Friday, July 15, 2011

The Story So Far

As this is my first blog, I thought I’d start with The Story So Far.  I’ve been writing stories since I was four years old, and took to writing poetry in my teens – though most of it was a long way from being teenage angst – but until I was in my twenties it didn’t occur to me to think of myself as “a writer”.  I ate when I was hungry, drank when I was thirsty, wrote when I had ideas.

When I was fifteen, I had an idea for a story called The Winter Legend.  At first, I tried to write it as narrative verse – not one of my better ideas – before I switched to prose fiction.  Over several decades since then, I’ve worked at what’s become a trilogy of fantasy novels, but the initial idea as a whole has grown exponentially.  It now comprises an entire world – I’ve written novels and short stories that cover seven continents and five thousand years of history.  Much of it centres round an accidentally immortal character called the Traveller – perhaps I could refer to my world as “the Travellerverse” – but he’s only or a supporting character in some of the stories and doesn’t appear in many more.

At An Uncertain Hour, published in 2009 by StoneGarden, tells the first three thousand years of the Traveller’s life, and I’m currently knocking The Winter Legend, which takes place about a thousand years later, into final shape.  The first volume, The Tryst Flame, is ready to go, and I’m performing major surgery on the second, Children of Ice.  Volume three, Dreams of Fire and Snow, is about two-thirds complete in rough draft, but needs a considerable amount of work.

Lined up for when that’s done is a novel that’s a prequel to The Winter Legend and a sequel to At An Uncertain Hour; a trilogy about a reluctant young goddess called Cath-Korza; and a final novel, to bring the ennealogy to a close, that unites the Traveller and Cath-Korza.  In addition, I’ve written a number of short stories about the Traveller, series about Eltava, Karaghr & Failiu, and Salsha, as well as a number of stand-alones, all set in the Travellerverse.  A dozen or so of them have been published in various outlets, including the novella The City of Ferrid, published by Crystal Codices.

Not all of my work is set in the same world, however.  I’ve also written a novel (The Unicorn Queen) and several short stories set in a fictional European country called Westria.  So far, the stories have followed
Westrian history, with a fantasy element, from the 8th Century to the 21st.  Only one has been published to date – The Children of Dorsaeg in The Sword Review – but I’ve only begun to explore Westria.  It’s had several equally fictional colonies, too, in various parts of the world – including New Westria, one of the fifty-one states of the Union.

I also write many one-off stories.  My first publication was Safe as Houses in The Thirteenth Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories, which appeared immediately before a reprint by some guy called H.P. Lovecraft.  My most recent to date is Steal Away, a story featuring the Traveller and two fantasy juvenile delinquents called karaghr and Failiu, in Golden Visions.

I’ve written a good deal of poetry too over the years, and performed it in many venues, often backed by my own pre-recorded music (commonly known as The Invisible Band).  My favourite venue during the Nineties was the London coffee-house Bunjies – unfortunately now closed – which in its time was frequented by everyone from Bob Dylan and David Bowie to Jo Brand and Eddie Izzard.  And whatever happened to them?  I stopped writing poetry about ten years ago, for reasons I’ve never been very sure about, but I’ve written a few this year, so who knows?

So that’s my writing so far, and I’ll be looking in subsequent posts at various aspects of this, along with things I’ve learnt on the way.  I hope you’ll stay with me.

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