Did you know there’s an ebook store right here? And that you can use coupon code ‘skulkis7‘ to celebrate our 7th birthday with 25% off throughout June!! What are you waiting for?
It’s a milestone that makes you thoughtful. Shakespeare talked about the ‘seven ages’ of human life in his ‘All the world’s a stage’ speech. The first is birth which he describes as
At first, the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Fox Spirit managed to avoid that unpleasantry: it was born with a song in its heart, a laugh in its mouth and a pub on its mind — the Nun & Dragon. It was meant to be a one off, but here we are seven years later! Which in Bill’s words means:
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school.
I suppose we can see a little bit of that: hands up skulk members who would rather be writing/drawing/plotting than creeping to our jobs and other duties? Yes, you can put your hands down now. We itch to have the luxury of time, but there are always new responsibilities. In the mean time we can remember that we are yet young and have so many ways to grow.
What will the next anniversary bring? More books? More multimedia efforts? Games? Skulk Island? World Domination?
Time alone will tell — but the skulk has ambitions, you can bet your floof on that. All kudos to our fearless leader Adele!
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.
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.
‘To be a truly successful Evil Genius requires several things: a secret lair, loyal but incompetent henchman, a large button marked ‘Stop’ (preferably red), and a willingness to prolong the hero’s death long enough to gloat about your Master Plan. Anything less and you’re not trying hard enough, or maybe trying too hard. One of those, certainly. Wait, don’t open that box…!’
– Evil Genius #39, foiled again…
Alec McQuay – Mallory Untouched,
Andrew Reid – The Great Day of her Wrath, C.Margery .Kempe – How to Seduce Anyone,
Colin Sinclair – His Masters Narrative Voice,
Steven Poore – Full Compliance,
Ben Stewart – Getting the Most from your Kaiju,
Ruth E.J. Booth – Dame Ammonia Dastardly-Truste’s Evil Genius College for Ladies Class of 2013: Graduation speech [Transcription]
Emma Teichmann – Project Domination,
Victoria Hooper – Evil Genius Guide,
Chloe Yates – Professor Venedictos Von Holinshed Versus The Sororal League Of Bazooka-Bikini-Wielding Demonic Divas From Outer Space (Denouement)
Steven Harrison – Project Number 6,
T.J. Everley – The Right Honourable Satan,
Available now as a paperback on amazon, coming soon in ebook and on the 25th August we are having a bit of a celebration we’d love to have you join us if you are in the Leicestershire area.
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.
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
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.
This is a quick ‘are you sitting comfortably’ post, as this coming week we seem to have numerous announcements.
Tuesday sees us launching the re release of a book that requires an act of faith in the early episodic chapters, but is adored by those who throw themselves into the journey, The office of Lost and Found by Vincent Holland-Keen. I’ll be linking to reviews from it’s original release in Tuesday’s post.
Later in the week I will be announcing the book to be launched at Edge.Lit. I’ve kept this very quiet so far, so it will finally be listed on the site. Right now, I’ll tell you it’s a collection and that we are sharing our launch space with the illustrious NewCon Press.
We also have news regarding our long planned line for younger readers, follow @kitthefennec for news as it comes on that. This is a busy week for us as lots of plans start to come to fruition.
We’d also like to remind everyone, that while it has been quiet on the FoxGloves front we will be launching that line with Neil Adams MBE’s autobiography covering the post Olympics years. This is an honest look at starting over and rebuilding after the day comes you discover you are no longer on the team and your sponsors have vanished. It’s a great insight into the world of top flight athletes when they have to confront life outside of competition and a tremendous story.
Finally a few updates.
Fox Pockets no. 7 is now out, 8 Piercing the Vale is in formatting and should be released at the end of this month with Evil Genius Guide and Reflections following swiftly on. We know you’ve been waiting for them, but they are all going to be with us this summer. Catch them all.
Eve of War is well underway and we are aiming for a mid summer release, we will announce soon on the exact date.
The Forbidden Planet signing event for African Monsters went very well in February, it was excellent to meet everyone for an enjoyable evening. There are a small number of copies, signed by the attending authors still available at the London store.
Want to win every Fox Spirit* title we release in 2016 in paperback?
You can and it’s easy! Retweet this on twitter with the #foxyfriday hashtag or share this post on Facebook and make sure you are signed up for our newsletter to be in with a chance. We will announce the winner through the newsletter, if you aren’t signed up you can’t claim your prize!
Once the winner is announced we will send them Winter Tales and In an Unknown Country, after that they will get each book sent out at the same time as the author copies go, all year.
This is our biggest giveaway ever and who doesn’t love surprise book post!
The giveaway is open worldwide and closes at 5pm on Monday 28th March, so you have all weekend to retweet or share and sign up to the newsletter. The winner will be selected at random.
You can register for our newsletter in the sidebar or by clicking here
Titles in 2016 include the remaining Fox Pockets, ‘Piercing the Vale’, ‘The Evil Genius Guide’ and ‘Reflections’, along with the re release of Vincent Holland-Keen’s ‘The Office of Lost and Found’, anthologies ‘Respectable Horror’, ‘You left your Biscuit Behind’ and ‘Asian Monsters’ and more.
*Main line only, imprint titles are excluded from the giveaway.
It’s time! No 7 of the Fox Pockets ‘In an Unknown Country’ is finally here!
They are coming thick and fast ow folks and this summer we will be celebrating all 10 volumes being out in our home town of Leicester. Watch out for more details on Volumes 8-10 and that party!
In the mean time journey in to the unknown!
Other Worlds, unfamiliar territory, places we should not be! Wanderers in strange lands and those who have strayed just a little off the path face their fates in an unknown country. A selection of short and flash fiction exploring the unfamiliar. Exploring new worlds and new perspectives.
And Eve Called Her Husband’s Name by Paul Currion
Overwatch by Alasdair Stuart
Walker Of Worlds by C.D. Leyenaar
Cape of Storms by K. Bannerman
The City is of Night, But Not of Sleep by Chloë Yates
An Unexpected Storm by Cindy Dunham
Hiatus by Jonathan Ward
Wherever You Go, There You Are by Tracy Fahey
A long lost land by Ed Fortune
Tombstone by Emma Teichmann
Finding Home by Rahne Sinclair
Arnhild by Margret Helgadóttir
The Strongest Conjuration by Jenny Barber
Somebody Else by Ashley Fox
Stroppendragers by James Fadeley
Lianus Invaded by Christian D’Amico
Are You Listening? by Sarah Anne Langton
Reversal by Philip Thorogood
What lurks in the dark just out of site?
What horrors are waiting for the unwary?
What about mole people?
This latest Fox Pocket is a collection of strange, scary and sometimes humorous tales considering all manner of…things in the dark.
Contents: Andre Reid – Rise of the Huntress, Stephen Poore – Junior Twilight Stock Replacer, Andie Percival – Running from Sleep, Ben Stewart – Close your Eyes, Carol Borden – Thomas Hobbes Vs The Mole People, Chloe Yates – The Devil’s Haemorrhoids, Craig Leyenaar – Down by the River, Danie Ware – Smile, Den Patrick – Occlusion, James Fadeley – Selachimorpha Caesar, Jennifer L Barnes – A Boomstick and Popcorn Seasoning, Jenny Barber – In Darkness Dreaming, Kit Marlowe – The Ransom of Red Witch, Margret Helgadottir – Nightmare, Rahne Sinclair – See you in the morning, Sarah Cawkwell – Things, Sarah Langton – Welcome to the Northern Line, W.P.Johnson – Shelob Headlines the Ox
Things in the Dark is the 6th Fox Pocket available now from Amazon, the remaining titles will be available soon.
The Fox Pockets are pocket sized books of short and flash fiction giving you a taste of some of the fantastic new authors hitting the shelves.
Well, while the other editors have been editing away furiously and turning in nicely presented manuscripts for publication, I have had my head buried firmly in the day to day running of things and so I owe everyone in the remaining Fox Pockets and the final Bushy Tales Volume an apology for the delays.
I also owe everyone, our loyal readership included a bit of an update, probably overdue.
The remaining pockets are now with the copy editor so things are moving forward.
The order of the remaining pockets is
Things in the Dark
An Unknown country
Piercing the Vale (not a typo I promise)
The Evil Genius Guide – Edited by Darren Pulsford
We will be moving to get these out as quickly as possible now. There will soon be Pockets everywhere!
Mouse and Minotaur which is definitely not cursed has now been edited and I hope to be able to give a release date for this very soon.
For anyone wondering about Eve of War, we have been in touch with the writers, there will be a change of Editor however the anthology will be going ahead.
Again, my apologies to everyone and my immense thanks for your patience so far, the team have been great and the delays are on me.
Please bear with us just a little longer and we will get all these incredible stories out at long last.
If you write noir then you know the murky streets where darkness and rain seem nigh on constant. When Monday rolls around it’s just another day and you face it with a hangover more often than not. The slug of whisky in your coffee is just enough to stop the shakes and the dame that rolls into your office looking too slinky for the daylight reminds you how you got into this state in the first place.
But she’s got that one thing you need: a story. That’s the real drug. You can sit at your battered Underwood—issued to all would-be noir writers at the inception of their careers—and open a vein as Red Smith suggests, but blood only gets you so far. You need a narrative to lasso your reader and drag them along behind you.
If you’re writing noir, you need atmosphere too. It helps if you have the kind of heart that’s heard “too many lies” because after all “one more tear won’t make no difference to the rain”. Your heart has to yearn for something it’s not likely to get, yet that goal has to be close enough to your grasp to make reaching for it irresistible. That’s what keeps the shadowy streets, rainy nights, cool dames and dangerous guys from slipping into cliché.
It helps if you have an ear for dialogue. You can go plain and hard, like the Continental Op, but once the bodies pile up you find yourself spitting out phrases like, “This damned burg’s getting to me. If I don’t get away soon I’ll be going blood-simple like the natives.” You have to feel isolated, like you can’t trust anybody really, even if you need to relax once in a while. Every description reminds you that death lurks behind every transaction. The Op hears things like, “Polly De Voto is a good scout and anything she sells you is good, except maybe the bourbon. That always tastes a little bit like it had been drained off a corpse.”
If there isn’t the risk of death, the stakes aren’t high enough. Sit down and list your characters: figure out what they want and how they suffer and see where the lines cross. Make them doubt every step of the way—make them also think they’re the one who’ll get away with it, that they’re ahead of the game.
And make them suffer. Make them all suffer. Take another shot of whisky. You’re bleeding now.
A writer of bleakly noirish tales with a bit of grim humour, Graham Wynd can be found in Dundee but would prefer you didn’t come looking. An English professor by day, Wynd grinds out darkly noir prose between trips to the local pub. Wynd’s novella of murder and obsessive love, EXTRICATE is out now from Fox Spirit Books; the print edition also includes the novella THROW THE BONES and a dozen short stories. See more stories (including free reads!) here.