Wednesday, April 30, 2008


April has been a great month for me.

First of my micro-tale appeared in Alienskin magazine - it was wonderful to see my name in print at last!

Then my micro-tale appeared in MicroHorror, and finally sold my first piece of fiction to Necrotic Tissue.

Even better, Inkpot sold her first short story, as well as selling a micro-fiction, and having another micro-fiction accepted for publication.

Things are looking up!

I also have 4 tales doing the rounds at the moment, so I'm hopeful some one will be mad enough to snap them up!

Monday, April 28, 2008


Currently my objective for 2008 (other than get my book published and earn/win enough to live on for the year) is to become a member of the Horror Writers Association.

To become an affiliate (okay that's as far as I aim this year) I have to earn $25 (done) for a horror story of 500 words or greater (not done, 100 words paid, 150 words unpaid - can I add them together?).

So a bit to go yet. :)

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I started this post on Sunday last - well, didn't do anything other than give it a title, but it was to remind me to write about this great topic during the week.

Then Inkpot beat me to it. :)

However, I will absolutely agree with what she has said.

First of all, there seems to be a huge market for horror/dark speculative fiction. Maybe this has always been the case, and I've only noticed since I've started looking at markets in the last month, but certainly markets for this genre seems to outnumber sci-fi and fantasy. Of course, there is an overlap between them.

I guess the cinema has always loved to horror - think countless Dracula films, werewolf etc (I've seen loads made in the 1930's and '40s). In recent decades horror was not so prevalent - sure, you got the B movies, often great films, but it's only fairly recently that we are seeing big budget horror movies.

Finally from a lot of websites and blogs I read, there seems to be a consensus that horror is in. I particularly like those wonderful people in Necrotic Tissue who maintain that as the 1950's & 1960's saw the golden age of science fiction, we are now entering the golden age of horror.

I really hope they are right.

When I was a child, I always liked horror - sinister Vincent Price in the waxworks, Bela Lugosi as Dracs, Phantom of the Opera, and - the stuff of nightmares - THEM. (Actually the Hammer House of Horror version of Dracula scared me the most. For a long time I had a cross made of blu-tack stuck on the wall beside my pillow).

When I grew older, horrors seemed to degenerate into slasher movies and serial killers. I never bothered watching them - maybe I should? But recent years films have seen an improvement, with some great horror flicks, including zombie movies (Shaun of The Dead being my favourite) and other scary tales (Descent for example, though the claustrophobia nearly got me there). Is Pitch Black, one of my all-time favourite films, not considered horror? There are loads more but I won't list them now, as I didn't mean to take this tangent.

What I meant to say was with a horror story you can get an exciting tale, characters you care about, fascinating themes, and everything else you want for a satisfying read. In fact, in some ways (like sci-fi) you are more at liberty to discuss the big topics - life and death, redemption and salvation, love and despair, what it means to be human. Even if you don't get the greater depth, at least you can have an exciting tale that will keep on edge for hours/days.

So it's great news. Especially for those of us who like to dabble in horror.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Since writing the above, I've just heard back about one of my micro-fiction tales - and it's good news!

My story 'Reflections' has been accepted by Necrotic Tissue, and will appear in their January 2008 issue.

This is my first paid fiction, and it's pretty exciting.

I don't think I've blogged really about Necrotic Tissue but they are a wonderful publication, their great taste and high standard goes without saying, but I do admire them because they really encourage new writers, and particularly want to help them to attain membership of the HWA (Horror Writers Association) - which I too would love to join!


For the last few months I have been sending my children's fantasy story out to agents. I always quail when I see them ask for my writing biography. If I could only boast of my mother's five published books or my award-winning sibling - but I know they're not interested. Nor can I mention my fiction featured in school magazines (okay, I know that was a long time ago but still -!) or the holiday report published in the magazine of my former employers.

I did have an article accepted a few months ago (my first and only article submitted so far!), but it has yet to be published. Still, I throw it into my letter, hoping it will wow the agent into reading and loving my work.

Strangely enough, it doesn't seem to work. So I have changed my plan - build up a writing CV first and then re-submit my novel once I have reached an acceptable level of success. This blog - I hope! - will chart my success!

Therefore I started off submitting a micro-fiction piece to Alienskin Magazine, which was accepted for publication. You can view it here on-line until the end of May. I subsequently was published by Microhorror - read it here. And my paparazzi report on Toffee appeared in My Weekly of April 19th (I'm counting this as publication success for this blog only as I had hoped to get paid £25 for it. It won't make it onto my writing CV).

I have two short stories and three micro-horror out searching for homes at the moment. I want to continue to submit at least one piece of fiction a week (inspired by the success of Inkpot, who has received three acceptances in the last week and a half! Long may it continue!)

Friday, April 18, 2008


This is a recent discovery for me.

Micro fiction is a really short story, much shorter than flash fiction, and typically under 200 words. I've seen lengths vary - Alienskin Magazine look for stories of exactly 150 words (excluding title) while Necrotic Tissue request 100 words exactly including story title.

It's more difficult than it sounds to compress an interesting story or idea into such a tight word limit, and yet somehow leave the impression of a much bigger tale. Even more of a challenge when you have to meet an exact word count (you might have to add words as much as edit them!). It's fun though, takes less time to polish than a longer story, and there seem to be quite a few markets out there.

So have a go!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Thanks to Inkpot, I have now signed up to this wonderful writing resource - Duotrope.

It's an up-to-date list of writers markets, with a good search facility to help you to identify markets of your chosen genre, length, payment, etc. It also provides statistics on the min, max and average response time, plus on the likelihood of acceptances. These stats come from writers who register with them and record details of what they send where, when they submitted and heard back, and whether they were accepted or rejected.

Not only is the information provided very useful for writers but their submission tracker is excellent - making it easy to you to keep an eye on all your stories currently doing the rounds - I highly recommend it.

Currently it's free so if you're a writer, please consider donating to it to keep it this way!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Last October I attended a writers conference. The theme was 'The Fight to Write'. The talks encompassed dealing with rejection, turning negatives into positives, using humour in writing, and the joys of writing, and even of re-writing.

I decided to take this theme for my blog because I constantly struggle with writing . Sometimes a story doesn't go well, I can't transcribe my idea to the page for some reason, no matter how clear the mood, tone and atmosphere in my head - it ends up as dull prose. So I get disheartened and throw it away. At other times, ideas fail to materialise, and at the thought of sitting down and writing anything a hundred other things to do turn up.

Of course, the other big fight - which most, if not all, writers experience - is the fight to get published. Sometimes it seems an impossible task.

Though always worth fighting for.