Normal service will be resumed shortly

Normal service will be resumed shortly

It’s been a while – far longer than I’d intended actually. It’s over two months since I last posted here, and that’s a record I’m not particularly proud of. New words, old words, edits, deadlines, other jobs, family matters and many other things have combined to keep me off-line for an uncomfortably long period of time. I’m back now – for the time being at least – and have a number of things to tell you about over the coming weeks.

First and foremost, if you’ve pre-ordered the book, you probably know by now that we’ve pushed back the publication of ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING until 5 December. The copyedits were finished and returned to my editor last Friday, and I can’t wait for you to read the novel. It’s a very different perspective on the world of HATER which opens a whole host of new possibilities I’m currently exploring as I write THE OTHER HALF – book #5 – and prepare the (absolutely) final book in the series, THE LAST SUMMER. I’ve had a blast returning to HATER, particularly with THE OTHER HALF which is a parallel sequel to DOG BLOOD. There’s so much going on in DOG BLOOD that I didn’t realise until now…

I’ll be able to tell you more about the books over the next few months, along with news about new audiobook releases, ebooks, short stories, foreign language editions, film and book recommendations, interviews, events and – hopefully – a brand new serialised novel for the summer. Watch this space.

Until then, you can find out more about ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING here. Shelve it on GOODREADS here.

Read an ebook week – free and discounted ebooks available

It’s the 9th annual READ AN EBOOK WEEK. It’s an event I’ve posted about numerous times before and I’m pleased to continue to support the initiative. I’ve been an advocate of ebooks right from the beginning – those pre-Kindle days where I’d email Word, pdf, Mobipocket or lit (remember Microsoft Reader?) copies of AUTUMN to anyone who showed interest. It worked a treat, with more than half a million free copies of AUTUMN being downloaded between 2001 and 2008 when the series was acquired by Thomas Dunne Books.

Ebooks haven’t proved to be the print killer that everyone initially feared. To me, they’re something that compliments but doesn’t replace the physical version. I travel a lot at the moment, and my trusty Kindle has been a godsend on many recent plane and train trips.

So please join me in celebrating the humble ebook by sharing this post and other READ AN EBOOK WEEK articles. To mark the occasion, I’ve got a number of titles on special offer:

Free ebooks

I was sorry to hear that SHELFIE closed down last week. You might remember me posting about the service a couple of years ago, back when the company was known as BitLit. The premise, I thought, was brilliant: you took a photo of your bookshelf with your phone and the Shelfie app scanned the spines and gave you links to download free or discounted ebook copies of the titles you already owned. I immediately made all Infected Books titles available via the service, because it seemed to fit perfectly with my ethos that a reader should only ever have to buy the same book once, and if you buy a paperback, the ebook version should come bundled (because you can rip a CD and get mp3s for your phone, but you can’t buy a paperback and rip the text for your Kindle, can you?).

I thought now would be an ideal time to restate the Infected Books ebook philosophy:

  • if you buy a ebook version of an Infected Books title, I’ll give you a discount equivalent to the price you paid on a signed physical copy purchased from www.infectedbooks.co.uk
  • if you buy a print version of an Infected Books title, you can get a free download of the ebook version:
    • If you purchase from Amazon, all IB titles are available under the terms of their Matchbook programme
    • If you purchase from IB, you’ll automatically receive a download link to get your ebook
    • If you purchase from elsewhere, you just need to complete a simple form on www.infectedbooks.co.uk to receive a download code to get a complementary ebook version

Thanks for your ongoing support of Infected Books and independent publishing as a whole. It’s the future! (and on the subject of the future, it’s worth pointing out that my next release, THE FRONT: RED DEVILS will also be a part of the IB print/ebook deal).

Sir John Hurt (1940 – 2017)

I was saddened to hear today about the death of Sir John Hurt. I don’t usually write about individual actors on this site, but his impact was such that I couldn’t let his passing go unnoticed. He was one of those rare actors who, to me, seemed both recognisable and unrecognisable at the exact same time. His face (and voice) was immediately familiar and yet he completely inhabited the roles he played to such an extent that any familiarity quickly disappeared. When I see Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks or Johnny Depp on screen (something I try my best to avoid doing), I know I’m watching Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks or Johnny Depp, albeit in a different setting and with a different haircut. With John Hurt, however, I was only ever watching the character he was portraying. Does that make sense?

There are three particular roles he played I wanted to mention. When I was nine and was rapidly discovering my love for all things horror, ALIEN was released. I’m assuming anyone reading this will know that his character, Kane, has one of the most famous death scenes in movie history. Of course, as a bloodthirsty kid, all I was initially interested in was the chest-burst and the gore. It was only when I later learned more about how the scene was filmed – how he knew what was going to happen but the rest of the cast didn’t – and when I watched the film again (and again and again) did I realise how smart and clever Sir John’s performance was.

A couple of years later he starred as the titular ELEPHANT MAN in David Lynch’s adaptation of the life of the hideously deformed John Merrick. I rewatched the film recently and was again spellbound by his performance. Despite being unrecognisable and with limited movement under Christopher Tucker’s ground-breaking makeup, he succeeded in playing Merrick in such a way that the character’s pain and suffering was abundantly clear.

But my favourite John Hurt performance is as Winston Smith in Michael Radford’s film adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984. I’ve already written about the film here so I won’t go into much more detail, other than to say that the physical and mental transformation of Smith is remarkable. It’s a superb adaptation of a book which in these days of ‘alternate facts’ and the like, continues to feel increasingly relevant.

So goodbye Sir John, and thanks for the many magnificent performances. I’ve barely scratched the surface: V FOR VENDETTA, HELLBOY, HARRY POTTER, DOCTOR WHO, SNOWPIERCER… I could go on and on. Instead, I thought I’d post this compilation clip instead:

Is this our LAST CHRISTMAS?

Very pleased to be able to announce the release today of LAST CHRISTMAS – the final book in Infected Books’ YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE series, and the first time WAYNE SIMMONS and I have collaborated on a story. It’s silly. It’s bloody. It’s Christmassy. It’s a whole lot of fun and I hope you enjoy it.

The Office Christmas Party can a nightmare at the best of times but when it coincides with the end of the world, things get even messier.

For mild-mannered security guard Howard Stanton, this was meant to be an easy shift. A chance to keep his head down and watch Die Hard movies while the rest of the staff get wasted. But then the zombie apocalypse happened and peopled expected him to do something about it. Was that even in his job description?

It’s going to be a long drink- and drug-fuelled night. The world’s going to hell and it’s down to Howard to hold it all together. He’s in charge tonight, and if he screws up, it’ll be everyone’s last Christmas.

It’s been a quiet couple of years, but things will be cranking up a gear or two (or ten) in 2017. THE FRONT: RED DEVILS will be out in February, ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING (HATER #4) will be out in August, and there will be other surprises along the way. Oh, and important paperwork has just been signed for the screen adaptation of HATER. More news coming soon…

Pick up LAST CHRISTMAS now from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Amazon.de. I hope you have as much fun reading it as we did writing it. And if I don’t get to post here again before Christmas, wherever you are and whatever you celebrate, I hope you and your families and friends have an excellent time.

The Black Fang Betrayal – now free to read

Black Fang BetrayalYou might remember THE BLACK FANG BETRAYAL, a really interesting project I was involved in a while back. The book is a collaborative novel, coordinated by James Thorn and written by myself alongside TW Brown, Michaelbrent Collings, Mainak Dhar, J.C. Eggleton, Glynn James, Stephen Knight, T.W. Piperbrook and J.R. Rain. I’m excited to tell you that the book is now free to read.

Levi Phillips is a warlock living in the woods of rural Ohio. With his apprentice, Matthew, Levi operates one of the most ferocious covens in the world, known as The Black Fang. Managing the coven like an international corporation, Levi controls its enormous wealth while running a moonshine operation as a front. But when a plot to assassinate Levi is exposed, the warlock decides it’s time to destroy The Black Fang and the destruction could create a new beginning.

The Black Fang Betrayal features today’s best horror, dark fantasy and thriller writers collaborating on a unique and fascinating novel. Armed with nothing but a prompt and a character name, each author became a warlock of The Black Fang and wrote a first-person account as a member of the coven. Using themes and sequences woven throughout the complete narrative, a cohesive page-turner emerges.

Grab a copy for Kindle at getbook.at/blackfang and get all other formats here: books2read.com/u/38DPd6.

Tim W Long

timlongMany of you will know Tim, and many more will have read his books. He’s going through an extremely tough patch at the moment. I’ll let his girlfriend Katie explain: “On Wednesday, Tim woke up with what he thought was a sour stomach from drinking bad wine while watching the election or possibly a late con crud. By 3 pm, I was rushing him to the hospital after he passed out at home from what looked like to me as a massive GI bleed in process. He almost passed out in triage and was immediately rushed back to the ER. He appeared stable for several hours, but then had a bleed out in which he lost 1/3 of his total body fluid volume. He was literally one minute away from a full code. He’s been in critical care since then.

However, he does not have a typical GI bleed like an ulcer in his stomach. He has a tumor that has developed an ulcer and will not stop bleeding even after two attempts to cauterize it via EGD. It was decided last night that even though he is very anemic that he will not be able to continue to lose so much blood and that there is potential for the tumor to bleed further. He is very weak and tired. It appears that it might have been bleeding for a couple weeks but not enough that he noticed. He has been complaining about being tired but he is always working super hard on something so we both dismissed it.

He’s had 5 units of blood, roughly 16 liters of fluid. and a lot of protonix.

I am writing this with Tim’s permission. Even though I’ve wanted to scream and cry to everyone that there was a problem, we decided not to release any information until today. He is currently in surgery to have a resection of his bowel and I hope to see him in about 3 hours. Everything looks good except for the fact he is so anemic.

Don’t get me wrong, Tim is very sick. He does not want visitors for local folks right now. Also, he is too weak to be on his phone or his computer. It would be really awesome if people left messages of support on his wall for him to see when he is stronger on Sunday or Monday.

Tim served in the navy as an engineer for four years during the first Iraq War which is why I mention Veteran’s Day.

I love him very much and I don’t know if I can understand a world without him. It was a rocky start here at the hospital, but after everyone saw how sick he is, they have done nothing but work hard to get him stable and try to fix this problem.

Once again, if you want to send support, post it on his wall. I will show him over the next couple of days and I have faith by Monday he will be back on social media wisecracking with everyone and writing books.

TheFrontIf you feel helpless and want to do anything else, financially, we would appreciate if you buy a book. As a full-time writer, he loses money every day he is not writing or promoting his work.

I suggest THE FRONT for the holiday. Buy here: http://bit.ly/supportTimWLong

Katie updated yesterday to say that “Tim made it through surgery without any significant issues. His colour is coming back to his face, he is more alert (even talking about his books to his nurses), and everything looks good… he is still pretty weak but we think he has turned a corner.”

Please consider buying one (or more) of Tim’s books in support. Visit bit.ly/supportTimWLong. For my part, I’m knuckling down to finish the (horrendously overdue) second book in Tim and Craig DiLouie’s THE FRONT series. I’m a couple of weeks away from wrapping it up, and I look forward to sending it to Craig and Tim shortly.

Best wishes, Tim. We’re thinking of you. Get well soon.

The Devil’s Guests – pre-orders open

Last week I introduced you to Matt Shaw‘s contribution to the Infected Books YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE project. Now here’s my contribution to Matt’s next ambitious piece of work. THE DEVIL’S GUESTS promises to be unpleasant in the extreme. Here’s the blurb:

devilsguestsFrom outside the hotel looks like any other in the city. Inside though, a maze of ever-changing corridors, rooms filled with death, traps and behind the reception desk with a welcoming smile, a sadistic owner who cannot wait to help his guests check-out permanently.

From the twisted imagination of Matt Shaw, and partly based on the serial killer H. H. Holmes, comes a new extreme horror and a new way of telling the story. While Shaw writes the part of Henry, the sadistic serial killer, he has invited some leading horror authors to write their own characters – introducing them to the hotel before Shaw finishes the story off. This is not an anthology. This is one story with guest chapters written by: Jeff Strand, Wrath James White, Kealan Patrick Burke, Shane Mckenzie, Sam West, Wade H. Garrett, Ryan Harding, Armand Rosamilia, David Moody, Gary McMahon, Jasper Bark, and Mark Tufo.

The book is released on 3 February 2017 but is available to pre-order now from Amazon. For more about the book and Matt’s other works, visit www.mattshawpublications.co.uk, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Year of the Zombie #11 – ONE OF THEM by MATT SHAW

I can’t believe we’re already announcing the last but one YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE novella. This year has flown past. Our latest author is a real sick b*stard. It’s an honour to introduce MATT SHAW with his story, ONE OF THEM.

oneofthemBob meet Andria. Andria meet Bob.

The zombie apocalypse has brought the world to its knees. All the survival plans have been tried, but nothing’s worked. Our world has been taken over by Them – sick, diseased creatures which exist with the sole aim of spreading their infection until none of us are left alive.

But even in this dystopian hell, fate deals some surprising hands.

Loner Bob was ready for the end days. His house is strong and he has supplies enough to last him a while. When he finds Andria, though, the woman who cared for his father in the rest home during the final days and weeks of his life, he sees an opportunity to repay the kindness she showed his dying dad. It’s the very least he can do.

It’s a no brainer. There’s safety in numbers. After all, it’s the end of the world, and survivors should stick together when times are tough like this… shouldn’t they?

ONE OF THEM is available now from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de.

Year of the Zombie: NOCK

nockIt’s the first of the month, and time for the launch of the tenth novella in the Infected Books YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE series. This month, I’m really pleased to introduce Scott McGlasson, the winner of our Pitch and Page competition, and his story, NOCK.

Ten years After civilization collapsed, a walled city is the only world Stace Tomlinson has ever known. Undead ferals and living marauders still prowl the wilderness outside, but the people of Shawnee Lodge have adapted as best they can. Ammunition, electronics, and gasoline are now distant memories from Before, and they have once again taken up the bow. When almost all the horses and cattle were slaughtered, they learned how to turn ferals into dociles, pulling their ploughs and wagons, turning the wheels of their mills.

It’s a simple life of crops and crafts, but Stace doesn’t want to end up stuck on a farm. She wants to follow in her father’s footsteps, outside the walls. Rob Tomlinson is a Ranger – one of the best, a master of fieldcraft and feral hunting – and living in the shadow of such a fearsome, well-respected figure comes with its own problems. The pressure Stace feels to match up to her father’s expectations can be unbearable. Sometimes, though, life has a habit of showing you one path, then leading you down another.

Stace has struggled to prove to her father that she’s up to the job. Today, though, she’s going to have to step up. Both of their lives depend on it.

NOCK is available now from AMAZON.COMAMAZON.CO.UK and AMAZON.DE