Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Silver Maples

For various reasons, I wasn't able to write at all during the coronavirus lockdown period.  This seems to have been the case for other writers I've spoken too, although some managed to knock out whole novels but we won't talk about those people.  Luckily, just before the whole shitstorm started back in February, I managed to crank out a story called 'Silver Maples'.  The story was influenced by a ghoulish interest I had in the drowning of Hollywood icon Natalie Wood, a recurring bad dream a friend of mine had and was foolish enough to tell me about, and my general interest in conspiracy theories, secret sects, and cover ups.   The story revolves around a journalist  investigating the mysteries surrounding a derelict lakeside holiday resort.

Silver Maples has just been published in the Scare Street anthology 'Night Terrors #3', which is available now. 

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Beyond the Green Garden

My story, Beyond the Green Garden, has just been published in the debut issue of Cosmic Horror Monthly.  In the story, a young couple on holiday in Portugal find a doorway in their hotel leading out into a beautiful garden.  When they disregard a warning not to go out into the garden, they come to wish they hadn't followed that particular path to its end.

Like a twisted Narnia tale (it even has a fawn - albeit not quite as innocent as Mr Tumnus), for me, this story is about the fear of getting older.  Some of its imagery was inspired by two paintings:  Autumn by Bill Martin and Untitled by Nick Hyde.


Thursday, 14 May 2020

The Path Through the Woods

I'm over the moon to have my ghost story 'The Path Through the Woods' included in the new edition of The Ghastling.  This fully illustrated 'modern-day penny dreadful' as it describes itself looks amazing.  I can't wait to get hold of a copy.

I'd like to give a big thank you to editor Rebecca Partfitt for purchasing my story.

Visit The Ghastling's website for more information or to purchase a copy.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

An introduction to Golden Death Music

My introduction to the music of  Michael Ramey aka Golden Death Music came more than a decade ago when I purchased his self released album Ephemera Blues.  Intrigued, I downloaded and listened to all of his subsequent releases but it wasn't until he put out the song Hopeless Games in 2016 that I became hooked on delving deeper into his back catalogue.  Hopeless Games quickly became one of my favourite songs and there was a time when I would listen to it every day.  To me, it sounded like a lost indie classic, something up there with The Killing Moon, Birthday, There is a Light That Never Goes Out, or Close To Me.

So I decided to compile my own personal 'Best Of Golden Death Music' collection as an introduction to his music.  There are poppy songs like Hopeless Games and the equally brilliant Painted Sands (from his forthcoming Strange Mess album), upbeat numbers (Song For Lucien), and beautiful roaming pieces of music like Did That Affect Your Mind? (which samples serial killer Aileen Wuornos to add a disturbing edge), the grungy Hollywood which would not sound out of place on a Screaming Trees album, and extended psychedelic jams like - well, take your pick.

All of Golden Death Music's albums can be downloaded from Bandcamp - name your price.  With so much to discover, it shouldn't be difficult for anyone to find their own favorites.

For the songs below, where I couldn't find a Youtube video, I've linked to the track on Bandcamp.

1. Hopeless Games


2. How Can We Find Meaning?


3. Painted Sands

4. Hollywood

5. Did That Affect Your Mind?


6. Inner Facelift


7. Song For Lucien

8. Defender of the Future



9. Deadly Weather


10. False Bypass


11. Voice of Everything


12. High as the Night

13. The Falling Key




Thursday, 9 April 2020

Butterfly

Back in November last year I was lucky enough to have my short story 'Butterfly' accepted for publication in the debut issue of the New Gothic Review.  It's been a real pleasure seeing the passion and enthusiasm with which the team behind this have launched their magazine into the world.  And now Volume 1 is here!  Aswell as my tale, there are also stories by Rebecca Parfitt,  A.A. de Levine, Joseph DeMarco, John Leahy, and R.M Sandoval.

There is also some excellent artwork accompanying each story.  Mine has an illustration by Olivia Tinnin.

Butterfly can be read for free online here.  Or subscribe to receive this and future issues of the New Gothic Review.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

New Stories for 2020

2020 already looks like being quite an exiting year, as I'll be having a number of new stories appearing in some fine publications.

My tale. Last Shot, about a paparazzi photographer who starts to wonder if he might just be the Angel of Death has been accepted for Stories We Tell After Midnight from Crone Girls Press.  The cover and line up for this looks amazing.  This book should be making an appearance around Halloween this year.  Can't wait for this one.














Due in spring is The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors 2 in which I get to share a table of contents with some big names from the world of horror and weird fiction such as John Howard and Peter Sutton.  My story, Black Nore, explores the murky waters of memory as the protagonist, Hunter, tries to come to terms with whether or not he murdered his own brother.














My story, The Lies of the Heart, returns to the mountains overrun with shapeshifting creatures which I first visited in my tale The Shape of the Heart, published in the anthology Once Bitten from Knightwatch Press back in 2015.  Going up against the shapeshifters this time is the recently bereaved Nev, whose self-imposed isolation in the mountains is about to be shattered by the arrival of a character from the original story.  The Lies of the Heart will be published in the anthology What Monsters Do For Love from Soteria Press.










Other stories of mine seeing publication this year include another shapeshifting tale, Butterfly, which has been accepted for the first issue of The New Gothic Review; Time For Sale and The Long Sleep, two very different stories which will both see print in the Time anthology from Transmundane Press; and a reprint of The Way Stationer which will appear in Terry Grimwood's space exploration anthology Time We Left.  I'm also due to have a story published in the festival-themed anthology, Nabu Carnivale, which will be published by Tell-Tale Press in May.  This story is called The Black Masquerade and will also be the title story of my next collection.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Recommended: Rare Birds by L.S. Johnson

I've been quite vocal about how much I enjoy L.S. Johnson's writing in past blog posts, and her second collection of short stories did not disappoint.  I'd read most of these stories before in the publications where they first appeared, but that didn't stop me enjoying them a second time around.  In fact, it was worth buying the book just for the two tales that were new to me: Marigolds (a tale of love and witchcraft among the women working in a Parisian brothel), and The Properties of Obligate Pearls (about a doctor who harvests misery).

As a taster, why not check out the excellent podcast of We Are Sirens (one of the standout stories from Rare Birds), which was narrated wonderfully by Abra Staffin-Weibe on Podcastle.