Fantasy novel finished and out for submission

This week marks a major milestone in my writing career: after 5 drafts and a concept that was born 4 years ago, my fantasy novel is finally out on submission. Considering that over the past 4 months, we (Joseph Robert and I) have had a newborn and a house move to contend with, this has been no easy feat. 

At the moment, I’m looking for both literary agents and fantasy publishers who read unsolicited manuscripts. Whilst there remain clear benefits to self-publishing certain types of novel – crime novels or erotica spring to mind – I’m still of the opinion that traditional publishing is the best route for debut novels of other genres. Knowing how to market and promote your book can only take an unknown author striking out on their own so far. Ideally, my aim is for my work to reach the widest possible audience; for me, that involves leaving it to the pros. In any event, I’ll be updating on the progress in forthcoming posts. Here’s hoping!


Joseph Robert’s Halloween fiction in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine Fall 2017

Just in time for Halloween, Joseph Robert has a new short story published in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine Fall 2017.


His story, A Life in Books, appears on page 54. This is a good creepy one with a surprise ending. The morgue photo appearing on the last page of his work is a good fit for the piece…but no more spoilers! You can buy a copy from the link highlighted above or at editor Cinsearae S. Santiago’s Createspace page for the magazine.

The London Plane – Fiction in Monomyth Magazine

The London Plane 

Leilanie Stewart © 2017

Gladys put both hands on the tree and pulled herself up from the ground. She could see the waning moon through the bare branches. The sky was indigo blue, her favourite colour. The great artist had painted it all for her. She felt it.

“I was here before. I touched this tree once.”

Once, under a tranquil sky.

Her knees were still bleeding. She could see grit and fragments of leaves stuck to the grazed flesh. There was nothing she could do for now. More important things mattered. Like finding out how to get home.

She could feel the bark cracked and dry beneath her splayed fingers. As she stepped back, she let go of the trunk and looked at the medley of colours; brown, red, yellow like flax. There was a tree exactly like it outside her apartment back in England. A London Plane. A beautiful tree. Her favourite. She loved how they shed their outer bark in layers to reveal a multitude of colours beneath. A divine way to rid themselves of pollution.

Impulse overcame her. Her fingers worked like pale crabs, scuttling across the woody surface, peeling flakes from the tree. Fresh bark showed underneath the dead dregs of autumn. Around the trunk she walked, tearing at the tree. As the last flake of old fell, impulse gave way to addiction. Slivers of new green growth fell atop the pile of dead bark.

The trunk became thinner as she worked and Gladys noticed too that it was changing shape. As she peeled, the branches fell around her, exposing the nakedness of the moon. The tree was now a stump of its former self, standing barely five inches above her height. She pulled from the top, ripping lignin strands like threads of celery, until a dome appeared. Running her hands over the smooth surface following the line of the wood, she saw two distinct broad mounds, like shoulders. Yes, the shape she had carved was definitely human. Male. Continue reading

Literary hiatus

Joseph Robert and I will be taking a writing – and online – hiatus for a short while as we contend with other exciting life events. Nevertheless, do keep stopping by to check our recent literary endeavours to date and we hope to be back with you again soon! 

Second novel finished! Why Lulu is great for printing a proof copy

This post is technically a month overdue (no pun intended, considering I am on maternity leave), but between being busy with two author interviews for Too Full to Write and Lagan Online, as well as publishing Issue 6 of Bindweed Magazine and promoting my recently published novelette in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine Summer 2017, updates on my novel pursuits have taken rather a backseat. So here goes:

Why Lulu is great for printing proof copies:

I finished my final draft on 30 June. Since I was so immersed in the story and knew it would be hard to read objectively for typos and inconsistencies, etc, I decided to print a proof copy on My thinking behind this was that if it looks like a finished novel, it would be easier to read as a book rather than a manuscript draft, and less tempting to write all over with pen. I’ll admit, I did end up doing the latter when I decided to tweak the ending after all that, but the reading part still stands. Lulu is great for printing for several reasons:

1) It’s simple to use. Keep reading below for more info on this.

2) The books are of professional quality with a solid binding for a low price.

3) You can choose to print without publishing the book.

4) You have a lovely keepsake of your book whether it goes on to be published or not.

Here I am enjoying my proof copy in the park: Continue reading

Leilanie Stewart interviewed on Too Full to Write

This month has been a busy one for interviews: my second appearance is on website, Too Full to Write, hosted by author and entrepreneur, David Ellis. Rather than wearing my editor and publishing hat as I did earlier in the month, when Joseph Robert and I were jointly interviewed for Bindweed Magazine by Lagan Online, this one focuses on my own writing career and creative inspirations. I also add a few aspiring author tips for anyone thinking of getting into the business side of poetry or fiction. Enjoy!

New novelette published in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine Summer 2017

This month my novelette, Til Death do us Boneapart, is published in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine Summer 2017. I’m excited to see this story in print for a couple of reasons:

1. It’s my first novelette publication (my prose publications to date have been flash fiction and short stories in magazines worldwide and my satirical novella, Zombie Reflux from Meandi Books in 2014).

2. It’s a literary hybrid, mixing elements of horror, humour and romance into the tale (or tail if you like, since the protagonist is an ancient Egyptian mummified cat!), which is great for my writing CV, since I’ve just finished my urban fantasy novel that also combines a few of those elements.

My story appears on page 68 of the issue, which you can buy at the Amazon link above for the magazine. It’s told from the point of view of a mummified cat who is possessed by the spirit of the Ancient Egyptian cat deity, Bastet. She’s on a quest to be reunited with her long lost owner of two millennia, Nephthys.

Hope you enjoy it!

Joseph Robert and Leilanie Stewart joint publication on Google Books

In May this year, I wrote a post announcing that my writer hubby, Joseph Robert, and I were jointly published in the ‘Inane Pure Slush Volume 14’ anthology published by Australia based, Pure Slush books. The anthology is now available as an Ebook on Google Books. Here are the links to read our individual stories:

Fear of the Mould by Leilanie Stewart – Page 120: Inane Pure Slush Volume 14

This Really Happened by Joseph Robert – Page 51: Inane Pure Slush Volume 14

Of course, if you want to buy a print copy, it’s available too from Pure Slush Books at Lulu.

Joseph Robert and Leilanie Stewart interviewed on Lagan Online 

This month, Joseph Robert and I were interviewed for Bindweed Magazine at Lagan Online. We answered 7 questions related to our editorial decisions and process focusing on our family-run magazine and sub-strand, Heavenly Flower Publishing. 

Do check out the interview for more insight into our work as co-editors of Bindweed Magazine. You can also find other great literary resources including links to Literary Journals and Publications within Ireland via the Lagan Online website, so it’s well worth a good browse.


Bindweed Magazine seeking submissions for Issue 7

A year and 3 months later and the labour-of-love publication, Bindweed Magazine, that I’m co-running with Joseph Robert, is going strong. We have published writers from all over the world and currently have a huge backlog of poetry and fiction to get through; or maybe a hedge-load of convolvulus is more apt!

The latest print anthology (Issue 5) came in the post this morning. It’s always a satisfying feeling to hold those glossy paperback copies in my hands; a product of not only all the authors’ work, but of the many hours that I spent in editing, formatting and designing the manuscript for the final print version of each issue.

The Ezine for Issue 6 is currently running for July, August and September: the print anthology for all work appearing over the summer should be available in the print anthology due in October 2017. Minor delays in the publication schedule might happen, since of course a baby Bindweed is joining the ever blooming family-run business in the near future! But, for any budding writers out there looking for a home for their finished poetry and fiction, check out the submission guidelines for Issue 7 and send along your work. There’s still room for work appearing in Bindweed Magazine in October, November and December 2017.

Of course, if you want to check out back issues, feel free to have a peruse:

Issue 1: Morning Glory
Issue 2: Bellbine
Issue 3: Creeping Jenny
Issue 4: Waywind
Issue 5: Wild Lily