Category Archives: moth girl


I know, it’s a crap word, but I couldn’t think of a clever one. If you do, let me know and I’ll edit this and credit you. They say you should always find a unique title for your book, but given the vast sweep of history and all its words, that’s not always possible. I set out to find out what other books share a title with mine.

Warren Peace by Michael WombatFirst up, there’s a 64-page version of Tolstoy’s War & Peace presented using photographs of rabbits dressed in clothing. It’s called ‘Rabbit Warren Peace’ and it looks BRILLIANT. Also, famed science-fiction writer Bob Shaw has written a couple of comedies about a cardboard-like, sitcom-like hero, Warren Peace, called ‘Who Goes Here’ and ‘Dimensions’.

Warren Peace Title-twins: 2

Fog by Michael WombatI expected to find that “there’s loads of books called Fog”, as a visitor told me at Indie Litfest last year but, although a legion of books have the word within a longer title, only James Herbert’s ‘The Fog’ comes close to the singular, and as I pointed out to my surly visitor, his doesn’t have a cool running man in the letter ‘O’.

Fog Title-twins: 1

Moth Girl versus The Bats by Michael WombatIn my innocence I imagined that ‘Moth Girl’ (even without her bats) would be unique, but no! Here comes ‘Moth Girls’ by Anne Cassidy, so called because girls are drawn to a particular house like moths (that’s light, Anne, not houses), rather than because, like my heroine Thea, they look like a moth when dressed in a weird cloak and flying goggles.

Moth Girl Title-twins: 1

Blood on the Ground by Michael WombatThis one surprised me. Who’d have thought there’d be other ‘Blood on the Ground’s? There are, though. There’s Paul Usiskin’s torrid tale of murder, dangerous love, and techno-porn (I know!) across the Israel-Palestine divide. Not a lot of laughs in that one, I’ll warrant. I’d prefer Lenora Rain Good’s ‘Blood on the Ground: Elegies for Waiilatpu’, 22 poems about the 1847 Waiilatpu massacre. Sod it, I’m buying that one.

Blood on the Ground Title-twins: 2

Happily, my other titles – Cubic Scats, Soul of the Universe, Cutthroats and Curses, Human 76 and the imminent The Museum of White Walls – appear to have no title twins at all. Which I choose to interpret as a 5-4 win for me, so ner.


Moth Girl audio coverAre you coming to see me at UK Indie LitFest in Bradford on 23rd July? Want a free audiobook to listen to on the way home?

The first ten people to say “Ee a Moth Girl” to me (that’s a quote from the book which is also an anagram of the person who inspired it) will receive a code for a FREE download of the Moth Girl audiobook from Audible (together with detailed instructions on how to jump the stupidly complicated Audible hurdles).

Moth Girl audiobook here.

The Running Man

rm-fObservant readers will know already of the running man that adorns several of my books. On the left you can see his debut on the cover of the paperback version of Fog. He also popped up on the back cover, legging it frantically across the barcode, as indeed he did on the back cover of the Fog Special Edition hardback, although the rather wonderful front cover design of that edition from Thom White meant he had to bow out there.

We couldn’t keep him away for long, though, and when Moth Girl versus The Bats appeared, again with a Thom White cover, there he was again, tirelessly scampering across the barcode. rm-mgPeople began to notice him, and asked why he wasn’t on all my books. The answer is that he marks a Wombat book with a Thom White cover. Except Cubic Scats, because we hadn’t thought of it yet. Thom is a remarkably talented designer who has the rare knack of capturing the feel of a book in a deceptively simple manner. His covers greatly add to the quality of my work, and his covers are real works of art. Who wouldn’t want a poster of that Moth Girl cover?

rm-bRunning man fans who are looking forward to his next appearance will not have much longer to wait. Take a look on the left. There he is from the cover of my new collection of short stories, ‘Blood on the Ground’, which will be published early next week. I will reveal the full cover here later today, but for now do you notice anything different about our running man?

How to download your FREE AUDIOBOOK

This post is for those lovely folk to whom I have given an Audible Promo Code to obtain a free copy of the AUDIOBOOK of Moth Girl versus The Bats, read by best-selling narrator Matt Thurston. If you want one too, all you have to do is ask. Go on, I won’t bite.

OK, guys, do this –

1. Go to the Moth Girl page on Audible.CO.UK or Audible.COM. Note, UK codes won’t work on the US site, and vice versa. You’ll need to log in to your Amazon account, or create a new one if you don’t already use the site.
2. Add the audiobook to your basket.Image3

3. IGNORE ‘OTHER BUYING OPTIONS’. Click ‘Do you have a promotional code?’ (bottom left)Image4

4. Enter the 13-digit promo code (the one I gave you, not the one on this screenshot!), and click “Apply Code”Image5

5. A box will appear telling you you have available credits, and you’ll now see a check box by the book under ‘Apply Credits’. Tick this box and click ‘Update’ to update your total to £0.00.Image7

6. Click ‘Continue with regular price’, check that your total is now zero and complete checkout by clicking ‘Buy Now’.Image8

7. Click ‘My Library’ and ‘Download’ to download your book.

Enjoy the hell out of the bugger. Please do rate and review it on Audible, as every single person who does that helps. Audible make reviewing a doddle by asking you three or four questions – it’s actually great fun. Oh, and thank you.

Matt Thurston, ear-stroker

Moth Girl Episode One Cover_ImageI thought you might be interested to see a few comments that listeners have made to us here at Hairynose Press about Matt Thurston, the reader of the Moth Girl audiobook:

“He really draws you into the story.”
“His voice is like he’s stroking my ears.”
“The bit where he suddenly switched into Thea’s English voice was ace.”
“I’m a big fan of classic radio serials, and it really reminded me of that. I’m certainly hooked!”
“I could fall in love with this voice.”

You can get your ears stroked HERE.

What you see is what you hear

Moth Girl Episode One Cover_ImageI’m over the parrot to be able to tell you that Moth Girl is now available as an Audiobook. Now you can listen to Thea’s adventures in the car, while you’re washing the dishes, or, you know, anywhere else where you might use your ears.

I am indescribably grateful to the remarkably talented voice artist Matt Thurston for agreeing to read it for me. Episode One is available for download from Bandcamp now. You can name your own price for downloading; pay what you think it is worth (and yes, that does include paying nothing; grab it free, if you like, as our gift to you. If you do think our efforts are worth rewarding, though, the option to bung us something is there).

CLICK HERE to download Episode One now.

Sleep is for wimps

2YyM2I awoke at 5am last night, and my mind decided that it didn’t want to go back to sleep. Oh no, the irritating sod decided that it wanted to think about time, death and oblivion. I tried to drag it away to thoughts of dancing ladies, semi-clad in diaphanous nightgowns, but my mind was having none of that and had an aged knight in rusty armour slay them all bloodily and muddily with a huge axe.
The upshot of this is that when time finally did haul it’s slow and sorry arse around to the hour of getting up, I was exhausted and – ta-da! – fell asleep.

I hate when that happens. It means that I’ve lost a morning which I had promised to devote to writing, and I can scarce afford that at the moment, given the number of project balls that I am currently juggling:

  • Firstly, here I am listening to the first chapter of the ‘Moth Girl’ audiobook, which is stupendously good. The reader has achieved a slightly off-kilter tone to his delivery which perfectly matches the tale. It will eventually be available for download on Bandcamp.
  • Secondly, I continue to promote ‘Soul of the Universe’, which to my delight has been extremely well received.
  • Thirdly, I have a shipful of pirate tales waiting for me to edit them into the next anthology, now tentatively entitled ‘Talking The Plank’.
  • Fourthly, the ever-patient ‘1322’ (which really needs a different title lest it be mistook for a history book – ‘The Raven’s Wing’ being the current favourite) sits back and awaits my attention.
  • Fifthly, I continue to tend my secret project as it simmers away. You may or may not get to hear about this towards the end of the year.
  • Oh, and sixthly, I ought to submit ‘Fog’ once more to a few publishers. Self-publishing is enormous fun, but a professional publisher could give a book far more of a push than I alone ever can. Although I love my readers dearly, bless you, of all my works ‘Fog’ at least deserves a wider audience.

So you see, I don’t have time to sleep. Sleep is for wimps. I must stop being a wimp.

Pteropine tale update

Moth Girl recoloured

Today I have been mostly working on a small rewrite of Moth Girl. I wanted to make the ending feel slightly less rushed, for a start. I am far more satisfied with this new version of the final episode/chapter; it flows far more believably. I have also taken the chance to correct a couple of slight typos and a honking great deus ex machina. The new version is a little longer than the original, and will make its way into the “The Soul of the Universe” anthology that I am editing The story will automatically update for any of you with synced Kindles, once I upload the new version. The paperback will move to Second Edition. Thanks to Michael Manz for nudging me to do this.
Prompted by the Moth Girl revamp, I asked Twitter what the collateral adjective was for bats, as ‘bovine’ is for cattle. The word I was after is, I learn, ‘pteropine‘. I do like any day that I learn new words.
This evening I will be putting the final touches to a tale set in World War 2. This one will be entered for the Historical Novel Society 2014 Award for outstanding short story. Not sure when you lot will get to see that – although two of you already have. Once that’s away with the judges, I intend to leap back with both feet into the too-long-neglected 1322, while still spurting out occasional shorts into occasional anthologies. Ahhh, this is the life.

Random witterings on character

Dscf7659I watched The Desolation of Smaug today; wonderful film. I particularly liked the way Thorin was written, as his urge to complete his quest began to overturn his decency. Yesterday I saw Django, and was struck by how well-written, how real, the title character was. A man who happily kills three men who were befriending and about to help him. I do wonder about my own characters. I thought I made Finn believable, and was happy with him. White was a bit too wry, though, and actually had moral reasons, albeit twisted ones, for what he was doing. Thea turned out a bit two-dimensional, but then Moth Girl was a short book. Cuetip was a rabbit.
You can probably tell that I’m currently fighting my tendency to make everyone I write likeable. Even my baddies aren’t without wit and charisma and an internal moral compass of some kind. It’s about time I handled a completely amoral character, one who respects no rules, or life, or anything but their own selfish desires. Chaotic Evil if you like. TOTALLY not me. Now THAT will be a challenge. And great fun. And probably happening in 1322.

Moth Girl reviews

Image1I’ve only just discovered three new (ish) reviews of Moth Girl on Goodreads. They are all 5-star (WOO!), which always give an author a big happy grin. Forgive me for showing off a bit, but YAY!


“There’s a real excitement to this work and a magical, almost “Night Before Christmas” feel of cold, crisp air, things flying about that really shouldn’t be, and a breath-taking promise of good things to come.” – full review at

“Perhaps one of the trickiest things about writing good steampunk is inventing and describing in credible detail mechanical items that do not exist. Michael Wombat does an excellent job of creating inventions that are simultaneously easy to visualize and plausible for the reader.” – full review at

“So unusual but vividly written.” – full review at


All this for only 99p! Or just £3.99 for the paperback.

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