Dark Minds success

darkmindsIt’s official – the Dark Minds charity anthology from Bloodhound Books has been a roaring success.

Word is that so many copies have sold, the company have been able to donate almost £5,000 to the two charities the book is supporting – Sophie’s Appeal, and Hospice UK.

This is amazing news, and I’m delighted that my own contribution (in the shape of short story ‘My Own Eggsecutioner’), has helped in however small a way.

The anthology is still very much available to buy, so if you’d like to see what all the fuss is about (as well as reading over 40 great stories in the crime, noir and horror genres) then head to Amazon to order a copy now.  You never know, you might be helping Bloodhound donate another few thousand in due course.

Hospice aid

darkmindsThere’s a news item in The Guardian this morning about a charity which has run into difficulties over the amount it’s being charged by a marketing company.

The name of the charity, Hospice Aid UK, is quite similar to the charity the Dark Minds anthology is donating a share of its proceeds to.  However, please rest assured that the two are NOT the same!  I’m delighted to say we’re giving to Hospice UK, which is a completely different organisation.  So you can ignore that Guardian piece and buy the book with a clear conscience!  And yes, that was a hint, by the way.  😉

Dark Minds release

eggsecutionerposter1Fancy a shiver at Christmas that, for once, has nothing to do with the weather? Then why not treat yourself to a copy of Dark Minds, the charity anthology that’s already making waves?

The book features a plethora of stories by some very dark minds indeed – authors who specialise in crime, dark fiction and even, dare I say it, horror! All the stories have been specially selected by Betsy Reavley, of Bloodhound Books reknown, for their shiver-inducing qualities.

My offering, ‘My Own Eggsecutioner’, features a man losing control when he tracks down a missing family heirloom. Who’d have thought one small egg could cause so much mayhem? Then again, it is a Faberge…

The book is available from Amazon in Kindle, paperback and audio versions. It’s proving so popular that the paperback has already sold out! But I’m reliably informed that more are being hurried from the printers to fill the gap, so please keep on checking back.

And if you’re on Facebook, then feel free to head over to the FB launch event page this evening, where we’ll be hosting a mad party involving most of the authors, a lot of virtual bubbly, chat, and a chance to win books from some of your favourite authors.  Including, I should warn you, me.  I’ll be popping up around 8.00 pm UK time with a contest involving ‘Raise the Blade’.  Do come along and join in the fun!

(Credit for the scissors/egg picture goes to Bonnie Marie Smith.  You can find more of her stunning artwork here.)

Dark Minds coming soon

I’ve just had codarkmindsnfirmation that my short story My Own Eggsecutioner will be published in the first volume of charity anthology Dark Minds (ed. by Betsy Reavley) in mid-December.

Thanks to the generosity of those taking part (and the hard work of Betsy herself) there’ll be an incredible thirty-nine stories in the collection, by a range of crime and dark fiction authors, including some pretty ‘big’ names.  Included in this first volume are B A Morton, Paul D Brazill, K A Richardson, Steven Dunne, M A Comley, Lucy V Hay, and Alex Shaw, to name but a few.  And muggins, of course.

Even better news, the proceeds from the book now have a permanent (and hopefully welcoming) home in Hospice UK, the national charity for hospice care in the UK.  It’s an excellent cause and one I’m happy to be associated with.

I think I’m right in saying the book is still due out on 13th December (just in time for all those Christmas presents you should be buying *cough* hint *cough*) but I’ll confirm all details, where to order etc a little nearer the time.

Charity donation? No thanks…

darkmindsThe Dark Minds charity anthology I mentioned a few days ago has run into a spot of bother.  Not through the contributing authors or the editor, I hasten to add.  Stories are still pouring in and Betsy Reavley is working incredibly hard to make a success of the project.  The problem is finding a charity to accept the proceeds.

This sounds really odd.  Charities work by accepting donations from the public.  To find any charity refusing to take donations seems to go against all logic.  Yet this isn’t the first time it’s happened and the phenomenon seems to be spreading.

Recently, the Crime & Publishment anthology ‘Happily Never After’ ran into similar problems.  In the case of Dark Minds, two charities have already turned it down.  UNICEF wanted a minimum donation of £100,000, which with the best will in the world, no book publisher could ever commit to.  And now Great Ormond Street Hospital have pulled out, citing the content of the anthology.  Content that they were apparently told at the outset involved crime and horror stories.

It all seems very strange.  I understand that charities have an image to keep up, but this is fiction, written and donated, for free, by authors, for nothing other than people’s entertainment.  It’s not as though we’re going out bashing old ladies over the head and then donating the contents of their purses.

So why are charities seemingly so twitchy about what they’re associated with these days?  Are they afraid of litigation?  Or of winding up on the wrong side of an increasingly unforgiving press?  I’m not sure, but if anyone has any ideas please pass them on, because the people at Dark Minds are starting to tear their hair out.

Eggsceedingly good news

darkmindsThere’s been so much going on the last few days I haven’t had a chance to mention my latest good news, which is that I’ve had a short story accepted for a charity anthology.

The book, Dark Minds, is edited by Betsy Reavley of Bloodhound Books (although being published independently) and all proceeds will benefit the world-renowned Great Ormond Street children’s hospital.  It’s a terrific cause and one I’m delighted to be associated with.*

The book is due out on 13th December (barring accidents and emergencies) and there’s a launch party in London a few days later to celebrate.  Sadly, I probably won’t be able to get there – train tickets plus overnight accommodation plus tickets make it a wee bit too expensive for me.  But loads of the other authors involved in the project should be going along so I’m sure it will be a blast.

And the story?  Well, it has the rather awful title of ‘My Own Eggsecutioner’ and features a man, a missing Faberge egg, an antiques shop and a pair of scissors.  I’ll leave you to imagine the rest… but pretty it ain’t!

I’ll post a reminder or two once the anthology is available so do keep watching this space.  (And I apologise here and now for the horrible pun in the post title.  I couldn’t resist.)

*edited to add: GOSH have since declined to be associated with this project.  More details on the charity to benefit coming soon.