Eighteenth Time

June 17, 2009 at 2:58 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

As I’m going on holiday, I’m doing this blog post a little earlier in the week than normal. I thought that before a break might be a good time to take stock, to work out where I’ve been and am going, and to see precisely where I am now.

It’s been a hell of a year. I found out in August 2008 that The Church on the Island had been nominated for a World Fantasy Award for best short story, and things haven’t stopped since then. I got a publishing company interested in doing a collection of my work (and then more than interested, in that they agreed to do it) I went out to Calgary for the World Fantasy Convention (where i met some excellent people and made friends with some folk whom I’m hoping I’ll know for a long time yet, even if I didn’t win the award), I’ve had 6 stories accepted for publication in different anthologies and I’ve submitted a novel proposal to a major publishing house. So, where does that leave me?

Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #19

Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #19

Well, Church on the Island was included in the Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #19, which is pretty good, and I did my first signing sat next to an author whose work I love, Christopher Fowler (at FCon, if you’re interested). I was on a high for days afterwards!

 

 

 

 

 

Creature Feature approaches!

Creature Feature approaches!

Creature Feature (as you may or may not be aware, but if you’ve read this blog before you will be aware!) comes out in the next couple of weeks and contains 3 of my stories (Day Ten, Last Option and Peek A Boo), as well as 18 other tales of giant, wild creatures and other pulp delights.

 

 

Gaslight Grotesque: Nightmare Tales Of Sherlock Holmes, containing my story The Hand Delivered Letter is scheduled to come out in November of this year – this is a particularly gratifying acceptance for me, as it was the first time that I’ve written using someone else’s world and/or characters (in this case, Conan Doyle’s

Gaslight Grotesque

Gaslight Grotesque

Sherlock Holmes). It was a huge test for me as a writer, I think, both in terms of how to do it and also, could I do it at all? When you read the story, you’ll see that I’ve not written a ‘traditional’ Holmes story, because I felt I didn’t know the originals well enough to do them justice, but I’m hoping that what iIhave produced doesn’t let the side down.

 

 

 

My story Vernon, Driving is being published in the Ellen Datlow anthology Lovecraft Unbound, due for publication in October.

Lovecraft Unbound

Lovecraft Unbound

When I tell you that this was the 4th story I submitted to Ellen for this particular anthology, the first three having been rejected, you’ll maybe have some inkling of how proud I am to have finally made the cut. The other contributors to Lovecraft Unbound are a high-powered and well-regarded bunch, and you might ask yourself the question, what am I doing in there? Keeping my head down! is the answer, and hoping no one notices the interloper…

And, lastly on the anthlogies front, it is my huge pleasure to announce that the Zambia story (Mami Wata) has been accepted for inclusion in the forthcoming Ash Tree Press anthology Exotic Gothic 3. Again, having seen the lineup of other authors involved, you might wonder how the hell I got in there. Me, too, folks, me too! I’m not complaining, though…

As for other works, the collection Black Dogs and Lost Places is still set for a September release (we’ve had confirmation that we can launch at the British Fantasy Convention, so although this isn’t arranged yet, my hope is that this will happen and I’ll see you there!). It contains 10 stories, of which 6 are new and 4 reprints, and advance word via the blurbs I’ve had are simply astounding. Mark Morris has described it as “emotionally devasting” and the work of a “powerful new voice in horror”, Stephen Volk has said the stories are “creepy and impressive”, Lawrence Connolly that it is “the most impressive debut [he’s read] for a long time”, Rob Shearman that the stories are “deceptively amiable, but creepy as hell” and Gary McMahon that I’m a “writer who knows the value of [his] craft”. Jesus! I thought maybe people would like them, but this kind of feedback is simply beyond what I ever expected. It’s enormously gratifying, slightly scary and makes me think that Black Dogs is something I can be very proud of and that people may actually like it. We’ll see…

Strange Gateways, the mini collection (5 new stories) I’ve decided to put back until December, to give me chance to concentrate on Black Dogs, but it will definitely come out, and will be a limited edition of 100 numbered, signed paperbacks. It’ll probably be available for pre-order from about August. In addition to this, Ghostwriter Publications have also released two chapbooks by me, Button and Marley’s Haunting, both of which will also be available as audios soon and will also be included in an audio collection due later in the year. There may also be audios of Strange Gateways and Black Dogs, if you’re very lucky!

The novel I don’t know about yet. I’m still waiting…

It’s not been a year without it’s downsides (although, if I’m honest, not many) – I’ve been rejected from a few anthologies that I wanted to get into, and one major piece of work seems to have fallen through (or at least, gone very quiet), which is a shame. My personal circumstances have changed which might affect the writing in the future if I’m not careful – having to get a proper job is never pleasant, but the one I got is excellent and will still hopefully leave me time to write each week. Mostly, though, this year has been incredibly successful. As well as the writing, I’ve set up this blog and have managed to update it regularly, I’ve got a presence on facebook (fun) and twitter (sorta pointless as far as I can see!) and have purchased the domain name www.simonkurtunsworth.com – I’ll set the site itself up during the coming months. So, I’ve been efficient, written a huge amount, and am starting to feel like a real author now (whatever one of those buggers is!). But you know the most important thing?

I’m having fun. No more, no less, this is the most fun I’ve had for ages, and I hope to carry on like this for the forseeable future!

See you after the holiday, when I shall be refreshed, relaxed and full of new ideas. I hope…

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3 Comments

  1. Hickesy (@Hickesy) said,

    Hi Simon
    Just read your story in Gaslight Grotesque on the plane from Wellington to Auckland this morning. One of the best short stories I’ve read in ages. I wanted to give it a standing ovation but the seatbelt signs were on by the time I finished. Layered, dark, menacing, creepy…absolutely loved it, bravo, Sir! I fully intend to review this book for HorrorNews.net in the next few days so look out for it as I’ll be flagging your story as particularly noteworthy. Well done again.
    Cheers
    Phil

    PS Are you on Twitter?

    • simonkurtunsworth said,

      Cheers Phil – greatly appreciated. If you let me know when the review goes up, I’ll share it and let the editor know. I’m on Twitter as @skunsworth!

      S

  2. Hickesy (@Hickesy) said,

    Ah I’m following you already, good show! I’ll DM/tweet you the link once i’s up.

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