AsylumFest 2023

AsylumFest 2023

Another year, another road trip to beautiful Beechworth Asylum with notorious Canberra hoodlums Kaaron Warren, Aaron Dries, Robert Hood, Cat Sparks.

Raved about Shirley Jackson and Daphne du Maurier on a panel on the modern gothic, with Kyla Lee Ward, Kellie Beat and Paul Sheldon. Hosted the Australian Shadows Awards with Let The Cat In co-hosts Kaaron Warren and Aaron Dries – with much celebration to follow when Aaron won best short story for little Balloons (my personal favourite from his killer collection, Cut To Care). MC’d the Mayday Hills Ghost Story Competition, and subjected the captive audience to a reading of The Whatnot Shop. And in between it all, chatting to readers, selling books, shooting the proverbial with the many excellent guests. 

Check out photos of the weekend courtesy of the inestimable Cat Sparks (from whom these pictures were lovingly stolen).

J. Ashley-Smith, Cat Sparks, Kaaron Warren, Robert Hood and Aaron Dries in a really big car on the way to Beechworth
Inside the haunted asylum at Beechworth, book tables and punters
Paul Sheldon and Kellie Beat on the Modern Goth Panel
Robert Hood and J. Ashley-Smith at the book tables
Kaaron Warren and J. Ashley-Smith at breakfast
Kellie Beat and J. Ashley-Smith on the Modern Gothic panel
J. Ashley-Smith, Kaaron Warren and Adrian Collins
J. Ashley-Smith and Jason Nahrung at the pub
Online launch: The Measure of Sorrow

Online launch: The Measure of Sorrow

in conversation with John Langan

Big thanks to everyone who rocked up to the virtual launch of The Measure of Sorrow, hosted by Meerkat Press last weekend. For those who couldn’t make it (or you hardcore types committed to watching the “Director’s cut”), here’s the full-length unexpurgated conversation, including Ohio, Kafka, black lakes, book burning, famous dead people, deep-fried platypi, Tina Turner, passing references to the collection, and big-ups to other people’s awesome books. Hope you can check it out!

Huge thanks to John for being a great host, an irrepressible conversationalist, and an all-round stand-up guy. If you’ve not yet read his latest collection – Corpsemouth and other Autobiographies – I insist you rectify that immediately. 


Trip The Dark Fantastic (BigIndieBooks)

Trip The Dark Fantastic (BigIndieBooks)

The Measure of Sorrow – Blog Tour

I love a good listicle – the only trouble being having to keep it so short! Seriously, I could have kept going and going with this one, but picked these five as the collections that made the profoundest impression on me when I read them. Five collections that literally changed how I think and how I see the world. If there’s something here you haven’t read, go rectify that immediately.
Big thanks, as always, to BigIndieBooks for hosting! Check out the full article here.