mark morris - news & views

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thanks... everyone who sent me best wishes regarding my son, David, after my last blog. I'm now delighted to report that Dave is fit and healthy, and has had no reoccurence of the rapid heartbeat that was causing us so much concern before his operation.

Every time I update this blog, I always think that I must blog more frequently. My mate Tim Lebbon updates his blog every day or two, and he's always going on about the benefits of blogging little and often rather than doing a big splurge once a month. Maybe he's right, but I find that once I'm entrenched in a project and racing towards a deadline, it's hard to break away. Also, I'm never sure whether regular blog-readers (bleaders?) just want the hard facts - what books I've got coming out, what conventions I'll be at - or whether they like a bit of personal chat along with their news.

I guess there's no definitive answer to that. After all, everyone's different. During a recent drunken discussion, a friend of mine criticised my website because he said (and I quote) 'it's all about you.' Hmm. Personally, though, I like to read a blog in which you find out a little bit about the person writing it. Maybe I ought to put this to the vote. Maybe you 'bleaders' out there should let me know. More news, less chat? Less news, more chat? Or should I just leave things as they are?

Okay, here is the news:

Since my last update I've been working hard on my two back-to-back audio scripts. I still can't say too much about them yet, because they haven't been officially announced, but I can tell you that one of the scripts has been approved by all parties, and will be recorded next week (and I'll be down in London for the recording - really looking forward to that), and the other script - which is longer and more complicated - has just gone through a second draft, which I delivered this morning.

I'm now in the unusual and rather lovely position of having no imminent deadlines for the first time in I don't know how long. This doesn't, however, mean I have nothing to do - no, sir. I've still got 3 short stories to deliver to various markets by the end of June, a novella to complete for a US publisher, a novel to restructure and rewrite, and I'm also about to embark on a major project I'll be co-writing with a very good friend of mine. But the point is, the crushing pressure is off for the time being. I can afford to relax into these projects a bit, think them through properly, take my time with them if I so wish. Of course, I've still got a living to earn, so I'll still be pushing myself to complete my 10k words a week or whatever. But psychologically the next few months should be a little less pressurised.

One other snippet of news: my Torchwood novel, Bay of the Dead, originally scheduled for May, has now been put back by a month to June 4th. Myself and fellow Torchwood authors, Sarah Pinborough and Guy Adams, will be doing some promotional events around the time of publication, though the only one confirmed so far is a panel/signing at Borders, Leeds, at 6:30pm on Thursday 18th June. Hope to see you there.

Finally, just wanted to mention a really good indie horror movie I saw last night called Splinter. It's available on DVD pretty cheaply from Amazon, and is a cracking little film - well shot and well-acted, with a great, original monster. It reminds me a bit of Feast, another excellent indie horror film, which I saw last year. Both movies are about a disparate group of people trapped in an isolated building which is under siege from ravening creatures. The main difference is that Feast is played largely for laughs - and it is genuinely hilarious, albeit hideously gruesome - whereas Splinter is much darker and serious. Both highly recommended, though.

And speaking of which, I'm going to see the much lauded Let the Right One In tomorrow. Really looking forward to that. I hope it lives up to the hype.