Monthly Archives: July 2015

Fabulous Beasts now up on

Illustration for Fabulous Beasts by Jeffrey Alan Love“Eliza, tell me your secret.”
Sometimes I’m cornered at parties by someone who’s been watching me from across the room as they drain their glass. They think I don’t know what’s been said about me.
Eliza’s odd looking but she has something, don’t you think? Une jolie laide. A French term meaning ugly-beautiful. Only the intelligentsia can insult you with panache.
I always know when they’re about to come over. It’s in the pause before they walk, as though they’re ordering their thoughts. Then they stride over, purposeful, through the throng of actors, journalists, and politicians, ignoring anyone who tries to engage them for fear of losing their nerve.
“Eliza, tell me your secret.”
“I’m a princess.”
Such a ridiculous thing to say and I surprise myself by using Kenny’s term for us, even though I am now forty-something and Kenny was twenty-four years ago. I edge past, scanning the crowd for Georgia, so I can tell her that I’ve had enough and am going home. Maybe she’ll come with me.
My interrogator doesn’t look convinced. Nor should they be. I’m not even called Eliza. My real name is Lola and I’m no princess. I’m a monster.


“Fabulous Beasts” is now available to read in full on

It an also be downloaded for a modest price from Barnes & Noble Nook Book edition, Google eBook, Kobo ,, and


If you’re interested in reading more about the story- there are notes on it here.

Thanks to Ellen Datlow, to whom I will always be indebted. Also Irene Gallo, Creative Director at

The wonderful artwork is by Jeffrey Alan Love. His work has featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Time Magazine, Gollanz and Solaris books.

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HorrorTalk reviews “Nightmare Carnival”

Nightmare Carnival 27th Sept 2014Steve Pattee of HorrorTalk has posted a review of “Nightmare Carnival”:

When it comes to anthologies, fewer phrases bring me more joy and anticipation than “Edited by Ellen Datlow”. Because while I freely admit I have not read all of the anthologies she has had a hand in – I’m probably not even close – I can honestly say I have yet to be disappointed in any book she’s edited, and Nightmare Carnival is another that can be added to the win column.

If you haven’t gathered by the title or the cover picture above, Nightmare Carnival is a collection of 15 stories that center on the goings on at what is supposed to be a place of happiness, but we all know there’s something evil that resides just below the carnival’s surface. I mean, come on…clowns for one. The book is more dark fantasy than horror (although the latter does creep in here and there), and while each story is enjoyable in its own right, for the first time in recent memory I can actually pick some standout stories in a Datlow-edited anthology.

Here’s the link to the full review.

It’s an anthology of original stories that I’m very happy to have been a part of.

Content: “Scapegoats” by N. Lee Wood, “The Firebrand” by Priya Sharma, “Work, Hook, Shoot, Rip” by Nick Mamatas, “And the Carnival Leaves Town” by A.C. Wise, “Corpse Rose” by Terry Dowling, “Last of the Fair” by Joel Lane, “A Small Part in the Pantomime” by Glen Hirshberg, “Hibbler’s Minions” by Jeffrey Ford, “Swan Song and Then Some” by Dennis Danvers, “The Lion Cage” by Genevieve Valentine, “The Darkest Part” by Stephen Graham Jones, “The Popping Fields” by Robert Shearman, “Skullpocket” by Nathan Ballingrud, “The Mysteries” by Livia Llewellyn and “Screaming Elk, Mt.” by Laird Barron.

It’s still available at , and Barnes & Noble.

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Story Acceptance : Interzone

Thanks to Andy Cox for accepting my short story, “Blonde”, for Interzone.

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“The Slista” by Stephen Laws

You must be gud, says Svival. You must be gud, or The Slista will come get you.

“The Slista” by Stephen Laws first appeared in The Spectral Book of Horror Stories, edited by Mark Morris. It divided reviewers. Those who didn’t like it were nonplussed by its brevity and butchered English.

When Stephen Laws read the story at the launch of Best British Horror 2015, Johnny Mains introduced it as an instant classic. I thought it was wonderful. As much a performance piece as a great bit of writing. Read it aloud if you’re struggling with it on the page, preferably in a Geordie accent. It has its own rhythm and poetry.

As to the tale itself, it’s about love and family, horrible and warm all at once. Its economy is one of its strengths.

And if Stephen Laws ever considers selling this as a podcast I’d certainly buy it for the joy of hearing him read it again.

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Best British Horror 2015 launch at Waterstones, Covent Garden

Best British Horror 2015 Launch at WaterstonesJohnny Mains launched “Best British Horror 2015” at Waterstones, Covent Garden on Friday 17th July.

There were readings by Reece Shearsmith, Alison Moore, John Llewellyn Probert, Johnny Mains, myself and Stephen Laws.

I had an absolute blast and want to thank Johnny for including me and everyone for being so friendly and welcoming. Thank you. Thank you so much.

L to R: me, Thana Niveau, Lynda E. Rucker, Laura Mauro and V.H. Leslie

L to R: Me, Thana Niveau, Lynda E. Rucker, Laura Mauro and V.H. Leslie

Photo courtesy of Thana Niveau, taken by Phil Sloman.

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Best British Horror 2015 Launch

Johnny Mains, Salt editor, is launching Best British Horror 2015 at the Covent Garden branch Best British Horror 2015 Launch at Waterstonesof Waterstones.

It includes stories by Steven J. Dines, Helen Grant, Christopher Harman, Andrew Hook, Jane Jakeman, Graham Joyce, Stephen Laws, Alison Littlewood, Rebecca Lloyd, Helen Marshall, Gary McMahon, Alison Moore, Rosalie Parker, Sara Pascoe, John Llewellyn Probert, R.B. Russell, Mark Samuels, Priya Sharma, Reece Shearsmith, Lisa Tuttle, Simon Kurt Unsworth and Conrad Williams

I don’t have the chance to do stuff like this very often and am nervous about being there and doing a reading- so please come and say hello. I’d love to meet you.

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