As mentioned previously, Des Lewis is writing real-time reviews of Something Remains, He began these reviews here and now continues them here. You need to scroll to the comments section of both blog to read Des’ comments on each story.
Just discovered this interview with Peter Atkins and Glen Hirshberg. Peter is, of course, the author of the fabulous Alchemy Press collection, Rumours of the Marvellous.
Fresh from the PstD vault! The following is excerpted from a transcribed interview with Glen Hirshberg and Peter Atkins, conducted by Sean Moreland and James Greatrex on October 24, 2010. Atkins and Hirshberg had just performed as the Rolling Darkness Revue at the Mayfair Theatre the night before, as part of that year’s Ottawa International Writer’s Festival. This interview originally appeared in our inaugural issue, Postscripts to Darkness Volume 1. We owe a great deal to these gentlemen for the inspiration. Read more about how the Rolling Darkness Revue helped ignite our project.
Peter Atkins was part of Clive Barker’s The Dog Company in 1970s Liverpool. He is an actor, composer, and novelist, and is perhaps best known for his work as a screenwriter. Credits include the Hellraiser and Wishmaster series. He has twice…
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As I don’t plan stories in advance, and seldom know the ending in anything more than hazy ideas, I tend to inhabit the skins of main protags and watch the story unfold through them. For me writing is more fun if I am surprised by what comes next.
John Grant, author of Tell No Lies (The Alchemy Press) has been interviewed recently. The kind people at LitPick, and John, have given permission to reproduce the full interview. LitPick can be found online and on Facebook. And without further ado, here is the interview:
Prolific writer John Grant joins LitPick for Six Minutes with an Author! John is the author of over 70 books, about twenty-five of which are fiction. This award-winning writer was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and now lives in New Jersey.
How did you get started writing?
I must have been about seven or eight when I started my first novel, which was called The Ghost of Horror Mansion. From what fragments remain in my memory, it was every bit as dire as the title suggests. I got about fifteen pages into it, the writing getting larger and larger and the chapters — yes, it had chapters! — getting shorter and shorter. Then I, er, experienced writer’s block.
I wrote half of another novel — a comedy of more orthodox length — while I was at school, and the whole of a full-length novel while at university and immediately after. I finished the latter simply so I could tell myself I’d finished a novel; I knew by that stage it was pretty dreadful.
Thereafter, although I wrote a few universally rejected short stories, I put aside my aspirations to be A Writer for quite a long time, concentrating instead on making a career for myself in publishing, as a books editor. Then, many years later, I found myself suddenly out of work and broke, with a wife and small child to support. The obvious course was to become a freelance editor, but by happenstance I started being able to make something of a living as a writer as well. So for the next couple of decades I did both. Continue reading
Why do you write?
I have always had an interest in words on paper. At school I could never tell a verb from an adjective but always got good marks in English because of my compositions. So a long-standing relationship is a given. As to why do I write now, well…
Merry-Go-Round is available from Amazon US and UK and other online stores. A limited edition is also available directly from The Alchemy Press.
We at The Alchemy Press are saddened by the death of Tanith Lee (she passed away last Sunday). Her short story “The Mermaid” featured in The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic 2, edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber. In his review of the book in Interzone, Ian Hunter describes this story as “…beautifully written and quite, quite shudderingly horrible.” Tanith was interviewed by us last September:
Tell us a little about yourself and your writing. How long have you been writing and how did you get started?
I’ve been writing since the age of 9 – about 57 years. Being slightly dyslexic (something unrecognised in my childhood) the school couldn’t teach me how to read. My father stepped in and taught me in a few months. About a year later, by then reading as a locust feeds, I began – as if logically – to write.
We’ve met Tanith several times over the years. She was a lovely person, always charming and supportive. She is survived by her husband John Kaiine.
How long have you been writing and how did you get started?
Although I’ve never earned a living professionally as a writer, I have been a writer for around 47 years. Phew. I began writing poetry and satirical pieces, the latter for a small press alternative magazine called Outside which I edited with two friends. I printed the ’zine on an old, hand-cranked Rex Rotary duplicating machine. It lasted two issues, as it was difficult to sell on the streets of Birmingham in 1966! And as a genre editor I’ve been at it almost as long – I began my fiction review fanzine Shadow in 1968.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing, and does it come in useful for your stories?
When I’m not writing I’m usually rambling – not always in the inebriated sort of way! I’m a member of Birmingham Ramblers and we have a pretty busy programme of walks, so I tend to go on as many of them as I can, as well as occasionally lead walks for the group. I’m also on the committee, dealing with publications and publicity. The walking segues into the tasting of beer too, so along with CAMRA friends and others, there are often other walks which take in interesting pieces of industrial archaeology in between a few real ale pubs – or maybe that should be the other way around! I’m not sure if my walking experiences are useful for my stories. They tend not to be set in the English countryside. As for characters, well I think some traits may come from the walking fraternity, though I don’t consciously adapt them for my fiction.
“I never identify my messages. If people get them then good, if no then I’ve not done my job. One of my pet peeves in fiction is agenda-driven polemicals of the kind that whack you over the head again and again until you want to scream ‘Okay. I get it! Stop it already!’ The message should never be the book.”
The Alchemy Press’s Jan Edwards is interviewed here. Jan’s latest collection, Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties is due next month.
“I try to make the characters and their landscapes as realistic as possible. At some point they’re going to step off a very high ledge and fall into something pretty weird and horrible. Grounding them from the start helps the readers suspend their disbelief, as well as (hopefully) creating a rapport – if not sympathy – with the characters.”
Alchemy editor and contributor Mike Chinn faces a number of questions — read his replies here.
Mike’s new collection Give Me These Moments Back is published in March.
The Alchemy Press’s Adrian Cole is a born and bred Devonian, living on the North Devon coast with his wife, Jude. Adrian’s first works began to appear in magazines in the mid-1970s. Most were centred around his eternal warrior, The Voidal. In recent years he has taken up the role of Nick Nightmare, a gumshoe PI, in the style of Philip Marlow, but who battles against Dagon, Cthulhu and all their evil minions! Fiction very much in the pulp tradition and told with great style and humour.
The Nick Nightmare stories have been collected in Nick Nightmare Investigates, published by The Alchemy Press.
You can read the interview on the Jan Edwards website. It’s worth it!