Monday, 25 February 2013

Novellas - Too Long? Too Short? Or Just Right?

I was very kindly invited to guest blog on the awesome, informative and hugely powerful Simply Writing blog, to talk about novellas. So, I did.
http://strictlywriting.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/guest-post-justin-carroll-talks-about.html

I've toyed with the idea of posting the version with all the pictures here, but I think it's better that people go to Simply Writing and have a read and comment and such. It's also great to have a read of the other posts on there, because lots of them are brilliant, especially for writers.

So, there we go. Exciting stuff, all this guest blogging!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Guest Blogging




Just a very short post to say that I was asked by the frankly fabulous Tracey Sinclar to talk about "Everything's Cool" and publishing in general on her Cosmopolitan Blog Awards-nominated blog, Body of a Geek Goddess:

http://bodyofageekgoddess.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/guest-post-justin-carroll.html

Was really fun to be asked and to be asked questions about writing and the industry - huge thanks to Tracey for the opportunity!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Everything's Cool - Chapter 0






I thought perhaps I should post the beginning of Everything's Cool here, in case it encouraged people to pick it up and have a read. It might not have that effect, but I thought it might, and I'd like people to read it. So, here it is:


CHAPTER 0
Friday


The strip-light hums, a convergence of sound and light just above his head. He breathes deeply, lungfuls of bleach and urine. Lets the hum fill his ears, drowning out his thoughts as the not-bright-enough neon tube flickers, light in its death throes.
His hands shake as he clutches the small vial. He pierces the foil, slides the needle inside, and pulls gently. Withdraws the point, squeezes. A tear glides along the smooth, unblemished metal.
He’s nervous, excited. He hasn't done this before, but he’s studied Trainspotting and Pulp Fiction. He doesn't have a belt. He uses the Saran Wrap, twisted into a tight, plastic cord. He rests the syringe on a metallic paper dispenser defaced by blue pen: Frankie Fucked Here. He wraps the Saran Wrap around and around. He should have studied knots.
Stan steadies himself. He needs to get this right first time or he'll lose his nerve. His thumb caresses the skin below the Saran Wrap until he sees purple snaking, pulsing. The beating wars with the stuttering of the strip-light. He blinks, closes his eyes, focuses. Places the needle and applies pressure. It slips through skin and he feels the slightest resistance as he enters the vein. He pauses, remembering the image of blood swirling in fluid. He pushes, slowly, gently.
Her honey-colored eyes widen. She whines through the gag.
"I'm sorry. But, I have to know what you know. I need to stop it.” He'd tell her if he thought she'd believe him. But she wouldn't, so he swallows the words and hopes his eyes convey apology. He has no choice.
The hum continues, keeping them safe as he lets the Sodium Pentothal take effect.



If you'd like to read more, then you can pick up the book on Kindle for 99p, or a paperback for £5.39, both through Amazon - Everything's Cool. Give it a go - worst case, you spent 99p for a quick read. Best case, you enjoy it!






Thursday, 3 January 2013

What would it be like, if the world ended?

This isn't really a blog post as such. Rather, it's a couple of photos I took that would demonstrate what the world would be like if there was some sort of human-ending apocalypse, as Stan is trying to prevent in my book, Everything's Cool.

Picture the scene. You wake and immediately you can feel the difference - the world seems quieter. There's a strange stillness.

But, it's seven in the morning and you've got work. So, you stagger to the bathroom, wash, brush your teeth and then get ready to head to the office.

You leave your apartment and walk to Piccadilly Circus:



There's no traffic, but you are half asleep - you'll get your coffee on the other side of Leicester Square like always. So, you wait for the green man to tell you it's safe to cross and you carry on to Leicester Square:



You look left, right, left again. No traffic, so you cross and walk into Leicester Square. And you start to realise it's been awfully quiet. Like. Really quiet. You stop and look around Leicester Square, that always busy bit of London, where tourists and street artists and Londoners all mingle in one big slow-moving mess...



And that's when you realise there's no one around. It's empty. Totally empty. And, now that you think about it, so was Piccadilly Circus. That strange prickly heat runs up and down your body and you start to sweat uncomfortably. What's going on? Where is everybody?

You start to panic.

You check a few doors, but nothing's open. It's like a scene from 28 Days Later. You catch your thoughts as they spiral out of control and chuckle to yourself. The clocks must have changed or something and you misread the clock - it must be 5am, and it's raining so no wonder no one is around. You should just walk back and see if you can find someone - they'll be able to tell you the time and confirm that it's all just a silly mistake.

So, you walk back past Piccadilly and towards Hyde Park without seeing anyone. OK, it's all deserted. No problem. After all, it's December, which means that maybe all of London has decided to go to Winter Wonderland to buy tat and drink overpriced mulled cider. So, you head there.

And that's the last nail in the coffin.



There's not even anyone at Winter Wonderland. It's officially the Apocalypse.


If I was cleverer, I'd have turned this into some sort of viral advertising campaign. But I'm not. So, instead, it's a random blog 'post' about what London might look like if everyone died, or went away. A bit like if Everything's Cool's Project Cassandra is allowed to be created, bringing about the end of the world. So Stan might be mad, but what if he's right? What if he really is the only person who can stop the Apocalypse?

Everything's Cool is available now on Amazon - find out if Stan really can save the world... or if it even needs saving at all... I mean, now that I think about it, it was rather nice to be see London without people...

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Resolutions!

It's just turned 2013 - we've had the Unpocalypse (still a thing), Christmas and New Year's Eve. All very exciting times (except the Unpocalypse, which was mostly a sort of anticlimactic moment of restrained jubilation at our continued existence), but as we move in to 2013 we take a moment to look at 2012 and think about what we're going to differently in 2013.

So, looking back at 2012, I can honestly say my best moment was publishing Everything's Cool. I promised myself at the beginning of the year that I'd be published and, by hook or by crook, I was damn it!

There were certainly some horrible moments in 2012, but I'm not going to go through those here. Suffice to say, 2012 was a mostly pants year.

But, there were great films:






1. The Raid
2. Avengers Assemble
3. Moonrise Kingdom
4. Skyfall
5. Life of Pi





And some great albums:

1. The Menzingers 'On the Impossible Past'

2. The Deftones 'Koi No Yokan'
3. Sonic Boom Six 'Sonic Boom Six'
4. The King Blues 'Long Live the Struggle'
5. Candy Hearts 'The Best Ways to Disappear' (yeah, it's an EP, but I sort of love it a little)
6. Lower than Atlantis 'Changing Tune'






And of course, some great books! Including David Wong's John Dies at the End, Tracey Sinclair's Dark Dates, Al Anderson's Bounty and Ian Esselmont's Malazan books. Plus, of course, Everything's Cool...






And now it's all in the past and we move on with our lives, looking to the future with quite unjustifiable hopes that 2013 will be better (and in some cases, could it be much worse?!)

Of course, part of that means resolutions. So, here they are, in black and white:

1) Cut waaaay down on sugar. Like a lot
2) Stop that drinking thing I seem to have lapsed back in to recently
3) Continue to get fit
4) Finish my next book

I figure if I can keep to these four, then I can make the fifth and most important resolution easier to stick to... 

5) Be happy

So, here's looking to 2013, with my hope that the year that will be better for everyone, regardless of how good 2012 was for you. And here's to those resolutions that we all make, and to keeping them. Particularly that last one.

Be happy