Tag Archive: Sarah Pinborough


beauty sarah pinboroughBeauty is the retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale, all the elements are here, the impenetrable forest, the cursed princess, the handsome prince. This final story in Sarah Pinborough’s trilogy of fairy tale retellings closes the circle started in Poison, but whilst being the last book released, chronologically it is the first story in the sequence. I’d long suspected – after events and comments made by two characters in Poison – that this trilogy would follow along the same non-linear lines as the film Sin City. This disjointed way of telling the story has built over the previous two books making this first story a brilliant ending.

From the title it’s easy to assume what this book is all about. Already we’ve had Snow White in Poison and Cinderella in Charm, so going into this I was expecting the trademark slantways take that Sarah has given us many time before, but this time focused on the Sleeping Beauty story. Whilst this is mainly what we get – in a roundabout way – we also get a lot more. I did think everything and the kitchen sink once I’d finished, counting at least three separate fairy tales blended into the mix, and possible nod’s to more. It’s a nice piece of plotting pulling all these threads into one story and not making it looked crowded. But as well as telling this story Sarah had to also tie off loose ends carried over from the previous two. I’ve read some full novels where too many threads have made the story bloated and incoherent, but Sarah has managed this with some sparkling prose and a cracking pace.

Sometimes novellas can be a little like a Chinese takeaway, a quick meal and soon after you are feeling hungry again. But here Sarah has managed to make a novella that feels like a full novel, you get given a full blown world full of character’s all of which are fully formed and three dimensional, and whilst they may feel familiar, they all have uniqueness to them that sets them apart from what may be the accepted image of the characters. Here you also get very much the view that the separate kingdoms already visited in the previous two books are very tightly linked together. Whilst the cast comes from different parts, they have a common past, one that brings them together whether they wanted to or not.

As with the previous two stories this is very much a Sarah Pinborough book, full of devious twists on character traits and healthy dollops of sexual tension. Whilst not as blazingly sexy as the previous two – though there is a pretty wild party – this time there is more underlying tension, a hint that at any moment bodices will be ripped and breaches dropped to the floor. As a standalone this would work on many levels, added to the whole it makes a perfect episode in the overall story arc.

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According to my account on Goodreads I’ve read 32 books this year, well 33 as I’ve just finished one that is not currently listed on the site. So that’s 2.75 books a month, and I wonder sometimes what I spend all my time doing!

So this year, for the first time, I decided to look through what I had read and list my top 10. I’m not usually a fan of best of lists purely because tastes change on a regular basis. What might be the best today may not be tomorrow simply because something better comes along. But seeing as 2013 is in its last few hours, and the books I have read during the last 12 months will not be repeated, I thought it was fairly safe to put a list together, because even if something better does come along tomorrow, it’ll be 2014 by then.

I should point out this is a list of books I have read in 2013, not a list of books published in 2013.

So to kick things off…

No. 10: Ace Of Skulls by Chris Wooding – whilst I was not totally blow away by this final instalment in the Tales Of The Ketty Jay series it gets a placing simply because it is the final instalment. The series as a whole has been brilliant, with a mix of fantasy, horror and steampunk it was something different and entertaining. The  mixed crew of misfits were instantly likeable and grew on you with each book. Was it original, maybe not. A lot of people likened it to Firefly, but having never seen the show I had no comparison to make.

No. 9: The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig – a mix of organised crime, fantasy and horror, this is the story of Mookie Pearl. Pearl is a hard man, an enforcer, a killer. He is also privy to the knowledge of the dark forbidden underbelly of the city where monsters lurk and death is ready for the unwilling. Along with Wendig’s trademark no-holds-barred style of story telling this is a great tale full of wit, blood and kick-ass action.

No. 8: Exit Kingdom by Alden Bell – the sequel/prequel to the excellent The Angels Are The Reapers. Set in a post apocalyptic world where humanity has fallen to the zombie hordes. But unlike your run-of-the-mill zombie tale here the walking dead are mere bit part players. Carrying on the tale of Moses Todd this story flashes back to his days on the road with his psychotic brother Abraham,  as he tries to find some form of peace in a broken world. Along the way they encounter a gifted woman who may very well be the cure everyone has dreamt of.

No. 7: Ack-Ack Macaque by Gareth L Powell – Ack-Ack Macaque is a cigar chomping, whisky swilling one-eyed spitfire pilot, he is also a Monkey. Fighting the hordes of ninja-Nazi paratroopers is what he does, but he is beginning to think everything is not as real as he thinks. This is a unique tale of a sentient ape and his part in the saving of a prince and battle against the coming apocalypse. There is a twist, and its a very inventive twist that allows Ack-Ack to bridge the gap between the 1940s war and the 21st century workd where most of the story is set. Look out for the sequel Hive Monkey due out soon.

No. 6: Age Atomic by Adam Christopher – this is the follow-up to the brilliant Empire State and carries on the story of the Pocket universe that is the mirror of Manhattan. This time round the Empire State is in danger of being destroyed as earth tremors and a freezing winter threaten to tear the fabric of the Pocket apart. On top of that someone is building an army of nuclear powered robots and plan to invade New York.

No. 5: The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell – this is the latest in the Saxon Stories and continues the tale of Uhtred. King Alfred is dead, Edward now sits on the throne and his advisor’s and the church have distanced him from his fathers greatest warlord, the pagan Uhtred. After an ill advised trip to punish a wayward son, Uhtred finds himself banished from Wessex, penniless and with only a few faithful warriors still at his side he heads north to finally retake his ancestral home. But the long peace between Wessex and the Danes is about to come to a crashing end, and when the Danes strike, and blood is spilt, Wessex as always will only have one man to turn to to save them.

No. 4: The Split Worlds Trilogy (Between Two Thorns/Any Other Name/All Is Fair) by Emma Newman – the Nether is home to the Fae-touched and is a mirror to Mundanus (Earth). There is a treaty in place that forbids the Fae and their puppets from interfering in the lives of the Mundanes, a treaty enforced by the Sorcerers and their Arbitors. But someone has corrupted one of the Chapters and Mundanes are being snatched from the streets of London. This trilogy is a debut fantasy series and if you didn’t know that you’d be hard pressed to notice. Emma’s writing is pitch perfect, her characters vibrant and three dimensional. The story is one of adventure, conspiracy and rebellion. But in amongst this there is also dark subjects including murder, marital rape and slavery.

 

No. 3: The Copper Promise: Let Sleeping Gods Lie by Jen Williams – I reviewed this in the previous post to this, so most everything I have to say can be read there. But I will say this is a debut fantasy novel that breathes life into the pulp style of story telling that I grew up reading. brilliantly paced, great characters and a plot that carries you through a breathtakingly imagined fantasy world.

No. 2: The Broken Empire Trilogy (Prince Of Thorns/King Of Thorns/Emperor Of Thorns) by Mark Lawrence – another debut fantasy trilogy, and another breath of fresh aired breathed into a genre stuffed full of grim and dark. Jorg of Ancarth has to be one of the darkest characters I’ve come across in a while. Haunted by a childhood tragedy that saw his brother and mother brutally slain, and treated with scorn by an unloving father Jorg does what many boys have done before and runs away. But in running away he joins a troop of road brothers and embarks on a killing spree that would be seen as bloody by any counts, but is made more so because Jorg is barely into his teens at the time. Through the course of the three books Jorg cuts his way from road brother, to King to the Empire Throne, the body count is countless, no-one is safe, including those who ride with him. Does Jorg have redeeming qualities, yes, he is not a mindless killing machine, he does what he does for a reason. But those reasons are not always as clear as you might think.

No. 1: Sarah Pinborough’s Modern Fairy Tales (Poison/Charm/Beauty) by Sarah Pinborough – the title I made up, not sure this series of three novellas actually has an overall title? But still, Sarah’s re-imaging/retelling/modern interpretation (call them what you will) of classic fairy tales are brilliant and by far the best thing I’ve read this year. These are fairy tales for grown-ups, Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty all come under the spotlight and are given the Pinborough treatment. These are not suitable reading for children, some adults of a sensible nature may want to steer clear as well. Sarah has taken the core of each story and given it a twist, added ingredients and also brought in elements from other fairy stories to make original stories that intrigued and delight.

 

Bubbling under and worthy a mention…

Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough – a fresh new take on the Jack the Ripper legend that isn’t about Jack the Ripper.

NOS4R2 by Joe Hill – twisted serial killer Charlie Manx kidnaps children and takes them off to Christmasland where he feeds off their fun.

The Shinning Girls by Lauren Beukes – another serial killer but this time one that can time travel between the 1920s and 1990s killing girls that show some spark of greatness.

Space Danger by Doug Strider – a series of self published novellas set about a starship captained by Kurt Dangler. To sum this up its a mix of Monty Python, Douglas Adams and Ripping Yarns, in space.

 

 

 

 

mayhemTitle: Mayhem

Author: Sarah Pinborough

Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books

Published: Out Now

RRP: Print £14.99 – Kindle £4.12

 When a rotten torso is discovered in the vault below New Scotland Yard, it doesn’t take Dr. Thomas Bond – Police surgeon – long to realise there is  a second killer at large in the city, where days earlier, Jack The Ripper brutally murdered two women in one night. Though this new murder is just as gruesome, it is at the hand of a cold killer, one who lacks Jack’s emotion.

 As more headless and limbless torsos find their way into the Thames, Dr. Bond becomes obsessed with finding the killer. His investigations lead him into an unholy alliance with a vagabond psychic and religious zealot. And as the terror grows Dr. Bond begins to wonder if it is a man who has brought mayhem to the streets of London, or a monster.

 Sarah Pinborough has a deft hand at taking a known story and turning it on its head. She did it with creation itself in The Dog Faced Gods Trilogy, and is doing it now with Poison (Snow White), Charm (Cinderella) and Beauty (Sleeping Beauty). With Mayhem she turns her eye on the legend of Jack the Ripper, except this isn’t totally a story about him. In fact Jack is a bit part player, a side effect to other events. This is a story about an age old horror that comes to the streets of London with a taste for blood, and about the men who must face it.

 There is an interesting mix of characters, fictional and real. The main character – Thomas Bond – is real and was a Police surgeon who worked in and around Whitechapel during the time of the Ripper murders, he even wrote a paper on the psychology of the killer. Here he is a driven man, obsessed with tracking down the so called Thames Torso murderer and proving the two sets of killings are not by the same hand, he is also battling near crippling insomnia and drug addiction that see’s him walking the streets at all hours. Alongside him is Polish refugee Aaron Kominski – another real life character, and a onetime suspect in the Ripper killings – and a Jesuit priest tasked with tracking and despatching something that is not human. Other characters include Inspector Moore and his assistant Andrews, like Bond they were both real life Policemen (though in real life Andrews was an Inspector as well) in and around Whitechapel and worked on the Ripper case.

 Sarah has worked her story within known events and managed to make the two seamlessly gel. London is suitably dark and dismal; the wretched streets of Whitechapel are vivid to the point that you can smell the waste that fills the gutters. Likewise the people are equally wretched, their desperation palpable. Along with Dr. Bond the reader is taken through the dark underbelly of London, the Opium dens and gore drenched murder scenes. And all along the reader sits inside Dr. Bond’s head, knowing his inner thoughts, inner conflicts, slowly throughout the course of the book piecing together the clues that will lead to the killer.

 The, surprisingly for a murder mystery, the killer is revealed halfway in, it came across all very Columbo and I did have to go back and re-read that part again thinking I’d suddenly skipped a wad of pages. But outing the killer so early in the book made the rest more interesting, now you get chapters that show you where he came from, what he was about. I do like stories that get you inside the mind of the villain, one of the reasons I like Dexter Morgan I suppose. The second half of the book now became a race against time, with the killer known and his reasons suspected Bond and his cohorts had to prove their suspicions, not only to themselves but to others when they had the proof they needed, and stop the killer before he struck again.

 The whole process of telling this story is helped by the different styles Sarah uses to get her characters experiences across. Dr. Bond is told in the first person, the rest is in the third. An interesting mix that frees up the flow giving insights not only into the main character but also helps fill in the blanks about anything else that’s going on. I personally like first person storytelling, it is one of the easiest to read and to write – for me, but there are limits, there are always blanks where the reader is left wondering what is happening elsewhere and only get the briefest of insights when other characters relate events. Here you get the best of both making a stronger story and an easier understood one.     

 You are left – after all this – with an exciting murder mystery with strong supernatural elements. Alongside the main story the Ripper investigation quietly bubbles along, there are hints, snippets that lead the reader in the direction of one character. Sarah doesn’t set out to name Jack, but the implications are obvious as to whom she identifies, and you are left wondering what happened next.

 You think you know about the Ripper, well you don’t know jack. 

PoisonTitle: Poison

Author: Sarah Pinborough

Publisher: Gollancz

Published: Out Now

Snow White lives the idyllic life of a fairytale Princess, she has the love of her father and of the people, she has the loyalty of the dwarves who toil all daylong under the mountains. But her stepmother – the Queen – is not happy with the way Snow White lives her life and feels it is time she accepted her role and found a husband. With the King away at war the Queen weaves her magical web around the castle and the country beyond, making every-one’s life a misery and threatening horrible punishments on any who defy her. She also sets about pressing Snow White to accept a husband, so the Queen can be rid of her, leaving her no rivals. But Snow White defies her step-mother and she does it with seeming impunity, the protection her absent father offers her a greater threat than any the Queen can make.

The Queen does not take this situation lying down and when her guards capture a Huntsman in the forest, in return for his life she tasks him to kill Snow White, the Huntsman accepts and sets out in search of the Princess, of course he fails, and in order to save his own life tries to trick the Queen, but in this he also fails and the Queen punishes him for trying to trick her. But the Queen’s grandmother is on hand and says she will deal with the problem of Snow White her own way and sets off into the forest with a poisoned apple. With Snow cursed the dwarves entomb her in a glass coffin where eventually the Prince finds her and falls in love, the curse is lifted by true loves first kiss and the couple married to live happily ever after.

Everyone knows the story of Snow White, it is said to be the most famous fairy tale in the world. But the version everyone is most familiar with is the 1937 Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarves; a twee musical animation, with a stunningly beautiful Snow White  running away from her wicked step-mother, and hiding in the woods with the cuddly dwarves in harmony with the forest animals. Now how do you take that image, that icon of purity and goodness, and make it sexy. Why you give it to Sarah Pinborough. Poison is Snow White with all the Disney taken out and a lot of Pinborough put in, anyone familiar with Sarah’s work will know what I’m talking about. Sarah has a knack of weaving a tale that’ll twist around you making you addicted in no short time.

You know you’re in for something different when the evil Queen performs a sex act on the King in the first chapter. Here you’ll find no gentle tale of good versus evil, what you will find is a head strong young woman fighting against the bonds of her birth and trying to stake a place for herself in a man’s world. Of course it’s not as simple as that, all the elements everyone has come to expect from the story are there. An evil Queen, a Huntsman, seven dwarves and, of course, Snow White. But here those elements are turned on their head so the traditional roles are seen through different eyes. The Huntsman for one is exactly that, but I feel reading between the lines he is more a hunter of men – a mercenary perhaps – than the forest living hunter gatherer more traditionally depicted. Hot from a previous adventure he is in the forest on the run when captured by the Queen’s guards. Likewise the handsome Prince, he is every inch Prince Charming from all the fairy tales, but he has an edge that makes him more of a danger than the simpering dandy more usually seen.

In fact out of all the characters I feel that it is the Prince and the Huntsman that are the most interesting, and the two that readers need to pay great attention to in what they say and their inner monologues. Both characters have a history, and I feel they have a shared history. As to what that may be is up in the air, but I’m convinced they are the two characters that link the three stories Poison, Charm and Beauty together. Whilst this is the first in the trilogy of fairy tale retellings, I don’t think it is the first chronologically.

All in all this is a fairy tale with edge, a sharp edge that cuts both ways and leaves you with more questions than answers. It also has a nice twist in the tail, a twist that I didn’t see coming and makes you sit back and go “whoa!”.

So that was January, first month of 2013, eleven months until I hit the big 50. So what did it mean for me?

BOOKS

I finished Great North Road by Peter F Hamilton. This was the first of his books I’d read outside of the Commonwealth Saga. It was enjoyable, though I did find some sections overblown and there seemed (to me) to be a lot of filler.

I also read Redshirts by John Scalzi. I was expecting something more along the lines of Galaxy Quest, if that was what he was heading for then it fell well short of the mark for me. There were some funny moments, but I did not have any of the laugh-out-loud moments some of the reviewers seemed to have enjoyed.

I was back on familiar territory with Bait Dog by Chuck Wendig (a double bill of the novella Shotgun Gravy & the novel Bait Dog). Familiar as in I know what Chuck is about, have  a pretty good idea of how he works. Though I will be honest and say I was surprised by the intensity of this one. Also it was Chuck without any psychic or vampiric powers. A hard hitting story of bullies, racists and sadists. Not for the faint of heart.

Just finished (last night) Apocalypse: Year Zero, a collection of four novellas that center of four women who go through life changing, and shattering events – 911, the Boxing Day tsunami, hurricane Katrina and California’s “big one”. The end result of these experiences is they each find they have power over fire, water, wind and earth. And as they slowly come together over the course of the four novella’s it’s revelaed that the Four Horsemen were not men at all.

 

TV & MOVIES

Well actually only TV, I did intend to go and see The Hobbit for a second time but never got round to it. TV wise I’m now a proud subscriber to Sky TV, and boy am I a happy bunny. Watched Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (available on Alibi) staring the brilliant Forrest Whitaker. Some pretty hard, brutal stuff in there. Also been watching Ripper Street (BBC1) set in Victorian London in the months after the Ripper killings. Dark, gritty and no holds barred, it also stars Gerome Flynn who seems intent on carving out a niche for himself as a hard as nails character actor (he’s also the brilliant Bronn in Game Of Thrones)

This week started watching The Following (Sky Atlantic) staring Kevin Bacon. Ex-FBI agent brought out of retirement to bring down an escaped serial killer. It has echoes of Red Dragon but an interesting twist is the serial killer has amassed a following, he’s been creating serial killers, he has (possibly) an army of them. Its not for the faint of heart (especially episode 1’s Ice Pick lady scene) but looks to have the makings of a gripping drama.

I also received my DVD of Dredd, watched it and still think its a brilliant stab at bringing the iconic character to the screen. Its just a shame it bombed at the cinema and so highly unlikely and sequels will be forthcoming.

 

WRITING

Some sad news last week when I received an email telling me that Pill Hill Press has closed. Pill Hill gave me my first break, published my first short story. On top of that I have another story accepted by them that was due to be in their next anthology. But there was a sliver lining, Miles Boothe – another author and ardent monster hunter – has created Emby Press and intends to honour all submissions made to Pill Hill. So hopefully in a few months the anthology will be released.

I’ve had a short script placed with Twisted Showcase – a web based anthology series (named in the Guardian’s Top 25 web shows in 2012) – for several months now but they have been struggling to fit it into the filming schedule. There was talk of making it as their first animated short, but finding an animator with time on their hands is not easy. Now they are looking into producing it as a comic strip, and if it is successful on the site will be the first of many.

My WIPs are ticking along nicely. I’ve been prepping a post apocalypse novel for a couple of months now which is close to being ready for the start of the first draft. I’ve also finished a treatment for a pilot episode that I will be writing next month. The aim is to have it written, beta read and second drafted by the end of February so I can catch the current BBC Writers Room submissions window. Once that is done I start work on the novel first draft.

I still have four short stories out there in the world waiting on acceptance/declining emails.

 

All in all January was a packed month, February is shaping up to be more of the same.

 

I picked up the first installment in this trilogy back in May. I had intended to write a review after reading each book, but felt it would be better if I’d done it after reading the whole story. I’m glad I did because looking at the story as a whole feels better than taking it a book at a time. I’m not saying you don’t get three cracking stories, you do, each book may be linked by the overall arc, but they are all fairly self-contained.

A Matter Of Blood starts out as your classic cop chasing serial killer tale, except you are left with no illusions early on that what you are reading is far from your run-of-the-mill procedural.  Sarah wastes no time pinning the supernatural element’s colours to the mast, which is something I’m all for, too much faux “fantasy” is available today that leaves the reader – or viewer – wondering if they are buying into what the thought they were. I prefer to know from the off if I’m getting weird shit because of some supernatural element, or explainable shit because someones clever and wants to make people believe its strange.

The book has a fairly fast start, like the protagonist DI Cass Jones, the reader is dumped into the middle of an ongoing investigation. A serial killer is on the loose in London, killing young women seemingly at random, the only link between the murders are hundreds of fly eggs laid out on the bodies. Pretty soon you find there is more going on than just random killings, there is The Bank, a mysterious organisation that seems to run the world now. There is another double murder, that may or may not be linked in with the “Man Of Flies” case; and then there is the brutal murder of DI Jones’ own brother and family.

As the book progresses the reader is fed information about Jones’ past life, an undercover operation that went bad, and his broken relationship with his family and colleagues. You also learn about the shadowy figure called Castor Bright, a man that appears not to have aged and is high up in the command structure of The Bank. The action is brutal, Sarah pulls no punches in describing some of the jucier crime scenes visited (including a rather unpleasant surprise in an oven), and she uses the language of the street to full effect. Not one for the faint hearted, but the picture it paints of a broken society limping along towards a bleaker future is gripping. Alongside the main story is one of Police corruption and rampant drug abuse, a theme that will echo throughout the following two books.

 

The Shadow Of The Soul picks up soon after the end of the first. The “Man Of Flies” case is closed, no-one but DI Jones knows what really happened and he’s not prepared to talk about it. All he knows is the life he thought he’d had growing up was a lie, and that the man he knows as Castor Bright appears to hold all the cards and is pulling everyones strings. Much like the first book the main thrust of this tale is another serial killer, and like the first book the string of random deaths seemingly push Jones along evermore in the direction of The Bank, and Castor Bright.

In this second outing Sarah drops more hints as to what Mr. Bright’s motives are, the tentacles of his organisation seem to reach to the highest levels of government, but all is not rosy within The Bank or the even more shadowy Network that appears to be the power behind it. Again with this book Sarah stamps the supernatural credentials early on. There’s no grey areas here, you know something is not right with the world, something is not right with Mr. Bright and his associates, but what exactly their plan for humanity is is unclear.

The book builds more towards the endgame, DI Jones is not so much the damaged goods he was in the first book. Now he seems to have more of a purpose, he knows his enemy and has him firmly set in his sights. Unfortunately for Jones though Castor Bright is a master of the long game, he has had his moves plotted out a long time, some it would seem even before Cass Jones was born. The ending is brilliant, it reveals more about what Mr. Bright and his associates are and then dumps Jones outside his comfort zone by making him a wanted man.

The Chosen Seed picks up several months after the end of the second book. Cass Jones is on the run, wanted for murder, he is more driven now than ever before; more determined to find Castor Bright and bring his empire of lies crashing down. But Mr. Bright has bigger concerns than a renegade detective, the First has woken, the Interventionalists are broadcasting the rapture, and an emissary walks the Earth.

All the cards are in play in this final story. Mr. Bright finds himself fighting a war on two fronts as ex-DI Jones takes the offensive and then members of his own team plot to bring him down. But its all a case of fiddling whilst Rome burns, powers beyond anyone’s comprehension are in play, the Network knows that which they fled from is coming for them, they know it’ll be a fight to the death, and that death will be the destruction of everything they’ve built; namely the Earth.

But Mr. Bright is a master of the long game, he knows peoples strengths and their weaknesses. As disaster looms he turns his association with Cass Jones on its head; the idea is to use his special birthright to save a world. The final half dozen or so chapters are breathtaking, the reader is dragged along from crisis to solution to crisis, the fate of the planet teetering on the brink the whole time.

I’ve read a fair few alternative history books, most pick a point in history to act as a divergent date. But never have I come across a story so bold that it picks the creation itself as its divergent point. The reader may make assumptions early on as to what Castor Bright and his associates are, but Sarah masterfully twists your preconceptions and makes them into a little bit more than what you’d imagined.

 

I joined Twitter late last year – October/November time. At that time in my life I was going through a rough patch in my marriage, me and my wife had separated and I was renting a single room. I endured long evenings with little to do except read and write, I had no interaction with anyone else and was in danger of becoming a recluse.

I’d always avoided social networking, I’m a bit of an anti-social sod and have always had trouble interacting socially. But I craved some sort of interaction else I’d go made. On a whim I opened a Twitter account, I had no real idea what I would find, what would happen or what I was supposed to do in order to “meet” people.

I knew a lot of people from the SFX Magazine forum who had accounts, there was a thread there dedicated to it where people posted their account names. I went through the list and added people as friends. Within a few days I found I was following nearly 100 people and had at least that many people following me. It was an eye opener, I expected it to be nothing but trivia and gossip, instead I found like minded people – some in similar situations to me – other writers, and fans of the weird and wonderful.

Fast forward to now  and I’ve found my Twitter legs, I know my way around, I know what its safe to say and not say (damned spambots), and on top of it all I’ve been introduced to a lot of people, mainly authors, I’d probably never have come across without Twitter.

To name a few, Jennifer Williams (author of The Copper Promise: Tales Of The Citadel), Jeremy C. Shipp (horror writer and champion of the Attic Clown), Emma Newman (author of Split Words, From Dark Places, 20 Years LaterTorchwood tie-in), Sarah Pinborough (author of The Dog Faced Gods trilogy), Chuck Wendig (author of Double Dead, Blackbirds & forthcoming  Mockingbird), Adam Christopher (author of Empire State & forthcoming Seven Wonders), Kevin Hearne (author of The Iron Druid series), Colin F. Barnes (author of Vex: A Modern Viking Tale & editor of Demon Day), Tina Smith (aspiring author and history buff), Robin Bell (author, scriptwriter and part of the Twisted Showcase team) and the Fantasy Faction team.

I know a lot of people frown on Twitter, say its full of useless chatter, but for me – at a time I needed contact with the outside world – it was a lifeline. I have found it is full talented people with great ideas and inspiring advice.