Archive for the ‘Shameless self-promotion’ Category

I’m ba-ack!

Posted: October 8, 2018 in Shameless self-promotion

I’ve been on a hiatus from blogging for over two years now, and I have no good reason why. No personal catastrophes or life-changing events (not unless you count both daughters entering adolescence in one or both of those categories) – I just wandered away from my blog one day, got lost, and took a circuitous and scenic route getting back.

Anyway…here I am. I’ve returned to announce the release of a new anthology from IFWG Publishing, in which I have a story – Cthulhu: Land of the Long White Cloud.  This is an anthology of Lovecraftian themed short stories with South Pacific settings penned by New Zealand authors, and serves as a companion to the IFWG’s Cthulhu Deep Down Under series.

Lovecraft has such an influence on modern horror fiction, it’s possible to incorporate his themes in one’s writing without even being familiar with his work – which is, I am slightly embarrassed to say, what happened when a writer friend recommended I submit a story to The Lovecraft E-zine back in 2013. Since then, I’ve read ALL the Lovecraft, and penned several more Cthulhu Mythos-inspired tales (on purpose, this time).

My story in this anthology is entitled Shadow Over Tarehu Cove. Lovecraft fans will probably guess which of his stories provides the inspiration from the title alone. The monsters described in the source story bear a striking resemblance to certain amphibious creatures from Maori mythology. The Miskatonic University makes an appearance. Also borrowed from Lovecraft are themes of hopelessness, fragile sanity, and small town secrets. What I deliberately set out NOT to borrow were Lovecraft’s infamous racism and misogyny. Hence we have two Maori women, deeply in love with each other, front and centre in this tale.

 

 


The Refuge Collection Volume 3 was released in e-book format yesterday. It contains my short story “The Lizard and the Maiden”, and sits alongside tales from Ramsey Campbell, Kaaron Warren, Steve Dillon and E J McLaughlin. The Refuge Collection is a project edited by Melbourne-based writer Steve Dillon. All the stories are set in the mythical Australian town of Refuge. They can be read as stand-alone pieces, but ultimately when the project is completed (Steve is looking at 6 volumes with a total of 36 stories) they will combine to build an overarching plot. All the proceeds from the e-book sales go to help refugees via registered charities Sanctuary Australia Foundation and Refugee Action UK.

A long time ago when I first started submitting stories for publication, an editor told me that I ought to be writing stories based on my culture and using New Zealand mythology. Ironically, the longer I live away from my country of birth, the more I look there for inspiration. Like my stories “The Touch of the Taniwha” and “Father Figure”, “The Lizard and the Maiden” incorporates elements of Maori myths, legends and spiritual beliefs. This fits with Steve’s vision for The Refuge Collection, as he aims to curate a collection of stories from a variety of cultural backgrounds and perspectives.

You can purchase Volume 3  for $5 from Smashwords in several different electronic formats to suit your reading device of choice. Alternatively, and as with most of the other individual stories in the collection, “The Lizard and the Maiden” is available as a standalone piece for a mere 99 cents.


The Aurealis Awards shortlist for works published in 2015 came out yesterday, and I was mightily pleased to discover that one of my stories  – Breaking Windows, published in Aurealis Magazine Issue #84 – is shortlisted for Best Horror Short Story. The Aurealis Awards are Australia’s national literary awards for speculative fiction and are decided upon by a panel of judges.

This is the second time I’ve been shortlisted for an Aurealis, the first being for my 2013 fantasy short story The Touch of The Taniwha. It might sound trite, but is absolutely true that I’m honoured simply to be considered alongside such talented and accomplished writers.