New story ‘Contaminated’ out now in Madness Heart Press’ Creeping Corruption anthology

CreepingCorruption_ebook

Edited by John Baltisberger and released through his Madness Heart Press imprint, Creeping Corruption is an anthology of horror stories focussed on the idea of corruption itself and its irrepressible spread. This corruption is manifest in the physical, as in my story, ‘Contaminated’ – about a species of mould that willfully consumes everything before it – to the psychological corruption of the mind, to financial and political corruption, eating at the heart of society.

As part of the promotional efforts to get the word out about this anthology, I will be participating in my first podcast interview, about what inspired the story and more, besides. More information on that when I have it and, in the meantime, you can buy your copy of Creeping Corruption, here.

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.

A Bit of News – At Last

Lately, things have been immensely quiet on this site. Since the launch of the amazing Lost Films, all of my other projects have been ‘in-progress,’ with no real end product to share with you all. But, with halloween just around the corner, things are about to get busy again.

Releasing any time now is Terror Politico, from Scary Dairy Press. There are so many great stories here and mine, ‘No Such Thing As A Free Lunch’ is perhaps one of the most disturbing I’ve written. I hope you’ll check it out and enjoy it. It’s a political horror release (the clue is in the title) and it’s hoped that the stories there are ones that will make readers think every bit as much as they shock and scare.

After this, I’m happy to say my first ever YA release is coming in the November issue of Frostfire Worlds, the YA speculative fiction magazine from Alban Lake Publishing. More news on that at launch. My story is ‘Your Blue Friend,’ a supernatural tale involving Egyptian ‘ushabtis’ and cosmic horror.

This week, I also sent back the final, approved version of my story, ‘Muscle Memory,’ a story set in a hospital that I don’t want to reveal more about, for Renaissance Press’ We Shall Be Monsters anthology of work inspired by the two-hundred year-old classic, Frankenstein. I can tell you that the proof I have seen of this book looks so gorgeous, you are not going to want to miss it.

A new release has also hit the shelves this week, in the form of The Horror Tree’s Trembling with Fear: Year One anthology, which features hundreds of short stories and drabbles by a wide variety of authors. My story, ‘The Long Road to Immortality’ is a chilling reference to the world of instant celebrity through technology and how it, sometimes, can bite back.

twf-general-post

These releases are very exciting but, perhaps most exciting of all is the supernatural horror novel which I am currently working on, set in a long-abandoned mining community, where a man is looking to rehabilitate his family’s past with dark, unforeseen consequences. I’m aiming to finish the manuscript this year and to start shopping it to agents and publishing houses in 2019.

Finally, I have just sold two more stories this week. One, a dark sci-fi short will be featured on a well known podcast, while the other, a classic horror tale, will be featured in an anthology in 2019. More news on both, as and when possible.

Today is Book Day! (Lost Films, Slow Summer and more)

Happy bookday to myself and a host of fantastic authors, some of whom I can also call friends, such as Bob Pastorella, Brian Asman and Thomas Joyce of the This is Horror community. Lost Films is out today! I know I’ve been blathering on about it for months, but this anthology means a lot to me and I feel it is a big step in my writing journey, not to mention an honour, to share a platform with people I’ve looked up to from the moment I first read their work, such as Gemma Files, Brian Evenson, John C Foster, Kristi DeMeester, Jessica McHugh and all the other writers who made the cut. Everlasting thanks to Max and Lori at Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing for believing in my story, ‘The Fourth Wall’. Great reviews are coming in for the whole anthology, so I think and hope you’re going to love it.

Anyway, for the final time, if you don’t have your copy, I strongly recommend taking a look at it by clicking the image below:

Lost-Films-cover.jpg

Moving on, this summer has existed in two phases, from a writing perspective. On one hand, I planned an as-yet-untitled novel at the end of the school year and managed to put down about 8,000 words of it in just under two weeks. Then I came to the UK to do some university work and since then my time is at a real premium and so I’ve managed only a little more than a thousand words in a month. That said, the WIP is still vivid in my mind, I still believe strongly in the project and I will be getting back on it with a vengeance in a fortnight.

Aside from that, the We Shall Be Monsters anthology of Frankenstein themed stories will be coming from Canada’s Renaissance Press very soon and I look forward to seeing what people make of the story there which I’d struggle to categorise as horror, even with certain horrific realisations. After that there’s nothing new until October, although my Baba Yaga novella remains with a publisher and I eagerly anticipate a response for it. There are other stories out for submission and, of course, the moment I hear anything positive, I’ll post them up here.

For now… back to work…

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.

9781949232998-medium