February 17, 2010

Stats Check

Stories accepted so far:


One February Evening
One Morning, A Chest
Storm On Fifth Avenue
Those In The Flames


A Long Way To Hope
Five Second Delay
Screen Six
The Weight Of The Wish
Leave In Silence


The Small Town Storyteller
The Other You


The Bridge Builder Of Arta
The Fisher Men

Acceptances: 13
Rejections: 32
Acceptance Rate: 28.8%

Penny Dreadful Chapbooks

It was confirmed today that two of my stories ("The Bridge Builder of Arta" and "The Fisher Men") will be published together as a single chapbook in May by the fantabulous Penny Dreadful Company, headed up by all round good guy Neil Jackson. Being a chapbook means though quite small in size, it'll just be good ol' me.... No need to share the glory with anyone else.

I've written about both of these stories' creation on this blog, so to have them accepted and go into their own little book is superb news.

I should have updates to this soon with the exact publication dates and also the all-important cover!

February 09, 2010

Manny has a home!!

After Screen Six was rejected by some heartless fiends in December, I was worried my favourite security guard was going to be homeless. But tonight I got an acceptance for it from Encounters magazine (Black Matrix Publishing) - should be out in the spring although no definites on that publication date.

Have a real soft spot for this story, maybe because it was inspired by where I'm currently living in Buenos Aires. And I love Manny as a character too. And, it's my longest story accepted so far - 6990 words!

February 08, 2010

One Morning, A Chest - Accepted!

Another acceptance today, which is great news. My story One Morning, A Chest has been accepted for the Pandora's Nightmare Anthology by Pill Hill Press.

The story tells of a dozen English sailors washed up on a Pacific island in the early years of the 19th Century. One morning, one of them discovers a chest lying on the sand. Will he open it, Pandora style? Oh, I think we all know he does - but what happens next forms the heart of One Morning, A Chest.

As you can see, the (provisional) cover of the anthology is great looking too. Looking forward to seeing this one in print!

February 05, 2010

It's official - I'm in a book!

With my copies sitting safely in the damp south of Ireland, it fell to my mate in balmy South Carolina to send me some photos proving I'm now officially in print.

February 03, 2010

The Bridge Builder Of Arta


The Bridge Builder of Arta tells the story of an architect who finds a special, secluded place in the coastal town where he lives, a place where there are two peculiar statues. He discovers that one of them is the bridge builder of Arta, the man who built a famous bridge in the north of Greece, inside which his wife was buried alive in order to successfully bring the project to termination.

I visited the town of Arta when I was living in Greece - a very atmospheric place. My inspiration for the public space that forms the heart of the story was my three windswept years in the town of Aberystwyth.

With any luck, I'll soon have news about this story.

February 01, 2010

The Story With Three Titles

I wrote on this blog in December about a story called The Last Foot - that was the story's second title and it's now got a third!

It began with the title "Beet Surrender" which I was enormously impressed with. I thought that was the cleverest title going and I had a good chuckle to myself as I read it. (For those who weren't following the UK music scene "Beat Surrender" was a huge hit for The Jam in 1982). But I was put in my place by the other writers who told me in no uncertain terms that the title was appalling.

So it became "The Last Foot", which while not as 'clever', was certainly more relevant. The story ended up in the sample of short stories that we sent off for our Fifty Grand project that was ultimately doomed. But it always remained one of my favourites - for reasons I'll explain shortly.

I've now expanded the story to more than double its previous length and it now tips the scales at about 2100 words. The focus has altered and its new title is The Fisher Men, its third ever title.

This story wrote itself. The initial idea for it came to me fully formed and I just needed to keep the steering wheel straight while it got to its destination. Some stories, you have to battle to the finishing tape like a bear, but this was one of those happy instances where I had a few word-choice decisions to make, but little else. I'm almost ashamed to take a writing credit for it!

The protagonist of the story is an A330 Airbus jet that has been frozen in time, just 12 inches above the ground as it plummets to its doom, hence its second title! We pass into the passenger cabin and we meet a few of the passengers who are about to get the big splat treatment, some more distraught about this than others.

In its new incarnation, we discover that there is one person aboard that is going to be saved from the crash. We discover something about why he's being plucked from disaster, but that is not really important to our story. The Last Foot was probably my favourite of the 1000-word stories I'd written last year and I desperately didn't want to ruin it.

It's being submitted to a project I should be able to speak about more in the coming week.