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I have been tagged by the lovely Kim Lakin-Smith, author of Queen Rat and Autodrome (http://www.kimlakin-smith.com/ ) , to take part in a blog hop talking about the things I don’t write – and the things I do. So, here goes!

1. I DON’T write Poetry – even when I was an obnoxious emo-teen (and that’s how old I am, I was emo before the word was even invented) I prefered to splurge out all my hormonal angst in prose, rather than verse. It might make me sound like a philistine but I’m rarely moved by written poetry the way I am by a song, or by prose. I have read and enjoyed poetry, and I like the odd poem, and the odd poet (Dylan Thomas, T.S. Eliot) but for the most part it kind of passes me by if it’s not set to music, and I’m sure any attempt I made at poetry would be more embarrassing than anything else.

2. I DON’T write Horror – dark fantasy is the closest I’ve come ( “Where the Roses Grow” – about a child who sees ghosts and is snatched by the rose-bushes in her mother’s garden – is probably the closest I’ve come to horror, and I’m sure horror fans would say it isn’t.) Again, it’s not a genre that has much interest for me; I’ve never read Lovecraft, I’ve barely read King, and I don’t watch horror films. I don’t mind being grossed out, but I’d rather it was part of the plot – I’m not a fan of nastiness and gore just for the sake of it.

3. I DON’T write fanfiction / shared world fiction – I’m not down on fanfiction in any way, and I know a lot of people get a great deal of pleasure from writing it, but I have always prefered to make up my own worlds and populate them with my own characters. When you’re playing in someone else’s sandpit, there’s a certain expectation that you have to play by their rules; you can’t go outside the lines (to coin a horribly mixed metaphor). I prefer to set the boundaries to my own world, rather than be restricted by someone elses. For the same reason, I would be fairly dubious about letting anyone fanfic in my world, in case they messed it up!

4. I DO write in the voice of a teenage boy – sometimes. Often, in fact. I’ve written 2-3 books (I’m not sure if The Art of Forgetting counts as one book or two any more…) and a number of short stories entirely from the viewpoint of young men. I think it’s important to push myself out of my comfort zone, to write outside my own experience, and I think writing in different genders has helped me grow as a writer. Then there’s the fact that teenage boys, especially teenage boys in packs and gangs are often really, really horrible for no good reason, so that’s fun… 😉

5. I DO write long books – The final version of The Art of Forgetting came in at around 220,000 words, which is a LOT. Spark and Carousel is around 120k, and The Summer Goddess clocks in at about 145k. As a contrast, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was approximately 257,000 words, George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones (The first one, not the series, TV viewers 😉 ) was 298k, and the thee volumes of The Lord of the Rings come in at around 473 k, not including all the appendices etc. So you can see, they’re not massive books, but they’re not that small either. I like big books and I cannot lie. People who are worried about word count – use the amount of words you need to tell the story to the best of your ability, and no more. It doesn’t matter whether a novel is 90k or 190k, it’s the story that counts.

6. I DO write for me – I write the kind of books I enjoy reading (otherwise what’s the point?) I don’t write for any particular market, because the market is so vague and subject to whim that by the time I finished my very popular and topical book, it would be neither popular nor topical any more – I know how slow publishing can be! I would rather write the book I want to write, the book I enjoy writing, and hope that someone else might like it too!

Right, time for me to pick some victims volunteers to be tagged. I choose :

Steampunk author K M Alford (Atlantis and the Game of Time) who hangs out here : http://kmalford.blogspot.co.uk/

Dark Fantasy author Fran Jacobs ( The Shadow Seer )http://www.franjacobs.com/

And Fantasy Author Sophie E Tallis ( White Mountain ) – http://sophieetallis.wordpress.com/

And anyone else who wants to join in the fun!