("The Quiet House" in Nemonymous 1)
("Like A Slow Motion War" collaboration with Andrew Hook in Nemonymous 4)
How I am getting on:
After years and years of (figuratively) knocking on doors, my writing career is finally in a decent state of health. My debut collection "Somnambulists" (Elastic Press, 2004) has sold out and my next collection "Urban Fantastic" is published by Crowswing Books in June 2006. The story "The Quiet House" features in "Urban Fantastic". In 2005, I edited "The Elastic Book Of Numbers" for Elastic Press. In May 2006, I also published a non-fiction collection, "The Days of the Dodo" (Dodo London Press). Current projects include a collaborative collection with Andrew Hook – "Slow Motion Wars", due from Bradan Press late 2006 and a possible reprinting of my Science Fiction / Slipstream novel "The Planet Suite" (original publication – TTA Press, 1997). I've also finally acquired a web site at: http://www.allenashley.com.
What difference (if any) Nemo made?
Being published in such an unusual and great-looking publication was a real thrill, particularly as I was in the very first issue. All acceptances, appearances, publications and royalty cheques are always a valued and, indeed, necessary part of the confirmation that a writer is doing some things correctly. Long live Nemo!
Strobe (Nemo 1)
Where does all the time go? A hell of a lot has happened since my story 'Strobe' appeared in Nemo 1, in November 2001. Back then I'd only just had my first collection published - Alone (In the Dark) - and a handful of short stories. I've been lucky enough in the intervening time to see two more collections published in trade paperback, and more recently a novella called "Signs of Life" introduced by Stephen Gallagher. My website http://www.shadow-writer.co.uk went online the same year 'Strobe' was published and had a lot less on it then than it does now (I've known people get lost in there for days sometimes now, and we have to send in search parties). Along with my good friend John B. Ford we took Terror Tales online into its print format - recommeded for a BFS award last year - and I got to edit a couple of anthos gathering together Guest Writers from my site (which nowadays has contributions from authors like Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Michael Marshall Smith, Kim Newman, Christopher Fowler etc). I also became Special Publications Editor for the BFS and have worked over the past few years on projects involving writers like Clive Barker, John Connolly, Muriel Gray, Graham Masterton, Poppy Z. Brite, Stephen Laws and Kelley Armstrong. I'm working on some non-fiction stuff, graphic novels and short film projects too (I was even asked to be in a documentary talking about my work). Needless to say I love my job...
I remember jumping for joy when 'Strobe' was accepted. I'm a bit self critical of my work (show me a writer who isn't) and there are only a few of my pieces that I personally can look at and say, I really like that one; that one doesn't need anything else doing to it... 'Strobe' is one of those pieces. And although Nemo published it without my name attached, I really liked the concept of the work being judged more for what it was than who had written it. Of course, I was desperate to see who I had appeared alongside, and the wait nearly drove me mad - but it was worth it. I can honestly say I'm proud to have featured in the first edition of Nemo, especially as - at the time - real print markets (and paying ones too) were pretty few and far between. It definitely gave me more confidence to try my stories with other bigger anthologies, and who'd have thought it - some of them actually published me! You're all very nice people :-) I have no idea where the story for 'Strobe' came from - the notion of a man with photo sensitive epilepsy becoming addicted to the fits - but it was very different for me. And I've tried to do more stories in this style since that date, which can't be a bad thing. So thanks Des for starting the ball rolling.