The FWC – Who Are You? Blog Hop

Did someone mention The Collective?

Did someone mention The Collective?

A Frome Writers’ Collective: what a great idea! It has always surprised me that I could never seem to find writers, or local resources for them, in the Frome area especially as it seems to be a cauldron of creativity and free-thinking. Even using the interweb thingy (as an elderly relative calls it), other local writers were perhaps tucked away behind bookcases or lurking down plugholes. Then, last June, I picked up the wonderful local rag which forever informs us of wonderful goings-on in our wonderful little town full of wonderful people, and there it was: a small article about the FWC launch at the library. I went along and have now found Frome’s writing community.

FWC logoI’m proud to say that I am a member of the FWC and would like to thank and praise the Collective’s Trustees for all they have achieved in its first nine months.

The FWC – Who Are You? Blog Hop is a chance to visit the online homes of many of the talented members of the Collective and learn a little more about who we are.

And it looks like I’m kicking it off.

Frome Writers’ Collective is home to a range of writers, poets, illustrators, editors, and publishers. Which one best describes you?

Writer. I tend to write dark stuff which is best described as Speculative fiction. I have been working on short pieces for the past year building up a catalogue of work to put an anthology together. There’s definitely some horror stories in there and a few urban fantasy ones, too. After that, I intend to revisit my novel which I have been sitting on for the past year. Hopefully, I will have worked up enough courage to start the manuscript’s ninth edit by that time.

Apart from the Speculative angle, I have a predilection for humour – especially black comedy – which can be a hinderance when I’m working on a really tense scene and am desperate to turn a crucial sentence into a punchline. I just have to be tough with myself. As Frank Herbert said in Chapterhouse: Dune, ‘Seek discipline and find your liberty.’

blackbags#2

This artwork reminded me very much of my WIP. Child of the Moon by Marina Malares http://marinamolares.com/

What are you working on at the moment?

Nothing to Fear During Daylight, a short story, primarily for a particular British small press market which I would love to crack. The idea for the piece started with a prompt for a US themed anthology which I was considering. During a discussion about the prompt with my children, the youngest asked the question, “What if the night was scared of itself, Daddy?” Oh, what fun we could have with that little gem, I thought.

At the moment, I am on the fourth draft and with the help of the Nameless Writing Group, it has taken shape nicely. Unfortunately, the little ones who gave me the idea aren’t allowed to read it because of the content.

Jack London said that “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Would you agree?

I think so. Take a rope along with you as well because inspiration can be a wily little git. I often trap it by looking for submission calls on the internet through such sites as The Submission Grinder (a resource for writers of all types of fiction, non-fiction and poetry), Dark Markets, and Facebook. When I find a submission call that appeals to me, I research the theme and see what I can come up with. Of course, if I’m researching for more than two weeks then it probably means that I’m procrastinating, and need to start writing.

Staring at a blank page can be daunting. How do you get from brain to page?

By writing. It’s as simple as that. Doesn’t really matter what I write: it could be a piece of dialogue, or I may look out the nearest window and describe the view, or I’ll try a new voice to give me an angle or a different style. The important thing is not to stop – not even to edit; not even if it doesn’t make sense – because it is the flow of words that entices the real story from the tangle of brambles in my head. Hell, I generally don’t use most of this initial writing when putting together a first draft. I’ve realised that the ability to let go of words, sentences, paragraphs is a crucial skill that a writer must learn.

FWC 800px-Kilroy_Was_Here_-_Washington_DC_WWII_MemorialYou’ve finally stopped procrastinating and you’re ready to get creative or tackle that manuscript. Have you a particular place where you like to work?

At the kitchen table, in a half-light, looking at the back garden through the French doors. The view isn’t that great on account of it being dark when I normally settle to write and all I see is my reflection peering over the top of my laptop like some modern Chad doodle. But it seems to work. I manage to get two hours a night, if I’m not distracted by wanting a mug of tea, or social media, or children, or food. Which reminds me of a quote about discipline.

Thanks for stopping by and spending the time to read the first FWC – Who Are You? Blog Hop interview. Next Sunday be sure to hop over and say hello to two more FWC members, the intriguing B. Anne Adriaens:

To the outside world, B. Anne Adriaens works as a freelance translator and editor, but behind the scenes, she writes dystopian stories with a fantastical twist, makes the occasional attempt at poetry and has a blog on the theme of exile, under the pseudonym Nuala Rayne.

While working on finding a home for her last novel, which was written in French, she has started on her first novel in English and so far, it’s going quite well.

She found out early on that an excess of imagination is something that needs an outlet. Too many stories, characters and ideas bottled up in one mind would drive any poor soul mad – hence the necessity to write. She firmly believes that it’s the safest way for her to keep her sanity.

Online, you can contact her via her blog https://nualarayne.wordpress.com/ , Facebook under B Anne Adriaens and Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/b-anne-adriaens/ , where you will find (among other things) photos of the derelict places which inspired her.

and the awesome Piotr Świetlik.

Piotr Świetlik is a Silesian science fiction author, DJ, father and husband, in
no particular order of importance. He was born in the Silesian city of Chorzów,
Poland, but has spent the last decade living in Somerset. He loves good
literature, psychedelic trance and lager. His favourite authors are Roger
Zelazny, Stanisław Lem and Philip K Dick. He spends his days trying to remain
sane and working on his first novel. His blog is here: https://piotrkswietlik.wordpress.com/

Don’t forget to visit them on the Sunday 15th March.

Dok Haze’s Circus of Horrors: The Night of the Zombie – a review

COH

Roll up, roll up, for the greatest show on Earth and below: Dok Haze’s Circus of Horrors is in town. Frome Town to be exact.

COH dr-haze-glam_jpg

Dok Haze

I was pleased to see a good cross-section of Frome’s wonderful people waiting in the theatre foyer from Vans and Dolce&Gabbana trainers, a classic monster movies print dress (so cool!) to knitted flowerpot hats and M&S casual daywear.

COH Nosferatu and the Sinister Sisters

Nosferatu and the Sinister Sisters

As people took their seats, Nosferatu crept up and down the aisles silently choosing vibrant victims for his pleasure.

The show burst into life with screaming riffs and heavy drums. Immediately, I thought I was at Alice Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare show (in Detroit, no less). In fact, I read in the Tour Brochure, which I had purchased from a very healthy-looking Zombie girl, that Mr Cooper made a special appearance at one of the COH’s shows – kudos, Mr Haze.

COH Sycho Sean and Deadly Doyna.

Sycho Sean and Deadly Doyna.

COH Sergey the Seducer and Hanna the Hell Woman

Sergey the Seducer and Hanna the Hell Woman

COH Voodoo Warriors

The Voodoo Warriors

COH the Sinister Sisters

The Sinister Sisters

The scene was set for us. After the blood of two virgins (the Sinister Sisters) seeps into London’s rotting plague victims, the dead begin to rise. I heard screams from behind me. I turned and saw a wave of zombies crawling over the heads of the audience. Great touch. Welcome to the Circus of Horrors: The Night of the Zombie!

COH zombie-zowie

Zombie Zowie

The hard rock intro was to be the soundtrack for the evening, driving the action on with electrified energy and it suited the performance tremendously as the audience were treated to sword and cutlass swallowing, knife throwing, fire-breathing, hair-hanging feats, aerialists, acrobats, and dancing girls.

COH Daniel

Captain Dan

The ‘relief’ came from Nosferatu, a camp vampire who fails at card tricks, and Captain Dan who is a rather proud member of the COH. Their crazy antics managed to shock a few members of the audience. (Poor Benji).

And that was the first half.

COH hannibal

Hannibal the Sword-Swallower

I thought it was slow to pick up after the interval but it got there especially with the dancing skeletons, and from then on it was a hoot with some great visual displays that made the audience applaud, cheer and gasp.

COH Anastasia IV hair-hanging wonder

Anastasia IV

The climax was like a rock show, and at one point I heard Dok Haze shout at the crowd as if he was Ozzy Ozbourne!

I’ve never known the Memorial Theatre to rock, but it certainly did tonight thanks to the Circus of Horrors and all the talented performers who put on a great show.