Friday, 27 February 2015

Drabbles of Art - Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí

"Christ of Saint John of the Cross" by Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

The image I've chosen for this week's Drabble of Art continues the biblical theme from last week's, although shifting into the New Testament. I first encountered Salvador Dali's 'Christ of Saint John of the Cross' as a young boy and was struck by its unusual perspective. It definitely stood out for me compared to the typical anguished Christ crucifixion depictions I was more used to.

I hope the drabble does something similar with a change in perspective, but in any case the idea for the conversation came to me immediately from the image!

 If you've not read the previous drabbles in the series then you can find them all here:

And if you like them then feel free to share - I don't mind :-)

Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí

“Father why have you forsaken me in my final hour of need?”

“I haven’t abandoned you my son.”

“Why do I only now hear your voice?”

“Because you became one of them my son. A base creature of flesh and impulse. It is only now as death’s veil approaches that you can hear me once more.”

“My trial has been for naught father. I have gazed down from this cross upon the ages to come and my suffering to wipe away their sins has been wasted. Why father?”

“Oh my son. Whatever made you think it would be so easy?”

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Tales of the Imp - The Plan

The latest drabble in the Tales of the Imp series was featured in yesterday's Indie Book Bargains newsletter. If you want to read the previous drabbles in the series you will find them all here:

The Plan

“It all comes down to souls,” the Imp told me. “To become an adult demon I need a soul.”

“You have mine.”

“Yes I do, but to become a powerful demon I need more.”

“How many?”

“All of them.”

“That’s impossible.”

“Well obviously not every single soul, but as many as possible. Thankfully, like any true parasite humans reproduce remarkably quickly. It should only take ten or so generations to tip the balance.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You were the first and your children are the first generation.”

“I still don’t understand.”

He sighed.

“What do you know about genetic memory?”

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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Elite: Legacy Interview on Lave Radio

I've been interviewed by the wonderful team at Lave Radio about the my latest novel Elite: Legacy. You can listen to the interview here:

Make sure to check out there other episodes while you're there!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Guest Author Interview - Gabriel Boutros

Gabriel Boutros joins me in this week's Guest Author Interview to tell us about his latest release Face/Mask.

You can discover other indie authors in the Guest Author Interview archive here:

Click on image to buy from Amazon

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hi, I’m Gabriel Boutros. I live in Montreal with my wife and two sons. I worked as a defence attorney for 24 years, and for the past ten years or so I’ve been writing pretty regularly. Short stories, at first, and now two full-length novels.

What first inspired you to start writing?
Some people would say that as a trial lawyer I’ve always been a natural story-teller, but the truth is ever since I was a child I enjoyed reading all sorts of books and that eventually led me to wanting to tell tales of my own. Sometimes I see something that I enjoy and want to write about, but more often I write about things that bother me. And, working in the criminal justice system I’ve had the chance to see the best and worst of people, much of which informs my writing.

Have you experienced anything in real life too crazy for fiction?
Sadly, my life has been too boring for fiction. (Although it could have been a Swedish movie from the 1960s, full of long, quiet moments, where nothing much seems to happen; hopefully by the end it will have some meaning.) Clearly that’s why I disappear into my imagination and write stories whenever I can.

If you could write anybody's biography, whose would it be?
First of all, congratulations on coming up with one of the more original questions I’ve gotten in any interviews I’ve done.

Since I’m not a political animal, and more than enough biographies of historical figures have been written, maybe I would stick to my favourite domain of books; preferably someone whose life story hasn’t been told and analysed myriad times. There are a number of authors I would love to learn more about, and tell people about, but I’ll choose sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick. (For those who don’t know, his writings have been made into movies such as Blade Runner, Minority Report, Paycheck and Total Recall. And he wrote many other great books that haven’t been made into films.)

I would love to learn about what kind of life he led which had him questioning so many things that we take for granted nowadays, such as what it means to be human, how trustworthy our memories are, or what is reality. In fact, his books are a combination of entertainment, imagination and philosophy courses.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
I enjoy seeing how some vague, unformed ideas in my mind can be transformed into coherent words on a page. I have no ability to draw or sculpt, so I paint, to the best of my abilities, with words. It’s very satisfying to be able to express those ideas in a way that I can share them with others.

And the least?
Writing is a most solitary art. To write I have to leave my family and friends and lock myself in my little office, with as few distractions as possible. I don’t mind the hours spent, or the frustration of not advancing fast enough, but I’m a naturally gregarious person, and I don’t know if it’s healthy to spend so much time alone.

What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
I used to answer this question by saying read a lot, and that’s still good advice. But, if I had to give only one piece of advice today, I would say write, and then rewrite and revise until you’re sure you can’t make a single improvement to what you’ve written. And then go back and revise it some more anyway. It seems to me that many new writers are in a rush to get their books onto the market, but they don’t always make sure their work is ready for prime time. Maybe it’s spelling errors, or simply badly structured sentences; sometimes there are obvious inconsistencies in the plot. Self-publishing has made getting books to market so easy, but new writers (and some older ones) should take the time to make sure that what they’re putting out is truly their best effort.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just published my second full-length novel, called Face/Mask. It’s a far cry from my first book, The Guilty, which reflected many of my experiences in the legal profession. Although Face/Mask fits into the genre of dystopian fiction, it is not science fiction. It takes place only 25 years from now, so the world is still very recognizable, although suffering from constant war and serious environmental problems. I wanted to write about how living in an ugly, decaying world leads people to doing equally ugly things: lying, cheating and betraying each other. The title refers to masks that people must wear to protect themselves from the toxic environment, as well as figurative masks they wear to hide their true natures.

Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
Face/Mask is now available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon, as well as most other book-selling sites.

You can  learn more about Face/Mask, The Guilty and all my other fiction by going to my own website:

Monday, 23 February 2015

March Short Fiction Contest

Image credit: Radoslaw Walachnia
Welcome to March's Short Fiction Contest here on The Cult of Me blog. This month's image is from Radoslaw Walachnia, one of the many talented concept artists I have the pleasure of working with. As well as being well painted it's the fearful look on the robot's face that made me use it for this month's image.

As always the stories can be of any genre. They just have to be inspired by this month's image and no more than 500 words.

Entry to the contest remains free and there are prizes for the three winners. I will also feature any of the stories that don't win but I believe are worth showcasing on this blog.
  • First prize is a £50 Amazon gift card or PayPal prize
  • Second prize is a £20 Amazon gift card or PayPal prize
  • Third prize is a £10 Amazon gift card or PayPal prize
The money for the prizes come out of my own pocket, although I do make a little from advertising on this blog. So if you see something of interest then feel free to click on the links and purchase away! If you haven't tried my books yet then check them out at the top of the page, as well as buying a good read you'll be helping this contest.

Please make sure to check your story for typos before submitting. I don't mind a few errors, but my enjoyment of a story is diminished if I have to wade through too many.

I'll post the winning entries by April 1st 2015.

As with everything in life there are a few rules:
  • Only one entry per person.
  • The story must not be longer than 500 words.
  • Closing date for submissions is March 22nd 2015.
  • By submitting the story you grant me a non-exclusive license to post the story on this blog. I do ask that I post it here first.
  • You also grant me a one time non-exclusive license to include the story in an e-book release.
  • The judge's decision is final.

Use the form below to enter your submission. After you've submitted please leave a comment on this page stating that you have submitted. And please help spread the word. Great stories deserve great readers!

As well as comments section below you can chat about this competition in any of the threads I've listed below. If you don't know the sites then entering the competition is a good way to introduce yourself. Note that these sites are not affiliated with the competition in any way!

If you've started your own thread or discussion somewhere about this month's competition then let me know and I'll add the link to this page.

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