Autumn of Terror

Those of you who follow us on social media or know us in real life, know what our Mastermind subject would be: serial killers. And our favourite of all? (Favourite sounds wrong, like we’re fans or something.) Jack the Ripper. So when we saw an anthology call for fictional Jack the Ripper stories, we desperately wanted to be in it. By ‘desperate’, we mean we would’ve performed a ritual sacrifice on reality TV stars if the anthology had demanded it. Why did the anthology not demand it? We wrote a story, Autumn of Terror, with a short deadline (we think about three weeks) and submitted it. We didn’t expect to get anywhere because the publisher was Little, Brown who publishes J K Rowling, and our acceptance rate has a poorer showing than a ghost’s birthday party. Stephen King used to stab his rejections on a spike. We could impale ours on pikes outside our house, like a paper version of Vlad the Impaler’s scare tactics.

But Autumn of Terror got accepted. The universe was so shocked, an angel choked to death on a chocolate eclair. You’d think that being accepted would mean being on a high for weeks on end. We finally got a story accepted by a major publisher who would actually pay us. Proper money, not  the usual $10 for hours of work. But no. Our demons don’t allow us to enjoy success. They were immediately saying “he sent the email to you by mistake.” Quickly followed by “he was one story short and picked yours at random.” See, demons? This is why we can’t have nice things.

And yet, the second email, apologising for accidentally accepting our story didn’t come. It’s still the only story we’ve had accepted this year, so our demons are happy being smug in our failures, but at least our fascination with Jack the Ripper has finally paid off and we can claim that everything we’ve read or seen about him was purely research 😉 We now need to visit Whitechapel and go ghost hunting there, see if we can meet him and his victims in spirit person.

Autumn of Terror follows a Jack the Ripper tour guide as he takes his group to all the murder sites and brutally reenacts the crimes. And as the tour guide puts it to his audience “real murder doesn’t come with refunds.” The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper is out now in the UK and will be out in January in the US. You can get it here Amazon UK   WHSmith   WaterstonesThe Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper


  1. Brilliant news! First of many…

    • hopefully! Though the 300+ rejections have a different view 😀

  2. Wow, well done!

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