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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2018 – the story so far

I’ve only just set up the site, but here’s a little update about what is coming up in 2018. So, here goes:

Autumn is looking like the time of year when it’s all happening for me this year, as I have a story, entitled ‘No Such Thing As a Free Lunch’ coming up in Scary Dairy Press’ Terror Politico anthology. Scary dairy have been a delight to work with. Contracts are signed and now I’m simply awaiting edits to confirm/deny. The anthology is inspired by the current political climate in the US (but could arguably be transposed with few changes to the UK) and features a local billionaire politician who decides to provide free lunches to the homeless. The catch is there’s no such thing as a… well, you get the idea. I’ll have more information on that when it’s available.

Second up, scheduled for release in the December issue of Alban Lake’s Frostfire Worlds magazine, is my first YA story to make it into print. The story is titled Your Blue Friend, and involves ancient Egyptian enchantments and a devilishly smart teenage female protagonist who I loved writing and I hope you’ll love reading.

There is one more confirmed release which is aimed at late summer but, at this stage, I am not liable to say what it is. Only that, in terms of exposure and the potential for my work to feature alongside some truly stellar fiction, this might well be my most eagerly anticipated release so far.

As you might imagine, there are other stories awaiting the thumbs up or thumbs down from various anthologies, magazines, etc and other stories that are somewhere between my brain, my laptop screen and an email to another submission call.

Finally, a word on the novella I’m working on. It’s tentatively titled The Balance and is a (hopefully) fresh take on the Slavic mythology of Baba Yaga. It’s set in Poland, a place where I lived for a few years and a culture I believe I know well. It’s currently in its third draft stage. My hope is to have it ready for submission before too long.

That’s all from me. Be well and do, please get in touch if you have anything you’d like to say or to share with me.