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Strange Behaviour


The last two weeks have been busy but something of a relief to get through. Hectic, more than anything. A number of people tell me it's good to be busy. Yeah, maybe., I keep busy, because I don't like to get complacent. I've also been plagued by a bitch of a cold that was stubborn as hell to sweat out. But I managed. Can now laugh without coughing. Why am I laughing. Honest Trailer for Alien: Covenant, for one. Just ask Pete Indiana Allison, for one. I digress. This entry will be 'strange behaviour' because this Sunday evening, I'm sat at the desk, relaxed, listening to Duran Duran's "Skintrade." For those who don't know the song, the hook is ' Would someone please explain the reason for this strange behaviour? In exploitation's name, we must be working for the skintrade.' Be advised this is my favourite song of all time, this gem from the 80s. As to why: it's a story for another time - like when we meet. Right now: 'strange behaviour.'

Last weekend saw me catch up in realtime with Michael David Wilson from the This Is Horror podcast. Not to podcast but just shoptalk. This good man was the spearhead behind 2017's A Story A Week challenge that I signed up for. Author and editor in his own right, I'd been pestering the man that we had to hang out when he got back to the UK from Japan. Especially since he was back to living in London. So, months down the line, we get to hang and talk this, that and the third. Writing process, submissions, Alice In Chains, etc. Good times.

l-r: Mark West, Peter Mark May, me, Lisa Childs, John Travis, Sue Moorcroft at Sledge-Lit 2018, Derby UK

Yesterday saw me at Sledge-Lit. Which was surprisingly a more subdued affair for me, given that there were a bunch of people there. Some I didn't get to speak to but had planned to, like Tade Thompson (yes, boss, you're on the list). Of course, the usual suspects are there, the likes of Paul Kane and Marie O'Regan, Eric Ian Steele, Mark West, et al. Spent much time talking to David, one of Mark's betas, about characters and representation. Thanks for that, man - good talk. I'd not long finished the draft of a new novella which had been a little like skating uphill. Or pulling teeth. Anyhow. Sloppy first draft is in at 26k. This one is more of a psychological horror. Right now, after basic clean-up, I'll take time away from it, maybe pass it to betas, as per my usual process. This left me today (in the wake of Sledge-Lit) to tie off other author-related loose ends. Among which was a guest post for Kendall Reviews. KR have been good enough to extend the invitation to horror writers - regardless of pedigree: real or imagined - to expand on, 'Why do you write horror?' The plan is to collect a whole flock of these and air them, as it were, throughout the course of 2019. So as I finished up my guest post today, I think on why I write horror. The love of dark fiction, not necessarily horror. But those stories which take a nudge to a dark place, where villainy becomes more insidious. Monstrous, even. The general feeling when you enter a horror story, it's open season on everything. The protagonists. The monsters. The final headcount. The happy ending. It's all fair game. And that's what I love to write. Yeah. Strange behaviour.

#thisishorror #sledgelit #astoryaweek #michaeldavidwilson #ericiansteele #kendallreviews

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Photography by Josie Macdonald Photography © 2020 and Ronya Galka Photography © 2020. Used with permission