Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018; That was the year that was that was

So, that was 2018.

It’d be easy to write a clinical list of what I’ve done this year, but 2018 has been a little different. It’d be a little disingenuous of me not to mention the downs as well as the ups. You'll no doubt be inundated with a volley of success stories from other authors, but I'll be honest.

Writing can be shit. It can be unrewarding, thankless and make you wonder on occasions why you bother. Depression doesn't make it any easier, either.

2018 has been the year where I’m happy with my writing and output, but it's also the first year since I've started where I've given serious consideration to giving it up altogether.
It’s been an odd one. There have been some successes, but some notable failures too. It’s been a year where I’ve submitted less in order to concentrate more on a new project, but even those relatively few submissions have resulted in some pretty hard-hitting rejections.

But, it's not all doom and gloom - some of it has been great.

The year started with the release of the first volume of the Stitched Smile magazine - this was a long time in the making, but ended up being a lovely piece of work. There's an original story of mine in it - "Our Elegant Decay", a tale of botany and revenge. It can be read here, if you're so inclined.

Visions From The Void" was released in March from the lovely people at Burdizzo Books. An op-art themed anthology, it included “Buddy, can you spare a paradigm”, my everyday tale of a jazz-obsessed detective who can predict the future. It's been really well received, and it's a delight to see my work featured in such an eclectic anthology.
August saw the debut of a new story (“ISOL-8") on the brilliant podcast Starshipsofa.  Wonderfully narrated by Nick Camm, it turned out better than I ever could have hoped. Give it a listen - it's terrific.

"Under the Weather" was released in August by Burdizzo; Another anthology, it's a wonderful collection of weather themed horror tales. My story "Red Sky at Night" features in it, and it's a tale I'm really pleased with.
Scenes Of Mild Peril, my new collection, finally got released in September.  The publisher (Stitched Smile Publications) recently changed their business model to use Ingram Spark, and, despite the advantages this brings over CreateSpace, it’s been an exercise in frustration for all concerned.
It’s a great piece of work (and wonderfully edited) but I’m finding it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to summon up much interest in promoting it. For one, the process has taken so long that these feel like old stories to me now. Secondly, ongoing problems with Ingram Spark have seen a cavalcade of formatting issues with the paperback version – I still haven’t even got a decent physical copy of it myself.  Stitched Smile have been incredibly helpful and are clearly equally as frustrated by the issues, but I'd be lying if I said it hasn’t made what should have been an exciting time a bit of a damp squib.

Still, it's been well received and got a lovely review from Scream Magazine (attached below) which can be clicked to actually make it legible :)

Far better news is that my comic work with TPub, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, will be released next year. Two stories- “Obsession" from Scenes Of Mild Peril, and “Battlesuit" from my previous collection “Forever and Ever, Armageddon" – have been adapted by myself for TPub's upcoming “The Theory". The art has been provided by the stupidly talented Phil Buckenham, and it looks nothing short of incredible.

So, what else for 2019? I'm hoping to release the next collection of short stories (in a book with the working title "An Untruth of Summoners") and I'm currently tidying up a piece of work which is a bit of a diversion. Rather than write something genre-related, I've completed the first draft (the aforementioned "new project") of a coming-of-age tale set in Coventry during the 80's. It's called "The High Room" and I'm really pleased with it - it's a piece of work that's very personal to me, and writing it was quite a cathartic way of finally dealing with the loss of my mum back at the start of the decade.

So, here's to a prosperous and productive 2019 for us all. I hope it brings you that which you desire.

David x

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Scenes of Mild Peril

I've been absolutely rubbish at keeping this blog updated, so I'll make up for it now with some bumper news.
Firstly, I'm incredibly pleased to be able to announce the release of "Scenes of Mild Peril", my new short story collection from Stitched Smile. It's the culmination of three years of hard work, and it's by far my best work to date. Thirty brand new stories and poems; horror, science fiction, satire.
It'll shortly be available in good old-fashioned physical form for the squirrel-haters amongst you, but for the time being is available in a stupidly wide variety of electronic formats - just click here
Buy it, support it, share the news, read it, review it – I'd love to hear what you think of it. I couldn't be happier with how this has turned out, and I hope you enjoy it too.
Secondly, another of my stories - Red Sky at Night - has been publised in the newly released Under the Weather from Burdizzo Books. It's in some fine company in this 15 story weather themed anthology with tales by C.H. Baum, Paul M. Feeney, Peter Germany (my brother from another mother), Paul Hiscock, Dave Jeffery, James Jobling, Lex H. Jones, Kitty Kane, Christopher Law, Adam Millard, Dale Robertson, Nathan Robinson, Phil Sloman and Mark Woods. 
And finally, a brief plug for my fellow Burdizzo stablemate Jonathan Butcher and my wife - Jonathan's uncompromising horror novel What Good Girls Do is now available as an audiobook, narrated by Tara. It's available from Amazon, by clicking here.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Visions from the Void

June the 1st sees the release of "Visions From The Void", the new anthology from Burdizzo books. Available in both paperback and for the Kindle, it's an anthology of twelve tales, each inspired by an individual and unique piece of Op-art.

I was honoured to be asked to take part, especially amongst such esteemed company, and it promises to be a really interesting read.  Those involved were challenged to come up with something outside of their typical genre, and I'm genuinely intrigued to see what everybody else has come up with.

These are the authors and their slices of surrealism;

Kayleigh Marie Edwards – Shut Up and Dance
Adam Millard – Checkmate
Emma Dehaney – Ten-Minute Warning
John McNee – Uncommon Time
Paula D. Ashe – Exile in Extremis
Kit Power – The Prickles
Jonathan Butcher – The Jazziverse
Lydian Faust – Third-Eye
David Court – Brother, Can You Spare a Paradigm?
J. G. Clay – The Cruellest Gift
Duncan P. Bradshaw – It Sucks When You’re All Seeds and No Feathers
Matthew Cash – Grotto

The link to buy can be found here - you won't be disappointed!

ThIs Is NoT a NoRmAl AnThOlOgY…
If you are expecting a neat, predictable set of stories TURN BACK NOW
If you want horror but hate bizarro or getting “the feels” THEN STEP AWAY
This collection of tales is what happens when one man’s art meets 12 authors fiction, and when writers are free to ignore their genre of choice and typical story conventions.
12 eye-challenging op-art designs were used to inspire these 12 mind-bending stories, which contain everything from futuristic sci-fi to fantastical comedy, and heartfelt life musings to near-cosmic nihilism.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

"It's Marshmallow time!"

Hi, all! Hope you're all good. An update is well overdue, so let me bring you up to speed with a couple of projects I've been working on.

Stitched Smile Magazine

We are here for the horror connoisseur, serving up the very best dishes of the strange, the frightening, and the horrifically beautiful. It’s sixty-four full color pages crammed to busting with work by supremely talented authors, poets, and artists! Dark twisting tales, full page art work, and in depth interviews, reviews, and articles, are sure to delight even the harshest of critics.

The first issue of this is now available. It's a fine body of work that I'm pleased to be a part of, and features a wide variety of original fiction, reviews, articles, poetry and art from the talents of A.J. Brown, Andrew Robertson, Eric Snelleman, David Owain Hughes, James Matthew Byers, Jason Morton, Lance Fling, Larissa Bennett, Lisa Vasquez, Mike Lane, Michaline Slemp, Martin Spernau, Nev Murray, Pawel Latkoski, Reed Novotny, SISU and Veronica Smith. 

The magazine features a brand new story from myself, "Our Elegant Decay", which is a dark tale of botany and betrayal.

There are more details about it here, and you can buy a Kindle or physical copy of it from here. MF Wahl has done a great job on it and it's an awesome read, and hopefully there will be many more to follow.

Stitched Saturday

I curate* the Stitched Saturday page over on the Stitched Smile Blog. I post up an inspirational picture at the start of the month, and I encourage authors to write something based on the image. The added bonus of it going forwards is that we're planning on collecting the best of them for a Halloween anthology, and any authors chosen will be paid $10.00 and get an electronic copy of the finished collection. If you're of an artistic bent, go and have a look!

* - Do some stuff on

Declaration of Independents

Coventry visionary Rees Finlay (writer and artist behind the excellent and previously reviewed Blue Flame) has a wonderful regular Podcast called "The Declaration of Independents".  It's a celebration of independent creativity, and every week he interviews writers, artists and the like. He interviewed me for it a couple of weeks ago, and it's now edited and up online for your (dubious) delectation and delight.

Amongst other things we discussed our mutual love for ikea plush sharks, we put the world to rights politically (you're welcome), I related the story of how Alan Moore told me to fuck off, and we found out just how many marshmallows I could fit in my mouth. (Spoiler: It wasn't many).

It's can be found here on that YouTube malarkey, here on iTunes and here on soundcloud. Pretty much every format except for 8-track and Fisher Price My First Record Player.

Please give it a listen, give it a rating (a good one, preferably) and, if you enjoy it, pop him a couple of quid to support Rees in his endeavours.

Other stuff

Scenes of Mild Peril now has a wonderful cover courtesy of the talents of SISU, and is the final touches of editing. so will hopefully be released very soon. I have a couple of stories that are due to appear in forthcoming anthologies, more details of which as I know them.

Also, I've finally got around to updating my publication history, if you fancy a look.

Anyway, thanks for reading - take care, and I'll have more news for you soon! Do try and check out some of the links above.