The Exquisite Corpse Volume 2: Double Tap

“Joyce was still on lockdown when Ronald offered to have her father’s cadaver tossed in a pit and burned with the corpses of the bikers and the mercenaries. She had no qualms about this particular scenario, but April insisted that her grandfather deserved a proper burial, so Joyce relented.”

Last month I had the pleasure of overseeing the second instalment of the multi-author Exquisite Corpse project. I wrote the first chapter, and then the story passed on to a further 23 authors, each of whom added his or her unique fingerprint to the proceedings.

Writing can be a solitary, selfish pursuit, so it was a lot of fun to collaborate in this way, and everyone delivered the goods. Despite kicking things off myself, it’s safe to say that the story veered off into some crazy directions I never saw coming!

All things being well, a third volume will emerge later this summer.

In the meantime, here are the Volume 2 links for your reading pleasure!

Part 1: Paradise Parlour

Part 2: Security Measures

Part 3: Richer Than God

Part 4: What The Bones Said

Part 5: Nothing But Darkness

Part 6: The Art of Violence

Part 7: The Taste of Blood

Part 8: The Mistress of Death

 

Dry Salvage @ Near To The Knuckle

“Spaulding was in his eighties, and looked far too vulnerable to put a proper beating on, but I had agreed to give Marie Andretti at least five of his teeth in order to get my full fee. They came loose effortlessly, and the old bastard bled like a stuck pig regardless.”

Last month my 10th story went live at top UK crime fiction site Near To The Knuckle. Check out Dry Salvage!

If you have read my novelette Skull Meat, this story is a sequel of sort, and sees the (un)-welcome return of demented ex-cop Wet-Look, who also appears in Wet-Work, a previous Near To The Knuckle story.

 

 

Slay Ride @ The Flash Fiction Offensive

“I jerk awake as the Motorola twitches in my pocket. The ringtone is motherfucking Jingle Bells. I’m face down in an alleyway, Santa suit splattered with fresh excrement and stale fast-food waste. I struggle to make out the caller ID because my right eye is swollen shut.”

Last month I was delighted to have my new story Slay Ride featured in the Flash Fiction Offensive’s inaugural ‘Twelve Daze of Christmas’ series, as curated by FFO co-editor Hector Duarte Jr.

Other participants included Ryan Sayles, Paul Heatley, Paul D. Brazill, Patrick Cooper, Cal Marcius, Nicola Hardy, John Weagly, Beau Johnson, Paul Greenberg, Preston Lang and John Ryan, so make sure you stick around and investigate the rest of the stories!

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The Carny @ Liars League Hong Kong

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Late last year my story The Carny was selected by the Hong Kong offshoot of cult literary event Liars League for their ‘Rich & Poor’ event. The video has now emerged online, and you can find it here. The actor, Aaron Kahn, adds a great new dimension to the story, and I think his Americana-fuelled take on my Paignton Noir yarn is fantastic. Check it out!

A Brief History Of Bad Men In ‘Walk Hand In Hand Into Extinction’ Anthology

I am very excited to be able to confirm that my short story ‘A Brief History of Bad Men’ will be featured in Walk Hand In Hand Into Extinction, an anthology of True Detective-inspired short fiction. The first series of True Detective is one of my favourite TV shows of recent years, and I’m thrilled to be included in the line-up.

The collection has been edited by Christoph Paul and will be published by the people behind That Lit Site. Look out for further details in due course!

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Guatemala Kill Pit @ Akashic Books

“On weekends, off duty cops prowled the barrios in unmarked cars, shooting men like rats. Afterward, they would hack off the hands and throw the bodies in ditches.”

And now for something entirely different…

I very happy to report that Akashic Books – one of my favourite publishers – has included my story Guatemala Kill Pit in their long-running ‘Mondays Are Murder’ series.

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I spent four months traveling across Central America (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica) in 2005-2006, and I’m currently working on a series of stories set in the region. Guatemala Kill Pit is the first one to see the light of day.

Sticking to Central America, my story The Belizean Body Dump will appear in Akashic’s Caribbean-focused ‘Duppy Thursday’ series in January 2016.

In the meantime, feel free to check out my Akashic debut Paignton Rust, which first appeared back in December 2013.

 

The Organ Donor @ Revolution John

“The first time I met Adrian Strange he was carrying a meat-axe. It was never my intention to hospitalise his step-brother – things just got out of hand…”

Like a literary phoenix from the social media flames, US literary site Revolution John has recently re-emerged, and I am happy that my story The Organ Donor is part of the new site.

ORGAN DONOR Tom Leins

 

The Art of Falling Apart @ Mash Stories

I have a new piece of flash fiction online as part of the latest Mash Stories contest. It is called The Art of Falling Apart and was written in response to three random prompt words: Congress, Art and Jealousy.

If you enjoy it, please click the button marked ‘kudos’ and I could win a cash prize!

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(Note: the next set of prompts are now online if you fancy having a crack yourself.)

 

 

A Brief History of Bad Men on the No Exit Press Competition Longlist

I was thrilled to discover that my story ‘A Brief History of Bad Men’ has been included on the longlist for No Exit Press’s 2015 short story competition.

No Exit Press has been one of my favourite crime fiction publishers for many years, so the news was especially satisfying.

According to the press release: “The intention was to find original voices that epitomise the No Exit Press List: strong, compelling writing that resonates long after the final page.” Praise indeed, coming from the publisher of James Sallis, Eddie Bunker, Robert B. Parker and countless others.

The shortlist will be revealed on the 1st of September, so watch this space!

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