Well that was an excellent weekend, if a little hectic. I wanted to thank everyone who made both the SFX Weekender and yesterday’s signing at Waterstone’s Leicester Highcross such successful events.
The Weekender was much improved from last year’s inaugural event, and congratulations to the SFX team for putting it together. The highlight for me was the panel I took part in with (from right to left below) Al Ewing (of 2000 AD fame), Sarah Pinborough, moderator Rob from SFX, Kevin J Anderson (author of countless Star Wars, X-Files and Dune books amongst others) and Wayne Simmons. We talked about ‘what scares us in the 21st Century’ in front of a very receptive audience.
Special thanks are also due to Ben Aaronovitch (currently riding high in the UK bestsellers chart with his new book, Rivers of London) for drawing the short straw and sharing a chalet with Wayne and I.
After a six hour drive home (stopping en route to hassle staff in various branches of Waterstone’s and sign their copies of our respective books), an evening spent watching zombie shorts (have you seen the excellent I Love Sarah Jane?), a few hours sleep, and a ten mile cross country running race (told you it was a hectic weekend), Wayne and I arrived in Leicester for our joint signing at the Waterstone’s Highcross branch.
What a great event. It was extremely cool to meet so many folks (many of whom are members of Moody’s Survivors), and I wanted to thank everyone who came. Particular thanks are due to the ever awesome Steven Caunt for hosting the signing, and to Adele from Un:Bound for covering the event and taking pictures. You can read what she had to say here.
This is the first film in my ‘Post-Apocalyptic Movie Club’ – a series of regular features, essays and discussions about films which depict the end of the world in one way or another. I know it’s not right, but I’m addicted to this stuff! Please check out the movie, read my thoughts, then join me to talk about it in the forum or on Facebook, Twitter etc.
Threads, a BBC TV production, was first broadcast in September 1984 and subsequently repeated the following August to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It wasn’t shown again on UK TV until 2003 and despite owning a VHS copy since the early 1990’s, it had been more than 15 years since I’d watched the film when I sat down to watch it again recently. Looking back, I think I may have set the bar too high by selecting Threads as my first film for discussion. I’ve yet to find a more harrowing or thought-provoking PA movie.
Just a couple of weeks to go now before The Living Dead 2 hits the shelves. This (huge!) book is already getting some exceptional reviews around the net, and why wouldn’t it? 40+ new zombie stories from the likes of Max Brookes, Jonathan Maberry, David Wellington…
As a bonus to whet your appetite even further, you can also read several full stories for free, direct from the website. And I’m really pleased to tell you that my story – Who We Used to Be – is one of them. Click here to read it and please spread the word on Twitter and Facebook etc.
It’s two weeks until the official release but, as you can see from the picture below, I’ve just taken delivery of the first shipments of ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING – the new HATER novel. I’ll be sending the books to those who’ve already ordered copies over the next few days.
The film adaptation of THE RITUAL opened in the UK last weekend, and knowing the book well and having had opportunity to discuss the production of the film with Adam (and the frustrations of film-making for authors – which we talked about on a panel in Liverpool recently – photo below courtesy of Dan Burgess Photography) I was keen to watch it. It didn’t disappoint.
Here’s the blurb and the trailer. Click the link below for my thoughts.
Four old university friends reunite for a hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle. No longer young men, they have little left in common and tensions rise as they struggle to connect. Frustrated and tired they take a shortcut that turns their hike into a nightmare that could cost them their lives.
Lost, hungry and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, they stumble across an isolated old house. Inside, they find the macabre remains of old rites and pagan sacrifices; ancient artefacts and unidentifiable bones. A place of dark ritual and home to a bestial presence that is still present in the ancient forest, and now they’re the prey.
As the four friends struggle toward salvation they discover that death doesn’t come easy among these ancient trees…
It’s been a while – far longer than I’d intended actually. It’s over two months since I last posted here, and that’s a record I’m not particularly proud of. New words, old words, edits, deadlines, other jobs, family matters and many other things have combined to keep me off-line for an uncomfortably long period of time. I’m back now – for the time being at least – and have a number of things to tell you about over the coming weeks.
First and foremost, if you’ve pre-ordered the book, you probably know by now that we’ve pushed back the publication of ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING until 5 December. The copyedits were finished and returned to my editor last Friday, and I can’t wait for you to read the novel. It’s a very different perspective on the world of HATER which opens a whole host of new possibilities I’m currently exploring as I write THE OTHER HALF – book #5 – and prepare the (absolutely) final book in the series, THE LAST SUMMER. I’ve had a blast returning to HATER, particularly with THE OTHER HALF which is a parallel sequel to DOG BLOOD. There’s so much going on in DOG BLOOD that I didn’t realise until now…
I’ll be able to tell you more about the books over the next few months, along with news about new audiobook releases, ebooks, short stories, foreign language editions, film and book recommendations, interviews, events and – hopefully – a brand new serialised novel for the summer. Watch this space.
I’m not a historian or a military buff, so I had very few obvious reference points when I started writing THE FRONT: RED DEVILS (which was released this week, in case I hadn’t mentioned). Much of the second half of the book is set in the fictional surrounds of a concentration camp at Polonezköy, Poland. I had a very clear image in my head of how parts of the camp would look, and that got me thinking about a long-forgotten horror movie I’d always planned to watch but hadn’t been able to locate. That movie was MICHAEL MANN’STHE KEEP. Whilst not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, I certainly enjoyed it enough to recommend it to you here.
It is World War II in German-occupied Romania. Nazi soldiers have been sent to garrison a mysterious fortress, but a nightmarish discovery is soon made. The Keep was not built to keep anything out. The massive structure was, in fact, built to keep something in…
So, if you fancy a spot of military heroics and adventure which just happens to have a supporting cast of thousands of undead Nazis, THE FRONT: RED DEVILS should be right up your street! I hope you have as much fun reading as I did writing it.
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.
Bob 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?