Thrill Writing brings together resources and articles on the types of things writers need to know in order to write good thrillers, but that are hard to experience first hand. Maybe you need to study up on the features of a particular drug habit, learn the inner workings of a hand gun, or take in a crash course on forensic entomology.
The site contains some articles from experts in their field, often presented as interviews. Other posts are compiled by Fiona herself and these are usually packed full of links to other resources, so you can use them as a starting point for your research.
Over the rest of 2015 we’ll be attending a few comic conventions. If you’ve got tickets to any of the following, make sure you pop by our table and say hello!
For one day only we will be celebrating and sharing our love of comics. Cardiff Expo is all about showcasing the very best in independent comics from South Wales and beyond, their creators and their talent. Tickets are on sale now.
Melksham Comic Con – the little convention with a lot of power!
Melksham Comic Con is a non-profit event that celebrates and promotes comic books and sequential art in its many forms, from web comics, independent works, publishers, printers, retailers and so much more! We’re the perfect convention for people who have never been to one, or want to see what it’s all about – taking place in the heart of Wiltshire, surrounded by beautiful countryside!
BristolCon is a one-day convention organized by the BristolCon Foundation, a charitable foundation set up to support and promote speculative fiction writing, art and related activities in the South West.
Guests of Honour in 2015 will be writers Jasper Fforde and Jaine Fenn, with a possible artist GoH to be confirmed.
The convention will consist of panels and talks, an art show and small group sessions including kaffeklatsches and workshops. Books, comics and merchandise will be available in the dealers’ room and authors will be available for book signings. There will also be a games room and other entertainment in the evening.
We’ll be unveiling the first novel tie in to the Gabriel Cushing Series: Mime by Chrissey Harrison. Get a sneak peek and pre-order before the official release a few weeks later at Bristol Horror Con.
The Bristol Comic and Zine Fair celebrates the world of DIY and independent publishing. The fair brings together artists, writers, and publishers from across Bristol and further afield for a one-day market. 2015 will be their fifth year.
The expo will celebrate horror in literature, film, music, games and art. Expect traders, guests, cosplay competitions, workshops, gaming and more! Early Bird tickets are currently on sale at £6.66.
Join us for the launch of Mime by Chrissey Harrison. There will (fingers crossed) be drinks, nibbles and freebies.
Also watch out for announcements about video screenings at our convention appearances and elsewhere later in the year.
YouTube have recently announced a new initiative to offer subscriptions to users to watch content, in return for viewing YouTube ad-free – akin to their music subscription offer ‘Music Key’. This was announced in a letter to all YouTube content creators, and was widely publicised in the media. But will this new scheme benefit the content creator, or undermine the already unreliable revenues YouTube creates?
Replacing adverts with subscriptions is nothing new: Spotify notably has offered the option to go ad-free since their public launch back in 2008, so it seems no surprise that YouTube are offering such a deal to their users.
Also, as many people use YouTube as an alternative music player – essentially queuing up playlists of music videos and using them as a way of listening over using a music streaming service or radio – it seems to make sense that having a system akin to Spotify would be the perfect solution to listening interruption-free.
Whilst music videos may be the bread-and-butter of advertising revenue for YouTube, and so Music Key is a logical idea, the question some in the indie film industry wonder is what effect this will have on money coming into the service with a subscription-based YouTube, and more importantly to the content creators.
YouTube have repeatedly assured creators that this method is positive; there will be more money available to creators and there will be assured revenue, as there will be a fixed income for batches of views unlike the current mechanism of advertisers paying every time an advert s shown (which is not perfect due to a combination of adverts not always being shown before every view, some advertisers only paying per clickthrough, and a percentage of users using advert-blocking software such as AdBlock Plus).
This could likely mean that for content creators like ourselves, whose annual revenues from YouTube are barely in the double digits, could see a significant increase in the amount of money raised.
However, for some creators they may see their revenues decline as a result of this move – unsurprisingly, the revenues created for 100 advert streams is expected to be less than the revenue return for 100 views from subscribers. In addition, users repeatedly viewing the content on repeat (for instance, someone who really enjoys the musical stylings of Ylvis’ The Fox) only provide a fixed amount of content to the content creator per day, potentially less than someone seeing an advert every time.
Often schemes that YouTube introduce that claim to be for the benefit of the creators don’t work to expectations (such as their switch from view-based video ranking to engagement-based ranking, which caused a massive drop in views for many content larger creators as subscribers and searchers no longer saw some of the more popular content).
The Game Theorists discuss the effects of YouTube’s switch to engagement-based ranking which affected a large percentage of content creators
Only time will tell whether this scheme will be beneficial to creators. On the one hand, there might be a positive effect on revenue. On the other, it may turn out that the only one who benefits from this new deal is YouTube themselves.
UK Comics Creative is an independent printing company specialising in the production of comic books, graphic novels, anthologies, art prints and magazines, as well as t-shirts, posters, flyers, badges and more.
What makes them special is they handle small print runs whilst maintaining their excellent print standards. As such, they have become a very big name in the UK Small Press Comic market with a very high percentage of comic creators using their services to handle all their printing needs. They also have exceptional turnaround rates, helping you to get to print faster than it’s European rivals.
They have also in the past delivered stock directly to conventions and events, allowing their customers to reduce the amount of stock being lugged through crowded train stations.
More recently, they have moved into the distribution and sale of content they print through their sister site, UKOnDisplay, which holds a fantastic stock of small-press and indie comics which can’t be beat!
Monthly Mention is our monthly featurette where we give a shout out to a bunch of great stuff and projects in the world of indie films, fiction and comics. It might be new, it might have been around for a while, but it is all cool.
Here’s some stuff we’ve come across recently that we think you should check out:
The latest book in the series, Prison Of Hope, was released last month and is already getting rave reviews on Amazon.
Dr Geof is a comic artist, genuine physicist, steampunk aficionado and regular on the comic convention circuit.
He is well-known for his posters extolling the virtues of careful airship piloting, sew-on patches depicting the wearer’s allegiances with the mad sciences, and trying to conscript many into the First Tea Company by way of his travelling museum.
However, his whole empire started off with a simple comic: a gimp suit-wearing hero named Fetishman, along with his sidekick Lactose-Intolerant Boy, attempt to thwart the evil forces of Baron von Wagner, deal with various neer-do-wells and receive copious amounts of ‘punishment’ from Mistress Domination.
It’s been 13 years since the first part of Fetishman was launched, and to celebrate Dr Geof is creating the ultimate compendium of his exploits named… The Fetishman Filthology, over 500 pages chronicling the early history of the latex-clad crusader.
Currently funding on Kickstarter, which finishes on the 31st of May!
Her first major series, Penryn and the End of Days, is coming to a conclusion this month with her book ‘End Of Days’.
After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.
You can read chapters and samples of the series on her website, SusanEe.com, and can pre-order the book on Amazon.
Cirque Du Mort is a brand new gothic comic series created by Anastasia Catris, a freelance illustrator from Wales whose talents are constantly in demand. Her book ‘SuBo’s Cat’ – about the exploits of unlikely star Susan Boyle’s pampered pet – was a massive hit having been picked up by HarperCollins for publication. She has also produced illustration for some big names in comics such as DC Comics and IDW, and is a regular on the indie comic book circuit.
Her latest project, Cirque Du Mort, tells gruesome tales about the cast of a haunted circus – each story being told from the perspective of one of the cursed troupe who are treading the boards for one reason or another.
Collecting the original issues, and featuring a wealth of bonus artwork, this trade paperback features the début storyline of “Dawn After Dark”, the continuing chronicles of Dawn Keenan, Dublin’s premier vampire hunter.
We can’t have a Monthly Mention post without mentioning that we’re all excited that Banjo, a film we helped out on and starring several TGE cohorts and friends, is on its way to the Cannes Film Market next week!
Peltzer’s world is soon turned upside down, as Ronnie attempts to manipulate him, to exact revenge on his tormenting co-workers in the most gruesome fashion.
As Ronnie starts wreaking havoc and ruining Peltzer’s life and relationships, Peltzer soon finds that the genie is out of the bottle, and no longer able to control his imaginary friend in this twisted tale of romance and revenge.
Liam Regan, it’s dedicated and amazing director, is Troma Entertainment alumni – and the film itself is a love-letter to the fun, gruesome and stylish genre that put that company on the map. In fact, it’s no surprise to see some familiar Troma and indie horror names on the bill.
You can catch market screenings for Banjo on Thursday the 14th of May at 4pm, and Saturday the 16th of May at 8pm at the prestigious Hotel Gray d’Albion in Cannes.
Massive, massive congratulations to Liam Regan and the Cincest Films team for getting Banjo to Cannes. We can’t wait to see it!
That’s all for this month’s mentions, but check out Coming Up In May 2015 to find out what’s going on for the rest of this month on TGE!
Ravensbourne College is an innovative, industry-focused university sector college located in the heart of London. Their focus is creativity and collaboration, with a dedicated to giving learners the specialist skills and opportunities they need for outstanding careers in digital media and design.
The college will play host to this year’s BECTU freelancers’ Fair on the 29th May.
They offer short courses as well as full academic courses in digital media and design. Recently they have posted some classes on YouTube and we definitely think these are worth checking out:
Coming up this May on The Great Escape:
6th May – Camp GenX: Part 4 – We return to the post-apocalyptic summer camp for a new instalment. Two young members of the camp find some mushrooms.
13th May – Checking In video special – Find out more about the critically acclaimed British film. TGE’s Mark Adams, one of the directors of Checking In, joins cast, crew and fans for their April cinema screening.
20th May – TGE Convention Appearances – Check out our blog for details of the Comic Conventions we’ll be attending during 2015.
27th May – Faith Healers: The Flesh Angel – a new instalment in our continuing tale of the nephilim nurses’ investigation of the mysterious flesh crafter. Read the story from the beginning.
Friday Follows – every Friday we’ll be featuring a site, service or person we think is worth following. Check out our past suggestions here.
Monday is News day – Every Monday our blog will feature news and updates from the worlds of indie films, fiction and comics.
Openbooks.com is an eBook distribution platform with a new approach; a pay-what-you-want transaction model. In other words, readers can download and read great fiction for free, and while authors and publishers can set a guide price, it is just that. Readers who choose to pay can adjust the price up or down.
Ebooks downloaded through Open Books include an end user licence agreement and links back to the site where the user can choose to pay. Because this information is embedded within the book itself, it travels wherever the book does. Readers are actively encouraged to copy, share and distribute the books they download.
Many independent and self published authors feel pressured to give their books away for free to build a readership. Open Books offers an attractive alternative to simply listing the book free on Kindle Direct, Kobo Writing Life or other services. Launched last week to coincide with The London Book Fair, Open Books have already accumulated a substantial and growing list of titles and authors.
Follow Friday is our weekly featurette where we highlight people and sites we think are worth following. Take a look at our past suggestions here.
May is a busy month in the world of films, fiction and comics. Here’s a selection of the best events (in our opinion, of course) that you should check out across the UK!
MCM London Comic Con – ExCel London – 22nd-24th May
One of the biggest comic events in the UK returns this May at the ExCel Centre in London. Set over 3 days, it features a big mix of big guests, small press, plus videogames, movies and pop culture!
Wonderlands – University of Sunderland – Saturday 30th May
Unlike a lot of conventions that focus not only on comic books, but also everything surrounding it, Wonderlands is the first to be dedicated to the graphic novel.
Manchester Film and Comic Con – Event City, Manchester – 30th-31st May
Run by Showmasters, one of the biggest names in film and comic conventions, this is the first comic convention of it’s kind in the area, and hopes to cater to everyone’s tastes!
Also, don’t forget that Saturday the 2nd of May is Free Comic Book Day, where names both big and small in comics get in on giving away free content! Visit your nearest comic shop for more details, or check out http://www.freecomicbookday.com
Plymouth Film Festival – Sat 16th May – Sun 17th May
Run by the Plymouth Arts Centre and started just 2 years ago, the Plymouth Film Festival has rapidly grown into one of the bigger events on the South West film calendar. Featuring a mix of indie feature and short films along with awards and workshops, this is one to go to if you’re in the area!
Sci-Fi-London Film Festival 28th May – 7th June
We’ve mentioned the associated 48 hour film challenge on previous occasions, but the last week of May is home to the annual London Sci-Fi Film Festival where many of the new and up-and-coming filmmakers mingle with premieres of some of the biggest films of the year.
Also, don’t forget that for a chance to be in the Raindance Film and Web Festival, the deadline for standard submissions is the 18th of May. Check here for more details: http://raindancefestival.org/submissions-2015/
Twitter Fiction Festival: 11-15 May
The Twitter Fiction Festival is a 5-day event run by Penguin Random House, where authors create original fiction through the medium of Twitter. Anyone can take part, and people have the chance to be part of the author showcase beside big names in the industry.
Hay Festival, Hay-On-Wye: 21–31 May 2015
The Hay Festival has come a long way since it’s humble beginnings as a small literature festival in a small Welsh town, with events happening all year across the globe. However, the original Hay-On-Wye festival returns this month with hundreds of events happening over the 10 days.
Brighton Festival – 2nd-24th May
Happening all month and covering many different art disciplines along with literature, the Brighton Festival hopes to be one of the biggest events in the South of England, and well worth checking out.
Spike Island is a creative arts centre based in Bristol, named after the island it sits on (which is also home to the SS Great Britain).
They are a crucible of new talent in art and design, running art exhibitions, shows, events, and more, as well as having rentable workshops, co-working and office space for people working in the arts.
This month, Spike Island has it’s annual Spike Island Open studios event between the 1st and the 4th of May, where the artists of the centre open their doors for the public to see what they do. You can find out more about the event on Spike Island’s site.
In addition, Spike Island run a monthly event in association with the Bristol Festival of Ideas, where they get a debut writer to come talk about their new novel in a ‘relaxed, informal setting’. May’s event is with Kirsty Logan writer of new novel The Gracekeepers, the ‘magical story of a floating circus and two young women in search of a home’.
The event is on the 21st of May, and tickets are available from the Bristol Festival of Ideas website.
That’s all the events news for now, check back 25th of May for a look at June 2015’s events!
Pond5 is one of several creative marketplaces out there where you can find stock footage, photos, video effects, audio clips, music and even 3D models.
What we found appealing about Pond5 was its great selection of public domain photos and videos, including some fascinating historical footage. If you’re working on a historical documentary, want some flashback footage for a short film or you just need a black and white picture of two cats in cannon barrel (right), this is a great place to look.
What’s more, because it’s a marketplace, creators of content can upload their material for sale to other creatives. Definitely worth checking out this Follow Friday.
Follow Friday is our weekly featurette where we highlight people and sites we think are worth following. Take a look at our past suggestions here.