Archive for publish

I’ve been away for a while

Posted in Life..., Morpheus Tales Magazine, Personal Finance, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2020 by stanleyriiks

It’s been almost a year since my last blog post. (I feel like I’m writing a confession!).

Life has unfortunately gotten in the way of writing. I didn’t write anything at all during the whole of 2019. I posted some reviews, but that’s it.

I also stopped working on the small press that I helped found, Morpheus Tales, to concentrate on my writing, would you believe!

Morpheus Tales is unfortunately on pause at the moment.

But now, during lockdown, I’ve started to write again (it only takes a pandemic!). Not the horror, fantasy or SF I usually write to escape the horrors of the real world, but a book about life. And how to win at it.

It’s called (third title change):

Think Rich, Get Rich: 5 Steps To Financial Independence

Or How The Rich Get Richer And The Poor Get Poorer

And is now available on Amazon UK and

Taboo Special Issue

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2016 by stanleyriiks

I’m delighted to announce that my story “The Tape” has been published in the Morpheus Tales Taboo Special issue, edited by the multi-talented Sheri White.

To give you some idea of the content of that very special issue, my story about a young Hitler and his mother was rejected. “The Tape” is a more subtle tale about a couple of teenage boys finding a VHS tape in one of their parent’s bedrooms. I bet you can imagine what’s on that secret tape… You perves! 😉

Nope, that’s not it. It’s something much more disturbing…

The free preview of the magazine is available here:

Try not to be too disappointed but there’s no preview of my story as it’s pretty short and it would give too much away. You’ll have to buy a copy to get your hands on my bit…


The ebook in various formats is available here:

The ebook is available on amazon for the kindle.

The printed digest size edition is available here:

The printed perfect-bound edition is available here:

13: Tales of Dark Fiction – 15% Discount on 13th of May

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by stanleyriiks

Morpheus Tales Publishing is so proud to print a story of mine in their first original anthology (alongside such heroes of mine as Joseph D’Lacey, Gary McMahon, Eric S. Brown, Shaun Jeffrey, Tommy B. Smith, Alan Spencer, Matt Leyshon, and a handful of other great writers [Andrew Hook, William R. D. Wood, Gary Fry, and Fred Venturini] I was less familiar with but equally pleased to be published alongside) , that on the 13th are every month they offer the book at a 15% discount!

Go and get your copy now and read one of my favourite stories, inspired by using the women’s toilets at work when the men was out of action. Post-apocalyptic dystopian misery…

The ebook is also available on amazon for kindle, and through smashwords in multiple formats.

Morpheus Tales Apocalypse Special Issue – Open to Submissions!

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2012 by stanleyriiks

Ok, so I didn’t manage to submit anything to the Ripped Genes: Biopunk Special Issue, which closed to submissions yesterday. I hear it’s going to be pretty damn good though. Fortunately there’s another Special Issue from the people at Morpheus Tales, now this one really floats my boat…

Morpheus Tales Apocalypse Special Issue – Open to Submissions!

It’s 2012 – the year our world is supposed to end. Supposedly, on December 21st, we will cease to exist. But how is it going to happen? Fire? Flood? Earthquakes? Or something manmade, such as an unstoppable virus or a nuclear explosion?

You tell us. Morpheus Tales is looking for short stories of how the human race is going to die out. Use your imagination – it can be as realistic (fire, for instance) or as far-fetched (maybe zombies?) as you’d like. Is it quick and painless or slow and excruciating? Make us a little nervous that maybe, just maybe, your scenario is imminent.

We know zombies are the in thing right now – but we don’t want to dig through tons of zombie stories. Try to come up with something unique, something that will stand out in the crowd. We want to be freaked out and blown away by the methods you choose to wipe out the Earth.

What we DON’T want – vampires, werewolves, aliens, fantasy, sword and sorcery, biopunk. Otherwise, regular Morpheus Tales guidelines apply – no simultaneous submissions, standard manuscript format, only high quality character- or plot-driven stories of no more than 3,000 words. 

Please put Apocalypse  Special Issue Submission in the subject of your email and send to:

The Apocalypse Special Issue will be available as an ebook and via print-on-demand services. Contributor copies will be in ebook format.

Deadline 31st of December!

13: Tales of Dark Fiction

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by stanleyriiks

13: Tales of Dark Fiction is without a doubt the most important book of the year. Not only does it feature my story “Desperate Measures”, a solid little post-apocalyptic tale, although I do say so myself, it also features my story alongside some of my heroes.

13: Tales of Dark Fiction is a marvellous book, and I’ll tell you why…

It starts off with a Bigfoot story set during the American Civil War by Zombie/Bigfoot master Eric S. Brown. Bigfoot plus war equals great fun, the story packs a punch and a half.

The second story, entitled “Dirty Story”, is by Gary McMahon. Do I need say more? McMahon is a genius. His stories are brutally honest, heart-wrenching, and hurt like no one else’s. His stories are darker, more disturbing, more menacing than anyone’s except may be Stephen King on his best day, and deeply wounding to the reader. McMahon is my hero, and always will be for the masterpiece of horror fiction that Pretty Little Dead Things.

Alan Spencer has been a regular contributor to Morpheus Tales since the beginning and he always produces good solid fiction. With his story in 13 he has outdone himself. “If You Lay Here Quiet Next to Me” is a masterly tale, subtle and spooky, with an underlying menace that lingers long after you finish reading.

Next comes my story. I can’t say much, just read it for yourselves.

“The Tax Collector” by Tommy B. Smith reminds me of Jonah Hex and Joe R. Lansdale’s stories, which is high praise indeed. This ghostly western is tense and atmospheric. Tommy edited both the Dark Sorcery Special and the Urban Horror Special (in which he published my story “Shoot Out”) and like Alan has been published in Morpheus Tales magazine several times.

William R.D. Wood’s “Organ Grinder” is a fun tale of death and brutality. There’s a level of intelligent nastiness here which is creepy. You’ve gotta love it! I will never see to the circus/fun fair in the same light again.

I was massively impressed with Fred Venturini’s novel The Samaritan. It is an incredible story which tugs at the heart-strings, and makes you read on to find out what disturbing and twisted thing is going to happen next. His story “The Machine” returns to a classic theme of dangerous science. Clever ideas and a good amount of tension make this story difficult to put-down.

Matt Leyshon is working on a collection for Morpheus Tales. His stories are thick with atmosphere, and his writing is heavily stylised, his world drips with filth and decay. “To Hear a New World” wraps you up in the music, twists and spins you into insanity.

“Whatever It Takes” By Joseph D’Lacey is a story every writer can understand. The author of MEAT and The Garbage Man offers a unique and insightful perspective on the horrors of writing, and what writers are prepared to do to get where they want to be. Another tales that lingers.

I first became aware of Andrew Hook from his exceptional small-press imprint Elastic Press, which published some great collections, including the amazingly memorable Gareth L. Powell’s The Last Reef. Sadly Andrew closed down Elastic Press, fortunately it was to concentrate on his writing. “Wounder” is a very smooth and subtle addition to the book, a twisted urban fantasy that creeps under your skin.

“Mongrel Days” by the powerhouse that is Andy Remic is a twisted SF story. As you would expect, there is full-on (FULL-ON!!!) action and adventure, with a dark underlying menace just beneath the surface. Remic is a demented genius, seemingly at home writing thrillers, horror, SF or fantasy. It is for his fantasy trilogy the Clockwork Vampire Chronicles, and particularly Kell The Legend, that I will always love him (in a manly non-sexual way!), for making me feel as excited as a four year old again.

Shaun Jeffrey’s novel The Kult is a cracking crime/thriller/horror novel. For his contribution to 13 he provides a nasty story of greed and revenge.

The final story that makes up 13 is Gary Fry’s “The Watchers at Work”. I first read Fry’s Spectral Press chapbook Abolisher of Roses, a subtle and engaging story. “The Watchers at Work” is the longest story in the book, but Fry knows how to make every word count. He builds the tension and atmosphere like a conductor with an orchestra. Expertly written, it makes you feel exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. A great story to end an impressive collection.

13 has been a labour of love for its editor, and the passion shines through. 13: Tales of Dark Fiction is a remarkable anthology, and I am ever so grateful to be a part of it alongside some great names and amazing stories.

 13: Tales of Dark Fiction

Available from and all good booksellers

 Available as an ebooks in many formats:

Story Acceptance – Morpheus Tales Urban Horror Special Issue

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Reviews, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2010 by stanleyriiks

Another story accepted! Morpheus Tales Magazine does a number of special issues throughout the year, this year they’ve already published the Scream Queens Special Issue and the Dark Sorcery Special issue (which I shoulda been in!).

The editor of the Dark Sorcery Special, Tommy B. Smith,  is now busy at work on the Urban Horror Special Issue, and my story, “Shoot Out”, has been accepted. I shouted with joy when I found out.

The story’s original title was “Explosive” and it’s action packed, but that’s as much detail as I can give you. No doubt there will be a preview of the issue available before publication, and I’ll post the link.

Morpheus Tales will be accepting submissions until 1st of March for the issue, so check out the writers guidelines on their website:

More news on the issue’s progress as I get it.

A Pint of Bloody Fiction – Featuring MY story!

Posted in Life..., Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by stanleyriiks

A couple of months ago I hadn’t written anything for ages. A couple of months, I thought, but when I checked it turned out to be almost a year. When I saw a call for submissions of 200 words by House of Horror for their new anthology A Pint of Bloody Fiction, the urge was irresistible. I whipped up a 200 word story in half an hour, and then spending twice that long editing it!

I sent it in, and the acceptance wasn’t long coming. Why isn’t it always that simple? The grin on my face stayed for over a week; anyone who know what a miserably bugger I normally am can testify this is an extremely rare event.

So my story “The Blade Bites Deep” appears in the collection, alongside some other stuff by some other writers. (Who are actually pretty good too!)

This burst of confidence also unleashed a six week write-fest, where I wrote something every couple of days. About twelve stories were produced in that time, and now the inspiration seems to have taken a backseat I better get to editing and submitting the buggers before my own version of writers block (life in general, grrr!) starts getting in the way again. So wish me luck!

And go get yourself a copy of  A Pint of Bloody Fiction and tell them I sent you!

Within the pages of this book of nightmares you will find horror stories in small doses, just enough to quench your bloody thirst. From an insomniac vampire to a library filled with human skin bound books, this collection will take you on a wild ride of chills and thrills without you even having to leave your seat. With each story being no more than 200 words, this collection is only a fraction of what these writers can do. Forty-Two chilling tales from many talented authors, trust me you will not want to put this book down.

Available now from House of Horror, and coming soon to Amazon.

Some Tips for Writers

Posted in Morpheus Tales Magazine, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2009 by stanleyriiks

I’m fortunate enough to have a friend who edits a small press magazine, it’s called Morpheus Tales Magazine and it’s bloody excellent. Go check it out: He’s owes me a fiver now!

I’m also friends with a couple of other editors, as well as editing the reviews section of Morpheus Tales Magazine myself. Occasionally we have moans about writers, just as writers tend to moan about editors. During the course of these moans though certain useful pieces of information come to light. Practical information that will help your writing career. I’ve also used some of my own vast experience, and the experiences and advice of other writers that I’d read or interviewed.

Obviously this isn’t a definitive guide to writing, it’s just some tips, so feel free to add any.

In no particular order:

Be professional: Always read the writers guidelines. Nothing annoys an editor more than a story that’s too long, or not long enough, or simply the wrong genre. Don’t waste your time or theirs.

Learn to format a manuscript correctly. This means using the format menu and the paragraph settings to change the document’s indentations and line spacing, not using the tab and tapping enter twice at the end of every sentence to get it double space. If you format a story properly it’s much easier to manipulate.

Using the correct format, ok this is different from the previous paragraph. Most magazines/editors/publishers require standard manuscript format, find out what it is and stick to it. Some publishers require certain fonts and font sizes (normally 12), most prefer double spaced. If you can’t be bothered to find out how a publisher/editor wants to receive your work, why should they be bothered to read your work?

Write a simple, shortly covering letter/email. Include a brief description of the story too, and possibly a short bio. Some publishers want a synopsis, so include that. Include whatever it specifically asked for, that’s why you read the writers guidelines properly. Don’t include your life history, what inspired you to write the story or any other irrelevant information. Most editors will judge the story on its own merits and won’t even read your covering email unless the story is good enough anyway.

Do your homework. Read the magazine before you submit anything. Do you know what sort of material they publish just be reading the title and looking at the website? No. Find out the editor’s name too, it always helps if you approach the correct person. Some magazines and most publishing companies have specific editors dealing with specific areas.

Don’t give up. Stephen King was rejected hundreds of times, he collected his rejection slips on a large nail in his bedroom. Rejection happens to us all, even me, and although its harsh try to learn something from it. It you get some criticism listen to it.

Proofread your masterpiece, spell-check it and check it for grammer. If you want to be taken seriously then take your work seriously, this is part of being professional about your work. Check it for mistakes and typos. Not everyone’s perfect, including, on occasion, myself, but at least try to send your piece error-free. An editor will reject your work if it will take them some time to make it publishable. If there are too many typos they might not even read the whole thing.

There are more tips on the writers guidelines page of Morpheus Tales Magazine, right down at the bottom. It’s worth taking a look at these too.

Don’t think I’m going to give you the big secret about how to write a masterpiece, that I’m still working on. I can’t give you tips on characterisation or plotting either, I’m developing those skills as you read this! Read a lot and write a lot. As the saying goes practice makes perfect.