Bell, Book & Podcast #2: Ian Alexander Martin

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Atomic Fez logo

We often wonder what it takes to write a book, but what does it take to publish one?

Join me for a long and lively chat with Ian Alexander Martin, the founder of Atomic Fez Publishing and purveyor of eclectic, genre-busting fiction as we discuss the problem of genre stereotyping, the complexities of marketing a ‘hard sell’ book and the rising power of Amazon – is the retail giant good or bad for publishers?

All this and considerably more, so hit the play button below or right click here to download a copy.

Show Notes

My guest next month will be Carole Lanham, author of deliciously dark fiction, including The Whisper Jar!

Mundane Adventures #12: The Future and I

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Fireworks

We all have dreams and guest blogger Kieran Mathers is no different…

It’s at times like this that I have to remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing.

I’ve sent the manuscript for The Witch off to agents (4 submissions, 0 replies) and I’m still waiting for Hydra to get back to me about The Darkness Embraces. I’ve submitted a load of short stories to podcasts (1 submission, one pending, 0 replies) and competitions (3 submissions, 0 replies).

Now I’m just waiting for feedback.

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On the Treadmill

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Treadmills

If there’s one thing the British should excel at, it’s exercising indoors. Goodness knows we haven’t got the weather to do it outside.

This was recently hammered home when, after days of psychological preparation, I finally decided to go jogging. It’s not a practice that comes naturally to me – throw me into a swimming pool and I’ll splash around quite happily, but the idea of plodding around the pavements of Cardiff, swigging energy drinks and dodging dog mess, fills me with dread. On the plus side, it doesn’t require any specialised equipment, I can start the moment I step outside the front door and, most importantly, it’s free.

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Mundane Adventures #11: Winning the Booker Prize…

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Man Booker 2013 logo

Guest blogger Kieran Mathers is still waiting for a response from potential publishers on his fantasy manuscript. But he’s not short of things to do…

I’ve always wanted to win the Booker Prize.

No, stop giggling, I really have. I might not have a fiction publication to my name, but that has always been my intention. Admittedly, I’m currently writing fantasy while the Booker prize is normally handed out for works of deep and meaningful literary fiction, but it’s still there in the back of my mind.

So in a spirit of boundless optimism, I’m entering this year.

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How Not to Write a Novel #3: ‘The Starving’

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Night-Of-The-Living-Dead

Of all the novels I’ve written that will never see the light of day, The Starving is probably the one that would have worked. It’s also the one I miss the least, and the reason for both these things is the same.

By the spring of 2003, I was immersed in a modern languages degree, the third year of which was spent abroad to practice the language in situ. I’d already spent the best part of a year polishing my French at Disney’s Cultural Chernobyl and now found myself in Andalucia, where I hoped to improve my rudimentary Spanish with a semester of classes at Granada University. Unfortunately, the university had other ideas.

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The Bellows #5: In Which I Do Not Moan

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Big Ben

Author Simon Kurt Unsworth returns with a brand new article about the struggles of writing for a living. And like Kieran in this morning’s post, he’s playing a waiting game…

There’s a thing about being a writer that I always knew intellectually but never understood emotionally; there’s a difference between writing and being a published writer. One is about words, and the other? Well, it’s all about waiting. You craft your stories (or novels, or poems) but at some point you have to send the buggers out and then you have to wait. Sometimes a few weeks, sometimes far longer. You’re in limbo, wondering and hoping but not knowing, almost but not quite forgetting it some days but not others, writing a bit more, writing a bit less, but always, always waiting.

That’s where I am now.

Mundane Adventures #10: Filling the Time…

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Close-up clock face

Guest blogger Kieran Mathers has submitted his manuscript. Now what?

…tick follows tock follows tick follows tock follows me trying to rip off the introduction to a Guinness advert. But it expresses rather well my current thinking.

Nothing is happening. Hydra are currently assessing my full manuscript which is very exciting, but it’s been a month now and I’ve heard nothing. Considering that I don’t expect to hear anything for another few months, I’m effectively twiddling my thumbs.

And what does the would-be writer do when he’s twiddling his thumbs?

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‘Sleepless Knights’ book launch and podcast update

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Chapter header

I used to think that migraines were the man-flu equivalent of headaches – people only complained of them when they wanted sympathy, when what they really needed was to take some paracetamol and stop complaining. How wrong I was.

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Mundane Adventures #9: Selling Yourself for Pleasure and Profit – Part 2

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Execution of four 'witches' by hanging

Guest blogger Kieran Mathers continues his journey towards publication.

So I mentioned Ysabel a few weeks ago. Though she’s a completely fictional character, I’ve fallen rather in love with her. She is my first real literary creation, riding from Basel in Switzerland to save souls from damnation. The Witch, my more literary historical novel, is based during the Thirty Years War. And if you’re now wondering what the Thirty Years War was, you’ve hit the same barricade I keep running into.

Because no-one in the UK really knows what the Thirty Years War was.

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Bell, Book & Podcast #1: Mark H. Williams

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Sleepless Knights Cover Detail by Jimmy BroxtonI’m very happy to bring you the first in a monthly series of interviews with writers, editors and publishers – Bell, Book & Podcast.

First in the hotseat is Mark H. Williams whose debut novel, Sleepless Knights, has been garnering a storm of positive reviews ahead of its release next month.

Mark sat down with me to discuss the book’s epic journey to publication, including the freedoms and challenges of rewriting King Arthur, the long shadow of Monty Python, why publishers are suspicious of comedy and how he made the jump to becoming a full-time professional writer.

This is a great opportunity to hear from an exciting new writer, so go ahead and download the podcast now. And don’t forget to check out the show notes below.

Or right click here to download a copy

Lastly, as this is a new departure for the blog, I really do want to hear your feedback. Leave a comment or use the ‘Contact Me’ form to get in touch.

Links to things discussed in the podcast

Buy Sleepless Knights direct from the publisher.

More about Mark’s new play, Here Be Monsters.

Visit Mark’s blog – The Octopus Was Very Scary.

Creative Commons Licence
Bell, Book & Podcast by P.G. Bell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.pgbell.wordpress.com.