Victoria Briggs was recently kind enough to interview me about my involvement with the Being Dad Stories anthology edited by Dan Coxon. The anthology will feature by a number of writers, including Toby Litt, Nikesh Shukla, Nicholas Royle, Lander Hawes and Andrew McDonnell, and will include my short story ‘In the Marshes’. I spoke to Victoria a little about the gestation of that short story and of how I balance writing alongside teaching and parenthood. You can also support the anthology by pre-ordering a copy of the book via its kickstarter campaign page.
My novel The Buyer was published earlier this year. The novel was completed in 2009 and I had almost given up on finding a publisher for it. In the end a publisher came looking for me and after a wait of a few months said that they would like it to see the light of day. That publisher is CoLiCo Press, the publishing wing of the Contemporary Literature Collective.
‘I am going through the motions again, the illusion of work. The rules are simple. Make sure your hours are long; if possible get in before, and leave after, your boss. Contribute ―succinctly― to as many online discussions as possible. Write during departmental meetings and briefings ―even if it’s a shopping list, or a hit list― and always go away with an easily resolved action point. Dress smartly. Keep a tidy but busy desk. This is how to be Medway.’
David Medway is not who he says he is. In the office he is an exemplary owner-employee, a Toy Buyer for EZe, the world’s biggest online retailer, but offline he is playing a dangerous game, secretly embezzling funds from the company’s accounts. However, Medway has a bigger secret, one that threatens the very core of his identity. Haunted by unsettling dreams and visions, and threatened with exposure and arrest, Medway is forced to confront his past and with it, himself. Set in a convincing near-future society ravaged by sudden climate change and controlled through draconian security measures, The Buyer examines issues of identity, fear, paranoia, and power.
You can order a Hardback copy of The Buyer from Foyles or Amazon. Click on the cover below.
My short story ‘Cascade’ was written in March 2014, mostly in the course of a single day. However, the opening paragraph had been sitting on my hard drive for several years, words and images without a context, waiting for a story to arrive. ‘Cascade’ is the story of a man who wishes to disconnect in a future dominated by intrusive new media technologies. It was published in Litro 134: Augmented Reality. Litro Magazine also very kindly recorded it as a podcast, read superbly by actor Greg Page. You can listen to the podcast here: ‘Cascade’.
In December 2013, Litro Magazine ran a special ‘dystopia’ issue. My story ‘Kids Come Looking. Kids Come Back’ was included as part of Litro’s online offering, ’10 Days of Dystopia’, which felt rather like a dark advent calendar of tales in the first weeks of December. ‘Kids Come Looking. Kids Come Back’ is a post-apocalyptic tale of survival. I got some really good reactions to it when it went live. Litro have subsequently included it in their anthology ‘Transatlantic’ which can be purchased as an eBook in the USA. You can read the story here: Kids Come Looking. Kids Come Back.