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A collision of two great things

Great thing #1: my friend PETER MCKEIRNON, author of the DEATH IN A NORTHERN TOWN series is also the brains behind a cracking web-based zombie series, DEAD TOWN. You can watch the first episode below, and episode two is now online also.

Great thing #2: the folks behind one of my favourite magazines, STARBURST, are running a film festival in Manchester between the 26 and 28 August. STARBURST and I go back a long, long way.

horror-double-bill-900

The collision of great things? DEAD TOWN, alongside a whole host of other movies, TV shows and exclusive premiers, will be shown at the STARBURST INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. There’s some incredible stuff showing and many special guests. More info at www.starburstfilmfest.co.uk.

And here, for your viewing pleasure, is episode one of DEAD TOWN:

Peter will also be appearing alongside me at the Birmingham Horror Con in February 2017.

Pitch and Page competition – one week to go

A quick reminder that there’s only one week left to enter the Infected Books Pitch and Page competition. The phenomenal prize is to be published by Infected Books as part of our Year of the Zombie initiative with all the perks that entails (eg a proper contract, monthly royalty payments, and inclusion in the print anthology coming in 2017). Full details can be found here, and entries need to be in by 5 August via our dedicated Facebook thread.

YoZPandP

Straight to You – updated

The first of this week’s free STRAIGHT TO YOU chapters has been added and is now available for your reading pleasure. The temperature here in the UK may have dropped dramatically since last week’s highs, but the heat in the book is continuing to climb…

Straight to You FB cover

Update 28 July – the second of this week’s chapters has now been added. Steven’s desperate, red hot road trip begins in earnest…

Recommended Reading – On Writing

onwriting2Stephen King’s ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT was first published in 2000. Part-biography, part-toolbox and instructional manual, and part-something else entirely, it’s a unique read. But I’m guessing you already know that. I’m assuming many of you may have already read it. A lot of fellow horror/ suspense/ thriller writers visit here, and of those of you who are more interested in reading than writing, I’m sure a large proportion are die-hard King fans. So why am I recommending it now?

When I signed my first major publishing contract back in early 2008 (I’d worked almost exclusively by myself until that point, and the contract I signed for the first version of STRAIGHT TO YOU definitely was not major), I began to mix with a large number of fellow authors from many different walks of publishing life. A number of them suggested I should read ON WRITING, and I duly followed their advice. I ordered a copy and devoured it quickly. I took on board a lot of King’s sagely advice, and thoroughly enjoyed the read. And then I put the book on my over-crowded shelf and left it there.

A few months ago, though, while looking for summer holiday reads in advance of getting on a plane and doing bugger-all in the sun around a pool for a week, I picked it up again. I read it voraciously in a single day, and it was revelatory.

Continue reading

Perfect reading for the heatwave – updated

We’re in the middle of a heatwave here – an ideal time for you to be reading STRAIGHT TO YOU. The first of this week’s free chapters has been added to the book at WATTPAD. Things are going from bad to worse for our sun-scorched hero Steven (and I’m not giving away any secrets when I tell you things are going to get a lot worse for him yet…)

heatwave

And yes, this map shows the weather in and around Birmingham as I write. 31 degrees at 8:00pm – that’s not normal. Is this the beginning of the end? (probably not, but I’ll happily start the rumour if it’ll help me shift a few more books!)

UPDATE – 21 July – the second of this week’s chapters has now been added. Read it here.