Wednesday, 29 October 2014

PHOBOPHOBIAS Out Now! Fear and Terror Unveiled

The long-awaited paperback and ebook of Western Legends Publishing's PHOBOPHOBIAS is out now on Amazon - just in time for Hallowe'en. Perfect for this year's scare fest, and beyond.

You can take a little 'Look Inside' or download a sample here which not only allows you to read the table of contents and the intro. but also the two opening stories!

The sequel to indie success Phobophobia (Dark Continents Publishing 2012) Phobophobias explores twenty-six extraordinary and oft-irrational common or obscure fears, those that cripple us, stop us functioning as human beings. Even though it's all in our head - or is it?

My story, BAD EXPOSURE comes under 'I' for Ipovlopsychophobia - the fear of having your photograph taken. Model Alexis suffers a breakdown after a bizarre encounter in the crowds outside a London tube station. Her partner Joey and mutual friend Mike attempt to support her through recovery but all logic fails as Alexis's fears manifest all around them, even when she isn't there.

The anthology features some true masters of horror from the world of fiction and also the big screen, including the Hellraiser Female Cenobite, Barbie Wilde and Son of Nosferatu, Tim Dry.

We hope you enjoy the terrifying tales. If you feel so inclined, please do review the book. Thank you.

The full line up of authors is:

  • Christopher Beck
  • Adrian Chamberlin
  • Lily Childs
  • Mike Chinn
  • Raven Dane
  • Nerine Dorman
  • Christine Dougherty
  • Tim Dry
  • Jan Edwards
  • John Gilbert
  • D.T. Griffith
  • Lisa Jenkins
  • Emile-Louis Tomas Jouvet
  • Rakie Keig
  • Amelia Mangan
  • Peter Mark May
  • Christine Morgan
  • John Palisano
  • Daniel I. Russell
  • Phil Sloman
  • Sam Stone
  • Andrew Taylor
  • Mark West
  • Barbie Wilde
  • D.M. Youngquist 

The beautiful cover art was created by James Powell, and the cover design by D. T. Griffiths. The editor is award-winning writer and film-maker Dean M. Drinkel.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Book Review: The Night Just Got Darker by Gary McMahon

When we lose someone, it’s common to hear the expression, “a light went out.” For Gary McMahon and many other writers, publishers, editors and readers who were friends of the late Joel Lane, the night did indeed get a great deal darker when he passed away in November 2013. The outpouring of sadness at the time – and since - was such that although I had never met Joel, my heart broke for those that loved him so much.

I confess I was somewhat nervous about reading The Night Just Got Darker. I’m a big fan of Gary McMahon’s writing; he has an uncanny way of twisting a needle into your soul to touch your deepest emotions, your anger, your fears… your hurt. I knew this chapbook was a dedication to his friend Joel and I asked myself if it was appropriate to read of someone’s grief laid bare. Feeling uncomfortable is something I usually welcome, but would this story be too personal?


The Night Just Got Darker is a beautifully written tale of observance and of being observed, of a man shifting away from banal normality into a troubling and spiritual mental landscape as he becomes fascinated with a writer that lives across the way. Their cautious relationship is as tender as it is sinister, taking the reader from a mundane fear of potential stalking to a slow realisation that nothing between the two men is as it seems - nothing. No story is enough. Life itself is not enough.

We find here a psychological mirror that reflects back an unsteady consciousness; that of the main character who has drifted almost lazily into a state of detachment before knocking on the writer’s door, of Erik – the writer himself whose almost ethereal existence appears stranger and stranger as the pages turn, and – be warned – it is that of the reader too.  But whose face stares back? And are they the faces we expect to see? Solid events begin to blur and merge, recollections and encounters become misty confusions as that clever McMahon needle wheedles down, down, down – all the better to prick you with.

Whose mind is ever real? Who sees life – or death – in the same colours? Who writes ‘your’ story? The Night Just Got Darker leaves these questions trailing like cold smoke by a wet canal, lingering… insidious.

A worthy and respectful homage, and a disturbing read. Highly recommended.


Monday, 27 October 2014

Horror and Handshakes

Witchcraft, Book Signings and BFS Chat

Saturday 25th October 2014 was a fantastic way to start the run up to this year's Samhain celebrations in London. The British Museum currently has a small but perfectly formed art exhibition - Witches and Wicked Bodies - in Room 90, where I spent an hour or so studying the artwork and making notes. With etchings, lithographs, mezzotints, pen and ink and paintings from artists such as Albrecht Dürer and his contemporaries in the 15th century the exhibition takes you right through to 20th century with depictions of witches, demons, and dark, dark beings on display from the likes of Fuseli, Goya, Barry, Delacroix, Odilon Redon, Aubrey Beardsley, Henry Keen and more.

Highly recommended. Find out more about Witches and Wicked Bodies...

Hallowe'en Horror Signing - Forbidden Planet

After the exhibition, and a cheeky French lunch I toddled off to the Hallowe'en Horror Signing event at Shaftesbury Avenue's incredible Forbidden Planet.

There, I met up with the wonderful and inspiring Jan Edwards from Alchemy Press and Theresa Derwin of KnightWatch Press and had brief chats with Simon Marshall-Jones of Spectral Press and Gary McMahon. 

I only bought three books as the budget was cruel despite my desire to stroke and acquire practically everything in sight. So, I chose The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror - 25th Anniversary Edition which was kindly signed by Ramsey Campbell, Kim Newman, Stephen Volk, Thana Niveau, Reggie Oliver, Lynda Rucker, Robert Shearman and the mighty editor Stephen Jones.

I also bought Kim's An English Ghost Story which he signed, and Mark Morris's The Wolves of London - also signed. Can't wait to get my teeth into these.

British Fantasy Society Open Day

Just down the road, The Bloomsbury Tavern was hosting the British Fantasy Society Open Day where I met up and chatted with Jan, Theresa, Peter Coleborn, Mike Chinn, the dashing Tim Dry, the absolutely gorgeously lovely Barbie Wilde, Adrian Cole, John Gilbert and Dean M Drinkel. 

Barbie, Tim, Dean and I - all together in time for Western Legends Publishing launch of PHOBOPHOBIAS on 31st October!

I stole away at around 7pm, on my husband's arm and we swept into London's heaving streets in search of food. We ended up, as always, at a Spaghetti House then ran to Victoria. I fell asleep on the train home with a big smile on my face and was tucked up in bed before midnight.


Oh, and I have some exciting news! Hopefully I'll be able to reveal more on that soon.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

FCon, The Asylum Novel and Killer Bees From Outer Space!

In a week that saw me stalking attendants of FantasyCon 2014 from afar (Twitter), I managed a couple of achievements that I'm pretty proud of, thank you very much!

FantasyCon 2014

Firstly though, on the FCon front, despite not being able to rub shoulders this year with the likes of Phil Sloman, Steven Chapman, James Everington, Mark West, Jan Edwards, Simon Marshall-Jones, Gary McMahon and (sniff) Joanne Harris it was great to keep up with all the news and awards.

In particular, a huge congratulations to Jan Edwards and her team, as The Alchemy Press won the British Fantasy Society Award for Best Independent Press 2014. Well deserved.

The 'Asylum' Novel

I've been needling away at the currently untitled 'asylum' novel for a while now. And THE END is nigh!

The milestone word count of 80,000 words has now been tipped and I'm on the final run towards the last 15k or so words of the first draft.

Thank you to so many of you for your support - and patience. More news soon, and fingers crossed it'll be good news.

Killer Bees From Outer Space!

I'm thrilled to announce that my B-movie story BITE OF THE HORRORCANE has been selected from over sixty submissions to be included in KILLER BEES FROM OUTER SPACE. 

This is a new anthology from Knightwatch Press and is due for publication in 2015. KWP's inspiring owner and MD, Theresa Derwin is the editor of this antho. I'm really looking forward to finally working with her.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

OUT NOW - The House of Three: A Short (Ghost) Story

Full cover of The House of Three: A Short Story by Lily Childs
The House of Three: A Short Story by Lily Childs

Mentioned in my last post (but without the trumpets), my short ghost story, THE HOUSE OF THREE is now available to buy from Amazon:

A Little Background

I'd alluded to the fact that The House of Three is set in a considerably more dilapidated version of my own house. Since I wrote it over two years ago, the story has taken a morbid hold on me. Something has always stopped me from submitting it to open markets, as though it had stitched itself into the very bricks and mortar of my Victorian home (and the cells of my brain) and was refusing to let go.

Sometimes though, you simply have to cut the ties that bind.

I decided to release it through my own publishing platform, Ganglion Press. Whoosh! Gone.

The story is a slight detour from my usual writing 'style', less arty-farty poetic horror and more straightforward storytelling, slapped about with a hint of crime and given an unhealthy dose of the supernatural. There. Did that sell it to you?

I hope you like it. Do let me know.


Monday, 14 July 2014

The House of Three, Phobophobias and digging up old Bones

And now for the latest news (shuffles papers)...

A Short Story by Lily Childs

To be released in late July on Amazon, in both paperback chapbook and ebook  formats. This short ghost story has a rather personal connnection - the 'house' of the title is loosely based on my own little abode, and for that very reason I've never felt able to let it go out to another publisher. I'm finally allowing it to break loose through Ganglion Press.

Here's the back cover blurb:

An ordinary Victorian house in an ordinary English town. A house that smells of roses. A house that stinks of death.

32 Cherry Street is rotten to the core after years of neglect. When its owner dies in a freak accident successful entrepreneur Sarah Bayliss wastes no time in coming up with the cash to buy the small terraced property - her former childhood home.

Reunited with her estranged younger brother Johnny, Sarah summons the courage to unveil the secrets the house has kept hidden for so long, but nothing can prepare the siblings for the horrors they are about to uncover. Or who they're going to meet.

  • Keep your eyes peeled for a Facebook competition to win a signed copy of THE HOUSE OF THREE chapbook
  • Ganglion Press is now on Twitter! Why not pop by and follow: @GanglionPress


I'm very excited that my story, BAD EXPOSURE (or 'I' is for Ipovlopsychophobia) is included in Dark Continents Publishing's forthcoming Phobophobias anthology. 

The excellent cover, by uber-talented artist James L. Powell has now been revealed!

Compiled and edited by Dean M. Drinkel, this is the second in the Phobias series and includes stories from Barbie Wilde, Tim Dry, Phil Sloman, Raven Dane, Sam Stone, Mark West, David Youngquist, Jan Edwards, Nerine Dorman, Andy Taylor, Mike Chinn, Christine Morgan, John Prescott, Daniel I Russell, Rakie Benett, Peter Mark May, Amelia Mangan, John Palisano, John Gilbert, David T Griffith, Adrian Chamberlin, Lisa Jenkins, Christopher L. Beck, Christine Dougherty, Emile-Louis Tomas Jouvet and Dean M. Drinkel.

The book is due out in August. For a taste of the horror you'll discover in this new anthology, you can still buy the first in the series, PHOBOPHOBIA in ebook or paperback from Amazon UK and



Lastly, in 2013 my story THE OSSILLATRICE SHIFT won the Editor's Choice Award in James Ward Kirk Publishing's anthology, BONES.

James is now compiling his 'Best Of 2013' anthology and has kindly asked if he could include The Ossillatrice Shift. Unsurprisingly - I said yes! More details as soon as I hear news.


Saturday, 5 July 2014

Review: The Brittle Birds by Anthony Cowin

The Brittle Birds by Anthony Cowin is now available on all Amazon platforms
Anthony Cowin’s The Brittle Birds is a beautifully written story, painted with creeping webs of horror and despair. 

The underlying tale recounts the damaged relationship and lives of two brothers, their unique view of the world and their methods of dealing with its challenges – all stemming from the consequences of a harrowing childhood event. The depiction of this journey in itself is an articulate masterpiece, with Cowin addressing psychoses and trauma in a raw and almost tender way, but the overarching power of this short book is the impact of the brittle birds themselves.

The author compels readers to question myth then forces you to disregard everything you have ever perceived as truth when the terrifying brittle birds take poetic flight across the pages and into our psyches (at the very least).

The brittle birds – you’ll have your own name for them, I'm sure – are dread incarnate. And if you are as affected by the possibility of them as I, then you’ll never see the world in the same way again.


The Brittle Birds, an 18 page ebook written by Anthony Cowin and published by Perpetual Motion Machine is now available on all Amazon platforms.

Read more about Anthony at:

Lily Childs is a writer of horror, esoteric, mystery and chilling fiction.

If you see her dancing outside in a thunder storm - don't try to bring her in. She's safe.