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.

Horror in the East – this Saturday

As I was saying the other day, time flies. It feels like only five minutes, but it’s five years this month since THEM OR US, the final Danny McCoyne HATER book, was released (note the careful wording there… the final Danny McCoyne book – the HATER story takes a new direction in next year’s ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING).

You might remember, THEM OR US is set in Lowestoft, the most easterly town in the UK. I launched the book there back in 2011 with a special event at the library (which features in the novel). We had a great time and, as a result, the annual HORROR IN THE EAST convention was born. After a sabbatical last year, I’m thrilled that the event is back. It’s free, and it’s this Saturday. Hope to see you there.

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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.

Halloween in Dublin

Don’t forget, this weekend I’ll be a guest at HORROR EXPO IRELAND in Dublin. Tickets are going fast, so if you want to be there, you’d best get in quick. It’ll be well worth the price of admission, with twelve hours of horror lined up including panels, readings, screenings, and paranormal investigations. Find out more on Facebook and Twitter, and check out this article from PureM Zine. Hope to see some of you there.

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The Omega Man

omega-manI’ve been looking back at Richard Matheson’s seminal I AM LEGEND and the various movie adaptations the book has spawned. This week, Charlton Heston in 1971’s THE OMEGA MAN.

My horror movie education began with double bills of Hammer classics and Universal monster movies which used to be shown late Saturday nights on the BBC. When my parents bought our first VCR, a whole world of possibilities was opened. For the first time I was able to record and watch films I’d otherwise miss because they were on too late on a school night or because my parents didn’t think they were appropriate (please remember – I was very young, and this was the height of the Video Nasties craziness which outlawed 99.9% of the films I wanted to watch).

I remember recording mainstream horror movies such as ALIEN and THE OMEN and watching them endlessly for as long as I was able (usually until Dad needed the tape to record something else – tapes were damn expensive back in the day, and we had the sum total of four of them).

THE OMEGA MAN was another film I watched again and again until I could pretty much recite the script, and until re-watching it for this feature, I hadn’t seen it in a long time. I expected it to have dated badly, but Charlton Heston’s post-apocalyptic antics really took me by surprise. I knew I’d watched the movie through the rose-tinted spectacles of innocence and youth, but there’s no escaping the fact that this is a clunky and horrendously dated film.

Chuck plays Robert Neville who, in this version of the story, lives an isolated life of relative comfort in a funky pad which, for some inexplicable reason, reminded me of Batman’s cave (and I’m talking Adam West Batman here, not Christian Bale or that Affleck person). More than any other I AM LEGEND adaptation, this film is a product of its time. Watch the trailer and you’ll see what I mean, then click the link for my thoughts.

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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

STRAIGHT TO YOU – 20 years old today and available free to read at Wattpad

On the very day that I celebrate twenty years since STRAIGHT TO YOU was first published, I’m pleased to announce that the entire novel (the far superior 2014 version) is available to read at WATTPAD. Please read, review and share to your heart’s content.

Straight to You cover

Want a signed print version of the book at a reasonable price? Visit www.infectedbooks.co.uk where you can pick up heavily discounted copies of the 1996 original hardcover and the 2014 paperback.

And to mark the book’s 20th anniversary, enter code sty20 at checkout and help yourself to another 20% off STRAIGHT TO YOU.

Straight to You – the journey is almost over

Right, we’re very nearly there. Just a few chapters left to go in the serialisation of STRAIGHT TO YOU on WATTPAD to mark the twentieth anniversary of the book’s original release.

In today’s chapter, Steven’s almost reached the end of his journey, but he has one last unexpected hurdle to clear.

For those of you who are late to the party, STRAIGHT TO YOU turns twenty on Monday 26 September. I’ll be posting the next chapter this coming Thursday, then the final four chapters on Monday, meaning the entire novel will be available free to read online.

Stay tuned. The ending of the story is definitely worth waiting around for.

STY

UPDATE 22 September – the second of this week’s chapters is now online.

Year of the Zombie – Pitch and Page winner announcement

It’s with great pleasure that I’m able to announce the winner of the Infected Books Year of the Zombie Pitch and Page competition. It’s taken a while for the judging process to be completed, and I’m sorry to have kept folks waiting for the result. We had a good number of entries, but there was a clear favourite which judges Michael Preissl, Gina Panettieri and I unanimously picked.

Congratulations to SCOTT MCGLASSON. Scott’s novella NOCK will be October’s Year of the Zombie release.

Huge thanks to EVERYONE who entered the competition. I’d like to particularly mention a number of other great writers who were highly commended by the judges: Dan Howarth, Matthew Gilman, Angela Bodine and Mouse-Diver Dudfield.