If you review stuff and you’re interested in a review copy please get in touch.
Still writing in longhand
If you review stuff and you’re interested in a review copy please get in touch.
Fox Spirit Books will shortly be publishing a coffee table book filled with stories and artwork on the theme of European Monsters, and the Table of Contents has been announced. My story, “A Very Modern Monster” will be in most excellent company.
I’m all about monsters at the moment as my new novel Skein Island deals with a monster that lives on an island off the coast of Devon. In fact, the Devon connection is strong with “A Very Modern Monster” as well, as the action takes place on that familiar yet never comfortable place, Exmoor.
Exmoor looking prettier than it does in my story.
I’ll put up more details of both projects as they’re released. I think my post-apocalyptic novella The Beauty (which is also – you guessed it – set in Devon) might be first up to the plate though. It’s going to be a busy summer.
I’ll just add that I’m involved with Den of Geek’s new book club; I’ll be reviewing a book related to the world of film and TV every month, and the first choice was Tom Baker’s brilliant autobiography Who on Earth is Tom Baker? If you’ve read it I’d love to know your thoughts on it.
I’m beginning to feel the urge to spread the word about my new novella. The Beauty will be available soonish, at the rate this year is speeding by, and I think it’s going to look stunning, judging by the effort and skill Unsung Stories are putting into it. I’ll put up a cover and more details when I have them, but for now here’s a link to the page on the appropriate website, and a bit of the blurb.
I always wanted to write a post-apocalyptic story, and I’m really pleased with this one.
Somewhere away from the cities and towns, a group of men and boys gather around the fire each night to listen to their stories in the Valley of the Rocks. For when the women are all gone the rest of your life is all there is for everyone. The men are waiting to pass into the night.
The story shall be told to preserve the past. History has gone back to its aural roots and the power of words is strong. Meet Nate, the storyteller, and the new secrets he brings back from the woods. William rules the group with youth and strength, but how long can that last? And what about Uncle Ted, who spends so much time out in the woods?
Hear the tales, watch a myth be formed. For what can man hope to achieve in a world without women? When the past is only grief how long should you hold on to it? What secrets can the forest offer to change it all?
Discover the Beauty.
Please forgive the excessive trumpet blowing, but it occurred to me that when my next short story is published it will be my 67th* to make it into print/online. I don’t think there’s a list of them all… until now. Yes, this is the list. Here they are, in chronological order.
1. The Message. Shotsmag. October 2003.
2. Strings. Unlikely Stories. November 2003.
3. Legs. Unlikely Stories. November 2003.
4. Playtime. Unlikely Stories. November 2003.
5. Geoffrey Says. Shred of Evidence. April 2004.
6. Caterpillar. The Laura Hird Showcase. May 2004.
7. Sieve. The Guardian. (Finalist in the Short Short Story competition) May 2004.
8. Tip of the Tongue. Fragment. May 2004.
9. Happiness Comes With a Paper Umbrella and a Measure of Grenadine. Pulp.net. Sept 2004.
10. Stevie Sang. Dec 2004. In Our Own Words Vol 6.
11. The Swimming Parasite. Whispers of Wickedness. Jan 2005.
12. Spitting Wasps. Opium. Jan 2005.
13. The Ninth Ocean. Project M. Jan 2005.
14. Sebastian Bugs. Word Riot. Mar 2005.
15. Voice Mail. Scifantastic. Aug 2005.
16. Trick of the Light. Astounding Tales. Aug 2005.
17. Chamberlain and the Art of Wooing. Spoiled Ink. Sept 2005.
18. Hot and Cold. The Barfing Frog. Jan 2006.
19. Intuition. Byzarium. Feb 2006.
20. The Fabulous Super Guy. Shotsmag. Feb 2006.
21. Penzance. Demolition. Mar 2006.
22. Legoland. Scifantastic. Mar 2006.
23. Witchcraft in the Harem. Sein und Werden. Apr 2006.
24. Zaza’s Place. Flashing in the Gutters. Jun 2006.
25. Ducklings. East of the Web. Sept 2006.
26. Fate, Freddo and the Number 4. Small Voices, Big Confessions. Oct 2006.
27. A Loving Heart. McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. (Runner up in the 13 Writing Prompts competition). Dec 2006.
28. A Craving for Pate. Tales From the Asylum. June 2007.
29. Burning Jane. Espresso Fiction. June 2007.
30. Births, Marriages and Deaths. Shred of Evidence. June 2007.
31. The Bengalo Boys. Fear and Trembling. June 2007.
32. In The Clouds. Serendipity. June 2007.
33. Jelly Park. Drabblecast. (Drabblecast Story of the Year) Dec 2007.
34. Paint. Storyglossia. Jan 2008.
35. 1926 in Brazilian Football. Word Riot. May 2008.
36. For Rosebud. Fusion Fragment. Jul 2008.
37. Right Time, Right Place. A Fly in Amber. Jul 2008.
38. Richard of York. The Written Word. Jul 2008.
39. Overturned. (With Neil Ayres). Subtle Edens/Elastic Press. Nov 2008.
40. The Red Man. Twisted Tongue. Feb 2009.
41. The Holmesian Defence. Powder Burn Flash. May 2009.
42. Flushed. 3AM. Jun 2009.
43. Strands. Ink-Filled Page. (Nominated for the Pushcart Prize) Sept 2009.
44. Boxes. Halfway Down the Stairs. Sept 2009.
45. Wingspan. The Future Fire. Sept 2009.
46. Go Beep. Drabblecast. Sept 2010.
47. Siren. Flashquake. May 2011.
48. Babyhead. Drabblecast. July 2011.
49. Penelope Napolitano and the Butterflies. Strange Horizons. Sept 2011.
50. Lydia Before. Smokelong. Mar 2012.
51. The Causeway. Polluto. Apr 2012.
52. Midnight Midnight. Jupiter. June 2012.
53. First Up. Big Pulp. July 2012.
54. Songs for Dead Children. First Book of Classical Horror/Megazanthus Press. July 2012.
55. An Alpine Escape. Better than Fiction/Lonely Planet. Dec 2012.
56. Green River. The BFS Journal. (Runner up in the BFS short story competition) Dec 2012.
57. Ice Cold, Red Hot. Sein und Werden. Feb 2013.
58. Rock Song. Kaleidotrope. June 2013.
59. The Wandering Scent. Rustblind and Silverbright/Eibonvale Press. July 2013.
60. Castle of the Slave. Perihelion. Aug 2013.
61. Waiting Room. Horror Without Victims/Megazanthus Press. Aug 2013.
62. Owls and Pussycats. Litro. Oct 2013.
63. Words, Recorded. Per Contra. Oct 2013.
64. Linkless. Perihelion. Jan 2014.
65. White Cards. Vending Machine Press. Feb 2014.
66. Endless Art. Bourbon Penn. Mar 2014.
67. Glum Dreams. 3 Lobed Burning Eye. Mar 2014.
I’ve given the links for those still available to read for free online.
*This list made more sense when I thought I was approaching my 60th short story publication. But I’d forgotten some. ** Anyway, this is the updated list. I’ll try to keep it up to date from now on.
** It’s a good thing I’m not a mathematician.
Issue nine of Bourbon Penn is now available either to buy, or read free online, and I’m in good company with my story about an alternative future in which a new use is found for arts graduates. Endless Art flowed directly out of my own experience as a Theatre Studies graduate, I think. Even though I write creatively every day, there’s always that nagging sensation that I’m not exactly saving the world.
Or maybe I am.
Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one – Stella Adler
Here’s a new short story of mine called ‘White Cards’ up at Vending Machine Press. It’s set in some of my favourite London museums. If you like it, give it a Tweet or a mention on Facebook for me.
It’s been a busy January. I’ve made a start on a new novel and have finished the edits for the fantasy horror novel that Dog Horn Publishing are going to publish this year. It’s called Skein Island. Hopefully I’ll have a cover to show off soon.
I’ve also been writing a few articles, including one about the most wonderful actor, Anton Walbrook, and another about MGM’s compilation films of the 1970s, That’s Entertainment! It’s a great feeling to write about classic film that is slowly being forgotten in the hope of bringing a few new people to the joy of a creepy black and white thriller, or one of the first technicolour extravaganzas.
February will see a few short stories of mine popping up in places such as Bourbon Penn and Vending Machine Press. Also the Smokelong Best Of… Anthology is due out at the end of the month, and my piece of flash fiction Lydia Before has made it into the finished book.
I’ll put up links and tweet about it as the stories hit the internet, but right now I’ll sign off with a picture of Anton Walbrook with a brilliant moustache. Any excuse, really.