Tag Archives: Morrigan Books

Creeping in Reptile Flesh, Live on Kindle!

Get your copy now!

Creeping in Reptile Flesh, Kindle edition

Creeping in Reptile Flesh

Writing Boom


Thanks to Andrew McKiernan, I’m finding my way back to the writing world, putting my words on file without the constant distraction of the net and my own failure to switch off my self-editing mentality.

This has been accomplished by Dark Room, (which I’m typing on now) after Andrew’s recommendation for TextRoom. Yes, they are different programs but they do very similar things, as they are writing tools, designed to get you writing. They have no grammar checks, spell checks, interesting little extras, etc., etc.

I like both programs but Dark Room is just that more suited to me (in the way that TextRoom is more suited to Andrew). I don’t believe either of them are better, just different, a bit like PCs and Macs…erm…wait a second there…

So, the order of the day has been to switch the laptop on, turn off the net and get Dark Room cranked up. It’s working like a charm, as you can tell from this short post, getting me to concentrate on what I’m writing and not what may well be happening elsewhere on the computer.


My school reports had a recurring comment on them, which was "easily distracted" and not much has changed since. At least two of the staff at Morrigan Books have called me ‘magpie’ and that’s a nickname not unwarranted.

I am in love and awe of the shiny, this is true and there is much to interest me on these machines, especially with me having a late introduction to the whole scene.

Apart from gaming machines (as that’s what we used them for) such as: Spectrum, Atari and Amiga, my first serious use of computers was as late as 2000, with me only getting my first e-mail address (Hotmail) in 1999 but then not really using it until I started teaching in Sweden, September 2000.

In fact the first PC I owned was a cranky old desktop, donated by Etina’s parents when we moved in together 2002 and it wasn’t until 2004 when we bought this laptop (as you can see me typing of course) that the interest really started.

Nowadays I’m helping quite a few people out with software problems, hints, tips, installations and recommending programs for various usage.

I’m still not anywhere near where I’d like to be in terms of the art side but considering where I am on most of the other areas, I am sure, with some serious commitment and study, I’ll be up to speed there too.

On my beloved desktop (in the other room), there will be lots of flashing and beeping going on right now, as I have my Outlook open (which is my company e-mail client, containing all of Morrigan’s various e-mail accounts), Thunderbird open (the client for all my personal e-mail accounts), Facebook (for Morrigan Books), Skype (for business and to chat to family) and Word Press, to make sure all my blogs are ready to be updated.

In terms of the social network and blogging sites, today I am a member of:

LinkedIn (Morrigan Books and Personal)
Facebook (Morrigan Books, Gilgamesh Press and Personal)
Orkut (Personal)
MySpace (Personal)
Skype (Personal) (markdeniz)
Twitter (Morrigan Books, Gilgamesh Press and Personal)
Word Press (Personal, Fae Awareness Month and others) Beyond Fiction (Reviewing site))
Live Journal (Morrigan Books, Gilgamesh Press and Personal)
Blogger (Personal)
Dreamwidth (Personal)
Insane Journal (Personal)
Tumblr (Personal)
Posterous (Personal)
Digg (Personal)
Last.fm (Personal)
Flickr (Personal)

My aim is to try and keep this all updated and so this post should be appearing on all those, from Dark Room to Semagic and Live Writer to the various blogs and twitter accounts. Wish me luck, as I might need a lie down after this.

Oh and be sure to tweet, Digg, StumbleUpon and like this…Winking smile

MORRIGAN BOOKS signs Martyn Taylor’s Whitechapel for its e-book series

Morrigan Books has today signed a contract with author Martyn Taylor with regards to publishing his novel Whitechapel, as part of its new e-book series. Martyn has already been published by Morrigan Books in the anthology The Phantom Queen Awakes, with his short story The Good and Faithful Servant, and is also due to be published with Gilgamesh Press and their début anthology In the Footsteps of Gilgamesh with The No Man.

Morrigan Books is extremely excited about Whitechapel and believe it is a book that will whet the appetite of anyone who appreciates clever and imaginative fiction.

During the Indian summer of 1888 London is the capital of an empire that colours half the map of the earth red. Yet even the rulers of such an empire are taken aback when envoys arrive from a very distant location, wishing to come under the protective wing of the Great Queen. While the government entertains the visitors (the ‘Men from Mars’) they also have them kept under close observation by their chief secret policeman, Inspector Fred Abberline. These mysterious visitors also attract the attentions of a penniless radical teacher and journalist, George Wells, and his equally eccentric lady friend, Miss Cara Benn. As the negotiations proceed in Whitehall, in Whitechapel Abberline and Wells become involved in ghastly slaughters that will leave the inspector’s place secure in history, as well as opening up the future to Wells.

Whitechapel will be edited by one of Morrigan Books‘ newest editors, Amanda Rutter.

MORRIGAN BOOKS announces new editors

Morrigan Books can today reveal the names of several editors who have been taken on by the company in readiness for its new e-book series. Some are established, whereas others are new to the field, further strengthening the vision of Morrigan Books that it wishes to promote new talent at the company, as well as maintaining its level of excellence in the field of dark fiction.

We are very pleased to welcome the following to Morrigan Books:

RJ Barker

Karen Newman

Richard Palmer

Amanda Rutter

KV Taylor

All our editors can be found at the Morrigan Books site.

Rejection musings

As a writer, an editor and a publisher, you really get to see the rejection process from all the angles. I’m not sure it makes you wiser about the whole rejection situation but, at least for me, it doesn’t make me worry about my work not being good enough when one of my stories is rejected.

Today’s post was prompted by Harry Markov, writing in his blog about a rejection, in which he said:

Even if it doesn’t elicit tears, the rejection sends the message ‘you are not there, yet’ and nobody wants to hear that. After all, we are all special snowflakes.

I suppose I agree with the special snowflakes bit…but I have trouble agreeing with the comment of ‘you are not there yet’. This is because I am aware that your story may well have been rejected for several reasons, and many of them not involving the concept that you’re not there yet.

Maybe you have sent your short story to a themed anthology, and even though you have followed the guidelines perfectly, the story jars with the others in the anthology (this is a reason why I have always struggled with anthologies that accept stories before the deadline date, as how can you, as an editor, know how the book is going to look until you receive all the submissions?) and this means that no matter how good the story is, it’s not going to make it.

Two examples of this over at Morrigan Books, are: a story that was easily one of my favourite submissions for our The Phantom Queen Awakes anthology, from an author whose work I adore. Her story really didn’t gel with those already in the book and we were forced to reject it. The fact that I have asked if I can have the story as a new story for a collection we will be publishing is testament to the quality. In no way was this a ‘you are not there yet’.

The second was a sub for Voices, our hotel anthology. Both Amanda Pillar and I liked the story but felt it was lighter in tone than the others in the book and rejected it. That story will feature in an anthology, entitled ‘The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime‘ and I can understand why. Great story, didn’t suit Voices.

These are decisions made from an editor’s perspective but what of the publisher? What does he/she reject and why?

Easier decision here as it all comes down to sales and marketing and the industry as a whole. Well, that bit is simple, the getting all that right is another matter…

Anyway, it may be that this is just not the time for another zombie novel, much as you think it is prime time, and even though your zombie novel is brilliant, it’s not now it should be published. The argument for there always being a place for good quality fiction is sound but at the end of the day the publisher is not OK about going out of business to prove that point (I suppose given this year’s disappearance of several indie presses, this can be argued too).

For good or ill, this is how I see it when my beloved story/poem/novel is rejected. It wasn’t the right time, it didn’t fit the anthology, etc. This is a sound way to deal with form rejections, as if the publisher hasn’t deemed that the stories deserve a critical analysis then how can you know why they are being rejected?

If they tell you why it is and they inform you that ‘you are not there yet’, then send it off somewhere else and when it’s accepted, you can hope they see your story on another website/magazine/anthology!

Or you could see it as a personal rejection, be all maudlin about it and lose valuable writing time…

It’s basically up to you isn’t it?

WIP Wednesday (on a Friday)

Adage time, for it’s ‘better late than never’…I suppose!

Well another incredibly busy week at Morrigan Books, saw me learn the wonders of stripping a book down to its bare bones to create an e-book document, ready to add to Amazon and Smashswords. Lessons were learned here, as it makes much more sense to complete this phase before typesetting the book for print. Yes, we know this now!

We’re moving nicely into the e-book world with all our titles, apart from one, now available as an e-book. Requiems for the Departed, the Irish crime anthology edited by Gerard Brennan and Mike Stone is available today only at $3.99 on Smashswords!

There have also been discussions within the team about that December decision time that is looming ever nearer. There are going to be some changes at the company in readiness for 2011. Some big, some not so big. Most of it is stuff behind the scenes, however, and so I’m not sure how much the average person (not that I calling you average – there’s a context demographic here) will see…let’s wait and see eh?

One of the other things I’ve been doing this week is organising my schedule. I feel that I’ve not been working as effectively as I might, due to my tendency to get easily distracted on the net…you all know what I mean…

So I’ve been working out a schedule, focusing on different areas: accounts *shudder*, submissions, reviews (the chasing of), typesetting, mailing, etc., etc. I’ll be putting this into action on Monday (no point today eh, it’s nearly the weekend) so no doubt you’ll get a half-term report on Wednesday next week…

I remember setting up an internet free day once to help with company stuff…hmm…

There’ll be new books though, I guarantee you that, with at least five books now confirmed for 2011. That will actually be our biggest number in a year to date, and we’re not happy with that either. Double figures would not go amiss next year for us…yes, you heard that here first!

And for those following this blog, I have something you may be interested in. I have been noticing a trend in collapsing indie presses over the last couple of years, and, while this has saddened me, both for the publishers in question and those that have books with them, it gives me a chance to offer a publishing opportunity at Morrigan Books.

If you feel your book fits our submission guidelines and you feel you got a raw deal from your publisher then send me a mail and we discuss possibilities with us. Your book needs to be out of contract though, or will be very soon.

‘Dead Souls’ starts the Morrigan Books’ October sale!

And it’s Dead Souls that starts the sale, with a reduction from $20 to $12.99 (+ shipping) on the US version and down from £15 to £7.99 (+ shipping in the UK).

Dead Souls sale on Morrigan Books

On the Amazon site it is still listed as $20 but will be reduced to $13.99 (keep an eye out for that one!)

Some reasons why you should seriously be thinking about adding the anthology to your collection:

I’m giving this an almost unheard of five star rating for an antho (I’ve only done it one other time) because of the sheer number of stories in it that left a lasting impression on my mind. I thought of several of these tales for days after reading them.

KV Taylor (Goodreads)

[B+] Diverse, well arranged and edited. You can’t make a wrong decision with this anthology.

Temple Library Reviews

Mark S. Deniz gathers 25 stories that will not try to shock the reader through violent acts, but through a series of events that can change the human soul forever…I enjoyed “Dead Souls” in the fullest and I believe that it shows within its pages the true potential of psychological terror.

Dark Wolf’s Fantasy Reviews

It’s only on offer at these prices today, so don’t regret it, buy it now!

WIP Wednesday – Part One…

…well day one at least…as this is the first day I’ve actually written one of these, and I did promise to do it last week…

Remember, I said I was doing this as a Morrigan Books WIP and not my good self. Not sure the Morrigan Books website should be a blog tool, so I’m quite happy to get my thoughts down here.

I chose quite a good week, actually, as there’s a lot going on at present: I’ve just agreed to look at a novel by an author who has had a bit of a tough time with a publisher and wants her book to actually see the world, rather than be shoved away, forgotten, into a corner. I’m looking at six different submissions now, with a view to them joining the Morrigan Books’ catalogue – no, we’re not open for submissions yet, this is stuff that has just seemed to find its way to my desk through some means or other…

I’ve been in discussions regarding some book releases and the international version of Scenes from the Second Storey, got itself a new co-editor yesterday, as Sharon Ring will be working on that with me now. We’ve been in discussion with those in the know at the BFS and it’s looking very likely to be a launch in Brighton next September, along with Mike Stone‘s Lemon Man. Looking forward to the con already, especially after missing this year’s.

I’ve looked into new distribution alternatives and been in talks about US support. All that is messy behind-the-scenes stuff but has kept me rather busy. We’re working on changing some of the company’s structure soon – remember that December 2010, is the end of Morrigan Books…did I get you there? No, it’s actually the end of Morrigan Books’ three year plan, meaning the team is going to sit down and work out what is going to happen with the company. Considering we have Liz Williams on board for two Detective Inspector Chen novels, means the future is probably rather bright…

Oh, and get ready for the month of October, as Morrigan Books is going to be involved in some competitions and exciting sales…more on that soon…those who are members of the Morrigan Books mailing list will actually find out first!

That’s been my last few days at Morrigan Books, what have you lot been up to?

The Phantom Queen Awakes now available!

Love, death and war…

The Morrigan goddess represented all three to the ancient Celts. Journey with our authors as they tell stories of love, war, hatred, revenge and mortality – each featuring the Morrigan in her many guises.

Re-visit the world of Deverry, and of Nevyn, with a previously unpublished tale by Katharine Kerr, watch the Norse gods meet their Celtic counterparts with Elaine Cunningham, meet a druid who dances for the dead with C.E. Murphy and follow the path of a Roman centurion with Anya Bast.

These are but a few offerings from the stories collection in The Phantom Queen Awakes. If you are searching for a rich blend of dark fantasy, then this is a collection perfect for you.

The Phantom Queen Awakes stories:

Rising Tide: Ruth Shelton
Kiss of the Morrigan: Anya Bast
I Guard Your Death: Lynne Lumsden Green
Gifts of the Morrigan: Donald Jacob Uitvlugt
Cairn Dancer: C. E. Murphy
Washerwoman: Jennifer Lawrence
The Raven’s Curse: Sharon Kae Reamer
Ravens: Mari Ness
The Lass from Far Away: Katharine Kerr
The Trinket: Peter Bell
The Dying Gaul: Michael Bailey
The Children of Badb Catha: James Lecky
The Plain of Pillars: L. J. Hayward
The Silver Branch: Linda Donahue
The Good and Faithful Servant: Martyn Taylor
The White Heifer of Fearchair: T. A. Moore
She Who is Becoming: Elaine Cunningham

UK, Australian and European release dates to follow.

US: $20 (Amazon.com)

US: $20 (PayPal)

Great News!

Well I’ve been wittering on about the virtues of a certain ‘new’ writer since I started at Morrigan Books and Carole Johnstone announced yesterday that she is to feature in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year 2 with her tale Dead Loss from the cracking magazine Black Static.

I was first made aware of Carole when she sent a superb story, Scent, to In Bad Dreams volume two, which I snapped up immediately. She has then gone on to publish the short stories Sanctuary (Voices), The Discomfort of Words (Grants Pass), The Blind Man (Dead Souls) and The Harrowing (In the Footsteps of Gilgamesh – coming 2011), as well as the novella Frenzy from Eternal Press.

If you haven’t read her yet then make sure you do at the earliest opportunity!

Well deserved and so pleased for Carole!