Update: Eren! Audiobook! Moving to the UK! Harry Potter! Roadtrip!

Hello, all. Time for an update.

Various things have been happening since I was last on here. The most Eren-related of them is easily the most exciting. The audiobook - an actual audiobook of actual Eren - is now available! It's UK only at the moment - though who knows what the future will bring? I've listened, am absolutely thrilled, and still find the whole thing utterly bizarre. Still... here are some links for those who want them:

Eren also got a lovely review in The Guardian - you can read it here.

Since I last updated this blog, two other big things happened. First, I went to Universal Studios Florida, where The Wizarding World of Harry Potter blew my mind. The second was an event in Brooklyn with Neil Gaiman and Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) - an inspiring, hilarious chat between the two that left me with lots to think about. These two things together - seeing authors get together, and seeing what can come from an author's work - had me thinking a lot about inspiration, where it comes from, and what it means.

(Side note: Harry Potter world is so bloody fantastic. It could have been so cheap and cheesey, and it really wasn't. Diagon Alley, with its hidden corners, its shops, its almost overwhelming detail, is one of the most magical and atmospheric places I've been. Hogsmeade and Hogwarts are just as entertaining, and the care and attention they've put into recreating the worlds of the book is mind blowing.)

I think seeing so many people, young and old, unashamedly loving these books was one of the best parts. There was no awkwardness, no holding back - just groups of friends and families thrilling in what they were seeing - and all of it because of seven books. It's a testament to what books can do and how they can change the world.

Displaying IMAG0998_1.jpgThe Gaiman / Handler evening was an odd, but thoroughly enjoyable, mix of free conversation, audience questions, and anecdotes. I think I took something out of it, though I'm still trying to work out what that was. The lesson that writers write, no matter what? That success isn't defined by anyone else? Probably both those things, and more.

Right now there's work going on behind-the-scenes on the paperback version of Eren, as well as my next novel, which will be published ... at some point. When there's news to share, I will share it. Until then, I need to keep on typing away.

Kat Ellis (Of Blackfin Sky fame) shared her top ten UKYA reads this week, and I was thrilled to see Eren up there. I should probably get better at keeping and sharing Eren's appearances online, but for now, I'm content. There's also more work happening on the (somewhat delayed, I know) Eren Tales. They are coming, I promise.

And ... that's it, for now. Well, almost. In June I'm going to be moving back to the UK to pursue my dream of being unemployed and confused by change. It's been seven years since I liked in the UK and, though I've visited many times, I'm still nervous. I hope it will turn out OK. I'm sure it will. Ha. Ha.

Before we leave the U.S., m'wife and I are taking an Epic West Coast Roadtrip from Las Vegas to Seattle, via the Grand Canyon, San Francisco, LA, and other places as well. I've read On The Road so I'm pretty sure I'm set. We're leaving in less than a month and it is very going to be mental.

More updates to come. Please buy my book? Yeah.


Eren Tales Continues

Morning, all. Yesterday, over on erentales.com, the eighth Eren Tale - Books - was published. This is the latest short story published as part of the project, and it's one of ym favourites - especially because of the artwork provided by Brandon Rechten. Eren Tales is shaping up to be exactly what I wanted; something that can work alongside the book, but also have a life of its own, providing snapshots and hints about the book without ever relying on it too much. If you haven't read it - or any of the other seven tales - you can check them all out, for free, over on the site.

Displaying IMAG0953.jpg
The photographer photographed. Ooh.
Thanks also go to Strand Book Store, New York, for allowing us to visit and take some time roaming the shelves and feeling inspired, while Brandon took some shots (one of which you can now see published with Books)

In other news, Tell The Story To Its End has been selected as a Junior Library Guild Spring 2015 Selection. It's a huge honor and I am absolutely thrilled and can't wait for June, when the hardback is published and I can finally - finally! - go and find my book in an actual, live bookshop. It is very exciting.

Happy reading, folks.


US Cover Reveal - Tell The Story To Its End

Happy new year, everyone. So, 2015 is here, and it's brought the cold with it. It's currently 10F here in New Jersey (that's -12C) and I'm fighting the temptation to go into hibernation. One of the things helping me keep going is the Very Exciting News that the US cover for my book, Eren - coming out as Tell The Story To Its End in the US - is ready and official and properly done.

So, I'm going to share it with you.

Tell The Story To Its End is coming out on June 9, 2015 (provisional) from St Martin's Griffin and, for those not familiar with the book...

People are keeping secrets from Oli. His mum has brought him to stay with his aunt and uncle in the countryside, but nobody will tell him why his dad where his father is. Why isn't he with them? Has something happened? Oli has a hundred questions, and only an old, empty house in the middle of an ancient forest for answers. But then he finds a secret of his own: there is a creature that lives in the attic…

Eren is not human.
Eren is hungry for stories.
Eren has been waiting for him.

Sharing his stories with Eren, Oli starts to make sense of what’s happening downstairs with his family. But what if it’s a trap? Soon, Oli must make a choice: learn the truth—or abandon himself to Eren’s world, forever.

I can't wait for US readers to get their hands on it. I'm still so proud of this odd, scary, confusing boo. So far, people seem to like it. Actually going into a bookshop and being able to find it is going to be insane - I've not been able to do this yet, what with living in the US and Eren coming out in the UK).

I'll probably grin a bit too much and scare away the booksellers.

Enough waffle, now. Time for the cover. HERE IT IS!

I know, right? LOOK AT IT. It's tremendously creepy and everyone at St Martin's has done a fantastic job. If you want, you can pre-order the book already (that's a link to my publishers' site, with links to Amazon, IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, Powells, Walmart, etc). And, as ever, the UK version is already out in hardback and ebook.

But wait, there's more! To celebrate all this, I'm going to give away two copies of the UK hardback, along with bookmarks and postcards, via Goodreads. The giveaway is pending approval from the Goodreads Overlords - so check back, or keep your eyes peel on Twitter (I'm @sipclark).

EDIT: It's approved! 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Eren by Simon P. Clark


by Simon P. Clark

Giveaway ends February 08, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

For those who wish, you can add Tell The Story To Its End to your to-read pile by clicking HERE.

And ... that's it. Look at my cover! Tell your friends! Whisper nice things in hallways and dark rooms. Think about it and dream about it and, when the book comes out, do all those things again. 2015 is going to be very awesome.

Happy reading, all.


Nation - The Seventh Eren Tale - Is Here

After a brief hiatus (unscheduled, but what can you do?) Eren Tales is returning to form with Nation - the Seventh Eren Tale. For those who don't know, Eren Tales is a collaboration between me and my friend / photographer Brandon Rechten. During the project, which is due to take about a year, we're releasing twelve short stories along with twelve new photos, all designed to compliment Eren proper.

You don't need to have read Eren to enjoy the stories. They're teasers, really, giving you glimpses of the world that Eren's set in, and hints about what Eren himself is like. Nation is the seventh tale (the others being, in order, Shaman, Nightmare, Teeth, Mountain, Bridge, and Ink. Links to them all HERE) and takes place a while ago, somewhere like North America.

The artwork for the Eren Tales has been as varied as the stories. I'm fascinated by the potential of photographs as illustration for children's fiction, and this project's been a great way to learn more about how photos and stories can work together to build a picture and tell a tale. For Nation, things get a bit dark and a bit damp...

I really hope you enjoy the new tale and keep reading as the others come out. And remember, if you've got a story of your own, the 1225 Story Challenge is on right now. Can you tell a winter tale in 1225 words? It's worth a try - and you never know what might happen.



I Am a Bad Blogger / 1225 Story Challenge!

It has been ... far too long since I updated this blog. I know. I'm sorry. A lot's been going on, and although Eren Tales has also fallen behind (argh), I have been writing, I promise. I'm working on a few things at the moment, none of which I have a lot to share about, although I can say the following:

  • I did my first school visit. Frost Elementary's fourth grade NaNoWriMo class were good enough to let me crash their party, talk about about writing Eren, and spend some time with the kids, asking them about their stories. It was a fun, bizarre afternoon, and I would 100% do it again.
  • Eren's UK audio book is officially happening. I've heard samples of the potential reader's work, and it is both humbling and mind-blowing that someday, somewhere, people will be able to listen to Oli and Eren battle it out. 
  • Eren was picked as the November teen book of the month by the Independent's Rebecca Davies. I'm thrilled she liked it and chose to share it.

Now, something else happened recently that I've been meaning to blog about. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll already have heard, but Martin Stewart (a man who routinely wears dangerously stylish socks) has signed a book deal with Penguin without writing the book. Specifically, he wrote a short story - one so good that Penguin asked him to turn it into a novel. That book, Riverkeep, will be out in 2016 - but the short story that inspired it all has been around since October 2013. Halloween 2013, to be exact - when the 1031 Story Challenge was born. 

This doesn't happen often, so it's all the more exciting when it does: TBA client Martin Stewart so seduced Puffin UK with his four-and-a-half-page short story, they asked him to turn it into a YA novel! 
In an especially fun twist, Martin wrote the story, titled 1,031, in response to a prompt on fellow TBA client Simon P. Clark's blog. Simon challenged writers to come up with a scary story under 1,031 words—for Halloween (look at the number again). Martin bent the rules a little, but his incredibly assured voice and his ability to build a whole world in just a few short pages resulted in a miniature masterpiece. Don't take my word for it; check out editor Amy Alward's quotes in this Booktrade article.

I'm thrilled for Martin and can't wait to read the book. It's amazing seeing what can come out of something so small, but a great reminder that creating, sharing, and honing your skills is always worth it.

You may be able to see where I'm going with this.

Today is the first day of December (hooray!). On December 25th, it's Christmas (yay!). 12/25? 1225? Yes! It's time for the first ever 1225 Story Challenge

The Challenge

Write a story either (a) in 1225 words or less or (b) featuring '1225' as its theme

Publish / share it before December 25th, 2014.

That's it!

This isn't a competition and it's not an attempt to steal your stories. You retain all rights to you work, and you can either host it yourself on your blog or site, or send me the story to collect together with the other 1225 stories (see the 1031 Story Challenge page as an example)

Is there a theme?

Not really. Christmas / winter / December seem like good themes, but it's up to you what you write.

Does it have to be fiction?

No. Non-fiction, poetry, drama, video, etc. are all welcome. Just tell a story.

How do I send you my story?

If you'd like me to put your story up on this blog, e-mail it to me at simonphilipclark [at] gmail.com

Are publishers reading these stories?

Not as far as I know, but nothing on the Internet ever goes away, and Martin's story is a testament to how truly weird the world can be.

I hope we have fun with this, guys. It's not a lot of time, I know. Everyone's very busy, I know. Give it a go and see what you come up with.

As ever, good luck - and happy writing!