Category Archives: Appearances

Everybody’s Reading

On Thursday 6th October at 5:30pm in Leicester at Bru Gelato, Fox Spirit are doing a special edition of Fox Bites, hosted by the incomparable Ishi Khan-Jackson and with refreshments provided (yes that includes cake) free of charge.4

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It’s all part of Leicester’s Everybody’s Reading Festival so please come along and support, or let me know if you would like to read (5 minute slots, any genre).

It’s going to be awesome!

Lined up to read so far Sarah Davies, Marianne Whiting, Mayapee Chowdhury, Penny Jones, Let me know if you would like to read, otherwise just come along and enjoy the refreshments.

Party Time, Excellent!

It’s almost time!

Volume 9 of the Fox Pocket series ‘Evil Genius Guide’ edited by Daz Pulsford, is live, Reflections will be hot on its heels. We are close to the whole series of ten small and perfectly formed volumes of flash and short fiction being available.

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To celebrate we are having a bit of a do at the Secular Hall on Humberstone Gate in Leicester.

We’ve got a panel to talk about writing and publishing and then to take audience questions, followed by local comedian Ishi Khan Jackson who will be doing part of her popular ‘I’mMigrant’ comedy set, then we will be opening the floor for people to do five minute readings. All for £5 including some refreshments.

Get your tickets here so we know how much wine to buy!

5:20-8:30 Thursday 25th August in Leicester

Release Day: Piercing the Vale

Today is the official release day for Fox Pocket no. 8 Piercing the Vale.

Piercing the Vale is a collection of stories crossing the veil of death and venturing into the worlds of the fae.

FS8 Piecing The Vale ebook 72ppi

Contents: Alasdair Stuart – Connected, Alec McQuay – All and Nothing, Jonathan Ward  – A Tale of Days Long Gone, Paul Starkey – Just Another Breakfast, Jennifer Williams – The Ghost Trap, Darren Goldsmith – Soul Punch, Ben Stewart – A Curious Tale of Life and Death, Tony Lane – Tentacles in Town, Rahne Sinclair – The Captain, Asher Wismer – Solid Glass, Chloe Yates – Intimacy, Colin Sinclair – Claudia, Tracy Fahey – The Cillini, Jenny Barber – Dead Women’s Tales, Craig Leyenaar – all Fun and Games, Jo Johnson Smith – For My Next Trick, Carol Borden – The Lost City of Osiris, Steven Poore – Take me with you

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We are close to the end of the series now, with The Evil Genius Guide and Reflections coming out this summer, which will bring us to a total of 158 flash and short fiction stories and poems, over ten pocket sized volumes.

You can view who is in what title and some of their biographies here.

In order to celebrate we are working with DMU Bookshop on the Newarke in Leicester to bring you a Pocket Party on Thursday 25th August.

More information to follow but we can reveal there will be a special edition of the Super Relaxed Fantasy Club hosted by Den Patrick and Jen Williams, who both appear in the Fox Pocket series.

Diary Dates

Reminders about some Fox Spirit Appearances coming up.

This Thursday 11th Feb we are getting together with DMU Bookshop in Leicester for a Fox Bites event with local author readings.

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confirmed readers are: Penny Jones, Leah Osbourne, Marianne Whiting, Margaret Penfold, Mayapee Chowdhury, Daniel Ribot and Cathi Rae

On the 20th February Aunty Fox is a bit further north at the Sheffield Sci Fi Social Club for an evening of talking about books! Hurrah!

On the 3rd March we have our big exciting launch at Forbidden Planet London and we hope to see lots of you there to meet some of the people behind African Monsters and eat cookies. Margret will give a very brief introduction to the concept behind the series and then it’s just chat, enjoy, nibble cookies and get lovely books signed.

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Please join us wherever you can!

Video killed the radio star

In the last couple of weeks Hannah Kate has interviewed both Aunty Fox and Kate Laity on Hannah’s Bookshelf.

The shows are a couple of hours and the interviews cover a wide range of bookish stuff including the Library at the End of Days.

Check out Aunty Fox talking genre, small press publishing and the Art of War.

Hannah’s Bookshelf with special guest Adele Wearing – 30/01/2016 by Hannah’s Bookshelf on Mixcloud

You can also listen to Kate Laity talking books, managing identities and more here.

 

Hannah’s Bookshelf with special guest K. A. Laity – 23/01/2016 by Hannah’s Bookshelf on Mixcloud

African Monsters Launch & Other News

We are delighted to announce that an official launch party for African Monsters will be taking place on 3rd March at London Forbidden Planet, after which we will head off to the pub for more celebrating.

A number of the authors and artists will be attending along with Aunty Fox and both editors of the book. We will have badges identifying us just in case you haven’t met us before.

https://forbiddenplanet.com/events/2016/03/03/african-monsters-forbidden-planet/

The format will be relaxed and casual with a quick introduction then mingling and signing of books. If you would like to ensure a book is waiting for you in the signing area they are available to pre order on the Forbidden Planet website.

We hope to see lots of you there. It’s our first London launch and we are all very excited.

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In other news we are co hosting another Fox Bites with DMU Bookshop Leicester. At ‘Unromantic Tales’ on 11th Feb local writers will be reading short stories and excerpts that have nothing at all to do with romance and Valentines day. There may be something of a horror leaning. These are totally free events with drinks and nibbles, so do come along, enjoy some readings and support a local bookstore if you can.

For more information on this and other Fox Bites mini reading events please join the facebook group.

The last bit of news for now is that Fox Spirit are the Creative Leicestershire featured business this month. Creative Leicestershire are a local organisation supporting small creative businesses and helping bring them together. If you are in the region and are building a business in a creative industry it’s worth checking them out for opportunities for support and advice.

 

FantasyCon 2015

Books and Fox Field Bag packed we headed off to Nottingham and the East Midlands Conference Centre for another FantasyCon.

The Event

I arrived on the Saturday morning just as the Friday nighters were emerging for breakfast and in good time to drop some books off with Pendragon Press who I owe a huge thanks to for hosting homeless books, along with Alchemy for taking some copies of Wicked Women, which two of their editors had done under FS. I then headed to my first panel Monster Mash Up with Carrie Buchanan, Cassandra Khaw, Tim Lebbon, Will Macmillan Jones and Moderated by Jon Oliver who had karaoke throat. There was an examination of popular monsters, consideration as to whether there is anything new or we are just looking now to the very old, whether the real monsters are modern politicians, serial killers or every day scumbags and some thoughtful comments on the need for sensitivity when delving into other cultures for exciting new monsters.

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In the afternoon I moderated a panel on Marketing ‘Turn up the volume’ with Sophie Calder, Jo Fletcher, Matt Shaw, Graeme Reynolds and Danie Ware, which started with a fire alarm. Sadly we lost 15 minutes of what was a really interesting panel which meant I only asked about half my questions and the audience were cut a little short to. There were some excellent insights about how publishing has changed in terms of online presence and also in store behaviour, the need for authors to be willing to do a lot themselves and what publishers can offer in terms of guidance and support. In the audience questions we touched on where writers can go for support and advice, some of the well established writing groups that can offer advice, regional writing communities or organisations that offer courses and advice. Many courses run by Creative Leicestershire are completely free.

I thoroughly enjoyed participating in both and I hope everyone else enjoyed them too. A warning to future panel planners, if you put Carrie and I together again and please do, we may continue to riff on the most tasteless news items we can find. 😉

After that I was free to attend some panels which I did and I have to say the standard this year was excellent. Well done to Richard Webb for a huge amount of work and thought!

The Non Humans panels was entertaining and interested and I particularly enjoyed Ren going super dark about AI and people and love and Adrian and Ren discussing ethics and science. Some interesting thoughts generally on what makes something human and writing the alien from all the panel members which included Janet Edwards and Deborah Install and some very nice one liners from Gareth Powell.

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The screenwriting panel proved fascinating even as a non screen writer Stephen Volk, Jason Arnopp, Ellen Gallagher, Stephen Gallagher and Gavin Williams were lead through a fascinating discussion by Catherine Hill. Ellen’s passion and knowledge were a stand out for me in that panel.

On Sunday I attended the Audio panel lead by the incomparable Alasdair Stuart and featuring Chris Barnes, James Goss and Emma Newman who covered getting into it in the first place (various kinds of accident seem to feature heavily), what it involves, why they love it and numerous other things including a number of wonderful resources that had us all scribbling or typing away. A very funny, insightful and smart panel and perfect for the more general audience.

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It sounds as though readings, launches and other things all went well, several of our writers were involved over the weekend and I was glad to hear Jo Thomas had a good and well attended panel, Ruth Booth’s readings, including her Winter Tales poem were well recieved, Chloe rocked the Poetry Slam, Steve Poore had a good launch with his title for Kristell Ink and I hope everything went well for the everyone else. While we were there we got some stock signed and even sold a few books.

Of course one of the great joys of any convention is seeing old friends, making new ones, finally meeting people you’ve known online for ages, talking to people who actually understand what you are saying and get the references and are all excited about the same things! Learning new things, having better brains than yours to pick for advice and being around so many incredible inspiring people. The collective levels of creativity at FantasyCon are mind blowing.

The whole event was well organised, ran smoothly and the teams behind it and running it all on the ground did an amazing job. The panelists were wonderful and I heard good things from everyone who attended panels. A huge thanks to the FantasyCon team and good luck to the 2016 FCon the T’sea team!

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The Awards

We were on three shortlists Best Short Story for Gaie Sebold’s story in Wicked Women, Best Fantasy Novel with Breed by K.T. Davies and Best Indie Press for the second year running. I thought in spite of very stiff competition Breed was in with a chance so was pretty nervous.

Juliet McKenna did a sterling job, noting the loss of Graham Joyce which got a strong and emotional response from the community and neatly rounding up the sad puppies saga and moving on from it very nicely indeed. There was a standing ovation when Juliet was very deservingly awarded the Karl Edward Wagner Award.

It seemed to be a night for people being caught off guard and speechless. Literally, most of the winners had prepared nothing! Those that had sometimes did so on the back of a menu as a just in case. I think it was all the lovelier for it. I thoroughly enjoyed the delighted and flabberghasted responses of people unused to accepting awards, of which somehow I found myself one!

Breed lost to the marvellous Frances Harding who is a worthy winner so huge congratulations to Francis. Best Short went to Emma Newman which again is a great winner and I am delighted! But Fox Spirit Books did get Best Indie Press and I was shaking so much with shock of it I had to hold the podium with both hands while I stumbled out something about the skulk being an amazing group to wok with and a wonderful community and a shout out to Alasdair Stuart for being integral in conning me into it in the first place. Also thanks to the judges for ploughing through a stack of material on usb sticks (we published 18 titles in 2014, I don’t know how).

If you will all indulge me I will now go on to repeat my sentiments a little more coherently:

Fox Spirit is barely over three years old, we have over 30 titles out and have worked with a huge number of incredible writers and artists in that time. I am deeply proud of everything we have done both in terms of books and the community the Skulk have built for themselves through shared TOC’s and events like Fcon. It is an honour to help these stories get out there and to watch you all support and encourage each other.

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I want to say as well that behind the scenes Daz (our copy editor), Gav (our formatter) and Vince who picks up a lot of layouts and things last minute, do a tremendous amount to help make FS work. I would be lost, utterly without their hard work and support. There are many others who help at various times in various ways and I am utterly grateful to them too.

Alasdair Stuart, Kate Laity and Steven Savile were all instrumental in the great small press con job, for which I love them all the more.

In the last year my business partner and also Mr Fox have provided a huge amount of support in a variety of ways to help keep FS going strong.

Our readers, reviewers, retweeters, likers, sharers etc are amazing and we value you all and everyone in the BFS who nominated, voted, judged on any award (I’ve done it, it’s hard!) you are all hugely important to us and thank you.

So 2016 is another busy year and this one isn’t over, so I better get back to work but this lovely wooden thing is truly a credit to the whole skulk!

IMG_1624A full list of the Winners for this year can be found here. A wonderful crowd I am honoured to have been part of!

 

Signings at FantasyCon

Lots of the skulk are going to be at FantasyCon this year and many of them are on panels, but we also have a few signings going on!

fox spirit - logo - large - signed copy

K.T. Davies will be signing Breed at the mass signing on Sunday, we will have some copies available but feel free to buy in advance and bring it with you to avoid disappointment. Breed is on the shortlist for Best Fantasy Novel so we will be chewing our nails at the awards ceremony!

Breed Final Digital Cover for Upload

 

Additionally Steven Savile will be signing King Wolf and Steve Lockley will be signing Always a Dancer & Other Stories over at the Pendragon Press table at 4pm on Saturday. There might even be cake!

Pendragon have kindly agreed to host a small number of Fox Spirit titles for the weekend which will be available from Saturday morning. The Lonely Dark by Ren Warom, The Elkie Bernstein novels by Jo Thomas and European Monsters will also be available in limited numbers.

 

Fantasy Con gets Foxy

In addition to masses of skulk members being attendees and panelists and having some shortlisters at this years FantasyCon, Aunty Fox is on a couple of panels.

Saturday

Room: Suite 1
11.00am Monster Mash-Up: Were-vamp-zomb-zilla…With Wings!
Moderator: Jon Oliver
Panelists: Carrie Buchanan, Cassandra Khaw, Tim Lebbon, Will Macmillan Jones, Adele Wearing

Room: Suite 2
2.00pm Turn Up the Volumes: Marketing & Selling Books
Moderator: Adele Wearing
Panelists: Sophie Calder, Jo Fletcher, Graeme Reynolds, Matt Shaw, Danie Ware

Please pop along and ask your questions or just find me to say hi.

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North Vs South at Harrogate

Sadly Aunty Fox won’t be attending Harrogate this year, however Fox Spirit will be well represented at the Football Grudge Match between North and South because House Fox demands trial by combat!

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Never has their been a battle so epic as when crime writers throw down on the pitch near the Old Swan in the genteel and pretty gritty and dark surroundings of Mordor Harrogate. With more on the line here than at Helm’s Deep these two teams of pasty & sun deprived fearsome and heroic stalwarts of crime culture will meet in a silly game devastating battle.

Anyway, The North will be wearing Fox Spirit colours on their shirts because the north remembers or it’s going to rain or something. Skulk author Vincent Holland-Keen will be representing the North in this bloody and merciless battle, so there is Fox pride on the line and no pressure Vincent, but the losers will be sacrificed to the god of Fire while the winners will be witnessed entering the halls of Valhalla, all shiny and chrome.

valkyries

The teams provisionally look like this:

FOR THE NORTH – WEIGHING IN AT THREE TONS

  • Luca Veste
  • Col Bury
  • Nick Quantrill
  • Howard Linskey
  • Vince Holland-Keen
  • Craig Robertson
  • Tom Wood

FOR THE SOUTH – NOT WEIGHING THEMSELVES AS THEY’RE SOUTHERN SOFTIES

  • James Law
  • Will Carver
  • Tim Weaver
  • Phil Patterson
  • Chris Ewan
  • Adam Hamdy
  • Graeme Cameron