An update on health issues, Ben Williamson, and thoughts about this blog's future

Anyone who has been reading this blog or my twitter feed or just knows me may be aware the past month has been a turbulent time. My wife had a stroke in mid January. Thankfully it was just a small one and she is recovering but it's not been an easy time for any of us. All I can say is anyone attempting to deal with a more major stroke has my utmost sympathies. It is truly frightening to see a loved one unable to control their limbs or speak. I'm just glad it was temporary and that thanks to the NHS very quickly scheduling surgery to correct the cause and prevent it causing another stroke, we have a chance of getting life back to normal.

Needless to say writing has been a very low priority since it happened. As a result the initial plans to have the sequel to the Stairs Lead Down finished and ready for a release in the spring have been torn up and thrown away. I'm going to get back to finishing the novel as and when I can but it's not going to be yet. My heart is just …

An update

Life has a habit of throwing you curve balls and recently it seems to have upped the ante. I mentioned in two of my recent blog entries that I'd been ill. This year's flu landed and decided to stay put for a while. Well if I was ever inclined to complain about the flu all such thoughts have been ripped from  me. you see earlier this month - just after my last posting here - my wife had a stroke. That kind of puts everything else into perspective in a hurry.

Fortunately it was a small stroke and they quickly identified the underlying cause of the stroke and that it was fixable - the cause that is. So she has surgery this past week and now has the most impressive scar - her neck is currently held together by over 30 staples. There is still some time to go but she should make a near complete recovery. So all in all it was not as bad as it could have been.

As you might imagine I have not even thought of writing even as an abstract concept in two weeks and my plans to get back on …

New Interview live and some general stuff

Just a very quick blog post to say my interview with the Dark Times fanzine has gone live. You can go read it together with a whole bunch of horror and RPG related stuff at

The Dark Times Fanzine Issue 2

I think I have another interview still due to come out - I just don't know when. I will of course post detail as soon as I know anything.

Managed to get a little book hunting in yesterday and found a small pile of Terry Pratchett hardcovers and one old Isaac Asimov hardcover - a Short History of Biology. I already owned a copy of that edition of the Asimov but it was in such good condition and at such a good price I couldn't resist adding a second. Of course I could say I ready had the Pratchetts too as I have the full run of Discworld in paperback but I had none of them in hardcover so I'm happy with them.

Away from books I've been watching the Orville on Fox. We're a little behind the US so have only seen up to episode five but I'm very impressed. Episode fou…

Quick Update - Yeah, It's Been a While

Ever made a bunch of promises to yourself that you just couldn't keep? We all do it I guess. Well my writing targets were one of those. I wanted to get the 1st full draft of the novel I'm writing done by the end of 2017. It didn't happen.

There were reasons for it - there always are. Some of them are valid reasons. As I may have mentioned back in November I was ill. Well I've been ill again. I had a bout of stomach flu in November and then just before Christmas I managed to also catch the good old regular flu - or one of this year's variants of it - possibly Aussie flu but who knows for sure.

Well I managed once again to keep going as far as the day job goes only to collapse on the sofa each evening and try to recover for the next day. The day job was as much as I could manage. Put it this way, that's the part of my life that pays the mortgage; it will always come first in such considerations.

The Christmas break came and I spent some time with the family (a w…

A few days

I think 2017 has to be my most unlucky year for illnesses for decades (I still put the year of three surgeries as a worse one). I seem to have picked up every bug I could during 2017 culminating with flu a month ago and (depending on opinion) a very heavy cold or different flavour of flu in the past week. All I know is it's curtailed a lot of the normal activity I would expect - i.e. writing.

I did recover enough though to pop down to Torquay for the weekend just gone - although it was only barely. I really didn't do much whilst I was down there. I certainly can't say I saw all that much of Torquay beyond the inside of one hotel and two restaurants.

The drive back was a bit better. We stopped at a number of seaside towns, keen to get just one more glimpse (after another) of the sea before heading back to the landlocked county of Leicestershire and home.

One of the most fun and yet frustrating stops had to be Budleigh Salterton. (Yes, it's a great name.) I have no idea…

A little writing

I think I am mostly up to date now on all the stuff that was delayed because of losing a week to the flu. Well everything except the writing that is. I had to do all that other stuff - the work stuff and house stuff,  the parts of my life that pays the bills after all - before I could dedicate some time to writing again.

And then I had to try to find some momentum. I am a momentum kind of writer. I know this. And a confidence kind of writer. For some reason, despite having written eleven novels, one of which has been published and another of which is due out in 2018, I still struggle when faced with the screen/keyboard to convince myself I can do this. I manufacture reason after reason to not do any actual writing - last minute tasks that I simply must do and then I can write. It's just procrastination I know, procrastination based on fear.

In some ways it's quite odd. I create computer systems during my work day that the entire business of the company I work for relies on. I…


I'm going to start this by mentioning my illness wasn't serious. I had the flu. I'm not dying, I was just unwell for a while. As a result my hopes for some decent writing progress in November have taken quite a blow. I was off work for a few days, totally unable to sit upright. No writing. That was the week before last.

This past week I have been back at work but the day job has taken all of my energy. I've been coming home from work and just collapsing onto a sofa and that was it for the evening. No thoughts of sitting at this desk and writing more of Breath of Imagined Dead were even entertained, let alone acted upon. Is it different now? Well I'm getting my energy levels back up and I'm going to give it a little bit of a try but I'm not guaranteeing anything.

It has rather impacted on the schedule I was hoping to keep. These past two weeks I had hoped to take the word count of the book from just short of 25K to more than 40K. Not one single word of that…