Tag Archives: Online Writing

pop fiction now available on kindle

10 Jun

just a quick update to say that pop fiction: stories inspired by songs is now available on amazon kindle, and you can buy it here.

it’s only £2.01 at the moment – way cheaper than the paperback, and not bad for 18 stories.

more info about pop fiction here.

pop fiction includes two of my stories: ‘disney’s dream debased’ and ‘the only conclusion’. you’ll like them; i know this.

‘the tracks…’ = bestseller

1 Feb

‘the tracks…’ has made it onto youwriteon.com’s bestsellers chart

a few months back i posted the opening chapters to my novel, the tracks… here. i then revised chapters, following some very helpful feedback, and re-posted them here, as well as on youwriteon.com. if you haven’t read the revised chapters yet, you really should, especially considering everything i’ve done for you.

i’ve mentioned youwriteon before on this blog – your work is reviewed and rated by fellow aspiring writers, and highly-rated extracts make it onto their charts. so i’m pleased to say, after riding high in their ‘top ten’ for a while, i’ve now made it to no.2 on their ‘bestsellers chart’, which – as we know – is even better than no.1*.

so, what does this mean for me?

well, it means i’ll receive a professional critique from one of the editors at orion or random house, which is very nice indeed.

plus being a ‘bestseller’ feeds my monstrous ego and allows me to walk around shouting “who’s laughing now, haters?”**

but, more than anything, it reminds me that i’ve got a bloody novel to write and really should start focusing on the next chapters.

so i will. i’m off to write.

cheers

*if you think odd numbers are bastards.

** i’ve never done this in my life.

new and improved novel extract – the tracks…

24 Oct

the tracks… – chapters 1.1-2.1 (revised version)

hello. long time, no speak etc.

i’ve revised the opening chapters of my third novel, the tracks…, and i’d love you to read them here.

they’re different. i promise. and better. i hope.

either way, the tracks… now includes the phrase “balls like furry melons”. if that doesn’t excite you, then i don’t know what will.

my aim is 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.

i hope you enjoy these remixed, rebooted and revitalised chapters. all feedback lovingly welcomed. comment on this blog or email me: daaanlewis@gmail.com

spare a thought for dolly

28 Jun

my short story, ‘disney’s dream debased’…

i was that mouse: waving white gloved hands. fixed smile failing to distract horrified eyes.

it wasn’t my fault. that’s what I’d tell mark if I met him again. but, as I never will, the best I can do is belatedly offer my side of the story…

a few months ago now, i edited and contributed to a short story collection, pop fiction: stories inspired by songs. if you know me, you probably already know about the book. lord knows i went on about it, not least of all here.

quite a few of you were kind enough to buy a copy, and have therefore (hopefully) read the two stories i contributed, ‘the only conclusion’ and ‘disney’s dream debased’. i hope you enjoyed them, and i appreciate your support. honest, i do.

however…if you never got round to buying the book (because you forgot / hate contributing to charity /deliberately snubbed me as i’m a shameless self-promoter), have i got some exciting news for you.

yes, you guessed it: you can now own one of the stories – ‘disney’s dream debased’ – without bothering to buy pop fiction…and it’ll only cost you 59p.

that’s right: pinch yourself and sing hallelujah. you’re not (disney) dreaming.

…now available from ether books.

last week, i wrote about the new, improved iphone app for ether books here. my argument in ether’s favour was so damn persuasive, i’d be amazed if there’s a single one of you left who owns an iphone and hasn’t downloaded their wonderful free app. but, just in case, you can – and should – get it here.

and now, as if by some crazy coincidence, ether have published ‘disney’s dream debased’. cynics would say it’s almost as if i knew ether was going to release my story, that i only wrote about them by way of thanks in advance. but those cynics would be wrong. and too cynical for their own good.

anyway, it’s yours for 59p. it’s an “ingeniously post-modernist spin on song interpretation itself”, apparently.

“a real life atrocity cartoon, immortalised in song.”

now, i know you’re already reaching for your iphone to download your copy (or reading this with tears in your eyes as you remember that you still haven’t got a decent phone). but, to entice you further, i’d like to take this opportunity to tell you a little more about ‘disney’s dream debased’.

as with every story in pop fiction, it’s based on a song; one of my favourite songs, in fact, by one of my favourite bands: the fall. it really is a spellbinding tune, and you can enjoy it here, plus read an appreciation of it here on a brilliant fall-centric blog by mike shields.

the song – and therefore my story – is based on a real event: the death of a lady called dolly regene young, thrown from a disneyland ride on the same day in 1984 that the fall frontman, mark e. smith, and his then-wife, brix, happened to be visiting. you can read a brief overview of what happened here, as well as brix’s account of what she witnessed here. my inspiration for the story stems as much from the events recalled by mark and brix as the numerous factual accounts i found when researching the incident. dolly’s death is a fact; the reactions of disney’s staff is open to conjecture…but i had loads of fun exploring the impact such a bizarre scene could have on a man unfortunate enough to be dressed as mickey mouse at the time.

now, it’s not for me to say whether my ‘disney’s dream debased’ conveys any of the horror, tragedy, pitch-black comedy or sadness of the incident itself, but i can proudly say i gave it a good try. dolly’s story has disturbed me ever since i first read about it; it’s gut-wrenching yet ridiculous, cartoon-like but shocking. she was an ordinary woman who died an extraordinary death.

so i’d like you to pick up your iphone and download ‘disney’s dream debased’. but what i’d really love is for you to read the facts about dolly’s end, and take a moment to remember that death is often at least as random and ridiculous as the life that precedes it.

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.

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.

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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