Anthology call out

Happy to announce that I’ll be editing another anthology for Grimbold books. This is one of a set of three:grimbold

Unexpected Heroines:

Why is it always the teenage girl who is the heroine?
These are the stories of female protagonists who are never cast in the feature films. The awkward, the old, the forgotten, the different.
Their adventures were never meant to be. Their save-the-world expeditions shouldn’t have happened. They are the ones who stepped forward when no-one else would.
Our unexpected heroines.

Forgotten Sidekicks:

We all know what happens when the hero saves the day, but what about their sidekicks?
Too often the hero is held high and celebrated whilst their sidekicks and comrades are brushed to the side; their own battles forgotten, and their actions airbrushed to nothingness from the tales of victory.
These are the stories of the ones who aren’t remembered; the ones who helped save the day, and got cast aside; the ones who don’t want the applause, and the ones who deserved the applause and never received it.
These stories didn’t make the headlines – but they happened, and they’re glorious.

Lost Gods:

They have slept for centuries. Buried. Forgotten. Lost.
Until they awake. Or are awoken.
When the deities of old return, will they bring blessings or destruction to a time that no long remembers them?
Should they be left to lie in peace, or used for our own ends? Are they gods, or monsters?
What lies out there in the realms of the lost gods?

Submission Guidelines:

The submission window will run from 1st September until the 30th November inclusive.

Submissions to be emailed to:

Lost Gods –

Forgotten Sidekicks –

Unexpected Heroines –

All sub-genre and styles will be considered – comedic, epic, grimdark, noblebright etc. We are particularly keen on diversity – think older characters, LGBTQ, ethnic minorities and those with disabilities

Submissions should be (ideally) between 4-7,000 words (10% leeway given either side) and either 1.5 or double spaced and in an easy to read font such as Times New Roman or Arial size 12/14. Please include your contact details at the end of the story, along with a short bio and details of any writing credentials and/or social media handles.

We are aware that this is a long submission window, but hectic lifestyles for both writers and editors means that we must be patient. Editors will be reading submissions as they are received but final decisions are unlikely to be publicised until the end of December 2018 at the earliest. This allows there to be a reasonable amount of time for reading and selecting the final line-up.

Payment will be £15 per story and a physical copy of the final anthology for which the story appears and, should you also wish, copies of the eBook for your own private use and not for resale or lending.

Any questions relating to submission guidelines – please do ask away!


Radio Silence

You may be wondering why there has been an extended period of silence? There’s not been much writing news to share. I’ve got stories coming in a couple of anthologies this year – but nothing I can share at this stage.

I’m now waiting on the copyedit for Seven Deadly Sins and have signed off on the art for the cover so hope to have a series of newsworthy items in the next couple of months.

In the meantime I did an interview with The Speucluative Fiction Showcase here

Writing without Rules -a review

Writing without Rules 

Publisher Blurb:

Stop What You’re Doing and Write! Yes, You; Write!

Most writing guides imply–or outright state–that there’s a fixed, specific formula or list of rules you must follow to achieve writing and publishing success. And all of them are phonies. Well, not completely. There are real, applicable techniques and strategies in any writing reference to help you.

But the idea that there’s only one way of writing? Nuts!

without rules

I was sent this book in return for a review. It’s interesting that I’ve never heard of Jeffrey Somers (sorry) or read any of his books – but now I’m tempted to do so after reading this book. Somers was asked to write this book after some successful lectures and articles for Writers Digest 

As I have written (here) I have somewhat of a penchant for writing books and therefore it is no great chore for me to have to read one for review. I really enjoyed this one – it’s entertainingly written and is from a very similar place to how I approach writing. My first writing book was, like so many others, Stephen Kings’s On Writing and, well, I thought I’d been doing it wrong (I also did a couple of posts about doing it wrong – here & here and I may do more in the future) because he was a writing guru and what he was describing was ‘how you MUST write’ (it wasn’t but that’s how I read it).  I wish I’d read this book first – it would have saved a bunch of heartache…

“There is no ‘right’ way. You have to do things the way you want to, learn your lessons, and take your wins… The fact is, there will be plenty of times when you feel like a fraud or an amateur, convinced that every other writer knows more than you do and is playing the game better. They don’t, and they aren’t. It just seems that way from the outside.”

Somers also introduced me (or re-introduced, although I do wonder if it was his article on Writers Digest I originally read) to Plantsing – Plotting and Pantsing using whatever works from both strategies.

So this is a great first writing book to grab as a starting out writer and reminds you as an experienced writer that there are no rules (I still get hung up on that occasionally) and I’d thoroughly recommend it – not least for the entertaining way it’s written, and the many, many amusing footnotes.

Radio Silence

I’m diving deeper into edits and full days in the word mines for both Seven Deadly Swords and Certainty of Dust so there will probably be radio silence here for a while.

I have seen a mock up of the cover for SDS and that’s very exciting!

It’s likely that the next thing of mine out will be Infinite Dysmorphia (hopefully in May) which I edited for Grimbold:

infinite dysmorphia

Embers of War – Review


Published by Titan on 20th February.

Ever since I heard Gareth reading from this book I’ve been waiting for it to come out. I was very lucky to receive an ARC from Titan before publication.

He’s given himself a difficult task here – a multi 1st person POV (at least 6 narrative voices), including the ship Trouble Dog and an alien called Nod. It’s worth noting that this is the first book in a trilogy – so has the added complication of giving enough of the universe away to be interesting but not too much so that you don’t feel you want to explore more.

There is a fabulous conceit here that an ancient alien civilisation carved an entire solar system (called the Gallery) into planet-sized sculptures that have since, in the absence of any knowledge of their true function, become a tourist destination.

When a starliner visiting the Gallery is shot down with acclaimed war poet Ona Sudak on board the Trouble Dog, a reclamation vessel, is sent to provide aid. We follow Sal Konstanz and her crew as they dash across the universe on a mission of mercy.

This is a space opera that the author has tackled with gusto and evident enjoyment. He’s very good at keeping you turning the pages and I predict that this will be a very popular series.