A collection of many of the short stories described below - plus a few that have never been in print - published by the award-winning Alchemy Press in July 2015.The Realt
The sequel to Tourmaline, published by Snowbooks in May 2015. Bobby Jenkins has to cross two realities to be with the woman he loves, complicated by the fact that war has broken out in the Tourmaline Archipelago, and he becomes drawn into the manipulations of a cabal of power-brokers called the Interstitial Assembly. Meanwhile, the Brood of Lilivet have taken hosts and are determined to open the dreaming space between our two worlds and free the Old Gods.How to Get Ahead in Avatising
Gods and goddesses don't come from heaven - they're made, by modern PR companies manipulating the archetypes of the collective unconscious. The problem is that once you've incarnated a deity in a human body, it's a little hard to control them. Published in Urban Mythic 2, by the award-winning Alchemy Press, September 2014.
Made from Locally Sourced Ingredients
The menu of a freegan restaurant leaves its diners with a nasty taste in their mouths when the chef starts cooking roadkill - because not everything you run down on country roads late at night is from this world. Published in The Last Diner, September 2014.
The Decorative Water Feature of Nameless Dread
HP Lovecraft meets Tony Hancock with a dash of John Wyndham and Gardeners' Question Time thrown in. Suburban man discovers that a Deep One has made its home in his fish pond. Published in Whispers from the Abyss, October 2013.
The Curzon Street Horror
There is a disused railway terminus at Curzon Street in Birmingham which is the mirror image of the original terminus of Euston St Station - all that remains of a doomed attempt by Victorian occultists to travel faster than steam through dimensions which no human was meant to see. A mummified cat holds the key... Published in Weird Trails, 2013.
The Smith of Hockley
The legend of Wayland Smith, updated to modern-day Birmingham. England's mythical blacksmith lives and works in a small shop in the Jewellery Quarter, until he is dragged unwillingly into the brewing war between the Danaan and the Old Guard. Published in The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic, September 2013.
There's a whole post about this - you don't need to read about it here. Still, there's a rather good write-up of it over at Den of Geek, and Joanne Harris said it was 'thoroughly absorbing', which was nice.
The Phantom Limb
This was written as a winning entry for Den of Geek's short horror story competition Den of Eek! (June 2013), a charity fund-raising event for cancer research. It's based on the idea that amputees often experience phantom pains in their non-existent limbs, and expanded to imagine what would happen if such a person could start to feel things in that place where their ghost-limb is - and what if something on the Other Side shook hands. Available for Kindle, and all proceeds go to Geeks vs Cancer.
The Remover of Obstacles
Getting your car through its MOT can be hell. Literally. Published in Urban Occult (April 2013)
A Narrows story, about the old Roman road which runs through Sutton Park, and what happens to two boys when a Roman legion appears on it one night. Published in The Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders (September 2012)
The Gestalt Princess
Once upon a time there was a girl who was born without a body, so she built one of her own. A steampunk fairytale written for Gears and Levers Vol. 1 (April 2012)
My first novel - an urban fantasy set in Birmingham - about leys, arcane acupuncture, scavenger-monsters which lurk in alleyways, villages trapped in time, and an alternate-reality civilisation of nomadic celtic warriors.
Prior to being published, The Narrows was elevated through all three rounds of webook.com's 'Page-to-Fame' competition to the Agents' Showcase (you can see the statistics here), and won a Bestseller award from Page99test.com.
It was published in 2012 by the lovely people at Snowbooks.
Aussie Christmases are weird. You either have them in the middle of summer or in July - whichever way you look at it, something's off-kilter. Hence this. Appeared in Dark Horizons (Winter 2011)
The Last Dance of Humphrey Bear
Humphrey Bear was a kids' TV character when I was growing up, and I've always found men in animal suits to be vaguely sinister. This appeared in the journal of the British Fantasy Society, Dark Horizons (Summer 2011).
The Pigeon Bride
'The Pigeon Bride' won a short story competition run by the Midlands edition of The Big Issue in 2002 to write a 'modern midlands fable'. The judges described it as a "credible synthesis of (their) themes with an unforeseen ending that was difficult to get right and a dark theme to sustain it." I just thought it was an interesting idea to make a pigeon the hero for a change.