Publication news: stories from London

Between the insanity that was last semester and the constant barrage of new experiences within the past months, it completely slipped my mind to write this post back in March. You know, when it would have been relevant.

But thankfully, I held off, and now I can put an old announcement and a new announcement in the same post. BOO-YAH COORDINATION.

In March, while I was still in London, I got an email with crazy exciting news—a work of flash fiction I’d written was going to be published in literary magazine Lightning Cake. A few days ago, I got word that a different short story I wrote will be published in Issue 15 of Luna Station Quarterly on September 1st!

I wrote both stories while abroad. Conclusion? Gotta get out more often.


I really did mean to write a post about this story months ago. It was published on March 27, 2013 with a gorgeous little illustration by Figment’s own Linna Lee. I saw it, I loved it, I plastered it all over the Internet.

And here it is again:

Thunder Soles Illustration Lightning Cake

Thunder Soles” is a tiny fairytale about a girl who, simply put, has thunder in her soles. I wrote it in its entirety at about 1AM, sitting at my desk, staring out at the London drizzle. Here’s an excerpt:

thunder soles excerpt

What drew me to the ‘zine initially was the fact that it itself is a work of art. Check out Lightning Cake here for some beautiful, strange, and electric tiny stories (and if you have a Tumblr, please feel free to share the stories and illustrations with your followers). They’re all incredible, and I’m so humbled to have appeared alongside such talented word-weavers.

You can read “Thunder Soles” here.


I’m a long-time reader of Luna Station Quarterly, and I have wanted to submit a story to them ever since I learned of them. Many of my friends have published with them, but with Privateer constantly sucking away my time, I never had a chance to write something to submit to them.

Then almost immediately after I wrote “Thunder Soles,” I visited Dennis Severs’ House (in Spitalfields, London). This house is so much more than the usual haunted house gimmick. It’s the legacy of artist Dennis Severs, who decided to recreate an environment from the 18th Century exactly.

Photo credit to Roelof Bakker,

Photo credit to Roelof Bakker,

When you step inside of this house, you for a moment also step into the 18th Century, and you feel as though you’re interrupting its occupants’ lives. It’s like walking onto a film set, but even better. It feels real.

what things are doingThere are breadcrumbs on the floor, spilled wine and melted candlewax on the tables. The beds look slept in, the hearth is still warm from the last fire. The fresh food is half-eaten, and there’s a cat that wanders the halls, pausing to stare at you right when you begin to wonder if you’re intruding.

But what struck me were the voices I heard as I walked from room to room. There were whispered conversations, footsteps, sounds of eating and drinking—all seeming to get louder only as you walked away from its source.

So I came back with an idea for a story about a young man who leases a haunted apartment, and the family of ghosts who live (…exist?) there.

And I tried to write it. I tried really hard. But it wasn’t coming together for me just yet, and I had to put it aside for a while, at least until I knew how it ended.

At the beginning of the summer, I rewrote the ending a hundred times, and then I submitted it to LSQ. I’m so happy to announce that “Wallpaper People” will be available online and in ebook format on September 1, 2013. I’ll add the link when Issue 15 goes live in a couple weeks!*

Here are some more pics of Dennis Severs’ House that hardly do it justice:

Samantha Chaffin

*UPDATE: “Wallpaper People” is up on LSQ now, and can be found by clicking here!


9 thoughts on “Publication news: stories from London

  1. Kim says:

    OMG I CAN’T WAIT TO READ WALLPAPER PEOPLE! That house sounds amazing – I would have probably gotten the chills walking around in there (but, you know, I love gohsts, so I doubt I would have been scared). Your stories are always a pleasure to read, but seeing you play with some magical realism story ideas is pretty darn exciting 😉

    • samchaffin says:

      Aw thanks so much, Kim!! 😀 I’m so excited (and nervous?) to have “WP” out there. And YES, you totally would have loved Dennis Severs’ House! It was amazing, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. If you ever return to London, you should most definitely make it a priority to visit! I actually had more than one story in my head after I left the house—each new room came with a hurricane of inspiration. 🙂

  2. deshipley says:

    I remember “Thunder Soles”! It was delightful. ^.^ Congrats on that *and* your upcoming piece in LSQ! I’ll be sure to instruct my few little stories over there to extend a warm welcome to yours. ;D

  3. clclewis801 says:

    Thunder Soles= AMAZING. I was eating dinner hours after reading it and I suddenly got why it was so sweet…they were made for each other 🙂 Ya…I am not a hopeless romantic. Anyways thanks so much for the encouragement…I sent in a story to one of the places you mentioned and am hoping I get in. I had a poem published for a college magazine and I am on Figment (Arabella Starr) so…exciting. Keep pushing onward with your writing. 🙂

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