Hope you’re well!
I’m really happy to say that I’ve started to present the 90s show on Amber Sound FM. The station is a brilliant local Derbyshire shindig and I would highly recommend anyone to tune in!
They have all sorts of music and a brill policy where they don’t play the same song twice in one day so basically you’ll always hear something new!
There’s so many things that I love about this station!
Tune in to my show 9 – 12pm every Monday!
How’s it been going? As I write this I’m currently on the way to a Rick Astley gig, so I’ve automatically lost all the cool points ever! – Especially since Snoop Dog played Derbyshire last night. However, I am listening to Carter USM so I’m hoping that will redeem me slightly.
Anyway, enough about music. This is an update on what I’m doing. Sooooo first of all I need to give a massive shout out to Edge-Lit which I attended at the start of July. First of all it was held in Derby of all places! Derby is my hometown, so I was pretty shock and impressed! But secondly because it was an amazing day purely for people who write fantasy and sci-fi fiction.
I was in the dealers’ room next to my main man Adam Millard and his beautiful wife – love those people! I also was my first ever panel about grimdark – which I’ll admit was extremely nerve racking but hey ho, we got through it!
I met some brilliant people throughout the day, including the brilliant Kim Lakin-Smith and her lovely family. Looking forward to reading Cyber Circus Kim!
It was slightly mad though as I ended up having to cover an all-night skate at our local roller disco straight after so I was pretty tired. Look there’s a photo of me skating woohoo.
July also saw me performing at House of Sound. To cut the long story short, I was picked out from an open mic session at an amazing poetry night put on by Apples and Snakes called Hit the Ode in Birmingham.
Me and two other people that had been chosen from previous months were all paired with musicians and asked to put together a piece. I was put with a girl called Electrik and trust me, she is amazing! Listen to her after reading this! (LINK IS HERE.)
This was the first time that I’ve ever collaborated with anyone but yeah, I think it all went ok J GeZ filmed most of it for me so I’ll let you make up your own minds!
INSERT VIDEO FROM GEZ
So what’s next?
Well on Friday I’ll be in London at the wonderful queer feminist sci-fi festival Nine World. I’ll be on a panel speaking about how to write consensual sex scenes.
Here’s a print screen at what I’m reading at:
I’ll also be at Howl in Birmingham performing my first booked 15 min poetry slot – I’m scared but it’s free if you wanna go and details are below:
Not to mention Bloodstock at Catton Hall ARGHHH. Get your rock out and come over for a hug if you’re around.
A few final updates…
Radio doc update – as some of you may know or not know, I’m putting together a documentary on the marvellous Circus of Horrors – the final draft is now almost done. If you wanna listen to hair hangers and sword swallowers it’ll be right up your street! Then I’ll be back to focusing on book no. 2.
Finally, some of you want to know when the next book is going to be out. There’s no set date, but I’ll be working on it straight from the end of August!
Soph over and out.
I’m always off doing bits and bobs and last weekend I got down to Temples Fest in Bristol. If you don’t know what Temples Festival is, it’s basically an extreme metal festival that involves everything from crust to hardcore to doom. The line-up looked ace so I headed down to get some interviews done.
One of my favourite interview was with Dylan Carlson from Earth. I love Earth so to speak to the founding member was a real honour and, if I’m being honest, a real shock as they’re such a groundbreaking band! Here’s the link to the article – oh and a picture of me and Dylan below. I’m not sure what’s happening with my creepy eye in this photo!
My editor, Guy Manchester, was very proud to be featured in the background of this photo, so proud in fact that he made this picture pointing out that he was there! He said that he was pondering fame. Haha it made me laugh a lot.
My favourite interview of the weekend is below though. I’m a massive fan of Tom G Warrior. I love Celtic Frost and Triptykon so it was a privilege to speak to this man. I don’t normally do a lot of stuff on video so excuse my editing, but I think the content came out great! I will definitely be doing another interview with this man, he is very inspiring.
Finally, Ghold are one to watch on the noise scene. They’re brilliant and I love what they’re doing with their music. They’ve tailored their release so that the digital copy of their music is a different listening experience to the record. It’s hard to explain so watch the video!
Thank you to Lauren from Rarely Unusable, Guy Manchester from LTW for letting me steal his spare room and Nina from Noise Cartel <3
That’s all for now
Peace and love x
This is an unusual post for me to write, but as I’m waiting for a video to convert, I thought, why not?! I recently interview the wonderful Amanda Palmer, where you can read here if you so wish, and it was a very emotive interview. Very emotive. So I thought, if she can be honest, so can I. This is about as honest as it gets guys.
A lot of people talk about stage fright, I get it bad, just like anyone else. However, I also get it off stage before a speech. I get it when I have to speak to people socially.
I stutter when I speak about myself, I doubt my words, I apologies all the time for being anywhere, even if I’ve been invited, I bite my nails until they bleed, I freak out around anyone and everyone, I spout stupid phrases all the time and I need constant justification.
When I go and read at places, I feel like a complete idiot away from the mic. My nerves got so bad the other night, when the woman announcing the acts asked how I wanted to be introduced I said ‘as the vagina queen’. Yes, I actually said vagina queen.
Funny right? I felt like an idiot. I could see people around me rolling their eyes and looking disgusted. I love vaginas, they’re awesome but that’s not what I wanted to say! I think people a lot of people mistake it for over confidence and being full of myself, but trust me, it’s really not. And it makes things so much harder.
I can be a walking mess around people because I always feel I need to justify why I have the right to exist. I blurt out a lot of stuff that I don’t mean through sheer nerves and frankly, it’s bad. But I know I’m not on my own because probably about 99.9 percent of us do the same.
On the way home the other night I was reading The Sandman, one of my favourite comics by my favourite writer, Neil Gaiman, and in the back he wrote an epilogue. It said ‘never apologies, never explain’ and he is right.
You do not need to justify what you do, you do not need to worry about what people think. You just have to do it and if they like you, then they like you and if they don’t well, oh well.
People experience so much hate for not even doing anything. So you might was well do what you damn well please because people are always going to judge you. It sounds horrible, but sadly it’s true.
However negative a statement it may seem though, I hope it encourages you to be brave.
Speak your mind. Say what you feel, it’s more important now than it has ever been. We have the right as artists and creators to voice our opinions and they deserve to be heard. Words are our greatest weapons and culture is one of the best shapers of life.
So hang on in there, cross your fingers and let your voice loose. Do not be afraid. If a bumbling hippy like myself can go and perform a poem in front of an audience then imagine what others can do.
Whoever you are, I believe in you.
That brings me on nicely to this Baltimore poem. When you speak, say something.
Ok, so a few of you may have been questioning why there have been videos of me floating around wearing a weird costume and being knocked over by massive men.
No, it’s not some sort of weird porn, it’s actually because the world famous Chikara wrestling crew rolled into Wolverhampton and I thought that it would be a great idea for Native Monster to make a video about training and interview Mike Quackenbush, who’s the founder of Chikara. He was so nice!
In the video below, I’m actually wrestling with Fight Club: PRO, who are a Wolverhampton wresting group and also super super nice! I used to be really into wrestling as a kid. I mean, I used to want to be The Undertaker at age 11. So, I pretty much thought I had this whole things down, but trust me it’s a lot harder than it looks.
Yes, it’s planned, but boy does it hurt and if anything does go wrong or something isn’t carried out correctly then it can result in horrific injuries. Mike shatter his leg… ouch.
So training was over and all that was left was to do the review of the evening. Well, all that I thought anyway…
Lesson to take away from this experience: wrestling is a real art and those that do it deserve a lot of respect, but I, however, should stick to writing and radio.
I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I’d be thumbing a yellow taxi down in New York, but when you buy the ticket, you take the ride.
I didn’t so much buy a ticket, but worked hard for an application to Birmingham City University, which was accepted and led to so many wonderful things; the IBS Awards, being one of them. Armed with my tutor’s knowledge of radio and a recorder, I crafted a documentary series in partnership with the guys in DePaul and was shocked to find an email in my inbox in January telling me that we had been nominated for two awards at IBS.
So last week, Sam Coley, Scratch’s managers, Kris, and I boarded a plane. It was a big deal and, in rock star fashion, I brought my mum along. She got pretty out of control, but calmed down once I told her the drugs and hookers would be there to greet her on the other side.
New York really is a jungle and don’t believe anyone who tells you differently. Everyone is there for a purpose and as we first glanced at the sky scrapers of Manhattan out of the window, I knew what ours’ was.
The hotel Pennsylvania used to be the biggest in the world and its basement used to play host to some of the most brilliant jazz artists in the city. As I stepped down its hall ways and glanced at the view from the eighteenth floor, I imagined them playing long into the night. It was beautiful.
The conference was full of people from all over America; I met some that we’re from Tennessee, Texas, California, Oregon and many who had travelled more of Europe than me. They were brilliant and bright and had so much to say about their subject. I met producers and presenters on the IBS’s station tours of CBS and Nash, who, despite their years, never tired of their subject. But most importantly, I met the two people that allowed me to gain the content in the first place; Joe and Jess from DePaul. We were the first ever English people to attend the conference, let alone win an award and it made me proud.
We did a panel and spoke about sharing content across countries, which went down brilliant and with our down time we ran around Greenwich and pretended to be Bob Dylan… ok, only I did that. However, we still visited the legendary Café Wha, where he was discovered and legends like Little Richard and Jimi Hendrix played. I saw Central Park and walked around Times Square. It felt very much like being in a film.
The taxi driver in the car we spoke to said that New Yorkers were always busy to go nowhere, but part of me doesn’t think that’s correct. I think they’re dream chasers, always trying to catch up with their desires, and what better place to run, than amongst the sky scrapers.
Here’s my entry below,
Stay tuned for more crazy journey’s.
Ok, so last year I released Snow in Hell, it was my first ever novel and I’m super happy about it. For those of you who don’t know, I write sci-fi, fantasy adventures about crazy characters. This story was all about an angel, who fell from her world and in order to regain her place had to trial her mad methods on Earth, resulting in brainwashing and world domination. Then two scientists, a Christian demon, Satan’s daughter, a pissed off vampire and a necrophiliac transvestite called Barbie got involved and the rest is history.
Now I’m slowly moving onto the next challenge and it’s been hard getting it off the ground again after third year and my move to Brixton, but the story board is out and the game is set! I’m not saying a lot for now, as I’m only in the very early stages, however there is one thing I would like to say.
More queer characters need to be in sci-fi and fantasy… not even that, just in general stories! No, I’m not talking about making the whole storyline about their transition or their love affair which has to be kept secret, because ‘Oh god, it’s the worst thing ever!’ But just there, you know, living, being caught up in the storyline.
I’m also not saying don’t acknowledge the struggle that gay/ bi sexual / pansexual/ non gender binary/ transgender people etc. go through… do! Although, it is important just to let the characters be themselves, rather than just focus on their issues. I want to know what they like for tea and if they can kick ass when aliens come and attack!
I hope I’m explaining myself well!
This is something that I hope my writing does and I hope to do more of it. In my next book, I have decided to make my main character transgender, she will be my beautiful heroin and I’m so excited to write about her.
I know I’m not transgender. Yes, I have done lots of research and intend to do more and although the story won’t be about her transition, yes of course I will talk about it as it’s a massive part of her life. I didn’t choose to write her just because she was transgender, but because when I thought of the story that was how I imagined my character.
I know that I could rant for ages, so I’m gonna pause there!
Anyway, in summary for this next book expect epic battles, Father Time, a circus and some gay sex scene between two men from different worlds.
Woohoo! Have an ace weekend y’all.
I was going to write a post tonight all about homesickness, how to overcome it and the loneliness of the magical, filthy city that is London.
But then I thought no, no, I don’t want to do that. I have spoken to many people these past few weeks who have been really down. So in the words of ‘Kid President’ I think we all need a prep talk. After watching ‘Kill Your Darlings’ I felt inspired to write poetry, which is something I’ve not done in ages.
This poem is a response to really negative poem I wrote about having dreams, then waking up and release you’re not doing anything about them. This poem is the opposite, because, fuck it, we all need a little motivation from time to time. It’s called ‘For Those About to Dare’. (Spoken word Link Below)
For Those About To Dare
I’m tired and I’m sick of being wrong.
But even if I don’t know the words,
I’ll continue to sing my own song.
I cannot swim.
But I’ll dive into the depths
I cannot say those words,
The ones closest to my chest.
I cannot run,
Unless it is from Kings.
I cannot fly.
But fuck it, I’ll do it anyway.
I am the hawk with no wings.
Baby, we’re just moth on a merry go round
Scrambling towards flashing lights
Strangled by life’s circle
Where the only direction is right
But I say No. I choose Wrong.
And yes, the punters laugh at me,
Yes, my journey is long.
But Darling, it’s time to stop this ride,
We deserve the freedom of this carnival,
I need to live, not just be alive.
Before we go any further, I know that this is hard.
I have seen my chandelier dreams,
Shattered into shards.
I have seen my carcass of hope, rotting in the sun.
And I was the vulture that picked the bones
Until the light of day was gone.
Yes, I have my freedom
Yes, I experience loneliness
Yes, sometimes my heart aches so, that I’ve had tea with death.
Yes, I wanted to give up,
before I’d said I’d tried
And yes, I am a long way from the place I thought I belonged
And sometimes I want to cut the wire
And pull myself home.
But I refuse, I refuse, I refuse.
Whatever you do, please remember this.
Baby, they taunt us.
And they will do so for the rest of our lives,
Unless we prove ourselves from the righteous view of their eyes.
But I would rather be cursed, torn, hurt, beaten down,
Have my guts pulled out, wear a bleeding, wretched frown
Have every breath draw from my body, until I cannot stand
Than live a drunken fool, starved by ignorance in some utopian land.
So the past few weekends have been very crazy and instead of exploring London and writing, like I’m meant to be doing, I’ve been away a lot! So let’s do this in order!
Firstly, I went to Hell Fest with this crazy guy (my festival Uncle Angel) I literally had just been to spain and as soon as I touched down on the plane, had to drive down to Dover to get the ferry over (massive thank you to my boyfriend and bad planning on my behalf!).
Anywayyyy, the festival was great, I met some amazing people and caught up with some old friends. Mark – pictured left, who I’ve known for years and the lovely Jamie picked right! – look at me rockin’ the hat… not.
I also sat in on a bilingual interview, which was interesting! (Pictured below)
As I was working, there was no way I could get close to the main stages, however I finally got to see Against Me! And about died because they’re one of my favourite bands and Laura is so beautiful. I also saw Soundgarden for the fourth time (major fan girl moment).
So my verdict on Hell Fest is: Awesome to go to as a punter, not so great if you’re working and camping. The festival is cool, but very busy and you have to go over a lot of stairs and with camera equipment etc. it’s not good, plus they don’t really book any interviews with English press which was a pain! But overall, the décor was amazing and the line up was cool – forgetting the clashes!
P.S The French toll roads are killer, get a bus or travel in a large group if you can!
I went to a training course with BBC Skill Set. It was a course for free lancers and gave a general overview of radio production, resulting in the production of fifteen minute radio production at the end of the weekend.
I could go on and on about the BBC software (which I’d never seen before!) but I won’t bore you with the details! The important things you need to know are the hotel looked like Downton Abbey!
(Halleluiah – shit the bed!)
And I was taught by some amazing people and also met some wonderful people, including the beautiful Debra, who is the editor of The Feminist Times!
…getting pretty knackered now. But don’t worry I decided to be sensible and go to Sonisphere after work on Friday and dance to the Prodigy!
It was awesome, met up with Angel and Rach from BRFM (Best Radio for Miles) in Wales and we watched loads of awesome bands! Haha, there’s not really a lot to say about this! I saw Gorjira which made me really happy and caught up with lots of old friends!
Also met up with Jamie again and found out he was driving Baby Metal! – Crazy guy! I have a lot to say on Baby Metal, but that’s another post for another day.
Sophie conclusion: tired but feeling epic!