Sunday, 8 December 2013

Dating Advice from a Writer Part 2

Based on comments from Reddit, I have some more suggestions for ways to woo a lady using the power of language:

1. Love Letters

Although slightly old-fashioned, nothing tells your lady that she's special like a letter full of your deepest feelings. She'll appreciate the time you took to sit down, and put your feelings into words.

(Alternate version)

1. Dirty Notes.

This requires less skill with words, but may be more appropriate to the situation if you enjoy the person you are dating, but are really just in it for the sex. Here are some suggestions, that do not necessarily need to be written on paper, but would get the job done equally well by text message:

 - I'm not wearing underwear
 - I'm wearing sexy underwear
 - I'm wearing YOUR underwear
 - I have a 12-pack of Trojans, a box of viagra, and a crate of Red Bull
 - Meet me in the bathroom in 3 minutes
 - I want to <insert obscene comment here> you
Or, for the more advanced pervert:
 - I want to <verb> you while you <verb> me, wearing nothing but <insert underwear> in the <insert religious establishment>

If your partner is on the same wavelength, this will almost certainly lead to naughty-times.

2. 50 Shades of Grey

I'm 25 at the time of writing this, so prefer my pornography in video format, but perhaps as I get older and more refined, I shall seek out literary filth. For those of you who are a tad older and have read 50 Shades, I reckon that's a good way to turn a conversation about books into a conversation about fucking. Good times.

3. Poetry

This one could be tricky. Poetry-writing isn't really the manliest of activities, but some chicks go for it. So yeah, whatever.

4. Be incredibly successful and rich through your writing

If you get rich, and your book gets made into a movie, and your book isn't Lolita, I think that will certainly make dating a lot easier. I can't imagine a world where JRR Tolkein wasn't rolling in the pussy. Hell, if your book is as popular as Lord of the Rings, even your offspring will be rolling in it. This writer salutes you Christopher Tolkein.

Best of luck,


New (Snazzier) Cover for Licking Walls in the Dark

Here is the new cover. The stock photo is the same, but I used a program called Art Text 2 for the text, making it look a lot more professional.

If you're the kind of person who likes to judge a book by the title and the cover - which I'm kinda hoping you are, since my main marketing technique is 'have attractive covers and catchy titles', then feel free to check out Licking Walls in the Dark:

Licking Walls in the Dark - UK

Licking Walls in the Dark - USA

OK, so if you're not happy to just throw money at something because it looks pretty and the title is the cleverest thing I've ever written, here's a summary of the story:

It's a novella about Pon, a dwarf who was born into a society of miner dwarves. They live and work underground in the mine, carvng out great slabs of stone to be sent to the surface. Neither Pon, nor anyone he knows has ever been to the surface. This way of life has simply been accepted by the dwarves. But but by Pon. Each day he spends in the mine crushes his soul a little more. He feels the weight of millions of tonnes of stone weighing down on him and he cannot take it anymore.
Pon must get out.
He finds himself on the cusp of a discovery that would buy him a ticket to the surface. However, as Pon learns more about the true nature of dwarf society, he begins to realise that his lot in life is more grim than he had previously realised…

Still not happy? Well then I don't know what you want. 

Buy my damn book,


Dating Advice from a Writer

OK, since the majority of my most recent internet traffic has (inexplicably) been coming from, which appears to be a hookup site, I thought I better try catering to that audience.

I'm a guy, so don't really know how to help a woman who needs help with dating. To be honest, I really think that females don't need as much help with dating as guys. All I would say to the females is, this advice probably works well for both sexes, but specifically to the women: keep something sharp on hand in case a creep comes a-calling.

So here are my top tips for getting ahead in the dating scene:

1. Alcohol is your friend.

Alcohol is the world's greatest social lubricant (apart from Roofies, but lets not go down that road). It serves a number of purposes: it makes you less inhibited, makes you seem less dull, makes you seem more attractive, and makes your date seem more attractive. As someone who has done a little internet dating: that last one can be quite important.

2. Topics of conversation.

DO talk about: movies, music, current events (although see below), celebrities, television shows, and those kinds of things until about the third date.

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DISCUSS THE FOLLOWING: Politics (dull, and no-one agrees with you anyway), religion (a minefield), serious crime (bringing up something like rape or murder with someone you barely know will cause them to seriously question your intentions), your job (no, really, what you do is boring as fuck), exes (because nothing says "i'm over my ex" like some harsh criticism of them), and pretty much anything negative. Get over yourself, you can't pull of the 'dark and mysterious stranger' thing, be positive you miserable bastard.

3. The bill.

Offer to pay. If he/she lets you, and doesn't offer to at least split the cost, make a mental note to be reviewed when considering if you should ask him/her out again.

4. No gifts.

Did someone say 'desperation'?

5. Wash yourself you smelly fuck.

Self-explanatory really. Guys, if you think you're now clean: repeat everything you just did. I'm a guy, and I know that we stink A LOT. So take extra care when you're preparing to (hopefully) get into an intimate situation with someone else.

6. Dress nicely.

Default position: a shirt, trousers and shoes - possibly with a suit jacket too. There are obvious exceptions to this. If you're dating a rocker and are intending to go for a night of head banging, you may want to break out your nicest Iron Maiden t-shirt. If you're going to a restaurant/ for coffee/ cinema, although these places rarely have dress-codes these days, dress to impress. And iron what you're intending to wear, Mr Scruffy.

7. Be your BEST self.

Some people might call this being 'dishonest'. Well, to those people I would say: enjoy your virginity. You have enough flaws to make the new pope say 'fuck this guy/gal'. Keep the flaws hidden for a while until you find yourself thinking: I'd like to spend a lot more time with this person (usually 10 dates unless you knew them beforehand). Then let them out slowly and hope for the best.

8. Humour.

Be funny. People like funny.

8.1 Don't been unfunny.

That racist joke your boss told you, that you laughed at so he wouldn't fire your ass, keep that one to yourself and your buddies in the pub.

9. Be attractive (in every way you can).

If you're ugly, and let's face it, you might be: you've got a tough road ahead of you. Do the best you can with what you have.

10. Finally: if my advice gets you fucked, and you happen to find someone who is good with you recording the event (for science), please share with the group.

Good luck,


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Bi-Annual check in

Well, it's been a while. Thankfully, I'm not a famous author, so no-one has noticed. Phew that could have been embarrassing.

Although, according to the views tracker thing I've had a few page views in the last month which originated from a dirty site called Dafuq?

Why am I getting traffic from a site for people trying to get shagged?

I went onto the site and there appears to be a 'chat with our ladies' thing. This just raises more questions. Is my blog a source of chat for people trying to organise hookups?

"Hey, you read SJ Magill's latest blog post?"

"I sure have, you looking forward to reading the Werechicken? I am."

"Yeah, me too. Wanna meet up and fuck?"

If that's the case, I'm thrilled to be a part of such an arrangement.

Anyway, moving on from that sort of thing. I am still redrafting the Werechicken. I know it's taking forever, but I haven't JUST been super OCD redrafting for the past 8 months. I got bored of the whole redrafting thing and started work on the sequels. Plus my job leaves me drained a lot of the time, so when work is busy, writing is slow.

The sequels, The Vampire Horse and Technically a Dragon, are being written in tandem. It's a lot of fun writing them, but I really want to get The Werechicken out there. So, I've finally gotten back to the redrafting. It's going well! I'm happy with the majority of what I've written, and I think it's almost at the point where it's a product that I could sell to people. So look out for that.

Anyway, I'm exhausted. It's bed time :-)



Sunday, 10 February 2013


This blog post is aimed at my fellow writers. I'm currently sitting watching the ridiculously accomplished and lucky people at the BAFTA awards. I wonder what it would be like to be sitting there, and hearing my name being called as the winner in the 'best screenplay' or 'best film' award for a film based on one of my books.

It's a long and hard road, but if you want it hard enough, you'll do it. But is just wanting it enough? Obviously there are things that you can't control that factor into success. As for those other things, what are the essential features of an award winning writers? The first thing is obviously the ability to come up with a great story. One can be the most technically brilliant writer on the planet, but if the story sucks, who will want to read it?

Then there's that second part: the ability to write. The best story in the world means nothing if it reads like it's told by a mental-patient with a crayon.

Fortunately, both of these are skills. The writing more obviously so: practice makes perfect etc. Coming up with good stories on the other hand is more tricky. It requires things like inspiration, experience, and imagination. I believe that things like this can be practiced as well.

But say I'm the best writer in the world. That doesn't automatically entitle me to a seat next to Hugh Jackman. I have to get my writing out there.

My current philosophy is that one only fails if one gives up (or dies trying, but lets pay no attention to that for now). I'm planning on playing the shit out of the 'long game' i.e. get a shit-ton of books out there, like Terry Pratchett, and acquire an awesome cult following. Then I will get them to harrass Hollywood types (set up camp on their front lawns etc.) until I get a movie made. If they don't agree to all of my terms and my script etc, I will instruct the fans to stay there forever until all my demands are met. Then BAFTA.

I think it's a good plan tbh.

Monday, 4 February 2013


Where does time go? Seriously? How is a person supposed to do EVERYTHING he wants to do?

Right now, I'm trying to fit in all of the following into my life:

Work (out of necessity, not much choice here)
Forum-ing (that's right, I verbed that shit)
Spending time with my girlfriend (boy is she going to be pissed that she's tenth on the list...)
Spending time with friends
World-Domination (that's more of a long-game activity)
Taking care of my snakes

I know what you're thinking: 'Steve, cut some of that shit out!' But to that I say: 'no sir! That's not the way I do business!'

During the week I've been trying to dedicate my two free evenings to writing and writing related activities. There's also SOME free time for writing on the weekends. I've identified at least two hours of my day when I'm wholly unproductive, and that's the drive to and from work. What I would love to be able to do is be able to write/read/edit while I'm driving. Unfortunately, I'm a sucky driver as it is, so that's probably not the safest idea.

I've toyed with the idea of doing some writing at work at lunchtime, but I rarely get a lunchbreak these days (oh woe is me!). Also, when I do get a lunchbreak, I like to spend it doing very little, to relax the old brain. Obviously I can sneak in a little forum-ing at work. This has a double-function as a kind of advertising, especially with my books in my sig.

But there's very little scope for sneaking in a little bit here and there on all of the other activities. I can't write while snowboarding (or can I? I mean I could give it a go and post the results on YouTube, that might help with the advertising too).

So what's the solution? Right now I'm working on a 'everything in moderation' philosophy. I can go climbing one weekend, snowboarding the next, and go to the cinema the next. That frees up the rest of the weekend for other things. It's not a bad system, but I'd really like to dedicate two whole days per week to snowboarding, two to climbing, and two to painting. I would write every evening, and on my spare day: I would go into work, for triple what I'm being paid now. Any ideas how I can pitch that one to the boss? Anyone who comes up with something workable is a shoe-in for the Nobel prize in badassery (new category for 2013).

Hugs and kisses,


I'm Excited!

Hi all,

As you can tell by my title, I'm pretty happy right now. I've been working really hard on my latest novella, Licking Walls in the Dark, and I've been getting good responses from test-readers :-)

I'm going to give it one more look over, then send it to my meanest, least feelings-caring-aboutest friend, for him to shout at me until my book is good. Then I'll begin the long search for a good cover, slap my name on it, and throw my book into the hellish maelstrom of obscurity that is Amazon.

This is now my sixth book. That will be three short stories and three novellas available. I'm planning on doing collections, and then (drum roll) it will be time to unleash the novel.

The Werechicken has been sitting on the back burner for quite a while now. I'm really excited about finally getting it out there.

That's all for now. Watch this space for more self-indulgent ramblings. Coming soon!

Friday, 25 January 2013


I just wanted to quickly say thank you to everyone on Reddit who downloaded my book, The Head Vampire, for free on Wednesday and wrote a review of it.

Reviews are difficult to get, but they're so important when it comes to convincing people to buy your book. I hate asking friends to write reviews, because I can never be assured of an honest opinion. It's a great feeling when I get a complete stranger, with no reason to be kind to me, giving me a good review. It makes me feel like I'm not wasting my time by writing.

So thank you again to everyone who took part, and to those of you who downloaded without reviewing: soon.

To Do List...

My list of things to do:

1. Redraft Licking Walls in the Dark

2. Redraft The Werechicken

3. Publish the above

4. Publish 'collections' of work to date

5. ?????????

6. Make millions

7. Go into work in a kangaroo suit until they ask me to leave

8. Smoke cigars and drink whisky

Monday, 21 January 2013

Interview with myself, Part Two

Evil Steve: All right everyone we're back with everyone's favourite author that no-one has ever heard of, S.J. Magill.

S.J. Magill: I didn't even want to come back...

ES: Hush now, I have more questions. So you currently have three short stories, and two novellas. Is there something wrong with writing a full-length novel?

SJ: Not at all, I have one ready to go, but I thought I should work up some hype before releasing my full-length work.

ES: Well, considering you're interviewing yourself, I think we can all tell how that's going.

SJ: Fair enough. Next question, please.

ES: Which is your favourite colour of Skittle?

SJ: Yellow.

ES: ... I don't think you fully understood the question.

SJ: ... Orange?

ES: Well done.  So, your first novella was Love and Lycanthrope. Wouldn't you say that alliterative titles are a bit 1800's?

SJ: Not at all.

ES: What was your inspiration to write a romance novel? Is it because you're a bit girly?

SJ: I wouldn't call it a 'romance novel'

ES: I would.

SJ: Well you're wrong. It's a romantic comedy with werewolves. The setting is a village high in the mountains. It was inspired by the game Skyrim, which I was playing at the time.

ES: Werewolves and a snowy-setting? Sounds like you were asking to be sued.

SJ: Those are about the only similarities.

ES: That's probably true. Skyrim wasn't a sissy romcom.

SJ: It's not 'sissy'.

ES: If you say so. So what about this latest one: The Battlemage. It's a bit different for you.

SJ: What do you mean?

ES: Well, the other ones had jokes, and funny bits. This one is downright creepy.

SJ: Well that was the idea.

ES: Oh thank god, I thought you had taken a blow to the head or something and you thought you were being funny, but just weren't.

SJ: No no, this one was meant to be a horror.

ES: So what are you working on now?

SJ: I've finished the first draft of my third novella, Licking Walls in the Dark. It's about a dwarf who was born and raised in a mine. He uses his sense of taste to seek out deposits of valuable metals in the mines. That's where the title came from.

ES: Gosh, that sounds thrilling, and I'd love to hear more about it, but we're all out of time. Thanks for stopping by. And to my audience: next week we'll see if we can get someone whose work you might have actually read. Goodbye for now.

Interview with... myself

Ok, since no-one knows who I am, I decided to conduct an interview between myself, and my 'other self', Evil Steve. Here's how it went.

Evil Steve: All right ladies and gentleman, today we have a very special guest, up and coming young 'author', S.J. Magill.

S.J. Magill: Who are you talking to?

ES: My audience.

SJ: There's no audience.

ES: Do you want an interview or not?

SJ: Yes please.

ES: Then shut up!

SJ: sigh

ES: All right, here's our first question: do you like dinosaurs?

SJ: What does that have to do with my work?

ES: Oh, so you only want to talk about your work, do you? Jesus, it's like Woody Harrelson all over again...

SJ: Sorry. Yes, I like dinosaurs.

ES: Uh huh. And what did you think of the movie 'Rampart'?

SJ: I never saw it.

ES: Good man. So tell me about your book 'The Head Vampire'. For those of you in the audience who don't know: a 'vampire' is essentially a human who drinks the blood of other humans to survive. It's really commendable of you, S.J., to write about such a unique subject. I don't think I've ever read a book about vampires before.

SJ: I like vampires, and I wanted to write about them in the context of the world where all my stories take place, Terra.

ES: You know, someone else tried to do their own take on vampires. Her name is Stephanie Meyer. What can you tell me about her.

SJ: I've never met her, but I understand she's done very well for herself.

ES: And do the vampires in your book sparkle?

SJ: No, they do not.

ES: So tell me about 'Terra'

SJ: It's the world where all of my stories take place. It's a bit like Earth, but one of the major sources of energy is magical energy. It's a somewhat unpredictable energy source. The beings on Terra have evolved over a long time in the presence of magical energy, and a natural evolution process has caused some of the races to evolve with supernatural powers. There also exists the phenomenon of 'randomly occurring supernaturalism', where a person whose parents were just normal folk, will be born with special powers.

ES: Sounds thrilling. Would you rather fight a horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses.

SJ: I'm leaving.

Part 2 Coming soon...

Sorry It's Been A While

Ok, so I've been busy doing some actual writing, as a result, the blog has suffered. And when I say 'suffered', I mean has become completely outdated, so if anyone wants to know anything about me, they can see what life was like about one year ago, which isn't really the purpose of a blog.


I've now got five stories published, a first draft of a sixth, a seventh completed (my novel, which I wanted to be the seventh released) and a start on an eighth. Plus there are plans to release collections of the short stories and novellas to increase the numbers of products available. I'm told that's good for business. Not that I'm really bothered. Writing isn't a 'business' for me. Business is what I do behind a desk all day. I don't even think I would want to be a professional writer. That would suck the joy out of it for me. What I WOULD like is for everyone to be like 'hey, this guy is amazing, lets all buy 100 copies of all of his books each,' and then I can retire my lazy ass.

On the assumption that that's not going to happen anytime soon, I'm gonna go ahead and turn up for work tomorrow anyway. Just to be on the safe side.

Anyway, here are some links to my books in case you want to buy them.

For my fellow tea-drinkers:

The Head Vampire

Love and Lycanthrope

The Battlemage

Manic Snake Venom

The Alchemist and the Wizard

And for the Americans/Canadians/Mexicans/Anyone else over that side of the pool:

The Head Vampire

Love and Lycanthrope

The Battlemage

Manic Snake Venom

The Alchemist and the Wizard

Until next time, which hopefully shouldn't be too long...