Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Monthly Round-Up: September 2015

This blog has been a tad neglected of late. That doesn't mean there's nothing going on. On the contrary - things have been extremely busy, and thus I have a lot of news to report as we move out of September.

I am pleased to announce that FEMME FATALE, an anthology of horror stories by women, is now available in print and on the Kindle. All profits from this book are going to a charity that supports victims of domestic violence, so if you buy a copy, your hard-earned cash is going to a good cause. And of course you get to enjoy an outstanding collection of stories. My story 'The Haunted Dolls' House' features.

And of course THE WHISPERING DEATH is also available to buy now. I also want to add a reminder that another anthology featuring one of my stories, FORMER HEROES, has also been released recently.

I had a blog swap earlier this week with fellow MuseItUp author Susan Royal. She appeared on my blog talking about tim travel, and I appeared on hers talking about why I wear many hats.

There are a great deal of events going on in real space in the forthcoming month, and I shall be kept very busy. For starters I am attending two conventions in October. The first is Bristol Horror Con on the 17th, where I am appearing on a panel at 11am about the use and abuse of horror in literature through the ages.

The following weekend I'm off to FantasyCon in Nottingham, which runs from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 October. On the Friday at 5pm I'm on a panel about the use of fear in horror - an appropriate topic, since I did my dissertation on this very subject when studying for my English degree. The launch for THE WHISPERING DEATH will be happening at FantasyCon on the Saturday, at 8pm. That day also happens to be my birthday. If you're at FantasyCon please come to the launch; that will be enough of a birthday gift.

And, speaking of launches, this is of course the second launch for THE WHISPERING DEATH. The first will be held at The Brook independent arts centre and bar in Wallington, Surrey at 7pm on Wednesday 14 October. This launch is for everyone who isn't going to be at FantasyCon, and if you're UK based in the London/South East area and can attend, do please drop me a line. I am attaching a copy of the official invite. There will be free bubbly, if that makes a difference...

And amongst all this, I'm still hard at work on two WIPs. The third Shara Summers novel, SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH, stands at nearly 40,000 words and I am aiming to get this finished by the end of this year.

The second WIP is a horror novel about urban explorers, as yet untitled. Thus far only 2,000 words of it exist. I'm aiming to get this one finished by Summer 2016.

So, I have a lot of work to do. I may be neglecting the blog a bit longer as I race my way through my busy October. But if you're going to be at the Cons at either Bristol or Nottingham, do say hello!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fiends: Ten Tales of Demons is Live

Cover for Fiends: Ten Tales of Demons
I'm a bit late posting this, since Fiends: Ten Tales of Demons has been out since August. But considering I had two conventions since then (Indie Gathering and Imaginarium), plus books to read and score for a contest, I suppose I can be forgiven the delay.

Fiends is the eleventh Ten Tales anthology edited and published by Rayne Hall, and the sixth one I have a story in, this one being "Inner Demon," about a hemophobic serial killer desperate to break his homicidal curse.

I've written short stories and short novels ever since I first started writing. My first attempts at writing horror were penning three stories on notebook paper and stapling them together, then passing them around for my sixth grade classmates to read. On the back of each "issue" I asked for their feedback. Despite being the unpopular kid, the one bullied, and picked last in gym, my fellow students liked my writing. Go figure.

Other authors have told me they can't write short stories, that they can't condense their plots like the format requires. Maybe growing up reading collections of short stories in Alfred Hitchcock anthologies, or perusing pulp fiction "trained" me to write concisely, and that's why it tends to be easier for me. Then again, I don't overthink it.

However, because I now have an agent, I have to write longer books, and that has not been as difficult as I'd feared, although I do find it a challenge. So one might say I'm like the authors I mentioned above, only on the other side of the spectrum. But I've done it, and now I'm awaiting to hear from a publisher on one of those books.

You can find Fiends: Ten Tales of Demons on Amazon Kindle. A print book is scheduled for release later this year.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Indie Gathering

This past weekend, I attended Indie Gathering International Film Festival in Hudson, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. I went with two author friends, Amy and Missy, and we had a table in the vendor hall, so I took copies of the Reel Dark anthology to sell. I also had rack cards of Death Sword and Exterminating Angel, my two paranormal angel suspense stories. They were the reason I was at Indie Gathering. Both short novels had received an award each.

I'll admit, this is one of the best-run festivals I've been to. All events took place in the hotel, and there was plenty of networking as well as viewing films and attending panels. I went to the short thriller-suspense films and Missy attended the panel on crowd funding. Amy had a couple of short films also screening.

Which got me thinking, could I come up with a short film for submission for next year, plus another screenplay or two? Seeing how they show micro films, maybe it's a possibility that I can enter a project I'm currently playing around with.

Anyway, I have one more con to attend this year in Louisville, Kentucky: Imaginarium. It's a multi-genre writers' conference, with panels, a vendor hall, and a film festival, plus awards banquet.  I'll be sharing a table with Amy and Missy in the vendor hall, which is free to the public this year. Looking forward to meeting new people and seeing old friends again.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Monthly Round-Up: August 2015

Where does the time go? We're at the end of August already.

Summer is nearly over and meteorologically it certainly feels that way. Lots of rain here in London and it's feeling distinctly chilly. I actually put the heating on today.

Anyway, enough about the weather. On with the news.


I'm very excited to announce that THE WHISPERING DEATH is now available, in both Kindle and paperback formats. The official launch will be at FantasyCon in Nottingham on Saturday 24 October (which also happens to be my birthday) but I have not yet had a time confirmed.

There's also going to be another launch in South London on Wednesday 14 October. If you're not going to FantasyCon but are in the vicinity to make it to this one, let me know and I shall send you an invite.


Two appearances to report this month:

18 August - I was on Jami Gray's blog talking about the editing process and how the end is not the end.

24 August - Canadian author Allan J Emerson hosted an interview with me on his blog today.

TWITTER Book launch invite 27-8-2015 MASTERWhile we're on the subject of publicity, I want to mention that tomorrow night (Thursday 27th) there will be an online Q&A session to promote THE WHISPERING DEATH. My publisher, Kensington Gore, and I will be online to answer any questions that people might care to ask. This starts at 7pm British Summer Time, and it will be happening on Twitter. Use the hashtag #QAKGPUB (an abbreviation of 'question & answer for Kensington Gore publishing') to join the conversation. I am attaching the invite here. Feel free to spread the word!


Over halfway through the first draft of SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH, the third Shara Summers novel, now. Actually, technically it's Draft 2.5, since I rebooted it twice, but I have now got further than I ever did in any of the earlier versions so I am feeling hopeful that progress is being made.

I've set a goal for myself that I will finish this novel, to final draft stage, by the end of the year. This will mean I've got two WIPs on the go, since I'm also in the (very) early stages of a new horror novel. But hey, sometimes that's a good thing. When I get stuck on one WIP I can go work on the other one.

Lots going on, then. So on that note I'm going to sign off and go back to the writing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Whispering Death

It's time to unveil the cover for the forthcoming horror novel THE WHISPERING DEATH!

This one is being released by British horror publisher Kensington Gore in Autumn. The e-book version may, in fact, be available in a few weeks. The print version will follow in a couple of months. I am hoping to be able to launch it at FantasyCon in Nottingham in October but I am awaiting confirmation on that.

This is the scariest novel I have written in a while, and it's not for the faint-hearted as it has rather a lot of gruesome scenes. It also has a lot of references to LARP, to D&D, to Resident Evil and is an homage to geekiness in general. Oh, and it has zombies, too.

I am very excited about the release of this book. For those of you in the UK and not going to FantasyCon, I'm endeavouring to arrange another launch, in the South of England, to offer another opportunity to attend. As always, watch this space for further info.

In the meantime, here's a teaser in the form of a blurb for the novel.

Death comes to us all; life is the name of the game and everyone has a role to play.

When a group of live action role-players perform a ritual as part of a game, they unwittingly unleash an ancient evil that tears their world apart. The reanimated corpse of a long-dead magic user, corrupted by powerful dark magic, offers a promise of unlimited power, but at a terrible price. Having helped open this Pandora’s box, Mark and Elizabeth must race against time to close it again – before it’s too late.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Monthly Round-Up: July 2015

Generally I do the monthly round-up on the last Wednesday of the month. However, last week I was in Darkest Wales, with no access to wifi and barely any mobile phone signal. It was nice to get away from it all, but a bit of an adjustment to be 'off the radar'.

So, July's round-up is a week late. But there is plenty to report, so on with the news.


The 'Former Heroes' anthology is now available to buy, in print and e-book format. Featuring seven original stories of SF, fantasy and horror, all of these authors are united by being live action role-players. It's a fairly eclectic mix of stories, but it has already started receiving good reviews. My own story is definitely one of the darker ones.


THE WHISPERING DEATH is in final proof stage, and now I'm getting excited. It's always a thrill when a book starts to become a reality.
It is hoped that this one will launch at FantasyCon in Nottingham in October, but I'm still waiting for confirmation of a launch slot. More news on this as it happens!


I was pleased to feature on the Omnimystery page at the beginning of the month as the author interview.


I've not made much progress on the new horror novel, but the third Shara Summers novel, SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH, continues apace. One of my work colleagues was asking about it the other day, which has given me some motivation to get on with it. I've set myself a goal to have this WIP finished by the end of the year. Not just 'current draft' finished, but at final draft stage. So I'd better apply bum to chair a bit more often and get cracking.

By the time of the next monthly round-up we'll be moving into Autumn, at least here in the Northern hemisphere. Where does the time go? See you then!