It’s been a busy couple of months for me, publication-wise. First we saw the publication of the horror anthology Phobophobia, edited by Dean Drinkel. The anthology is a lexicon of phobias containing a story for each letter of the alphabet. My story is Symbols of Damnation, based on the theme “H is for Hagiophobia” (the fear of religious objects). As I often find in the stories I write, although I feel sorry for my poor, doomed main character, I don’t like him very much, which is probably why I can do horrible things to him in print. The paperback launched very successfully at Forbidden Planet in London, with the e-book following shortly afterwards.
The title story from my collection Ghosts Can Bleed is reprinted in the e-book collection Haunted – Ten Tales of Ghosts. The editor emailed me out of the blue to tell me that she had bought Ghosts Can Bleed, LURVED it, and could she please, pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top reprint the title story in her forthcoming Ghosts collection? Well, you know what they say, flattery will get you everywhere, especially with us ego-driven writer types…
Finally, we launched Tales of Darkness and Dismay, a series of novella-length horror e-books, one of which is a co-written short story collection called April Fool and other Antipodean horror stories from me and fellow Kiwi and Dark Continents board member John Irvine; he kicks in three stories and I contribute two (but in my defence, mine are longer). One of my stories, The Harvesters is inspired partly by Hansel and Gretel, partly by the Victorian sweat shops, partly by the Jewish children with their nimble little fingers in the movie Schindler’s List, partly by something I once read about a valued plant having to be harvested by lowering someone over the side of a cliff, and partly by a certain classic horror monster that shall remain nameless for now for fear of giving away the ending. The second story, The Light Box, goes off in the direction of a police detective story and picks up a couple of vampires and some rather interesting online research into the world of BDSM along the way (my apologies to BDSM devotees if I got it all wrong, but when you’re dealing with mythical and near-invincible creatures such as vampires, you have to make a lot of stuff up). If this collection sounds like your cup of tea, then once you have purchased it off Amazon, you can head on over to the Dark Continents blog for the details on how to enter the draw for a free paperback.
Of course, all of the above comes with the usual plea – please buy my stuff!