I’m in the current issue of Mystery Readers Journal talking about my roots in the Midwest. Thanks are due to the fine hostess, Janet Rudolph. Although I’ve not lived in my home state in ages, something of that heritage remains. Pick up a copy!
Get ready to stay up late! Respectable Horror is out in the wilds and ready to be lured to your home. Ms Poppy LaMorte (our cover model designed by S. L. Johnson) will lead the way to a spectral crew of authors who are just dying to give you spine-tingling chills. This new collection offers names both familiar and new, writers who believe that it’s possible to terrify without more than a few drops of blood. The wind in the trees, the creak in the floor board, an innocent knock on the door: they’ll all take on a more sinister cast as you turn the pages of this book.
Introduction by K. A. Laity
The Estate of Edward Moorehouse by Ian Burdon
The Feet on the Roof by Anjana Basu
Spooky Girl by Maura McHugh
Recovery by H. V. Chao
The Holy Hour by C. A. Yates
Malefactor by Alan C. Moore
A Splash of Crimson by Catherine Lundoff
In These Rooms by Jonathan Oliver
A Framework by Richard Farren Barber
Running a Few Errands by Su Haddrell
Miss Metcalfe by Ivan Kershner
The Little Beast by Octavia Cade
The Well Wisher by Matthew Pegg
Where Daemons Don’t Tread by Suzanne J. Willis
Full Tote Gods by D. C. White
Those Who Can’t by Rosalind Mosis
The Astartic Arcanum by Carol Borden
Do serial killers, glistening viscera, oceans of gore and sadistic twists make you yawn behind a polite hand? Are you looking for something a little more interesting than a body count? These are tales that astonish and horrify, bring shivers and leave you breathless. You may be too terrified to find out what happens next – but you won’t be able to resist turning the page. We’ll make you keep the lights on. For a very long time.
BUY AMAZON IN (coming soon)
Fox Spirit Books items this week:
A terrific review for DRAG NOIR over at British Fantasy. It’s taking a while, but people are discovering this book that brings a unique twist on the noir genre:
What I like about the anthology is that K.A. Laity has taken the time out to make sure she has made her idea live up to the expectations of many noir and drag readers. She has literally had the authors featured here go into the minds of their characters to bring them to life with all their problems, shattered dreams, bad love lives.
Well done to all the writers in this collection: you stepped up to a challenge and brought stories that were fresh ans surprising.
I’ve also got a piece on the Fox Spirit blog today about the necessity of promoting your books. Drag Noir is a good case in point. It’s been a long term commitment, continuing to get the word out to people who don’t know about it but who will appreciate it when they do. People can’t read a book they don’t know about. Let your excitement be known.
And always check whether You Left Your Biscuit Behind.
On January 1st of this year I vowed to have a Happy No Year: a chance to reassess how I ought best to spend my time. It was hard. The better part of my academic life has been saying yes to as many things as possible to get a job, a better one and then tenure.
Now tenure may no longer matter (but that’s another post or ten).
I learned a lot in saying no. I’m still learning. I said yes to things I truly wanted to do. Of course I didn’t know that a few days later the death of David Bowie would set off a year long farewell to so many icons that signal a kind of sea change that we’ve all been feeling.
All the post-apocalyptic narratives that have been pouring out of creators in recent years? Our subconscious knew what we refused to see — what my friend Byron has been repeating Cassandra-like to us all: Tower Times.
While we’re all reeling from the shock of blow after blow upon very bruised flesh, life goes on. You need to mourn, you need to recover, but you also have to decide what’s next. For me that’s plotting ways to embody radical hope in my work and in my teaching.
I am trying to remember to be generous, too: although I am fiercely protective of my time (a most precious commodity) it’s important to spend it wholeheartedly where it will do the most good. The system that surrounds us tries to make us believe we’re in a zero sum game: that’s why people trash the things you like in order to praise the things they like, as if both cannot be true.
You’ve been lied to: it’s not a zero sum game.
While the old guard are doubling down on fossil fuels renewable energy is at last growing quickly. While industrialists poison our food chain, local food has become a movement. And against the Puritan desire to make people work however useless the labour, the concept of basic income has gained ground.
Don’t get me wrong: there’s still a need to fight against every venal retrograde plutocrat and would-be oligarch in the festering rot of neoliberalism. I will also embody ‘Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker.’
And it wasn’t all NO: I got the draft of Hire Idiots down, which I’ll be sharing with folks in January. Respectable Horror should be out shortly, as well as a few other things, including a crime novella. I was in an Anthony-award nominated anthology and in an Anthony-award winning anthology. I have a fantastic story that was only available to supporters of the Cultural Gutter (which may become a script because it was just so fun). And here are other things what I did:
HOW TO BE DULL by Basil Morley
All my columns as History Witch
“Elf Prefix.” (as Graham Wynd) Short story. You Left Your Biscuit. Fox Spirit: Dec 2016.
“The Oven.” Short story as Graham Wynd. Spelk Magazine, 27 Jul 2016.
“Songs of Defiance (for William Blake).” Poem (reprint). Do Something: Hope Not Hate. Factor Fiction, Jul 2016: 26-27.
“The Cabal.” Short story as Graham Wynd. Pulp Metal Magazine, 21 Jun 2016.
“Deliberately Lost SF Classics.” Humour. Short Humour Site: 14 May 2016.
“Nenn’ mich nicht Liebling.” Short story as Graham Wynd. Pulpcore: Horror und Crime Anthologie, May 2016.
“Hope.” Poem. Short Humour Site: 26 Apr 2016.
“Fur Baby.” Short story. Spelk Magazine, 15 Apr 2016.
“The State of the Church of Bowie in 2525.” Pulp Metal Magazine: 13 Jan 2016.
“Subtle Hues: Character and Race in Dorothy B. Hughes’ The Expendable Man.” TEXT Journal of Writing and Writing Courses, v20 n2, Oct 2016.
“The Sound of Magic.” Sounding Out: The Sound Studies Blog, 54 (May 2016).
‘Chaucer and the Art of the Grift‘ and ‘Are you tweeting this?’: Best Practices and Possible Guidelines for Social Media in the Academy – A Round Table Discussion. International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 4-7 July 2016.
‘The Sound of Magic.’ Digital Britain: New Approaches to the Early Middle Ages, Harvard University, 25-6 March 2016.
So, the list feels a little thin to me only because I’m still getting used to dividing my time. Oh, the luxury of those two years of idleness. I must get more time off [plots].
Happy New Year, folks. May you feel recharged.
…can be yours for just $19.99 down and $19.99 a month until you finish buying all my books which should take less than a year, I expect (someone do the calculations: I can’t be bothered). Everything I’ve published over decades could be read in a year. Humbling, eh?
Is that a sufficiently clickbaity title? Apparently that’s all that matters anymore. Nothing has legs, nothing lasts past the news cycle. Let us all hope that tomorrow brings an end to some of the madness. As I said to a friend on the Facebook, I hope after tomorrow I can stop worrying about the destruction of the planet quite so anxiously and get back to worrying anxiously about the destruction of higher education.
But the secret to life: it was there in my review on Friday, right at the top. It is there in my humorous volume How to Be Dull, too — though a bit hidden behind the amusing digressions. It’s even in the pages of my ongoing #NaNoWriMo novel between the murder mystery and social commentary (and you can give a $1 to help kids find the joy of writing).
WWWBD? I have that on the corkboard in my office. What does William Blake say?
Or in other words, take care of your self with kindness, pursue the things you love, when troubled create something you enjoy, take pride in your work. Blake died penniless and forgotten, but he was a genius. There are no guarantees in life. If he had been famous, I suspect he would never have trusted it. All he trusted was his inspiration. Be inspired.
I head out today to fly to Venice, where Renato Bratkovič will meet me to drive me to Slovenia for the Alibi Crime Conference where I will be one of the featured writers. I’m really looking forward to it: I’ve never been to Venice or to Slovenia so that’s exciting. Everyone seemed to have a grand time at the first conference last year. I’m sure I will post pictures or commentary as I go along though perhaps not as much as usual. Check my Twitter feed (which appears in the right hand column of this blog) or Facebook if you’re there. Of course I’ll write up my adventures when I return. Maybe I’ll run into a certain Venetian Lion…
I’m very happy to see HOW TO BE DULL getting out there in the world. It’s the antidote to our too ‘interesting’ times. Thanks Beverly Bambury for sharing the photo (and check out her publicity business!