Teeth! Live!

I am delighted to announce that the first collection by C.A. Yates, ‘We All Have Teeth’ is now live in paperback from Amazon.

The ebook will be available over the next few days on Amazon and on Fox Spirit’s own ebook store. 

This collection pulls together previously published and never before seen work by the author.



We All Have Teeth – before the launch

Just before we set sail with C.A. Yates new collection We All Have Teeth

A little before the launch treat. The opening of the story in Piracy, the first Fox Pocket.

Leave the Pistol Behind

Anne the Bone was no fool.
Red Johnny Bootleg might be hung like a well-fed donkey, but he was a good for nothing bully of a blaggard and she was done with him. She’d been thinking with her cunny for too long, acting like a sex-starved old salt. Talented in the bedchamber he might be, but Red Johnny was the most incompetent captain she’d ever sailed with. No sooner had they stepped on that fucking island than they were in all kinds of hellish bother. No treasure was worth the kinds of shit they’d seen that day. Now, the black spot was upon him and there would be no running this time. He may have come within a breath of dancing with old Jack Ketch a hundred times – if you believed his tall tales – but Red Johnny’s voyage was near its end, the devil take him.

Every good for nothing pirate knew Fang Sank Island was a place to stay clear of. Still, pirates weren’t known for their restraint or lack of ambition when it
came to riches, and many had gone to the island never to be seen again. Red Johnny would be no different. He’d once told her that he’d wanted to be a pirate ever since he’d been suckling on his mama’s tit in one of Blind Bobba Boontang’s brothels on Carpenter Bay.

Getting Bitten!

Ok I confess, I’ve been in denial about Christmas. Even as I crack open another door on my advent calendar, scoff, the chocolate and am glad it’s not just a picture of a robin or something, I still on some level think Christmas is weeks away. 

So I can only apologise that the fantastic collection by C.A. Yates is not already in your hands, trying to bite you, but we are almost ready to unleash it on an unready world. 

A mix of old and new stories from the author, pulled together and showing what we knew but you might have missed if you haven’t been paying close attention. Yates has a broad range, from the witty to the ridiculous, the dark to the deeply moving.  

Join us, the the last publication of 2021 We All Have Teeth.


Cover Reveal : We All Have Teeth

Hello Foxy Folk!

We are delighted to reveal the cover for the upcoming collection of one of our most featured writers and editor of The Fox Spirit Book of Love, C.A. Yates. Designed by Vincent Holland-Keen and the author, we pray your eyes can take it…

Have you ever wondered if fish can sing? Seen bikinis kill? Been curious about whether or not there’ll be any justice at the end of the world, or if dogs are really psychopomps? Don’t worry if you haven’t, because C.A. Yates has already thought about all these things and more. Her debut collection gathers together most of her work with Fox Spirit Books, plus other outlets, and some new and previously unpublished work under one roof… which, admittedly, makes for some strange bedfellows. That’s how we like it though, right?


It’s not all chocolates and kittens you know : The FS Book of Love

The book of love is nearly with us and before we launch we thought we would tease you with the contents.

‘These are probably not the love stories you are looking for…..


…. but they should be.’

Decomposing Corpses: A Love Story by Douglas J. Ogurek
The Holy Waters  by Dolly Garland
Jixxa, My Love  by Alec McQuay
End Times in Paris by James Bennett
Love in The Age Of… by David Tallerman
The First Day of Khirshi-Da by Joyce Chng
By Blade And Bloom by Xan van Rooyen
The Fine Art of Fortune-Telling by Michelle Ann King
A Curse That’s Not For Breaking by Lawrence Harding
A True Wish by Charlotte Bond
Notes on a Haunting by Kit West
Subatomic for ‘It Must be Love’ by Emma K. Leadley
The Twelfth Day by Ro Smith
The Wind’s Son by K.C. Shaw
Salt Ocean by Lisa Shea
Enchanted Garden by K.A. Laity
Rapture on the Lonely Shore by Jenny Barber
The Whale and the Moon by G. Clark Hellery

The Fox Spirit Book Of Love TOC

Well my fair foxes, it’s Valentine’s Day and admit all the chocolate and flowers and hastily purchased garage cards we thought this was the perfect time to announce the contents of our forthcoming FS Book of Love edited by the fabulous C. A. Yates

Further monster blogs and news of other 2021 releases coming soon

Todd & Reynard on Valentines
art by Jenny Haines
  1. DECOMPOSING CORPSES – Douglas J. Ogurek
  2. THE HOLY WATERS – Dolly Garland
  3. JIXXA, MY LOVE – Alec McQuay
  4. END TIMES IN PARIS – James Bennett
  5. LOVE IN THE AGE OF… – David Tallerman
  7. BY BLADE AND BLOOM – Xan van Rooyen
  9. A CURSE THAT’S NOT FOR BREAKING – Lawrence Harding
  10. A TRUE WISH – Charlotte Bond
  11. NOTES ON A HAUNTING – Kit West
  12. SUBATOMIC FOR ‘IT MUST BE LOVE’ – Emma K. Leadley
  13. THE TWELFTH DAY – Ro Smith
  14. THE WIND’S SON – K.C. Shaw
  15. SALT OCEAN – Lisa Shea
  18. THE WHALE AND THE MOON – G. Clark Hellery

A note from the Editor:

I don’t think anyone really knows what love is or where it comes from, but so many of us feel such an extraordinary connection to another person at least once in our lives that it can make us feel and do the most incredible things. I’m not talking about romance, all that hearts and flowers business. There are many people who don’t feel romantic attraction at all, but they experience love. Some people love more than one person at a time; some truly love only one person their entire life. For some, love is platonic, while for others it has to be sexual. There are those for who one glance, one moment, can connect them so deeply to another person they are never quite the same again.

So why create an anthology based on such an unknowable yet ubiquitous creature? Well, I believe love is a power for good. Of course it has its ups and downs; it can be a comfort or a wild ride; it can mean sacrifice or abundance; it can taste of the ripest, sweetest strawberries or turn as rotten as a certain something in the state of Denmark. Whatever it is, I believe it can change the world. Or, at least, it can change yours forever.


It must be love!

We know you haven’t heard much from us during lock down. My dayjob has been demanding and everything else has been, well, odd and slow and time has failed to respectfully stop it. Overall though we are doing ok at kettutalo and we are gearing up this years fantastic releases as well as this brilliant call for next spring. We also owe a huge shout out to Jenny Barber  who has done a great job with her spotlights on our twitter. – Aunty F

The Call:

The Fox Spirit Book of… Love

Do you have something to say about love?

Love is patient, love is kind, love is blah blah blah. So many clichés, so little time. Everyone wants to tell you what love is, how we should love, who we should love, how long it lasts, but what does love mean to you? What would you do for love? Is it a moment or a lifetime? Does it make heroes or villains of us? What can it cost? What is done in its name?

Here at Fox Spirit we believe love comes in all shapes, shades, flavours, and sizes and we want to hear about it; This anthology initially called for romantic love, but we recognize this is not everyone’s experience and would also like to include aromantic love. Please note, we do not want stories of familial or parental love, how much we love our pets (we do, but not for this book) or similarWe are looking for stories that carry the spark of love, the feeling that can make life seem worthwhile, that can be as simple as a sprinkle of sugar or that gives us meaning and drives us on even when all hope seems lost.. The ending might be bleak (although we don’t mind a happy ending, not one bit!) but the motive is the key. As much as we enjoy them, we’re not looking for erotic trysts or hefty old clichés (unless you’re spinning them); we want to hear stories about love as a force of nature, whether it be a full-blown storm or a breath of fresh air… or maybe even a fetid stench!

No creepers, no peepers, no inappropriate sleazers, no bigots, and absolutely no bestiality. Consent is sexy AF.

We are a genre anthology – fantasy, horror, science fiction and everything inside and around those. We encourage experimentation, poetry, drabbles, flash, short stories. Whatever. We are setting a word limit of up to 3500 words. Get to the point and make it happen!

We absolutely and actively encourage stories outside heteronormative dogma. Love is love.

So, as the Bard once said, PLAY ON.

Update: We had some requests for clarifications 
Reprints – we will consider them but will need to know where and where they were previously published and we are looking for original pieces mainly.
Sexy stuff – It’s not an erotica anthology and that’s not what we want, but sexy stuff that is integral to the telling can be included. 
Multiple subs – you can send us more that one story but we will only include one by an author, with a possible exception around drabbles and other very short works. 

I would also like to add the anthology editor will be blind reading so the stories come into me (Aunty Fox) and I will be putting clean versions (as in no name etc) into a file for consideration. 

The business bit from Aunty Fox:
Accepted stories will get £15 and a print copy of the book (ebooks will also be made available). Exclusivity is 12 months from acceptance, this is so that if for any reason things are delayed you still get your rights back on time.

We won’t be making any decisions until after the closing date of 31st August. Our beloved Rev will then need some time for reading and deciding. Publication will be Spring 2021.

As always Fox Spirit would love to hear from writers of colour, members of the LGBTQ+ community, disabled writers, and other under-represented groups.

Submissions to submissions@foxspirit.co.uk as usual and please check our submission guidelines for standard format and file type information. 

Women in Horror : A Monstrous Love


By C.A. Yates

Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak gets a rough deal. Routinely (and boringly) dismissed as not being “horror” enough because it’s not chock-a-block with scares and icksome carnage and because it has the temerity to feature what appears to be a bosom-heaving love story, it seems to have been largely overlooked. Del Toro’s work is always beautiful to watch and Crimson Peak is no exception, but I have a soft spot for it because it takes the usual outcome of such stories and, well, smacks it on the backside.

Most gothic romances are not the love stories the Cyril Sneers of this world so enjoy denigrating. Almost none of them end with a clichéd guy-saves-the-day-and-gets-the-girl denouement. Take Maud Ruthyn from Le Fanu’s Uncle Silas, a heavy influence on Crimson Peak. She is married at the end of the novel but no one comes to save her at the end of her story. She escapes her wicked uncle and his machinations by herself. Gothic romances are, in essence, about the journey to adulthood. Heroines are almost invariably very young women, of marriageable age but only just, thrown into circumstances beyond their control that test them to the extreme. After her ordeal, the gothic heroine more often than not gives up her childish dreams of adventure and accepts her prescribed role in society, usually as a wife and mother. The genre is not admiring the strength these women show so much as it is punishing them for their desires and admonishing them into accepting their proper place. These are cautionary tales. Edith Cushing, our heroine in Crimson Peak, however, rips up the rulebook and eats it for breakfast. Hers is not simply a journey of self-discovery that’s going to put her back at hearth and home; Edith sets out to make sure she is who she thinks she is or, perhaps moreover, become what she wants to become. What is that?

A writer.

Edith Cushing is an iconoclast, determined to set her own course, to write her own narrative. Of course she is limited by the time and circumstances she is living in but when she is given the opportunity to step outside of that, she embraces it. Right from the first frame, Edith is literally telling her story. Everything is a flashback because we start at the end of the story. She crowds the camera with her close up, face slashed and bleeding, but that half smile… man, has she got what she wanted or what? Against all the generic odds, Edith has created her narrative largely under her own agency. Of course there are times when others are directing proceedings and she is uncertain, afraid even. This is still a tale of self-discovery, of self-affirmation. There are lessons to be learned, a story to be written, and the movie is peppered moments of significance that have a direct connection to writing – the act of writing and the creation of story itself, illustrating and strengthening Edith’s goal while foreshadowing the fulfilment of her chosen fate.

Near the beginning of the movie, Edith’s father presents her with a pen with which to write her manuscript. It is obvious he encourages her passion even though he does not fully understand it, being a man of a more practical nature. As he says himself when he gives her the gift, ‘I’m a builder, dear. If there’s one thing I know the importance of it’s the right tool for the job.’ Although Edith eschews it, declaring that she wishes to type her work because her handwriting gives her away, she keeps it with her and it saves her life later on (proving the pen is mightier than the sword, but perhaps not the cleaver). 

Upon meeting Thomas for the first time, Edith doesn’t seem particularly impressed by him, and echoes her previously scathing tone when she makes fun of him about his meeting with her father. Not the behaviour one might expect from a gothic heroine on encountering her love interest. It is not until he picks up her manuscript and voices his approval that Edith is prompted to give him a more favourable second look.  Likewise, her awkwardness around her returned friend/admirer, Alan McMichael, is somewhat mitigated when she discovers his interest in and commonality with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – they are both ophthalmologists and share an interest in spirit photography.

When, ordered by Edith’s father who knows some of the truth, Thomas rejects Edith, he goes to town on her writing because he knows it will hurt her most, trashing it as ‘absurdly sentimental’ and naïve. He faults her lack of experience and advises her to ‘return to her ghosts and fancies’. Her deficiencies are made clear as well as public and, perhaps for the first time, having been moved by his previous endorsement of her work, Edith is truly tested. She is not going to get everything she wants simply because she is determined. Writing is work and she must experience life rather than have it handed to her if she is to succeed. Her nose is bloodied but not broken because the passion of Thomas’s speech, the anger with which he delivers these blows, build the foundation of what is to come next. When he returns the manuscript to her the following day and encloses a letter explaining the reasons for his outburst, she is given a second chance at the story and, taking his “notes” on board, Edith seizes the opportunity, running to him even as her father, who both tethers her to her mundane existence and was responsible for Thomas’s admonishments, is being brutally murdered.

Once at Allerdale Hall, the reminders that there is a story at stake continue apace. For example, upon stepping into the Hall for the very first time, Thomas asks his new wife if the place looks ‘the part’. With its sinking floor, tattered roof, and creaking skeleton, how can it not? Soon after, in an attempt to discover what has transpired sexually between her brother and Edith, Lucille attempts to shock by showing her an erotic fore-edge illustration on a book in the library. They sit surrounded by piles of books as the new bride confirms her husband has been ‘very respectful of her mourning’. It is also not for nothing that Edith makes real contact with a ghost in the house for the first time after her first physically passionate encounter with Thomas – a moment that is played out, and abruptly ended, on a writing desk. As her naivety diminishes, she truly begins to make progress with her story.

My favourite moment, however, comes when Lucille, having been discovered in flagrante with her brother and having literally forced matters to a head, stands calmly in front of the fire reading Edith’s manuscript. ‘You thought you were a writer’, Lucille observes disparagingly. ‘You have nothing to live for now,’ she says, as Edith prevaricates over signing the papers that are essentially her death warrant, and then throws the entire manuscript into the fire. It is in that moment that Edith fully realises her power as a writer and takes control of the situation. Her story is internalised, it is powerful, and it is hers. As Lucille herself is finally able to speak her truth, to assert her narrative, explaining about her baby and the ‘monstrous love’ she bears her brother, Edith formulates a plan; she has already palmed the pen, the very tool of writing, and sees what must be done. And do it she does. Right in Lucille’s chest.

All along, Lucille’s has been the main rival to Edith’s narrative. In the end, however, Edith has the better story and, moreover, she has imagination whereas Lucille, worn down by abuse as a child and desperation as an adult, is simply mad (the madwoman in the attic is a very gothic trope indeed). Make no mistake, our heroine wants romance but in an older sense of the word; in the sense of tall tales and faraway lands, and of tales in her own language and not that of the society that has never taken her seriously. She is dismissed by Mrs McMichaels as being set for spinsterhood and Ogilvy, the editor she shows her work to, focuses on its presentation rather than the story itself. She has yearned for opportunities to shape her work and when she crosses the path of a woman who has lived a life full of such opportunities, with Lucille, finally she can really get her teeth into it. Opportunity plus Imagination equals Victory, and so her narrative prevails.

The movie pretty much begins and ends with the close up of our heroine’s wounded, tearful, exhausted face. If you pay attention, you can see she begins to smile. As we listen to Edith’s monologue, which is, not incidentally, suggestive of someone composing the opening paragraph of a novel, we know she finally has what she has always wanted She has her story.

Respectable Horror: C. A. Yates

Respectable Horror front cover

Respectable Horror front cover
The author of ‘The Holy Hour’ may perhaps be better known for tales of another type:

With regard to my story ‘The Holy Hour’ soon to be presented to you under the auspices of Respectable Horror:

Respectable, you say? Well now, it’s a good job you came to me, my dears, for it is well known about these parts that I am the very embodiment of the well-turned heel of etiquette, the nine-time retriever of Lady Windermere’s Fanny, the epitome of Respectability. Its goddamned quintessence, I say. Yes, indeed, I am all about the corsetry and manners, my sweetest hearts, the decadently clad dandy wilt throw no shade on me. My writings, for the most part, are not that of some rabidly cussing blood-crazed termagant, it’s not all effing and bloody jeffing, with dismembered limbs akimbo and boiling pans of severed heads on the stove – I mean, I once wrote a story about a Sub-Aquatic Opera Company, for goodness’ sake. That’s a positively cultural orgasm of respectability right there, a full on lah-di-dah rigour of protocol and decorum.

Don’t listen to today’s rabble, my loves! Theirs is the voice of indignity and ignorance.

Free yourself from the restraints of the heathenism of modern hedonism and run with me into an old-fashioned gothic phantasmagoria that will chill your spine and … well, actually, I feel quite foolish now, because there aren’t any creaking old houses, or sinister mazes, or spinster phantoms plaguing ruthless rakes in the night. No tastefully bosom-heaving heroines or gargantuous-foreheaded uncles with their eye on their innocent ward’s prize, no creatures that will cause the blood to run slow in your veins, and there are most certainly no books that will twist you into folly itself. There’s a wife; she’s alone and she’s sad. She might be me one day. I hope not, but I fear it.

Wait! There’s a church, they are très respectable, aren’t they? Well, it might be a church, or it might not now I come to think about it, I’m not a believer myself, at least I don’t think I am… there’s definitely a dog. Everyone likes dogs, all respectable households have one.

And no one – I repeat NO ONE – gets eaten.

Respectable? Fucking A.


C.A. Yates.

P.S. Blame The Cure. I do.