Showing posts from 2020

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