Paper Vulture – A SITREP (Part 9)

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The above image hopefully explains where I’ve been since February. Yes folks, that’s a 12,000-word history dissertation for the University of Edinburgh, and I handed it in four days back (and yes, I also have a tshirt with my dissertation subject on it. Because I love him). Two weeks, incidentally, before the deadline. The turn-in staff were suitably shocked, but I guess that’s what you get when you’ve trained yourself, writer-style, to churn out an inordinate amount of words per day (disclaimer – academic is very different from fiction writing, do not try this at home kids).

So, now that my student future is pretty much tied up (I’m down to 1.5 hours of class a week, and just two more exams before graduation day!) I can afford to cut loose with a little blogging once more. And what better way to do it than a new SITREP update?

Firstly, the aquila-eyed among you may have noticed that I’ve had my 10th short story published. Double digits, woo! The tale itself, available in ebook format, is actually my first foray into purely historical fiction, weird considering that the genre’s always been my first love. The Clock Stuck War, courtesy of Mardibooks, is an anthology of short stories written to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One. My own story is set in the trenches, but there are plenty more covering conflicts that span the ages. Some of them are absolutely brilliant – think I’m just hyping? Try clicking the ‘Look Inside’ on Amazon and read the opening of ‘The Wager.’ Tell me you don’t want to read on.

On the novel side, things have also been progressing well, in between citation footnotes on that good ol’ dissertation. Last week I wrote those two words all writers dream of – THE END. The end, that is, of draft number 2 of Ironfang, officially making it my longest-running novel to date. There’s still reams of work to be done though – plot, plot, plot, typo, plot. If anyone wants to volunteers themselves as a beta reader, I’d love to return the favour on your own work.

Edinburgh’s been rather busy writing-wise as well – the University recently hosted its biggest ever Creatives fair, including a day-long fest of talks and tabling by publishers, agents and other assorted writerly characters. A full blogpost on the day will be coming at some point, but suffice to say it was all an eye-opening experience.

Lastly, a brief bounce-back to Ironfang. Last month a new small press, Midnight Frost, expressed interest in my outline for the novel. I’m undecided whether or not to submit to them yet – they publish everything from shorts through to novels. Feel free to go check them out. That’s what Paper Vultures is all about, after all. Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

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