This is a Now Page. Inspired by American entrepreneur Derek Sivers it tells you what and how I’m doing, right now.
A Now Page is different to social media. It helps me give you a bigger picture about the projects I’m focused on, the things I’ve achieved, and what my goals are for the future.
LAST UPDATED: MAY 2021
I’ve been living in Aotearoa New Zealand with my husband and two children for almost four years (since July 2017) and I can’t imagine living anywhere else now. In December 2020, after a nail-biting eighteen-month wait, my family and I were granted residency to this beautiful country, for which we are extremely grateful.
I split my week between teaching at home and continuing to write. I take myself out for a walk (almost) every day, regardless of the weather, and I spend time every morning documenting the things that are important to me in a physical Life Journal. I recently discovered indoor rock climbing and bouldering and it has done wonders for my physical and mental strength.
My app developer husband suffered a head injury in February 2020, which resulted in a very bad concussion. I am beyond grateful for the excellent health care teams in New Zealand and the support we have received from others. He has since recovered and has returned to his own writing, recently releasing a collection of hope-punk flash-fiction.
Good Stuff Worth Mentioning
My debut short story collection Dark Winds Over Wellington: Chilling Tales of the Weird & the Strange was nominated and shortlisted for a Sir Julius Vogel Award in the Best Collected Work category. I didn’t win, but maybe next time.
Dark Winds Over Wellington, has received some excellent reviews recently both on Goodreads, and in Australian speculative-fiction magazine, Aurealis #132. I was delighted to read: “Each story builds the shape of this alternative Wellington, creating a tangible sense of place and a beautiful ode to the environment that shows true promise in Wood’s capacity for world-building.”
A reprint of “Fake Meat” from Dark Winds… was accepted into a charity anthology Infected, Tales to Read at Home and another, original story — “Long Drop” — has been included in an antipodean anthology from Things In The Well.
In May 2020, Things in the Well released the canine-themed charity anthology Black Dogs, Black Tales to support the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. I was the head editor with Cassie Hart and a team of ten others on this project. To date, we have donated almost $1000 to the charity and the book was added to the HWA Bram Stoker Award® Member Recommendations list for 2020. You can find out more about the project here and buy a copy via Amazon: http://mybook.to/BlackDogsBook
In February 2020, I wrote an article for Ginger Nuts of Horror to celebrate Women In Horror Month. “Who is Ellen Ripley?” has since been updated and reprinted as the lead story for the Digital Dead Magazine #16.
My passion for Ripley and ALIENS became a tongue-in-cheek four-blog essay debate with fellow writer Kit Powers in January 2021. We battled it out to decide which movie is the best ever made: ALIENS or ROBOCOP? You can read more about that here with the essays featuring on Ginger Nuts of Horror, Ink Heist, Divination Hollow Reviews and Sci-fi & Scary.
Finally, my weird, “scalp-crawling”, body-horror short story ‘Little Teeth’ was accepted into the Sci-fi & Scary charity anthology Twisted Anatomy. It was released in February 2021 and has received a number of excellent, if slightly grossed-out, reviews!
Recent Finished Projects
My most recent book release is a short poetry chapbook entitled Beach Glass and Old Bones featuring poetry which I wrote this year, all with a strong focus on mental health. It is, and always will be, free to download, either via Smashwords, or as a .pdf here on my blog. It was also accepted by Wellington City Libraries into their Zine catalogue and can be found at their Arapaki, Manners Street site.
I was asked to record a short story for the Hutt Zone at Wellington Access Radio, which was a really fun experience. I’ve also done some story narration for another author, was part of a Book Talk video celebrating Pride in Horror for Dead Head Reviews, and I have recorded a story on video for Wellington City Libraries.
June was Pride month and I was busy actively supporting Pride in Horror with Divination Hollow Reviews as much as I could. I contributed a number of pieces for their archives, including an article on Queer Vampires in Modern Cinema.
In August, I released my novelette All the Laird’s Men, a creature-feature set in a dystopian future Scotland. From a review by Aiden Merchant:
“… heartfelt and gruesome in all the right places. Though a short read, it packs a punch.”
You can buy the ebook here.
In December 2020, I had the wonderful privilege to work, yet again, with novelist and comic-book writer (HELLBLAZER, 2020 Visions, Animal Man) Jamie Delano, and he gave me permission to publish the transcript of his inspirational talk from 2015. You can read it here. I published an interview with Jamie back in April which I was very pleased to hear that Neil Gaiman (also a HELLBLAZER writer) called “great” on Twitter.
I am currently taking a wee bit of a break as I focus on pulling some brand new stories together for my second collection which will be released later this year. I am spending a lot of time and energy on the Memento Vitae project, including putting together a publishing pitch and raising funds to pay writers to keep the project going. You can donate to the project via Ko-fi, here.