• events

    Slayers and their Vampires

    As part of the Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin (27-30 Oct), I’ll be taking part in the Slayers and their Vampires panel from 1 pm – 2.30 pm on 28 October, in the Albert Lecture Theatre, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. I’ll be joining Bruce McClelland, (Slayers and Their Vampires: A Cultural History of Killing the Dead) and David Skal (Something In the Blood: a Biography of Bram Stoker) in discussing the modern cultural significance of vampire legends. As some know, my first M.A. thesis investigated themes in 19th century supernatural Irish fiction, which included a detailed look at Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I’ve…

  • Thoughts

    Old Weird, New Weird, or Just Plain Weird

    You can hear a recording of the ‘Old Weird, New Weird, or Just Plain Weird’ panel, which I participated on during the 2015 World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, NY. It’s hosted on the Project Radio web site. The line-up was: moderator: Thomas F. Monteleone, and panellists: Ellen Datlow, Michael Kelly, me, Anya Martin, and Scott Nicolay. http://www.projectiradio.com/?powerpress_embed=88215-podcast&powerpress_player=mediaelement-audio It was an interesting discussion, but not a surprise considering the range of talent on the table and our passion for the subject.

  • Conventions

    World Fantasy Convention 2015

    In a couple of days I’m flying to the USA with the main goal of attending the World Fantasy Convention 2015 in Saratoga Springs, NY. The lovely side-effect is getting to spend time with the amazingly talented Kate Laity before and during the convention. I haven’t attended many WFCs – two in the UK so far. As with most writers I have to judge which events to attend based on a variety of criteria, and once it’s taking place in America the costs balloon significantly. I’d heard good things about the last WFC in Saratoga Springs, and with it being located on the East Coast it makes it a more…

  • Fiction,  photographs,  Thoughts,  Writing

    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…

  • Conventions,  News

    British Fantasy Awards 2012 – nominees

    BFS

    The short-lists have been announced for the 2012 British Fantasy Awards: Novel 11.22.63 by Stephen King (Scribner) Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor Books) Cyber Circus by Kim Lakin-Smith (NewCon Press) A Dance with Dragons by George R R Martin (Bantam) The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie (Gollancz) The Ritual by Adam Nevill (Pan) There will be two awards in the best Novel category: The August Derleth Award for best horror novel and The Robert Holdstock Award for best fantasy novel. Novella ‘Alice through the plastic sheet’ by Robert Shearman (A Book of Horrors, Jo Fletcher Books) ‘Ghosts with Teeth’ by Peter Crowther (A Book of Horrors, Jo Fletcher Books) ‘Gorel…

  • advocacy

    solidarity

    I have a history of social activism. When I was attending Trinity College in Dublin I got involved in student politics. For four years I was on the Gradate Students’ Union, and for the last year I served as President. During that period I sat on numerous college committees, including TCD’s College Board – which was the ultimate decision-making body in the college. I learned a great deal during those years. I learned the nuances of negotiating within a structure where the majority of the decisions were quietly agreed upon by an elite group behind the scenes. I also learned the importance of solidarity. Even though people speak in patronising…

  • nature

    sunset over mallorca

    This was yesterday’s sunset in Santa Ponsa, where the local fisherman cast their lines. Alas, my short break has run its course. Today I head back to Ireland. The next time I hope to come away to a place like this with more free time. I spent most of yesterday in front of my keyboard, rattling away at my latest project, and wishing the afternoon wasn’t so fine. I managed a short break in the evening, just before dinner, and dashed down to the water to try and snap some shots. I captured a number of good images, which I will look at when I’m feeling oppressed by grey skies…

  • News,  Writing

    NaNoWriMo Go

    November 1st has rolled around in Ireland and weather-wise it’s right on season: wet, windy and grey. Some of the trees are already stripped of leaves, while others are hanging on to their cover. On my drive to the woods there is a section on the last elbow of road that has a complete avenue of native, mature deciduous trees. Their branches create a canopy over my car as I pass under them. During the summer it’s a glowing green roof, and during the autumn it’s a russet net that shakes shining, wet gold leaves upon the path. It’s like goldfish drifting down to swim in the road flooded with their brethren.…