Man, I hate the Beatles (sorry, folks), but that seemed like an appropriate title for this post because, on 26 September, it will be exactly twenty years since the first version of my first novel, STRAIGHT TO YOU, was released. My dislike of the original and my love of the rewritten version has been well documented, but I thought I shouldn’t let the twentieth anniversary of the book pass unmarked.
Why Wattpad? Quite simply, because I love it. It’s a great platform that’s growing with real speed in terms of audience and impact (you might remember the 5th Wave story I wrote for them last year). You can still read TRUST on the site – more than 200,000 people have already done so!
Enjoy STRAIGHT TO YOU. It’s a book I’m (finally after twenty years) insanely proud of.
There’s an intentional hole in the Infected Books Year of the Zombie schedule for October. As well as showcasing some of the best zombie authors out there, we wanted YoZ to include more than a little fresh meat. We’ve already had debut novellas from Gary Slaymaker and James Plumb, and we’re looking for a brand new writer to take the coveted Halloween slot.
Some news for you at long last! I’m pleased to announce I’ll have two new shorts available later this year. First up, I’ll have a story in Great British Horror 1: Green and Pleasant Land – a collection of eleven new stories of small town, rural and folk horror by authors including Jasper Bark, Ray Cluley, Adam Millard and Rich Hawkins. The book will be released as a special edition, signed hardback in late 2016, and is available to pre-order now from http://blackshuckbooks.co.uk/green-and-pleasant-land
No doubt some of you will have heard of Matt Shaw. Matt’s had quite an impact on the UK horror scene over the last couple of years, and he recently asked me to get involved in his new project, The Devil’s Guests. Matt’s invited a number of horror authors to each create a character and write a story getting them to a specific location where Matt will… I can’t say what Matt will be doing to them, but given that he’s the author of books including Sick B*stards and Rotting Dead F*cks, you know it’s not going to be pleasant! More news as I get it.
This month’s YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE offering is LITTLE MONSTER, the first novella from indie film director JAMES PLUMB. I’m really pleased to have James on board. As you know if you visit here regularly, I’ve been impressed by his movies NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD:RESURRECTION and KERB CRAWLERS, and I was fascinated to see how his brand of gritty, grimy horror translated to the written word. The answer to my question? Very well. Very well indeed. LITTLE MONSTER is a genuinely unsettling piece of horror fiction which brings yet another perspective to the YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE.
Your six-year-old daughter has been bitten by a zombie and now hungers for human flesh.
What do you do?
Do you double tap her in the brain?
Or do you become the ultimate enabler and feed her human flesh?
And where do you get human flesh from?
This is the dilemma that Gareth and Jen face with their beautiful daughter Ana.
What will they do?
And how far will it go?
And James being James, he’s put together a snappy little trailer for the book which you can see below.
I thought it was about time I made an appearance here! It’s been a while, I know. As many of you know, I went back to non-writing work a while ago to save my sanity (seriously, it was doing me no good at all sitting at home on my own all day every day, writing about the end of the world), and that, combined with sorting out my dad’s affairs and working on a surprisingly large number of different writing projects, has led to me neglecting this site. I’m hoping to remedy that in the very near future.
I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on a couple of projects. Firstly, I’m really pleased to announce that Thomas Dunne Books will be publishing the second HATER trilogy, and I’m thrilled to be working with the team there again. I’ve been working hard on the first novel – ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING – and I look forward to bringing you more news in the coming months. OOUWBDBM is a very different kind of HATER novel which sets up a new cast for the other two books (THE OTHER HALFALL ROADS END HERE and THE LAST SUMMER CHOKEHOLD) which will weave in and around the events of the original trilogy and bring a new perspective to the overall story. Can’t wait to tell you more.
Tim Long and Craig DiLouie are no doubt cursing me for my lack of speed, but I’m also busy writing THE FRONT: RED DEVILS – a continuation of the World War II with zombies story Tim so excellently kicked off with SCREAMING EAGLES.
All this means THE SPACES BETWEEN books have been on the back burner (again), but never fear – they will be written and you will get to read them. And all those folks who won the competition to appear as characters in the novels will still see their names in print. Unfortunately I can’t give you a timescale (and if I did set myself a deadline, I’d inevitably miss it!).
And that’s not all… YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE continues apace. June’s book will be launched next week, and it’s another cracker. Genuinely unsettling. When Wayne and I were planning this series, we wanted to publish a really diverse range of stories and, six months in, that objective has already been achieved. From Iraq to Wales, from psychological horror to blood and guts, from high octane thriller to slapstick comedy, from hunting zombies to dodging sheep, our authors have really delivered. Check out the releases here. And yes, you might see something from me joining the line-up in the not too distant future…
A bunch of short stories, a host of other novels (KAI, 17 DAYS, WAS SHE NEVER THERE?), the HATER movie… there’s a huge amount of stuff to come from me soon. Thanks for your patience. I’m off for a few days’ break with the family now. Plenty more news when I return.
Apologies to the SCREAM team for being late, but here’s my regular plug for the new issue of the magazine. I’ve not come across a magazine before that speaks to the inner horror geek in me quite like SCREAM does. This month’s highlights include an in-depth interview with LISA WILCOX, star of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4 and 5, and a conversation with PETE WALKER, director of such classics as HOUSE OF WHIPCORD. Great stuff!
Several years ago I got talking to Keith Lynch, one half of directing duo The Brothers Lynch, about HATER. Back in 2014, Keith introduced me to Ed Barratt. As you may know, Ed’s producing the HATER movie, and he also produced TRIAL a cracking sci-fi short written and directed by the aforementioned Brothers Lynch. It’s brilliant. Watch it here:
Just another few weeks and I’ll be back updating this website more regularly with news (promise). In the meantime, allow me to introduce you to GERAINT WYN: ZOMBIE KILLER. Book #5 in Infected Books’ YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE is a cracking and very funny little tale which puts a uniquely Welsh perspective on the zombie apocalypse.
When Wayne and I sat down to plan YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE, we knew we wanted a mix of authors and a mix of very different stories. The last thing we wanted was twelve identical versions of the same tired zombie tropes. I think the contrast between each of the volumes we’ve so far released shows that there is a huge amount of variety available with the living dead.