Friday, 18 January 2013

The appeal of post-apocalyptic fiction

Having recently published Ice Diaries, which tells the story of a small group of survivors in a 2018 London under twenty metres of snow, I got to wondering about the popularity of post-apocalyptic novels. Why are we so willing to imagine the end of our civilization, when for most of us in the West we have never had it so good?

What is the attraction of losing everything that makes our lives easy and getting back to basics - sometimes with added zombies?

Here are my theories as to why we find a post-apocalyptic scenario appealing:
  • In an increasingly Nanny state, the disappearance of tiresome rules and bureaucracy. No more parking tickets or obsessively checking the speedometer to avoid a fine or remembering to put the rubbish out on a Friday, after 5.30 but not before.
  • The chance to have adventures and move out of one's comfort zone. Farewell nine to five.
  • The novelty of being in a familiar setting but under hugely different circumstances.
  • There is a looter and pillager deep in all of us, just waiting for an opportunity. The collapse of civilization makes looting acceptable, even necessary.
  • You can, like my heroine Tori, get to choose an opulent flat to live in that you could never normally afford.
  • Having to be resourceful, and having more control over one's life.
  • Immediate and rough justice, instead of our flawed and expensive judicial system - whose results often, after an agonizingly long wait, amount to rough justice.
  • The planet getting a rest from its biggest depradator, man.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

ICE DIARIES ~ the paperback

Yesterday the first paperbacks of Ice Diaries arrived. Always an anxious moment, opening the package; I'd got the margins wrong on the proof copy, which meant a lot of reformatting. I was confident enough not to pay £21 for another proof, but the odd doubt lingered. I enjoy formatting for print (I do it on Word, not owning InDesign) and this time I succumbed to the lure of dropped caps. The books look good and I'm rather proud.

Though digital is undoubtedly the future, there will always be a market for print editions, and as an author I like to have a physical copy of my books.

You can buy Ice Diaries on Amazon UK for £6.99 with free postage, or $10.99 on Amazon US.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


2012 has been a good year for me

My novels have been selling steadily, if not in the huge quantities they did in 2010/11, bringing my total ebook sales to over 60,000. I published a new novel. I've recently had a nice run of enthusiastic reviews, and for a writer nothing is more rewarding than knowing readers have enjoyed your books.

So I had intended to write an assessment of the highs and lows of 2012, plus hopes and predictions for 2013. It was going to be all bullet points - you'd have loved it. I did the illustration specially.

But then I changed my mind and decided to write briefly about persistence. Because in an overcrowded and competitive marketplace, persistence probably matters more than anything, including talent. It's so easy to get discouraged as a writer; sometimes the effort seems pointless. But just keeping going as others fall by the wayside puts you in an elite group, and it's from that group that successful and famous authors will emerge.

Here's a toast to 2013: health, happiness and success!