Leslye Headland’s Writing Process

I may have to try this technique…


tumblr_mkktuoFy7u1r6kz6uo1_500“I feel so much that writing is like chopping wood. I’ll always say to aspiring writers, it’s time logged. Just sit down, ink out however many hours you can in the day. Turn the phone off. Just write. I usually have the script open in one window, and then in another window I have a Word document where I free write. So, as soon as those voices start to come up, like, ‘You don’t know what you’re doing. You’re an idiot. This is going to be terrible,’ I switch over to that and I start free writing. I write out all of the fears that I have and all of the negative talk that’s in my brain, and then I’ll go back to the script.”

Leslye Headland

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Goodbye Grimdark, Hello [insert new thing here]

Where’s the year gone? I’ve been in a sort of reverse hibernation, staying inside for most of the summer and having an impromptu slowdown with anything work related. There was some rearranging of priorities, some shuffling, and I stepped down from reading submissions for Grimdark Magazine. The lovely and capable Cheresse Burke has taken over and has an exceptional eye for great stories, so look out for future issues from the best and bloodiest ezine this side of the known universe.

Here’s a pilfered paragraph + quick rundown of what readers can expect from issue #5:

“Grimdark Magazine issue #5 is chock full of grimdark goodness. We’ve pushed the genre boundaries of grimdark a bit more in this issue, with zombie apocalypses and cold-hearted near-future sci-fi to go with the three fantasy pieces, which include a Dominion of the Fallen short story by Aliette de Bodard.”

Short fiction:

  • Against the Encroaching Darkness by Aliette de Bodard, a Dominion of the Fallen short story.
  • First They Came for the Pigs by Chadwick Ginther.
  • Boomer Hunter by Sean Patrick Hazlett
  • The Right Hand of Decay by David Annandale
  • Lessons of Necessity by T.C. PowellGrimdark Magazine Issue #5


  • Who is the Grimdark Hero by C.T. Phipps


  • The Liar’s Key by Mark Lawrence (review by Tom Smith)
  • The Mechanical by Ian Tregellis (review by Malrubius)
  • The Witcher 3 (review by C.T. Phipps)


  • James A. Moore
  • Peter Orullian


  • The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milan (Chapter 1)

Elsewhere, Halloween is fast approaching and limbs must be gathered from boxes and costumes de-fluffed for a friend’s party. We’re working on turning Empty Oaks into an ebook before issue #2 is out. Lots of learning curves and swearing, naturally, but fingers crossed it’ll be all right on the night (i.e. when I press the ‘publish’ button…), we’ve called in the Great Beta Reader to perform feats on social media and she’ll be live tweeting the upcoming Bristol Horror Con on 17th October. We’ll be there too, not at a stall or anything. Just mooching around, trying to work up the nerve to talk to cool people…

Empty Oaks Issue #1 Out Now

Empty Oaks Issue #1The inaugural issue of Empty Oaks is out now, helmed by my friend and colleague Ro McNulty. I was part of the behind-the-scenes madness and what a pleasure it was! It’s a non-profit e-zine with an eye to changing the world one story at a time, so grab your FREE copy from the website (PDF like a true indie) and get your read on folks.

In our very first brand spanking new issue (cover art is ‘Horizons’ by Tori Wyatt) we’ve got lined up:

The Play’s the Thing by Stephen Whitaker
Rustle-y by Rudy Koshar
The Wood of Suicides by David W Landrum
David’s Engines by Charles Bane, Jr.
Article: The Baleful Glare – on Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Ro McNulty
You Have the Body by Phoebe Reeves-Murray
Finroc macFinniel Silmairë By Warren Rochelle
Glass By Kira Messell
Fluctuations within the Project by Russ Bickerstaff
Two Poems; the Authoritarian’s Imaginary Workload and Sexless by Colin James