Category Archives: creative writing

Innovate E-Magazine

I would like to present INNOVATE, issue 1 of which is now live at Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo and will soon be live at iTunes and

INNOVATE is a new literary e-magazine, devoted to bringing original and thought-provoking features from established and up-coming authors, as well as establishing a new frontier with enhanced media.

The first issue has short stories by Elizabeth Audrey Mills and Mark Fleming, instalments of ongoing stories by Grey Wolf (The Library) and Swaroop Acharjee (Beyond Nemesis – Sherlock Holmes on the Titanic), poetry by KD Rose and Val Trevallion, and ‘The Re-emergence of the Book’, an article by KD Rose, looking at the multi-media options that ought to be available for ebooks.

Issue 1 has a unique cover by Mark Fleming, and an interview with best-selling author, Herbie Brennan. H T Brennan’s book “Whisperers: The Secret History of the Spirit World” is reviewed by Elizabeth Audrey Mills and Grey Wolf.

Issue 2 is due out at the end of February and will feature an interview with Brien Foerster, archaeologist, ancient historian and author, particularly about the pre-history of Peru and the Andes, and the phenomena of elongated heads.

INNOVATE E-Magazine is seeking submissions to new categories for future issues. We are opening a Poet’s Corner where 6 to 8 poems an issue will receive the space to breathe. An Art Gallery and a Writers’ Tips section will allow both artists and authors to show their work, and propound on essential features of their craft.

Each issue will be open to at least two submissions of short stories or the like, selected from applicants by The Innovate Team. We hope this presents an exciting opportunity for writers across the genres to get themselves featured in a new and exciting e-magazine. Whilst we will consider material that is previously self-published, we will prefer material which has yet to be published anywhere. All rights, including serialisation rights, remain with the author, excepting only that the author gives permission for INNOVATE E-Magazine to use the material in the specific issue, to keep it in print for 8 months and to continue to offer the magazine with the material in it as a back issue indefinitely.

To become involved in Innovate E-Magazine you can like our Facebook page at

where you request involvement in the Submissions Group. Alternatively, submissions can be emailed to

If a submission is accepted we will endeavour to publish it in the next issue of the E-Magazine. If this is not possible, we will let you know but you can guarantee it will be published in the first available issue thereafter.

Due to copyright restrictions we are unable, as things stand to accept fan fiction. Where the character is legally out of copyright, we will of course consider such works. A recent ruling in the United States has verified that Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is out of copyright. Famous science fiction/fantasy author Barbara Hambly has celebrated by announcing that she will publish her Sherlock Holmes story. In Innovate, Indian author Swaroop Acharjee has penned an exciting Sherlock Holmes story, set around the fateful first journey of the RMS Titanic.

Future issues will also be open to guest artists designing the cover for the magazine, though this will not be open until issue 4.

Best Regards
Grey Wolf

Using a dream as a story idea

It was a dream of a desolate Western Europe controlled by American expeditionary forces. It was the mid 1860s and the Americans had been there since the beginning of the decade. A disaster of epic proportions had depopulated Britain, France, Iberia etc, and the Americans had stepped in to enforce order. But their rule was decaying, decrepit, the generals and colonels who commanded the forces increasingly disillusioned and exhausted, the new recruits resentful of a posting so far away from home for a purpose they could little understand. Some commanders had given up all but a pretence of military discipline and spent their time hunting or fishing, whilst their troops sulked in barracks or roamed the barren countryside. Nature was reclaiming its own at a phenomenal rate, and the small surviving native populations were not enough to sustain widespread food production.

The Americans had established full colonial bases at places like Brest, Londonderry and Bristol, but controlled the rest of the countryside through various puppet governments, more on paper that in actuality as the disaster had shattered native communication, leaving the Americans as the ones who now controlled the few remaining, or rebuilt, railways, canals or serviceable roads, the latter mainly restricted now to military highways.

In a few places pockets of native survivors did remain, such as in Southern Portugal where the native aristocracy cavorts with the American diplomats who rarely get further into Europe than the Algarve and issue their orders from villas, or palaces, with little understanding of the tented camps and broken communications that lie beyond this corner of civilisation. Some Irish aristocrats survived, Anglo-Protestants who now roam the barren lands with little travelling courts, visiting American commanders or what passes for native authorities in decadent splendour.

As the disaster had spread, the states of Central Europe had enacted scorched earth policies on their borders, creating shattered borderlands where the population density is higher in the barren lands but where all pre-existing native authority has been destroyed. American forces also occupy these lands, but with a higher density of population, and with more serviceable communications and industry, the successor regimes in Flanders, Wallonia, Lorraine and so on are more in control of their affairs than their puppet counterparts in France, Britain or Iberia. American forces in Flanders are there as guests, not as as controllers, they have helped the native aristocracy reimpose order, and proclaim new kingdoms than serve as a buffer between American-controlled lands, and the Central European states.

Some of the South-Eastern coastal towns in Britain survive as habitable, and from here a rudimentary seafaring operation is run into the Baltic, cruise liners (such as they are in this period) taking Americans like visiting aristocrats into that Northern sea, but the allure is dying off and the liners are now sparsely populated, the crewmen from Kent or Sussex surly, or despressed, and the few guests either ageing rich women or pensioned off military commanders. A few others come now and then, an industrialist trying his luck for all that the Germans and the Swedes have closed their markets to American goods, or younger officers on furlough. But the once-full pleasure cruises are now a thing of the past.

On land, a few American commanders still strive to do their duty, hitting out at the delinquency and dereliction of duty of their colleagues, but even for such men there is the awakening of the question of what they are doing there, why they are bothering, and would it not be best to decide one way or the other, rather than to try to have it both ways – either annex the barren lands, as overseas territories to Union, or withdraw the troops and leave the natives to their own devices, maybe providing support to whoever proves stronger in the long run.

And underneath, or running through, all this is another question, that of race or slavery. The army units, their commanders and the civil servants, diplomats etc are all white. There are some black individuals serving as Rangers, akin to Marshals in the West, and these Rangers operate independently under American government writ, focused mainly on the border kingdoms, enforcing American law and liaising with state organisations in the Central European states. Whilst most of the Rangers are white, a sizeable minority are black.

But apart from amongst the Rangers, blacks can largely be seen in the ports as slave labour, or at best as indentured labour, serving the equivalent of military conscription. The need for large numbers of men in the Western European provinces has given a boost to slavery, and American ships now once again trade with the West African kingdoms, buying their slaves from kings and aristocrats happy to trade their people for luxuries or manufactured goods. American troops and ships have taken over the trading posts and bases that the shattered, vanished nations of Western Europe once possessed, and from Senegal to Cameroon, the slave ships on the one hand, and the traders bringing American goods on the other, are booming.

That is what I saw in the dream. As far as I could see, my role in the dream was that of an Examiner, visiting the army camps, meeting the generals, colonels etc and hearing of the situation from their mouths, whilst at the same time “knowing” the rest of the story, the way you do in a dream. There are a lot of unanswered questions, and these must be approached not from the direction of dream memory but from that of alternate history.

Best Regards
Grey Wolf

Book Fair at Swansea Museum, Sat Nov 2nd 2013

Local History Book Fair
2nd November 2013
Swansea Museum from 10am

Come to Swansea Museum this Saturday and visit the Local History Book Fair, an annual event this year with 30+ stalls.

Among the stallholders are Llangiwg Church, community arts venue, and the history of Garth Farm, Rhydyfro near Pontardawe.

In addition, Grey Wolf will be there with the following:-

a) Phoenix of The Valley, my book of poetry and photographs of the Upper Swansea Valley, only £9.99

b) Len Ley’s history of industrialisation and the social impact thereof in the Upper Swansea Valley, ‘The Iron Cradle’, at £7.99

c) Details about the Quartet of local history websites,
Ystradgynlais History
Ystalyfera History
Ystradgynlais Wargraves
Ystalyfera Fallen

d) other works by Grey Wolf including
the poetry books Phoenix and Poeticus
the alternate history books Ten Naval Battles and How To Write Alternate History
samples of my novels and novellas including Never The Dawn and The Mailed Fist

Entry is free, and the Book Fair is open to the public 10am to 4pm

Best Regards
Grey Wolf

Beholder Problems

My novel Beholder has hit a file corruption problem. I’m not sure where it happened – whether on the laptop, or copying the file between laptop and desktop, or on the desktop PC, or in conversion of Word from one format to another, or even in downloading from CreateSpace the master copy (as I thought). But the last backup I can find has gone into crazy all-capitals mode, whilst the last one uploaded to CreateSpace was so corrupt it failed the pagination test.

There ARE backups saved elsewhere, including on DVD, but this is a stark warning that you should not overwrite existing backups but check that the file you are copying over a serviceable one actually works!

Many Grrrs! Its going to take me many hours I had intended to spend on other projects to sort this out.

Beset Rearguards
Grey Wolf

Author Interviews

Here, at Grey Wolf’s Blog, I plan to do a series of Author Interviews, hopefully one every couple of weeks, with the possibility of one a week of genre authors during Science Fiction Month (November 2013).
To that end, I am adding Interviews as a top-level navigational device, alongside Home and Guest Blogging, and will archive every interview on a webpage of its own after it has been on the blog for a week. That way, they will all remain easily accessible going forward.