The Beard and Other Weirdness

Shadows Awards shortlists…

Congratulations and good luck to all the AHWA Shadows Awards nominees who have been shortlisted for the awards for 2019… especially to Lee Murray and Marie O’Regan, for best edited works for Trickster’s Treats 3, pitched alongside Beside the Seaside – Tales form the Daytripper. And for Chris Mason for two awards nominations, for her wonderful depiction of loveable gin-drinking zombie apocalypse survivors Vivienne and Agnes (best short story, from Beside the Seaside, tales of the Daytripper), and for her dark story of loss and reconciliation Out of Darkness from Tales of the Lost Volume 1, for the Paul Haines Award for best long fiction! Plus, of course, to all the writers, artists, proofreaders, reviewers, and everyone else who made these Things in the Well Anthologies such great contenders!



Black Dogs, Black Tales Release!


Phew! So much has happened this month with Black Dogs, Black Tales, I’m merging it all together in one post…

Great book review on GNOH!


Thanks again to the amazing effort by Tabatha Wood and Cassie Hart, and the rest of the editorial team for pulling together an awesome anthology! And of course to the contributing authors, poets, artists, and others involved! You can read an interview with Cassie here

interview GNOH

Many thanks to ALL the contributors…


And to the Black Dogs, Black Tales team!


Lots of authors stopped by to answer questions on the ebook launch event! This included an #AMA Ask me Anything list of Q and As, some poetry readings, and a reading from Tabby Wood!

Read more about what’s happened lately on the Facebook page



Launch Day – AMA – Prizes!

Black Dogs, Black Tales launch day is almost upon us, 17th May, and we’d love for you to join us there in a virtual socially-distant safe way of course. But hey, that means you can bring your dog to the launch party!

If you haven’t yet bought a copy on pre-order, this link will direct you to the correct site for your Amazon order page.

Here is the official online launch event of the “Black Dogs, Black Tales” charity anthology. Includes: online giveaway to win a paperback of the anthology (available to buy from the 31st May from Amazon and Ingram Spark), two chances to win a unique zombie dog paw pin badge from NZ artist Pepper Raccoon, an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with some of the authors, artists and the editing team, and a “Top Dog” face-off where YOU can vote for the winner!

Cover with quote top only

Above: We’ve received these lovely words from Lee Murray,
Award-winning writer, editor, mentor.

Tales of the Lost 2 news…


We lose many things during our time in this universe. From the moment we are born we start losing time, and loss becomes a part of our life from the beginning. We lose friends (both imaginary and real), loved ones, pets, and family. We gain stuff and lose stuff, from our socks to our money. We can lose our hope, sanity, passions, our mind, and perhaps even our soul! In the end when death finds us, we end up losing everything… Don’t we?

Loss is part of who we are. We can’t escape it. We learn from it, grown from it and so much more. Some of the greatest stories ever forged come from loss. Within this book are some of those stories. With cover art once more by the awesome Francois Vaillancourt, and an amazing lineup of award-winning authors including John Palisano, Neil Gaiman, Lisa Morton, Vince Liaguno, Kaaron Warren, and many more!

Tales of the Lost takes a dark look at the things we lose and the ghosts we struggle with. Money raised by the anthology will go to benefit the Save the Children Coronavirus response. The purpose of the book is to provide people stuck in their homes something new to read during this crisis, while having all profits going to a great cause.

Join our Facebook page (TALES OF THE LOST) for regular updates, sneak peeks, links, interviews, and more. Facebook page:



Order direct in Australia/New Zealand!

As most people reading this will know, Amazon charge a shedload of dollar$ for books shipped to Australia and New Zealand from the US, and they don’t print locally, so we’re bypassing them for the antipodean marketplace. Many thanks to Burning Love and Bleeding Hearts editor Louise Zedda-Sampson for facilitating!

OFFER banner for FB

Amazon shipping too high? Are you in Australia or New Zealand?
Now you can order directly from Things in the Well* as follows:
Australia: 1 book $26, 2 books $42, 3 books $62
New Zealand: 1 book $34, 2 books $56, 3 books $72
(Price in AUD and includes shipping and a profit to the charity!)
All proceeds from INFECTED 1 & 2 go to the Save the Children Coronavirus Response Order: in $AUD please!
PS: Don’t forget to let me know which book(s) you want!
*Offer only available for INFECTED books 1 and 2. Thanks to Louise Zedda-Sampson for facilitating! There are still a few copies of Burning Love, Bleeding Hearts available. Contact Louise if you want a copy of that as well (Proceeds to the Red Cross Australia)




Infected 1 paperback now available!

You can order the paperback of Infected 1: Tales to Read at Home here.

Note to Australian and New Zealand folks:

I’m trying to work out a cheaper way for you to get copies, because Amazon  really takes advantage by overcharging on shipping and then charging tax on the additional shipping fees, plus handling fee, etc. etc. Ad that to the very poor exchange rate right now, and what starts as a $15 USD paperback costs between $41 and $45 to Au/NZ addresses… AND they don’t allow me to order ‘author copies’ either, which are usually discounted.AMAZON COVER AAA

So, I’m waiting on Ingram Spark to approve Infected book 1. That allows shops worldwide to order the books, but also gives me a way to order and ship at cost to you (plus a few extra dollars for the charity) – This means Amazon don’t get their grubby percentage, but it also means a lot more work for me as I have to order each one for you, and get you to pay me (via I’m also looking at local print options, which Louise Zedda-Sampson is helping me look into, as that proved a very successful approach for Burning Love, Bleeding Hearts, which has raised over $2,000 for charity and has been the most successful book published by Things in the Well.


More on Book 2 and an update on these printing options soon…


INFECTED Book 2 now on pre-order!

You can pre-order book 2 of the INFECTED anthologies on Amazon now! As with book 1, which was release earlier this month, all proceeds will go to the charity Save the Children for their Coronavirus response. Book 2 features stories by John Palisano, Mark Towse, R.J. Meldrum, Rebecca Fraser, Tabby Stirling, Pochassi, Patrick J. Gallagher, Claire Fitzpatrick, Tom Prince, Brianna Courtney Bullen, T.C. Phillips, Edward Ahern, Calvin Demmer , Chris Mason, Catherine McCarthy, Brian Bowyer, Shaun Taylor, Noel Osualdini, Irene Punti, Gerri Leen, Tracy Fahey,  Eric J. Guignard, and poetry by Steve Dillon, Eugene Johnson, and Yash Seyedbagheri.

Infected 2 cover

Infected now closed… and other news!

  • For the first time in a while, Things in the Well have no open calls for submissions.
  • I might be issuing a new callout in the not-too-distant future, once Infected and Black Dogs, Black Tails have gone to bed, energy and time allowing! (Steve Dillon) and Outback Horrors will be going ahead, in July as per the original proposed launch date which was to coincide with Worldcon in Wellington.
  • Infected will be published in April 2020 – All proceeds for Infected will go to Save the Children for their Coronavirus Response fund.
  • Good luck to Tracie McBride and Lee Murray, nominated for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards for 2019.
  • Good luck for Greg Chapman and Jess Landry, nominated for the HWA Stoker Awards for 2019.
  • Good luck to Chris Mason for the Aurealis Awards this year.
  • For completeness, good luck to all the Things in the Well writers for the AHWA Shadows Awards, the This is Horrors, the Ladies of Horror, the Shirley Jacksons, and all the other awards this year…
  • Black Dogs, Black Tails (ed: Tabatha Wood) is due for release in the first half of 2020, all proceeds for the New Zealand Mental Health charity.
  • Lee Murray’s Grotesque: Monster Stories is on track for release in mid 2020
  • Tales of the Lost Volume 2 wil be released in the latter half of 2020. All proceeds will again go to charity.
  • It’s uncertain if I will be doing another for-charity Trickster’s Treats this year, but am happy to be convinced by a zealous editor or three…
  • I will be announcing at least one other single-author collection this year… more soon.
  • I’ve made my Patreon FREE for all tiers for now… with recordings, readings, writings, and other shambling going on at (please don’t sign up or pay anything!)

Finally, after a run of a few years, it’s likely that in 2021, I will be taking a break from publishing to focus on my own writing (Steve). That doesn’t mean Things in the Well will be closing down, or our books won’t be available, just that I won’t be publishing any more (for a bit, at least).