It’s been a busy, excellent couple of weeks!
Okay, the first thing is this: my Sherlock Holmes horror story A Country Death has been accepted for inclusion in Charles Prepolec and Jeff Campbell’s follow up to Gaslight Grotesque, Gaslight Arcanum. This is a particularly gratifying acceptance, as the story was a bit of a sod to get right, and it’s ended up as a longer piece (10,000 words) than anticipated, so I’m glad Charles and Jeff like it. Gaslight Grotesque is a great anthology, so getting into Arcanum felt like an important one to break, was a part of the grand writing plan (such as there is one!) and I’m pleased it’s happened. It’s particularly gratifying that my friend Stephen Volk, whose story I’ve already read and which is ace, is also in there – the book is scheduled for release in 2011, but the cover is already available, and it looks fabulous. I’m pleased.
More news: you may remember (those of you who were paying attention!) that I had a story accepted a couple of weeks ago, but couldn’t say much about it then. Well, I can finally release details: my story N for Noodle will appear in the anthology M is for Monster, which will be available probably at the end of October or the beginning of November. This is an interesting sounding release, 26 stories by a range of authors, all monster stories, each one allocated a letter of the alphabet that the name of the monster has to begin with. I got N, in case you hadn’t guessed. I know some of the other
authors involved but not all of them, which is always good fun – I have no idea what any of them have written about, but I bet it’ll be fun finding out. I get the impression that many of the authors are newer ones, who are early in their careers (much like I am), so this antho feels like a great way of appearing with a group of people who are my contemporaries, many of whom I’m not shared pages with before. The cover is by author and compiler John Prescott, and it also looks great, I’m sure you’ll agree! This one will be available to order either as a hard copy or as an ebook – hard copies will be available directly from me, I think for £12 plus postage. More details as they become available.
And still the news keeps on comin’: at FCon this year (have you joined the BFS? No? Why not? Hurry up and join, you buggers), I’m involved in 2 signings – at 2pm on Saturday, the editors, cover artist and authors contributing to Never Again will be launching and signing this new anthology, and at 3 The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #21 will be launched – and, of course, yours truly will be involved in both. There may well be cake for Never Again, as baked by my better half. Of course, now I have to decide which flowery shirt to wear. Tahiti girls? Big flowers? Small? Oh, the possibilities… The signing for Never Again is looking like being a big one, as something like 15 authors will be around, plus the editors, the publisher and the cover artist (who’s coming in from Italy especially!). FCon is, as ever, shaping up to be a great weekend and I expect I’ll see you there, yes?
What else? Oh, yeah – I had a couple of story ideas come to me this week, one whilst on holiday with Wendy. Both times, the story appeared as a result of seeing something apparently random which fired a few synapses and then the tales popped into my head mostly fully formed. This hasn’t happened in ages, although it used to happen to me a lot, so it’s reassuring that it’s started to occur again. My mojo/muse is still about, I think, but maybe it’s a bit slower and a bit more cautious than it was. The two new stories are both clamouring to be written so after my holiday from everything is done (tomorrow, worst luck!) I’ll get on with both. I’ve decided to try to split my writing evenly between short stories and the novel (which continues well, incidentally), unless something changes (i.e. a contract on the novel!). I’ve also had some thoughts about a third collection – it’s early days yet, but I’m wondering about a series of linked tales about haunted and cursed houses. I may well take my fellow author John Probert’s example and write a proper portmanteau…
One last thing: this week, my copy of Lawrence C. Connolly’s Vipers arrived, and it’s a lovely looking book. The sequel to his earlier, and also excellent, Veins, Vipers is a wonderful book, fast, violent, mythic and creepy, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. What makes it really special is that (apart from being written by someone I consider to be a friend as well as being a writer I genuinely admire), it’s the first time I’ve been asked to ‘blurb’ for someone – and there I am, on the opening page, along with other blurbs by Publishers Weekly and Gary Braunbeck! How cool is that? Both of the novels are available from Fantasist Enterprises, as is Larry’s Visions sci fi collection. His horror collection, Last Exit to Egress, is available from Ash Tree Press, and also comes highly recommended.
Oh yeah, one more thing, honest: Lost Places has received another review, and it’s a good ‘un! It can be read here: http://davejeffery.webs.com/booksreviews.htm
Right, that’s definitely it. Go on, off you go, Lords and Ladies. Life calls!