New post: ‘Writers and writing: Alison Moore’

Check out my interview with author Alison Moore. Her debut novel The Lighthouse made the Man Booker shortlist in 2012, her second novel He Wants was an Observer Book of the Year, and her latest book has already received rave reviews.

 

http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk/2016/08/writers-and-writing-alison-moore/

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What’s new?

Hi guys! So what’s new with you? OK I’ll talk about me for a bit. I’ve just been doing stuff and haven’t really had the time or motivation to update this blog that nobody reads.

Work-wise I have been working since April as a volunteer for Pembrokeshire Citizens Advice, doing a mix of admin, Digital Inclusion and gateway work. So far it has proved a very rewarding and fulfilling use of my time, and I’ve been enjoying working and interacting with other people. Just the other week I represented Pembrokeshire CAB at a stall in Haverfordwest, as part of the town’s recent festival events promoting twenty-five years of the Haverfordwest Riverside Market and the town’s local initiatives.

Here I am, manning the stall! No autographs, please.

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Professionally, I’ve been pitching my services as a copywriting gunslinger for hire, which so far has resulted in writing press releases for a Cardiff-based PR agency, researching and writing a blog on digital marketing for another company, and curating social media content for clients of another digital marketing agency. It’s early days, but a good sign towards me eventually going self-employed as a freelancer.

If you’re interested, you can read my guest blog for The Digital Formula on digital marketing here 

In the world of blogging, my tribute to Robin Hardy, director and co-creator of The Wicker Man, appeared on the Malcontent last month, which you can read here 

The Malcontent also recently posted a feature where I wrote about Seasons Of War, a Doctor Who charity anthology that was recently published. Clicky linky!

Over on the blogging network Daily Waffle, I have a regular feature, ‘Writers and Writing’, in which I interview published writers from different backgrounds, and so far each feature has resulted in some very interesting and readable discourses, if I say so myself. In the past two months, I have covered writers of thrillers, dark fantasy, romance and erotica, comedic science fiction, short story collections and plays. In case you’ve missed them, here is the back catalogue! Have a good catch up!
http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk/2016/07/writers-and-writing-huw-roberts/

http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk/2016/07/writers-and-writing-wh-brown/

http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk/2016/07/writers-and-writing-andrew-lawston/

http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk/2016/07/writers-and-writing-jenny-kane-aka-kay-jaybee/

http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk/2016/07/writers-and-writing-ruth-wheeler/

http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk/2016/06/writing-and-writers-karen-e-coles/

http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk/2016/06/writing-and-writers-nigel-shinner/

The seed of the ‘writers and writing’ project was a chat I had, also for Daily Waffle, with the poet and novelist Ange Chan. We had connected due to our mutual love of David Bowie and Doctor Who, and I really enjoyed discovering her poetry collections and her first novel. In case you missed it, here’s my interview with Ange Chan from back in March. It definitely inspired this series – as a creative, I find it fascinating to learn about other writers’ journeys. I have several more interviews “in the can”, so stay tuned.

My latest news is that I am creating a new website, which will be devoted to all things cult – films, books, TV and music – and feature regular news, reviews and articles. I’ll be running and editing the site, and alongside my own writing, it will boast a range of new and experienced writers. So that’s very exciting! I have a big launch planned for September, complete with a social media strategy.

I’m also still in the process of editing Me And The Starman, the Bowie tribute anthology for charity. Blogger and convention organiser Kara Dennison recently gave the project a signal boost which you can check out here 

For those of you following my adventures, I hope to bring more news soon, but do keep checking back in for my latest posts.

New posts: ‘Writing and Writers’: Nigel Shinner (June 16 2016), Karen E. Coles (June 29 2016)

The first two instalments of my new feature over at the blogging network dailywaffle.co.uk were recently posted. This will be a regular series, consisting of Q&A style interviews with a range of writers – some established, some just starting out; some self published, some with mainstream publishers; from different genres and backgrounds. This feature was a no-brainer for me, as I’m fascinated by the writing process and writers’ stories of making their voices heard, especially as the publishing environment is rapidly evolving in the digital age.

You can read my interview with Nigel Shinner here, and my interview with Karen here.

 

From my archives: ‘A Letter To My Sixteen Year Old Self’

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I’ve been inspired to share something I wrote for Glitterwolf Issue 8: Identity – ‘A Letter To My Sixteen Year Old Self’, published in April 2014 in which thirty-three LGBT poets and writers wrote letters to their sixteen year old selves. I was, and remain, very proud of this very personal piece of writing.

 

Showcasing fiction, poetry, art and photography from LGBT contributors, Glitterwolf was edited by Matt Creswell. ‘Identity’ was Glitterwolf’s first themed issue, featuring work from Ian-Jon Coughlan, C. Cleo Creech, Lewis DeSimone, Mark Ellis, Bretten Hannam, John Hubbard, Raymond Luczak, Hal Duncan, Paul Magrs, Steve Berman, Evey Brett, ‘Nathan Burgoine, Jeff Mann, Amy Shepherd, Jerry L. Wheeler, Lori Smith, and others.

A LETTER TO MY SIXTEEN YEAR OLD SELF by James Gent
You’re on the beginning of a long journey into The Strange World of the Bisexual. I’m addressing you from an astonishing 23 years hence. Sorry to say I haven’t got all the answers and you don’t wake up one day with the whole life thing sorted, but on the plus side you still have all your own teeth and hair.

 

Anyway, this bisexual thing. It’ll begin to nag at you as you become more aware of your evolving sexuality, there’ll be times when you’ll refuse to acknowledge its existence but ultimately you’ll embrace it and find that accepting your sexual identity for what it is is the best thing that’s happened to you.

 

But that’s all way off yet. You’ve begun to become aware of a growing curiosity about pretty boys, boys like you, wondering what they might feel like and taste like. It’s all a bit much to take in, as you’re barely getting to grips with girls without needing a whole other load of confusing emotions to deal with. You find it alarming, but also very exotic and exciting. Why is this? Well, being a callow, naive, insecure youth from the provinces you’ve got a lot of baggage and lazy cultural assumptions about same-sex attraction to unpack before you can give into these stirrings without tying yourself up in knots of guilt, shame, confusion and paranoia…

 

Being an inexperienced, insecure teenager growing up in a remote small town still stuck in the tail end of the intolerant 80s, gay and bisexual people are completely alien to you. Acknowledgement of any same-sex interest intrigues you, but it also scares you – don’t be too hard on yourself but the casual homophobia you’ve grown up with as constant background noise, has rubbed off on you and you’re internalising it. Not cool, Jimbo! Don’t put yourself through the wringer over this – fancying other boys is not only acceptable, it’s awesome. When you go to Uni, don’t keep all this buried – you’re paranoid you’re carrying around an awful secret, but trust me, everyone else at Uni is too wrapped up in their own shit to even care what’s going on in your own little world.

 

Eventually, you’ll get to explore this curiosity and find out what those boys taste like (beer and cigarettes mainly). What about girls? Barely a year will go by where you don’t have an outrageous crush on a girl you know, but it’s the same thing – you’ve wrestled with enough demons to get behind the ‘gay’ thing, you really don’t fancy having to go through a second closet… It’s not only casual homophobia that’s left its mark on you, but also some very ignorant falsehoods about bisexuality that you take very much to heart – it’s not real, bisexuals are just greedy, lazy or indecisive, and that you need to MAKE UP YOUR MIND AND PICK A BLOODY SIDE!

 

Don’t let all that binary bullshit fool you. You’ll have a series of epiphanies (No spoilers, would hate to deprive you of a heck of a wild, messy, confusing and cathartic ride – it’ll be the making of you) and ultimately come to not only accept but embrace living and loving as an open, proud, bisexual man. You’ll still encounter ignorance in the form of what we call ‘bi erasure’ and ‘bi visibility’ (yep, get ready for lots of new identity politics jargon, PC’s big in the 21st century) – straights and gays alike will both try and marginalise, deny or de-legitimise your identity. Ignore these people, they are assholes – be proud and be visible, not everyone will understand but there are hundreds and thousands of other people just like you!

 

Bottom line, old chum, it is SO important to not feel like you have to hide a vital part of your personality away or feel ashamed about it. Be kind to yourself, you’re only young once.
Love,
James

 

Glitterwolf #8: Identity/’Letter To My Sixteen Year Old Self’ is available in paperback and ebook, via Amazon.