December 21, 2010

Thanks for the fish...

Fewer than two years after I began writing, this individual is quitting - or at least this named individual is quitting. I have decided to go down the pseudonym route so well trodden by others.

Not only one pseudonym either. I have created 3 for different genres and will be submitting my first story as XXXXXXXX XXXXXX (you didn't think I'd be revealing the one I'll first be using, did you?) in the new year.

Authors take on pseudonyms for a whole raft of reasons. They may have crazy friends and family who wouldn't understand their writing spicy erotica, perhaps they're well known in some other field or have written already in another genre. You can't imagine J K Rowling not taking on a pseudonym if she decided to dip her toes into war novels.

I believe it's going to be enormously liberating writing as "someone else"...I confess to being childishly excited about the whole process, so much so that I question why it took 18 months to reach this point.

Now, obviously I will lose the publishing record of Mr. NC but that doesn't bother me. One of the reasons for this move is that I am going to start submitting to higher markets in 2011. I will undoubtedly fail in that venture but it's the only way to improve. Many of the stories I've had published so far are, to be frank, not things I'm proud of, mainly due to the markets they were subbed to. Others, though, are fine pieces of storytelling. I will still have those stories. They'll never cease to exist, cease to have been written by me.

I will update this blog if I have anything else "out there" accepted but apart from that, this is the end of the line for this blog.

December 10, 2010

Irish Lit Mag publishes two stories

The magazine "The Linnet's Wings" has now published two of my very early stories, The Locket and The Red Couch. They can be seen here:

December 03, 2010

Terminal Earth out!

Terminal Earth, by Pound Lit Press, is out in eBook versions today. My story "Outstanding Matters" is in it and tells the story of the final meeting of an apartment block's resident committee, on the day the world ends. There's even a garden gnome in it! Irresistable!!

October 01, 2010

Bards & Sages Quarterly out

My genie story "The Weight Of The Wish" comes out today in the Bards & Sages Quarterly. This was accepted at the tail end of last year, so good to see it in the flesh finally. Vote for your favourite story after clicking through. Vote early and often.

September 30, 2010

Coming, Ready Or Not finds a home

It's been quite a good week all things considered. Getting back into the swing of the writing and finished a story about a jukebox called "The Mapmaker", a sci-fi horror piece. Hopefully, will have some news about that in next month or two.

And to add to my recent acceptances, The Lowestoft Chronicle today notified me that they will publish my hide and seek light sci-fi story, "Coming, Ready Or Not". I have a real soft spot for this story, which is a fat-free 500-worder, but it's managed to rack up 2 rejections and now this acceptance all in the space of about 2-3 weeks. A fast mover!

September 29, 2010

Two More Acceptances - by The Linnet's Wings

This wonderful Irish lit mag has accepted two of my weekly contest oldies from 2009: The Red Couch and The Locket. Both of those were among the very first 5-6 stories I wrote so it's great to see them getting a home at last. I'll post when they're online.

September 25, 2010

The Bridge Builder Of Arta - now available on Amazon

I learnt early in life that if I want something done (well), to do it myself. My story The Bridge Builder Of Arta was finished, polished and ready for publication in February of this year. Without going into dull details of broken promises and reneged agreements, only very recently did I decide to take things into my own hands and this story has now been published on the US and UK Amazons:

I wrote about this story when I had finished writing it, and it's always been a favourite of mine, especially because of the Edwardian seaside setting. Publishing on Amazon had a few teething problems, but it was far less painless than waiting six months for others to (not) publish it.

August 22, 2010

My first eBook publication!!

With me having just got my hands on one of these bad boys, I thought it was only right and proper to unleash my first ever eBook onto the world!!

This is a story I wrote back in the late winter/early spring this year, got rejected by one or two places and it's been sitting in a folder on my laptop ever since - I've always quite liked it but never thought it "meaty" enough to get published elsewhere, so thought I'd do it myself!!

Who knows, if I get a few freebies up on Smashwords and they do well, I can think about putting a few up on there for a few bucks. That's for the future anyway...

You can download it in about 6-7 different formats including the big two for eBook readers: ePub for Sony and others, mobi for the Kindle.


July 16, 2010

Language(s), Timothy!

With foreign languages playing such an important role in my life for nearly twenty years, I thought it only right I attempted to get some of my stories published in non-English markets. To that end, I've been busy subbing to everything from Catalan to Hebrew magazines, via Dutch and Swedish websites and have already had a hopeful response or two. With any luck, I'll be able to post some updates on here before the end of the summer concerning stories such as The Fisher Men, The Bridge Builder of Arta, Base Liberty Point, Those In The Flames, The Weight of the Wish, Chicago String Quartet and others.

I know from my many years living and working abroad how important the translation of ideas (rather than words) is for successful communication. I'm keen to see what those translators working in languages I'm more familiar with will do with my works.

Right, off to buy my fork handles.

July 05, 2010

Author Page at Amazon

Oooh! I'm far prouder of this than I should be, considering Amazon didn't actually do anything apart from make it possible for authors to create their own author page. I even chose a moody writer photo for the occasion. Look at me, sailing away from a world I've given up on, despairing of its utter stupidity. (As it was, I was off for my usual three-monthly visa renewal in Uruguay and feeling rather chipper, but the emo writer tale makes better reading!)

Currently, there are three books on US and UK Amazon that I'm involved in. The challenge is to expand that list and that'll be my aim between August and Christmas.

My author page

July 02, 2010

Much better this term

Admit it, we're all suckers for reviews. I've had two (that I'm aware of) so far. One for my online story "The Other You" which deals with computer dating a couple of centuries in the future. The story can be found on Rotten Leaves. Pablo D'Stair was kind enough to leave a review, the entirety of which can be read at the Rotten Leaves site:
The thing is, the light hand you give to the sci-fi elements is how such things should work–no big deal, treated as though perfectly ordinary, hints at details of a world that seem to be being told as minutia, from within, the sort of stuff someone there would notice and mention, not the sort of stuff the story itself seems to be pushing out as clever or noteworthy (a tough trick to pull, one that a lot of basically good work gets messy with).
 The only other review of my work is a couple of sentences about "Screen Six" on the SFRevu site:
"Screen Six" by Neil Coghlan features Manny Gibbs who works as a security guard in an apartment building . His job is to monitor television screens that show various areas where there might be trouble. He finds that one screen seems to be showing the future. How this all works out makes for a good read.
  Always good to hear your work has been received well...especially in a week of three rejections! Sometimes you need a few blobs of black text on white screen to get you over the next speed bump.

June 09, 2010

First story in a while

I had an idea a month ago about the effects of a large advertising hoarding, bolted onto the side of an apartment block, one that showed all singing, all dancing neon ads. What would happen to the tenants inside, so close to all that electricity, all that static? What would happen during the day, when the ads were switched off? Ooh...

And so was born "Chicago String Quartet", my first story in three months. I've subbed to Day Terrors, a terrific looking anthology from Harrow Press.

Here's hoping...and waiting.

April 16, 2010

Writer's Block, sort of.

I've been tangled up in a big beefing up of my Under Earthless Skies story for the last month, getting very little done and not being happy with what I did manage to get down "on screen", so I'm laying it aside, snapping out of it and getting on with something else.

I love the premise of UET, the intellectual battle between man and machine, the machine's battle between fake humanity and overpowering automation, but I suspect I'm just not in the right place mentally to write the story yet. It's one of the few ideas I've had in the last year that I've suspected might even be a good basis for a, der der der, wait for it.....novel! *Gasp!*

So, today's job is to line up 2-3 stories from the usual antho/zine market and get started on them, probably Monday.

Will be good to be back in the saddle.

March 27, 2010

Terminal Earth Teaser

This is just a portion of the Terminal Earth cover, where my story Outstanding Matters will be appearing in the summer. Pretty cool, eh? Looks like all of humanity walking to its fate into a lake or something.

Pandora's Nightmare is out!

This is the anthology from Pill Hill Press where my horror desert island story, One Morning, A Chest resides snugly.

This will be its home on amazon:

March 12, 2010

Outstanding Matters - Accepted!

Outstanding Matters, a story about an apartment block's resident committee in the final days of this planet's existence and there's a guest appearance by a garden gnome called Nigel. This will be appearing in the Terminal Earth anthology in the summer of this year. Very pleased with this story and I worked hard on it in the first half of February.

The anthology required people to write tales of "what ordinary people are doing as the sands of time run out" so I wrote about immensely ordinary people faced with extraordinary circumstances.

Outstanding Matters is my fourteenth acceptance.

February 17, 2010

Stats Check

Stories accepted so far:


One February Evening
One Morning, A Chest
Storm On Fifth Avenue
Those In The Flames


A Long Way To Hope
Five Second Delay
Screen Six
The Weight Of The Wish
Leave In Silence


The Small Town Storyteller
The Other You


The Bridge Builder Of Arta
The Fisher Men

Acceptances: 13
Rejections: 32
Acceptance Rate: 28.8%

Penny Dreadful Chapbooks

It was confirmed today that two of my stories ("The Bridge Builder of Arta" and "The Fisher Men") will be published together as a single chapbook in May by the fantabulous Penny Dreadful Company, headed up by all round good guy Neil Jackson. Being a chapbook means though quite small in size, it'll just be good ol' me.... No need to share the glory with anyone else.

I've written about both of these stories' creation on this blog, so to have them accepted and go into their own little book is superb news.

I should have updates to this soon with the exact publication dates and also the all-important cover!

February 09, 2010

Manny has a home!!

After Screen Six was rejected by some heartless fiends in December, I was worried my favourite security guard was going to be homeless. But tonight I got an acceptance for it from Encounters magazine (Black Matrix Publishing) - should be out in the spring although no definites on that publication date.

Have a real soft spot for this story, maybe because it was inspired by where I'm currently living in Buenos Aires. And I love Manny as a character too. And, it's my longest story accepted so far - 6990 words!

February 08, 2010

One Morning, A Chest - Accepted!

Another acceptance today, which is great news. My story One Morning, A Chest has been accepted for the Pandora's Nightmare Anthology by Pill Hill Press.

The story tells of a dozen English sailors washed up on a Pacific island in the early years of the 19th Century. One morning, one of them discovers a chest lying on the sand. Will he open it, Pandora style? Oh, I think we all know he does - but what happens next forms the heart of One Morning, A Chest.

As you can see, the (provisional) cover of the anthology is great looking too. Looking forward to seeing this one in print!