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:

New free audio story ‘The Solstice,’ available now on Hawk and Cleaver’s The Other Stories Podcast

TheSolsticeOne of the things I love to do in my fiction is to use real-world folklore as inspiration, conjuring something dark and exciting from it.

This new story, ‘The Solstice,’ is a particular thrill for me, as it’s set in Portugal, my adopted home nation and uses folklore from the north of the country as the backdrop.

The masks described in the story, and the purpose for which they’re made, are still relevant today in the Tras-Os-Montes region of the country. I’d love to know what you think of it.

You can listen in the sidebar, below or wherever you listen to podcasts:

 

Christmas Horror, Frankenstein Comes to Life and my First Novella

Yesterday saw the release of my Christmas story, ‘A Christmas Eve Visitor’ on The Other Stories podcast. It’s a delightfully unpleasant tale for those who like their Christmas with a dose of dark humbug.

Listen Here

In other news, We Shall Be Monsters: Frankenstein Two Hundred Years On has been given the go ahead for release at the end of this month. I can’t confirm the exact date yet, but this anthology of fiction, essays, poetry and more besides, inspired by Mary Shelley’s timeless classic is so beautifully stitched together (pun intended) and my story in it, ‘Muscle Memory,’ is one of the pieces I’m most proud of in my short time writing. Keep up with it here.

Finally and perhaps most exciting of all, this week I put a contract in the post for my first novella. I can’t talk much about it now, as details are still being finalised, but it contains folklore and supernatural elements. I’m hoping it will be launched in early 2019. More news as I have it.