Exciting announcement – my novella The Reluctant Husband is officially part of the SPOOKY BY ASSOCIATION anthology, forthcoming 2021/22 and edited by Nita Pan.
I wrote this novella for anyone who enjoys early weird gothic fiction and doesn’t take it too seriously, but also really wants terrible things to happen to the awful male protagonists.
The year is 1938. Occultist and civil servant, Nathan Montague Porter, is convinced his as-yet undiscovered greatness has at last been recognised by someone – or something – beyond our realm. His dabblings lead him to the dreary coastal town of Pagham-on-Sea and its equally dreary manor, Fairwood House, at the invitation of the ailing Sir Jack Sauvant, who puts Nathan to work on a private, desperate project. Here, Nathan meets the formidable and disquietingly eldritch tea lady Miss Deirdre Wend, who (improbably) seems to hold the key to all the secrets beyond his grasp. However, if he wants to know the cosmic mysteries and find out what’s under her blouse, he’s going to have to take her to the pictures first. Miss Wend is not that sort of eldritch girl.
CW for parasitical/mutation body horror, toxic/misogynistic main character, toxic relationships, and [magical] animal [rodent] experimentation and death.
Teaser: The Reluctant Husband
I first began to suspect the existence of a mysterious benefactor when three coincidences in my life aligned. I had become vaguely aware, since my dabblings with summoning rituals adapted from John Dee’s texts, of someone watching me at night. It is the oddest feeling, the sense of somebody far away peering at me, and my skin reacts as if a myriad of curious eyes are raking over it – yet there is nothing out of the window, no one standing under the streetlights outside, no one in the windows of the houses across the road. I feel it most in dreams, as if I have drawn the attention of someone – or something – that is at a considerable distance, observing me through a telescope. I wake with a jolt, positive someone is in the room. There is never anyone there.
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