The Horror, The Horror...

I've never thought of myself as a horror writer. I've tried my hand at many genres over the years - crime, fantasy, science fiction - but never horror. Until now. There must be something about being a Dad that makes life just that little bit more scary.

In the last month I've had two new short stories published, in two different publications - and each is, in some way, a work of horror fiction. I've never been into supernatural tales, so you won't find any ghosts or ghouls. At least not the traditional kind. There aren't any witches either, or vampires, or werewolves. There aren't even any zombies.

'Suffer No More' appears in the inaugural issue of Hellfire Crossroads, a new magazine started by Trevor Denyer. Trevor gave me some of my earliest publishing credits with The Third Alternative back in the 90s, so it felt only right that I should repay the favour with a story for his latest project. Hellfire Crossroads advertises itself as "Horror with a Heart", and hopefully you'll agree that mine has that. It also gives an unsettling glance inside the mind of a serial killer, while making no effort whatsoever to apprehend him. Don't read it on the bus at night.

'Among the Pines', by contrast, appears in Neon #36, the latest issue of one of London's best small literary magazines. It has a very different feel to the other story, blending the traditional haunted cabin formula with David Lynch's unsettling surrealism - and an unlikely instance of time travel. It's like A Cabin in the Woods via Lost Highway and Back to the Future. If I reveal that I wrote it during a family holiday at Center Parcs, you hopefully won't find it any less scary.

Both publications are free to download (you can donate to either if you like them, and print copies of Neon are available for £2.50), so please read them and support your small presses. Just don't read them before you go to sleep...