Thoroughly enjoyed the Olympics, a superb display of both athletic prowess and behind-the-scenes organisation. Watching Jessica Ennis, Bradley Wiggins, Greg Rutherford, Mo Farrah and everyone else push themselves to their limits, speak frankly and honestly about their perceived forthcomings and deal with the whole experience with a sense of fairplay and good sportsmanship was wonderful. Dude & I watched the early evening show most nights and he loved the swimming and the cycling, especially since we’re biking a lot more now and swimming too. Great stuff.
Had our family holiday - a week of day trips which included the excellent National Space Centre in Leicester (which is well worth a visit) and a day in London where Dude pronounced the Shaftesbury Avenue Forbidden Planet as the “best shop ever”. Not because I did a signing in there, oh no, but because he picked up a handbook with full details of 640 Pokemon characters!
We spent a week at Doniford Bay, just down the road from lovely Watchet and the beautiful town of Minehead (if you go, try Mullions restaurant, we had a fantastic meal there). We all loved it there and made regular trips across Exmoor (Lynmouth was another West family favourite - both Dude & I loved the funicular railway) - I think, if I write any more seaside based tales, I will be using Minehead as the basis.
In writing news, the Darker Minds anthology - edited by Ross Anthony Warren and Anthony Watson - has been published and it looks fantastic. A great Ben Baldwin cover, crisp design and beautiful production, it’s a real treat to be included in the ToC (with my story “Looking At Me, Seeing You”). The inestimable Jim Mcleod is ‘real-time reviewing’ it and has these kind words to say about my tale - “I love Mark West's writing, especially when he is writing stories like this. Where Gary [McMahon] is a master of brutal dark brutal horror, Mark is a master if quite soulful, and heartbreaking horror.”
In addition, I’ve been asked to contribute to an anthology (this one about demons) and have signed a contract for another (about things in the dark) and I’m still trying to work up my pitch for a new novel. Plus, of course, there’s the little matter of my Spectral Press chapbook - What Gets Left Behind - being published in September (and it’s been sold out for months - wahey!)