Cem Bilici Author

Cem Bilici - author of horror, steampunk and other awesomeness

Category: Blog (page 1 of 2)

Writer’s Tears

We all suffer from it. We dread it but it is also our constant companion, like that old T-shirt you’ve had since 1993 and has as much of your skin cells in it as your body. Writer’s tears.

We fight with it, say we hate it, but if you don’t suffer the dark, how will you know the light?

Stephen King says his writing is the equivalent of junk food. I myself am partial to a burger, fries and cola, part of the reason why I have been overweight for some years, but that’s another issue for another post.

I recently self-published my first novel, and it is definitely not going to win any chef’s hats. I know that and am perfectly comfortable with it. Now.

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Ramblings of a Madman

So there I was, drying my daughters hair after bathing her and thinking about aliens — as you do.

And it struck me!

No, she didn’t steal the dryer from me ninja style and swing it into my head like a flail. I had an epiphany.

No… not the guitar. Having one of those would cause all kinds of a different kind of havoc, namely to your junk. *BOOM TISH* Thank you, thank you. I’m here all week folks. Tip your waiters.


No! We’re not here to talk CBT… this time.

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Back to the aliens. THEY ARE ALREADY HERE!

Hear me out. I’m not talking talking about extra terrestrials or molemen or reptilians, or Mexicans/Syrians/etc, nor the giant Oompa-Loompa who ate five other Oompa-Loompa’s, absorbing them like Cell from Dragon Ball Z to increase his power to over 9,000.

No, none of those. But they are here. All around us everyday. And people are shit-their-pants scared.


This is the only thing I can think of to explain the state of the world we’re in at present. Alien ideas are invading the Earth and people are losing their ever-fucking-loving minds!

And what, ladies and gents, happens when the aliens invade the Earth?


Wait, no, that was The Fly remake.

People start shooting and things go boom.

Pretty sure things are going boom right now, and I’m not talking about terrorism or anything like that. And we seem to be in the unfortunate type of invasion movie where people don’t start working together until the shit has well and truly hit, clogged, and baked on the overheating fan, then caught fire when it spontaneously combusts.

All I hope is that we get it together before we change genres altogether and end up in The Walking Dead. Coz, mate, stuff and thangs ain’t going to cut the mustard.

Anyway, I’m done. That’s it. Shoo, go away. What? You want Jeff Goldblum? Fine, here.

Ward – Stacey Trampler Series: Book One

It’s finally finished, folks. My novel, Ward — formerly Ward of the South — book one in the Stacey Trampler series, is done!

It’s taken me just over three years to get here. Not because it’s a doorstop of a novel, not because it took me a long time to write, not even because I’m a lazy bastard. No, it was because — and get this — I was not happy with the way it was and not happy with my skill level, or lack thereof.

I taught myself as I went, writing and re-writing, both the novel, other novels and short stories. That’s not as impressive as it sounds. English is my first language and I am not without education. OK, I don’t have a university degree or anything, but I finished high school (barely). I have even undertaken some further education, having tried to go to university three times and not finished for various reasons or another, mostly being money and having family commitments and being a “mature age” student.

So, no, not like I taught myself to read and write. Unless you ask my mum, then I’m a fuckin’ genius, but that’s a whoooole other story.

No, basically what I did was the equivalent of going to <INSERT BIG BRAND HARDWARE CHAIN NAME HERE> bought a few tools and watched a shit-tonne of YouTube on how to build a… THING.

Over time, I built some other THINGS and refined my skillset. Then, rinse and repeat. And every time I added a new tool to my Bat-Writer-Belt, I went back and reworked my original THING. Sure, in real life this would cause no end of issues and/or deaths. Or at the least serious injury and litigation.

All I can say is, it’s a good thing you don’t need to take out public liability cover on books!

Or do you?

How should I know, I’m not a lawyer.

Anyway, six drafts later, here we are. Finally, finally, FINAL-FUCKING-LY!

It was a blast, it was hell, it was bliss, and it was peeled ginger in my anus… Yeah, that last one, too. But the work doesn’t stop there. After three years I feel I am at a level where I can confidently continue to do this to an acceptable level. Acceptable to everyone? Hells no.

But fuck everyone.

Nothing can be for everyone. Not even the food of the gods, peanut butter, is for everyone, as unimaginable as that is. I can hold my head high and walk naked into the world with my junk and gut swinging freely and proclaim:

This is my THING! I made it. Behold it and weep, mortals!

That’s a powerful feeling. Warts and all, I am baring it to all that can see without shame.

The book, not my junk. I still have to get THAT looked at.

Because it’s not just about this one novel. It’s not just about Ward. It’s not even just about the four to follow Ward in the series.

It’s about all the others. It’s about finishing my draft steampunk novel, my 3/4 finished paranormal thriller, my YA dark-ish fantasy, my mystery novel. Hell, my fucking dinosaur zombies on the fucking Love Boat horror-erotica novel if I so fucking wish. Because right this fucking moment…





At least until the next road bump/block/kill sets the festering boils of doubt and imposterism a poppin’.



Dream Journal 1: Crazy Girl

Dream Journal 1: Crazy Girl

So I decided to keep a dream journal, because I have been having these really vivid dreams of late. That's nothing unusual for me, they come and go, though lately I have been having quite a few. Almost on a daily basis.

Dreams can be amazing inspiration, especially when you write horror and have, what most "normal" people would consider, fucked up visions. I've certainly used them before to write stories.

Some of the most interesting dreams I have ever had have been lucid dreams. Like this one time, I was surrounded by zombies, realised it was a dream, and suddenly willed a katana in my hand and mad anime/kung-fu movie style sword prowess and semi-flight to go with it. So yeah, advantage me.

But I kind of consider them cheating because you're like Neo in the Matrix to a degree. Especially when it comes to actually exploring your inner thoughts and psyche and when it comes to story, narrative and character ideas. Of course, given the type of dream this can be rather advantageous. Nudge nudge, wink wink.

But let's leave the number of times I've summoned the TARDIS to one side for the moment... Uhh, yeah, what did you think I was talking about?

You have to also be careful of course. Pop culture and literary creep in can be unavoidable, so taking a dream verbatim without any analysis and vomiting into your word processor of choice would be akin to sticking your fingers in your throat and hurling into your NutriBullet and giving it a whiz. Sure, it will look kinda cool as it's all rushing past, but when you're done and you pour/pore it's still gonna be fetid puke. Yes, even if you drop a stick of celery in it. In fact, that just makes it all the more disgusting. You should be ashamed. But moving on.

So, with To the Bone, the aforementioned linked story, I changed a lot. When I'd actually had the dream I was a kid, and I was also in the dream as a kid. I woke up with measles or something, but it was a hell of a cool dream. I've always been fascinated by dreams and rarely find them frightening. So when I had this particular dream the other night I decided, OK, I gotta start writing this shit down. Then I thought, hell, why not share it? People can only think you're so messed up. Right?

So basically, I will write the dreams down as they come to me, so first person or third depending on how it plays out. Some dreams I will shift from one POV to another, other times even different people, but I'll blow up those bridges when I come to them. I always dream in colour, so, you're welcome, you don't have to read in black and white. And I do not, nor never have, owned the car featured in the dream. Nor do I keep my car in a similar state as in the dream.

The title of this one is Crazy Girl, and you'll see why.

I can't think of anything else to say to preface this one but, enjoy, and if you psychoanalyse me, drop me a line as long as I'm not paying.


Cem Bilici

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Writing – Get in the Ring Motherfu$@er

In writing, story is my one ring to rule them all

And what better way to discuss writing than to quote Guns n Roses? Right? So,“Get in the ring motherfucker!”

Get in the Ring was, according to Wikipedia, directed at music critics who had things to say about the Gunners’ antics on stage. So I think it's quite apt to use in the context of writing.

As writers, we are our first and often worst critics, and we constantly question and criticise our own “antics” on -- and often off -- the page. This, our inner critic, can be a huge hindrance. At least, it certainly can be for me, and I am in no way unique. 

OK. I lied, I am unique. I'm a beautiful fucking snowflake! But that's not the point.

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