Tagged short stories

Creative Input: the weird and the blues

First up – there’s still time to enter my giveaway to win a signed print copy of Double Vision. You’ve got ‘til Monday 2nd May at 5pm BST and all you’ve gotta do is follow me on Twitter and retweet the below tweet.

Easy, right?

But right now it’s time for some creative input. I feel like I’ve been talking a lot about me recently (apologies) so time for a refreshing break into cool stuff made by cool people. Here’s what’s making my brain coils party at the moment.

Reading: Currently reading David Wong’s John Dies at the End. So far, a lot of fun. A lot of weird-ass fun. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this up (not seen the film, or read any other of Wong’s books). And so far, I’m still not sure what to expect, and that’s very much a good thing.

Watching: Z Nation is my current televisual vibe. Ok, so I’ve finished watching The Walking Dead – I’m not sure what I thought about it yet – I mean, it was good, but I feel like there is something more about it I need to process, something I’ll probably write a blog post about soon. But in the meantime, Z Nation is full of some badly needed lighter-hearted zombie relief. (And, noticeably improving with each episode).

Listening: I’m very much back on my blues harmonica fix at the moment – a surefire way to cheer up after a long day at work, listening to Muddy Waters Sings Delta Blues and dreaming that I’m in a whole different place and a much better harmonica player.

What about you? I’m off to sort out my to-be-read pile – if you don’t hear from me for a while I might be buried in books. Put out a search party and bring coffee.

Win a signed print copy of DOUBLE VISION

So DOUBLE VISION is a thing.

A real-life bona fide thing that exists and I can touch it and I can sniff it and I can lick it.

And I want to give one to you!

Don’t worry, I won’t lick your copy.

To celebrate the launch of DOUBLE VISION tomorrow I’m giving away a signed print copy right now. All you need to do is head over to Twitter land, then follow me and retweet this pinned tweet. Easy, right?

You got ’til 5pm (British Summer Time) on Monday 2nd May, at which point I’ll pick one lucky winner at random.

See you in Twitter land.

Double Vision Giveaway


Double Vision – available to pre-order now

I’m just dropping by the dust lounge, casually leaving this link here for y’all.

When I say ‘casually’, I mean I’m basically falling over my own feet and my head feels like it’s got a party of drunk squirrels inside it but I’m just gonna play it cool because if I let them out they might just run riot and throw some tellies out of some windows and that’s gonna really piss the neighbours off.

But, I mean, this crazy squirrel buzz is because DOUBLE VISION – COLLECTED SHORT STORIES is now available to pre-order (!) – yes, there’s this listing on amazon and it’s got my words all over it and damn did I make a mess. Hopefully a good mess. Hopefully a mess you might enjoy.

Should you feel so inclined you can mosey on over and click that pre-order button and then you’ll get yourselves a nice shiny e-book into your e-reader of choice come the end of the month.

But what are you getting? What exactly is your hard earned 99 pence gonna put back in your pocket?

Here’s the lowdown:

Double Vision

Take a trip through the darker side of our human condition. Travel through near futures where computers are alive, entertainment is ruthless, and our moral lines are blurred.

DOUBLE VISION is a short collection of shorter stories and flash fiction. Some you’ll have seen in the wild, others are brand new to this book and eager for your eyes. Featuring sixteen tales knitting together 16,000 words, there’s lunch-time length nuggets of horror, science fiction and the occasional side-order of humour.

DOUBLE VISION also includes an exclusive extract from GRIND SPARK, a near future dystopian novel coming summer 2016.

Pre-order now, release date 30th April 2016: Amazon UK | Amazon US

    “A sinister commentary on how we have submitted our personal lives as candidates for observation – frequently quite voluntarily and happily – by persons unknown.” – Alice LaPlante on Digital Eyes

The collection includes:

Kicking up dust
Remember Me
Goodbye, Luscious Pretty
Job Hunting
Cold Calls and Roses
Digital Eyes
Channel 52
Double Vision
Seventh Floor Consulting
When the sun falls in streamers
Straw Man
Blood stains grouting
Lost in Rorschach
Exclusive Extract – Grind Spark

Your indie book shout outs

Double Vision

First things first – you lot are bloody lovely you are.

It’s true.

Since my last post where I shared the news about venturing into the lands of self publishing, I’ve had so many kind messages offering support, advice and general all round fuzziness it nearly made me emoticon everywhere. It means a lot to hear from you.

In order to avoid criminal emoticonage, I hereby present to you this video to express my fuzzy gratitude.


Since then, things have been steadily progressing (my face mostly looking like one big question mark during the whole process) but Double Vision – Collected Short Stories is coming together. Formatting checks and preview copies are under way, which leaves a decision to be made; RELEASE DATE(!) So right now I’m aiming for 30th April. Yep, deadlines is deadlines and targets is targets and that’s where I’m gonna aim for, and writing it down in this here internet land means I’m just gonna have to do that now, right?

But, enough about me.

Stepping into the self publishing world is scary, it’s daunting, and it’s so bloody large and I can’t swim and bloody hell these arm-bands have a hole in and… glug…sputter….

So to help me tread water, I want to hear your best indie published reading suggestions to add to my reading list. I want to know the self published books that make you laugh or make you cry or just make you feel weird and slightly disorientated.

To kick us off, I’m going to say that The Gantean by the wonderfully talented wordsmith Emily June Street is already on my reading list, along with Head Traumas by the surreal bird king James Knight, and The Secret Notebook of Sherlock Holmes by the ever lovely Liz Hedgecock.

So, over to you – shout out in the comments or over on Twitter.

I’m off to finalise some edits. ‘Til next time, fiends.

Stepping into self-publishing

Double Vision Coming Soon

This is it, guys.

This is me, checking out my New Year’s resolution-y things and getting some plans in place.

And it’s time to get some wordy goodness out there in bookish form, which you’ll hopefully enjoy and share and generally have a damn good time with.

It’s scary, stepping into self-publishing.

Stepping in.

Stepping out.

Tripping on my shoelaces and teetering at the top of the stairs.

*flails arms*

But it’s damn exciting too, right?

It’s a big learning curve – looking at formatting, design, marketing – all those things that eat into the actual writing hours that are so goddamn precious. There’s information everywhere – what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, what you should think about doing, what you should never even contemplate doing. And there’s all you lovely people out there who are already publishers of your own work (which is amazing and cool and *pops party poppers and offers you cake*), and all your advice is greatly appreciated.

And I know what you’re asking…

So, what’s the plan?

First up, I’m cutting my teeth with a collection of my short stories – Double Vision. You’ll have seen some here at the Dust Lounge, or roaming in the wild in FlashDogs anthologies or elsewhere in the internet-lands. Others are brand new to the collection – never before seen words that are eager to join the party. Not only that, but there will also be an excerpt from my novel Grind Spark, planned for release later in the year.

But when, goddamn you, when?

As we speak/type/read I’m finishing the formatting and running final edit checks on Double Vision. The actual release date is to be confirmed, but I will keep you posted – provisionally I’m looking to share this with you all by the end of April. You can stay updated here, or at Twitter and Facebook.

How can I help?

Well, if you’re offering, then some extra strong coffee and a massive piece of chocolate cake would go down a proper treat right now. Carrot cake would also be acceptable. But, putting my proper serious face on for a second, if my writing is the sort of writing you like to read then any shares, reads, reviews and general good vibes would put me in a proper state of glowing-fuzzy-happiness.

Like I said, this is a massive learning curve, one that could be the featured ride in some sort of extreme authorly theme park. And so, if you’re a publisher-author, then any tips and advice would be received gratefully and paid for with copious digital wine.

Thanks for reading, fiends, I hope you enjoy coming with me on this crazy self-publishing ride.

*straps into rollercoaster*

*feels a bit sick*

*smiles for camera*

It’s nearly FlashDogs time

And by that, I mean that they’ve done it again – they’re bringing out their third anthology, full of beautiful story nuggets, flash fiction to fill your coffee breaks with, tales to disappear from the world in. And for this third instalment, it’s all about Time.

About the past.

About the present.

About the future.

And it will officially be arriving on Chinese New Year, 8 February, buy why wait when you can pre-order your copy now, right now.

And there’s old faces and new faces sharing their words. No stories from me in this one as other projects have been stealing my writing hours, but happily I did find time to play with the cover again (always a lot of fun). And once again all of the proceeds will be donated to charity, the Book Bus.

So y’all can get yourself a piece of Time by checking in here, and find out more about the FlashDogs at their website, perhaps even join them on Twitter. I may have mentioned this before, but they’re a mighty fine bunch of friendly, writerly folk.

FlashDogs Time

Happy Launch Day – FlashDogs Volume 2

Just dropping by to say:

Happy Solstice!

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy International Day of Yoga… erm… day!

It’s a day crammed with celebrations (even the streets where I live have been taken over by carnival goers and rides – perhaps I might even join them soon, who can say no to beer in a plastic cup and the twang of toffee apples filling the air?)

But the award for biggest celebration of the day goes to…

… The FlashDogs!


Flashdogs Volume 2

That’s right, FlashDogs Volume 2, a two-part themed anthology goes on sale today. Two different volumes filled with the imaginings of 48 writers (including two brand new stories from me), with all proceeds going to The Book Bus charity.

You can find all the links to buy them at the FlashDogs website, and you might even notice that Volume 1 is available for free if you’ve not had a chance to pick it up before.

So in the spirit of the celebrations, I’m taking my hat off and raising my plastic glass to the FlashDogs team; Mark A. King, David Shakes and Emily June Street. It’s been a hard and hectic run up to launch and I don’t know how they’ve found the time – but not only did they find the time, they found the time to make the books goddamn bloody gorgeous.

So cheers to you FlashDogs, a well-deserved drink is in order.

The Flash Dogs are back

They’re back.

They’re writing.

They’re putting together a second anthology of beautiful, bitesize wordage.

And it’s coming soon.

So I’m just going to go ahead and leave this picture right here – share it, spread the word, print it out and eat cheese sandwiches off of it. For more official updates follow them on Twitter and join them in the writerly digital sphere that they run in.

And once you’ve done that, and you’re sitting with your coffee and biscuits and waiting because it’s coming but it’s not goddamn here yet – don’t forget that their first anthology is still for sale, and it’s a darn fine read.

Flash Dogs

(Y’all can just go ahead and right-click on the image to save it, then spread it across the internet like it’s some sort of digital jam).