Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Writers' Desks

So I was looking at my desk this morning, thinking about this space that I spend so much of my time, and I started wondering what other people's desks look like. And about what we can tell from an inspection of a writer's working space?

Look, I'll show you mine:

That's the space I choose to work in. Turn around and I see this:

For me it's the natural place to work. Every wall shelved out and packed to the ceiling with books, comics, CDs, DVDs and action figures. I like to feel hemmed in on all sides by things that can, in a second, provide me with inspiration and ideas. Reminders of things that are somehow important to me, plastic representations of things that have, in some way, fed in to this crazy existence of made-up worlds that is the life of the writer.

The books overflow into just about every room of our house, and provide a constant, tangible tie to the world of words that I have chosen as my life-path.

I don't feel wholly comfortable in rooms that have no books. Even books I rarely touch have a place here, because my desk and shelves are like a map of my mind, of the influences and ideas that have made me the person I am, that fuel this thing that I do.

So that's my desk.

Anyone else want to share?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Wet Pets

The dogs adopt a novel method of drying themselves . . .

Echo and the Bunnymen

So I was just getting back to the business of editing, aided by the soundtrack to Donnie Darko, when 'The Killing Moon' came on and sent me scuttling to YouTube to watch the video.

Curse you, bunnymen, don't you know I'm trying to work here?

Rain Taxi Review

Lovely review here: http://www.raintaxi.com/online/2011summer/lancaster.shtml.

And speaking of rain . . . .

(Tenuous link, I know) 

In Cambridge the monsoon season seems to have begun in earnest. Some wet pets are skulking around the house, looking a little disgusted, and I am very busy procrastinating - hence this blog entry.

I'm alternating between doing the final batch of changes for 1.4 (until the next set, that is) and coming up with something wholly new. I should focus on one or the other, but my discipline is slipping today and so I flitter from one to the other like a butterfly with ADHD.

1.4 is looking pretty good, though. Should be able to dazzle you with the new cover art soon, if you're good. It's a story that I loved to tell, and can't wait to share with you. 

Details will follow soon.

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2011

So last week I was in Edinburgh, sharing an event with the marvellous Tim Bowler. Here we are, backstage, in the writers' yurt, radio-miked up and ready to go.

The event itself was great, we were interviewed by the lovely Daniel Hahn on our works, inspirations and ideas.

Then we got to meet some of our readers at a signing in the Festival book shop.

Tim was warm, generous and a pleasure to share an event with. I recommend you checking out his work at http://www.timbowler.co.uk/.

And I'd like to thank anyone who took the time to come and see us.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Shadow Over Suffolk

Searching for evidence of distant, imaginary, relatives called the Whateleys, I arrived at a quaint coastal settlement in the county of Suffolk.

Once a thriving port and town and, anecdotally at least, a past capital of East Anglia, it is now a town in name only.  In 1286 the bulk of the place sheered off, broke free of its parent land mass, and was swallowed by the cold, grey, rapacious waters that test the integrity of the British coastline like rats gnawing at the walls of Exham Priory.

Now there is but a sparse sprinkling of homes; a public house; a museum; and a stretch of beach that is largely untainted by the crass commerciality that blights many a seaside resort.

Few relics remain of the town-that-once-was, but expeditions into the sea are revealing the sunken past of this once-great port. It is imprinted into legend that an oncoming storm is often preceded by the ringing of long lost church bells from within the ocean itself.

Of the Whateleys I could find no trace. But, for a family notorious for dark deeds facilitated by some of the more toxic passages of the Necronomicon of the mad arab Abdul Alhazred, a sign in the museum seems to offer a dark but nebulous hint: