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: JUNE 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, working as a freelance writer and editor, and continuing to write my own stories. 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
Last year 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. This year, I am a finalist in the Best Fan Writing category for my essay, “An Exploration of Menstruation in Horror and Dark Fiction.”
However, *Klaxon sound* this essay WON the nonfiction category this year in the Australian Shadows Awards, and I was also shortlisted for two other Shadows awards! It was extremely unexpected and it is going to take some getting used to thinking of myself as an “award-winning” writer, but I like it.
My weird, “scalp-crawling”, body-horror short story ‘Little Teeth’ was accepted into the Sci-fi & Scary charity anthology Twisted Anatomy and released in February 2021. It has received a number of excellent, if slightly grossed-out, reviews!
I’ve had a total of four dark poems accepted in various anthologies this year, which has been a tremendous surprise and something I hope to continue.
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 over $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
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.
Recent Finished Projects
My most recent book release is a short poetry chapbook entitled Beach Glass and Old Bones featuring poetry which I wrote in 2020, 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.
June is Pride month and I have been actively supporting Pride in Horror with Divination Hollow Reviews. Last year I contributed a number of pieces for their archives, including an article on Queer Vampires in Modern Cinema, which was an AHWA finalist piece for nonfiction. This year I wrote a collaborative essay focusing on Content Warnings and writing horror responsibly.
In August last year, I released my novelette All the Laird’s Men, a creature-feature set in a dystopian future Scotland. Reviewer Aiden Merchant says:
“… 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.
My second quiet horror and dark speculative fiction collection — Seeds —- will be released in October, and a not-horror poetry collection — To Wish on Impossible Things — will be out at the beginning of December. These poems focus on moving to Aotearoa, my experiences as an immigrant, finding myself and making a new home.
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.