A List

SA awardWe always look forward to Writing Magazine slapping onto our hall floor once a month but today it was even more exciting. A headline on the front read ‘Self-Publishing Award Winners’. Our spirits deflated like punctured lungs. In December we’d submitted Soul Asylum and Disenchanted to the David St John Thomas Self-Publishing Awards, which Writing Magazine are part of.  We’d heard nothing back so when we saw this headline we knew instantly that we hadn’t won. But we opened up the page anyway, if just to shake our tiny pixie fists in fury at the winners and clutch the magazine while our eyes twitch in a way favoured by maniacs.

And there was Soul Asylum amongst the Fiction Shortlist. We were so shocked that we completely forgot about the fist shaking and eye twitching. Even more surprising was that there were only 5 books in that shortlist. This award attracts hundreds of entries, possibly even thousands and Soul Asylum was in the top 5. We couldn’t believe it. We’re still in shock. And this is on the back of its successful free run. Well, we count it as successful. In the 5 days it was free to celebrate World Goth Day, we had 1214 downloads. The most surprising thing was someone downloaded it in Japan! We never thought it would appeal to Japan. We’ve seen their game shows. We’d worked hard to promote it and while we heard that less than 1000 in the first day meant it wasn’t successful, to us, 1214 was a massive achievement. And sales have increased following it. In March and April we sold a total of 10 books. May was doing better with 11 but Soul Asylum hadn’t sold ANY in May. Then we made it free. And suddenly after the price has gone back up, people are buying it. Granted it’s only 9 copies sold but to us, that’s huge. We’ll never make enough to keep our Red Bull supplies stocked but this is great for us and Red Bull is on offer at the moment.

It seems busting zumba moves inside the cursed witches’ circle in Edinburgh didn’t bring us bad luck after all. In fact, we haven’t been this lucky for years. Might need to find some other curses to shake our booties at…

Advice Column

Greetings tasty brains! I’ve finally managed to wrestle this thing off my Necromancers. They put up a hell of a fight. I had to keep biting their fingers & threatening to infect them until they released it. They’ve been hogging it for their ebook. Anyone would think this was their blog. I wouldn’t mind if it was my book they were promoting, but it’s not. It’s some romance trilogy. Or horror romance. There are hearts involved. To be honest, I haven’t been paying attention. Anyhoo, I’ve got some really exciting news – I’ve been featured in Writing Magazine! March issue, page 73 in Margaret James’ Fiction Focus section. I give advice to a guy (we’ll call him Horror Writer from Sheffield) about all my online publicity ideas – my Facebook page, Twitter account & MY blog. Personally I don’t understand why my picture wasn’t printed, but then I don’t want to be mobbed in the street. It’s actually my Necromancers who are quoted, but that’s only because they emailed Margaret before I had a chance. I like Margaret. She’s such a lovely lady and my number one fan. I’ve had to promise not to eat her brain. It’s so unfair. Why do I only want to eat the people I like? I bet Freud would suspect a twisted reason behind this.

It’s given me a taste for this advice giving thing. I think I should have my own column. Nothing too big – just a national newspaper or glossy magazine will do. Say someone wrote in complaining that although they really fancy their boyfriend, he’s inconsiderate, lazy and just doesn’t appreciate her/him; I could suggest she/he remove their boyfriend’s brain and replace it with someone else’s! I could give tasty brain recipes, fashion advice – some colours just don’t work well with grey complexions – advice on how to set the perfect trap, which part of the brain works best for enhancing moods/creativity/language skills. Trust me, some of those Reans could do with enhancing their language skills – groaning is so easily lost in translation. Actually thinking about it, I might need my own magazine. But I’d happily start with an advice column. Let’s face it, if some of these celebrities can write one when their brains are nothing more than puff pastry then I stand a great chance.

Scott x

When will I be famous?

The answer is…next month! Hey scrumptious brains, it’s Scott! I am SO excited! My Necromancers sent the first three hundred words of my novel to Writing Magazine for a critique by James McCreet – the editor, Jonathan Telfer has emailed them saying they will be using it in the March issue! 🙂 He loved it and said James seemed to like it too so they’re obviously on the right lines, keep going. Now not to sound egotistical and all that jazz but this wouldn’t have happened without me. They can glare themselves to wrinkles all they like but the fact is I’M going to propel them to superstardom. ME. None of their other characters have a Facebook page, a Twitter account or will appear in the magazine. Ok, Connor and Ceri from Field of Screams have already appeared but we’ll forget about them. Those wannabees crop up in my book. I’m not best pleased. Connor thinks he’s such a comedian.

Now do you think they’ll send a photographer around? I’d better visit Mort for some embalming just in case. And the tanning salon. Now Tyler features in the extract but I’m keeping it quiet from him. The photographers will take one look at him with his hotty living status and push me aside. If Tyler was so wonderful he’d have his own book. But he doesn’t. He’s just my sidekick. He can pout and swear all he likes, it’s true. I should buy a new zombie slogan t-shirt to celebrate. Now where did my Necromancers leave their credit card…

Field of Screams

Warning: May contain images some viewers may find disturbing - we're not wearing makeup

The great day has finally arrived! Our ghost story, Field of Screams, which won first prize in a Writing Magazine competition is out today. So go buy your copy of Writing Magazine. Tesco’s sell it, as do most newsagents. Probably. We got ours from Tescos. Actually, we bought 15 copies, for family and friends and posted it on Facebook (we checked copyright first). We never thought we’d win, especially as we’ve entered 13 of their short story competitions but we did! Still can’t believe it. Even when the magazine arrived we expected them to tell us there’d been a mistake of epic proportions. We’ve posted two short stories off today and have another one that just needs a few tweaks before it’s ready to go. We’ve decided to up our submission mission – we promised 50 pieces of work submitted this year. We’re now up to 45. So we’re going to change our original goal to 100. As we’re already halfway through the years it’s a huge goal but we think it can be achieved. Unlike the missi0n to get 12 pieces of work published. So far we’re up to (drum roll please) ONE. Field of Screams. But we’re not in this for the wealth or the fame. We’re in for love. To quote Robert Tepper’s ‘No Easy Way Out’, “some feelings never die.”

YYYYYEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!

Hum Hallelujah just off the key of reason. Thank you Fall Out Boy. This morning we got another story rejected then this afternoon, we got an email saying we’d won first prize in the Writing Magazine Ghost story competition! FINALLY! It’s called Field of Screams and is a quirky story where hauntings are at an all time low so the Scream Department call a board meeting for ideas. We thought it had no hope in hell of even getting shortlisted because it’s so different to the usual winning stories, but figured we’d send it anyway, as we had nothing to lose. It’s an Easter miracle bigger than Jesus rising from the dead (which we all know didn’t happen.) It’ll be in the August issue which will be out in July. We’ll remind you closer to the time so you can hold in your hands a piece of history – the first competition C L Raven has ever won. (First and probably last.) Just when we thought our mission for twelve publications was heading south faster than a tobogganing penguin hitting a patch of black ice, we have our first success. Celebrated with a big bottle of Smirnoff Ice that’s been sitting in the fridge for months. Now for the other eleven…might have more chance of becoming Prime Minister. We’d sure shake up the cabinet. Is there enough time to start a political party and get campaigning? They obviously have no standards on who can form a party because they let the BNP form (booooo!) We sent three poems to Square magazine yesterday so talons crossed again. Excuse the unimaginative title of this blog. That’s what Smirnoff Ice does to you. Cat just managed to spill hers down her top. One story wins a competition and all of a sudden, we’ve turned into drunken lushes. We’ll be like those singers who do great one hit wonders then vanish into obscurity, trotting out their great hit 2o years down the line. God knows what will happen when we win the election.