Factor Fiction Publications

Currently available in our Shop at Lulu.

The Fiction Frontier – Starting to Write Science Fiction

22 October at 14:30–15:30

Leicester Central Library, Bishop Street, Leicester LE1 6AA

A panel discussion with Jay Eales, Selina Lock and James Worrad from The Speculators., a Leicester writing group. We will cover writing fan fiction, short stories, novels, comics & short films.

BOOKING ESSENTIAL – call the library on 0116 2995401
For more information on StarBase and the Sci-Fi festival, go
For more information on The Speculators, go to

Facebook event:

‘Do Something’ – charity zine

Cover by Jay Eales

Cover by Jay Eales

Ten days ago Jay and I were feeling powerless and angry about the current state of the UK, especially the reported rise in hate crime. So we decided to do something we know how to do – make a zine.

Do Something – a charity zine to raise money for ‘Hope not hate‘ was born.

Many thanks to all our contributors for such a quick and supportive response. Many thanks also to Jay, as he enables me when I have mad ideas and then does all the production work!!

Do Something

Contributions from:

  • Cover by Jay Eales
  • Introduction by Jay Eales & Selina Lock
  • Illustration by Dave Windett
  • The Cleansing by Mike Carey (short story)
  • #DrawTogether #Pinclusive illustration by Emma Reynolds
  • Pin Money by Penny Jones (short story)
  • Spread Jam illustration by Patrick Scattergood
  • Beyond Each Blue Horizon by Andrew Hook (short story)
  • The Man Who ran Through the Tunnel by Ambrose Musiyiwa (poem)
  • But One Country by Rod Duncan (poem)
  • Song of Defiance (for William Blake) by K. A. Laity (poem)
  • Cartoons & Comic Strips by P. B. Rainey
  • Five Years (Lyrics by Alan Bennett) by Paul Magrs (song lyrics/poem)
  • I Saw Life Jackets on the Beach by Emma Lee (poem)
  • Smiling in the Slaughterhouse by Cynthia Rodriguez (poem)
  • Walls (after Bobba Bennett) by Cynthia Rodriguez (poem)
  • Anti-homophobia quote from Nottingham LGBT Switchboard (non-fiction)
  • Extracts & Photos from the Leicester Hate Crime Project – compiled by Selina Lock (non-fiction)
  • Illustration & Comic Strips by Vicky Stonebridge
  • Rose-Tinted Spectacles by Jay Eales & Peet Clack (comic strip)
  • Hope Remains by Mike Jennings (non-fiction)
  • Migrant/Bird Illustration by BlueLou
  • Lurid Sky by Jen Walklate (short story)
  • Weyland Street by Will Ellwood (short story)
  • Internationalist Manifesto by Simon Bennett (non-fiction)
  • Project Indigo – Daughters of War by Alasdair Stuart
  • The Gospel on How Not to Build a Tolerant Society compiled by Ambrose Musiyiwa (poem)
  • To Leicester Where We Belong by Farhana Shaikh (poem)
  • What’s In a Name? by Penny Jones (poem)

We will have 25 photocopied versions of the zine for sale at Small Press Day at Forbidden Planet Leicester, 2-5.30pm, Saturday 9th July.

Over the next few weeks we will also look at making the printed version and a PDF version more widely available for sale. Watch this blog for updates…

Small Press Day at Forbidden Planet Leicester

smallpressdayWe are taking part in Small Press Day on 9th July to celebrate small press and indie comics.

The event at Forbidden Planet Leicester is:

2.30pm – 5.30pm

23 Silver Street, Leicester, LE1 5EU

Creators appearing as part of the event are:

Drew Sumner – Ink & Booze

Jade Sarson – TeaHermit

Esme Baran – Undine Adventurer

Sally Jane Thompson – Atomic Sheep

& others

Jay & I will be running free ‘Introduction to Writing Comics’ workshops.

The workshops will introduce you to the elements of a comic script, and provide a taster of the foundations of comic book writing.

We are running the workshop twice at:

2.30 – 3.10pm and 3.50 – 4.30pm

To book your place contact Forbidden Planet Leicester with your preferred timeslot.

More info on their FaceBook event and you can book by commenting on the post there.

Thought Bubble 2015 – All the Swag!

We always enjoy going to Thought Bubble, as it’s one of the most diverse comic cons on the calendar. Lots of creators we know and lots of new talent on display too.

This year (as usual) we got carried away buying fab stuff…
Thought Bubble 2015 swag

Saturday started by bumping into comics bud Terry Wiley in the queue and then seeking out Lydia Wysocki’s Applied Comics Etc. stall. Special thanks to Lydia for letting us dump our coats with her and lending me her chair for a sit down later in the day.

Terry & Lydia have recently been involved in a project with the University of Newcastle Special Collections (WW1 archive – see Thomas Baker Brown below).

Thought Bubble swag 9 The rest of the day was spent making the rounds of New Dock Hall and the marquee tent. Chatting to old friends and meeting new people.  
Thought Bubble swag 2

I made an unexpected impulse buy of this lovely hand-painted stone by Dominika Tomczyk. Dominika’s day job is as a mannequin make-up artist – who knew there was such a job! Those in London will have seen her mannequin work in various Xmas shop displays (e.g. Selfridges). We also caught up with Cliodhna Lyons, who was table sharing with Dominika and Benedict Bowen (storyboard artist & Phoenix Comic creator).


Impulse buy at Thought Bubble - beautiful original art by Dominika Tomczyk. (@bowendesign @ztoical ) Jay’s impulse art purchase was this lovely print by Sonya Hallett, as the dog reminded us of our dog Loki (who does like eating orange things!).  
Thought Bubble swag 10

We spent a lot of the Saturday and the Sunday chatting to the various people we bought comics/books from, as well as Andy Waterfield (who was involved in the British Comic Awards this year), Rachael Smith, Leah Moore & John Reppion, Antony Johnston and lots more.


Thought Bubble swag 8 Saturday night we went for a lovely Italian meal and catch-up with Matt Brooker, Jenni Scott & Richard Buck. Walking around the halls had worn us out, so afterwards we headed back to our hotel to watch Doctor Who.  
Thought Bubble swag 7

Sunday saw us finally get to Armouries hall for more chat and swag. We also went along to meet up with some of the creators from the ‘Women in Comics’ FB group. It was lovely to catch up with Maura McHugh, Sally Jane Thompson, Karen Rubins and to meet Tammy Taylor, Julie Nick, Kerrie Smith, Edward Brophy and Sarah Louise Elliott. Jay wants to apologise to Sarah for almost cutting her out of the photo. That’s not how it looked on the phone, honest!

Mini Women in Comics FB group meet at Thought Bubble

Tammy Taylor, Maura McHugh, Julie Nick, Selina, Kerrie Smith, Edward Brophy and Sarah Louise Elliott.


Thought Bubble swag 5  Plus lots more swag below…  
Thought Bubble swag 4Thought Bubble swag 3
Thought Bubble swag 2Thought Bubble 2015 swag 1 Overall, a weekend stuffed with comicky goodness!

Did Iris forget her biscuit & end up in the kitchen sink?

Jay has been busy writing short stories and has several being published in new anthologies:

The Perennial Miss Wildthyme

perennial_irisDeath of the Author, by Jay Eales

Right vs Left vs Wrong, by Paul Vayro

Wildthyme and The Wolf, by Graham Tedesco-Blair

Dolores Smith and the Birthday Bear, by Kara Dennison

The Girl Who Went Up In Smoke, by Greg Maughan

Onesies, by Steve Palace

The Opera of Samhain, by Donald McCarthy

A Grove Invisible, by Juliet Kemp

Michael Drake, by Dale Smith

The Midnight Empire, by Julio Angel Ortiz

Doppler Shift, by Ian Potter

Closure, by Paul Castle

Cover Artist: Paul Hanley

Available to pre-order from Obverse Books.

You Left Your Biscuit Behind


Photo courtesy of ‘Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums’

Elf Prefix by Graham Wynd

Between Love and Hat by Jay Eales

Black Glass by James Bennett

No Mercy by Kate Hollamby

That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles by Penny Jones

Feeding the Fish by Carol Borden

Mermaids in Cape Town by Mame Diene

Patron by E.J. Davies

The Price of a Biscuit by Kate Coe

The Princess, The Pekingese and the Ivory Box by R.A. Kennedy

Cover art will be by Michaela Margett

Available in 2016 from Fox Spirit Books.

Kitchen Sink Gothic

kitchensinkgothicDaddy Giggles by Stephen Bacon

1964 by Franklin Marsh

Derek Edge and the Sunspots by Andrew Darlington

Black Sheep by Gary Fry

Jamal Comes Home by Benedict J. Jones

Waiting by Kate Farrell

Lilly Finds a Place to Stay by Charles Black

The Mutant’s Cry by David A. Sutton

The Sanitation Solution by Walter Gascoigne

Up and Out of Here by Mark Patrick Lynch

Late Shift by Adrian Cole

The Great Estate by Shaun Avery

Nine Tenths by Jay Eales

Envelopes by Craig Herbertson

Tunnel Vision by Tim Major

Life is Prescious by M. J. Wesolowski

Canvey Island Baby by David Turnbull

Cover Artwork by Joe Young

Out now! Available through Amazon.


A cartoonists reaction to 7/7

The anniversary of the London bombings on 7th July 2005 reminded me that Lee Kennedy created a diary comic about her reaction to the bombings which we ran in The Girly Comic. I think Lee’s strip encapsulates the feelings of helplessness and the need to escape the news that many of us often feel (see below).

I can’t imagine how those directly affected by the bombings are feeling and our thoughts and wishes go out to them.








Here, there and everywhere in May

May turned into a very busy month for us with lots of events with some kind of creative connection…

First off was a visit to The Lakes with friends from The Speculators writing group. No writing was done, but we did lots of sight-seeing of writing-related places.

Writers in the rain!

Writers in the rain – at Wordsworth’s favourite writing spot.

Applied Comics Network Event - information, educational & factual comics.

Applied Comics Network Event – information, educational & factual comics.

Next up was a trip down to London for the inaugural Applied Comics Network Event, which I had been invited to speak at about the sessions I do at work about using comics to communicate research. I’ve blogged this in detail over on my work blog.

We both did readings at the latest Fox Bites event, which is a Leicester event for writers to read 5 minutes extracts of their work in a relaxed atmosphere in a local cafe. Organised by the lovely Adele (aka Aunty Fox) of Fox Spirit Books.

Jay entertains the audience with a sci-fi tale.

Jay entertains the audience with a sci-fi tale.

Jay read his short story Spare Change, which originally appeared in Murky Depths. While I read Once in a Blue Moon, a piece of flash fiction I wrote for the event.

The others writers who read were:

  • Daniel Ribot (author of Vampsov 1938) read his short story A Gentleman’s Agreement.
  • Marianne Whiting read an extract from her Viking novel Sheildmaiden.
  • Carol Leeming read an extract from her choreopoem – The Loneliness of the the Long Distance Diva.
  • Selina talks ancient hearts.

    Selina talks ancient hearts.

    Mayapee Chowdhury read a short story from her collection Embarrassing Siblings, Playground Taunts and other Growing Pains.

  • Leah ‘Ileandra’ Osbourne read an extract from one of her novels.

I went on a rather different creative jaunt during for the second Bank Holiday weekend, as I went on a sewing retreat. It was good fun and I learnt lots of new crafting techniques…

#sewingretreat winding up. Had a great time & learnt lots :-)

Fruits of my sewing labours.

May is being rounded-off with Jay busy working on a short story and a Speculators critiquing session this weekend.

Oh, and April brought the news that To End All Wars has been nominated for TWO Eisner Awards! Very exciting to have written for an Eisner nominated book!

Pimping our prose stories

I was rather busy in 2014 promoting ‘To End All Wars‘, so I forgot to give our prose stories the shameless self-promotion they deserve…

My most recent short story appeared in ‘Iris Wildthyme of Mars

Iris Wildthyme of MarsThe Red Planet.

Everyone agrees about the colour, at least. The rest is up for grabs.

Is Mars a dead and sterile desert, or teeming with life?

Are Martians red, green or blue? Nubile and lithe, or monstrously tentacular?

These Marses are of course incompatible, contradictory, and in many cases quite impossible. And Iris Wildthyme has visited them all.

My story Death on the Euphrates sees Iris and her companion Panda splashing down into a canal of Mars and becoming embroiled in several mysteries.

The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes 3

While Jay wrote The Revenant for The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes 3.

Twelve stories of supermen, cops, Mysterymen, samurai and private eyes from the likes of Kim Newman, Rod Rees, Tony Richards and more … thrilling tales of pure Pulp Adventure.


Jay’s previous prose publications:

Burning With Optimism's FlamesMightier than the Sword, Faction Paradox: A Romance in Twelve Parts, Obverse Books, 2011

Imaginary Kingdom, Alt-Zombie, Hersham Horror, 2012

Nine TenthsTerror Scribes, Doghorn Publishing, 2012

Faction Paradox: Burning With Optimism’s Flames, Editor, Obverse Books, August 2012

The Five Faces of FearBorn Among Briars, More Tales of the City, Obverse Books, 2013

The Five Faces of Fear (The Periodic Adventures of Señor 105 #8), Manleigh Books, November 2013

Zeitgeist, Terror Tales Volume 2, #1, Rainfall Books, June 2014

Selina’s previous prose publications:

Green Eyed and GrimThe Periodic Adventure of Seňor 105: Green Eyed and Grim (Novella), Manleigh Books (2013)

The Great and PowerfulThe Alchemy Press Book of Ancient Wonders, Alchemy Press (2012)

Light Fingers, Terror Scribes, Doghorn Publishing (2012)

Ancient Wonders 002Lone and Level Sands, Alt-Zombie, Hersham Horror (2012)

The League Against Santa Claus

The League Against Santa Claus

by Selina Lock

The blue-hooded figure stepped up to the podium. His long, grey beard looked in need of a good trim, but his beady eyes took in the motley crowd before him. He banged his staff on the wooden floor and the murmur of voices slowly faded.

“I call to order this meeting of The League Against Santa Claus” he said in a voice that filled the village hall and made the straggly tinsel and foil stars sway slightly.

“First order of business is a battle plan to destroy that lowly upstart Santa Claus!”

This produced a ragged cheer from the crowd, with a crashing of chains from the hairy, cloven-hoofed beast in the far corner. The beast’s long red tongue lolled out of his mouth in a sinister smile.

The bearded man banged his staff again and started detailing his battle plan. After about forty five minutes of this, the Yule Goat spat out the fake Christmas tree branch he’d been idly gnawing and bleated for attention.

“I was promised biscuits and akvavit. Bring on the nibbles!” the goat demanded. The hooded man glared at him. The goat stared back, chewing the cud calmly before speaking.

“You know we’ll just follow your lead Odin. No need to bore us all to death with the details.”

“Boiled adzuki beans done yet?” two men in identical ogre masks and straw capes chimed up in unison.

Odin banged his staff on the floor again and stalked off stage.

“Fine, the nibbles are at the back” he said.

The Yule Goat ambled after him.

“Who invited the two namahage?” he asked Odin, gesturing with one hoof towards the men in the ogre masks. “They’re New Year demons. We don’t want them muscling in on our territory.”

Odin sighed. “We’re a bit short on troops this year and they did make a compelling argument that Santa had nicked their naughty kids shtick.”

They all got stuck into the stollen, Christmas themed beer and akvavit. The party was very convivial until Krampas attempted to dance on one of the tables. They decided it was time to take him home before he hurt someone.

Odin surveyed his troops. The drunken beast, the masked twins and the abnormally large goat. He wished Thor hadn’t been too busy in Hollywood to attend this year. He banged his staff again and the other members of the League rolled their eyes at him.

“Remember, we meet at the North Pole at noon on Christmas Eve. Anyone who needs a lift can hitch a ride with the wild hunt.”

On Christmas Eve they gathered on a snow-packed peak overlooking Santa’s grotto. Odin was sporting a shiny new blue robe, had combed his beard for the occasion and was sitting astride his eight-legged horse Sleipnir. Krampus had polished his chains and the Yule Goat was sporting one of those red Scandinavian style scarves that were all the rage. The namahage were jigging about and grumbling about the cold. Behind them, the ghostly horses of the wild hunt stamped their hooves, while their riders waved their spears and bows.

Odin’s ravens Huginn and Muninn could be seen flying above the grotto, scouting out the territory. They returned a few minutes later to make their report. Odin trotted forward and addressed his troops.

“It appears Santa got wind of our assault and has recruited a couple of security yeti, but we mustn’t let that stop us. This is our year! Ready your weapons.”

The riders, demons and beasts shifted around and tensed their muscles. Odin turned Sleipnir to face the grotto and raised his staff.


The strange crew thundered down the bank towards Santa’s workshop. An answering roar was heard, as lumbering yeti appeared, reindeer bolted out of the stables and the jolly man in the red suit rallied his own troops.

As the two sides got nearer, Odin released the first snowball, which hit Santa square in the chest.

“First point to us” Odin shouted in triumph.

Then the Yule Goat locked horns with Rudolph, the wild hunt went up against the other reindeer and Krampus and the namahage twins targeted the yeti. The snowball fight began in earnest.

The noise from the fight caused Mrs Claus and head Elf Freda to come running out of the house, where they’d been having a well-earned hot chocolate break. They skidded to a halt, as a snowball landed at their feet. Mrs Claus shook her head.

“Every year, every damn year this happens. He promised it wouldn’t interfere with loading the sleigh, but oh no, they have to have their fun. Men!”

She threw her hands up in the air and Freda patted her on the shoulder, not easy when you are an elf of restricted stature.

“Good job we organised extra elf shifts, just in case.”

“You’re a life-saver, or a Christmas saver in this case Freda” Mrs Claus replied. “Come on then, let’s get that sleigh loaded.”

They turned back towards the workshop, with whoops and yells ringing in their ears.

“But if he thinks he’s sleeping in our bed tonight he’s very much mistaken” Mrs Claus muttered as she went.