New story: Breathing


Hooray! My new story Breathing is out today in Aurealis #95. This one is science fiction, which is a bit unusual for me. I’m still figuring out how to describe it.

This is one of those stories that grew out of my response to a song. I’ve got a few like this. I often find my way into a story through the mood generated by music, or an evocative lyric. I’m a particular fan of using crazy word associations through misheard lyrics (or mondegreens) to spark my creativity.

In the case of Breathing, though, I was caught by the lonely mood of the music and one particularly powerful lyric in the song Hello, by Evanescence:

Has no one told you she’s not breathing?

That line is intriguing. It is rich with unacknowledged tragedy and cruel revelation.

I’ve since found out there is a sad story behind Hello: it was written by the multi-talented Evanescence frontwoman, Amy Lee, about an early tragedy in her life. But I didn’t know that when I wrote Breathing.

I won’t say any more (spoilers!), but if you read the story, let me know what you think!

All the Strange Little Girls


I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!

Hooray! As of 4 days ago Strange Little Girls is a real, live book you can hold in your hands (or on your kindle) and read and marvel over! For a little taste of exactly what is inside this treasure box of an anthology, head over to Belladonna Publishing for a delicious teaser of each of the stories.

I’m so in love with the cover art of this book, and the interior art is just as sumptuous. If you pick up a copy, I’d love to know what you think!

New story: Music for an Ivory Violin

New story coming out next month!

This one is called Music for an Ivory Violin, and will be in Aurealis magazine #74, coming out in September.

It’s a little darker than the other stories I’ve had published to date, and is one of those where the idea lurked around in the back of my mind for literally years before one day the story just came spilling out. I think that was one of those nights I ended up having to get up and just write, because there was just no way I was going to go to sleep once this tale started taking form.

And this makes it two stories out this year, which is a record for me.

My beloved fiddle. Doesn't get brought out nearly as much as it should.
My beloved fiddle. Doesn’t get brought out nearly as much as it should.

New story! With bonus review!

2014 started with a bit of a bang for me, with three story sales fairly early on. The first of these is about to be published in the latest Peggy Bright Books anthology, Use Only As Directed, edited by Simon Petrie and Edwina Harvey. It will be launched in June at Continuum in Melbourne. (You can see the intriguing cover art by Lewis Morely below)

In it is my latest story, The Blue Djinn’s Wish! I’m excited about it because I love this story and I’m thrilled it’s finally out there in the world. But wait, there’s more! The first review is up, it’s very favourable…and my little tale got a mention.

 The Blue Djinn’s Wish by Leife Shallcross was a gentle story of a djinn and a young girl granted the traditional three wishes. However what comes of that is far from traditional – and a terrific riff on an old tale.

This is the my first review ever, and what a lovely one it is. Thank you, Steve Johnson. I’ve now got my e-copy of the book, and am looking forward to reading what the other authors have on offer. I’m in quality company, so my expectations are high!

Use Only As Directed