WHITHER JOHN LINWOOD GRANT?

I don’t usually let me (John Linwood Grant, in case you’d already forgotten) onto these pages. It gets boring, and I prefer talking about lurchers or other jolly creative people. But I’m at a difficult age, and the alternative is painting the kitchen ceiling, so I thought I’d have a mutter over where I was at the moment (in the wrong room, probably).

a candid shot of the author
a candid shot of the author

If you don’t really know me, I am:

  • a professional writer (i.e. I’m poor)
  • a devout lurcher enthusiast
  • an editor
  • older than is helpful some days

I am also six foot tall, an unreconstructed beard-owner, and believe in kindness and respect for others. But that’s probably not so relevant to this post. So forget that bit.

It’s clear that I’ll have to be better organised this year. For one thing, Django needs additional exercise, before he gets more of a little round tum. We might even have to find some agility classes to get him stretching those kangaroo legs.

not exercise
not exercise

But the whole creative bit is a spiderweb of whatever happens to be going on. At the moment I’m working on a ridiculous number of strands:

  1. Editing Occult Detective Quarterly, a regular magazine of strange things, with the talented writer/editor Sam Gafford
  2. Editing Their Coats All Red, an anthology of Imperial weirdness in Victorian times, with history buff and writer Matt Willis
  3. Putting together ODQ Presents, a new anthology of longer fiction
  4. Trying to sell my proposal for Venetian Weird, another dark fiction anthology concept

And…

  1. Drafting invited stories for a number of weird fiction anthologies
  2. Drafting another Last Edwardian novella featuring Captain Redvers Blake
  3. Writing Young Adult fiction
  4. Expanding my hoodoo tales with Mamma Lucy
  5. Toying with a ‘Sandra’s First Pony’ collection
  6. Responding to far too many Open Calls for story submissions because the idea sounds interesting (bad dog)

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And…

  1. Maintaining regular greydogtales posts, but I want to increase the lurcher/longdog content a touch more without reducing the rest
  2. Reviewing over a dozen cool-looking books, sent or requested by me
  3. Drafting interviews with seven or eight authors whose work I like
  4. Writing original features on bizarre period or supernatural topics
  5. Failing to keep my own author website up to date
  6. Posting every week about J Linseed Grant and St Botolph-in-the-Wolds on Facebook

I may well be doing other things, but I’ve forgotten what they are. I know I have half a dozen more stories sold and definitely in the pipeline. There’s roughly the same number sold but in Limbo due to various timing, announcement of publisher gremlins. The more likely suspects to appear this year include:

  • Hoodoo Man – A Last Edwardian tale set in twenties Harlem, with Mamma Lucy
  • Another Mamma Lucy story from the twenties (TBA)
  • Heart Shall Speak No More – A Last Edwardian standalone set in Suffolk
  • On Abydos, Dreaming – my Technosophy science fiction universe
  • An Age of Reason – a second Technosophy tale from an earlier period

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The problem with getting published all over the place in very different venues is that I suspect I’m too thinly spread. (not something any one ever says about my ‘robust’ physique).

Hence the need for a novella/novel in the near future. Sometimes you need something more solid to get people’s attention. And even money.

It’s all very stimulating – I can’t argue with that bit. But order must come from this chaos, at some time during the forthcoming year.

john linwood grant
john linwood grant in his own vivid imagination

So send all donations to “The Save John Linwood Grant Fund”, care of The Vicarage, St Botolph-in-the-Wolds. And if you send raw chicken carcasses, our usual currency, please do refrigerate them.

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ODQ PRESENTS… PUBLISHING MADNESS AT ITS FINEST

We fell silent here for a few days due to writing commitments, Chilli’s attack of the runs, and a new project hatching at the Doomed Meddlers’ secret base in the Antarctic. So here’s the scoop on that last one. Electric Pentacle Press is announcing a brand new ODQ Presents anthology, devoted to the psychic, paranormal and down-right odd investigators that we love.

(A scoop was also needed for the lurcher problem, but you probably don’t want much more detail on that one. Let’s just say it was mostly a Category One, if you know your ‘Lurchers for Beginners’ chart.)

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Occult Detective Quarterly launched in print in January 2017, and has had some fantastic reviews (you can get copies through the link on the right-hand side). We had been receiving submissions since the middle of 2016, and a lot of them. Every so often we received a story far too long for the magazine, or a detailed proposal for a novelette or novella length piece of fiction. We’re talking anywhere from 8,000 to 28,000 words. As we went through the process of story selection, and then started reading submissions for Issue 2, due April, we felt that we had a creative conundrum.

The conundrum arose because more than enough classy tales in the typical 3,000 to 6,000 zone were coming in to meet our forward needs for the magazine itself. In fact, a number of the 2nd round submissions were superb. The long stories we’d seen would take up two, maybe three, of those slots – but some were very tempting.  We wanted a wide range of tales in each issue, and yet we liked the bigger stories as well. Um.

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So, we came up with an idea which would also be an experiment. Was there a genuine appetite for meatier (or tofu-ier) stories, typically 10,000 words or more? The obvious way to find out was to publish some, and see what happened.

Cunningly, we combined Sam Gafford’s enormous creativity, John Linwood Grant’s willingness to follow orders, and Travis Neisler’s blood-lust for publishing. We prodded our experienced Consulting Editor Dave Brzeski with a stick in case he passed out at the idea, and eventually came up with…

Occult Detective Quarterly Presents

ODQ Presents No. 1 will be an anthology of longer occult detective fiction, showing off a wide range of talent. The stories inside will run from 10,000 to 30,000 words. They have been chosen from the queries, samples and proposals  mentioned above (even then we couldn’t take everyone). These will be accompanied by two or three additional long tales that we’ve been discussing on the quiet.

As we had most of the material in hand, and this was a trial venture, we decided against an Open Call for submissions. Asking writers to compete for maybe only one new fiction slot would be time-consuming for everyone, and frankly not very much fun. 99% of it would have involved sending out rejections to jolly good stories that wouldn’t physically fit in.

However, if ODQ Presents works, such an anthology would become a regular event, and a way of writers getting out that longer material. So we’ll need people to support the experiment, buy copies and spread the good word.

ODQ Presents – Contents

What’s going to be in the first ODQ Presents? Some of that will be announced in Doomed Meddler Central on this site as we go along. What we will say is that we are delighted to be anchoring the premier issue with a brand-new novella by Adrian Cole, a rollicking and wild occult adventure.

Adrian was with us in ODQ #1, and has had lots of success with his Pulpworld stories (amongst others). His latest gritty collection Tough Guys was released in 2016. A prolific short story writer, his Nick Nightmare series already has many occult detective fans in its grip, and a collection of those stories, Nick Nightmare Investigates, won a British Fantasy Award for “Best Collection”.

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Without ODQ Presents, we had no way of offering this novella to the readership. Look forward, therefore, to AT MIDNIGHT ALL THE AGENTS…, possibly the maddest Nick Nightmare escapade yet.

And to complement it, we will be including six or seven (yes!) exciting occult detective novelettes with very different settings and themes. We have some terrific authors lined up, and some of their contributions may well surprise you. We’re doing this because we want to show how weird and varied the occult detective field can be.

Our time-scale at the moment is to have all the final material together by early Summer 2017. This allows for agreement on the direction of proposals and drafts already received, cover and layout decisions, ongoing edits and so on, to produce the finest end-result we can.

Publication is planned for Autumn 2017, and the book will be made immediately available on Amazon UK and US. As we said, should it sell well, we would be keen to do ODQ Presents No. 2, this time with an Open Call for new submissions.


So there we are. Be an Occulteer, and a member of the coolest gang in town. You can find current status, guidelines and general ODQ content details in Doomed Meddler Central to the right. You can also join our active Facebook group, where news and views are shared regularly:

odq on facebook

odqpres1a


What passes for normal service on greydogtales will be resumed next week, dear listener…

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Worrell and Ward – Vampire Women Go Fishing

Leonard Nimoy’s directorial debut, Robert E Howard trivia and Weird Tales magazine, but most importantly, women in horror. For our last post during Women in Horror Month, we visit two female authors from very different times. Welcome to Everil Worrell, a major contributor to Weird Tales magazine from 1926 onwards, and Cynthia Ward, a writer in the Here and Now. Today we’ll be mostly musing on Worrell’s ‘Canal’, and on Cynthia’s new novella Adventure of the Incognita Countess, with some of our usual odds and sod thrown in. And yes, there are female vampires (and water) involved in both…

Weird_Tales_January_1953

We love many contemporary authors of weird literature and dark fantasy, However, you may have noticed that we have a mild obsession with early strange, supernatural and detective fiction. The interesting thing about hunting out women writers in the early part of the Twentieth Century is that they are there, but many are overshadowed now. Key novels and novellas by men have entered the hallowed lists as markers in the development of the weird. A number of the women in question wrote short stories which are spread out across time and different publications. Many never made single author collections, or had novels published.

EVERIL WORRELL

We’ve picked Everil Worrell (1893-1969) to mention, as she was well-regarded at the time, and a key player in Weird Tales. She was born on November 3, 1893 in Nebraska, though her family moved a number of times. A biography of Worrell, by her daughter Jeanne Eileen Murphy, was included in the first edition of Robert Weinberg’s Weird Tales Collector in 1977.

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You can find more biographical details at the informative Tellers of Weird Tales site here:

http://tellersofweirdtales.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/everil-worrell-1893-1969.html

everil worrell

She married in 1926, and in the same year began regular appearances in Weird Tales. It’s hard to verify how many stories she wrote in total – at least twenty four titles can be found. Nineteen of them certainly appeared in Weird Tales between 1926 and 1954, one under the pen-name Lireve Monet. As Everil W Murphy she also contributed two stories to Ghost Stories, a US pulp magazine which came out between 1926 and 1932.

Trivia: Ghost Stories, if you don’t know it, ran a number of original tales and reprints, including reprints of stories by Mrs Oliphant, Agatha Christie and Charles Dickens. They even ran a Robert E Howard story, ‘The Apparition in the Prize Ring’, under the name John Taverel. This story is also known as ‘The Spirit of Tom Molyneaux’, and is one of two Howard stories about black boxer Ace Jessel, the ‘ebony giant’.

It’s a shame that you can’t get a collection of her stories. You have to search for them one by one, mostly as magazine scans or old archives, or through her infrequent presence in anthologies. Eric Davin, in his book Partners in Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction, 1926-1965, points out:

“Some of the highest reader-voted stories in the entire existence of Weird Tales were by female authors Greye La Spinya… and Everil Worrell (The Bird of Space 1926)”

Davin, 2005

She made the cover of Weird Tales three times, starting with that September 1926 story ‘The Bird of Space’, which isn’t bad considering this was in the first year she was with Weird Tales.

weird_2609

Her last appearance was in the March 1954 issue, only a few months before Weird Tales gave up the ghost, thus giving her one of the longest involvement with the magazine of all their regular writers.

Rather neatly, her appearance in September 1926 was twinned with ‘The Projection of Armand Dubois’ by Henry S Whitehead, one of our favourite of the ‘period weird’ writers. And a month later, her story ‘Cattle of Furos’ was in print along with ‘Jumbee’, another well-known tale by Whitehead.

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Her work was spread across various speculative genres or sub-genres – supernatural and ghostly, science fiction, fantasy and horror. Our particular interest here is in her story ‘The Canal’, which is an unashamed vampire horror story, and quite a neat one.

“Past the sleeping city the river sweeps; along its left bank the old canal creeps. I did not intend that to be poetry, although the scene is poetic—somberly, gruesomely poetic, like the poems of Poe. I know it too well—I have walked too often over the grass-grown path beside the reflections of black trees and tumble-down shacks and distant factory chimneys in the sluggish waters that moved so slowly, and ceased to move at all. I have always had a taste for nocturnal prowling.”

This night-time wanderer encounters a half-sunken barge, and its strange occupants, only to find that a passing fancy becomes more complicated and horrifying than expected. If he follows his initial instincts, he may unleash something on the world beyond the canal.

First published in December 1927, ‘The Canal’ was adapted for television in an episode of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery. Rewritten a tad, the episode was called ‘Death on a Barge’, and released in March 1973. The strapline they used is a touch peculiar:

“A fishmonger ignores his friends’ warnings when he falls for a wraith-like young woman.”

More Trivia: It’s fun to note that ‘Death on a Barge was Leonard Nimoy’s directorial debut. Nimoy didn’t direct again until Vincent (1981) a one-man filmed play of his adaptation of “Van Gogh” (1979) by Phillip Stephens. The young woman was played by Lesley Ann Warren, who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the 1982 film Victor/Victoria. No vampires in that, though.

lesley ann warren in night gallery
lesley ann downs in night gallery

‘The Canal’ story  seems to be in the public domain, and you can read the whole story here:

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Canal

You can also find it in Weird Vampire Tales: 30 Blood-Chilling Stories from the Weird Fiction Pulps (1992), which is available second-hand from various sources. This great thick collection happens to include “The Antimacassar” by Greye La Spina, another female author we mentioned briefly above.

81X4MQ13FmLhttp://amzn.eu/cWV6WGZ


THE ADVENTURE OF THE INCOGNITA COUNTESS

Right, let’s salute Everil Worrell, skip a lot of decades and come to our other work for the day. Cynthia Ward actually first came to our attention via a book she and fellow-writer Nisi Shawl wrote, Writing the Other. This is an interesting set of meditations on approaching writing and diversity:

‘Nisi and Cynthia collaborated to develop a workshop… with the aim of both increasing writers’ skill and sensitivity in portraying difference in their fiction as well as allaying their anxieties about “getting it wrong.” Writing the Other: A Practical Approach is the manual that grew out of their workshop. It discusses basic aspects of characterization and offers elementary techniques, practical exercises, and examples for helping writers create richer and more accurate characters with “differences.”‘

Cynthia herself has published a number of fantastical tales in various anthologies such as Athena’s Daughters, Wax and Wane and Sword and Sorceress.

wax-and-wane-cover

This February, Aqueduct Press released her new novella, The Adventure of the Incognita Countess. As the novella has vampires and is set on the waters (albeit the Atlantic rather than canals and rivers), we thought we should pair her with Everil Worrell. How’s that for tenuous?

We admit to being fans of period espionage, occult and the whole caboodle, so we may not be unbiased over this one. Just read the blurb:

“It’s the easiest assignment a British intelligence agent could hope for. Lucy Harker needs only see the secret plans of the Nautilus safely across the Atlantic. As German spies are largely a fantasy of newspapers, she anticipates no activities more strenuous than hiding her heritage as Dracula’s dhampir daughter. Then among her fellow Titanic passengers she discovers the incognita Countess Karnstein—and it seems the seductive vampire is in Germany’s service. Can Agent Harker stake Carmilla before her own heart—and her loyalty to the British Empire—are subverted by questions as treacherous as a night-cloaked iceberg?”

(A dhampir or dhampyre, incidentally, is a half-breed cross between a vampire and a human, who can bear the light of the sun, and so forth, but has certain extraordinary abilities. The term comes originally from Balkan folk-stories.)

We are indeed in classic Carmilla territory – treachery, hidden secrets and lesbian vampires, but with a difference, and with some nice nods to other period sources. This is not quite Sheridan Le Fanu’s take on things. We particularly enjoyed the connections with H G Wells’s War of the Worlds, and the use of recovered Martian technology by the British Empire. Heat-rays up, girls, and at ’em.

Lucy Harker here is a rather likeable character, though ready to do what British Intelligence demands of her despite her own feelings. We were also amused by the addition of one Lord Greyborough, who may have an affection for apes in his background. We leave you to work out the links there.

“From the sudden flaring of the viscount’s nostrils and tensing of his body, it’s clear Lord Greyborough has also caught her scent. Has he recognised she’s a type of vampire? Perhaps more importantly, how did he detect her scent at all? He’s human; his scent makes that clear. And humans, compared to monsters and animals, essentially have no sense of smell.”

Add in mention of the Nautilus, international political intrigue and the fateful voyage of the Titanic, and you have plenty with which to play.

The Adventure of the Incognita Countess is available now, in paperback and Kindle formats – link below:

the incognita countess on amazon uk

the incognita countess on amazon us


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Women in Horror Month may be closing down for this year, but we at greydogtales don’t worry about that sort of thing too much. We will continue to salute other female writers of horror and the weird as we bumble our way along. As you do. Join us in a few days for more of our dubious scholarship, trivia and features…

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Come Face the Raven and the Viking

Have you ever been on a viking? Or is that a delicate question? We’re all Norse today, dear listener, because of an excellent new collection of tales, The Raven’s Table, by Christine Morgan. Also, we come from the Nordic North of England – most of the family are from around the old Viking capital of Jorvik (York, if you must). And we grew up by the North Sea, steeped in this stuff, which is something we’ve talked about before. Our rune-roots are strong, so let the rowers put their backs into it…

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If you have ever felt like you wanted to fara í viking, you would have been driving your longship through the spray, and dreaming of rich pickings. You would be a vikingr, a Norse raider and trader, but not exactly the revived romantic of the 18th and 19th centuries. You wouldn’t have had too many cow horns stuck to your helmet, either.

If you doubt our expertise, by the way, here’s a genuine photograph of John Linwood Grant. Here he is dressed in his usual day clothes, taken in the late 60s in East Yorkshire.

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Christine Morgan is a North American writer of many years’ experience, with a varied output from her Elf Lore books to The Horned Ones: Cornucopia and Murder Girls, shifting between fantasy, other speculative forms and horror. Perhaps most importantly, she’s been a prolific short story writer, and might be said to major in twisting history.

Now she is about to release a collection of her short stories, but this isn’t a slice through her multi-genre range. Instead, The Raven’s Table is very specifically tales of the vikings or Norsefolk. We say folk, rather than men, because the book is generously spattered with women, men and monsters. It’s an excellent read, and we really do recommend it – brutal, lyrical and fantastical. No sitting on the fence with vague plaudits. Let’s find out more…

viking writer

greydog: Christine, Welcome to greydogtales. Your new book The Raven’s Table is a must-have for anyone with an interest in stories based on Nordic mythology and lore. Reading it was a great pleasure, so first of all, congratulations!

cm: Thanks so much! This whole thing, for all it’s been years in the making, still seems like a rather stunning and sudden surprise, but I’m loving it!

greydog: We know that you write horror. We know that you write fantasy. We even know snippets of your work from stories like ‘Her Father’s Skin’, in Flesh Like Smoke, from April Moon Books (ed. Brian Sammons). What we hadn’t expected was this major collection of Nordic tales. So we’d better ask a few questions. When did the idea for Raven’s Table first come to mind?

cm: Sort of light-heartedly, when I realized I was getting quite a stockpile of Viking stories… “enough for a collection already” was the thought that went through my head. But once it was in there, I couldn’t shake it, and in the meantime I kept writing and selling yet more Viking stories. I figured hey, I must be doing something right, as well as this being something people like to read. Then some of those people started asking when it was going to happen. I half-jokingly pitched the notion to Ross at Word Horde, and he went for it! Now, here we are!

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greydog: We imagine there’s some serious research behind Raven’s Table. A necessity or a pleasure?

cm: Both, definitely lots of both. Including a family vacation Norwegian cruise, which gave me the chance to soak in the spectacular scenery from the comfort of a cruise ship — I am not in person rugged or outdoorsy; I’m a bad camper; the idea of doing the actual living history or re-enacting is one I love and admire but am totally unsuited for.

On that trip, we did visit an Iron Age farm, and the Viking Ship Museum, and both were amazing experiences. Being able to stand there within feet of those ships, absorbing the history and taking it all in… wow. For book-type research, it gets a little trickier because so much never got written down, but even that makes for some fascinating puzzle-piecing and extrapolation.

greydog: The collection is a mixture of previously published and new stories, but you wouldn’t know it. They read as a fairly seamless set of tales. Did you have to tinker, or did you find that they flowed nicely as they were?

cm: To my surprise, not much tinkering was required. I gathered them up mostly in chronological order of publication, which was also mostly the order in which they’d been written — many for themed anthology calls, which I adore! — and that made for an interesting variety. The others got added in wherever, finishing with the longest, the novella ‘Brynja’s Beacon.’

I’d started writing that one and realized partway in that it was, in a weird sort of way, a Viking take on the brooding gothic, where the young governess arrives at the mansion of dark intrigue and family secrets, with the mysterious handsome master and the children and the sinister relatives … except, instead of a governess, it’s Unn the slave girl, and instead of a mansion, it’s a longhouse.

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greydog: Norse Gothic sounds a good route to go. There’s quite a lot of song/verse sprinkled here and there in the collection. Was this all your own creation, or a reworking of traditional lays to fit the mood of the stories?

cm: The one in ‘The Vulgarity of Giants’ is a reworking of the saga about Thor in the giant Gierrod’s hall, and the one in ‘With Honey Dripping’ is a … well … goat-smutted up variation on another traditional Thor story … the rest are pretty much mine, though some also draw heavily upon fairy tales and other influences. The thing about sagas that I find most appealing is, I love poetry but am not good at it in most other forms. Whenever I try, it locks into Dr. Seuss rhyming structure. The sagas get me away from that.

greydog: Viking and Nordic fantasy can be very cliched – a longship and some hack’n’slash raids. You seem to have teased out much richer elements, showing many different sides of their life, including domestic issues – ‘The Fate-Spinners’, as one example. Can we take it that this was quite deliberate?

cm: Oh, definitely; I wanted to look at those other aspects of life, those other perspectives. In addition to the hack’n’slash, of course; I do always love me a good battle too. When I was working on ‘Sven Bloodhair’, I seem to recall posting something about how any day I can write about grisly decapitations is a good day. But yes, I also wanted to bring in a lot of female point-of-view, as well as those of children and elders, not all the big burly warriors.

This also tied in to my love of fairy tales, a lot of which originally came from the mothers and grandmothers and grandfathers. It helped, though, that there were also a lot of strong women in Viking history and culture. They had to be, and it showed.

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greydog: It would be pointless to separate these into fantasy or horror tales – many embody elements of both genres. And some are intensely dark and serious, with endings which bring a shiver. At the same time you have a touch for the earthy, rather than the high-falutin’. Troll piss springs to mind, and shockingly, people have to empty bladder or bowels. Does the mix reflect a personal preference for stories rooted in reality, rather than high fantasy?

cm: My preferences as a reader range widely, from the high-falutin’ literary artistic to the gonzo bizarro and gross-out extreme, so it just naturally goes the same in my writing. And it’s particularly apt for the Viking stuff … the stories of their gods got crass and raunchy too … Loki zinging Freya about farting during sex with her brother, or tying his testicles to a goat’s beard … Odin drinking the magic mead of poetry and then escaping in eagle form and pooping some of it out onto mortals … Thor having to put on a bridal dress to get his hammer back … the people of that time liked their ribald earthy humor as much as anyone else in history. Shakespeare and Chaucer certainly had their share.

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greydog: Very true. Now, we have to mention your tale ‘Nails of the Dead’, which must be the best take on Naglfar and its role in Norse myth we’ve seen. Can you share something about that story?

cm: I’m so glad you brought that up; ‘Nails of the Dead’ is a personal favorite and I really wanted to do justice to a myth that is this fantastic evocative spooky thing of which we’re left with hardly any information. At the time, the tellers could just toss the mention out there because it was part of the general lore their audiences knew — my academic hero Professor Drout has a whole bit about this in one of his lectures — but by the time anybody got around to writing it down, the details somehow never made it.

So here’s this bit of wisdom about trimming your nails, and why, and this ship … and that’s all we get. I wanted more. What would this ship look like? How did they get the fingernails? I started thinking someone or something had to collect them, and got this image in my head of a kind of tooth fairy graverobber ghoul-type figure, going around with little pliers; from there it just wrote itself.

viking-30454_960_720greydog: It is a fantastic story. And is this collection the masterwork, or mistresswork, for your Nordic plans? Do you have more in store?

cm: More, more, more! I’ve continued submitting Viking stories to anthologies; probably close to enough for another collection before too long. I’m about thirty thousand words into a Viking horror novel called ‘The Slaughter’, which I elevator pitch as Dexter-meets-Beowulf. I love historical fiction, mythology, and ancient cultures of all types, so I also dabble with Greek/Roman, Egyptian, Aztec/Maya, and others… but the Vikings is where my heart’s truly happiest. Probably because I can get away with the most outrageous purple prose; that’d earn me an editorial swat in any other genre, but over-the-top descriptions and poetic language and alliteration is all good here!

greydog: Finally, we grew up on Viking stories and films which varied from utterly naff to inspiring. What fictional treatments – film, TV or books – are you most fond of?

cm: My first Viking-type memory, like so many others of us I’m sure, would have to be What’s Opera, Doc… kill da wabbit, spear and magic helmet, Bugs Bunny as sexy Brunhilde. I learned early on that the horned helmet thing was Wagnerian license taken too far, so I’ve developed a bit of a peeve about that.

My hands-down fave for best depiction in film is The 13th Warrior; I thought the Lord of the Rings movies did a great job with the Riders of Rohan as drawn on Tolkien’s take on the Norsemen. Book-wise, Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon series is part of what woke my own inner Viking in the first place, and I enjoyed the TV adaptation of The Last Kingdom. And I must give a huge shout-out to the animated series Gargoyles, not only for its many major impacts on my life but because their Vikings were proper Vikings, they brought in Odin, they did a lot very, very right.

greydog: A lovely range of choices. Many thanks for joining us, and the very best with your next project.

cm: Thank you for having me, for the great questions, and giving me space to ramble!

rt_cover_sm-672x1024The Raven’s Table is out on 28th February 2017, and you can order here (UK)

http://amzn.eu/cyJrcmr

Or here (US)

http://a.co/d7PgI7o


We couldn’t end without the classic theme tune from The Vikings (1958). It wouldn’t be right.

You can find more Nordic stuff kicking around the site, including this post here:   whale-road, widow-maker


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In two or three days on greydogtales, O best beloved, – something with less vikinger in it, we imagine…

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Literature, lurchers and life