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Carly Holmes


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This book will be released in March 2022.

Pre-orders are charged at time of order and the book will be posted to you as soon as it becomes available.


‘Beneath her soft skin covering, my mother was once made of twigs and branches. Sometimes in the autumn I swear there was a gleam of berry in her eye, a sloe-shine peep between the thorny tangle of her lashes.’

In this debut collection of stories Carly Holmes peers into every corner of the strange fiction genre: from rural gothic through to traditional ghost stories and the uncanny. Mothers turn into trees when the sun goes down; Russian Dolls mourn their missing sisters in rotting houses; men offer sacrifices to the monsters who embody their inner wildness; and murderous demons protect young girls’ virginity.

Ranging from flash fiction to novelette, these stories are in turn chilling, playful, and melancholy. The bonds of family and of community, both in their fracturing and their healing states, the uneasy relationship between living in the present and yearning for the past, are themes that thread their way through Figurehead. Every tale is rich with landscapes haunted by loss and longing.

First published in limited edition hardback by Tartarus Press in 2018. This edition contains three new stories.

‘Sleep’ was selected for Best Horror of the Year Volume 11.


“This truly is quality literature of our modern times” – The British Fantasy Society

“(An) impressive first collection ... skilfully orchestrated” – Publisher’s Weekly “starred” review

“Carly Holmes is one of the most gifted writers I’ve come across in recent years” – The Supernatural Tales Blog

“This is a superb book by a writer to watch” – Katherine Stansfield

“These stories are extraordinary” – Tyler Keevil

“To read Carly Holmes is to be enchanted. Luscious, flowing prose that is never afraid to peer into the wild” – Angela Readman

"Glorious, confident writing" Horla



Carly Holmes lives and writes on the banks of the river Teifi in west Wales. Her debut novel, The Scrapbook, was shortlisted for the International Rubery Book Award, and her prize-winning short prose has appeared in journals and anthologies such as Ambit, The GhastlingShadows & Tall Trees Volume 8Uncertainties and Black Static.