My story “Antigen” has just been published at the fabulous Flashes in the Dark website. That’s pretty cool because it’s been a while since I’ve had a story there. Lately, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been focusing on longer stories. Flash fiction is still fun. And “Antigen” does have a lot in common with many of my longer stories – multiple viewpoints, separated scenes, and I hope a dash of humour in with the action.
Here’s how it opens.
Bill McKinnis slammed the door shut and leaned against it, breathing hard. The key was in the desk but Hank was right behind him.
Thanks to editor Lori Titus for taking the story. Check out Lori’s writing, both at the site and at Amazon – as well as editing, she’s a stunning writer.
Once Rotations is published, I’ll be focusing attention on my next novel. The Room is a full-length novel that grew from a flash fiction story – Don’t Sleep Downstairs, originally published at Flashes in the Dark.
This is the rough cover. I’ll do a little tinkering, but this is pretty close to what I’ll be running with. It should be out early 2012 – depending on when Rotations makes it to the shelves.
My story “The Boxer” appeared in CrimeSpree 41, April/March this year (link goes to Amazon, Kindle edition $2.99 – non-affiliate link). It turns out there was a production error in the printing, with part of the story missing. And so the story appears in full on the CrimeSpree Website. Hope you like it.
Funny thing – I had my own little production error with the story. “The Boxer” was a kind of working title, but it quickly got changed to the final title – “Take the Fall” – which makes more sense. Somehow when I submitted it, I put the old title back on, and that’s how it’s stuck. To add to the irony, there’s a boxer (professional?) with my name too, so if you do an internet search for Sean Monaghan The Boxer, you’re going to find that guy way ahead of finding my story.
I’ve published a lot of stories this year, as you can see from my bibliography. They’re all, for one reason or another, personal favourites, though some I might have thought a little less of have proven more engaging for some readers. I’ve tried a variety of styles and genres this year, from hard sci-fi to humourous horror and been published both in print and online.
Anyway, this selection is my favourite five online stories from the year:
Overall, it’s been a good year, a banner year in fact – I’ve published more this year than all previous years combined – exceeding my own ridiculous goal (lesson: aim high). I still have so much more to work on and a set of new goals that will push me and challenge me – I will publish far fewer pieces, but look for longer stories, and different approaches.
Flashes in the Dark has published my story Akio Draws Manga. A shorter piece – under 800 words here – and an odd tale, perhaps a little supernatural, perhaps even a little sci-fi, but certainly psychological. Akio grabs a pen when he can, draws up quick, prescient sketches, while battling giant demons.
Don’t Sleep Downstairs is another of my Arizona stories, my on-going love of the place coming through, in its own odd way. With a bleak old farmhouse and a visiting painter I hope I’ve captured something of character and of the feel of the place. It was fun to write and I hope it’s fun to read.
Thanks to Lori and Bob at Flashes in The Dark for publishing the story.
Lori Titus and Bob Eccles, the editors of the wonderful Flashes in the Dark online magazine, took my very dark story “The Newly Oiled Gate”.
I’m not sure what commentary to offer on this one – some familiar tropes, I suppose: damaged people, damaged bodies and a possibly ambiguous end. An exercise in voice, as much as anything else, I guess. Enjoy.
This one jumps around a little with tense changes and location changes, perhaps too confusing, I don’t know, but I hope you enjoy Lie Beside Mary, just a little story about a couple going out for dinner. A quick read and I see I’ve screwed up one of the tense changes (it made sense when I was working on it). Proofreading never ends.
My thanks to editor Lori Titus for taking this story on. There’s lots of other great fiction at Flashes in the Dark, including Lori’s own Maradith Ryder series.
Lori Titus, editor at Flashes in the Dark interviewed David Niall Wilson about his novels and writing process. I especially enjoyed his discussion about beginning writing a novel as a series of independent short stories (but completing the novel without it all being independent, because that’s what it needed), something I’ve worked with a little, well, interlinking stories anyway: I know it’s a tough thing to do.