My short story “Paul” has now been published by Storgy Magazine

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My short story Paul is now available to read! It was published today by online magazine Storgy.

The story is based on a famous pop culture conspiracy theory. The image above (used by Storgy for the publication) is a rather obvious clue as to what that might be, but if you’ve not heard of it, read the story first and then have a read of this blog article about the conspiracy. (I also wrote a follow-up article that you might find interesting.)

Click to read the story! And if you enjoy it, please do like and share it on social media! 🙂

Paul was originally shortlisted in the Aeon Award 2015 and reportedly very close to making the top six. It’s the fourth Million Eyes Short Story to be published, after Who is Rudolph Fentz? (Scribble Issue 68), The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller (Tigershark Issue 11) and Rachel Can See (Metamorphose V2).

Just like those other stories, Paul is set in the Million Eyes universe.

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Tomorrow: is Osama bin Laden really dead?

 

What the hell is THAT? The curious case of the Montauk Monster

The Montauk Monster

The Montauk Monster

Meet the Montauk Monster, a bizarre, unidentified carcass that washed up on the beach in 2008 and has dumbfounded scientists and animal experts ever since…

Jenna Hewitt and three friends discovered this hideous, hairless creature on Ditch Plains Beach, just east of Montauk, New York, on July 12th 2008. Hewitt took this photograph and passed it to local newspaper The Independent. As the story circulated through Montauk, more local newspapers interviewed other residents who had seen the creature, printing stories that were seized by the world’s media and went viral.

To be honest, mystery and controversy surround just the mere discovery of the Montauk Monster, let alone what the bloody hell it is. Nobody knows where it went after it was found on that beach. The original report in The Independent said that “someone took it away” — but gave no details of who this “someone” was. Hewitt said that some guy took the carcass and “put it in the woods in his backyard”, but wouldn’t say who or where. Another Montauk resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said she knew people who seen it at that person’s house. Again, she would not name the person or identify the creature’s location.

So the only physical evidence of the creature’s existence is Hewitt’s photo. This is why the Montauk Monster has been resigned to the realm of cryptozoology, because no scientist has been able to examine the remains to confirm what it is.

A dog? A raccoon? An escaped science experiment? An alien?

Plenty of experts have tried to guess what the Montauk Monster is from the photo. William Wise of Stony Brook University’s Living Marine Resources Institute said that the creature had to be a fake, because it couldn’t be anything else. It appears that Mr Wise did not entertain the possibility that it might be an alien or a science experiment. (Perhaps he’s part of the cover-up!)

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I’m going to be on Spaced Out Radio! October 25th Pacific Time, October 26th London Time

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Howdy!

Next week I’ll be on Canadian online radio station, Spaced Out Radio, talking to host Dave Scott about UFOs, conspiracies, time travel and general weirdness. Eeeek! I’m nervous and excited but I’m sure it’ll be great fun — for me and for listeners!

The interview, I’m told, will last two hours and Dave wants my take on some of the stranger conspiracies, mysteries and monsters  out there. I’ve certainly covered some utterly crackers theories of late! Expect talk about royal lizards and Flat Earth. Hopefully we’ll get into some time travel urban legends (my favourites) and things like the Loch Ness Monster and the suicidal munchkin in The Wizard of Oz. I’ll also make sure to talk a little bit about my conspiracy fiction writing, namely Million Eyes and the Million Eyes Short Stories, which are ultimately the reason why this blog exists.

I understand I’ll also be answering questions from the audience in Spaced Out Radio’s chat rooms.

The show broadcasts from British Columbia and will start at 9pm Pacific Time, midnight Eastern Time, and 5am London Time.

And yes, as I’m a Brit on London Time, it’s going to be an early start for me! Hopefully I’ll be coherent. Thank you Flying Spaghetti Monster for inventing coffee.

The show will broadcast live on Spaced Out Radio’s website at all the times I’ve just mentioned, and you can also listen to it on Tune In. If you’re in the UK and, like most people, your bed is more important at that time in the morning, you’ll be able to listen to the show on the station’s YouTube page afterwards. I’ll post a link on the blog when I have it. I’m also told you’ll be able to download the show from iTunes.

 

How to write flashbacks in fiction + story updates


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Hello hello! Welcome, on this stifingly hot and sticky September day, to my monthly round-up of news, including the latest on Million Eyes and the Million Eyes Short Stories. And this month I also come bearing tips for writing flashback sequences in fiction—not as easy as it sounds!

I’m being interviewed on Spaced Out Radio!

Last month I was contacted by Spaced Out Radio in Canada, who want to interview me live on one of their shows and get my take on conspiracy theories and the paranormal! It’s currently scheduled for 25th October, and as soon as I know more re times and topics, I’ll announce it here.

New story published – The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller

Last week I announced the publication of the second Million Eyes Short Story, after Who is Rudolph Fentz? was published in Scribble, Issue 68 last winter. The story is called The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller and appears in Tigershark Magazine, Issue 11, which can be downloaded for free here.

The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller was actually written in early 2015 and entered into the Rushmoor Writers Fullbrook Competition. It received good feedback and was subsequently submitted to a number of short story magazines and competitions. It was retained by Mystery Weekly magazine as a very close contender for publication. The editor of Mystery Weekly asked me to flesh it out a bit, but ultimately rejected the newer version. She said it was far superior to the previous version but wasn’t right for their readers at that time (which could mean anything—perhaps they already had a story that was similar).

So, at long last, The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller has found a home at Tigershark. As mentioned in my previous blog, the story’s main character is a real person—Irish filmmaker George Clarke, who specialises in horror and zombie movies. It follows his discovery of something out of place in a bonus feature on a Charlie Chaplin DVD, which sparked a media storm and 21st-century urban legend.

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“The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller” now available to read in Tigershark Magazine

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My short story, The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller, has now been published in Tigershark Magazine, Issue 11! You can download the PDF of the issue for free right here! Just click the link below. (The story starts on page 18.)

Tigershark Magazine Issue 11

The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller is the second of the Million Eyes Short Stories to be published, after Who is Rudolph Fentz? in Scribble, Issue 68 last year.

The story is based on an urban legend about a extra on a Charlie Chaplin DVD, an extra containing something rather out of place. Irish filmmaker George Clarke made the discovery and released a YouTube video about it, which became a runaway hit and was discussed and debated by the world’s media. At the time of writing, the video’s attracted more than 6,870,000 views.

The story stars a fictionalised version of Clarke as he investigates the mystery and embarks on a potentially dangerous journey to find the truth…

Here’s Clarke’s original video. See what you make of it!

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“The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller” to be published by Tigershark

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I come bearing news! The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller is about to become the second of the Million Eyes Short Stories to be published.

The story will be part of Issue 11 of Tigershark Magazine, a free e-zine of flash fiction, short fiction and poetry that’s been running since 2013.  Issue 11 should be out at the end of the month. Latest updates from Tigershark Publishing can be found on their Facebook page. I will obviously post any updates about Issue 11 on “Behind The Curtain” as soon as I have them, too.

The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller is based on a time travel urban legend that captured the public’s imagination in 2010. I touched on it in a previous blog, but I’ll be writing a more substantive article about it soon.

The story stars a fictionalised version of George Clarke, an Irish filmmaker best known for horror and zombie movies. I’m pleased to say that I’ve been in contact with George and he’s read the story—and given me his seal of approval! 🙂

In future blogs, I will talk more about George, his films, and his role in the Charlie Chaplin time traveller urban legend. And I will try and get to the bottom of whether this particular legend is fiction or fact…

Watch this space in the meantime. The Charlie Chaplin Time Traveller will be available to read soon!

The first Million Eyes Short Story was published last winter in Issue 68 of Scribble Magazine and is called Who is Rudolph Fentz? (and is also inspired by a  famous time travel urban legend). You can read this story by purchasing a copy of Issue 68 from Scribble’s website.

Time travel in Times Square? The strange case of Rudolph Fentz

An alleged photo of the mysterious Rudolph Fentz

An alleged photo of the mysterious Rudolph Fentz

When people go missing, does anyone ever think that they might’ve fallen through time? Of course not, because time travel’s impossible… isn’t it?

In 1950, a man in Victorian-era clothes was spotted in Times Square, New York City. Witnesses who saw him said he looked startled and disoriented, like he didn’t know where he was. Then he ran out in front of a taxi and was killed.

When his body was searched, a number of 19th century items were discovered in his pockets: old, obsolete banknotes, a copper token bearing the name of a saloon, a bill from a stable for washing a carriage and feeding a horse. None of these items showed any sign of aging.

Also found were some business cards with the name “Rudolph Fentz” on them, plus a letter to Fentz that was postmarked June 1876.

Captain Hubert V. Rihm of the NYPD Missing Persons Department investigated and eventually tracked down Rudolph Fentz’s daughter-in-law. She said that one evening in 1876, her husband’s father went out for a stroll and disappeared. Rihm checked missing persons records for 1876. To his astonishment, there was an entry for a ‘Rudolph Fentz’ matching the description of the man who’d been run over in Times Square.

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The hotel that slipped forwards in time – then back again

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We’ve all stayed in a hotel that’s in desperate need of a refurb, lacking in modern conveniences, and basically stuck in the past. Though, next time you do, you might want to stop and ask yourself if the hotel has actually become unstuck from the past….

Time slips and involuntary time travel have been reported throughout history, but no one knows how they’re caused or if they’re really time slips (or hallucinations, lies, misunderstandings and so on).

In the famous “Ghosts of Versailles” case of 1901, Charlotte Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain claimed to have seen the long-dead Marie Antoinette and others mingling in the gardens at the Palace of Versailles.

There’s the case of the time travelling couple in the vicinity of Loch Ness, who disappeared in the mid-18th century and turned up a hundred years later at a local almshouse, before disappearing again.

And of course, there’s the case I’ve mentioned many times – Rudolph Fentz – the one that takes centre stage in my short story Who is Rudolph Fentz? This case (or, more aptly, urban legend) saw a man dressed in 19th century clothes turning up suddenly in the middle of Times Square, matching the description of a man who disappeared 74 years earlier.

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