Search Results for: straight to you

Location Inspiration

Straight to You coverI guess I could file this post under the ‘What Works For Me’ heading, but it should also be of interest to those of you who are here more for reading than writing, in particular those who’ve already read STRAIGHT TO YOU.

WARNING – MILD STRAIGHT TO YOU SPOILERS AHEAD!

I wanted to talk about locations today: how rather than finding the right scenery to fit your story, sometimes the story can be shaped by a location or, in this case, a journey. If you’ve not read STRAIGHT TO YOU yet, why not grab a low price ebook or signed paperback then come back and see how some of the scenes in the new version of the story came about.

I’ve already spoken at length about how I wanted the rewritten version of STRAIGHT TO YOU to feel more honest and emotional in comparison to the hopelessly naïve original, and I decided early on in the planning process that in order for that to happen I’d need to give the book a foothold in reality.

Here’s me pictured in the idyllic Welsh village of Criccieth last Sunday, and in the background you can see the castle which features prominently in the book. Click the link below to find out more, but please be warned – there are potentially some spoilers ahead.

Moody and castle

Continue reading

What Works for Me – Concept Versus Story

Here’s another in my irregular series of posts about writing and publishing. As always, feel free to completely ignore everything that follows because as the title implies, this is just what works for me. Today I wanted to talk about something which I didn’t think about enough when I started out, but which makes an immeasurable difference to any creative project.

Ever put down a book or walked out of a cinema and felt disappointed because what you just read or watched didn’t live up to your expectations? Maybe it sounded like a good idea, but the author/film-maker’s execution of that idea left you wanting? When I started writing, dumb as this might sound now, I don’t think I fully appreciated the difference between a story and a concept.

You’ll hopefully have noticed a couple of recent film recommendations here (well, one recommendation and the other a less than enthusiastic write-up). On Saturday I wrote about ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and on Monday just gone, THE PURGE. It struck me when I sat down and watched these two movies in quick succession that there’s a commonality between them I hadn’t appreciated before: they both deal with variations of the same basic concept, but take them in wildly different directions and with varying degrees of success.

Both films start with a similar premise – crime rates in the USA have exploded, and the authorities have been forced to take radical steps to try and bring things under control. In ESCAPE, Manhattan Island has become a maximum security prison, walled off from the rest of the country, once you’re in you don’t get back out. In THE PURGE, all crime is legalised for a single twelve hour period each year. So far, so good… both approaches sound like decent starting points for dystopian movies (provided you don’t think about the practicalities of either ‘solution’ for too long). So why is ESCAPE hailed (by me) as a classic and THE PURGE hailed (again by me) as a misfire? Well, I could write for hours about the relative merits of both films, but I think much of it boils down to concept versus story. ESCAPE starts with a cool concept which it explores through the use of interesting characters and an engrossing story. THE PURGE doesn’t.

I know I’m being unfair and overly simplistic here and there’s more to THE PURGE than I’m letting on, but I think it’s an important distinction to make: a good concept alone does not an interesting book or film make.

As I said at the beginning, when I started writing, I didn’t fully appreciate the importance of this differentiation, and until I did understand, I didn’t get anything decent written.

Continue reading

SCREAM issue 23 is out now!

1394872570273A new issue of SCREAM is always cause for celebration, and this month is no different. As well as interviews with GEORGE ROMERO and DARIO ARGENTO, there’s a great feature on the latter half of the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series and a report on LORD OF TEARS (a very creepy movie I’ll be talking more about in the coming weeks). Visit www.screamhorrormag.com to get hold of a copy. If you’re in the UK, you can buy the mag from any branch of HMV.

Also, if you’re a SCREAM subscriber, click here to enter their STRAIGHT TO YOU giveaway. Five signed copies up for grabs!

SciFi Weekender

sc-fi-weekenderI should have posted this an age ago, but didn’t. Just a very quick post to let you know I’ll be at this years SCIFI WEEKENDER at Hafan y Môr, Pwllheli, Wales (coincidentally just a couple of minutes drive from Criccieth, the setting for the climactic scenes of STRAIGHT TO YOU – come to Wales and visit the end of the world!).

The event takes place between 27 and 30 March, and you can find all the information you need right here. I’m really looking forward to this one. Last year, when I wasn’t on panels, I spent most of my time just talking to folks, soaking up the atmosphere and selling books. This year that’s ALL I’m planning on doing. Hope to catch up with a few of you there!

What’s next?

Since STRAIGHT TO YOU was released, a lot of people have been asking what’s next. That’s a difficult one to answer, but I thought I should at least try.

I’ve a couple of completed novels in the bag which I’ve told you about previously (STRANGERS and 17 DAYS). As yet no decisions have been made as to when/how they’ll be released. All options remain open, and I’ll let you know as soon as I do. There are a few other things in the pipeline…

I’ve been saying for a while that I’ve had my fill of zombies, infections, apocalyptic pandemics and the like. That’s not strictly true. There’s one story left that I want to tell, and I’m working on it at the moment. I hope to have it finished by April/May this year and released soon after, probably as an ebook-only novella. I also have a number of short stories due in the next few months, and I’ll let you know as and when each of those releases are scheduled.

But the project I think I’m most excited about right now is THE SPACES BETWEEN. It’s a four book horror/science-fiction series set in the near future. If I was to describe the tone of the books, I’d have to say they’re like a head-on collision between QUATERMASS and Stieg Larsson’s MILLENNIUM TRILOGY (well that’s the vibe I’m going for, anyway). I’ve been planning these novels for several years now, but have only recently begun the actual writing process. Here’s a bit of hastily thrown together blurb for TOMMY, the first book in the series:

Nine years ago London was wiped off the map as a result of a catastrophic terrorist attack. Millions of displaced people have since been rehoused in a number of hastily constructed newcities, the largest of which is Elysian Fields, just outside Birmingham.

Parts of Elysian Fields are no-go areas: dangerous, virtually lawless and hopelessly overcrowded. The government and police troops do what they can to maintain order, but it’s increasingly difficult. The residents are on their own.

Almost.

There are some who still try to help. Greg Dawson is one such person. An old-school social worker, he’s now forced to carry a gun and wear full body armour to work each day. But the job and the people haven’t changed, just the situation, and Dawson’s as dedicated to protecting the vulnerable as he always has been.

When Tommy Huxtable, the five year old son of a powerful party member, is taken, Dawson’s called on to find and recover the child. But the deeper he digs, the more he discovers that nothing is as it seems in Elysian Fields.

You can keep up with my progress with TOMMY and other projects on the ‘Forthcoming Releases‘ page on this site.

Read an ebook week

I don’t know if you’re aware, but it’s Read an Ebook Week this week. This is something I’ve talked about in previous years… an annual campaign to get more folks reading ebooks. The ebook market has exploded since the event first appeared (I remember posting about back in 2007 or 2008, I think), but I’m always happy to lend some support. I don’t favour ebooks over print or vice versa, I just want people to keep reading, so the more ways there are for folks to get hold of books, the better!

If you’ve never read an ebook before, might I offer up TRUST and STRAIGHT TO YOU, the ebook editions of which are available for half-price through this week via Smashwords (use discount code REW50 at checkout). There are also literally hundreds of other novels available at a special discount from Smashwords this week – click here for the catalogue. Or, if you’ve yet to try the AUTUMN books, why not pick up the AUTUMN COLLECTION from Gollancz (which they’ve brilliantly taken to calling the ZOMNIBUS!). Five AUTUMN novels for just £12.99. Bargain!

What Works For Me – Inspiration and Ideas

My last What Works For Me article went down really well so, whether you want it or not, here are a few more words of dubious wisdom. This time: the generation, gestation and harvesting of IDEAS.

When you write, there are a number of things you inevitably get asked over and over. One of the favourites is where do you get your ideas? For me, that’s a really interesting question. The easiest answer is something glib like dreams, or they just appear out of the ether, but that’s no help when you’re sitting in front of a classroom full of kids or when you’re on a panel at an event in front of an audience that’s expecting you to say something enlightening/witty. There’s more to it than that.

My last piece talked about the process I follow to turn an idea into a book, so I thought it would be interesting to go back a stage and look at how those ideas appear in the first place and what I do to nurture and develop them. As always, this is what works for me. If it doesn’t work for you or you have alternative suggestions, let me know and I’ll put together a follow-up post.

Firstly, what do I mean by ‘idea’? It’s a pretty bland and unscientific word. I guess it would be more appropriate to talk about ‘inspiration’. I’m talking about something that stimulates you… something that makes you want to know more, that makes you ask what if…? What’s important is recognising when this inspiration strikes, and doing something about it.

Continue reading

Late with one book, early with another

To those folks waiting patiently for the long-delayed AUTUMN: AFTERMATH limited edition… more apologies. We’re almost there. I should take delivery of the books any day now and they’ll be signed and posted straight out. If you want to order a copy (and there are very few left), then please click here.

In more positive news, I’m early for once! Signed copies of STRAIGHT TO YOU are now shipping in advance of next Friday’s official release. Click here to grab a copy. By the way, if you want to compare and contrast both versions, a bundle containing the 2014 paperback and 1996 hardcover is available (and if you’ve already purchased the new paperback but would now like a hardcover at the bundle price, get in touch and we’ll sort something out).

Straight to You onsaleYou can pre-order the book from all the usual online stores:

Ebook versions will be available from the 14th (you can pre-order the Nook and iBook versions already). You can read the first chapter of the novel over at Wattpad. Also, there’s a Goodreads Giveaway running. Use the widget at the bottom of this post to enter.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Straight to You by David Moody

Straight to You

by David Moody

Giveaway ends February 21, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

AUTUMN: AFTERMATH update

Autumn: Aftermath (Gollancz, 2012)In case you’ve pre-ordered but you missed the email I sent earlier in the week, the much-delayed limited edition hardcover of AUTUMN: AFTERMATH has been delayed again. Only slightly. The book is with the printers at the moment and should, fingers crossed, be heading out to readers a week today.

If this is all news to you, click here for an explanation as to how this special edition of the book has come about.

I expect to have about twenty additional copies of the book available for sale via www.infectedbooks.co.uk once they’ve been delivered. If you want to pre-order one of them (and remember, only one hundred and fifty copies are being printed in total), then click here.

And in other news… a HUGE consignment of paperback copies of the new edition of STRAIGHT TO YOU is currently heading my way. Grab a pre-order from www.infectedbooks.co.uk and get your copy well before the 14 February release date (hopefully by this time next week if you’re in the UK).

Have a great weekend. Check back here tomorrow for a really interesting film recommendation.

What Works For Me – planning

In a post a couple of weeks back I said I’d answer some of the questions I’m asked regularly about writing. Today I want to talk about planning: how much planning I do and how it fits into the overall writing process. But before I start (and I can’t stress this enough) please remember that this is just how I like to do things: not the best way, maybe not the right way, but it’s what works for me.

Planning is something I’ve talked to a lot of other writers about, and it seems everyone has a different way of going about things. Some folks sit down with the barest idea and just start writing, but I know that’s the very worst thing I can do. Staring at an empty screen or a blank piece of paper brings me out in a cold sweat. It induces a kind of uneasy panic and is very rarely productive. Some folks, right at the other end of the spectrum, do a huge amount of planning before starting a project, working out every tiny detail before they write even a single word. They might plan backstories for every character, draw maps of key locations, and so on. I think I’m probably somewhere between these two extremes.

Thinking about it, though, we all must do a similar amount of planning, perhaps just at different stages of the process. We all start with the spark of an idea, with the ultimate aim of turning that idea into a finished story that someone can pick up and read.

I’ll talk about harvesting ideas in my next post (because if I had a quid for every time I get asked where the inspiration for my stories come from, I wouldn’t need to sell any books to pay the bills) so, for the purposes of today, let’s assume you’ve already got your killer idea and you know the general direction you think your story is going to take. So how do you get from that initial idea to a completed story?

Continue reading