Definitely not a drag

100Drag NoirI’ll be back in a day or two with a full report on the Noir at the Bar: Carlisle event, which was absolutely amazing.

In the meantime, I’ve finally got round to finishing ‘Drag Noir’, the anthology from Fox Spirit published a couple of years back, which I’ve been trying to find time for.  It may have taken me ages but it was well worth the wait as these are stories to savour, not to rush through.

I’ve written a brief review of the anthology which you can read over at Goodreads.  I hope it persuades you to try the book yourselves because it’s a really interesting collection and not what you’d expect at all.

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!

Drag Noir released

Exciting news from Friday, which I didn’t get a chance to share until now thanks to a frantic weekend.

100Drag NoirFox Spirit have released the latest in their noir series of anthologies, Drag Noir, “where glamour meets grit, where everyone’s wearing a disguise (whether they know it or not) and knowing the players takes a lot more than simply reading the score cards…”

This is a terrific collection of 15 short stories and (of course!) includes my own story ‘Wheel Man’, set in the dark and dubious world of car theft.  Hurry over to Fox Spirit for more details, or grab your copy (Kindle or paperback) from Amazon now.

Wheel Man taster

100Drag NoirTo whet your appetite, here’s a brief excerpt from my latest short story ‘Wheel Man’, which is due out in ‘Drag Noir’ from Fox Spirit at the end of the month.  Hope you like it!

Clear of the city streets, she buzzed the electric window down to feel the wind stirring her hair, and shifted to sixth gear. The last few dregs of the suburbs reeled past in a smear of street lights and rain; soon the bungalows would be replaced by hedges, fields and trees. She shouldn’t be this far out, of course. Fred’s place was back in the suburbs, tucked into a courtyard where hardly anyone went. This was a twenty mile detour; this was wasting fuel. But she could never resist the urge to put her foot down, to try the car for size. There wasn’t much point nicking cars if you didn’t get the chance to drive them for yourself.

And this one was a gem, if she did say so herself. Sleek, fast, built like a tank. The sort of car that young men dreamed of owning, and old men drove, too fast for their waning reflexes, once they’d made their pile.

Somewhere out beyond the airport she sighed, slowed down, and used a handy roundabout to turn for home. This was a good car, but there’d be others, better, more expensive, faster even than this. She’d hand this one over, get her cut, and do the whole thing again another night. At least Fred would like this one. He’d been weird about her cars lately, but one look at this and not even he could say no.


“What the fuck d’you mean, you can’t take it? It’s a great car.”

Free Drag Noir story

Heard about Drag Noir and wondering what all the fuss is about?  Then head over to the Fox Spirit website, where Fox author Graham Wynd (‘Extricate’, ‘Throw the Bones’) has donated a free story as an introduction to the anthology.  ‘Smallbany’ gives a great flavour of the collection and some of the character types you’re likely to meet, as a bumbling blagger caught in a trap finds a dinstinctly unusual way out.  The story features ‘salty language’ and ‘sexual shenanigans’, no less, and rather like a bonus album track released on YouTube, it’s a great way to whet your appetite for the main event.

Pop along to Fox Spirit to read ‘Smallbany’ here.

One month to go…

webDrag NoirIn fact, slightly less than a month now because ‘Drag Noir’, the anthology from Fox Spirit containing my short story ‘Wheel Man’, is set for release at the end of October.  I’m thoroughly excited, and even more happy to discover that my story is going to be the second one into the collection!

Thieving cars was the last great bastion of sexism in UK crime and there was no getting over that fact.  Sy’s henchmen had made it all too clear the last time they came round…

You can find more details, including a full contents list, over at the Fox Spirit website.  And don’t forget to start crossing off the days in your diary.

Drag Noir cover reveal

Cue music, lights and feather boa. Like a stripper at a high class lap dancing joint, I can now reveal… the cover for the forthcoming ‘Drag Noir’ anthology from Fox Spirit. Like the stripper, it’s worth the wait. Like the stripper, it’s snazzy, stylish, and alluring. Unlike the stripper, it doesn’t promise more than it delivers. In fact, it’s an absolute doozy, as you can see for yourself:

webDrag Noir

The book, a whole collection of stories devoted to men and women wearing a disguise (whether they know it or not), is due in October. If, like the stripper’s customers you can’t wait that long, you can find out more at the Fox Spirit website. The list of contents includes my own short story ‘Wheel Man’, a poignant tale set in the gender-obsessed world of car theft. I get the impression the rest of the collection is going to be every bit as good as the cover, and (like the stripper’s customers) I’m struggling to stay patient too. I’ll have to try not to trip over my high heels and feather boa in the rush.

Cover image (c), by the talented Stephanie Johnson.


Who’s in drag…

Or at least, who will be appearing in the Drag Noir anthology from Fox Spirit, which is due out in July this year. The collection apparently includes “surprises and delights as well as that elusive noir spirit” and involves work by authors from around the world. I’m delighted to be in such good company, and second on the list to boot! You can find a full list of contributors over at the Fox Spirit blog; more details coming soon.

What a drag…

Or not, since I had another short story accepted over the Easter weekend. This time it’s the turn of ‘Wheel Man’ in the forthcoming Drag Noir anthology, edited by Kate Laity, from Fox Spirit.

Set against a backdrop of car theft, recently described by Stephen Fry on quiz show QI as the last bastion of sexism in British crime, ‘Wheel Man’ is a bleak tale describing the lengths one woman is prepared to go to in order to keep the job – and the man – she loves.

I don’t yet have full details (cover art, release date, other contributors) but as soon as I do, I’ll pass them on.