The black dog and social networks

Two lyrics spring to mind about me.
” You know your problem? You keep it all in”
“Saw which was the winning side and still I joined the other”

When the black dog bites, I wish there was a place where you could just vent. Just say all the things that are bothering you and there would be no one to tell you things will be ok. That’s not what you want. A need to vent, to give your fears life so you can look at them without interference. That way you can see what they are and deal with them. Social networks would be ideal. However as we connect to more and more people we know, this brings good meaning advice and words of comfort. That’s not always what is needed.


Starblood Trilogy Promo

If you remember this post

The you should check out the pro video for the trilogy…it is really impressive


It has also inspired me to possibly make one of my own for the burstfiction story I wrote recently



Watch this space

My tribute to Damian Wayne (and yes I know he is a fictional character!!)

The Laird and the Boy Wonder


 When I was a kid reading comics, Robin was always Richard “Dick” Grayson.  An orphaned circus acrobat, taken in by Bruce Wayne as his ward, they fought crime together.  Batman in the dark costume and Robin in the multi coloured one.  It made sense to me as a child.  Batman is my favourite Super Hero by a long mile.

Yet I never wanted to be Batman.

I always wanted to be the Boy Wonder.


I drifted out of comics for a while and when I got back into them, Robin was now dead.  I had read Frank Millers “The Dark Knight Returns” a story set in the future where Batman has been retired for 10 years after the second Robin (Jason Todds) death. What I didn’t know at the time was that Jason was still very much alive at the time this was published and that his fate hinged on a phone vote but that is another story. 


The third Robin was Tim Drake, an inquisitive young lad who had worked out Batman was Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson was now the superhero Nightwing.  Since Tim had managed to do what no-one else had managed, he must have been some sort of uber genius!

Batman takes on Tim and he gets a new redesigned costume.


The R symbol was designed to look different too and almost 20 years later, was the first ever tattoo I got.

Tim was Robin for a long time and I drifted out of comics again.

When I returned, Tim was still Robin but in that time a female, Stephanie Brown, had taken on the role for a short time when Tim was off soul searching. 


Interestingly, in the aforementioned Dark Knight Returns, the Robin of the future was a female.  The wonderfully realised Carrie Kelly


Stephanie Brown returned to her previous Identity of Spoiler and was later killed in some multi part story (War Games I think) that I have only read bits of.

This has made me realise that when I stop reading comics a Robin (or former Robin) dies.

So Tim was Robin for a while and then the Glaswegian writer Grant Morrison started to write the Batman comic.  The first four issues of his run introduced a child that Bruce had fathered with Talia Al Ghul, the daughter of his enemy R’as Al Ghul.  Damian Wayne was soon claiming the mantle of Robin to fight alongside his father as he rejected the path that both R’as and Talia had planned for him.  Tim became Red Robin and Jason rose from the dead to become The Red Hood.  The Bat family now had all the former Robins (bar Stephanie) all active and fighting crime as part of the Batman Incorporated storyline.


(I have simplified the timeline but basically that is what happened!).

Damian was a 10 year old psychopath, who curtailed his natural killing instincts to prove himself to his father.  He was unlikable at the beginning but the little bugger grew on me.


Maybe it was the way he referred to the rest of the bat family condescendingly by their surnames, well everyone except his dad.


Maybe it was his pet cat, which hated everyone and was vicious, yet he loved it.


 Possibly it was because of this panel


All I can honestly say is that he became my favourite new character very quickly and stayed that way.  What started out as a possible misstep in the Batman legacy, grew into a sensible, natural change.  In Batman issue 666, the storyline was of a Future Batman and it was revealed that it was Damian under the cowl.




Last month, seemingly out of nowhere, in Batman Incorporated issue 8, Damian Wayne was killed.



I am still reading comics, this should not happen!


Now in the world of comics, nobody stays dead for long (Although in Barry Allen’s case he really had the best death ever and should never have been brought back into the Dc universe but that’s always going to be a sore point for me).  So Damian may rise again.

Now I have reservations if he does.  When he was written by Morrison, Damian was brilliant.  A snotty, angry and potentially evil character but with a very strong moral code.  When he was written by others, that was slightly diluted and as such he became just another superhero.  If Damian does come back, I hope they don’t change him too much.



For now RIP Damian Wayne.  You were a great boy wonder.


Carmilla Voiez

I find myself in a darkened club.  Somewhere beyond the smoke machine generated air, there is music playing.  I cannot make out the faces of the other people in here.  It is like they don’t quite inhabit the same space as I am.  Folded through space/time, I stop apologising for bumping into them after the third person.
A beautiful Goth lady beckons me over.  I can see her perfectly, bathed in a soft, warm light from above.  Goth girls have always fascinated me and for that I blame exposure to Strawberry Switchblade at a very young impressionable age. Taking a seat beside her I listen as, in a voice as soft as black velvet, she states that she has stories to tell.  Oh what stories they are…..

I first met Carmilla at Hexmas in the Tunnels in Aberdeen.  We had communicated via the internet before this due to us both taking part in the Nanowrimo event that year.  She had asked me why I had described myself as “Goth-Lite”.  Basically I love the Goth subculture and identify with large parts of it; however I could not honestly call myself a Goth.  As time has passed, I realise just how Goth I am, Lite or not.

I digress….

This was the first time I had met her in the flesh.  It is always a delight to meet someone you liked online and find out that they are just as lovely in real life.
Our conversation was all too brief but the joy of the internet allowed us to keep in touch.

When I heard that her first book Starblood was being published, I could not have been happier.  Here was some one I knew, doing something she loved.  I bought the book on kindle and read it eagerly.  It was full of magic, sex and horror.  Carmella’s words conjured up a world so real, that I was hooked.

When her second book Psychonaut was being published, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the book launch.  Here Carmilla gave a reading from both books and to hear the words spoken by the author, granted them a kind of power I had not noticed before.  They became even more alive.  I started reading Psychonaut and it was like slipping back into a warm reality.  I was reminded very quickly just how attached I had become to the characters.  Far more attached than I had realised.  Carmilla wove her tale wonderfully and I found myself lost in her dark world again.  

I liked it there.

Back in the club, Carmilla has finished her tales.  I am in her spell and my creative mind is firing on all cylinders.  Good stories will do that. Somewhere beyond the smoke, the DJ has changed the beat  Bowing, I thank her and take my leave.  

Those of you who know me in real life, will know that I do not give praise like this “because it’s nice” or “because I know her”.  I can genuinely recommend both books and urge you to check them out because they are well written and … well…really good.

So if you ever find yourself in that club, go and listen to her.  You won’t regret it.


Carmilla Voiez is a British horror writer who resides in Scotland. She is currently writing the final book in the Starblood Trilogy from her family home in Banff, where she lives with her husband, daughters and numerous cats, Carmilla sold her Gothic Clothing business last year and has been writing and releasing top selling books and short stories since then.
A Goth for over 20 years, her books are inspired by the Gothic subculture, magic and dark desires, exploring sexual obsession and violence in often hard-hitting ways.
The first book, Starblood, which has been nominated for the Commonwealth Book Prize, is set partly in the beautiful Cairngorm mountains and partly in the city where she grew up, in South West England, she finds inspiration in local beauty, stately homes, the Moray Firth and woodlands around the Scottish town where she has lived the past 10 years.
Carmilla Voiez has been nominated for Horror Author of the Year. Her literary interest also extends to the Aberdeen Write Club she co-founded in 2011 a forum where local writers gather to discuss ideas and writing techniques.
“Carmilla Voiez is more of a singer than a writer. She tells her compelling story in a hypnotic, distinctive voice that brings her eerie world vividly to life.” Graham Masterton.
“Psychonaut is a book of mad impulses, inner vision, sadism, escape and belief. You feel uncomfortable reading it, like Alex strapped to the chair in Clockwork Orange being taught to feel sick at atrocity. Rather than leave us crippled by response, though, Psychonaut bears you through the hurt towards the only paradise we can be assured of…a love past fault.” Jef Withonef, Houston Press.
Vamptasy publishing have published two of Carmilla’s novels “Starblood” and “Psychonaut” and one of her erotic short stories has been published by Hot Ink. This year she is editing a horror anthology, releasing an online horror magazine and another of her erotic short stories is set to be published in an anthology.

Starblood –
In a seedy Goth club, a beautiful woman dances, waiting to be set free. Along an unlit street, another woman stumbles, fleeing her pursuer. In a darkened room, a man speaks to demons. Lust, obsession, terror and humiliation storm into the lives of Star and Satori, proving the age-old maxim – be careful what you wish for. Starblood, the debut novel by Carmilla Voiez, is a tale of magic and horror. Blinded by love, Satori, a young magician, attempts a spell that goes horribly wrong, resulting in the demon Lilith returning to Earth. Satori knows he must send Lilith back. The dark goddess brimming with power makes it her mission to wreak havoc on Satori’s life by ensnaring Star, the woman he loves, and her friends in a web of chaos and deceit.‘Carmilla Voiez makes Clive Barker look like Stephanie Meyer.’ Jef Withonef, Houston Press.

Psychonaut –
Satori is caught between two worlds. There is something he needs in one, but the other keeps drawing him back. However, he is in love and he isn’t going to let a little thing like death get in his way. To reach his goal, he must face unimaginable horrors, not least of which is his true self. Star’s tortured and broken body awaits Satori, but does she really need him to save her? His rival, a rage-filled young woman, grows more powerful and becomes as twisted as the ribbons in her hair while the demon, Lilith, draws each of them inexorably towards her. Who will survive the coming battle? Full of sex and magic, “Psychonaut” is an exploration into the human psyche and the second book in Voiez’s “Starblood” trilogy.
“Carmilla Voiez is more of a singer than a writer. She tells her compelling story in a hypnotic, distinctive voice that brings her eerie world vividly to life.” Graham Masterton
“Psychonaut is a book of mad impulses, inner vision, sadism, escape and belief. You feel uncomfortable reading it, like Alex strapped to the chair in Clockwork Orange being taught to feel sick at atrocity. Rather than leave us crippled by response, though, Psychonaut bears you through the hurt towards the only paradise we can be assured of…a love past fault.” Jef Withonef, Houston Press.

A Christmas Carole –
An F/F erotic holiday tale by Carmilla Voiez. When a woman visits Santa and his elves, she gets more than she bargained for when one of Santa’s helpers requests a special kind of holiday cheer.

Starblood – UK Kindle StoreUS Kindle Store   
Psychonaut – UK Kindle StoreUS Kindle Store
A Christmas Carole – UK Kindle StoreUS Kindle Store
Carmilla Voiez Amazon Author page – UK –  US

Where to find Carmilla Voiez on the web
Blog Facebook Goodreads

This is not a love song

Or indeed a part of a story.  No this is a ramble to try and understand where ideas come from.

I have been reading the excellent book KLF by JMR Higgs.  A study of the band and the creative driving force behind it, Bill Drummond.  I am about half way through and it is one of those books where the text is causing the creative part of my mind to go into over drive.

I’m currently at the section talking about the film “Watch The K Foundation burn a million quid”.  Specifically the bit about screening it in Alan Moores home town of Northampton.  It describes Moores thoughts on the often asked question of writers “So where do you get your ideas from?”.

Honestly, I do not know for definite where my ideas come from.  i can trace some of them back to things I have read, or heard but the majority just appear.  One of my favourite parts of the writing process is where the characters become almost self aware and start doing things that you had never thought of and all you do, is write down what is happening.  No idea why this happens and in discussions with other writers, it is a common occurrence.

Is it some form of magic?  Some communication across the realities?  Or more likely, just what happens when you get into the groove of writing?  I do not know. 

Lets take my first NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novel.  “The Search For Goth Disco”.  Now I had planned this to be a story about what makes you happy.  It starts off with a man collapsing on union Terrace crossing and begging someone to kill him.  he is watched by an observer who knows how he feels.  At that point what I was trying to say was that happiness can come in any form and is just as powerful as any emotion, in this case sadness and despair.  The rest of the story then veers through a Gary Numan Tribute band, lights under the sea, a cross dressing WW2 soldier, victorian porn and yetis living under Mounthooley.  No idea why these diverse ideas found there way in (and there will be others that I have forgotten as I have not read it in years!) but they did and from those who managed to read the whole thing, they all tie together in some strange way to tell a story.  i have called it a free form Jazz read, simply because i cannot believe what the end result became, even though I was the one writing it.  There are parts I am incredibly proud of and bits I wish I had not written.  Overall I am pleased with it, despite not really knowing how it all came about.  The initial intent to write about happiness was lost along the way (I think) but since it was a first draft, I did not worry too much about it.  i often think i should go back and edit it into a decent read but there is something quite lovely about it existing in this state, warts an all.

Novels since then have all seemed to revolve around alternate realities.  I blame comics for this.  Well that and the fact that as I get older, I struggle to make sense of the world around me.  i am sure I am not alone in feeling this.  However the alternate reality and the possibility that we are not seeing what we should all appeal to the conspiracy theorist within me.  It still does not explain the ideas that appear when i am writing, not fully, it just gives a reason why they may be appearing.


We’re so Post-modern, we’re so Post-Everything

I become aware that I am standing in the agent quarters of the Nexus.  A hyper realistic but ultimately non-existant in five dimensional space, headquarters of the Agency.  I do not remember how I got here.

Last thing was holding Kittie to my side as the magic worked and i was able to slip out of the corrupted world.  I thought it may take us back here but the destination was vague.  There is no sign of Kittie, just George flickering in and out of vision on a bed in the corner.

Well at least he is here.  I cough rather too loudly in an attempt to wake him.

“I’m not asleep you idiot, just recharging.”

Of course he is!

I wander over to the window on the orrery of realities and watch as the different galaxies slowly move around each other, overlapping occasionally with bright, bold fireworks.

“How did I get here George?”  I hear a sigh and the creak of bed springs as he gets up.

“You landed back here and went straight to see The Artists Two.  That lassie that was with you went her own way, very attractive too I must say.  The Artists Two ripped you a new one for tampering with temporal something or other and then you walked in here.  You have been standing there for ages, just humming the theme tune to the littlest hobo over and over again.”

Great, they have mind wiped me.  I really must have broken serious Agency rules this time.  The Artists Two perfected this technique to enable them to seriously punish agents without long term damage to their personalities.  It allowed them to discipline you so badly that the memory of it burrowed deep into your conscious.  Then they mind wipe you and you have no memory of what was said or done to you.  However the fear they have installed into your soul, stops you from ever trying such a thing again.  George likened it to firing a water pistol at a cat to stop them from scratching the furniture but i paid this theory little heed.  George has always been obsessed with cats.

“I managed to stop the professor publishing by the way, no thanks to you.”  there was a glimmer of anger in his tone, I tried to ignore it.  he continues “One minute you were there explainign why he couldnt publish his book and the next you were gone off on a little jaunt.  Good thing I know my stuff.”

I felt the anger evaporate.  He had vented and that was all he needed.  Since he retired from the agency, the slightest contact with active duty always reminded him of what they did to him.  Not the Agency, not even The Artists Two.  Them.

I nodded and thanked him.  He is necessary for me to be able to stop what I saw happening on that reality, from ever getting a foothold here.  However I do not have the strength at the moment.  The null space of the Nexus would slowly feed my body and mind the energy needed but it would take time.  Here time did not pass as it did anywhere else.  Here it was controlled.  This was both a boon and a curse.

Today it felt like a curse.

I made my way over to the nearest bed and lay down.  A phrase kept repeating itself in my subconscious.


I wonder what that could mean?


Burstfiction for the masses, written by the Lairdofdarkness with a heavy hand and a tired head.

How can we dance when the world is turning

Have you ever had a dream where you are falling?  Spiralling through thin air towards a sometimes unseen force.  The sense of fear and exhilaration mixing in a warm way to make you feel bulletproof.

This is what I am feeling, that feeling that nothing can touch me, that I am somehow invincible.  The reality that I am currently in is crumbling around me and it is all down to me.

Well several hundred versions of me to be exact.

The beat of the fake world had increased as I took the multiple Lairds through the dance steps that were needed to combat this reality.  Who needed line dancing?  Scotland has had the slosh for years.  That uniform movement of a group of people was powerful magic if it was directed properly.  My reasoning was that if a vibrational frequency was what was casting the glamour over the population of this world and changing their perception, then a different but equally as powerfull beat would cause a cancelling effect.  I had not trained for this and it really went against almost all the rules of the agency.  The Artists Two would no doubt haul me over the coals when I returned home but I was prepared for that.  I could not remain here in a world where banality had become the norm.  This would probably get me home. 



I put the mobile device on hold and called Agent Kittie.

“Are you almost here?”

“Yes, just running up Bridge Street Now,”  She was breathless.  “I can see the world changing as I get closer to you.”

I finished the call and the music started to play again.  All the tunes of my life so far that filled me with energy and made me feel good, angry, sad, loved and hurt.  They were hitting the ground and blocking the relentless beat from the enemies vapid machine.  The posters around the concrete garden were losing their false messages and the truth was coming through.  I could not see the population but I knew that they were finally seeing things as they were and not as they were told they were.  It was a temporary effect but it would hopefully be enough to kickstart some basic part of their brain and cause them to start questioning things again.  Thats all I could hope to achieve.  The world had fallen to this malaise due to apathy of the people.  This was a small tear in the fabric of that reality and they had to make the choice to step through into the real world.

The man was looking worried now.  He was conducting several different conversations on several different mobile devices as he paced around my musical shield.  Occasional glances my way were met by my big smile.  I was winning and he did not know that it was only a temporary victory.  When I was gone, the manufactured reality would slowly return.  The way he looked, the masters of this reality did not know that as yet.

Good.  I needed the time for the final act.  The multiple Lairds were flowing their power into me but as they were all aspects of my life, the power varied depending on what stage of their awakining they were at.  I was not in a position to call in Lairds from all realities, just my own.  I saw the faces of the younger me, the bright blue eyes full of the wonder of the world.  The glares of the teenage me, clad in clothes that did not quite make sense yet.  Their anger at the unfairness of the world burning bright through their power.

They were all visible to me, those versions of my as a younger man.  The future versions were clad in shadow.  they had seen this play out previously and only they knew if it worked and what lay ahead.  They could see me clearly enough but there are rules and even though I have the magical prowess of a powerful mage, the rules still apply.  I hoped that the younger Lairds would forget this as I could not remember this happening to me at any stage previously.  I do not think I could have lived with the memory.  it would have been too much to take before I awakened.

Kittie arrived at the music shield and walked right up to the man in the coat.

“This is for your bosses” and kicked him in the balls.  I was still laughing as she entered the magic shield.

“Lets go home” She said.