Tag Archives: Fiction

the revolution will be downloaded

23 Jun

the new and improved ether books app has arrived…

i’m not sure if i’ve ever mentioned ether books to you before but-

oh, silly me, i nearly forgot; i’ve rambled on about ether’s pure brilliance here, here, and performed an award-winning* dramatic performance about it here.

but it’s time for me to rave about ether once again, because from today you** can download the new, improved, all singing, all dancing*** ether iphone app v1.4.

since i last wrote about the fantastic work ether are doing to push the short story into the smartphone age, they’ve massively picked up momentum. almost every day now, ether books’ facebook page and twitter feed raves about new releases; more talented writers are joining ether every day, many of whom are well-established award-winners who often offer their stories for free. because they’re nice like that. not because they’re rubbish at writing and can barely give it away.  and, as i’ve said before, i’m proud to have had two stories published by ether books so far (‘i think the sun is shining’ and ‘bcc:’, both frankly brilliant and yours, here),  largely because i’m amongst such fine company.

…so download the revolution

if for some reason you’ve got an iphone and evaded ether’s charms so far, now is the time to get involved. ether’s iphone app has always been a winner – easy to use, good-looking and a joy to read from – but v1.4 is even better. it looks smarter, it’s more intuitive, plus it’s, like, as down with the kids in this social media age as it should be: now, you can not only follow the authors you fall in love with, as well as link to their own sites / blogs, but also rave about their brilliance by sharing links to their stories via the facebooks, the twitters or good ol’ email. ether has always been great at offering affordable quick reads on the go, but this new functionality means you can now recommend your new discoveries in an instant. as a result, you will inevitably become more popular, and your new friends will think you’re ever so cultured and, like, literary, because you’ve recommended they read some writing and stuff.****

anyway, ether themselves talk far more convincingly – and professionally – about the benefits of v1.4 here and here.

this new world of mobile reading isn’t going to fade away – the rise of the mighty kindle has proved that – and ether will have more to offer as time goes on. this week they announced that, as well as short stories, essays and serials, you can also download weekly columns by well-established writers and journalists via the ether app. plus ether will, sooner rather than later, be available on android and blackberry too. the ether universe is expanding. so come on, get involved. before everyone starts laughing at you more than they already do. sorry. shouldn’t have mentioned that. it’s nothing, honest.

oh, one more thing:

“thanks for this wonderfully written pr stunt, daaan,” i hear you say. “but what’s in it for you?”

nothing. i just do these things out of pure love.

but – oh – incidentally, i do have another story scheduled to be published by ether very soon indeed. it’s called ‘disney’s dream debased’, and originally appeared in a short story collection i contributed to, pop fiction: stories inspired by songs. it’s an essential purchase for everyone in the world who:

a) owns an iphone

b) likes my writing but

c) failed to buy pop fiction when it came out, despite my incessant pleading

d) thinks “£7.99 for a book? bugger that, i’ll spend 59p on just one of the stories instead. that’s a reasonable price”.

there must be one of you out there…so please buy it when it comes out. fret not – i’ll let you know.

so. what now? well, first, i’d recommend grabbing your iphone and downloading the ether app v1.4. even if you’ve been kind enough to listen to me in the past and get involved, you’ll need to update the application to get the best out of what ether has to offer.

and, once you’ve got your app, marvelled at its beauty and immersed yourself in a world of fantastic fiction…get voting. that’s right – the sunday times is looking for the best apps out there, and i reckon ether deserves your vote. it’s either that or angry birds, but frankly i’d plump for the app that doesn’t make you scream like a child and drive you towards murderous thoughts every time you play it.*****

* ‘best iphone app-pimping whilst eating confectionary performance’ category, the idiot awards, 2011.

** when i say ‘you’, i mean ‘you, if you’ve got an iphone’. we’ve already discussed what you need to do if you don’t own one. seriously, sort it out. it’s getting embarrassing.

*** nb. ether app v1.4 does not sing or dance. but v1.5 presumably will.

**** this cannot be proven and yet remains a fact.

***** i am not addicted. it is just a game. it is just a game. it’s just a bloody game and i will destroy those pigs or die trying. ahem. sorry.

new novel extract – the tracks…

5 May

the tracks… will be my third novel, and you can read what i’ve written so far here.

i plan to publish the novel’s chapters on this blog as i write them, which is ever so exciting. but bear with me; it’s taken a while to get this far. subscribe to this blog and you’ll be notified as soon as i post new chapters.

the tracks… begins with the death of a woman on the train tracks at london bridge station, and focuses on the effect the incident has on the train driver who inadvertently kills her and a commuter who witnesses the incident.

i’m intrigued by the fact that, over the course of a twenty-five year career as a train driver, the chances are you’d inadvertently kill someone whilst simply doing your job. to me, this grim statistic offers an intriguing premise; train-related deaths are such a common occurrence these days, yet no one’s writing about them.

the tracks… won’t be quite as bleak as it sounds, though; to an extent it’s simply about how negative events can somehow have positive after-effects.

i hope you enjoy these opening chapters. all feedback massively appreciated (but keep it constructive, kids). comment on this blog or email me: daaanlewis@gmail.com.

the first time i killed myself

15 Mar

The first time I killed myself, I thought, “Well, this is it.”

I know it was a rash decision to make, but I’d had a few beers. I jumped from my seventeenth-floor window, certain I’d make an impact. As I fell, I imagined the last thing to go through my head – besides the pavement, of course – would be some sense of remorse. But I didn’t feel a thing.

And that was it. Dead.

Except…I opened my eyes, it was Monday, and I was late. I dashed into the office and…nothing. No “Hey, Shane, unlucky with that suicide”. Nothing.

I only lasted another three weeks. My horse came in fifth, so I did the decent thing: a bullet to the head. Failed. Now, it’s – I’ve – become a joke. Slit wrists, overdose; I’ve tried the lot. Even licked batteries.

I won’t give up, though. Something has to change, because this is killing me.

 

read more the first time i killed myself here.

the best 59p you’ll ever spend?

1 Mar

‘i think the sun is shining’ now available from ether books!

what can you buy for 59p these days?

not a lot.

you can’t even buy a decent chocolate bar. i should know. i hadn’t had a lion bar in years, and felt the urge to buy one the other day. crack it open and pretend it was roaring like a real lion. y’know, like in the ’90’s advert. no? oh…anyway. it cost 65p. and it was rubbish. i think it was a fake.

look, the point is, it’s difficult to find something worth roaring about for 59p these days.

however…

i’ve recently had one of my stories, ‘i think the sun is shining’ published by ether books.

ether books publish short stories specifically for the iphone / ipad, so you can read whilst you’re on the move. the thinking behind the ether app is that short stories are the perfect length to keep a reader occupied by their phone whilst they’re out and about / waiting for a train / standing in the corner on their own at a party and pretending they’re really busy reading important emails.

it’s a great app, and is likely to become more popular as time goes on – especially once it’s available on other smart phones and blackberry.

i’m really chuffed to have been accepted for publication by ether – the app has secured loads of publicity, and plenty of respected writers have made their stories available for download. i’m therefore now listed alongside some really well established authors who are also on ether, such as toby litt, hilary mantel and, er, paul mccartney.

the app is free and available here from itunes.
once you’ve downloaded the app, i’d be hugely appreciative if you could bring yourself to part with 59p for ‘i think the sun is shining’ (plus there’ll be more to come, so don’t be surprised if i ask for more of your cash soon).

aside from my fine self, there are many of up-and-coming authors to choose from, some of whose stories are free. much as it pains me to recommend anyone else apart from myself…rebecca emin, adam marek, lane ashfeldt and denise kirkby are all great authors who seem to be really benefitting from their association with ether books.

if you’re a writer, you can submit to ether, and the process is really painless…not least because their social media queen, bea moyes, is endlessly helpful and enthusiastic about ether books’ writers.

go on. you may even earn yourself a few pence.

but, before you go submitting your masterpiece, may i recommend you download my story? it may be the best thing i’ve yet written (not necessarily an achievement). it’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, it’ll stop you looking sad and alone in the corner at that party.

what else can you buy these days for 59p that’ll fill you with so much joy?

please, on second thoughts, don’t answer that.

‘pop fiction: stories inspired by songs’ launch party!

24 Feb

if you are unfortunate enough to know me, you’ll have heard me banging on about pop fiction: stories inspired by songs a little too much over the last few months. even if you don’t know me, there’s a chance you know about the collection. after all, i did write about it in my very first post.

well, the plugging isn’t over yet. not quite.

the book’s outpop fiction launch party flyer, we’ve notched up a few sales, and it’s had a few reviews, too. most recently, the literateur gave us a lovely write- up, plus we’ve had some decent feedback from the likes of sabotage blog, booksquawk and it’s all happening.

and now, you lucky people, i’m pleased to announce that the launch party for pop fiction will take place on thursday 24th march, upstairs at the betsey trotwood, from 7.30pm.

the plan is that around five of the pop fiction contributors will read a story each, plus there will of course be some great music to fill the gaps in between.

come along if you can, it’s sure to be a great night, not least because the betsey is a great place for events such as this. i’m biased, though, as the pub’s located opposite the old guardian premises and was, therefore, essentially my local for quite a few years. the guardian’s moved, and i’ve moved on, yet i still can’t tear myself from this fine drinking establishment. it may have something to do with the draught asahi and endless variety of whiskies.

admission is free, but there’s limited space, so please rsvp at popfictioninfo@gmail.com

oh, and yes i will be reading. probably my “ingeniously post-Modernist spin on song interpretation itself”, ‘disney’s dream debased’, influenced by the song by the fall. what a treat.

an evening of words ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll?

gig of the year, more like. and you’re invited.

 

new fiction – dead dom

25 Jan

dead dom is my second novel, completed in march 2008. it’s quite a sick little puppy.

you can read chapter 1 here.

you can read chapter 8 here.

if you enjoy these sample chapters, let me know and maybe – just maybe – i’ll send you the manuscript. for free. because i’m lovely like that.

WARNING – dead dom contains bad language, terrible behaviour, awful violence and is not your friend.

facts. pop. fiction.

30 Dec

hello

so. this is my blog. you’ll find some of my writing here, funnily enough.

i’ve recently started working on my third novel – the tracks… – and will aim to post excerpts as i go, as well as showcase my short stories and other things with words in. in addition, i’m likely to bang on about music, film and literature in a despicably subjective – yet undeniably correct – manner. i’ll also use aural and visual aids; all the kids are doing so these days. so, if you don’t like me, my writing or my opinions, then reading my blog may well be a hellish experience for you. honestly, i’m all over this site. you’ll hate it.

but, if you do like such things, then you’re in luck, my friend. read on. and why not subscribe? go on. scroll to the bottom of this page and permit me to fill your head with noise and visuals and words you never imagined could be strung together quite so…er, awesomely.

thanks for visiting. don’t be a stranger.

pop fiction

pop fiction: stories inspired by songsin 2010, i:

left my job, after serving ten years. i’d get less for murder, etc.

travelled to south america and new york, then got myself happily stranded in madrid thanks to that ash cloud thing.

set up a new (nu) business with some fine friends. it’s going very well, thanks for asking.

scripted a viral video, which we then made to promote our new business. it’s so far had 615 hits on youtube. i know, truly viral.

started my third novel, the tracks…

spent a very rewarding week on an arvon foundation course, without any mobile or internet connection. bliss.

spent more money than i should have on a ridiculous amount of gigs. because music makes me ears buzz and my heart smile.

but, of all the things i achieved this year, i’m most proud of my involvement in an anthology called pop fiction: stories inspired by songs. i spent months on the bastard, and have been pimping it relentlessly…so, naturally, this blog feels like the perfect place to drone on about it once again.

you can read my introduction to the anthology here. for free. because i love you.

and here’s the official blurb:

an ex-disney employee haunted by his hero’s song…a sharp-talking cowboy who can’t quite outrun his destiny…a man closer to captain kirk than could possibly be healthy…

this is pop fiction: stories inspired by songs – the literary equivalent of the greatest mix tape ever recorded. influenced by everyone from the clash to the fall, via david bowie and, er, olivia newton-john, pop fiction’s stories mix styles as eclectic as the songs which have inspired them, and showcase nine talented new voices as they celebrate one art form’s impact on another.

aside from my fine self, pop fiction features two gems apiece from: karen snape-williams, tom singleton, marc nash, jacky cowper, lee williams, lev parikian, carole pitt and aís.

what else can i tell you about pop fiction? well, it seemed a simple commitment to begin with:  i – along  with eight other writers who post their work on the fantastic youwriteon.com – agreed to put together a collection of short stories inspired by songs. but, as i wrote my contributions – ‘disney’s dream debased’, inflenced by the song by the fall, and ‘the only conclusion’, based on david bowie’s ‘”heroes‘” – i realised i wanted to be as involved as possible in the project. as a music obsessive (self-diagnosed), i found the concept exciting; this was exactly the type of collection i would choose to read. and, as an unpublished author, i saw the potential benefits of being a part of pop fiction. here, at last, was a painless opportunity to get my writing out there, alongside another eight talented writers.

fiction and music; my dream combo.

little by little, pop fiction became a bit of an obsession. everyone pulled their weight when putting the collection together, but i volunteered to join the dots and help make publication a reality because i wanted to: i believed in the idea, in the quality of the writing, in the value of  – for once – making something happen, rather than thinking about making something happen. true d.i.y. by literary punks. so i tracked down the godlike pennie smith and gained her permission to bastardise her seminal london calling photo for our (if i say so myself) superb cover. i wrote the collection’s introduction. i collated, and then edited, every story. again. and again. as the music that inspired each piece rang in my ears. and i loved every minute.

and, now, pop fiction: stories inspired by songs is available – here, here and here. all initial proceeds go to blue lamp foundation.

even more info here.

i’d love you to buy a copy. in fact, i’m unlikely to shut up until you do so. go on; it’s honestly very good. plus i know where you live.

now, i suppose, the hard work begins. it’s difficult to know how many copies we’ve sold so far, but i’d hazard a guess we’ve not cracked a million yet. in the new year, i’ll approach a few bookshops and cry shamelessly onto their counters until they agree to stock a copy or five. i’ll even pitch it to some music stores…if there are any left. plus we’re going to throw a pop fiction launch party at some point over the next few weeks. watch this space. and, yes, you’re invited. did you really think i’d leave you out, after all your support?

pop fiction is the literary equivalent of the greatest mix tape ever recorded, and – as you’ll remember from your youth – you used to compile your mix tapes in order to pass them onto others: friends, crushes, fellow music lovers. so, if you’ve read pop fiction, plan to read it, or simply like the sound of the book…please spread the gospel.

oh, and in case any of you are wondering why all nine of us decided to write about bowie’s ‘”heroes”‘, here’s the only explanation you could possibly need:

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