Urban Occult anthology available for pre-order, with special offer

UrbanOccultEbook-LoresMy story, A Time For Redemption, is included in this anthology of urban occult stories. It’s due for official release around the start of April, but the publisher, Anachron Press, is offering a special deal for the first 50 pre-orders that will see you getting more for your buck. Here are the deets:

Urban Occult Limited Pre-Order

Limited to 50.

Behind urban life, weird and horrific things fester.

The whispers and chills of things long gone… the promise of power from the darkness… the seduction of those that lie in the shadows… the occult is all around us: in town houses, in mansions, and in your very own street.

Editor Colin F. Barnes collected together fifteen stories by a cast of critically acclaimed authors from around the globe who look into the stygian gloom, explore the dark corners of our houses, and peer into the abyss of human temptation.

Featuring stories by: Gary McMahon, Ren Warom, Gary Fry, Mark West, K.T. Davies, Nerine Dorman, Alan Baxter, Adam Millard, Julie Travis, Jason Andrew, James Brogden, A.A Garrison, Jennifer Williams, Sarah Anne Langton, and Chris Barnham.

Special Pre-Order Edition Limited to 50.

This pre-order edition means you will get the book at least a week to two weeks ahead of general release and:

A FREE ebook version (for any eReader)

and A FREE ebook of Day of Demons. (eBooks will be emailed to you on the 4th of March).

Just £9.99 (+£2.99 shipping anywhere in the world).

Pre-Order here: http://www.anachronpress.com/product/anthologies/urban-occult-limited-pre-order/

That’s a pretty sweet deal for just thirteen of your moneypounds. Hop to it.

.

Chuck Wendig on ThrillerCast

thrillercastlogo2It’s been a while since I posted about a new episode of ThrillerCast, which is a bit slack of me really. In case you’re new here, ThrillerCast is the podcast I co-host with action/adventure author, David Wood. It’s all kinds of chat about anything thriller and genre fiction related, with stuff for readers and writers. In the latest episode, I have a chat with the potty-mouthed paragon of awesome penmonkey advice, Chuck Wendig. You can find the episode here.

In recent episodes, we’ve talked about all kinds of writer-related stuff and had great chats with the likes of Greig Beck, Thomas Greanias, Rich Steeves and many more. Have a stroll through the archives or, even better, subscribe via iTunes.

And if you’re a fan, please drop by iTunes to leave us a rating or review, and tell your friends. If you’re unsure, why not let our two existing iTunes reviews speak for themselves:

Thrillercast is seriously good writer talk. (Five-star review)

by Lynda Washington

David Wood is American writer of action adventure. Alan Baxter is an English writer of dark fantasy/horror with a pronounced Aussie accent. Both are serious students and practitioners of their art, and they share generously with the listener. I’m a serious student, too, though not a practitioner. My judgment is trustworthy. If you want to strengthen your understanding of writing and the writer’s place in publishing, listen to these guys. They are intelligent and focused. The sound quality is good. The episodes never seem to go on longer than they should. No downside.

Great Podcast! (Five-star review)

by GregD65

David and Alan produce an ejoyable, intelligent, and always entertaining look at writing thrillers. Writers and readers of others genres should give a lsiten as well since the advice, interviews, and banter cross genres easily. My only complaint — frequency!!! I need MORE ThrillerCast!!!

.

Tuesday Toot – Jodi Cleghorn and Deck The Halls

Tuesday Toot is a semi-regular feature here. An invite-only series of short posts where writers, editors, booksellers and other creatives have been asked to share their stuff and toot their own horn. It’s hard to be seen in the digital morass and hopefully this occasional segment will help some of the quality stuff out there get noticed. It should all be things that regular readers here will find edifying.

This time, it’s Jodi Cleghorn talking about something I can really get behind. Take it away, Jodi!

Who is Jodi?

Jodi (@jodicleghorn) is an author, editor, publisher and innovator.

By day (and sometimes night), she runs the many facets of eMergent Publishing (eP), a small press dedicated to nurturing next-crop authors, editors and visual artists.

Between the cracks she chases her own characters in a blending of themes and genres best described as “dark weird shit”. Fruits of these adventures include the collaborative epistolary serial Post Marked: Piper’s Reach and Elyora (Review of Australian Fiction—special edition), a horror novella set just off the New England Highway.

She’s occasionally known to loiter at her blog 1000 Pieces of Blue Sky.

What are you tooting about?

Deck the Halls: festive tales of fear and cheer, the first and most recent (I can explain) publication from eP’s Literary Mix Tapes imprint of conceptual anthologies. But first…that explanation.

Born From…

The origins of Deck the Halls are bizarre, to say the least.

In December 2010 I created a shit storm on Facebook when I commented about my displeasure with the overtly Christian tone of the carols night at my son’s school. (He goes to a state school with a diverse ethnic demographic and I felt it totally inappropriate to push any one brand of religious fervour, when their Easter bonnet parade is included as a ‘cultural’ event on the school’s calendar, devoid of religious connotations).

I know, I know, Christmas is a Christian holiday… but, historically, it was many other things before the Christian’s got their pesky hands on it.

Rather than whinge—or delete the exploding Facebook thread (with people telling me, among other things, how intolerant I was)—I decided to publish a bunch of twisted, non-traditional Christmas tales. It’s apparently the sort of therapy an editor-writer-publisher seeks out in the wake of a social media implosion.

In The Beginning

The original idea was to rope nine friends into writing stories based on the lyrics of Deck the Halls (the idea of a troll for Christmas set my imagination on fire as I sat there in the hot, humid school hall!) and then publish the stories online on Christmas Eve. First, I contacted Jim Wisneski to get his blessings (I was riffing off his idea from 12 Days project) and then sent announcements out through the usual channels to see who was interested. I referred to the project as a Literary Mix Tape (a concept everyone immediately got and a name that’s stuck.)

Nine places became nineteen places, with the caveat everyone was to beta read for each other—I was too busy to edit. On Christmas Eve twenty twisted stories—rocking the dark and light side of the Christmas and New Year period—went up, one an hour, on a dedicated website. Christmas Day I made all the stories available as a free eBook.

Beyond Christmas

The ideas of writing to musical prompts and cooperative submission (a term later coined by Tom Dullemond) found traction. That traction spawned the official launch of Literary Mix Tapes (as an imprint under the eMergent Publishing umbrella) and three more anthologies: Nothing But Flowers: tales of post apocalyptic love, Eighty Nine and From Stage Door Shadows [I have a story in that one! – Alan]. Two years on I am still amazed that of all the ideas I’ve had over the years, this was the one that garnered the most enthusiasm. Many of the cornerstones of the LMT imprint, and the way each anthology is released, can be directly traced back to that very first Christmas adventure.

Redux

I felt the original authors deserved to see their stories in a paperback, so I rebooted Deck the Halls in 2011, opening ten (then twelve) new places in the anthology. Andrew McKiernan offered to do the front cover (based on Susan May James’ chilling story, “Bosch’s Troll”). This Thursday (6th December) a revised, revamped, extended and fully edited edition of Deck the Halls goes on worldwide sale as Deck the Halls: tales of festive fear and cheer.

DECK THE HALLS traverses the joy and jeopardy of the festive season, from Yule to Mōdraniht, Summer Solstice to Years’ End. The stories journey through consternations and celebrations, past, present and future, which might be or never were.

Along the way you’ll meet troll hunters, consumer dissidents, corset-bound adventurers, a joint-toking spirit, big-hearted gangbangers, an outcast hybrid spaceship, petrol-toting politicians, mythical swingers and a boy who unwittingly controls the weather.

Heart-warming and horrifying, the collection is a merry measure of cross-genre, short fiction subverting traditional notions of the holiday season.

At under $20 for the paperback (or $4.95 for the eBook) it’s a brilliant stocking stuffer or Secret Santa present. Better still, treat yourself to a copy and use it as an antidote to everything irritating, painful and nauseating about the holiday season.

.

Dreaming Of Djinn and Urban Occult

I love being able to announce new forthcoming publications, so you can imagine how happy I am to be announcing two. This is a fine way to round out the year. Two new anthologies have bought stories from me and both will be published in the first half of 2013.

The first is Dreaming Of Djinn from Ticonderoga Publications, edited by Liz Grzyb, which will feature my story, “On A Crooked Leg Lightly”. The blurb goes like this:

Scheherazade’s One Thousand and One Nights stories have captured imaginations for a millennia. Fairy tales and fables abound, telling of the fantastic and mysterious, the comic and dramatic.

This anthology will explore romantic Orientalism through a speculative fiction lens. You might find lost cities, magical lamps, mummies, thieves, intrepid explorers, slaves, robotic horsemen, noble queens, sorcerers, outcast princes, harems, dancers, djinn, assassins and even smart-talking camels and cats, set in exotic Persia, Egypt, Arabia, the Ottoman Empire, or a modern incarnation of these. More information on the exact mysteries contained will be revealed shortly.

I can tell you that my story contains assassins and djinn and palaces and market bazaars and all kinds of dark magical goodness. I’m very happy to have scored a place in this book. Here’s the full ToC:

Marilag Angway – “Shadow Dancer”
Cherith Baldry – “The Green Rose”
Alan Baxter – “On A Crooked Leg Lightly”
Jenny Blackford – “The Quiet Realm of the Dark Queen”
Jetse de Vries – “Djinni Djinni Dream Dream”
Thoraiya Dyer – “The Saint George Hotel”
Joshua Gage – “The Dancer of Smoke”
Richard Harland – “Tale of the Arrow Girl”
Faith Mudge – “The Oblivion Box”
Havva Murat – “Harmony Thicket and the Persian Shoes”
Charlotte Nash-Stewart – “Parvaz”
Anthony Panegyres – “Oleander: An Ottoman Tale”
Dan Rabarts – “Silver, Sharp as Silk”
Angela Rega – “The Belly Dancing Crimes of Ms Sahara Desserts”
Jenny Schwartz – “The Pearl Flower Harvest”
Barb Siples – “The Sultan’s Debt”
Pia Van Ravestein – “Street Dancer”
DC White – “A Dash of Djinn and Tonic”

No cover for this one yet, but I’ll be sure to share it when it comes around.

The other publication I can reveal today is Urban Occult from Anachron Press, edited by Colin F Barnes. As you can see, this one does have a cover, with artwork by Sarah Anne-Langton.

The blurb for this one says:

Urban Occult is a horror/weird anthology due for release around February 2013. The exact date will be announced closer to the time. It will contain fifteen stories of the weird and the strange events set within urban environments. We have a rich collection of authors spanning the globe.”

My story in this one has strange amulets, time-bending and lost love.

The ToC for this one is:

Gary McMahon – “Just Another Job”
Gary Fry – “On the Horizon”
K.T Davies – “Wonderland”
Jennifer Williams – “Spider Daughter Spider”
Alan Baxter – “A Time for Redemption”
Saran Anne-Langton – “The Strange Case of Mrs West and the Dead”
Chris Barnhem – “The Other Woman”
Adam Millard – “Elevator”
Julie Travis – “Pieces”
Jason Andrew – “A Simple Job”
A.A. Garrison – “A Kind of Love”
James Brogden – “Remover of Obstacles”
Nerine Dorman – “Probatio Diabolica”
Mystery Writer 1 – TBA soon
Mystery Writer 2 – TBA soon

Mystery writers! Exciting stuff.

So keep an eye out for these. I’ll blog again when they’re available.

.

An interview and an ebook

A strange little double header of news today. Firstly, I’ve been interviewed over at On Fiction Writing, wherein I answer questions like Has a book every made you angry? and Which four literary characters would you like to invite to dinner, and why? and What was the first story that ever made you afraid? among others. You can find the full interview right here. It’s a good bit of fun.

Secondly, the ebook edition of The Red Penny Papers: Vol III, Issue 1, Fall 2012 is now available at Smashwords for FREE! That’s the one that contains my story, Crossroads & Carousels, as well as fiction by Cat Rambo, M Bennardo, Jamie Mason and Katy Gunn. It’s available in any e format you can think of there, so have at it. While you’re there, you might like to pick up my supernatural noir novella, The Darkest Shade Of Grey, also published by Red Penny Papers, and only $1.99.

Enjoy.

.