People sometimes wonder about me as a writer. Wonder why my tales are so dark. So sad. So lacking in hope.
I can’t answer them as to why they turn out in such a way, but I do know that terrible things happen.
As I put this collection together, my mind is still yet to settle from the terrible events in Norway this weekend as well as the tragic death of the amazingly talented Amy Winehouse.
Here we have mass murder on a terrific scale on the one hand, and an example of a human being who’s fragility has been bashed by life one too many times on the other.
My stories are dark. I make no apology for that. Maybe it’s the way I contain sadness.
In spite of the weekend’s events, I remain optimistic.
Norway’s carnage took place at a gathering of young people who must have been full of life when they got together. Such gatherings will continue, regardless of what’s happened. Maybe they’ll be bigger. Spread across nations. Allow for gentle, unselfish thoughts. Here’s hoping.
And Miss Winehouse. Sure, there was pain, but the mere fact that she was able to record so much material smacks to me of positive energy, an ‘in-spite-of’ act if you will.
So here’s my second collection.
It’s full of difficult material, it’s true. The mere fact that it’s out here for you demonstrates my own positive energies.
I hope you enjoy it, hope you remember that my world of writing is an expression of life, hope you leave this work ready to perform acts of kindness for those around you as you’ll well know by the end of this some of the consequences of letting things slip.
Anyway, here are 9 more pieces from the shadows.
The lead story, Beat On The Brat, was the winner of the prestigious Watery Grave Invitational competition of 2010. It went on to be published in the highly-regarded Needle Magazine and was nominated for Spinetingler’s ‘Best Story Online’ earlier this year.
In 2010, his success in 2010’s Watery Grave Invitation was followed by a 5th place story entitled ‘Too Much Too Young’. The story appears here as ‘Back In Black’ as a dedication to the wonderful Miss Winehouse.
Hoodwinked was published at All Due Respect; Mind Your Step at MiCrow; Snow Angel at Not From Here Are You and Sugar And Spice at A Twist Of Noir.
There's also some poetry in there (?!?) and the final story is to lighten the mood a little where you'll notice my tongue in my cheek.
Amazingly, there's already been a review up at Criminal Thoughts (interview here next week) and I was interviewed yesterday about what I'm up to at the moment at Byker Books. They describe me as 'a cult author' and I can't help wondering whether they simply got one of the letters wrong.
You can pick up copies of Beat On The Brat from Amazon here if you're in:
the UK (£1.71)
or the US ($2.99)
or at Smashwords for ($2.99)
Thanks to everyone for their support. It really couldn't have happened without you.