Friday 31 January 2020

David Schembri Interview

David Schembri is the artist who so kindly provided our new logo last year. The dramatic black beacon logo has already replaced the old logo online and will make its d├ębut in print later this year when we release "The Black Beacon Book of Mystery", a 400-page anthology of original and previously published locked-room mysteries, noir escapades, armchair detective puzzles, tales of psychological profiling, and police investigations. David's logo design perfectly reflects the mood and style you'll find in our books. We wanted to share a little more about David Schembri's work and upcoming projects with you, and there's no better way to do that than to ask the man himself.

1) What were the highlights of 2019 for you, apart from designing our spectacular new logo, of course?

The past year was very exciting. I was able to support and assist my son in the creation of his first short film. It was wonderful to see him work hard on a project and go through the process of entering it into a competition. His little film was accepted into a small session of shorts, which was screened at a local cinema. I am very proud of him.

My daughter had independently entered into a dance competition, which required entrants to create their own dance and perform it. It was very special to see her on stage again, but performing her own dance. She’d even advanced into the grand final of the event, which was an added bonus. So, a very proud parent year.

On the writing front, Beneath the Ferny Tree (my second collection of horror stories and artwork, published by Close Up Books) continued its marketing journey. The book had been nominated for Best Collected Work at the Australian Shadows Awards, which was a thrill, and was placed in a few bookshops in Victoria, Canberra and Adelaide.

The time then came to travel. I had taken up an invitation to speak at a writing workshop in Canberra. This was offered to me by Suzanne Kiraly from Aussie Writers, who had enjoyed Beneath the Ferny Tree. This was a fantastic experience, as I was able to meet with authors and publishers, and attend some wonderful lectures. I was also able to speak about my books and horror writing to an audience, and was asked some great questions and give some insight into the genre. I also had gained some design projects, so the networking aspect of the trip worked on all levels. I travelled by train, so I was gifted with many hours of writing time.

2) What should we expect from David Schembri Studios this year, or from David Schembri, the writer?

My studio was graced with a much-needed upgrade, so this year will bring many new projects. Along with continuing to support my ongoing customers, I hope to offer new products, such as product photography, web design and support, product film making and comic book illustration. Illustration projects are popular at the moment and I am already in talks to start a few projects, so an exciting start.

As for my writing, there is a lot on the desk. I have a new horror novella near completion, so I will be hunting for home for that one soon. I have a fantasy novel to redraft before sending it through to an interested party, along with a bevy of artwork. Furthermore, I have a few exciting collaboration projects that will be keeping me very inspired and busy. In the back ground, I have been planning a graphic novel for some time, so I would love to get that progressing a little this year.

3) On the subject of works of art, we see you love classic cars. What can you tell us about that?

Not many people know, but I own a small classic car. It’s a lovely Austin A30. I love all sorts of cars, but my connection to this particular marque comes from my father working at the Austin factory in South Melbourne back in 1955-56. It was his first job when immigrating to Australia, so when learning of this, I just had to own one. Having this car has exposed me to the wonderful classic car community, and of course, to the A30 Club of Australia (to which I am now the editor of their magazine). This year, I was involved in an interstate rally, where along with my son, we travelled 500 miles to Adelaide with the car club. We attended Austins’ Over Australia, a massive car rally and show in the Barossa Valley. It was a wonderful week away, and my son had taken lots of film footage to make a small documentary of the experience. Another great highlight of 2019.

4) "Beneath the Ferny Tree", your second short story collection, was released in 2018. Do you have a personal favourite from it? What's the story behind that story?

My personal favourite would be Atlantica. This was written exclusively for the collection upon request from the publisher. They wanted something else to assist the other stories, but something different, so I chose a period story based on a point in history I hadn’t studied previously. I love researching for stories, and I always get an insight to the strange turns of humanity. This story in particular, deals with the Atlantic slave trade, so it was hard to read and learn about the horrors that innocent people had to endure, and the wickedness of humanity when seduced by greed. This story had lingered in my head for a while, so there was a strong sense of accomplishment when submitting the story and having it accepted for inclusion into the book. It’s one of the main horror stories of the collection and I do hope horror lovers out there give it a read, and to also let me know what they think.

5) If editors or authors would like to use your services, how should they contact you?

Feel welcome to send me an email at, find me on facebook or instagram (@dschembristudios) or go to my website at davidschemb

Thank you for the chat!

No, David. Thank you!

Sunday 26 January 2020

Mystery, Suspense, and Horror in 2020

Welcome to 2020, Black Beaconers, and thanks for staying on course! Let's get the year started with a quick update on what's happening.

Firstly, as always, our online shop is open, so jump on over and grab yourself a book or two. If you have a local bookshop you support (good on you!), ask them if they can order our books for you.

Upcoming releases: The Black Beacon Book of Mystery is in the works and should be released in June. Details will be added to our page, Mystery Anthologies, as the publication progresses. The contributors and cover design are yet to be announced.

Submissions: The submissions window for Murder and Machinery will open in August. This anthology has a specific theme, so please read the guidelines even more carefully than usual. We're looking for tales of mystery, suspense, horror, and even dystopian, sci-fi, or steampunk.

In other news, Oscar Tremont, Investigator of the Strange and Inexplicable, some of whose cases have been published by Black Beacon Books (more details here), now has his own blog on Facebook. Talk about characters taking on a life of their own!

Don't say we're not keeping busy, and keeping you reading, in 2020!