May 29, 2014

Responding to Feminism

So we're coming up on a week since Elliott Rodger decided to have his "retribution" against women, and it's pretty obvious it struck nerve with me, as it has any decent human being on the planet.

One of the prevailing responses I've had, mostly from men, when I've shared feminist articles this past week has been that it's easier to sympathise with feminist arguments when they're calmer and easier to approach. Setting aside the topic of whether or not we should only listen to an argument if it's presented in a tone we find acceptable, I realised that there's a far better approach.

It's simple. If you read an article where there's a valid point being made, one you agree with, and you think that it can reach more people if phrased differently, do it. Share it. Express it in terms you think will reach a new audience. There's more than one way to fight the good fight, and no one person should be expected to reach everyone.

An article may not be palatable, but that doesn't mean it's not making a good point. One of the hardest things I've ever done is look at myself and see the mistakes I was making kicking back against a point just because I got annoyed at the tone. But there is some really horrible behaviour going on, directed at women and minorities. And I think it's better to all speak out any way we can than to resist just because you'd rather the message was sent a different way.

So if you think there's a way to get more people to listen, start talking.

May 27, 2014


I'm breaking from my book promotion today to ask everyone to check out the #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter. It's some harrowing stuff, both from the stories you read, and from people trying to turn the hashtag into a weapon against women.

It's risen to prominence following the shootings in Santa Barbara a few days ago.

Yesterday I spent some time trying to make my point in a thread on Facebook. It involved a particular bugbear of mine, which is when men respond to the topic of women's rights with comments that it's part of a "broader issue", as though the subject isn't deserving of attention on its own. It was exhausting, enraging, and resulted in the first case of me blocking another Facebook user.

It was everything that this article by Chuck Wendig says should not happen when someone points out that women are being treated badly. Maybe that wasn't the intent, but it's a perfect example of how even people who are well-meaning can contribute to the problem, because although a number of women liked my comments or sent me messages to thank me for what I'd said, none were willing to expose themselves to that kind of backlash. And I can't blame them.

Just read #YesAllWomen, please. Yeah, bad things happen to men. Yeah, the discrimination and abuse of women is part of a larger issue. But no, that does not mean we shouldn't take opportunities to highlight it and confront it. Because when you divert attention away from women, you disrespect the ones who've had the strength to stand up, and you convince the ones who haven't found their strength yet that it isn't worth trying.

#YesAllWomen deserve to be heard.

May 17, 2014

Pre-Order your copy of Memory War!

Memory War, the final chapter in the Memory Wars trilogy, is now available to be pre-ordered on and other regional versions will follow, as will Kindle editions.

War is coming to New York. Nathan Shepherd's growing band of followers is dedicated to protecting the city, but they now face their greatest threat.

Athamar returns, plunging the city into chaos. Uniting the forces of darkness against Nathan and his allies, Athamar strives to discover a secret hidden for thousands of years. A secret lost to Nathan's memories. Something so dangerous, even the gods themselves fear it.

Nathan and Elena were once the greatest of heroes, champions against evil. Now, haunted by Nathan's past-life betrayal, they must work together and brave the pain of long-buried lifetimes. Somewhere, locked within their former incarnations, lies the key to stopping Athamar, an enemy who has hunted them from one incarnation to the next.

As the city burns and innocents suffer, as heroes fall and hope dies, Nathan and Elena face their final battle, a battle where legends will be reborn.

May 14, 2014

Blog Tour: The View From Endless Street

With me today is Rebecca Lloyd, who's stopping by on her blog tour. She's here to talk about her new short story anthology, The View From Endless Street.

With this collection of short stories set in the south of England and beyond, Rebecca Lloyd explores relationships and the brave or foolish things they can make people do. These stories about murder and ghosts, delusion and desperation, obsession and arson, show readers a sometimes sweet, sometimes macabre vision of humanity. Rebecca Lloyd channels Roald Dahl’s wit and flair for the unexpected in this collection that will appeal to the quirky side of the literary reader.

Paul: Creating a short story anthology seems quite different from writing a novel. How did you set out to get this collection published?

Rebecca: Quite a number of the stories had already been published in literary magazines and ezines over the years. I always did have a yearning to get my stories together in a short story collection, and so you have to think what have these stories got in common, which stories belong together. I once compiled a collection called ‘Water Stories,’ and then although it was shortlisted in a literary competition, that collection of stories was wasn’t published, so I pulled the whole thing apart again, and tried to think about the separate stories in a different, perhaps more enchanting, way. So, water always features heavily in your stories, but forget about that, what else links them? You have to analyse your stories and figure out how you can present or package them – it’s difficult. What linked all the stories in The View From Endless Street was simply my own reflection about the human life around me when I lived in London. I’m very easily moved to compassion and I even know the moment in my life when that became intrinsic in me, and I was  probably only about five or six years old, not much more. So, for this collection, I’m not sure that I gave it a linking theme, but I put it out again as a collection of my most important stories and sent it off to publishers, as you do.

Paul: Several of the stories in the book have been published previously. Were the rest written specifically for the anthology?

Rebecca: I didn’t write any of them specifically to create that particular book, it was just me choosing or leaving out stories and trying to reach a word number of roughly 70 thousand, which is ‘novel length.’ I have only once written specifically to create a whole book of short stories, and that was called Whelp and Other Stories and it was shortlisted in the Paul Bowles Short Fiction Award 2014, but it isn’t published yet. Whelp has a strong and deliberate theme running through it; each story in it is part of a central idea, and I really, really loved writing that; I was truly focussed. I actually miss not being in the process of writing that.

Paul: I find it difficult to write standalone stories, and short stories in particular. I much prefer writing novels as part of a longer series. What's your preference?

Rebecca: I think I’m naturally a short story writer, although I have written novels, but the only one I’ve had published is Halfling, by Walker Books for 9 to 13 year olds. Writing short stories is very much a different process from writing novels. I would liken it to the difference between running a marathon as a novel writer and doing a high jump as a short story writer. But I do think the short story in the good old tradition of fabulous writers like John McGahern became horribly soiled by the stupid thing called ‘flash fiction’ where you are, [meanly and stupidly in my opinion], supposed to write a story in less than 1,000 words. I mean all that’s about is showing how clever you are, and I think novels and short stories should always remember the reader and the readers’ pleasure.

Paul: While The View From Endless Street has been published by WiDo Publishing, you have books which have been published by other companies. What has it been like working with multiple publishers on so many projects?

Rebecca: Well while The View From Endless Street was being published by WiDo, who as you know, as some of your books are published with them too, are Americans, my other collection of stories, the darker ones perhaps, were taken up by Tartarus Press who I’ve admired for a long time because the authors they publish are the ones I’m drawn towards. Tartarus have kindly published a beautiful hardback of my short story collection ‘Mercy.’ So that’s only two books published at the same time and just by coincidence. I don’t suppose for a moment that it’ll happen again. Although I think it would be reasonable to say, as getting short story collections published is a very hard thing, that I’m as pleased as could be about it.

Paul: You're clearly a busy and prolific author. What's next for you?

Rebecca: I have been called prolific before, although I don’t really notice that, and the other thing I’ve been called is a writer of weird stuff, and I’m not kidding you, I didn’t realise I was a weird writer before WiDo likened me to Roald Dahl and Tartarus accepted me into their author group. So, I thought something along the lines of if you really think the things I write are weird, let me  deliberately write ‘weird.’ So that’s what I’m doing and I’m really enjoying it. It could be that before I’d put some restraint on my most twisted thoughts and ideas, but not for this collection which has not got a title yet – I’ll probably call it Fetch because that’s one of the stories in the collection, and I’m sure everyone knows what a fetch is, easy to look up if you don’t. Other than that, I’d like to see Whelp and Other Stories published because it resonates very strongly with me and touches on all those areas that arrest me, such as cruelty, vulnerability, fear, ignorance and innocence.

Thanks for stopping by, Rebecca. We wish you the best of luck with the new book!

Rebecca Lloyd writes short stories and novels. Her stories are dark and strange and many of them have been published in literary magazines and anthologies. She won the Bristol Prize 2008 for her story The River and her short story collection Don’t Drink the Water was a semi-finalist in the Hudson Prize 2010 while her novel Under the Exquisite Gaze was shortlisted in the Dundee International Book Prize. Her children’s novel, Halfling, was published by Walker Books in 2011, she is co-editor, with Indira Chandrasekhar, of Pangea an Anthology of Stories from Around the Globe, published by Thames River Press in 2012, and developmental editor of The Female Ward by Debalina Haldar, published by Thames River Press in 2013. She has had two short story collections published in 2014, Mercy by Tartarus Press and The View From Endless Street by WiDo Publishing and a third collection Whelp and Other Stories was a finalist in the Paul Bowles Short Fiction Award 2014.

You can follow Rebecca on her Facebook page.

May 8, 2014


I hate waiting. I'm a fairly patient person, but when I'm excited for something, I can't stand the wait. Right now, I'm waiting. We're still too far out from the release of Memory War  to get stuck into some of the fun promotional ideas I have. I hope you guys like them, I've been looking forward to this for a long time.

Just this week I did up the Acknowledgements, and it's made the upcoming end feel extra real. There's simply no way to properly thank the people who've helped me get here, other than to keep writing the best books I can, wherever that may take me.

In the meantime, if there's anything you'd like to see from me, drop me a line, and remember I'm looking for hosts for the Memory War Blog Tour.

Catch you after the weekend, everyone!

May 6, 2014

Announcing Blog Tour Signup for Memory War!

With Memory War due out in September, I'm planning to have a huge blog tour to go along with what is the biggest release of my young career.

I'm putting the call out, to any writers, reviewers, and other bloggers who would be interested in hosting me during September. I'm up for interviews, articles, excerpts, reviews, even just release-day announcements.

If you'd like to host me, get in touch here, on my Facebook, Twitter, or by email.

May 1, 2014

Memory War Playlist

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows I listen to music while I write, and typically have a certain playlist for any given book. I thought I'd share the list of songs I've primarily used to get into the mindset for Memory War over the last year:
I've shared soundtrack lists before, for Locked Within and Silent Oath, and the tracks from those were on my playlist, too. But these six are the ones that specifically touched me in relation to Memory War.

As we get closer to the release date, I'll be going into some more detail about why it was these specific tracks that stood out for this book, and how they fit into the story.