Personal Blog: Oakfield, first draft finished

¦ dialling in from Newcastle Airport ¦

I flew 320 miles to spend a couple of days in my new favourite cafe in the world. The Wild Trapeze.

I got exactly what I wanted.  Some business.  A lot of chill out.  Had an email from an editor of a Japanese Cthulhu Mythos fanzine wanting to commission me to write something small but original for them. Nailed it in a day and 3 coffees.    Also met up with my man of PR angles and great Ideas, Mr Floyd Hayes who is over from New York on a visit.  Big thunder storms overhead. He and I walking around Jesmond Dene. Storm breaks  and starts spilling heavy rain through the trees.  Found sanctuary in the beautifully renovated Dene House, now a suave hotel. 4 pints of a local ale later, we’re drifting through the high-humidity and dense mist that as the storm refused to move away entirely.  Took some photos. Jesmond Dene, special place for me.

David J Rodger - Science Fiction Thriller Author in Jesmond Dene Newcastle Upon Tyne

David J Rodger – Jesmond Dene


Now waiting for the skylanes to carry me back home.  Bristol. Although being here 3 times in the last 5 weeks, Newcastle is feeling a lot like a home from home again.  Those who know me will be aware of the closure I have been through recently, meaning this place is no longer filled with ghosts and painful memories.  This is a good thing.

I finished writing a new novel last week. Oakfield. Sitting in the Arnolfini cafe.  First draft. Typed the last words. Stopped. Stared. Had that weird feeling you get when you realise there is nothing more to write. It is done.  Of course, now comes the big edit. Great feeling to have this one finished. Oakfield is a piece of work that has taken 25 years to bring to this point. Significant then.

Life is going through a swirl of change. So it feels. Old traumas resolving themselves. New opportunities opening up.  Had an interesting encounter last week which I splashed across Facebook:

I freaking love life. One minute you’re dealing with crap and the next moment you’re sat next to a character and you realise the full flavour of humanity. I went out for sushi tonight solo. Waiter tried to wedge me in between some folks. I said, nah, I like that open space over there. Grabbed the seat. Few minutes later another solo sits next to me. Tattoos all over, including one on his face. Interesting vibe. We get talking. Bang. Life story. Incredible. Hyper interesting. He appreciated the fact I referenced the Hindu Sunwheel tattooed to his forearm and did not ask the dumbass question about Swastikas. American accent (from Bermuda) but with posh English accent (boarding schools and a house in Tetbury), racially diverse with strong colonial background – we spoke openly and frankly about perceptions. Just, truly, a character. Somebody I could literally drop into a novel and say, go for it, do something, make a mess. It’s not what you know. It’s who you know. And who you meet.” 


No contact since. Don’t expect it but you never know how the various threads of life can weave together ahead of the next horizon. People you meet now and are incidental can become pillars of the future past.

Had a great session of Yellow Dawn last night with the usual suspects. Much horror and tension. Always fun to see their faces shaped by a helpless grimace.  You can read the write-up here.

Been getting some pleasing feedback from folks on The Social Club recently. Here’s one (click to read). I’ll post a couple more next week.

That’s it!



Personal Blog: back in the saddle

¦ dialling in from Boston Tea Party Cafe (Bath) ¦

I’ve been back from a flurry of travelling for just over a week now. Life settling back into a groove. Focus is more on marketing my books than writing new ones at the moment. Have had a couple interviews go out and received a fantastic review for The Social Club from a fan.

I’m anticipating a press release to come out of Modiphius soon regarding the Dark Tales anthology; a collection of short stories that helps to expand and reinforce the world vision of Achtung! Cthulhu. I was commissioned to write a piece for it – think the official launch will be happening at Dragonmeet in London in December.  My contribution is called “Shadow of the Black Sun” and sits alongside work by some seriously talented authors in the field.  Definitely something you should put in your diary to get claws into,

The designer I commissioned to complete a set of new novel covers for me is making progress. Looking forward to getting them in my hands and starting some PR around what will be a complete set of books (8 novels + 4 new ones in pipeline) with a consistent brand.

Although I have slowed down on the writing front I am still making good progress. Actually wrote the penultimate scene of  Oakfield   this morning.  Probably another week of writing left before it clunks into review and edit gear.

The travelling has added to my massive backlog of photos that need working up and writing up, expect some blog posts about Amsterdam and Malta sometime this month.  Still need to write-up Valladolid and Salamanca from May!

Looking ahead I am thinking about going to the Frankfurt Book Fair. See if I can schedule interesting contacts with journalists and folks in the industry – see if I can raise the profile of my books as a self-published author. Thoughts on this welcome.

frankfurt book fair 2014

frankfurt book fair 2014

That’s it!


SNIP: busy busy busy, a new story idea springs into life…


Travel photo - WWII World War Two bunker - Svolvaer - Norway - copyright David J Rodger

Svolvaer, Norway

Fab moment riding the bus back to Bristol from Bath yesterday, a flash of inspiration led to mad half hour of scribbling into a notebook by hand. I’d had a polite nudge from the editor putting together an anthology of shorts for Achtung! Cthulhu and I need to come up with an original piece of Mythos fiction that will fit the genre. I’m already working on four novels and fleshing out a campaign for Yellow Dawn RPG. Arrrrgh. But then I started thinking about where I am with “Broken Fury”, back in the Arctic – and then I thought about the WWII bunker I photographed in the remote island town of Svolvaer and that was it… one brand new shiny idea came to me. Whether it’s any good or not is another question but we’ll see what I can do. Watch this space. I’ve attached the photo of the bunker. Perfect Mythos location!


Commissioned to write a WW2 Mythos short story for Achtung! Cthulhu anthology

David J Rodger – DATA


Personal Blog: Writing and Wandering – Valladolid, Salamanca…

¦ dialling in from the Sky Bunker ¦

It’s been a good few days. Oakfield is coming along nicely.  Whilst  Broken Fury and  Sunder Gloom are trickling and providing great pleasure – picture your imagination living in two of your favourite kinds of movies, waxing at leisure as new scenes evolve and characters take shape. Creative bliss, rather than creative burden.

Have also been away.  Valladolid and Salamanca in north west of Spain.  A good blast following in the wake of Morocco.

I came chasing the food and that is what I got. Cuts of meat as big as I’ve ever seen, cooked to perfection, red and raw in the centre and layered with flavour.

Valladolid is something of a hidden gem, I feel.

Somebody said, “Why have you come to Valladolid? People don’t come here normally, not tourists.” – I smile and reply something about friends and the Fellowship (a bunch of us who get to meet up every now and then in foreign locations).

Valladolid: only 1 hour away (by fast train) from the centre of Madrid. The architecture entrances your eyes.   A particular fusion of European moderna and historic culture. Campo Grande, a small but magical park near our hotel and just down from the quiet train station… peacocks strutting freely through the sun dappled paths, and a cute circle with brightly coloured chairs and a small cafe serving ice creams and coffee (usually). Continue reading