OUR HIDEOUS PROGENY: Out now!

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For readers of Circe or Ariadne, a brilliant literary revisiting of Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein with a fresh, queer, provocative twist.

Years ago, Mary’s great uncle—dropout medical student Victor Frankenstein—disappeared in the Arctic. Now, in 1853, she and her husband Henry live in London, struggling to make a name for themselves as paleontologists.

Unfortunately, in a world where scientific success requires wealth and connections, they don’t stand a chance: Mary, the illegitimate daughter of a housemaid, with a sharp mind and a sharper tongue; and Henry, a recently-fired geologist better known for his gambling problems than his radical theories. But when Mary discovers some old family papers that reveal the truth of her great-uncle’s past, she comes up with a plan—one that will pay their debts, prove Henry’s theories right, and finally get her some of the respect she goddamn deserves.

They’re going to make a monster, and not just any monster—they’re going to create a plesiosaur.

It’s weird, it’s queer, and it’s here in bookshops near you! OUR HIDEOUS PROGENY is my debut novel, a spiritual sequel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and a love letter to women in science and the fascinating history of Victorian paleoart.

Are you a fan of Victorian mad science? Gothic gays? Women who are angry, and ambitious, and covered in blood? Then OHP may be for you!

Praise for Our Hideous Progeny

Note: Our Hideous Progeny is a Gothic novel, and may contain content that is distressting to some. View the trigger warnings/content warnings here.

Wilbur Smith Shortlist: Help vote for the winner! :)

Fabulous news, all: Our Hideous Progeny has made it to the shortlist for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize for Best Published Novel! 🥳 I’m tremendously honoured to see OHP make it to this final round, and so grateful to all the librarians & judges who’ve helped it get this far. Also, this means I get a fun new Q&A out on the Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation website! 🙂

And what’s more, as part of the voting in the final round, readers get to help choose the winner!

One seat on the judging panel is reserved for readers – each person gets three votes to award, either all to one or to three different titles. At the end, the votes will be collated and awarded the equivalent weight to one seat on the panel.

Voting is open now, and will remain open until July 31st! 🥳

US Paperback Release & ebook/audiobook sale!

Hi all! It’s been a shamefully long time since I posted any updates here, as I’ve been busy at work editing Book 2 – but please join me today in celebrating the release of the US paperback version of Our Hideous Progeny! 🥳

Have you ever picked up the hardcover of OHP and thought, “Hmm, looks interesting, but I just feel like it’s approximately 8 ounces too heavy and 0.69 x 0.25 x 1 inches too large”? Then the OHP paperback is for you!!

Sales & Promotions!

  • In conjunction with the paperback release, the US ebook is on sale this month for $1.99, wherever ebooks are sold! Snap it up now for less than the price of a cup of coffee! (Honestly, in this economy?? Less than a third of the price of a cup of coffee :/ So buy three! Why not!!)
  • AND, the OHP audiobook is also on sale on Chirp until Jun 1st for $4.99! US-only also, I’m afraid, but I highly recommend Chirp – I’ve been subscribed to their audiobook deals email list for ages now, and their prices absolutely knock other retailers like Audible and Kobo out the park.

Award Nominations!

Fantastic news: OHP has been shortlisted this year for a few different literary awards!! Our Hideous Progeny is:

…shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction!

…a finalist for the Publishing Triangle’s Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction!

…and longlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize for Best Published Novel!

I’m so incredibly honoured to see OHP recognized among some truly amazing groups of finalists!!

UK Paperback Release!

Hear ye, hear ye: Our Hideous Progeny is out in paperback today!!*

(In the UK/Europe/commonwealth, at least – sorry, rest-of-the-world, you’ll have to wait ’til May! 😉 )

A few bits of news & announcements:

Waterstones Scottish Book of the Month!

I’m thrilled to announce that OHP has been picked as Waterstones’ Scottish Book of the Month!

This means that there’ll be some FAB window displays at various locations around Scotland! I’ll also be visiting as many as I can to do stock signings, so keep an eye out for those. 🙂

Giveaways!

Fancy a free copy of OHP (& other goodies)? Check out these giveaways ASAP!

eBook Sale – get OHP for 99p!

For a limited time, the UK ebook of Our Hideous Progeny is on sale for only £0.99! Snap up your copy now on Kindle, Kobo, Google Play, and more.

(P.S. Sorry US folks – but look out for the US paperback and cheaper Kindle prices in May!)

P.S. It’s Award Eligibility Season! 👀🏆

If you’re reading for any literary, historical fiction, or speculative fiction awards this year, please consider OHP! If you’re judging for any such awards and are in need of a review copy, contact me and I’ll set you up.

Best of luck to all my fellow fabulous 2023 authors! 🌟

Updates & Upcoming Events…

Hi all! Long time no post! It’s been a tremendously busy year, and I hope you’re all staying warm and well approaching the holiday season; I just wanted to let you know about a couple of updates and upcoming events in my schedule.

Writer’s Digest Historical Fiction Conference

Sun Dec 10th, 1:00pm • Online

I’m thrilled to announce that I’m going to be speaking at Writer’s Digest University’s Virtual Historical Fiction Conference! This is an awesome 3-day event that includes lectures on a variety of topics specific to writing historical fiction, including query letters, research tips, plotting and outlining, and (from yours truly!) how to incorporate queer characters into your historical writing. Plus, everything’s on demand to watch later, too!

My own lecture will be on the topic of Incorporating Queer Characters into Historical Fiction. Join me for this awesome experience and buy your conference tickets now!

Arvon Historical Writing Course: Guest Reader

Wed Mar 13th, 2024 • The Hurst Writing Retreat, Shropshire

I’m very pleased to announce that I’m going to be a guest tutor for one of Arvon’s residential writing courses: Historical Writing in Fiction and Poetry!

This course is going to be held at the beautiful Hurst retreat in Shropshire from Mar 11-16 2024, with amazing tutors Sean Lusk and Jo Bell. I’ll be coming in as a guest on Wed evening to speak about Our Hideous Progeny and historical writing. 

To find out more about this wonderful program and reserve your spot, visit their website!

Updates & News

Firstly… the Our Hideous Progeny paperback is coming out in February! If you were waiting to buy it in PB, keep an eye out on your local bookstore shelves come Feb 1st… 🙂

Also, some fun media mentions:

OHP was named as one of Waterstones’ Best Books of 2023 in the category of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror!

OHP was also discussed in a fascinating article from the New Yorker on queerness and Frankenstein – and featured as one of their Best Books of the Year!

Lastly, OHP was *also* picked as one of NPR’s Best Books of 2023!

Wahoo! 🥳🎉

New Interview: LA Public Library Blog

I had an interview come out this week from the LA Public Library blog! I talk about historical & literary inspirations, my favourite Frankenstein adaptation, my dream cast for a hypothetical Our Hideous Progeny movie, and much more. Mad props to librarian Daryl M. for not only coming up with some fascinating questions (and for giving OHP such a wonderfully kind review!), but also lovingly hyperlinking every author and historical figure I mentioned in the interview! There must be some kind of librarian award for that, LOL.

You can read the full interview here, and the book review here!

New Article: The best historical books about women in science

I have a new article out today from Shepherd.com! 📚👩‍🔬

Shepherd is a book recommendation website that relies on lists compiled by authors, allowing you to find reliable recs on specific topics ranging from “The best unexpected love stories in historical romance” to “The best books to introduce you to Black London.” (I really like their “Browse by Wikipedia topic” search function – super handy for finding research recs!)

For my list, I shared five of my favourite historical books featuring women scientists (both real and fictional)! These include fantastic books by Carrie Brown, Marie Benedict, Catherine Chung, Tracy Chevalier, and Margot Lee Shetterly. You can read the whole post here.

Our Hideous Progeny: Official(?) Playlist!

I’ve been meaning to post this for a long time, but it kept slipping my mind – my official(?) writing playlist for OHP! I talked about a few of my favourites on this playlist already for an article on Largehearted Boy, but the full 7-hour playlist is now up on Spotify for all to hear.

As this is the music I actually wrote the book to (and I can’t think with lyrics!), it’s mostly instrumentals and movie soundtracks – but hopefully that also makes it the perfect atmospheric reading playlist. 🙂 Let me know which songs are your favourites (and if you can tell which ones accompanied my writing of particular scenes…!)

New Interview: Fantasy Book Critic

I had an interview out this week in the Fantasy Book Critic blog! I talked about Frankenstein, the writing/character-creation process, and lots more; you can read the full interview on Fantasy Book Critic’s website here!

New Article: 5 Ways to Make Your Historical Fiction Ring True

5 Ways to Make Your Historical Fiction Ring True

I had a new article out this week in Writers Digest on writing historical fiction!

Would you like to write historical fiction? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of research, or unsure how to get into the mindset of a character from a different era? Maybe one of these tips will help. You can read the full article here!

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