The Writing Desk


Welcome to my Writing Desk!

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Writing Blog Posts

This is a blog feed for everything writing-related.

You can also find specific blog feeds for my short fiction and work-in-progress novels, an Amerindian fantasy and a Norse fantasy.

My Publications are here


Vampire Folkore

Vampires are one of the most common and popular themes in horror fiction. An enduring trope that continues to fascinate readers throughout the generation. But how do we imagine vampires? How do our ideals compare to the original vampires of folklore? The Succubi of Ancient Greece and Rome, and the haunting vampires of Slavic cultures… Continue reading Vampire Folkore

Gluttony Anthology Release

I’m excited to announce the release on 30 March, 2021 of Gluttony (Seven Deadly Sins, #6) published by Black Hare Press featuring my story “The Monster”. This dark speculative fiction anthology is inspired by the theme of gluttony, an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires. My short story “The Monster”, explores… Continue reading Gluttony Anthology Release

Scorpio Anthology Release

I am excited to announce the release of Scorpio (The Zodiac Series, #11) from Deadset Press that launched on 28th March, 2021. I had the great pleasure of co-editing this zodiac- themed anthology featuring short stories inspired by the Scorpio zodiac including my Gaslamp fantasy story “Serket’s Curse”. You can read more about my research… Continue reading Scorpio Anthology Release

Forthcoming: Haunted House Anthology

Haunted houses are one of my favourite horror themes and I’m very excited to feature in the forthcoming Death House anthology from Raven & Drake Publishing. Death House is an anthology combining short stories and microfiction. My drabble “Agnes House” is inspired true and fictional crimes, a dark fiction tale where the supernatural is horrifyingly… Continue reading Forthcoming: Haunted House Anthology

Avenge Anthology Release

Thrilled to announce the release of Avenge (Five Hundred Fiction, #2) on 23rd March, 2021. This flash fiction anthology published by Black Hare Press on the theme of superheroes and villains features my dark fantasy, anti-hero story, “The Hero of Silversmiths”. You can read more about that here. If you’re interested in reading this great… Continue reading Avenge Anthology Release

Lost Lore and Legends Anthology Release

Pleased to announce the release on 22nd March, 2021 of micro-fiction anthology Lost Lore and Legends published by Breaking Rules Publishing Europe and featuring five of my 100 word drabbles inspired by European folklore and mythologies. Lost Lore and Legends explores a variety of legends, mythologies and folklore from European tradition. Two of my drabbles,… Continue reading Lost Lore and Legends Anthology Release

Dark Fantasy Assassins

There’s any number of great epic dark fantasy books and series that explore the darker nature of humanity from the point of mercenaries, assassins and anti-heroes. I decided to delve into some of that inspiration and an anti-hero protagonist in a flash fiction story. What motivates characters to choose a darker path? Does the morally… Continue reading Dark Fantasy Assassins

Showcasing Horror: Forthcoming Microfiction

Continuing the celebration of all things women in horror, I’ve got a microfiction story set in Viking Age Iceland coming soon in April Horrors by Raven and Drake Publishing. Here’s a sneak peek at the inspiration behind my story “Necropants” and the grisly Icelandic folklore.

Reimagining Hansel and Gretel Fairytale

One of my favourite fairytales is the story of ‘Hansel and Gretel’ recounted by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, with two variations in the tale published in the 1812 and 1857 versions to accomodate a wider selection of similar folktales. From the fairytale and folklore indexes developed by Professor Ashlimanm , the ATU system identified at… Continue reading Reimagining Hansel and Gretel Fairytale

Forthcoming: Horror Microfiction

Very pleased to announce the acceptance of two Horror microfictions into April Horrors anthology to be published by Raven and Drake Publishing. If you’re curious about the folklore I have researched for my microfiction pieces “Neropants”and “The Devl’s Fool.”, you can find out more here! More details will follow soon on the release date for… Continue reading Forthcoming: Horror Microfiction

Women in Horror Month

February is Women in Horror Month! What began, and essentially still is, a movement to celebrate and highlight female creators in the horror genre. There has been a tradition of women writing horror long before Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein but female horror writers continue to remain in the shadows compared to their male counterparts. There are… Continue reading Women in Horror Month

Forthcoming: Folklore Anthology

I am very pleased to announce my microfiction pieces will feature in Lost Lore and Legends to be published by Breaking Rules Publishing Europe! Lost Lore and Legends anthology will consist of 100 word “drabbles” or microfiction pieces inspired by European folklore, legends and mythologies. Five of my microfiction pieces will be featured, including original… Continue reading Forthcoming: Folklore Anthology

European Folklore

The past several weeks, I have been exploring many different aspects of European folklore, particularly involving the Fae. Below is a series of some of my research favourites, fae beings and associated folklore. Seelie and Unseelie Fae In Scotland, the Fae are often divided into the Seelie and Unseelie courts, or the Light and Dark… Continue reading European Folklore

Forthcoming: Charity Anthology

The forthcoming charity anthology, Stories of Survival will be published by Deadset Press in support of Cancer Research after Australian speculative fiction author Aiki Flinthart announced her cancer diagnosis. As I was preparing this post this morning, I learned that Aiki lost her battle with cancer overnight. She will be remembered for her generous nature,… Continue reading Forthcoming: Charity Anthology

Unnatural Order Anthology Release

I’m delighted to announce the release on 31st December, 2020 of speculative fiction anthology Unnatural Order by CSFG. This is a fascinating collection of stories inspired by the monstrous, unnatural and the fantastic. Featuring my own story “The Bargain”, a tale of Fae guardians and the bargains struck to assure the equilibrium between the nature,… Continue reading Unnatural Order Anthology Release

Greed Anthology Release

I’m excited to announce the release on December 27th, 2020 of Greed (Seven Deadly Sins, #5) published by Black Hare Press featuring my story “A Handful of Dead Leaves.” This dark speculative fiction anthology on the theme of greed, a desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. Featuring my short… Continue reading Greed Anthology Release

The Wendigo & Dark Fiction

Another of my recent work-in-progress short fiction pieces, has been a dark fiction story inspired by wendigo psychosis an unusual form of ‘cultural psychosis’ specific to First Nations peoples of Canadian-North American Great Lakes regions where belief in a supernatural being, the wendigo, provides a unique cultural framework for a psychosis. This psychosis has specific… Continue reading The Wendigo & Dark Fiction

Horror, Dark Fiction & Demonology

I have recently finished writing a dark fiction short story inspired by the theme of wrath. My recent story focused on an unlikely suspect for a violent crime spree to explore the intersection between modern and past perspectives of criminal theory, such as aberrant psychology currently explaining what past eras accredited to demonic possession. The… Continue reading Horror, Dark Fiction & Demonology

Forthcoming: Dark Fantasy Anthology

I am pleased to announce the acceptance of another flash fiction piece in a forthcoming dark fantasy anthology from Black Hare Press. My story “Poisoned Fruit, Poisoned Reign” will feature in Reign (500 Word Fiction Series, #7 inspired by poisoned apple folklore exploring betrayal and a cursed reign. You can read more about the inspiration… Continue reading Forthcoming: Dark Fantasy Anthology

Poisoned Fruit & Cursed Futures

I recently finished writing a short fiction piece inspired by poisoned apple folklore and legends, the most familiar being the story “Little Snow-White” published by Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm in Children’s’ and Household Tales (commonly known as Grimm’s Fairy Tales) between 1812-1814 . There are, of course, countless folklore and folktales surrounding betrayals and murder… Continue reading Poisoned Fruit & Cursed Futures

Standing Stones & Time

I recently finished writing a flash fiction story inspired by European Neolithic stone circles and folklore. Common to the folklore of standing stones is an aspect of temporal planes, the shifting of time connecting the Fae to disappearances, madness and re-appearances many years later. In my own short fiction, a liminal temporal plane joins Europe… Continue reading Standing Stones & Time

Gothic Fiction & Victorian Science

I recently finished writing a short story continuing my fascination with Victorian science. I focused on the anatomical sciences that inspired many gothic and urban folklore of the Victorian era. Some of the most classic Victorian era gothic tales including Frankenstein and Dracula involve the unease in Victorian society about the dead, superstition, burial practices… Continue reading Gothic Fiction & Victorian Science

Writing for Leo (Zodiac Series, #8)

In July 2020, my Gaslamp fantasy “The Golden Lion-Monkey” was published in short story anthology Leo (The Zodiac Series, #8) by Deadset Press. When not exploring myth and history, I am pursuing a PhD in human and primate evolution. When writing “The Golden Lion-Monkey”, I’ve combined my interests in history and fantasy fiction with my… Continue reading Writing for Leo (Zodiac Series, #8)

Gaslamp Fantasy & Victorian Science

I have been interested by several different stories recently in the Alternate History subgenres of Steampunk and Gaslamp Fantasy. My latest short story draws on my academic knowledge of the Victorian era expansion in science and natural history. Gaslamp Fantasy is a subgenre I really enjoy and was inspired to write an alternate history exploring… Continue reading Gaslamp Fantasy & Victorian Science

Icelandic Waterfalls Part 2

I visited Iceland in September 2019 as part of my writing research for novel-in-progress Ragnarok Dreaming. Part of my Icelandic experience was the National Museum of Iceland, riding tour outside Reykjavik on the iconic Icelandic horse, exploring glaciers, black sand beaches, glacial lakes which influenced the Viking and Icelandic culture. Gljúfurárfoss Gljúfurárfoss is also known… Continue reading Icelandic Waterfalls Part 2

Icelandic Waterfalls Part 1

I visited Iceland in September 2019 as part of my writing research for novel-in-progress Ragnarok Dreaming. Part of my Icelandic experience was the National Museum of Iceland, riding tour outside Reykjavik on the iconic Icelandic horse, exploring glaciers, black sand beaches, glacial lakes which influenced the Viking and Icelandic culture. Írárfoss (Irish River Waterfalls) The… Continue reading Icelandic Waterfalls Part 1

Prehistory, Battle and Sacrifices

I have just finished writing a new story concept I have been exploring. The story is inspired from my museum research in Europe in 2019. I was very interested by the prehistoric sections of museums. Before societies became larger civilisations, the bonds between communities were used to forge alliances. As these societies expanded under Chieftains… Continue reading Prehistory, Battle and Sacrifices

Historical Fantasy & Sagittarius

Very recently I finished writing a story inspired by the Zodiac sign Sagittarius. I was intrigued when learning the the astrological sign, of Sagittarius is representative of prophecy and fate, among other things. The story is a historical fantasy but set in a hypothetical Renaissance-style Italian city similar to Venice. In this world which is… Continue reading Historical Fantasy & Sagittarius

Latest: Ragnarok Dreaming

I am very pleased to announce my current work-in-progress fantasy novel, Ragnarok Dreaming is very nearing the finishing line. I have just finished writing the third Part of the novel, the draft has already expanded beyond my anticipated length with the new word count expected to be around 130,000 words. Of course, there’s a lot… Continue reading Latest: Ragnarok Dreaming

Loki and Angrboda

A few weeks ago, I finished writing a series of scenes for my work-in-progress Ragnarok Dreaming inspired by events described in the Norse Prose Edda and Poetic Edda. These involve the mysterious character of Angrboda, the “Hag of the Ironwood” who dwells in jotunheim, is alluded to as a witch and mother of many werewolves… Continue reading Loki and Angrboda

Virtual Plotting & Planning

I’ve been investigating new ways to develop my world-building for my novel-in-progress Ragnarok Dreaming, inspired by Norse mythology. I am a highly visual person and my imagination (and writing) has become increasingly taxed by trying to remember my mental images and plans for complex landscapes, cities and worlds in my latest work-in-progress. I was keen… Continue reading Virtual Plotting & Planning

Sweden: Gotland Museum

I visited the Gotland Museum in Visby, Gotland Island, Sweden in early September 2019. You can read more about my research visit to the Uppsala Viking Age burial mounds, the History Museum in Stockholm and the medieval city of Visby on Gotland Island. Gotland Museum contains an amazing variety of prehistoric Swedish and Viking Age… Continue reading Sweden: Gotland Museum

Salvador Dali Illustrated Alice in Wonderland

I just discovered the 150th Anniversary edition of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carol published by Princeton University Press is an illustrated version by artist Salvador Dali. Absolutely stunning illustrations that are pure magic! You can buy hardback and paperback copies of this gorgeous edition through most bookstores and online stores at affordable prices.

Zodiac Themed Anthology Series

I’m currently reading the second volume in a 12 part series, a Zodiac themed anthology produced by Aussie Speculative Fiction. Each month, a new anthology featuring that month’s zodiac sign will be released. This January-February, I’m reading Aquarius and because it’s also my own star sign. The Aquarius anthology features many unique interpretations of the… Continue reading Zodiac Themed Anthology Series

Sweden: Visby

Visby is a medieval city on the Swedish Island of Gotland. I visited Visby in early September 2019 to see the famous medieval charm of the harbour city and the many prehistoric and early Viking Age artefacts in the Gotland Museum. You can read more about my visits to Stockholm Historiska Museum here, the Viking… Continue reading Sweden: Visby

Sweden: History Museum

In late September 2019, I visited the Historika Museet (National History Museum) in Stockholm, Sweden. I only had a few days in Stockholm but I the Historiksa Museet is located in the central part of Stockholm city and is easily accessible by tram, bicycle or on foot. I visited the museum for the detailed exhibitions… Continue reading Sweden: History Museum

NaNoWriMo 2019

I am participating in this year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). After completing my first NaNoWriMo last year, I found it was a great motivational tool. This year, my goal is to write 30 thousand words and, from October to December, I plan to finish my novel-in-progress Ragnarok Dreaming. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook or… Continue reading NaNoWriMo 2019

Spain: Las Alpujarras

In late August 2019, I visited the western Alpujarras, in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, where I traveled from the city of Granada to the small town of Lanjarón, about 50km southwest of Granada. Lanjarón is famous throughout Spain for the local spring that is historically purported to have healing properties and which provides… Continue reading Spain: Las Alpujarras

Spain: Madrid

My European writing holiday and research gathering adventure began in Madrid in mid-August 2019. Madrid is the capital city of modern Spain but has also been the historical capital of Spanish kingdom and it is where the Royal Palace is still located today. You can read more about my visit to the Real Palacio de… Continue reading Spain: Madrid

Folklore & Nature

Human survival has always been dependent on the natural environment and many mythologies show links between folklore and human fear of environmental instability. I was curious to explore folklore dealing with how past and present cultures attempt to explain and avoid disastrous environmental fluctuations. As human survival is so clearly linked to a stable environment,… Continue reading Folklore & Nature

Loki & Idunn

I have been working hard writing a large scene over several chapters in my novel-in-progress, Ragnarok Dreaming. The scene is based on a significant section in Norse mythology recorded in The Prose Edda, called the Skaldskaparmal, where Loki is portrayed for the first time as a more malicious being. The Skaldskaparmal describes Loki’s deliberate deception… Continue reading Loki & Idunn

Taurus, the Zodiac & Mesopotamian Myth

Ancient history and mythology have always been favorite topics for me. Recently, I found an interesting article on newly discovered sections of ancient Mesopotamian poem, The Epic of Gilgamesh, detailing the legendary feats of a historical king. The Epic of Gilgamesh was inscribed on cuneiform tablets which continue to baffle scholars as to the purpose… Continue reading Taurus, the Zodiac & Mesopotamian Myth

Ragnarok Dreaming: Characters

During the writing my latest Fantasy novel-in-progress, Ragnarok Dreaming, I created character collages for the central characters. These are useful visual aids representing important character aspects and themes. Ragnarok Dreaming is inspired by Norse myths and incorporates aspects of Australian legends. Loki: The shape-shifting trickster from Norse mythology, Loki is a giant from Muspelheim but… Continue reading Ragnarok Dreaming: Characters

Continuum 15, 2019

I attended Continuum15/NatCon 58 convention in Melbourne from June 7-10, 2019. The convention is an annual event for the Australian speculative fiction community. This was my first Continuum convention and I was looking forward to the many expert panels, workshops, Markets, the Maskbalao, Ditmar Awards, Shadows Awards & Norma K Hemming Awards.  Ticket pricing was very generous with… Continue reading Continuum 15, 2019

Continuum 2019

I will be at Melbourne’s annual speculative fiction event, the Continuum Convention from June 7-10. I’ll be speaking on two panels during the convention. You can read about these and more events here

Bone Arrow: Character Collages

In re-working of my Amerindian inspired Fantasy novel, Bone Arrow, I’ve created character collages that visually represent aspects of the central characters and surrounding themes. Sunktokeca: Protagonist and warrior-shaman, sent to defeat Ska-Sicanagi, destructive spirit released by the antagonist, Khangithanka. Khangithanka: The raven god and bestower of power to shamans. Antagonist to Sunktokeca based on… Continue reading Bone Arrow: Character Collages

Aurealis Awards 2018

On May 4 2019, I attended the 2018 Aurealis Awards in Melbourne, an annual awards ceremony for works published that year from members of the Australian speculative fiction community. This was my first Aurealis Awards and I was thrilled to be part of the iconic Australian Speculative Fiction Awards. My self-published Fantasy novel Bone Arrow was entered and… Continue reading Aurealis Awards 2018

Ragnarok Dreaming Update

A very brief post to share my news and excitement that Fantasy novel-in-progress, Ragnarok Dreaming is now beyond the 45,000 words boundary. Stay tuned for future updates!

Bone Arrow Update

From April 10 2019, paperback copies of Bone Arrow will no longer be available for purchase while I prepare a new release. I have learned much about the writing craft since Bone Arrow was released in October 2018. You can follow my writing journey over the next few months while I develop Bone Arrow further,… Continue reading Bone Arrow Update

Camp NaNoWriMo 2019

I’m participating another month-long writing event by the nonprofit organisation National Novel Writing Month. I began writing the draft of Ragnarok Dreaming during the November NaNoWriMo event. This April, I’m participating in CampNaNoWriMo, an virtual international writing retreat. I aim to write 10,000 words during April. You can follow my updates on Twitter, Facebook and… Continue reading Camp NaNoWriMo 2019

Update: Ragnarok Dreaming

I am delighted to announce I’ve just finished writing Part 2 of my work-in-progress novel, Ragnarok Dreaming ! Now that the halfway point has been reached, I’m ready to continue the story of Norse Trickster Loki, enjoying the interacting themes between ancient Norse mythologies and Australian legends and folktales. Onwards to Part 3 !

Norse Gods: The Vanir

Much of the information about Norse mythology is gleaned from the historical texts called the Eddas. As recounted in the Eddas, two separate hosts of deities initially existed, the Vanir and Aesir . These two hosts waged several unsuccessful wars against each other until they united as a single host, combining their strength against the… Continue reading Norse Gods: The Vanir

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