Thursday, 27 October 2011

Strange Little Girls

It was my birthday last week and David said there was one more present to come but as I've been really busy lately I didn't think of it at all. Therefore it was a really nice surprise today to get my Stange Little Girl 'Sam' doll through the post.

The doll is custom made and comes with a certificate of authenticity.She's a 14" ragdoll and she's been designed to look like me. She's even got purple in her, wears a purple dress and a black corset.

I must admit I'm very impressed with the quality and workmanship and can heartily recommend Strange Little Girls, exclusive if you're looking for a gift for a special lady in your life.

Jo put up a pic of me with my Gothville storytelling-doppelganger on her site - you can see her blog here

Thanks David I'm delighted!

Monday, 24 October 2011

This weekend I'll be at ... WATERSTONES BOLTON AND WREXHAM

WATERSTONES, Bolton, Lancashire. 29th Oct 2011

Sam Stone and David J Howe will be signing copies of my Hateful Heart, Zombies in New York and Other Bloody Jottings and talespinning for this special Halloween weekend event.

Time: 12-4pm Date: Saturday 29th October.

Address:Waterstones, 32-36 Deansgate, Bolton, BL1 1BL

WATERSTONES, Wrexham, 30th Oct 2011

Sam Stone and David J Howe will be signing copies of my Hateful Heart, Zombies in New York and Other Bloody Jottings and talespinning for this special Halloween weekend event.

Time: 10am to 1pm Date: Sunday 30th October.

Address:Waterstones, 9/11 Regent Street, Wrexham, LL11 1SG

Friday, 21 October 2011

It all starts with stamina ...

The creative muscle is the same as any used in the body. Using your mind to create characters and worlds that people can believe, and writing that out into a cohesive story, takes a great deal of stamina.

When you go to the gym you don't expect to be able to lift heavy weights right away. You have to start off small and learn the limit of your strength. Afterwards the muscles ache. You feel tired. The exercise session was probably not as sustained as you would have liked it to be. It takes stamina to continue, working through the pain and exhaustion. After many months, and lots of practice that dedication pays off and you can lift more weights, exercise for longer and recover faster from the exertion. You feel fitter and your reflexes react quicker.

Using the creative muscle works in the same way. At first flexing that muscle is hard work and it hurts. You tire easily and you aren't as productive as you'd like to be. It takes stamina and dedication to write everyday - even if it is only a few hundred words. In a way you have to force yourself into a specific regime - just the same as you do when you begin a new exercising schedule.

If you want to be a writer you set aside an hour a day and make yourself write during that time no matter what. The only way to learn to write is to actually pick up the pen or switch on the computer and practice the art in the first place. This is hard to sustain as there are many distractions to take away that time and help you procrastinate.

It takes stamina, dedication and obsession to carry on.

Once you work the creative muscle, exercising it becomes as important as breathing. The pleasure of world building is hard but rewarding. I have friends who use exercise in exactly the same way. They feel energised by the work-out, even though at the beginning it was incredibly difficult to sustain. Writing a lot gives the same rush, but you can't get to that point without the first level of stamina.

As writing gets easier you set yourself longer and harder challenges. Write a novella instead of a story, or a novel instead of a novella. Each new challenge requires more stamina. Ultimately the enjoyment you gain from it makes the process easier.

When you get to the stage where you have a project you're proud of, the letter writing begins. The new challenge is summarising your novel in a two page synopsis, writing a letter that will interest an agent or publisher and coming up with a pitch that will blow-them all away. No mean feat.

You get rejection letters - it requires stamina, dedication, obsession and confidence to pick up that pen once more and write something else - only this time you want to make it even better.

This process can go on for years.

Keep your rejection letters - it takes real stamina to take on board the criticisms and use it to improve the next thing you send out.

Then at the end of all of that, you finally get something in print. You're proud of your achievements. People are willing to pay money to buy it. You get praised for it. Then someone says your work is  'rubbish' when they haven't even read it.

It takes stamina, dedication, obsession, confidence and common sense to walk away and not respond. It takes all of those things and a huge dose of passion to pick up your pen again and carry on.

It all starts with stamina ...

Do you have what it takes?

Monday, 17 October 2011


I've been in discussion with BritCon MN for a few months now and I'm happy to confirm that David and I will be appearing at this exciting 3 day event in Minnesota next year, with Sarah Douglas and Frazer Hines.

You can follow the organisers announcements at :

BritCon MN on Facebook  or  BritCon MN Official Website
To book and for further information contact BRITCON

Date: 31st August  to 2nd October 2012.

Address: Hilton Minneapolis Bloomington, 3900 American Blvd West, Bloomington, Minnesota, United States 55437

Sunday, 16 October 2011

This Week I'll Be At ... WIGAN WATERSTONES

WATERSTONES, Wigan. 22nd October, 2011

Sam Stone will be launching her new book, Hateful Heart, Book 4 The Vampire Gene Series, at this very popular store. David J Howe will also be there with his new collection talespinning.

Time: 12pm-4pm Date: 22nd Oct
Address: 61 The Grand Arcade, Wigan, WN1 1BH

Brendan Sheerin

You meet some interesting people when touring Waterstones. Over the past few months I've followed in the footsteps of Katie Price and Christopher Paolini. Yesterday, while David and I were signing our latest books at Waterstones Preston, Brendan Sheerin of Coach Trip fame was also booked in at the store to sign copies of his autobiography.

I have seen the show a few times and quite enjoyed it but a close friend of ours watches it regularly. So never one to miss the opportunity to sort out an early Christmas present I watched the huge queue diminish and then tagged on the end to get the book signed.

As I waited I watched Brendan work and have to say I was very impressed with him as a person. There are many times when I've wonder at the popularity of a celebrity, the power of television seems to create many such reality stars - the Katona's of this world for example - that are a car-crash waiting to happen. The media loves this type and writes more about the negative stars than the positive ones. We are given the impression that most of these people are spoilt and unpleasant.

I could tell immediately that Brendan Sheerin was not a 'car-crash celeb' and deserves to be where he is today. He was, in fact, a genuinely charismatic, warm and affectionate person.

As I watched Brendan greet his adoring fans, treating each one like a long-lost friend, there was a feel-good atmosphere that rippled through the shop. Brendan made each person feel like he was interested in them. But this wasn't fake interest or showmanship. It was obvious he was delighted to be there and was enjoying meeting the people that make Coach Trip such a success: the audience. It was nice to see such respect given to the people who make celebrities a success.

Brendan, it truly was lovely to meet you and I wish you continued success. There are few genuinely nice guys in any industry, and I think you're one of them. Keep up the good work.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

New Facebook Page

Yesterday I launched a new Sam Stone page.

This is going to be different from my old page in many ways.

Firstly, I will  be using it more than my personal page in the coming months so all current news will go on there first, and secondly, I'll be offering an 'open house' to all writers, readers, reviewers and writers groups.

WRITERS: You can come along at anytime and post a blurb introducing yourself and tell us about your projects. I won't be offended if you post links to your latest books either.

READERS: I want to hear from you too! Tell us what you like or dislike in literature. It will be a friendly environment for people genuinely interested in fiction.

REVIEWERS: Post links to your reviews and blogs. We'd love to see and share them.

WRITERS GROUPS: Post your news. Tell us what you do and where.

So come along and join in the party. Start discussions or just join in. Post reviews. Tell us your news. Or sit back and read referrals for the latest books, stories and novels.

To join in the fun - click here : Sam Stone

Sam x

Monday, 10 October 2011

This weekend I'll be at ... WATERSTONES PRESTON

WATERSTONES, Preston, 15 October 2011.
Sam Stone and David J Howe will be launching their new books, Hateful Heart, Book 4 The Vampire Gene Series, and talespinning:  a collection of short horror stories, scripts and novel extracts at this very popular Lancashire Store.

Time: 12-4pm Date: 15th October.
Address: Waterstone's Preston, 3-5 Fishergate
Preston PR1 3LJ

Sunday, 9 October 2011

David is vindicated by the British Fantasy Society

The British Fantasy Society have found no wrong doing in David's role as Chairman. There have been a lot of terrible things inferred in the last few days which have been extremely hurtful. Now common sense prevails.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Steve Jobs

Very sad to hear about the death of Steve Jobs today. This speech certainly puts things in perspective.

It goes without saying the man was a genius and an inspiration to us all. RIP.

Steve Jobs 2005 

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

British Fantasy Awards Controversy

This weekend was one of the proudest moments of my life. I first appeared on the horror circuit in 2007 and attended my first FantasyCon that year. Since then I have always held the British Fantasy Awards in high regard and it was always my dream to one day win an award.

This year I did win the award for not only Best Short Fiction with my short story ‘Fool’s Gold’ but also for my novel Demon Dance. I was delighted to be the first woman in 31 years to win this award and I had no idea that I had won either award. David – professional to the core - made a point of ensuring that I did not find out.

I have seen the comments made concerning my receiving the August Derleth Award for Best novel on Sunday - I repeat again I had no knowledge I was going to receive it and remind everyone that the ballot is from the BFS membership and attendees of FantasyCon. It is their votes, not a Jury or an individual, that decide who wins the awards.

I am absolutely devastated by the comments made and the last few days have been deeply distressing for me.

I do not wish to be seen as the winner that tore the British Fantasy Society in two. The society means too much to me and I cannot allow this controversy to taint the integrity of those involved. Therefore, I am returning the award for Best Novel.

The Vampire Gene Series

About the Vampire Gene Series:

The vampire gene series is continuing to evolve with the 'Hateful Heart' recently launched. This is a brief explanation of what the books are really about.

The Vampire Gene Series is a very different type of series. It isn't formulaic and each novel is stylistically different from the last.

Killing Kiss is a classic vampire horror novel and is about the fictional nephew of Guilio Caccini (the man who invented opera). Gabriele travels 400 years through history in search of his soul mate. The main theme : Loneliness - but don't expect angst in this book. Gabriele is a serial killer and makes no apologies for being so. The narrative is told in the present day with flashbacks into the past.

Futile Flame is deceptively horror with a sudden twist into Fantasy and therefore I categorise this novel as Horror/Fantasy. This story sees the journey of Gabriele's maker Lucrezia Borgia. The main theme : Obsession. Shown through the eyes Lucrezia Borgia this story fictionally explores the history of the Borgias. The narrative is told mostly in the past with some present day scenes.

Demon Dance is a portal fantasy with strong horror content in places. Gabriele's vampire child Lilly is thrown back in time and must find a way back to the present day. The main theme : Disempowerment. This is Lilly's story showing how she lives and loves through the centuries. Lilly may be the most powerful vampire, yet she still has to learn that she has no control over destiny.

Hateful Heart continues the theme of portal fantasy with strong horror content. Caesare Borgia tells the story as a conspiracy to destroy carriers of the vampire gene unfolds. Main theme: Vulnerability. For the first time the immortals learn that they can be destroyed. There are three stories interwoven within this novel which all converge to reveal the power of the Hateful Heart.

The series will continue shortly with Silent Sand.

Monday, 3 October 2011


Just got back from FantasyCon and will blog more about this later this week. I want to say a huge thanks to every one of my readers who voted for 'Demon Dance' to win The August Derlerth award for Best Novel and for 'Fool's Gold' for Best Short Fiction. I'm completely overwhelmed by your support. Without readers there would be no need for writers and so you are the most important people to me.

It was pointed out to me this weekend that I am now the first woman to win the award for Best Novel in 31 years of the British Fantasy Society's 40 year history. I realise this is a very great honour and I was very proud and very moved (bursting into a blubbering wreck as I received Best Short Fiction).

Thank you all again.

Will blog soon about the wonderful weekend we all had at FantasyCon in Brighton this year.

Sam x

Sunday, 2 October 2011


WATERSTONES, Trafford Centre, 8th October 2011.

Sam Stone and David J Howe will be launching there new books, Hateful Heart, Book 4 The Vampire Gene Series, and talespinning : a collection of horror stories, scripts and novel extracts, at this very popular Manchester Store.

Time: 12-4pm Date: 8th October.
Address: Waterstones Trafford Centre, 42 Regent Crescent, Barton Dock Road, Manchester, M17 8AP