Rest in Peace Mr. Poe

October 7, 2015 marked 166 years since the passing of Edgar Allan Poe.

A lot of people may ask why so many celebrate or remember an author who has been dead for so long. His memory certainly endures, but mainly I think because of the mysterious nature of his death. The unanswered nature of Poe’s death sadly has become his legacy rather than his writing and this to me is the greatest literary tragedy of all.

I first read Poe’s work in university while I was studying journalism. I remember it distinctly because it was what sparked my zest for writing. The story I read was The Fall of the House of Usher. It was bleak, morbid and morose, but it was beautiful. There was such passion in Poe’s story. Death and terror suddenly had a romantic quality. Poe invoked feelings and imagery with just a few lines, a few words. Immediately I wanted to read more of his work and it wasn’t long before I tracked down a copy of Tales of Mystery and Imagination. But even more importantly Poe inspired me to write tales of my own. There’s no doubt that every horror author has been touched by Edgar Allan Poe.  Greats like H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King and Clive Barker have all named Poe as a source of inspiration.

One hundred and sixty-six years after his death, Poe’s legacy does live on, with his former residences transformed into museums and memorials. I hope to visit these places one day, not as a fan, but a fellow writer. Poe’s life was a very difficult one and his death, but his passion for writing and seeing the beauty in death is something that I will always be thankful for, both as a reader and an author.

If you have never read any of Poe’s works, you can read many of them at I think I’ll revisit The Fall of the House of Usher in my 1979 Octopus edition of Edgar Allan Poe: Forty-Two Tales, which is gorgeously illustrated by Harry (2) photo (1)

In 2011, I published a free collection of some of my short stories, including my tribute piece to Poe, entitled Patrick Oswald Edwards. You can download it HERE.

Here’s an art piece I created last year depicting Poe and some of his more famous stories.


Rest in Peace Mr. Poe.

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Giving back some blood

I’ve always believed in the concept of helping people out and when it comes to writing, authors need all the support they can get.

Hence my latest venture – Fresh Blood, a Facebook page I’ve created to try and help get new works of fiction into the spotlight.

The idea is pretty simple: whenever a new book comes out or one is announced, I’ll post it on Fresh Blood. What will make this endeavour work though is people power, so please, Like and Share the page. Better yet, if you hear of a new book coming out, message a link to the page and I’ll post it.


I know I won’t be able to highlight every single horror book that comes out, but even if only a handful of authors have their books bought and read because of Fresh Blood, then I consider that a win.

I’ve also learned that support goes both ways. In the past week my beta reader friends Matthew Tait, Amanda J. Spedding and Jim Chambers have helped me immensely with my stories and I owe them a huge debt. Thanks guys.

If you’re a horror author and you really want to be part of a great community I suggest you join either the Australian Horror Writers Association, or the Horror Writers Association. They’ll definitely go to hell and back for you :)

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Vaudevillian giveaway

To celebrate one year this month since the publication of my shorty story collection, Vaudeville and Other Nightmares I’m GIVING AWAY a signed print copy. :)

To enter, just LIKE or SHARE my Facebook Author page and you go into the draw! (Click the graphic below to head over to the page)


The competition closes on September 30, so get on board!


Don’t forget you can purchase a copy of my collection in print or e-book formats from Amazon!

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The novel that (almost) never was

There were moments when I was close to throwing my novel into the trash icon on my laptop and forgetting I’d ever dreamed it up.

Thankfully the little devil on my shoulder told me to “finish the damn thing” and this week I completed the first draft of my novel, tentatively titled The Temple of Folly.

download (1)

This was an on again off again novel; one that started inside a notebook about twelve months ago and I later shelved because I didn’t really want to write it at all. The previous novel I’d written had been rejected after almost a year of waiting and it was a real kick in the guts. I was ready to throw in the towel with writing altogether.

The little devil on my shoulder slapped me around and told me to grow a pair. He reminded me of one of Neil Gaiman’s rules that graced the poster on my wall –

“Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.”

So that was what I did. I took out the notebook with the scrawl of the first few chapters that I’d written and started to type it up into a fresh word document. I hate writing long pieces straight into a computer because I can’t type for shit, but as I did, the story started to form, characters were fleshed out and the end no longer seemed like a chore.

So I’ve written a haunted house novel. It wasn’t as long as I wanted it to be (about 56,000 words), but I FINISHED it. It’s currently in the hands of two trusted beta readers and I’m looking forward to hearing what they liked and especially what they didn’t. I’m actually excited about the fleshing out and editing to come because it’s a complete novel, not some half-finished draft, or sheafs of notes, but a WHOLE novel.

I’m very happy that the little devil talked me around.

One of the beta readers asked me for a brief synopsis and at first this made me cringe because who wants to write a goddamn synopsis – ever? Again the little devil poked me with his pitchfork.


So here’s the off-the-cuff synopsis. I hope it entices:

It was just the old house on the corner.

No one in Willow Street paid it any notice; not the disgruntled Campbell family next door, not Alice Cowley and her suicidal daughter, or Mr and Mrs Markham down the road.  Not even Darryl, the loner at number 70, who was abnormal himself, knew it was there. It was just old Kemper House, forgotten and seemingly abandoned as far as anyone knew.

Until it made itself known.

When the stench of death wafts from Kemper House through Willow Street, and comes to the attention of recent resident and newspaper reporter Ben Traynor, it will start a chain of horrors that will bring Kemper House’s curse into their own homes and lead others direct to its door. 

Kemper House will not only haunt its neighbours, it will infect them with an evil that traverses time and space itself.

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Horror on the radio

I was very fortunate last week to be interviewed by ABC Local Radio for it’s “Getting to Know You” segment and talk about all things horror.


Twenty minutes talking to Mornings host Kim Kleidon about how I got into writing and horror fiction specifically was a whole lot of fun because any opportunity to discuss horror fiction is one not to be passed up.

In the interview you’ll hear about my inspirations, my thoughts about Halloween, my favourite authors and the Australian Horror Writers Association and the US Horror Writers Association.

You might also hear about my upcoming novella The Eschatologist and the novel I’m currently working on. I hope you give it a listen.

Thanks to Kim Kleidon and Megan Hendry at the ABC for the opportunity.

Click on the PLAY button below!

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The Horror of Grief

Looking back on my work over the years, I’ve discovered there’s a recurring theme in all of my novellas – a child going through grief.

Torment features a girl whose mother died during an exorcism.

The Noctuary is about a man who is given the chance to go back and change a horrible moment in his childhood.

Vaudeville deals with a boy coming to terms with his father’s passing and finally…

The Last Night of October is about two children whose lives are changed forever on Halloween.

Can you judge a book by its cover?...

I know this is my sub-conscious at work here because grief and close personal loss defined my early teenage years.

"The Noctuary" cover revealed!

When I was about 15 my best friend died suddenly at school. He’d had a history of heart problems and one day while playing sport his heart stopped and he never regained consciousness. When it happened I wasn’t at school because I had to go home and collect a piece of homework I’d left behind. When I got back to school I was told what happened. I was devastated and even more so when I went up to hospital to say my goodbyes. This moment, naturally stuck with me. I’d lost relatives; grandparents, uncles and aunts when I was younger, but then I never really understood the finality of death.


These feelings were reinforced when I lost my mother to breast cancer five years ago, when Rocky Wood passed away in December last year and a few months ago when my mother-in-law died.


Grief is a powerful force and I conjure the feelings I experienced all those years ago in my writing. Perhaps my writing is my mind trying to come to terms with the loss of all the loved ones I’ve lost over the years.

The Last Night Of October

Horror, to me, is more about the human condition than monsters under the bed or gore for gore’s sake. Horror is when someone is taken from life before their time and I think all of us can relate to that in some way or another.




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News: Voodoo Press to publish my novella “The Eschatologist” in 2015!

I’m very excited to reveal that this week I signed a contract with Voodoo Press to publish my post-apocalyptic novella, The Eschatologist.

Voodoo Press, which is based in Malta, recently began publishing English language titles and I’m proud to have been added to their line up of releases for 2015.



The Eschatologist is a survival horror tale centred on David Brewer, who is trying to keep his family alive in a world torn asunder by a Biblical apocalypse. Yet there is salvation, in the guise of a stranger who offers survivors sanctuary. All they have to do is declare their faith in God’s final – and bloody – plan.

In addition I’ll be providing some internal illustrations for the novella.

I’ve been wanting to release a post-apocalyptic tale for some time and I’m very eager to start working with Voodoo Press.

Stay tuned for more details on the release of The Eschatologist in the near future.

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