Announcement – Folklore Times Four

A couple of weeks ago on my Twitter feed, I alluded to some exciting news:

I couldn’t say any more at the time, because things were still awaiting signatures and so on, but today – I can!

A little over two years ago, my debut novella, The Balance, was let loose upon the world. As any author will likely tell you, this was a moment of pride, terror, enthusiasm and trepidation on a rinse/repeat cycle. I had absolutely no idea whatsoever how it would be received.

Thanks to the amazing reaction of readers over the past couple of years, along with the promotion and word of mouth recommendations of a number of readers and fellow writers, the publisher of the book, Lycan Valley Press Publications, have approached me about putting together four new folkloric horror novellas between now and the end of 2024. I’ve now signed on to do just that.

As readers of my newsletter will know, this summer I’ll be transitioning to a 9 months’ writing/3 months’ intensive working plan for the next few years. I have been lining up projects to make that writing time productive, plotting out the details of the first two books. Both folkloric horror novellas. I’m incredibly excited to be working with Lycan Valley again – who did such an excellent job on the eBook, physical and audio editions of The Balance – and for the serendipitous timing which now means I can get on with the work and focus fully on making these books the absolute best they can be.

I don’t want to give away too much about the new books yet, but the first is going to be loosely connected to this image:

The queen of the 'fées de la mer' rides a nautilus shell
I can also hint that, when I finish my university teaching job in September this year, there will be a short jaunt to France to do some research, take photos, etc, for the book, before I go on my actual holiday to Italy. No hints for book two just yet!

I’m still plugging away at selling my novel, Shadow of the Hidden, to one of the publishers it remains under consideration with this year, as well as finishing up the Haunts project I am working on with Dan Howarth, Grant Longstaff and Paul M. Feeney for a late 2022/early 2023 release.

But 2023 – 2025, it seems, will be time for some horror folklore.

So come, sit around the fire. I’ve got some stories to tell you.

Below – back from the depths

My novella, Below, has resurfaced. After launching last summer, Below was selling steadily, until a meltdown with Silver Shamrock Publishing occurred and the book was pulled from sale, along with the rest of the publisher’s catalogue. Readers of my newsletter will now know that the wonderful Brigids Gate Press kindly stepped in and offered to put the book back out into the world. They had Kealan Patrick Burke of Elderlemon Design tweak the already incredible cover design to distinguish it from the original release and, as of the end of last week, my book is back out there in the world.

Wondering what Below is all about? Here’s the synopsis:

Decades after his grandfather was buried alive in a Californian gold mine, Dr. Nick Jones teams up with an adventure travel influencer to venture underground and film a documentary, telling the story of what really happened.

What should be a dream come true soon becomes a nightmare as someone or something stirs
BELOW.

I recently spoke to Edward Lorn, aka E, on his YouTube show, From The Desk, about Below. You can check out the conversation and find out a little more about it here:

If that’s whetted your appetite sufficiently, you can grab your copy of Below in eBook or paperback, here.

I wanted to go on the record to say that working with Silver Shamrock Publishing put my book into the hands of a huge number of reviewers and got it before an enormous number of eyes via social media. It also afforded me the chance to be edited by the brilliant Kenneth Cain, who taught me an enormous amount about writing technique, even in the process of tightening up this 150-page novella. I’ll be forever grateful for that.

It’s important to point out, though, that even before the situation which brought about the end of the press, there was cause for concern with the Silver Shamrock. I never received author copies of the original release of Below. Nor did I receive any royalty payments. Having spoken to other authors on the roster, I know that I was not the only one in this position. So, while I am saddened by the loss of a publisher who was prepared to take chances on stories other presses were not, it is a chapter which is perhaps better closed.

New Audio Story – Communion – on Tales to Terrify

This is the first update here in a while and it’s good news, to tell you that my East London occult gangster bloodbath, ‘Communion’ has been adapted by the fine people at Tales to Terrify. If you read my recent newsletter, you may already be aware of this, but if not, here’s everything you need to know:

Featuring in Tales To Terrify’s episode, alongside the story ‘Tinnytus’ by Colyn Rogers, is my story ‘Communion.’ Until now, the only way to read this story was by picking up my short fiction collection, Paths Best Left Untrodden, or by breaking into my house and reading it on my computer, which seems like a lot of work. So now, for the first time, you can check the story out, recreated wonderfully by debut narrator Andrew Gibson, here:

If you do listen, feel free to tell me what you think in the comments here, or by grabbing me on Twitter @lisboetaingles

A Silent Dystopia and Hex-periments

This past week has seen not one, but two anthologies I’ve been incredibly excited about for a while. First up is A Silent Dystopia, from Demain Publishing. Set in Dave Jeffery’s A Quiet Apocalypse universe, this anthology features stories by the likes of Stephanie Ellis, Steve Stred, J A Sullivan, Morgan K Tanner, and myself, alongside some other amazing voices.
Some of the stories focussed on how apocalypse ‘preppers’ might handle the eventual coming of such a cataclysm, others on how a chosen few might reject the prejudices against the Deaf in this silent world, while still others – like mine – considered how some might try to help smuggle the persecuted to safety and the hazards they would face.
All in all, from what I’ve read so far, it’s a terrific anthology. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can grab your copy in eBook here. The paperback version will be arriving sometime in early 2022. If you’re not familiar with the source text, you can get to grips with Dave’s brutal and emotionally difficult world here.
Massive thanks to David T. Griffith who went to pains to get these stories just right and to pay the best possible homage to the universe Dave Jeffery created. Also to Dean Drinkel at Demain for supporting the project, and to Roberto Segate, whose stunning art adorns the cover, as well as Adrian Baldwin who, as ever, created a dynamite overall cover design.

The second anthology – released today, no less, is Hex-Periments: A Dark Biotech Anthology. Surgically spliced together by the mad scientist duo of Ross Jeffery and Keith Anthony Baird, this one features stories by the editors themselves, Demi-Louise Blackburn, Tracy Fahey, David Sodergren, Dave Jeffery, Paul Kane and others, alongside my story ‘Cerebral Salvage.’ All the tales within the book feature dark biotechnological themes, often with black magic elements. With the calibre of authors on show, the quality of the stories is obviously very high, but what I love most about this anthology is that the proceeds are going to support homeless charities in the UK, something I hope we can all get behind. So, pick up a copy here and do some good, if you have the means to do so.

I did readings with snippets from both of my stories which feature in these anthologies on my YouTube channel recently. Check out the one for ‘Cerebral Salvage,’ below.

Were Tales: A Shapeshifter Anthology – Out Now

Were Tales: A Shapeshifter Anthology, featuring my story, ‘Refuge,’ was released yesterday through Brigids Gate Press. I was invited to contribute a story to the anthology by editor S. D. Vassallo, with the instructions to try and use a shapeshifter that wasn’t the archetypal werewolf.

I put my thinking cap on and started scouring the web and various folklore sources for shapeshifters from cultures around the world. After some narrowing down and plotting out of some potential scenarios, I was torn between the Kitsune of Japan – a magical were fox – and the Berserker of northern and eastern Europe.

Just as my indecisiveness was beginning to get me down, the central character of my eventual story, Johan, came to me in crystal clarity and I was set on the Berserker from there on in. Johan is an older protagonist. One who’s seen and done pretty much everything in his life and has the scars to show for it. But also someone who has rejected the violence of the past. Now he has something beyond himself to protect. I hope people will get as much out of reading the story as I did in writing it.

What I didn’t know when I sat down to write ‘Refuge’ was quite how talented the other writers and poets on the TOC were going to be. I’m honoured to share pages with people like Jonathan Maberry, Gabino Iglesias, Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason (aka the sisters of slaughter), Linda Addison, Eric J. Guignard, Cynthia Pelayo, Beverley Lee, Alyson Faye, Stephanie Wytovich, Laurel Hightower, Tabatha Wood, Stephanie Ellis, Catherine McCarthy … I could go on and on (and on!). Hell, even the introduction was written by a legend in Ronald Kelly. It goes without saying that I’m delighted to be among such talented people.

Already near the top of the ‘Hot New Releases’ list on Amazon for horror, I hope and believe this book is going to be a big hit. Don’t miss it, grab your copy here.