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Steven Dunne - The Reaper

Posted by Stuart Hughes on June 30, 2011 at 3:28 PM Comments comments (0)

On the 20th June 2011, author Steven Dunne visited Derby Scribes to talk about his work.

Steven is the author of two crime thriller novels. I’ve read both of them and can thoroughly recommend them. The first, The Reaper, tells the story of damaged Detective Inspector Damen Brook who collides with a brutal killer. The follow-up, The Disciple, is a sequel and the second in a planned trilogy.

Steven is currently working on another D.I. Brook novel, this time with a different killer as the planned trilogy is currently on the backburner because Steven has changed publishers and there are problems over the rights to the trilogy.

There was a good turnout for the Derby Scribes session – the first author visit at our new venue the Brunswick Inn – and Steven answered numerous questions and read from both The Reaper and The Disciple.

Living and working in Derby, the city is the central location for both novels, although some of the action also takes place in London, Brighton, Leeds and the United States of America. In fact the road outside the Brunswick Inn and the surrounding buildings, including the Midland Hotel and the railway station, play a central role in The Disciple.

Steven was inspiring, entertaining, and a thoroughly nice man. How his first novel came to be published can serve as an inspiration to us all. Unable to find any takers for it, Steven self-published it and incredibly sold 1,600 copies. He uploaded the novel to the authonomy website and HarperCollins picked it up from there.

As Steven says, “I believed in The Reaper and deep down I knew it deserved to be read by a larger audience. Thanks to authonomy I’ve been given that chance.”

Derby Scribes will be delighted to welcome Steven Dunne back in 2012 when his next novel is published by his new publisher. As he sold a number of books on the night, we’re hoping Steven will be equally delighted to see us again.

Watch this space! Coming soon...

Posted by Stuart Hughes on March 25, 2011 at 1:08 PM Comments comments (0)

This blog is supposed to be about more than just Derby County so I thought I'd take this opportunity to update you on my creative writing endeavours thus far in 2011.

After a successful return to writing last year, I got off to a great start to the year when my drabble In His Own Way was published in Sex and Murder Magazine #16 on 14th January 2011. My first American publishing credit.

Two more short stories will be published soon with Brylcreem and Pipe Tobacco due to be published online in Golden Visions Magazine on 1st April 2011 (I'm assured that isn't an April Fool) and the British Fantasy Society Journal Spring 2011 issue is at the printers now and will contain my short story Soul Break.

And there's more ... another story Unfinished Business will be published in the Alt-Dead anthology this Autumn and Brylcreem and Pipe Tobacco will be published in the Derby Scribes Anthology later this year.

Already scheduled in for the July 2012 issue of Morpheus Tales is my short story Canvassing Opinion. No typo there I do mean 2012, it's going to be a long wait.

And as if that isn't enough, my thoughts on Derby County continue to be published in my local newspaper as part of the Derby Telegrah's Rams Panel and on the websites RamZone and Derby County Mad.

And no, I haven't solved the Roy of the Rovers Mystery yet.

My work in progress at the moment is mainly collaborations (I haven't forgotten my novel but I'll update you on that another time). I'm still trying to place some collaborations I wrote with D. F. Lewis as well as a fairy tale I wrote recently with fellow Derby Scribe Peter Borg titled The Sin-Eater's Apprentice. The fairy tale is set in the Derby Scribes Shared World.

I'm also working on what, hopefully, will be a series of collaborations with another Derby Scribe Richard Farren Barber. The first story, Synsis, has received it's first rejection today. I'm working on the final edit of the next story, Night Lights, and Richard and I are working on two more provisionally titled Those Were The Rules and The Half Life of Charlie K.

Finally my short story The Car Park was accepted by Midnight Street yesterday. I haven't told the editor but this is my jinx story as it has already sounded the death-knell for Skeleton Crew and Maelstrom - both magazines accepted the story but folded before they ever got around to publishing it. I hope Midnight Street has taken the anecdote.

Simon Clark visits Derby Scribes

Posted by Stuart Hughes on March 9, 2011 at 7:43 AM Comments comments (0)

It was great to catch-up with Simon Clark again recently when he visited the local writers group Derby Scribes. I first met Simon at a Fantasycon convention in the late eighties/early nineties and went on to publish some of his short stories in the quarterly magazine Peeping Tom I used to edit and publish with my good friend David Bell. One of those stories, “Salt Snake” (published in Peeping Tom 1993) was deservedly reprinted in DAW's The Year's Best Horror XXII (1994), edited by Karl Edward Wagner.

Since those days in the early nineties Simon has gone on to publish twenty-one novels, six novellas, and five short story collections. I remember when Simon’s first short story collection “Blood and Grit” was published in 1990. In fact, I was so taken by the final story in that collection, a story titled “Sex, Savagery and Blood, Blood, Blood” that I wrote a pastiche of it called “Pay Back Time” which Simon kindly allowed me to publish in my own short story collection “Ocean Eyes” and fittingly it became the final story in my book.

At Derby Scribes Simon talked for approximately an hour and a half about his writing career, about how he got his big break, and offered up many interesting anecdotes including the evil robot in his loft that scared all of his school friends; he described his euphoria at seeing his first short story in print, talked about how he got to write the sequel to John Wyndham’s “The Day of the Triffids,” and about his experience writing “The Dalek Factor” – a Doctor Who novella featuring the Daleks.

Simon answered questions from the Derby Scribes and provided the group with useful hints and tips and advice for our own writing. Needless to say he sold some of his books too – I purchased a hardback copy of “The Night of the Triffids” to add to my existing Simon Clark library.

All in all a very interesting and entertaining Derby Scribes session and inspiration for me to continue with my own work in progress novel.

Simon has also kindly provided the writing group with a short story titled “In the Spirit of Darwin” which will be published in the Derby Scribes anthology later this year.

2010 - a very good writing year

Posted by Stuart Hughes on January 14, 2011 at 7:27 PM Comments comments (2)

2010 turned out to be a very good year for my fiction writing and by the end of it I had accrued a further nine publishing credits, including two short stories in my local newspaper the Derby Telegraph.

The highlight of the year for me has to be the camaraderie of my fellow writers at Derby Scribes. I joined the writing group in November 2009 but only really got into it during 2010. Derby Scribes meet on the first and third Mondays of each month and sessions consist of storytelling evenings, writing exercises and theme based discussions. We also have established authors and professionals from the writing community as guests from time to time to do readings and talks based on their own work. In March I ran a session on characterisation and other Scribes have run sessions on various writing related subjects throughout the year. We've even created our own shared world where a castle floats above a village, tethered to the ground by great promethean chains, and its turrets scrape the underbelly of the clouds. It's not a flying castle though, it's a library.

But without a doubt the best thing about Derby Scribes is the people who belong to it. Not only has the camaraderie and encouragement of the Derby Scribes motivated me to keep writing but I've made some wonderful new friends too.

During 2010 I completed seven brand new short stories and have half a dozen more in various stages of development. I also embarked on what I hope will be a series of short story collaborations with fellow Derby Scribe Richard Farren Barber - we are currently doing final edits to the first two stories and will be starting a further two shortly. One of my stories also won the Derby Scribes Short Story Competition.

As if that wasn't enough, I finally got stuck into that novel I'd been promising myself I'd write for so many years. Provisionally titled "Guardian Angel" (although that will probably change) I wrote 35,000 words and a detailed synopsis which suggests it will comfortably expand to novel length. Unfortunately the first person viewpoint I chose isn't working out. I'll be reworking it into a third person, multi-viewpoint narrative this year and aim to have the first draft completed by the end of June 2011.

And I wasn't done there either. The Derby Telegraph accepted me for their Rams Fans Panel which means I get to write pre- and post-match comments on Derby County's games this season for the local newspaper. I also write opinion pieces from time to time for the Derby County fans websites Derby County Mad and RamZone.

As far as my fiction writing is concerned, 2011 looks like getting off to a good start as I ended 2010 with five story acceptances - Alt-Dead, Dark Horizons, Derby Scribes Anthology, Golden Visions and Sex and Murder.


All things considered, 2010 was a very good writing year. Here's to 2011, may it be even better.