Friday, 19 December 2014

Merry Christmas from the Black Beacons Team!

Well, what a year we've had here at Black Beacon Books. This year saw the release of two chilling titles, "Subtropical Suspense" and "Vaudeville and Other Nightmares". The former was launched at Black Cat Books in Paddington, Brisbane, and just today, we were informed that this wonderful bookshop will be closing down in January, 2015. This is terrible news for Brisbane bookworms, but it is not all that surprising. Independent bookshops are doing it very tough in the age of internet shopping. Here at Black Beacon Books, we have sought to support local bookshops, but this is quickly becoming impossible. So, this Christmas, we are urging you to support independent bookshops and publishers before you lose them! Black Beacon Books can't survive without you.

Do you want to keep independent publishing alive? Do you want great stories by talented authors for 2015? Yes? Then click HERE and buy one of our titles this very instant. That will be your Christmas gift to us, and even more so, to yourself.

Merry Christmas and thank you!

Thursday, 30 October 2014


Happy Halloween, Black Beaconers!

Greg Chapman's debut collection, "Vaudeville and Other Nightmares", is out now in both print and electronic formats. Just CLICK HERE for all your spooky Halloween tales!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Greg Chapman: Rockhampton's Dark Scribe

Greg Chapman's debut collection, "Vaudeville and Other Nightmares", was released last weekend and is already receiving rave reviews. You can buy your copy now for just $12.50 (USD) plus postage and handling from our online store.

As Halloween draws ever closer, we'll be holding giveaways of Greg's other books and artwork through the Facebook event page, and if you happen to call Rockhampton in Australia home, you'll be able to meet Greg for a Halloween graveyard tour... if you dare! You can get in touch with him via his website, Greg Chapman: Dark Scribe.

Friday, 12 September 2014

An Interview with Greg Chapman

Greg Chapman's debut short story collection, "Vaudeville and Other Nightmares", will be released by Black Beacon Books next weekend. We've asked him to answer a few questions about what inspires and motivates him to write.

1. Several tales in Vaudeville and Other Nightmares have a historical or mythological setting. The title story takes place in the south of the United States and explores the history of the American Civil War. The last tale in the collection, Codex Musaicum, plunges the reader into a very important moment in history too, this time in Vienna. Tell us about which historical eras pique your curiosity and ignite your imagination and why?
 
I’ve always had a fascination for the dark ages (naturally), but strangely enough, I’m yet to set a story in that era. The obvious overtones of superstition and persecution are ripe for the picking though, aren’t they? Ancient history, and particularly the different cultures and mythologies of early civilisation interest me as well. Back then people truly believed in the impossible; monsters and heroes and gods and that’s fodder for any storyteller! My tale Chthonic in Vaudeville and Other Nightmares, is a sort of modern-day rehash of the quests of Greek myth.

2. Talking about different settings, how about writing locations. Imagine you could spend a month writing fulltime and with an unlimited budget anywhere in the world! Where would you go and what routine would you follow?
 
If I had the cash, I’d write a book in every great library in the world. Libraries like Trinity College in Ireland, or the Abbey Library of St. Gallen in Switzerland. I know that sounds corny, but I find libraries to be extremely calming; sometimes I just walk around inside them to de-stress. By their very nature, libraries are like peaceful temples and I’ve written many tales in my local library. At the very least I’d have a great opportunity to travel the world. As for routine, I’d probably sit near a window so I could take in the view (if need be), with my i-pod in.

3. Your love of Edgar Allan Poe's work is evident in many of the stories in the collection. How did this love affair start and why is Poe's work so special to you?
 
I first came across Poe about 15 years ago while at university. His tale The Fall of the House of Usher was tucked away inside a Literary theory textbook. I was instantly drawn into his words, his morbid descriptions and how he saw beauty in death. When I looked into his life and saw how melancholy he was, but how he used that to hone his writings, he became my all-time favourite. My story Patrick Oswald Edwards is my tribute to him.

4. Do any of the tales in your collection give you, the author, nightmares? Which do you think is the scariest?
 
One particular character more than any particular story; Meknok, the primary antagonist of Codex Musaicum, the tie-in story to my novella The Noctuary, is probably my most disturbing invention. He came to mind when I asked myself where my ideas come from. I enjoy creating nasty creatures, but my aim is to make them memorable – make them become nightmares.

5. Have you received feedback from your readers? What is the most touching message you have had from a fan? How can people get in touch with you?
 
I’ve had a few readers tell me they couldn’t sleep after reading one of my stories and I consider that a win. It would be great to hear from readers, either via my email – midnighttheatre@hotmail.com or via my website – www.darkscrybe.com

6. Tell us about what you are working on at the moment.
 
I’ve just started the first draft of a novel, tentatively titled “Kemper House”. It’s a haunted house tale, but it focuses on the neighbours, the house putting out an evil vibe on the rest of the street.  I still haven’t decided whether I’ll ever go inside the house. Time will tell ;)
 
 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Subtropical Suspense in the Queensland Capital

Brisbane Times has just published an article on Subtropical Suspense. Since the anthology was released on the 19th of July, Black Beacon Books has been receiving a great deal of interest from local media - 4ZZZ radio, The Courier-Mail, West End Magazine, and Brisbane Times. We would like to thank them all for their support.

If you haven't yet read Subtropical Suspense, you really are missing out. Brisbane residents can purchase the anthology at Black Cat Books, Pulp Fiction, or Riverbend Books. Those of you who are further afield can order it from our online store. Click HERE for more details.

Brisbane Times, "Subtropical Suspense in the Queensland Capital"

    Photo by Glenn Hunt

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

City's Dark Heart Revealed

Subtropical Suspense has been creating panic in the streets of Brisbane since it was released at Black Cat Books, Paddington, just over two weeks ago. Copies are disappearing from bookshop shelves faster than a murderer can toss a bloody dagger down a storm water drain. The anthology is now available at three independent Brisbane bookshops; Black Cat Books in Paddington, Pulp Fiction on Adelaide Street, and Riverbend Books in Bulimba. Those living further afield have the option of ordering it directly from our online store.

We have received support from many suspicious types locally, nationally, and internationally. In particular, our thanks goes out to Tom Snowdon for his article in The Courier-Mail (5/8/2014) in which he explains how Subtropical Suspense reveals Brisbane's "dark heart", Nix Fullmoon of 4ZzZ radio's The Witching Hour, which is broadcast Saturdays from 10pm to midnight on 102.1 FM, and Brisbane author and screenwriter, Stephen M. Irwin for this review:
 
"In the anthology, Subtropical Suspense, editor Cameron Trost has brought
together a dark pantry of crime stories and mysteries, and cooked up a
gumbo rich and spicy enough to befit any of the world’s sultry cities… but
these happen to be set in Brisbane.
   Sixteen short stories take the reader from Morningside to Indooroopilly, from
Hamilton to Acacia Ridge. There is baking sun and flooding rains, police
procedurals and criminal capers, murderous mermaids and poison pens...
   Some stories hit their notes more cleanly than others, but all give a ripple of
pleasure to the reader who knows Brisbane – or wants to know it – and who
has wondered why stories of murder, malice, and magic couldn’t be set here.
   And of course, they should be: Brisbane’s shadows are as dark and good to
hide in as any in the world – and Subtropical Suspense revels in this."

Below: a picture of Tom Snowdon's article in The Courier-Mail:

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Subtropical Suspense Launch

What an afternoon we all had at Black Cat Books for the launch of Subtropical Suspense!

Several of the authors were present; Linda Brucesmith, Duncan Richardson, Alice Godwin, Helen Stubbs, Barry Rosenberg, David Dolan, and Kerry Lown Whalen. Sam Muller lives in Japan but he was represented by his mother. Alice, Kerry, and Linda read passages from their stories and got the audience teetering on the edge of their seats. Thank you to all of the authors for making the day such a success and signing copies of the anthology. Thanks to Jodi Cleghorn of eMergent Publishing for donating books to the raffle, to my friend, Matthew Charles, for selling raffle tickets while I was running around (I wish I'd had more time to mingle), to everybody for coming along and supporting independent publishing (you're going to love the stories), and a big thanks to the Black Cat Books team for their hard work.

If you missed out on the launch, don't worry, the anthology is now available at Black Cat Books. It will be available at other bookshops and online at a later date, and the ebook version will be available in September, but Black Cat is the exclusive outlet at the moment. Please, support local business by dropping in to buy a copy; 179 Latrobe Tce, Paddington, Brisbane.
 
Here are some photos from yesterday's launch:
 
Cameron Trost, Black Beacon Books
 

Alice Godwin, author, and  "Phryne Fisher"

Cameron with Vivienne Muller, mother of contributing author, Sam Muller

Alice Godwin

Linda Brucesmith reading from "The Final Cut"

Alice Godwin and son... or Doctor Who?

Alice Godwin reading from "Scarlett Fever"

Hamish Danks Brown, poet, and "Carmen Sandiego"

David Dolan, author, and guest

 


Cameron Trost and son, Fergus

Matthew Charles selling raffle tickets - good show!

The Matthews

Kindred spirits, Emmanuelle Loquet-Trost with Alice Godwin

Kerry Lown Whalen reading from "Missing" while Cameron tries to get the mike right


El and Megs - Megs, teach him how to pose for a photo!

Barry Rosenberg, author, signing a copy of the anthology

A quiet drink before an early night falling asleep while watching Doctor Blake
 

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Subtropical Suspense Cover Reveal

It is with great pleasure that Black Beacon Books reveals the cover design for our inaugural anthology, Subtropical Suspense. Greg Chapman, who provided the striking cover for Kit Power's The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife, has once again done an outstanding job by creating a cover that perfectly fits the theme and feel of the anthology. Don't you agree?

The anthology will be launched at Black Cat Books (179 Latrobe Tce, Paddington, Brisbane) at 2 pm on Saturday the 19th of July. More information about the launch will be announced soon, but please put that date down in your diary this very instant.

The anthology will feature sixteen gripping tales of mystery and suspense set in Brisbane!

The impressive table of contents is as follows:

A Lasting Impression    FN Karmatz
Penelope Potter    Frank Ince
The Deluge    Gerry Huntman
Magnetic North    FN Karmatz
Scarlett Fever    Alice Godwin
Downpour    Sophie Yorkston
Missing    Kerry Lown Whalen
The Woman from the West    David Dolan
Living Statue    Barry Rosenberg
Incident in Wilston    Phil Brown
Like Me, The River    Duncan Richardson
Campus of Fear    Frank Ince
Cold Comfort    Sam Muller
The Final Cut    Linda Brucesmith
Blood on the Ice    Helen Stubbs
The Death, Rise and Deliverance of Greer Cabot    Kirk Marshall









Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Do you review mystery and suspense fiction? Are you an experienced writer, journalist, or blogger? Do you get excited about quality fiction set in your city... and that city is Brisbane, Queensland, Australia? If 'yes' was your answer to at least two of these three questions, get in touch with Black Beacon Books. We have ARCs of "Subtropical Suspense" in PDF format and are looking for reviews and comments on the anthology.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Subtropical Suspense Submissions Deadline Update

If you've been considering submitting to our inaugural anthology, "Black Beacon's Subtropical Suspense", please note that a submissions deadline has been announced. The window will close at the end of the month, March the 31st at midnight AEST. If you have a great mystery or suspense tale set in Brisbane, make sure you get it in on time!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Introducing "Black Beacon's Subtropical Suspense"

Black Beacon Books is entering its second year and our priority for 2014 is to bring a unique anthology to the reading public. "Black Beacon's Subtropical Suspense" will be the first of what is planned to be a series of themed anthologies. As an independent publisher based in Brisbane, Australia, we want to salute our amazing city in this anthology. Therefore, all of the stories included will be mysteries or tales of suspense set in or around Brisbane. Seven gripping submissions have made the grade so far but we are still after a few more before the table of contents is finalised. If you want to be part of the adventure and have a well-written, attention-holding yarn that meets the submission guidelines, send it through to us. We are particularly in need of stories that feature a Brisbane landmark as an intrinsic part of the plot and / or stories set in the city's past. However, only the very best will be accepted. So, get writing and fill the river city with mystery and suspense!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Ebook Release: The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife

That's right, suspense fans, today we release "The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife" ebook. Congratulations to those of you who bought a pre-release copy for just $1.10 AUD. Everybody else, don't worry, the ebook is now on sale for not much more ($1.99 AUD) from Amazon.

The ebook has already received great reviews and we're confident that Kit Power, a hitherto unknown writer, is soon going to make quite a name for himself.

You can purchase your copy from Amazon today.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

An Interview with Kit Power

In the lead-up to the release of the ebook, “The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife”, Black Beacon Books interviews Kit Power and gains some insight into the life and mind of the writer.


1. Kit Power. You have a name that would suit a superhero. So, tell us, what real-world powers do you possess and what superpower would you like to wield?

Ha! My real world powers include, but are not limited to, epic procrastination, the uncanny ability to forget where I've put something down within ten seconds of doing so, an almost total failure to successfully remember people's names, and the ability to make my four-year-old daughter laugh uncontrollably (I'm pretty proud of that last one). I think ideally my superpower would be to write at a million words per second. Also, to think at a million words per second.


2. The main characters in "The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife" and "The Debt" find themselves in a spot of bother. Can you share (without incriminating yourself) the nastiest situation you've stumbled into?
 
Funnily enough, I think the most dangerous situation I've ever been in happened outside the pub that inspired the opening scene of 'The Debt'. I worked there for almost a year, and the clientele was, erm, colourful, I guess is the polite way of putting it. A few days prior, a young man who was a nephew of one of the regulars had come in. He'd been averagely obnoxious, but I hadn't had any confrontation with him, and though he'd made me uncomfortable, I thought we'd parted on amicable terms. Once he'd left, I was given some quite lurid stories about this young man's history of violence and drug use, and repeatedly told the was 'a wrong'un', but again, there had been no issue between us that I could tell.

Anyway, come this particular evening. It's winter, cold enough to see my breath. I've ordered a cab at the end of the shift, but the bar manager has shut and locked the bar, so I have to wait outside. It's likely to be at least another half an hour, but that's OK, I have a nice warm coat and it's good to be outside.

That's when our young man turns up, lady friend in tow, and proceeds to berate me for trying to get him in trouble with his uncle. Apparently, he'd called me 'a poof' at some point during his visit (a fact that entirely passed me by) and his uncle (the regular) had told him off for doing so. I tried to point out that I didn't know he'd said such a thing, and could therefore hardly have complained to his uncle about it, but that apparently meant I was 'calling him a liar', which did not improve his mood. He then proceeded to call me 'a poof' (and then had an amusing aside with his lady friend, vis: SHE: He ain't a poof, though! you can tell, he don't look like one. HE: I know he ain't, I'm just sayin' he is - ME, internally: Where the fuck is my cab?).

It's funny now.

Long story not quite as long, he left, came back five minutes later without her, and proceeded to try and talk me into fighting him for the next twenty minutes (or seventeen hours, depending on how you measure time). I knew I couldn't fight him effectively (his pupils gave away that he was high on something, he was an amateur boxer, clearly a reasonably experienced street fighter, and incredibly fast), and all I could do was run out the clock by refusing to give him any excuse at all to start hitting me. I offered him a cigarette, stayed calm, and talked round in ever-decreasing circles. One thing I remember clearly was a feeling that I was starting to disengage from what was happening (which actually became dangerous - I began to show disinterest, which he tried to construe as disrespect, which escalated his mood). Like the rabbits in Watership Down. I'd positioned my foot so I could get one solid knee to his groin, but I knew there was little to no chance that would get it done, so my mind prepared me for taking a beating by withdrawing. I've never forgotten the feeling, or the relief when the cab did arrive, just after he'd starting hitting my arm and insisting he didn't need nuffin from me, that he'd break my skull open.

Pretty fucking scary. I have no doubt that he was a genuinely disturbed individual, someone that actually got pleasure from violence. In retrospect, it's pretty clear that he also inspired my first Novella 'Lifeline' (still unpublished at the time of writing).


3. Your stories are bound to make people think. What would you like the reader to get out of them?

Well, to paraphrase Stephen King - Feel first, think second. Primarily I want to hold your attention, and captivate you for the duration of your journey through my story. That's my main and most important job, I think, and if I fail at that, little else matters. My favorite stories are the ones that cause me to break out in a cold sweat, that make me scared or angry, or both. I want to be moved. So I want to move you, too. My fondest hope is that my stories stay with you past the point of reading, that you find your mind returning to them.

I guess I could have just said 'pleasure'.  *laughs*
 

4. Describe your writing environment to us. Where do you write? What do you wear? What do you drink? What are your rituals?

Mainly I write in my kitchen, after I've put my four-year-old to bed, and try and get a solid hour to 90 minutes then. I just wear my house clothes. I've been known to crack a brew or pour a single malt or bourbon, as the mood takes me, though not anything like every night. Rituals are procrastination - check emails, check Facebook, check blog views, get a drink, go for a pee, all that nonsense. I'm getting better at spotting that behaviour and weeding it out though. Lately I've also found listening to the song 'Dopesmoker' by Sleep to be really good for shutting the world out and letting the story take off. For the novel D1, I listened to Rage Against The Machine's debut and 'The Battle Of Los Angeles ' on a loop. For three months.

It was awesome.

5. Where does your inspiration come from?

Life, and in particular non-fiction and documentaries. That's true for my song writing also. Though sometimes it starts as an exercise or writing challenge. That's where 'The Loving Husband...' came from, actually. In the case of 'The Debt', I came up with the closing image first, then had to reverse engineer the story from there, which was a lot of fun and I think worked out really well.
 

6. Tell us about where you come from, Milton Keynes?

I don't come from Milton Keynes. I just live here. I come from London. On that subject, I have nothing to add to Samuel Johnson's observation. :)
 

7.  Finally, what are you working on at the moment?

I'm actually sweating blood over a story that I love the idea of, but just cannot get a handle on at all, which has not happened before and is incredibly frustrating. That said, once my house move is out of the way at the end of the month, I'll be tackling the first edit on my first novel, which I was dreading but am actually now looking forward to.

 

Kit Power’s ebook “The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife” (which also includes the short story, “The Debt”) will be released on Saturday the 25th of January for just $1.99 AUD. Pre-orders are available now for the discounted price of $1.10. Visit the shop for more details. You can find out more about Kit Power at   https://www.facebook.com/Kitpowerwriter

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Ebook Cover: The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife

Ladies and gentleman, welcome to 2014! Make it one of your resolutions this year to read and support quality independent fiction... not the drivel read by the unthinking ovine masses! Black Beacon Books is here to help you do just that.

Our first release this year is The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife by Kit Power. This ebook containing two stories in the suspense / crime genres will be released on the 25th of January. However, pre-orders can be placed now for just 99 cents instead of $1.99.

Today, we are proud to reveal the ebook's cover, designed by Greg Chapman. It's an eye-catching and arousing illustration, the significance of which you will discover upon reading the title story.