chrislynch.link

Writing

I write books for children and adults, most recently working on Doctor Who spin-off books in the extended Haisman universe for Candy Jar Publishing. Over the past few years, I have written a number of books, novellas, and short stories for Candy Jar and always have more in the pipeline. My children’s book, “Curse of the Mirror Clowns“, was shortlisted for a Scribe Award in 2019.

My short stories have been published in a wide range of magazines and online journals. Many of these are new also available here on my website and, when time permits, I enjoy writing short stories and flash fiction to share here.

When I’m not writing novels and short stories, I can be found working on screen plays for The Black Room or comic books for Monkeys with Machineguns.

I’m always interested in discussing new projects, if you’d like to work with me then please reach out through my contact form.

Want to write? Take your brain walking.

Thanks to Sahil Bloom on Twitter for a great TLDR summary of some fascinating research into the impact moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking, has on the brain.

If I ever get stuck on a problem, be it technical or a particularly tricky bit of plot or dialogue that I can’t get right, I often “walk away” from it. I get up, I pace around, and I even go for a walk outside sometimes. I’d always assumed this was an eccentricity – other people do their jobs quite comfortably from behind their desks, sitting in their comfy chairs, so why not me?

Turns out I’ve been using a brain hack without realising it. Going for a walk is not only good for your physical health but can also improve cognitive performance, mental health, attention span, and creativity.

Conclusion: Go for more walks and never be afraid to walk away from a problem.

Press Release: The Lucy Wilson Mysteries Crew are having The Best Christmas Ever!

Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce that a brand new collection of Christmas short stories in The Lucy Wilson Mysteries series is now up for pre-order, and will be released just in time for Christmas.

The short story collection entitled The Best Christmas Ever contains three stories by popular Lucy Wilson and Lethbridge-Stewart series author Chris Lynch.

The anthology kicks-off with the short story ‘A Little Lucy Christmas’, which was given away for free to fans of the series on Christmas day 2020. This story is followed by ‘The Grey Lady of Martyr’s House’, which was also given away for free, but on Christmas day 2021.

“We like to try and give something away for free at Christmas as a thank you to our readers for the support that they have given us throughout the year. The first two stories in the book were given away free over past Christmases, and as Chris was knees deep in a new story for this year we realised that we actually had enough Christmas adventures to bring out another festive short story collection.”

Shaun Russell, Candy Jar Head of Publishing

Shaun continues: “A Little Lucy Christmas” is about Christmas traditions and family heirlooms that many families have and don’t typically think twice about, whereas ‘The Grey Lady of Martyr’s House’ is much more of a traditional Victorian Christmas story, as protagonist Lucy and her best friend Hobo find themselves in a haunted mansion on Christmas Eve being chased by ghosts. The third and final story in the collection is called ‘The Krampus Who Came to Tea’, which is a brand new story never before seen by readers. The story is set over the Christmas of 2020 and introduces the half-goat, half-demon monster from folklore called the Krampus who, it is believed, only visits when misbehaving children need to be punished at Christmastime.”

“This is a book three years in the making and it’s nice to see Chris’ Christmas stories collected together finally.”

Shaun Russell, Candy Jar Head of Publishing
Where it all began – The Lucy Wilson Christmas Special was released in 2018!

“The yearly Lucy Wilson Christmas story has become a tradition in the Lynch house, as much a part of our festive activities as putting up the tree, wrapping the presents, or closing the curtains and pretending that we’re all out when my sister calls over.”

Chris Lynch, Writer of Best Christmas Ever

Chris has written four Lucy Wilson Christmas stories in total, with his first being ‘Past, Present and Yet to Come’ which was included in Candy Jar’s first Lucy Wilson Christmas collection back in 2019 entitled Christmas Crackers.

Chris continues: “Don’t ask me why but Christmas just seems the perfect time of year for shrink rays, death beams, ghosts, monsters, and mysterious time travelling goat-men to all make their appearance. So, I hope you enjoy these very non-traditional, but still very festive, stories!”

Popular Beano artist Steve Beckett continues at the helm of the series’ artwork, providing a front cover filled with intrigue and Christmas cheer.

The Best Christmas Ever is available for order now at Candy Jar’s website. Orders received before December 15th will be delivered in time for Christmas!


Blurb for The Best Christmas Ever

Christmas is the busiest time of the year, but this never seems to be a problem for the monsters and aliens that visit Lucy Wilson over the festive period!

Alongside her best friend Hobo, Lucy discovers one of her grandad’s old secrets, investigates a creepy haunted mansion, and gets a visit from a mysterious goatman called Krampus, who takes bad children away.

This is a collection of three stories set over the Christmases of 2018, 2019 and 2020. Defending Earth doesn’t stop for anything, not even Christmas!

But which Christmas is the best one ever?

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries is a Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off adventure and featured licensed characters created for Doctor Who by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln.

Egon was right. Print is dead. (Except when it isn’t)

Bad news. Print is dead for what must be at least the seven hundred and sixty-eighth time this year.

Egon Spengler proclaimed that print was dead in 1984. It wasn’t. We all stood around the corpse of print when Amazon launched the Kindle in 2007, only to watch it get up, say “It was just a scratch”, and then go on to sell more books than ever before.

Now, publishers are warning that production costs are going to soar (just like the cost of everything else) and that changes will be necessary.

Print runs will be smaller and fewer books will be published. Maybe. Book sales soared during the pandemic and many consider publishing, even in archaic old formats like putting ink onto tiny slivers of a dead tree and then gluing them all together, to be reasonably recession-proof.

My guess is that print will never die until something better comes along. Something that doesn’t need to be charged; something that can be loaned to your friends; something where you can write in the margins; and something looks really, really good on a shelf. If it can also be made of trees, that would be good. Trees are getting to too easy right now.

In short, print isn’t dead. It might need a bit of a rest and a good cup of tea though.

Mastodon Tips for Writers

I’ve had my eye on Mastodon for a while. When I was last revamping my website, there was a time when I was considering running a Mastodon server as a place to host my own “microblog”. I love microblogs but I’m always wary of putting all my content on someone else’s platform – so over-investing in Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram has never sat well with me. With my fellow writers running around like people looking for lifeboats off the Titanic as Twitter threatens to sink (either offline or into some kind of terrifying hellscape), I’m feeling a little vindicated that I’ve always tried to keep my audience on platforms where I have a degree of control.

Jumping from Twitter to Mastodon is pretty daunting though. It’s not just a different user interface but a different way of networking with different “rights and wrongs”. It’s not nearly as scary as people (mostly people with very large Twitter followings) want you to think though.

Here are my top tips/quick answers to the problems I see people complaining about the most.

Does it matter which Mastodon server I choose?

Signing up to Mastodon means picking a server to call “home”. The server that you pick only has a small impact on who else you can follow and network with. The whole point of Mastodon (and the wider “Fediverse”) is that it works by federating content between multiple, disparate servers. I’ve got two accounts, one on mastodon.social and one on writing.exchange. I can see posts from either server, and from almost any other Mastodon server, on both.

There are some servers that will block content from others, normally because the content would breach the moderation guidelines set by the server owners. This isn’t worth stressing about – if you were with happy with Twitter picking and choosing what you can see, there’s nothing to fear from Mastodon.

And, with Mastodon, you can choose to change servers at any time. I started out at toot.wales but moved because the server was oversubscribed and performance was suffering.

How do I find my Twitter friends on Mastodon?

There are a number of tools you can use to find your Twitter contacts on Mastodon, including easy and automated options like FediFinder. Finding your old tribe is only half the fun though. Hashtags are hugely powerful on Mastodon as the timeline is purely chronological, not “optimised” in the way that the Twitter feed is. You can discover fantastic new people to follow, and be a lot easier to discover, on Mastodon.

It’s a good idea to copy and paste your Mastodon ID into your Twitter profile somewhere to help people who are using tools like FediFinder to your new account.

I don’t like the Mastodon app, is there something better?

Just like with Twitter, there are plenty of different apps you can use to access Mastodon and the Fediverse. The official Mastodon app is not the best choice, it seems to exist mostly to fill the gap that would otherwise exist in App Stores if it wasn’t there. If you’re an Android user, I recommend you give Tusky a try.

Is Mastodon good for writers?

Personally, I’ve found the #writingcommunity hashtag on Mastodon to be far more community oriented that Twitter which, on a bad day, can be nothing more than a heavy downpour of authors shilling you their books with scattered showers of virtue signalling and empty praise from people you’ve never met (mostly in the hope of a follow back either from you or from someone else in the thread).

The community on Mastondon is different. There are more people asking and answering questions, more people sharing useful information, and a more genuintely supportive vibration about the place. Perhaps it’s because there’s still a certain “rebel culture” to life on Mastodon, a sense of being an outsider. We’re a smaller group, but maybe better for it.

Where can I learn more?

I highly recommend the website fedi.tips for learning more about the Fediverse. You can follow them as well. (On Mastodon, obviously)

Do I need to leave Twitter before I join Mastodon?

No. Mastodon is just another social network. You can be on Mastodon and Twitter. You can be on Mastodon and Instagram. You can been on all three, plus Facebook and LinkedIn, and Hive (whatever that is). And, as anyone who is on more than one social network will tell you – different networks are good for different things.

One thing I don’t think anyone needs to do is announce that they are leaving, or staying, on Twitter. Honestly, unless you are a major celebrity, the world doesn’t care. (And even then, it only cares a little). Save yourself the embarrassment of coming awkwardly back into the party after storming off. (Or worse, storming off but having nobody notice).

Scream Tea: The Haunted Teapot

The Team at These 3 Streams have been doing a fantastic job of promoting the event, including getting introductory videos from many of the guests. Of course, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to do something… a little different. Thankfully, the festival and my co-host Louise were both up for it.

So, after an intensive three to four minutes of script writing and just one take (I am a professional after all), I’m proud to present “Scream Tea: The Haunted Teapot”.

The Dark by Stuart Tipples

Back when The Dark was being released, I collected commissions of the character from some of my favourite artists. Top of the list with my fellow Monkey with a Machinegun, Stuart Tipples. His rendition of the character is classically moody, dark, and has a hawkish characteristic not unlike my favourite screen Holmes, Jeremy Brett.

These 3 Streams Event Programme Online

The full program of events for These 3 Streams is now online.

https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/these3streams-festival-2022-283179

Set in the heart of Llantwit Major in South Wales, this unique festival hosts an exciting and diverse range of Literature, Art and Music events in an eclectic range of intimate venues.

There are some fantastic events in this line-up and I’ve been hard-pressed to narrow it down to which ones I’ll go to without leaving myself short on time to be ready for Scream Tea, where I will be interviewing author Louise Mumford whilst scoffing a rather lovely cream team courtesy of The West House. Cakes, scones, tea, and chatting about books. What could be better?

Having known Louise for many years it’s going to be interesting interviewing her in front of an audience; I’ll have to remember that not everyone else there has known her for as long as I have (or split as many drinks over her). I’m sure Louise will be an amazing interview subject though and I’ve got no doubt she’ll keep me on my toes!

As a veteran of many conventions, it’s always advisable to book an event that involves food – you know you’ve got your lunch sorted then 😉 No pressure. Just sayin’

New Event: Scream Tea with Louise Mumford

I’m delighted to have been invited to These 3 Streams, an art and literature festival being held in Llantwit Major where I will be co-hosting the “Scream Tea” with my long-term nemesis friend and author, Louise Mumford on Saturday, June 11th.

Louise’s new book, The Safe House, is due out on May 12th so we’ll be talking about that in detail along with a wide range of other topics, all whilst enjoying a wonderful afternoon tea being laid on by our hosts at The West House. Whether you are fascinated by thrillers, a sucker for sci-fi, or just really like scones and can tune out the rambling of two authors, this is the event for you!

You can find more information here or at Eventbrite.

Please note the event is ticket-only as there are limited places available.

David Alan Binder interviews Chris Lynch

One of the benefits of improving my web presence has been a resurgence of contacts from other writers and people in the literary and creative space. I’d been missing out on this being spread too thin across multiple websites. It was a real treat when an email arrived in my inbox from David Alan Binder, asking me to take part in a series of interviews he has been compiling with writers from around the world.

You can read my interview with David here.

I sometimes get a bit nervous being interviewed. It’s not that I haven’t got anything to say (far from it!) but even outwardly very confident people like myself still get a bit of the old “imposter syndrome” from time to time. I do find myself questioning what value my opinion really has; slogging it out in the niche world of licensed spin-off books is hardly headlining at the Hay Festival stuff after all. But I do try to remember that, whilst I might feel that I’m only in the early part of my journey, I’ve traveled a great deal farther than many others.

So, hopefully, my insights will help someone… somewhere.