Monthly Archives: March 2013

Guest Blogging for Authors Electric

I was asked by the lovely Debbie Bennett  to guest blog for the rather spiffing “Do Authors Dream of Electric Books?”  .
As always, the toughest part is choosing a theme, but as the date of my blog coincided with the deadline for The Alchemy Press book of Urban Mythic I went for anthologies; the do’s and don’ts.
I hope I haven’t gone on too much. Its about this time that I start tearing at hair and gnashing teeth as slush-pile fever strikes!
You can read all about it HERE



The Demonologia Biblica is out there!

The Demonologia Biblica is out there!

Cover: Demonologia Biblica

Cover: Demonologia Biblica

I am thrilled to be a part of this trilogy of books rubbing shoulders with such excellent company!
Compiled and edited by Dean M Drinkel.
The first in a collection of anthologies to be published by Western Legends throughout 2013 under the banner “Tres Librorum Prohibitorum”.
A lexicon of demons full-to-bursting with great writers (some new, some award nominated, some award winning) from all around the world.  But the Demonologia is something more. Much more in fact than the sum of its parts. A French nobleman from the 15th Century. Gilles de Montmorency-Laval, Baron de Rais, who was a serial killer and heavily into the occult.
At his trial in 1438, it was said that de Rais had sought out individuals who were purported to summon demons. These summoning words were put into a Grimoire fashioned from human skin and which was commonly known as the Demonologia Biblica. A book which mysteriously vanished after de Rais’ execution but which is often talked about in ‘Dark Circles’. Imagine the power one could wield with such a weapon!
Though who knows – maybe it never existed in the first place and was just a figment of someone’s warped imagination…I guess we may never know… so until that book is found, turn the page and immerse yourself in the unique demonic worlds these twenty-six authors have created for you… get thee behind me, demon…

Authors include:

Barbie Wilde, William Meikle, Jan Edwards, John Palisano, Tracie McBride, D.T. Griffith, Kate Jonez, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Raven Dane, Jonathan Green, Lily Childs, Daniel I. Russell, Christine Dougherty, Mark West, Magen Cubed, Colleen Anderson, Emile-Louis Tomas Jouvet, Dave Jeffery, Nerine Dorman, Adrian Chamberlin, Sean Sweeney, Andy Taylor, Sam Stone, Dean M. Drinkel, Sandra Norval, Nicholas Vince

available at  and  

Panels and Publicity

As part of a Writing West Midlands event at Hanley Library, chaired by Sara Beadle, I shared the stage with the novelist Kate Long of Bad Mothers’ Handbook fame,  and with my other half, Peter Coleborn.

Kate chatted about how she started out as a writer, how chance meetings gave her a foot in, and how publicising work in as many places as possible at every opportunity is essential. Peter spoke about the small press  in general, and The  Alchemy Press in particular,  and how writing for small press anthologies is an invaluable apprenticeship for newcomers and ongoing publicity for the rest.
So far so good, except that it left me as the last speaker. Now that was fine because it was better that than being first, not being much of a public speaker I will admit to a certain level of trepidation, and yes I was a lot more nervous about it than I would like to admit, so I was happy not to be first; but being last did mean that much of what I had intended to say had already been said. Them’s the breaks!
So what could I say without doing a parrot act?
Well, the deadline for submissions to The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic is coming up fast, so I went into anthologist/editor mode and talked about how to submit a manuscript, an item high on my agenda because, coincidentally, I’m also writing a guest blog for Authors Electric  — and mental notes on that very subject were up for the ‘talking’.
I burbled on about what to do and what not to do when sending anything to an editor and hoped nobody spotted the “duck syndrome” in action: apparent calm on the surface with metaphoric feet pedalling madly beneath.  Hopefully I didn’t sound too mad. People said thank you afterwards so I’m assuming they were not too bored.
It set me thinking on how things do come together from so many different angles. Synchronicity. Chance meetings, coincidental crossing of streams, paths crossing, lucky breaks. It seems that’s  what we writers thrive, or should I say survive, on. That and making sure we are in the right places to fall over those opportunities in the first place.

When Darkness Falls

Honoured to be included in an upcoming charity anthology When Darkness Falls, pb Screaming Spires, Edited by Emma Audsley et al.

Some amazing writers to be rubbing shoulders with in this TOC!  Details  as and when they arrive!
1. Crows View of Autumn by Joe S Pulver.
2. Jennifer by Jack Bennett.
3. The Greek Widow by Stephen Laws.
4. In the Name of God by Stuart Young.
5. Antidote by Max Xavier.
6. Stick Around by Brian Hodge.
7. What is it For? by Rebecca Brown.
8. Trufflepig by Colin F Barnes.
9. What the Dark Does by Graham Masterton.
10. Castigation Crunch by Jasper Bark.
11. The Psychoanalyst by Rhys Hughes.
12. Greenfingers by Lisa Jenkins.
13. ‘Til Death by Eric Smith.
14. House of Dandridge by Jason White.
15. Know Our Hearts Bleed by Frank Duffy.
16. Webbed Fingers by Stephen Bacon.
17. The Stranger by Tom Lynch.
18. 212 by Seb Doubinsky.
19. Penumbra Over Millwall by Jan Edwards.
20. If I Should Wake by Brian Hodge.
21. That Night at The Grief by Gary McMahon.
22. The Stones of Calder Hall by Raven Dane.
23. In the South, an Arise by R J Barker.
24. So Much to See by Frazer Lee.
25. In the Dark, the Monsters by Alison Littlewood.
26. Hey, Karen by Marianne Halbert.
27. Suicide Solution by R D Teun.
28. ’77 Coupe De Ville by D M Youngquist.
29. Nailbiter by Amelia Mangan.
30. The Spoon by Rhys Hughes.
31. On Delivery by Jack Bantry.
32. Old School by Gary Fry.
33. Sea of Souls by Mark West.
34. The Other Side by Ramsey Campbell.


All proceeds will go to Pictor School in Cheshire, UK and Autism Awareness


Crowsnest Review

Rather spiffing review of Ancient Wonders over at SFCrowsnest by Rod McDonald  here

Rod says:
“Being an old alchemist myself who took some time to get over the phlogiston theory, I was intrigued to see what was going on at The Alchemy Press. If you have not encountered them before, I would check out the website. This isn’t a weird and wonderful collection of 1960s hippies with crystals, wind chimes and astrology charts. Nothing like that here! Rather, it’s a site where you’ll find lots of interesting collections of stories and articles which have as a basis our past, our culture and the more mysterious aspects of our lives. I was actually quite impressed!
This particular collection contains 14 stories which have as their basis our history, sometimes with archaeological connections and stone circles with Celtic beginnings. You’ll be travelling back to ancient Rome, New York and even an Ithaca in space. However, the main link between all the stories was the quality of the writing which was very good. In selecting the works, the editors must have looked to readability as a major facet. They are all certainly very readable.
To give an example, ‘If Street’ by James Brogden was all about a couple of childhood friends living near the site of a Roman settlement in Britain. As boys who investigated everything, they were intrigued by an old Roman road. One of the characters disappeared, to come back many years later. He had been living in the past as a Roman soldier fighting against invaders.
Bryn Forley’s ‘Ithaca Or Bust’ is a parody of the legend of Troy, only the characters are vastly different. Taking place in a stellar empire, the beings have two heads, four arms and legs and are about 5m tall. Much of the conversation is between the two heads, one logical and thoughtful with the other forthright and adventurous. It makes for interesting reading.
It would be difficult to pick out a favourite story from out of the 14 available due to the fact that they are distinctly different despite having a common theme as their basis. Alchemy Press seem to have a large number of anthologies and according to their website, they are actively looking for new writers. This may represent a good opportunity for aspiring and established writers. I’m not sure what terms and conditions apply, so it would be best to make enquiries first. They do, however, have a comprehensive list of writing requirements.
This volume was produced in hardcopy a few months ago and now it’s available in Kindle and other formats. Being available from Amazon, it should probably sell reasonably well. It’s a sort of book you could carry about and dip into at any time and if you like this type of fiction, it represents a good purchase and one to recommend.”

Posted by at 20:33