Category Archives: Fog
I know, it’s a crap word, but I couldn’t think of a clever one. If you do, let me know and I’ll edit this and credit you. They say you should always find a unique title for your book, but given the vast sweep of history and all its words, that’s not always possible. I set out to find out what other books share a title with mine.
First up, there’s a 64-page version of Tolstoy’s War & Peace presented using photographs of rabbits dressed in clothing. It’s called ‘Rabbit Warren Peace’ and it looks BRILLIANT. Also, famed science-fiction writer Bob Shaw has written a couple of comedies about a cardboard-like, sitcom-like hero, Warren Peace, called ‘Who Goes Here’ and ‘Dimensions’.
Warren Peace Title-twins: 2
I expected to find that “there’s loads of books called Fog”, as a visitor told me at Indie Litfest last year but, although a legion of books have the word within a longer title, only James Herbert’s ‘The Fog’ comes close to the singular, and as I pointed out to my surly visitor, his doesn’t have a cool running man in the letter ‘O’.
Fog Title-twins: 1
In my innocence I imagined that ‘Moth Girl’ (even without her bats) would be unique, but no! Here comes ‘Moth Girls’ by Anne Cassidy, so called because girls are drawn to a particular house like moths (that’s light, Anne, not houses), rather than because, like my heroine Thea, they look like a moth when dressed in a weird cloak and flying goggles.
Moth Girl Title-twins: 1
This one surprised me. Who’d have thought there’d be other ‘Blood on the Ground’s? There are, though. There’s Paul Usiskin’s torrid tale of murder, dangerous love, and techno-porn (I know!) across the Israel-Palestine divide. Not a lot of laughs in that one, I’ll warrant. I’d prefer Lenora Rain Good’s ‘Blood on the Ground: Elegies for Waiilatpu’, 22 poems about the 1847 Waiilatpu massacre. Sod it, I’m buying that one.
Blood on the Ground Title-twins: 2
Happily, my other titles – Cubic Scats, Soul of the Universe, Cutthroats and Curses, Human 76 and the imminent The Museum of White Walls – appear to have no title twins at all. Which I choose to interpret as a 5-4 win for me, so ner.
Four years ago today, encouraged by Alex Brightsmith, I published my inoffensive little “Magnificent Seven with fur” tale about rabbits and cats working together against seemingly insurmountable odds. I doubt Alex knew what she was unleashing back then, but I’ll be eternally grateful that she did.
There are now nine substantial books out there with my name on the cover as either author or editor, along with a couple of other small things. These days you can buy some of my stories translated into Russian, and even get yourself a Wombie audiobook to listen to while driving. You can buy Wombie jewellery and stationery, and you can employ me to edit your manuscript and format it correctly for publishing (yeah, I’ve not made that page yet – I ought to get my finger out). The tenth book and fourth full-length novel***, The Raven’s Wing, is well on its way to completion now that I’ve fallen back in love with it again.
I’ve met numerous authors, attended signings and book fairs, and made a lot of new friends. I’ve had “Oi, Wombat!” shouted at me in a busy town centre. Perhaps my favourite meeting, though, was in Michigan when I was introduced to a stranger whose first words to me were “You asshole, how could you end Fog like that?”. In short, I’ve had the BEST bloody time, and it’s down to you lovely buggers who read all my blather. Thank you *snogs your faces off*. And if you don’t like my writing (a) what are you doing here? and (b) blame Alex.
***if you can’t actually count four, that’s probably because you’re not aware of the privately published novel called ‘Murder at Wombat Towers’ which was written about and for a dozen Americans to thank them all for their remarkable hospitality and friendship over the years.
I’m chuffed to little mint balls to be in such august company as the other nominees, quality writers all (well, mostly) who include one Alex Brightsmith I’m pleased to see.
Voting starts on September 1st, and I’ll bang on about it at length then, no doubt begging for your votes.
“The dialogue among the interesting characters was naturally witty, laced with hints of clever sarcasm”
How have I only now discovered that Reader’s Favourite website gave Fog a 5-star review six months ago? Presumably, the notification went straight into my ‘Crapola’ spam folder. In truth, I had forgotten submitting it to them.
As mentioned in the previous post, I am already planning a preface-cum-teaser for ‘Fog’ that will lift the beginning, which has been described as ‘a slow couple of pages’ by a couple of 5-star reviewers.
Perhaps more excitingly, I can now ruin Thom White’s exquisite cover with a sticker.
Observant readers will know already of the running man that adorns several of my books. On the left you can see his debut on the cover of the paperback version of Fog. He also popped up on the back cover, legging it frantically across the barcode, as indeed he did on the back cover of the Fog Special Edition hardback, although the rather wonderful front cover design of that edition from Thom White meant he had to bow out there.
We couldn’t keep him away for long, though, and when Moth Girl versus The Bats appeared, again with a Thom White cover, there he was again, tirelessly scampering across the barcode. People began to notice him, and asked why he wasn’t on all my books. The answer is that he marks a Wombat book with a Thom White cover. Except Cubic Scats, because we hadn’t thought of it yet. Thom is a remarkably talented designer who has the rare knack of capturing the feel of a book in a deceptively simple manner. His covers greatly add to the quality of my work, and his covers are real works of art. Who wouldn’t want a poster of that Moth Girl cover?
Running man fans who are looking forward to his next appearance will not have much longer to wait. Take a look on the left. There he is from the cover of my new collection of short stories, ‘Blood on the Ground’, which will be published early next week. I will reveal the full cover here later today, but for now do you notice anything different about our running man?
I awoke at 5am last night, and my mind decided that it didn’t want to go back to sleep. Oh no, the irritating sod decided that it wanted to think about time, death and oblivion. I tried to drag it away to thoughts of dancing ladies, semi-clad in diaphanous nightgowns, but my mind was having none of that and had an aged knight in rusty armour slay them all bloodily and muddily with a huge axe.
The upshot of this is that when time finally did haul it’s slow and sorry arse around to the hour of getting up, I was exhausted and – ta-da! – fell asleep.
I hate when that happens. It means that I’ve lost a morning which I had promised to devote to writing, and I can scarce afford that at the moment, given the number of project balls that I am currently juggling:
- Firstly, here I am listening to the first chapter of the ‘Moth Girl’ audiobook, which is stupendously good. The reader has achieved a slightly off-kilter tone to his delivery which perfectly matches the tale. It will eventually be available for download on Bandcamp.
- Secondly, I continue to promote ‘Soul of the Universe’, which to my delight has been extremely well received.
- Thirdly, I have a shipful of pirate tales waiting for me to edit them into the next anthology, now tentatively entitled ‘Talking The Plank’.
- Fourthly, the ever-patient ‘1322’ (which really needs a different title lest it be mistook for a history book – ‘The Raven’s Wing’ being the current favourite) sits back and awaits my attention.
- Fifthly, I continue to tend my secret project as it simmers away. You may or may not get to hear about this towards the end of the year.
- Oh, and sixthly, I ought to submit ‘Fog’ once more to a few publishers. Self-publishing is enormous fun, but a professional publisher could give a book far more of a push than I alone ever can. Although I love my readers dearly, bless you, of all my works ‘Fog’ at least deserves a wider audience.
So you see, I don’t have time to sleep. Sleep is for wimps. I must stop being a wimp.
I watched The Desolation of Smaug today; wonderful film. I particularly liked the way Thorin was written, as his urge to complete his quest began to overturn his decency. Yesterday I saw Django, and was struck by how well-written, how real, the title character was. A man who happily kills three men who were befriending and about to help him. I do wonder about my own characters. I thought I made Finn believable, and was happy with him. White was a bit too wry, though, and actually had moral reasons, albeit twisted ones, for what he was doing. Thea turned out a bit two-dimensional, but then Moth Girl was a short book. Cuetip was a rabbit.
You can probably tell that I’m currently fighting my tendency to make everyone I write likeable. Even my baddies aren’t without wit and charisma and an internal moral compass of some kind. It’s about time I handled a completely amoral character, one who respects no rules, or life, or anything but their own selfish desires. Chaotic Evil if you like. TOTALLY not me. Now THAT will be a challenge. And great fun. And probably happening in 1322.
Herewith an update on my current Works in Progress. This post is as much to help me keep track of what’s going on as to inform you, dear reader.
1322 is still being grown, almost organically at times. It’s long been my ambition to write a long chunky book, and my medieval baby is lending itself to that aim perfectly. When it finally appears you will find in its pages humour, shapeshifting, horror, a tantalising mystery, everyday life, action, a one-eyed mistress of fire, sex, weirdness, a fight in a cabbage patch and a whole lot of fascinating and minutely-researched 14th century detail.
Aaah and Moth Girl, bless her heart, is almost finished. This steampunkesque (it is so a real word) slice of fifties-matinee-serial adventure was begun as a whimsical tribute to Thea Gilmore, and is now destined for a forthcoming anthology of stories based on favourite songs. I’ll be editing the anthology, which will be called “Soul of the Universe”, from Plato’s quote “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”
I’ll also be editing a second anthology; this one a collection of timber-shivering tales about Pirates. I will be making my own contribution, yes, which is already plotted out and includes a treasure map, a parrot, and not a few selkies.
On top of that lot I have four other short(ish) stories all plotted and ready to write. The one I am most excited about, being a complete departure from anything that I have done before, is a Western, tentatively titled “Cowboys on Ice”. That’s all the hint you’re getting about that one. Other tales that are gasping to be written are a comedy about a Dragon dentist, a very strange piece based on Shakespeare, and a spooky horror thing with the working title of ‘Descent’.
Another exciting possibility is a collaboration with the supremely-talented Alex Brightsmith, including a collection of our respective short stories and two new jointly-written pieces. This is one that I am really keen on, being a bit of a fanboy where Alex is concerned.
And then there are a dozen ideas that may never see the light of day before I shuffle off this mortal coil, including a tale that I want to write that bounces off this delicious photograph, taken by the very lovely @Leontia2001.
Other backburner stories are one told by a beach, ‘Heidishire’ my weird erotic fantasy thing (for which I may have to find another collaborator), and the hinted-at sequels to ‘Warren Peace’ and ‘Fog’.
I’m never going to get round to all that, am I?
After a day when I learned that the dog I’d fallen for would not after all be ours (it’s a long story, which I might blog about later), I needed cheering up.
This fairly short review of ‘Fog’ did just that.
“I love a book that expects me to keep up. I love a book that is playful without distracting from the story. I love a book that I can’t necessarily put into a box, a book that slides me deliciously, delicately, into an acceptance of things as they are not.
Have I mentioned that I love this book?
Michael Wombat has given us a narrator who is human, engaging and flawed, with a story to tell (over a pint, perhaps) of events that he barely understands and erratically remembers, but a story that took hold of me and held me to the end.”
Ahhhhh, that feels better. You can see the review in its original form HERE.
“Yes, Wombie,” you say, “I’d love to buy a ‘sexy, funny, violent and thrilling’ adventure, but where can I find the different versions?” Let me be your guide, delicious reader.
Here’s your paperback version for reading on the loo. As usual from Lulu, the quality is superb. CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS.
A luxury hardback version with an especially beautiful cover design by Thom White. This’ll look ace on your coffee table, and you’ll be the envy of your mates (if they’re a bit sad, that is). In addition to its hardbackness, this features graphics and pics inside, extra aords from the author, and the inclusion of the word ‘bosky’ in the text, a word not found in the paperback. CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS.
An e-version for you modern kids that can be used on Nook and iThingies. The book will appear on the Nook and iBookstore sites shortly, but for now you can CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS.
You all know what a Kindle is by now. This version will fit nicely on yours. You can get hold of a free Kindle app for your phone if you don’t want to buy the actual tech, and then you can