It’s always tricky asking my friends for book recommendations. Knowing a lot of writers, reviewers and book lovers, I know if I ask for a recommendation I’ll open floodgates of books. I wrote a post about my ‘12 Favourite Books‘ and the minute I posted it I had my friends reminding me of so many other good books I had left off my list!
I spoke about Mildred Hubble and ‘The Worst Witch‘ (written by Jill Murphy) as part of Witch Wednesday yesterday. I really loved those books growing up. It was definitely my first experience of ‘fantasy’ and allowed me an escape into Mildred’s magical world which, although challenging seemed both similar and also more exciting than my own school experience.
I’ve read assorted books by horror authors over the years but recently I seem to have been enjoying short stories. I suppose that running around after a toddler and the other assorted demands mean my time is less (sadly no more Sunday afternoons lost in a book!) and my attention span is definitely shorter. However, there are so many fantastic short story writers out there, and for the purpose of this article, female short story writers.
Luckily for me, Adele Wearing, founder of Fox Spirit Books has always championed female writers and many of the assorted anthologies, including ‘Eve of War’ and the ‘Monsters’ series have been curated by women. Here’s a brief look at a two of my favourite Fox Spirit Femmes.
Chloë Yates: Chloë very kindly agreed to be interviewed as part of my ‘Big Interview‘ series where she spoke candidly of her battle with mental illness. She’s been a staple of a number of anthologies and I’ve always loved her work but it’s probably ‘Tuna Surprise!’ in ‘Under the Waves‘ which has stuck with me. Like all of her work, it’s unexpected, witty, dark and sharply written with a twist at the end.
KT Davies: another victim, sorry interviewee for my site. I raved about her debut novel ‘The Red Knight‘ and have been begging for a sequel. What I love about KT’s writing is her use of language – it’s so varied with a real mix of old English and more fruity swearing as well as her ability to write evocative fight scenes.
As part of their celebration for Women in Horror Month, Mental Floss created a list of 11 Female Horror Writers and I”m ashamed to admit that I’ve not read any of them. Have you? Who’s you’re favourite?
My collection of short stories, Weird Wild, was published on 20 March 2014. The first story I wrote for it was called ‘The Lake’ and was written as part of an online writing challenge. I didn’t know then what it would grow into!
I’ve always loved the woods. There’s nothing more relaxing than walking through forests, unless you’re being chased by a werewolf! We’ve visited forests in the UK, including ‘Wistman’s Wood’ in Dartmoor, as well as rainforests in Latin America and Asia and all helped inspire ‘Weird Wild’, with creepy mists, crooked trees and hidden dens.
The Stone Circle in Weird Wild is definitely inspired by my love of archaeology. I love Stonehenge and have been fascinated by stone circles, both in terms of what they tell us about our ancestors, but also the more mystical elements. My logical, scientific brain (and a number of my tutors!) debunked the idea of ley lines but there’s still something magical about these stones. Who’s to say they aren’t portals to the fairy realm?
How pretty are bluebells? It was an annual tradition growing up to visit ‘Bluebell Woods’ and see them when they bloomed each spring. I was fascinated to learn some of the more nefarious uses of this beautiful, if deadly, bell. I’d also never claim to be a poet, but the poem for Weird Wild was written fairly quickly, the voices and the bells ringing clearly.
So many beautiful lakes inspired ‘The Lake’. Whilst Lago Roja in Bolivia isn’t surrounded by trees like the lake in Weird Wild, the stillness and sense of isolation crept into the story.
Out in the wild!
As always, any sticky plot points were worked out during long walks. There’s something about being outside which definitely clears the fog and helps the writing process.
You can get your copy of Weird Wild from Amazon, or contact me below for a signed copy!
Eeeep, reviews and feedback, always makes me nervous! I remember desperately waiting but also dreading the reviews for ‘Tales of the Nun and Dragon‘ when they first came out but I have to devour all reviews of my work, good or bad (luckily they’ve been very complimentary so far). Below are the reviews for ‘Akane: Last of the Orions‘. If you would like a review copy of any of my books, please contact Fox Spirit Books or leave a comment below.
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