Writing, Long Fiction

Dark Fantasy & Climate Change

I am in the final stages of editing my draft dark fantasy novel inspired by North American and Canadian First Nations legends and environment and the influence of developing climate change.

In a fantasy world where the gods, mortals and paranormal beings are dependent on the environment for stability and existence, the threat of a dark shaman destroying the land as his power grows is too much for the gods to remain omnipotent. In the involvement with the mortal realms, the balance of the Land shifts dangerously and the environment begins to suffer, fade and die.

The following images are inspirational only and are not intended to represent any specific character but inspire an internal concept.

reads, Recent Reads

They Were Here Before Us

*** I received an ARC in return for an honest review ***

Publisher’s Description

The less you know going in, the better off you’ll be. If you know, you know.

The only thing more brutal than nature is love.


Review

My most recent read was They Were Here Before Us by Bram Stoker Finalist Eric LaRocca.

I have read two of LaRocca’s other novellas Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke and You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood and both explored the depths of dark fiction, social prejudices and queer fiction. They Were Here Before Us is series of stories united by the common theme of otherness – seeing humanity through its darkest and most depraved lenses by those who are other, seperate and different.

Final Thoughts

They Were Here Before Us is a complex, visceral and raw exploration of humanity through the lens of otherness. LaRocca’s writing is skilful and a delight to read even as the subject of each story gets darker, the masterful writing holds your attention until the very end and beyond. Accompanied by richly detailed illustrations that complement the novella, the tales will haunt you well after you’ve turned the final pages.

Conclusion

A highly recommended read for fans of LaRocca’s other work, dark fiction, societal issues, queer fiction and horror.

events, Long Fiction, Writing

Bluebells Book Launch

Conflux 16- Speculative Fiction Conventions from October 1 -3 will be hosting my book launch for Bluebells. After several hospital admission interruptions, I’m looking forward to properly launching my debut novella from Black Hare Press.

Tickets for Conflux 16 are essential. Book here.

Bluebells has its belated official launch on October 2nd at 12:30 pm AEST.

Long Fiction, Writing

Reimagining Norse Myths

One of my projects I’m working on at the moment is a reimagining the Norse Myths and involving my favourite Trickster folklore. I’m focusing on the god Loki and the events recounted in the myths leading up to Ragnarok.

I’m also fascinated by the roles of Odín and his selection of the best warriors fallen on the battlefield and how Freyja, goddess of desire takes the other half the best fallen warriors and is a leader of the Valkyries.

My love of Trickster folklore and legends includes one of my favourite Australian Trickster figures, Crow. Together with Loki, there’s a new story added to those known in the Norse myths.

In remaining ragnarok in a new way, I’ve ncorporated Icelandic and Australian-esque natural landscapes to create a new version of a mythos of ice and fire with tales from the Australian Alps to the desert heart.

Writing

2022 Ditmar Awards

The Ditmar Awards are awarded at the Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy National Convention each year

My eligible works for 2022 Best Short Story:

◦ “A Trail of Corpselights”, Leanbh Pearson [QLD], in New Tales of Old 1, Black Ink Fiction.

◦ “ Serket’s Curse”, Alannah K. Pearson [ACT], in Scorpio: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Zodiac, Deadset Press.

◦ “Talismans”, Leanbh Pearson [QLD], in Revolutions, Deadset Press.

◦ “The Dark Harpist”, Leanbh Pearson [QLD], in New Tales of Old 1, Black Ink Fiction.

◦ “The Dark Horseman”, Leanbh Pearson [QLD], in Legends of Night, Black Ink Fiction.

◦ “The House of the Cat-Si”, Leanbh Pearson [QLD], in 13 Lives of Alice, Black Hare Press.

◦ “The Monster”, Alannah K. Pearson [ACT], in Gluttony, Black Hare Press.

◦ “The Queen of Crows”, Leanbh Pearson [ACT], in Over the Rainbow: An LGBTQ+ Fairytale Charity Anthology, Black Ink Fiction.

◦ “The Yule Trolls”, Leanbh Pearson [QLD], in Eerie Christmas 2, Black Hare Press.

◦ “Them”, Alannah K. Pearson [ACT], in Wrath, Black Hare Press.

◦ “Three Tasks for the Sidhe”, Leanbh Pearson [ACT], in Stories of Survival, Deadset Press.

◦ “The Spreading Rot” in Haunted: An Anthology, Specul8 Publishing, 2021

◦ “Poisoned Fruit, Poisoned Reign” in Reign (Five Hundred Fiction, #7), Black Hare Press, 2021

◦ “The Haunted Ones” in Haunt (Five Hundred Fiction, #6), Black Hare Press, 2021

◦ “The Bones of a Dead God” in Bones (Five Hundred Fiction, #4), Black Hare Press, 2021

◦ “The Eldritch Woods” in Watch (Five Hundred Fiction, #3), Black Hare Press, 2021

◦ “The Hero of Silversmiths” in Avenge (Five Hundred Fiction, #2), Black Hare Press, 2021

My eligible works for 2022 Edited Collection:

Revolutions, Austin P. Sheehan [VIC], Grace Chan [VIC], and Leanbh Pearson [QLD], Deadset Press.

Scorpio: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Zodiac, Austin P. Sheehan [VIC], Neen Cohen [QLD] and Alannah K. Pearson [ACT], Deadset Press.

Vote for your favourite works for the 2022 Ditmar Awards here

research, Writing

The Skogsrå

The skogsrå is one of the important genii loci, the spirit of the Forest from Scandinavia. She will appear to hunters mostly but also to some travellers through the forests of her domain.

The Skogsra is often described as human-like being, but with something uncanny about her. She’s often very beautiful but will have a tail or a back formed like a (rotten) tree trunk. The first morph (a tree trunk back) is common in Denmark, mid- and southern Sweden, but the tail is common in western and northern Sweden and Norway. Normally, the Skogsra has a a cow’s tail, but she can sometimes have a fox tail.

The Skogsra sometimes doesn’t appear to forest travellers as a young woman, but as an old and ugly hag. But these appearances are quite rare.

The Skogsra often approaches and tries to seduce men by various ways.

In folklore material, two types of men were most often approached by the Skogsra – charcoal-burners and hunters. Both of these groups of men were alone in the forest for long periods at a time.

In exchange for sexual encounters, a man might actually became her lover and the Skogsra could help him and grant rewards – like making sure his rifle never missed, and waking him if the charcoal stack was about to burn down. Both these are blessings made possible by the Skogsra and when the men are within her forest.

References

https://folklorethursday.com/folktales/skogsra-and-huldra-the-femme-fatale-of-the-scandinavian-forests/

Long Fiction, Writing

Bluebells Release!!

My debut horror novella Bluebells was published on July 9th 2022 by Black Hare Press.


1917, Australia.

In the aftermath of an alternate ending to the First World War, mass frontline casualties and a mysterious pandemic have decimated governments and the environment across much of Europe and the world, Australia included.

Anna Baylon lives with her parents, scraping a meagre living in the drought-ridden, abandoned, and mostly isolated town of Berrima near Sydney, waiting for news of her older brother, Peter, who enlisted years before.

The arrival of a handsome, mysterious stranger, Nicolas de Laon, her brother’s lover, turns her world upside down.

Anna’s strength is tested when she follows Nicolas—a vampire—from the safety of her home, determined to learn Peter’s fate.

But Nicolas’s darkness isn’t confined to his vampiric hereditary. And when Anna learns the darker truth, can she forgive him?

A steamy dystopian thriller from Leanbh Pearson.

More details on how you can purchase ebook, paperback and hardcover copies of Bluebells here.

Long Fiction, Writing

Fantasy on Four Feet Release

Fantasy on Four Feet edited by Clare Rhoden was published on June 28th, 2022 by Black Ink Fiction.

The anthology includes novelettes from various authors on animal-human companionships including my fey spy and her fox companion in “Black Fox and Bitterbind: The Chancellor’s Promise.”

You can purchase ebook and paperback copies of Fantasy on Four Feet here

research

Isle of Skye: Fairy Glen

The Isle of Skye is rich in fairy lore. One of the most magical-looking is the miniature landscape of grassy, cone-shaped hills and whimsical rock spirals of Fairy Glen.

There is no documented folklore linking the landscape to the realm of myth, and there have been no actual sightings of fairies, Fairy Glen is rich in folklore. You can easily imagine the the fairy folk in this landscape.

There is another explanation for the rock formations found at Fairy Glen. The geological formations are the result of a landslip, triggered by volcanic activity on northern edge of the Isle of Skye about 60 million years ago. The resultant lava flow that would have covered northern Skye was 1,200m thick.

To many, this otherworldly landscape was created by the fairies. There’s belief the fairies still live here, hiding in the crevices…Remember it’s important to leave Fairy Glen as you found it: the fairies are watching you.