Category Archives: guest posts & interviews

SF Showcase interview

SF Showcase recently interviewed me about my YA novel, Machineries of Mercy, as well as the upcoming Snakeskins and even a glimpse of the novel after that. The conversation covers the influence of John Wyndham, the original Westworld film and one of my favourite Doctor Who stories, ‘The Deadly Assassin’. Click here to read the interview.

Music for writers

Another post about music… The excellent writer and excellent person James Everington was kind enough to invite me to contribute an article to his ‘Music for Writers’ series on his website. I never turn down a chance to talk about music, and given that pretty much all of my current music listening is a background to writing or work, this theme plays to my interests. You can read the full article, and listen to selections, here.

(Note that Music to write to is distinct from Book soundtracks, which I create for each of my novellas and novels. See here for some of those.)

The ‘elevator pitch’ as a writing tool

At the end of the month Abaddon publish the INVADERS FROM BEYOND print omnibus, which features my novella, BLIGHTERS, alongside others by Colin Sinclair and Julian Benson.

To celebrate its publication, I’ve written a guest blog post, which appeared today on the Sci-Fi Bulletin website. It’s titled ‘So, there are these giant alien slugs: The ‘elevator pitch’ as a writing tool’.

Alongside some writing advice, it includes a description of my pitch to Abaddon’s David Thomas Moore at my very first FantasyCon in 2015.

Book soundtrack: You Don’t Belong Here

I’ve created book soundtracks for all of my longer fiction (novels and novellas, both published and as-yet-unpublished), partly as a way of consolidating the tone, partly as an indulgence and a pat on the back and partly, typically, as a distraction activity during the final draft. The idea is to provide a musical teaser before reading the novel, or a soundtrack of a theoretical film adaptation, but not simply a background playlist.

Today Ginger Nuts of Horror published my article about book soundtracks, including the rules of my nerdy game (yes, there are rules and no, I don’t always stick to them. I won’t repeat the rules here (because you can read the full article instead), or the stories behind some of the track choices, but I don’t think it’s bad form to repost the Spotify playlist:

Two more reviews of You Don’t Belong Here (and a guest post)

I’m behind. The move to York was successful, securing broadband less so, but we’re here and I’m all operational again. Somehow, in the midst of the move I completed the final draft of my current novel, so there’s that.

Two reviews of You Don’t Belong Here have appeared online recently. The first is from Shoreline of Infinity, and is wonderfully positive throughout:

“This is not your average time-travel tale, then – well paced, with reveals all the way to the last page. For someone looking for something a little different, I’d recommend picking this up and giving it a go – and whilst this isn’t a book which invites a sequel, I’ll certainly be looking out for more of Tim Major’s work in future, especially if it brings this kind of fresh look to another sub-genre that can suffer from being a little predictable.”

The second is from Ginger Nuts of Horror. This one has me totally floored. While I’m taking this conclusion with a large pinch of salt, I’m also incredibly flattered:

You Don’t Belong Here is a novel that dares to do something different with a well-worn concept, an intelligent idea carried off with great success, in years to come when people talk about great and influential time travel novels, this is one that should be mentioned along with the greats of the genre.”

Finally, I think I neglected to blog about my guest post on The Bookish Outsider, ‘Windows into the Soul’, which is about the recurrence of houses in all of my long fiction.

“Gaining a clear mental image of a location goes a long way towards ‘finding’ a story, in the same way that pinning down the characteristics of a protagonist is vital. Moreover, characters are shaped, in part, by their surroundings. Your home isn’t just an expression of yourself. It goes the other way, too. It changes you. It makes you.”

New Year writing roundup

Phew, a fresh start. Actually, the arrival of 2017 is the first of a couple of fresh starts in quick succession for me – I’ll be moving house (and town) in mid-January, when I and my family will be packing up in Oxford and moving to York.

Still, this seems a good time to round up all the loose threads from the tail-end of last year…

You Don’t Belong Here

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 22.42.03Firstly, another positive and thoughtful review for YOU DON’T BELONG HERE, this time from Rising Shadow. The reviewer summarises the novel as ‘delightfully different from the time travel novels that have been published recently’.

Also on Rising Shadow, you can read an interview with me, in which I discuss SF influences, failed novels, the Infinite Monkey Cage and gratefulness.

If you haven’t read YOU DON’T BELONG HERE yet, it’s currently available on Amazon for only £6.88 for the paperback or £6.54 for the ebook. Bargain!

Short stories

Jonathan Green is currently prepping the Kickstarter for the followup to his popular Sharkpunk anthology, sensibly titled Sharkpunk 2. Alongside stories by James Lovegrove, Jon Oliver, Guy Haley and more, it’ll feature my weird horror story about the Greenland Shark, ‘Eqalussuaq’. You can join the Facebook group to receive updates.

Tunnel Vision

I also have new stories forthcoming in Hic Dragones’ Into the Woods anthology and the British SF magazine, Shoreline of Infinity. More info as and when.

You can read a reprint of my creepy primary-school story, ‘Tunnel Vision’, for free on the Pantheon website, which features the excellent illustration by Carrion House shown on the right.

See my list of published fiction for a full list of the stories and reprints I sold in 2016.

Writing progress

I’d been prepared for 2016 to be lacking in new writing, given the birth of my second son in June and a whole three months away from writing fiction. Somehow, however, I ended up writing slightly more than in each of the previous three years – around 126,000 words. My being freelance (and therefore more flexible) must have been responsible, despite the fact that it’s felt like more of a struggle finding writing hours.

Anyway, these 126k all-new words were plugged into just two projects. The first was BLIGHTERS, now available from Abaddon. The second project is a new SF novel, about a group of people who spontaneously produce clones. I’m nearing the end of a second draft and I’m hoping that a third will clinch it.

Other than that, I have two other writing projects coming up in 2017. They’re secret for now. It’s immensely exciting to be looking forward to what’s next.