Sponsor a writer for Macmilan Cancer Support at https://www.justgiving.com/page/greeninksponsoredwrite2023
1) Hello! Tell us about yourself, your writing and how you discovered the Sponsored Write?
I’m Steve Toase. I’m originally from North Yorkshire, but now live in Bavaria, Germany, surrounded by the Franconian Forest. I mainly write horror, occasionally dabbling in scifi. My work has been published in places like Analog, Nightmare, Shadow and Tall Trees, Shimmer, and Three Lobed Burning Eye. Six of my stories have been selected for Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year series, and two for Paula Guran’s Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror. My debut short story collection ‘To Drown in Dark Water’ is now out from Undertow Publications.
While I mainly write fiction, I got my start writing for motorbike magazines, and still write regularly for Fortean Times as well as having articles published at Tor.com and The Author.
From 2014 I worked with Becky Cherriman and Imove on Haunt, the Saboteur Award shortlisted project inspired by my own teenage experiences, about Harrogate’s haunting presence in the lives of people experiencing homelessness in the town.
I now live twenty minutes from the old German internal border, and that, combined with my own experiences of homelessness, means I’m particularly interested in the boundaries between people.
I discovered the Sponsored Write due to several authors I highly respect taking part in 2022. I was thrilled to have a chance to participate this year, and be in such good company.
2) Are you a “deadlines person” outside the Sponsored Write? Is the time-limit part of the challenge or the attraction?
I often end up setting my own deadlines. I write three days a week, and divide those days between short stories, articles, and longer projects such as novels.
I also have a Patreon where I post a new story every Monday morning, so I have to make sure there is a story ready to go by the start of the week. I like challenges, and find the restrictions they place, whether that is a word count or a time limit, can help focus the mind.
3) Many involved have personal connections with Macmillan Cancer Support. Do you want to share any experience of the charity’s work?
Fifteen years ago a close family member was diagnosed with a cancer that was inoperable because of its position, but responded well to chemo. During all that tumult when we thought they weren’t going to survive, Macmillan nurses came in like some kind of nursing special forces to handle all the issues that needed dealing with, leaving my relative able to focus on the treatment. Thankfully, the cancer responded well, and following a very bleak initial diagnosis, they are still with us.
4) What do you make of Paul Tremblay’s theme for this year, A Well of Strength, The Strength of Will?
I think it has a huge potential for interpretation, which is what you need in a prompt. I often work with prompts such as postcards, tarot, or what3words, so I’m looking forward to using this as a starting point. I think I might try something a bit experimental, a bit playful, but almost certainly dark. It’s often dark in wells, right?