Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waltzing With Werewolves


This week's Great Hites episode includes the biggest number of stories to date, with a number of new authors joining in and existing authors pulling out all the stops to make this a really good stepping-on point if you've never visited the site before.

The prompt for the stories was "Silver Bullets; the real reason that some cowboys carried them" and as you can imagine this has resulted in a number of werewolf-westerns as well as a few more unusual approaches. There are 12 stories in total, so Jeff has split it into 4 chunks, but it is all well worth a listen or two.

Two of the stories are mine: "Waltzing with Werewolves" is a 100 word love story set to music in a sort of spoken-song format, whilst "Silver Solves The Dilemma" is a fairly traditional western tale, but with werewolves and a somewhat skewed moral code.

Incidentally, the introduction music for each part that Jeff talks over is the theremin solo from The Ballad of Rufus Amos Adams - the country song I wrote some time ago for the Masters of Song Fu. Follow the link for the whole song.

Over on 'Some Other Scotland' this week, the action heads over the Atlantic to New York where the final scene shows how the influence of the story is reaching far beyond the shores of Scotland, with some devastating consequences. I was delighted to have Philip 'NorvalJoe' Carroll join me as the guest voice for Razer's American friend Kyle, who provides him with a place to lay low for a while. The two of us also concocted the creepy promo for Great Hites that you'll hear in the same episode, which was fun to put together.

Live Interview and Chat

Finally, I have been invited to do a live interview and call-in chat with on BlogTalkRadio on the 10th of August. I will have more information about this shortly, but in the meantime, visit this link to set an email reminder of when the show will be broadcast.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Take It Away!

Piano Keys

Over at Great Hites, my story "Take It Away" has proved reasonably popular amongst the people who take the time to vote. It tells of a great pianist who returns to his old school, whereupon he sits down at the old wreck of a piano he last played in his youth. The music teacher who stands watching him is surprised by the result.

This coming week is going to see a bumper Great Hites episode, with 12 stories being included, no doubt due to the prompt being related to cowboys and werewolves. More details when the episode is posted online, but I wrote two stories for the prompt, one of which just so happened to also fit the prompt for 100 Word Stories this week, which was "The games we play". That means you'll be able to read and/or listen to one of my stories from next week's Great Hites in advance. It is called "Waltzing with Werewolves" and is in a spoken-song format with musical accompaniment.

Some major changes are afoot in the world of 'Some Other Scotland' later this week, with something that will force the plot out into the public view in a rather impressive fashion. I'm keen to get another interlude episode out this week as well, so keep an eye on the website.

Finally, I have had some great support from Seth Harwood, author of "Jack Wakes Up", following his appearance on the live Podioracket talk show. He has very kindly played the promo for SOS on the latest episode of his "Hot Tub" podcast, side-by-side with one for Arlene Radasky's book "The Fox". Arlene has been a strong supporter of SOS from early in the life of the podcast and I'll be talking a little about her book in the next Interlude episode.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Cave and Podiobooks


My latest short story to appear at 'Great Hites' is called "The Cave". It is another short spin-off from 'Some Other Scotland', taking us back to the events (thousands of years ago) that set in motion much of what is taking place with Harald and Razer in the story at the moment. Remember the seemingly innocuous comment about cloning polar bears back in episode 8? Well, this story returns to that topic. The events mentioned here will be covered in SOS, though from a different perspective. This story is subtitled "part 1", as there is more to tell about what happened in the cave...

The short stories will be taking a break from linking to SOS for a couple of weeks, covering different topics for a while. I don't want to go overboard with SOS and make you all sick of it!


Welcome to new visitors coming here from The version of the story on podiobooks does not include the news items or the extras I include in the main podcast feed, the spin-offs and Interludes, just the story itself. I was delighted to gain over 100 new listeners within the first three days live at podiobooks, putting SOS into their top ten for this month, alongside some of the big names in podcast fiction. If you are enjoying the story on podiobooks, please do take the time to rate the podcast and leave a comment, as well as stopping by the main SOS website to vote in the poll. Follow @SOScotland on Twitter to be notified of news, poll postings and new episodes.

Finally, I was interviewed recently about SOS by Rhonda Carpenter of Podioracket, a podcast that covers everything new in the world of podcast fiction and features interviews with authors, news, competitions and promotional details of new books. If you are enjoying SOS or Great Hites, I would recommend paying them a visit for lots of ideas for what to listen to. I'll put up a direct link to the interview when that episode comes out.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dandelions Of Memory

Airship? Not exactly.

No, it's not a UFO or an airship - it's the blimp flying over T in the Park, just down the road.

This week's Great Hites story is ready and waiting to be read and/or downloaded. It is called "Dandelions Of Memory" and is another 'Some Other Scotland' tie-in, probably the most direct so far, featuring Erica at the airport before heading off towards Skara Brae. Go and have a listen and don't forget to vote for your favourite!

My 100 Word Story last week had the most votes (thank you to all who enjoyed it enough to vote for it), so I got to choose the topic for this week, which is "Shrouded in mist". I had no great plan for the topic, it is simply what I saw when I looked out the window at the time. However, it did result in me writing the shortest SOS spin-off so far. I've had something of a Harald special for this week of writing and both that story and my next Great Hites story give a little more background to him, tying into him being the focus of the latest SOS episode.

There is a new episode of 'Some Other Scotland' ready for download, the topic this week being 'Ghost'. Please have a listen and don't forget to vote for the future plot twist! On the SOS site you'll find a couple of audio promos for the podcast, set to some Song Fu tracks from the past. If you have a podcast or can use them in any way - please do! Let me know what you do with them, too.

Finally, I have just had confirmation that SOS will soon (17th July) be available at - probably the best online source of free podcast stories, with all sorts of things available there, including several that have gone on to become published novels. They are very focused on the story, so the version of SOS that will appear at podiobooks will lack the news items and any other chat from me, having only the story itself. Note that subscribing to the podcast there will not include 'Interlude' or 'Spin-off' episodes which can only be downloaded from the main SOS site, but if you want to hear them you can still just download those individual episodes.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Gruelling Schedule


It has been a busy week for writing, with a new episode of 'Some Other Scotland' and two new short stories.

Over at Great Hites episode 59 you will find "Kelvin's Last Message", a tale of two UFO hunters trying to follow a pattern of sightings and ending up getting more than they bargained for. The prompt this week was "It is verboten", which had me struggling for a while until I remembered that 'verbo' is a word that appears on my mobile phone's predictive text when I try to type in 'tesco' (the biggest supermarket chain in the UK, for those unfamiliar with it). Upon further investigation, I found that the keys used to spell 'ten' could also spell UFO and the idea came from that. I like the idea that so much can change at the delicate interface between man and machine.

Although I didn't set out to create another spin-off from SOS this week, this could be read as one, given what we know about unusual flying contraptions in that world. It is open-ended enough that it could foreshadow what is coming in SOS, but don't hold your breath - the story changes tack every week, so anything is possible.

The 100 Word Podcast features my story "Gruel", taking the run of animal-related diseases we're in the midst of and extrapolating a little, where eating meat becomes a game of chance with more serious consequences.

Don't forget to vote for your favourite stories at both GH and 100WS!

The first of the Great Hites Anthology episodes will be coming out fairly soon, so I have done a couple of short promo recordings to (hopefully) help Jeff reach a wider audience. One was just me chatting, whilst the other was a collaborative effort with Norval Joe, another Great Hites regular, and was really quite fun to do. I'll certainly be including it within the SOS feed as well as linking to it from here once Jeff is ready to launch.