I’m writing this after a long hiatus of not writing. I feel like I’m always saying I’ve not written anything for a very long time but… and then very little happens. I blame this phenomena on studying and a sudden, inexplicable lack of confidence over the past year and a half.
I’m writing this after a long hiatus, but, there have been movements, and I should celebrate them instead of focusing on the negatives.
Back in February, my short story ‘Automaton’ was accepted for the fourth issue of Phantaxis Science Fiction & Fantasy Magazine (see a handy illustration nicked from the Phantaxis website to the right). I loved writing this story (lots of virtual window shopping for increasingly ridiculous products) and was inspired by Mac McClelland’s article over at motherjones.com. In the piece, McClelland goes undercover and describes the back-breaking and thankless work for what she calls “Amalgamated Product Giant Shipping Worldwide Inc”. Wink wink.
Also this month, my contemporary short-story ‘The Sea Children’ found a home at The Saturday Evening Post for their Fiction Friday slot. This started life as a fisherman-themed competition entry for Writing Magazine and gradually evolved into a longer story after positive feedback from Granta and other publications. You can read it online here.
In other news, I finished up my latest uni module with a staggeringly bad exam. My answers were… lacking. Despite this, I’m glad to see the back of forced reading for a while; on my to-read-for-fun list this month is Expanse: Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey and Flannery O’Connor’s Complete Stories. Like most people, I binge-watched The Expanse on Netflix and pinched The Great Beta Reader’s copy (she’s heavily into space operas now, and wants to be a Space Pilot; nothing else will do).
I’ve also set myself a seemingly impossible goal of writing a pilot script for this year’s Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award, starting now with a July 1st deadline *gulp*. I won’t lie, I’ve spent a lot of today staring out of the window, eating a Pot Noodle, inwardly freaking out. I’m telling you lot so I can be held accountable. Happily, there’s the flickering image of a potential opening scene in my mind, so things are in motion…
Onwards and upwards.
November has been a crazy one. Good crazy. All of the team at Grimdark Magazine are busy preparing for issue #2 which should be out in January. There’ll be an article discussing grimdark on the big (and small!) screen co-written by myself and Kyle Massa nestled amongst all the fantastic stories that have been lined up.
In other news, I received acceptances for two of my short stories to appear in a couple of very exciting anthologies and I can’t wait to get my hands on them, even though I’ll have to wait until next year.
The first story, entitled ‘Babymaker’ will be appearing in GIVE: An Anthology of Anatomical Entries from When The Dead Books. I loved writing it and hope others enjoy reading it.
‘The Club’ has found a home in Eldritch Press’ Our World of Horror anthology. I’m v. excited about this little baby and it’s my first pro-pay sale, which is always a positive. This was one of the first horror stories I wrote and it lingered in submission no-man’s land for some time, so it’s nice to have finally found a home for it.
Eldritch Press released a partial TOC a few months ago, and I am delighted to be joining these excellent authors currently working the horror circuit.
Here’s the TOC so far:
John Grant – Short Story -“Too Late”
Patrick Freivald – Short Story – “Trophy Hunt”
Jacqueline Seewald – Short Story- “A Message from the Company”
Michael Bailey – Short Story – “Fix”
Aaron Gudmunson – Short Story – “Range”
Rose Blackthorn – Short Story – “Beneath the Shadows of the Red-Leafed Maple ”
Jason Andrew –Short Story – “A Pattern Recgonized in the Stars”
Robert Essig – Short Story – “High Fashion”
Michael Carter – Short Story – “Lach Nach N’Gai, With Salad”
Sydney Leigh – Poetry – “Come as you are”
Michelle Scalise – Poetry – “Red” and “Sylvia of the Flames”
Suzanne Church – Short Story – “Morgue Sand”
Jimmy Hernandez – Short Story – “Delerium”
Kristi DeMeester – Short Story – “The Tracks”
Lloyd Lee Barnett – Poetry – “The Serpent Tongue” and “The Diner Bell”
David Tallerman – Short Story – “Br(other)”
Gerry Huntman – Short Story – “The Crab Woman”
Rissa Cortez – Poetry – “Inked Tides” and “Silent Witness”
With a very appropriate release date on Halloween this year, Bugs: Tales That Slither, Creep and Crawl is now available in print and e-book form with my story The Flea Jar nestled somewhere near the front.
With over 30 creepy-crawlie stories to choose from, you’re pretty spoiled for choice. There are some fantastic storytellers lurking in these pages, including Eric S. Brown, David Bernstein, Lawrence Santoro, Tracy L. Carbone and Sydney Leigh to name a few.
I’ve waffled on about The Flea Jar for some time now, so I will gracefully leave the podium and get on with other work. I will tell you this though, The Flea Jar is partially based on real things. Can you can spot them…