Saturday, 15 December 2018

Film rec - Brimstone

I've been meaning for months to share more links to decent books and films I come across and, frankly, I've been piss poor at that mainly through a lack of time. Obviously, writing has to come first followed by sending my stuff off and then playing the waiting game. The result is my plans to spread the word about a book or film I really enjoyed goes down the toilet.

Cry your pardon.

Anyway, I recently watched a Western called Brimstone which was absolutely great. I'm not sure if you'd call it a Weird Western or a Western/Horror or a WTF; all I can say it's not just a straight good guys vs the bad guys film by any means. Nor is it a linear tale. Told in four chapters which link to each other and brutal as hell, it's not a film for everyone (put it this way - I have a pretty strong stomach as you might imagine, and even I thought it was fierce) and the run time of well over two hours might put some viewers off. For those who don't mind a slow, detailed story, an unusual structure and a dark storyline, Brimstone is one for you.

I won't say anything about the plot as I often think it's better to go in at least slightly blind to a film like this one. And yes, that is Jon Snow. He knows nothing.

BRIMSTONE


Sunday, 25 November 2018

Trusting to luck?

You may or may not have noticed I've made some changes to the look of my blog recently - hopefully, it's clearer and refreshed. I've added a contact me form over on the right, changed the fonts etc and binned about four years worth of posts. I started this blog back in late 2011 and it was beginning to feel too busy for my taste which is why the oldest post here is now no longer the very first (funnily enough, my first two posts were the ones with the highest hit rate).

Blogging definitely feels a bit old hat now - asking readers, potential or otherwise, to actively seek out my rambling thoughts instead of posting an instant tweet or delivering my news right to their inbox with a newsletter. For what it's worth, I've got this blog, Twitter and a newsletter so take your pick on how you'd like to hear from me. It's funny how things change especially in publishing. Just before my first book was published, every single publisher I checked out specified their writers had to have a site/blog with plenty of them also saying you had to have a Facebook page. These days, the focus appears to be more on newsletters, but I wonder if they've had their time as well - unless you're a big name, of course. I think there's a good chance people just think it's yet another email to read so I'll bin it or save it for later and then never go back to it. The old problem for the writer is how to tell the readers about their books without boring them. Twitter, blog, newsletter, word of mouth, trusting to luck...

Honestly? I still have no idea.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Grey in my beard

I turned 41 the other day. No age at all to someone like my dad who's 66 or my mother who's 73, but an old bastard to a 20 year old. And no, this isn't one of those wanky posts to moan about getting older. I'm fine with thinking that being 20 or 25 and even 30 is a way behind me now. Those ages may not feel that long ago, but let's face it, 41 isn't a kid.

And that's fine with me.

If you'd told me at 21 that two decades later, I still wouldn't be writing full-time, that I wouldn't really be any more of a success with writing and publishing seven years after my first book was released than at any point before it, and that there's close to zero indication of that situation changing. . .I would have wondered what the point was of spending so long and investing so much in time in making up stories. Whether or not I would have carried on investing that time, I can't say for sure, obviously. I think I would have, but who knows?

Writing, telling stories, making shit up - it's the only thing I'm good at. And that's not blowing my own trumpet; it's what I've come to realise after doing it for so long. I'm happy doing it. If it goes nowhere and if I'm writing another post along these lines in twenty years, then so be it. And if the main difference I can see between the 41 year old writing this and the 20 year old who'd be furious to know he's still not a success is the grey in my beard, then that's what I've got.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got stories to tell.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Die Laughing - free this weekend

To celebrate the release of ASCENT, my short story collection Die Laughing is free this weekend. Totally free. Get yours before Monday night (US time) for nothing more than a kiss in the dark. And even that is optional.

UK link

US link


Thursday, 1 November 2018

Ascent - the links

In case anyone was wondering why I hadn't shared any links to Ascent, it was because there was an issue with the ebook version which took a while to sort out. Everything should be okay now, so I'm delighted to post all the links now along with a little peek at the book.

UK paperback

UK ebook

US paperback

US ebook

As I've said more than once, I was gutted when the original release went down the toilet after that publisher closed their doors, so having it brought back to life through Hellbound Books is a result, I'm sure you'll agree. And as always, if you can do me a major solid of posting a review - no matter how short as long as it's honest - that would help me out more than you can imagine. In the meantime, how about a cheeky look at Ascent?



Claws sank into the skin of Dao’s forehead. Blood flowed from fine cuts. He still didn’t have the breath to make a noise, despite the pain rapidly becoming agony. His head was turned; he had no choice but to go with it while Yang’s wails rang out, non-stop, beyond awful.

Whatever held Dao’s head pushed him back towards the window, the glass looming closer as he dragged useless fingers over the carpet and wept. The forced movement took him to the window and kept going. His nose pressed into the glass, then his forehead. And still, the claws in his head wouldn’t let go. Dao’s first coherent thought in seconds was:

It’s going to crush me.

Dao’s vision rippled. For a tiny moment, even the terrible sensation in his skull lessened. Then the glass of the window parted like oily water, its surface shimmering and dancing on all sides as Dao’s head oozed through it. He couldn’t close his eyes even when the window—or whatever the window had become—pressed its cold into his pupils for a moment, then flowed to the sides, then up and below.

Air found Dao’s face.

He’d been pushed through the surface of the glass as if it were fresh mud. His knees and hands remained on the carpet while his head and neck jutted from the side of the building, offering him a God’s-eye view of Willington’s centre and its new lifeless surface.

But it wasn’t totally lifeless.

The claws forced Dao to bend his neck and see what moved on the pavement ten floors below.

Skittering, black pools sliding together, growing and forming wider circles; those circles slowly began to jut from the ground and form the unmistakable shape of bodies, while the same fierce white light that shone in the east rose from the pavement. The faint whiff of something meaty rose. Something burning reached Dao’s nose.

The stink and the shapes too awful to be called human were not the worst. Neither was the impossible horror of his head pushed through a window without any glass breaking.

The claws gripping his skull, piercing skin to send tiny lines of blood streaming down his face, had changed.

They had become the soft weight of a hand.

A child’s hand holding his skull and forcing his neck back, so his staring eyes couldn’t help but see the silver of the sun shining from the wrong direction.
   



Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Ascent - published on Friday

Word on the street (well, direct from the publisher) is that Ascent is published this Friday. It isn't listed on Amazon yet, but obviously I'll post those links as soon as they're live. In the meantime, how about a cover reveal?




When terrorists target an American air force base with a nuclear bomb, Kelly Wells races to find her sister in a nearby office block, desperate for them to be together in their final moments. At the same time, a handful of others fight their way through a panicked city to reach the building—frantic to make it to loved ones before the device ignites less than fifty miles away.

In the frozen instant of the detonation, Kelly, her sister and three strangers are locked in that moment and trapped in the offices. But they are not alone. An ancient god from the deepest pits in the earth has woken and knows their most private secrets and guilt. Now, horror takes the form of their darkest dreams to draw sustenance from their terror, and the beast stalking them will dine well.

Because everybody is afraid of something.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

A collection of interviews

Just a quick post on this blowy October morning. The publisher of The Mirror Of The Nameless has put together a collection of interviews with authors along with snippets of their books. I'm in it along with some very jolly people. You can get your copy over on Amazon this way for less than £2.50.

In other news, the reissue of Ascent is still coming soon - more info as soon as possible - and I'm alternating between new short fiction and a new book. Because there are always more stories to tell.