Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Award Eligibility 2022

It’s that time of year again! I’ve only had four stories out this year, all of them in really amazing anthologies. It’s a great way to catch up on the work of other writers, when these anthologies arrive in the mail!

Here are my stories:

“The Songs We Sing at Sea Are the Lies We Tell Ourselves”, in Looming Low 2, editor Justin Steele, Dim Shore Publishing, 3000 words

“Remnants and Bad Water”, in Damnation Games, editor Alan Baxter, Clandestine Books,  , 10,000 words

“The Smell of Waiting”,in Screams from the Dark, editor Ellen Datlow, Nightfire Books, 8000 words

“Everything So Slow and Quiet”, in The Art of Being Human, editor Tehani Croft, Fablecroft Press, 1500 words

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Sometimes you hear the pitch for an anthology and you have to draw blood to come up with a story for it. Other times, the story appears fully formed in your brain, the title written in cursive, and you just have to transcribe it.

This was the case with The Art of Being Human. Here’s the description from the Kickstarter page:

“Co-edited by Tehani Croft and Stephanie Lai, this anthology seeks to remind readers of the hope and beauty of the Arts, and the way our engagement with writing, music, film, theatre, artworks in all media, and craft of all kinds are at the core of our humanity.”

While I don’t often write stories that carry this kind of hope, a paragraph presented itself to me:

“Everything was so slow and quiet. The waves, and the way the air hummed in the heat, and the rustling of the Coastal Tea Trees (and their glorious camphorous smell) and the shifting of the sand; she could even hear that.”

And once I’d written that down, the rest of the story played out accordingly. It’s wondrous when this happens.

The feeling of the story came from that bizarre time between the bushfires of 2019/2020 and the pandemic. Those few months of quiet. My parents lost their large shed full of possessions (memories, photos, books, a family heirloom sewing machine, and, worst of all, a lot of my mother’s paintings). Their house was damaged so they had to live elsewhere for six months while it was being repaired, and the beach they lived by was quiet and almost always empty. Every now and then strange things would wash up to shore, as well as burnt wood and other destroyed things. It gave me such an odd sense of dispossession I knew I would write about it one day. And putting this to paper I realise it is the loss of my mother’s artwork that runs through the story. The loss of beauty but also the belief that there is more; that we can refill, redo and find new beauty around us.

Weird thing found on the beach!

The kickstarter is almost done but still time to support this wonderful anthology.

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Ditmar Awards 2022

The Australian Ditmar Awards close in a week! If you had a fave story, novel, collection, novella, etc, please do jump in and vote. The more voters, the greater the field!

This is a list of lots of eligible work. There was stuff published that isn’t on the list! So if it was published in 2021 and you loved it, vote for that.

This is my eligible stuff:

Short story collection:

Tool Tales (with Ellen Datlow), IFWG

Short stories:

  • “The Steering Wheel Club”, Giving the Devil His Due, Running Wild Press.
  • “Exurbia”,  Out of the Ruins, Titan Books.
  • “The King in Yella” Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign, Hippocampus Press.
  • “The Red Shrine (Fingerless and Double-mouthed)” Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth And Babies, IFWG Publishing Australia.
  • “Winter Sweet, Winter Grieve” Grimdark Magazine 25.
  • “Corners” Weird Fiction Review 11

And here’s the form to vote!

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Let the Cat In podcast

Aaron Dries, Joseph Ashley-Smith and I are about to get started on Season Two of our Let the Cat in Podcast, where we talk about ideas, inspirations, embarrassments and more. Last season we had an array of amazing people on: Isobelle Carmody, Sean Williams, Ellen Datlow, Garth Nix, Kathe Koja, Lynda E Rucker, Brian Evenson, JS Breukelaar, Paul Tremblay, John Langan, Melinda Smith and Dan O’Malley. I re-listen to all of these episodes to give me a creative jolt when I need one.

I’m trying to decide what to talk about. What’s been inspiring you lately?

You can listen in here to last season:


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Award Eligibility 2021

It’s been a weird couple of years in publishing, that’s for sure! I’ve had lots out this year, some of it stories I sold ages ago. So while this list looks impressive, it demonstrates a few years of sales!

I’m really happy to have two books out, the non-fiction chapbook from Brain Jar Press and the marvellous short fiction collection with Ellen Datlow from IFWG.

“The Red Shrine”, in Spawn, editor Deb Sheldon, IFWG Publishing, July 2021, 2500 words

“Corners”, in Weird Fiction Review 11, Centipede Press,  January 2021, 2500 words

“The King In Yella”,in  Under Twin Suns,  editor James Chambers, Hippocampus Press, June 2021 4600 words

Capturing Ghosts on the Page, BrainJar Press, non-fiction chapbook

Tool Tales, short story collection with Ellen Datlow,  IFWG Publishing, June 2021

“Exurbia”, in Out of the Ruins, Titan, editor Preston Grassman, November 2021 2600 words

Only Dead Men Do Not Lie: The Trials of the Formosans” , in Sisterhood, Chaosium Press, editor Nate Pederson, May 2021 4500 words

Warp and Weft”, in  Professor Charlatan Bardot’s Travel Anthology, Dark Moon Books, editor Eric J. Guignard, November 2021 5500 words

“The Steering Wheel Club”, in Giving the Devil His Due, Running Wild Press, editor Rebecca Brewer, October 2021 3600 words

“Winter Sweet, Winter Grieve” in Grimdark Magazine #25, Grimdark Publishing, January 2021, 3000 words

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The fabulous Tricia Reeks at Meerkat Press organised a Blogtour for the launch of my novella Into Bones Like Oil. I got to talk to all sorts of interesting people, to make a play list, to answer questions and more. Links are here! I’ll add the last few links when they go live.


Meerkat Press – Blog Tour Kick-Off – 11-Nov

MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape – Interview- 11-Nov

Crystal’s Library – Book Review – 11-Nov

Dolce Bellezza – Book Review – 12-Nov

Jessica Belmont – Book Review – 12-Nov

Speculative Fiction Showcase – Excerpt – 12-Nov

JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder – Excerpt – 13-Nov

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Guest Post – 14-Nov

TKentWrites – Top 10 List: Old Houses – 15-Nov

WritingForums.com – Interview – 18-Nov

Big Indie Books – Playlist – 19-Nov

A.E. Siraki Writer – Book Review – 19-Nov

Books I Like – Book Review – 20-Nov

The Qwillery – Excerpt – 20 -Nov

Seven Acre Books – Book Review – 21-Nov

The Bookish Crypt – Book Review – 22-Nov

More2read – Interview – 22-N

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I’m flying off to the US next week for Stokercon! I absolutely can’t wait. I’ll also be in Washington, NYC, New Jersey, Chicago and Dallas.
Here’s my Stokercon schedule:
Thursday, May 9



Friday, May 10




Mass signing and Icecream Social
Saturday, May 11





Stoker Awards
Sunday, May 12


Very busy! You’ll be able to find me in the bar/cafe/whatever is the social spot. Looking forward to conversations with old friends and new.

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World Fantasy Convention

From a convention ten minutes travel from home, to a convention 30 hours travel from home!


We’re leaving Thursday morning for America. I’m so excited. Can’t wait to see family and friends and to attend my first World Fantasy Convention since Brighton. I love World Fantasy and am looking forward to picking up my book bag full of goodies!


Oh, and I’m Guest of Honor alongside Aliette de Bodard, Michael J Walsh, Tom Kidd and Scott Edelman!

Here’s my list of official events. I’m not keeping track of all the unofficial events!


Sunday October 28th

New Jersey


Meet and Greet the author

Factory Fuel Co Café

2 Stangle Road, Flemington NJ



Baltimore World Fantasy Convention


Thursday 1 November

8pm Opening Ceremony

9pm Ice Cream Social

11pm Poetry Slam, hosted by the fabulous Linda Addison

Friday 2 November

4pm Q and A with Ellen Datlow

8pm Mass Signing


Saturday 3 November

10am My presentation on the Australian landscape and how it affects our storytelling.

5pm Reading. Not sure what yet!

6.15pm Aussie Party. Hosted by Garth Nix, with tickets by Kathleen Jennings!


Sunday 4 November

World Fantasy Award Banquet 12.30

4pm World Fantasy Award Judging Panel


Wed 7 November


8pm – 10pm

Bearded Lady Mystic Museum

3204 W Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank, CA

Reading with Lisa Morton, Che Baker, Kathleen Kaufman, a contortionist,  and a sword Swallower.

$15 includes wine and snacks





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My local SF convention, Conflux, is on again this year. I’ll be launching books, teaching a workshop, helping host a Frankenstein party, and more!


Here are the details:

Saturday, 29 September, 1.30:  Mary Shelley’s Legacy. Guest of Honour Rob Hood and I will talk about all things Shelley.


Saturday, 29 September, 5pm. Book Launch! Please join me in conjunction with Conflux 14 and Verity 112 as I launch my two new books.

Tide of Stone, a novel, is an exploration of crime and punishment set on an isolated Time Ball Tower. Edited by Lee Murray, it comes from Omnium Gatherium Books.
A Primer to Kaaron Warren is a short story collection, edited by Eric Guignard of Dark Moon Books. It contains reprints, illustrations and one new and very nasty story.

Lee Murray from New Zealand will launch the books. Verity 112 have invented a cocktail just for the event. There will be a cash bar, yummy snacks available, a door prize or two (warning: they will be very Kaaron-esque door prizes) and more. The bar is open until late and I’m hoping people will stay to chat, listen to music, maybe dance!

For those with a taste for malt, we will also have a whisky tasting, known as ‘Whiskycon”, at Verity 112 after the launch. Hosted by local Canberra writer Rob Hood, Whiskycon requires a booking and payment. If you’re keen, comment here and Tim Napper, the organiser, will get back to you.

Place: Verity 112, 112 Alinga St Civic (the bus interchange)

Time: 5pm till late



Sunday, 30 September, 12.30-2.30 Workshop at the Green Shed Underground in the city. This shop is full of second hand clothing. We’ll spend some time deciding on characters, then dressing ourselves to suit. Inhabiting the (possibly haunted) clothing of a person helps us to understand them better. There will be a courtesy bus from the convention for this one but you do need to sign up for it.


Sunday, 30 September, 3.45. Rob Hood and I will host an afternoon tea for Frankenstein’s 200th birthday! This should be fun. We might try to recapture the atmosphere of that isolated house…


Monday, 1 October, 10.30 am: Can Horror be Funny? A panel with Lee Murray from New Zealand and Rob Hood.


Monday, 1 October, 2.30pm: Judging the World Fantasy Awards. I’ll chat about the good and the bad books, show some of the covers off, and talk about what you need to do to stand out. I’ll have lots of the submitted books for sale, with proceeds going to a literacy progamme or perhaps a sponsorship. This to be decided! If you have any thoughts on this, please let me know.




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This is a great go-to reading list, with staff choosing their favourite books read in 2017. J. S. Breukelaar , author of Aletheia puts The Grief Hole on her list!

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