Camilla’s Song

L’amour et la mort dans une étreinte perpétuelle,Observent et attendent l’heure de se dévoiler.Aux premières gouttes de rosée sur la ruelle,La femme, dans les bras de l’homme, est enlacée. Le sang s’échappe malgré sa volonté,Il serre si fort ce qu’il a trouvé.Amour éperdue ou mort glacée,Dans le cercueil, l’âme est déposée.

Poetic Dedication

Rather than a traditional dedication, The Vanishing Room has instead an oblique poem. The verse describes the hollow sadness of loss and is my dedication to someone I am unable to thank in person. The short poem is reproduced below. Dust like carpet fills the hallwaystillness creeps through every roomSilent the speakers, disused the objectsthe […]

The Vanishing Room Edits Done

All of the editing for The Vanishing Room is now done. This is the time for us all to deceive ourselves that we have caught all of the unholy faeries. The structural issues. The character issues. The spelling and the grammar. I have delicately shed the weight of the final draft onto the plush cushion […]

J. Sheridan La Fanu

While attempting to sketch the outline of a yet unpublished novel titled Thirty Day Threat, which I intended to be the first Sophie Harlock novel, I found myself drowning in a sea of creative turmoil. For me, writing fiction is not the graceful, fluid process of spilling forth of imagination. It is instead a form […]

Latent Ice-Box Anxiety

The first draft of The Vanishing Room is complete; that’s more than thirty chapters of delicately spun fiction that needs to survive the critical deductions of countless smart readers. Thinking about this drowns me with paranoia. What if something doesn’t fit? What if there is a latent ice-box moment waiting to spoil the readers’ enjoyment? […]

Divergent and Convergent Writing

As many people will tell you, whether you ask them or not, good writing is really about what you don’t write, rather than what you do. Brevity has immense value. What may not be apparent is that you need to write prolifically and then begin the process of fearless removal. As Blaise Pascal said (originally […]

On Writing Fiction

Writing fiction twists your brain in knots. You get to experience the life of a compulsive liar. You are constantly double-checking for consistency, acting as continuity supervisor for your own imagination. You become a detective, picking through the diary of a suspect; checking for the slip up that undermines the story and breaks the alibi. […]

The Vanishing Room – First Draft Done

The first draft of The Vanishing Room has been completed. There is undoubtedly a great deal of effort remaining to edit and refine the story to publishing quality, but I can now see the shape of the whole story; and I can’t wait to share it with more people. Once we are a few edits […]

Sophie Harlock

“Why have you spent 15 years of your life publishing academic journals Jim?” “Because they’re important. And it’s James, not Jim.” “No. You you’re getting it all the wrong way around. You tell everyone they are important because you’ve wasted fifteen years on them. Maybe you even believe it – but the importance you attribute […]