Farewell to Unsung

Seven years ago, I was sorting through a bag of donated men’s underwear (used) at my charity job when my phone pinged. An email from George at Unsung Stories: they loved Pseudotooth and they wanted to publish. After two years of fruitless querying, my weird book had finally found a home. I bought the cheapest bottle of supermarket champagne available and ordered a Chinese.


Today came the sad news that Unsung Stories is closing down. It didn’t come as a shock, but it’s a huge blow nonetheless. The loss of Unsung is going to leave a big hole in British speculative fiction. It’s the little guys who take the creative risks, putting their strength behind books the bigger publishers won’t touch. We’re all poorer when an indie goes under. Most of all, it sucks to see my friends having a hard time.

Without Unsung Stories, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Which isn’t to say I’m writing this on a veranda in Tuscany, but I’m pretty damn content. I’ve got a new novel out in July, a comic too, and I’m sitting on a nice little mountain of published short stories. I’ve met so many new friends through Unsung and had so many opportunities I would never otherwise have had. Without Unsung, I would never have found myself on the main stage at MCM Comic Con telling that one anecdote about my uncle in France and the spider sex cheese. (Don’t ask.) Unsung produced Pseudotooth so beautifully, fully understanding what I wanted to say with it and why. I’m incredibly grateful.

Pseudotooth is mine again – all rights have returned to me – and I need to decide on its future. I could self-publish or search for a publisher who deals with reprints. At the moment, I don’t know. I just don’t want it to vanish. As it stands, the last copies of the novel are for sale in the Unsung shop for £2.99, which is a lot of paperback for your buck. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

Treasure your small publishers, folks. Buy something weird today.

Hellebore: The Old Ways Issue

The Old Ways Issue celebrates landscapes, the way we navigate them, and the stories we tell about them. Pilgrimages and rituals of crossings, tales of malevolent lights luring travellers off the path, patterns in the landscape, invisible lines of force, the mystery of megaliths. In these pages we explore the sea, the marshland, rivers and fields, stone circles, the moors, and the enigma of outer space to unearth the stories that fascinate us and to acknowledge how they’ve shaped us.

HELLEBORE is a collection of writings and essays devoted to folk horror and the themes that inspire it: folklore, myth, history, archaeology, psychogeography, and the occult. 

Featuring words by Katy Soar and Niall Finneran, Kenneth Brophy, Francis Young, Verity Holloway, Madeleine Potter, Icy Sedgwick, and Darren Pih. Artwork by Clare Marie Bailey and Nathaniel Hébert.

Edited by Maria J. Pérez Cuervo.

Out Of The Darkness

Unsung Stories are back with another superb anthology of modern speculative fiction. Get behind the Kickstarter for paperbacks, ebooks, and exclusive extras including professional manuscript evaluations. Out Of The Darkness is published in partnership with Together for Mental Wellbeing, a cause close to my own heart, and all the more important in the wake of the pandemic. ‘Together’ was founded in 1979, and aims to help people with mental health issues lead independent, fulfilling lives as part of their communities.

I’ve donated a story to the collection. The Forlorn Hope follows Matilda Cross, a solider all too keen to be sent far from her home. Fighting a war against supernatural creatures is far easier than dwelling on her mother’s paranoia and eventual disappearance, and the mounting fear that her mother’s destiny will be her own. All the while Matilda is rallying her troops and keeping her rifle clean, she isn’t thinking about the letters piling up from Lady Amelia Fitzmichael, the old flame who watches her from afar ‘with a million eyes’.

Pledge £20 and get a paperback of both Out Of The Darkness and my novel Pseudotooth.

Pre-order Disturbing The Body

At last, pre-orders are open for Disturbing The Body! Throughout 2020, I worked with artist-psychologist Louise Kenward and Boudicca Press to put together this anthology of body-themed speculative autobiography by women.

From chronic illness to major operations, child-bearing to disability, Disturbing The Body sets out to explore the many ways women feel at odds with their own bodies. We encouraged our authors to embrace the weirdness of their perceptions, telling their truths with a truly individual eye. We’ve collected some breathtaking true stories by Chikodili Emelumadu, Abi Hynes, Natasha Kindred, Irenosen Okojie, and many more. I can’t wait to share them with you.

Get your copy by the 23rd of March from Lighthouse Bookshop, Edinburgh’s radical bookshop.

Hellebore: The Yuletide Special

Cat’s out of the bag! The secret Yuletide edition of Hellebore landed. My piece, The Hauntings Of Cold Christmas, is among some very exciting company: Katy Soar, Jackie Bates, John Callow, John Reppion, Shane McCorristine, Roger Clarke, and Elizabeth Dearnley. Artwork by Blood and Dust, Eli John, and Nathaniel Winter-Hébert.

I was having WordPress issues over Christmas, hence this post is late, but as a festive treat I recorded a three-part reading of my ghost story Florabelle to my Patreon for $1 subscribers. A Victorian medical student picks a man’s pocket to pay off his gambling debts, only to find himself in the midst of a very active haunting…