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.

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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.)

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*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.

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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.

“The Heart Of The Mission” out now!

My contribution to The Refuge Collection, “The Heart Of The Mission”, is now available as an e-book single!  The first print volume of stories has completed a successful Kickstarter campaign and will be available soon; the second, featuring my story, will follow later in the year.  My tale has already received a five-star review from Lee Murray, who claims it might be her favourite story of the series so far!  All proceeds from this and the other stories will go towards refugee aid charities.

Thanks to Steve Dillon for bringing me aboard, and to Will Jacques for the cool cover art!

You can download a copy here.

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100 Colonic Shivers

Quick Shivers About Bugs is now available, featuring my poem “Imago”.  You can grab a copy here.

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I submitted a story the other night and woke up the next morning to the most enthusiastic acceptance I’ve ever received!  That piece, “The Only Tale”, will be appearing in Semi-Colonic Irrigation, a charitable mental illness/suicide prevention anthology.  (It’s open until May, and they’re also accepting non-fiction; if this sounds like something you could get with, you can check out it out here.)

In other news, I’ll be making my live reading debut soon!  I’ve done poetry on stage, and of course I’ve played well over a hundred gigs, but this will be the first time I’ve read my fiction aloud in front of people.  This appearance will be a part of the 100 Lightnings book launch on April 1 – here’s a little poster I did for the show that will be out and about in Adelaide this week.

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(I had to include Blanket Barrowclough on the poster, because, well… that’s one hell of a name.)

Be well, hope to see you soon in one fashion or another!

M

Haunted by Lightning…

A couple of new anthologies featuring my work are now available!

First of all, Paroxysm Press has finally released its collection of 100 flash pieces entitled 100 LIGHTNINGS, which you can get here amongst other places.  This publication has had a long and drawn-out history, which can be gathered from the fact that my story, “I Know You”, was my first ever submitted story to be accepted by a publisher – was, in fact, my first professional submission*.  In the six years it’s taken this book to surface, I’ve had many more tales picked up, as my Bibliography will attest.  Anyways, it’s out now, it also features great Australian talent such as Kaaron Warren, Angela Slatter, Martin Livings and Sean Williams, and there’s apparently going to be a launch for it on April Fool’s Day, for which I will be giving a reading!

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Next is HAUNTED BY THE PAST from Tacitus Publishing, featuring my story “Pianissimo Possibile”.  This collection is on a 19c Gothic/M.R. James kick, and my writing in this tale is appropriately florid to suit!  You can grab a copy here.

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I’ve now finished and submitted my story for the Refuge Collection, and it’s called “The Heart Of The Mission”.  There will be a standalone e-book release for it sometime soon, and then it will be included in Volume 5 or 6 of the Refuge tales e-books, and eventually there will be physical editions of 1-3, 4-6, and the whole shebang.  I’m quite happy with the way this story turned out – instead of skewing dark, as I usually do, the tone is lighter and there’s an inspiring positivity to the weirdness.

In other creative news, I’ve been receiving Owen’s new icecocoon songs and putting down basslines for them – a little daunted by the fact that he’s booked a studio to track the whole album in seven weeks’ time, and I’ve still yet to hear half the songs!  I think the pressure will produce a diamond, to be fair, but geez…

And I’m annoyed that not only did I not make it to see the Wu-Tang Clan while they were in Australia (though if they’d come to Adelaide…!), but I also failed to come up with a decent story for an upcoming anthology inspired by them.  I started writing something, but the 3,000 word cap really stifled my ideas.  Oh, well.

That’ll be all for now.  Be well, folks.

mrda

 

*I should point out that I won an all-ages short story competition at the age of 13 and had my story “Time And The Bible” – a SF tale that posited Adam, Eve and the Serpent as aliens – published in my local newspaper, The Recorder.  I also submitted two stories to Playboy and Penthouse at the age of 17, but man… they were woeful, and rightfully rejected.