Medeas Wray started writing eons ago, tucking books of weird fiction, paranormal, lad lit, ghost-story, urban, speculative and the oddly humorous into the back of a drawer until the lure of self-publishing in the Kindle store (and other places) came along.
I’ve been writing for almost as long as I can remember. In my teens I was a total book-worm. I would read at least three books a week and would have vain stabs at writing fiction myself. I was attracted to the more surreal kind of literature, stuff like the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake, books by Franz Kafka, Edgar Allen Poe, HP Lovecraft, Michael Moorcock, Clive Barker and Terry Pratchett – the more fantastical the better – though I only managed to complete one short-story, simply called The Hand, about a boy called Stephen whose right hand was always doing things it shouldn’t. The story ends with the hand in question eventually becoming a successful burlesque artist enabling the three of them (Stephen and both his hands) to live happily ever after – though where that story is now, I have no idea. Perhaps it will turn up one day.
My first writing job was working for a local newspaper when I was still at school, writing a small column that gave readers handy household tips – heady stuff! After college, I worked (inevitably) as a copywriter in advertising for many years and made small forays into journalism along the way, with columns in fledgling magazines, that erred on the side of humour. They amused me anyway. I also worked in video and film as a documentary writer and researcher, as a marketing executive, information writer, proof-reader and editor.
My fiction reflects my preoccupations, my love of books, films, art and music, a life spent in cities and a particular penchant for the weird. It can be a fiction that’s hard to classify, crossing genres as in Down To Zero where crime-thriller meets the paranormal in a near-future London. It’s not sci-fi, the world is much as we know it though there does get to be a global acceptance of the existence of the paranormal by government authorities, police and forensics departments etc by the end of that book. So that’s new. Then there’s the quirky humour of The Big Crunch, a dark twisted, twisting story of urban nightmares, identity bleaching and vigilante justice that’s set in Leeds in 2002. And then there’s Jabberworky & The Other Odd Story, an anthology showcasing a humorous medieval yarn told in six chapters, a day-time ghost-story entitled ‘The Couple In Front’ set in present-day Normandy that recently won StoryBucks Mystery Short Story Contest (July 2014) – find it at http://www.storybucks.com/qa-medeas-wray
– there’s also a story of magic and mystery featuring a lone pizza-deliverer who goes to a strange house one moonlit night and comes away with more than he bargained for.
I’m currently working on a follow-up to Down To Zero to be called The Off-Comers (more paranormal encounters in a near-future world). Wrestling with it, in actual fact. Excerpts from The Off-Comers can be found at WritersCafe at http://www.writerscafe.org/medeaswray and I’m hoping to complete it later this year. I can’t say when at this moment in time.
I’m still very new to the e-publishing world. The Big Crunch was the first novel-length book I completed and though I know it’s flawed and raw in places, I’m particularly fond of it, maybe because it’s the first work I produced. The ideas I had for it came from living in Leeds during a time when there was a general decline in many areas, a long, slow recession and in the background there was Leeds United, a once-great football team that had lost its way and was sinking to the bottom of the league tables. (It wasn’t that I was a big football fan, I just felt this was an interesting back-cloth to my story – a sense of pervading decline at the heart of the metropolis.)
Police corruption, inner-city blight, crime, identity-bleaching, all the urban nightmares big and small are present in this novel though it’s imbued with humour (I hope) and a sense of optimism, eventually. And the good news is that as we speak (20th January 2015), The Big Crunch is at no. 63 in the Crime Fiction>Vigilante Justice category in the Kindle Store which I’m particularly pleased about. It’s not faring too badly in the category known as LadLit either. Though labelled LadLit, it’s not just for men and I hope female readers enjoy it too, a story of recklessness and redemption, love, loss and striving for significance in this infinitesimally large universe we inhabit.
I’m very pleased with the cover design, created for me by Anna Cleary, a gifted graphic artist. It brings together some of the themes of the book. The main character Malkie is a video games inventor and graphic designer who has recently got into astronomy. After a lifetime of not knowing anything much about anything much, he’s started to read up on Big Bang, go right back to the beginning as his life starts to unfurl. The cover depicts video games and fast drives, urban landscapes and no-go areas and the stars themselves there in the distance, looking beautiful and cold out there in the vast universe: clues to what the book’s about. You can find it at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Big-Crunch-Medeas-Wray-ebook/dp/B00JMSPAFQ/ref=sr at Amazon UK (for Kindle) or Amazon.com and at Kobo at http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-big-crunch-3
Find Medeas Wray on Amazon Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Medeas-Wray/e/B00K5ZO1LE/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
On Twitter @medeaswray.
You can also find me at http://www.medeaswray.com to discover news and find samples of my writing there (and of course, give me feed-back if you want to.)
THE BIG CRUNCH
Place: Leeds,England . Year: 2002 as Leeds United start to slide down the premier league tables and Malkie’s life goes into free-fall down to a failing marriage, computer crashes, a mysteriously totalled car and the other self-inflicted complication. He’s a video games inventor and graphic artist who’s after the big prize, the Macgregor contract, along with Ian, his geeky assistant, Leeds United supporter and ex-hacker who has a couple of murky associates and a flat at the low-rent end of the neighbourhood where Malkie mis-spends a few of his nights.
Newly into astronomy, habitually into alcohol Malkie struggles with his demons as Ian starts coming into his own, drawing on old skills and new levels of resourcefulness to help out a friend and ensure the continued success of Malkie’s company – and his own future – despite the mayhem and mishaps going on around him.
Darkly comic, moving in places and full of twists and turns, The Big Crunch is a distinctly contemporary debut novel encompassing vigilante justice, identity bleaching, drug-taking and excess, kidnapping and more, a page-turning read that keeps the reader guessing.