Betty Fedora updates

In case anyone has been trying to get hold of the first couple of issues of Betty Fedora (including my stories ‘Going Off the Deep End’ and ‘Last Chance Saloon’), I’ve just discovered that both issues have now sold out and aren’t available.

This is great news for the magazine, of course.  And the even better news is that if you missed it, you may be able to catch ‘Last Chance Saloon’ in another publication fairly soon.

I’ll post more details as soon as I have them, so do pop back to check the news.  And in the meantime, why not catch Betty Fedora #3, which is still available?  There’s no Tess, but there are some great stories about kick-ass women!

Bar room bestie

Ed from Byker Books posed an intriguing question earlier today – which of your fictional characters would you most want by your side during a bar room brawl?

I had a good think about this one.  Although I write about lots of nefarious characters, many of them are deeply flawed and would probably run for the hills (or the nearest dark alley) at the first sign of real, you know, actual violence.

But there are a handful who are made of sterner stuff.  Interestingly, several of them are women.  Tina from ‘Going Off the Deep End’ (Betty Fedora #1) likes getting her own way and wouldn’t be fazed by a broken finger nail or two on route.  The nameless ‘heroine’ in ‘Last Chance Saloon’ (Betty Fedora #2) is ruthless when faced with a cheating boyfriend and wouldn’t let a few drunken thugs stand in her way.  And Jo the probation officer in ‘Raise the Blade’ (due from Caffeine Nights very soon) is brave, resourceful and sensible enough to know when to call someone else for help.

But the stand-out candidate from all my stories to date has to be the main character in ‘Singing From the Same Sheet’ in the Rogue anthology from Near to the Knuckle.  He’s a law unto himself, violent and uncompromising, and not all that different to the baddies.  And as he himself says, it’s amazing what he can hide under that robe.

So how about your own characters?  Anyone in particular you’d like fighting at your side, for all the right reasons – or even all the wrong ones?

Kickass commentary

bettyfedora2Betty Fedora’s website features a wrap-up to 2015 including thoughts on noir, life and the universe from myself and several of the other authors featured in Issue 2.  Pop along now to see what everyone’s favourite noir movie is, or what crime novels they enjoyed, plus various other thoughts to run alongside our stories.  And if you like the interviews, you’ll love the magazine.  So why not pick up a copy while you’re at it?  (Well, you can’t blame me for trying…!)

First chance for Last Chance

bettyfedora2Last Chance Saloon, that is, which is available right now in Betty Fedora #2 and features (as all their stories do) at least one suitably “kickass” woman character!

A dirty weekend, a clapped-out car, a deserted country road…  What can possibly go wrong?  Quite a bit as it turns out, for one character at least, in this dark little tale of revenge set in the wilds of the Cumbrian countryside.  Before the floods.  Sigh.

You can get your hands on the magazine at Amazon, in either print or digital format.  And while you’re at it, why not check out issue #1, which is completely free during the launch of the second edition.  Gotta love those kickass women!

Watch this space…

…for a second helping of kick-ass women!  In other words, the second issue of Betty Fedora is due out soon, and includes my own short story ‘Last Chance Saloon’, set appropriately enough in the wild moorland of the Far North of England.

A dirty weekend, a clapped-out car, a deserted country road.  What can possibly go wrong?  Quite a bit for one particular character as it turns out, but you’ll have to read the story to find out which one, and why.

Hopefully you won’t have too much longer to wait.

Wheely good news

Good news seems to be like buses at the moment – nothing for ages then three come along at once.  Today’s nugget is that Betty Fedora, the magazine for kick-ass women’s fiction which published ‘Going Off The Deep End’ in their first issue, have accepted another of my tales for the follow-up.

‘Last Chance Saloon’ is a dark revenge story featuring (of course!) those kick-ass women protagonists as well as an unhealthy twist.  A dirty weekend, a clapped-out car, a deserted country road: what can possibly go wrong?  Well, quite a bit as it turns out, especially for one half of the couple involved.  But which half?  You’ll have to read the story to find out!

The book’s due this autumn (fall). As ever I’ll post more details when I have them but in the meantime I’m delighted that Betty Fedora continue to support my work.

Praise for Betty Fedora

bettyfedora1Decent reviews are starting to stack up for this brand new magazine; readers seem to love the whole concept of ‘kickass women’ in crime.

Here’s a couple of comments, nicked at random from Amazon:  “…enjoyably feminist crime fiction that has a wry sense of humour…”; and “…an interesting collection that is not more of the same.”

The book is still on my ‘to be read’ pile (a tottering heap by the side of the bed) so I can’t comment on the stories myself.  But I have read the foreword, which is excellent: feisty, feminist-flavoured, but above all great fun.  The editor, Kristen Valentine, is anxious to move away from stereotypical females in crime fiction: “…the victim; the unsympathetic wife who doesn’t understand the Demands of the Job; the sympathetic lover who exists only to show our complicated hero’s tender side…; the bitchy boss; the femme fatale…”

Interestingly, the featured stories are written by both male and female authors, so it’s by no means a women-only venture, just an attempt to publish work with more rounded, believable female characters.

And judging by the feedback, it’s already proving popular.

Making a splash

bettyfedora1The other day I promised a snippet from my latest short story, ‘Going Off the Deep End’, and here it is:

My old friend Joanne’s really getting up my nose. All this poncing about with new clothes and new shoes, not to mention the new fast car. New house, too, in a posh road where all the houses have these bloody electric gates so you can’t even see over the hedge let alone get in.

Some people get in. The cleaner and the pool man and the gardener and all the deliveries for all that glitzy tat she buys online. Her friends get in too. Her new friends, that is. All long blonde hair and tight little tushes in skirts up to here and boots. ‘Course, none of it’s real. They’ve all had tucks and tweaks and injections and Christ knows what. New boobs and new noses to match the bicycle-pump lips and pared-down thighs. Amazing how much bloody work’s involved in looking good these days. Amazing too what ten grand a week will buy.

I barely make that a year. Struggle on twelve grand with two kids to feed and a partner who scarpered for the hills the minute I was pregnant with the second one. Scarpered for Lindsey Bains, more like. Little cow he met at work, wears skinny-rib jumpers too tight over her boobs. He told me she understood him, as though I didn’t. Fact is I understand him better than he likes to think. I understood he wanted a younger, more attractive model. Wasn’t hard to work that one out when he told me I’d ‘let myself go’.

Don’t forget – you can find the rest of the story in Issue 1 of the new Betty Fedora magazine which is available in Kindle or print right now!

Betty Fedora available

bettyfedora1Talk about buses – nothing for ages then three come along at once.  Next month I should have two short stories coming out (in the ‘Rogue’ and ‘Locked & Loaded’ anthologies) and yesterday, rather unexpectedly, the first issue of Betty Fedora hit the streets.

This is a brand new magazine focusing on ‘kickass women’s crime’ which sounds like an absolute blast.  My own story, called ‘Going Off the Deep End’, features a woman who’s been dissed by her ex-best friend and decides to make something of a splash by way of revenge.

The magazine is available in both kindle and paperback versions from Amazon US, and in Kindle from Amazon UK.

I’ll try to remember to post a brief excerpt from my story in the next day or two but in the meantime I’m already having evil thoughts about a story to submit to their second issue…

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.