Tag Archives: crime

2018: My writing year – and my year to come: 2019

On the brink of a new year, I’m looking back on 2018 with satisfaction and maybe a smidge of exhaustion. 2019 looks to be just as full of writing challenges and delights!

In case you missed anything, I’ve summarised my writing year below – and teased with some of my upcoming projects for 2019!

Thank you all for your support during the year – 2018 was fraught in many ways, but I hope it brought rewards as well. May 2019 bring you more of what you love, and more of what heals you.

<3 Narrelle

2018

Holmes and Watson in Love

My second Improbable Press Holmes/Watson book came out in June. A Dream to Build a Kiss On is a single story arc told over 100 stories of exactly 221 words each and the last word of each story begins with b. 221b. 🙂 It’s the first of a series of 221b stories for IP. (The second was A Study in Velvet and Leather, which I adore.)

Writing 100 stories in that format, and with a contemporary setting, was a challenge which I enjoyed immensely. I may even take it up again later next year!

Music

Although not yet published, Kitty and Cadaver made an official debut with a song! “The Rain Song” appears about half way through the book. The band Bronze has released it on their EP The Razorback Five Track.

(And yes, one of the songs on the EP is inspired by that Ausploitation horror film, Razorback!)

Here is “Rain Song” – a song about precipitation which is also a spell to make it rain!

Short Fiction

I sold a few Holmes and Watson stories during the year: in one, I recast them as contemporary Australian hipsters in “The Problem of the Three Journals“, solving crime and serving excellent coffee, for the Baker Street Irregulars: The Game Is Afoot anthology.

A Gentleman’s Disagreement“, a sequel to “The Blue Carbuncle”, is a more traditional story from Dr Watson’s point of view, in

I admit the most fun I had with short fiction this year was my contribution to Grant Me the Carving of My Name, a collection of stories about Richard III edited by Alex Marchant and designed to raise funds for the Scoliosis Association UK.

One of my very few science fiction tales was published this year too – “Earworm Armageddon“, told from the PoV of a deaf protagonist, was picked up by Jay Henge publishing for Wavelengths.

Patreon and Duo Ex Machina

My most massive achievement this year – in term of words and time – was setting up my Patreon, through which I’ve re-edited and re-published my two M/M crime novellas, Fly By Night and Sacrifice.

These novellas were first published in 2004 by Homosapien Press. Now I’ve repackaged them as the Duo Ex Machina series, and the third (and brand new) novella, Number One Fan, is being published in fornightly chapters for my Patreon supporters. (Thanks guys!)

I also prepped a few reprinted stories and wrote a whole slew of fresh ones for the Scar Tissue and Other Stories collection for my Patreon supporters. (Thank you again – you guys are the best.)

My patrons received the book in November, and the official release (a co-production with Clan Destine Press) is scheduled for around February 2019, after a few delays pushed it back.

2019

Three books!

So before the year even begins, I have writing news for 2019. There’s Scar Tissue and Other Stories for February – which, among other things, contains short stories set in the Ravenfall, The Adventure of the Colonial Boy, The Vampires of Melbourne series and Kitty and Cadaver universes!

Then in March, the third Duo Ex Machina novella, Number One Fan, will finish its chapter-by-chapter run and be prepared for an ebook release.

Pipping that one at the post will be Grounded, a spec fic romance about two people who can’t fly in a world with wings. Escape Publishing has done a beautiful job of the cover and I’m excited to see this book released on 20 March!

Still to come

Of course, this only brings us to March. I’m sitting on an announcement for a short story that’s been accepted – when the anthology is officially announced I’ll send out the news first in my new newsletter, Mortal Whispers.

The first novel I’m working on for the year (now that Grounded is all edited and ready to go) is Kitty and Cadaver.  I’m hoping for that to come out mid year in time for some SF conventions in June.

I plan to tackle the third in the Vampires of Melbourne series, which will coincide with a re-release of the first two books as ebooks with new covers.

I’ll also be working on the fourth Duo Ex Machina novella, Kiss and Cry from April onwards.

Folks. It’s gonna be another big year!

Review: All Our Secrets by Jennifer Lane

Clan Destine Press’s new release, All Our Secrets, is set in the fictional small town of Coongahoola in NSW.

Set in 1984, the town is steeped in the consequences of a wild party on the banks of the Bagooli River in 1975 and the rush of children born nine months later. The fathers of the River Children are not necessarily the men married to their mothers.

Nine years later, one of the River Children goes missing, his body turning up a few days later by the river. He is the first of a string of murders. One of the children who may be the next target is Elijah Barrett.

His 11 year old sister, Gracie, is our guide to Coongahoola. Through her eyes we meet her chaotic family, her town, the shock of the murders and her beloved brother.

Lane imbues Gracie with a realism that makes the young girl sympathetic and irritating in turns, though her innate kindness is her saving grace (as it were) even when she’s not always making the kindest decisions in her attempts to fit in to the town’s narrow social expectations. She is struggling with the estrangement of her parents, her sometimes embarrassingly religious grandmother, her crush on the boy next door and her anxiety from the usual array of schoolground bullying and snooty cliques.

Through this thoroughly believable child, Lane captures the personalities and quirks of the people of Coongahoola. As each child disappears, only to be found murdered, the net of suspicion is cast wide – from townspeople to the group of religious devotees who have recently set up camp by the river.  The parallels between the personal chaos of Gracie’s world and that of the whole town is clear: all the rivalries and jealousies, the in and out groups, the unfounded rumours and blame games.

All Our Secrets is a gripping and perfectly paced story, balanced splendidly between Gracie’s  distress and concern for her family ad the fear experienced by the wider community as their children become victims.

It’s no surprise to learn that All Our Secrets won the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel in New Zealand. Clan Destine Press has brought this fantastic book, with it’s unusual and powerful point of view, to a new audience. Get it now to read a fresh new voice in Australian crime.

Buy All Our Secrets

Now out: Sherlock Holmes: Beyond the Canon Volume 1

Now that the Kickstarter has been successfully completed, Belanger Books’ 3-volume Sherlock Holmes: Adventures Beyond the Canon – an anthology of sequels to canon Holmes stories– is now available.

In the first volume is my contribution, “A Gentleman’s Disgagreement” – a sequel to “The Blue Carbuncle”.

Buy Sherlock Holmes: Adventures Beyond the Canon volume 1

Kickstarter – Sherlock Holmes: Adventures Beyond the Canon

I mentioned a few posts ago that a new Kickstarter was about to launch to fund an anthology of sequels to original Arthur Conan Doyle stories from the Sherlock Holmes canon.

The  Sherlock Holmes: Adventures Beyond the Canon Kickstarter campaign was launched on 1 August 2018, and it’s already been fully funded.

But that’s no reason to light a pipe, indulge in a seven per cent solution or go and have a flutter on the races (which was more Watson’s vice). If you back the Kickstarter, you can get hold of any or all of the three volumes, as well as back the book at higher levels and get even more Sherlock Holmes bookish deliciousness for your pains!

My story, ‘A Gentleman’s Disagreement’, will appear in the first volume of the anthology. It’s a sequel to ‘The Blue Carbuncle’ and follows what happens almost immediately after the end of the original story. It involves a second theft, some unpleasant accusations, a few incautious comments and a night in a prison cell for Dr Watson.

Here’s an excerpt:

I threw some papers from my chair onto the floor with the others, causing Holmes’s expression to spasm in disapproval, as though I had upset some order within the mess. I cheerfully ignored him as I took my seat, drew out my pipe and packed it from the Persian slipper.

I briefly felt sorry for the Countess, so unlucky in love. “His behaviour is scandalous,” I said, lighting my pipe with a match.

“You’ve forgiven her, then, for your night in prison?”

I puffed to ensure the tobacco was well lit and eased back in my chair. “It was an invigorating few hours at least,” I said magnanimously, “And the fault wasn’t entirely hers. Several of us had a hand in it.”

Holmes threw back his head and roared with laughter in that rare but wholehearted way of his, and I grinned.

“You are a diplomat, Watson,” he declared, still laughing.

“And you did apologise very handsomely for your share,” I said, saluting him with the stem of my new pipe, which he’d gifted me not long after the incident, “Though I’m grateful you secured my release before matters got out of hand.”

My friend sobered at the reminder. “Yes. Any longer in the lock-up with those old ‘friends’ of ours might have been less invigorating.”

“I was thinking more of the effect of the damp on my old wounds,” I demurred, though his evident concern, then as now, warmed me more than any apology.

The Kickstarter also includes interviews with the authors for every day of the campaign, talking about which story they chose to write a sequel to and why, among other things.

Learn more about Sherlock Holmes: Adventures Beyond the Canon or back it on Kickstarter.