Marie Marshall

Author. Poet. Editor.

Tag: vampire

Aspiring cover artist wanted!

2Are you an aspiring artist? Would you like to take a punt at designing a cover illustration for my latest YA/teen vampire novel, KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE, sequel to From My Cold, Undead Hand? I have little to offer you at this point except recognition, but in that respect I would be helping you and you would be helping me.

Your illustration does not have to be fancy. In fact if you could take a cue from Millie Ho’s excellent black-and-white cover for the first book in the series (look right) you’ll see the kind of aesthetic we’re looking for.

If you would like to offer your services, please get in touch with the publisher direct.

Thank you,


My Gothic spring continues…

The manuscript of KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE is open in front of me, and my collection The Last-but-one Samurai and other stories is currently being edited. Meanwhile Angélique Jamail has featured another of my Gothic poems from 2010 on her blog…


I’m having a Gothic spring…

… amongst the snake’s head fritillaries. Meanwhile…

… in 2010 I was writing all kinds of poetry, from sonnets to brutalist ‘Lithopoesis’. During that year I put together a little collection of Gothic verses, many with a wry twist of humour, under the general title of The Wraith’s Complaining Mouth (a line from one of the poems), with no idea whether I would present them for publication or what. They have sat in my portfolio since then. During the current ‘National Poetry Month’ in the USA, my friend Angélique Jamail is honouring me by featuring some of that collection, starting with the sonnet ‘Selena’. Click on the picture below to be transported to her blog to read the poem and see what she says about my old Gothic work…


… and the manuscript for KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE has been returned from the editor’s desk, with suggestions and corrections for me to pore through. I plan to launch into that this weekend.


The sequel to From My Cold Undead HandKWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE – is being prepared for publication!



The editing process has begun on the sequel to my first YA vampire novel. I’m working with the eagle-eyed editor whose built-in detector for not just typos but lame turns of phrase* is, even as you read this, scanning the manuscript. He’s making it ready for publication this year!

The story itself jumps ahead several years from the first novel, into a throughly dystopian setting. Some of the characters express themselves in a ‘conlang‘ called NU AMERIKAN, and all of the official notices are printed in it too. But don’t worry about that, as it is only seeded through the book and doesn’t hurt the flow of reading. Basically, NU AMERIKAN is a simplification of modern American English, rather the same way that George Orwell’s fictional ‘Newspeak’ related to the English of Great Britain. Creating it was a stimulating intellectual exercise – and fun.

But the prime purpose of the novel is to be an adventure. There is a new… hero? protagonist?  A couple of the characters from From My Cold, Undead Hand appear again, but it might surprise you how they appear. Importantly there will be lots of action, in a nightmare landscape full of danger. More news as I get it.


*Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but sometime’s I’m guilty of that.

‘From My Cold, Undead Hand’ reviewed.

fmcuhReader Anastacia Zittel recently sent this review of From My Cold, Undead Hand to the Readers’ Favorite web site:

From My Cold Undead Hand (Where the Vampires Are, Volume 1) by Marie Marshall is the first book in what promises to be a thrilling, interesting take on vampire legend and lore. Chevonne Kusnetsov is a teenager living in the near-distant future, a world that you will recognize but it is subtly different from our own. Chevonne is like any other normal teenager – she goes to school, has friends, has a mother who worries about her, stays home alone after school reading books, but her ‘job’ is not the job of normal teenagers – she researches and kills vampires. This isn’t a Buffy the Vampire Slayer world, where the vampires are all beautiful, but our world where the vampires just want you dead. Chevonne is a Resistance fighter, and she’s out to save mankind.

Marshall does a fantastic job with creating an alternate world for us, where the action happens at a breakneck pace. From using technology that isn’t developed yet, to using weapons not designed yet, to using language and phrases not spoken yet, she creates a universe that is strangely familiar to us, yet it’s a place where you have to watch your back or you’ll be dead. Vampires aren’t glamorous, it isn’t romantic to meet a vampire in the alley behind the school, and they most certainly don’t sparkle. Marshall also does a remarkable job of tying in the classic vampire novel, Dracula, but makes you believe that it’s all real. This is a book that will leave you breathless for more!

The sequel, KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE – Volume 2 of Where the Vampires Are – should be published this year, so watch this space!

‘From My Cold, Undead Hand’ sold out at Waterstones

jpegI just heard that all copies of From My Cold, Undead Hand have gone from the shelves of the local branch of Waterstones. Don’t worry though, vampire-fiction fans – you can still order a copy at the counter. Just ask an assistant and they’ll get it for you.

Looking forward in 2015

Happy New Year!

My previous entry was a review of what had happened during 2014. This one will be what I might expect of 2015. I’m not going to make any resolutions, because one of the first things that happens is I break them! So, no commitment to x hours per day writing, I shall simply write when I can.

Last year, as I reported, I had a story – my fifth success – read aloud at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre. This year I am trying for my sixth. So I do need to get busy, as entries have to be submitted this month. I do have a story partly completed, so this is doable.

KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE will need some serious revision after beta reading. After that I will be letting my publisher see it. I am not expecting instant acceptance, but I am hearing murmurs that it will be an exciting year for P’kaboo anyway.

Ideally, I would like a rest from serious writing until the spring. Then I would really like to return to one of my adult/general readership novels, probably my partly-written The Deptford Bear. It seems to be turning into a hybrid work, with elements of detective mystery, psychological exploration, and Steampunk. What I have already is set in a ‘telescoped’ Victorian era in London, with one or two technological oddities, and with a host of folk rituals cropping up on the streets. There will be hints of vampirism – yes, I can’t leave the subject alone! – but these will probably be dismissed. Let’s see if the return of flowers and birdsong to my own city will prompt me to take up that project again.

No promises!

Meanwhile, I came across the image below recently on line. The more I look at it, the more I think there’s a story there. What do you think? What does it suggest to you? And how is your year going to go?



2014 in review

41ayn0pmq2l-_sy344_bo1204203200_I’m taking a moment to review how things have gone in 2014. Sometimes, at the end of a year, I feel that I haven’t achieved anything; but when I stop and think about it, actually quite a lot has happened.

In January, for example, my first novel aimed at the teenage market, The Everywhen Angels, became available from Amazon, and in March by order at any branch of 1Waterstones. Then in February my short story Da Trow I’ da Waa was read aloud to the audience at Pitlochry Festival Theatre. This was the fifth time in seven years that one of my stories has been featured at the Winter Words literary festival, and I consider that to be quite an achievement.

may prismThroughout the year both old and new poems of mine have been published in anthologies and magazines. Notable among the publications have been The Milk of Female Kindness (ed. Kasia James) in March, May Prism 2014 (ed. Ron Wiseman) in May, although I didn’t find out about that until August, and Rubies in the Darkness (ed. P G P Thompson) in December.

jpegIn September, of course, my third novel was published – From My Cold, Undead Hand – and what more need I say about it! And a short time ago I put the final full-stop at the end of the sequel, KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE. Since then I have placed it in the hands of a couple of beta readers, and have had first reactions from one of them. Amongst her comments were the words “… great job!maelstrom of action and adventure…” and I am still basking in that rosy glow; however, a writer herself, she drew my attention to several things in the general readability of the novel about which I am going to have to think very seriously.

This year someone likened the quality of my poetry to that of Sylvia Plath. I have been continuing to write poetry, mainly in short snatches, for my poetry blogs Kvenna Ráð and a walk in space. As well as that, I have been keeping up the quarterly Showcases at the zen space. With regard to that, I am always on the lookout for ‘new blood’, for people who can express something in very few words – not just traditional haiku, but any form of short, in-the-moment poetry. Drop me an email if you either want to submit or to recommend someone.

So, all-in-all, it has been a busy and a fruitful year. How was it for you?

Have a Cold, Undead Christmas! :)

cover 200 disposalI was very pleased to see a copy of From My Cold, Undead Hand on the YA fiction shelves at my local branch of Waterstones the other day. There is still time, if you want to buy a copy as a Christmas gift for the bloodthirsty teen or vampire fanatic in your family – just pop along and order it at the counter. You can, of course, buy it on line in print form or as an ebook/Kindle download. Hurry!

I am currently doing minor tweaks and polishes to KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE. I have sent copies to my ‘beta readers’ to get some initial comments, before I finally give it to my publisher. I’m hoping for a publication date later in 2015, but that has to remain a hope for now. Be assured I’ll let you know.

The next Showcase at the zen space is due out on the first of next month, by the way, and I am looking for new blood (Oh – how appropriate!). Are there any poets out there who can use imagism or the haiku form to say something wonderful in very few words? If so, please get in touch.


‘KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE’ – first draft complete!

ShevToday’s big news is that I have finished writing KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE, the sequel to From My Cold, Undead Hand. So now I plan a period of leisure – no more novel-writing until well into Spring 2015.

But wait! Leisure? I have to read through and revise KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE, maybe making tweaks here and there. I have to find my trusted ‘beta reader’ and persuade her to read it. A busy writer herself, she may not be able to; but if she can, then I will be reading her new novel by way of exchange. I ought to try to find a second beta reader as well.

Then I have to attend to writing a macabre short story for Scotland’s Winter Words Festival – I have something in mind, but getting it from mind to paper is another matter.

Can I really leave novel-writing alone, though? I have two or three novels in plan form, some with test sections written, searching for the right ‘voice’. There’s my steampunk story of a young mountebank mentalist in Victorian London, a trail of bizarre murders, revenge, and detection – with a possible cameo appearance of Anna Lund! (Who? Read From My Cold, Undead Hand!). There’s my cynical wizard, working for the Chthonic Intelligence Agency. There’s a boy who finds he can work miracles. There’s a fictionalised life of Branwell Brontë. You see, if I wanted to immerse myself in novel-writing right now, I could.

If you would be interested in reading a short review I wrote recently about Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, you can find it here. on Angelique Jamail’s blog.

My last piece of news today is that I have just received the latest issue of Rubies in the Darkness, the magazine of ‘Traditional Romantic Lyrical and Spiritually Inspired Poetry and New Renaissance Writing’. On page 38 of this issue is a poem of mine from 2008. At that time I had restricted my poetry, by and large, to a formal style, in an effort to give my work discipline and technical power. It wasn’t just an exercise, however, as I greatly enjoyed using form, even in a light-hearted way, as in the poem below. It is called ‘We woke up to snow’:


Rubies in the Darkness is available from The Red Lantern Retreat, 41 Grantham Road, Manor Park, London E12 5LZ.