The fruition of an MA project

I’m delighted that ‘The Honey Killer’ is finally available on Kindle:

The_Honey_Killer_Cover_for_Kindle

This was a book started as an MA project, a deliberate exploration into a different genre for me (hence the pseudonym) but one which I found quite useful. It traces the history of an assassin – an ethical assassin, but a killer, nonetheless – from his appalling childhood involving isolation, bullying and manipulation through to being a loner who knows how to do one thing only: kill in strange and unusual ways.

It is also a book about a platonic love, about worship of individuals who show kindness, and about reconciliation. The settings – London, Paris, Amsterdam adn the fictional village of Snoddington Beeches – are all based on my own experiences working here and in Europe. The history, from Operation Pied Piper (1939) onwards is as accurate as a work of creative fiction can be.

What’s interesting from a process perspective are the changes that were made after it was assessed for one of the MA modules. I’ve blogged about the realisation before and that the book was missing a character, but having added much more to the character (I’ll leave you to guess which one it was) the book took on a much more rounded form. It enabled an ending that reflected and completed much of the interaction throughout the historical components of the book (even the narrator’s ‘present’ is 1984).

Whatever teh experience and learning, for me, it’s wondeful to see something from the MA in print. 🙂

Advertisements

Basic tips for a short story competition

I run Shipton Shorts, a local short story competition. It’s meant to encourage writing talent and expression in an area 10 miles around our village.* Because it’s meant for non-professionals and those exploring their talent, I put together a few hints & tips, a template and some guidelines in the rules that help presentation. However, after reading through a number of short stories recently I thought a more consolidated ‘how to’ handout might be appreciated.

Continue reading

Inspiring and Relaxing …

… the perfect break. I’ve just come back from a short break down in Dartmoor. We go down there whenever we can, stay at the excellent Lydgate House Hotel (which I’d recommend) and walk and read. That’s walk lots with a little reading whilst we break, or walk a little then read for an hour or more surrounded by beautiful or inspirational scenery. This time, for me, it was as much inspiring as breathtaking.

Continue reading

Developmental Shorts: Beyond Reasonable Doubt

I’ve just added another page to the Developmental Shorts menu, this time Beyond Reasonable Doubt, the winner of the 2014 Orwell Society Dystopian Short Story competition. The prize is a good one for students and is judged by some key figures in the academic world. The guide for the competition went somewhere along the lines of ‘write something that Orwell would have approved of’.

There are deliberate nods to 1984 throughout, including one I thought was really obvious but which no-one has spotted or yet commented upon.

Continue reading

Exposed? It goes the other way, too…

I’ve just finished a novel and requested a proof copy. It’s had multiple iterations of proof-readers, first-readers, comments and such. The proof will go to a completely new reader or two who, no doubt, will have their own views, too.  A product of my imagination will be exposed, once more, to a critical gaze and the red/pink squiggles will appear upon it.

My thoughts and writing exposed. Oh dear. A common fear.

There is a twist, however: the exposure goes both ways. As much as your thoughts are exposed by putting them into words, the critiquers thoughts are also exposed by their reaction to the words.

Continue reading

Distracted by writing

The past few weeks I’ve been happily buried in various writing tasks, though they are distractions to applying late edits to the thriller I am determined to get out in some form. After finishing one SF novellette, I wrote the final episodes in another, serialised, story and then went back to turning the serial into a novellette.

Curiously, I found the changes needed to the episodic story were heavier than I realised.

Continue reading