Quick round-up

I should be busy packing since I’m heading off tomorrow to this year’s Crime & Publishment weekend at The Mill Forge in Gretna Green, Scotland.  I went last year, had an absolute blast, met some wonderful people, and picked up all sorts of weird and wonderful facts about crime writing, so I’m really looking forward to repeating the experience.

However, there is just time to round up a few bits and pieces of news before I bury myself in a heap of suitcases.

First, a couple more reviews of anthologies I have stories in.  This one, very thoughtful, about Exiles: An Outsider Anthology; and this one about Drag Noir.  I’m especially pleased with the latter because the reviewer has been so kind about my story, ‘Wheel Man’.

Second, it’s now less than a month until the Rogue anthology hits the streets.  This collection of stories featuring a flawed central character includes work from some of the (literary!) heavyweights of the genre, including Paul D Brazill, Ryan Bracha, Aidan Thorn and Gareth Spark.  And, er, me.  My story ‘Singing From the Same Sheet’ explores the differences between good and evil, and how they may be closer than we think.  The book’s due out on April 2nd so keep watching this space.

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‘Exiles’ in paperback

exiles-cover-small-2Exciting news – you can now order the ‘Exiles’ anthology in print as well as digital. And it’s less than a fiver. For a whopping twenty-six stories from some terrific authors in the crime and noir genres (and me).  So what are you waiting for?  Go on, grab your copy now while it’s still hot off the press!

Exiles on Lulu £4.99

Or you can still get the Kindle version for only 77p/99c.  All proceeds from either version go straight to charity so you’ve got no excuse not to treat yourself.

Exiles reviewed

The Exiles charity anthology has had what I believe is its first review, which you can find over at Tony’s Thoughts. And very nice it is too, both in stressing the charity angle and in the comments about the overall content.

Those quirky bit-part characters hovering on the outside that we barely notice, those are the characters these stories are about.”

Here’s hoping Tony won’t be the first reader to enjoy the collection.

Exiles! Out now!

exiles-cover-preview-2Tired of being an outsider, looking in? Well, now you can be an outsider looking in, reading about other outsiders looking in! Because Exiles, Blackwitch Press’s latest anthology featuring some of the best-known names in modern noir and ‘grit-fic’, is out right now.

This is a terrific collection of 26 short stories, all completely different in style and tone but all dark, and all featuring the common theme of ‘outsiders’.

My own story involves Johnny, a brutish robber who comes up with the perfect alibi (“You can’t be done for murder if you’re dead…”), until his plans go horribly wrong.

Johnny grinned under his stocking mask as he shot the lock off the airport security depot door. This was the life; this was the mayhem he loved. A bit of strong-arm stuff, a bit of arm-twisting or fingernail-pulling, a bit of blagging with a shotgun in one hand, just to make sure people did what they were told. A heap of cash at the end.

This time was better than usual. This time the target wasn’t just a post office or a bank; this time there’d be millions involved. Cash, bonds, jewellery, electricals, all stored neatly under one anonymous warehouse roof, waiting for transport around the world. The airport wouldn’t know whose army had hit them; by the time they woke up and smelled the coffee it would be too late.

And this time, Johnny’s plans had given him a licence to kill. He couldn’t be done for murder if he was dead.

As I might have mentioned once or twice before, it’s based on a true story of a man who was declared dead in America – but with my own distinctive sting in the tail.

You can pick up your copy of Exiles as an ebook for only $1.29 at Amazon US, or 77p on Amazon UK.

All proceeds go to charity (the Marfan Foundation, in aid of people suffering from Marfan syndrome). So go on – you have no excuse. Don’t be an outsider looking in (and wondering what all the fuss is about).  Get your copy today!

My turn

And now it’s my turn to have a guest post at Paul Brazill’s blog about the inspiration behind ‘Dead Man Walking’, my story in the upcoming Exiles anthology.

I haven’t said quite as much about the ‘outsiders’ angle, although there is one, because that would mean giving away too much of the tale. Instead, I’ve concentrated on the strange-but-true news article which provides the story’s background, albeit in a twisted and much-changed way.

Catch the full details over at Paul’s blog – and don’t forget, the dead really can walk!

Outsiders

exiles-cover-preview-2To celebrate the forthcoming release of the Exiles anthology from Blackwitch Press, the various authors involved are going to be guest-posting about the inspiration behind their stories, and/or what being an outsider might mean for them.  You can find the first, by Ben Sobieck about his story ‘Missing an Ear’, over at Paul Brazill’s blog.  And a fascinating insight it is too.

My own offering will be along in due course…

Exiles nears completion

The excitement is building: the Exiles anthology, due out very soon from Blackwitch Press, now has a running order. There are a lot of extremely good writers on this list, not least the late Colin Graham, who I believe the book will be dedicated to since he very sadly passed away during production.

Here’s who else is in it, not forgetting yours truly:

INTRODUCTION: HEATH LOWRANCE
REFLECTIONS ON A DECADE IN THE WILD EAST – COLIN GRAHAM
EATING THE DREAM – K A LAITY
MIDNIGHT TRAIN TO DELHI – CHRIS RHATIGAN
BOXING DAY IN MUROS – STEVEN PORTER
WE ARE ALL SPECIAL CASES – PATTI ABBOTT
NEVER A VESSELL LARGE ENOUGH – RYAN SALES
THE SOLOMON SEA – GARETH SPARK
AGENT RAMIEL GETS THE CALL – PAMILA PAYNE
THE WEATHER PROPHET – PAUL D. BRAZILL
THE RAIN KING – JASON MICHEL
DULLCREEK – CARRIE CLEVENGER
IN AMERICA – DAVID MALCOLM
THE PLACE OF THE DEAD – NICK SWEENEY
DISAPPEARING ACT – SONIA KILVINGTON
WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR – ROB BRUNET
PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY – JAMES A. NEWMAN
DEAD MAN WALKING – TESS MAKOVESKY
SHUT OUT THE LIGHT – CHRIS LEEK
FLYING IN AMSTERDAM – MCDROLL
THE TRIBE – RENATO BRATKOVIC
WETWORK – WALTER CONLEY
DIGGER DAVIES – MARRIETTA MILES
TAKING OUT THE TRASH – AIDAN THORN
MISSING AN EAR – BENJAMIN SOBIECK
THE TENDER TRAP – GRAHAM WYND
FALLING THROUGH THE HOURGLASS – RICHARD GODWIN

Watch out for further details very, very soon!

Dead Man Walking

exiles-cover-small-2
A couple of weeks back fellow Brit-grit author Paul D Brazill invited me to send in a story for his new charity anthology, Exiles. I was delighted and quickly identified a previously published piece which I knew would fit the theme to a ‘t’. Unfortunately, it was still tied up in the archives of the magazine it had appeared in, so I quickly wrote to ask if they would take it down. After all, it really isn’t fair to ask readers to pay for a story which is freely available on the net, especially when all proceeds are going to a good cause.

Even more unfortunately, said magazine is messing me around and there are doubts over whether they’re ever going to remove the story from their archives. So, rather than keep Paul hanging on for weeks, I settled down and wrote a whole new story – in two days flat!

It’s called ‘Dead Man Walking’ and was inspired by that odd case, a few weeks back, where an American man had disappeared for three years, been declared dead, then turned up safe and well, but couldn’t be declared alive again because of some odd state law. Needless to say I’ve strayed from the truth and added my own dark twist to the tale, and you can see it, together with a whole pile of stories from some of the big names in noir writing, in the forthcoming Exiles anthology. To say I’m excited is the understatement of the month!