Friday, 5 February 2016

News from the writer’s desk: De-hibernation?

Do not disturb. I'm disturbed enough as it is.
I know, I know. 

Things have been very quiet from the Writer’s Desk since I bombarded you with ten episodes of 'Cruel Yule’ and the Pathetic Poet's offering 'Wilbur The Ancient' just before Christmas, but even the Queen of Burble needs to take time out now and again.

Let’s just say I went into hibernation for a bit.

We’ll say that, but it’s not true. 
I’ve actually been pretty darned busy – with other stuff. So maybe we should say that 'She means well but…' enjoyed a slap-up meal, retreated into its cave, covered up with dry leaves and excused itself from the world for a little while.

But, time and guilt wait for no woman, so I thought I’d better shake off my winter snooze and remind you that I’m still breathing with an update from the writer’s desk.

So, what’s new?

Well, I decided to change my pen name from Mandi Millen to AJ Millen. Mandi sounded a little frivolous and - well - girlie for the kind of fiction that seems to flow from my fingertips (apparently direct from my Dark Side). I was also curious to see if the non-gender specific AJ would make any difference to the way people viewed my words.
Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, in addition to the my stories being published in the 'Grim Keepers' and 'Festive Frights' anthologies I told you about last time, I’ve had some of my tales included in another two collections:

'Stories In Green Ink' is now out in a new edition which features not one, but two, of my tales. I'm not telling you which ones - you can get your copy here:

Next, just in time for the annual love fest, comes ‘Hearts Asunder', a collection of stories from the dark side of romance, as an antidote for all those sappy hearts and flowers. One's called 'Black Rose' and it's from Yours Truly. Now available for you to order for your Kindle or your nightstand at

There’s more to come.

I’m currently working on a piece for anthology of Easter stories, and I’m waiting to hear if my submissions for two more collections have made the grade. And, because sleep really is for wimps, I signed up for a collaborative sci-fi novel in progress and have tried my tentative hand at some song lyrics.

More of all of the above as and when (if?) they come to fruition.

Then there’s the day job. You know, the writing I get a pay cheque for. Busy, busy, busy, with all the ‘back to work’ ethos of the New Year and the debut of a formerly print in-house magazine in digital form.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my job. I really do. And I know how lucky I am to still be in gainful employment right now in Greece. But there are times when I feel like I’m drowning in other people’s words. It’s like they're bleeding out of my ears and my nostrils instead of traveling through my fingers to the keyboard.

That’s when I have to simply switch off at the end of the nine-to-five and veg out in front of the TV. But it's hard to switch off and I usually find myself analysing the good stuff to death to get to the bottom of its success, or shouting at the screen in protest at the crap pouring out of it.

So there you go, dear readers. My excuse for the dearth of new stories or burblings at She Means Well But… Central lately. It’s not the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

But you don’t get rid of me that easily. 
The Word Nerd will return. With a vengeance. Or perhaps an eagerly-awaited but increasingly delayed new coffee cup. 


  1. Glad to see you up and typing again! Hibernation can only be good and I admit I would have loved to get a little cave-time myself.Lyrics you said...I wonder what tunes we will be humming at the gigs ;)

  2. I've written some lyrics but I haven't handed them over to my pet musicians yet. At this point it was more of a writer's exercise, challenging myself to see if I could do it.
    I'll probably give them to Konstantinos at some point to see if he can do anything with them.