Over the course of a few months, I was interviewed for Splice. You can now read the whole thing, if you’d like here.
Helen McClory is a prolific writer of flash fiction and short stories, as well as a novelist and an advocate for overlooked works of literature. In reviewing her two story collections for Splice, Daniel Davis Wood called McClory a “distinctive” writer who “survey[s] the stuff of folklore and mythology and weav[es] it into serious fiction with vivid imagery and poetic flair”. Throughout the summer of 2018, following the publication of her most recent collection, Mayhem & Death, Helen McClory generously set aside time to talk to Splice about her work, her interest in different literary forms, and her plans for the future
Wood also reviewed both On the Edges of Vision and Mayhem & Death here.
One of my pieces, “It Seemed Impossible it Could Ever Begin” was one Fictive Dream’s September Slam flashes.
Another apocalyptic story of mine, “A Quiet, Important Thing”, is up on Minor Literatures.
404 Ink, started by Heather McDaid and Laura Jones, are the publishing house behind the excellent essay collection Nasty Women and surreal, hilarious short story collection Hings by Chris McQueer – so I am utterly thrilled to say that they are also going to be publishing two books by me!
- My debut story collection, On the Edges of Vision, came out in 2015 and won the Saltire First Book of the Year. The press who originally published it have since shuttered, but 404 have taken it up and are going to shepherd it back into the world.
The collections are coming out in March 2018, so you’ve not too long to wait!
Here’s the full announcement from 404 Ink.
As an aside, I went for a photoshoot with 404 Ink and photographer Sinéad Grainger – the pictures she took are great and you can see a couple via the link. Here’s my favourite, and new author photo:
credit: Sinéad Grainger
I was very kindly sent some thoughtful questions on my writing (both flash fiction and my forthcoming novel). In it, I push The Unsung Letter, talk about my nervousness of Plath (it’s true, one day I will face it) and what I’d take if my house was burning down.
Read the full thing here.
It’s been a long time – I’ve been travelling, and writing (writing and writing very slowly, and thinking about writing while the world spins on its terrible path) but today, some news. There’s a review of On the Edges of Vision up on Gutter, written by Laura Waddell:
Free from the debut trope of self-reference and loosely-disguised autobiography, McClory engages in a kind of inquisitive modern mythmaking. Within settings as diverse as forests, airports and ideal homes, a pleasing jumble of styles and references emerge: fantasy, horror, classicism, fairytales, and other dark flavours. Such macabre turns bring to mind the terror of Ann Radcliffe or poetic justice of Roald Dahl.
Read more here!
There has been little to report of my writing life, mostly because I’ve been working away on the witchy novel, which will hopefully be done by late next year. It evolves away from me, first a moth then a snake, then sometimes just pages that I have to let slip from my hands and fall around me and gather again. I’m happy with the work though. Time taken is time (and hopefully text) made richer. The biggest thing ahead is the emergence of my debut novel, Flesh of the Peach. That’s April, next year, out from Freight. Less than six months away. I hope to share the cover here as soon as I am allowed. A cover makes it real, doesn’t it?
Writer Hayley Webster is hosting an online literary festival right now, and as part of it she has interviewed me on On the Edges of Vision and being a writer and speaking up for other writers (which she does herself very often, as evidenced by the efforts she has gone through to organise a literary festival under her own steam!)
Read the interview here
and keep an eye out on her twitter feed as she posts interviews with other writers!
Some nice news this morning – On the Edges of Vision has been longlisted in the best short story collection category, alongside others such as Janice Galloway’s Jellyfish, Joanna Walsh’s Vertigo and Helen Oyeyemi’s What is not Yours is not Yours.
On the shortlist is Lara William’s Treats, which I read and thought was excellent, as well as Dinosaurs on Other Planets by Danielle McLaughlin, which is high on my tbr – you can see the full lists and vote for your favourites to win here.
It’s half ten at night as I write this, but I feel like I have to make a post, or else something will float away from me: I’ve decided, finally, what to call my second flash fiction collection. It isn’t finished, and I haven’t begun approaching publishers about it yet, but at nearly 37K it’s now formed into something with character enough, I think, to bear the weight of a name:
Mayhem and Death
It will be over forty stories long, with several sections (one of which, Ritual Stitches and Good Red Wounds, was the semi-finalist in two chapbook contests). Around ten stories have been published or will be shortly, with hopefully a few more to come. Lots of murderesses in this collection, which is a nod to Margaret Atwood’s use of it in Alias Grace. The feminising suffix, so often used to diminish, set against ‘murderer’ reads strange and unheimlich. Also: versions of films beloved (and hated)(and invented)(and mashedup), and an interconnected flash segment about a mother reading her deceased daughter’s diary of nightmares.
I’m excited! I’m also still working on the witchy novel Villain Miriam (working title, though I quite like it too) and awaiting to share some news about my debut novel, Flesh of the Peach. Later, later. At a more reasonable hour. Perhaps.
If desirous of some of my stories, see the Fiction section above for lots of links to published pieces, or buy my first book here (free worldwide shipping)