Putting out my short stories on Wattpad has been a lot of fun so far. I’ve decided to take things a step further…

CRAWLERS

From today on Wattpad I’m going to serialize the whole of my book Crawlers for anyone to read on their desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone or other internet-access device of choice, for free.

I plan to put it out in episodes three times a week for the next ten weeks. Sign up to Wattpad to receive alerts whenever a new episode is posted or to leave comments and messages there for me if you like – but if you want to read there without signing up, that’s fine too.

As I was writing the book I imagined what it would be like to read it in serial form on one’s phone. The idea drove me to make Crawlers as fast, tense and relentlessly thrilling as I could. Putting the book to this test for real at last is very exciting for me. I hope readers get a kick out of it too. :D

Click through to the Crawlers page on Wattpad here.

This below is from Agota Kristof, author of my favourite thing I read in 2014, The Notebook. It’s from another and almost equally astonishing book of Kristof’s, called The Illiterate:

How do you become a writer? First of all, naturally, you must write. Then, you must continue to write. Even when it doesn’t interest anyone. Even when you feel that it will never interest anyone. Even when the manuscripts pile up in the drawers and you forget them, while writing new ones.

…Here is the answer to the question: you become a writer by writing with patience and obstinacy, without ever losing faith in what you write.

That’s the mission. Now to get back to it.

The conclusion of The Last Duel is now live and free on my Wattpad page. Here – at the slight risk of giving away how the story ends, if you don’t know yet! – is a collage I made of the rest of Phil Harvey‘s stunning sketches.

TheLastDuelWeek3PencilsByPhilHarvey

Happy holidays to all readers, and power to your tentacles for the New Year.

My sinister masterplan continues. May yours do likewise. :D

Sam

Part Two of The Last Duel is now live and free on my Wattpad page. To go with it, here’s a collage I made of some of the gorgeous sketches that were created for the story by ace artist and illustrator Phil Harvey.

TheLastDuelWattpadWeek2PencilsByPhilHarvey

More next week with Part Three. :D

In the spirit of the season here’s a gift that I hope you’ll like – a short story of mine called The Last Duel.

TheLastDuelSketchArtByPhilHarvey

I’m putting it out on Wattpad for free in three parts, one a week for the next three weeks. On my profile there you’ll find four more free stories of mine that have already appeared elsewhere on the internet. The Last Duel, however, has never seen daylight before.

If you like action, romance or both I hope you’ll find it worth your wallop. And see the sketch above, that I’m using for a cover? It’s by a fabulous artist called Phil Harvey. There’s more of his work to show you next week, with part two. :D

Yesterday’s Book Doctor sessions for my first engagement as Patron of Reading for Alexandra Park School were a blast. I saw fifteen students, spending fifteen minutes with each talking about what kinds of stories they liked before making a reading recommendation that I hoped that person would enjoy.

DoctorsOrders

These above are the books I chose. See that piece of paper on the right? That form was created by APS’ awesome librarian Ms Constantinou so that I, as Book Doctor, could prescribe my recommendations! Each student could then choose to get their prescription filled either by borrowing their recommended book from the school’s excellent library orĀ buying it from superb local indie booksellers The Big Green Bookshop, who offered my ‘patients‘ a generous 15% discount.

Here’s the full list of what I recommended:

Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding

I Am Jackie Chan – My Life in Action by Jackie Chan

Persuader by Lee Child

Blade by Tim Bowler (though it’s Bloodchild in the pic; that’s terrific too!)

Wolf by Tommy Donbavand

Sawbones by Catherine Johnson

I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells

Terror Kid by Benjamin Zephaniah

Replica by Jack Heath

Web of Darkness by Bali Rai

Going Solo by Roald Dahl

Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby

Parasyte by Hitoshi Awaki

Claymore by Norihiro Yagi

Drifting Classroom by Kazuo Umezu

-and-

Ice Station by Matthew Reilly

Every student I spoke to had strong opinions about what would appeal to them and what wouldn’t, and expressed them with clarity and passion. It was inspiring.

Then, in the evening, I took myself off to The Big Green Bookshop to catch SF grandmaster Brian Aldiss launching a new collection of his short stories and looking back at his amazing writing life.

Now, that was a good day. :D

The time has come to say goodbye to Trapped By Monsters. For the four years the blog was active my part in writing it was, for me, an absolute hoot. One of the things I loved about TBM was that it gave me the chance to do what I miss most from the ten years I worked in a bookshop: recommending books.

From now on I’m going to do that a little differently. :D

Book Doctor

On Tues Dec 2nd I make my first official visit to Alexandra Park School as its Patron of Reading. In place of what I normally do at my school events I’m going to be working as a Book Doctor. Over the course of the day I’ll be taking appointments with individual students from the school’s Year 8. We’ll discuss what each student likes and dislikes. I’ll then ‘prescribe‘ a book recommendation specifically for that young person.

I believe that the right book at the right moment can make someone a reader for life. The Patron of Reading scheme is, for me, another chance to put that belief into action. Over the coming months I’ll also be recommending more books here on my own blog as another part of my role. Meanwhile, though TBM will soon be gone, you can find all the recommendations I made there on the reviews page of my LibraryThing profile.

Goodbye, Trapped By Monsters. I’d like to take this chance to thank all the awesome authors and artists with whom I shared the caves and everyone who came to visit us.

Best wishes and power to your reading tentacles,

Sam

Yesterday I was delighted to pay my third author visit to The City of London Academy to speak to three groups of excellent young people from Year 8 as part of theirĀ literacy week. As before in my sessions at this school, the students’ attention was impeccable and their questions were inspiring.

Here’s a pic taken during a previous visit:

Literacy Day 15th Nov 2013 Sideshow Sean left and Sam Enthoven right

A neighing, wickering thank you to the school’s librarian, the dynamic Sean Delaney (above, left), for inviting me back. :D

The strangest thing for me about The Centrepoint Sleep Out was sleeping so close to so many other people

MyBed

We lay on cardboard sheets to soften the paving stones beneath us. Above us was a canopy roof to keep off the rain.

TheRoof

We needed it. In the brief period between the last late-night talkers nodding off and the first early-morning ones waking, I opened my eyes and listened.

TheView

The wind grappled with the roof, making it ripple and crack like sails on a stormy sea. Rain smashed down like hammers. Behind these sounds the snores and grumbles of the three hundred dreamers all around me were a constant, ghostly moan.

I felt like Samuel Taylor Coleridge‘s Ancient Mariner. When I got home this morning I reread it, in the Dover edition with the gorgeous artwork by Gustave Dore.

TheMariner

It was even more thrilling and wonderful than I remembered.

Me

With thanks to all my friends and family who sponsored me so generously,

Sam

I’m thrilled and honoured to announce that I am Alexandra Park School‘s new Patron of Reading.

All kinds of grand and sinister masterplans are afoot, involving brilliant indie booksellers The Big Green Bookshop and others. Find out more about the Patron of Reading scheme here.

My thanks to APS’ Samurai School Librarian Sonia C. for appointing me. HEE HEE HEE ‘scuse me; rather excited. :D

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