed around the theme of, you guessed it, ‘dark futures’. Submission guidelines here. This again teased at my imagination, stirring up all sorts of inspiration and hopefully will for you too.
You can also follow Dark Futures Fiction on twitter @DarkFuturesFic and I defy you not to be inspired.
And so to it! Keep reading, keep writing, keep sharing.