The Man Who Fed The Foxes: free to read

I got older today. As a little gift to folks, below is my short story The Man Who Fed The Foxes for your enjoyment which can be found in my collection Broken on the Inside or here if you are in the US . The man who fed the foxes by Phil Sloman   Paul Wilson sat alert on the decking, peering into the gloom. Even if the sun had been high in the sky rather than cresting the horizon, as it currently was, there wouldn’t be much to see. An overgrown garden in need of an industrial lawnmower and a team of willing volunteers. At the end stood a broken greenhouse, barely five years old yet virtually forgotten, the glass fractured and smeared the colour of pond scum by a colony of algae. A couple of abandoned compost bins nestled beside it, like giant salt and pepper shakers, overflowing and surrounded by flowering weeds. His borders, which had been so immaculate in a former life, flourishing with begonias, tulips and carefully cultivated roses, were now clogged with bindweed, nettles and

Fear The Future: publishing news!

  I have been sitting on this news for ages and it is great to be able to share it with everyone (and some of you will already have seen this going round on social media). The brilliant  Corpus Press  are putting out the third in their In Darkness, Delight series called Fear The Future (great title!) and I am delighted that Evans and Andrew accepted my story What It Takes alongside works from an amazing array of talent including Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller fame. My story is a near-future tale about bio-tech and what happens when it gets hijacked. I had a lot of fun with imagining how someone might react when they thought what would be their saviour possibly becomes their route to destruction. Just what would you do to survive and to protect your loved ones? The blurb and full stellar line up (just soak up the talent on display!) are below and copies of Fear The Future can be purchased from  Amazon US   and  Amazon UK .  Plus take a look at that amazing cover; stunning!  I really t

It's been a while

So it's been a while since I posted on this site and the simple reason is essentially life coupled with a global pandemic. Last year was quite tough as sadly my mum passed away after a long battle with cancer and I also ended up losing my job. These things coupled together alongside the general world of Covid meant I reprioritised a few things and have spent a lot of time getting out and about in nature which I always find a comforting thing to do. Anyone who follows my Twitter feed will have had a taste of that. Things are not all doom and gloom though. 2021 has been kinder and I am back in employment again and was also able to get some writing done over the past year too. I was also proud as hell for The Woods to be nominated for Best Anthology at the British Fantasy Awards. Even though it didn't win it is always a huge honour to be shortlisted by your peers for such a prestigious award. I've also got some exciting publishing news but I will put that on a separate post. J

The Woods shortlisted for British Fantasy Awards 2020!

  The Woods I've been a little excited over the past few days and with good cause. The Woods has only gone and been shortlisted for Best Anthology at the British Fantasy Awards . Huge heartfelt thanks to everyone who took the time to vote for us. The shortlist for Best Anthology is chock full of amazing books and it is an honour for The Woods to appear alongside them. And congratulations to everyone else who has been shortlisted across all categories. There is some outstanding talent out there at the moment and it is fantastic to see people getting the recognition for all their hard work. For those who haven't read The Woods, the pages contain five original short stories from Cate Gardner , James Everington , Mark West , Penny Jones , and myself filling the traditional editor slot in this the sixth entry in the PentAnth series from Peter Mark May's Hersham Horror Books . Each of our British authors brings a unique take on our simple theme of The Woods with each bringing a v

Getting into character

The majority, if not all, of my writing seems to centre around characters. The interplay between them, their insecurities, their personal journeys. It's what people seem to note most when commenting on my stories. So I thought I'd put down some words as to what I think helps to craft good characterisation. It would be great to hear some of your thoughts too. Firstly, observe. Before putting pen to paper I think there is a lot of value in simply watching people and observing how they interact with others and the world. Study how people act in the everyday, the beat and rhythm of conversations, nervous tics, how people behave when they are uncomfortable, when they are happy, and so on and so forth. See what stands out to you. I remember being at Stansted airport waiting for a flight to Glasgow for FantasyCon 2019 when we could all travel that more freely. Now airports are great places to watch people. There's this vast array of life going on around you. No different thi

Les Vacances

Many years ago, when I was first starting out in this writing game, I was at one of the British Fantasy Society open nights. These nights have always been fun events with books, banter and booze and varying degrees of measure. They are also a good place to 'talk shop' as my friend CC Adams would say. I was talking with one of the leading editors in the horror scene and amongst the advice he gave me, he said "get yourself published by the reputable presses, presses like Alchemy." Those were words which stuck with me and I was delighted to have my short story The Girl with Three Eyes published by The Alchemy Press back in 2018 in The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors . Move on to 2020 and I am even more delighted to announce that my novella Les Vacances has been picked up as a reprint by Peter and Jan at Alchemy. I am always nothing short of impressed with the books they put out there and so it a huge privilege to have a standalone story from me bearing the Alchemy name.

The Prediction - one time only

Many moons ago I had the honour of hosting The Prediction, a weekly flash fiction challenge which was the brainchild of horror author extraordinaire Lily Childs who hosted it for years before I became involved. Lily would post up three words and ask guests to write a 100 word story with those three words somewhere within the prose. After I hosted it, Colleen Johnson picked up the mantle alongside Rebecca Kovar and, in turn, it passed to Sandra Davies who runs it to this day. I enjoyed running The Prediction but I found I didn't have the time to commit to it in the long run. What I saw in my time of hosting was some fabulous talent. I also saw authors using it to get out of a rut in their own writing. The slumps we all go through from time to time. This evening, a good friend of mine posted about being in one of those slumps. Therefore, for one time only , I am running a Prediction round on this site. The rules are simple: I give you three words. Take those three words and inc