Thursday, June 27, 2019

I can hardly believe it, but in September I'm off to Limnisa for a writing retreat. I won a short story competition run by the retreat, and my 'You're Next' scooped this lovely reward...

I've been looking longingly at images of Limnisa for over a year (and entered their competition last year too). It's on the peninsula of Methana in Greece, and the combination of blue skies, blue sea, serene hammocks, homecooked food just looked divine.

Resolve: to enter more writing competitions. It's easy to feel discouraged if you don't succeed, but it's worth trying. Next up: applications for a Hawthornden Fellowship and a Hedgebrook resi...

Thursday, April 25, 2019

I haven't updated in a while, but here are some scraps and fragments of news...

I'm delighted to say I've had two short stories accepted for publication: 'Sin Deep' for Nightscript V and 'Inside Out' which has just been published in Volume 40 of Supernatural Tales. My short short story, 'Fast Car' will come out in a book of flash fiction edited by Joe Myrnhardt of Crystal Lake.I've also written some stories that I've dispatched into the void to seek new horror homes: 'Possession,' 'It Comes Up,' 'You're Next' and 'Listen To My Skin.'

For Women In Horror month, I wrote a blog post for Colleen Anderson on folk horror, The Past...

Monday, January 7, 2019

So long, 2018. It’s been a strange and demanding year, but from a writing perspective, a very interesting one. It’s seen my old collection of the domestic uncanny (The Unheimlich Manoeuvre) reissued by the Sinister Horror Company, and my new folk horror collection (New Music For Old Rituals) published by Black Shuck Books. I’ve also co-curated and co-edited The Black Room Manuscripts IV with J.R. Park (which included my story ‘That Thing I Did’). I published one essay on the work of Aideen Barry, ‘Suburban/Domestic Gothic,’ in The Gothic Reader: The Gothic in 28 Texts and wrote another ‘Contemporary Folk Horror: The League...

Monday, November 5, 2018

(Original cover image by Steve J. Shaw)

I can finally reveal that my second collection, New Music For Old Rituals, will be released this November by the wonderful Black Shuck Books, home of the Great British Horror series of anthologies, and so much more.

This collection is inspired by the Irish folklore I grew up with; the strange stories, the sacred sites, the household rituals. For me, folklore is a living entity. It flows and continues; it reappears, reinvented and reinterpreted, over and over again.

This collection grew from images. I've always been inspired by fragments; half-glimpsed forms, and chance phrases.

It wa...

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

It's finally come to fruition. This project forms the final part of The Black Room Manuscripts series of charity anthologies, originally conceived of by Daniel Marc Chant of the Sinister Horror Company. Thanks to JR Park who invited me to work on the concluding installment of an excellent series.

This final volume features twenty-four tales of terror curated by JR Park and myself, and featuring the fine short fiction of Ramsey Campbell, VH Leslie, Gary McMahon, JL George, Margret Helgadottir, KA Laity, Mark West, Duncan P. Bradshaw, James Everington, Marie O'Regan, John McNee, Benedict J. Jones, CL Raven, Simon Avery, Hannah...

Monday, September 17, 2018

 'My childhood fear is simply, of home. It’s an odd one, I’ll grant you.Home is meant to be the place we go to in order to feel safe. To feel ‘at home’ somewhere is a synonym for feeling secure, rested, at ease. But not for me...'

I wrote a blog post for the 'Childhood Fears' column on Jim Mcleod's Ginger Nuts of Horror site. In it I explore some of the reasons why I'm so obsessed with ideas of Gothic domesticity, Freud's notion of the unheimlich home and the peculiarly Irish idea of the home as a dark and secretive space.

'For me this fear of home, this fear set in home, has never really gone away. The most unsettling things...

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

With this volume on its way to the printers, I just wanted to post a quick thank you to Lynda E. Rucker, editor of Uncertainties: Volume III, for inviting me to submit for this. My short story, 'The Woman In The Moon' appears here alongside stories by Joyce Carol Oates, Adam L. G. Nevill, Lisa Tuttle, Rosanne Rabinowitz and Robert Shearman. In this story, the shadows of the past return, interwoven with stories from childhood...

There's an interview with Lynda about the collection here. You can order the collection directly from Swan River Press and in doing so support a remarkable Irish press.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

At the kind invitation of Andrew Garvey, I have two short stories in this collection - 'The Black Dog' and 'Come Away,' as well as two accompanying essays.

This was a labour of love, as The Spooky Isles have a focus on the dark folklore of Ireland and Britain, and my next collection, New Music For Old Rituals, will be a celebration of Irish folk horror. So far, the revival of folk horror has really concentrated on the English eerie, so I wanted to explore the rich trove of Irish legends, superstitions and customs, and to explore how these stories continue inform contemporary  culture. The Gothic, after all, is obsessed with...

Friday, March 23, 2018

For those of you interested in bite-sized, tantalizing introductions to great short fiction check out Mark West's Mixtape series over on his blog, Strange Tales. As Mark puts it, this project is 'harking back to the 80s glory days of the homemade mixtape (that wonderful teenage rite-of-passage.)'

Check out The Brit Horror Mixtape, The American Horror Mixtape, The Women In Horror Mixtape and The Stephen King Mixtape.

I've contributed to two of these, writing on Elizabeth Bowen's extraordinary and unsettling 'The Cat Jumps' for The Women In Horror Mixtape and on the delicate and haunting 'Strawberry Spring,' for The Stephen Kin...

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I'm delighted to announce the re-release of my first collection, The Unheimlich Manoeuvre. This 2016 collection died a premature death in 2016 when the publishing house who launched it ceased to exist. Nevertheless, the collection, limited to its initial press run of 150 hardback copies, persisted like an uncanny shadow, ending up nominated for Best Collection at the British Fantasy Awards in 2017.

And then some wonderful serendipity. The Sinister Horror Company offered me the chance to re-release it in a new edition; the handsome image you see here.

Thanks to Lol Tolhurst for reading the book and providing the cover quote. S...

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The uncanny return of The Unhemlich Manoeuvre

February 14, 2018