GUEST POST: A. F. Stewart

Today I want to share a guest post from author A.F. Stewart promoting her new Horror Collection Visions and Nightmares debuting on the 13th, fittingly enough. I have read this book, and it is fantastic. There is even a special discount for pre-ordering, so check out the link below the post. I highly recommend this collection.



Classic Influences

by A. F. Stewart

I thought I’d chat about some the fantasy influences for the stories in my book Visions and Nightmares. I love crafting fiction from a basis of history, mythology and legends, and this book isn’t any different. While these tales lean into the darker elements of fantasy and horror, they also draw from classic literature, myth and folklore.

Let’s begin with the three stories that draw from literature, specifically from Frankenstein, Alice in Wonderland and the Lovecraft mythos. Obviously from the title, Blood on the Looking Glass (Or Alice Kills Wonderland), I’ve gone to the darkest timeline for this one. I’ve taken the beloved characters and delved into the more psychological consequences of Alice’s adventures, while adding my own little evil twist. Fans of Lewis Carroll’s book may want to avoid reading this particular tale.

Gears of the Undead is a steampunk horror tale that draws on Frankenstein for its mad scientist inspiration with a female doctor bringing the dead back to life. Again I added some twists regarding her motivation, and a little nod to the popular (if not fictionally accurate) notion of Igor with not one but two helpers.

And I return to the world of the Eldritch Gods in When Gods Roar with my Pantheon, who are definitely influenced by the Cthulhu universe. Here the gods are not quite so removed from the world, and may not even be the bad guys. Plus, they have tentacles and I love a good tentacled god.

Two of the stories use mythology as their basis, The Price of Wishes having a Djinn as the main character, and The Cold Dark Heart of the Forest using the Wendigo as its antagonist. It was an interesting change to use North American myth in The Cold Dark Heart of the Forest and there’s even a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from Mayan myth.

Folklore plays a part in A Life for a Life, where I dig up my Scottish roots a bit and play with the faerie. In this story, though, they’re not the ones up to mischief, more like hired guns…

I hoped you enjoyed this small insight into what goes into crafting my stories and you can read all about the trouble these ladies get into in Visions and Nightmares.

Here is a bit more information about the book:

Title: Visions and Nightmares: Ten Stories of Dark Fantasy and Horror

Author: A. F. Stewart

Genre: Horror Fantasy

Publication Date: March 13th, 2020

Ebook pre-order and Launch Price: $0.99 (ends March 22nd)

Print price: 10.99

Book Link:

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What a MESS!

My website is currently a lot of broken links and empty pages since I moved it completely on to WordPress from its last home. It will be something I work on actively in the upcoming months, so do check back occasionally. 🙂

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CHARACTERIZATION NOTES: Let’s Talk About Cobblestones…

When I was in the UK, I realized something that I’d like to share. You know all those stories where the heroine is fleeing down the cobblestone streets? Often running for her life?

Well, these are examples of cobblestones we found on our trip:


I had a hard time walking on them even in sneakers. A woman in any heel whatsoever would be reduced to slowly strolling if they wanted to keep their footing. If there was an emergency requiring a fast getaway, the character in question would be better off kicking off her shoes and running in stocking feet. It would hurt, but less than a broken ankle.

These aren’t even extreme cobbles. They have been worn down by time and travel. There are some great examples here on Wikipedia with full rounded tops.

The top picture and the last are more accurately setts, as they look like cut stones. They are slightly less difficult to walk on, but still could turn an ankle if a heel were placed wrong. Perhaps that’s why so many heroines in Gothic romance wind up being carried around so much. 😉

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Meet the Main Crew of the Moonbeam

For my own stop on the current blog tour, I thought I would dive a little deeper into the characters in Mutiny on the Moonbeam. Look into their histories and motivations a bit, and maybe play “if I were casting the movie…”


Captain Aidrian — first of all, this is blatant self-service. I’ve always wanted to name a character after myself, so I did with our gallant captain. Aidrian is a minor prince by right, but felt stultified by the Elven court and wanted to seek his own adventure. He is the epitome of the romanticized pirate, dressing in velvet and lace. He’s stern, but fair, and champions Johnny and Bran. His treatment of the fae is mostly a matter of thoughtlessness rather than cruelty. He’s just never bothered to talk to Twitch and the others and find out their opinions. Elves have always looked down on the fairies–but at least he is willing to grow.

In my mind’s eye, he looks rather like Bowie in Labyrinth, without the mullet. Or maybe Legolas….


Johnny Pate — our John is a good-hearted lad, and he’s spent more than half his life as Aidrian’s mate. His mother “sold him” to the elves because she couldn’t cope with raising him alone. He’s a little old for a cabin boy, but then, at eighteen, he’s a lot younger than the youngest of his fellow sailors. He’s a master carpenter for his age, and has a way with words–if they are plain-speaking not fancy. Aidrian trusts him to be the voice of the elves to their human buyers and suppliers. He’s gentle with the fae, and takes care of Bran from the moment he meets her. Altogether a good bloke.

If I were casting Johnny, I’d want something rather like this (though Hiddleston is too old.) Maybe this fellow.


Branwyn St. Clair — Branwyn has seen more than her fair share of heartache in her sixteen years. When her mother dies, and leaves her stepfather with lascivious intentions, she resolves to run away and find her aunt. Unable to avoid a final confrontation with the man, she knocks him out and dashes into the night dressed as a boy. Sneaking aboard the first ship she comes to, her life is changed forever. Stubborn, opinionated, yet good-hearted as well, she soon makes a new place for herself among the fae.

Branwyn thinks of herself as a plain girl, but her heart lends her a special beauty. I see someone like this.


Doctor Iakona — Iakona is more accepting than most of his fellows when it comes to the humans and the fae. He can look beyond their differences, but he still sees the fairies as lesser beings. He’s the oldest of the elves, and the most educated, which may account for his demeanor. He has a soft-spot for Johnny, and a streak of the romantic running through him that puts him on the side of the young lovers.

I could see David Warner in that role…


Laec — If the book has a villain, it is Laec. He is Aidrian’s first mate, but nothing like the captain in temperament. He’s cruel and vicious, and nothing delights him more than making Johnny’s life miserable. He sets his sights on Branwyn from the start–and he’s not one to give up easily.

Bigger and huskier than his fellow elves, he might be tricky to cast. Maybe something like this.


Dazzle — no character discussion would be complete without the leaders of the fae. If Dazzle is a bit self-important, well, her betrothed is a prince… Quick-tempered and just as quick to laugh, Dazzle is key to the story. Her bright mind and organizational skills help to save the day. Blonde and ebullient, Dazzle is a delight.

I see the fairies as more robust than Tinkerbell…more like this.


Twitch — is there anyone more romantic in the entire book than the Crown Prince who chases off after the elves who have kidnapped his lady love? Twitch is the leader of the fairies in more ways than one! Dark of hair and wit, Twitch is wise counsel when Bran needs someone to rely on.

Twitch feels like this to me. I may even have to order one of those!


And finally,

Queen Mab —  Mab is a very unique character. I never expected to make a sentient spider important to a plot, but there you go.  Without Mab, the Moonbeam would have no sails. Sure, the pixie dust might get her off the ground, but she couldn’t go anywhere without sails. Mab is a little crazy when we first meet her, but she’s the last of her kind on the ship–wouldn’t you be? A little kindness goes a long way toward taming her and providing Johnny and Bran with an indispensable ally.

She looks something like this one


There are many more interesting folk to meet in the story, but that’s enough for now. Come and meet the elves, humans, fairies, and other characters inhabiting the pages of Mutiny on the Moonbeam.






























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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Long Time No Post…

But I’ve been incredibly busy. I do have two new novels out this month. First, new from Mocha Memoirs press, a Fantasy Romance, Mutiny on the Moonbeam, which is available for pre-order on Kindle and out in paperback on Amazon, as well as Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. There are other venues, but I need to figure out what they are. 😉

The other book that is brand new is Book Five of The Conn-Mann Chronicles. At least on Kindle. Working on the print still, but if you want to get your ebook copy of The Elderly Earl’s Estate…click that link.

I also have stories that have just come out in Pulp Adventures #29 (The Gumshoe and the Glitterati) and Broadswords and Blasters #6 (Marshal Marshall Meets the Mechanical Marauder).

With almost 250 submissions so far this year…there had to be some successes, right?

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Year End Summary Post

vanity shelf


It’s the time of year when everyone recaps the good and bad things that have happened in some way that is relevant to them. Those of you who have been reading my very sporadic blog for awhile know that, for me, that usually means writing stats. So, here we go.

It’s been an odd year. I started off gangbusters, with 273 submissions by the end of June. Then July broke the momentum with health issues, and I never fully recovered. Still, here at the end of the year, I have 311, so not bad. Next year I am going to try again for that 600, but that will be part of next week’s post.

Final tallies all the way across the spreadsheet were:

157, 667 words written (over 100k of that in November)

186 rejections

90 acceptances

5 novels published (two of them re-prints)

several photographs sold

the first Garrett Goldthwaite stand-alone published

numerous poetry and prose sales to anthologies

And all this around pneumonia and kidney stones…

Wait till you see what I want to do next year!

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Things Have Been Busy Around Here!

I haven’t been good about posting lately, but I am determined to try and do better next year. In the meantime, you are owed an update, and it will be a BIG one, because I have had quite a few releases in the last few months.

First of all, I got Book Four of The Conn-Mann Chronicles, The Fiercely Formidable Fugitive out this summer.

Front Cover Only.jpg

Then I got the first companion book for the series out, a Garrett Goldthwaite short called Practical Polly and the Village of Doom.

Practical Polly Final Cover--small


I’ve also had stories come out in two new major anthologies in the last few months:

Killing It Softly 2                                        and                                                  On Fire51oA8LtH+EL.jpg


AND, I’ve had my brand-new horror novel Skellyman release from Digital Fiction Publishing:

Skellyman cover

and my two out-of-print novels were also re-released from DFP:

The Lute and the Liar                               and                                   The Right Hand of Velachaz

NewLuteCover           51SBtkMUSwL._SY346_.jpg








In November, I wrote first drafts for two new books which will hopefully be edited and see the light of day next year — for sure, one of them will — Book Five of The Conn-Mann Chronicles, The Elderly Earl’s Estate will be out by February if all goes according to plan.

And Mutiny on the Moonbeam is scheduled from Mocha Memoirs in April.

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