Saturday, 26 August 2017

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimar McBride

I'm a horror chick at heart but every now and then I do like to delve (sheepishly) into the world of literary fiction. There's been so much praise for this book and of course for the writer, Eimar McBride who on an over crowded stage has invented an entirely new way of writing. Released just last year The Lesser Bohemians has won the James Tate Black Memorial Prize, long listed for the Bailey's Women's Prize, Goldsmith's Prize and the Bord Gais Irish Novel of the Year.

The cover is gorgeous, simple but really eye catching. This book is quite unlike anything I have ever read before. The language reminded me a little bit of Ulysses by James Joyce. At first it was really hard to get into and to be honest a couple of times I gave up, but I persevered.


Because there was something really compelling about the writing, half poem half prose, and after a while I got into it and then, I really got into it. It quickly became one of those books where I couldn't put, where I set my alarm clock earlier in the morning so I could spend more time with this delightful book. I actually felt a bit sad when it finished. Sometimes I get so involved with a book it is hard to say goodbye to the characters I've gotten to know so well. I'd love for there to be some sort of follow up as I felt like there is still a story to be told here.

So this is written like a stream of conscious and I think its utterly genius because no one actually thinks in sentences, so in her writing we're truly inside the main characters head, thinking every she thinks, and you get really involved. I found the writing really moving as it feels so real. You feel like you're going through everything with her.

So a bit about the book, set in London during the 90's, an 18 year old Irish girl comes to London enrolling in a drama course. Not long after she is introduced to the party scene and there she meets an actor twenty years her senior and already in the public eye. This story follows her transition from a simple country girl into a woman. She yearns for life, passion and adventure and to be free of herself.

She soon becomes involved with this older guy. He's brooding and dangerous but she can't help herself. Although this is no glossy romance you'll find in the chick lit section. This is a real romance where each side is obnoxious and toxic, they hurt each other with their cruel games but yet each time they return to one another.

It's a really raw honest writing about the truth of falling in love for the first time which is never perfect its often not the final love, as illustrated int his book through the other characters. Unless it is a pure sort of love that a father would feel for his child.

As a writer I really admire McBride's boldness to write something so new and bold. There must have been quite a few moments where she questioned herself what she was doing. It was a risky book to write as it is so pioneering but it was a risk that has really paid off. She has also written another book, A Girl is a Half Formed Thing which I can't wait to get read.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Apparitions - Aphotic Realm Magazine

Aphotic Realm is a brand new magazine dedicated to strange and sinister fiction. Recently they have produced their first issue themed around - Apparitions. If the first issue is anything to go by this horror fiction magazine is going to be making some big waves on the horror scene.

This issue is available both in print and kindle but do buy it in print it is worth every penny. The content is absolutely divine. The magazine is full colour and in each page you can see the love and care that has been poured liberally over each page. Each story comes with it's own illustration, shout out to Gunnar Larsen for his amazing artwork.

So before I'd even started reading the stories I absolutely fell in love with it!

First off I started reading Dustin Schyler Yoak, one of the editors. I did think it was strange at first that the magazine would  start straight away rather than a brief introduction from the editor  as what I was reading was clearly the first horror story. However I soon found out it was a real life event as experienced by Dustin himself and I really felt shivers down my spine! So just a note of warning,
there are real life ghost stories in here and they're not pretty!

This is a really strong anthology, I really enjoyed all the stories in there, no duds whatsoever. Voices by Thomas Elson makes a really strong start. It's one of those stories that you have to read again straight away! Blue Vial by Tevis Shkodra is a heart wrenching tale of love and loss which I found incredibly moving.  The Shadow on the Stairs by Brianna Fenty is just downright terrifying!!!!!! I absolutely adored Waternish Boy by Christopher Stanley who focuses on ancient Scottish folklore. Untethered by Ron Heacock is amazing. This was my favourite tale, ( a very hard choice, all were amazing.) I was genuinely sad when it ended and was left needing to know more. This is one story that I could see being turned into a full length novel! Whispers Beyond the Veil by Chris Martin is a terrifying true account of an American haunting.

If a Ghost Comes Knocking by Steve Carr is a really sinister tale that proves ghosts aren't as harmless  as they look. Steve Hosking goes for a fantasy horror feel with The Princess & The Tower which takes a familiar fairy tale and turns it on it's head making it into something really original. Former Self by Kenneth Tilford JR is a great cop tale with a spooky angle to it. Rosanna Fields by Thor Morten (whoa cool name!) is a really epic tale, don't want to  say too much about it in case I give too much away! Finally A.A.Medina tells us of his spooky encounter which is just really disturbing!!!!

There's also an interview with Roland Mann: Comic Book Creator, Author, Editor and Professor and has some really good tips for writers and how to make it big. Gunnar Larsen shows off his artistic prowess with some super creepy art. Matt Peters owner of Beating Windward Press offers his tips and advice to writers.

The second issue of Aphotic  Realm is due out October - November 2017 and I just can't wait!!!