Fox Spirit’s new anthology, Winter Tales, is available today!
As well as having been edited by the very lovely Margrét Helgadóttir, and featuring terrific cover art by S. L Johnson, and featuring stories from a wealth of exciting authors, it also contains my story, ‘Winter in the Vivarium’, which was written specifically for the anthology.
The Amazon.co.uk link is up now.
Yeep – CARUS & MITCH is on the shortlist for the This Is Horror Awards! I’m finding it really hard to accept that that’s my name alongside all those terrific authors. I feel awfully proud.
The Literary Hatchet #13 is out now and features (along with a huge amount of other fiction!) my short, weird story, ‘All I Can See Are Sad Eyes’. The issue is free to download as a pdf from the Literary Hatchet website.
My flash story, ‘The Puzzle Box’, is now up on the Body Parts Magazine website as part of issue #5, available to read for free. It’s only 250 words long, so you’ll have finished reading it before you finish your morning coffee.
The issue also contains some fantastic artwork by David Van Gough, like this:
My flash horror story, ‘The Puzzle Box’ has been accepted for publication in Body Parts Magazine (the ‘journal of horror and erotica’; my story is firmly in the first category).
It’ll be in Issue #5, which will appear online next month. Don’t worry about setting a calendar reminder – I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s available.
I’ve been a little quiet recently, but now I can reveal what I’ve been working on…
I HAVE A NOVEL COMING OUT.
I’m thrilled to announce that my first full-length novel, YOU DON’T BELONG HERE, will be published by Snowbooks next year. It’ll be out in paperback and ebook in September 2016.
It’s a time-travel psychological thriller. Here’s a blurb, though almost certainly not the final one:
Daniel Faint is on the run with a stolen time machine. As the house-sitter of a remote Cumbrian mansion, he hopes to hide and experiment with the machine. But is the Manor being watched by locals, his twin brother or himself from the future? Daniel is terrified about what the future may hold but, as he discovers, there can be no going back.
I’ve previously posted about this book under its working title, The House-sitter. I started writing it in January 2014 and it’s changed dramatically over the course of eight drafts. Even though I’m now sick of the sight of it, I’m proud of it, too.
The book is in really good hands. Emma and the Snowbooks team have been lovely and I’m really looking forward to working closely with them over the coming months. And it’s wonderful to tell people about it, finally. So I’m going to write this out again, because it feels good:
I HAVE A NOVEL COMING OUT.
More details soon.
Last night I attended the South Bank launch event for the We Need To Talk anthology, jointly organised by The Eve Appeal, Kindred and Jurassic London. It was an excellent evening. I finally had face-to-face conversations with several people who’ve previously only been names attached to email conversations, and I also spoke to some Real Actual Proper Authors, who were all very welcoming and generous. And I was even asked to sign the book a few times!
We Need To Talk is available as a paperback direct from Foyles (currently only £4.99!), or as an ebook via Amazon.
‘Finding Waltzer-Three’ is now available to read for free on the Pantheon website – the fantastic illustration is by Carrion House.
Alternatively, you can buy the print edition of Pantheon #8 from Amazon.com or Amazon UK.
Dark Lane Anthology Volume 2 is now available as an ebook from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. You can also buy a print version from Lulu.com – and an Amazon print version will be out soon. (Update: it’s now available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk)
The anthology contains my story, ‘The House Lights Dim’. Though a version of the story appeared a couple of years ago in Sanitarium magazine (my first ever short story sale!), I’ve dramatically reworked it since. It’s better than it was, I think.
I’m really pleased that my story, ‘Winter in the Vivarium’, will be included in the Fox Spirit anthology, Winter Tales, edited by Margrét Helgadóttir. Fox Spirit has been producing fantastic books and I’ve long been eager to get involved…
Winter Tales will be published in February 2016. I’ll post information about the table of contents soon.
The print edition of Pantheon #8 is available now and includes a reprint of my story, ‘Finding Waltzer-Three’. This issue of the magazine is themed around Nyx, the Greek goddess of the night.
You can buy the print edition of Pantheon #8 from Amazon.com or Amazon UK – or buy direct from Createspace and use code CFAK5JBZ for a 15% discount. The ebook will be available soon.
Oh, I’m pleased with this one.
My story, ‘Cowardy Custard’, will be included in an anthology called ‘We Need to Talk’, which will be published next month . All proceeds will go to cancer charity, The Eve Appeal.
The book will be published by Jurassic London, a company that’s been at the top of my wishlist ever since I started writing short stories. Good grief, Jurassic London is SO ace.
The first issue of the new UK SF magazine, The Singularity, has now been released. (And what a fantastic cover image!) It features a reprint of my story, ‘The Sleeper’. Having said that, the best possible reason to buy it is in order to read Andrew Wilmot’s ‘A Window Into The—’, which is one of the best short stories I’ve read this year.
You can get issue 1 of The Singularity in digital versions from Amazon.com and Amazon UK. Print versions will be coming soon, I’m told. (Update – print editions now available from Amazon.com and Amazon UK)
The Game Over anthology is published by Snowbooks today!
It features my story, ‘Lines of Fire’, about two teen boys, an old Bomberman arcade cabinet, and a dark secret.
The eleven other horror stories all feature arcade games in some way and are written by a pretty illustrious group of authors. I’m very proud to be hanging around with them and I’d like to thank editor Jonathan Green for a) picking my story, b) making excellent editorial changes and c) turning the project around with incredible speed.
You can buy Game Over direct from the publisher, or from Amazon UK (print / epub) or Amazon.com (epub).
The Kitchen Sink Gothic anthology from Parallel Universe Publications is now available from Amazon.com (print/epub) and Amazon UK (print/epub).
It includes my story, ‘Tunnel Vision’, about one schoolboy’s dreadful Valentine’s Day. I’ve always been pleased with this story, so I’m very glad to have found it a home.
I’m really pleased that one of my stories will feature in the GAME OVER anthology from Snowbooks, edited by Jonathan Green. And there’s not long to wait — it’ll be available in a couple of weeks!
My story, ‘For a Tooth’, is up today on Every Day Fiction. It isn’t my usual sort of thing – it’s a space opera pastiche (the metadata tags on the EDF site are ‘aliens’, ‘military’, and ‘parenting’).
Read the story (for free!) here.
My story, ‘Tunnel Vision’, will be featured in the KITCHEN SINK GOTHIC anthology from Parallel Universe Publications, edited by David and Linden Riley.
I’ve always liked this story, but I was starting to wonder whether I’d be able to sell it. It’s quite personal, and doesn’t feature any SF or supernatural elements, yet it’s a little too creepy to be mainstream. In fact, ‘kitchen sink gothic’ is as neat a descriptor as I can imagine – so I’m delighted that it’s been selected.
KITCHEN SINK GOTHIC will be released as a paperback and ebook in July. You can see the full table of contents on the Parallel Universe Publications website.
A new review of Carus & Mitch is now available to read on the Urban Fantasy Magazine website. It’s a lovely review. I’m pleased that the response to the central mystery is to ‘immediately start it over again, desperately piecing together the clues’ and that ‘Carus & Mitch will haunt you and leave you strangely wanting more’.
You can now read David Dubrow’s review of Carus & Mitch over on the Ginger Nuts of Horror blog. I have to confess that this review made me wince a bit…
Yes, it’s an arbitrary figure. Yes, it ignores the many hours I’ve spent editing and revising. Yes, it took quite a lot longer than I expected.
But here it is anyway. As of today I reckon I’ve written 500,000 original words of fiction since I began in February 2011. It’s not quite enough to match the word count of War and Peace (587,000 words), but it’s still two Moby Dicks plus a Picture of Dorian Gray…
What’s most interesting to me is to take stock of the change in the quality of writing I’ve produced over this period. I’m an awful lot better at drafting and editing. Equally importantly, I’m an awful lot more efficient, to boot.
Anyway. The 50% mark is also a good excuse for a writing update. So far this year I’ve been funnelling my time into longer projects rather than short stories:
- The Forge (7300 words) – SF
- Blighters (16,300 words) – SF
- Untitled medieval time-travel novel (40,000 words and rising, though only 15,000 of those words were written this year)
And, although the following are nothing to do with actual writing (as they’re all stories written during previous years) and all to do with the tenacious sending of submissions emails…
Publications and sales
- Like Clockwork – SQ Mag Edition 18, Jan 2015
- By the Numbers – The New Accelerator #3, Feb 2015
- The Sleeper – Phobos, Issue 3, Feb 2015
- Screaming His Scream – Perihelion, May 2015
- The House Lights Dim – Dark Lane Anthology Volume 2, forthcoming
- Finding Waltzer-Three – Pantheon Vol. 7, forthcoming
- Read/Write Head – The Museum of All Things Awesome And That Go Boom anthology, forthcoming
Oh, and one other notable thing, for the sake of completion:
- The Walls of Tithonium Chasma – Honorable Mention from the Writers of the Future contest (Q1 2015)
My flash story, ‘Screaming His Scream’, features in the May issue of Perihelion magazine, which is available for free online.
I just LOVE Bill Wright’s cover illustration for this issue:
An updated micro-post, just to point you towards a few more (positive!) reviews of Carus & Mitch…
The ‘Troublemake’ issue of Phobos magazine is now available on Kindle and features my story about insomnia and Mars, ‘The Sleeper’. Go and take a look!
Update 20 Apr 15: The physical copy is now available from Amazon.com too…
Look what just arrived! (Amazon Prime, you are FAST.)
I hadn’t really thought about how it might feel to hold a physical copy of Carus & Mitch. It turns out that it feels very, very good. It’s a satisfying, neat little package. I’m so grateful to Kate Jonez at Omnium Gatherum for taking a chance with an unknown author, and for producing such a lovely little book.
Also nice: Carus & Mitch is picking up positive reviews. Here’s a new one from Horror After Dark, also published at Char’s Horror Corner.