Monday, 20 November 2017

MORE CHANCES TO MEET THE WRITERS

TWO CHANCES THIS WEEKEND TO MEET WITH SOME OF THE WRITERS OF THE DOCTOR WHO SPIN OFF THE DAEMONS OF DEVIL'S END.
WATERSTONES, Peterborough, Saturday 25th November 2017

Some of the authors of this amazing Doctor Who Spin off, will be in store at Peterbrough Waterstones to sign and promote THE DÆMONSOF DEVIL'S END Novelisation.

Join Sam Stone, David J Howe and  Raven Dane

Date: 25th November 2017
Address: Waterstones, 38-40 Bridge St, Peterborough PE1 1DT
Time: 12-4pm

WATERSTONES, Arndale Centre, Manchester, Sunday 26th November 2017.

Some of the authors of this amazing Doctor Who Spin off, will be in store to sign and promote THE DÆMONS OF DEVIL'S END Novelisation.

Join Sam Stone, David J Howe, Raven Dane, Jan Edwards and Debbie Bennett.

Date: 26th November 2017
Address: Manchester Arndale Shopping Centre, Market St, Manchester M4 3AQ
Time: 2-4pm

Monday, 13 November 2017

Book Tour Continues ...

MEET DAMARIS HAYMAN, KEITH BARNFATHER AND THE WRITERS OF  
THE DAEMONS OF DEVIL'S END.

THE WHO SHOP, Saturday 18th November 2017 
 
Some of the authors of this amazing Doctor Who Spin off, will be in store to sign and promote THE DÆMONSOF DEVIL'S END Novelisation and DVD with actress Damaris Hayman, Richard Franklin and David Simeon.

Join Sam Stone, David J Howe, Raven Dane, Debbie Bennett, Suzanne Barbieri and Jan Edwards.

Date: Saturday 18th November 2017
Address: The Who Shop, 39-41 Barking Road, Upton Park,London. E6 1PY
Time: 1-3pm
  

Monday, 6 November 2017

Coming this week ...

THE DÆMONS OF DEVIL’S END TOUR BEGINS ...

Join the writers ...

FORBIDDEN PLANET, London, 10th November 2017.

MEET THE WRITERS!
Join: Suzanne Barbieri, Raven Dane, Jan Edwards, Debbie Bennett, Sam Stone and David J Howe for the first date on THE DÆMONS OF DEVIL’S END novelisation, book signing tour.

Date: Friday 10th November
Address:
Forbidden Planet, 179 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8JR
Time: 5-6pm


GALAXY FOUR, Sheffield, 11th November 2017.

MEET THE ACTRESS, DIRECTOR AND THE WRITERS!!


Sam Stone, David J Howe, Raven Dane and Debbie Bennett, join Director Keith Barnfather and Damaris Hayman at Galaxy Four in Sheffield to launch the DVD and Book Novelisation of THE DÆMONS OF DEVIL’S END.
 
Date: 11TH November
Address:
Galaxy Four, 493 Glossop Road, Broomhill, Sheffield, S10 2QE
Time:12-3pm


Sunday, 22 October 2017

POSING FOR PICASSO NEWS

I'm delighted to reveal the cover for my forthcoming title POSING FOR PICASSO.

Above with a quote from crime writer Mike Ripley. Artwork by the amazing Marcela Bolivar. This supernatural thriller will be published on 10th January 2018 with Wordfire Press.

POSING FOR PICASSO

It was Annabel, and something was wrong with the features … He thought he saw a triangle, not an irregular jigsaw shape after all. And it was missing from her face. As if a sharp pastry cutter mould had been stamped through her skull.

When Detective Jake Chandler is called in to investigate a murder, nothing can prepare him for the gruesome sight of Annabel Linton …

Annabel was his model for Russian artist Avgustin Juniper who finds himself in the centre of the investigation … but he had no motive.

Criminal attorney Cassandra Moúsa sees this a her next big case will stop at nothing to prove her client’s innocence.

But as more of Juniper’s models die, Chandler’s investigation leads him to four beautiful, unique women and the lost diaries of Pablo Picasso.

Something wants to return … and Chandler has to stop it.


Sunday, 3 September 2017

Changes to events

There has been a few changes to our appearances since I last posted - so here is the updated list:


COVENTRYCOMIC CON, Coventry, 1st October 2017.

Sam Stone and David J Howe will be attending this new event in Coventry.

For Further Information COVENTRY COMIC CON

Date: 1st October 2017
Address: Main Hall, Sports Connexion, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Time: 10-5PM


SFW IN THE CITY, Sheffield, 7-8TH October 2017.


Sam Stone and David J Howe will be running Author Central at this new SFW event. Join Chic Festivals, Telos Publishing and Area 51 with media and author guests, live music and more.

Date: 7-8 October 2017
Address: 37-43 Arundel Gate, Sheffield S1 2PN
Time: ALL WEEKEND

For more information visit SFWINTHECITY
 
GALAXY FOUR, Sheffield, 11th November 2017.

Sam Stone and David J Howe join Keith Barnfather and Damaris Hayman at Galaxy Four in Sheffield to launch the DVD of DEAMONS OF DEVILS END. 

 
Date: 11TH November
Address:
Galaxy Four, 493 Glossop Road, Broomhill, Sheffield, S10 2QE
Time:TBC


More Info: HERE

GALLIFREY ONE, Los Angeles, USA, 16-18 Feb 2018.

Sam Stone and David J Howe, join the line-up of excellent guests at this ever popular Doctor Who convention in Los Angeles.

Date: 16-18 Feb 2018
Address, Los Angeles Airport Marritot, 5855 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA
Time: ALL WEEKEND.  

PENSACON, Pensacola, USA, 23-25th Feb 2018

Sam Stone and David J Howe join the line-up of guests at this thriving Pensacola show.

Date: 23-25th February 2018
Address: Pensacola Bay Center, 201 E Gregory St, Pensacola, FL 32502
Time: All Weekend

For further information HERE

SFW 9, Pwllheli, North Wales, 22-25 March 2018



Sam Stone and David J Howe run Author Central in Spaceport at this event. Please join Chic Festivals, Telos Publishing and Area 51 with a host of Media and author guests at the Hafan Y Mor Holiday camp in North Wales. This is a long weekend of Panels, Talks, Music, entertainment, cosplay and more.


Date: 22-25 March 2018
Address: Hafan Y Mor Holiday Park, Pwllheli LL53 6HX
Time: ALL WEEKEND 

For more information visit SFW9

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Forthcoming Appearances

WHOOVERVILLE 9, Derby, 2 Sep 2017

Sam Stone and David J Howe join the list of fantastic guests at this ever popular event.

Date: Saturday 2nd September 2017
Address:
QUAD, Market Place, Cathedral Quarter, Derby, DE1 3AS
Time: 10am - 5pm

For more information HERE

COVENTRYCOMIC CON, Coventry, 1st October 2017.

Sam Stone and David J Howe will be attending this new event in Coventry.

For Further Information COVENTRY COMIC CON

Date: 1st October 2017
Address: Main Hall, Sports Connexion, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Time: 10-5PM


SFW IN THE CITY, SHEFFIELD, 7 & 8 October 2017

Sam Stone and David J Howe will be running Author Central at this new SFW event. Join Chic Festivals, Telos Publishing and Area 51 with media and author guests, live music and more.

Date: 7-8 October 2017
Address: 37-43 Arundel Gate, Sheffield S1 2PN
Time: ALL WEEKEND

For more information visit SFWINTHECITY

GALLIFREY ONE, Los Angeles, USA, 16-18 Feb 2018.

Sam Stone and David J Howe, join the line-up of excellent guests at this ever popular Doctor Who convention in Los Angeles.

Date: 16-18 Feb 2018
Address, Los Angeles Airport Marritot, 5855 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA
Time: ALL WEEKEND.  

PENSACON, Pensacola, USA, 23-25th Feb 2018

Sam Stone and David J Howe join the line-up of guests at this thriving Pensacola show.

Date: 23-25th February 2018
Address: Pensacola Bay Center, 201 E Gregory St, Pensacola, FL 32502
Time: All Weekend

For further information HERE

SFW 9, Pwllheli, North Wales, 22-25 March 2018



Sam Stone and David J Howe run Author Central in Spaceport at this event. Please join Chic Festivals, Telos Publishing and Area 51 with a host of Media and author guests at the Hafan Y Mor Holiday camp in North Wales. This is a long weekend of Panels, Talks, Music, entertainment, cosplay and more.


Date: 22-25 March 2018
Address: Hafan Y Mor Holiday Park, Pwllheli LL53 6HX
Time: ALL WEEKEND 

For more information visit SFW9

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Jan Edwards Blog Tour


Jan Edwards is a Sussex-born writer now living in the West Midlands with her husband and obligatory cats. She was a Master Locksmith for 20 years but also tried her hand at bookselling, microfiche photography, livery stable work, motorcycle sales and market gardening. She is a practising Reiki Master. She won a Winchester Slim Volume prize and her short fiction can be found in crime, horror and fantasy anthologies in UK, US and Europe; including The Mammoth Book of Dracula and The Mammoth Book of Moriarty. Jan edits anthologies for The Alchemy Press and Fox Spirit Press, and has written for Dr Who spinoffs with Reel Time Pictures. 
 

I asked her about the inspiration behind her new crime novel ... 


Winter Downs - Jan Edwards

Winter Downs grew out of a deep affection for the South Downs, and of Sussex in particular. My parents were from Wales and Northumberland but Sussex was the area that I grew up in, on the cusp between the Sussex Weald and the Downs themselves. Perhaps the very fact that I was something of an outsider in a close knit community allowed me to view the place and the people with a dispassionate eye; even though I may not have realised it at the time.

In sketching out a setting for Bunch Courtney to dive into with her amateur sleuthing I deliberately failed to name any specific village. In a city such as London or Manchester a writer can get away with any fiction they choose because no matter how accurately the streets are drawn there will always be a level of anonymity. This is something far harder to do with a small hamlet. Claim that the Squire of "Upper Bottomley" was a total blaggard and the descendants of the genuine squire tend to get upset. I do pinpoint a few local towns to lend a sense of place.

My father's sister lived and worked on a farm on Devil's Dyke, just above Brighton, and I was deeply interested from a very young age by the folklore attached to that particular spot. There are places along the Weald and Downs that have tales of ancient belief firmly attached.  The tree rings of both Chanctonbury and Sissbury hills for example, or St Leonards Forest where the last dragon in England was officially reported to have been killed as recently as 1614. Sussex is rich in dragon lore and even has its very own variety of water dragon called Knuckers.
 
There are almost as many recent myths and legends lurking in the vicinity. Many are attached to the most beautiful of counties.  Dark legends such as  John George Haigh, the Acid Bath Murderer;  Christiana Edmunds, the Chocolate Cream Poisoner or the as yet unsolved Brighton Trunk murders. And of course the fishing villages of the Sussex coast have been as rife with smugglers as any Cornish cove.

I was (and still am) an avid listener, and when the adults talked, regaling each other with details of local gossip, I listened.  Some of the talk was dark and much was not,  but all made for excellent background material that I can always draw on for local colour. Stories such as the vicious bull who wore an iron mask to prevent him charging anything that moved using his senses of scent and sound to follow my aunt across a field. Or the darker report of the local lad who almost blew his hands off making home made bombs to go fishing in the River Arun. 

Added to these old tales of course was the spectre of the WW2. With occupied France jus a matter of fifty or so miles across the English Channel tales of that era were often to be heard at social gatherings and those, along with the remnants of pill boxes and bunkers as well as hastily built air strips. The War Department began requisitioning large country houses in 1939. Some as schools and others as rehabilitation centres or just plain military billets. Not all of them survived that allied occupation. Shillinglee Park in Sussex was famously burned to the ground by Canadian soldiers living there - allegedly after a riotous party if local rumour was to be believed twenty years after the event. Shillinglee was rebuilt, but a similar the ruins of  Appeldurcombe on the Isle of Wight, which  suffered a similar fate can still be seen.

All of these things had an impact on me and when writing Winter Downs I brought together the notions of requisitioned houses and a country waiting and watching for the enemy to strike from across the water, and adding the joys of heavy snow to hamper movements and smother potential evidence, went a long way to weaving an everyday tale of murderous Sussex folk! 

Winter Downs is just the first in the series with two more roughed out and ideas for many more. This will not be the last you hear of Bunch Courtney and her nemesis Chief Inspector Wright.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WINTER DOWNS.

3rd June 2017 | Penkhull Press
ISBN 978-0-9930008-6-7
Paperback £9.99  | ebook £2.99 tbc           
                                   
In January of 1940 a small rural community on the Sussex Downs, already preparing for invasion from across the Channel, finds itself deep in the grip of a snowy landscape, with an ice-cold killer on the loose.

Bunch Courtney stumbles upon the body of Jonathan Frampton in a woodland clearing. Is this a case of suicide, or is it murder? Bunch is determined to discover the truth but can she persuade the dour Chief Inspector Wright to take her seriously?

Winter Downs is first in the Bunch Courtney Investigates series.
Available in paper and e formats (after 3rd June) HERE.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Cancer Prevention Surgery

After being under the hospital for over a year now, and after going through two mammograms, a biopsy, the draining of cysts, and various other scares, I can no longer put myself through this stress.
Therefore I'll be going into hospital at the end of June to have risk reducing surgery in the form of a double mastectomy and reconstruction.

Naturally, this was not a decision I took lightly.

My sister Sharna is recovering from breast cancer and we have lost a niece and, possibly, our grandmother to the disease. On top of that my nephew has recently survived Lung cancer. There have been various other family members diagnosed over the last few years too. As a result, my family have been diagnosed as high risk.


I am incredibly grateful to the NHS hospital who is dealing with this and for the amazing support from the Macmillian nursing team. They have been there for us every step of the way and have helped me make an informed decision that I know is the right one for me.





Fear Magazine

This week sees the publication of issue 41 of Fear Magazine with a six page interview with me. Find out what I'm up to at the moment.

Buy your copy here

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Appearances - Up to Date

ASYLUM, LINCOLN, 26-29th August 2016
Sam Stone, David Howe, and Raven Dane attend this wonderful Steampunk event of the year!

Specific events and places we'll be ...

Saturday - 1-2pm Telos Publishing with Sam Stone, Raven Dane and David J Howe - MEET AND MERCH in the castle! 

Sunday August  - We'll be trading in Cathedral Centre - which is open to the public and we will also be doing a panel SAM STONE AND FRIENDS there at 4-4.45pm.

Time: ALL Weekend
Address: Lincoln Town Centre, Various
Date:26th-29th August 2016

For more information and to book: Asylum



WHOOVERVILLE 8, 3rd Sept, Derby
Sam Stone and David J Howe join the guests at this super one day event in Derby.

Time: 10am-5pm
Address: Derby QUAD, Market Place, Cathedral Quarter, Derby DE1 3AS
Date: 3rd September 2016 

For more information Whooverville 

UK BOOK FESTIVAL, XXII, Nottingham, 1 Oct 2016
Sam Stone and David Howe will be attending this great Nottingham event. LEARN TO WRITE HORROR with Sam, in an interactive writing workshop (Please Bring Pad and Pen). And Join David as he talks about the history of Doctor Who's Target Books and the amazing art that became iconic.

Time: 10am-4pm
Address: County Hall, Loughborough Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 7QP
Date: 1st October 2016

For More Information visit New Writers Uk  New Writers Uk


DIMENSIONS, Newcastle, 7-9th October 2016
Sam Stone, David J Howe and Frazer Hines join the impressive line up of guests in this year's exciting Dimensions Doctor Who convention.

Time: All Weekend
Address: The Copthorne Hotel, The Close, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 3RT, Tel: 0191 222 0333.
Date: Fri7- Sun 9th Oct 2016
 

LONG ISLAND WHO, Long Island, New York, USA, 11-13 Nov 2016
Sam Stone, David J Howe and Frazer Hines are delighted to be returning to 'Long Island Iced Tea' Convention at  Hyatt Regency, Long Island. There will be more Match Game and great panels at this ever growing event as it takes place for the fourth year running.

Time: ALL WEEKEND
Address: Hyatt Regency Long Island,1717 Moter Parkway, Hauppauge, New York, USA, 11788
Date: 11-13 November 2016 


GALLIFREY ONE, LA, USA, 17-19th Feb 2017
Sam Stone, David Howe and Frazer Hines join the line up guests at the fabulous Gallifrey Convention in Los Angeles. 

Time: All Weekend
Address: LAX Marriott, Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 17th-19th February 2017    


SCI-FI WEEKENDER 8. Pwllheli, 30th MArch -2nd April 2017
Sam Stone, David J Howe and Linzi Gold will be returning to this fabulous event of the year in North Wales. 

Join them and James Marster, Frazer Hines, Paul McGann, Daphne Ashbrook, Wendy Padbury, Gareth David-Lloyd, Freda Warrington, Phil Ford, Jenny T Colgan, and many more guests.

Time: All Weekend
Address: Hafan Y Mor Holiday Park, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, North Wales, LL53 6HJ
Date: 30th MArch-2nd April 2017

INFINITY 7 - RUGBY SCI-FI, Rugby, 20th May 2017
Sam Stone and David J Howe will be attending this exciting Infinity 7 Events in Rugby, Sam will be presenting one of her writing workshops, and if you wish to attend this please bring a pad and pen! David and Sam will also give a talk on writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, with an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.

For Further Information RUGBY SCIFI

Time: TBA
Address: The Benn Hall, Newbold Road, Rugby, CV21 2LN  
Date: Saturday 20th May 2017 

Monday, 11 July 2016

THIS SATURDAY I'LL BE AT ...

LINDUM BOOKS, Lincoln, Sat 16th July 2016
Sam Stone and David Howe are thrilled to be will be signing copies of their new titles at Lindum Bookshop in Lincoln. Copies of JADED JEWEL, JINX MAGIC and THE TARGET BOOK as well as Sam's other titles will be on sale prior to, and during, the event.

Time: 12-2pm
Address: Lindum Books, 4 Bailgate, Lincoln LN1 3AE
Date: Sat 16th July 2016

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Food Review: Cafe Zoot

I'm a bit of a foodie these days and so I thought I might start to put up my thoughts about local restaurants in the area.

First off :

CAFE ZOOT, Bailgate, Lincoln.

David and I have eaten at Cafe Zoot quite a few times in the past. We've even taken friends there and my overall perception of the place is that it is an efficiently run restaurant with very pleasant surroundings. Comfortable seating with some intimate areas as well as front of the house tables.

I have mostly sat at the back part of the restaurant (which I prefer because it is more intimate) or once or twice we've been upstairs.

We haven't eaten there for a while, but today, as a treat because I'd just finished writing POSING FOR PICASSO - my fifteenth novel - David took me into Lincoln and our first choice of eating place was Cafe Zoot.

There are many really good restaurants in Lincoln that I'll discuss another time but for lunch this one is not the cheapest, is slightly upmarket, and food tends to be more Noveau Cuisine.

We decided we'd have a more substantial lunch than we usually do. I often opt for a Jacket Potato at some restaurants and cafes when I'm trying to take the healthy option - but Cafe Zoot doesn't have those on the menu - so we both went for Blue Cheese Mushrooms to start. David chose Chicken Supreme as his main and I opted for Calamari Salad.

STARTER Blue Cheese Mushrooms £5.25. 

Presentation

It wasn't what we were expecting to be honest as I had perhaps thought the mushrooms would be stuffed with blue cheese in bread crumbs and the sauce around them or separate for dipping.

What arrived was mushrooms sauted in a blue cheese and walnut sauce, and it came is a wide brimmed bowl that had a very small, shallow bowl area. Also with this was a piece of bread which could have been wholegrain and was possibly homemade.

Presentation mostly relied on the white bowl - not really anything more than a dish of mushrooms in a brownish sauce really. But it did look tasy anyway. David remarked afterwards that blue cheese crumbled on the top might have enhanced the look of this dish.

Flavour

The bread alone tasted a little stale - but I'm not a lover of hardish breads so I'm assuming it was meant to be that way. I had to ask for butter as they didn't automatically bring it. With butter the bread was better and easier to eat.

The mushrooms themselves were very tasty. I could taste the blue cheese in the sauce. Thought it was rather salty, but nicely flavoured. I ate it all quickly. The bread and butter did compliment this wet dish in the end too.

Portion Size

Small portion as my 'Noveau Cuisine' comment above suggests. Could have eaten much more of it. But knowing I had a main coming I didn't worry too much or think this was a problem. (Best to have less and leave you wanting more, I think!) So satisfactory portion size.

Service Between Courses/ Staff Attentiveness

Service was fairly quick and we didn't have to wait too long for the mains which they brought together. We were asked if we had enjoyed the first course. We had, so we said so.

MAIN Calamari Salad £10.50/ Supreme of Chicken £13.95

Presentation
 
David's Supreme of Chicken had a substantial piece of chicken breast with a small amount of mash, a couple of carrots and a tiny piece of brocolli. All were surrounded by an impressive sauce which was a vibrant green. Overall the presentation was extremely nice. The Chicken looked as though it had been pan-fried and was nicely browned. Overall lovely presentation. It looked appetising.

My Calamari Salad came in a wide shallow bowl and this was the first surprise. The calamari was not hot, nor was it battered. This was an assumption I had made - obviously wrongly. It was mixed into a salad which didn't look particularly appetising as it was the usual salad bits with boring white calamari rings in it and a couple of wedges of lemon.

Flavour

Calamari Salad

The cherry tomotoes were fresh in the salad but, even after squeezing the lemon over it, the calamari and salad had absolutely no flavour to any of it. The calamari was rubbery. Bland. Not good at all.

I have never in my life complained in a restaurant - but when the young man who was serving came to ask if we liked it I told him I was disappointed and that the meal was bland. It absolutely had no taste at all to it. I could have been eating anything. He said he would mention it to the kitchen and he disappeared. Soon after, my plate barely touched - I sent the meal back.

Supreme of Chicken

I did taste David's meal and it was as nice as it looked. He really enjoyed the small carrots and said they were tasty as well as the delicious sauce and mash. His only complaint was that the chicken was a little over done and quite dry, but the delicious sauce made up for this. He ate all of his meal.

Portion Sizes

As expected for the type of restaurant.  A little on the small side but as in the case of the Chicken very tasty and nicely presented.

Salads vary and you never know what you'll get from one place to another with size. I had no expectations therefore and wasn't disappointed by the size. There was a fair amount of Calamari rings in the salad. Sadly though it was flavourless. Otherwise, portion was fine.

After Dinner Service.

I cannot fault the service here because the manageress (I think) came to see me and had removed the price of the Calamari Salad from our bill (rightly so as I didn't eat it). She apologised for herself and for the staff member who I had given my meal back to (apparently he should have offered me another meal choice but didn't know the procedure).

He was very apologetic and I told him that I completely understood and it was fine. And you can't be cross if people treat you fairly and are polite to you!!  I felt they handled us really well. Good service, even to acknowledge and admit where they failed.

Would I Go Back?

Absolutely!

The food in this restaurant is usually really good - I've had other meals there and this was the first to disappoint. So yes. Very willing to try it again.

They handled my complaint really well and also listened afterwards when I explained what I thought could improve the calamari (hot and battered would have been an improvement and some form of seasoning on that and the salad too).

Review 6/10 this time. But I'm sure it will be much better when we go again.





Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Announcing HEROES OF RED HOOK

I'm delighted to be part of this great project that is currently seaking crowd funding with kickstarter.

'Heroes of Red Hook' is an anthology of Lovecraftian stories brought to you by Golden Goblin Press and edited by Brian M Sammons and Oscar Rios.

My story TELL ME NO LIES goes into territories I've rarely delved. And if you want to read it and the other superb stories in this book then you need to make it happen.

How can you do that? Well you can check out the kickstarter for the full details and maybe even find a few pounds/dollars/euros to back the project and bag yourself one of the many brilliant perks.

Find out more HERE


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Creativity isn't your right. It doesn't come for free. It takes hard work. It takes belief. It takes imagination.

Real creatives suffer for their art. Otherwise, what they produce is regurjitations of other people's ideas.

You can take the easy road and schmooze your way to the top or you can be true to yourself.
Which one are you? I know which way I swing.

Monday, 20 June 2016

I'M NOT BEING MEAN WHEN I SAY NO ...

For the past few years since becoming a professional writer I have been replying to the many emails and private messages from wannabe writers who want me to read their work. I'm not exaggerating when I say I get several of these requests a day.

You may not realise this but it puts me in a very awkward position. I am by nature very polite and obliging. And so it is difficult for me to say 'no'. I try really hard to be nice to everyone online. It is very easy for people to take what you say the wrong way. And that's why I try to avoid ambiguity in my answers.

I really don't have time to read other people's work. Even if I wanted to. And my agent has advised me not to do because writers have been accused of 'stealing' other people's ideas.

I find this difficult to believe myself, because we all have enough of our own that we can't find  the time to write up - so why would you need anyone else's ideas? The thing is though, we may accidentally, absorb the idea and it might come out in a different way even years from now. And then someone can come back to you and say - that was mine you stole it!

It's not the only reason I say no though.

I had a man come up to me at an event not long ago who basically dropped his manuscript onto my table. He expected me to read it and give him some validation, yet he didn't even pick up and look at one of the books I had for sale. And he didn't buy one, either. Yet he thought it was perfectly reasonable to give me his work to read. I naturally refused to look, explaining my agent's view on it, and the man left in a huff.

I really can't imagine going up to one of my contemporaries when they are at a signing event for their own writing, and asking if they would look at something I had written. Can you imagine asking Stephen King to read your unpublished manuscript for comments and help?

Think about that for a moment please.

I am often bombarded at events by people who want to be writers, say in fact they are writers, and I'm expected to politely look at their works, when they don't pay any attention to mine. I find myself listening to their one-way conversations as they talk at me: politely nodding as I hear in detail about the novel that they will write one day. I'm relieved when a genuine reader comes up and I can turn away from them, hoping they will go while I'm busy. Or at least do the right thing and buy a book before deciding that I am the only person that can critique their own work. The mind boggles at this totally self absorbed behaviour, that shows a complete lack of social etiquette. Imagine that online now. And how people have even less consideration when they talk to you digitally.

And I'm definitely not talking about those among you who have been extremely lovely and polite in your asking. It was so hard for me to say no to you, but I hope now you understand why a bit better, and it wasn't me being mean, or disinterested. I am interested. Too much to my own workload sometimes. But I can't and I'm sorry I couldn't help and advise you. Thanks for understanding, and taking it so nicely when I said no. I really appreciated that more than you can know.

That is not to say, of course, that I will not give advice on writing. And I do. I deliver workshops frequently, for writers groups and at events. I have given out my email to genuinely talented people who I felt had a future in writing. I am willing to talk at my table to interesting people about writing - especially when it is a proper discussion and not them just talking at me, more interested in their own ideas than anything that I might have to say.

Anyway, I wanted to put this note up, in the hope that you'll better understand how difficult it is for writers to help others by reading their work. It is incredibly hard to make a living these days as a writer and every moment we spend answering these requests, polite or otherwise, takes us away from our precious writing time.

And just remember, I'm not being mean when I say no.





Tuesday, 17 May 2016

NEW COMMISSIONS

This year has been a little crazy for me and there are a lot of forthcoming works I've been commissioned to do but I'd like to share what I've been working on for GOLDEN GOBLIN PRESS, with Editors Brian M Sammons and Oscar Rios.

A while ago I was invited to submit for a Lovecraftian Anthology called DREAD SHADOWS IN PARADISE and I was delighted when the fundraiser for this book became so successful. I sent in my story THE GOLD OF ROATAN and it was accepted.

“The Gold of Roatán”
When Daniel Meriwether discovers that the letter he is carrying to the descendant of a once infamous pirate is in fact a treasure map, the simple task he’s been paid to do takes a sinister turn.

The full TOC can be found on the kickstarter page HERE

As you can see, it is a fantastic line-up!

To Purchase


Since then I've been asked to submit for an exciting new anthology called HEROES OF RED HOOK and I'm thrilled to say that my story TELL ME NO LIES was officially accepted for this too.

A fundraiser for this book will start on 20th June. Here is the cover and the blurb for my story.

"Tell Me No Lies"
In New Orleans a forbidden love ends in tragedy, leaving Adrienne desperate for answers. She turns to a handsome private eye to find a medium capable of getting knowledge from the grave. Blinded by despair, what price will she pay in order to learn who murdered her lover?

The full line-up will be on the forthcoming kickstarter!

Watch out for this. It's a very worthy project and one I'm very proud to be involved with.






Sunday, 8 May 2016

WRITING WORKSHOPS

I'll be doing two writing workshops for the REGIS CENTRE in Bognor Regis.

DESCRIPTIVE WRITING WORKSHOP,

1pm – 3pm
Adult workshop for 16+ only.
Workshop Fee: Full Price £12 / Concessions £10
Date: Sunday 22nd May 2016

Have you ever wanted to be a professional writer? Do you dream of being published? Or do you write as a hobby and wish to improve?

Award winning author and editor Sam Stone reveals the dos and don’ts in competitive writing. Try your hand at writing a compelling opening. Learn how to avoid making those mistakes that ruin the chance of selling your work. Discover what editors and publishers are looking for and avoid the pitfalls that could ruin your chances of success. Please bring a writing pad and pens.

To book and for more information DESCRIPTIVE

HORROR AND FANTASY WRITING WORKSHOP

1pm – 3pm
Workshop for 11-16 year olds.
Workshop Fee: £10
Date: Sunday 5th June 2016
 
Have you ever wanted to try your hand at writing an exciting, fun, adventure-filled short story?
Award winning professional author, editor and educator, Sam Stone presents an interactive writing workshop for teenagers which will help to stimulate ideas for writing creatively.

All attendees are asked to bring a writing pad and pens.

Learn to write what you enjoy!

To book and for more information HORROR

ADDRESS AND BOX OFFICE FOR BOTH WORKSHOPS:

Regis Centre

Belmont Street
Bognor Regis
PO21 1BL
Box Office: 01243 861010
Admin: 01243 867676
info@regiscentre.co.uk



Wednesday, 4 May 2016

COVER REVEAL JINX MAGIC

I'm delighted to share my latest cover for the long awaited sequel to JINX TOWN.


JINX MAGIC: BOOK 2 The Jinx Chronicles.

With the help of the Jinx mage Kale, Jasmine Regis arrives back on Earth after a year spent on his race’s home planet Emin. She discovers that her one-time lover Taylor is now married and her friend Andrew is no longer the child she knew. Here, a full three years have passed since the Jinx captured her and took her away. 
 
As Jas battles to regain her friends’ trust and confidence, a shocking revelation unfolds about the people closest to them.
Contrary to the end, Jas yearns to return to the life she had on Emin, and to its powerfully erotic Emperor, Arven, with whom she pair-bonded. But first she must discover what lies behind the mysterious taint that has changed the Earth’s atmosphere, and the evil that lurks in a secret underground military base hidden in the hills of North Wales.
 
The second book in the Jinx Chronicles trilogy, Jinx Magic is a powerful tale of military conspiracy, alien magic, human nature and the will to survive.

‘The narrative’s hectic pace leaves the reader hungry for the next instalment as the story unfolds with some surprising twists. Just when the reader thinks the story might drift into a predictable avenue, Stone turns up the heat and surprises us with a sucker-punch.’ Starburst about Jinx Town

With a cover image by award winning science fiction and fantasy artist Jim Burns.
 




Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Next Appearance

DESCRIPTIVE WRITING WORKSHOP, REGIS CENTRE, Bognor Regis, 22nd May
Have you ever wanted to be a professional writer? Do you dream of being published? Or do you write as a hobby and wish to improve?

Award winning author and editor Sam Stone reveals the dos and don’ts in competitive writing. Try your hand at writing a compelling opening. Learn how to avoid making those mistakes that ruin the chance of selling your work. Discover what editors and publishers are looking for and avoid the pitfalls that could ruin your chances of success. Please bring a writing pad and pens.

This is a 16+ Adults only event.

Time: 1-3pm
Address: Regis Centre, Belmont Street, Bognor Regis, PO21 1BL
Date: 22nd May 2016

To book and for more information: http://alexandratheatre.co.uk/event/descriptive-writing-workshop/

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Coming Soon ...

The countdown begins ...



JADED JEWEL


The sixth book in the thrilling, highly acclaimed Vampire Gene series, mixing horror, dark fantasy and a slice of science fiction.

Dreams and music touch people’s lives, and are the most powerful allure for those who can use them. Something hidden is sending a siren song out into the world, seeking help, and enticing those who can hear with tales of Jewel, a beautiful young woman, and her struggles on a 19th Century plantation in America’s deep South.

Young lovers Ffion and Geraint find themselves drawn across the sea from North Wales to Nevada and then to New York … and in that city, Mariele Cole also hears the siren song and is compelled to speed up the demolition of an old building to make way for a new high-rise … as something is buried beneath.

Meanwhile in Stockholm, John Noble and Father Declan use the resources of the Knights Templar to search for a missing vampire family and their former colleague Anthony.

Jaded Jewel is a powerful novel of love, loss and obsession, of power and of the struggle to survive. Sam Stone makes a triumphant return to the hypnotic and compelling world of the Vampire Gene.

‘Stone is an exciting genre voice, infusing her fast-paced action with a thoughtfulness that can too often be forgotten.’ Assorted Buffery

Pre-Order Now Telos Publishing


Saturday, 24 October 2015

Wedding and Wedding Favour Limited Edition

Last Sunday, in the presence of family and some very very dear friends, I married the love of my life, David J Howe in a ceremony that took place atThe County Assembly Rooms in Lincoln.

We had some incredible bridesmaids, Linzi Gold, Sharna Connor, Regan Owens, Joanna Simpson-Howe, Megan Pollitt and our adorable flower girl Georgia Thomson.

The best man was our very close friend Frazer Hines and I was given away by my brother Audie Harrison.

It was the happiest day and much laughter and love filled the room to make it as perfect for us as it could be.



To celebrate the day, David persuaded me to write a very special KAT LIGHTFOOT MYSTERY. This we gave to our attending day guests in the form of a 52 page chapbook as our own unique wedding favour. This is called FOUR WEDDINGS AND A DEMON SLAYER.

We had 150 of these exclusive books printed and now have 40 remaining which we offering on a first come, first served basis.

If you are interested in learning more about this tale then please click HERE to be taken to my merchandise page.

All copies will be signed by us both and we hope you will treasure them, as much as we do, and as much as we did our wedding day.




Friday, 28 August 2015

KAT OF GREEN TENTACLES LAUNCH

This weekend you'll find me in the historic city of Lincoln at the Asylum Steampunk Festival. My schedule is as follows - but the focus of this weekend for me will be the launch of my new Kat Lightfoot Mystery, KAT OF GREEN TENTACLES.

Asylum Weekend Programming:

Saturday 29th August 2015
3pm Reading from KAT OF GREEN TENTACLES at Westgate Academy
4pm Writing worshop. Descriptive Writing the Dos and Donts.

Sunday 30th August 2015
1-2pm Book launch (Lindum Books, Bailgate)
4pm Lindum Books Steampunk Panel (White Hart Pub, Bailgate). With George Mann, David Barnett and moderated by Alex Lewczuk.

Monday 31st August 2015
11am Writing workshop competition (If you've participated in the workshop on Saturday then you are eligible to enter. (Westgate Academy) Judges: Raven Dane, Robert Harkess, David J Howe.
2pm Steampunk and the Supernatural with Raven Dane (Westgate Academy)


ALSO APPEARING THIS WEEKEND ...

Linzi Gold will be singing in the Castle at Lincoln at 12pm on Saturday, 29th August. She will also be performing at the WAR OF THE WORLDS BALL that evening.

So if you have a weekend pass come and hear her sing live!

Linzi's EP and DVD will also be on sale for £8 each.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

THE STONE TAPES GOES STEAMPUNK

My radio show at SirenFm 107.3 THE STONES TAPES Vol 4 was aired last Thursday (20th August 2015) and it was a Steampunk special.

The show was packed with music, reviews and interviews. And in honour of the Asylum Steampunk festival this weekend in Lincoln, our very special guests were John Naylor and Lady Elsie from the Victorian Steampunk Society, with a phone in from Ian Crichton (Herr Doktor).

As usual the Stone gang included Starburst Reviewer Robin Pierce, Gearhearts Steampunk Glamour Review Magazine Editor, Patricia H Ash-Vildosolo, Doctor Who Historian, Editor and Writer David J Howe, Producer Alex Lewczuk, and a brief and sadly fleeting connection with Hollywood's Independent Movie go-to AD, Joshua Lou Friedman.

If you want the inside scoop on what to expect from this year's Asylum then listen in here.

THE STONE TAPES VOL 4


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

We are going to be busy

Good grief we are going to be busy again very soon. Here is an update on our forth coming events!

ASYLUM STEAMPUNK WEEKEND, Lincoln, 28th-31st August 2015.
Sam Stone, David Howe and Raven Dane will be signing their titles at the exciting Steampunk weekend end, newly changed to the August Bank holiday!

Time: ALL WEEKEND
Address: LINCOLN Town Centre - various venues
Date: 28-31 Aug


BLACKPOOL COMIC CON, 12TH Sept 2015
Sam Stone, David J Howe and Ayshea Brough join the line up of guests at Blackpool.

For more information, tickets etc go here

Time: All day.
Address:Winter Gardens,Winter Gardens, Church St, Blackpool FY1 1HW
Date: 12th September 2015

ULTRACON, 13th Sept 2015
Sam Stone, David J Howe and Ayshea Brough join the line-up of UltraCon guests at this event in Rotherham.

For more information and tickets click HERE.

Time: 10am-4pm
Address: Magna Science and Adventure Park, Sheffield Road, Rotherham, S60 1DX
Date: Sunday 13th September.

LINCOLN COMIC CON, 20th Sept 2015
Lincoln Comic-Con will take place at Bentley Hotel and Spa. Sam Stone, David J Howe and Ayshea Brough join the line-up of guests.

Time: 10am-4pm
Address: Bentley Hotel & Spa, Newark Road, South Hykeham, Lincolnshire, LN6 9NH
Date: Sunday 20th September

WALSALL COMIC CON, 31st Oct 2015
Sam Stone, David J Howe and Ayshea Brough join the line-up of guests.

Time:10am-5pm
Address: Walsall Town Hall, Lichfield Street, Walsal, WS1 1TW
Date: 31st October 2015

LONG ISLAND WHO, Long Island, New York, USA, 13-15 Nov 2015
Sam Stone and David J Howe are delighted to be returning to 'Long Island Iced Tea' Convention at the new location in Hyatt Regency, Long Island. There will be more Match Game and great panels at this ever growing event as it takes place for the third year running.

Time: ALL WEEKEND
Address: Hyatt Regency Long Island,1717 Moter Parkway, Hauppauge, New York, USA, 11788
Date: 13-15 November 2015

CHICAGO TARDIS, Chicago, USA, 27-29 Nov 2015.
David J Howe and Sam Stone join the guest line-up at this hugely popular Doctor Who convention in Chicago.

Time: ALL WEEKEND
Address: TBC
Date: 27-29th November 2015


DONCASTER COMIC CON, Episode VII Event, 6th Dec 2015
Sam Stone, David J Howe and Ayshea Brough join the line-up of guests.

Time: 10am-5pm
Address: Doncaster Dome Leisure Centre,Doncaster Lakeside, DN4 7PD Doncaster
Date: 6th December 2015

GALLIFREY CONVENTION, Los Angeles, 12-14th February 2016
Sam Stone, David J Howe and Frazer Hines return to their Home from Home, Gallifrey Convention in Los Angeles to join the line-up of superb guests.

Time: ALL WEEKEND
Address: LAX Marriot, 5855 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045, United States
Date: 12-14th February 2016


GALAXYFEST, Colorado Springs, 19th-21st February 2016
Sam Stone, David J Howe and Frazer Hines return to Colorado Springs for the 5th Galaxyfest Convention.

Time: ALL WEEKEND
Address: Antlers Hilton Colorado Springs, Four South Cascade, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903-1685, USA
Date: 19th-21st February 2014


Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Tanith Lee

I first discovered the work of Tanith Lee in the 80's when I came across her short fiction in INTERZONE. I was by then already interested in writing and the magazine represented everything I aspired to do. Tanith's stories stood out to me. They were emotive, evocative, the language she used was literary and incredibly intelligent. I had to learn more about her. Combing my local bookstore I found a copy of SABELLA OR THE BLOOD STONE, and after digesting this magnificent, science fiction vampire story, that was sensual and exciting, I soon found THE SILVER METAL LOVER. After that I was completely hooked on her work. Sadly at the time it was very difficult to find full sets of books in a series in bookstores and libraries and so the offering was sparse. Another of my favourites, however, was VIVIA and I also enjoyed BITING THE SUN.

Some years later, when I'd had the audacity to write my own vampire novel, KILLING KISS, I met Tanith at a literary convention called EasterCon. This was in 2008. I had the luck to be placed on a panel with her. My daughter Linzi, who had already discovered her works in my paperback collections, had digested all that was on offer, and was a huge fan of her as well came with me to the convention: she was 15 at the time. After the panel, Tanith turned to me and said she would love to read my book as I'd mentioned it during the discussion. I nearly fell to the floor with a cry of 'I'm not worthy'. And I knew I wasn't. But I did give her a copy, expecting her to not really have time to read it, and thinking that she had only asked to be polite. However I spent a lot of time with her and her husband John Kaiine that weekend and we became great friends. By the end of the convention we had exchanged addresses and phone numbers and we were planning to keep in touch.

A few months later, when a major life change happened and my first marriage came to an end, Tanith was a great confidante and friend to me. She and I enjoyed frequent long phone conversations, and consolidated a friendship that I felt was always going to be there. She also hugely surprised me with how very supportive she was about my writing. There was never any edge to her about other writers and their works. I even received a beautiful letter from her talking about the book I'd given her, telling me how much she liked it and she kindly gave me a quote to put on the cover too.

Over the years I've met other writers, dealt with their significant insecurities, but Tanith never seemed to have those. She was lovely to everyone. Supportive, appreciative and very generous with her time and advice for new writers. I wish we could all take a leaf out of her book on that score.

When we finally met again some years ago at World Horror Con in Brighton, I was thrilled with the way she greeted me and spent time with me. It seemed that whenever we met, or spoke on the phone, it didn't matter how much time had passed, it always felt as though we could pick up where we last left things.

When I started working with Telos Publishing, and editing their Moonrise fiction imprint, of course I wanted to work with Tanith once everything was set up and running smoothly, I contacted her last year and asked if we might, in our very humble way, be able to republish THE SILVER METAL LOVER, or any other of her wonderful titles that she may have available. Tanith came back and gave us an impressive and comprehensive vampire story collection, containing several new, previously unpublished stories, which she wanted to call BLOOD 20. She also offered us a crime novel called DEATH OF THE DAY. Obviously we were delighted, and I was thrilled to be able to work with her on a professional level. She was a total delight professionally as well as personally. Always helpful, always hard working, and despite the illness that was already taking hold of her, working to deadline.

We arranged that she would launch BLOOD 20 at EasterCon (Dyprosium) in 2015 and we planned to catch up properly there. I was looking forward to seeing her again more than I can say. Unfortunately when the time came, Tanith, sadly, was not well enough to attend. David and I were, however, delighted to see Tanith's husband, John, who came along to represent her at the event.

We'd known for some time that Tanith was seriously ill, but I had kept hoping for some miracle that would save her in the eleventh hour and keep her amazing talent longer in this world. John has been a rock throughout, and despite the pain he was feeling, managed to remain energetic and entertaining at the convention. So when he emailed me yesterday morning to explain that Tanith had passed away and was no longer in pain: there was both an outpouring of sorrow tinged with a bitter happiness that her suffering was over.

Over the last 24 hours I've seen the signs of her unique influence on the industry and the people within it as news of her death has spread, and the people who she touched have been telling their own stories of her kindness and brilliant talent. Some people come into your life for very special reasons. I know that Tanith Lee touched many lives, and that she brought them, through her literature (and for those who were fortunate to meet her and know her, however briefly in a personal way) a great deal of joy. I was very lucky to be one of those people.

I am in mourning for my friend. For one of the most unique, talented and impressive wordsmiths I have ever read. And for the loss of one of the great artisans of fantasy and science fiction.

Tanith Lee. RIP.