Dark Moon Rises

We finally have somedark moon digest issue 17 good news to share – our plague doctor short story, City of the Dead is out now in Dark Moon Digest Issue 17. You can get it here – Amazon UK  Amazon US. Many thanks to the talented Anya Breton for beta reading this version and the novella version. Your expertise is invaluable, especially pointing out when you can’t see the scene because we haven’t described it. We forget not everyone can see into our minds 😀

Synopsis: City of the Dead is a gothic horror set during Edinburgh’s 1645 plague outbreak. The plague doctor dies from the disease after a week, so the Council hires student doctor Alex McCrae, promising him one hundred pounds to cure the wretched pest. However, they can’t afford to pay McCrae and hope he’ll succumb to the disease. Unknown to them, McCrae’s friend, James created an immortality elixir. When McCrae fights for the money he’s owed, the Council decide the plague isn’t the only way to kill a man. But in the city of the dead, it’s not just ghosts who return.

Word of warning though – after writing this story, we extended it into a novella, which is currently unpublished, so if you don’t want to know how the novella ends, don’t read the short story, because the ending is the same.

In other news, October is meant to be the month for all things scary and on October 19th, Cardiff is having a horror con – Scardiff. We’re very excited about it, but we’re also terrified because they have Dragon’s Pen, a pitching panel for writers to pitch their novels to four people in the publishing industry: Adam Nevill, horror author and commissioning editor; Scott Harrison, writer, editor and screenwriter; Dan Coxon, editor of literary magazine Litro; and Christopher Teague, owner of Pendragon Press. The idea is you read a 50 word pitch and the first page of your novel. That’s not the scary part. The scary part is you have to do it in front of an audience, with the potential of having your book torn apart by these guys. In front of everyone. That’s the bit that’s terrifying us. It’s much easier to write a 50,000 word novella than it is to write a 50 word pitch. Ever since we put our names forward, we’ve regretted that moment of boldness and what came over us. It was probably anger. Most of our bravery and productivity is achieved when in a fit of rage.

We’ve been trying to choose between Bleeding Empire, our urban fantasy about the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and The Malignant Dead, the novella version of City of the Dead *points* (we changed the title because there are way too many books called City of the Dead.) The synopsis above is actually the 100 word version of the pitch, because we were originally told it was 100 words, but now the website says 50, so we’ve done both. Bleeding Empire went down well at the Salem literary festival in May, but we’re not sure it’s horror enough for the panel. Yes people die brutally, but the comedy outweighs the horror. We’d written a pitch for our latest novella, Silent Dawn, which is about three teenagers addicted to a computer game, Silent Dawn: Asylum but the more they play it, the more Silent Dawn erodes their sanity, until they can’t tell reality from illusion. We loved writing the story and it’s straight horror, but we’ve only just finished the first draft, so if they liked it and asked to see the rest of it, we’d be buggered.

Or we can disguise ourselves, give ourselves fake names and read all three and see which one they prefer. If it was just a case of doing a reading, like we did at the festival, it wouldn’t be so bad. But this could potentially land us a publishing deal. And if we pick the wrong book, we could completely jeopardise our chances. This is a massive decision. We can’t make that kind of decision! We struggle to decide which chocolate bar to eat for a snack! Perhaps we should consult the Magic 8 ball, although its advice is often harsh.

“Magic 8 ball, will the pitching panel like Bleeding Empire?”

Magic 8 ball “you may rely on it.”

“Will the pitching panel like The Malignant Dead?”

“YES”

“Should we risk Silent Dawn?”

“Better not tell you now.”

Glares. “Should we risk Silent Dawn?”

“Without a doubt.”

You’re not helping Magic 8 ball!

 

10 Comments

  1. You’ll be fine, it’s always more scary before you go up there. Once you’re there you’ll rock it and it’ll be over in a flash 🙂

    • thanks 🙂 It’s scary enough submitting to publishers through email, never mind face to face before a crowd! But at least we’re used to doing readings so that will help.

  2. Wow! Great news about the short story, well done 🙂

    And Scardiff? #jealous haha! I’m sure whatever you opt to pitch you’ll do brilliantly, plus the quality of your prose speaks for itself 🙂 Good luck! x

    • Thank you! Maybe we should visit the horror makeup stall before we pitch and get ourselves turned into monsters 😀

  3. *makes spooky gestures* I *can* see the scene inside your mind, but everyone else can’t 😉

    I stand by The Malignant Dead, as always.

    The thing about Bleeding Empire is that it works best when you two narrate it. So in that aspect, since you get to read it aloud, you’d have a leg up.

    Malignant Dead works even without narration, but isn’t going to shine as much when you narrate it because there’s little snark on page 1 (as I recall).

    In any case, you two will steal the show with whatever you pick.

    SOMEONE in that group had best give you a deal, damn it.

    I’ll be refreshing Twitter like mad on the 19th.

    • LOL! Thanks. That’s the problem we’re having – Bleeding Empire does work really well when narrated which worries us that if it doesn’t work as well without narration, it doesn’t really work. But Malignant Dead works fine without it, but as we’re narrating it, might not stand out so much. It’s such a big decision! We will live Tweet what happens 😀

  4. Excellent news about the short, Yay! but I want to wait for the novella. (Is that okay?!)I just love the sound of the premise.:)
    And everything crossed for you for the 19th. Exciting and obviously nerve wracking. I have faith that you will choose the right pitch. I think the only advice there I have is to go with gut instinct! Guts work! 🙂

    • thanks 🙂 we don’t mind at all if you want to wait for the novella. Hopefully we’ll get it out soon. We’ve rewritten the pitches yet again. We still can’t decide! Knowing us we’ll show up on the day with all 3 and choose when our number’s called 😀

      • Maybe they will let you do all three! 🙂

      • we are actually thinking of taking all three, just in case 😀


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