Today I was on Bradford Community Radio BCB interviewed by Tina Watkin and Alan Keeling…

What a fantastic opportunity and how much I enjoyed it- invited by Tina Watkin who runs (amongst her many varied activities) Bradford Writers’ Circle onto her Thursday afternoon radio show.

http://www.bcbradio.co.uk/presenters/tina-watkin/

It’s not not an interview as an opportunity for a relaxed chat in front of a mic (but with a cuppa) about – in my case the creative writing comp I’m running with the Craft House, my books including Badlands and Deadcades (with an unexpected opportunity to read from Badlands) and the courses I teach.

I was asked to talk from 2pm-2.30pm but then was told I could carry on till 3pm-which was lovely.

The session is available to listen to on catch up at https://podcasts.canstream.co.uk/bcb/index.php?id=43208

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Gill James of Bridge House Publishing has released a book trailer on youtube to promote their latest anthology ‘Crackers’– which I have a story in – in fact it’s the first one in the anthology – Angel’s Wing.

Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTCxK5JRWVc

 

 

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Coffin Bell 1 print anthology due out soon with a story in it from me…

Final adjustments have been made to the galley of Coffin Bell ONE and the stock order has been placed. Expect your copy (if you are a contributor or ordered one) to arrive in 1-2 weeks. If you haven’t ordered yours yet, you may do so via the yellow BUY NOW button below.
https://coffinbell.com/shop/ 

click above link to order a copy or read stories for FREE on the Coffin Bell website.

From netgalley advance proof of Lucy Foley’s The Hunting Party…

I gave it 5 / 5 stars- it’s a gripping rollercoaster twisting spiralling read. Set in snowy Scotland.

Bristling with tension, bitter rivalries, and toxic friendships, get ready for the most hotly-anticipated thriller of 2019.

In a remote hunting lodge, deep in the Scottish wilderness, old friends gather for New Year.

The beautiful one
The golden couple
The volatile one
The new parents
The quiet one
The city boy
The outsider

The victim.

Not an accident – a murder among friends.

My Review:-

Set in the remotest part of Scotland you could ever want to visit- where only two staff run an exclusive lodge for parties of guests- you have the claustrophobic setting similar to Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’ for when the snow comes in deep and crisp and even in The Hunting Party no one is going anywhere. All guests at Miranda’s New Year’s party know each other, from uni days, or they think they do. They are a tight knit group who have drifted somewhat over the years, but New Year always brings them back together. However this year it won’t.

The narrative is told from several characters’ viewpoints (including the two lodge employees who both have troubled back stories which are gradually revealed) and this is n o mean feat for Lucy Foley to pull off. There is a lot of subtlety and shading in what we the reader are told, what the characters know and what they should know but deny and what they can work out.

The identity of the victim is not revealed until close to the end, which is a conjuring trick of slippery writing in itself. The story also flashes back to uni days and as well as short term backwards and forwards over the events of the New Year’s Eve and the party which fuelled by booze and drugs, goes haywire. Everyone’s a suspect except for the new born baby, and they all have something to hide. Did I mention the isolation, the snow, the cold and how Foley makes the landscape into a menacing threat,

This is an addictive entertaining read which you don’t want to put down, I read late into the night wanting to uncover the hidden layers of this group’s relationships and the motives for murder.

The people you think you know best can surprise you- beware, keep a close eye on your family and friends. Trust no one.

Crackers anthology is out as an e book – from Bridge House Publishers and tomorrow for 5 days you can download my children’s book, The Runaway Umbrella, for free…

Out from Bridge House Publishers this anthology has the theme and title of ‘Crackers‘; and my story opens the book – Angel’s Wing which is a feel good/magical tale.

Every year we pick a very vaguely Christmas-related theme for our annual anthology. Then we invite our writers to subvert it. In this collection, they’ve certainly done that to the extent that we almost had a picture of cream crackers for the cover. Our theme this year is “crackers”. So, we have Christmas crackers, cream crackers, cracking dresses, a cracked antique and many, many other interpretations. We hope you will find this a cracking good read.

and also on amazon, my children’s e book The Runaway Umbrella, for 7-11 year olds, is available as of tomorrow Tuesday 13 November to download for FREE for 5 days.

If you do read it please leave a review, on amazon, on goodreads, on twitter, on facebook, on the side of the bus you catch, anywhere really. Reviews matter to writers.

 

How to Converse with a Writer

A funny but truthful blog post from writer Sally Jenkins on the inside track of what it’s like when you tell people you’re a writer and how it goes down thereafter-

Sally Jenkins

Writers are tough people, we are used to rejection and stonewalling from editors, agents and the like. We do not take criticism personally because we know it is only a particular submission that is not up to scratch or does not fit the publication, not the writer herself.

But when it comes to conversing one-to-one with strangers outside of the writing industry we become defensive and touchy about our work. This is especially true of the many thousands of us yet to hit the big time. So, non-writers, when you are introduced to Fred, a writer, at a party, please observe the following rules otherwise he may run away screaming:

  1. Do not say to Fred, ‘Have you written anything I will have heard of?’ Unless you are speaking to J.K. Rowling or E.L. James, the answer will be no. If you are speaking to J.K. Rowling or E.L. James, they…

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Keighley Library Book Fair yesterday and Ali Harper’s thriller gets a shout out for top 3 thrillers of the year…

Keighley book stall me at stall 2

Me at Keighley library manning writer Irene Lofthouse’s book stall while she performed her work elsewhere- holding up a copy of DeadCades : The Infernal Decimation – available to buy on amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=deadcades

along with copies of Irene’s edited Undercliffe Cemetery anthology in which I have work, Stories from Stones 

and her own Strange Tales in the Dales.

DeadCades: The Infernal Decimation

and in other news:-

the disappeared.jpg

Ali Harper’s Leeds based thriller has been given an amazing shout out by author Rachel Sargent’s on this  blog – https://damppebbles.com/2018/11/10/r3comm3nd3d2018-with-author-rachel-sargent-rachelsargeant3-theperfectneighbours/?fbclid=IwAR3EwnT7tbYu6qKa3vUVIQ4rQDoeQ5OIi7AsCqQFMTqT1tkSj2Y1whhDldQ

as ONE OF THE BEST THREE CRIME THRILLERS FOR 2018!
This is what Rachel wrote:-

“The Disappeared by Ali Harper
As well as being a cracking mystery story featuring likeable but vulnerable sleuths, it will make you smile with its quick-fire humour. It was bliss to have a laugh while reading a feisty crime novel.”
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2407004485?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Having read The Disappeared – I would concur at its quality, pace and enjoyment levels.

Review for DeadCades- my story gets a shout out…

https://www.thedreamcage.com/2018/11/book-deadcades.html

Susan Omand reviews – here is an excerpt:-

“My favourite of the long stories though has to be Martin Fuller’s spooky tale of The Daguerreotypes of Dr Nathanial Samuels which had a fascinating concept and made excellent use of the popular culture of the era, as well as using a distinctive style of diary entries to tell a “proper” late-Victorian ghost story. I loved it. However enjoyable it was, though, that story was not the most memorable – being a horror anthology there are characters that creep you out so much that they stick in your memory long after the book is finished and Alyson Faye’s Mr Dandy gets that accolade this time out. Still shuddering…”

Fellow Otley writer Martin Fuller’s story also gets a mention too.

 

Five free writing comps to enter…

  1. Thank you to blogger/writer Patsy Collins for these comps-

https://www.soundwork-uk.co.uk/writers

Short Story Competition
 
To enter the short story competition, send a story of up to 2,500 words as an attachment to info@soundwork-uk.co.uk by 28th February 2019. The winner will have the story recorded by a professional actor and placed on Soundcloud and the soundwork-uk.co.uk website along with a photo. Copyright will remain with the author and Soundwork will retain the rights to the recording. Stories may have been published elsewhere. There is no entry fee and no receipt of submission will be sent.
2)
This isn’t a comp but it’s a bi monthly dark fiction/horror ezine which is looking for submissions…
The Bitter End – issue #42 As is our custom, we choose to end the year on a cheery note – Death. Like all things, 2018 must come to an end, and here at SCP we’ll be celebrating by honoring both timely and untimely demise.For the 42nd issue of The Sirens Call eZine, we’re looking for your darkest, most morose or ferocious stories, poems, and/or prose featuring works that revolve around the theme of death.

Your piece can be creepy, sullen, emotive, freaky, elegant, bizarre, have a dark-humor edge to it, or be flat out scary as hell!

The basic rules:

  • Write the piece well.
  • It must be primarily horror/dark fiction.
  • Don’t break our set-in-stone taboos – NO pedophilia, NO bestiality, and NO descriptive rape scenarios.

Let’s give 2018 a proper send off and celebrate it’s demise in style! Send us your dark fiction and horror pieces, and if they qualify, we’ll make sure about 35,000 people have the chance to read them!
REPRINTS ARE WELCOME


Submission Deadline: November 30, 2018

Circulation: Approximately 35,000

Short story word count: 1,000 – 2,500 (limit of one submission per author)
Long flash fiction word count: 500 – 1,000 (limit of one submission per author)
Short flash fiction word count: 200 – 500 (limit of three submissions per author)
Poem length: minimum 10 lines; maximum 50 lines (limit of five submissions per author)
Drabbles: 100 word prose (limit of five submissions per author)

Reprints are acceptable as long as you currently hold the copyright.

Full page/single book cover ads for individual authors are available at $10 per ad. Please contact Mail@SirensCallPublications.com for advertising information.

All story, flash, and poem submissions MUST be submitted to:
Submissions@SirensCallPublications.com for consideration.

3) Write a ghost story set in a bookshop for this comp:-

http://www.petersfieldbookshop.com/ghosts/Petersfield book shop image

4) https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/competitions

For published and aspiring writers alike – enter our free annual short story competition and be in with a chance of winning a place on one of Arvon’s four- or six-day Clockhouse writing retreats, as well as seeing your story published on www.writersandartists.co.uk.

To enter, all you have to do is submit a short story (for adults) of no more than 2,000 words. And that’s it. Unlike previous years, there’s no theme for you to base your story on; all you have to do is make sure you’re registered with the website, the subject line of your email reads ‘W&A Short Story Competition 2019‘ and you send it to waybcompetitions@bloomsbury.com.

The closing date for entries is midnight on Wednesday 13th February, 2019. The winner of the competition – along with two runners-up – will be announced on the blog pages of this site in March 2019.

Don’t forget to read the terms and conditions in full (below) before you enter. Please remember to register on www.writersandartists.co.uk before submitting your entry.

5)Pixie Forest Publishing  closing date  Dec 8th 2018

*** Writing Contest ***

With the holidays coming up, Jensen and I thought it would be fun to do a holiday themed short story contest!

Can be any genre as long as it takes place on a holiday in December!

We want emotion. Any emotion. Make us smile, make us laugh, make us cry.

We want well developed characters that are relatable or interesting. Make the dialogue realistic (eavesdrop in public to listen in and watch reactions).

Story should be between 500 and 2000 words and the author should hold all rights.

The contest is open until December 8th. We hope to have the winning stories available on our website by December 15th.

This is a paying contest!
1st place gets $10 via PayPal.
2nd place gets $5 via PayPal.
3rd place get a Pixie Forest Bookmark.

Go to pixieforestpublishing.com to submit your holiday themed short story using the submission form.

 

Image may contain: night and text

 


eZine Submission guidelines: