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.

Half price promotion on The Balance eBook and Audiobook

After two months on sale, The Balance is doing better than I could possibly have hoped (all thanks to you readers!) To help more people find this fusion of Slavic folklore and ecohorror, Lycan Valley Press have decided to run a limited-time promotion, with the Ebook and audiobook both available for half price.

So pick up the eBook here.

Or the audiobook (lovingly narrated by Desmond Manny) here.

And don’t forget to use the coupon code Balance2020 at checkout. Note the capital B in Balance there, people.

If you do check it out, I’d love you to reach out to me and tell me what you think, via my contact page, on Twitter @LisboetaIngles or via Goodreads.

The Balance – My Debut Novella – Coming 28 April

Balance Banner

It’s both a tremendously exciting and a terrifying time for me, as my debut novella now has a release date. On 28 April,¬†The Balance will be available in all the usual online stockists, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble and so forth. The early release eBook and audiobook versions are available now, with versions appearing on Apple books, Audible and so on in the coming days and weeks. US readers can pre-order the paperback here. There are currently some problems with the Amazon listing of the book, so Kindle users will need to buy direct from the publisher at the link above.

Here’s the back cover synopsis for The Balance:

When myth becomes nightmare … The price of blood is always blood. The Balance Cover High Quality

Natalia’s in trouble. She only looked away for a second, and now her brother’s hurt. Her relationship with her mother is fractured, her brother’s condition is deteriorating, and her only hope lays deep in the unforgiving forest. A secret spoken only in whispers offers a way out. But when help comes in occult forms a sacrifice may be the only way to restore the balance. 

Humanity and nature collide in The Balance by Kev Harrison, a modern reimagining of the Slavic folk tale of Baba Yaga, set in Cold War Poland. 

Why Poland?

Though I’ve now lived and am very much settled in Portugal, I spent three incredible years of my life living and working in Poland. It was a place I knew little or nothing about when I arrived and one that shall now remain close to my heart and forever feel like home.

The person of¬†Baba Yaga is just one of a multitude of characters woven into the fascinating (and often terrifying) folk lore of the Slavic nations. It’s easy to understand how dark folk tales manage to remain so vividly remembered and so present in modern culture when you consider the history of the place.

Few nations have had their borders redrawn as often as Poland and, of course, the scars of both World War II and its status as a Soviet client state throughout the cold war are particularly raw wounds. A friend of mine told me once, as I left the Schindler museum (from where Oscar Schindler saved thousands from execution) in a state of shocked silence, “You learn about history from books. We learn about it from our grandfathers.” Of course, a great many from Great Britain suffered immensely and gave their lives in the second world war, but the stories of Nazi occupation and the quasi-occupied state that followed liberation, with permanent states of rationing, corruption and constant fear for one’s life, explained much about the psyche of the people of the country. They also explained to me the way folk stories, myths and legends have retained their presence in society until today.

I chose this period of the Cold War, in a rural town, in the heart of a harsh Eastern European winter, as the perfect setting for supplies to run short and for desperation to lead people back to the old ways.

I’ll be writing more about¬†The Balance¬†in the coming weeks before the paperback release. In the meantime, here is a preview of the Audiobook, narrated by Desmond Manny:

Cinders of a Blind Man Who Could See – Now Available in Paperback

Cinders PaperbackMy first ever solo release, Cinders of a Blind Man Who Could See, put out by the fabulous people at Demain Publishing, is now available in Paperback. With the original release almost a year ago now (its book birthday is less than three weeks away at the time of writing this post!), we wanted the paperback to be a bit special. So, having talked to Dean at Demain, we decided we would include a brand new, unpublished story, just for readers who pick up the paperback.

Cinders Paperback Rear

The story, ‘All My Bridges Burnt,’ is a very different sort of tale from ‘Cinders…’ It’s fast-paced and action-packed, and was based on a real-world urban legend of a haunting on the road in New Jersey, USA. It was great fun, reading up on the differing accounts of how the ghost-child manifests and then looking at the lay of the land on google maps and street view to get a sense of the geography.

I only hope that this bonus story is as well received as ‘Cinders…’ has been over the past year.

So, if you haven’t picked up Cinders of a Blind Man Who Could See yet, there’s never been a better time to do so. Order your copy here.

Cinders of a Blind Man Who Could See – Available for Pre-order Now

CindersAvailable now for pre-order as a kindle-only edition, is¬†Cinders of a Blind Man Who Could See, part of Demain Publishing’s ‘Short Sharp Shocks’ range of long-short stories. This tale of British folk horror, set in rural Cheshire (not far from where I went to university, a long time ago), deals with themes of loss, isolation, secrecy and strained family relations.

The back cover synopsis is as follows:

Something old lurks in Leonard‚Äôs Wood and something ‚Äď or someone ‚Äď in the sleepy village of Wincham is feeding it.¬†

Now Owen must face it or risk losing his son forever.

Available now for £0.99 or $0.99, depending on your location, you can pre-order Cinders of a Blind Man Who Could See, here, so it will magically appear on your Kindle, April 19th.