Thursday, October 28, 2010


My Ear is South America!

Last night I attended the launch of Bob Lock's second novel, The Empathy Effect. It's available from Screaming Dreams at this very moment. Bob is an extremely engaging fellow, and it was also nice to catch up with Steve Upham and Brian Willis again. I was flattered to be asked to make a contribution to the evening, so I read three examples of 'flash fiction' from a collection I have recently put together, Flash in the Pantheon. This photo shows me in the middle of declaiming. My thanks to Bob for the opportunity!

The location was the 'Discovery Room' in Swansea Central Library, where my own extremely belated launch of The Postmodern Mariner will take place on December 11th. The launch of that book is actually only one part of a larger event that will be called WEIRD WALES: an entire afternoon of readings and lectures, featuring a talk on Arthur Machen, and a serious examination of the kinds of genuine spooky phenomena that Wales abounds in, for example ghosts, sea serpents and UFOs. It seemed to me a good idea to broaden the appeal of the event. More details coming soon, when I've worked them out!

A few days ago I completed my 558th story. It was the last 'chapter' in my Tucked Away in Aragon sequence of interlinked fantasy tales set in Albarracín, perhaps my favourite Spanish town, certainly the most picturesque I saw on my travels! Yesterday I submitted this short book to a publisher, and now I'm waiting to see what he thinks of it. Although these Calvinoesque tales are exactly the kind of thing I most enjoy writing, I suspect they may be too whimsical for his taste. We'll see!

So now I'm free to return to completing the final story of my proposed collection The Brothel Creeper. The story in question, 'The Quims of Itapetinga', is one I have been planning for a very long time, but the concepts that drive it are so strange and warped that I find them difficult to work with -- they demand not only heightened mental concentration but a sort of spiritual energy too. It's a very intense story to say the least! I think it might turn out to be among my very best, if nothing goes wrong. Things can go wrong at any time; I'm acutely aware of this fact. Here's a photograph of something that went wrong yesterday... My left ear turned into South America!

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