evol things wot i have done


Well, here we are at the end of the Tim blog. For more than two years now this page has been the go-to place for the latest on my writing adventures, but now it’s time to up sticks and move on to Phase Three of My Sinister Masterplan to Conquer the Universe!

From now on, if you want to know what I’m up to the place to find out is the News Page for my third published book, CRAWLERS.

Crawlers

As with the site for The Black Tattoo, this site for Tim, Defender of the Earth will remain live for the forseeable future. Feel free to drop me a line on the Guestbook, or send artwork via the Reader Art Page.

Meanwhile, Thank you. Yes, you, reading this! Having people come and find me on the internet – let alone getting in touch to say kind things about my work – is, I think, one of the absolute best bits of being a writer. So: Thank you. :D

Now: On with the sinister masterplan!

All best wishes,

Sam

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

Two items of Q&A – with one ‘A’ from me and one, I hope, from you…! ;)

The first is something I was asked this week via the MySpace page of Jagmat from The Black Tattoo. Huge respect and kudos – partly just for not letting the whole shapeshifting blancmange monster thing put him off! – to Mykell, from Maryland, USA, who wondered:

What kind of research do u do when u are writing ur books?

Research… hmm. If you’re talking about facts and figures, details of setting and time and place and action… it depends.

I think details are important, especially in a fantasy story: they give the reader something to hang onto; they make things seem real. For instance, I got the fight scenes in Black Tat checked out by genuine martial artists. While I was writing the book, I met a lady at a party who turned out to be the ranking Number 3 North European Women’s Sabre Champion! She was wonderfully sporting about reading Black Tat’s swordfights for me: I got these excellent emails from her saying, ‘Well, ok: if I was fighting a thirty-foot-long hedgehog centipede beast, I suppose I’d start off on the back foot, with this sort of a grip…’ and off she went. I hope those kinds of details give some realistic weight and crunch to Black Tat’s fights. And if a story needs other kinds of information, I’ll find out everything I can.

But here’s the thing: that stuff should only ever be in service to the story. The story comes first. Because no amount of detail is going to make the readers care if they’re not involved in the scene, feeling for the characters, wondering what’s going to happen next.

The story is the hard bit – the main thing to focus on – it seems to me.

…Which brings me to my second question.

Jethrosplatter

Slice Three of JETHRO’S ACE OF HEARTS, the thirteen-part story I’m currently serializing on Trapped By Monsters, goes live for your delectation tomorrow (Friday 6th Nov ’09) at 12 noon GMT.

My current plan is to have Slice Four go up this Monday, Slice Five go up next Friday, and so on. But a couple of my fellow TBM prisoners think I should go up to three episodes a week – posting on Wednesdays, too.

You, reading this: Hello! What do you think?

I think savouring the story slowly would be best – three slices a week might dominate the blog, and the story would finish very quickly. Or am I just being mean and stingy?

Leave a comment on Trapped By Monsters either way: I’m all ears.

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

Meet Mr Theophilus

Jethro 1

He’s the star of an experiment I’m doing over at Trapped By Monsters. During the next few weeks I’m seralizing a short story of mine called Jethro’s Ace of Hearts. I’ve broken it down into thirteen chunks, each one of which – to my enormous glee and delight – has been beautifully illustrated by a fellow monster prisoner, the magnificent David Melling.

As a Halloween special, the first post goes live tonight, Sat 31st Oct, at 11:59pm GMT. So for a free nasty story from me featuring gourmet cannibalism, horse-drawn carriages and other fun stuff like that, check www.trappedbymonsters.com

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

Ah, the glories of the traditional British summer…

jollyenglishweather

And guess what? My roof is leaking. Again. :(

Well, if you’re stuck indoors with nothing to do, don’t lose heart. Here, instead, are a couple of alternatives…

First up, check out Trapped By Monsters - it’s particularly good at the moment I reckon. The indomitable, inimitable, indefatigable Mark Robson has been running what sounds like an excellent series of writing workshops: if you click here and here you’ll find two cracking story beginnings. Fancy carrying on with them? Take your best shot!

In addition, if you’re artistically inclined, click to my own most recent TBM post here, where you’ll find an opportunity to dazzle the world with your monster visuals – and win yourself a signed copy of Tim or Black Tat!

Finally, don’t forget my LibraryThing Five Hundred Fine Books List. Curling up with an awesome book is, I submit, one of the very finest ways to spend a rainy afternoon. Click on the link above to find reviews and all sorts of other pointers to thrilling reading. Short of cash? No problem. Simply head to your local public library and ask for anything on that list that you like the sound of. Whatever they don’t have to hand there and then, the librarians will be able to order for you to borrow and enjoy – for free, gratis, nothing! (Aren’t libraries great??)

FYI, right now I’m flitting between Among Thieves, by Mez Packer; Dead Men’s Boots by Mike Carey and Generation Kill by Evan Wright, all three of which, in their own ways (concerning, respectively: blaggers in Coventry, exorcists in London, US Marines in Iraq) are AMAZING.

What do you know? Now either it’s stopped raining… or I’ve stopped /caring/ it’s raining. :D

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

warninglabel

I’m currently hard at work on the third draft of PHASE THREE OF MY SINISTER MASTERPLAN TO CONQUER THE UNIVERSE, so bloggage here may be intermittent for a bit.

-Check my freshly-updated homepage for links to my new Twitter foolishness, plus other places where I might be lurking/procrastinating! ;p

-Like the warning sign above? Click here to make your own (and thanks to Andy Briggs for pointing it out to me!)

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

Q&A time again – in a new and sinister way! This one goes out to Andrew from Essex, who wrote in to the Tim Guestbook last week. Please excuse my stumbling steps with this new gadget: Guillermo del Toro I most certainly ain’t! ;p

The music that’s adding some much-needed class to my, um, somewhat ad hoc title sequence(!) is Dreadlock, by Future Prophecies. Got another question for me? Now you know what to do! ;p

Meanwhile, in other news, I’m ECSTATIC to announce that we have a brand new winner in the Black Tat No Monsters Were Harmed In The Making Of This Website Competition! Yes! Step forward and take a bow Jamie with his awesome Nectarine Slices! Isn’t that beautiful? It looks just like something from the Dragon‘s insides, or the end of the universe. Or, as readers of Black Tat will know, both – HEE HEE HEE! :) The competition continues. Fancy your chances? Give it a wallop!

I’m writing this in some haste, partly because of all the hours I’ve ended up spending fiddling with this film. It’s harder than it looks! -Or, heh, it was for me, anyhow! ;) But it was a worthy experiment, I hope you’ll agree, and one that I may repeat from time to time in the future. However, now I need to get away from the screen and get some shut-eye, because I have an amazing week of events in front of me! Tomorrow I’m doing my stuff at Burford School, in Oxfordshire. On Monday I’m off to The City of London School For Boys for four short talks there. Then on Tuesday (get this!) I’m travelling to The Isle of Wight for a three-day tour of schools there! By the sounds of it I’m going to be speaking to some of my biggest audiences yet. I’m very excited! :) :) :)

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

Hee hee hee! I’m very happy with this: it’s a new feature for the Tim site in which the mighty Katie WebSphinx herself explains how she achieved its look – and how /you/ can cause Tim-style Kaiju Carnage of your own!

Katie is the pulsating brain behind pretty much everything you see on my sites. But when she and I first started putting ideas together for the Black Tat site she decided she’d prefer to keep her shadowy genius in the background, Ninja style. Having Katie’s words (and feet!!) out here front and centre for all to see is, therefore, a unique treat – but it’s a particularly timely one, right now, as she’s about to take off on maternity leave.

I’d like to take this opportunity to say an unspeakably gigantic THANK YOU, KATIE! And to wish her, Mr Will, and the impending Sphinxlet(!) much love and all the very best.

Meanwhile, look what just came through the door…!

It’s the all-new Portuguese edition of Black Tat! It’s published by Edicoes Gailivro in their Mil e Um Mundos series (which also includes Stephenie Meyer, Anthony Horowitz and the especially awesome Geoff Ryman!) and it’s very handsome large format paperback. I was particularly delighted to note that ‘yuck’, as in my dedication, ‘To Laura, “My heart is in my hand …Yuck“, appears in Portuguese as, wait for it:

‘…blargh.’ :)

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

OK! On top of MySpace, LibraryThing, ContactAnAuthor and the new Bebo spot, as of this week I’m now also on Facebook, Flickr and – my favourite toy at the moment! – LastFM.

Yes, it’s “Jagmat 2.0″! ;p

Heh. Well, anyway-! I haven’t got ‘em all set up exactly how I want ‘em just yet, but if you want to get in touch with me then now you’ve got a few other choices besides the Guestbooks. Like I say, leave a message after the imaginary beep…!

Favourite human words of the day: PAUCITY; INCORRIGIBLE; CLENCH

Currently reading: DMZ VOL 3 – PUBLIC WORKS, by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli. There’s been an awesome-comics-series-shaped hole in my life since Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: THE LAST MAN finished, and DMZ is shaping up for the job NICELY. Huzzah! :)

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

Hello! Yes – you, reading this! Are you on Bebo, by any chance??

I ask, because – encouraged by how well fings’ve been going as Jagmat (while at the same time, sigh, waiting for the Guestbook snafu to get sorted so folks can send me messages again) – I’ve just today taken my first clumsy baby Tyrannosaur steps towards fixing up a Bebo profile, here.

Now, be patient with me! That page is every bit as raw and tender right now as if it really had just heaved its way out of its egg. It’s got some pics, and that old (’06) Black Tat YouTube clip of me with the strange disappearing hair (hee hee hee!) – and that, frankly, is about it for today. But it’s a start. So: on Bebo? Want to be my very first Bebo buddy? Your time starts… now.

Favourite human words of the day: GAUDY; CONNIPTION; PRANG.

Currently reading: THE LUCIFER EFFECT – HOW GOOD PEOPLE TURN EVIL, by Philip Zimbardo. And let me tell you, it is fascinating.

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)

Tuesday 22nd January 2008

-Yikes that’s a bad pun. Sorry, couldn’t resist. ;)

This post is simply by way of a HUGE hello and welcome to anyone who’s come here from the site of my first book, The Black Tattoo! [And if you've stumbled across this page for the first time, a warm welcome to you too, of course! ;p] You’ve now got the dubious pleasure of witnessing my first tentative lumbering baby tyrannosaur steps into the world of writing a PROPER BLOG WOSSNAME. Yikes again! In what I understand is entirely the traditional style of these things, I’m starting off full of good intentions to update and post nice and frequently, but in truth will probably splutter to a halt at any moment. ONLY TIME WILL TELL!

Speaking of which, the doorbell’s just rung. That’s weird. Sorry, you’ll have to excuse me. I wonder who that could possibly be? I wasn’t expecting anybody…

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Comments? Suggestions? Questions? Me and THE WEBSPHINX would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at the Tim, Defender of the Earth Guestbook for current or Tim stuff, or The Black Tattoo Guestbook for Black Tat stuff. First (or demon-!) names only, please. ;)