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RIP Iain Banks

And so, once again, we are reminded that the only certainty in life, is death.  And that death can come with little warning, at any time.  Every breath is precious, every second should be treasured…

This is not a long post.  I cannot claim to be anything other than one of the many hundreds of thousands of people who have been captivated by the words, worlds, and utterly staggering imagination of this seemingly quietly-spoken Scotsman.

Iain, wherever you are, know that your life made a lasting mark on me and I, for one, will sadly miss you.

Brain Pickings…

Jenelle Schmidt

Jenelle Schmidt

Fellow Authoress Jenelle Schmidt recently contacted me to see if I’d mind being interviewed for her blog site.  So – after some debate as to whether, given such madness, she might better benefit from some counselling – I succumbed and the resultant ramblings can be discovered here…

Q&A with Anthony Bellaleigh

Fellow writers might also be interested in participating: if so, why not drop her an email?

Fantasy fans might also like to check out her novel: King’s Warrior

Time To Go…

…somewhere else.

Summer, for what it’s been worth, is already showing signs of its inevitable fade toward Autumn.  There’s a slight chill in the air, fresh dew on the morning grass, and a noticeable shortening of the days.  I think I’ve made the best of what little warmth there’s been in the UK these last few months, but need to get a few days of reliably good weather before Winter returns.

It’s time, therefore, to go travelling.

Holidays aren’t an unproductive time for me.  I’m not very good at doing nothing.  Last year, my holiday netted several thousand words of base-drafting for Thunder and I’m hoping this year will be similarly fruitful.

Thunder itself is still with various proofreaders, and I’m continuing to leave it alone.  When I get back, I will aggregate all of the comments and observations I’ve received, and then do my own – hopefully final – front-to-back read through.  Based on current feedback, this should be little more than a fine tuning exercise.  Release is therefore still on track for early Autumn.

For a few months, after I’d finished Thunder, my muse seemed to vanish – presumably hitting its own beach somewhere in muse-land.  Whilst I knew what the next book would be about, knew the main storyline and the lead characters, nothing was happening in my head.  I suspect I was just written-out and needed to rest for a while.

Now, I’m pleased to report, that all sorts of interesting – and sometimes not so interesting – ideas are popping up.  Many will not make it to the story, some will get mashed-together, some will get flipped; all together, they auger well that a slab of drafting will get done whilst I’m away.

Fingers crossed!

Have fun, keep safe, and enjoy the next few weeks.

To Blog, Or Not to Blog, That Is The Question…

First off: apologies to the esteemed Mr. Shakespeare who has probably just spun a merry pirouette in his grave…  Alas, poor Yorick!  I couldn’t help myself, Horatio…

Okay.  Enough of that…

On my daily travels around blog land – which are an occasionally-disciplined meandering; motivated by my desire to support fellow authors, an interest in other like-minds, and my genuine belief that there is much that we can learn from one another – I come across all kinds of blog strategy.  They range from “post, post, post,” to “once in a blue moon.”  Personally, I don’t mind either, providing the content is interesting and, for me at least, that’s the rub.

My strategy has always been to post only when I feel I’ve got something to talk about and I try to treat posts as being a “shop window” onto my imagination.  This means that I follow a similar, if shortened, process to the one I use for my books, namely: draft, leave alone for a few hours, review/edit, leave alone, review/edit, etcetera, then finally, post.  A side-effect of this is that posts are not quite realtime, but I’m of the opinion that timing is less important than inadvertently undermining my, albeit embryonic, brand as a writer.

Of course, I’d agree that blogs should always be something of a personal ledger, a lighthearted collection of random thought-fragments and ideas, and they should provide an insight into personality and general Weltanschauung.  They will, most often, be light-touch and will likely play host to the requisite population of mischievous typos.  After all, we’re only human, and the next major manuscript is probably crying out for its rightful attention.  But, nonetheless, I would still advocate a careful approach to all publication, especially for authors.

Perhaps this is wrong?  Perhaps I should worry less and post more?  I’d be interested to hear what other people think on this subject.  Especially given that I know – and respect – how successful and popular many of your own blog sites are…

[p.s. On the off-chance that Mr. Barker (whoever you are) is passing through here: I’d just like to say a quick thank-you for your recent review of Firebird on the US Amazon site.  For the record: I do read, and appreciate, every piece of feedback.  I am very grateful that you took the time to share your thoughts and I was deeply touched by your kindness.]

[p.p.s. The use of question marks?  Hmmm, perhaps you’re right?  I’ll have a think about it…  :)  ]

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