Friday, 11 December 2009

In the beginning...

There's something stirring over at Litopia. Something sleek and beautifully formed...

A while back, one of the members suggested pooling our writing energy into producing an ezine, a platform where we could share ideas, advice, interviews, reviews and short fiction with others of the writerly persuasion. There has been plenty of scurrying behind the scenes in recent months, as first an editorial team was chosen, then a name for the mag, followed by design and layout and, finally, the content for issue one was drawn up.

The end result will appear at the end of January 2010, when the first issue of Muse will be distributed via email and be available for download at Litopia.

For some reason I still can't quite comprehend, the editorial team asked me to take on the role of editor for the first issue, which was a privilege I was only too keen to accept. Each Muse will have a theme running throughout, and each will contain a corner dedicated to a particular genre. It being the first issue, and it being the start of a new year, we've gone with 'beginnings' as the theme, and I've chosen crime as the genre focus.

My spare time over the next few weeks will be taken up with Christmas partying, eating turkey and editing articles for Muse, in addition to penning a few too. It promises to be a fascinating first issue - we have main interviews with Lee Child and RJ Ellory, not to mention contributions from the likes of Bernard Cornwell and MG Harris.

I had the pleasure of interviewing both Lee and RJ, and very different experiences they were - I had to phone Lee in New York and rapid fire the questions across in the space of half an hour, and with RJ we fired Q&A back and forth via email over the space of a couple of weeks. Both have some fascinating insights and views into writing and publishing, and their respective backgrounds in writing couldn't be more different.

There will be columns, articles, publishing news, reviews, cartoons and a Q&A/agony aunt column with a Stig-like mystical guru, whose identity is so closely guarded that nothing short of a £50 bribe will reveal it.

The bottom line - if you're a writer, Muse is a must. But it's not just for writers; if we do our job right, it will provide a cool insight into the publishing world for those voracious readers among you.

I'll blog more about Muse as the deadline, and publication date, approach. If you want to get on the distribution list, drop me an email at johnquirkbooks(at) and I'll do the rest.


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