New Look!

What do you think?

You may have noticed that there have been a few changes to our letters over the last week. You observant little butterfly you 🙂

I have revamped the appearance of the website to better suit us, make it easier to navigate and iron out a few minor problems that the old site had (such as not having ‘continue reading’ on the articles).

I’m particularly pleased with how the Blog and Short Stories pages have turned out.

I’d be thrilled to hear what you think, if it works better for you or not.

Katie's Stories, Uncategorized

Water: Selkies, Sirens and Sea Monsters COVER REVEAL!

Lookit this beautiful cover!

I recently had a story accepted for publication in the upcoming Water: Selkies, Sirens and Sea Monsters anthology (guess what one of those mythical creatures I wrote about).

I am now at liberty to share the cover design & table of contents!

Cover by: Ashley Walters

Water is the most yielding of all elements, changing to fit its container, whether that be a thimble or a lake bed. At the same time, anyone who has ever watched the unrelenting progression of a tsunami understands its raw power. Associated with mutability, transformation, and the subconscious, water is both the tranquil azure of a tropical sea and the tumultuous waves and whitecaps of an embroiled ocean. As many faces as water may wear, the creatures within and associated with it have even more.

Featuring: Catherine MacLeod; Kevin Cockle; Greta Starling; Elise Forier Edie; Kate Shannon; Sara Rauch; Katie Marie; Rebecca Brae; Colleen Anderson; L. T. Waterson; Chadwick Ginther; Julia Heller; Marshall J. Moore; Joel McKay; Elizabeth R. McClellan; Eric M. Borsage; Laura VanArendonk Baugh; Josh Reynolds; Liam Hogan; Mari Ness; Davide Mana; Sarah Van Goethem; Valerie Hunter; and Kelly Sandoval.

Pre-order Now on Amazon

The Table of Contents has now also been released!

  1. The Diviner by Catherine MacLeod
  2. Hidden Depths by Kevin Cockle
  3. Creatures of Water and Salt by Greta Starling
  4. After Ariel by Elise Forier Edie
  5. in the bog where we are walking cautiously by Kate Shannon
  6. Blazing Stars by Sara Rauch
  7. There’s Something in the Water by Katie Marie
  8. Adventures in Hut-sitting by Rebecca Brae
  9. Siren’s Song by Colleen Anderson
  10. Sarah McKenzie by L.T. Waterson
  11. Midnight Man versus Carrie Cthulhu by Chadwick Ginther
  12. Treasure of the Sea by Julia Heller
  13. Nure-Onne by Marshall J. Moore
  14. Number Hunnerd by Joel McKay
  15. Amphitrite Finds a Confidante by Elizabeth R. McClellan
  16. In the arms of the Oceana by Eric M. Bosarge
  17. Depth Charge by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
  18. Bruno J. Lampini and the Song of the Sea by Josh Reynolds
  19. Mano Kanaka: The Eater of Lost Souls by Liam Hogan
  20. And the Wind Steal her Vibrant Call by Mari Ness
  21. The Man Who Speared Octopodes by Davide Mana
  22. A Knot of Sea Wives by Sarah Van Goethem
  23. Going Home by Valerie Hunter
  24. Love is a Locked Box and the Ocean on her Lips by Kelly Sandoval

Horror Writing: Using Sound in Horror

Feel the music

Today I am writing to you to discuss sound.

Films and games alike use a multitude of tools at their disposal to terrify you. Sound I feel is one of the most easily overlooked, mostly because when it’s done well a good soundtrack or sound effect can affect the tension levels without even being consciously noticed.

Sound, be it music of effects, can be used to tell the story of what is being shown visually on screen, it denotes tension, emotions and foreshadowing in a way that a visual medium on its own simply can’t. Sound hooks the attention of audiences, it’s a trick the makers of horror have become adept at exploiting.

Sound, like smell has a way of lingering with us. We can watch aa film, or play a game with a certain track, or sound effect then years later hear that sound and experience the same emotional reaction we did years ago.

But why is sound so effective at messing with our emotions?

Simple really, humans evolved to be on alert whenever they hear an abnormal sound. In our most primal state, we had to be alert to usual sounds as they could identify an approaching predator or other threat.

Creators of horror tap into these inherent defence mechanisms and write music or sound effects they know humans find uncomfortable.

One of my favourite things sound masters do is when they use subversion. They take a sound we might normally find pleasant and either force us to associate that sound with a threat, think of creepy kids laughing, it’s a great example of something we should enjoy, who doesn’t like happy kids after all. But horror sound masters can make us associate that sound with something dark and threatening.

The other kid of subversion is more literal, they literally take a pleasant or familiar sound and put it through a grinder, twisting it into a warped parody of itself. This seems to be a favourite of videogames, many a time I’ve been playing a game only for a warped sound effect to get my heart racing.

As I said, sound can go a long way to building a great atmosphere in horror, it can raise and lower tension without any help from what’s physically happening on screen and it stays with us long after it has fallen silent.

Below is a YouTube video by Outside Xbox ( a great channel, I highly recommend) where the group discuss sounds in games and how they still find themselves effected by them.