Tag Archives: On The Edges of Vision

An interview at Burning House Press

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.




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Review of On the Edges of Vision in Gutter

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?

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An Interview

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!



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On the Edges of Vision longlisted for the Saboteur Awards

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.


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The Excitement of a Title

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)

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Interview in The Skinny

Here’s a taste:


We begin a new year with a new author. Helen McClory’s otherworldly short fiction recently won the Saltire Society First Book award, and she chats here about how her fiercely original collection On the Edges of Vision came to be born

Sometimes less is more. Anybody can describe a chair or an apple, to the finest detail perhaps. Most could even draw quite an accurate picture of one or both. And wouldn’t that be boring?

Far more intriguing is when the dimmer switch is turned down. When that everyday object or situation is seen in the half-light, that psychological dusk. Possibilities open into spaces as wide as your imagination.


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The last day of the old year

2015 has been long and full and amazing and difficult in all sorts of measures.


I went to American twice, after not having been in four years. Once for a wedding, the second time for a Kickstarted Book Tour – which you can read of here, if you haven’t already.

My first book came out in August – On the Edges of Vision. It was put out in the world by the small and lovely Queen’s Ferry Press. I’ms so very glad of everyone who has supported the book and me. If you read it, blurbed it, reviewed it, talked about it with friends (or enjoyed it silently), if you’ve been meaning to read it but haven’t yet (I understand completely!),  if you donated to the Kickstarter, or encouraged me to do it (thanks Toby and Maris!) came out to see me read in New York or Philadelphia or Athens or Atlanta or DC. If you hosted me – thank you. Thanks to Georgia and Elizabeth and Dan and Tess. Thanks Erin. Thanks to family and friends.


There’s a saying that publishing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon, and waiting for the echo – and I think it’s sort of true for a collection of experimental or unusual forms like flash fiction (and prose poems). But beyond the petal-drift, the quiet of the world, there has been more of a response than I could have hoped for. In November, On the Edges of Vision won the prestigious Saltire First Book of the Year. I was completely blown away. A book barely available at the time in Scottish bookshops, winning this. I feel optimistic about where things might go from here. Hopes that the book will pick up steam and be wider read and reviewed. A new edition, perhaps. Against the odds, it’s a small echo coming back up the slopes.


It’s been a disrupted and disrupting year, in terms of health and career. I am unsure what 2016 will bring on both counts. Amongst that, I found time to read quite a few books. Some dazzling, moving, clever, poetic. Some, less so. But a good year for reading, for me. And writing too – I’ve almost finished a draft of my novel-in-progress, which I started as a witchy novella in September 2014, and decided to expand, after it was a runner up in two competitions. Close to 70,000 words are down, but I’m thinking it will be much shorter, pared to the bone. I hope to finish by October 2016. That’s the goal, anyway. Between writing and edits, it was a production year rather than a publishing one (aside from the big one!) but there were still three pieces published –


The Bohemyth – ‘What Can Be Endured May Yet Be Unbearable’

Barrelhouse – ‘Overwinternight’


and from the novel – on  3:AM Magazine – ‘A Formidable Etiquette’


What will 2016 bring?

No one can know, of course. But there are some things budding – my first novel is due out from CCM Press at the end of October. There’s the witchy novel to finish, and a new collection of flash fiction which is well under way. I hope for new work, new challenges, good health to those I love. I wish for a less violent world – a welcome for refugees, fewer people harmed. Justice and mercy and enough food and shelter and warmth with it, of both sorts. Is that too easy for me to write? Too trite? Possibly. What can any of us do, except try to keep the windows open and the politicians aware of our anger, our hunger for a kinder world.


Tonight, on Hogmanay, I hope to spend some time with friends. I hope for fireworks, but I’m still very snuffly. I hope whatever you’re doing the new year finds you well (it may have found you already, depending where you are).


Thank you for reading.

Here’s to everything we have ahead of us. The joys and pains and dull parts. The books, the sunlit spots, the snowstorms, rain, arguments, poetry, the music drifting in the window from some place across the way.

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