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: Writing Community
Possessed and Obsessed
I have been immersed in creativity while juggling the craziness of everyday life and spanners. Over on Brazen Folk Horror, Ruthann Jagge and I have been actively sharing updates with readers weekly for five months now. With only three pre-release updates left to go, our novel launch is imminent!
My adrenaline is at full whack. We have joked about being possessed by our characters, but it’s most definitely an obsession at play too.
For readers who may not yet have picked up a title from either of us and you’d like a sample, then a great place to start before our collaborative novel lands is our debut novellas released just last year.
The New Girls’ Patient, Ruthann Jagge
Jamie Carver is an inexperienced young woman eager to change her life.
Recently certified in nursing, she’s the new girl working at a facility for the elderly.
When her favorite patient dies, the frail woman leaves her a handwritten recipe book as a final thank you.
Dark secrets of Elizabeth’s life hide between the pages.
One evening, a pair of dangerous men intent on learning Elizabeth’s secrets to steal her fortune brutally abduct Jamie and two of her girlfriends.
They trap the women deep in the cellar of a crumbling mansion, where their survival depends on each other. They must unravel a shocking family history before sunrise or die.
Can Jamie rely on her friends, or will she resort to calling on unnatural forces to help overcome her captors and stay alive?
Asylum Daughter, Natasha Sinclair
Bella Mills survived the brutal slaughter of her family by a madman.
Only 11-years-old, she was assaulted and left for dead.
Twenty-three years later, the past returns in the form of her devil, free of his chains.
A disturbing family history full of dark secrets and seduction unfolds as Bella seeks answers.
When she discovers the truth about her mother, locked away without mercy in the notorious Lochwood Asylum, Bella realizes that terrible ghosts of the past hold the key to her future.
Can she escape their power over her?
A novel of psychological horror, and poetic intrigue, sprinkled with the supernatural.
Bella Mills is “The Asylum Daughter.”
From those and those who are already familiar with us as individual writers, you will see that we are wildly different in style. You’ll be amazed how we’ve come together to create our co-written Brazen Folk Horror debut novel with Delevan House. We each brought something new out in the other, creating a collective voice we hope our readers will enjoy. It’s all for you!
The work has been constant, and neither of us has been able to ‘switch gears’ for long from our feisty cast. The anticipated release of Delevan House is only just the beginning.
Now, I really should study! Badb village has unleashed a storm in my head. It needs tae haud its wheelset! Just for a wee while.
In the meantime! Read! Follow! And if you are inclined, please share your thoughts in a review.
Much love and a bit of mayhem!
Incesticide: Collected Horror
Incesticide: Collected Horror has almost emerged! Due to some interruptions within the industry and the panic rumour mills spinning, I decided to get things placed early to ensure the print edition launched in time with the digital. Well, this strike was swift, and the print editions are now (quietly) available ahead of the official release of December 14th.
The collection features nine unique short stories, each followed by a few words on how they came to be.
I painted the artwork for the book. Taking loose inspiration from the book’s namesake – Nirvana’s Incesticide cover art by Kurdt Cobain. I was delighted with how the painting turned out, and have created some exclusive products featuring the print available on my Etsy store.
Thank you to everyone who had preordered. I hope you enjoy my little morsels of horror.
If you fancy a listening to me reading a story from the book, Fuckin’ Maggots is featured on my Youtube.
The Making of Delevan House #12
Going Rogue #BeBrazen The earliest use of the term is regarding elephants. There are “elephants” in any room, group, gathering, or social structure. …The Making of Delevan House #12
The Making of Delevan House #11
Samhain Weekend Samhain (All Hallows Eve) signals the end of the year for some. As nature’s wheel turns, the season cycles towards peace found in …The Making of Delevan House #11
The Making of Delevan House #9
Writers on vacation? My girl is in the mountains; I picture her standing high, overlooking the land in a circlet of evergreens painted in autumnal …The Making of Delevan House #9
I’m not going to blame social media—thats just a channel of increased visibility for that desperation. Where people drag others down to try to elevate themselves, it really can be a toxic, stinking cesspit. Too many unchecked egos, or it’s where ego can be worn unfiltered. Feeding the insatiable beast.
The writing industry (specifically in the Horror genre) seems to be on an endless stream of needless drama lately. And little gatekeepers running rampage with their thumbs. Is it attention-seeking?
I think, in part, it probably is. A clambering of voices and opinions striving to make noise, be noticed, relevant, screaming for validation. Am I doing the same in writing this?
First off, everyone is fucking offended online all the damn time. Perhaps, as I’m Scottish and we’re known for having crass, sarcastic, satirical and ‘offensive’ senses of humour, I find it pretty absurd. Getting upset over memes or something written in fiction and then having a gripe online. Gate keeping art? What is this supposed to achieve other than ‘awareness’ of your delicate sensibilities? Art and humour shouldn’t change because someone doesn’t like it. Regardless of what that art or humour may be poking fun at. Is comedy dead?
Don’t read it.
Don’t view it.
Keep calm and scroll on.
Also, I will never understand the utter desperation to be validated by a publishing house, whether small press or traditional. I’ve read plenty of books I didn’t enjoy that have been self-published, small press, and traditionally published. This also goes to the point mentioned above about bringing down others based on such a false idea that one is better than the other. Talk about arrogant and pretentious. Unfortunately, a common trait I’ve noticed over the few years I’ve been involved in the sector. These apparent ‘discussions’ and ‘queries’ within online writing community groups are pointless. But then, doing a bit of quiet, independent reading doesn’t stir up attention.
‘An indie author is a writer of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry books who self-publishes their own work and retains and controls their own publishing rights.’
Small (Independent) Press/Publisher
‘Smaller publishing company which, like the big conglomerates, commission books from authors and publish at the company’s expense. If very small, they are called micro-publishers.’
‘-a particular kind of publishing service, that licenses publishing rights from authors and handles the publication tasks in return for a large percentage of the revenue.’
‘-combines elements of trade publishing and self-publishing services in the same contract. Hybrid publishers have very varied business and publishing models but most function like trade publishers, except that their authors subsidize publishing costs.’
*Above definitions from Alliance of Independent Authors
I wrote my first short story of 2022 and submitted it to a publisher at the weekend.
My aim this year was always to pull away from short story writing (and submitting) to focus on longer works, my coursework and editing.
And I’ve stuck to it pretty rigidly, even when declining offers is painful! But spreading oneself too thin degrades everything.
I’m not going to go into the details of this short story, but I will say that its content, along with recent conversations with other writers, got me thinking; If I had a higher readership, I’d be cancelled.
I know there are many faux pas and taboos that change over time, and my work constantly bears the weight of uncomfortable themes. Horrifying right? One of the reasons I now include content warnings is to support readers sensitive to particular themes. It is not a poor taste marketing strategy. It is genuinely to deter readers that could feel hurt by my work. If I’m doing my job correctly, my work (in horror particularly) should be uncomfortable.
Over the last few years, there has been a notable request for ‘diversity’ from publishers demanding representation from marginalised groups — in a writer’s personal circumstances and in the characters we create to tell our stories. In this quest, many are outright discrimination, the very thing they claim to be trying to ‘correct’. ‘We demand diversity and representation unless you’re a cis white male’ being the most prominent. How dare they! On top of that, these diversity thumpers are dictating the presence of character archetypes in a creative’s work! ‘No LGBTQI+ representation? Better squeeze one in there, to keep everyone happy.’
Well, quite frankly fuck that! I don’t fall in line with any dictatorship! And it has zero place in art of any kind!
I am anti book banning.
I am anti art burning.
I am anti-censorship.
I am anti-dictatorship.
If you don’t like an artist’s material — don’t buy a ticket, don’t read their work and don’t dictate how anyone else should feel about it! Such arrogance is deeply misguided and kills art. It doesn’t promote it; it doesn’t promote equality or diversity. You’re foolish if you think that it does. The great tapestry of creative output is the very definition of diversification and multicultural without a pre-set dictated agenda!
Masters of Horror UK
Just a quick share. I was invited to interview over on Masters of Horror U.K. by David Kempf. We chat about writing inspiration, the popularity of horror, publishing and current projects. You can check that out by clicking the link.
Apparently, I can be a bit of a blether! Much thanks to David Kempf, and those who take the time to check it out!
Write, edit, send, wait…
This year, I vowed to drabble less and invest more time in short story writing and my two novels (in slow progress). In all honesty, with health and life’s curveballs I’ve struggled to find time, space and concentration. Running on empty as far as creativity is concerned, my general focus is pretty fragile and easily shattered — drowning in a sea of noise and clutter…
At least that’s how it’s felt, and I’ve beaten myself up about that. I didn’t want to respond to any drabble calls, but found myself veering over to that corner a fair bit since the start of 2021, with around 30 accepted drabbles in 2021 and a few blogged pieces. I’ve not yet decided if these are a comfortable micro distraction or kryptonite towards my brain’s ability to focus on bigger pieces. Regardless — if you enjoy micro-fiction, my little horrors will feature in upcoming publications from INSIGNIA STORIES, Black Ink Fiction and Raven & Drake, all to be released this year.
I currently have several short story submissions sitting in the hands of publishers, including two invite-only opportunities. Though that send button has been hit, I’m never nervous about rejections. If truth be told, I anticipate those more than acceptance — it’s the waiting that drives me slightly loopy! I hope to share more about these stories once responses are in, as the creation of each one was rather fun! For now, just a few of the titles in wait! 😉