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.

My Faves Of 2015!

So here’s something old, something new:  fairly arbitrary lists of my favourite albums, books and movies released in 2015.  Mayhap ye bold wanderers will discover something worth the chase…

First:  ALBUMS.

  1. Faith No More, Sol Invictus
  2. Chelsea Wolfe, Abyss
  3. Passion Pit, Kindred
  4. Paradise Lost, The Plague Within
  5. Baroness, Purple
  6. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
  7. King Parrot, Dead Set
  8. Goblin Rebirth, Goblin Rebirth
  9. Muse, Drones
  10. Slayer, Repentless
  11. John Carpenter, Lost Themes
  12. Nile, What Should Not Be Unearthed
  13. Björk, Volnicura
  14. Cradle Of Filth, Hammer Of The Witches
  15. Sarah Blasko, Eternal Return
  16. Fear Factory, Genexus
  17. Lana Del Rey, Honeymoon
  18. Sunn0))), Kannon
  19. Regurgitator, Nothing Less Than Cheap Imitations
  20. Battles, La Di Da Di

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And now we move on to BOOKS.  I started writing pithy notes for each, but literary criticism gets boring quick, even for the writer.

  1. Laird Barron, X’s For Eyes
  2. Nathan Ballingrud, The Visible Filth
  3. David Wong, Futuristic Violence And Fancy Suits
  4. Stephen King, The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams
  5. Nick Cutter, The Deep
  6. Neil Gaiman, Trigger Warning
  7. Amanda Palmer, The Art Of Asking
  8. Clive Barker, The Scarlet Gospels
  9. Kelly Link, Get In Trouble
  10. China Miéville, Three Moments Of An Explosion

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For those of you keeping track at home, yes, I buy more new albums than new books, but I tend to attract loads of both everywhere I go, like I’m some kind of second-hand goods shelter where battered books and neglected CDs can go to find respect, hope, and maybe even… love.

Ahem.  MOVIES.  This is the most arbitrary list yet, and I’ve probably forgotten a few cool flicks, but anyway:

  1. It Follows
  2. Starry Eyes
  3. Horns
  4. Mad Max:  Fury Road
  5. Deathgasm
  6. What We Do In The Shadows
  7. Honeymoon
  8. Jurassic World
  9. The Editor
  10. Ant-Man

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I would do TV as well, but it would basically just be Doctor Who, so never mind.

Chime in if you feel like it, and tell me what I’ve missed or overrated.  G*d knows this blog could use the traffic.

There’s already a new wave of awesomeness on the horizon ready to swamp us in 2016, including a collection and new novellas from Laird Barron, a new Deftones album and so on.  It’s looking to be another good year, I’d say!  Enjoy it.

  • M

[insert something profound about the passing of time here]

Welcome to 2016!

So, biggest writing news at the moment is this:  on New Year’s Eve, I finished the first draft of my latest novel manuscript.  It runs to 82,000 words, and it has the rather neat (I think) title of Midnight In The Chapel Of Love.  I’ll get into the next draft soon, but I also have some short stories to write, and then I’m keen to get stuck into the next novel!  All this while I’m still waiting to hear back about A Banquet Of Broken Hearts.

It’s looking like Paroxysm Press will soon be releasing their long-awaited 100 Lightnings anthology, featuring my story “I Know You”.  It’s been a rather protracted process – this was actually my first short story acceptance!  I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve put together.

There will be a new icecocoon album out early(ish) this year, by the name of How Long Is Forever…?  I joked in an interview with dB Magazine that the title is a reference to the amount of time it takes to record and release an icecocoon album, but this has also been a drawn-out project – I tracked my bass parts years ago.  It’s a really cool record, though, and this year will see us stepping things up a few notches.  Here’s myself and frontman Owen Gillett having a wheeze during a recent acoustic recording session at the Bomb Shelter.

MRD (x)

 

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Photo by Emma Woolcock, who’s also a whiz on the violin.

Odd, and Refuge.

Horror: Odd And Bizarre is now available from Sirens Call Publications, featuring my story “Ivy’s First Kiss”.  You can secure a copy in any format you like here.

Further good news:  I’m a part of the Refuge Collection, a series of shared-world stories being overseen by Steve Dillon.  It’s in aid of a good cause, with all profits going to charity.  And just take a look at some of the names I’m mentioned alongside:

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Holy carp!

So I guess I better log off and write the absolute shit out of this story…!  That said, I have a couple of other tales that require edits and a whole bunch of research to do first.  So let’s get cracking.

Selfies with Bugs

Selfies From The End Of The World:  Historical Accounts Of The Apocalypse is now available from Mad Scientist Journal, featuring my story “Happy At The End”.  You can grab a copy here.

The Daily Nightmare has started a Kickstarter for their upcoming third anthology Quick Shivers About Bugs, which will feature my poem “Imago”; you can help out here.

In other writing news, my current novel manuscript continues to be the bane of my existence, but work is slowly continuing as I wait to hear news about my other longer manuscript submissions.

This week saw the culmination of my band icecocoon’s recent efforts when we supported UK prog legends Anathema on the Adelaide leg of their acoustic tour.  Quite a night!

Photo courtesy of Lilly Brecht Photography.

Photo courtesy of Lilly Brecht Photography.

  • MRD

“My ass is everywhere.”

Well, a certain major publisher now has hold of my manuscript…

And a different, smaller publisher has been sent a novella to peruse…

And not only am I going interstate with Priority Orange in October, but icecocoon has scored the Adelaide support slot for the Australian acoustic tour by Anathema!

The next couple of months are going to be busy, busy, busy.  Alas, one half-finished novel is still suffering from plot problems, while I tinker with the two that are next in line.  I have at least sent out a flurry of short stories and poems lately, even if I’ve struggled to write anything that’s actually new.

Soldiering on!

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