29th December 2020
A few days before Christmas, I received the best present ever...an email from a publisher I admire greatly, stating they would like to publish my novella, Immortelle.
I can safely say, this is the biggest break in my writing career to date, and I am beyond thrilled.
Here`s a little background...
Victorian immortelles have always fascinated me. During the 19th century they became popular throughout Western Europe, as well as America. Arrangements of ceramic or beaded flowers, as well as other motifs and trinkets, were displayed beneath glass domes on the graves of those interred as symbols of resurrection and, of course, immortality. Many have stood the test of time, particularly in more remote areas such as where I live, and I love coming across them. So Gothic!
Immortelle started life as a short story, told from the point of view of a ghost. However, the physical image of these immortelles continued to haunt me, refusing to let go.
So I listened, completely changing the point of view to that of the ceramicist. In essence, it remains a ghost story, but is unrecognizable from the short story I birthed almost a year ago.The novella is set in the tiny seaside hamlet of Mwnt, Ceredigion, a few miles from where I live. We visit it often. Complete with little white church and cliff-side setting, it is a place of great atmosphere.The release date for Immortelle is summer 2021. Thank you so much, Samantha Kolesnik, of Off Limits Press for believing in my story! Readers and friends, I would love you to join me on this ghostly journey.
Delighted to have a story published in West Wales Life&Style Magazine this month.
Ysbrid Y Mȏr (Spirit of the Sea) is a supernatural Christmas tale, the theme of which pays homage to what has happened to our world during 2020.
This one is especially poignant for me as it is the first publication my husband and I have worked on together. His wonderful illustration really brings the story to life and I am so proud of him. He inspires me every day!
I would love you to read the story, and please feel free to comment.
October has been very busy in the McCarthy household.
Firstly, the Kathe Koja Cipher competition prize arrived from Meerkat Press and is absolutely gorgeous! (See photos)
Secondly, I received wonderful news about a Christmas ghost story I’m to have published in a forthcoming magazine. Tony has illustrated it, so it will be nice to see our joint work in print at the end of November.
This week also saw the launch of the horror anthology 25 Gates of Hell, which features my story Billabong. I am thrilled to see my name among other writers who I now consider friends. (See books for link)
Last but not least, I received a full manuscript request for The Wolf and the Favour. I will need everyone's fingers crossed for that one.
Times are tough in the world right now, and these little achievements are what help us cope. Stay safe and well!
I received wonderful news this week, friends.
My horror story, Cragen, based on the theme Demonic Children, was chosen for publication by Flame Tree Press. Set close to where I live in Wales, it tells the tale of an imaginary friend made of shells (Cragen meaning shell in Welsh). The cat scene at the beginning of the story is something that actually happened to a close relative following the birth of his daughter, and the rest, as they say, is history.
I'd love you to read it. If you're not already subscribed you can do so here...
This week has seen the publication of Diabolica Britannica, an anthology in support of our wonderful NHS. As everyone is aware, our health service has been under an enormous amount of pressure lately and we wanted to be able to give something back.
It has spent its first five days at number 1 in horror anthologies on Amazon and is already gaining some excellent reviews.
The anthology includes stories by Tim Lebbon (Netflix - The Silence) and Adam Nevill (Netflix - The Ritual), plus a foreword by horror legend, Ramsey Campbell. An animated trailer has been created by my wonderful husband Tony.
I consider it an honour to be part of such a worthwhile venture and any support from friends and family will be greatly appreciated.
"Catherine McCarthy’s extraordinary saga gives a stone a voice. Might it be a distant cousin of those rocks that inhabit a nightmarish landscape in Machen’s “The White People”? As well as a heart unhappily close to human, it has the soul of the land it inhabits, on whose behalf it exacts a terrible revenge. That the author makes us care about the dilemma and the suffering of such an object is an achievement close to mystical."
I woke to a wonderful email today which announced I had won a creative writing contest with Aberystwyth University for my short story, The Queen's Attendant.
The competition was judged by Michael Caines, assistant editor of the Times Literary Supplement.
The prize is £100 book token and the story should be on display at the university once (if) things return to normal.
Needless to say, I’m delighted!
What news? Well, first of all I would like to take the opportunity to welcome you to my brand new website. It’s been on the cards for such a long time, but life is so busy! Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information or have any questions.
The last two months have been very exciting. I have had four short stories accepted for publication in anthologies, including one in Australia, two in America, and another in the U.K.
Further details about the Australian publication, Infected 2, can be found in the Books section. All royalties from the sale of this book go to the Save the Children response.
My friends in Wales will hopefully appreciate the story that will soon be published by Kandisha Press, U.S.A. Set in good old Merthyr Tydfil, it’s called Two’s Company, Three’s a Shroud, and, as you probably guessed, is a dark comedy/horror story. More details to follow once published.
My fourth story acceptance is very exciting, since it was chosen out of 561 submissions. It is called Immortelle, and is a ghost story set in West Wales. It will soon be published in an anthology called Dead Awake, by Lapse of Mind Media, U.S.A.
The story soon to be published in the U.K. is for a charity anthology which will raise funds for the NHS re Covid 19. I’m particularly proud to be taking part in this venture, as it includes some big name writers, as well as a foreword by a famous person. For legal reasons, I am unable to divulge any more at present, but should be able to do so soon.
So, exciting times!
Keep safe and well, everyone.