Simon Dillon

I’m an author currently residing in southwest England, with my lovely, ludicrously supportive wife and immensely sarcastic (but also lovely) children. We live fairly near where Sherlock Holmes once met The Hound of the Baskervilles. It’s a beautiful, moody, mysterious, area dripping with folklore and fascinating local history. Some of this has wormed its way into my fiction. I’m obsessed with storytelling and have a pathological need to entertain with gripping genre fiction. Having written consistently for almost two decades, I have penned over twenty-five novels and several short stories, as well as blogging film reviews, all whilst holding down a demanding full-time job in television. People used to ask how I make time for all this, and the truth is I believe people make time for what is important to them. On the other hand, such smug platitudes have their limits. Burning the candle at both ends isn’t sustainable, as the candle burns down twice as fast. I don’t think that metaphor quite works, but the point is my fiction writing has always been my long-term goal. It’s how I wish to make my living. Having recently been made redundant from my job in the aftermath of a restructuring at the behest of new corporate overlords, I’m viewing this as the push I need to fully dedicate myself to my literary endeavours. In the past, I’ve self-published some of my novels and landed minor deals with smaller independent publishing houses, but I’m still after that elusive mainstream publisher. For that, I need your help. Why? My present, hopelessly inadequate writing income wildly fluctuates. Whilst I’m sorry to get out the violins, I have pesky things like rapidly increasing energy bills to pay. Writing is so much harder by candlelight, and I’d really prefer to keep the lights on. I’d also prefer not to starve or freeze to death. Bottom line: If I’m to write full time, I need a monthly income of around £2000 to make a proper go of it. What Do I Write? My main focus is gothic mysteries. I have five currently available, three of which were traditionally published by US indie publisher Dragon Soul Press, before rights reverted to me: Spectre of Springwell Forest, The Irresistible Summons, and Phantom Audition. In addition, I self-published The Thistlewood Curse and The Birds Began to Sing. The above exist at varying points along the spectrum between horror and thriller: Riveting tales of nail-biting suspense, heart-rending romance, and spine-tingling terror. They deal in the deepest, darkest areas of human consciousness, presenting complex protagonists with conflicting conscious and subconscious desires. They delve into the uncanny, the psychological, metaphysical, and spiritual, exploring at a primal level what most haunts us, and how love and horror can be two sides of the same coin. If that all sounds terribly grim, rest assured that even the most alarming of these narratives is seasoned with occasional moments of humour. I believe well-deployed humour makes a story more relatable, believable, and provides much-needed contrast when dealing with dark subject matter. But perhaps you prefer dystopian science fiction? Not a problem. I’ve dabbled in those too, with titles including Peaceful Quiet Lives and Children of the Folded Valley (the latter, with over 11,000 copies sold and well over 100 positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, being my most successful novel to date). I’ve also written children’s novels, including Echo and the White Howl and Uncle Flynn; the former being an animal fiction tale of vengeance in an Alaskan wolf pack, and the latter being a treasure hunt adventure set on Dartmoor. Beyond that, I’ve penned multiple short stories in multiple genres, including science fiction, horror, romance, fantasy, and romantic fantasy. Some of these have been traditionally published in various anthologies, some are self-published, and some lurk in dark corners on Medium. Regarding Medium, I also write there extensively, mostly about film, including reviews of everything I see at the cinema (I go at least a couple of times per week). These reviews also appear on my blog. Outside of that, I dabble in the odd bit of freelance work, and have also been published in The Guardian. What Will You Be Funding? My fiction writing goals over the next year (September 2022 to September 2023) are as follows: Continue applying to literary agents and publishers with my current gothic mystery novel, The White Nest. This title refers to something sinister in the story, but it’s not the real title, as I’m keeping that secret for now. Fully plan and write the first draft of the next gothic mystery novel, as yet untitled. I already have a short outline. Rewrite and polish the gothic mystery novel I wrote earlier this year, tentatively entitled The Hobbford Giant. Rerelease a previously self-published trilogy of children’s science fiction adventure novels. They were entitled George goes to Mars, George goes to Titan, and George goes to Neptune, respectively. However, I withdrew them as I wish to reissue them with new titles, after research suggested readers believed they were for very small children, when in fact the primary readership is the Alex Rider/Harry Potter demographic. I’m also taking the opportunity to give them a more thorough edit, as I can see how much I’ve improved as a writer since they were originally released. Continue to write and release short stories online. Release a second anthology of short stories and novellas in print and as an ebook, akin to last year’s Infestation: A Horror Anthology (however, this time, the volume will feature non-horror stories). Investigate and possibly utilise Kindle Vella as another potential outlet for my short stories and novella-length material. I have various other novels currently unpublished, in varying states from first draft to fully polished. Those I am likely to push ahead with over the next months, either as self-published works, or as titles to put before agents and publishers (in the event that I draw a blank with The White Nest), include Dark Ages set fantasy Ravenseed, another fairy tale for adults called The Deviant Prophet, and a fantasy-horror story for children entitled The Faerie Gate (the title for this may change). I’ve written the first draft of the first of three sequels to The Faerie Gate, and plan to write the second next year. I may also do something with my treasure hunt mystery thriller The Balliol Conspiracy next year. I have also posted the above introduction on Patreon, reusing it here for those who wish to support me with a one-off gift. I am extremely grateful for anything at all, and fully accept that some are unable to support me over a longer period of time. Thank you in advance, and I think that's quite enough blithering from me.

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