Ormeshadow arrives in France

Je suis ravie que Ormeshadow soit maintenant disponible en français, aux éditions du Bélial’. Un immense merci aux éditeurs Olivier Girard et Erwann Perchoc, à la traductrice Anne-Sylvie Homassel et à l’illustrateur Aurélien Police, qui, par leur travail, ont permis à ce livre d’exister en France.

I’m delighted that the Ormeshadow is now available in French from Éditions du Bélial‘ . My huge thanks to editors Olivier Girard and Erwann Perchoc, translator Ann-Sylie Homassel, and cover artist Aurélien Police for all their hard work in bringing this book to life in France.

Purchase here

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Beyond the Veil

 
It’s wonderful to be included in “Beyond the Veil”, edited by Mark Morris, and available from Flame Tree Press later this year.
 
 
Contents:
The God Bag by Christopher Golden
Caker’s Man by Matthew Holmes https://www.markmorrisfiction.com/
The Beechfield Miracles by Priya Sharma
Clockwork by Dan Coxon
Soapstone by Aliya Whiteley
The Dark Bit by Toby Litt
Provenance Pond by Josh Malerman
For All The Dead by Angeline B. Adams and Remco van Straten
The Girl In The Pool by Bracken MacLeod
Nurse Varden by Jeremy Dyson
If, Then by Lisa L. Hannett
Aquarium Ward by Karter Mycroft
A Mystery For Julie Chu by Stephen Gallagher
Away Day by Lisa Tuttle
Polaroid And Seaweed by Peter Harness
Die Geisterbahnhod by Lynda E. Rucker
Arnie’s Ashes by JOhn Everson
A Brief Tour Of The Night by Nathan Ballingrud
The Care And Feeding OF Household Gods by Frank J. Oreto
Yellowback by Gemma Files
 
‘By their very nature, horror stories should shine a light on our darkest fears and taboos. If you’re coming to BEYOND THE VEIL with the hope of experiencing nothing more than a few cosy and familiar chills, therefore, I’m afraid you’re in for a rude awakening. The stories in this anthology are confrontational. They are about things that truly disturb us; things that prey on our minds. Most horror stories stem from a loss of control, and that’s certainly true of many of the characters and situations you will encounter in these pages. As ever, there is something for everyone here: there are monsters both human and otherworldly; there are shifting realities; childhood nightmares; dark magics conjured by desperation and despair. As human beings we kid ourselves that we have a semblance of control over our lives, our circumstances, our environment, our health… but it doesn’t take much for that control to be wrested from us, and for the rug to be wrenched violently out from under our feet. And that is the essence of true horror.’ – Mark Morris
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Guest Post: Penny Jones

Hi Priya, thanks for inviting me to talk about my novella, hopefully it won’t be too long now before we can actually meet up and chat in person.

Writing Matryoshka has been a strange experience, I was originally approached by Peter from Hersham Horror to write a novella to be released at Chillercon this year. Luckily by the time we heard Chillercon was being delayed until 2022 I had pretty much finished the book, otherwise I’m not sure how well I would have been able to motivate myself to continue writing during lockdown. I’ve actually not managed too badly with writing over the past 12 months, but that’s only because I’ve had deadlines to meet on stories that I promised people upfront. I hate letting anybody down so no matter how hard I find writing, if I’ve got a deadline then I will power through to meet it. If I haven’t then I will just procrastinate on social media. My next concern after getting Matryoshka written though is release day. I get really bad impostor syndrome every time I have anything published and I think not having the opportunities to dissect the writing process over a wine or a coffee face to face with people during the last year has exacerbated it. I’m not really a particularly natural writer, more a natural storyteller. I get too side tracked with new ideas, or I just get overwhelmed with the whole process and struggle to break it down into sizeable chunks. I’m not one of those writers who can shovel sand into a sandbox and worry about the castles another day, I fret about each word and comma, and then give up and just bury my head in the sandbox instead.

Matryoshka is being published by Hersham Horror as part of its Primal novella range, and its central themes are pregnancy and loss of self. The story is very loosely based around a patient I nursed who developed post-partum psychosis in the last two weeks of her pregnancy. It was terrifying for her family and for the medical professionals involved in her care: she was refusing medication and she wouldn’t eat or drink because she was sure we were poisoning her, she was a flight risk but we couldn’t restrain her because of the advanced stages of her pregnancy. I remember being all too aware that no matter how fearful we were for the wellbeing of her and her baby; for her it would have felt as if she was living through a horror movie. She was in a waking nightmare, where she believed that her son had been replaced by his evil twin, as had her mother, and they were now trying to replace both her and her unborn child. Luckily both mother and baby were fine (although labour did start in a barricaded attic), and once the baby was born the mother consented to treatment, and six months down the line both were back to full health. With the novella itself I tried to capture the paranoia of Rosemary’s baby, and also the claustrophobia and dreamlike quality of the 1953 film Invaders From Mars. That sensation of being on your own, of nobody believing you. Of that ultimate despair when you start to doubt yourself and question your own sanity. When you start to wonder what would be preferable: the horror that surrounds you being real or that you had gone insane. That to me is what makes these stories so terrifying.

There’s something wrong with her husband, Mark. Lucy had heard all the rumours about him, the whispered warning behind her back. The half heard Chinese whispers seemed to haunt her, mocking her wherever she goes. Now it appears that whatever’s the matter with Mark is spreading; tainting, infecting both strangers and those that she loves the most. So, Lucy will go to any lengths to protect both her young daughter and her unborn child.

Matryoshka will be available to buy in paperback or on Kindle on 21st April 2021

Matryoshka cover art by Neil Williams.

Penny Jones knew she was a writer when she started to talk about herself in the third person (her family knew when Santa bought her a typewriter for Christmas when she was three). Penny’s debut collection “Suffer Little Children” published by Black Shuck Books was shortlisted for the 2020 British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer, and her short story “Dendrochronology” published by Hersham Horror was shortlisted for the 2020 British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story.

https://www.penny-jones.com

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Interview about Ormeshadow

Thanks to Mark West for an interviewing me about Ormeshadow over on his website. You can read the whole thing here.

Mark West lives in Northamptonshire with his wife Alison and their son Matthew. Since discovering the small press in 1998 he has published over eighty short stories, two novels, a novelette, a chapbook, two collections and six novellas (one of which, Drive, was nominated for a British Fantasy Award). He has more short stories forthcoming and is currently working on a crime/thriller novel. Away from writing, he enjoys reading, walking, watching films and playing Dudeball with his son. He can be contacted through his website at www.markwest.org.uk and is also on Twitter as @MarkEWest

When Sam Murphy’s seven-year-old daughter Janey starts to suffer night terrors, he does his best to assure her that Mr Stix – a voice from the shadows who says “mean things” to her – can’t hurt her.

Sam later finds the grotesque Mr Stix in the family bathroom and then his terrified wife tells him the story of her own childhood night-time fears.

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Body Shocks

Bestselling editor Ellen Datlow (Lovecraft’s Monsters) delivers world-class body horror in all its gruesome, psychological, and shocking glory. Discover—if you dare—shockingly twisted tales of the human body that make The Twilight Zone seem like a children’s show. In Body Shocks, you will find twenty-nine chilling tales from storytelling masters including Carmen Maria Machado, Richard Kadrey, Seanan McGuire, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Tananarive Due, Cassandra Khaw, Christopher Fowler, and many more.

The most terrifying thing that you can possibly imagine is your own body in the hands of a monster. Or worse, in the hands of another human being.

Body Shocks is out from Tachyon In October 2021.

Thanks to Ellen for reprinting “Fabulous Beasts” in this anthology.

Contents:

The Travellers Stay by Ray Cluley
Toother by Terry Dowling
Painlessness by Kirstyn McDermott
You Go Where It Takes You by Nathan Ballingrud
A Positive by Kaaron Warren
La Beauté sans verte by Genevieve Valentine
Subsumption by Lucy Taylor
Spar by Kij Johnson
It Was the Heat by Pat Cadigan
Atwater by Cody Goodfellow
The Transfer by Edward Bryant
Welcome to Mengele’s by Simon Bestwick
Black Neurology: A Love Story by Richard Kadrey
Cuckoo by Angela Slatter
Cinereous by Livia Llewellyn
The Truth That Lies Under Skin & Meat by Cassandra Khaw
Natural Skin by Alyssa Wong
The Lake by Tananarive Due
I’m Always Here by Richard Christian Matheson
The Look by Christopher Fowler
The Old Women Who Were Skinned by Carmen Maria Machado
Spores by Seanan McGuire
Sweet Subtleties by Lisa L. Hannett
Elegy For a Suicide by Caitlín R. Kiernan
Skin City by Gemma Files
A True Friend by Brian Evenson
What I Found in the Shed by Tom Johnstone
Fabulous Beasts by Priya Sharma
Tissue Ablation and Variant Regeneration: A Case Report by Michael Blumlein

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The British Fantasy Awards: Ormeshadow

Thanks for to the British Fantasy Society for this huge honour. Thanks to all the people who voted for Ormeshadow and the jurors, Rachel Aitken, Abigail Baumbach, Steve Howarth, Gagandeep Kaur and Mark West

I am very proud to be nominated alongside the awesome writers that are Nathan Ballingrud, Gareth L. Powell, Rivers Solomon, JY Yang and Tade Thompson.

Ellen Datlow. What can I say? Thank you seems insufficient, but thank you.

Thanks to the team at Tor for taking a chance on this book and all their excellent work- Ruoxi Chen, Irene Gallo, Lee Harris, Mordicai Knode, Amanda Melfi, Melanie Sanders, Liana Kristoff and Caroline Perney. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone.

To Henry Sene Yee for that cover. It exceeded all my expectations with its elegance.

Thanks to Alex Cochrane, my agent at C&W, for believing in my work.

I am hugely fortunate to have so many supportive friends and family. A special thanks to Natalie Tsang and Cait Taylor, who read the original Ormeshadow so many years ago. To Paula Guran for her ongoing kindness.

Thanks to my Mum, Dad and brother, and to my partner, Mark Greenwood. To the Flanagans, Kershaws, Kleiner-Manns, and Greenwoods.

And finally, thank you to my friends in the writing community- you know who you are. You are the best. I can’t wait to see you again.

British Fantasy Awards 2020 announced

The British Fantasy Society has announced the winners for the 2020 British Fantasy Awards:

Best Fantasy Novel (the Robert Holdstock Award)

Best Horror Novel (the August Derleth Award)

Best Novella

  • WINNER: Ormeshadow, Priya Sharma (Tor.com Publishing)

Best Short Story

Best Collection

Best Anthology

Best Independent Press

  • WINNER: Rebellion
  • Aqueduct
  • Black Shuck
  • Luna
  • NewCon
  • Undertow

Best Non-Fiction

Best Magazine / Periodical

  • WINNER: Fiyah
  • Black Static
  • The Dark
  • Gingernuts of Horror
  • Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
  • Shoreline of Infinity

Best Artist

  • WINNER: Ben Baldwin
  • Vince Haig
  • Jackie Morris
  • David Rix

Best Comic / Graphic Novel

  • WINNER: DIE, Kieron Gillen & Stephanie Hans (Image)

Best Audio

  • WINNER: PodCastle
  • Breaking the Glass Slipper
  • PseudoPod
  • Speculative Spaces

Best Film / Television Production

  • WINNER: Us
  • Game of Thrones: “The Long Night”
  • Watchmen: “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”
  • The Witcher: “Rare Species”

Best Newcomer (the Sydney J Bounds Award)

Karl Edward Wagner Award

  • Craig Lockley
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I Spit Myself Out: Q&A with Tracy Fahey

I’m a big fan of Tracy Fahey’s work after seeing her read from her work at Edgelit (an annual celebration of horror, crime, fantasy and science-fiction in Derby, UK) and have this book on pre-order.

Tracy is an Irish writer of Gothic fiction. In 2017, her debut collection The Unheimlich Manoeuvre was shortlisted for a British Fantasy Award for Best Collection. Her short fiction is published in over thirty American, British, Australian and Irish anthologies. She holds a PhD on the Gothic in visual arts, and her non-fiction writing is published in edited collections and journals. She has been awarded residencies in Ireland and Greece. She has written two collections, New Music For Old Rituals and The Unheimlich Manoeuvre, the mini-collection, Unheimlich Manoeuvres In The Dark, and the novel, The Girl In The Fort. Her new collection, I Spit Myself Out is published by the Sinister Horror Company in February 2021

I see that you’ve got a short-story collection coming out, I Spit Myself Out. Can you tell us a little more about it?
TF: Of course! I Spit Myself Out takes as its central theme the idea of vulnerability and terror that arises from possession of a female body. But each of the eighteen stories takes this question from a different angle – crime, childbirth, forensics, medical experimentation, mythology, pathology, psychosis, love and loss.

What influences or research did you draw on in writing this book?
I’m always intensely interested in women who write the body; who hang fiction or poetry on those ideas of vulnerability. So this collection was written in the shadow of some great women – Margaret Atwood, Carmen Maria Machado, Sylvia Plath, Georgina Bruce, Charlotte Gilman Perkins (in fact the titular story, ‘I Spit Myself Out’ owes a great debt to ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’) I was also very influenced throughout the whole collection by Julia Kristeva’s essay ‘The Powers of Horror,’ and in particular by the way she explores the notion of the abject; that which is of us, but which the body casts off. I also ended up reading a lot about skin, morbid anatomy and Catholic rituals to do with the body while reading it.

The book is one that delves into the idea of female terror. Is there any redemption or escape to be found for your female protagonists?
Although this is a body horror collection, and by default, it does explore the painful places of our bodies and minds, it’s not without hope. Within it, the female protagonists struggle to overcome forces within and without, and in many cases they find a voice to declare their pain. Some of the stories, ‘Love Like Blood’ and ‘I Kiss The Wounds’ in particular focus on regaining autonomy in the face of challenges.

What was the most difficult part of writing this book?
I wanted to write this book, but when the pandemic hit, I was still locked into both writing and editing it. The relentless interiority of the project was challenging, because I can’t write unless I emotionally project myself into the minds of my protagonists and ‘feel’ my way through the narrative. Trying to go to these dark places during the initial lockdown caused a shocking amount of cognitive dissonance, and I began to question if I was ever going to finish this book. So I went off on a side-track, reading about morbid anatomy and monstrosity, and visiting old pagan and Catholic shrines (when lockdown eased)… and out of those experiences, stories began to trickle slowly forth again.

What are your future writing plans?
I always work on a collection with the vague notions of other potential collections trembling like a mirage on the horizon. This is partly because I hate to be stranded without a project when I finish a book, but also because of my insane obsession with filing stories thematically. So I’m contemplating a Gothic crime collection that deals with the psychological impact of crime on victims, perpetrators and investigators, and also one on liminality and identity which will be based on Michel Foucault’s essay Of Other Spaces. I’m also working on co-developing a screenplay based on a short story, ‘Í Look Like You, I Speak Like You, I Walk Like You’ from The Unheimlich Manoeuvre, and I’ve just been invited to co-write a research project application to fund the creation and population of a digital storytelling app; something quite new for me.

 

 

I Spit Myself Out contains eighteen unsettling narratives map the female experience from puberty to menopause.

I Spit Myself Out is a collection of female-voiced stories exploring the terror that lurks beneath the surface of the skin. In this collection, an Anatomical Venus opens to display her organs, clients of a mysterious clinic disappear one by one, a police investigation reveals family secrets, revenge is inked in the skin, and bodies pulsate in the throes of illness, childbirth and religious ritual.
Disturbing and provoking in equal turns, I Spit Myself Out reinvents the body as a breeding ground of terrors that resurface inexorably in the present.
Pre-order it at hyperurl.co/ezgri7, or directly from the Sinister Horror Company https://www.sinisterhorrorcompany.com/i-spit-myself-out

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WIHM: Lee Franklin

Lee Franklin kindly asked me to answer some questions for her blog as it’s Women in Horror Month (you can read those here). I agreed as long as she reciprocated.

Where are you from and what type of horror do you write?

LF: I am a West Australian from a beachside city called Rockingham.  For the last 4 years I have been living and loving life in North Yorkshire countryside.

I enjoy writing creature features, extreme horror and revenge. Most of my work is quite tight and fast paced with a lot of action. I would never be accused of being literary talent that is for sure. But I like what I write and how I write it.

Having said that, I do have plans for dark fantasy and some atmospheric, creepy lingering pieces of dread.

 

All of our characters have elements of ourselves woven into them. Which poor character is most like you?

I guess Terry “Pinny” Pinfold is quite a lot like me. We aren’t good at confrontation and would happily hide away until it all blows over. But it doesn’t always blow over it usually blows up. We don’t always quite fit in either, black sheep of our communities neither here nor there. Yet when shit hits the fan we normally play it right.

 

Imagine I am filthy successful agent (I did say imagine) we are stepping into an elevator. Hit me with your top three elevator pitches for three pieces of your work.

  • An Australian Aboriginal discovers the real reason for the Vietnam War and ends up becoming the most successful experiment for the mysterious and sexy Dr Harding. Think Deadpool and Predator have a love child raised by Overlord. http://www.mybook.to/Berserker
  •  An abusive man demands a tattoo of a Thai deity Nang Tani and his life quickly descends into hell as she uses him to extract revenge on other sexual predators. http://www.mybook.to/Nangtani
  •  An Australia backpacker picks up work in a North Yorkshire school. She doesn’t listen to the warnings about the ancient oak tree and is soon devoured by its power. The Devil’s Tree Published in DJ Doyles Twisted Tales

 

Do you have a ritual before you start writing, or is it spontaneous venture?

No I am definitely a person or routine and ritual. After school run and exercise I ensure the TV Remotes are stashed far away from me. Coffee is hot and to hand with two Digestive biscuits. My Chief Assistant Editor Benji will then pin me into the recliner and my Project Manager Terra will strap my legs into the chair with her body to ensure there is no movement. Then I can commence work.

 

Is there one thing you would have done differently or known earlier in your writing career?

I would’ve possibly either not published my first book Berserker – Green Hell until I had the first draft of the sequel done. Or, made the ending a little less open. I just put too much pressure on myself.

 

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working getting my website www.leefranklin.com up an running with interesting content. But mostly I am working on my Berserker sequel (working title) Berserker – Sandfire.  That WILL be published this year.

 

We all know horror people are just the warmest, friendliest bunch of writers around. Why do you think this is?

I believe it is often underestimated how empathetic we are. We are constantly pushing our own boundaries and facing our own fears so that we can provide a safe place for others to explore themselves. We understand pain, fear, heartache and grief better than most, mainly because we make ourselves live it, to bring truth to our characters. Well I do.

 

How do you determine success for yourself?

The kind of success I am aiming for is just for people to read and enjoy my work.  So far I have been successful. I have definitely achieved more in my four years of writing than I anticipated achieving in ten. So that is successful.  My next goal is to actually make enough money to treat my family to a holiday. Still,  I wouldn’t knock back a significant movie deal or even streams of adoring fans.

 

Other than WIHM which is an amazing month for female horror writers. How do you feel other women can best support each other in this genre?

I like to think horror people and horror women in general are good at working together. You can’t read or buy every book no matter how much you want to. As well as Beta reading and re-reading my own work I read about 50 books a year. Already my TBR is likely to topple shortly and kill somebody.

I think it comes down to the simple things. Sharing posts, liking posts, recommending books that you may not have read but you know it the type somebody is looking for. Looking for something outside or your regular reading lists. If you love something tell the writer and the world.

If you can see a writer is struggling with some aspects of their work and you are prepared to do so, contact and reach out to them. Most people are hungry for help. If they are rude. Well …

 

Where did you discover your love for all things that go bump in the night, or splat on the walls?

On visitation with my Dad he always fed us a healthy diet of B grade horror and action movies. I could never totally gel with the whole Care Bear and Princess phenomena. So much drama and the happiness always seemed to fake and over the top. So I guess it started there, in film.

I have always been a massive reader, but never consciously “genre read” I just picked up whatever I fancied. Since I started writing horror I have certainly read a lot more specific to the genre, and I have not been disappointed.

 

https://www.facebook.com/leefranklinwriter
www.leefranklin.com
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lee-Franklin/
https://twitter.com/WordPilmgrim
https://www.instagram.com/leefrank1979/

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Dark Stars

Dark Stars is a tribute to horror’s longstanding short fiction legacy, featuring 12 terrifying original stories from today’s most noteworthy authors, with an introduction by bestselling author Josh Malerman and an afterword by Ramsey Campbell.

Created as an homage to the 1980 classic horror anthology, Dark Forces, edited by Kirby McCauley, this collection features 12 original novelettes showcasing today’s top horror talent. Dark Stars features all-new terrifying stories from award-winning authors and up-and-coming voices like Stephen Graham Jones, Priya Sharma, Usman T. Malik, and Alma Katsu, with seasoned author John F. D. Taff at the helm. An afterword from original Dark Forces contributor Ramsey Campbell is a poignant finale to this bone-chilling collection.

Enter if you dare, dear reader, and discover what horrors await in Dark Stars

-From Nightfire

 

Thanks to John Taff for accepting a story from me for this collection. It’s out on 2nd November 2021 and can be pre-ordered from Nightfire here.

The gorgeous cover art is by the very talented Jeffrey Alan Love.

 

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