Friday, 22 April 2016

Out of Chaos Comes Order

"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." - Friedrich Nietzsche


At the end of this month it's EM-Con (East Midlands Sci-Fi & Fantasy Convention), where I'm supporting the Future Chronicles eZine. And further spreading the Shadow Fabric Mythos, naturally.

I love conventions and they give me a chance to meet you guys in person. Always great!

This coincides with my next book release: Chaos Halo 1.0 - Alpha Beta Gamma Kill. It's a collection of six stories, including the first episodes of the speculative fiction saga featured in the Future Chronicles eZine. Pre-order available: http://amzn.to/1MMVMHV .
 
In a disturbed future, remnants of the human race starve while a new world authority strangles freedom. Abigale – part human, part something else – escapes their control, and combating the militia she begins to uncover her origins, taking her beyond the city walls and into a scorched Earth.

With a blend of cyberpunk and science fiction, this dystopian future unearths secrets that other worlds needed forgotten. 
Featuring the stories:
Domino
Alpha Beta Gamma Kill
Patient Zero
Eye-Tech
Salamandrine Fires
Triber Kuo
Pre-order here: http://amzn.to/1MMVMHV

As always, many thanks for your continued support.
          ~M.



Mark Cassell lives in a rural part of the UK with his wife and a number of animals. He often dreams of dystopian futures, peculiar creatures, 
and flitting shadows. Primarily a horror writer, his steampunk, dark fantasy, and SF stories have featured in several anthologies and ezines. His latest release, Sinister Stitches, is a collection of stories from a mythos that began with his debut novel, The Shadow Fabric, a supernatural horror tale of demons, devices, and deceit.

The Shadow Fabric novel: mybook.to/TSF
Ten Minutes Till Deadtime short story: mybook.to/deadtime
Sinister Stitches mythos collectionmybook.to/SIN

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Exciting news...but it's secret


"The shadows smile and kiss the sky. Behind the door."
 - Poison Door, The Sisters of Mercy



Let me tell you a secret.


A new Shadow Fabric Mythos story set to be published in an upcoming anthology is heading your way...with a twist. Aptly titled Shadows at the Door, this collection of illustrated, locally-inspired ghost stories features thirteen tales from around the world. Up until this moment it was only the editor who knew my contribution to be a mythos story. I really can't keep a secret, dammit!

In addition to this, I've since been chatting with him about one particular perk. How do you fancy becoming the named antagonist in this tale? It's a male character, so I must apologise to my female readers. The character's original name will be scrubbed out and in its place it'll be yours. Great perk. right?

Titled "The Commission", this story introduces a sinister spirit to the unravelling Fabric. Here's the blurb:


A photographer is hired to shoot a castle in Rye;
a job which turns out to be more challenging than he expected.


Not only am I excited about this reader's perk, but also that this anthology comes in several formats including a fantastic illustrated hardback (the above image is a teaser) as well as a fully-scored audio version. Yeah, it'll have spooky music.

It's a Kickstarter project with tonnes of other awesome perks, like getting your mitts on an illustration pack or receiving previously-published works from my fellow contributors (as well as The Shadow Fabric paperback if you fancy another copy because yours is worn out).

Of course, you may simply want to pre-order the anthology as an eBook or hardback.

I'm gonna shut up now. Here's the link:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/330261639/shadows-at-the-door-an-anthology



Mark Cassell lives in a rural part of the UK with his wife and a number of animals. He often dreams of dystopian futures, peculiar creatures, and flitting shadows. Primarily a horror writer, his steampunk, dark fantasy, and SF stories have featured in several anthologies and ezines. His latest release, Sinister Stitches, is a collection of stories from a mythos that began with his debut novel, The Shadow Fabric, a supernatural horror tale of demons, devices, and deceit.

The Shadow Fabric novel: mybook.to/TSF
Ten Minutes Till Deadtime short story: mybook.to/deadtime
Sinister Stitches mythos collectionmybook.to/SIN

Friday, 5 February 2016

A Leap Year Allows The Fabric To Unravel That Much Further

Your chance to snatch the digital version for less than £1 / $1... 

A dark fantasy novel of demons, devices, and deceit. 


Leo remembers little of his past. Desperate for a new life, he snatches up the first job to come along. On his second day, he witnesses a murder, and the Shadow Fabric – a malevolent force that controls the darkness – takes the body and vanishes with it.

Determined to get answers, Leo has no idea where to turn. Revelations come in the most unlikely places, and secrets of witchcraft and ancient artefacts unfold. In particular, a device used in the 17th century to extract evil from witches proves key to his discoveries. With these truths long hidden from humankind, his memory unravels. Not only haunted by the past, a sinister presence within the darkness threatens Leo’s existence and he soon doubts everything and everyone...including himself. 

The relentless and destructive power of the Shadow Fabric compels Leo to fight not only this growing darkness, but also the entity beneath the Fabric’s surface. While these supernatural horrors rage and his world crumbles, Leo must confront his past before he can embrace his future. But the future may not exist.



An Amazon reviewer recently said:

"The Shadow Fabric is a brilliantly written novel. I read a lot of books, and have been known to say that there are no new ideas out there, that writing is simply just re-writing ideas that have already been done. I stand corrected. I've never read a book like this one. Cassell has woven a mythology around this evil presence, the Shadow Fabric, that rivals any 'mainstream' author I've ever read. I dare say, this is better than most."


Snatch the Fabric
for only 99p / 99c :


Amazon UK
Amazon US
iBooks
Nook
Kobo
Inktera
Scribd
24symbols

Smashwords



Here's the Book Trailer:





Mark Cassell lives in a rural part of the UK with his wife and a number of animals. He often dreams of dystopian futures, peculiar creatures, and flitting shadows. Primarily a horror writer, his steampunk, dark fantasy, and SF stories have featured in several anthologies and ezines. His latest release, Sinister Stitches, is a collection of stories from a mythos that began with his debut novel, The Shadow Fabric, a supernatural horror tale of demons, devices, and deceit.



Saturday, 23 January 2016

Grit: Staying Strong When The Going Gets Tough

Guest post by Rayne Hall


Things will go wrong—that's normal. Anticipate this, and the obstacles won't have the power to shake you.

Imagine a martial artist whose goal is to win the regional karate championships. He's skilled, he trains, he has the right attitude. Will his path be obstacle-free? No! Every competitor in the contest will do the utmost to beat him to the win. Those he meets in a match will beat him up with ferocity.  Only a fool would expect the other contestants to surrender so he can win.

On top of that, life is going to add further hindrances. His regular trainer isn't available in the run-up to the event. On the big day, he wakes with a headache pounding his skull. Bad news about his father's health and worries the rent sap his mental focus. When it's time to drive to the venue, his car won't start.

These obstacles could be reasons to give up a goal—and many people do. Not you.

Mentally prepare yourself for obstacles on your way. Then, when you encounter one, you can say, "Ah, the first obstacle. What shall I do about it?"

Instead of viewing obstacles as reasons to give up, view them as tests. A higher power (God, fate, the creative force of the universe) has put them in your path to determine if you're worthy of success. Welcome them, solve them, and move on.

This approach of interpreting something in a different way is called 'reframing' and it's what keeps the tough going when the going gets tough.

Here's a more advanced reframing technique, one that will do wonders for your mental strength and propel you towards success:

View every problem as an opportunity. This needs some thought, but gives huge rewards.
Let's say you've been made redundant. The job you loved, the hopes you invested in this company, the income you depended on are all gone.

It will takes mental strength to reframe this loss as something positive. Try it! You will feel better, and you'll emerge from this situation not as a loser but as a winner.

What opportunities are hidden in this bad situation? Make a list, and be creative about it, including small and practical ideas as well as drastic and daring possibilities. Start with "I can" or if it feels more comfortable to you, "I could..."

In the case of the person who lost their job, the opportunities list could look like this:

- I can spend more time at home with my children until I get another job.
- I can carry out the repairs around the house my wife has been asking me for.
- I can finally finish the novel I've been working on for the past ten years.
- I can look for a better-paid job.
- I can explore a different career direction.
- I can take the plunge and become a self-employed entrepreneur, something I've long wanted to do but didn't because I lacked the courage to leave my job.
- I can fulfil my dream to live and work abroad.


Here's a third reframing technique for when things go wrong: You never fail—instead, you learn valuable lessons that will help you towards success.

Here are some examples.
"I failed."
"I haven't succeeded yet."
"I'm a failure."
"I'm still working on my success."
"I screwed this up."
"I've learnt a valuable lesson how not to do this."
"I'm wasn't good enough for this assignment."
"Now I know what skills I need for this type of assignment."
"I'm an idiot. I let those people scam me."
"I'm smart. I've learnt how scammers operate. In future, I'll see through this kind of trick."
"I've lost everything."
"I'm ready to start again from zero."

Action Point
Think of your current goal— something set out to achieve today, or your New Year's resolution, or perhaps the lifetime ambition you're working towards. What obstacles have you encountered so far? Writing them down as a list, with the heading 'Obstacles To Overcome' will help you see them for what they are, and empower you to feel in control.

Progress Assignment
Has something bad happened to you recently, a shock you're still still reeling from?
Write a list of at least ten opportunities that might arise from this blow. Be aware that you may encounter mental resistance, that inner voice telling you that what happened is so bad nothing good can come out of it. This is a test for your mental strength. Can you do it? If yes, you'll emerge from this assignment much, much stronger.

Strategy
Whenever you encounter obstacles and setbacks, reframe them. View problems as opportunities, failures as successes yet to come, and mistakes as valuable lessons learnt.
With practice, you will become good at this, and it will give you the kind of mental strength that helps you win through when the going gets tough.

Comments, Experiences, Questions?


Do you have example of how you reframed a problem as an opportunity? Would you like to share a tip how to develop grit? Share them in the comments section.


ABOUT RAYNE HALL

Rayne Hall has published more than fifty books in several languages under several pen names with several publishers in several genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. Recent books include Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel), 13 British Horror Stories, Six Scary Tales Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5(creepy horror stories), Thirty Scary Tales, Six Historical Tales Vol. 1 and 2 (short stories), Six Quirky Tales (humorous fantasy stories), The Colour of Dishonour: Stories from the Storm Dancer World, Writing Fight Scenes, The World-Loss Diet, Writing About Villains, Writing About Magic, Writing Dark Stories, and Writing Scary Scenes (practical guides for authors).

·       Twitter: http://twitter.com/RayneHall

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Grannies, Ghosts, and Go-Go Girls

Disclaimer: this post has nothing to do with go-go girls whatsoever. Sorry.

2016 is already penned to be a busy one. With the continuing saga of the Chaos Halo series for Future Chronicles and more horror flash fiction as well as the expansion of the Shadow Fabric mythos, I'm going to be hard at it. Also, there's the gradual development of a steampunk universe. Yeah, there's a novel in the works.


Alongside this lot, there are three new anthologies set to feature my work.

Back in October, a previously-unpublished mythos story won a Halloween competition with Dark Chapter Press and will be included in one of their upcoming publications. Also, I'm currently on the final draft of a ghost story for a Shadows At The Door anthology I've been invited to work on. The research into that haunting tale has been fun and I'll be sure to share it in a later post. Lastly, an anthology that has recently hit the shelves includes another mythos story:

The Blurb


Ten Talented writers share their visions of the Crone.

Eurydice - Patricia Cochrane
The Pensioner Pirates of Marine Parade- Jonathan Broughton
Exile- April Grey
Watchers of Old- Judith Rook
Fresh Finch- Amy Grech
Kin - Rayne Hall
Burning Michelangelo - Annamarie Pederson
Freewheeling Free Association and the Theme Park Rangers of Death - Phillip T.Stephens
The Artist and the Crone - Mark Cassell
To Thine Self Be True - Alp Beck

Excerpt from the Introduction:
Aging is not for the faint-hearted, yet there is little choice in the matter. You can take good care of your health, your finances, your loved ones and still life will throw a curve ball.
In this anthology you will find tales of courage, of women who rise to the challenges of time in many different ways.
Some stories are of women aging gracefully but their tales are still kickass because they have a lot to overcome. Other stories are humorous, because if you can’t age gracefully, then by all means age disgracefully.
And there are a couple of very dark tales as well. I think you will delight in them as much as I do.
* * *


Artwork done by Dirk Strangely: http://www.worldofstrangely.com

April Grey has worked with Dirk in the past when she commissioned him to create artwork for the cover of her The Fairy Cake Bake Shoppe.

Hell's Grannies: Kickass Tales of the Crone is available from Amazon.





Mark Cassell lives in a rural part of the UK with his wife and a number of animals. He often dreams of dystopian futures, peculiar creatures, and flitting shadows. Primarily a horror writer, his steampunk, dark fantasy, and SF stories have featured in several anthologies and ezines. His latest release, Sinister Stitches, is a collection of stories from a mythos that began with his debut novel, The Shadow Fabric, a supernatural horror tale of demons, devices, and deceit.





The Shadow Fabric novel: mybook.to/TSF
Ten Minutes Till Deadtime short story: mybook.to/deadtime
Sinister Stitches mythos collectionmybook.to/SIN

The Shadow Fabric mythoswww.TheShadowFabric.co.uk

Newsletter: www.markcassell.com

Twitter: @Mark_Cassell

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Paperback Stitched and Released

"Today I will be your savior. Tomorrow a demon."
 - Dream Theater

On November 1st, the Kindle version of Sinister Stitches went straight in at No.47 on Amazon's Horror Short Stories Top 100, beating two of Stephen King's collections. At the same time, The Shadow Fabric climbed to No.47 on the British Horror Novel list. It was all about the Number 47, apparently.

Now, the paperback version of Sinister Stitches arrives and it features the bonus story, "Ten Minutes Till Deadtime", originally published in the Hell's Garden anthology.

The Sinister Stitches paperback features thirteen stories in the Shadow Fabric mythos and is currently only available from Amazon. However, come the New Year it will hit other outlets. Grab a copy from UK Amazon and US Amazon or search on your local Amazon site.

I've had an overwhelming number of requests for a signed copy (you know who you are, thanks guys!) so please reply to this email and we'll sort something out.

As always, a massive thanks to everyone. I'd not be here if it wasn't for you.

M.

Mark Cassell lives in a rural part of the UK with his wife and a number of animals. He often dreams of dystopian futures, peculiar creatures, and flitting shadows. Primarily a horror writer, his steampunk, dark fantasy, and Sci-Fi stories have featured in several anthologies and ezines. Rayne Hall has included his work in three of her Ten Tales anthologies: Fiery BeastsCogwheels, andFiends, and also a Shadow Fabric mythos story can be found in April Grey’sHell’s Garden anthology. His flash fiction often features in the popular ezine,Sirens Call, and he writes a series for the Sci-Fi ezine, Future Chronicles, in which we follow the adventures of Alpha Beta Gamma Kill. His upcoming short story collection, Sinister Stitches, is only a fraction of an expanding mythos that began with his debut novel, The Shadow Fabric.






The Shadow Fabricwww.TheShadowFabric.co.uk
Sinister Stitcheshttp://amzn.to/1SuHihP


Twitter: @Mark_Cassell

Friday, 30 October 2015

Sinister Stitches - the stories



Sinister Stitches is released tomorrow, so here's another teaser. It's time to reveal the 12 stories included in this Shadow Fabric mythos collection:


NEXT ON THE LIST
“I hate changes.”

MIDNIGHT CLAY
. . . a mess of black and crimson.

A DEMON’S THREAD
. . . campfire stories . . .

ON THE VINE
Barbs sliced his forearms
and the torch flew from his hand.

THE ARTIST AND THE CRONE
Part-flesh, part-shadow,
the foul garment writhed on the ground.

DUE SOUTH
He really should’ve driven like most people.

RED, WHITE AND BLACK
. . . filth glistened, protruding through
torn flesh and broken bone . . .

INTENSIVE SCARE
It churned like liquid, bubbled,
and swept up and into my eyes.

MEETING MUM
Beneath the gleaming skin,
those traceries of veins wriggled like a hundred worms.

SEEING IS BELIEVING
When he removed those glasses,
I saw his bloodshot eyes.

DISTURBED
The night pressed down. His hands clawed his head,
tugged at his hat. “No!”

WELCOME HOME
She’d vanished last night . . . or was it last week?




One tale, "Dead Lines", didn't make it into the collection and quite honestly I didn't know what to do with it. After lurking on my hard drive for a while, the thing soon demanded to be let out. With a bit of tweaking, it was suitable for submission to a flash fiction competition.

I won, and you can read it on the Dark Chapter Press website.




Sinister Stitches is available on pre-order from Amazon and is released tomorrow! The paperback version release date is yet to be confirmed.
   

The blurb:


Twelve horror stories weave truths you do not want to hear. The collection includes:

Intensive Scare – Three teenagers dabble in the occult and learn there's a good reason to be afraid of the dark.
Red, White and Black – When a clinical trial goes horribly wrong, a lone survivor finds herself fleeing from a sentient infection.
Meeting Mum – Introducing a new girlfriend to your parents has never been so problematic.
Midnight Clay – An otherwise pleasant homeward journey is interrupted by a demon with a particularly grotesque skill.

Each story binds the Shadow Fabric mythos tighter, revealing that everything around us is entwined with a deep-rooted darkness. And sometimes that darkness — the fabric — tears.




Mark Cassell lives in a rural part of the UK with his wife and a number of animals. He often dreams of dystopian futures, peculiar creatures, and flitting shadows. Primarily a horror writer, his steampunk, dark fantasy, and Sci-Fi stories have featured in several anthologies and ezines. Rayne Hall has included his work in three of her Ten Tales anthologies: Fiery BeastsCogwheels, andFiends, and also a Shadow Fabric mythos story can be found in April Grey’sHell’s Garden anthology. His flash fiction often features in the popular ezine,Sirens Call, and he writes a series for the Sci-Fi ezine, Future Chronicles, in which we follow the adventures of Alpha Beta Gamma Kill. His upcoming short story collection, Sinister Stitches, is only a fraction of an expanding mythos that began with his debut novel, The Shadow Fabric.





The Shadow Fabricwww.TheShadowFabric.co.uk
Sinister Stitches (pre-order): http://amzn.to/1SuHihP


Twitter: @Mark_Cassell