Would you like a kitchen sink with that?

Okay, first post in a while – boring and not-so-boring life stuff gets in the way.  There’s a bit to get through, so without further ado:

My story for The Refuge Collection, “The Heart of the Mission”, was shortlisted for a 2016 Australian Shadows Award!  It was a finalist for the Paul Haines Long Fiction Award, up against such luminaries as Kirstyn McDermott and Alan Baxter, but it was Dan Rabarts who took out the prize.  Still, I’m stoked to have made the shortlist!  The list of finalists and winners can be seen here.  “The Heart of the Mission” is also now available in physical, real-book form in The Refuge Collection: Hell to Others, which can be found in both paperback and hardcover here.

Also available now is my story “His Favourite Phantom”, as it would appear that Depraved Desires snuck out onto the shelves (virtual and otherwise) of the world recently.  You can grab a copy of said volume right here.

Keep an eye out for Between the Tracks: Tales from the Ghost Train, which will be hitting the bricks very shortly and features my story “The Deep Beneath” amongst works by some authors you may have heard of (Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Christopher Golden, Alan Baxter et al).

I’ve just been announced as a Horror Novel/Novella judge for the 2017 Aurealis Awards, and this time I’m convening the panel!  Cripes!  Here’s the complete judge listing.

On Friday May 19, I’ll be performing at the Crowbar in Brisbane with icecocoon, supporting Caligula’s Horse along with fellow Adelaideans Dyssidia – in front of Devin Townsend and a whole raft of influential managers and other movers and shakers in the metal business.  No pressure, boys!  The next night I’ll be back in Adelaide to perform at A Day of Clarity 2017 as part of the Paroxysm Press spoken word showcase, to be held at the Crown & Anchor Hotel – a venue I remember fondly (if somewhat hazily) from many previous gigs with Blood Red Renaissance, icecocoon, and Priority Orange, plus the odd boozy night out with friends old and new.  Viva Clarity Records!

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Clarity Records knows how to throw a party!

That about covers the interesting stuff for the moment…

Be well, do well, and so forth.

  • MRD

Trembling Trees, Trains, Garrulous Graves

One of my short, short stories (a drabble, actually) has turned up on The Horror Tree, a writer’s markets site, who are now running a short fiction section called Trembling with Fear.  You can read “Confectious” here.

I performed at a SA Writers Centre “Quick & Dirty” event last month; the theme was Death (my patch, natch, so I threw my hat in the ring) and the reading took place at the West Terrace Cemetery.  A beautiful place for some musings on mortality, with some talented fellow scribes on the bill.  I read an early chapter from a finished manuscript I’ve been keeping to myself until I feel it’s ready for the eyes of others, and it looked a little something like this:

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Reading Chapter 2 (“From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea”) from MIDNIGHT IN THE CHAPEL OF LOVE, 16 February 2017. Photo by Red Wallflower Photography. x

 

One of the interesting things about this experience was that I learned the West Terrace Cemetery has its own branded, bottled water.  Amongst ourselves, we did wonder whence it came…

In other news, the Kickstarter for Between the Tracks, the upcoming anthology featuring my work alongside Barker, Campbell, Golden et al, is up here.  And there’s a neat cover image, too:

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Tell me you don’t want a hardcover copy of this sitting on your shelf!

I was going to write a post for Women in Horror Month, giving props to some great artists who’ve enriched my life, but things got in the way… tomorrow is International Women’s Day, so perhaps I’ll be back very soon to do just that!  And do me a favour:  if you’re one of those people who drones on about the unfairness of preferential treatment for women, when they get the short end of the stick in every conceivable way, please screw your head on tighter and try again.

(Yes, I did see that of the authors listed on the cover above, only two are women.  Irony noted.)

Thank you for your time.  Be brilliant!

MRD x

Cemetery Boy

Welcome to 2017!  Let’s hope it’s less of a garbage fire than last year – though I had a pretty good time of it, all things considered.

First of all, I’ve had a story accepted already!  “His Favourite Phantom” (or “His Favorite Phantom”, as it will end up) will appear in Depraved Desires from HellBound Books Publishing.  So we’re off to a good start!

Also, I’ve been confirmed as one of the writers appearing at an upcoming SA Writers Centre  event.  Quick & Dirty: Death will take place at the West Terrace Cemetery on February 16, and I’ll be reading a piece on the night.  The Facebook event page is here, and will be updated as the night draws nearer.

I had a lovely catch-up and chat with award-winning New Zealand author Lee Murray while she was in town; we’re both a part of the Refuge Collection, and will be aboard the upcoming Between The Tracks anthology, but this was the first time we’d met.  We talked non-stop writing for three hours and could easily have gone on for another three – hopefully this is just the first of many such verbose sessions!

And speaking of the Refuge Collection, my tale from that, “The Heart of the Mission”, will soon be available as an audio book read by Rhett Samuel Price!

Best wishes, until next time.  And remember, governments may mandate hatred, but we don’t have to play along with that shit.  Be smart, be loving, and be brave.  We’ll make it through, just as we always have.

M

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Lee Murray and yours truly at the Publishers Hotel, January 2017. Photo by Dave Murray (unfortunately, not the one from Iron Maiden).

 

Hell’s Bells

As the festive thing creeps ever nearer, I bring terrible tidings… nah, not really.  There’s an ebook called Hell’s Bells out now from the Australian Horror Writers Association, featuring a number of flash fiction Xmas ghost stories… and yes, I’m in it, with a tale entitled “Christmas Presence”. (So obvious, but so right!)   You can download a cheap copy here, and see the cover below.

Why not bring back some old Christmas traditions, and gather ’round the fire to roast chestnuts and regale each other with some of these creepy tales?  (Never mind the fire or the chestnuts in the southern hemisphere, I guess, but otherwise – get on it!)

Back with well-wishes and whatnot soon.

Thank you.

M

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Cover by Greg Chapman.

Barker, Campbell, Golden, Davis

Just a quick post to brag about my latest acceptance.  Check this out:

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Pretty cool, huh?  Granted, the Barker and Campbell pieces are reprints – but the former is apparently a unique, annotated version of “The Midnight Meat Train”, so it’s definitely worth checking out.  And I will never get tired of seeing my name on a ToC with two names from my Big Five…*

(This is actually the third time my work has crossed paths with Ramsey’s.  We both have a story in Steve Dillon’s The Refuge Collection, albeit in different volumes, and we’re both set to appear in Semi-Colonic Irrigation.  Kinda makes me feel like I’m maybe just a little bit getting somewhere with this thing… just a little.)

MxRxDx

*To clarify, my Big Five (and that’s probably the first time I’ve ever named them as such) are the five writers who most inspired me as a teenager, and whose works take up the most space on my bookshelves, and they are Stephen King, Richard Laymon, Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, and Peter Straub.

 

Black Armbands

My story “Maggots in the Eye of Love” was submitted to Hybrid Moments, a Misfits-themed anthology from Weirdpunk Books; it didn’t make it into that tome, but it has been printed in a bonus zine that went out with copies of the book for Kickstarter backers.  I don’t know if you’ll be able to get a copy of the zine with the book now, but you can get Hybrid Moments here.

I’ve been submitting A Banquet of Broken Hearts to more name publishers – fingers crossed!

Grey Matter Press is running a contest for flash fiction to add to the electronic version of their recent collection I Can Taste the Blood, and I threw my hat into the ring with a piece called “My No-Tell Motel Hell” – I think it came off pretty well for something I wrote in half an hour!  You can vote for the story by going here and scrolling through the comments until you find it, then leaving a reply to my post.  Public voting ends at midnight on 26/10 American CST, and after that, it’s on to the next phase – let’s see how that goes!

In icecocoon news, we played a warm-up show at Enigma Bar at the end of September, and then supported Queensryche on October 13.  The show went pretty well, all things considered – life has been full of ups and (mainly) downs for band members recently, but worst of all, our guitarist Brad lost his girlfriend Emma less than a week before the gig.  She was extremely supportive and had been looking forward to his first international support slot, and we dedicated our set to her.  Frankly, we’re still reeling from the news, and can only imagine the hell our friend is going through.  If anything good can come of this tragedy, it’s through the foundation that Brad has set up in her memory, and I would encourage you find out more about that here.

In other horrible news, my friend Kylie succumbed to cancer the same weekend we lost Emma.  I’ve known her for around sixteen years, and I’ve been good mates with her husband Daryll even longer, and again… words fail me, you know?  How can I even begin to understand that pain?  It’s a small consolation, but as with Emma, there may be some good to come of this for others in the same position – Kylie had recently been very visible as the face of the Go Gentle euthanasia bill here in Australia, and if you wish to support this campaign, you can do so here.

So yeah, it’s been a fucking harsh month.  Let’s move forward with the memory of our lost ones burning bright in our hearts.  They’ve shown us incredible strength in the face of adversity, and the least we can do is learn from their example.  Be well, people, and the very best to you all.

M

Live and looming through the smoke @ Enigma Bar, 30.9.16.  Photo by Red Wallflower Photography.  Thanks, babe. x

Live and looming through the smoke @ Enigma Bar, 30.9.16. Photo by Red Wallflower Photography. Thanks, babe. x

Sirensong

My story “The Shadows in Regina Court” was published earlier this month; you can download the latest issue of The Sirens Call for free here.  I’ve also had another flash piece picked up – “What I Did on the Weekend by Taylor Cassidy, Class 2A” will be published in Robbed of Sleep Vol. 5 shortly.  There will be more news coming soon, once things are confirmed…

Otherwise, work continues on formatting A Banquet of Broken Hearts for submission, and rehearsing Gardens of Dust for recording with icecocoon.  We may have some more support slots confirmed soon; until then, carry on, and be good to each other.

  • MRD
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Exploring the Botanic Gardens for inspiration, with the lovely Red Wallflower herself.

 

Regina’s Ryche

Quick update:  my story “The Shadows in Regina Court” will appear in The Sirens Call #27, coming in July from Sirens Call Publications.

icecocoon has been tracking production demos in the studio and has recently been announced as one of the Adelaide supports for the upcoming tour by US prog-metal stalwarts Queensryche.

And I’m insanely busy, in love, and happy.

Ta ta!

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Tracking rehearsal demos @ Disk-Edits. Photo by the ever-foxy Red Wallflower Photography.

Judge Davis… I AM THE LAW.

I’ve been keeping quiet about this for a couple of weeks, but here we are:  I’ve been selected as one of the judges for the Horror Novel section of the 2016 Aurealis Awards!

What’s particularly cool is that I’m on the same panel as some seriously talented people, particularly Kirstyn McDermott and Lisa L. Hannett!  Check out this year’s judges here.

Looks like someone’s gonna be getting their read on this year!

In other news, “The Heart of the Mission” has now been compiled into Volume 4 of The Refuge Collection, and is available here.

And I have a girlfriend again!  It’s all go right now, I tell you!

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Festival fun and shout-outs!

I attended a Spec Fic & Fantasy Festival at the SA Writers Centre over the weekend, and had the pleasure of interacting with a number of lovely writers and industry professionals.  Just the thing when one’s writing career is largely confined to being sat on a couch, all alone and poring over a laptop!  Both Saturday’s panels and Sunday’s workshops were entertaining and informative, and at the risk of sounding like a bland advertising drone, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, five stars etc. etc.

Anyway, I’d like to give warm thanks in large measures to the inestimable Sean Williams, the legendary Gillian Rubinstein aka Lian Hearn, the startlingly youthful Ben Chandler, the God of Pun-der aka Jason Fischer, the impossibly lovely Lisa L. Hannett, the imponderable David M. Cornish, the I’m-running-out-of-superlatives-here Tony Shillitoe, the excellence-in-dope-kicks Jo Spurrier, and the officially Amazing Tehani Wessely, as well as all the lovely folk at the SAWC (too many to link, and I have things to do tonight!).  And if I may give a piece of advice for anyone attending such events in the future, it would be this:  wear a flash suit in a suitably bold colour.  My dope red (or orange to some people) ensemble earned me plenty of praise, a lot of attention, and even a free book.  So, you know, like Roxette used to say… get dressed for success!

Here’s a pic of me having a natter to Sean Williams and Dean Mayes at the Producers Hotel before the Quick & Dirty fiction reading that followed the first day’s events.  I felt as blurry as I look – I was running on maybe two hours’ sleep after downing a bottle of vodka with a lady friend the night before, because apparently I’m committed to propagating the stereotype of all writers being philandering alcoholics.  We’ll tell you otherwise, but don’t believe us.  We lie for a living.

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Photo by Lisa L. Hannett, who praised my suit, and I didn’t even get around to telling her how much I enjoyed “The February Dragon”.  No, not that one.