Saturday, 9 April 2016

FEMFORCE 174 - Available to order now - hitting stores soon!

Femforce issue 174 is already available to order right now directly from AC Comics, and will be available through comic shops via Diamond Distribution this coming week!

It's an honour and a pleasure to be amongst the creative team for this long-running title, and I really hope that readers enjoy what they find in the 80 pages of brand new action that the issue offers!

Amongst the excitement of the many stories available in this issue is 'The Final Days Of Sirius Quinn', which I wrote and which has been brought to spectacular life by penciller Daniel Gorman and inker Scott Shriver.

It's a jungle adventure story focussing on the heroic giantess Tara, and marks my first time writing for the character. It was a ton of fun, and I hope you enjoy it as well.

 You can find the full rundown of what the whole issue offers over at the AC Comics website, but the ordering details are right here:

 Cover Price: $9.95 UPC: 79947580486117411 Diamond ID: JAN160979 GCIN: 951721

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Thank You For Last Month!

Thank you for March 2016. All of you. It was my biggest month ever since writing for people other than myself, with an estimated 100,000 copies of publications with content I'd written being released during the month (plus thousands of web visits). It was both humbling and a little surreal. Knowing that so many people have been so kind as to check out things I've written is an incredible feeling for a socially inept dreamer like me.

Thank you.

Here's what came out through March 2016 that I was lucky enough to grace the pages of:


SCREAM: THE HORROR MAGAZINE 35 

Featuring my latest VHS ATE MY BRAIN column, continuing the VHS love which began in my book of the same name.

As well as the usual VHS nostalgia, the films I talk about this issue are ELVES, THE KINDRED, MICROWAVE MASSACRE and NECROPOLIS. Plenty of magnetic mayhem to sink your fangs into – available in print at HMV and Fopp or as a digital edition! 




DOCTOR WHO ADVENTURES 12 

A very proud moment indeed for me as a Doctor Who fan since 1988 was the arrival of DOCTOR WHO ADVENTURES 12, which contained my Paternoster Gang story 'The Case Of The Curious Fugitive'. What a pleasure it was to write!

I hope I can return to the pages of DWA one day soon. 




POWERPLAY ROCK AND METAL MAGAZINE 185 

The latest issue of Powerplay contains an interview I did with Metal Church about their superb new album, the vintage metal blast that is 'XI', along with a number of album reviews.

Metal Church were an early favourite of mine when I first got into rock and metal, so the interview was a blast to do. It's a damn fine issue, and the Metal Church piece is in very good company indeed! 



FEMFORCE 174 

The new issue of Femforce became available to order at the end of the month, and it promises to be a heck of a read for fans old and new.

My contribution in this new issue is 'The Final Days Of Sirius Quinn', a story starring the jungle adventurer/superhero giantess Tara! Pencilled by Daniel Gorman with inks by Scott Shriver, it's an old-school romp inspired by the b-movies of yesteryear. Once again, AC have been so much fun to work with!




JESSICA CAMERON INTERVIEW 

I was also lucky enough to get to interview scream queen/actor/writer/director/Vlogger Jessica Cameron for HorrorNews.net, during which we talked horror movies, acting, film production, life and her movies TRUTH OR DARE and MANIA.

After 8 years of interviewing musicians, this was a fascinating change and a pleasure to do. You can find the full interview here.




The coming months will see more varied releases to come, but I'll talk about those another time. Right now I just wanted to say a massive THANK YOU for my biggest and most exciting month ever!

Sunday, 13 March 2016

DOCTOR WHO ADVENTURES 12 - OUT NOW! - A very proud moment


So, that big thing I mentioned a few months ago that I said would come out in March? Here it is. I'm about as excited as it gets!

DOCTOR WHO ADVENTURES issue 12, containing my Paternoster Gang story 'The Case Of The Curious Fugitive' is OUT NOW across the country in print and also available in a superb digital edition!

I am so very pleased to be able to be a little part of the Doctor Who universe, a franchise that means so very much to me. I've been a fan since seeing the first episode of 'Remembrance of the Daleks' as a ten year old in 1988. I was there through the 'Wilderness Years', buying the BBC novels (both the EDAs and PDAs kept the flame burning!), Big Finish audios and classics on video and DVD.

I obsessed over the show's return in 2005 and have loved pretty much every episode over the years since 'Rose' brought adventures in a big blue box back to TVs all over the world.

Having this story in Doctor Who Adventures has been a wonderful experience. The magazine's editor and the story's artist have been wonderful people to be in touch with, and I couldn't be more pleased with the finished piece.

It's out all month and comes with a box of mini Doctor Who monsters!

Please do let me or the magazine know if you have any feedback about 'The Case Of The Curious Fugitive.' It was a pleasure to write and it's an honour to be involved in a universe and franchise that has inspired, entertained and fuelled me for so long.

I would love to create more for the Doctor Who universe soon. I'd best get to work!

You can find out more about the issue over at Doctor Who Adventures

Friday, 25 December 2015

FEMFORCE 173 IS OUT NOW!

Femforce 173 from AC Comics - Out now!
Femforce 173, featuring my story 'The Iron Wake', is out now! With art from the wonderful Jacob Bear and edits from Femforce main-man Mark Heike, it's a solo SHE-CAT adventure featuring the reappearance of a classic villain!

I'm blown away with how Jacob has brought the script to life and how Mark tweaked it. It's so satisfying to see an idea come to fruition like this, and I know that whenever I send a story in to AC, it's in good hands!

The issue is available for comic shops who may not usually stock it to order from Diamond, or there's a variant cover version available directly from the AC Comics website.

Femforce 173 - AC Comics online store cover
It was a pleasure to write this story for AC and again they were an absolute delight to work with. It pleases me greatly that I'll be back in early 2016 in issue 174 with a story featuring Femforce's iconic leader, Ms. Victory, alongside the giantess Tara! You can find full details of issue 174 over at the AC Comics website right now!




Sunday, 6 December 2015

Oh, so THAT's how.


It's been a weird few months. Some really, really nice opportunities have presented themselves and I'm looking forward to building on them in the coming months, but I do feel it's taken me a long time to get to the right place in order for these things to happen.

Essentially what I've found works best for me, obvious as it may seem, is to work on the things that will help you towards your goals rather than just the ephemera that surrounds those goals. I landed some really exciting writing gigs in recent months that have genuinely opened my eyes to the fact that the market is there for writers to make some progress.

The key? Being honest, being realistic and asking nicely. Of course, the most essential part of the writer's journey has to be the development of the content itself, but it's not always something you have to do alone.

The gigs I've been lucky enough to secure of late have all taken shape with the help of very good editors. It may have been limited to a few brief emails, but those little bits of encouragement genuinely helped the things I've pitched achieve the level where they'll get picked up.

I know my stuff won't be picked up every time – that's the nature of this writing lark – but finding people who understand the market and their audience as well as how stories work has improved the content I've been able to offer greatly.

So. Tips. Be genuine. Be honest about what you do. Be polite and approachable. Listen to feedback. 

I'm so very, very grateful to be able to do the things I get to do right now. It's so much fun. Hard work, yes. A little scary, yes. Exciting? Always.

Friday, 9 October 2015

FEMFORCE 173 - Back Where I Always Wanted To Be!




So. Femforce 173 from AC Comics is set to feature an original SHE-CAT story that I scripted. This issue is due to land at the end of November.

Writing comic book stories is SO MUCH FUN IT'S RIDICULOUS.

There's another thing that just happened which will be out in March next year, and before that something very cool starting this December, but more on those later. Still lots to come from me in the remainder of 2015!

BRB.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Writing Life Is A Busy Life

Wow, this month is disappearing so fast. Hell, the whole YEAR is. Busy times abound lately, with the day job, family and home stuff going on, the magazine, comics and more. It's been hard finding the time for the book projects lately, but I'm trying to get a few words in here and there wherever I can. After all, you're not really a writer unless you do the writing.

There's a lot going on in my head as well as outside of it, which is bringing up some interesting dilemmas. My non-fiction projects are way more popular than my fiction at present, so the idea that I should focus on that more instead of the stories is nagging at me somewhat.

The thing is, my dream has always been to write fiction. Thus the dilemma of selling books Vs writing what means the most to me.

Having said that, I don't mean the non-fiction/pop culture titles don't mean just as much to me, but fiction was always the main thing I wanted to do. That's the thing which makes my imagination explode.

Changes to my home and work routines have also meant that I've had to try and rework any form of writing schedule I previously had, which has resulted in me having a temporary backlog of Other Stuff I Need To Finish. The sites I write for haven't had much content from me of late, which I'll be rectifying shortly, and the books I have on the go at present aren't getting much closer to completion.

It's been said to me on many occasions that I take too much work on. This usually comes from the same people who don't understand why I write some material which I know I won't get pid for. I can't refuse to write something because it doesn't pay. If I think a gig will be fun to do, then I'll do it for the enjoyment and experience more than thoughts of financial gain.

Maybe that's what I should remind myself with the fiction, actually. Maybe I should focus a bit more on that again and get some more out there. Thus far in 2015 I've had numerous magazine pieces and interviews out alongside some online content and two comic book stories being picked up, but no book releases yet.

One book is ready to go, a novella is 2/3 done and my next full-length novel is also around the 2/3 mark. I may out all three of these out simultaneously. There's something I haven't done before. That could be fun.

I mean, if it's not fun, if it doesn't bring satisfaction or some form of enlightenment, then what would the point be?

Time to go tell myself some stories. And then you.

Catch you soon. - Andy

Thursday, 6 August 2015

What Do Music Journalists Listen To?


As a music journalist, I do seem to get asked quite often exactly what I listen to. I always struggle with that question, as the answer changes so often. I usually answer with something like “Stuff” or “Anything that appeals.” I would wager that music journalists who say they only listen to the most underground stuff and nothing else are absolute liars. If we only ever listened to one type of music, we wouldn't be able to be objective about any of it when we write about it.

Music isn't one thing. Genres are good things to have when trying to describe what we listen to or what category a band is when reviewing their work, but beyond that, music should just be music. As a guitarist for the past 25 years, I am primarily drawn to guitar based music, and in that arena my particular poison is hard rock and old-school heavy metal. Those are my roots. The thing to remember is that roots grow, and once they have grown tall they will bear fruit.

Crap analogies aside, you should always respect your musical roots, but never be afraid to build on those foundations and develop your tastes. Writing for Powerplay Rock and Metal Magazine, I'm known primarily as a rocker and metalhead, and that's fine. That's my meat and potatoes. That's the lifeblood for me. However, that's not the be all and end all of my music library. Not by a long way. I believe you can't appreciate music properly unless your aural diet is well-balanced.

The blues were a big part of my musical youth, and my love for the blues continues to this day. Then there's classical music and film scores. Rockabilly and 50s pop music. Industrial and old-school EBM. Trippy electronica. Contemporary pop music. Nerdcore. A lot of 80s chart stuff. A few country songs. Some hip-hop. A lot of soundtracks. The list goes on.

At the other end of it there's the extreme metal, the black and death and thrash and grindcore. That's offset by my deep and abiding love for AOR and symphonic metal. Then there are the thousands of individual songs I own from different artists which I bought just because I liked those songs even if I wasn't that keen on exploring those artists further.

As I write about music, I get sent a lot of it from bands and record companies and PR companies, but
I still buy music. I prefer physical copies, but I'm not averse to purchasing downloads. I just like to have something I can look at, read the liner notes to while listening. That's not to say physical media is a better thing. I just grew up with physical media, so that's what brings me reassurance alongside the tunes. Music isn't a throwaway thing. Music is the soundtrack to lives, and in many of those lives it becomes an integral part of every day.

Music should be delved into, lest the good stuff be lost amidst the massive amount of other material out there. The influences of your influences should be given a chance. After all, the musicians you loved adored them for a reason. On another track, it's very easy to dismiss things as being crap, but at least listen to them before making that decision. Give things a chance.

Music for every mood is an essential in my life, as well. Music has the capacity to sooth and inspire as well as energise. Building a music library which offers me something for every quirk of my fluctuating emotional state has been a beautiful experience throughout my life, and long may it be thus. Music has been there for me in my darkest times as well as my very best times.

It has seen me through nights I never thought would end, heartache, elation, worry and joy. For almost eight years now, music has been a part of my professional life and continues to do everything that it always did. Music has always been there for me, and I couldn't cope without it. What do music journalists listen to?

Music. We listen to music.