Saturday, 26 October 2019

Better days

My dad died last weekend. He'd had cancer twice before (2012 and 2015) and he beat it both times. It came back for a third try in the summer and while he'd kicked its arse back then, the third time was not the charm. All I can is it was quick. My brother and I were with him for an appointment with his oncologist on the Thursday to talk about chemo; he was in hospital Friday morning and I saw him Saturday afternoon. He wasn't with it until just before I left when he knew me. He came back to us on Sunday and then went in the evening.

Fast and quick and a fucking abomination. I tweeted about it on Monday which went as close to viral as I have ever been (or probably will be in all fairness) - support from online friends and strangers who have no reason to give a shit about my life other than the thing that connects us from country to country, faith or none.

Human decency. My dad was a piss-taker and he had little time for bullshitters. What he did have time for was good people. People who help and care. He didn't make a song and dance about much of anything; he just knew what mattered. And he knew it was being decent. If he'd known my little tweet would spread that far and wide, he'd have been chuffed. A small thing but enough.

As you can imagine, things are not great right now. The job hunt (for my wife as well), money and this. Just about all the shit has come at once. Part of my fight back against it is to keep writing. I've been working on the third draft of a difficult book for a little while and am pushing towards the end. I can already see this section of it will need more work than everything before it but I'm still putting the words down. My dad liked my books, so I figure the best thing to do is tell more stories.

And hope for better days.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Bad news, good news (The Kindred)

Some of the real life stuff I've mentioned has come to pass. Long story short, I've been made redundant from my job working in a library for the last fifteen years. As you can imagine, this is pretty shit. I'm gutted to leave colleagues and the boxes of new books every week, but this is how it goes especially for libraries over the last ten years in particular.

On the plus side, I have some excellent news. To go with my other titles from Hellbound Books, I have another to be published. The Kindred will be out next year. Very early days, of course, so all I can tell you is this one is dark. And here's the blurb.

Ten years after nuclear war devastates Britain, Lazarus and his adoptive siblings are flesh and blood to each other; to their victims, they are ruthless killers. Now their next target, a group of men seemingly made soft by a decade of hiding in underground bunkers, welcome the upcoming attack because they are far from weak. Armed and prepared, they are ready for Lazarus and his family.

In the ensuing violence, lost and alone, Lazarus is desperate to make it through the irradiated wasteland to his family before their captors reach a new government forming in Dover. Armed only with his knife, Lazarus is bearing down on the men who would dare harm his kin.

But unknown to either side, a terrible secret waits far below Dover Castle, lost for decades in the wartime tunnels.

A secret infinitely more dangerous than any killer.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

The Dead Room - Audible release

Hey, hey. Still dealing with personal life stuff but when it comes to the words, I'm very happy to say the Audible release of The Dead Room is now out. The narrator has done a stunning job with my tale so I'm chuffed.

This is my second release to make it to an audiobook version (The Unredeemed being the other) which is a definite result.

Link below.

Be well, people.

The Dead Room Audible

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Real life

You know those days or weeks where things go wrong? As in, stuff out of your hands all fucking up at the same time?

Yeah.

I'm not going into great detail here (it's not the time or place) - enough to say a lot of issues over which I have next to no control have all gone down the bog in recent weeks. And in all honesty, I'm not out of the woods yet. There'll be some changes in my personal life to come which might mean less time for writing. I hope that isn't the case but I really don't know. In any case, I've finished the second draft of my current book (two working titles are fighting to be the winner), so I'm letting that rest while I take care of real life business. Also, I'm writing a non-fiction piece for a horror publisher who are putting together a collection of essays about the genre. Outside of that, I don't think there'll be any new stuff on the horizon for a little while. I'll still be writing but perhaps at a reduced rate. Once I know more, I can come up with a plan to balance the work and the rest of my life.

In the meantime, it would really help me out if you'd spread the word about my books or even buy one and post an honest review. Thankee sai.

author.to/LukeWalker

Long days and pleasant nights.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

The Mouth At The Edge Of The World now available

Remember ages back I mentioned my short story The Mouth At The Edge Of The World? Well, I'm pleased to say the collection featuring it has now been published. You can get Weirdbook 41 over here:

Weirdbook41

It's got some great authors (as well as me, obviously) so I hope you enjoy. And it's just dawned on me I don't have any other short stories on the horizon. Hmm. Suppose I better do something about that once I finish my current book.


Saturday, 22 June 2019

Memory is a funny thing

I've got a pretty decent memory - not for anything that might be useful, but more for seemingly inconsequential stuff, so it was a shock the other day when a friend posted a few old photos on Facebook because I'm in a couple and I have no recollection of them being taken. Admittedly, they're pushing twenty-five years old and I'm not as young as I used to be, but part of me still thought I should have remembered them. I suppose being nearly 42 isn't 17 and the frozen seconds in those photos is a long time ago. The good thing is I'm still friends with some of the people in the shots. Others, we've lost touch since the mid 90s which is just life.

A few minutes after seeing the shot below, I thought of a scene in my book Hometown that could have been inspired by the photo. As I don't remember the photo, it wasn't. But yeah, I think maybe it was. Because something in me remembered.

She pulled the album free and let it fall open to a double page spread of pictures. At once, grief filled her just as joy did.
‘Geri,’ she whispered and traced her fingertip over Geri’s smile and her face. The shot was from a night in a pub, probably around the time she and Andy had left for university. In the photo, Geri was smiling and lifting a drink to her mouth, Mick beside her with two fingers held up to the camera and his tongue sticking out. In the photo beside it, Mick had lowered his hand, Geri’s drink was at her mouth and not quite obscuring her smile as Mick kissed her cheek.
Karen’s tears pattered on the picture and she let them fall, smiling as she studied the other photos. They didn’t appear to be in any order. Shots of their late teen years sat with older shots of Geri and her family when she’d been twelve or so, then shots from university life. Karen turned the page to photos of childhood pets: a large black and white cat, one ear tucked under his head and a paw reaching towards the camera; a border collie pup chasing a ball in the garden. She turned the page again and her gaze immediately fell on a photo in the top right.
It was all of them. She sat beside Geri on a school table. Stu was on Geri’s other side, Mick beside him, and Will in front of Geri, her hand on his shoulder with Andy squeezing into frame beside Will.
Others had crammed into the shot and while she could name all of them, she knew they weren’t part of the photo in the same way she, Geri and the boys were. Maybe they knew it, too. A few were smiling, but most were looking out of shot or at each other. She touched Geri’s hand on Will’s shoulder and there was no jealousy. Seeing them together in such a perfect moment was exactly as it should be.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

New review for The Dead Room

Nice start to my weekend - an excellent review for The Dead Room from Char's Horror Corner. As I've said roughly eight million times, reviews are essential for writers especially ones like me without an agent and big publishers. So, if you can spare a few honest words for The Dead Room (or any of my books for that matter), it would be a massive help.

Review