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My 3rd accepted submission for JWK!

The cover for forthcoming book, "Bones", edited and published by James Ward Kirk

The cover for forthcoming book, “Bones”, edited and published by James Ward Kirk

Sleepless night are often the most productive times for an author. They are for me, most certainly!

I wrote a 1,000 word story entitled A Canine Conundrum a couple of nights ago, in the hope of submitting it to Bones, a new anthology to be published shortly by James Ward Kirk. I emailed the story and only a day later I had an email from James saying that he’d get back to me as soon as possible.

Another day has passed since then, and tonight I got the acceptance and attached contract for me to sign, which has now been signed and returned, along with a short up-to-date biography.

I look forward to seeing all of the amazing writers, poets and artists in print when it is published, and I know that you will all love the book. Submissions are still being accepted at time of writing, so if you have something you think is worthy of being included, click on the cover image and read the submission guidelines before submitting. And good luck!

I won’t give anything away with regard to my story, because it has my usual shock ending, and this one just may make you puke! At least that’s the reaction I’m hoping to see!

It’s all go around here!

Busy as a...errr, Barbary macaque.

Busy as a…errr, Barbary macaque. Photo my me, during my visit to Trentham Monkey Forest on July 29th 2013.

It’s been fantastic in the two and a half weeks since Darke Times and Other Stories hit the virtual shelves. I’m beginning to get reviews, and what’s most awesome is that they are ALL five star reviews! My thanks to all who have not only had the good judgement to buy my book, but to have taken the time to write wonderful, glowing reviews. It is so good to know that my work is being read, enjoyed and truly appreciated.

On the back of this, Ive had the good fortune to guest blog for the wonderful John F.D. Taff, a man who writes the most amazing horror stories, and if you’ve not read anything by him, you must remedy that immediately!

Next on the list for me is a guest blog on Royal Manaball, the blog of the author M.C. O’Neill, writer of the YA saga, The Ancients and the Angels. That will be appearing later this evening, mainly because he’s in Illinois and I’m in the UK. It’s a great, informative read, and you’ll definitely learn a few things about me that you didn’t already know.

After that, in a few weeks’ time, I’ll be revisiting the blog of Editor and author Colleen M. Albert at C.M. Albert Writes for a follow-up interview to the Q and A I had with her in March, so look out for that, won’t you?

And then there’s more writing to do, of course! My head is filled with lots of disturbing stuff at the moment, so you can expect some really dark fare from me in the future. Stay tuned, folks!

 

Guest post: The Next Day, by Sheila Hall

A short while ago, I wrote what is as yet my only piece of erotic fiction, and I had the good fortune to have that story featured on TheDarkerhalf.com, a marvellous website run by Sheila Hall and Christopher Liccardi. Sheila and Chris showcase fantastic short stories by some amazing writers, and I consider it an honor that they chose to feature my work.

Sheila and myself were talking recently, and I thought it would be great if I could reciprocate and have her write a piece of flash fiction for me. Although Sheila is normally known for her naughty, cheeky side, she writes beautiful poetry too. I originally said jokingly that she should write a piece of horror erotica, to which she replied, “Challenge accepted!”

Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you on that score, because the story you’re about to read is anything other than erotic! I guess we’ll all just have to wait a while longer for that little gem!

As this is the first time I have featured a story by another author on my blog, I wanted things to go sweetly, so I donned my Editor’s cap for this big occasion. I read far too many stories by guests on other peoples’ blogs where there are glaring errors in both grammar and spelling, and on the odd occasion I have known there to be words repeated, or even missing! I hope that Sheila approves of my slight oiling and tweaking to her wonderful story.

This tale is a short story of sudden and shocking realization, and it’s one I know you’ll enjoy.

Stream

The Next Day

by Sheila Hall

It still feels like the middle of the night, but I know it isn’t. Instead of the moon hanging low, I see rays of sunlight filtering through the leafy canopy overhead. The forest around me is teeming with life. Songbirds are sharing gossip, and various other animals are engaging in their morning routines. All these signs start to focus my thoughts on the really important questions: where the hell am I, and why am I here instead of in my bed?

The ground is wet and cold under my cheek. It’s natural, and yet it feels so wrong. I raise my head, and the pounding that accompanies that small movement shatters all thoughts of continuing that motion. Squinting, I become more aware of my surroundings, and the lack of modern conveniences that I would normally expect to see upon waking convinces me that wherever it is that I am, this is not my bedroom. I venture a guess that I’m in the woods bordering my home. I always loved the stark contrast between urban dwelling and ancient shelter. That’s why I chose to live here.

The longing for the familiar motivates me to get up to my knees. Stomach heaving, I lurch up and stagger over to the stream a few yards in front of me. The water should be clear and sparkling, but it isn’t. Instead it’s littered with flesh and bone; the remains of some animal another creature had consumed as prey. Rotting chunks not yet fully rendered down by acid float lazily away, carried along with all the other debris sharing the same journey downstream.

The copper taste of old pennies is in my mouth, making me gag, and I gulp greedily at the tainted water to try and rinse it away. It’s then that I notice the unusual discoloration staining my skin. Looking down I see that my clothing is tainted by the red and brown hues of drying blood spatter and mud. Grabbing at myself, I look for the cuts on my skin that would account for the amount of blood I see. Please, let the blood be mine. Yet no matter how hard I look the jagged tears in my flesh I expect to see are nowhere to be found. I have no apparent injuries.

Not again. Dear God, no. Not again.

***

 The little stream flows on, uncaring. Its waters wash over the small, huddled form that is half immersed, dry heaving and tearing at its own skin. Blood, bile, and sanity travel onward towards the sea.

#

Follow Sheila on Twitter

 

5-star reviews and a guest blogger invitation!

In the 8 days that my book, Darke Times and Other Stories has been available, I have had the good fortune to sell books (though I have no idea just how many), receive glowing 5-star reviews, and on the back of one of the reviews the reviewer invited me to be a guest blogger on his blog!

M.C. O’Neill, author of The Ancients and the Angels series of YA novels, Celestials and Archons awarded my book 5 stars on Amazon.com and had this to say:

I love anthologies and collections because they introduce me to new authors. “Darke Times” is no exception. When you delve into this collection’s pages, you really get what you pay for: a wonderful variety show of the bizarre. David Eccles can handle any genre thrown at him with hilarious skill. Some of the stories range from horror, fantasy, sci-fi, erotica – you get it all but his dry (and sometimes wet) wit will guarantee laughter.

I enjoy how his short stories are punctuated with flash-fiction treasures that operate almost like a commercial, but one that you would actually want to watch. “Teeth” sticks out in my mind. You’ll see what I mean when you read it.

Although I’m a yank, Eccles’ language is decisively British, and think Terry Pratchett more so than Neil Gaiman, but a Pratchett that goes to places he would normally not dare. LOVE IT!

It looks great on the Kindle with sharp formatting and beautiful cover design and you get everything the package advertises plus more.

I can’t wait to see what kind of full-length novels are going to come out of this guy’s brain in the future. I’m guessing horror or even Bizarro – and these stories are ALL bizarre – but whatever they may be, I am now a fan.

John F.D. Taff, the horror author and a man responsible for over 65 short stories and 7 novels was the very first person to review my book, and if I know John, he was probably the first to buy it too! He too awarded my book 5 stars on Amazon.com and said:

David Eccles’ first published book of short stories, Darke Times and Other Stories, is a wide-ranging look at this new author’s range of work. From flash fiction pieces like “The Teeth Police”–a short, funny and horrifying little jab of a story–to “Jack & Jill (and Steve!)”–a funny little riff on Jack the Ripper and time travel–to the titular “Darke Times”–a tale of a Rastafarian pixie who really, really wants to get to the football match–Eccles imbues his stories with a rakish wit and a firm hand. Even when they’re quite clearly horror, there’s an edge of comedy to them which makes the tales stand out. Grab it now and give it a try, because Eccles’s name is one you’ll be hearing.

To have two fantastic authors, each respected in their own genres heap praise on me like that was just the most amazing feeling, and still the 5-star reviews keep on coming! But wait! It gets better!

As I mentioned earlier, one of my reviewers invited me to do a guest blog on their website. That reviewer was none other than John F.D. Taff. John wanted to know more about  me, and about how and why I write and, of course, he gave me the opportunity to mention Darke Times and Other Stories. What a wonderful way to show his appreciation of my book and my writing talents! How could I refuse such a generous gesture! It’s guys like John and James Roy Daley and James Ward Kirk who have seen something in me and in the way that I write and have given me the chance to show what I can do, and I am eternally grateful to them and anyone who is gracious enough to show their support.

Show John your support and visit johnfdtaff.com

To see the blog that I wrote for John on July 18th, click here.

Another submission accepted!

Serial Killers Tres Tria. Edited by James Ward Kirk and published by JWK

Serial Killers Tres Tria. Edited by James Ward Kirk and published by JWK

On the back of my short story Doing it for JRD (Justice, Revenge and Deliverance) being accepted for publication in Sex, Drugs & Horror, an anthology edited by the wonderful James Ward Kirk, I am pleased to announce that another of my short stories has been accepted for publication in another of James Ward Kirk’s anthologies; this time I am to be published in his third Serial Killers anthology, Serial Killers Tres Tria, available later this year. Check out the killer cover by William Cook! Isn’t it just awesome!

If you click on the cover image above, you’ll be taken to the submissions page for this particular anthology, and because submissions are still open, I suggest you all get writing and give it a go.

Better still, get on over to JWKfiction.com and see what other submissions are open, and while you’re at it, treat yourself to some wonderful books!

And before I forget — A huge thank you once more to the wonderful James Ward Kirk, and to all of you wonderful people who take the time to read my stories, especially the author and a good friend of mine, M.C. O’Neill, who does a great job beta-reading for me and pokes me with a huge barbed stick and tells me to submit my stuff. Thank you, Mark!

A huge thank you to Troy Blackford!

My printed, signed copy of For Those With Eyes To See by Troy Blackford

My printed, signed copy of For Those With Eyes To See by Troy Blackford

I try to be very loyal to the authors I read, and with Troy Blackford, I have all of his available books and I try to read all the short stories that he has had the fortune to have published online.

He was one of the main people to inspire me to take up writing, and for that I thank him. Reading his books led me to make the decision to finally do it and not just sit there reading other peoples’ books and thinking i wish i could do that. He, along with another truly inspirational author, Ksenia Anske spurred me into action.

I was scrolling through my writers and authors list on Twitter not long ago when suddenly up pops a mention from @TBlackford3, Troy Blackford informing me that I had been fortunate enough to be a runner-up in a prize draw that he had held, though the prize I had won remained a mystery to me at that time. I duly gave him my address via a Twitter DM, and lo and behold, a few weeks later I receive a package in the mail from the USA. Carefully opening it, I found it contained a lovely printed copy of Troy’s latest short story collection, For Those With Eyes To See, complete with a great inscription to myself.

For that wonderful prize and a great inscription, my reply to Troy is: No, Troy. You the man, bro’! *smiley face* And thank YOU so much!

Go and support both of these wonderful authors. You can find Troy at http://www.troyblackford.com/ and Ksenia at http://www.kseniaanske.com/.

 

The Sex, Drugs & Horror cover is awesome!

Not long to wait now until my short story that i mentioned in my previous post is published. I took a stroll on over to jwkfiction.com, the website of horror author and publisher James Ward Kirk to check out the cover for the Sex, Drugs & Horror anthology, and i must say that i love it!

Great artwork, and a font that takes me back to the science fiction paperbacks of the 1970s. I’ll show you a picture of it below, and clicking on it will take you to the submissions page for the anthology, which are still open until the 30th of June, by the way.

The cover for the Sex, Drugs & Horror anthology, edited by James Ward Kirk

The cover for the Sex, Drugs & Horror anthology, edited by James Ward Kirk

And once again, a great big thank you to James Ward Kirk for including me in what i know will be a wonderful anthology and a truly great read. Roll on publication in the first week of July.

Bartender, Keep ’em Coming! New Story!

Squiffysquirrel

It’s been a while, i know, what with the madness that was Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse, but now that the flying fur has settled, here for your enjoyment is a story that i wrote just for you, my followers. It involves alcohol, and it’s called Bartender, Keep ’em Coming! And if you like it, or even if you dislike it, leave me a comment and let me know. I would appreciate it greatly!

Oh, and while i’m here i may as well tell you that i received my first rejection today, with regard to a short story i submitted. They praised my talent and writing style and said they enjoyed the story, but it was not what they were looking for. I found out later via a good friend and amazing author M. C. O’Neill that they were asking for a specific theme for their fantasy anthology, something i had not spotted, and neither had he, so i’m in good company!

I have another chance at being successfully chosen for this anthology, so i shall put on my thinking cap and this time come up with a story that has relevance to their needs!

And i have been invited back to submit for further anthologies, so that says something for me!

The cup’s half full, guys, not half empty!

And So It Ends…Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse chapter 20

Alice Armstrong. Photo by Christopher Fincham

Alice Armstrong. Photo by Christopher Fincham.
http://www.facebook.com/christopher.fincham1

Did we all survive the Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse? You’re going to have to find out by reading today’s chapter, the final chapter, later today over at www.kseniaanske.com. Today’s offering is brought to you by the newest writer to join the Apocalypse Collective, Kevin Nielsen.

Kevin Nielsen

Kevin Nielsen

Looking at Kevin‘s blog, it’s obvious that he loves to write. I urge you to take a look at his work there. His Facebook page has some great photgraphs of him, though he does not show a recent pic of himself since he decided to shave his head! Only the chrome dome and eyes are visible, so i took it upon myself to choose an image to represent him here.

I apologize to Kevin, because i think he did submit a bio, but i can’t find it anywhere, and so i only have limited information about him.

Kevin is a native of Quebec, Canada, and he currently is a Document Management Agent in the Financial Aids and Awards department at the University of Ottawa.

As already mentioned, he has a blog and he is active on Facebook, but you can also find him on Twitter.

It’s not much to go on, i know, but you’ll definitely be hearing more from Kevin and the other writers who make up the Apocalypse Collective in the very near future as we have another project looming; one that is secret for the moment, but i will tell you that it involves the writers who are taking part writing 10 times the amount of words that we wrote in this project, so get ready for some great reading! We look forward to your continued support in all of our efforts, and hope that you have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy all that we bring to your reading table.

In addition to thanking you, the reader, i must thank the wonderful Ksenia Anske for bringing the team together and inspiring us all to do what we do: write, and for hosting the story on her wonderful website!

And then there are the writers to thank! Each and every single one of you i consider to be my friend and a wonderful writer. It has been a joy working with you all, and so i say thank you to:

Becky Flade; Brandon Yusuf Toropov; Seth Werkheiser; Andrew Hovenden; Sandra Hould; Doug Karlson; Dustin McKenzie; Michel Lee King; Aliaa El-Nashar; Sheila Hall; Kai Kiriyama; JLuis Licea; Colleen M. Albert; Rosalind Smith-Nazilli; LoriLesko; Barry NoVa; Catherine Scully; M.C. Oneill; Kevin Nielsen.

And as a bonus for those of you who are wondering about the photo at the beginning of this blog entry, it’s a pic of a friend of mine, Alice Armstrong. She’s a model, performance artist, a COS player and SFX make-up artist.

You can find her on Facebook here, and she has a professional Facebook page here, where you can see examples of her work and find out details of how to book her.

Here’s the lovely lady herself, without the make-up and bunny ears!

Alice Armstrong

Alice Armstrong

A Very Happy Easter to you all!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!