Kim Newman and Anno Dracula

I’m halfway through the literary feast that is Dracula Cha Cha Cha, the third book in Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula series. I’d been intrigued by Anno Dracula ever since I’d spotted it in Waterstones and admired its Victorian cover design, but I actually read it for the first time after being lent it by my girlfriend a couple of years ago. It contains one of the best opening sequences I’ve ever read: a Jack the Ripper-style murder in London fog, seen through the eyes of the killer. I was hooked. What follows is in essence an alternate history but also a reinterpretation of that most infamous of vampire novels, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Count Dracula escapes his hunters, the protagonists of Stoker’s story, and takes Queen Victoria as his bride. Meanwhile, a killer in Whitechapel is hunting down vampire girls and gorily dispatching them.
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Icing the Cake: Titling a Story

I’m on the verge of releasing my novella to its first reader for feedback. I’ve just finished the final proofread, and I’m satisfied that it’s free from any narrative inconsistencies and, as far as I can tell, and glaring grammatical errors. There are few places I feel the story drags or derails slightly, but I’ll wait to see if my first wave of readers pick up on these – it’s hard to judge the pacing of a book when you’ve seen ‘behind the scenes’, as it were. There’s one part of the story that has just kept changing though, and that’s the title.
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Little by Little… Word Counts

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front for the last couple of weeks, but there’s a good reason. I’ve been working on a short story; a tale that began life as One Night In England back in October of 2014. Today I finished it. I call it a short story but in actual fact it’s the longest thing I’ve ever written, at 27,000 words. I also say I finished it, but I feel the ending is a little truncated and that a redraft is in order before I even let some willing volunteers take a peek at it. Nevertheless, I’m chuffed. I’ve completed a coherent piece of writing that has exceeded the length of anything I’ve written before.
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Upside-Disney: Subverting the Fairy Tale

I watched Maleficent this week – it’s Disney’s live action revision of the studio’s own Sleeping Beauty, told from the point of view of the eponymous villain. I enjoyed it; Angelina Jolie in particular pulls it out the bag with a great performance that forms the central pillar of the film. It got me thinking about the style of modern Disney films, and about the modern approach to adapting or reimagining fairy tales.
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The G Word(s): The Gothic Genre

Two confessions. One: I’m one of those people who like to pigeonhole everything. Always have been. There are boxes all over my house, each one with its own specific contents. My books are sectioned into fiction (ordered alphabetically) and reference (subdivided by subject). My iTunes library is organised fastidiously, using all the sort fields that my friends ignore. My second confession: I’m not a goth. But then if I was I wouldn’t admit to it.
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