Time for my regular plug for one of my favourite magazines. SCREAM issue 26 is now available and, as usual, it’s packed with some great stuff. Highlights this issue include an excellent piece on the video nasty furore which swept the UK in the early 1980s, a couple of Walking Dead interviews, a feature about the horror movies of Vincent Price, and a look back at Army of Darkness written by a member of the crew who worked on the movie.
You can get hold of a copy from the website. UK readers can find the magazine at all branches of HMV and Forbidden Planet, or from any of the newsagents listed here. SCREAM is also now available digitally with the launch of the cunningly titled iSCREAM! Click here to find out more.
This post is really just a convoluted way of asking a pretty direct question, so please bear with me…
Summer’s definitely over now, and I’ve been looking back at some of the movies I managed to get to see. Without a doubt, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES was the film I was looking forward to seeing most and, surprisingly, I thought it almost completely delivered.
It’ll serve little purpose if I review the movie this late in the day because I expect you’ve either a). already seen it and made up your own minds, or b). you’ve heard enough about it to know whether you want to see it or not. To summarise, though, it’s a technically stunning film with some great performances, an intense storyline, superb action scenes, and some of the most realistic animation you’re likely to see in a long time. I highly recommend it.
I’ve long been a fan of the APES movies. I’ve seen the original films countless number of times, and I’ve even managed to make it all the way through the abominable Tim Burton remake more than once. I was thinking about why I love the Apes concept so much when it struck me: it’s the same central conceit as zombies, isn’t it? Replace the apes with the undead, and you’ve got a very similar set-up. The apes are just another in a long line of variations on us versus them, and these movies work so well because of the increasingly thin line which separates one side from the other.
In fact, when I left the cinema after seeing DAWN, I couldn’t help thinking about HATER. With HATER, you could argue the only real difference between one side and the other is perspective. They’re pretty much otherwise indistinguishable from one another (unless you are a Hater, of course…).
Incredibly, it’s now seven long years since the HATER movie rights were first acquired, and although the cameras almost rolled back in 2009, there’s been very little movement on the project since then. But that might be about to change. I can’t say much at the moment (there’s not actually very much to say), but some positive initial discussions have been taking place with a view to getting HATER on the big screen.
So all this rambling finally leads me to my question. Seven years is a long time… do you still want to see a HATER movie? If so, what are your hopes and fears for the project? Personally, I think there’s never been a better time (as the success of our ape friends has illustrated), but what do you think? I’d really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to let me know.
And as soon as I have any definite news, I’ll post it here.
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It’s been several months since I last posted anything in my What Works For Me series of writing tips/ thoughts. There are several very good reasons for that. Most importantly, I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to work out what exactly does work for me.
You’ll probably have seen endless debate online over the last few months about the merits of independent versus traditional publishing, and also about the position/ value of indie authors as highlighted by the ongoing Hachette vs. Amazon debacle.
I started out Indie. I was Indie before most. I’m so old school that I genuinely used to email pdf and Word versions of AUTUMN to interested folks back in the day. I did well from it, and if I hadn’t done what I’d done, I’d probably have never written HATER and it might not have found its way onto the desk of the folks who passed it on to Guillermo del Toro all those years ago… When Thomas Dunne Books of New York made an offer for the publishing rights back in 2007, I didn’t hesitate to accept.
So now we’re another seven years or so down the line, and the marketplace has changed beyond all recognition. Indie authors are in a better place now: more accepted, and with better tools and technologies at their disposal.
THE COST OF LIVING proved to be a turning point for me. I’ve been stunned by the success of my little ebook – it’s sold remarkably well and has opened my eyes to the full potential of independent publishing again. With the recent relaunch/ rebranding of INFECTED BOOKS, I feel like I’ve regained the control you inevitably lose when you publish traditionally, and I’m ready to take full advantage of that.
So, to stop a long story getting any longer, I’ll just say this: for now, although I’m technically what you’d call a Hybrid author, I feel 100% Indie again. So what does this mean? Well, for a start you should watch for another surprise release later this week (you can pre-order it now – I’ll tell you more tomorrow), and then look out for STRANGERS – my brand new, full-length novel, coming from Infected Books in November this year.
I’m sorry it’s taken so long to announce this… Without further ado, please join me in congratulating the following people who will be appearing in THE SPACES BETWEEN novels.
Overall winner (who will appear as a major character in all four books as well as receiving an illustration of themselves in a key scene and signed first editions of all the novels): Alexandria Amorim.
Runners up (who’ll appear as a supporting character in one book each and who’ll receive signed first editions of all the novels): Chris Shaver, Shannon O’Clair, Nicky Downes, and Mitchell Witthread.
I received an incredible three and a half thousand entries to the contest, so thanks to everyone who entered. I’ve drawn an additional ten names which I’m keeping to myself at the moment. I have another project in the early planning stages which involves a serial killer and a large number of victims. I’ll be getting in touch with those ten folks at some point in the future to see if they want to play dead in another new book…
Thanks, everyone, for your tremendous support with this contest. Right – back to writing the books!
There have been a huge number of entries so far (almost 2,500 amazingly). The competition closes after midnight UK time on 31st July, and the winners’ names will be announced shortly thereafter. Good luck!
Oh, and I said there would be one main winner (who appears in all four books in THE SPACES BETWEEN series) and four runners up, but it transpires there may be even more of you being immortalised in print in the near future. Watch this space…!
I’ve a surprise Infected Books release to tell you about today – but it’s not something I’ve written. Instead, I’m delighted to welcome Wayne Simmons to the Infected Books fold with his nasty little ebook short: THE GIRL IN THE BASEMENT.
If you’re a regular here, you’ll know Wayne and I go way back. You’ll also know that I’ve a number of plans in place to dramatically expand the reach of my Infected empire (books now, films next…), and this is part of those plans. This release came about as a result of endless hours spent travelling between events, discussing publishing as a whole and our own takes on the ongoing (and, frankly, boring as hell) traditional versus independent publishing debate.
I know things have been quiet around here for a while… all that will be changing shortly (promise). In the meantime, a quick reminder that you’ve now got just two weeks left to enter my competition to appear as a character in THE SPACES BETWEEN. Follow me on social media, sign up for the monthly newsletter, write a review, buy a signed book… there are loads of ways to enter, and entries (of which there have already been almost 2000) close at midnight on 31st July. Visit this page for all the details.
Following the release of DEAD WATER (see my recent post), I got talking with the brains behind Hersham Horror Books, Peter Mark May, about his unusual PentAnth series – anthologies featuring themed stories by five invited authors. I asked him first of all where the idea came from.
“The whole Hersham Horror Books was a bit of an accident. Being a horror writer, I thought it would be nice if me and four horror writing buddies did a themed eBook anthology. But it grew and grew and more people jumped onboard until I had 16 stories for Alt-Dead our first release. But I still had the idea of a five author anthology, so Fogbound From 5 was born. Five authors, five stories set on a train from Platform 5 Waterloo one foggy dark night. The cover artist put me down as editor, but that wasn’t planned. So I thought about the next PentAnth: five authors one subject again, with a guest editor pitching in. Now we are on number five. I keep thinking I’m going to have a rest, but I have an idea for Number six now…”
I asked Peter how the authors are selected for each volume. He said that “normally they select themselves. I have an idea, or someone has begged to be in it, or some kind author has bought me a pint sometime and I’ve remembered that (top tip authors!). With guest editors they bring in people I don’t know… BAFTA winners, award-winning top-ranked people I could normally only dream of working with. Also I sometimes read a story and think I must try and get them!” So who (dead or alive) would be in his ‘dream team’ for future volumes? “Peter Straub, Stephen King, F. Paul Wilson, M.R. James (Adam Nevill if you want only living ones) and William Hope Hodgson (or living Brian Keene). Also James Herbert, Brian Lumley, Simon Clark. Mark West and Stephen Bacon.”
Finally, what’s next for Hersham Horror? “I’m still writing novels and short stories including a sequel to AZ: Anno Zombie at the moment amongst other things. HHB’s next releases will be a series of six novelettes by six different authors out in 2015 – The Cursed series. Then I’d like to do another large anthology like Alt-Zombie again which was a mammoth undertaking. It was hell to do but exciting at the same time. One of the stories (Dave Jeffrey’s Ascension) was made into a film, which featured the book as a prop…”
It was a pleasure being involved in Dead Water. Here’s wishing Peter and Hersham Horror every success!