Tue

28

Oct

2014

Having another bash

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Thu

04

Jul

2013

Free ebooks

Sometimes Dead cover
Sometimes Dead, 'Gwrych Castell at Evening'; cover design © MaKe

Reviews of some of the stories collected in Sometimes Dead:

 

'(Scofidio) has an inspired and unique way of looking at the world... her story touches both the brain and the heart, while still giving us that delicious frisson that is the pulse of every great ghost story... She is fully there in every word. She knows. And she can make us see.'   

     

- Chet Williamson. Necrofile

 

'(Scofidio's) "Outside the Gates" is nothing short of a revelation, a brilliantly orchestrated story that spins a world of weirdnesses out of the intense emotional needs of its heroine.  Its account of a young girl who finds a substitute for her lost mother in an author whose books speak to her soul ends with a "meeting" that suggests the extraordinary healing power of grief, but might also indicate a plunge into psychotic fantasy. (Scofidio) cites the fiction of Angela Carter as an inspiration for the story, but her ambiguous handling of the uncanny suggests the influence of Robert Aickman.'    

- Stefan Dziemianowicz, All Hallows

 

'"Last Train to Arnos Grove"... (is) a work of originality and something I can only describe as creeping fear. (It's) the kind of story done to perfection by Ramsey Campbell and Thomas Ligotti, which stands here as an equal to a story from one of those amazing gents.'

 

- Andrea Locke, Deathrealm

 

==============================

 

I have been writing for 44 years, seriously for 29.  I consider myself a modern supernaturalist.

 

Last year I published some of my old work with Smashwords, a brilliant website for self-publishers as they do the distribution:  I only have to do the writing.  (Only.)

 

Sometimes Dead is a collection of ghost stories (not paranormal - I'm not a fan of what is known by horror writers as 'horror lite')  written in the 1990s. They were published in an American magazine of weird fiction called The Urbanite, edited by the generous, multi-talented, Stoker Award-winning Mark McLaughlin, and in a brilliant hardback anthology entitled Midnight Never Comes (Ash-Tree Press, 1997).  

 

Reprints of two appeared in Best New Horror and Year's Best Fantasy and Horror; another won a magazine competition; another was nominated for a British Fantasy Society Award for Best Short Story.  They are stories with adult themes; not erotic, just written for intelligent people who've experienced life.  Sometimes people say 'fuck' in them.

 

I think if you like the Edith Wharton style of ghost story, then you might like my work.  I try to explore modern life (and in the case of 'I Have Never Seen The Stars So Bright', a historical legend) through the medium of the supernatural.  The ghosts are sometimes malevolent, sometimes not; in some cases the ghosts aren't even ghosts, thus the title 'Sometimes Dead'.  They are a metaphor for transformation, for dealing with ecstasy and agony.  (As the ancient saw goes, I don't believe in ghosts, but I'm frightened of them.)  

 

I haven't come up with that description of my work by myself; it's been given to me by my readers.  (Thank you to them for giving me their precious time.  Thank you to you for giving me yours.)

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Mon

01

Jul

2013

'Hollywood is a great place if you're an orange.' - Fred Allen

Men from Mars (1985)
My heavy metal band Rat Du: 'If Their Music's Too Loud, You Have Eardrums'. They are being interviewed by my character Garvey, a pleasing synchronicity as I am now a huge fan of Elbow.
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Thu

27

Jun

2013

'Time is passing: yes. Don't waste it.' - Katharine Hepburn

Reading at the moment (in no particular order): 

 

The Nail Your Novel series by author, script-doctor, and blogger extraordinaire Roz Morris (whether you're aspiring to write or you've been writing for yonks, BUY THESE BOOKS)

 

My Eyes Mint Gold (a biography of Mervyn Peake, author and illustrator of the Gormenghast Trilogy, among many other brilliant accomplishments) by Malcolm Yorke

 

The Portable Curmudgeon by Jon Winokur (a must for funny quotes)

 

Alone With The Horrors by Ramsey Campbell (my antidote to Stephen King)

 

Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurors by Henning Nelms (has an invaluable chapter for mystery writers on 'diversion [good showmanship] vs. distraction [bad showmanship]' i.e. playing fair with your readers vs. cheating them)

 

Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel: How to Knock ‘em Dead with Style by Hallie Ephron (American writing royalty who highly recommends Nelms's book, above)

 

Pleasures of the Damned by Charles 'Don't Try' Bukowski (I like to go to bed laughing)

 

Hogarth: A Life and a World, by Jenny Uglow (all of my current protagonists have surnames of famous artists, or snooker players)

 

To find out more about the Write to Done Dream Team - click here

 

My (sort of) Cirruculum Vitae

 

Nationality:

 

Born in San Francisco, raised in Buffalo, in upstate New York. Moved back to San Francisco at 19, then to Lost Angeles at 23.  Back to Buffalo at 35, then three months later to London, England.  To Barton-upon-Humber, Lincolnshire, in 2000, then Wales in 2002.  (Papa wasn't the only rolling stone.)

 

Of mixed race: Caucasian, West Indian (Trinidad & Tobago), African, Native American, German, and on both mother's and sperm donor's sides, Welsh. 

 

Now live in the United Kingdom where I have resided in North London, South London, North Lincolnshire, and Wales (Cymru).  Currently living in a seaside town on the Welsh Riviera.

Consider myself Welsh-American, though some say that isn't a legit nationality.  But Spike Lee, averring it's up to us to define ourselves, has the last word.

 

Previous Occupations

 

Actress

Admin assistant (yuck)

Artist's model 

Caricaturist

Cartoonist

Cleaner (a mind is a terrible thing to waste on housework)

Cultural Liaison

Doughnut maker

Illustrator

Senior library assistant

Pantihose saleswoman (buy eight pairs and get a free wig: packed it in when one caller explained she only had one leg!)

Singer (in various musical comedies at The Buffalo Showboat, The Packet Inn, and a San Francisco production of Let My People Come!; in LA with country, blues and jazz bands. Also sat in with Keb Mo, back when he was Kevin Moore)

Window painter

Taxi driver (almost; I was one of two people in my class [of one hundred] who passed the L.A. map test)

 

Current status: 

 

Divorced, living in nis with Capten Cariad.  In 1998 poleaxed by bloody ME/CFS, which, though managed, keeps me pretty much housebound. Its positive aspects include allowing me to withdraw from the hustle-bustle of the world (my overactive pre-ME life has given me enough material for several books), and remind me how important it is not to waste precious energy. 

 

Six years ago I suffered a nervous breakdown and couldn't write for many years after that.  Thanks to my boyfriend, various friends, and an excellent psychotherapist, not to mensch the writings of Charles Bukowski and Natalie Goldberg and Roz Morris (see you on Mount Olympus!) and the really cool writing site WritetoDone, I am not only writing again, but writing with confidence and joy. Writing is fun again.

 

And to keep me sane, when I have the energy I paint, in oils and acrylics, sporting paintings and portraits. 'Gwlad (Country)', above, a work-in-progress, is one of mine.

 

Beliefs: 

 

Whatever your circumstances as an artist, please do not give up hope. Never give up:  never, never, never, never.  There's always a way through, but not if you give up.  Enjoy life, because you're not going to get out of it alive. And if you are suffering, just remind yourself, it's grist for your writing mill. Hwyl fawr (Welsh, it means 'big spirit')!

 

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Thu

27

Jun

2013

On writing

It's not an owl after all...
It's not an owl after all...

'Making a novel is like carving something out of a block of marble, or wood.  At first there is a great cloud of wood chips and dust in the air as one is getting a rough form and shape (looks a bit like an owl).  Later, it is about quietly refining, like carving, or taking away a chip or two or five hundred, or gluing on a bit that got hacked off by mistake, or sanding, or polishing.  And it's not an owl after all, it's a winged horse.'                - Cefyn R. D.

 

'If life was a straight line, we'd spend all day queueing.'   - Anonymous 

                                                                             

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Smae - Hello - Croeso - Welcome

Spiky old beech near Bonn, Germany
Spiky old beech near Bonn, Germany
Member WtD Dream Team
Member WtD Dream Team