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. Griffith. 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.

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.