Category: short story

‘An Awfully Evangeline Christmas’ in a new Anthology

My story “An Awfully Evangeline Christmas” is part of a new Australian Christmas themed speculative fiction anthology – Christmas Australis: A Frighteningly Festive Anthology of Spine Jingling Tales.

An Antipodean Christmas feels awfully topsy-turvy to Evangeline and when she goes to buy gingerbread for her father, she finds that the weather is not the only odd thing about this festive season.

As well as Evangeline, Christmas Australis contains seven other tales – a novella, two novelettes and four short stories – something for everyone this Festive Season.

The release date is 11 November but you can pre-order now on Amazon.

#69 – Alan Baxter – Write Through The Roof

Interview with Alan Baxter, writer of dark weird shit

‘Write caffeinated and edit drunk’

Episode 69 – Alan Baxter – Show Notes

  • Baxter believes plotting and pantsing is a sliding scale.
  • Vomit drafter but often edits a little before starting each day’s writing session
  • Has a target of 5000 words per week when writing first drafts but doesn’t try to write every day
  • Coffee in the day, whiskey in the evening
  • Genre is ‘dark weird shit’ – soup of urban fantasy, horror and the weird plus crime and noir
  • Themes of justice and consequences
  • Time is the most important thing
  • Martial arts mindset – time and commitment – developing a practice and striving for improvement
  • Stepping away from the manuscript to let the brain to work out the problems
  • Short stories can shake up the process, like cross-training
  • Clive Barker, Stephen King, Lovecraft, Poe, Kaaron Warren, Margo Lanegan and comics
  • Short story collection Served Cold leans more into horror and explores Australian identity

Links

#66 – Alison Morton – Write Through The Roof

Interview with alternative history novelist Alison Morton

‘Exercise your writing muscle in different ways on different days.’

Episode 66 – Alison Morton – Show Notes

  • 30% plotter and 70% pantser
  • Black moments: when it all falls apart for the main character
  • Writing versus marketing
  • Tea imported in from England – sergeant major’s tea
  • Wanted to explore female-led action stories with a Roman flavour. But needed to create an alternative history world to feature strong female leaders. Values, betrayal, rebellion, resilience
  • Alternative history research: taking history and twisting it but anchoring back to the facts.
  • Using historical logic – what would have happened if?
  • Collaborating with other writers, exchanging ideas, being accepting and giving
  • A team effort to produce a book
  • Robert Harris’ Fatherland, William Boyd’s Restless, Sebastian Faulks, Lindsay Davis, Georgette Heyer
  • Aurelia: going back to write the backstory of the grandmother of the main character of the Carina Mitela series
  • Writing short stories and novellas

‘30% plotter and 70% pantser.’

‘You do need other people to get a successful book out.’

Links

#62 – Suzanne J Willis – Write Through The Roof

Episode 62 with Suzanne J Willis – fantasy short story & flash-fiction writer

‘The best kind of fairies, you know, the nasty ones’

Episode 62 – Suzanne J Willis – Show Notes

  • A natural pantser but learning to plot and outline. A structure helps to hit the right beats
  • Making notes every day but not writing every day
  • Tea and chocolate – freckles
  • Connection between music and writing: lyrical and poetic.
  • Themes of lack of belonging, search for self or a home, life and music
  • Learning that the language is secondary to the story and the interaction between characters gives rise to the plot
  • Writing novellas: taking up an opportunity
  • Jeanette Winterson, Patricia McKillip, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Angela Slater
  • Importance of word of mouth for recommendations
  • Portals and evil fairies in ‘Silver String in between worlds’
  • Novella for Broken Cities shared world for Falstaff Books.
  • Upcoming stories in Syntax & Salt Magazine

‘The language is inseparable from the story itself’

‘It’s a good thing to learn your bad habits.

Links

#57 – Lucy Snyder – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 57 – Lucy Snyder– five times Bram Stoker award-winning writer

‘Tell us what characters think about what they’re seeing.’

Episode 57 – Lucy Snyder – Show Notes

  • Writing the type of fiction she’d like to read
  • Defining ‘weird fiction’
  • Science facts writing and reading informs science-fiction
  • The benefits of writing a poem a week
  • Coffee with milk
  • Themes of real-life loss and trauma mixed with the supernatural
  • Epiphany during a Clarion Writing Workshop – learning about the five-point plot structure
  • Using description as an opportunity to reinforce characterisation – what matters most is what the character thinks about what they’re seeing.
  • Popular fiction and literary fiction
  • Writing a space opera web serial – Broken Eye book Patreon – Eyedelon Magazine
  • Launchpad workshop – astronomy for writers
  • Caitlin R Kiernan, Christa Faust
  • Garden of Eldritch Delights – a collection of fantasy, science fiction & horror stories. Batching up stories of similar themes
  • Next up is the fourth book in the Jessie Shimmer urban fantasy series

‘Poetry is great cross-training’

Links

#41 – Nin Harris – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 41 with Nin Harris – author, poet & Gothic scholar

“I really love to dig into the guts of a novel to see how it works.”

Episode 41 – Nin Harris – Show Notes

  • Inspired to write short stories by Angela Carter
  • Both a plotter and a pantser
  • Water or rooibos tea
  • SFF and gothic but writing about the human experience
  • Identity, memory and difficult connections between people
  • Gothic in space
  • Reading carefully – go outside your fishbowl
  • Throwing books across the room – like a book poltergeist
  • Beat sheets: major beats and minor beats; cause and effect
  • Frances Hardinge, Graham Joyce
  • Different writing depending on mood. Academic v fiction writing

“The first draft does have a bit of vomit in it.”

“For me, space is very gothic.”

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#37 – Emma Viskic – Write Through The Roof

Welcome to Write Through The Roof, the podcast for writers who want to improve their craft.

Episode 37 with Emma Viskic – award-winning crime author

“I kept one word from the story. It was Commodore.”

Episode 37 – Emma Viskic – Show Notes
  • Plantser, vomit and polish
  • Writing at the extreme ends of the day
  • Belonging, communication and loss, deaf and indigenous characters. Exploration of themes throughout a series
  • Training wheels novels
  • Taking the first sentence from a novel chapter to build a short story
  • Short stories teach how to cut words, cut characters and have a clean line throughout
  • The difficulty of a crime short story
  • A 10 month unfinished vomit draft
  • Each book is written in a different way with different pressures; first book, second book and third book
  • Hilary Mantel, Peter Temple, JM Green
  • And Fire Came Down – scars and fire season

“Sending them to the farm to play with the other words.”

“There’s vomit and there’s polish. It’s a mess.”

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