As you may recall, I’ve had my first major Australian credit, with the publication of Widdershins in issue 5 of Midnight Echo, the magazine of the Australian Horror Writers Association, edited by the inestimable Leigh Blackmore.
Widdershins was written around the middle of last year – indeed, it may come from that now mythic batch of stories written around August 2010 – the details are now so hazy the mists of time have descended over them, lending them a golden glow that warms the cockles of mine heart.
Widdershins – or walking counter-clockwise against the passage of the sun, was something I came across over 25 years ago, in a book on ghosts. Essentially, going anti-clockwise (nine times I believe, or 3 x 3 for those of a Christian bent) around a cemetery is meant to invite bad lack. There it lay buried until one fine day at work, where the word popped into my head, and I started wondering how I could work the idea into a story. For those who read the story and check out the Wikipedia entry above, you will see that I’ve been inspired by several of the things about the practice listed therein.
The result, after a couple of weeks of writing, and several drafts, was Widdershins. As with most of my stories, there’s no overt blood and guts, in fact, there are no blood and guts at all. Instead, I’ve gone for atmosphere – after the introduction, there’s a slow, steady buildup, as the main character Warren, unwillingly, walks widdershins around a cemetery, watched on by his university friends, and a particularly nasty piece of work, named Arthur. All fairly innocuous, until the mist blows in and the Warren begins his last transit.
The cover really is fantastic and the look of the magazine, which is available for members and non-members of the AHWA, is really very professionally laid out.
The costs, as outlined to me by editor Leigh Blackmore, for those within Australia are (all costs quoted are in Australian dollars):
$11 +$3 postage within Australia, + $1 for the toughbag envelope, totalling $15.00 per copy
USA, UK, Europe:
International airmail totals $24.50 ($13.50 post) per copy.
USA, UK, Europe:
International C4 prepaid bag totals $19.50 per copy.
All inquires should go directly to the editor at lvxnox (at) gmail.com
It’s a fine-looking publication full of the cream of Australian horror writers. Go for it!