This bit is going to stay here until the pandemic is over. Thank you to all keyworkers who continue to keep us going during the pandemic. As the UK and Europe moves out of lockdown, I hope the situation in the US is improving. I really hope that eventually we can get some sort of normal going around the world.
On the home front, I’m on half-term and managed at last to shorten my writing To Do list. I’ve just finished the draft of my novel, The Woodcutter and sent it off to its first beta reader. That particular book has taken over almost 2 years to write as it’s stopped and started due to a combination of work pressures and suddenly deciding to write another novel at the same time. The only reason I did the latter was because I couldn’t shake an idea which suddenly came to me and which I needed to get out of my system before I got back to my poor old Woodcutter. I will try not to do that again. How do you all cope with this sort of thing? Are you strict with yourself and finish what you’re on, do you change tack, or do you do both simultaneously?
One common link between these two novels is they were both born from NaNoWriMo. That is the month I use to get something new off the ground. Makes me wonder what’ll happen this year.
Publishing news this week includes congratulating an old writing friend of mine, Christopher Stanley, whose collection of flash fiction published via The Arcanist, The Lamppost Huggers and Other Wretched Tales, is out June 1st . I had a sneak peak prior to publication and can really recommend it. I’ve always enjoyed Chris’s flash fiction and if you want an example of a master, he is it. He has been so supportive of many other writers, it’s lovely to be able to return the favour here.
Likewise TWF contributor, Mark Anthony Smith, who appears to be everywhere at the minute. His collection of fiction and verse, Something Said: Fictions and Verse is currently available and Red Cape Publishing’s anthology containing one of his stories, C is for Cannibals (A to Z of Horror Book 3) is available for pre-order.
It is also great to celebrate the work of other staff members of Horror Tree, particularly one whose work I have enjoyed in the past. Ruschelle Dillon’s novella, The Stain, published by Black Bed Sheet Books, is now available. Having read Arithmophobia, which I highly rate, I can’t wait to get stuck into this one.
And last but not least, look out soon for the charity horror anthology, Diabolica Britannica organised by Keith Anthony Baird which includes stories by TWF writers Alyson Faye, Janine Pipe and me as well as a number of other writers. There are two very famous horror authors in this line up but I am not at liberty to say who they are yet. This book is to raise money (in response to the coronavirus) for the wonderful National Health Service (NHS) over here in the UK.
This week’s Trembling With Fear starts with The Whispering Queen by Erick Mancilla and brings us the horror not just of the Devil on your shoulder but the impact an addiction can have on the family. To risk your family and its future, particularly the future of a child, can seem incomprehensible but is sadly a reality for many who fall into this trap. For me, it was the Henry’s weakness at a time when he was most needed which grabbed me. When you pose a situation asks the reader a question, in this instance, ‘How could he?’, you know you’ve got them and they’ll read through.
Awake by Janine Pipe is a premature burial with a twist. The missing teeth, and the reason, gives the trope a refreshing change.
Outback Carnage by Mark Anthony Smith makes the characters small and vulnerable against an expanse of wilderness. This is a question of survival.
Shadows in a Dark Room on a Rainy Night by D.J. Kozlowski is just creepy. Not by what’s there, but what’s not.
We’ve got some great stories this week and I think you’re going to appreciate your weekly dose of fiction!
Also, I have some good news! We’ve made some progress on the anthologies and it looks like we might be down to TOC’s and formatting for the most part. We’ll be working to try to make real progress in those areas in the next week. (Finally, an update that we’ve moved forward on these again!)
While we’re still a couple of months out on drabble, we’re always open to more and would love to see any come through possible.
While not directly TWF related, I would like to mention that we’re currently actively seeking:
– Guest posts for Horror Tree
– Write-ups on Horror Tree on your website (with what we do, fun facts about the site, etc.)
– Opportunities for the staff of Horror Tree to be interviewed.
If any of these are something you’d like to help out on, please be sure to contact us at [email protected] or by using our contact form.
Have a great last day of the weekend all!