Archive of posts filed under the Blog category.

THE 7 BEST GAMES FOR 2 PLAYERS EVER MADE: OMEGA EDITION

For years I’ve harboured ambitions of becoming one of those old men in the park, playing chess on a stone table, or maybe draughts, or sitting beside the log fire in a pub, playing backgammon. I find human existence and the constant encroaching sensation of riding the knife edge of history through space as entropy […]

THE HONOURS WEEK – 4. There & Back Again

Buy THE HONOURS: mrbsemporium.com/shop/books/the-honours/ Pre-order THE ICE HOUSE: mrbsemporium.com/shop/books/the-ice-house/ This week the podcast is dedicated to exploring my first novel, THE HONOURS. Today’s episode is an unscripted chat about writing the sequel, THE ICE HOUSE. Where it came from, things I love, what matters to me as a writer. That kind of business. Also, a final impassioned […]

THE HONOURS WEEK – 3. Research

Buy THE HONOURS: mrbsemporium.com/shop/books/the-honours/ Pre-order THE ICE HOUSE: mrbsemporium.com/shop/books/the-ice-house/ This week the podcast is dedicated to exploring my first novel, THE HONOURS. Today’s episode dives into the research I did so I could write about 1930s England and the gun-obsessed protagonist, Delphine. I talk as honestly as I can about how I used research as a displacement […]

THE HONOURS WEEK – 2. Monsters

? Buy THE HONOURS: mrbsemporium.com/shop/books/the-honours/ Pre-order THE ICE HOUSE: mrbsemporium.com/shop/books/the-ice-house/ This week the podcast is dedicated to exploring my first novel, THE HONOURS. This second episode looks at four figures who achieved notoriety between the wars in Britain, and re-examines their reputations – in the eyes of many – as ‘monsters’. Who were they? Why were they […]

THE HONOURS WEEK – 1. The Sleep Of Reason

Buy THE HONOURS: mrbsemporium.com/shop/books/the-honours/ Pre-order THE ICE HOUSE: mrbsemporium.com/shop/books/the-ice-house/ This week the podcast is dedicated to exploring my first novel, THE HONOURS. This first episode is about adventure stories, their roots in social justice, and how the British establishment used them to send a generation to their deaths. My hope for this week, aside from entertaining and […]

THE HONOURS WEEK on Death Of 1000 Cuts

Hello dear friends. Just posting a little update. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. I’ve had such enormous fun making the podcast this year, but it’s been a tough year financially, and I’ve only just scraped by. The only reason I’ve been able to do that is because of listeners’ help. I’m […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 46 – Chatting With R F Kuang

In this episode I chat to author R F Kuang about her debut novel THE POPPY WAR. We chat Fantasy, grimdark, character arcs, representation of marginalised people, Shonen Manga, maintaining a positive attitude towards your work and writing great fight scenes. You get grab a copy of THE POPPY WAR here: wordery.com/the-poppy-war-rf-ku…08239800#oid=1908_1 Here’s NK Jemisin’s […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 45 – How To Help Authors You Love

This episode is all about how readers can best help authors they love. Where and when should you buy their books? What’s the best way of sharing praise? What can you do to boost authors you want to see more of? And is it possible to do all of this while getting big benefits for […]

THE ICE HOUSE by Tim Clare available for pre-order!

THE ICE HOUSE, my new novel, is now available for pre-order. The hardback will be published in May 2019 – by clicking on the link you can reserve a copy with free shipping worldwide, to be delivered to your door as soon as it comes out. I talked about how important pre-orders are for authors in […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 44 – Pitch Rush Special

This is the Death Of 1000 Cuts Pitch Rush Special episode. 55 authors, 55 novels looking for agents and editors. I read out a rapid-fire showcase of 100-word synopses and extracts. This is a great episode to listen to if you’re trying to figure out how to pitch your novel, how to write a synopsis, […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 43 – Chatting With R O Kwon

In this episode I chat to author R O Kwon about her novel THE INCENDIARIES. We talk about the pain of losing her faith and how her yearning for God lit the fuse that would become THE INCENDIARIES, a story about characters pulled into a religious terrorist sect. We talk about the 10 years the […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 42 – Against NaNoWriMo (Writing Ramble)

Planning on doing NaNoWriMo? Don’t. It’s a bad idea, and in this episode, I explain why. I also chat about ways you can get yourself writing more, while loving it. This is a writing ramble episode, which is one of my completely unscripted talks with just me, you and the mic. A few people said […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 41 – Chatting With Jonathan Stroud

This episode I speak to bestselling author Jonathan Stroud about finding stories, developing characters, and channelling demons. Jonathan Stroud is the author of the 4-book BARTIMAEUS series – about an alternate London run by magicians, and the demons who serve them – which is published in 35 languages and has sold over 6 million copies. […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 40 – Chatting With Tade Thompson

In this episode I chat to author Tade Thompson about creating worlds, unsympathetic protagonists and the ‘killable other’. Tade Thompson is the author of ROSEWATER, a near-future SF novel set in Nigeria. We have a great conversation about the roots of his writing in the visual medium of comics, why we’re driven to create for […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 39 – Chatting With Kirsty Logan

This episode I chat to author Kirsty Logan about fairy tales, the subconscious, and stories outside the mainstream. Kirsty Logan is the author of Fantasy novel THE GRACEKEEPERS, about an ocean-filled world where land is scarce, a travelling circus boat, a bear, and a girl charged with tending the souls of the dead. We talk […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 38 – Chatting With Andrew Cowan

In this episode I chat with author and creative writing teacher Andrew Cowan about writing fiction, finding details, perfectionism and helping bring others’ stories to life. Andrew talks switching from pottery to fiction, finding his own voice, ways round perfectionism and self-doubt, and his career in teaching creative writing on residential courses and at the […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 37 – Chatting With Tim Pychyl

In this episode I chat to Dr Tim Pychyl, psychologist and head of the Procrastination Research Group at Carleton University, Canada. Tim has devoted over 20 years to the ‘breakdown in volitional action’ we call procrastination. Since I get more letters about struggling with procrastination than all other creative writing topics combined so I thought […]

NEW POEM: JACOB REES-MOGG

I wrote a poem hailing old-fashioned Englishman & Brexit eminence gris Jacob Rees-Mogg. Thought I’d put it up for you on National Poetry Day. What an unusual fellow! JACOB REES-MOGG His knightly politeness is known round the counties Through dewy green pastures of infinite bounties More courteousness than a passel of mounties Who is he? […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 36 – Chatting With Ross Sutherland

This episode features me chatting to writer, performer, poet, podcast presenter, film-maker, playwright and educator Ross Sutherland about his work experimenting on words to make them do cool stuff. His podcast Imaginary Advice recently won Best Fiction Podcast at the British Podcasting Awards, he’s produced work for radio and TV, he’s a legend of the […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 35 – Chatting With Melissa Harrison

In this episode I chat to writer Melissa Harrison about becoming a writer, the pressures of writing, and the process of bringing the past and the natural world to life. We chat about her new novel ALL AMONG THE BARLEY, how she struggled to admit to herself that she wanted to write, research, farming, fascism, […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 34 – Chatting With Micah Yongo

This episode I chat to debut Fantasy novelist Micah Yongo about his novel of warring assassins and clashing ideologies, LOST GODS. We get into everything, from working with an editor to researching crossbow physics, to how you go from big ideas and sprawling, complex imaginary worlds down to a story, and the character who’s going […]

Call For Awesome Unpublished Books!

Hey dear friends. Are you an author? Do you have an unpublished novel you’d like agents or editors to read? I want to do a bonus episode in a few weeks’ time where I do a pitch rush for a bunch of listeners’ books. So basically, you lot send me in the title, a paragraph […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 33 – Chatting With Temi Oh

This episode I chat to debut author Temi Oh about her upcoming novel DO YOU DREAM OF TERRA-TWO? We talk research, handling big casts, giving characters motivation, & novels of ideas. This is a great episode to listen to if you want to know: – how can I research my story if some aspects (like […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 32 – Difficult 2nd Novel (Writing Ramble)

In this episode I talk about some things I’ve learned from the 4 year process of writing my 2nd novel, THE ICE HOUSE (out May 2019). This is an unscripted episode where I talk through some of my first thoughts about the process, which at times was not easy, to put it mildly. Like anything […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 31 – Chatting With Lauren Groff

In this episode I chat with Lauren Groff, bestselling author of FATES & FURIES, about her latest short story collection, FLORIDA. We chat about her writing career spanning 6 books thus far, how she moves from short stories to novels, her ways of working, and how she gets her language and characters to sing. (spoiler: […]