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Interludes & Nocturnes

I’m afraid I’m going to have to bow-out of the very fine Sci-Fi London event, where I was due to pop along on the 1st May.

The reason I’m not going is that, basically, I need to breathe.

As some of you know, I work full time during the day, and write during the night and weekends. As many more of you know, I’m fairly active online, which is activity that takes place around the writing, filling up the gaps in life very quickly. Many conventions are logically planned at holiday weekends, and believe it or not, they’re not really holidays for authors. If you’re on a panel, you have to plan and think about what to say. You have to dust aside your nerve of being in front of people, and have to talk to huge numbers of new and familiar folk, which is all thoroughly splendid, but it can be rather draining on top of all the other things a writer has to do. Like write.

So that’s why I won’t be going to Sci-Fi London.

On a semi-related issue, it was nice that at Eastercon many people mentioned how they enjoyed this blog and the debates generated. Thank you. Some mysteriously thought it was high-brow (me, I’m just getting on my soapbox all the time). Again, thinking up topics is another energy sink, and given the amount of extra fuss being generated by City of Ruin being released in the UK and Nights of Villjamur launching from Bantam Spectra in the US, I dare say the frequency of such entertaining debates will diminish a fraction.

You have to do interviews and features and lord, should all writers be luckily enough to have such problems. I love blogging – it’s the author equivalent of live music – instantaneous rather than being worked on over a long period of time – but I probably need to balance matters a little more effectively.

Time sink #452: I’ve discovered now I’m a vaguely known writer, author-friends also want to send me books to read – which is splendid, but something I’d never even thought about happening, and I feel very guilty about placing their book somewhere on the to-read pile, knowing it could be months before I get around to reading it. I promise that I will get around to reading them, one day.

Another major difficulty is I’m spending too much time watching and engaging in the online debates, whilst trying to concentrate on writing. I’ve dipped in here and there, to give the filter of the real publishing world, but I’ve noticed many people don’t often want to know realities, they merely want their own opinions confirmed, which is funny, because that’s how authors work, too.

Updates… I’m about 70-odd thousand words into book three now, quickly approaching the half way point. I’m enjoying the process – and it’s very different to the first two books. I always intended for the first three books in this series to stand alone as much as possible, but being a series, I need to concentrate on the details. And many online resources – Twitter, for one – seem to drag me away from the detail-checking parts.

Anyway, all of this means I might be reducing my time online just a touch. It’s nothing major, and there’s nothing wrong whatsoever. Just a matter of perspective, balance, living. Hopefully it won’t be noticed much, if at all, here, on the business end of things. I have always preached that regular content is essential, and I endeavour to continue that.

Perhaps now I can contact more of my family and friends and finally remind them who I am.

By Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

8 replies on “Interludes & Nocturnes”

I am surprised you find time to sleep! You are doing 2 full-time jobs really, so no-one should have a go if you re-arrange your online priorities to accommodate your offline life and career. Good luck 🙂

at the end of the day you still have to take care of yourself and your friends/family and write the next awesome book. I’d hate you to burn out and stop enjoying it so go shoo, take time for yourself and we will post endless cover nonsense to try and taunt you into coming out to play. 🙂

I fully understand. This is why I no longer have my website. Just remember that not every post needs to court controversy or stir up the blogosphere, so don’t take that upon yourself. Often a “hello, I’m alive and the 3rd novel is up to x,000 words” is enough.

Now go have fun. We’ll still be here when you want to play

Well that’s both good and bad news.

I was just thinking about how active you are online, and wondering how you possibly balance this with actually writing books. Good to know that you’re actually human and not just a text producing automaton who doesn’t need to sleep or bathe.

I’ve enjoyed reading some of the discussions (more than our own obviously which hit a dead end, my fault I’m sure) that your blog and your comments on other sites have sparked. While I haven’t finished reading City of Ruin, I’ve been making progress on it, so thanks again. I’m about a third of the way through but I don’t have a lot of free time either at the moment so I can’t say when exactly I’ll finish.

This is especially the case now, and why I’m more amazed than ever that you haven’t had to take some time away from the online fray, as this month I’ve jumped in the deep end after only dipping my toes in the months after Christmas. I can only say I’m amazed you ever had the time at all. I’m hoping to bang mine out in ten weeks, but likely only someone who is completely new would try something so foolish. Either way, it should be an enjoyable project.

Best of luck with the 3rd book and I look forward to future updates.

Warmest Regards,


Ah, get some rest. Concentrate on the writing & sure, remind your relatives that you are well and alive. 😀

See you soon. [I seriously doubted you slept these days and it does not seem healthy.]

Thanks guys. I’m not going away completely – just interacting more in meatspace.

Eric – for a while I’ve not had much of a life outside of work (in one form or another) I’ve just been lucky I enjoy the area in which I work. Hope you find City of Ruin an improvement… 🙂 I’m glad you’re jumping into the novel-writing. Ten weeks? Now that’s a challenge…

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