Thursday, July 24, 2014

Guest Blog: Russell Proctor

I am here to introduce another wonderful Permuted Press author, and very talented man. I am sick so wanted to get this posted before I fell asleep from my medication. I have talked to a good bit of Permuted authors and we are one interesting bunch to say the least. I never knew how interesting horror and dark fantasy authors were until I became one and joined this very talented bunch. I hope you guys enjoy, because I have a real treat lined up for next week as well!

I am an Australian writer who has worked as everything from a lawyer to a teacher, professional actor, health project officer, and even a pizza delivery boy. I am now semi-retired and tutoring in my spare time to pay for my writing addiction. I’m a keen astronomer and hiker and love travelling to wild parts of the world where I can hopefully get lost and have a few adventures. I’ve been writing most of my life but it’s only been in the past few years that I can dedicate myself to the task. My writing is mostly in the science-fiction and horror-fantasy areas, although I do have a novel Plato’s Cave which I guess could be described as science-philosophy, if there is such a genre.

I love telling stories – or, more correctly, I love people reading the stories I have to tell. As an actor, I believe the most important part of a performance is the audience. With writing, it’s the reader. If the reader isn’t having fun, the writer is letting them down.  It is the writer’s duty, as I see it, to entertain the reader. Having said that, writers must also be true to themselves and write what they believe in. It’s a fine balance, but any art form is a risk.

I write in the mornings, because I work in the afternoons and evenings. So it’s up early, usually after setting myself a particular scene to write. I am fortunate enough not to have a family as a distraction, so I can put in a few hours fairly uninterrupted each day and then worry about other things. I also spend time researching, as a lot of what I do is historical, and I am obsessed about getting the facts right.

For me the hardest part of writing is getting ideas. I can toss and turn at night wondering what the next scene is in my current project. I’m not much of a planner when it comes to plots. Part of the fun of writing for me is finding out as I go what the story is. If I knew the story from the beginning I would have little incentive to write it, so I start typing and the ideas then flow, which is a dangerous way to do it I guess. I do have what I call ‘set pieces’ which are events that I want to happen in the story, but I’m not always sure how to get there. Usually the ending is worked out pretty much the way it’s going to happen, but the beginning and the middle aren’t always so clear!

At present, I am working on a series for Permuted Press, The Jabberwocky Book. The first instalment, The Red King, is due out in December this year. It’s a mash-up, putting Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Dorothy from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz up against a supernatural serial killer stalking Edwardian London. It’s been a lot of fun. The second book, An Unkindness of Ravens, also takes its central theme from the Lewis Carroll and L. Frank Baum books. The third book brings the characters forward to the First World War. They are definitely not children’s books, though. The characters are all grown up and face totally evil adversaries.

I have another book out there. Plato’s Cave is a humorous look at the meaning of existence and mankind’s eternal (and no doubt ultimately doomed) attempt to make sense of it all. Set in contemporary Brisbane, my home town in Queensland, Australia, it describes three days in the life of a young woman who encounters some very strange inter-dimensional goings-on, and who ultimately has to face the uncomfortable possibility not only that she just might have something to do with it all, but that it’s her responsibility to sort the mess out before the world ends.

I have other projects in the fire. Days of Iron, also with Permuted Press, is about terrorism in the future, about a terrorists attack seen from the terrorist’s point of view. It will be followed by a sequel, Shepherd Moon, which plans to take terrorism to the ultimate level. Another project in the planning stages is a series about a race of time-travellers engaged in a civil war.

More information about me is on my website, and my Facebook page,

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