In a little under two weeks my brand new collection of flash fictions will be birthed and screaming for your attention. The incy wincy spider has crawled up the spout, popped her head out and she's ready to entice you into her parlour and show you what my mind is all about. There are stories of train-crash romance, human bone trade exchange, predictive Scrabble text, and a rather naughty spirit medium doing bad things in your bath. Tut tut.
Before Christmas I announced Spiderseed and talked about the value of creative collaboration. This collection came about in an unusual way: I basically said to Sleepy House Press: yo, dudes, fancy doing this book? And they said, yeah why the hell not. Easy as that. Since then it hasn't exactly been easy but it has been fun and it's always been a safe process in the hands of Sam, Alex and Marg at Sleepy House. We've been through a fair few edits to get to the final proof but today we are more or less happy to hit the PRINT ME button. Barring some horrendous Royal Mail mishap, the actual things themselves should be in our palpitating hands by this time next week, possibly. Excuse me while I do a swear: FUCKING AMAZING MATE!
Dead excited. Dead, dead, dead excited.
But even better than the thing itself is all the effort that's gone into making it from a literal heck-load of other people. The collaborative spirit has grown and grown into a fully fledged poultergeist-infested mansion. Sam and Alex at Sleepy House have driven the whole damn project on a gigantic tank of passion and enthusiasm and they've worked damn, damn hard. Thanks you two, a million, billion thanks. Marg the Sleepy House designer who has been ULTRA-PATIENT with all our tiny little tweaks and whims and obsessions over the tinest microscopic details. Marg, I haven't met you yet, but you are basically the Greek God Athene in my head. ie; perfection. Thank you.
Raz the proofreader whose eyes were far more eagled than mine and literally saved my life by changing 'mantra ray' to 'manta ray' among many other daft errors. And to Jack and Alex for giving up a whole Sunday morning to film a trailer, and to Harry for letting us film it in the John Rylands Library (yep. a trailer. coming very soon film fans). My seven talent pals who have agreed to read at the launch party and for being a bunch of proper nice people. Ella and Kieran at Evidently for letting us on their radio show to blab the spider all over the airwaves. Dan Jagger for the brilliant job he did on one of the stories 'From the Deepest Depth' for his Tapes and Tales podcast, and for a lovely shout-out thereupon.
And one final giant THANK YOU to Emily Ingle for her gorgeous, bewildering, heart-breaking, grin-inducing illustrations which accompany each and every one of the stories in the collection, as well as the spinetingling front cover. Emmy has really grabbed the soul of each tale and reduced them to a perfect essence with delicate and thrilling images. I wanna frame them all for ever in frames made out of unicorn gold and supernovae titanium.
Ok enough of this. The essential information:
SPIDERSEED is out on the 25th February and will be launched at a showcase party on the same day. We'll be at the Castle Hotel on Oldham Street in Manchester from 7:30pm. Free entry, all welcome.
SPIDERSEED will be available both in print and on the kindle. Price TBC but it'll be like 8 quid or something, and about 3 or 4 for the e-book.
SPIDERSEED is published by Sleepy House Press who are a not-for-profit community-focused organisation based in Manchester - and always looking for stories for their website.
SPIDERSEED is a collection of twenty flash fictions written by me and illustrated by Emmy Ingle. It would very much like to build its nest on your bookshelves.