Thursday, 6 October 2016
On being a complicated writer
So reviews are trickling in for my short story collection - A Tiding of Magpies and I'm pondering the ramifications of the following:
"His writing is difficult to categorise:"
"Pete Sutton is a charismatic and complicated writer"
and from the introduction by Paul Cornell
"a number of them could be called magical realism. They fit into that gap between rationality and magic." Although Cheryl Morgan, when she interviewed me on her radio show, said that I can't be Magic Realisat as I'm not Spanish - she has a point!
On the one hand it's nice to be hard to classify, that means I must have an individual voice. But on the other it means having to build my own audience?
In this post-book lull, (Sick City Syndrome is finished, writing & editing wise - but now needs lots of marketing) I've got a number of directions I can possibly go.
Since signing for Kristell Ink for my novel Seven Deadly Swords work on the edit has commenced - it needs a bit of a structural rebuild before addressing the other issues in a closer edit so still some work to do on that.
But I find myself wondering what's next.
I wrote Seven Deadly Swords as an exercise in how to write a novel (I learn by doing mainly -but also I think that's probably the only way to learn to write a novel) and Sick City was written as KGHH took Magpies with a deal to also give them a novel which I then had to write quick smart!
Now I have a list of possible projects to pursue and wonder which way to go. And in the background is this feedback - hard to categorise, complicated etc.
I've never really thought about doing a series and I'm not one of those writers that has a variety of pseudonyms (I'd get confused - I can't compartmentalise my life) and I have ideas for a second world fantasy novel as well as a novella in the same world which I'd like to get on and write and another contemporary (dare I say more magic realist) novel as well as another historical fantasy (set in the 17th Century rather than the 12th like Seven Deadly Swords) and I expect I'll pursue each of these ideas in good time
But which one first? The 2nd world fantasy one will place me in that - "each of his books is different to the last category" for sure...
Or do I go for same, same but different?
In the meantime I'm working on some smaller projects - a piece for the Body Horror Book as well as two short stories for North Bristol Writers - one for a chapbook called Flying Cities and the other for a set of Ghost Tales called - The Dark Half of the Year.
Nothing much will progress this month though as I'm going to be busy at HorrorCon, Unsung Live, Bristol Festival of Literature and BristolCon
Do sign up to all those great events!