Mon, 08 February 2016 Fête de la Bande Dessinée 2016

I’ll be a guest at the Fête de la Bande Dessinée – Comic Book Festival on 2 March, at the Mart Firestation, 190a Rathmines Road Lower, Dublin 6. It’s organised by IGI (Illustrators Guild of Ireland), Alliance Française de Dublin, and The Comics Lab.

2 March will feature Pulse – Irish Comics Now

Pulse takes a snapshot of what’s happening in Irish comics right now. From small-press to mainstream, from indie to industry, we’ve got it covered. Some of theevening’s highlights include:

Pop-up comics fair – For one night only, immerse yourself in a selection of indie comics from over 40 Irish-based comics creators. Grab a beer, have a read and chat to the creators in the great open space of the old Firestation.

Live readings – Join us in the intimate upstairs Gallery 2 space and watch as six artists bring their comics to life with live-readings, visuals and sound effects. Performers are:
Sarah Bowie, Alan Dunne, Chris Judge, Paddy Lynch, Alé Mercado, Fintan Taite, Liam Geraghty.

Interviews + Q&A – Get into the nuts and bolts of how these ladies and gents do what they do. We’ve got a cross-section of the community to talk about their process and answer your questions: Eoin Coveney, Luke Healy, Debbie Jenkinson, Maura McHugh

On 3 March there will be a rare opportunity to hear Tito, the famous French-based comics artist, talk about his long career and works such as Le choix d’Ivana and the Tendre Banlieue series.

Also on the night will be the launch of a new comics art exhibition, featuring work from Illustrators Ireland members as well as artists from the wider comics community.

It’s free entry, but you must RSVP by Wednesday, 24 February to rsvp (a)

Tue, 12 January 2016 Be dazzled by this glittering life

Glittering Life

Sparkle in the dying light of stars.
You too will join them as effervescent dust
soon enough.

Fri, 08 January 2016 Story in The Grim Future

I’m extremely pleased to announce that my story ‘Zel and Grets’ will appear in the forthcoming anthology The Grimm Future, edited by Erin Underwood.

The beautiful cover is by Richard Anderson.

It’s being published by NESFA Press, and will launch at Boskone 53, Boston as a special limited hardback edition. The Grimm Future is a new science fiction anthology of reimagined Grimm fairy tales.

I’m not as well known for my science fiction, but I love writing it. This was a chance to combine my deep regard for fairy tales with a far-flung futuristic setting.

I can only thank Erin for asking me to be involved, which provoked the story. Without that impetus Zel and Grets would never have come to life in my head. I’m now very fond of them.

It’s also an honour to have my work featured among a wonderful line-up of talent.

Here’s the Table of Contents:

  • “Introduction” by Erin Underwood
  • “Pair of Ugly Stepsisters, Three of a Kind” by Garth Nix (based upon multiple Grimm fairy tales, including Little Brother and Little Sister, Rapunzel, Little Red-Cap, and Cinderella)
  • “The Iron Man” by Max Gladstone (based upon Iron John)
  • “Zel and Grets” by Maura McHugh (based upon Hansel & Gretel)
  • “For Want of a NAIL” by Sandra McDonald & Stephen D. Covey (based upon The Nail)
  • “The Shroud” by Dan Wells (based upon The Shroud)
  • “Long-Term Employment” by Mike Resnick (based upon Death’s Messengers)
  • “Swan Dive” by Nancy Holder (based upon The Six Swans)
  • “The White Rat” by Dana Cameron (based upon The White Snake)
  • “Origins” by Carlos Hernandez (based upon The Star-Talers)
  • “Angie Taylor in: Peril Beneath the Earth’s Crust” by John Langan (based upon The Brave Little Tailor)
  • “The Three Snake-Leaves” by Jeffrey Ford (based upon The Three Snake-Leaves)
  • “The Madman’s Ungrateful Child” by Peadar Ó Guillín (based upon The Bremen Town-Musicians)
  • “Stories of the Trees, Stories of the Birds, Stories of the Bones” by Kat Howard (based upon The Juniper Tree)
  • “Be Still, and Listen” by Seanan McGuire (based upon Little Briar-Rose)

It’s at this point that all the thought and effort it takes to create an entire universe for a short story seems worth it!

Thu, 31 December 2015 A story in Obsidian

In 2016 NewCon Press celebrates its 10th anniversary, and to mark that achievement it’s releasing a number of publications next year, including an eBook-only retrospective anthology of horror short fiction written by women that NewCon published during its first decade.

Thus we have Obsidian: A Decade of Horror Stories by Women, which is now available to pre-order on Amazon. You can get it at a specially discounted price which will go up once the book launches on 29 January 2016.

I’m delighted that editor and publisher Ian Whates is including my short story, ‘Valerie’, in this anthology with such a strong line-up of talent. The story originally appeared in NewCon’s anthology La Femme.

Here’s the ToC (the story by Laura Mauro is an original piece for the volume):

1. Introduction – Ian Whates
2. Sarah Pinborough – Do You See?
3. Liz Williams – Indicating the Awakening of Persons Buried Alive
4. Marie O’Regan – The Cradle in the Corner
5. Kari Sperring – Seaborne
6. Tanith Lee – Underfog (The Wreckers)
7. Kelley Armstrong – Young Bloods
8. Alison Littlewood – On the Grey Road
9. Molly Brown – Living with the Dead
10. Donna Scott – The Grimoire
11. Susan Sinclair – Lifeline
12. Lisa Tuttle – Paul’s Mother
13. Emma Coleman – Home
14. Maura McHugh – Valerie
15. Laura Mauro – Obsidian

On the last day of 2015 it’s nice to look forward to a new publication in 2016.

Happy New Year!

Tue, 22 December 2015 From Light to Dark

It’s the shortest day, and these long, wet winter nights can be trying. So I treasure the moments (especially if they are brief) when the murk lifts and light wins through.

Weakly lit

Earlier today the weak midwinter sun lit up a flower in a bouquet enough to offer solace after another stormy night.

Telephone Pole Dot

There’s also been rolling torrential rain. In true Irish fashion there can be a splendid burst of sun quite soon afterwards.

I like how the low solstice sun tops the telephone pole so it’s a giant ‘i’, and how the clouds look like a diving beast trying to devour the blue…

Solstice evening

And as the long midwinter evening settles in after a quick day, the rooks gather to share their news under a nearly-full moon.

Tue, 08 December 2015 The Ghost Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore

Back in 2012 I had the fine fortune to write a section of  an anthology horror play called The Hallowe’en Sessions, which had a run in the West End in London. I worked with fellow writers Kim NewmanAnne Billson, Sean HoganPaul McAuley, and Stephen Volk,

Well, the creative sparks behind that production now have another stellar horror portmanteau play scheduled for 2016: The Ghost Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore.

Poster by Graham Humphreys

Featuring segments written by acclaimed authors Christopher Fowler, Lynda E. Rucker, Stephen Gallagher, Lisa Tuttle, Robert Shearman, and Kim Newman, alongside a wraparound story by director Sean Hogan.

Remember those horror portmanteau movies of the past, such as Tales from the Crypt, From Beyond The Grave and Doctor Terror’s House of Horrors? They’re back and now on stage!

Five passengers meet on a train and agree to tell each other monstrous stories of possession, hauntings, devilry and science gone wrong. Each tale is inspired by a classic monster – vampire, ghost, Frankenstein, the Devil, mummy, ventriloquist’s doll. Each actor plays multiple roles within the tales, and as is traditional in the form, the framing story builds to a suitably macabre climax.

It’s taking place at 7pm from 7 – 19 March in the Tristan Bates Theatre, 1A Tower St, Covent Garden, London. Tickets £15 / £13 concs: buy them here.

Sat, 05 December 2015 ICN Award Win


This afternoon I discovered that I won the Best Irish Writer Published Outside of Ireland, in the ICN Awards 2015.

I’m stunned. I had no expectation of winning as it was a strong category with good talent represented.

Thanks to everyone who voted for me, as well as the hard-working crew at the good ship ICN, ably captained by Dave Ferguson. Much respect to my fellow nominees.

At the moment Storm Desmond is battering Ireland, and it’s been howling winds, lashing rain, and rising flood waters all around. This is typical of Ireland in winter, but it can be quite stressful. So, this has been a wonderful distraction from the noise outside!

I also called upon my pal Dr Strange earlier today to banish the dire bully Desmond from our shores. He’s working on it!

I recently picked up this old-school Dr Stephen Strange toy at a comic book shop in Saratoga Springs in the USA. What’s not to love about spiffy magicians with snappy clothing and fancy artefacts?

Fri, 04 December 2015 Cassilda’s Song on Kindle

Cassildas Song

The Kindle edition of Cassilda’s Song: Tales Inspired by Robert W. Chambers King in Yellow Mythos is now available to buy. The trade paperback edition should be arriving in stores shortly.

The book is published by Chaosium Inc. and edited by Joe S. Pulver. The artwork is by Steve G Santiago. It contains my story, ‘Family’.

Here’s the Table of Contents:

  • Black Stars on Canvas, a Reproduction in Acrylic … Damien Angelica Walters
  • She Will Be Raised a Queen … E. Catherine Tobler
  • Yella … Nicole Cushing
  • Yellow Bird … Lynda E. Rucker
  • Exposure … Helen Marshall
  • Just Beyond Her Dreaming … Mercedes M. Yardley
  • In the Quad of Project 327 … Chesya Burke
  • Stones, Maybe … Ursula Pflug
  • Les Fleurs Du Mal … Allyson Bird
  • While The Black Stars Burn … Lucy A. Snyder
  • Old Tsah-Hov … Anya Martin
  • The Neurastheniac … Selena Chambers
  • Dancing The Mask … Ann K. Schwader
  • Family … Maura McHugh
  • Pro Patria! … Nadia Bulkin
  • Her Beginning is Her End is Her Beginning … E. Catherine Tobler & Damien Angelica Walters
  • Grave-Worms … Molly Tanzer
  • Strange is the Night … S.P. Miskowski

It’s wonderful to be part of such a collection of fine work. My thanks to Joe for his dedication in bringing this production together.

Wed, 02 December 2015 Lola comes to (un)life

I’m stoked to hear that Ron Salas (who has worked for Image, Marvel, Dark Horse, etc.) is the artist drawing my short comic book script for Wailing Heights, which will be a part of a forthcoming video game from Outsider Games.

I’ve seen the pages, and I’m thrilled that Lola’s origin story has been brought to (un)life in such a lively fashion.

recent nominations

I’ve been remiss in mentioning an awards nomination I received while I was travelling last month.

I was pleased that I was selected for the Best Irish Writer Published Outside Ireland Award in the ICN Awards this year. Voting is open and is online.

I’ve also been shortlisted for the Best Irish Writer Award in The Arcade Awards.

Voting is open and online, so pick your favourites for this year.

It’s always an honour to be part of the shortlist for any award, and my thanks to those who have deemed my work worthy for nomination.

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