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 1879, 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…

Hellebore: Malefice Edition

Happy October, quaranteenies. You can now pre-order the Malefice edition of Hellebore zine, just in time for Samhain.

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In The Akenham Devil, I uncover the Victorian tragedy that changed the English way of death forever. As always, I’m thrilled to be among such esteemed company as Catherine Spooner, Rebecca Baumann, Thomas Waters, Catherine Winter-Hébert and Finn Robinson, Thérèse Taylor, Maria J. Pérez Cuervo, and Colin J. McCracken.

Disturbing The Body Kickstarter is LIVE!

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Following the success of Disturbing the Beast, a collection of weird fiction stories by some of the best women writers in the UK, indie publisher Boudicca Press are crowdfunding for a new anthology of speculative memoir centred around experiences of mis-behaving bodies, from women and those who identify as women in the UK. The Kickstarter will launch on 15th May and they seek to raise £2300 to print the books, pay all the authors, editors, designers and book makers involved in the project.

The crowd funding campaign comes at a time when many businesses, bookshops and independent publishers are striving to survive the wide reaching effects of Covid-19. Boudicca Press hope that this campaign will ensure the fruition of a much deserving anthology and the fair pay of all involved.

The new anthology, Disturbing the Body, came to fruition when Verity Holloway, author of Pseudotooth, Beauty Secrets of the Martyrs and The Mighty Healer, approached Boudicca Press with a unique idea that she felt needed to be heard. Verity started writing about her perception of pain in intensive care following her experience with open-heart surgery. Tanked up on morphine, Verity met a lot of people who turned out not to be real, time was warped and she felt that the sense of her body completely changed. After speaking with Georgina Bruce of This House of Wounds and Louise Kenward, an artist and writer with a background in the NHS, working as a psychologist and psychotherapist, she discovered that they had all written creative non-fiction pieces in response to their unnerving experiences with their bodies. Verity says “It’s world changing, isn’t it, when your body goes out from under you? You see everything from a strange angle.”

Disturbing the Body explores body-horror themed creative nonfiction from women and those who identify as women of all ages in the UK. Body themes range from experiences with major operations, dealing with cancer, childbirth, chronic illness, disability, or any moment where a woman can feel powerless and out of the ordinary against her own body. Submissions were obtained through an open submission period, with Verity Holloway and Louise Kenward contributing their speculative memoirs stories.

The Kickstarter campaign to raise £2300 to fund the anthology will launch on Friday 15th May 2020 at 8am until Friday 12th June 2020 midnight. The book will be published by Boudicca Press in October 2020.

Call for submissions: Disturbing The Bodies

Attention, women writers of the UK! Introducing Disturbing The Body, an exciting new ‘speculative autobiography’ project published by Boudicca Press. Submissions are open. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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We’re looking for pieces that explore women’s personal experiences of fractured relationships with their bodies. Body themes could range from experiences with major operations, chronic health conditions or chronic pain, dealing with cancer, childbirth, disability, or any moment where a woman can feel powerless and out of the ordinary against her own body.  Your piece must be about something you personally experienced, but you may be as creative as you please. Think the arch fantasy of Angela Carter, the anxious surrealism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and the body horror of Margaret Atwood. Tell us about your body, your way.

The broadcast that scarred a nation is back

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The tenth edition of The Ghastling is available for pre-order today, and it could not be more beautiful. Nathaniel Hébert has done a fantastic job of lovingly recreating the look of the occult exploitation movies of the sixties and seventies. My Victorian spookfest, Florabelle, sits alongside stories by Alys Hobbs, Dan Coxon, Catrin Kean, David Hartley and many more. I cannot wait for Halloween.

The King of Terrors

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Hellebore #1, the sacrifice issue, is available to pre-order now. There’s an interview with witchcraft expert Ronald Hutton, essays by David Southwell of Hookland and DeeDee Chainey of Folklore Thursday, and something by me on the lost Doom Paintings of Medieval Suffolk. Maria J. Pérez Cuervo has worked hard to create something really special in Hellebore. Tell your spooky friends.