Thursday, 17 September 2015

In Sunshine Bright and Darkness Deep

You can order your copy of the debut anthology from the Australian Horror Writers' Association for the special launch price of just $9.95 USD. This offer ends after Halloween.

In Sunshine Bright and Darkness Deep is an anthology like no other. The tales herein will take you on a weird and terrifying journey. You will set out on a road trip and find yourself trapped in the arid Australian outback where a little girl and her grandfather struggle to survive. There are isolated farmhouses threatened by bushfires and bullets, and rainforests teeming with bloodthirsty bugs. The cities are full of trouble too. The murky waters of the Brisbane River hide spiteful spirits and the suburbs are infested with insane inhabitants masquerading as ordinary human beings. Then, you will leave Australia, departing from Melbourne, to hunt down vampiric gangsters in Southeast Asia, before sailing future seas and visiting realms beyond this world altogether.

This inaugural showcase anthology features the work of just a handful of the many talented and darkly imaginative authors who make up the Australian Horror Writers' Association. If you are unfamiliar with Australian horror, let this book be just the first step on a long voyage of discovery.

Table of contents:
The River Slurry Rue Karney                                              
Triage Jason Nahrung                                              
Upon the Dead Oceans Marty Young                                  
Beast Natalie Satakovski                                
The Grinning Tide Stuart Olver                                          
Our Last Meal J. Ashley Smith                                             
Veronica’s Dogs Cameron Trost                                          
Bullets Joanne Anderton                   
Saviour Mark McAuliffe                                
The Hunt Mark Smith-Briggs                                               
The Monster in the Woods Kathryn Hore               
Road Trip Anthony Ferguson                                               
Bloodlust Steve Cameron                                          
Elffingern Dan Rabarts    

Friday, 10 July 2015

An Interview with C. C. Adams

It was an honour to have organised this year's Australian Horror Writers' Association Short Story and Flash Fiction Competition. Congratulations to the winners, J. Ashley Smith and Zoe Downing. The three judges also gave several honourable mentions, and C. C. Adams was one of them. I enjoyed his tale and invited him to answer of few questions about his writing.
1. Congratulations on your honourable mention in the Australian Horror Writers' Association Short Story and Flash Fiction Competition and thanks for the opportunity to read your work and ask you a few questions. You have a devilish tale being published this Halloween in "Crossroads In The Dark" from Burning Willow Press. Without giving too much away, can you tell us what inspired you to write "I'm Taking You With Me"?
Every summer, I'm out in Toronto with friends, one of whom is Nella - who the story's dedicated to. Last summer, she'd told us a story about the apartment block she grew up in. There was a suicide nearly twenty years back where a guy jumped from one of the higher floors. The part that stuck with me was that he landed with such force that the impact tore his fingers off. And the more I rolled this scene around in my head, the more I began to craft a story from it.
2. You live in London, one of the world's great literary capitals. Do you have any favourite haunts where you go to write or think your stories through?
Mmmm, it's less about where I go to kick-start the process and more about what scenery I want to capture. London's one of the major cities on the planet. I might want to capture the London chic of the Shard bar, 32 floors up with a panoramic view of the city. Or the sweaty intimacy of the Jazz CafĂ© where you're packed shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Maceo Parker on stage, or whether it's raining in the city and my aunt's old block of flats is all damp and cold in the stairwell. Even if it's just a crowded late-night Tube/subway train full of flirty high-heeled women: I just want to paint that picture of London as a character, just like the people in it.
3. Do you find that there are recurring themes in your stories or are they all different from each other?
I like to explore fear, which I think is perceived as only a human sensibility. Sure, a mouse might be scared of a cat, but that cat isn't likely to see the mouse as anything more than food. The mouse's fear is of little consequence to the cat - and so it goes with the characters I write. Of course, the cat may have something else to fear too.
4. What are you working on at the moment?
Currently outlining a novel/la called Akhtar's Veil. Now I take more of a cinematic view with the outlining in terms of how I want the scenes to look and the characters to be. Once the outline is strong enough for me, then I can start hammering out the first draft.
5. Tell us about your writing rituals. Do you have a drink, music, special underwear that helps you get the words out?
Special underwear? Man, my team will love that one... I tell you what I do: it's not enough for me to have quiet, but I need solitude. I don't want to hear doors opening and closing near me, no conversation/TV/etc. from a neighbouring room, no roadworks/maintenance outside, nothing like that. Once I have that level of isolation, it's easier to fade out from this world and sink myself into the one I'm writing.
6. If you could invite any five authors from any time period to dinner, who would they be?
Whoa! I'm not sure I could come up with five. That's a tall order. Probably the first pick would be Michael Crichton. What I like about his work is that even though the narrative is very kinetic and visual, he's meticulous with the detail and rationale behind it. Jo Nesbo for his Harry Hole books because those are engaging and entertaining. Brian Keene for his blunt and visceral narrative: The Rising is still my favourite zombie story anywhere: book, TV or film. Kelley Armstrong, since she provided the forum where I got deeper into writing and beat my first NaNoWriMo challenge. And Ian O'Neill who's always been on hand to support and offer wise counsel.
7. Have you read any Australian horror or seen any horror movies from down under?
Not entirely sure - my bad. Do Ghost Ship and Queen Of The Damned count?
8. What scares you?
Horror films! Which surprises people, given what I write. I don't watch them now, but I grew up watching them: The Evil Dead, Salem's Lot, Phantasm, Halloween, etc. FYI, my favourite film of all time is John Carpenter's "The Thing". I watched that since I was about 10 years old. Not scared once by it - it's just well-crafted work and wholly absorbing. But that's scared a lot of people.
9. What are your passions besides writing?

Food - definitely food. I'm known for a decent appetite, plus I'm up for different cuisines. At 5 meals a day, I'm often at the mercy of my stomach. Lifting weights helps keep some degree of size and strength on me, but I really do need to get back into kung fu. The muse and the business of writing have kept me busy over the last few months, so none of the joyful stretches, sparring, etc. for a while now.
10. If somebody reads one of your stories and enjoys it, what should he or she do next?
Engage with me: love it or hate it, I wanna hear about it. It's just humbling and cool to move people. And maybe scare seven shades out of them.
You can find out more about C. C. Adams here:

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Welcome to the Library

Dear reader, I welcome you to my library. If you would like a sample of my fiction, simply click here. If you are already sure that my tales are to your liking, please click here to purchase my short story collection.

Enjoy the suspense!

Friday, 9 January 2015

The Freedom to Create and Criticise

Having lived in France and read this provocative publication, the recent murder of the Charlie Hebdo staff was a crime we had all been expecting. The cartoonists knew that their murder could have happened at any moment. Despite this, they continued producing the magazine. We all know the saying that tells us the pen is mightier than the sword. These artists truly lived by the pen and died by the pen.
  The staff of Charlie Hebdo understood the power of satire. By mocking corrupt and self-serving politicians of all inclinations, misguided religious zealots of all denominations, and more general idiotic and hypocritical practices in society, these cartoonists fought for a better world. Satire has long been a weapon used to encourage progress in society.
  Aristophanes was one of the best known early satirists. He criticised politicians and commented on social habits and trends that he considered to be negative through his plays. In particular, he criticised the powerful Cleon, and his play, Drunkenness, contains an attack on the politician, Callimedon. His reader is meant to question received knowledge and to seek reform and progress.
  It seems to me that now, in the 21st century, we seem to have forgotten that the Golden Age of the Greeks and the Renaissance that later sought to light the flame of humanism once again, ever happened. Satire is a confronting form of comedy and it easily offends. Why? Because those targeted by it are acutely aware of their absurdity.
  The staff of Liberation, another passionate French publication, will produce the next issue of Charlie Hebdo. This issue is expected to sell well over a million copies, more than ever before.
  As a writer, I assert my freedom to create and criticise, and following the initiative of fellow writer, Lee Battersby, here is my humble cartoon in support of Charlie Hebdo and all who fight against fascism, violence, and sheer stupidity.
If you are a cartoonist, or a writer, musician, or artist of any kind, please create your sketch for Charlie Hebdo and all who strive to use their art to make the world a better place. Here's your post-it note - get creating, and please share it with me on Facebook.


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Logical Unsanity: Brisbane's 24/7 Bookshop

Time to go insane!

Logical Unsanity Books & Miscellaneous Phantasmagoria is a growing network of bookshops and art galleries specialising in curious and collectable books, and strange and beautiful art. Last week, they opened what is believed to be Brisbane's only 24/7 bookshop! So, if you wake up at three o'clock in the morning and have a pressing need to grab a good preloved book, all you have to do is make your way through the sleepy streets of Bardon, while flying foxes and possums frolic in the branches overhead, and visit the shed at 3 Morgan Terrace. The books are mostly from $2 to $6 and can be bought by depositing the correct amount (or a little extra if you want to support this great new business) in the honesty box.

As if this wasn't exciting enough, Logical Unsanity have even grander schemes in the works. They are currently planning the development of an arts hub/school containing studios, rehearsal, performance and exhibition spaces, creative industries workshops (picture framing, bookbinding, printing, restoration, leather, wood, metal, etc.), library services, accessible future technologies, education, food and health programs.

This morning, I braved the rain and strolled down there to buy a couple of books. I also donated a couple, including a copy of my short story collection, Hoffman's Creeper and Other Disturbing Tales.


 Logical Unsanity, Kobblers
3 Morgan Tce, Bardon
Outdoor Shed Open 24×7
Indoor Bookshop & Gallery by appointment only until 2015

Saturday, 4 October 2014

A Celebration of Books, Maleny

Maleny is a quiet rural town nestled in the Sunshine Coast hinterland about a hundred kilometres north of Brisbane. It is known to Queenslanders for dairy farming and cheese making, as well as for its local arts and crafts scene. The town has long been popular with eco-friendly weekenders and hikers heading to the Glasshouse Mountains or to Kondalilla National Park near Montville.

I have been to Maleny several times over the years, but this is the first time I'll be going to the annual "Celebration of Books" which takes place over three days from Friday the 24th to Sunday the 26th of October. I'll be there on Saturday.

I'm particularly looking forward to spending some time under the shady branches of the Book Swap Tree, which is in Cooke Park, Maple St - near the Maleny town clock. Bring a book you have read and enjoyed, browse through the books others have read and enjoyed, and swap it with another quality book. I'll be bringing several second-hand paperbacks along and will even have a copy or two of my own collection on me.
You'll also be able to meet some of Maleny's writers at the Community Centre from nine o'clock to midday on the Saturday.

For more information about the celebration, visit the website at:

If you are coming along and would like to catch up with me, don't be shy, just send me a message at ctrost (at) or via Facebook.

    Image from the Celebration of Books website.