This and that

So, it’s been awhile since I’ve checked in here. My bad. It’s not that I don’t want to update the page, it’s just that things move at such a glacial pace in the literary world that, sometimes, there’s just nothing to report. However, with that said, I do have a few bits to share.

First, I have recently submitted a trio of short stories to various publications that I admire quite a bit. As always, competition is fierce, so nothing is set in stone. I’m very picky about who I submit to (stupid, I know), but I feel that my work has value, and as such, I want a publisher than can properly showcase my talent. When submitting shorts, it is truly a waiting game, as they (the publisher) have a shit-ton of fiction to wade through. These things take time.

Second, there is my novel. This book, which is out in the ether at the moment, means a lot to me; but I am a realist, and so am not expecting anything soon. That doesn’t bother me as much as you may think. You see, I am always writing. I have a second horror novel in the works, as well as a literary fiction novel (both in the second draft phase). My brain may not be good for much, but it loves telling stories. There’s no shortage of ideas floating around in there.

Lastly, I’ve been reading a lot of fantastic novellas recently (The Worm and His Kings by Hailey Piper, Yellow Jessamine by Caitlin Starling and Break/Interrupt by Ben Van Dongen to name a few) and have been inspired. I’m, as of this writing, almost finished the second draft a horror novella which has been a blast to write. Truly, this story has been the most fun I’ve had in front of my computer in ages. There is a publisher in mind for this one, but they have a very limited release schedule, so it might get shopped around a bit. I will, as always, keep you updated.

Besides that, I’ve been reading a lot. Finally checked out Stephen King’s On Writing. It is weird coming to this book twenty years after its release. It’s so famous, that I’ve heard most of its advice second hand years ago. Still, if there is a person alive who knows what the hell he’s talking about, it’s King, so I was happy to absorb.

Anyway, that’s it from me. Be back soon,

Christian

3 Writers!

I was going to get into some of the music I listen to while writing but decided that I would save that for a later date. Instead, I thought I would shine a spotlight on three authors who inspire me.

12977531I’ll get the obvious one out of the way first. Stephen King. Listen, if you are a horror writer, you have probably been influenced by King’s work (whether you like his stuff or not). The man is synonymous with horror fiction. My first experience with King’s work came through my brother. He was (and still is) and avid reader of Stephen King. Because of that, even though it would be years before I would pick up a horror novel (King’s or otherwise) I was seeing his books lying around our house. Since then I’ve read about twenty or so of his books (with many more in the ‘to-read’ pile). My personal favs are The Shining, Bag of Bones, The Talisman and Desperation. But to be honest, I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by him (except for The Colorado Kid. That book sucked hard).

219635Next up is one of two Canadians. Michael Slade (AKA John Banks, Jay Clark, Rebecca Clark and Richard Covell). Confused yet? Let me explain. Michael Slade is the pen name of several writers (most of them lawyers), but the biggest contributor, and only one currently writing under the name, is Jay Clark. The Slade books (with only one exception) all follow a division of the RCMP called Special X. Special X are tasked with catching psychopaths who have connections with other countries, requiring the unit to often times work with other law enforcement agencies from around the world. The thing I like the most about Slade’s work is how unapologetic it is. It is vicious, violent, sexy and unfiltered. Although I enjoy all of the early Slade books (some of the later ones aren’t the best), my favs are: Headhunter, Ripper, Bed of Nails and Ghoul. I actually consider Ghoul one of my all-time favourite books.

24497842And that brings me to the second Canadian: Craig Davidson (AKA Nick Cutter). I met Craig a few years ago when I was asked to host The Dark Side Tour on its stop in my hometown. The tour was a cross-North American book tour with Craig Davidson and Andrew Pyper. At the time, I had just taken my first fledgling steps into my writing career and felt immediately out of my depth talking to these two guys. Luckily, they were both awesome and the night went off without a hitch. A perk of playing host was that I was given copies of their new books at that time (The Deep from Craig and The Damned from Pyper), so that I could ask some relevant questions. And although I loved both books, something about Craig’s visceral horror really grabbed me. I went back and read his other offering under the Cutter name (The Troop) and was outright hooked, and have greedily devoured everything since. I’ve been fortunate enough to hang out with Craig a bunch of times over the last couple years, and now consider him a friend. I’ve yet to be disappointed with any of his work, but hands down my favourite is the literary kick to the face called The Acolyte. This book resonates with me on every level. I fucking love it.

So, there you have it. Three authors who have shaped my own writing style and inspire me to keep plugging away. There are many more, of course, but if I started going through them all, we’d be here all day.

-Christian