• the house

    Only a shell of the house remains. A thick pelt of ivy crawls over its exterior so even the dead windows are mere slits in its green tangle. Inside, colonies of jackaws nest and roost. Watchful sentries are posted about the house’s gnarled crown, and in surrounding trees. At your approach they rise, a raucous shout from its dark throat, and spit out in a black cough across the sky. Their wings beat above your head as you step into the shadow cast by their abode. The silence as you pass through the darkness is the resentful reproach of the disturbed.

  • Twisted Myths in the house

    It’s been a bit of an open secret that I’ve written a sequel of sorts to Twisted Fairy Tales, which is called Twisted Myths. It’s been up for pre-order on Amazon.com for a few months, and the eagle-eyed among you will have seen it mentioned at the end of my last interview with Dennis Abrams. Still, sometimes you’re not allowed to discuss these things until the publisher gives you the green light, or the advance copy of the book arrives in the door – which it did this morning. This collection contains twenty myths from around the world, along with an introduction by me. It features artwork by the fabulously-talented…

  • bank holiday

    Bank holidays don’t really mean much to freelancers. Other than there’s usually extra people in your house, and the post doesn’t get delivered. I’ve been working all weekend on a project that’s nearing its conclusion, and I’m in the awful push at the end which involves the application of willpower and determination over fatigue. And I’m doing it without coffee! I never thought the day would dawn. While I’m all in favour of discipline and schedules when it comes to writing – it’s a profession like any other – there’s a delicate balance between guiding your imagination towards the gate in a gentle fashion (think of sheep herding), and unleashing…

  • it’s all about me…

    People blog in a variety of fashions, and over the last month I set myself the challenge of writing a blog post every Monday-Friday about anything that came to mind. I also decided to incorporate photographs in them, and often the photographs were the inspiration for a post. I took that first photo of myself in a restaurant on Saturday. It was with the forward-facing camera on my mobile phone so it’s not the best quality. The light wasn’t brilliant, and I’m looking a little rosy-faced – a lovely product of having sensitive, fair skin. In the second photo I like the colour in my eyes, and of course all…

  • Twisted Fairy Tales reviews

    Twisted Fairy Tales

    I haven’t mentioned my collection Twisted Fairy Tales in some time, which is available to buy on Amazon, and many book stores in the USA. The reviews so far have been mostly positive, and I’m hearing that it’s been selling well, especially in Barnes & Noble in the USA. This gladdens my heart of course! One reviewer on Amazon mentioned that it was too dark and descriptive for her nine-year-old son. That made me smile. When I was nine I would have thought ‘challenge accepted!’ and sought it out at once. It all depends on the child, however. I’d always had a fascination with dark fiction. Two reviews have made…

  • guest post for Joseph D'Lacey

    I am regularly asked to write articles for friends or blog posts for web sites I’ve worked with before, and sometimes I just can’t fit it into my schedule. Not surprisingly, I am often asked to discuss issues about women or feminism, but despite what people may think, I don’t want to bang on that drum exclusively. Although, it has to be drummed more than I would like. A couple of months ago Joseph D’Lacey asked me to write a guest blog post for his web site, and one of his topic suggestions was to write about my mushroom photos. Joseph had often admired them when I’d tweeted links to…

  • disappointment

    Life is a constant state of flux. In any one day we can shift through a variety of moods depending on how the world acts on us. From rudeness from a stranger, to a kind word from a friend, to sipping that great cup of coffee while reading a good book, or seeing scarlet when a driver cuts you off dangerously on the road. The thing to remember is that something good is always around the corner, which is not always easy to recall when your head is spinning from bad news. Disappointment is something everyone in the world deals with, but it’s an occupational hazard for those who create,…

  • Journey Planet 15

    The latest edition of the fanzine, Journey Planet, is online (issue 15). It’s edited by Hugo-Award-Winners Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon per usual, but half the issue is guest-edited by writer Lynda E. Rucker, and is termed ‘The Write Stuff’. That section is devoted to conversations with writers about the ins and outs of their profession, and includes people like Mike Carey, Lauren Beukes, Gail Carriger, Robin Hobb, and Seanan McGuire answering questions about some of their high and low points. I have a short piece in it called ‘From Fan to Con-runner to Writer – different experiences of conventions.’ Lynda asked me to write specifically on this subject,…

  • Women in Horror 2013

    It’s Imblog today, the traditional start of Spring in Ireland, and it’s sunny too – a welcome break from the recent fierce squalls. It’s also the start of Women in Horror Recognition Month, which I’ve discussed before on my blog. Two years ago I wrote a piece for the fabulous Bad Reputation web site in which I recommended five women horror novelists. This year they asked me to contribute again, and this time I’ve chosen to highlight the work of women from across the horror media spectrum. It’s a personal pick of women who are doing interesting work in the field, and of course there are so many more. Today…

  • 2011 Shirley Jackson Awards Winners

    Shirley Jackson Awards

    The 2011 Shirley Jackson Awards winners were announced today at Readercon 23, Conference on Imaginative Literature, in Burlington, Massachusetts. Congratulations to all winners! Thank you for writing such great fiction. NOVEL Winner:   Witches on the Road Tonight   , Sheri Holman (Grove Press) Finalists: The Devil All the Time, Donald Ray Pollock (Doubleday) The Dracula Papers, Reggie Oliver (Chômu Press) The Great Lover, Michael Cisco (Chômu Press) Knock Knock, S. P. Miskowski (Omnium Gatherum Media) The Last Werewolf, Glen Duncan (Canongate Books, Ltd.-UK / Alfred A. Knopf-US) NOVELLA Winner: “Near Zennor,” Elizabeth Hand (A Book of Horrors, Jo Fletcher Books) Finalists: “And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living,” Deborah Biancotti (Ishtar,…