Morrigan Books signs Carole Lanham’s The Whisper Jar for its e-book series

Morrigan Books is pleased to announce that we have signed a contract with author Carole Lanham to publish her short story collection, The Whisper Jar, as part of our new e-book series. The team at Morrigan are very excited to work with Carole, and believe this collection will capture the imaginations of all who read it.




“I do not know what you have done, but put your mouth right here. Confess your crime to this fruit jar as though it were God’s ear.” ~ from The Whisper Jar


Some secrets are kept in jars — others, in books.

Some are left forgotten in musty rooms — others, created in old barns.

Some are brought about by destiny — others, born in blood.

Secrets — they are the hidden heart of this collection. In these pages, you will encounter a Blood Digger who bonds two children irrevocably together; a young woman who learns of her destiny through the random selection of a Bible verse; and a boy whose life begins to reflect the stories he reads…

Most importantly, though, if someone should ever happen to offer you a Jilly Jally Butter Mint, just say “No!”


See more information here.


The Whisper Jar is to be edited by the talented, Kari Wolfe and cover design is by Amanda Pillar.

Scenes from the Second Storey makes the Aurealis shortlist

Although it comes as no surprise to me, I want to draw your attention to the fact that Scenes from the Second Storey has made the shortlist for the Aurealis Awards, to be announced 21st May.

Some cracking works in every category, as always and whether the book wins or not, it’s in great company already.

Congratulations to all nominated!

All the categories and nominations can be found below:

Aurealis Shortlist 2011

Morrigan’s Imprint Set to Release Its First Book

Morrigan Books’ imprint, Gilgamesh Press, is pleased to announce that its long-awaited Ishtar collection is on track for release in November 2011!

The talent-packed anthology now has a gorgeous cover to match the stellar content!


Powerful, sexy, and very, very deadly.

The 5 Loves of Ishtar
Kaaron Warren

Follow the path that the goddess Ishtar takes through the eyes of her most devoted worshippers, her washerwomen. Sharokin, Atur, Ninlil, Shamiran, Ninevah and Ashurina share in their goddess’ loves, losses and triumphs, as kingdoms rise and fall in the Land of Rivers.

And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living
Deborah Biancotti

In modern-day Sydney, male prostitutes are dying. Their bones have turned to paste and their bodies are jelly. As Detective Adrienne Garner investigates the deaths, she finds rumours of strange cults and old gods whose powers threaten her city and, ultimately, her world.

The Sleeping and the Dead
Cat Sparks

Dr. Anna remembers little of her life before the war, merely traces of the man she used to love. When three desperate travellers rekindle slumbering memories, she begins a search that takes her to Hell and beyond. A search for love and, ultimately, enlightenment.

Edited by Amanda Pillar & K.V. Taylor.


Scenes from the Second Storey receives three honourable mentions

Ellen Datlow’s list of honourable mentions for 2010 contains three stories from Morrigan Books anthology, Scenes from the Second Storey.

The stories picked: The Blind Man by Felicity Dowker, The Desert Song by Andrew J. McKiernan and Ego by Robert Hood.

As a little celebration, Morrigan Books is offering a 20% discount on the e-book version of the anthology, which can be purchased at the Smashwords site. Just go to the product and use the coupon code: ET48X to receive your discount.

Well done to all the writers featured in the list!

Requiems for the Departed receives three honourable mentions

Ellen Datlow’s list of honourable mentions for 2010 contains three stories from Morrigan Books anthology, Requiems for the Departed.

The stories picked: Sliabh Ban by Arlene Hunt, The Life Business by John Grant and Queen of the Hill by Stuart Neville.

As a little celebration, Morrigan Books is offering a 20% discount on the e-book version of the anthology, which can be purchased at the Smashwords site. Just go to the product and use the coupon code: WC77F to receive your discount.

Well done to all the writers featured in the list!

Happy Birthday Morrigan Books!

Three years on.

It’s flown by.

It doesn’t feel like it was three years ago that I made the decision to brave the independent scene, with a new dark fiction publishing company. I can’t really say I did it alone, however, as Amanda Pillar agreed to come in as in-house editor straight away, and offered to help me work on a site (or rather design the site), while we got ourselves off the ground.

We had a book in the schedule, Voices, that had been started and was going to be edited by myself and Amanda before two other books came along: The Even by newcomer, T. A. Moore, and How to Make Monsters, by up and coming British horror writer, Gary McMahon.

With the addition of T. A. Moore’s, The Even, to the Morrigan Books’ ranks, we also received an offer from Reece Notley to help with artwork, if necessary. This began a wonderful working relationship with Reece that lasted up until earlier this month, and only ended with her desire to focus more on Three Crow Press, her own imprint built from a previous Morrigan e-zine.

And so it was those three books: an anthology, a novel and a collection, that started the company and introduced me to the mad, demanding, time-consuming, money-consuming, stressful, illuminating, inspirational world that is independent press.

2008 was a relative success (if you ignore the money), with How to Make Monsters receiving a nomination for the best collection of 2008 at the British Fantasy Awards, while good reviews also came in for The Even and Voices. We had cracking covers, designed by Simon Strantzas, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and, most importantly, Reece Notley, who would go on to design most of our covers, my favourites being: Requiems for the Departed, Dead Souls and Scenes from the Second Storey.

And we were being noticed; people were talking about us in the industry! Although sales and income has to be the prime goal for any business starting out, there is also much satisfaction in receiving the plaudits for a job well done.

In 2009 we saw a slight shift in the paradigm. There was a reduction in books released, as we tried to move nearer to my desire of Morrigan Books, following a publication schedule that likened the bigger presses more: that is, where the acceptance of a manuscript to publication was around a year in the making, allowing for a better sense of the product, more time to work on layout and typesetting, and ultimately, a much stronger chance to get reviews.

2009 also saw two of our biggest projects take shape. Grants Pass, edited by in-house editor Amanda Pillar and guest editor Jennifer Brozek, was the first of our books to not only break even but to make a healthy profit, something that, I’m told, is somewhat of a rarity for such a fledgling company. The book features established names such as Jay Lake and Ed Greenwood, as well as new and exciting talent: Carole Johnstone, K.V. Taylor and Shannon Page. It went on to win the Australian Shadows Award for best edited publication and was also in the longlist for a Stokers award in 2010 (for 2009).

The Phantom Queen Awakes was a case of showing our determination to attract the established writers to Morrigan Books, and we succeeded in commissioning four New York Times bestsellers: Katherine Kerr, Elaine Cunningham, C.E. Murphy and Anya Bast. It was an ambitious project, combining both new and established talent, interior artwork from Cecily Webster and yet another striking cover from Reece Notley.

2009 was also the year that the Morrigan e-zine, Three Crow Press, went from strength to strength and this could only mean that things were on the up and up for the company. The staff had changed somewhat over the first two years with Tammy Moore, Jenn Moffatt, Nyssa Pascoe, and M.G. Ellington leaving Morrigan Books to focus on other projects. In addition to the stalwarts of Amanda Pillar and Reece Notley, at the end of 2009, Morrigan Books had been joined by Sharon Ring — giving us a more international edge — and we focused on markets in Australia, the U.S. and the U.K.

And so 2010 started strongly, with The Phantom Queen Awakes, our opening book of the year and Sharon Ring settling into her role (or rather roles) at the company. Following on from our dark fantasy anthology (The Phantom Queen Awakes), we released the dark, Irish crime anthology, Requiems for the Departed, featuring mainly Irish writers, and combining Irish mythology with cracking crime fiction. Not content with sitting on our laurels after The Phantom Queen Awakes, we decided to approach several giants in the field of crime fiction and commissioned the likes of Stuart Neville, Sam Millar, John Grant, Ken Bruen, Neville Thompson and more.

Requiems for the Departed, ably edited by Gerard Brennan and Mike Stone, was released in June and received rave reviews immediately.

Moving on from Requiems, we kept up the pace and released Scenes from the Second Storey edited by Amanda Pillar and Pete Kempshall. This book was very close to my heart, as it contained some of my favourite Australian writers and stories based on one of my favourite albums of all time – The God Machine’s Scenes from the Second Storey. That the book is in the running for a Stoker Award is of no surprise to me, and I was informed only this morning that it has received a further three nominations for an Australian Shadows Award!

And still, we weren’t satisfied — still, we wanted more. And we got more; in the shape of Liz Williams and the incredibly popular Detective Inspector Chen series, with Morrigan Books agreeing to publish the fourth and fifth books, The Iron Khan and Morningstar.

Towards the end of 2010 we acquired the services of seven new editors to join the ranks of the successful editing team of Amanda Pillar, Sharon Ring, Pete Kempshall and myself. This was in readiness for out new E-book range, which we began taking submissions for towards the end of the year.

So all is rosy then? Well not exactly, as 2011 started with as many ups as downs. We saw the release of The Iron Khan in print form, a book that has done rather well for itself in our catalogue already; an advancement in roles for K.V. Taylor, who, after coming into the company as an editor only a month prior, is now our Queries Manager and Accounts Manager. K.V. has proved that she is more than capable of representing Morrigan Books to the standard we expect, but also to take us to new levels of excellence.

Sharon Ring, always on hand with help and advice, accepted the official title of Press Officer to go along with her many unofficial roles at the company. Sharon’s drive and determination are amazing and I hope she stays with us for as long as we’ve got books.

Coupled with this great news was the very sad news that Reece Notley would be leaving Morrigan Books. We had talked together several times about her need to focus on Three Crow Press and her desire to write, and even though this was the right decision for her — and, in the long term, for us — it still seems like the end of an era. Reece and Amanda have been here from the beginning and neither Amanda nor myself have come to terms with the loss of such a vital team member, or the impact her leaving will have.

The other negative start to this year was being forced to finally accept that I could no longer edit for Morrigan Books; the time required to edit was the time that I needed to spend on other work at the company. I had to accept that I could no longer be an editor and a publisher for Morrigan Books.

Much as this was a heavy pill to swallow, the cloud had a silver lining; Amanda Pillar has agreed to become the Editor-in-chief for Morrigan Books, a role very much needed with our new publication schedule and additional editors at the company.

In terms of the publication schedule, we are increasing the productivity at the company, not only taking on new titles for our E-book range, but also giving reprints a chance to find a larger audience. These will be in the form of books that have been sent to us, or books we have read and think needed a bit more exposure.

So there’s much to take in and much to do here at Morrigan Books, and, despite some setbacks earlier in the year, I think we are looking incredibly strong for a very successful 2011 and beyond, into our next phase at the company.

Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of the Morrigan Books experience!

Scenes from the Second Storey receives three Australian Shadows nominations!

Scenes from the Second Storey

And not a surprise at all to those at the Morrigan Books offices, that Scenes from the Second Storey (edited by Amanda Pillar and Pete Kempshall) has received three Australian Shadows Awards nominations.

The anthology as a whole has been nominated for best edited publication (won by Grants Pass last year) and two of the stories within have been nominated for best short story, Dream Machine by David Conyers and She Said by Kirstyn McDermott.

All the nominees can be found below:

2010 Australian Shadows Awards: Finalists

Good luck to all those in the running!


Well, it’s that time of the year again. Ditmar time.

There have been so many great works published over the last year. For a total list of eligible stories, go here.

Now for my plug: If you’ve read Scenes from the Second Storey and you enjoyed it (and are an active member of fandom or are attending Swancon 36), please vote for it or the stories you loved!

The nomination form is here.

Reece Notley to leave Morrigan Books

Reece Notley, art director for Morrigan Books, is to leave the company. Reece wishes to focus on her own projects, primarily those at Three Crow Press, and feels this would be best facilitated by leaving Morrigan Books.

Morrigan Books is naturally very sorry to see Reece go, as not only has she been a wonderful ambassador for the company but has also designed some truly excellent covers for the Morrigan Books‘ catalogue.

We wish her well with Three Crow Press and her future projects, and sincerely thank her for everything she has done for the company.

Morrigan Books almost ready for second phase

Notice from Mark S. Deniz, owner of Morrigan Books

As some of you aware Morrigan Books is going through a transitional phase, much of which is to be announced soon. Almost all activities at the company have been affected: from publishing schedules, to queries, to staff members, to promotions and design.

If you are awaiting a response from Morrigan Books for whatever reason, could we please ask for your understanding and patience over the next few weeks. I can assure you that we are working as hard as we can to make sure Morrigan Books is ready for the next phase of its quest to be a forerunner in the area of dark fiction.

Thanks once more and keep an eye out for our upcoming press releases.