Foundlings is Flying!

I was delighted to learn that Foundlings, the found poetry collection written by myself and Cindy O’Quinn, has made it on to the HWA Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary ballot in the Poetry Collection category. This does not mean it has been nominated, but that it does have a chance!

Sourced from the stellar work of dark poetry masters Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti (who also kindly wrote the foreword), we distilled their words to create totally original poems in our own right.

We knew that we had something special when we started to receive feedback from our earliest readers:

Their words have been reward enough for this little book which was truly a labour of love.

Foundlings is available via

Paused – Best Plot of the Year!

My bio-horror novella, Paused has picked up some fantastic recognition since its publication. Most recently, I was delighted to discover it has been awarded Scribble’s Worth Book Reviews Best Plot of the Year.

First published via Silver Shamrock before the publisher closed, it found a new home and new cover with Brigids Gate Press (left).

Want to know what it’s about?

A terrifying pandemic sweeps the world, rendering its victims completely immobile but leaving them conscious with their minds intact. The victims are helpless against the environment, completely at the mercy of wild animals, weather, out of control fires, and other dangers. There’s no hope for those safe in their homes either, as they slowly starve to death, unable to feed themselves or drink.

Dr. Alex Griffiths leads a team racing against time to find a cure before it’s too late. Will he succeed?

I started writing this well before there was even a hint of the covid pandemic, my story being triggered by a what-if? moment after reading an article about locked-in syndrome. To be afflicted in this manner struck me as being possibly one of the worst things which could happen to a person. The idea of the ‘thinking cap’ is also developed from another article which talked about the possibility of reading thoughts becoming a reality, although this science is in its infancy. I love to find something in science, a possibility, and take it further. Sometimes I’ve even developed an idea and then found there is some truth in it after I’ve followed that train of thought – and I don’t know whether to be pleased – or frightened! – to discover that my ’cause’ for this particular pandemic has some basis in truth. If I mention what that aspect is, I give the story away, so I apologise, but you could always pick up a copy!

Short Story Collection and Poetry Sale (ebooks) and a Christmas Freebie

This Christmas, treat yourself to some cut-price ebooks and even a freebie as a Christmas thank you!

As the Wheel Turns – More Tales from the Weald is my folk horror short story collection set in the Five Turns world. It takes you through a year of rituals. From today and for 6 more days, it is down to 0.99.

Poetry bonanza

Xmas Freebie! My twisted nursery rhyme collection, One, Two, I See You, is free from 12am Dec 21 – 11.59pm Dec 25th.

And watch out for poetry ebook sale! Starting 8am Dec 26th – 2nd Jan: Metallurgy, Foundlings & Lilith Rising will be down to 0.99 (US/UK).

Long-List Recommendations for Best of Horror #14

Noted editor, Ellen Datlow’s Best of Horror anthology is one which many authors would love to be included in – and if they don’t make the final cut, to learn they’re on the longlist is an event in itself. This year saw a major step forward for me personally in that I achieved the latter! Some wonderful person put the HWA Poetry Showcase Volume IX forward and my poem, Death Mask, was selected for the list. This in turn has given me the confidence to submit some of my published work from this year for next year’s consideration.

This has been a lovely way of seeing out a year which was initially fraught with publishing difficulty until the wonderful Brigids Gate Press came along.

Reborn by Stephanie Ellis Review

Author Anthony Avina's Blog

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Blood rituals, magick, and monsters take center stage as the rebirth of Cernunnos and the exploration of realms beyond our own lead to a dangerous journey in author Stephanie Ellis’s “Reborn”.

The Synopsis

Return to the Weald, the world Stephanie Ellis introduced us to in The Five Turns of the Wheel.

Reborn is the story of Cernunnos, the Father of all, who has risen. Born of blood offerings, he travels to the Layerings—one of those places, like Umbra, which sit just beyond the human veil.

Reborn is the story of Tommy, Betty and Fiddler, the infamous troupe whose bloody rituals were halted by Megan, Tommy’s Daughter. Rendered weak by Megan’s refusal to allow them to hunt in the human world of the Weald, they seek their rebirth and forgiveness…

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Paused by Stephanie Ellis

Scribble's Worth Book Reviews

Paused takes an idea that has been ruminated on and crafted in many ways and extrapolates it in an entirely different vein. The premise of man’s ‘eventual’ extinction and the determining factor has long been the stuff of nightmares. It is no surprise this event is a prevalent trope in the sci-fi and horror genres. The human race’s demise as the result of an alien invasion, technology, disease, environmental disaster, or the zombie apocalypse has become more prevalent within the last couple of years. Humans walking the tightrope of pandemic survival is what made this novella scarier. Over a few weeks, the plot follows a small group of scientists in the UK as they attempt to determine the cause of a new pandemic that effectively renders humans inanimate. They cope with the growing knowledge that they, too, may eventually succumb.

Get your copy on Amazon

This compact plot is…

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Of Folk and Poetry

The past few months have seen a real focus on both folk horror and poetry in writing and publication terms.

In the world of folk horror, I have been able to share Reborn, the upcoming sequel to The Five Turns of the Wheel with people. It’s currently available on Netgalley for review and is also up for pre-order here. It’s already picking up some great reviews:

‘This is a world of monsters. Stephanie Ellis takes us back into the Weald, refining and deepening a world she created. The world building is sensational, the imagery is magical, the characters alive with nuance …’ – Coy Hall, author of The Grimoire of the Four Imposters

I recently did my first online workshop (Darkness In the Fields), on how to turn the landscape into character in folk horror, which went reasonably well despite some technical difficulties at the start and a few nerves! If you missed this, then Alex Davis has another folk horror day lined up for March 2023, Darkness in the Fields 2, amongst many other workshop and online event opportunities.

This Sunday, I took part in Buzz Book Expo as part of the Brigids Gate Team and read an excerpt from another upcoming novel, The Woodcutter, which is due out in Jan. 2023.

I gave a sneak preview of the cover in progress which I share here together with the synopsis:

A tragic accident, shrouded in mystery, leads to a family reunion in the hidden village of Little Hatchet. This community has existed within the smothering shadow of GodBeGone Wood, the forest home of the mythical Woodcutter and Grandma, for centuries. 

The last time Alec Eades saw his father, he was only five-years-old. He has no memory of his time in the village but as the days progress he rediscovers his bond with GodBeGone Wood and the future his father had agreed to, all those years ago, the reason his mother left and took him with her.

This reunion occurs against the backdrop of incomer Oliver Hayward’s scheme to raise money for the village by re-enacting part of the Woodcutter legend – a scheme hiding Hayward’s own murderous intentions. Old wounds are re-opened and ties of blood and friendship are tested to the extreme – when the Woodcutter is summoned and Grandma returns.

In addition to the folk horror, my poetry collaboration with Shane Douglas Keene, Lilith Rising, has finally gone up for pre-order here. This work started during lockdown and was batted back and forth across the pond over a period of some months, often with long breaks between but what appeared is something we are both extremely proud of! This is a true tale of revenge.

What else is happening? Things! I’ve a gothic horror novella out on submission and am currently 40000+ words into a new novel, Women of the Witch Eye. This is a dark historical mystery novel set in 1649 Lancashire, with a focus on murder and witchcraft and the social and political upheaval of the time. There is also a new poetry project developing …

Metallurgy – Of Love and Death and Metal and a Playlist

As I wait for my books to be re-released via Brigids Gate Press (soon!), I have continued to work on my dark found poetry project, Metallurgy. This time, my source material has been the lyrics of many favourite metal tracks, interspersed with a few songs some might not think of as metal but which to me share many of the attributes of this genre.

Many thanks to Wayne Fenlon for supplying the base image for the front cover plus another image which included Baphomet. I adapted the latter into the back cover and did a lot of merging and cloning to hopefully give a seamless transition between the two. I do enjoy working on covers as I’m learning new skills all the time.

There are 100 poems – derived from 200 songs – in this collection and some are even shape poems. Getting the latter formatted correctly for an ebook takes some doing, I will tell you. The easiest way is actually to use text boxes and group them together, but some tweaking was still involved. For once creating the print copy for upload was a lot easier than the kindle.

Metallurgy also contains a bonus poem from the wonderful Cindy O’Quinn. A Bram Stoker nominated writer, she has contributed her own found poem, Invitation to a Concert – A Heavy Metal Introduction, sourced from Time of the Season by the Zombies and Overdose by AC/DC. This poem is the intro to my ‘concert’. Whilst my collection focusses on the heavier side of metal, I have deliberately left the more classic rock out as Cindy has been playing in that particular playground on and off.

At the back of the book, I have compiled two indexes. One which lists the bands and their associated tracks, another which lists the poems and their associated bands. I have made this clickable for the ebook.

All poems are completely original. I do not subscribe to any form of plagiarism and I certainly don’t want big record companies chasing me! However, as is the way with found work, it is the norm to acknowledge the original source of inspiration, and I have done so for each poem. This is an homage after all!

I hope to be able to share pre-order links in the not too distant future. The project is almost ready. In the meantime, here is the playlist for the book. One or two tracks weren’t available on Spotify and one track has a different artist, though it is an associated band (Gorgoroth’s Sign of an Open Eye was only available on Spotify under God Seed that I could see).

And here’s one of the tracks I couldn’t find on Spotify:

I hope you enjoy listening to the music and that it might entice you to buy the book when it finally comes out!

Steph \m/

In the Meantime … here’s Quotesques!

While I wait for my books to come down from amazon and be republished by their new home (I’m waiting on reversion forms to be signed by Silver Shamrock), I have created a new notebook range. Like Zodiecats, these are lined and 200 pages long and matte finish, but I’ve chosen a theme which mirrorss my home in dark fiction. Images were taken from those without use restrictions and adapted – apart from the angel in my Mary Shelley cover. This was my own photograph of The Knife Angel, a scultpure I saw when I was out and about and which travels the UK to support knife crime initiatives.

Why do I do these? Two reasons, one to try and earn a bit more money, two to develop design skills. It is also quite therapeutic!

Here are the first five wraps for Quotesques! Link to purchase is below each image.Ultimately, I hope to have a range of a dozen or so to choose from.

The Tempest –

Macbeth –

Frankenstein –

The Raven –

Dracula –

New Release: Foundlings – and some kind words!

At last, Foundlings has fledged! A joint collection – written by Cindy O’Quinn and myself, we have created our own original poems from the words of dark poet masters Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti. Currently available as an ebook, a print copy will be available in the near future. Proof copies for checking are being delivered as I type.

If you want to know what people think, here’s feedback from some of the poets and writers we most admire in this industry and who have been kind enough to share their thoughts with us:

Praise for Foundlings

Foundlings is a beautiful, red glimpse into hell. Cindy O’Quinn and Stephanie Ellis play with the words of two lyrical masters, carving, shuffling, and stitching together, gruesome, tiny tapestries. When held up the light, these poems reflect the chthonic origins but also new-born nightmares, proving that darkness has a thousand faces. Each poem is exquisitely grim: the underworld is monstrous, but so, so pretty.”

Geneve Flynn, Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Award®-winning author and editor

“Cindy O’Quinn and Stephanie Ellis sparking off the fine work of Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti, this is a superb, compelling collection of darkly glittering gems and flowers of the night. Likely award winner.”

– Thomas Tessier, Horror Guild International Award Winner

Foundlings is a must-have collection of hauntingly beautiful poems that will tickle the imagination like the wings of dying moths. Hats-off to authors Cindy O’Quinn and Stephanie Ellis for giving us this unique book.”

 – Owl Goingback, Bram Stoker Award®-winning author of Crota and Coyote Rage

“This collection of found poems by Ellis and O’Quinn which is both familiar and fresh, re-envisions the work of Alessandro Manzetti and Linda D. Addison in dark and delightful ways. A stunning collaboration of two of horror’s best-loved poets paying tribute to two of its masters, Foundlings is sublime.”

– Lee Murray, USA Today Bestselling Author and Bram Stoker Award® winner

“With Foundlings, Cindy O’Quinn and Stephanie Ellis have mingled the essence of their soul into the dark glory of Linda D. Addison’s & Alessandro Manzetti’s words, resequencing those words into a screaming orgasm of meaning, while uncovering new worlds. Foundlings places a hand around your waist and a hand around your throat in a masterful waltz between the new & the familiar, the grotesque & the glorious. It is an unforgettable tribute to two of horror’s greatest living poets, from two of its best writers.”

– Jamal Hodge, award-winning director and a Rhysling nominated poet. His screenplay, ‘Mourning Meal’ won five awards and was based on Linda D. Addison’s poem of the same name.

“Written and inspired by prominent members of the Horror Writers Association, Foundlings is a haunting and enthralling poetic journey. Renowned authors and poets Cindy O’Quinn and Stephanie Ellis have “found” evocative words and phrases in the work of Bram Stoker Award-winning writers Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti, and used them to create new dark poetry. They have then distilled each other’s poems further, creating haikus like shards of glass – sharp, beautiful, broken. Not only is this collection a deep dive into dark visions and hinted-at horrors, it is also a scintillating exercise in deconstructing powerful pre-existing work until all that remains are bare bones and pure emotion. Foundlings will delight horror fans and logophiles alike.”

Anna Taborska, author of Bloody Britain and For Those Who Dream Monsters

“These vignettes of blood and darkness etched in gorgeous, evocative prose will keep you breathlessly turning the pages for more.”

– Christina Sng, two-time Bram Stoker Award®-winning poet

“Poetry begets poetry begets poetry. Foundlings by Cindy O’Quinn and Stephanie Ellis pays homage to the source material, then enraptures us with a delve into their own unique arrangement. Bold and dark yet beautiful. At once sinister yet yielding to impossible hope. If you enjoy your poetry smart, riveting and infinitely well-seasoned with both despair and beauty, then grab a copy of this one. It doesn’t disappoint.”

– Justin Holley, author of Seven Cleopatra Hill

“In Foundlings, O’Quinn and Ellis sprout a garden of macabre flora from the rich creations of Addison and Manzetti. This collection of verses and haikus invites you to dance with your demons and angels through nightscapes rich with dark blooms seeded by the exquisite machinations of true aesthetes.”

– Jezzy Wolfe, author of Monstrum Poetica

Foundlings by Cindy O’Quinn & Stephanie Ellis is a beautiful demonstration of creative community strength. A collection of found poetry, the work is a remix of work from both Alessandro Manzetti and Linda D. Addison, but these poems stand on their own as original verse. As one candle can light many others without being diminished, this poetry shares a common spark but the flame it shares is wholly its own. These poets have found fertile ground and from it created a brand new thing worthy of praise.”

-Angela Yuriko Smith,Bram Stoker® finalist, poet, author and publisher

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