The Summer of Scares

It feels like it’s about time for another blog post and a bit of an update. Traditionally, within horror and dark fiction circles, the beginning part of the year can tend to be terribly slow as releases are few and far between, and so 2018 has proved, to date. However, with summer well and truly here now, we begin to shift through the gears and releases start to come out thick and fast towards Autumn – Halloween in particular – and a swathe of releases.

So, here’s what’s coming up for me:

July sees the release of Beyond the Infinite: Tales from the Outer Reaches from Things in the Well. Edited by Steve Dillon, this looks like a great anthology, with tales by Clive Barker, H. G. Wells and Brian Lumley sandwiched together with new stories of sci-fi terror from Stephen Herczeg, Lisa Pais and yours truly (my story’s title is ‘A Precious Quarry’). The cover artwork is a thing to behold (see below) and I’ll be adding this to my list of publications as soon as it’s available.

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Also coming in July or August will be another story for The Other Stories podcast. I’ve literally JUST signed the contract on this one. I was so happy with what they did with my previous story for them – ‘Show Cooking: Cannibal Edition‘ and can’t wait to see what they do with my story on the forthcoming theme of The London Underground.

Moving into August and perhaps the most eagerly awaited anthology release of the year at the moment is Lost Films from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing. I mentioned this in a previous blog post from which you can place a pre-order for the book in paperback, or eBook format. The heavyweights writing in the anthology are both humbling and inspiring and I look forward to hearing what people think of the anthology as a whole and my story, ‘The Fourth Wall.’

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In November, there will be two new releases, the first of which is my first Young Adult fiction release of a story called ‘Your Blue Friend,’ which will appear in the Frostfire Worlds magazine, from Alban Lake publishing. You can find previous issues of the magazine at the Alban Lake store. I’ll publish cover artwork here as and when it is revealed.

Also coming in November is Scary Dairy Press’ Terror Politico anthology, a collection of stories about the dystopian state of our current politics. My story ‘No Such Thing as a Free Lunch’ will hopefully provide a harrowing account of the status quo and make you think, while turning your stomach. The cover art for the anthology has been revealed (below) and looks terrific.

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I still have my first novella – working title The Balance – under consideration with a publisher and I have broken ground on a new novel/novella, set in a long-collapsed gold mine, more news on that as it comes.

Sorry for the long update. I look forward to sharing these new stories with you in the near future. Enjoy the summer.

Taking the rough with the smooth

After a great end to 2017 and a better start to 2018, there were inevitably going to be bumpy roads to navigate at some point. Listen to any writer you care to mention (besides Stephen King and a few others) and they’ll tell you that rejection is a part of the writer’s life. Even when you’re good. And known. And known to be good. Even more common for a newcomer then.

They’ll also tell you it never stops hurting.

Such has been this last two weeks for me. Two rejections that I was feeling really rather confident about. Stories I believed in – and continue to believe in – which I thought were good fits.

You can take these setbacks in different ways. Since I started writing more seriously, at the beginning of last year, my method has been to see every rejection as an invitation to learn, improve, polish that story (if you still think it’s worthy) and get it back out there.

So that’s what I’ve done. Fingers crossed they’re more palatable to the editors they’re with currently.

Whether they are or not, we writers just have to keep on keeping on.


On a more positive note, a story that did find a home was released somewhat quietly, in an eBook anthology, just over a week ago. Dies Infaustus, edited by Shannon Iwanski and put out by the lovely people at A Murder of Storytellers, features my story ‘The Wraith’ and is available now, here. Take a look at Alan Sessler’s beautiful cover art, below.

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