I've had a week off work so along with normal life stuff, I've really focused on writing for the last few days - two new short stories which I'm pretty happy with even if they're the usual messy first drafts. Working titles of She Waits For Me In The Snow, and The Whistler In The Woods. The second is 7k which is longer than my usual short tales (I wrote it over Wednesday and Thursday, pushing myself through 5k of it on the second day which meant I was totally knackered by the end of the session), and one I'll probably trim down a bit to get to the action sooner than later.
Short stories are a strange experience these days. While I obviously still enjoy writing them, the publishing side isn't so much fun. The market definitely seems to have shrunk over the last few years; many of the remaining publishers are closed temporarily or pay next to nothing. It's not an area a writer will ever make a pile of cash from, but let's be fair here: anyone who produces something should be paid for their work and time. You wouldn't ask someone to paint your kitchen and then tell them you'll pay them by telling all your mates how good a job they did, would you? So I stay away from markets that pay in exposure which does limit me a hell of a lot. Even so, I'd rather keep hold of a story until it finds the right home.
I've also done a Q&A and guest piece for Sam Missingham over at Lounge Books as Sam is doing a special on horror fiction near Halloween. Same great questions from Sam and as it's been a while since I've written a piece for another site, I enjoyed the chance to blabber on in a new place. Links to follow as soon as everything is up on Sam's site.
Novel wise, I'm chewing over the plots for two new books - one a linked series of pieces about characters faced with a certain Norse legend which will probably be 20 - 30k each and come together at a certain point, or an unreliable narrator tale set in the world of Anti-Social which you can read in the collection Die Laughing. Whichever idea shouts the loudest wins.
And then I write the next one.