Each year since 2004 I've had a story to share for Halloween, because it's a significant date for me. This year's a taste of Tawnholme sweetness, although as it turned out, my weather forecast was completely wrong! Many many thanks to A, for helping me get this ready to share - all mistakes and misunderstandings that remain are my own sweet fault, especially as I have changed things since she saw it.

Happy Halloween, and happy reading!

Unexpected callers, by Alex Draven )
Each year since 2004 I've had a story to share for Halloween, because it's a significant date for me. This year's is a short sequel to last year's Mellow Mists , although it can also be read as a stand-alone short. Thank you to A, for helping to tidy this up: all remaining mistakes are my fault.

Sunset Starts by Alex Draven )




If you're interested in reading the previous stories I've posted as Halloween gifts they are:

Dream Come True (2004)
Thirteen Kisses (2005)
All Souls (2006)
Favour ($0.99) & two free snippets Soar and Raining Cats (2007)
Tradition (2008)
Everything changes (2009)
It’s not the dead that haunt graveyards (2010)
Here Comes The Rain (2011)
Mellow Mists (2012)

You'll find these and other seasonally appropriate snippets under 'seasonal : autumn' in the tags list

(If I was doing this as a promotional thing, I would have picked a less popular date, because there's an awful lot of fabulous fiction being released for Halloween - more of it every year - but I'm doing this because it's a significant date for me, so, thank you, everyone who reads this, and twice thanks to those of you who let me know that you did.)
So, as anyone who follows me on Twitter is no doubt aware, I spent last weekend at Nine Worlds, a 3 day geek-fest convention thingumy. It was good. I approve. Would do again.

Specifically, I got to hang out with fab people, both people I know and don't get to see often enough, and people I don't know who were shiny and interesting, and go to All The Things.

The sheer abundance of sessions was kind of overwhelming, in a good way, and I'm really appreciating people's write-ups of sessions I didn't get to go to - so many threads full of so many interesting things, but I don't regret choosing any of the things I did in the end go to (not even the slot where I didn't go to any of the five different things that I wanted to go to, and instead got a foofy coffee and ate a protein bar, and sat and chatted to friends, because that was good too.)

I do kind of regret not taking time off work, which means I missed several sessions that I would have liked to go to on Friday, and had to leave mid-afternoon on Sunday to get home. Note duly taken for next year.

The only thing I did get to go to on Friday was Tony Keen's session on Writing Fantastic London - part discussion of his list of key texts, running from Charles Dicken's Christmas Carol to the Rivers of London trilogy series*, part writing exercise, and part reading / discussion of some of the participants' writings. We had about 15 mins of writing time, which left one of the participants with an impressively polished and vivid short inspired by Crossrail, and generated lots of discussion about how the transport system ties in to the fantastic-ness of the city.

I was thinking about my own stuff, and Everything Changes is, I think, my London-est story with supernatural elements. The area around Kings Cross is both inspiration, symbol, and plot element in that one, and a lot of the session discussion brought up transport and transience, and migration and crowds as aspects of London that engender fantastic fiction, so - yes.

My own writing exercise results? under the cut tag )
_____
*<strike>I can type up if anyone wants it - I have a couple of new things on my to-read list from it., personally. </strike>
The reading list is online now: http://tonykeen.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/writing-fantastic-london-reading-list.html

<b>ETA - Shiny! - Bedlam, a story by Catherine Taylor, aka the nifty Crossrail story has been posted! text or Audio    Go, read! </b>
alexdraven: (Halloween)
( Aug. 8th, 2013 12:56 am)
I had an email from a reader earlier this week, who was looking for Favor, one of my Halloween stories that had long-since gone out of print, which was the kick in the pants I needed to get it polished up and up on Smashwords. (The cover may not be the ultimate cover, but the book is *there*, which is probably more important.)

You can now find Favor (now with British spelling restored, so it's Favour again) at Smashwords from whence it will - eventually - find it's way to Kindle, Kobo, Apple etc.

Bonus for loyal readers - use coupon CF85T for a free copy of Favour good for the next couple of days at Smashwords.
Each year since 2004 I've had a story to share for Halloween, because it's a significant date for me. This year is no exceptions, despite the best efforts of non-writing life to get in the way.

This is another Tawnholme story, but a very different mood from last year's - this year is more about sadness and stillness and the potential inherent in the turn of the seasons at this time of year.

Mellow Mist by Alex Draven

"So, hey."

Karl kicked desultorily at the fallen leaves, lying in damp, sodden drifts. It was cold, and damp, and the mist hadn't lifted even though it was mid-afternoon. The trees the far side of the clearing were soft-focus, and the far side of the valley a ghostly rumour.

"I came out here. I don't know what I thought that was going to achieve, but - here I am."

The trees didn't say anything back.

It wasn't exactly silent - the wind moving the branches, the distant thrum of traffic, the odd thump and crackle as birds launched themselves from branches or ripe crab apples hit the ground - but it was a lot quieter than Karl was used to. read on )

If you're interested in reading the previous stories I've posted as Halloween gifts they are:

Dream Come True (2004)
Thirteen Kisses (2005)
All Souls (2006)
Favour ($0.99) & two free snippets Soar and Raining Cats (2007)
Tradition (2008)
Everything changes (2009)
It’s not the dead that haunt graveyards (2010)
Here Comes The Rain (2011)

You'll find these and other seasonally appropriate snippets under 'seasonal : autumn' in the tags list

(If I was doing this as a promotional thing, I would have picked a less popular date, because there's an awful lot of fabulous fiction being released for Halloween - more of it every year - but I'm doing this because it's a significant date for me, so, thank you, everyone who reads this, and twice thanks to those of you who let me know that you did.)
alexdraven: Negative image of a raven in flight with the text Alex Draven (Reverse Raven)
( Dec. 4th, 2011 08:25 pm)
'Tis the natural cycle of these things, but over the last five weeks, two of my books have gone out of 'print' : Favor and Stay Tape are no longer for sale.

I must admit, it's a little sad to get the email saying that their time is up.

I'm not 100% sure what's going to happen with them - I'm toying with the idea of self-publishing them, Stay Tape probably on it's own, or with another Tawnholme story, Favor as part of an anthology of Halloween stories. Lord knows when I'll have the time to spend clambering up the learning curve to be able to do them justice, though!

Mostly, I really need to finish more things and submit them places, so my publications list is replenished and there are more stories out there in the world!

Rather than the better year I was hoping for, real life has found several news ways to dent my word count this year. I have actually written more this year than last, but a) that's a lot less than the year before that and b) 'written' is not the same as 'finished'. Must do better. *Will* do better.
Each year since 2004 I've had a story to share for Halloween, because it's a significant date for me. This year is no exceptions, although I'm posting a little early because circumstances will prevent me from getting online on the day, and I'm determined not to skip.

This year's tale is a Tawnholme story, which means it's a contemporary, roughly 'real world', story set in a fictional UK town, and I think it's a little smoky and a lot sweet - a good pair to 2007's Favour, in fact. Many thanks to Pen for last minute editing services; any remaining mistakes are entirely my own fault, especially as I've worked on this since she saw it last.

Here Comes The Rain, by Alex Draven )

If you're interested in more, here's a list of the past stories.

Dream Come True (2004)
Thirteen Kisses (2005)
All Souls (2006)
Favour (2007) (for sale) & Soar and Raining Cats (2007)(free sketches)
Tradition (2008)
Everything changes (2009)
It’s not the dead that haunt graveyards (2010)

You'll find these and other seasonally appropriate snippets under 'seasonal : autumn' in the tags list

(If I was doing this as a promotional thing, I would have picked a less popular date, because there's an awful lot of fabulous fiction being released for Halloween - more of it every year - so, thank you, everyone who reads this, and twice thanks to those of you who let me know that you did.)
alexdraven: (Edwardian)
( Sep. 30th, 2011 05:38 pm)
Pick a genre, and a location, and share some of your favourite books

Seven London Fantasy Favourites, in a roughly chronological sequence by setting:

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Sweetmeat by Luke Sutherland
61 Nails by Mike Shevdon
Kraken by China Mielville

And you? Where would you pick? What would you pick?
alexdraven: Negative image of a raven in flight with the text Alex Draven (Reverse Raven)
( Sep. 11th, 2011 05:20 pm)
[personal profile] jjhunter issued a speculative fiction fest challenge, to write a short story describing an ordinary day in the life for an ordinary woman and her family coping with illness somewhen in the future. It's quite a specific set of prompts, but it sparked off with the song I was listening to, and turned into this, which I post as it stands, as a rough sketch.

(It's a stand alone, although it could be the same world as these snippets, not least because it's inspired by music from the same source - thank you Deathboy, for your music as both band and individual!

*****

First of March

"So, here we are - the first of March and the sun's shining." Kal tilted the camera towards the viewscreen behind her, and smiled. The automatic polarisation on Ella's bedside viewer abruptly killed the contrast, but she could still see the light burst bleaching out most of Kal's viewscreen. "We made orbit right on schedule." Kal returned the camera to dock, and the light levels settled back down again. "I love you, lady. Have a good day." Kal touched two fingers to her lips, and blew a kiss to the camera, and then the screen went dark.

"Love you, too," Ella whispered, and flopped back in the unmade bed, allowing herself the luxury of a minute or two's silence to feel herself missing her wife.Read more... ) so - what do you think?


The folks over at Brief Encounters Reviews - a review site exclusively for shorter M/M reads, of up to 20,000 words - are celebrating British authors and stories, with a series of interviews and reviews, and some generous give-aways.

I've contributed a couple of books to the swag bag, and answered my interview questions, and now I'm looking forward to seeing what their reviewer thought of whichever book they pick, as well as hearing more from my fellow authors in the UK.

Come on over and see what they're up to?
Every year since 2004, I've posted a story for Halloween, because it's a significant day for me. This year's offering is an idea that's been rattling around in my subconscious for years, which sparked against a recent visit to a local civil cemetery, to become this story.

It’s not the dead that haunt graveyards
by Alex Draven

Read more... )

If you're interested in previous years' stories, here's the list:


Dream Come True (2004)
Thirteen Kisses (2005)
All Souls (2006)
Favour (2007) (for sale)
Soar and Raining Cats (2007)
Tradition (2008)
Everything changes (2009)

(plus, there are the two zombie stories. They are seasonally appropriate, but they do come with a 'you click on the link, you take responsibility for your own sanity' warning - the titles are terrifyingly accurate on these two - Zombie Incest Wrongness and the infamous necrophiliac plushy gangbang story)

(If I was doing this as a promotional thing, I would have picked a less popular date, because there's an awful lot of fabulous fiction being released for Halloween - more of it every year - so, thank you, everyone who reads this, and twice thanks to those of you who let me know that you did.)

I'm a member of a book-swapping service called BookMooch. As well as helping books to find readers and readers new books, it's also spawned a collection of collaborative journals,  sent around the world and filed with words and images and thoughts and notes by anyone who wants to take part. I've added to a few, and not  documented them, but this afternoon I decided to write a drabble for this one - A Dragon's Tale. A drabble means a hundred words, which means typing the words so I could count them and tweak them to get the perfect century.

I also remembered to take a couple of photos.

Silver-on-black stencilled dragon and handwritten drabble

*****
Nothing like you imagined.

*****

Smoke in the air, carbon staining anything that touched the rocks, and - there! A flicker of distant flame? A glint of reflected light? Reflected from scales or gold? It barely mattered - she stumbled forward, further into the dark of cave, straining to catch a second glimpse, and then froze as the cave floor vibrated under her feet. She felt as much as heard the bass rumble of the dragon shifting, sighing. A clatter of something falling against rocks - gold, or more rocks? She smiled, imagining the dragon stretching, and curled asleep on his horde, like a house cat.

*****


silver dragon stencilled on black

I was lucky enough to get an ebook reader for my birthday a couple of months back (an Elonex 5" e-ink model, should you want to know that), and I love it!

It's really made me aware, though, of the benefits of having stories available to read in a variety of formats - I always used to jump for .html or .pdf files for reading on my pc or for printing out, but now I love the flexibility of epub goodness, and I imagine Kindle users feel the same way about .mobi

This weekend, I've been experimenting with using smashwords.com to convert my centaur short story, Fall, into a range of ebook formats. It seemed like a good candidate - long enough to be worth the effort of downloading for your device, and a story that's close to my heart, and that I'd love to get into as many people's hands as possible (which is why it's been a free read here for a while).

It's now available in epub, html, PDF, LRF (for Sony Reader), PDB (for Palm reading devices) and .mobi for Kindles, as well as here, under the 'centaurs' tag

It's free, and perfectly legal to pass around, although I'd love it if, should you want to give it to a friend, you'd give them a link to download a fresh copy, so I get some download figures to let me know that people are reading. http://bit.ly/FallDraven

As always, I love to hear from readers - comments, or twitter messages, or email are all good - so let me know how that works for you?
alexdraven: Negative image of a raven in flight with the text Alex Draven (Default)
( May. 16th, 2010 10:52 pm)
Someone posted a plea to authors - wow - that's a month ago already? Anyway - a plea to authors, namely

"Please, if you have a website or blog, please keep it updated. There is nothing more frustrating than having a favorite author and finding their website or blog, only to find out that the last time it got updated was May and it's now October."

I am totally one of those authors, and I apologise, so this is my 'not dead, still plugging along' post.  Specifically, my day job is trying to take up all 26 hours of the day every day, which isn't leaving a lot of time or mental energy for writing.

The ideas are still coming, though, and I'm making lots of notes and scribbled pen-sketches that hopefully will come together into actual stories as soon as the pressure's off a little. I wish I could tell you when that would be, because that would make everything less stressful, but the available evidence suggests that as soon as I say 'work will get less busy in x days' the law of sod will roll into effect and make me a liar. 

I don't want to lie to you, so I'll make you no promises about the timing, just that I'll keep on keeping on, and eventually there will be more stories for me to share with you.



Tags:
alexdraven: Negative image of a raven in flight with the text Alex Draven (Default)
( Apr. 1st, 2010 11:06 pm)
Nifty things #1 - Torquere Press are having an April Fool's 2-day sale - 15% off with the code 'nofool' on checkout. This is particularly nifty as I've just become the lucky owner of a dedicated ebook reader, so it's perfect timing for me to stock up on some of the titles from my wishlist :D

Nifty things #2 - the ageofsteam blog are throwing a Steampunkapalooza all month, and start things off with a bang with this interview with Gail Carriger, which includes all sorts of nifty things, including the fact that she had one of the costumes from her cover art made for her in real life, which is an idea that is so totally going on my 'you know you've made it when' list!

Nifty things #3 - sticking to the steampunk theme, I've been tempted into playing Echo Bazaar: Fallen London, which is a really nicely done steampunky alternative London story-adventure type game. Anyone else playing? (It ties into Twitter, but while there's a little bit of game pressure to involve any of your Twitter followers who are already playing, they are - so far at least - doing the decent thing and not posting things without your active consent.)
alexdraven: Negative image of a raven in flight with the text Alex Draven (Default)
( Dec. 25th, 2009 05:26 pm)
A short Christmas ghost story, written in response to a challenge at Just_Writing

*****

It was bitter cold this year. The snow that brought the city to a halt earlier in the week, which made the solstice celebrations glitter and shine in the darkness, has gone. The iron grey that was left had Col cold to the bone, and it wasn't surprising that everyone else who had a warm cosy place to be chose to be there instead. It left the Christmas woods deserted. Just him, and the drip of water slowly rolling together on a leaf, the sharp rustle as a bird took wing. Col thrust his hands deeper into his poachers pockets, and hunched his shoulders, trying to shield his heart from the cutting wind. Read more... )
alexdraven: Negative image of a raven in flight with the text Alex Draven (Default)
( Dec. 25th, 2009 04:01 pm)
Just sneaking online to wish all of you who celebrate Christmas a wonderful celebration, and all of you who don't, a wonderful day.

Also, 'tis Christmas, and what better time to be thinking about beautiful (male) angels? So I've been photo hunting:


Angel by Nicolas DARQUÉ


(the rest are 'all rights reserved' so I'm linking instead of posting - they're worth clicking through to, though.)

Un Ange Blue

Dawn

bent angel

demons fall for an angels kiss

goth angel (not sure that this is the original, as I've seen this picture a bunch of places, but it is beautiful)

MythMag Angel

The Angel Waits - maybe my favourite of the lot - the light and shadow, the *intent* and the *patience* implied by the pose... isn't it beautiful?
My corset-boys novella, Stay Tape, has been re-released today as a Torquere Single Shot Classic. That means that you can, once again, get your hands on it, if you haven't already.

Stay Tape is about Kit and Dirk, eyeliner and photography, kilts and corsets. It's about love, and trust, and doing the things that scare you because if you never get scared you're not growing.

Dirk loves his life. He has his partner, Kit, and he has a wonderful job at the local fetish shop, working behind the scenes. Panic sets in when Dirk's boss, Sukie, asks him to model some of the wares in the next catalog. He's not sure he wants to be on the front lines, where everyone can see him.

Kit is more than happy to help Dirk get over his case of nervous jitters. In fact, Kit might just be uniquely suited to the task. He sets out to make sure Dirk can do the job, helping Dirk ease his fears. Can they prove to Dirk that it's not so bad to be in the spotlight after all?

You can read an extract, reviews, and a bonus snippet over at Stay Tape's page on my website, and you can pick it up for your Kindle at Amazon, in a range of other ebook formats from your preferred distributor, or direct from the publisher.
Every year, I post a story for Halloween - a tradition that's important enough to me that I stole a few minutes away from my dear friends' wedding reception to post this one!

Many thanks to the fabulous Ms Mana for eleventh-hour assistance with this - all remaining flaws are entirely down to me, especially as I changed things since she last saw it.

Everything changes
by Alex Draven

*****

11pm finds me stepping off a train. I haven't been back in London for years and the area around King's Cross has changed almost beyond recognition.

You've still got the station, of course - stations are always good for an emotional smorgasbord, although personally, I tend to use airports these days. But the streets around the station? These days there are students and clubbers and cocktail bars mixed in with the porn shops and all these neon-plastic chain places; the teenagers that crowd them are junk food for us, just like the burgers are for them, all those candy-bright hyper-real emotions.

Used to be that dealers and hookers, and the dealers and hookers' clients, were the most regular items on the menu outside the station proper. That's why I moved on in the end. All that thin desperation and hopelessness sits sour in the stomach, and I never did have Z's taste for shame.

Read more... )

If you're interested in previous years' stories, here's the list:


Dream Come True (2004)
Thirteen Kisses (2005)
All Souls (2006)
Favour (2007) (for sale)
Soar and Raining Cats (2007)
Tradition (2008)

(plus, there are the two zombie stories. They are seasonally appropriate, but they do come with a 'you click on the link, you take responsibility for your own sanity' warning - the titles are terrifyingly accurate on these two - Zombie Incest Wrongness and the infamous necrophiliac plushy gangbang story)
I know a lot of people go direct to the publisher's website, and if you're a Kindle user, I assume you use Amazon as your primary e-book store, but I also know a lot of people regularly use other e-book stores, and I'm curious - who do you use?

Do you use one site almost exclusively, or do you regularly use a mix? Does it make a difference what format of e-books you read? Do you go to one place for books for your smart phone, and somewhere else for books for your PC?

There are way too many options to come up with a reasonable poll for this, so I'll ask for comments instead - where do you buy your e-books?
.

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