Tag Archives: my writing

Interview without a Vampire

I don’t write vampire stories, and I probably never will. I could argue at length that the whole vampire thing’s been done to death, only to proved wrong by a magnificent piece of contemporary fiction. I’ll leave it to others to decide. I do, however, write stories of revenants, my Returned, who are darker than most vampires and seriously lacking in capes or erotic dread. As I sold one of these stories, A Stranger Passing Through, to an anthology the other week, here’s a taster from another part of the sequence, purely for fun:

the seven, of assyrian legend


You ask what we are. We are crippled children, vomited from our graves – sick, secretive and self-destructive. This is how it has always been, since long before crosses and crescents, or the pointless spattering of holy water.

They say that Assyria was at its height when the first of us came forth. We are liars, though, and I suspect that the tale was invented to make us sound more grand. Each of us returns to the world alone, in darkness and ignorance, filthy and half-mad. Try making that sound romantic.

This isn’t a fiction of Gothic clans, or fancy societies and ancient blood-lines. I could no more ‘sire’ another one of the Returned than I could give birth to a horse. It’s a doom, a punishment, whatever you want to call it, and we bear it on our own. It’s not a way of starting a new family and settling down with kids.

Are we all as monstrous as the ones I broke that night in Chelsea? Not quite. Some take their minds down other paths, quiet exercises in futility. I know a Catholic priest, Father Michael, who’s been Returned since the seventeenth century. Every thirty or so years he finds a small, godforsaken parish and does the Lord’s work until he’s been there too long, or until he runs out of ways in which to feed without causing serious harm.

Father Michael clings to his theories of redemption. That this is our Purgatory, and we must live with what we are until we find release. I remember sipping a good brandy and watching him across the dining-room table, many years ago. County Sligo, a broken-down parochial house. He’d just taken Evening Mass. I told him that I didn’t believe in Purgatory, the Day of Judgement or the Easter Bunny.

Then maybe you need belief, of some sort. Maybe that’s what will free you.”

It hasn’t done much for you,” I said, which was unkind.

Not yet.” He poured me another brandy, unruffled. “But the Lord is patient.”

Father Michael is still waiting for his God to notice him.

And then there’s Lucas. Lucas was borderline, on the edge of total shut-down, when he found colour. And apparently I had to hear all about it. Spring, 1969, it must have been, because he was still living in the hotel at King’s Cross. One of those hotels where he was the only actual resident, and the other rooms saw ten or more occupants a day, scoring, screwing, stabbing. It was a symphony of curses and banging doors, the sound of flesh on flesh and broken springs.

I had kept up with him because he’d saved me from serious damage towards the end of the Second World War. It’s a long story, for another time, but because of that incident, I called on him whenever I was in London for a while. I was growing more reserved, more distant from my kind. He was travelling inwards in a different way. Obsessive compulsive, they might call it now.

I kicked my way past the prostitutes and the dealers, found the lift broken again, and took the stairs. Lucas was waiting for me, his door already open. He ushered me in without a word. His single room had been converted into a sort of bed-sitter. You could sleep and sit in it, certainly, but not much else. Lucas waited, expectant. His narrow lips were tugged into a smile, wrinkling up his face. He’d not been young when he was Returned.

Well?” he asked.

The room was blue. Which is to say, everything in it was blue, every single thing. The walls had been painted a pale, morning sky colour, but at the edges they merged into a summer blue, more intense. He had taken a rickety wash-stand and painted that in shades of turquoise, while a desk and chair were indigo and ultramarine. I could identify twenty, maybe thirty shades of blue without even having to squint.

What is it? You’ve taken up interior decorating?”

No.” His smile widened. “I’ve found the point of it all, don’t you see? If it’s all blue, then it’s right. That’s how I put it right, see? I take an apple, and it’s all yellow and red and messed up, but if I paint it blue, then it’s OK.”

Uh-huh.” I nodded. “So, how come you’re not wearing blue clothes, Lucas?”

He looked ashamed. “I’m not ready. I have to start on the outside, then move in towards me. I’m painting the corridor, over the next week, so the room is like a centre-piece for the whole floor. I’ve spoken to the owners.”

The owners. A filthy middle-aged couple who took their cut from the deals that went on up there and only washed the linen when it stood up on its own. They lived in the basement, in conditions worse than the rooms they rented out. What would they care?

Nice.” I didn’t need to say much, because he filled up the next two hours with a non-stop lecture on the harmony of the colours, and how he couldn’t walk the pavements outside without blue leather shoes which had their soles painted… blue. If he’d been in Santa Monica or somewhere like that, he could have become Professor of Hippy Madness. In London he was just eccentric.

He was obsessional, no doubt about that. We ate fried potatoes, dyed blue before cooking, blue eggs, blue everything. The food dye went everywhere, and not all the paint around the room was properly dry. I watched his stained fingers as we ate. I remembered those fingers tearing open a man’s rib-cage, scattering innards across a field in France. A red day, not a blue one.

I’m aiming for green next, maybe in a year or two,” he shared with me.

That might make meals easier.” Nothing had tasted bad, but there was something wrong about a plateful of blue food. At least next time I would be able to enjoy the salad. Lucas nodded, lost in his colours and his dreams.

As far as I know, he’s still there. One day I’ll find out which part of the rainbow he’s up to.

You can feel better now that you know the truth. Or you can feel worse. It doesn’t much matter to me. If there is a Heaven, it doesn’t want us. If there is a Hell, it cannot hold us.

We are Returned.



Coming up next, our mid-week medley. That’ll be mid-week, probably.

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Five Books What I Did Not (Quite) Write

Do you have an unsold novel under the bed? Did you write Larry Potter and the Chamberpot of Secrets years before J K Dowelling even thought of the endearing Weasel family? You are not alone, dear listener, for I, J Linseed Grant, have been there and wept the bitter tears of Why Didn’t I Get My Act Together Sooner.

hey, we can't play bitey face with these on...
hey, we can’t play bitey face with these on…

We’re going to return to the lurchers next week, including a post on the super game of bitey face, which is a common cause of sheer terror and misunderstanding if you come across it without warning. However, as it’s the weekend, we’re relaxing and throwing yellowed, crumbling manuscripts up in the air for fun.

All these money-making plot ideas were mine, once. Brooding young vampires called Edwin who are covered in shiny sprinkles when you get them in the sunlight, and who have a troubled relationship with a nearby clan of were-badgers. Found footage horrors such as the Bleurgh! Witch, in which a group of students drink too much pale ale and wander off in the woods only to become terrified by their lack of proper sanitary facilities. And my classic Fifty Shades of Beige, where a woman is lead into the strange world of Dulux paint charts, a journey of self-discovery which exposes her desire to paint her house in taupe, oatmeal and barley all at the same time.

an unexpurgated version of that dulux chart

A long time ago, way back before I started greydogtales, before I began to write short stories, I produced big, solid novels. We’re mostly talking the late eighties and early nineties here. They were very big, solid novels. The sort where you settle for a rough weight in kilos rather than a word-count. I didn’t do much with any of them, I merely added to the stack every year or so. It wasn’t long before being in paid employment became more important than constant editing and re-writing for no tangible reward, and the process was pretty much abandoned.

But the ‘stack’ still existed in principle, and over these last few months I’ve been finding out where the little poppets were – under a table, in the loft, propping up an old printer etc. I’m pretty sure I’ve found all of them now, and I’ve even glanced through sample chapters. Having done so, I think it’s likely that most won’t ever see the light of day again (the only obvious exception is the horror novel I mentioned a few days ago, House of Clay, which which may yet happen -see author writes book).

You see, I didn’t write those books. Another me, many years ago, wrote them. It’s very tempting to go back and reflect on old, cherished things. You only need a shovel, a lantern and easy access to a cemetery, and you’re away… no, that wasn’t what I was talking about, was it?

The temptation I meant was that one where you get your early work out and wonder if you can still peddle it somewhere. A tweak here, maybe an ‘in’ phrase there, make that character a woman and take out the references to Disraeli…

The truth is that in most cases their time has passed. Some have concepts that were new and exciting when written, but are now commonplace. It’s quite irritating, really, to write something in 1986 and then see your idea used as a regular formula thirty years later. Whining “I thought of it first” will not get you gold stars, or even a pint at the bar.

Some were never the books I wanted them to be. In at least one case I no longer care if the characters accidentally fall down a well and drown en masse. I’d even push some of them. Let’s face it, most of your old work is… old work.

Anyhow, out of curiosity, I looked at five of my (roughly) completed manuscripts, and decided to grade them. Boy, do I know how to have fun? The answer’s still No, by the way.

A Song of Ice and Turkeys

Our number one spot goes to one of my first novels, The Path of Years. This gets an A for effort, and an F for any possibility of it ever being published or even understood. It’s a deep religious fantasy based on the politics of a monotheistic Aztec/Mayan-type culture riven by internal power struggles. It has maps! Dynasties! Betrayals! It has a culture so well-imagined that you’d be better off reading a history book, and you’d need a glossary for every page. It includes its own languages, based on Meso-American tongues and even some song extracts. Verdict: One absolutely for the Vault, or even under it.

the path of years
the path of years

I See Far Too Many Dead People

Number two, far more readable than Path of Years, is the oddly titled Shasten. A sort of horror novel, this recounts the problems of a medieval spiritual order taking refuge on an island off Tunisia, where they are in conflict with a growing Islamic movement. Not because they’re Christian or Jewish, but because they happen to be contemplative necromancers who use the withered dead as servants. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it – and it has the occasional cracking scene – but it’s hard now to imagine why anyone would want to amble through it. Verdict: Another for the Vault.

The Malazan Book of the Complicated

The third novel is almost sellable – The Wavedancer’s Daughter. It’s one of my Os Penitens fantasies, set in a culture where face-changing and manipulation of the flesh are commonplace, where grievances last for millenia and The Silence of His Voice can still be heard. Grimdark in a way, if you know the fantasy term. The Chrisante Gate watches the Gynarch’s dream unfold, and huge cultures clash at every level. There’s a lot of betrayal, and some great ideas. The trouble is, I can’t stand the main character any more and want to push her down that well I mentioned earlier. The rewrites would be enormous. Verdict: To be used to keep the Vault Door open.

High Plains Slaughterer

Number four, and we’re getting closer to something we could possibly use – Pale Woman, which was never properly finished off and yet has some of the bits I most like. A dark fantasy again, but not medieval, not quite like anything I’ve seen elsewhere. Its roots are a touch Anglo-Saxon, but more plain weird. Closer to horror, with a main character I loved: Pale Woman herself. She’s dead, restless and bound to a perverted form of justice, a thin, lonely figure with lank hair who destroys as much as she saves. One of the books I’d most like to risk re-visiting. Verdict: Near the Vault, but not quite in it.

The Starvation Games

The fifth and last – Strange Weapons. The only novel I submitted a few times, and one which almost got there. Read and re-read by more than one agent, praised but not taken at the last hurdle, very popular with its beta-readers. It needed a rewrite, and I didn’t have the energy at the time. This one, surprisingly, is a contemporary dystopian tale set in a world falling apart. Britain is engulfed in civil war, Europe has closed its borders, the States have descended into isolationist in-fighting. Across Africa, moderates, animists and Muslims alike struggle to hold back a right-wing Christian movement which seeks to establish the Black Cross over every city and village on that continent. Verdict: I’d need a lot of pale ale, but…

strange weapons
strange weapons

My concluding advice to me, and to others, would be to be brutal. Best use for old manuscripts:

  • steal any characters which worked in their own right – intriguing personalities, traits etc. – but don’t keep them just because you were vaguely fond of them.
  • check if there are plot-lines which were sound when the book itself wasn’t, and nick those at the same time (did they really work that well though, honestly?).
  • admire the amount of effort you put into get the hang of this writing thing, and feel pleased with yourself for once.
  • lock that vault up again and get on with writing something new.

My advice is, of course, quite worthless because I’m too busy producing short stories to concentrate properly.

Join us next time on greydogtales for something which is… not about me as much, at least.

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Author Writes Book: No Comment from William Hope Hodgson

Yes, we has writted a book. And now we is supposed to tell you. Oh Gods, spare us! Self-promotion is far more tedious for the author than it is for you, dear listeners. “Look, I’m a bricklayer. I did bricks in a row.” “Yep, so you did.” “They is good bricks.” Etc. So today we offer you a free extract from House of Clay, the novel that started it all. At least that’s almost proper content.

and this is where it all ends up
and this is where it all ends up

If this makes no sense, then harken unto us, but only briefly. Four Tales of the Last Edwardian are now available for the discerning – including lurchers – to read. These are stories of psychic unease, period mysteries and underlying horror. They are moderately accurate in their historical setting (says we), and draw on William Hope Hodgson’s Carnacki the Ghostfinder for a degree of background. Occasionally they get real dark, but not always. If you like Sherlock Holmes, Edwardian horror, Carnacki, John Silence or classic ghost stories, you might enjoy them.

Three short stories are already free from Smashwords (see link on right-hand sidebar or go here The Last Edwardian), and are gaining 5 Star reviews on Goodreads from very kind people.

  1. The Intrusion – A tale of Mr Dry, the Deptford Assassin, and his first encounter with Carnacki’s successors.
  2. A Loss of Angels – In which alienist Dr Alice Urquhart is confronted with a killer who may or may not be insane.
  3. One Last Sarabande – A investigation by Henry and Abigail into strange disappearances around a Sussex village.
the character people really want to see

And now comes the much more substantial novella  A Study in Grey, from 18th Wall Productions and available from them (in North America) or from Amazon UK and US. Here’s our own quick blurb:

“An Edwardian thriller, with a dark secret. The psychic Abigail Jessop and her companion Henry are drawn into a circle of seances and spies by a man who cannot afford a conscience – Captain Redvers Blake of British Military Intelligence. Assisted from the shadows by an ageing Sherlock Holmes, these three face an unknown foe and discover what lies behind the painted mask.”

ninety nine pages of sheer… words

UK link to the right, North America links here:

science of deduction 4: a study in gray 18th wall

a study in gray amazon us

There, that’s got that over with. So, House of Clay. This novel was written many years ago, gained interest from a publisher and was then deemed too uncommercial to risk. So we abandoned it. The same thing happened with horse-riding after we fell on our headses rather painfully. During the intervening years, we lost the entire middle segment (of the novel, not the horse). Physically. It disappeared during moving house. Now that there is interest again, the whole thing needs rewriting, in effect. Pah!

Here’s an unpolished extract for fun…

Three of Carnacki’s circle have attended his funeral in Yorkshire. Carnacki is presumed dead, although the corpse is annoyingly absent. Henry Dodgson, accompanied by Abigail Jessop, endeavours to follow the dictates of Carnacki’s will. They are to make contact with a local psychic who dwells at Hathering, a house in the wilds and a place of which Dodgson has never heard, much to his puzzlement. Carnacki, it seems, had many secrets…

Quiet Beasts

The trap lurched on a pothole, and for a second I was thrown nearer to her than I had anticipated. My face inches from hers, her look pierced me with an intensity which I could scarcely bear, and a strange herbal scent prickled at my nostrils. Abigail’s eyes were an iridescent grey like burnished steel.

I regained my seat and covered up my discomfort by leafing through “The Keighley Courier”, until I found the report of yesterday’s funeral. There was a list of mourners, not difficult given the numbers, in which both my name and Arkright’s were spelled incorrectly, and then a curious entry on Carnacki himself, which I read out to her.

“Whilst he had not resided in this parish, the late Mr Carnacki was perhaps best known around Keighley and Ilkley for his sponsorship of the noted local medium, or “spirit channeller”, Miss Catherine Weatherhead of Hathering. This paper has in the past been convinced of the danger which such activities can pose to those of unsettled mind, and it is to be hoped that Hathering remains a respectable institution now that it is sadly no longer able to profit from the deceased’s patronage.”

“You knew nothing of this?” asked Abigail.

“Afraid not. It looks as if none of us knew him as well as we thought.”

“But were you never aware of his visits to Keighley?”

I thought back, remembering again those comfortable dinners at Cheyne Walk, evenings pottering through the library while Carnacki expounded on some principle or other and Arkright coughed out refutations. Carnacki had little patience for interruption, and always seemed to have directed the evening’s talk, whilst we had generally been tolerant to follow the flow.

“He may have mentioned the odd journey up north. Generally he seemed to visit Lancashire. Had some connections on the coast, I think.”

“And you never asked him about more personal things?” she persisted.

“I suppose not. Usually I was more interested in his latest case.”

It was strange to reflect again on those evenings in a different light, and I felt a sudden irritation. Carnacki had certainly known a considerable amount about me, personally and professionally, and yet he had never responded to such questions in return, always closing the conversation or bringing up another subject.

“Mr Dodgson?” she asked after a minute of silence. “Have you thought of something?”

“Hmm? No, I was just letting my mind wander.”

But the truth was that I had begun to confront an unwelcome fact – for all my bravado in the Clubs and in those circles at social gatherings, I had not known the Ghostfinder. I may have inhabited part of his world, and yes, I was one of only four who were permitted to learn of his latest exploits, but what did that amount to? Only distraction from the truth that my own life was a hollow thing with little purpose.

“I can’t answer any of these questions,” I said finally, watching the churned earth spatter up from the horse’s hooves and add further to the filth along the sides of the trap. “I’m not even sure that my presence at Cheyne Walk was based on anything other than that I amused him occasionally.”

“You amuse me, Mr Dodgson. That doesn’t seem so worthless an ability in times such as these.”

I thought that she toyed with me, but when I looked up, there was no trace of mockery. I smiled.

“Perhaps not. Look, I keep blowing hot and cold on this thing, damn me. I can’t imagine why Carnacki wanted us to check up on this Weatherhead woman, and it’s probably none of our business – some domestic problem of his.”

“Now you let your feelings speak. Whoever Carnacki was, a larger mystery is still at our doorstep. Don’t forget your letter, and that which accompanied it.”

“I don’t see that as anything to do with the Weatherheads. The old Ghostfinder was always following up leads, no matter how queer they seemed; he had some damned odd contacts. It wouldn’t surprise me if this is just another psychic crackpot.”

Abigail brushed her neck swiftly. Her cameo was there, almost hidden under a high lace collar. “Oh no – it’s more than that, believe me. Something watches us, or possibly just you, I don’t know. I hear the breath of it wheezing at our backs.”

I frowned, automatically reaching under my coat in case trouble was upon us. Even as my fingers touched the grip of my revolver, the trap jerked and slowed, the driver tugging on his reins.

“Whoa, y’buggers,” he muttered, and we creaked to a halt. Around us stood nothing but trees; the track had petered out completely.

“‘Atherin’.” he said, with no more feeling than when we had started our journey. We were at the end of a small lane between rows of decrepit trees. Polled once, they now sprouted a confusion of branches from the foreshortened ugliness of their trunks, branches which hung leafless and gaunt. The only signs of real vitality were the suckers which struggled up from their roots to challenge the crowns.

Beyond them, I could see an overgrown path through thicker foliage.

“Tha goes up theer.”

“We’ll want you back here by three,” I said, handing him the fare and a shilling beside. Understand?”

“Three. Aye.” The coins disappeared into his coat. I shook my head, and applied myself to the trail which Abigail had already begun to explore. As the trap rattled away behind us, I made my way to her side, cursing as cold mud squeezed its way over my boot top.

“They should sack the gardener, that’s all I can say.”

We wound our way through a tunnel of trees, the sunlight dripping through occasionally to highlight a lone cobble or the remnants of an ancient wall. The ground was rising under our feet, and I had almost relaxed into the walk when the path twisted to the east and we stepped out into a clearing.

“Good heavens.” I murmured. To either side of us stood two enormous, weathered stone lions, towering my own height and more above the leaf-carpeted path. Although patchworked with the grey and green of lichen, the tawny stone from which they had been carved gave them an uncomfortable semblance of life.


“Impressive.” Abigail moved up to the statue on our right and gently laid her hand against its flank. Her eyes closed for a moment, and then sighed.

“What is it?” Peering beyond the lions, I could see an unkempt expanse of lawn which must surely belong to Hathering itself. Abigail let her hand slide away from the stone.

“Just something old , something watchful, Henry. But these fellows are too well set in their ways to care about small mysteries and our comings and goings.”

“I should think so.” I gestured to the grass beyond the last straggling trees. “‘Atherin'”

My imitation of the driver brought a faint smile to her lips.

“I hope, Mr Dodgson, that you don’t think yourself too far above the local people to have dealings with them?”

“It’s not their intellect which confounds me, but their vocabulary. I swear I never met a bunch so short on words.”

We stepped out into a place where the grey of November gave way to a more mellow autumnal pallet. A multitude of stacked chimneys rose beyond the tall hedge of beech at the end of the lawn. In five minutes we found ourselves before a house which, if not neglected, had certainly been allowed to slump into its dotage. I can best describe it by saying that it would not have looked out of place on the flyleaf of a Stoker novel, all brooding turret rooms and whatnot.

As to its age, I could not say, but ivy crawled around the portico and seemed to cling to every nook of the architect’s fancy until it fumbled for the eaves themselves. Some windows were entirely overgrown, and it would have needed radical surgery to uncover the true face of the building. It was easily twice the size of Cheyne Walk, itself no clerk’s lodgings, and regarded us with manifest disinterest.

“How do you feel about this, then?” I asked lightly. Abigail looked around to where we had emerged from the trees.

“The lions were silent.”

I bit off a humorous rejoinder, realising that she spoke in all seriousness. “Ah.”

It was time to knock on Hathering’s door.


Subscribe to greydogtales or follow me, and you’ll be updated on Tales of the Last Edwardian news as we stagger along.

Next time on greydogtales: Longdogs, interviews, supernatural fiction, weird art – anything but my bloody book…

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Yellow Daffodils, Blue Geraniums and Pink Floyd

Publication news, what’s coming on greydogtales, lurcher rescue and a different take on Pink Floyd. Welcome to our usual mid-week medley. We have a hint of Spring in Yorkshire this time – it’s above 0 degrees Celsius and it’s possible to see a burning ball of gas in the sky. Astonishing. We hope that it’s the sun.

All three dogs are jostling to lie in the doorway and catch some rays, which is slightly problematic as the work-desk is next to the open door. So greydog is trapped, and likely to break a leg trying to get to the kettle. What better time to write?

Might as well do lurcherings first. Training Your Human Pt 2 will be next week now, due to pressure of dogs and deadlines. This morning’s exploits with Django and Chilli have already worn us out, and the Daffodil Menace continues to worsen (lurchers, carnacki and other bulbs)


Every verge here is now covered by these terrible growths. Django charges into them, inevitably breaking quite a few off, and then pees over them. We’re then left with the question: do we pick the broken flowers, and risk being accused of floricide for personal gain? They only need a quick wash, after all.

This morning’s extra delight was standing by the ring road, observed by dozens of drivers and shoppers, as Django decided that a pee was not enough, given the size of his audience. So he did a very loose and prolonged poo into (and all over) a particularly fine display of daffs. Two lessons from this: i) don’t give him herring again for a while, and ii) only walk him at night and in disguise.

FLR_Big_LogoAll our little donkeys have been rescues. We at greydogtales don’t play favourites, but we’re always willing to highlight rescue work, so today we’ll mention Fall in Love With a Rescue (UK-based), who do a hard job trying to rehome dogs from city pounds and save them from being put to sleep.

ronnie, of fall in love with a rescue
ronnie, of fall in love with a rescue

They’re usually inundated with dogs needing help, and at the moment they’re running an auction to try and support their work. Check out their Facebook page for more details.


We hope to have an interview with Krisy of Fall in Love with a Rescue in due course, saying more about their work. Which leads nicely onto other plans.

What’s coming up

More weird art and fiction interviews are on their way. We will soon be joined by author Joshua M Reynolds, who we’ve mentioned here before. He’ll be talking about his Royal Occultist series and more. Michael Hutter, the fabulous German artist, is on his way as well, with coverage of his Carcosa series inspired by Ambrose Bierce and Robert W Chambers.

michael hutter
michael hutter

The Stranger Seas theme is still running, in and out of other articles. We’re torn between a feature on H P Lovecraft’s maritime monstrosities and coverage of aquatic superheroes at the moment.

Lurchers for Beginners was, and still is, a huge success, which is ironic considering that it makes us no money whatsoever and was started purely for fun. More lurchery goodness will follow as regularly as possible because… just because. Our alpha female Chilli has made that quite clear. We might even put out a revised version of the complete Lurchers for Beginners series eventually.

Torchwood, always a favourite, will feature sometime soon, to coincide with Big Finish Production’s release of The Victorian Age, the start of their second series of Torchwood audio releases and starring John Barrowman. We are, we admit, addicted to audio.


Listeners also seem to like the forbidden horror that is Sandra’s First Pony. In these skewed tales, plucky young Sandra, Mr Bubbles the slightly psychotic pony and occasionally Bottles the lurcher face the things of your nightmares on the Yorkshire Wolds. We’ll have a new one soon.

John Linwood Grant in Print

Almost finally, scary story news. Dedicated listeners may be aware that this ancient, sarcastic Yorkshireman re-emerged from long slumber into a semi-literary world last year. And he had a shocking thought. It might be nice to get paid again. So he hammered away for a few months, and set some of his new creations crawling towards unsuspecting publishers. This is a slow process, for those of you who don’t write, and often a frustrating one. But now he’s sort of there.

From May onwards, John Linwood Grant will be in purchasable form, including ebooks, as opposed to the strange fragments you get here on greydogtales. We’ve been waiting on firm dates, and there are some others in the pipeline, but here’s what we know so far…

  • A new period novella A STUDY IN GREY is due out 15 April from 18th Wall Publications, and blends The Last Edwardian series with Sherlock Holmes in a thriller set in 1909 during yet another Balkan crisis. If you want to get in the mood, you can download three free stories featuring some of the same characters here: Tales of the Last Edwardian


  • MESSAGES,  a Lovecraftian story of good parenting, will be in Martian Migraine’s super new anthology Cthulhusattva. The anthology looks at the other side of those who embrace the truth behind the Mythos – not the squint-eyed lunatics, but the true disciples. This is due 23 May. Scott R Jones, the genius behind the book, even made a cool video to announce the book:

  • HUNGERY, a contemporary story of ogres, should also be due out in May/June. The proofs are done, but we haven’t got the official dates and table of contents release, so we’ll tell you more later.
  • The quirky Edwardian ghost tale, A PERSISTENCE OF GERANIUMS, is likely to be coming out as a chapbook from Ravenwood in July. Ravenwood are launching a new quarterly which looks very promising, with a small number of chapbooks in between their first and second issues.


That’s enough of that boring old fellow jlg. We finish with some music. Remember Pink Floyd and Another Brick in the Wall? We accidentally found something which we thought would be weird, but which turns out to be great – a medieval version of the titular track, by Belorusian group Stary Olsa. It works rather well, so have a listen.

And we’re out of here. See you soon.



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