Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Another Day - Another Acceptance

Thanks to Lee Hughes tipping us the wink about Static Movement's new anthology Caught by Darkness, I submitted a rewrite of my gruesome dialogue piece 'Softly'.

Static Movement ed. Chris Bartholomew said she loved it. She's accepted it into the anthology - I'll shout loudly when it's out.

More info at Static Movement


Tuesday, 29 June 2010

6S - The Mysterious Dr. Ramsey

I'm well chuffed that my entry to the marvellous Six Sentences network's comp 'The Mysterious Dr. Ramsey' has been accepted for publication in a 6S anthology.

We were presented with a photograph of a veiled individual - male? Female? And invited to write six sentences inspired by the photo, under the title of The Mysterious Dr. Ramsey.

My entry, published with permission, is below:

They ride pillion. Twenty six chests ram hard into the backs of twenty six bikers, hearts pounding with exhilaration - and the fear they won’t make it in time.

Desert dust turns to greenery so lush they can taste it. The capital looms ever closer, the target destination clear in the riders’ minds whilst the seconds tick, tick, tick by until time is gone, lost forever.

The Fifty Two charge the gates, resolved to carry out the attack together; three, two, one… Screams fill the auditorium as they hit - it's the moment of truth:

"Ladies and Gentlemen it's the new Black, please welcome our models to the catwalk, wearing innovative designer Doc Ramsey's Backseat range for Harley boys and girls."

Fellow writers AJ Humpage, Anthony Cowin and Ellie Garratt were also selected. Congrats to them.

You can buy the anthology for $24.95 from or £16.55 from


Sunday, 27 June 2010

Esoteric Artwork

Laurence Ranger is an esoteric artist inspired by alchemy, rune lore and Saxon mythology. And that's mild compared to what spouts forth from his brain.

A swordsman and archer Laurence has studied weaponry all his life. He has his own art and lifestyle methodology which incorporates shamanic and magickal practices together with heathen spiritual meditation. From this, and the unfathomable creatures that visit him when he's least expecting them - demanding to be recorded on paper - Laurence has built up a diverse collection of artwork.

He specialises in printmaking, etching and engraving but also works extensively in charcoal, pen and ink and pencil. After decades of working in black and white, he has recently discovered colour.

Laurence is currently working on a twelve-card tarot set - a simple number but a far from simple system - based on his own cosmology and established correspondences. He's asked me to help build his blog so that he can share the design and thought process. He'll also use it as an exhibition space for his existing work.

Give me a few days to get it right, then come back to see what he has to offer. He will also be July's guest interviewee - a serious look into a dark mind.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Lily's Friday Prediction

Come on peeps. More entries please! I am, however a hypocrite as I've only added my entry to last week's LFP this morning. Fancy a bit of sacrifice? Find it in the comments here.

This week's words are... challenging (David Barber, you know you like one!)
  • Stipend
  • Scabies
  • and - get this - Edward Stanley 14th Earl of Derby
    (1799 - 1869) As background he was a Whig (Liberal) who became a staunch Conservative and then served as Prime Minister. Sound strangely familiar?
    I'm going to be generous on this last one - any interpretation or use of any of the words is acceptable.
So, the usual; up to 100 words flash fiction, or evidence that the above words serve as some kind of prediction by the end of the week. Please post as comments below.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers is Back!!

I am heartily relieved to report that Matt Hilton and Col Bury's superb site Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers will be back in business from 1st July.

TKnC has been a huge sounding board for my nasty little pieces and I am so grateful to Matt and Col - not just for publishing my work but for their ongoing support and guidance. I am also thankful to the many visitors who have commented on my fiction.

If you're new to TKnC - it's hard, it's chilling and it's noir. It screams, it terrifies and it bites. So get on over to to take a look.

If you want to submit your work (I've got something ready guys - just waiting) then make sure you read their submission guidelines.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Magenta Shaman

Magenta visited a lair today. The journey was not so much hard, as difficult to see through the ether.

When she got to her destination, courtesy of a very cross white stallion and a persistent eagle, she had to travel down a dragon's spine to find what she was seeking.  And by the Goddess, was she disturbed at who she found there.

Trouble is, the man was quite content to slumber, but after 20,000 odd years, Magenta's woken him up. He ain't happy.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Lily's Friday Prediction

Interesting ones this week, they seem to hark back to darker times rather than predicting the future:
  • Lupercalia
    (Pagan Roman fertility festival held on 15th Feb)
  • Despise
  • Oligarchy
    (Government of the many by the few, often by a family group or single dynasty)
I'm quite inspired to write 100 words myself, but let me have yours - flash fiction or predictions. And we'll see what happens...

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Woe La Poxette

Doxy’s got the pox.
Poxy Doxy’s in the dock,
Face all lumpen
Dropping scabs
Of blackened blood
Onto the courtroom floor
Of hated Judge Malcreed.

Doxy’s gonna drop.
Cocky Doxy’s got to hop,
Her legs deformed
And broken.
The noose awaits
Courtesy of last year’s
Lover, filthy Judge Malcreed.

Doxy’s got the knock.
Stroppy Doxy’s got to stop
The hangman’s hand.
She shudders,
Kicks, dies screaming
Spitting out the curse at
Killer, vile Judge Malcreed.

Doxy’s dumped on top.
Rotting doxies turn to slop.
In the courtroom
Blind man cries,
Cock collapsing
Balls of green erupt all
Over desperate Judge Malcreed.

Poxy’s got a stump.
Poxy falls before he jumps
Off Tower Bridge
He drools for help
But no-one comes.
He begs for death, but death
Won’t entertain old Judge Malcreed.

Poxy’s gone to pot.
Poxy lives a doxy’s lot
His body’s bare
Ravaged and scarred,
A limbless whore.
He sells his soul, condemned
To hell.

Poxy Judge Malcreed.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Comments Moderation

Morning All

I've had a few blips with spam comments in the last few days so am turning moderation on. It means your comments might take a bit longer to display but it's better that someone going 'agfkhqkjhak;c fwehjfw w;jehgwegf weghweg' - I'm sure you'll agree!!



Sunday, 13 June 2010

The Lily Childs/Pixie J. King Interview

Pixie J. King, at just 16 years old has given some of us older - but not necessarily more mature writers a kick up the backside. Her writing is dark yet insightful with topics and twists that take the reader by surprise. I was proud to invite this aspiring thriller writer into The Feardom to hear about what makes her tick.

"He wondered why the alphabet blocks spell out the words ‘hurt’ and ‘pain’. He wondered why she cried herself to sleep every night. He questioned why there is a shiny object from the kitchen on the bed. He wanted to know why she is using it to cut her wrists."

From What Ted Saw (c) Pixie J. King


Lily Childs: Welcome to The Feardom Pixie, I’ll jump straight in. Your writing touches on subjects darker than what might be expected of a young girl about to leave school for college. Where do your ideas come from?

Pixie J. King: I don’t really know, to be honest; anything that happens to pop into my head.

I take something, chew it up in my head and spit it out into a story. I’ll take ideas from anywhere - TV, music, lyrics, newspapers (when I can be bothered to read them), personal experiences, my fears and just the general madness that I call my brain.

I Can Fly was taken from a music video. A Date was taken from a newspaper article I read over my mum’s shoulder in the hairdressers. In The Woods came from a P.E. lesson… in the woods. And Swirls of Wonder came about after a really bad day at school. It’s funny really, that my first piece of writing to be published was because of a bully.
"‘I’m gunna fly mama, I’m gunna show them and I’m gunna fly.’ He moved back inside and grabbed his helmet and goggles."

"He felt the kart move downwards, felt a rush of the wind against his face as gravity clawed at his body. His fingers tightened around the steering wheel, knuckles white."

From 'I Can Fly' by Pixie J. King (c)
LC: What drives you to write, and what stops you from doing the mundane chores of life?

PJK: English, ironically. For me it is the most boring subject to sit through. When you have a teacher that kind of looks like Dracula (sorry sir if you read this…) and you’ve done all the work, then the notebook and pencil comes out and I just write.

It’s often school work, coursework, and exams that stop me writing. I don’t actually do any chores, since I’m far too spoilt and far too lazy. It’s my own fault really.

LC: I think school work, course work and exams at 16 are a perfectly reasonable excuse for getting distracted from writing, Pix. I'm sure you'll do fabulously well - those of us who know you from Writers' News online forum Talkback have seen how hard you work.

LC: According to your biog, in ten years time you hope to be a Forensic Scientist. What are you doing right now to get to that place?

PJK: Well, I did originally want to be a forensic scientist, but now I can’t decide between forensic science, forensic psychology or computer forensics. At GCSE level, I took Triple Science as an option which allows me to have each of the three separate sciences: Biology, Chemistry and Physics as independent GCSEs. At A Level, I am planning on taking Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and IT for my options so when I decide what I want to do I can have the qualifications to do it. [LC: Very wise PJ]

I watch a lot of forensic type shows, too: NCIS, CSI:NY, CSI: Miami, Bones and loads of other shows. NCIS is my favourite, really. I just like Gibbs…

LC: On the same subject, it’s one thing to write horror and thrillers but another to dissect bodies in real life and deal with varying stages of decaying flesh. How will you cope with that?

PJK: If I were to do forensic science, then yes I would have to deal with decaying bodies at crime scenes but I'd never want to be a pathologist who deals with dissecting bodies, as I would puke! I think I’d rather be in a laboratory analysing results than out on the field. Though at the moment I’m leaning towards forensic psychology so no decaying bodies there. I think it’s safe to say that I’m not entirely sure which field of expertise I want to get into yet.

LC: We’re reminded of the TV series ‘Bones’ which I believe you adore. Do you relate to the main character Temperance Brennan, herself a fictional manifestation of the actual author Kathy Reichs? Are you inspired by them? How? Why?

PJK: Haha, I love Brennan. I haven’t actually watched Bones for ages; I just haven’t had the time what with exams and coursework and all the tripe that comes with finishing Year 11 of school. But yeah, I guess I do sort of relate to Temperance Brennan humour wise, and how she is so driven with her work. She is very intelligent in her field. Am I inspired by her? I would have to say no.

I think I am more inspired by Abby Sciuto in NCIS because Pauley Perrette the actress who plays Abby is actually a qualified forensic scientist, so she knows what she is talking about. She cracks me up too. Without the gothic attitude and look, I could see me as her, so she inspires me in that way.

LC: On a lighter note you’re a big Girls Aloud fan. What do they and their music mean to you?

PJK: Their music means the world to me. They make me happy, and have actually gotten me out of depression so many times. To listen to their music gives me great joy.

To me, they are a good role model of dreams. Each girl had a dream of becoming a singer and performer in front of thousands of people in big arenas, putting on a spectacle for their fans. They went on a talent show to do that, and seven years down the line, love them or loathe them, they have achieved so much. They achieved their dreams and stopped at nothing to get there. They have the determination to do it.

Also, during their career, they’ve received a lot of crap from the media but they’ve pulled through it and become stronger. I’ve done the same with being bullied. I’ve been following them since I was around nine years old, so I’ve grown up with them. For me, it’s just one big journey. I’ve had the privilege to see them live twice now, and they DO put on a show for their fans and better themselves each tour - and go through hell to do it. Same for me, I like to write good stories each time and better them if I can.

LC: Back to the slog. All writers struggle at times to find their flow. What works well for you and what holds you back?

PJK: I just write. I had a block a couple of months ago that was seriously getting me down. So to cure it I just wrote anything. Fortunately it was the Easter holiday break and I managed to write two stories which got published on Thrillers, Killers ‘n’ Chillers.

What really stops me, apart from education, is my confidence and editing. I cannot edit to save my life. I often have writers that I trust to go over my work especially Creative Writing advisor A J Humpage. I owe most of the success of my writing to her as she is happy to cast an eye over my work and tell me where I’m going wrong. Since we first met, I have learnt so much about writing.

I am constantly learning. I know I don’t know it all, and I don’t think you do at any stage of writing. Writing is just one big apprenticeship and it never ends.

LC: Wise words Pixie. Confidence is key. That you ask others you trust to critique or cast an eye over your writing is great. I expect many authors feel themselves ‘above’ this. It’s their loss. To me, this shows that you understand that writers are forever learning - whether they're mere beginners (sometimes those filled with the most unique ideas and freshest approach) or old hacks - even those who think they know it all.

LC: We've already discussed that you’re a member of Talkback, the online writers’ forum from the UK’s Writing Magazine and Writers News, which of course is where we ‘met’. How has being part of such a community helped you as a writer? Have you ever joined other online groups, or writing circles at school or in the area where you live?

PJK: To put it bluntly, without Writers’ Talkback I would not be published. I would just be a 16 year old girl trying to write. My writing has grown so much since I first joined.

I have met some amazing people, such as Col Bury who I owe the first rung of the ladder to for publishing my stories on TKnC. Without Lee Hughes, I wouldn’t be about to be having something published in an anthology.

It is such a great community and I have so many special friends; I feel privileged to be a part of it. I have joined Six Sentences, too. Sadly, no writing circles where I live though…

LC: You blog over at (which incidentally Googles top if you enter Pixie J. King), you tweet, you are now a regular over at Matt Hilton’s Thrillers Killers ‘n’ Chillers and you have had acceptances of your work elsewhere. What do you feel are your biggest writing successes to date?

PJK: Being published, with Swirls of Wonder over on TKnC. I remember waking up, dreading an English Language exam I had that morning, got the email and I remember going crazy on my bedroom floor, bearing in mind I’m trying to get dressed for school. That for me is a big big achievement. It just proved I can write.

Winning Talkback's monthly One Word Challenge too, with my poem Dead Girl Walking was a huge achievement, a year of trying finally rewarded. But I think my biggest achievement is actually finishing my first ever story, Wild Rose. Still dark, and so many mistakes that it will probably never see the light of day unless it has a major rewrite. It’s around 6000 words took me a week to write, coming home after school and just writing. It was inspired by a song, too. But it got me writing and I haven’t looked back since. Being published in an anthology is good too, haha.

"...My heart is empty
My blood sucked away
Like my soul was,
I’m just a pale, lifeless freak
Who has no emotion left

You can’t hurt me anymore
When there is nothing left to hurt.
You have raped me of my life
Made my days unbearable.
The walls are closing in on me
There is nothing left to prove..."
Excerpt from Dead Girl Walking (c) Pixie J. King
LC: You’ve said you hate liars and bullies. Does this fuel your writing?

PJK: Yes, definitely. There is nothing more on this Earth I hate than a liar and a bully. I’ve been bullied a fair bit in the last five years, especially since my writing came out in year 11. The most notable pieces I’ve wrote as a result of bullying have to be my flash fiction of Swirls of Wonder, which came from a bad day of school, and my poem Dead Girl Walking.

With Swirls of Wonder, I was deeply missing someone, so I was vulnerable. I kept getting abusive comments, leading me to break down several times. I came home after school and just wrote – and that’s what came out.

Dead Girl Walking came out of depression, and was basically about how I deeply felt about my bullies, and I faced them in a way I knew how.

I don't know if anyone has lied to me so I guess it hasn’t fueled my writing as such, but I still can’t stand them. At all. Perhaps a story for the future? Who knows. See what takes my fancy, or who messes with me.

LC: Thank you for sharing such an emotional experience with us. I'm really glad you can use your writing to kick ass - it's great therapy!

LC: What’s around the corner for Pixie J. King?

PJK: Well, I am very slowly trying to write my own novel. Although with all these exams, finding time to even write flash fiction is hard, let alone get some solid progress on my novel. But apart from my piece Swirls of Wonder being due to be published in an anthology, not a lot really. I haven’t had a chance to get my writing further than it has.

Now that my education isslowing to a more relaxed pace, I can focus on trying to write some more; submit things. I am trying to set up a website for myself, too. So all I can say is watch this space, because this Pixie is coming at you…

LC: I'm glad to hear it. There's a great voice in there Pixie. We look forward to the next shout.
Interview with permission of K. Cocksedge.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Cold Stare

I wake up completely blind. Dumb. Paralysed. Yet my ears rage and my skin burns with the heat of you beside me; your rancid breath, a sickening stink.

Why do my senses ebb and flow? What makes them fluctuate so?

I plummet without warning to the ground. Prickles at my fingertips surprise me and I come back to giddy life. Inwardly I sigh, recalling where I am. My mind floods with memories, of days of wretched grief.

My vision clears and I seem to see you through curtains of mist. They swirl, revealing glimpses of the crypt, of you bent over my tumbled corpse, sobbing helplessly.

You take no last look upon my face as you lift and place me back onto the cold marble. You don’t see my eyes screaming as you wrap me once more in the linen shroud. You kiss my unbound lips goodbye. They twitch with words. You walk away.

I whisper in the dark. You turn your head, then back again. The iron gates groan, drowning out my breath as you pass through; unwashed, emaciated.

I find my voice. ‘Don’t go!’

Too late. The lock is turned.

Too late.

I die once more.

(c) Lily Childs May 2010

Friday, 11 June 2010

Lily's Friday Prediction

I'm obviously not as good an oracle as I might have hoped as none of the Friday predictions have come true yet - but considering the excellent 100-word flash fiction entries you've been sending in, that may just be a good thing.

I really like this week's words. Let's see what you can do with them:
  • Spore
  • Fenian
  • Metamorphosis
I'm waiting...

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen

A quick personal Happy Birthday to talented Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers regular, Pixie J. King.

Pixie recently agreed to be interviewed for the Feardom, so look out for that very soon.

In the meantime, Pixie - have a great 16th birthday.

For more on Pixie and her writing, see her blog at

Thursday, 10 June 2010

In a word...

What type of words do you enjoy using when you write? I just love a 'fleshy' word:
  • Bulbous
  • Wobbling
  • Pink
  • Skin
  • Pores
  • Ripe
  • Pale
  • Pulpous
Flesh itself is just... oooh.

And fat - used out of the context of body flesh:
  • Fat mascara
  • Fat teardops
Don't get me started on 'wet' words:
  • moist
  • juicy
  • salivate... No, don't get me started.
So which words make you tingle as you write them?

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Web and Blog Publishing Tips

I'm often astounded that Writers' Circles and even some publishers and e-zines often have pretty awful websites and blogs. So do some authors.

I'll be writing some guidelines soon (it's the day job, I'm not a know-all) but key pointers are:

Fonts and Text
  • Use a web friendly font, such as Verdana, Arial or Trebuchet.
  • Times New Roman looks old-fashioned and unprofessional.
  • 'Fancy' fonts may not be recognised if visitors don't have that font installed on their PCs/laptops
  • Fancy fonts, particularly italicised or handwriting styles are hard to read. People won't bother.
  • Grey text is OK - if you're a designer - but it's hard to read. Surely you want your content to be accessible to everyone? Then keep it clean - black on a white or pale background is best; dark colours on a white or pale background is OK. Coloured text on a coloured background hurts, though white on black is favoured by some dyslexics.
  • Reading web content is very different to reading printed material. People scan web pages, seeking out headings, sub-headings, bulleted lists and keywords. If your page or blog is one long block of text, your visitors' eyes and concentration will tire quickly, so break it up.
  • A joy of the web is that it is, or should be accessible to people with blindness and visual impairments (as well as other disabilities). Think about the font size you use. Think about the colours (see above) and colour-contrast.
  • As writers, you are likely to attract visually impaired people who may be using screen-reading software such as JAWS or Browsealoud. So make sure your text is readable; avoid writing in italics, don't use ampersands and use plenty of subheaders on web pages - the software will read these out first before reading your text.
  • Keep web pages short. Use short, punchy sentences. (I'm not talking about when you post your writing or poetry, but about information pages concerning you or your writing group, and maybe the services and benefits offered by your group).
  • Use plain English
I'll be back with more soon...

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Lily's Friday Prediction - on a Sunday

OK, so it's late. Bite me. I confess that last Friday I was too busy on hols in France where the WiFi was poor and the wine was cheap (actually, it was bloody expensive) to run the Friday prediction. Plus the fact that the great tome that has become my method of bibliomancy was at home by my bed - and I didn't feel another book would do. See - I'm already superstitious and precious about it.

So this latest prediction is on a Sunday - June 6th. Three great pieces of flash appeared for the last one, so it would be excellent to see more this time (or even the recounting of some spooky coincidence related to the words - it's not happened yet).

The three words, and unusually they include two doubles are:
  • Barn Owl
  • Ohio
  • Single Malt
Get your noir, horrid and thrilling gnashers round that one. Over to you...
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.