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Twisted50 Vol.2 Teaser Trailer



Woohoo! Remember I said my short story won entry to the Twisted50 Volume 2 horror anthology? Well, the book is at the printer as we speak and the Create50 team has made a trailer for it.

Watch it on YouTube.

I’ve read some of the other stories, and I can tell you, these authors have frickin’ weird minds. Some stories are wicked, some are horrific, and some will make you want to keep the light on at night. Macaroni will never be the same…

My story is called ‘Rumour has it…’ and it’s about a girl standing trial for five most gruesome murders. Is she guilty or not? You’ll have to buy the book to find out! It’s out soon.

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Another Short Story – The Apparition

Meldrum Writers Club

We didn’t have a meeting yesterday due to adverse weather conditions. There was a real blizzard blowing here, with the snow nearly going horizontal. There’s hardly anything left of it today, the ground not being cold enough for the snow to stay. But, as a result, I didn’t write anything. Not to worry, I found a piece I wrote last year that, for some obscure reason, I never posted. It’s called The Apparition and this should give you a hint on what’s happening in the story. Check it out here.

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Another Short Story – Ushanka

Meldrum Writers Club

Yesterday we wrote a story including a rhetorical question. The idea was to put one form of a rhetorical question in there.

Forms of Rhetorical Questions:

Erothesis – the question that isn’t a question at all; the speaker doesn’t wait for an answer.

Epiplexis – a lament or an insult is asked as a question.

Anacoenosis – the question where a particular audience will answer in a particular way.

Hypophora – a rhetorical question immediately answered aloud, usually by the person asking the question.

Anthypophora – asking questions while knowing the answers.

Aporia – asking a question you really don’t know the answer to.

I have tried to put all of these in my new short story, Ushanka. Can you find them all?


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Another Short Story – Darlene’s Delectable Dishes

Meldrum Writers Club


I’ll be trying to focus our Writers’ Club writing exercises on grammatical issues for the foreseeing future and this week we focussed on alliteration. I thought alliteration was the repetition of the first letter of a word as the first letter of the next word. You know, Peter Parker, I saw a see-saw sitting on a see-saw, dead as a door-nail. That kind of thing. How wrong was I? (This last sentence is an Australian form of rhetoric and isn’t a question at all. But more on rhetorics next week).

It appears, according to my oh so trusted Wikipedia, that an alliteration is a special form of consonance, in which a consonant sound is repeated in another word. This consonant can be anywhere in the word. Alliteration is a special kind of consonance, in which the consonant is in the stressed syllable. So, it doesn’t have to be the first letter at all.  Learned something again. Not that I used this knowledge when I wrote my short story…

It’s a fact that alliteration makes a text more pleasant to read and easier to remember. You can do it too much though, and this is called a paroemion. My short story (look; another alliteration 🙂 ), Darlene’s Delectable Dishes, certainly is a paroemion. Check it out!


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Another Short Story – Rescue

Meldrum Writers Club

This week’s story didn’t have any keywords. During our meeting last week, we discussed how we can improve our sentences. We used the article titled ‘How to write better sentences’ by Daniel David Wallace. You can’t find the article online, though. I’m afraid you’ll have to sign up to get it here. I can assure you it’s worth it as it has very interesting information. Check it out and see how it can help improve your sentence structure.

Anyway, one of the topics in the article is about verb sentences vs. noun sentences. It stresses to use strong verbs to improve action in your sentences. So we set our homework to write a story about mermaids using verb sentences. It’s called ‘Rescue‘ and can be found in the short story section of the menu. It’s a typical mermaid story, nothing special, no unexpected twists or anything, but has a lot of verbs in it. Enjoy!

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Another Short Story

Meldrum Writers Club

This week I had asked my daughter for some keywords. She didn’t make it easy. They were:

  • druid
  • frustration
  • Mount Everest
  • lampshade
  • mother

I postponed writing the story again and again until there was no time left. The story that appeared in my head is now titled ‘Contempt.’ You can find it in the Short Stories section of the menu. As always, it has a little twist at the end. Let me know what you think of it.


Header photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

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And the winner is…

ME! Plus forty-nine others, of course…

You may remember my post regarding me being shortlisted for Twisted50 Vol.2. Well, today they finally announced the fifty winners whose stories will be entered in the Twisted50 Volume 2 anthology. It was a long wait, but it was worth it :). Check out all the winners here.

My winning story is called ‘Rumour has it…’ and is not for the faint at heart. It’s about a girl who stands trial for gruesome murders committed. You’ll have to buy the book to read the whole story, and, man, are there some twisted stories in there! At the moment they’re voting on the book cover, but I’ll let you know the link to the book as soon as I’ve got it.

Now, I’m off to dance around the house!



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Fingers crossed!

I just provisionally signed the rights away for two of my stories, ‘Vampires Anonymous’ and ‘Rumour has it…,’ to #Create50! They will have the rights to publish for two years should they pick my story/stories from the one hundred and eighty-two shortlisted entries as one of the fifty winners for inclusion in their anthology, Twisted50 Vol.2. They have so many stories to chose from, they may even include them in a Vol.3. So fingers crossed!



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Author Interview with Colin Garrow

A few weeks ago I met Colin Garrow at the foot of Bennachie (the iconic ‘hill’ of Aberdeenshire). Temperatures were freezing, but we had a pleasant walk and a hot coffee afterwards. We thought it would be a fun idea to interview each other and that’s what we did. You can find my answers to Colin’s questions on his web page. Here are Collin’s answers to my questions.


You’ve mentioned in interviews that you wrote stories when you were young. Can you remember the very first story that you wrote? If yes, what was it about?

The first one I can remember writing was intended to be a novel. It was inspired by ‘2112’ (an album by Canadian rock band, Rush), and was a sort of sci-fi/caveman-type epic. By the time I got to the fourth page, I’d run out of ideas.

Instead of studying literature, like most people think writers do, you went to drama school. What part of drama school influenced your writing the most?

The course I did was more about community drama than acting, so we learned lots of things about running workshops, working with community groups and creative arts, as well as putting on a few plays. Working with other actors helped me to see what worked on stage and what didn’t, and the different styles of theatre (Brechtian, naturalistic, physical etc) all influenced what I went on to write, though it’s more difficult to say how that happened. Basically, my writing suddenly improved, so I can only attribute it to what I learned on the course.

You have written a number of books for children. Did you tell your child/children your own bedtime stories or did you stick to the published ones at the time?

I wouldn’t want to pressurise my son to read my work, though he has read a few chapters from a couple of my books. So, no, when we went through the story-at-bedtime bit, I stuck to books we liked, progressing from the likes of, ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’, to ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks.’


In the Christie McKinnon stories, your protagonist is female. Why did you choose to write these stories from a female point of view?

The first two children’s novels I wrote had boys as the hero (though both had female sidekicks), so when I started on ‘The Hounds of Hellerby Hall’ I deliberately chose a girl (with a boy for a sidekick). It was also interesting to think about how she would react to the situations she found herself in and how she was influenced by her surroundings – changing attitudes to women etc. Nevertheless, she turned into more of a tomboy than I wanted her to be.

A lot of your stories are set in the past. This requires a lot more research (i.e. time) for writers. What exactly attracts you to write about ‘the olden days’?

Well, research is a matter of opinion – of course it’s possible to do masses of research, but I didn’t want my books to be packed with historical facts, throwing in historically-accurate descriptions just for the hell of it. I wanted just enough detail to give a sense of authenticity. With the ‘Maps of Time’ series, I read a couple of books, the best of which was, ‘Restoration London: Everyday Life in the 1660s’ by Lisa Pickard, as it has loads of info about food, money, jobs and housing. However, I think it’s easy to get bogged down in facts and I didn’t want to bore my readers, so unless I need specific information, I tend to just make it up!


As to why I write historical fiction – I think it’s that I’ve always had a fascination with the past and how amazing it would be to go back and see what it was like. So I created worlds I hoped would come over as realistic.

Most of your stories are ‘whodunnits.’ Did you ever solve a mystery yourself?

Sadly no. Actually, I’m not at all perceptive and things that’d be really obvious to anyone else tend to go over my head. The only time I can solve mysteries is if when I invent them. (Although, to be fair, since I never know how they’re going to end, I still have to solve them – does that count?)

Besides a number of novels, you have also written a number of short stories and flash fiction. Do you prefer one above another and why?

Short stories are a great way of exploring an idea, so they’re useful exercises if I want to try different writing styles, or genres. I also like them because they force the writer to be concise, throwing away longer passages that might work well if it were a novel, but interrupt the flow in a short story.

I think generally I prefer novels, since they give me something substantial to work on, whereas if a short story isn’t working, I put it aside. At the moment, I’ve got about a dozen stories I’ve started but haven’t yet found interesting enough to finish.

Where/when/how do you get your inspiration for your stories?

In the past, I’ve tried writing exercises as a way of ‘discovering’ something to write about, but now I have a very specific way of working – I come up with a title and use that as inspiration. The first Christie McKinnon book was inspired by Joan Aiken’s ‘The Wolves of Willoughby Chase’, though it was specifically the title that inspired me, because I liked the alliteration and wanted a title of my own that sounded similar, hence ‘The Hounds of Hellerby Hall’. Once I had the title, I wrote the book to discover what had happened at the Hall and why there were hounds involved.


With ‘Death on a Dirty Afternoon’ it was slightly different, because I also had a first line. In my book on writing, I’d come up with examples of first lines to show how they might be developed. One of them became the first line of the novel, so I had the title and the first line to inspire me. Other than that, it’s just a matter of writing until I get to the end.

 Is there a particular issue you prefer not to write about and, if so, why?

Not sure. I probably wouldn’t write, say, a political thriller, because I don’t know enough about politics to write intelligently on the subject. However, I think it’s important for writers to grow, so I wouldn’t rule anything out.

 If one of your books was chosen to put into a movie, which one would you choose and why?

It would have to be ‘The Architect’s Apprentice’, just because it would be brilliant to see the streets and houses recreated.

What is the ‘most unknown book’ you’ve read that influenced you as a person (not necessarily as a writer)?

I couldn’t tell you the title, since it’s long since vanished into the rubbish tip of my mind, but it was a book I read dozens of times as a kid. It was about a little boy whose dad is missing in Africa, so the boy builds an aeroplane out of bits of junk and flies to Africa to rescue him. It was a lovely book and I still think about it today.

What was the best advice regarding writing you ever received?

It has to be Stephen King’s words of wisdom on the two things you have to do to be a writer:

  1. Read a lot.
  2. Write a lot.

You can find all of Colin’s books here.

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One Stop Fiction Online Book Club

One Stop Fiction is the baby of OSFARG (One Stop Fiction Authors Resource Group). It is an online book club for readers and writers. They have lots of book available, amongst which 30 FREE books, 20 genres to choose from, and a competition in which you can win a kindle reader worth $110! What more could you want?


Sign up now and enjoy the work of indie writers from all over the world. If you are a writer you can also advertise your books here. There is something for everyone!

It’s so easy, just sign up here…

This is the current list of FREE books available, if you still have any doubts about signing up 🙂 :

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