Stocking fillers

There are some great deals and fun little extras on offer at the moment.  If you’re looking for something that little bit different as a seasonal gift, here’s a handful to tempt you:

1.  Fox Spirit, who published Drag Noir earlier in the year, have various free stories from their published authors available on their website.  The latest, Jingle Bells by Vincent Holland-Keen, has a Christmassy theme, but there are others to suit every taste.

2.  If you loved the cover art for Drag Noir, then artist Stephanie Johnson has a whole page of goodies featuring Lola herself over at Café Press: everything from t-shirts to hip flasks.

3.  And One Eye Press, the people behind Shotgun Honey and the Both Barrels anthologies, have a special Christmas sale with all their Kindle editions reduced to 99c for the whole of December.

I hope everyone finds something they like amongst the goodies!

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Rogue teaser

To whet your appetites, here’s a tiny snippet of my story in the forthcoming Rogue anthology from Near to the Knuckle:


The book’s due out in April next year and if it looks anything like as good as this graphic then I can’t wait!

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Another 81 words

I have a new flash story up at the 81 Words website.  ‘Buried Treasure’ is a daft little thing inspired by the comedy tv series ‘The Detectorists’ and featuring, unsurprisingly, metal detectors – in places you might not expect.

I’m quite proud of the story, not because I think it’s any good, but because it’s the first thing I’ve written since my operation.  Nice to know all the carving and slicing didn’t affect my brain!

You can find the story here and do please consider voting for it if you enjoy it – or even if you don’t.

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New stories

I promised more details about the stories I’d had accepted the other day, so here they are.  In the meantime I’m delighted to say that ‘a couple’ has turned into three, or four if you count the one currently appearing in the new 81 Words anthology.  It’s been quite a week!

First off, there’s ‘Scorpio’, a twisted but topical little tale inspired by the old ‘frog and scorpion’ fable, coming soon in Thrills, Kills ‘n’ Chaos magazine.

Next there’s ‘Singing From the Same Sheet’, which Near 2 the Knuckle have just accepted for their forthcoming Rogue anthology.  This dark story asks what separates the good from the bad – and you may not like the answer very much!

Finally, brand new magazine Betty Fedora, which specialises in fiction about ‘kick ass women’, has accepted ‘Going Off the Deep End’, a darkly humorous revenge story about a woman slighted by her ex best friend, for their first issue, due out this time next year.

You can find more details on the stories on my website.  Do check back from time to time, as I’ll be updating release dates etc whenever I have more information.

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81 words… or more

81WordscoverIt’s more, actually – much, much more.  Over forty times 81 words, to be precise, in the brand new and first ever anthology from  Entitled ‘The Very Best of 81 Words So Far’, it’s exactly what it says on the tin – a collection of the highest rated stories from the website’s first year or so.  As the book’s blurb puts it, “Entertaining, intriguing, amusing, shocking, poignant, thought provoking, each story is complete in itself. 81 words isn’t very much to write a story in but these exceptional writers, both amateur and published, demonstrate just how good a story can be in this limited format…”.  And it includes my very own flash story ‘Money Laundering’, suggested by a true story about money found floating in a Birmingham canal, which puts a whole new spin on the concept of laundering cash.

The book is available right now on Kindle, and better still, it’s free until Friday 5 December.  So go on, what are you waiting for?  Hurry along to Amazon UK or Amazon US to download your copy now!

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Normal service resumed

Well, the surgery went as well as these things ever do and I’m now back at my desk.  Things are still taking me a little longer than normal but I’m hoping to be back to my normal self (whatever that might be…) in the next few days, and posting my usual mix of silly tales and bits of news.

And there’s a couple of acceptances to share with you, including a flash story in 81Words’ first ever anthology, and a story coming soon in Thrills, Kills ‘n’ Chaos.  More details on both very, very soon!

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Normal service interrupted

I’m heading into hospital for fairly major surgery later today.  Although it’s not life-threatening, it may be a few days (or even a couple of weeks) before I feel like blogging, so please bear with me.  I’ll be back as soon as I can, with more hair raising tales!

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Money laundering

Some of you may remember my daft little flash ficlet ‘Money Laundering’, which appeared on the site and put a new, er, spin on the subject of laundering cash.  Well, I’ve just heard that it’s all set to feature in their first ever anthology, chosen from the highest rated stories on the site!

I’m absolutely delighted about this, and very grateful to everyone who voted for the story as you’ve helped to make this happen.  I’ll post updates as soon as I know where/when/how the anthology will be published.  In the meantime, why not pop over to 81Words and check out some of their other stories, all of which are exactly 81 words long…

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More dumb criminals

This one was so drunk he managed to leave one of his socks at the scene of the crime.  Better still, he was so drunk he obviously didn’t realise that the tv he was stealing (from a show home on a new development) was actually fake.  The entire value of the stuff he nicked was £30, which is hardly going to buy another round of drinks at the local pub, let alone funding a life of luxury or whatever it was he was hoping for when he committed the crime.

The sock is slightly less bonkers than it sounds.  Apparently he took it off to wrap round his hand while breaking a window.  Leaving it behind wasn’t quite so clever, though…

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First anniversary

02-banksy-pulp-fictionActually I’m a little older than one year old, as you might have guessed.  But I suddenly realised that yesterday marked the anniversary of Shotgun Honey publishing my first ever story under this pen name, which ought to call for a celebration of some sort.  So, break out the bubbly!  Let off a few fireworks!  And if you missed the story the first time round, you can still find it here.  Enjoy the trip.  You’ll probably never feel quite the same way about bananas again…

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Lunch in the fast lane

This snippet of news about two speeding van drivers passing a drink across, mid-carriageway, on the motorway, caught my eye… and made me blink.  It’s not exactly ‘dumbest criminals’ territory, but it is pretty dangerous, and pretty conspicuous.  Not the sort of thing witnesses are going to forget in a hurry once they’ve seen it.  All I can say is, one of those drivers must have been awfully thirsty!

Must admit it’s putting ideas in my head for crime stories, though.  Imagine if it wasn’t a drink at all, but smuggled goods…  Although thinking you can get away with such a public ‘drop’ in broad daylight with dashboard cameras everywhere might just qualify for ‘dumb criminal’ status after all.

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Literary snippets

A bit of a writerly smorgasbord today.

First off, there’s a fascinating article in New Scientist magazine about the benefits of hand-writing over typing, which suggests, amongst other things, that we understand more of what we read or hear when we make hand-written notes rather than typing.  This could have unforeseen consequences; as the magazine puts it, “typing rather than writing by hand may alter the way we think”.  I’m digging out my fountain pen as I speak.

Second, the Arthur Ransome Trust are busy fund-raising for their ultimate aim – to provide a permanent centre dedicated to the author’s work in the area that inspired him so much, the south Lakes.  This would hopefully be based somewhere around the Windermere/Coniston area which provided such a colourful backdrop to his Swallows & Amazons series, which in turn helped to instil a life-long love of the area in thousands of children, including me.  I wish them luck; if you want to check out their upcoming events, fund-raisers etc then look no further than their nicely illustrated website.

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