You will forgive me, of course, for I’ve been busy doing good Writer Guy things:

Firstly, news of the day is the start of my very first intake as AWM Online Learning SF Short Story Guru Guy (it’ll take a big t-shirt to fit that title….). Due to circumstances beyond, well, stuff and things and junk, the course will start this coming Monday, the 27th June, rather than the 6th of June previously advertorialised (It’s a word! Well it is TODAY!), so if you’ve been slapping your knee and cursing oh shucks, oh crivens at the thought of missing out on 6 weeks of my undivided attention, well, hie thee to a nunnery the AWM Online Learning Centre and sign yourself up. We’re just chatting amongst ourselves until you get there.

Look, they even gave me a shiny web piccie thing with which to advertise:

Secondly, in news that will please any fans I have left out there minus any fans I have left out there who would much rather I was working on the Father Muerte novel, I’ve been hitting the agent trail with the completed manuscript of The Corpse-Rat King. It’s a hell of a time-intensive task, putting final edits to a 250 page manuscript, especially when you edit in the 19th century way I still do– print the whole thing out, go over it in 10 page batches with a pen, then input the marked-up edits back onto the manuscript, especially when your editing pain threshold runs to about 30 pages a day max, but a week off work recently (the only one I’m likely to have this year) gave me the impetus to apply arse to office chair and get the job done.

Feedback seems reasonably optimistic so far– I’m hitting many more rejections than signs of interest, which is to be expected: it’s a massive world, and agents have no compunction about binning enything that doesn’t immediately grab them, because there’s always another author wanting attention– but there have been a couple of nibbles, which has been enough to keep my dander up. With any luck (tentacles crossed), it’ll all bear fruit, and I can quit my job, order me up a swag of supermodels, and start shopping for zeppelins by the end of the year.

I’ve also been busy being Competition Guy: adminstering a short story competition through work and reading entries in the AHWA Short Story Competition, which I’m judging along with the incomparable Kaaron Warren and Stephen Dedman (both of whom have finished waaaay before me. Ahem.)

So I’ve been silent, my friends, but silent like a duck– 1/10th quiet above water, whilst the rest of me makes heaps of farty bubble noises below. Or something like that.

It’s part of my charm.

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