Welcome to the April 2023 instalment of Literally Lyndsey. (I forgot to send it yesterday, and April has been a bit of a weird month so, apologies that it's technically going out in May!) Read on for writing news, sub calls, updates, book recommendations, submission calls, folklore facts and more!
HAVE YOU DECIDED ON YOUR QUESTION IS OUT NOW!
My first book, a dark-SF novelette "Have You Decided on Your Question" from Shortwave Publishing, is officially out now! It's been a nice few weeks to see people picking up a copy and reading - I've had loads of lovely messages about it, and I'm glad people are generally enjoying it. All order links can be found here. Also, a wee note that if you do read it I'd love if you left a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Reviews will really help it get found by more readers!
My drabble 'Not Haunted, Yet' about a haunted family that moves into an ordinary house was published in Hungry Shadow Press's Deadly Drabble Tuesdays. Just 100 words and a story I'm quite proud of!
'I Never Wanted a Rose Garden', a dark gothic love letter of sorts, was published in the Tales to Terrify Podcast. The narration by SL Albert was amazing, as were the other two stories in the episode, so do check it out!
Coming in May!
The amazing OBSOLESCENCE anthology from Shortwave Publishing, which includes my dark SF story 'Hush, Little Sister' has already been making its way out to Kickstarter backers, but will be published officially on May 16th.
Not technically new, but 'To Replace a Broken Heart' from Seize The Press Issue #6 will become available free online this week (tomorrow I think!) I'm fond of this weird dystopian story of organs and plants, so do look out for it here.
'The Medium's Assistant' a story about a Medium taking advantage of AI tech for his shows, will be out in BFS Horizons #16, coming soon!
'Crosswords and Coffee' about a couple travelling on a final job in space, falling into their daily routines, will be animated by new fiction app Calliope Interactive.
What I've Been Reading
'The Grief Nurse' by Angie Spoto. An atmospheric, twisty, and beautiful tale with such a brilliant fantastical world and concept. If you love gothic stories, mysteries, fantasy, and folklore, you'll love this one!
'The Way the Light Bends' by Lorraine Wilson. A beautiful, compelling, and moving novel set in Scotland, with subtle nods to folklore and the fantastical. I listened to the audiobook and it drew me in with the rich storytelling, and had me hooked as the mystery unfolded.
'Linghun' by Ai Jiang, a hauntingly beautiful novella with such an intriguing world and concept - read this basically in one sitting, feeling like I was spending time in HOME myself.
'Dead Silence' by S.A. Barnes - a really creepy and tense" haunted house" story in space (need I say more?)
'Narcissus' by Adam Godfrey. Loved listening to this novella in just a couple of sittings! Super pacy, delightfully creepy, and very cinematic. It's out in audio now, and in paperback from Shortwave Publishing (my brilliant novelette publisher!) tomorrow.
Putting this one first, as I'm guest-editing this exciting project and it's open now - Shoreline of Infinity Magazine's Special Climate Change Issue. Details and wishlist here, and it's open until 11th May, with an extension to 14th May for authors disproportionately affected by climate change. We will be launching a Kickstarter for this issue soon, so we hope to pay accepted authors at a higher rate and accept more stories.
Apex Magazine’s monthly flash fiction contest theme for next month will be announced on 7th May, so keep an eye out for that!
Grist's Imagine 2200 open for subs for hopeful futures climate fiction - open until June 13th.
Hexagon Magazine is open for submissions from May 1st-7th.
Uncanny is open for submissions for Novellas (1st-15th) and short stories (1-7th).
Scottish Folklore of the Month
Hagstones, Seer Stones, and the Otherworld
I've been visiting family up North and my Mum and I found two of these on the beach at the same time, and I'm hoping it's a good omen for this month ahead!
Hagstones (or seer stones) are stones or pebbles with natural holes bored in the centre that are thought to bring good luck and can be worn for protection, to ward of evil. It is said you can look through the hole to peek into the faery or otherworld, or in some cases, into the future. This folklore features in one of the stories in my Scottish Folklore collection, a story about a girl in a future water world, searching for something that will determine her destiny.
I've unfortunately not been well this month, so most writing projects have been on pause so I can focus on recovering. I have been reading lots though, finding plenty books and worlds to get lost in (see my favourite ones above!)
My novella has gone on sub this month which is exciting and my Scottish folklore short story collection is almost ready for sub. The collection is full of dark sci fi, horror, fantasy, eco, and gothic stories based on creatures, deities, omens, and settings from Scottish folklore. It's a collection close to my heart, with some of my favourite stories, so I'm excited for it to be progressing.
In May, I'll be trying to slowly get back into writing, but taking it relatively easy for now.
Thanks as always for reading - until next month!