Thursday, 22 March 2018

Dead Sun: publication date

I've had a fair bit going on this month, most of which I can't talk about just yet, while also working through Dead Sun to get the file ready to upload and all that jazz. Everything is on track; the cover is sweet and a few jolly nice people have agreed to read a copy prior to publication (which is a massive help because all writers need reviews in a big, big way. Even shitty reviews are better than no reviews), so it's time to sort a publication date.

Unless anything hideous goes down, shall we say late April? The 28th? Grand. Decision made. You can get my tale of angels, demons and a shitload of dead people from the end of next month.

Now all I need to do is make sure everything is ready with it while working on the stuff I can't tell you about.


Saturday, 3 March 2018

Dead Sun cover

So, here it is. Presenting the cover to my upcoming book Dead Sun. I don't have an exact date set for publication although I should be getting that sorted over the next week, I reckon. Anyway, dun dun dun...

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Going it alone: Dead Sun

For the last four years or so, I've been considering what to do with a book I had published in early 2013 after it went out of print soon after and the original publisher closed down. It was much more of a fantasy rather than the darker stuff I do now; that combined with how difficult it can be to sell new stuff to publishers let alone previously released work has left me uhmming and ahhing about what's best for that book. Long story short, I read through it again last year and re-discovered quite a lot about it I liked. It needed a polish and re-editing and while the issue of the genre being different is still true, it's probably not as big a deal as I thought - the book is dark fantasy (or light horror) so it's not a million miles from my current stuff.

Anyway, decision made over the last few months. I'm publishing this one myself and giving it a new title from the original release as well as the edits and rewrites. Although I don't have a date set, I'm looking at some point in the next few months. So, please be upstanding for the book published in 2013 as 'Set coming back to life as Dead Sun.

After an unbearable loss, Emma Cooper feels as if she’s simply surviving rather than living. That is until an angel and demon pull her from her fight against grief into a new battle.

Her daughter’s soul is trapped in the midway point between Heaven and Hell. By joining with the divine and the damned, Emma has a chance of helping her daughter and countless others escape what should be a world of peace but has now become the frontline of a war.

Someone is leading a rebellion against the injustices of life; they’re fighting for every human being to have an equal chance. But this conflict is heading towards something much worse than Emma or any demon or angel suspects. The forgotten remnants of Creation are breaking free; insane horrors from outside the universe eager to turn all of reality into suffering.

Unless Emma can stop this war, it will be too late to save her child’s soul. And the soul of existence itself.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

New book sale - The Dead Room

Some rather jolly news has come my way. Not only will my next book The Unredeemed be published by Hellbound Books, I've signed a contract for a second book from Hellbound. I know, two books. Madness. Anyway, I'm thrilled as you can imagine. No publication date yet but it's way too early for that. The second book is called The Dead Room and the blurby thingy is below. In the meantime, feel free to have a go at Hometown and Ascent which are great, if I do say so myself.

The Dead Room:

A week before Christmas, terrorists detonate dozens of dirty bombs throughout Britain and release a man-made contagion, leading Nicola Allen to begin a frantic hunt for her husband and daughter while a nation burns.

Fleeing from a horrendous event she refuses to speak of and desperate to find shelter in a dying country, Nicola’s sister-in-law Cate takes cover in a partly destroyed hospital. Terrorised by visions of mutilated bodies and the screams of phantom children, Cate joins with a group of survivors, all of whom are under attack by ruthless scavengers and looters.

If Nicola is to have any chance of finding her family and if Cate is to escape from the siege, they must reunite and then descend into the belly of the ruined hospital where the horrific truth of what truly connects the two women is waiting for them.

Waiting for them down in the dead room.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

New short story - The Mouth At The Edge Of The World

Been a while since I've been able to say this - I've got another short story to be published. The Mouth At The Edge Of The World will be published this November in WeirdBook Magazine. A fair way off yet but then that's publishing. It exists in its own timescale unknown anywhere else in every universe.

Funny thing about this one. I came up with the title before I'd written a single word. I had the vague idea, then the title that felt perfect so I thought I better write my little tale. Anyway, give it til much later in the year and you can read it.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

The heart of the story

I recently finished a long book by an author I'd heard of but never read. It would probably be shelved under SF or maybe Fantasy even though it wasn't 100% either. While the reviews from the critics were good, they seem to be less so from readers. It didn't take me long to discover something pretty odd.

I wanted to see where the story went, but I didn't care where the characters went, what happened to them, who they were or have any emotional connection with them. Not in the slightest. At first, I thought that was a failing on my part (the reviews suggested so), but as the long story went on, I realised it was because there was no heart to them. The story came purely from the head and was aimed squarely in that direction. It was like a physics problem had come to life and written a book. The intellect was there in spades; the issues the author wanted to discuss were on the page, but the character and the I had as much reaction to finishing the book and closing it as I did to opening it and reading the first word.

Yesterday, I finished another book. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. This one also deals with some heavy-going science and stuff that my brain (proud owner of almost no academic qualifications) wouldn't usually touch. Admittedly, it was written in a much simpler style than the other book and played out more like a thriller than a what the fuck is he on about now tale, but they're not the most important points for me. Dark Matter had a heart the first novel couldn't come close to - possibly the reason of the difference in opinion between the reviews and the readers. After all, most people are emotional creatures, not intellect. We react more than we think and we connect to the heart of any story more than we do the head.

Maybe that's one of the reasons I write what I write. To get into your heart.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Out one door, in the other

Half an hour before I finish my work for the day, so just enough time to squeeze in one last blog post before the end of the year.

Another year over; another year of ups and downs in my publishing adventures. Ascent was published in the summer which was a definite high. I'm proud of how good that book ended up (that sound you just heard was me blowing my own trumpet) after Christ knows how many laboured and shitty drafts it went through before I got to a decent version. No new short stories published this year which is a downer, obviously. I've got several still under consideration/yet to be rejected or accepted so hopefully, there'll be some good news in that department soon. I've written a few and am happy with how all turned out so I'm counting that a result.

Bad news on the novella I had with DarkFuse after that publisher closed. My Lovecraft meets Mad Max story went down the bog along with some great stuff from a lot of talented writers. It may see the light of day once again at some point although there's nothing happening with it yet.

I've polished my second to last book, written a new one and tidied up a handful of older novels. Obviously, the biggest news is selling The Unredeemed which is a great way to leave 2017 and start 2018. The funny thing is, I wrote the original draft of that one under a different title at least five years ago, left it alone for a while before reading through it and finding something in the story and character of my dead serial killer that I really liked. Several spit and polishes later, a new title and here we are - sold it within a week over Christmas.

So for next year, I'm looking at whatever work is required for The Unredeemed, hopefully selling the short stories that are out on sub and writing another book which is fully outlined and spins off one of the tales in my collection Die Laughing. As I said recently, I've been edging more into the thriller angle of horror lately (dark thrillers, obviously) rather than anything overtly supernatural. That's the idea for the next book. I still see my tales as horror but maybe more in the real world sense with future work.

Been meaning to blog more about films and books so that's a goal for 2018. For now, I'll say IT was the best film I saw this year while The Dark Tower was the absolute worst, sadly. Books of the year go to the last few Charlie Parker series from John Connolly which I blitzed.

That's about me done until next year, I think. Stay safe, be good and hope for better days.