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Recommended reading – DISCOVERING SCARFOLK

514dP3zdZYL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_A unique book recommendation for you today – one that’ll certainly appeal if you’re of a certain age (ie mid-forties, like me), and if you grew up in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s. DISCOVERING SCARFOLK is hilarious and unsettling in equal measure, and that’s a great combination. To set the scene, here’s the back cover blurb…

“Scarfolk is a town in north-west England that did not progress beyond 1979. The entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. In Scarfolk children must not be seen OR heard, and everyone has to be in bed by 8 pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever…”

Part-comedy, part-horror, part-satire, DISCOVERING SCARFOLK is the surreal account of a family trapped in the town. Through public information posters, news reports, books, tourist brochures and other ephermera, we learn about the darker side of childhood, school and society in Scarfolk.

A massive cult hit online, Scarfolk re-creates with shiver-inducing accuracy and humour our most nightmarish childhood memories. 

I first became aware of DISCOVERING SCARFOLK through the Scarfolk website and Twitter account (@Scarfolk). They caught my eye because of the brilliant artwork – let me give you a couple of examples:

This stuff is so brilliantly produced that it catches you off-guard, and the detail involved is incredible. The DISCOVERING SCARFOLK book collects some of the best of these pieces and wraps it up with a narrative that’s part-LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN and part-WICKER MAN. The story is less engaging than the artwork, but that doesn’t matter. Author Richard Littler has produced something hugely original and not a little unnerving, and I can’t wait to see where he takes his creation next (rumour has it there’s a Scarfolk TV series in the works).

Don’t take my word for it – visit the website and trawl the Scarfolk archives, then get your hands on the beautifully produced book which is available now from Ebury Press.

For more information, please re-read this post.

SCRATCH – new David Moody novella out today

My turn. It’s YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE month 8. Summer holiday time. Sun, sea, sand, buckets and spades… and the living dead. It’s been far too long since I released anything, so I’m putting that right today. You can pick up SCRATCH right now from AMAZON.COM, AMAZON.CO.UKAMAZON.DE and others, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

scratch

They don’t want to kill you, they don’t want to eat your brains, they just want to infect you – one scratch and you’re history.

Jody’s up against it this morning. She’s stuck in a tent on her own with three kids in the middle of nowhere, and it’s the beginning of the end of the world. Her car’s on fumes, they’re miles from anywhere, and things are looking bleak.

It looks like there’s only one place left for Jody to go. Trouble is, it’s the last place on earth she wants to be. Impending armageddon and massive hordes of sick, undead creatures have nothing on the personal horrors she’ll have to face here.

Either way, she’s screwed. One scratch and it’s all over.

Get SCRATCH now from from AMAZON.COM.

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.

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