Free ebooks

Sometimes Dead cover
Sometimes Dead, 'Gwrych Castell at Evening'; cover design © MaKe

Reviews of some of the stories collected in Sometimes Dead:

 

'(Scofidio) has an inspired and unique way of looking at the world... her story touches both the brain and the heart, while still giving us that delicious frisson that is the pulse of every great ghost story... She is fully there in every word. She knows. And she can make us see.'   

     

- Chet Williamson. Necrofile

 

'(Scofidio's) "Outside the Gates" is nothing short of a revelation, a brilliantly orchestrated story that spins a world of weirdnesses out of the intense emotional needs of its heroine.  Its account of a young girl who finds a substitute for her lost mother in an author whose books speak to her soul ends with a "meeting" that suggests the extraordinary healing power of grief, but might also indicate a plunge into psychotic fantasy. (Scofidio) cites the fiction of Angela Carter as an inspiration for the story, but her ambiguous handling of the uncanny suggests the influence of Robert Aickman.'    

- Stefan Dziemianowicz, All Hallows

 

'"Last Train to Arnos Grove"... (is) a work of originality and something I can only describe as creeping fear. (It's) the kind of story done to perfection by Ramsey Campbell and Thomas Ligotti, which stands here as an equal to a story from one of those amazing gents.'

 

- Andrea Locke, Deathrealm

 

==============================

 

I have been writing for 44 years, seriously for 29.  I consider myself a modern supernaturalist.

 

Last year I published some of my old work with Smashwords, a brilliant website for self-publishers as they do the distribution:  I only have to do the writing.  (Only.)

 

Sometimes Dead is a collection of ghost stories (not paranormal - I'm not a fan of what is known by horror writers as 'horror lite')  written in the 1990s. They were published in an American magazine of weird fiction called The Urbanite, edited by the generous, multi-talented, Stoker Award-winning Mark McLaughlin, and in a brilliant hardback anthology entitled Midnight Never Comes (Ash-Tree Press, 1997).  

 

Reprints of two appeared in Best New Horror and Year's Best Fantasy and Horror; another won a magazine competition; another was nominated for a British Fantasy Society Award for Best Short Story.  They are stories with adult themes; not erotic, just written for intelligent people who've experienced life.  Sometimes people say 'fuck' in them.

 

I think if you like the Edith Wharton style of ghost story, then you might like my work.  I try to explore modern life (and in the case of 'I Have Never Seen The Stars So Bright', a historical legend) through the medium of the supernatural.  The ghosts are sometimes malevolent, sometimes not; in some cases the ghosts aren't even ghosts, thus the title 'Sometimes Dead'.  They are a metaphor for transformation, for dealing with ecstasy and agony.  (As the ancient saw goes, I don't believe in ghosts, but I'm frightened of them.)  

 

I haven't come up with that description of my work by myself; it's been given to me by my readers.  (Thank you to them for giving me their precious time.  Thank you to you for giving me yours.)

Doctor Knife
Doctor Knife, photograph © Prof. Michael Fuller; design by MaKe

 

Doctor Knife, however, is a Frankenstein-themed horror novella without a hint of the supernatural.  It was originally written in 1996-7 to expiate a particularly unpleasant episode in my life, working as a mother's help, in other words, a 20th century slave, in 1990s London.  Of course the events are entirely fictional except for 'Dr. Nye', who in real life actually said some of the things I've written. 

 

The magazine which accepted it had folded, so it lay in a box file (luckily I'd mailed a copy to myself for copyright purposes, good practice, as the editor of the defunct magazine had lost the TS) until last year when I was able to have it formatted (thank you .mobi dick!) for Smashwords's 'meat grinder'.  The cover photo is of a porcelain doll's head found in a well in the American midwest and is taken from the Pony Express Museum website with the kind permission of Professor Michael Fuller.

 

I am eternally grateful to Mark Coker and the cool people at Smashwords who enabled me to make my work available to a wider audience.  Also I no longer have to wait while my hair goes white and my clothes go out of fashion to hear back from an editor, or try to come up with 90k words' worth of padding so my work will be 'sellable'.  Viva la revolution!

 

You can download Sometimes Dead here  and Doctor Knife here (or on Barnes & Noble, iTunes, just about anywhere except Amazon (my books are free so not uploaded there).... for now....

Write a comment

Comments: 0
Spiky old beech near Bonn, Germany
Spiky old beech near Bonn, Germany
Member WtD Dream Team
Member WtD Dream Team