Twelve Days


I have finally got my hands on this lovely book. It’s called ‘Twelve days’ and was released by new publishers, ‘The Patchwork Raven’. Each story in it is linked to the twelve days of Christmas song. OK !  I know I’m late, but I’ve just seen this book and you can read it any time of the year! It’s not just Xmas exclusive! I have a story in it called ‘The Coterie of Magic’.


The art book. 

Each story has it’s its own art work, which was available to buy separately.


I love magic, love it, especially the close up, sleight of hand stuff. That wonder that comes from seeing something happen right before your eyes and no matter how close you look you don’t know how it’s done is terrific. I saw Barry and Stuart at the Edinburgh Fringe a few years ago perform their show. They made a Rubik cube disappear right in front of me, while twirling it! Not that impressive you think, not like making the Statue of Liberty disappear, but this was better, close up magic at its best. My story is, I hope, a funny look at this and at a women’s roll in magic and the lack of female magicians. We need more!


The paperback is available here. We all need a little magic at the moment.

Credit to the internet for the fab pic above.


Deadhead Miles


I have a short story in this very book, Deadhead Miles (Vol2) from FoF Publishing, edited by Jason R Davis, who is also one of the authors.

My story is called ‘Fast Food‘, and is about serial killers, kidnapping and cannibalism. The usual. Actually, it is much more explicit horror than the weird, psychological fiction I usually write.


Cool cover

It’s available in paperback and on kindle. Please enjoy!



Holly Lodge House R.I.P


They’re knocking my old school down. So what? Many old buildings are flattened now. It’s cheaper to demolish and build new, than it is to maintain the up keep of some of these old places… it’s just that, where I live, the older buildings, those with character and history get dumped!  I’ve written on this blog before about my love of local history, so I thought I’d have a rant on here.

Holly Lodge Girls school began in the early 20th century as a paying school for young ladies. They stayed in the house, slept in what was to become the library when I was there. Over the years the larger houses surrounding the school, Victorian places called Freemont, Sandheys and Uplands, became part of it as they took on more girls. There were (was? I don’t know if they’ve filled it in?) duck ponds, trees, benches, hockey pitches and tennis courts. It sounds idyllic, sometimes it was. On winter days though, the rooms could be freezing and lessons were taught while you wore your coat and gloves. Rooms could be damp and pathways treacherous. Roofs leaked and the showers never worked in the changing rooms.

But, I loved it there. When I found out they were going to build a new school, I thought well, that’s progress etc etc Schools now need wifi and actual heating!! But I never thought they would knock Holly Lodge House down. The other houses have been saved to be turned into apartments, but the original building was not thought of value to even be listed. Apparently all its historical references have gone. The grand wooden staircase, the stained glass window (moved to the new school when it was built), the library, the tower … yes we had a tower, the source of many ghost stories. The rumour was, an original Holly Lodge girl had hanged herself up there, and if you were brave enough to go up and close the door behind you, she would appear! All gone.

So the land was sold off and despite peoples best efforts, history and character have been sacrificed for ugly new houses. Below are a few pics of it being demolished all taken by myself, the postcard was found on the internet, I could not find a name to give credit to, but it’s lovely. R.I.P. Holly Lodge House. 20160124_103745


Through the archway to the main entrance.


The tower, nearly gone.


How it was.


Women in Horror Month 7



As part of ‘Women in Horror Month‘, Sirens Call Publications have released their 25th ezine ‘Things That Go Bump In The Night‘  in its honour! My short story, Bats in the Attic & Rats in the Walls is in it along with many other short stories, flash fiction, poetry, photography and an interview with Karen Soutar. There is also a collaborative interview, involving all the authors in there.

Download it here:

And it’s FREE  you lucky people! Tell all your friends!



Shirley Jackson


I went to a talk last night at the Liverpool Playhouse, way up in the studio at the top of the theatre, which was lovely. It was a discussion about ‘Quiet Terror’ between Jeremy Dyson, writer of a favourite of mine, ‘The Haunted Book’ and much more, (Yes!The League of Gentlemen, but he must get sick of fans like myself mentioning the radio/TV series.) and local horror/science fiction/fantasy writer Ramsey Campbell.

There is a theatre production of ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ in production at the Playhouse until the 16th January, so the talk was in conjunction with that. Each spoke about how she had inspired them, when they had seen the film of ‘The Haunting’ (the good one, not ‘the other one’)  which for most people is how they come to appreciate Shirley Jackson, and how she had influenced horror since. I did feel a hackle rise when she was described as ‘delicate horror’! Don’t think ‘The Lottery’ can be described as ‘delicate’ can you ? But the phrase was quickly  and thankfully reversed to ‘Quiet Terror’.

There were readings by both authors, and the Q&A at the end which I always look forward to. Those few seconds of silence before a hand is raised really can be a ‘quiet terror’ for an author. They were asked if they had ever put themselves in any danger to write, supernaturally or otherwise; a cracking question. Ramsey Campbell explained about the house he lives in being haunted (‘scares off the burglars’) and it helping with his stories. Jeremy Dyson spoke more about ‘dangerous situations’ he had been in influencing him, which chimed with me. Real life is much more scary I think!!

Also, a member of the audience mentioned ‘The Loney’ by Andrew Michael Hurley, with its ‘Quiet Terror’, winning debut novel of the year at the Costa Book Awards recently, which made me very happy indeed, being a fan.


The time went quickly, the conversation came to an end. I bought myself another copy of ‘The Haunted Book’ (This won’t be getting borrowed by a friend and never seen again!!)  and had it signed by the author. A good evening had, but any would be discussing Shirley Jackson.




Spares and Repairs


Screenshot 2015-10-26 at 14.06.52

I was sad to see the MicroHorror site had gone. It had ceased putting up new material in the summer, which is sad as I always looked forward the Halloween competition each year.

This site gave a lot of writers the chance to see their work appreciated. If you have time to spare sit down over the Halloween weekend and read a few stories. They’re all flash pieces, so you can through quite a few in an hour. I hope someone takes over and keeps MicroHorror going.

My story, ‘Spares and Repairs’ was featured in 2013. It’s a bit graphic for me, but sometimes gruesome is OK … right?

Latchkey Tales


I am extremely pleased to announce that I have a story in Latchkey Tales, Clockwise:The Midnight Blues Vol2 Issue4  out in August 2015 !It is a pleasure to work with Jax again.

cover design Luke Spooner

cover design Luke Spooner

My story, ‘The Stars Are Still There’ is about a chance encounter on a riverside in a (very) Northern Town.

It is the second time I have had work featured by Latchkey Tales, my story, ‘His Final Storm’ is in Clockwise:The Afternoon Storms,

cover designed by Oscar Dominguez.

cover designed by Oscar Dominguez.

available here,