Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Book Tour and Giveaway - Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories by Deborah Sheldon

Title: Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories 
Author: Deborah Sheldon 
Publisher: IFWG Publishing International
Publication Date: November 18th 2019
Print Length: 285 pages
Genres: Dark Horror, Crime Stories 
Brutal. Compelling. Sinister.

From wheat farms, roadhouses, caravan parks and beaches to quiet suburban streets and inner-city apartments, award-winning author Deborah Sheldon tells distinctly Australian stories about violence, loss, betrayal and revenge.

Figments and Fragments includes three new stories written especially for the collection.

I'm an award-winning author from Melbourne, Australia. I write short stories, novellas and novels across the darker spectrum.

My latest releases, through several publishing houses, include the horror novels "Body Farm Z", "Contrition", and "Devil Dragon"; the horror novella "Thylacines"; the crime-noir novellas "Dark Waters" and "Ronnie and Rita"; and the dark fantasy and horror collection "Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories" (winner of the Australian Shadows Best Collected Work 2017).

My short fiction has appeared in many well-respected magazines such as Quadrant, Island, Aurealis, SQ Mag, and Midnight Echo. My fiction has been shortlisted for numerous Australian Shadows Awards and Aurealis Awards, long-listed for a Bram Stoker Award, and included in various "best of" anthologies. I'm also guest editor of this year's edition of Midnight Echo.

Other credits include TV scripts such as Neighbours and Australia's Most Wanted, feature articles for national magazines, non-fiction books published by Reed Books and Random House, and award-winning medical writing.

- How did you come up with the title Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories?
The book comprises my previously published fiction, plus three new stories written especially for the collection. “Figments and Fragments” started off as the title of a new story. The more I thought about it, however, the more I preferred it as a title for the collection. Each story springs from either a figment of my imagination or a fragment of memory. In the end, I renamed the new story “November 9th 1989”, which turned out to be more appropriate considering the themes I explored.

The book’s subtitle was tentatively A Collection of Dark Stories, but in consultation with my publisher, Gerry Huntman of IFWG Publishing Australia, we decided to truncate this to Dark Stories. I’m pleased with the title. I believe it faithfully represents what the reader can expect.

- Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
To be honest, all of them! I have a background in TV, so my technique for prose is visually orientated. I “watch” the story in my mind’s eye as if it were a film, and write down what I see and hear. If I can’t “see” a scene, I can’t find the words to describe it. (That’s why I spend a lot of time daydreaming – an invaluable pastime for an author.)

Body Farm Z (Severed Press) is action-oriented horror. A zombie outbreak occurs at Australia’s newest forensic body farm, the Victorian Taphonomic Experimental Research Institute, and the plot unwinds fast – over the course of just two hours. It wouldn’t take much to translate this story into a screenplay.

Devil Dragon (Severed Press) is creature-horror. A Varanus priscus or devil dragon, the giant Australian reptile that went extinct some 12,000 years ago, might be lurking in the outback and a scientist leads an informal expedition to find out. As a fan of big monsters, I’d love to see this film.

Contrition (IFWG Publishing Australia) is slow-burn horror with noir undertones. Although it contains a number of action sequences, this story is more character-oriented, psychological and sinister, with an atmosphere of mounting dread. Oh yes, I’d watch the hell out of this film!

- Who is your hero and why?
My husband. He’s the finest person I’ve ever known. Honest, hard-working, loyal, capable, loving. If more people were like him, the world would most definitely be a better place.

- What attracts you to writing short stories?
The challenge. In just a few pages, you have to create a convincing window upon a world that includes at least one character for the reader to emotionally (or at least intellectually) understand. You don’t have much time to establish setting, mood and theme. Every word has to pull its weight. As a writer, you have to lean heavily on subtext when writing a short story. That’s not easy to do well.

- Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Figments and Fragments: Dark Stories?
The collection comprises 36 stories, so there must be a couple of hundred characters! They vary widely in every way including age, socioeconomic status, personality and worldview. But I think they all share one thing in common: feeling lost. I’m interested in exploring the psychology of characters who have been abandoned, betrayed, isolated, or otherwise cut off from loving, stable relationships. Characters under emotional pressure are fascinating to write about.

- Who designed your book cover?
IFWG Publishing Australia has a stable of artists and designers it draws upon to create cover art. My book cover was created by Keely Van Order with some input and suggestions from myself and my publisher.

My advice for self-published writers would be to pay an experienced cover designer rather than attempt a DIY job. “Never judge a book by its cover” may be a popular adage, but it’s a bum steer in publishing! Readers make purchasing decisions based on book covers all the time.
Win a $20 Amazon gift card or an eBook of the horror collection Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories by Deborah Sheldon.`
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


  1. The book cover looks very interesting.

  2. Interesting cover! It’s very distinctive! Thanks for the opportunity!

  3. What a crazy cover! Obviously, it catches your eye. How violent are these stories?

  4. I love the disjointed nature of the cover. It is eye catching!

  5. What do you think of the book or the cover?
    its a bit messy but it has an aura of creepiness...