It’s a 30k-word novella about giant slugs that have mysteriously landed around the world, which provide anybody nearby with an intense sense of calm and contentment. It’s also sort of a murder mystery.
Over on the Abaddon website, you can read my blog post about the origins of the story and the huge influence of John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids, ‘cosy catastrophes’ in general (no surprise, given the title of my website!) and the idea of dormant threats.
I’m very pleased to announce the (very!) imminent arrival of BLIGHTERS. It’s a novella about a worldwide ‘invasion’ of alien slugs, from the viewpoint of a snarky woman living in Kendal, Cumbria. Here’s the blurb:
Them Blighters are everywhere.
They fell out of the sky last year, great horrible armour-plated slugs with razor-sharp fangs. But ugly as they are, they give the ultimate high to anyone nearby: a blissful, gleeful contentment that people are willing to kill for.
Not Becky Stone, though. All she wants is to drink beer, listen to her dad’s old vinyl, and get her life back to how it was before everything was all messed up.
Blighters? Frankly, she could do without them.
BLIGHTERS will be published by Abaddon as an ebook on 9th July, and it’ll likely be available in a printed anthology (with the other ‘Invaders From Beyond’ novellas) at some point later this year. Thanks to David Thomas Moore at Abaddon for picking up this story!
Guys! My novel has a front cover!
I’m immensely proud of this cover – it really isn’t the easiest novel to encapsulate in an illustration – and I owe huge thanks to the wonderful Emma Barnes at Snowbooks.
The lovely quote from Adam Roberts doesn’t hurt, either. (Have you read Bête and The Thing Itself yet? Do, do, do.)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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…