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All You Need Is Love....da da da da daaaa





Hello everyone, and welcome to my April blog. My constant followers will have spotted that the March blog was conspicuous by its absence. I was going to make up some outlandish excuse, like I was temporarily abducted by aliens, or sent to planet Netflix to work on the movie adaptation of The Faraway People, starring none other than Ryan Gosling and Jennifer Lawrence, but the truth is I just ran out of time. Nevertheless, I'm back with all the latest news and updates.


This month's picture collage is of my wife and I in the Cavern, Liverpool, as well as the whole family standing in front of the Beatles monument. As some of you know, I reached my half century last year, and as a treat, our children paid for us all to spend four days in the city. We visited Anfield, the Cavern Quarter, the Royal Albert Docks, and the homes of three of the fab four, as well as the street where they filmed Peaky Blinders. My wife and I even had time to jump on the infamous 'Ferry Across the Mersey.' It really is a great city with a really relaxed feel to it. I recommend the Cavern itself, as well as the Cavern Restaurant, the Beatles City Explorer Tour, and Junkyard Golf. We had a great time, even if it was a bit damp and blustery.


For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I finished the first draft of my next book a short while ago, and I'm now knee-deep in the second draft. For me, this is where everything starts to take a much fuller shape. I'm not as fortunate of some writers where the first draft is close to being the finished thing. My process is entirely different. Draft number one is where I get the story down, pretty much in its entirety, but the second draft is where I finesse the language, fill plot holes, re-arrange certain sequences, and start to make sense of everything. Normally it takes me around seven or eight drafts to get the manuscript to a place where I'm ready to send it to editors, so there's still a lot to do.


In March, I exhibited at both the Oxford and Weymouth comic cons, and was fortunate enough to meet loads of great people. For me, it really is the best way to connect with lovers of horror and genre fiction. It's also a great way to meet other writers and illustrators too. Next up is Bournemouth Comic Con on 5th May, followed by the one and only HorrorCon in Sheffield on the 10th and 11th May. I can't wait for both. If you're in the area, please pop in and have a chat.


On the Free Reads sections of this website I've posted a short story I wrote a year or so ago which was inspired by my family heritage. I really like it, and I hope you do too.


The Faraway People continues to receive great reviews on Goodreads, a fact which I'm really pleased about. I read them all (even the bad ones) and take on board all constructive criticism. I've only been doing this for a relatively short time, so I am always keen to learn.


I've been reflecting on that recently. Just sixteen months ago, I was still working in the office of a large multi-national corporation where I had spent the best part of the prior thirty years, doing something that paid the bills, but didn't fulfill my creative aspirations. When I started to think about writing full time, frankly the thought terrified me. I was so used to the daily routine of getting up, putting on a suit, driving to work, spending ten hours in the office, and then driving home, that having a job where I could literally do what I liked, when I liked, kind of freaked me out. When my wife and I made the big decision, I had a long notice period to work through, which gave me many months to allow my anxiety to build. For a little while, I felt pretty worthless. The first few months of 2023, figuring out how I was going to make a living out of this thing called writing, were probably the most terrifying of my life. Fast-forward a year, and through a combination of my own fiction and my freelance writing work, I've managed to make a career out of something I love. I know I'm lucky, and I also know that without the support of all of you I couldn't be doing this, but if there's a lesson from it, it's to not waste time worrying about how badly things could go wrong, because with a little luck, and a lot of hard work, they just won't.


Anyway, that's enough of my rambling. I hope to see you at one of the conventions, or if not, maybe I'll hear from you through this website or though one of my social media accounts. Don't forget to hit 'like# on the blog, and if you're interested in receiving more detailed updates, as well as some freebies, please sign up to the mailing list via the contact tab of this page.


Take care and happy reading,


SD.




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