Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My First Short Story Collection Wins Finalist Award in the International Book Awards


My first collection of short stories, Mailboxes - Mansions - Memphistopheles, has won a finalist award in the International Best Book Awards. It has also been entered in the Shirley Jackson Awards for this year. I am keeping my fingers crossed! Here's a blurb on it:

In the collection Andrew unleashes a blend of character-driven dark tales, which are sure to be remembered. In "Azra'eil & Fudgie" a little girl visits a team of marines in Afghanistan and they quickly learn she is more than she seems. "The Mailbox War" is a deadly tale of a weekend hobby taken to extremes while "The Brownie of the Alabaster Mansion" sees a Scottish monster of antiquity brought back to life. "Memphistopheles" contains a tale of the devil, Memphis, barbeque and a wannabe poet. "The Serpent and the Sepulcher" is a prose poem that will be cherished by all who experience it. "The G√ębult Mansion" recounts a literary hoax played by Andrew on his unsuspecting social networking friends that involves a female vampire. Last, "Stain" is an unforgettable horror story that is uniquely presented backwards or forwards. Experience these memorable stories tonight!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Truths Contained in Popular Vampire Superstitions

In 1847 Blackwood's Magazine published an article titled: "Letters on the Truths Contained in Popular Superstitions - Vampyrism." It contained many different examples of supposed real vampires that had been uncovered over the last hundred years. The story of the vampire Arnod was one of them. This is how it described how skeptics would be treated: "Your scepticism will abate pretty considerably, when you see him stealthily entering your room, yet are powerless under the fascination of his fixed and leaden eye—when you are conscious, as you lie motionless with terror, of his nearer and nearer approach—when you feel his face, fresh with the smell of the grave, bent over your throat, while his keen teeth make a fine incision in your jugular, preparatively to his commencing his plain, but nutritive repast."

The article further describes a "real" incident when a body was unearthed that was suspected of vampyrism: "The body," says the report, "was found in a perfectly fresh state, with no sign of decomposition. Fresh blood had recently escaped from its mouth, with which its shirt was wet. The skin (the epidermis, no doubt) had separated together with the nails, and there were new skin and nails underneath. As it was perfectly clear from these signs that he was a vampyr, conformably to the use established in such cases, they drove a stake through his heart. Whereupon he gave an audible groan, and a quantity of blood flowed from him. The same day his body was burned to ashes, which were returned to the grave."