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Showing posts from 2015

'Tis the Season to be Scary

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Halloween is here again, and with it comes a glut of 'best of' horror lists and spooky special issues. It's hard to think of another genre that has such a specific window for impressing the general populace. Readers who'd never dream of picking up a copy of the latest Stephen King are suddenly happy to be scared witless for a week or two, as winter begins to draw in and the darkness descends. Horror writers must have been counting down the days since the Spring. I don't consider myself a horror writer, but my output has taken a notably horrific twist in recent months. I've found myself more and more attracted to the weird and the worrisome, from dark, twisted short fiction to novels of supernatural horror. I may not be horrific enough to be a genre writer, but I've felt an undeniable pull towards the dark side. A couple of weeks ago my werewolf story ' Beasts of London ' was performed at Liars' League - you can see the live reading, and

Chasing the White Whale

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Those of you who follow my Twitter or Facebook pages will know that I recently read at the Royal Festival Hall, London, as part of Moby-Dick Unabridged . The project was as crazy as it sounds: the entirety of Melville's epic novel, read over four days by an enormous team of writers, celebrities and members of the public. My little contribution was to be a ten minute reading, somewhere in the vicinity of Chapter 72: The Monkey-Rope. Even if you haven't read the book, you almost certainly know the story of Ahab, Ishmael, and the pursuit of the great white whale. It's a story of revenge and obsession, of a reckless, single-minded pursuit of one's prey that somehow becomes your entire life. It's a sentiment that every writer knows all too well. There's a reason that Moby-Dick is so beloved among writers. In Ahab's blinkered mission we see something of our own stubborn adherence to our dream. The white whale is our desire to see our work in print, to p

Your Fathers Need You...

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If you've spoken to me at all in the last six months, you'll know that I've been bursting major bloodvessels in pursuit of Being Dad , an anthology of fatherhood-themed fiction which I'm editing. It started as a tiny droplet of an idea a couple of years ago, and it has now grown to overshadow most of my waking hours - and half the night too. Never mind that I've had an actual child in the interim. Every spare minute is being spent on this project. Which basically means that I don't want it to fail. And that's where you come in. We're crowdfunding the book right now, and I really, really need people to pre-order a copy, and maybe nab themselves a fancy reward or two. If you don't understand what crowdfunding is (and let's face it, who does?) then it's surprisingly simple. You can visit our page at Kickstarter , read a bit about the book, see what we have planned. Then you can pre-order the book (for a mere £10 inc. P&P), or even pled

The Tweets

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So far this month I've read two articles arguing that blogs are yesterday's news, and that social media has replaced the blogosphere. In order to prove something about something, this blog post is entirely composed of this month's Tweets from @DanCoxonAuthor , edited and cleaned up to try and impose some kind of logic. Point made (whatever it was):   Woke to the toddler shouting 'Daddy, there's poo on my finger!'. So begins another week. New writing routine: wait until wife and kids are in bed, pour large glass of whiskey. Start writing. Lately I've been finding editing more enjoyable, while writing has grown harder. Need to train my tired parent brain to do both.   I gave the bake off everything, abandoning my marriage to sprinkles and glacĂ© cherries. I came 6th. But at least there was cake. Postman likes me... Received the latest issue of The Lonely Crowd . Lovely cover by Jo Mazelis. Can't wait to read it. This is brilliant: EnriqueVila-

Welcoming 'The Lonely Crowd'

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If you've been following me on social media, you'll know that I'm thrilled by the new literary magazine The Lonely Crowd . (If you're not following me, do it now - @DanCoxonAuthor on Twitter). My excitement isn't purely voyeuristic. Yes, it's a beautiful-looking journal. Yes, at £6 it's possibly the bargain of the year. Yes, it has some amazing new fiction by Alison Moore, Tom Vowler, Stevie Davies, Anna Metcalfe and many more. But just as important - for me, anyway - is the fact that it also includes my short story 'What We Burned in the Fire' . The story is a continuation-of-sorts of 'Not the End of the World', which appeared in The Portland Review in 2013. You can find out more about the ideas behind it - and the spark that inspired it - in a short essay called ' A Land in Ruins ' that I wrote for the Lonely Crowd website. If you want to read the story itself, though (and you should - I think you'll like it), then y

Dad Again: the Positive Pressures of Fatherhood

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When our son was born in February 2012, it sent seismic changes through our lives. Anyone with kids will tell you this - life on the other side is wholly different to what went before. Somehow the addition of one small person drains your days and your energy, leaving you with barely enough time to indulge in basic activities like eating or showering. To those without kids, it doesn't sound like that big a deal. To those of us who have become zombified by our offspring, it's possibly life's biggest game-changer. And for some reason we're about to do it all over again. Our second son is due any day now, and with his arrival will come the same decimation of our free time. I recently did a short interview for The Good Men Project , in which we discussed what it was like being a stay-at-home dad, and how I managed to fit my writing and editing work in alongside something as overwhelming as parenting. The simple process of talking about my role as a father, and as a write

Burning Lightbulbs: Stories Inspired by Ride

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If you follow me on Twitter , or have befriended me on Facebook, you'll know that I'm an unrepentant fan of Nineties shoegazers Ride. The news that the band has reformed, and will be playing this year's Field Day festival - as well as occasional hints that Mark Gardener, Andy Bell, Loz Colbert, and Steve Queralt might start writing new material - has already made 2015 my favourite year since... well, since the Pixies rose from the dead. (You can read my essay exploring my love of both bands at The Weeklings , or duplicated on Salon ). What you're less likely to know is that Ride have inspired my writing more than any other band, musician, or composer. They've not just been the background music while I'm writing - over the years they've provided prompts for a grand total of five stories, some more successful than others. Here's the rundown of my five Ride-inspired moments of creative genius... and failure: 1) 'Last Love' - This story was o