Upcoming stuff – Horror Uncut and Best British Horror 2014

The coming months are pretty exciting for me, writing-wise. First off, the release of Best British Horror 2014 is imminent – featuring stories from such luminaries of the genre as Anna Taborska, Robert Shearman, VH Leslie and Gary Fry, as well as some idiot called Laura Mauro. Early reviews have been really positive, so even from a non self-promotional perspective I suspect it’ll be an excellent addition to any horror fan’s bookshelf. But also, I’m in it, so you should buy it and stuff.

Secondly, as already mentioned, Horror Uncut is due sometime in June from Grey Friar Press, also with a superb lineup (check out my previous post for details.)

And of course, my ongoing novella project. Up until now I’ve mostly focused on short fiction, with several aborted attempts at writing full-length novels. The novella format has proven an interesting challenge for me – telling a full story within the restrictions of a novella’s word count (approx. 40,000 words.) In preparation I will be reading my way through the Shirley Jackson Award nominees to get a better idea of what a well-done novella looks like.

The challenges here are numerous. First, and most pressing – time. I work full-time, and have an extra part-time job on top of that – I average 49 hours a week, sometimes more. I also study Japanese, which takes up time. That doesn’t leave me with much time to write, and some days I find myself so drained I’m reluctant to set up my laptop and up the word count. (I do it anyway, because art is pain and all that bollocks.)

Secondly – I’m a relatively slow writer. Some of my writer friends manage to write entire novels in a matter of months. For me, 1000 words a day is a very good day indeed. I’m also a chronic self-editor. I have to physically force myself not to go back over what I’ve already written and obsessively rewrite it. So there’s the additional challenge of actually thrashing out a first draft in a reasonable amount of time. After that comes the editing and redrafting, and the polishing a turd into (hopefully) some kind of pleasing diamondlike substance.

Still, before anyone thinks I’m complaining, it’s the coolest thing in the world to be able to write stories and know that people like reading them. So if it means coming home after 13 hours at work and plopping down in front of a blank word document, I’ll take it.

Horror Uncut is almost upon us….

…which is quite splendid because my short story ‘Ptichka’ will be appearing in it. The full title is Horror Uncut: Tales of Social Insecurity and Economic Uneaseedited by the late, great Joel Lane and Tom Johnstone. The table of contents is pretty impressive – I’m in esteemed company, including fellow T-Party member Rosanne Rabinowitz with a cracking story:

  1. Joel Lane – ‘A Cry for Help’

  2. Simon Bestwick – ‘The Battering Stone’

  3. Priya Sharma – ‘The Ballad of Boomtown’

  4. John Llewellyn Probert – ‘The Lucky Ones’

  5. Stephen Hampton – ‘The Sun Trap’

  6. Gary McMahon – ‘Only Bleeding’

  7. Anna Taborska – ‘The Lemmy / Trump Test’

  8. John Howard – ‘Falling into Stone’

  9. Laura Mauro – ‘Ptichka’

  10. Stephen Bacon – ‘The Devil’s Only Friend’

  11. David Williamson – ‘The Procedure’

  12. Rosanne Rabinowitz – ‘Pieces of Ourselves’

  13. John Forth – ‘A Simple Matter of Space’

  14. David Turnbull – ‘The Privilege Card’

  15. Alison Littlewood – ‘The Ghost at the Feast’

  16. Andrew Hook – ‘The Opaque District’

  17. Thana Niveau – ‘No History of Violence’


It’s due for release sometime very soon, so watch this space for more information!