Sunday, 28 April 2019


Trying To Be So Quiet & Other Hauntings was published yesterday by The Sinister Horror Company. The title story was originally publishing as a limited edition novella; the new volume contains two extra stories: 'The Second Wish' and 'Damage'. They are all stories on the theme of the supernatural as a manifestation of grief and loss.

Some of the original reviews are linked below, if you'd like to know more...

"If you like your horror quiet, stealthy, and throat-achingly sad, this one is for you." Tracy Fahey

"...a deeply moving story, emotionally charged,with a powerful and rich narrative, it is an exemplary example of ability for quiet horror to chill a reader to the core." 
Gingernuts Of Horror.

"This hugely chilling and evocative story, mixing lyrical language and lost love, is told with great psychological acuity." 
Horror Blog UK

"A small, quiet, poignant novella about grief and significance... No noise, no fuss, just good, honest writing about the things that matter. Recommended." Gary McMahon

"I really enjoyed this short, condensed novelette, which is packed full of bitterness and yearning, defeatism and aspiration. It’s what loss actually feels like... It’s a fine piece of work." Gary Fry

"I literally had goosebumps when I finished reading"

Anthony Watson, Dark Musings

"A must read, wonderful.", Yvonne Davies, Terror Tree

 Trying To Be So Quiet.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Coming Soon: The Woods....

I've a new story out soon, in a forthcoming anthology from Hersham Horror called The Woods.

My tale is called 'A Short Walk Round The Woods'. As well as mine, you'll be getting stories from Cate Gardner, Phil Sloman, Penny Jones and Mark West....

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Trying To Be So Quiet & Other Hauntings Cover Reveal

This week, the cover for the rerelease of Trying To Be So Quiet was revealed on Gingernuts Of Horror. Now called Trying To Be So Quiet And Other Hauntings, the book will be available to pre-order from The Sinister Horror Company very soon... It features two extra stories new to the rerelease: 'The Second Wish' and 'Damage'. Both are different takes on the central theme of TTBSQ: the supernatural as a manifestation of grief and loss.

I wrote a piece about just that theme to accompany the cover reveal; you can read it here.

“A small, quiet, poignant novella about grief and significance. No noise, no fuss, just good, honest writing about the things that matter.”
— Gary McMahon on Trying To Be So Quiet

You can buy it here.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Recommendations: Mea Culpa

It's been awhile since I've posted any book recommendations on here. Life has been pretty busy recently, if only from the constant stress of checking the exact shade of the Brexit shit-tsunami every hour or so. So I'm afraid this blog has been rather negelected.

But I have been reading (of course) and some of what I've read has been brilliant, so here's some super-lazy recommendations of the best of them....

Missing by Alison Moore
Alison Moore is one of the most exception writers working today, in my opinion, and this new novel was a real treat. Exquisitely written, both deadpan and moving, it's a story (if such is the word) of missed connections, ill communication, and the mundanity both of real life and the supernatural. I loved it.

Where Angels Fear To Tread by E.M. Forster
I know, finger on the pulse me, eh? Somehow, I'd never read this before, and it was simply brilliant. Funny and tragic in equal measure. You've likely already read it and know this though, right?

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor
This was really interesting. Each chapter covers one year in the lives of the inhabitants of a village where a young girl went missing. The reverberations of this are felt throughout the book, but the stories are told in snippets as the years progress. Structurally brilliant, it's home to some wonderful nature writing too.

Darker Companions: Celebrating 50 Years of Ramsey Campbell
A tribute anthology celebration fifty years of the fiction of Ramsey Campbell, this features too many good stories to mention them all... so I won't. Suffice to say, if you like Campbell's fiction (and come on, who doesn't) this doesn't disappoint.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

An 80s Mixtape, A Plutonian David Lynch, and Phil Sloman's Lowdown

  • I love Mark West's Mixtape blog posts, in which he invites all and sundry to pick their favourite horror tale of a certain type or style and creates a 'track-listing' from the results. The latest - which you can listen to here - is based on stories from the 70s and 80s. I picked 'Vani Fuchi Is Alive & Well And Living In Hell' by Dan Simmons, which I first read in Night Visions 5 but which you can also find in his collection Prayers To Broken Stones.

  • Over on The Plutonian website, you can find this fascinating piece by Scott Dwyer on both David Ligotti and David Lynch. I love both those things; if you do too (and let's face it, if you're reading this that's a distinct possibility) and suggest you give this article a read pronto.

  • Finally, Phil Sloman is the latest author to be interviewed as part of Simon Bestwick's Lowdown series. I had the pleasure of including one of Phil's stories in Imposter Syndrome and he's such a good writer he made me feel that very syndrome. Find out what he was to say here.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

...Other Hauntings...

This has been announced on social media, so thought I'd mention it here: I'm beyond excited to say that The Sinister Horror Company will be republishing my novella Trying To Be Quiet, which was originally released as a limited edition by Boo Books.

Trying To Be So Quiet & Other Hauntings will be out this year and features three stories based around the theme of the supernatural as a manifestation of grief and loss (cheery huh?).

More news soon, hopefully...

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Favourite Short Stories: 2018

I love doing this annual short stories post (you can find posts from previous years linked here) and I think this 2018's list once again shows just how many good short story writers there are writing today. So many that one person couldn't possibly keep track of them all, so this post is just a small and biased snapshot of a larger whole. But within this snapshot, I hope readers of this blog find some stories and authors new to them.

As ever, these are all recent-ish stories and I've listed where I read the story, which isn't necessarily the place where it was originally published.

Nina Allan: The Gift Of Angels: An Introduction (Clarkesworld #146)
G.V. Anderson: Waterbirds (Lightspeed #98)
Dale Bailey: I Was A Teenage Werewolf (Year's Best Weird Fiction #4, Undertow)
Jasper Bark: Bed Of Crimson Joy (KnightWatch Gallery, Black Shuck Books)
Laird Barron: Another Me (author's website)
Simon Bestwick: The Bells Of Rainey (Great British Horror 3: For Those In Peril, Black Shuck Books)
Daniel Braum: An American Ghost In Zurich  (The Wish Mechanics, Independent Legions Publishing)
Daniel Braum: How To Make Love & Not Turn Into Stone (The Wish Mechanics, Independent Legions Publishing)
Georgina Bruce: The Seas Of The Moon (Great British Horror 3: For Those In Peril, Black Shuck Books)
Eric Brown: The Ice Garden (Improbable Botany, Wayward)
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan: Our Last Guest (Granta #136)
Gary Budden: Spearbird (Hollow Shores, Dead Ink Books)
Gary Budden: The Wrecking Days (Hollow Shores, Dead Ink Books)
Ramsey Campbell: Some Kind Of Laughter (The Alchemy Press Book Of Horrors, Alchemy Press)
Chloe N. Clark: The Intimacy Of Objects (Jellyfish Review)
Tim Clayton: White Knuckle Ride (Sinister Horror Company Annual, The Sinister Horror Company)
Ray Cluley: In The Light Of St. Ives (Best British Horror 2018, NewCon Press)
Ray Cluley: Whispers In The Mist (Shadows & Tall Trees #5, Undertow)
M.R. Cosby: The Other Side Of The Hill (Nightscript #3)
Claire Dean: The Unwish (Best British Horror 2018, NewCon Press)
Kristi DeMeester: My Sister's Omen (The Dark #33)
Malcolm Devlin: Moths (Tales From The Shadow Booth #1)
Malcolm Devlin: Nautilus (author's website)
Malcolm Devlin: What Little Boys Are Made Of (Nightscript #3)
Kayleigh Marie Edwards: The Perfect Day To Be At Sea (Great British Horror 3: For Those In Peril, Black Shuck Books)
Tracy Fahey: The Girl Who Kissed The Dead (Sinister Horror Company Annual, The Sinister Horror Company)
Kurt Fawver: The Convexity Of Our Youth (Looming Low #1, Dim Shores)
Gemma Files: Distant Dark Places (Looming Low #1, Dim Shores)
Gemma Files: Nanny Grey (Nightmare #75)
Jeffery Ford: The Blameless (Year's Best Weird Fiction #4, Undertow)
Gary Fry: Disagreeably Hitched (author's website)
Gary Fry: The House Of The Rising Son (The Death Of Boys, Black Shuck Books)
Cate Gardner: The Fullness Of Her Belly (The Alchemy Press Book Of Horrors, Alchemy Press)
A.T. Greenblatt: And Yet (Uncanny #21)
Adam Golaski: The Beasts Are Sleep (Nightscript #3)
Carly Holmes: Three For A Girl (Figurehead, Tartarus Press)
Carly Holmes: Woodside Close (Figurehead, Tartarus Press)
Timothy J. Jarvis: What The Bones Told Hecate Shrike (Tales From The Shadow Booth #1)
N.K. Jemisin: The City Born Great (TOR)
Daisy Johnson: A Heavy Devotion (Year's Best Weird Fiction #4, Undertow)
Daisy Johnson: She Would Walk Them (Bourbon Penn #16)
Stephen Graham Jones: Moonboys (Lightspeed #102)
Danny King: The Stranger (A Pocket Guide To The Sinister Horror Company, The Sinister Horror Company)
Carrie Laben: The Fledglings of Time (The Dark #32)
Claude Lalumiere: Being Here (Curious Fictions)
Livia Llewellyn: Allochthon (Furnace, Word Horde)
Livia Llewellyn: It Feels Better Biting Down (Furnace, Word Horde)
Rebecca Lloyd: Hagbound (Dark Lane Anthology #2, Dark Lane Books)
Carmen Maria Machado: Horror Story (Granta #132)
Tim Major: The House Lights Dim (Dark Lane Anthology #2, Dark Lane Books)
Claire Massey: Casting Ammonites (Shadows & Tall Trees #5, Undertow)
Laura Mauro: Ningen (Darker Worlds Publishing)
Sam J. Miller: Angel, Man, Monster (Year's Best Weird Fiction #4, Undertow)
Alison Moore: The Stone Dead (Tales From The Shadow Booth #1)
Ralph Robert Moore: Peelers (The Alchemy Press Book Of Horrors, Alchemy Press)
Sunny Moraine: We Grope Together & Avoid Speech (Looming Low #1, Dim Shores)
Mark Morris: We Who Sing Beneath The Ground (Best British Horror 2018, NewCon Press)
Anne Neugebauer: That Which Never Comes (Tales From The Shadow Booth #1)
Adam Nevill: The Angels Of London (The Black Room Manuscripts #3, Sinister Horror Company)
Marie O'Regan: Pretty Things (The Alchemy Press Book Of Horrors, Alchemy Press)
Kit Power: Stepping Out, (Great British Horror 3: For Those In Peril, Black Shuck Books)
Courtney Privett: Lastborn (Holding On By Our Fingertips, Kristell Ink)
Madhvi Ramani: Teufelsberg (The Alchemy Press Book Of Horrors, Alchemy Press) 
Eric Schaller: 8)-5.8 (Meet Me In The Middle Of The Air, Undertow)
Eric Schaller: Number One Fan (Meet Me In The Middle Of The Air, Undertow)
Neil Schiller: I Could Have Lied (Slight Return)
Neil Schiller: I Know We Could Be So Happy (If We Wanted To Be) (Slight Return)
Gaie Sebold: The Day It Changed (Holding On By Our Fingertips, Kristell Ink)
Priya Sharma: The Crow Palace (All The Fabulous Beasts, Undertow)
Priya Sharma: Small Town Stories (All The Fabulous Beasts, Undertow)
Christopher Slatsky: SPARAGMOS (Looming Low #1, Dim Shores)
Phil Sloman: Broken On The Inside (Broken On The Inside, Black Shuck Books)
Simon Strantzas: Doused By Night (Looming Low #1, Dim Shores)
Florence Sunnen: The Hook (Nightjar Press chapbook)
Florence Sunnen: The Vampire (author's website)
David Surface: Something You Leave Behind (Nightscript #3)
Sarah Tolmie: The Dancer On The Stairs (Year's Best Weird Fiction #4, Undertow)
Matt Thomas: Living Together (Nightjar Press chapbook)
Eugenia Triantafyllou: Cherry Wood Coffin (Apex #108)
Lisa Tuttle: Vegetable Love (Improbable Botany, Wayward)
Cathy Ulrich: Being The Murdered Homecoming Queen (Wyvern Lit)
Simon Kurt Unsworth: The Smiling Man (The Martledge Variations, Black Shuck Books)
Damien Angelica Walters: All The Windows & All The Doors (author's website)
Damien Angelica Walters: It Never Looks Like Drowning (Great British Horror 3: For Those In Peril, Black Shuck Books)
Ren Warrom: The Art Of Divination By The Migration Of Birds (Holding On By Our Fingertips, Kristell Ink)
Michael Wehunt: The Pine Arch Collection (The Dark #36)
Gordon B. White: Rearranging Ways To Listen (Daily Science Fiction)
Aliya Whiteley: Corwick Grows (The Dark #34)