Saturday, 30 January 2010

Matt Hilton - Writing Competition

Short Story Competition - Win a Signed 'First Edition' Hardback copy of SLASH AND BURN 

If you're a fan of noir and crime fiction, then you'll love Matt Hilton's books. With best sellers Dead Men's Dust and Judgement and Wrath already on the shelves, Matt's thrillers follow the decidedly dangerous world of Joe Hunter.

Who is Joe Hunter? As Matt says...

"He’s not a cop. He’s not a bounty hunter. He’s not a private detective.

Some people call him a vigilante, but even Joe will tell you that vigilantes take the law into their own hands, whereas there aren’t too many laws that define what Joe does to get a job done.

Joe is someone who cares.

Simple as that."

How Can You Win?

Matt is running a writing competition. The remit is to write a story in the style of a Joe Hunter thriller, with a maximum count of 2,000 words. Matt will chose the three best entries which he will post both on his blog and at Thrillers Killers n Chillers. The final vote will be down to the public, and the winner will receive a signed 'First Edition' hardback copy of Joe Hunter 3 - SLASH AND BURN.

The closing date for entries is Friday 12th March at midnight GMT. The winner will be announced on the Slash and Burn publication date - 1st April 2010.

More Info

* Find out about Joe Hunter

* Find out about Dead Men's Dust, Judgement and Wrath and Slash and Burn

* Buy Dead Men's Dust or Judgement and Wrath


Saturday, 23 January 2010

The Dark Monarch Exhibition - Towner, Eastbourne

A new, extraordinary exhibition hit Eastbourne yesterday.

The press release says:

The Dark Monarch: Magic and Modernity in British Art

23 January – 21 March 2010

This group exhibition explores the influence of folklore, mysticism, mythology and the occult on the development of art in Britain. Focusing on works from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day it will consider, in particular, the relationship they have to the landscape and legends of the British Isles.

Taking its title from the infamous 1962 book by St Ives artist Sven Berlin, the exhibition features major loans from the Tate Collection, regional collections, lenders and artists, and will examine the development of early Modernism, Surrealism and Neo-Romanticism in the UK, as well as the reappearance of esoteric and arcane references in a significant strand of contemporary art practice.
We went along, by invitation, and were blown away. If you know us, you'll be aware how important this kind of collection is to us.

There were works by geniuses Austin Osman Spare and Graham Sutherland as well as Paul Nash, Barbara Hepworth, Bryan Wynter and Ithell Colquhoun, plus many more, including local artist Eric Ravilious.

We looked at the esoteric bookshelves that are part of the exhibition and almost had to check that our own library hadn't been invaded - which of course it hadn't because, sadly, we don't own first editions.

Towner were holding people back at the door, because they were at capacity. But once we were in, we fell in deep. The exhibition is on the ground and top floors. Much of it left an exquisite taste in our senses, bar a couple of contrived photographs and, sadly, Damien Hirst's Unicorn.

Well worth it. We're going to pay again, and probably again, to go back.

Go see it. Towner Eastbourne.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm; closed Mondays except Bank Holidays.

Admission to The Dark Monarch: £5.50 / £4 concessions / under 18s free. Admission to Towner and other exhibitions: free of charge.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Pretty Pinholes

My latest contribution to Thrillers Killers n Chillers has just been published; thank you Col and Matt.

It's called Pretty Pinholes. Read it here.

Hope you like it...


The factory floor was cold beneath her naked back. Hard on the shoulder blades, crusty against her splayed buttocks.

The only light - a breath of radiance shooting through a distant keyhole - spangled across the thousand pin heads that pierced her trembling flesh. A bed of nails, she was. Only more so.
Crouching, near-naked himself except for the daggers, he took to his feet. Nothing could threaten the verve that prickled his skin, full as it was, with exaltation.

A Taste of Magenta

Take Me Down, Sir

by Lily Childs (c)
'Crow' artwork by Laurence Ranger (c)

The searchlight from Tom Shaman’s soul bled pale amongst the treetops.

‘C’mon old man’ he whispered. ‘Help me out. Just one more time.’

The crow found him first. Its blue-black feathers flurried in the twilit sky like the tattered jacket of a jaded Morris dancer. It landed gracefully beneath a guardian oak where Tom lay reclined in half-meditation; half-naked, fully despondent. Troubled by the shaman’s weary demeanour the crow danced around the man’s feet, eyeing him through dark beads.

‘What ails you, friend?’

‘She’s gone. I’ve lost her.’ Tom shook his head, distraught. ‘Take me into the darkness, Crow. I’m begging you.’

The bird hopped onto Tom’s shoulder, claws piercing bare skin.

‘You’re not ready. You don’t have enough experience. This could destroy you.’

‘It doesn’t matter. Without her I’m nothing. Please, take me down.’

The crow stabbed at an errant feather with its silver beak.

‘Prepare then, Tom Shaman. This may be your final journey.’

Fluttering up to stand upon Tom’s shaven head, the crow wrapped its wings of midnight around the man’s face. Cautiously, it laid its chin on Tom’s forehead. They both heard the dark side calling. And were gone.

They travelled deep, deeper into the place of deity, of creatures unseen, of life forms unknown. They came to rest.

‘Where’s my wife?’ Tom cried out loud, breaking the rules. He hung his head, sobbing, expecting nothing.


Tom squinted into the void.

The body of Magenta Shaman drifted into view. Small and still. And quite dead.

This is a little taster from my Magenta Shaman stories, which are coming on strong at the moment.

The above was my entry into Jason Evans' Clarity of Night comp. It didn't get shortlised but had some great comments.

Well done though to Lee Hughes whose amazing 'The Mending of the Broken' came third in the Readers' Choice Award plus some Honourable Mentions - very well deserved.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Creatures in my home

This is one of the creatures that lives in my home. We have many of them.

This is Igle Sygle.

If you click on the image (s)he'll volumise and expand (at least, that's our experience).

Comments please - be kind. (S)he's baring all.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Kate Bushing

And now I'm YouTubing Miss Kate, which will be no surprise really.

It's one of those cases of,... if you know you know.

Sorry, for those who don't.

And for those who know me....

Possibly my favourite Kate track, Lord of the Reedy River:

Bit sloshed

Nothing interesting in me being sloshed. But I'm having a Mod revival evening and oh, there's so much I love. The Action, Ken Boothe (first record I ever bought was Everything I Own - in Boots - upstairs in the Eastbourne store (upstairs isn't there any more).

We've gone through Prince Buster, Geno Washington (to die for - SO cool), Marvin, Patsy and Derrick, Shangri-Las (go beyond Leader of the Pack - you will quake in your boots . If you don't wear boots then you're probably not welcome here).

This is all trivial - Northern Soul is unchartered territory for some, even for (Michael, the...) lovers.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

It's up! Silhouette - Clarity of Night

My story, 'Take Me Down, Sir' - entry no 189, is up!

You can read it here

Silhouette - Clarity of Night

Just submitted my last minute entry for Silhouette - Clarity of Night comp at which closes tomorrow. It's a previously unwritten excerpt from Magenta Shaman.

Thanks Lee (Hughes) - saw it on your blog today. Read your story too - excellent. And David Barber's. And Chris Allinotte's, Paul D Brazill's, Alan Griffiths, Stephen Hill's, Michael J. Solender's and Angel Zapata's. All so brilliant - like I've got a hope in hell!

Also submitted a story 'Pretty Pinheads' to TKnC - even if it is a bit too long (smiles nicely).

Sleep well. Don't invite the monsters in.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Creative spindles

Horror, horror and more horror. It's pouring out of me.

This morning I had a fully formed story of someone being locked in a fridge (like they used to in the old days - or at least, that's what your parents warned you about) then the fridge being chucked out in the snow. Woke up, and within 10 seconds, before I could grab my moleskine and pen, it had gone. SO frustrating.

Still, I've submitted my entry to online writing forum Talkback's monthly one word challenge. The theme is Chilling. And no, it had nothing to do with the fridge.

I have another nasty ready; a tad too long for Thrillers Killers n Chillers (maybe? - 2400 words?). Maybe I should enter it into another competition. Oh, but you see I LIKE seeing my stuff on TKnC - it feels at home there. Think I shall whisper nicely to Mr Bury and Mr Hilton...

Talking of TKnC there is just 36 hours left to vote for the site in the Predators & Editors E-Zine Awards. Go to to vote (closes 14 Jan 2010) and see results here. It's currently top!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Alcohol Abuse

It makes me cross that the government's answer to dealing with rife alcohol abuse is to make more money out of it by putting the prices up and adding an extra tax. This is SO TRANSPARENT!!!! Where's the guarantee they would even put the money back into the NHS?

Putting a label on bottles to tell people what damage it does? Cause, right, they're gonna read it. "Oh, I'll just buy this litre of voddie, but - oh no! It might cause severe damage to my liver. In that case, I'll replace it on the shelf and will never drink alcohol again, or at least, will drink in moderation."

Instead, why not ask WHY people do it?

Why not deal with the root cause?

How about giving young people something better to do than going out and getting lashed?

Why not invest in sports development like other countries do?

How about accepting that many young (and older!) people are creative and artistic and need an outlet, rather than using alcohol, drugs or other means to explore their visions?

Accountants should not make these decisions. 

Sunday, 3 January 2010

James Hilton - The Rave

I have absolutely GOT to recommend Jim Hilton's The Rave over at Thrillers Killers n Chillers.

It's a blissful scream of nostalgia and bloodfest, beautifully crafted. I couldn't take my eyes off it.

Horror at its loveliest.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

SQ - A new voice for Eastbourne's youth

I may no longer be a youth but I like talent and I like initiative, especially when it's different; even more so when it hails from my own home town of Eastbourne.

Two inspired and talented eighteen year-olds have produced 'an independent and urban publication' for the youth of their town. Read my review of Eastbourne's new zine SQ...
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.