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About Polenth

I'm Polenth Blake and I write fantasy and science fiction stories/poems/shopping lists. Science and mythology are both interests of mine, so my stories range from hard science fiction to scientists-cry-when-they-read-this. I've had work published in places like Nature, ChiZine and Strange Horizons.

Biology themes are common in my work. I love plants, fungi and invertebrates especially. I also love robots.

I live in England with my pet cockroaches. My life is fueled by tea and large amounts of sugar.

(If you were looking for labels to put on boxes, rather than enthusing about invertebrates, I have a page on my blog all about my labels.)




On Writing

The first thing I did when I picked up a pencil was draw a picture. I loved drawing. I didn't love words so much. Though I enjoyed stories and reading, I was dyslexic and words didn't come easily.

Some years later, I was a critique partner for a writing friend, but he often put off getting his writing done. I came up with the cunning plan that we'd do NaNoWriMo together. The date arrived and we both started... and he dropped out due to having overtime at work. I didn't drop out and produced a finished manuscript. Though the novel needed a lot of work, I realised that my writing had improved immensely over the years. I wrote some short stories and researched places to send them. The first went out in January 2008.

I had a few small successes in the early years, but my first professional short story sale was in 2010. I self-published my first book (a collection of short stories) in 2013.




On Art

I've always loved drawing, though I went the science route with my early education. During one of the many unemployment courses that arose from the science decision, someone noted I was always doodling on my notes and had I considered an art career. I pointed out I'd never studied art and wasn't a photorealist, so no one would hire me. I wasn't wrong about that, but being hired by a large company isn't the only route to go.

Years later, I needed covers for my self-published books, which got a lot more positive feedback than I expected. People are usually, "Never do your own covers, they will always be terrible." Instead they were more, "I hate your stories, but the squid is great."

Somewhere along the line I managed a few art courses, which did a lot for building my confidence. My first art sale was in 2014, when I was commissioned to illustrate one of my stories. I decided to roll with the art thing and started up an art store late in 2015. It turns out there's always someone who wants more mushrooms and rainbows in their life.

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