Halloween Publication: 'At the Stroke' in 'The Ghastling'

Updated: Aug 22, 2019

I love Christmas, but there's a saccharine need for it to be a perfect representation of the ideal festive holiday: happy family times, good will, games and contentment around the table. Halloween, however, doesn't have that pressure. Halloween is when we embrace our darker sides, revel in death and fear, and if we don't behave ourselves it's almost expected -- and yet, despite that, everyone seems to get along better at Halloween than at Christmas. Plus, I'm a Halloween kid at heart: I prefer russet leaves to blank snow, tombstones to Christmas trees, black lace to sparkle. This year I was a voodoo princess (partly inspired by my hankering for some good voodoo YA that no one has yet to submit to me and I don't feel ready to write myself) for the holiday weekend at my sister's house party, but Halloween itself came with a great surprise: my contributor's copy of The Ghastling, containing my first published short story, arrived!

Look at that cover. At first I preferred the old cover styles, which were more greyscale or sepia, and perhaps more overtly scary, but the classy minimalist design of Book Six has really grown on me. I've never bought a Ghastling book before, but I never expected the design and the attention to detail inside. Check out the designer's portfolio here.

Unfortunately I still haven't had chance to read this beautiful anthology, not even my own story! I took on a trial article for House of Content, which was to write a thousand words or so on an industry I didn't know too much about it. But with a lot of Googling, I managed to build an image of what was going on in the region and to take on an editorial angle. I gnawed my fingers to the quick gathering that article, particularly since I haven't done something like that before, and the closest thing was probably an essay in undergrad four years ago. Despite all that I must have done something right, because House of Content have been in touch today to say that they would like to work with me! It's amazing news from such a rapidly expanding company, and I can't wait to get on board.

Stirling Publishing is also taking on an exciting new collaboration, and I'll pass on more details as soon as I've got a blog post up about it on their website. In the meantime, why not order a copy of The Ghastling Book Six (it's already sold out on Amazon, but their affiliate sellers have copies for only a few extra pence. It's been a hard weekend, folks, so curl up with a thick blanket, light a candle, listen to the wind howl outside, and read The Ghastling cover to cover. And, if you'd be so kind, leave a review on Amazon.

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