Monday, November 19, 2012

Enticingly horrid!

I have a piece of news which I have been keeping to myself with great difficulty, until today! I am delighted to say that Swan River Press in Dublin is publishing a collection of my strange stories, entitled The Sea Change & other stories. This is an entirely separate project from my novel writing and one that has largely come about through the energy of editor Brian J. Showers, who previously published my chapbook The Red House at M√ľnstereifel as part of Swan River's Haunted History series. 
I have been writing short supernatural fiction for some years; the earliest of the stories included in this collection appeared in 2005 in All Hallows, the journal of the Ghost Story Society. I'm a massive fan of ghost stories - my bookshelves are lined with everything from crumbling old Fontana anthologies to Koji Suzuki's Ring. I sometimes run workshops on ghost story writing too, which I usually introduce by explaining my pet theory that writing them is a fabulous training ground for writing in general: it is easy to write a story that is simply gross or disgusting, but it requires skill to make the flesh creep. I very much hope that the readers of The Sea Change & other stories will find their flesh creeping pleasantly!
These seven tales are set in locations as diverse as the French Pyrenees, rural Slovakia, the German Eifel and the seabed, ten fathoms down off the south coast of England. I am particularly pleased to say that the collection includes my ending to M.R.James's unfinished story The Game of Bear; this appeared in print in the M.R.James Ghosts and Scholars Newsletter in 2009 but has never been available to a wider audience until now. It is now republished with the kind permission of N.R.J.James and Rosemary Pardoe. 
For more details, and to pre-order the book, see: Swan River Press - The Sea Change
The cover art above is by Jason Zerrillo. 
"Enticingly horrid" is the reaction of one of my Twitter friends! 


  1. Wonderful news! Readers like us who had caught a few glimpses of your short-fiction at the (now distant) pages of All Hallows would finally have a collection of your short fiction. Have you thought about compliling your non-fiction articles into a book as well?

  2. Hi Riju, I must admit I have never thought of putting all my non-fiction together - I think all of my articles about M.R.James are now available online, either at the Ghosts and Scholars website or on this blog. In fact I posted the last one that wasn't online yesterday - the one about the Steinfeld glass and Father Reinartz. I'm quite happy for the articles to be available free online. I wrote them for love anyway! Also Ghosts and Scholars ran a questionnaire a couple of years ago to find out what elements of the Newsletter were most popular, and the Jamesian Traveller articles (into which category a large proportion of my articles fall) was surprisingly not all that popular. So I think that probably put the kaibosh on a book of those for the forseeable future!
    Best wishes, Helen

  3. Meanwhile in at Ghaziabad (where I am participating in a workshop), I have placed an order for the book. Now the wait begins.