I had some more good news today: the guys at Out of the Gutter Online have accepted a new short story for publication soon.

‘Clickbait’ is a thoroughly nasty tale of revenge and seizing – or even creating – opportunities.  Markie’s having a bad day.  He’s nervous about meeting his new boss, and then some nutter threatens him on the bus.  But maybe, just maybe, he can find a way to still come out on top…

The magazine has a hefty waiting list so it might be a few weeks until the story appears, but I’ll let everyone know the minute it’s available.

And apologies for the evil pun in the title of this post!  I couldn’t resist…

The Last Laugh

lastlaughI’ve just finished this super collection of noir short stories from the master of Brit-Grit Paul D Brazill, and thoroughly enjoyed the lot.  You can read my full review over at Goodreads – and check the book out if you want a good, gallows-humour giggle.  The collection really lives up to its own title!

Hmm.  WordPress isn’t letting me use ‘hidden links’ at the moment, so here’s the url for the review:

Dropping in…

…to say that my flash fic ‘The Drop’ will be appearing (God and the editors willing!) over at Out of the Gutter Online this Thursday.

The story is a little something about a pervert and a mobile phone, which I came up with for the peer review session at this year’s Crime and Publishment event.  As usual, all is very much not as it seems.

I’ll pop back with a link and a few more details on the day but in the meantime, watch this space and don’t drop off.

S’no joke…

Good news on the submissions front, as I’ve just had a story accepted for the charity anthology ‘The Last Word’, being put together by Joyride Press.

‘Snow Joke’ is a very tongue-in-cheek tale about two burglars in a snowstorm, inspired by a comment made by a mate who’s a serving police officer, which attempts to answer the question, ‘do the police respond to emergency calls in heavy snow?’

You can find out the answer to that one (or my twisted take on it, at any rate) when the book comes out later on this year.  More details soon.

Locked & Loaded… almost here

shp-bbv3-locked-loaded-front-cover-c2The excitement is building in the Makovesky household – it’s now less than a week until the launch of Shotgun Honey’s latest anthology, ‘Locked & Loaded’.

You may remember me mentioning once or twice (cough) that this book includes my short story ‘Running Late’, which features Zak, a cop who isn’t averse to breaking a few rules until the local gang call time on him.

There are also 24 other stories from a host of well-respected authors, and you can get your hands on the whole thing next Tuesday, 28th April.  I can hardly wait!

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…

Scorpio update

Somewhere along the line I seem to have missed passing on the news about my short story ‘Scorpio’, which was due to appear in the online magazine Thrills, Kills ‘n’ Chaos early this year.

Sadly, the news isn’t good.  The editor of the magazine has been hit hard by that old rogue, Real Life, and has understandably decided to give the magazine a sabbatical while he catches up.  I have every sympathy with him; in another life I ran on online zine myself for a number of years and know exactly how much of a time-suck it can be.  The break may or may not be permanent, and all rights have been returned to their relevant authors (a nice touch, many editors never bother), all of which means that ‘Scorpio’ is currently without a home.

Hopefully I’ll find it another place soon.  Even more hopefully, the famed ‘Tess kiss of death’ won’t apply to any of the other stories I have slated to appear during the year…

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.

The writing process

The other week I wrote a short story for a magazine.  The minute I finished it, instead of the usual happy haze of completing something new, I felt uneasy.  After a lot of pondering, I realised why I felt so uneasy: I hadn’t really explained the characters’ motivations enough.  What seemed obvious to me wouldn’t to the readers, and in a story about revenge, the reasons for that revenge weren’t clear.  All the readers would have seen was somebody dying, without enough explanation why.  Which in most circles of writing, goes down rather like a lead balloon, and understandably so.

After yet more pondering, I saw how I could make the whole thing work better.  Two days ago I sat down to re-write it, but with limited success.  I knew the direction I wanted to take it in, but the words just wouldn’t come.  Finally, yesterday, I got the inspiration I needed, started from scratch with a new title, at least one new character name, and a much better sense of direction, and managed to make it three or four hundred words longer while I was at it.

It’s still not perfect, and will need the usual tweaks, fiddling and fine-tuning before it’s ready to go out.  But I’m much happier with the overall result.  If anyone ever thought writing was easy, though, this is yet more proof that it’s harder than it looks!

My socks are blown

Erik_ArnesonTwoThere are some amazing crime stories on the internet these days, but every now and again one comes along that stands head and shoulders above the rest. This includes Erik Arneson’s latest, over at Flash Fiction Offensive today, which has a kick like a grumpy mule, yet manages to be heart-breakingly sad at the same time.

I loved this story. I loved the original, quirky style of writing, the unusual format, and the twist, which I have to admit I really didn’t see coming. I knew there would be a twist, just… not that one.  When it came, it blew my socks off.

Hats off to Mr Arneson for coming up with something hard-hitting, original, and with an important message about the way we deal with mental illness buried away under the entertaining exterior.

You can read ‘Not My Gun’ at Out of the Gutter Online. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  (The image is happily nicked from the magazine, too.  Sorry guys.)

Story for Saturday

Okay, I know it’s not Saturday but if you like dark fiction and want something bleak for first thing on a Monday morning then look no further than Paul D Brazill’s latest short story, Life on Mars.

You’ll need something of a strong stomach, but the story packs a powerful punch in good, time-honoured noir tradition, with a great, ‘saw it coming but it’s still a knife in the guts’ ending.

Happy reading!