The seed of evil has been planted …

What will happen when its roots take hold?

Ékleipsis: The Abyss is the second short story collection by the award-winning author.

Tales of depravation and insanity are woven together with unrelenting style and depth, scrutinizing human nature’s degeneration when compromised by tragic, vicious circumstances.

These complex, wretched individuals and the irremediable conditions they are desperate to claw out of—or into—invoke the unfathomable question: What devastation are we truly capable of when left with no way out but down . . . into the obscurity of the abyss?

* * * *

For many reasons, I don’t usually accept review requests these days. One of those reasons is that I like to be both honest and kind, and it can be hard to reconcile those two values if the book is not well written.

I’m glad I accepted this request, though.  Supernatural horror is usually my bag, whereas these stories are firmly grounded in the real world, which in Wino’s capable hands made them all the more terrifying. A common thread runs through the stories, yet each one is different enough to maintain the reader’s interest. Each story starts on familiar ground, at times steering close to cliché. Then the tension builds. And builds. And builds. And soon the reader finds themselves in a dark, dangerous, and unexpected place.

Wino writes in an accessible style. He develops his characters with the efficiency that only a skilled short story writer can master, some with such nuance that one can’t quite be sure who is the victim, who is the villain, and who is the hero. My favourite story was “En Prise”, in which an ordinary woman plays an extraordinary mind game to save herself from a man who might be a serial killer.

On Saturday 22 May, I will be attending Supanova Comic Con in Melbourne. I am 53 years old, and this is my first Comic Con, so I will be taking my 17-year-old daughter, who speaks fluent Pop Culture, as my guide.

I’m not just going for fun (although I anticipate that fun will be had). IFWG Publishing, the good folks who published my short story collection Drive, She Said, are holding a panel to promote the release of two new anthologies. One of those anthologies, Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies, contains my story “Sins of the Mother” (you can read more about that story here). So I’ll be sitting on that panel alongside other contributing authors.

We’ll be on the Supanova Seminars Stage at 4.30pm on Saturday. If you’re there, come and say hi.

Did you know March is now Women in Horror Month? In previous years, I have mostly confined my participation in WiHM to reading about other women’s work and pitching in to promote them. This year, given that my most recent collection revolves around women, I thought it was about time I dipped my toe in the bloodied waters.

So if you’re interested, I have two interviews up on different sites for WiHM – one on Superficial Gallery and another on Don’s World of Horror and Exploitation. (I don’t know where Don got the idea that I’m “one of the biggest authors in New Zealand”, but it certainly wasn’t me. Unless he means physically biggest…).

Please make sure, if you visit those sites, to check out the other outstanding female horror artists and participants. After all, that’s what WiHM is all about.