Tuesday Toot is a semi-regular feature here at The Word. 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 readers of The Word will find edifying.

Today, it’s Andrew McKiernan.

Aurealis46Who is Andrew?

Andrew J McKiernan is an author and illustrator living and working on the Central Coast of New South Wales. His first short story, Calliope: A Steam Romance, was published in the 2007 anthology Shadow Plays and was named in a number of year’s best recommended reading lists for fantasy. Since then his stories have been published in magazines such as Aurealis, Midnight Echo and the Eclecticism e-zine, as well as the anthologies In Bad Dreams 2, Masques, Scenes from the Second Storey, Macabre: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears, and Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2010. His stories have twice (2009 & 2010) been shortlisted for both Aurealis and Australian Shadows Awards, as well as a Ditmar Award shortlisting in 2010. His story The Desert Song from the Scenes from the Second Storey anthology received an Honorable Mention in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year Vol.3. Andrew’s illustrations have appeared on many book and magazine covers, as well as featuring in the collections Shards: Short Sharp Tales by Shane Jiraiya Cummings from Brimstone Press and Savage Menace & Other Poems of Horror by Richard Tierney from P’rea Press.

What are you tooting about?

Three short blasts from my own trumpet today…

Toot the First

In a land where the veil between life and death has been torn aside, how far would you go for the one you love? This is the question asked in Love Death, my new story appearing in Aurealis #46 on Kindle and at Smashwords. It is about the death of love and the love of death and how those two things entwine like lovers within the human psyche. It has romance. It has love lost and love regained, and love lost again. It has life and death and states in between. It is exotic and erotic and disturbing by turns. And in the end, there is hope. But most importantly, it is available to read for FREE from Smashwords!

Toot the Second

After a 650,000 year round-trip through the Oort Cloud, long-period Comet C2094VI is returning to our solar system. The Peregrine Expedition is sent to the very edge of the Kuiper Belt to land on Comet C2094VI. Their mission? To unlock the scientific secrets trapped within its icy time-capsule. But what nameless horrors lurk at the comet’s heart? And what does its return mean for the future of humanity? Find out in my Lovecraftian SF story The Wanderer in the Darkness available now in Midnight Echo 6, the official magazine of the Australian Horror Writers Association.

[NB – My own story, Trawling The Void, also happens to be in that particular issue of Midnight Echo – Alan]

The Final Blast

Having just passed that most wonderful Festive Season of stress, depression, credit card debt and familial disfunction, what could be more appropriate to our mood than an anthology of Christmas themed horror? Ho Ho Horror from The Australian Literature Review is now available in both print and e-book formats. Edited by Steve Rossiter and featuring stories from both new and up-and-coming authors such as Gordon Reece, Belinda Dorio, Sam Stephens and Cameron Trost this anthology is certain to have you quaking in your santa boots. And believe me, I know! I had to illustrate each of their sordid and depraved tales for the anthology, as well as supplying the full-colour cover illustration! Even weeks after reading the stories, I still can’t look at a plum-pudding or sprig of mistletoe without a shiver of terror. Go get it now… it will make a great stocking filler for your kids next year.

Andrew’s website: http://www.andrewmckiernan.com