Tuesday, 18 March 2008

My interview with Tess Gerritsen is now online!


The dedicated crime fiction website Crime Time has picked up my interview with bestselling author Tess Gerritsen, and it is now online over at the Crime Time website!

Many thanks to Tess for her time and to Crime Time for publishing it.

Friday, 14 March 2008

For Selena And Sin


I interviewed Pasi (guitars) for Subba Cultcha, and reviewed their album there too. I love this band, mainly because they aren't trying to be part of the current wave of symphonic goth metal bands. There is a dash of Lacuna Coil, a touch of Cocteau Twins, and a hell of alot of good songs. These are my current tip to be very big very soon. Their album 'Overdosed on You', is superb, and I've posted their first music video, for 'Ghost in the Family' below for you to check out. It is quite a sombre affair, and while it isn't the song I'd have chosen for a video track, it is still representative of what For Selena and Sin are about.

For Selena and Sin interview


Album Review



Tuesday, 11 March 2008

KEVIN SMITH'S BORING-ASS LIFE- A book review

KEVIN SMITH
MY BORING-ASS LIFE

Titan Books

Silent Bob is one of us!

There is something very humbling about this book. Here is a man who is very grateful for the career he has, and clearly loves his life. Taking the form of a diary covering a year in his sometimes dull, sometimes fascinating life, the book is an eye opener for anyone who is a fan of his work, or just people who are curious as to what writer/directors do when they aren’t writing or directing. From this book, I’d say they’re generally watching the X-Files or TIVO’d Simpsons episodes.

The entry-a-day format makes the book very readable, either all at once or in chunks of a day or two’s entries at a time. It helps that Smith has a gift for writing as if he’s chatting directly to you, otherwise it wouldn’t be nearly as funny or sincere. His daily life is dissected in clear, and sometimes uncomfortably brutal, detail, which sometimes feels somewhat voyeuristic, but the guy is so good natured about it all that it’s hard not to laugh, wince or sigh along with him where appropriate.

The family life he talks of is a wonderful way to fill out the public persona he has. It is a great thing to hear about barbecues and sitting watching movies and talking to friends and fans, even moreso than the parts of the book covering his actual work. It is the ‘life’ aspect of the book I found much more interesting than the work stuff. I know about people making movies, but I didn’t really take into account all the other stuff invloved that doesn’t happen on set. Granted I should as I’ve done that stuff myself, but you don’t really think of ‘name’ directors having to do, well, normal things. Yeah, I know that sounds silly, but can you picture Scorcese on the toilet, checking emails? Me neither. Kevin serves up his life in a frank and entertaining manner that is difficult to put down and harder to forget.

It isn’t all an easy ride through his days though, there is a particularly heartbreaking/heartwarming section dealing with him helping his long-term friend and colleague Jason Mewes through a particularly bad patch, but even in these more difficult periods, there is a great amount of humour and warmth to be experienced. This is a chronicle of a geek who is, quite literally, living the dream. I hope he continues to do so, and continues to fill his life with a cast of characters more unique than any he could dream up for a movie or comic project.

Quite simply, read this book. Enjoy, learn, and wince along with the rest of us.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

It has a title!


The audio script now has a working title; CAPTIVE JUDGEMENT. I will complete the script this week, with a view to recording the initial material next week, and cutting it together the week after that. A second audio story is being plotted, and once the two are complete, I'll release them together on one CD via my Lulu page. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time, and will hopefully serve as a kind of audio taster of my work, that I can use to get my scribblings noticed a little further afield. The two stories will be offered as a download too, and one of them (Probably Captive Judgement) will be podcasted.

Once upon a time I was offered a writing slot on the audio Science Fiction series THE AGENTS OF PSYENCE, which I'm still sad I didn't take advantage of. I wrote outlines for two stories, which were okayed, and then all hell broke loose and life got in the way for a while. I'm catching up now, and making up for the lost time as best I can. This pair of new, original science fiction audio plays is just the beginning. I'm looking forward to giving people so many stories this year. Looks like, at long last, the time has come.


The war with 'real life' and 'the future' is on.

Getting it out there

I’m eight pages into a script for a short audio piece, a bare bones science fiction two-hander that I’m going to have a go at producing myself. I think I should try and get some work recorded and out there in the form of some original podcasts. It is something I’ve talked about doing for ages, and as I’m getting so much done of late, I think now is the time. It is a little strange working with audio script again after so long. It’s been a while, but I’m enjoying the experience and it is all good practice.

It is important to stretch yourself now and again. Don’t restrict yourself to writing one thing in one genre, or for one medium. Keep your mind working on a variety of things, and you will find things improve on all fronts. Music journalism has helped me a great deal. I’m meeting deadlines, always writing, and always trying to say something new while staying as honest as I can with each piece I review.

There’s so much you can do to expand your writing horizons, and not just with blogs. Stories, articles, interviews, poetry, scripts, there is literally no limit on what you can write. An important thing is placing your work. Personally, everything I write gets placed somewhere, be it the dozen sites I write for as part of my day job, the magazines I write for, or my own work in fiction. It all goes somewhere, even if it is only placed here. Getting your writing out there and in front of readers is an incredibly important step. You can hone your craft as much as you want, but people have to actually READ it somewhere along the line.

Check out some magazine sites. See if they would be interested in an article, or some reviews. Get in touch with artists, musicians, writers, anyone you admire and politely enquire as to whether they would be willing to do an interview. Distance isn’t an issue any more really, there’s always email, and with the increased use of services such as Skype, there’s no reason you can’t talk to someone worth writing about.

I am seriously thinking of putting out a podcast series of my own. I’m considering something that encompasses some news, reviews and chat with a regular fiction spot, in which an original story is ether read out or dramatized. The possibilities are endless nowadays. Don’t let that work languish in a drawer or on your hard drive. Get it seen. Get it read. Have it enjoyed or criticized. Get it out and into the minds of the world. Don’t worry of you don’t think your work will find an audience. There is an appetite for everything.

Give it a go.

New issue of POWERPLAY out now!

The new issue of POWERPLAY is now on the shelves, and I had a blast writing my batch of reviews this month. I was lucky enough to get the new WHITE LION album, as well as the ASCENSION OF THE WATCHERS debut and the very, very special debut from LEANDRA, amongst others. The free covermounted CD is stuffed with goodies too, including CAVALERA CONSPIRACY and a track from that brilliant new AYREON album.