The Sirens Call free ezine for February 2019 is a special issue to celebrate Women in Horror Month – over 100 short stories, poems and artworks, all horror, all created by women.

On page 81 you will find a reprint of my short story “Slither and Squeeze”. This story was first published in 2013 in the charity anthology “Shifters”. Only secondhand copies of the paperback of the original publication are still available on Amazon. But if you read and enjoy my story in Sirens Call, or even if you’re just in a charitable mood, you might consider donating to the animal rescue charity of your choice (my favourite, for entirely biased reasons, is Starting Over Dog Rescue).

I very recently – as in, an hour ago – signed up to use a new author platform called Curious Fictions. Like I said, I’m very, VERY new to it, so I’m still figuring out exactly how it works, but as I understand it so far, published authors can list short stories, excerpts from longer works, and post other information with the aim of getting their work out to a wider audience and as another potential revenue stream. Readers can follow their favourite authors to get updates when they post new material, or pay a small subscription fee to access subscriber-only content. So I guess that makes it a little like Patreon, a little like a blog, a little like Wattpad, and a little like a few other platforms I’ve seen come and go.

Browsing through the list of authors, I noticed a number of familiar names; Jason Franks, Alan Baxter, Sean Williams and Trent Jamieson are just a few of the authors using Curious Fictions whose work I admire. They’re all Australian, by birth, or like the first two (and like me), by residence. But it’s no big surprise that the Aussies would be first in line to give things a go.

The handy Best Practice guide that Curious Fictions provides to authors suggests that you don’t just load up all your reprints all at once – spread them out regular intervals, ideally one post a week. I’ve started with “Ghosts Under Glass”, which was first published in Horror Library Vol. 4.  As with many of my stories, the seed for this came from a dream about a very angry spectre on one side of a pane of glass, and a young woman on the other. I have no idea what my subconscious was trying to tell me, unless it was, “Hey! This would make an interesting premise for a short story!”

Anyway…if you’re interested in reading some of my work, pop on over to Curious Fictions and follow me. And while you’re there, have a little poke around. You never know what you might find.

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.