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Sun, Jul. 19th, 2009, 05:55 pm
Writer's Block: Family Heirlooms

Is there anything in your family that has been passed down from generation to generation, or from family member to family member? What is it? And who do you plan to pass it on to?

Our nose. But aside from plastic surgery there's not much we can do about it. We plan to pass it on to our children - but, of course, there's two lots of gene's involved.

Sun, Jul. 19th, 2009, 05:48 pm
Murky Depths #9

. . . is shipping in a couple of weeks. We have a great new story from Juliet E McKenna and the start of the serialisation of Richard Calder's graphic novel Dead Girls (based on his cult novel of the same name). Not to mention the fabulous artwork and excellent stories from other writers and artists. You can pre-order art the website.

Also there's a special offer on the very first issue of Murky Depths. Go check it out!

Sun, Nov. 9th, 2008, 01:21 pm
Killing Kiss by Sam Stone

Well, Sam's book went on sale at the beginning of September. I'm not usually into vampire stories but Sam puts a new twist on the mythology.

If you're in Manchester on 23rd November make sure to stop by Waterstones at the Trafford Centre as Sam is doing a signing there from 12 midday (when the shop opens).

Sun, Sep. 14th, 2008, 06:20 pm
Editors hat

I recently advised a writer to stop sending us submissions. At least until he'd worked on his craft quite a bit more. I'll give him his dues, he had sent us eighteen stories. My other editors and I had done our best to comment and make suggestions but they all seemed to fall on deaf ears. His flow of stories stopped, so he was either taking my advice or, more likely, I thought, he was pissed off with me. But then I received a new story from him claiming my last mail had been that spark of realisation that would change his way of writing for ever (all I'd done was explain the difference between showing and telling). But heh, the story was worse than ever! We gave him far more time than he deserved, yet it was time completely wasted. No wonder magazines use templates for their replies.

Wed, Apr. 23rd, 2008, 05:48 pm

There's a cheeky little link here. But it runs out on 11th May, 2008.

Tue, Feb. 26th, 2008, 11:24 am
FreakAngels Window

Sun, Oct. 21st, 2007, 04:50 pm
Birmingham International Comics Show 2007

Manned the Murky Depths table all last weekend. Didn't sell a great deal but managed to network with a few writers and artists not to mention renew previous friendships amongst the comics small press.

Had TwentyToSix Books on the table next to us which was Tony Garcia and his wife Elaine from the US. It's always good to have someone to talk to when the crowds thin out - I think having the England European Cup game and the World Cup rugby semi-final on the Saturday didn't help the crowds and maybe hangovers affected the punters on the Sunday. However, this is only the second year this has been run and this year the venue was the Thinktank - in my opinion an excellent place to hold the show - so I think it will go from strength to strength.

Not sure where we'll be appearing next but it's looks as if EasterCon could be one to watch out for.

Wed, Sep. 26th, 2007, 12:52 pm
FantasyCon 2007

My first FantasyCon. It was to be my way of saying hello to the small press stalwarts such as Pete Crowther (PS Publishing) & Chris Teague (Pendragon Press). Sure , there are lots more I can mention, such as recent addition Steve Upham from Screaming Dreams who kindly allowed me space on his table after I'd cocked up my booking. So Steve gets a special thanks. But Chris in particular was very supportive and gave Murky Depths a plug whenever he could, including a panel he was on.

We arrived Friday around 6 pm after getting somewhat lost in Nottingham looking for the Britannia Hotel venue which is centrally places just a few minutes walk away from the city centre. A rather glamorous and seemingly overdressed woman we spied as we booked in at reception made Liz wonder if she'd packed the right gear. We later met said woman in the bar with he husband and struck up a weekend friendship which resulted in an agreement to share a table at Eastercon next year.

You may have heard of Paigan Stone (AKA Sam Stone) who was hounded out of her teaching job by a local politician and the media after she had published a "controversial" vampire novel . Gabriele Caccini: The Vampire Gene - Book. Well, that's who our new acquaintance was. Sticking up whatever finger, or fingers, you choose to imagine at the "system", she had flaunted her beauty and cleavage to publicise her work and was secretly hoping that Golancz might be there to snap her up.

But backtracking a few steps we first of all settled in and headed for the dealer room and found Steve Upham who had bagged the best-positioned table directly in front of the doors as you entered. We set up our little corner and grabbed dinner in the restaurant.

One guest who particularly impressed me was Terry Brooks who brought a down-to-earth approach to a panel that wallowed in vainglory - maybe they were just nervous being in the presence of such an established fantasy writer. Interesting to hear his pronunciation of Shanara to be so different from what you normally hear in the UK.

New publications were giving the opportunity to announce their wares during Saturday afternoon and it was only then I realised I was the only magazine present; everyone else was promoting their books. I was nowhere near as elequent as some publishers whose antics would have won them oscars elsewhere but at least I had the chance to vocalise briefly on what Murky Depths is all about.

Sales picked up during Saturday afternoon, not that this is the kind of convention where you should expect to do great business. With it's high membership price it isn't going to attract many fans unless a couple of huge names are present. It's mainly about mixing with others writers, publishers and artists and in that respect it succeeds brilliantly. Les Edwards, who produced the front cover for the Murky Depths Promo Issue 0, is a great supporter of the small press and hasn't allowed his success to alienate himself from the grass roots. He shows an appreciation for the efforts of publishers and was more than willing to sign all the copies I had with me of the Promo Issue 0.

How the majority of visitors can stay up so late beats me. I fell asleep twice during the mammoth raffle on Saturday night. But we picked up three prizes, one being a copy of Weird Tales that was published back in 1954!

Somehow during the weekend I missed the results of the short story competition. I doubted that any of my stories stood a chance but you always hold a secret hope. Anyone know who won?

Just a few more weeks and Murky Depths will be airing at the International Comics Show in Birmingham. We'll be doing some special offers there too, like we did at the weekend. Speaking of comics, since Warren Ellis discovered Murky Depths our website hits have rocketed and since Sunday we have picked up four more subscription. Might not sound much to you but with an ambitious target of one hundred subscriptions by the time Issue 2 is published every one counts.

Will we be going to FantasyCon next year? You bet. And we'll only be a fifty-minute drive away rather than the motorway-clogged three that we had to navigate this year. Would I recommend it? Definitely, if you're an artist or writer. Not so much if you're a dealer, but table prices are so cheap it doesn't really matter. It's the networking that's the plus.

To all the people we wanted to say hello to but didn't there's always next year or one of the other conventions. We'll be hitting as many as we can. See you there.

Wed, Sep. 26th, 2007, 07:50 am
Creative Writing

My Creative Writing OU course starts this weekend (it's the third module in my Literature degree). Trouble is we're moving house next Tuesday and I'm going to be offline for a week or so (it's an online course!), not to mention being unable to check the Murky Depths' submissions.

Tue, Sep. 4th, 2007, 01:05 pm
A writer's responsibility

Could it be that a writer's dream to have their name in print doesn't extend any further than that?

I'm surprised that a few of the writers who appeared in Murky Depths #1 haven't screamed to the world that they feature in its pages.

So does seeing your story in print mean the journey has ended? I think not. It should be as much our job, as writers, as it is the publishers to promote the magazines our work appears in. Surely we not only want as many people to enjoy our work as possible, but we also want the magazine to survive. If the magazine doesn't sell no one gets to see our stories and another publishing opportunity dies.

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