Mairi Pivona (Voni) McQueeney was born under a crescent moon on a Wednesday. At the time, no one celebrating the birth of the screaming girl knew …The Cast of Delevan House #7
Tag: Scottish Horror
Jenna McCray’s Taste of Scotland
Jenna McCray’s first drink in Scotland. When the New Yorker find herself in the coastal village of Anand is a pint of Scottish-brewed heather ale, …Jenna McCray’s Taste of Scotland
The Cast of Delevan House #1
Delevan House: Part 1 We’ve enjoyed sharing ‘The Making of Delevan House’ with you in a series of posts on Brazen Folk Horror before our release on …The Cast of Delevan House #1
Mid Year Update
Talk about curveball 2022! Another year of madness! There were plans. Big beautiful plans! And while those plans still exist, there has been movement because of those unexpected transitions life has her way of throwing. Personally, I’ve had some family upsets which I predominantly have to deal with and process alone (my partner, of course, has supported as much as one can). I’ve angered, been frustrated, hurt, grieved, run myself in circles, hurt some more, and accepted. Because sometimes that’s all we can do. Accept to find crumbs of peace and carry on. It just takes a little time. It’s a process many are familiar with. It’s been heavy.
Following the acceptances of a triple-pronged hit, I’ve another unexpected ‘bump’, who made himself known in a dream. My kids are excited about another sibling to teach and get up to extra mischief with. Since I have complicated pregnancies, and this one has already given us some wobbles, I’m (again) doing everything within my control to keep this little one inside until late 2022, ideally early 2023. My cervix needs a mantra, and this is the last! The instant physical hit means I’ve been heavily fatigued, and as of that wasn’t enough, I’ve been hammered with mine and the kids’ second bout of Covid of 2022. Because I wasn’t wiped enough by the heavy graft underway in my uterus, I am zapped because my lungs are in battle, and my body feels like it’s been used as a punchbag.
Moving in from all of that, onto the writing front update:
My novella, Asylum Daughter, released on 8th May 2022.
Redesigned the cover art for Murmur: Collected Horror.
Launched Clan Witch Etsy store for book related merchandise and signed copies.
My short story collection Incesticide: Collected Horror is available for preorder, releasing on 14th December 2022.
My sassy, immensely talented, and inspiring co-author, Ruthann Jagge and I launched our website, BrazenFolkHorror.com, for our upcoming 2022 release, Delevan House and future projects. Ruthann also released her fantastic solo debut novella in January 2022, The New Girls’ Patient; if you haven’t read her, this is an excellent example of her extraordinary work that should be on any horror fan’s reading list.
I’ve still been editing work for other writers and publishers via Word Refinery and also published poet Rafik Romdhani’s collection, The Crash of Verses.
I am working on my degree course too.
The latest developments has zapped my study schedule. I hope to recover enough to make up for that soon. Deadlines are looming! Anthology wise, unlike in the previous two years, I have not responded to any open calls. My dance card has been packed. I have gratefully received several invite opportunities but unfortunately had to decline several. One that I was able to submit a piece to was with KJK Publishing’s The Horror Collection: Nightmare Edition, which has just been released. It’s the biggest collection of the twelve-book series and worth picking up for a good flavour of many popular independent horror authors currently putting our new materiel.
More still to come for 2022, and 2023 is also beginning to fill up with a couple of accepted invites, continued work with my brazen co-author in crime and at least one (hopefully two) solo release(s). One of which will be a collection of poetry and drabbles, Clan Witch: Found Shadows.
Writing to Music
Music is such a profound part of my writing process and always has been. With the imminent release of my novella, Asylum Daughter, I wanted to share the music that formed the soundtrack to the writing of this piece.
Art influences art, and I couldn’t create without music. Every piece I write has its own playlist. Sometimes, those playlists are unexpected and not my taste, but the characters have their styles. I can’t argue. The soundtrack to Asylum Daughter was ‘80s heavy and all good by me.
I can’t wait to hear what you think! And feel free to check out some of the early readers thoughts on Goodreads.
Soundtrack to writing Asylum Daughter:
Tears for Fears – Head Over Heels
Tears For Fears – Shout
Tears For Fears – Mad World
Tears For Fears – Sowing The Seeds Of Love
Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights
Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill
Placebo – Without You I’m Nothing
The Jam – Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
The Jam – Going Underground
The Jam – Town Called Malice
Depeche Mode – Strange Love
Depeche Mode – World In My Eyes
New Order – Blue Monday
New Order – Age Of Consent
The Cure – Pictures Of You
The Cure – Prayers For Rain
The Cure – The Hanging Garden
The Cure – Lovesong
The Cure – Fascination Street
The Cure – The Same Deep Water As You
The Clash – Rock The Casbah
The Cure – A Forest
Blue Oyster Cult – Shooting Shark
Blue Oyster Cult – (Don’t Fear) The Reaper
Dave Navarro – Hungry
Dave Navarro – Rexall
Dave Navarro – Slow Motion Sickness
Bauhaus – Ziggy Stardust
Bauhaus – She’s At Parties
Bauhaus – Dark Entities
David Bowie – China Girl
Patti Smith – Birdland
Patti Smith – Because The Nighy
Patti Smith – Smells Like Teen Spirit
The Lemonheads – My Drug Buddy
The Undertones – Teenage Kicks
Mortiis- Sins Of Mine
Korn – Coming Undone
Pixies – Here Comes Your Man
Garbage – I Think I’m Paranoid
A Flock of Seagulls – Space Age Live Song
Sonic Youth – Teen Age Riot
Mazzy Star – Into Dust
The Psychedelic Furs – Pretty In Pink
Urge Overkill – Girls You’ll Be A Woman Soon
Interview: Horror and upcoming release chat
Have you visited TBM Horror lately? Well, it’s a phenomenal platform created and hosted by a dynamic and passionate creative force, lover of all things horror 💀 and metal 🤘, owner of Disturbing Drawings (you MUST check out her artwork), Mar Garcia!
Mar kindly had me over in her space for a blether, shared on TBM’s YouTube channel.
Scoot over to TBM Horror to check out great (regularly updated) content on Horror in creative industries, from articles, books, movies, bands, video games and art!
If you fancy checking out my natter with Mar, the YouTube links are here:
My collection Murmur: Collected Horror is price dropped to just 0.99!
It can be picked up from Smashwords at that price between now and December 10th!
I enjoyed writing each of the stories in this book. Each piece is followed by a few words about how it came to be. If you pick it up, I hope it brings you some entertainment!
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.
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.
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.
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!
In addition, if you’d like to listen to me reading Anderson’s poem the video is below.
Murmur: Collected Horror
And the next release
Summer Solstice Book launch!
My solo collection of 9 short stories, Murmur: Collected Horror — the paperback and hardback are available now, the eBook lands tomorrow, 21st June!
For an indie, I am generally pretty reserved about sharing and shouting about my work. It is a form of absolute introvert torture but I’m trying to work through that — it’s a slow process!
Some of the contents have been published previously, these are spliced with a few never been printed pieces.
Writers are often asked where ideas come from or what prompted a story, so each piece in the collection is followed by a few brief words about that. This little personal touch has been received positively by my pre-readers — I hope you enjoy that little insight too.
I would love to share a read from the collection in the coming weeks. So, if you read it and have a favourite story — let me know in a review and/or by dropping me a message here, on Facebook or Instagram and I’ll pick the reader’s favourite to share!
In time I would love to build on my ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) team for future releases, who would receive a free ARC of my books to read and review before public release. If you read and enjoy my work and this is of interest to you — please drop me a message. I want to hear from you!
My next (tentatively planned) solo release will be that of my debut novel, working title, Backyard Asylum, this may very well change. I’ve been swamped with other projects this year, so it hasn’t had as much attention as I’d hoped by this point. Projects with deadlines have taken president over the novel, but I hope to delve back into this come Autumn and at least have a completed first draft by the end of the year. Genre wise, it’s working out to be a blend of horror sub-genres, with definite elements of psychological and extreme. The working title may suggest the Asylum being a main (trope) feature but it is merely a backdrop at certain points within the story.
That’s a wrap for just now, if you pick up Murmur, I truly hope you are entertained! Thank you for reading and supporting this wee Scottish indie writer!
Update 23rd June 2021
As well as being available via Amazon, linked above, my new release can also be found on Smashwords, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Scribd!