As the good folks over on that twitter have reminded me, it’s time to shout about the fings wot I had published this year.
Just the two short stories this year, but I’m very proud of both so…
‘Rapture on the Lonely Shore’ appeared in The Fox Spirit Book of Love
About: mermaids, nuns, and the sweet music they make… [Ace protag, platonic wlw, historic fantasy]
At night the mermaids sing.
Their voices echo clear and ethereal over the gentle hushing of the waves, rising into the air in a chorus that easily surpasses the daylight efforts of the Abbey choir.
I am not the only one to haunt the tiny windows that look out on mermaid-speckled water. Nor am I the only one drawn down the stairs and out into the cooling night, and onwards to the low wall that guards the gardens from the cliff edge.
Novice Morwen joins her voice to theirs, singing a fisherman’s shanty in a clear, almost taunting voice. Laughter rises up from the sea and first one then two then three mermaids join her bawdier tune, the rest holding true to their notes in a blending of one sea song to the other.
I wonder how she dares challenge them so, why she doesn’t fear ending their music with her intrusion, but then Novice Morwen was born and raised on Asenora’s Isle, so perhaps she understands their ways enough to risk what we mainlanders would never dream of.
I glance at the other nuns lined up beside me, expecting disapproval at such heathen ways but all are calm, smiling, almost approving of the spectacle, and near one of the wych elms I think I can even see Abbess Wenna nodding along to the song.
For the first time since joining the sisterhood, I begin to feel I might belong.
‘Songs in the Dark’ appeared in The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors 3: A Miscellany of Monsters
About: mermaid revenge and a new wife dealing with the consequences of her smuggler husband’s mistakes… [wlw, historic horror, dark fantasy, gothic horror if you squint]
“Who have you brought me?” the mermaid asks. She is pale as a wraith, with a mass of lanky seaweed-like hair draped down her head and scales that glint silvery in the lantern light. As she floats in front of us there seems to be something of the snake about her movements. I glimpse curved fangs in her mouth, and I wonder if they are as small as they look or if, like the cobra, their true size will only be revealed when she opens her jaws wide enough to feed.
And I wonder how Pedrick can stand to do business with such a thing as her.
Build Your Own Monster!!! Guaranteed to Scare the Whole Family by Bryn Fortey and Johnny Mains The Head by Garry Kilworth Inappetence by Steve Rasnic Tem Songs in the Dark by Jenny Barber The Beast of Bathwick by Sarah Ash Cuckoo Flower by Tom Johnstone A Song for Christmas by Ashe Woodward Dream a Little Dream of Me and My Shadow by Adrian Cole Memories of Clover by K T Wagner Sun, Sand, Stone by Marion Pitman Redwater by Simon Bestwick Dreamcatcher by Pauline E Dungate The Daughters by Tim Jeffreys Black Spots by John Llewellyn Probert Echoes of Days Passed by Mike Chinn What the Snow Brings by Ralph Robert Moore
My fantabulous delightful story is, as mentioned previously, a mermaid gothic-ish horror with a deal-breaking smuggler and the new wife who gets dragged into the consequences of his mistakes…
It’s also part of the Mermaids of St Senara universe which keen readers may have encountered in my Fox Spirit Book of Love story earlier this year.
In related news, the Mermaids of St Senara patreon is definitely going live end of November, which I’m all the excite about. Dedicated post about all that coming in a couple of weeks!
Coming very soon – ‘Songs in the Dark’ – soon to be appearing in The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors 3: A Miscellany of Monsters…
Like my story in the Fox Spirit Book of Love, this is set on St Senara and is a mermaid horror with a deal-breaking smuggler and the new wife who gets dragged into the consequences of his mistakes…
Horrors is not available to buy until 31st October, unless you’re a UK peep who’s at the stage of venturing outside, then you can get an advance copy signed by fantabulous people, plus free glass of wine, at the amazing Alchemy Press Living and the Dead Signing/Launch at Fantasycon on 25th September at 2pm. (The Jury’s Inn Hotel, Broad St, Birmingham.)
Obviously (gestures at …everything…) my Mermaids of St Senara patreon got a smidge delayed, but! I’m finishing the editing on the launch stories right now so hoping that November is when things will all go live. Supporters can expect a mermaid story every month plus random bonus stories and other St Senara related content… Stay tuned for more news on that…
Today, calloo callay, the Fox Spirit Book of Love has gone live! Woohoo!
Here’s the deets:
‘These are probably not the love stories you are looking for…..
…. but they should be.’
Love. That many-splendoured thing. It can move mountains and make fools of us all, but what is it? Does it come courtesy of a cherub’s bow? Is it a battlefield? Endless? Crazy? Only available on a Friday? Well, the answer might be between these covers. Inside you’ll find stories from fantastical worlds to fairy tales, from dark places to virtual reality, tales of transformation, hope, and despair. Above all else, each one is, at heart, about love.
Edited by C.A. Yates, with cover by the combined might of C.A. Yates, Paul Yates and Vincent Holland-Keen.
Decomposing Corpses: A Love Story by Douglas J. Ogurek The Holy Waters by Dolly Garland Jixxa, My Love by Alec McQuay End Times in Paris by James Bennett Love in The Age Of… by David Tallerman The First Day of Khirshi-Da by Joyce Chng By Blade And Bloom by Xan van Rooyen The Fine Art of Fortune-Telling by Michelle Ann King A Curse That’s Not For Breaking by Lawrence Harding A True Wish by Charlotte Bond Notes on a Haunting by Kit West Subatomic for ‘It Must be Love’ by Emma K. Leadley The Twelfth Day by Ro Smith The Wind’s Son by K.C. Shaw Salt Ocean by Lisa Shea Enchanted Garden by K.A. Laity Rapture on the Lonely Shore by Jenny Barber The Whale and the Moon by G. Clark Hellery
My story – ‘Rapture on the Lonely Shore’ – comes from my Mermaids of St Senara universe (look out for more St Senara stories on my patreon launching later this month!) ‘Rapture’ tells the tale of mermaids and nuns and the sweet music they make…
I’m in the final stages of prepping the 2021 Mermaids of St Senara patreon launch of loveliness and it’s getting really exciting! Allllll the mermaids! All of them! And quite a few stone witches, shapeshifters and portal hopping rogues as well.
It’s going to be quite a mix of time periods too – spanning from Iron Age to modern, with the odd side trip offworld. You can expect a varied selection of portal fantasy, sword & sorcery, historic fantasy, urban fantasy and horror, with both standalone stories and a glorious collection of cross-over fic with characters getting all up in each others business!
And here we are in September – and what a strange summer it’s been (also double impeachments on the horizon, maybe, so yay!)
While I’m up to a great many projects (so! many!) that are still bubbling and can’t be announced yet, I still managed to get some things out into the world!
Over on the Fox Spirit Books blog I’ve got a couple of listicle posts as part of their celebration of Tens:
Check out 10 Archaeologists to Dig for cool lady archaeologists and, my favourite thing, 10 Lost City Breaks for the ultimate travel guide to legendary cities. I also put together the Fox Spirit Summer Sampler (which I can’t now find a download link for, but it was fab, of course!)
In other news, I’m a juror for the BFS Awards Best Magazine/Periodical category this year and we’ve just delivered our verdict to the boss – the awards will be announced in full at the BFS Awards ceremony at Fantasycon in Glasgow 18th – 20th October. All I’ll say is that it was fun to catch up on old favourites and discover new to me things…
Oh! And! Much excite! My story in the Alchemy Press Book of Horrors – ‘Down Along the Backroads’ – made the Honourable Mentions list in Ellen Datlow’s just released The Best Horror of the Year Volume Eleven. This is the first time I’ve ever been in such a thing so happy dancing all round. Ellen! Datlow! Y’all!
2018 was a year of stuff getting done! Here’s what and where…
My short story ‘Down Along the Backroads’ appeared in the fabulous Alchemy Press Book of Horrors – you can get your copy of Horrors in ebook and paperback formats from a variety of retailers including Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Book Depository and Indiebooks
I edited the rather gorgeous Fox Spirit Books short fiction sampler – Fearless Genre Warriors – an epic anthology that pulls 26 pieces of short fiction, 3 poems and 2 pieces of non-fiction from Fox Spirit’s range of anthologies and collections, with bonus internal art from Kieran Walsh and cover art from Vincent Holland-Keen. Available in epub or mobi format as a FREE download from Fox Spirit Books.
Ann J. Clark
And with my myth and magic non-fiction hat on, I launched my Ann J. Clark website and published 4 divination taster guides!
Launched today, the simply delicious Let’s Try Runes: A Taster Guide for Beginners!
Whether you are simply curious about the art of rune divination or are looking to make runes a part of your deeper spiritual journey, this book will give you the basic foundation skills to get started.
You will find tips on how to make and cast runes, how to make and use casting boards to give greater context to your enquiries, and when you’re ready to try things out, there’s a selection of rune castings you can experiment with to hone your skills.
You’ll also find information on the fascinating history of runes and how they are used in modern times along with some resources to take your studies further.
It’s available right now from Amazon in paperback and ebook formats and will also be available live from the Mystic Maidens stall at various events next year. (And stay tuned for news of other ebook formats!)
I’m thrilled to say that one of my editing projects is getting close to publication! Hurrah! Coming very soon from Fox Spirit Books may I present – Fearless Genre Warriors: A Fox Spirit Sampler.
With illustrations by Kieran Walsh and cover art by Vincent Holland-Keen, Fearless Genre Warriors: A Fox Spirit Sampler brings you a selection of twenty six short stories, three poems, and two pieces of non-fiction pulled from the full range of Fox Spirit Books anthologies and collections!
You’ll find folklore and fairytales told with humour and heart, ancient gods in far-flung times, ravens and foxes, shamans and sacrifice and earthquake gods, werewolves and faeries and mad science, classic tales seen anew, fiction and reality colliding, bards and dragons and mighty heroes, oh my!
You’ll also find the tales told in the graveyard hours, twilight terrors and pre-dawn dread. There’s tales of death and resurrection, human monsters and monsters of legend, tricksy creatures both fae and other, from desert and hillside and moor, to the depths of space and the deepest sea. Stories of transformation and transference, of hope and revolution and survival and moving on. Stories where worlds are changed, new homes found, and lives altered for the better.
It will be available soon in digital format only, and how much will this epic volume of short fiction goodness cost you? Nothing! Nada! Zip! Zilch! Totally Zero! Free all the way! Is that not the bargain of the year or what!
With my Ann J. Clark hat on, I’m pleased to announce that the revised and updated edition of Let’s Try Dowsing is now live on that there Amazon!
Le blurb: Whether you are simply curious about the art of dowsing or are looking to make dowsing a part of your deeper spiritual journey, this book will give you the basic foundation skills to get started.
You will find tips on how to centre yourself and ask the best questions, how to make and dowse with pendulums, rods and forked twigs, how to make and use dowsing answer boards to give greater context to your enquiries, and when you’re ready to try things out, there’s a selection of dowsing exercises you can use to hone your skills.
You’ll also find information on the fascinating history of dowsing and how it is used in modern times along with some resources to take your studies further.
Let’s Try Dowsing is available in kindle format for £1.99 from Amazon or in paperback format from Tarot4You at various events in Berkshire, Hampshire and surrounding areas!