City of the Dead

Twisted Legends: Crimson Pinnacle Press

When propositioned to create a story based around an urban legend, I was keen to offer a Scottish framed piece for consideration to this popular anthology theme. With an abundance of folk tales around Scotland and its many isles to inspire, I decided to dip into what I’m more intimately aquatinted — Glasgow. The central belt is brimming with inspiration. Three urban legends immediately sprung to mind. However, when I began drafting a story, I hopped, unfocused between tales and my first attempt got pinned as I had a stronger pull towards another.

Children playing in Glasgow’s Southern Necropolis. Circa early 1950’s

Much can spiral from classroom whispers and the imagination and zest of children. The inspiring legend of The Gorbals Vampire (or Ir’n Jenni), which spawned hysteria, climaxing in September 1954, and Alexander Anderson’s poem, Jenny wi’ the Airn Teeth, led the way for my creation. The Gorbals Vampire incident brought much debate about censorship of literary material (from poetry in the classroom to imported American comics) to impressionable children, and the Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955 was passed through the House of Commons. Censorship is an area that is still very much debated today through the arts, worldwide — and not just with children in mind — this deepened my draw to this particular event.

Sunday Mail article 26th September 1954

My story, City of the Dead, was created as a nod to the notorious child vampire hunt of 1954 in Glasgow’s Southern Necropolis and Alexander Anderson’s poem from 1870. I love a good cemetery setting (typical goth, I know), so taking on The Southern Necropolis — which is home to over 250,000 buried souls was a lot of fun. I enjoyed writing this one. It’s always satisfying to weave regional dialect through a piece — bringing authenticity to the characters and reverence to the urban legend’s roots.

I won’t share spoilers beyond the base inspiration for my own story, as City of the Dead was submitted and subsequently accepted by Crimson Pinnacle Press for their Twisted Legends anthology!

The book received a high volume of submissions of twisted takes on urban legends from around the globe. The editors chose the top 13 offerings, and I am thrilled to have made the cut, alongside; Thomas R Clark, Lance Dale, Lance Harkers, Stephen Johnson, Ruthann Jagge, Jae Mazer, Jason Myers, Pamela A. Parish, Chris Puzak, RJ Roles, Vic Kerry, and Robb T. White.

Graphic created by Lance Dale.

Having been published in Crimson Pinnacle Press’ (invite only) inaugural anthology, Fairy Tale Horrorshow, I am ecstatic to be accepted into their pages once again! The duo who run the press, RJ Roles and Jason Myers, certainly have the eye for unique, quality indie horror, I promise you that! You’ll have to pick that up to read my take on this urban legend from Scotland and the 12 other twisted legends, launching October 25th. The eBook pre-order is live.

Thanks for reading!

Collector’s Edition

Collector’s Edition is a short story written specifically for The Horror Collection: Extreme Edition, featuring a character who appears in another piece of mine releasing later this year. This one introduces Lexie in the setting of the parent story, which readers can delve into in October. Being Extreme, readers can expect graphic sex and a fair amount of bloodshed.
The inspiration for Collector’s Edition was ignited by a documentary I had seen about a porn actor suspected of (knowingly) transmitting an STD to a string of professional and personal sexual partners.
With that spark, I went down a more alternative path with what was being transmitted and the motivations. Horror buff collectors can be somewhat out of the box in how they cumulate their pieces, and Dave has his kink to feed. I had fun with this one.
I tend to stick to the U.K. as far as locations. This is the first published story that’s taken place largely overseas (I think)! Though my reoccurring character, Lexie, is from Glasgow, which is where this one opens. If you’re a gig-goer in Scotland, maybe you’ll recognise the venue?
I don’t want to give much away, so I’ll leave it there – check out my story along with extreme horror helpings from my fellow TOC buddies in The Horror Collection: Extreme Edition. Featuring all-new original works from; Nic Brady, Matthew A. Clarke, David Owain Hughes, Kevin J. Kennedy, Kyle M. Scott, and Matt Shaw.

New Releases from KJK Publishing

It’s a tandem release from KJK Publishing! These two have been very much anticipated titles – from Kennedy, myself, the authors and readers in waiting, and I am thrilled that they are now available.

The Horror Collection: Ruby Edition celebrates the 10th book of the series! Featuring exciting and horrifying original stories from;

Tom DeadyCalvin DemmerLex H. JonesRonald KellyKevin J. KennedyChristopher MotzKyle M. ScottGuy N. Smith, and Steve Stred. As well as the horror, there is also a poem written by Kennedy’s father, John Kennedy, published in his memory.

Since its conception in 2018, The Horror Collection series has been a firm favourite amongst global horror readers.

With each edition, KJK Publishing has prided itself in bringing audiences new stories from a coalition of brilliant indie talent across the spectrum of horror literature. Putting these stories firmly in the hands of readers, these collections are perfect for those who enjoy shorter works of fiction, those seeking fresh talent in the horror genre and make great reads, as a break between devouring longer works. A novel break, we could say!

The Horror Collection: Extreme Edition has also landed!

This highly anticipated anthology from KJK Publishing is only the third in the series to be specifically themed.

Featuring established and new talent, each with vivid, sickening prowess in executing extreme, gut-churning, explicit, adult horror — Nic BradyMatthew A. ClarkeDavid Owain HughesKevin J. KennedyKyle M. ScottMatt Shaw and Natasha Sinclair have each contributed their slice of extreme in seven never-before-published stories, for your darkest pleasure! Extreme Edition is the unruly weirdo in the family who has no filter. The one that all the good crass, uncomfortable and disturbing stories come from — you wouldn’t trust them alone with your wife or kid! Hell, you don’t exactly want to be caught up alone with them yourself! This one has no boundaries. It’s the social anarchist of the relatively straight-laced bunch — that’s even with the freaky bizarro cousin interwoven through the THC books.

Grab your copies now! And as always, sharing your thoughts by leaving an honest review is always greatly appreciated.

If you are a reviewer of Horror Anthologies and fancy digging into either of the collections, drop me a message or reach out to Kennedy — we are always happy to build contacts in our dark little community.

27/07/2021