The Year in Review: 2023

Well, the apocalypses continued, varying only in size and impact, and with a certain regularly that was almost comforting – an “If this is Tuesday, that must be Godzilla on the horizon” sort of thing.

I had no novel out this year, but a large chunk of 2023 was spent getting The Briar Book of the Dead ready for her Feb 2024 launch (details to follow when at hand). I’m very proud of this novel and hope she’ll find favour! A big shout-out to Jess Nesling, who is the audiobook narrator and the perfect voice for my Ellie Briar!

Brain Jar Press published my collection, The Wrong Girl & Other Warnings, in October. The little book that could is doing very well by all accounts.

In terms of short stories in anthologies:

  • “The Tissot Family Circus,” Twice Cursed, Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane (ed.), Titan Books, April 2023.
  • “Through the Woods, Due West,” The Book of Witches, Jonathan Strahan (ed.), Harper Voyager, August 2023.
  • “The Tale’s in the Telling,” Disintegration, Darren Speegle (ed.), PS Publishing, 2023.
  • “Dusk,” Darkness Beckons, Mark Morris (ed.), Flame Tree Press, October 2023.


Dark Horse Comics brought out the hardcover collection of my graphic novel collaboration with Mike Mignola, Castle Full of Blackbirds, set in the Hellboy Universe. Glorious artwork by Valeria Burzo, colours by Michelle Madsen and lettering by Clem Robins. This is a sort of a dream bucket list achievement for me. And I had a story, “Some Wander”, in the inaugural Dark Horse Halloween Annual.

We (i.e. my agent Meg Davis) got my rights back to the Verity Fassbinder series (Vigil, Corpselight, Restoration) and there will be some news about that in coming months.

Dutch, Bulgarian and Spanish translations of All the Murmuring Bones came out this year. The Dutch version was a limited edition hardcover and particularly spectacular, with beautiful endpapers, foiled cover and a new story! We’ve recently done a deal for Czechoslovakian translations of The Path of Thorns and The Briar Book of the Dead.

The Path of Thorns won the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel and the Australian Shadows Award for Best Horror. The Bone Lantern won the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novella. I was awarded a Bremer Star by my old high school, which “recognises past students of Bremer State High School who have attained great success in their chosen field of expertise”. The Spanish translation of my novella, Of Sorrow and Such (De conjuros y otras penas, translated by Rebeca Cardeñoso of Duermevela Ediciones) was a finalist for the Premio Ignotus Awards in the category of Foreign Novella, which was a lovely thing to happen.


I started writing a screenplay adapting my short story “Winter Children” into a feature film – but we’ll see how that goes! It’s definitely one of those situations of “Feck it, I’ll figure it out along the way.”


Looking forward:

Towards the end of 2024 PS Publishing will bring out a new edition of Black-Winged Angels, which will contain Kathleen Jennings’ beautiful silhouettes, a new story not previously published in English, and the exegesis from my MA about female agency in fairy tales with specific reference to Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber and Emma Donoghue’s Kissing the Witch.

Duermevela Ediciones will publish the Spanish translation of my novella, Ripper, in March 2024 – under the title of The Fifth Witch (La quinta bruja).

Dilatando Mentes Editorial has translated The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings into Spanish, and will publish that collection in 2024. They did a beautiful version of Sourdough and Other Stories a couple of years ago, so I’m looking forward to another lovely book.


In July-August, I’ll be travelling overseas (apocalypses notwithstanding) for the first time since Helsinki WorldCon in 2017. I’ll be an invited guest at Celsius 232 in Aviles, Spain; doing a writing retreat on Dartmoor; going to Forbidden Planet in London and spending far too much money; and going to Glasgow WorldCon. So, looking forward to seeing folk there!

Aaaaaaaand I just signed a seven-book deal with Titan Books! I’m very happy to continue working with my editor Cath Trechman and the whole team there (excellent editorial work, very active rights department, beautiful covers and promotional work). I’ll be writing three new novels set in the Sourdough universe, and three contemporary folk horror novellas. The seventh book will be a reprinting of Sourdough and Other Stories, The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings and The Tallow-Wife and Other Tales as a sort of “Sourdough Compendium”.

So, all in all, a year of continuing to build and consolidate even when the walls were shaking. The floor, at least, feels somewhat more solid. Onward and upward.

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