One of Us Will be Dead by Morning

Time flies. It’s a year now since ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNINGHATER book #4 (or The Final War book #1, depending on your perspective) – was released. I always harboured a sneaking suspicion that the book wouldn’t go down well with everyone and, well, I was right. Sales haven’t been as good as I’d hoped, and it’s my worst reviewed book on Goodreads. But lots of folks really like it. And I really like it. And it serves an important purpose.

When I decided to write a second HATER trilogy, I always knew I’d have to go right back to the beginning and introduce new characters. I also knew the book would need to be very different to HATER to emphasise the shift in perspective between the two trilogies. More than being a (very) self-contained survival horror story, though, ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING laid the groundwork for the next two books in the series – ALL ROADS END HERE and CHOKEHOLD (both of which will be published in 2019). And you know what? I think you’re going to have a blast with the direction the rest of the story is going to take.

ALL ROADS END HERE is a sequel to both ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING and HATER, and promotion will be kicking off in the new year. I’ll tell you lots more about the new book after Christmas, but if you’re nice and relaxed over the holiday period and you feel like a little hate-fuelled angst to go with your turkey and trimmings, why not re-read DOG BLOOD. Not wanting to give too much away, but you’re going to be meeting several familiar faces from the first HATER trilogy when ALL ROADS END HERE hits the shelves in February!

Post-summer news update

Is it weird to collect copies of your own books? Maybe it is, but I don’t care. Have a look at this gorgeous little copy of HATER from Japan. It’s taken me a long time to get hold of it, but I’m pleased I did. It’s genuinely very tiny, and also very cool.

Anyway, as usually happens in the summer, I’ve had my head down writing for most of the time. I thought I’d better give you an update of what I’ve been working on. You wouldn’t think so judging from the infrequent updates here, but I’ve actually been really busy.

THE FINAL WAR
The second HATER trilogy is rapidly reaching its conclusion (I’ve taken a break from working on the final scene of book #3 – CHOKEHOLD – to bring you this update). Another quick reminder in case you missed it last time, book #2 – ALL ROADS END HERE – will be released in paperback, ebook and audiobook on 19 February 2019. If you want to bring yourself up to speed in readiness for the new books, I’d recommend reading ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING first, then (re)reading DOG BLOOD. ALL ROADS is a parallel sequel which exists in the same time frame and same location as DOG BLOOD. And it’s a blast. I think you’ll really enjoy it.

THE LAST BIG THING
As you may remember, ALL ROADS was originally scheduled for release this month, and now that it’s moved I have a gap in my publishing schedule. That’s going to be filled with the release of THE LAST BIG THING – a hardcover collection of some of my favourite short stories from those I’ve written over the years; many that are hard to get hold of, along with several more written specially for the collection. Release is tentatively scheduled for the end of October, and there will be more news soon.

GERMANY
You may have noticed that many of the German versions of my books are currently unavailable. Unfortunately two of the German-language publishers I work with stopped trading this year. I’m pleased to announce, though, that most of the titles will be re-released in German through Infected Books later this year.

AUDIO BOOKS
And at long last my back catalogue will shortly be available as audio books. STRANGERS will be the first release at the beginning of October, with THE COST OF LIVING the following month.

AND FINALLY…
This is a real unsubstantiated tease and I apologise in advance, but I just wanted to let you know that yes, THE HATER MOVIE is still very much alive and kicking and yes, I hope to have some concrete news to share before the end of the year.

And on that bombshell, it’s back to work!

ALL ROADS END HERE – important update

Hello. Long time no speak. I’ve had my head down writing the final HATER book  – CHOKEHOLD – but I’m briefly coming up for air to bring you an important update about ALL ROADS END HERE.

On the whole, I’m pleased with how ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING has been received since its release last December. It’s still getting plenty of good press. Just this month, STARBURST magazine called it “a gripping, visceral read, glistening with gore and studded with extreme brutality and with a relentlessly downbeat tone which will please lovers of hard-edged apocalyptic fiction”, whilst SFBOOK REVIEW said it was “clever, convincing, claustrophobic fiction”. Just yesterday, GEEK SYNDICATE published their verdict, with Ian Simpson noting that by the end of the book “you’re likely to be standing in a pile of gore, or not standing at all.”

My publisher has been looking again at how we publish and market the second HATER trilogy, and we’ve decided that these are books which better suit a paperback release. ONE OF US… was hardcover only and is likely to stay that way until we’ve shifted more copies, but ALL ROADS END HERE and CHOKEHOLD will be released as paperbacks from the get-go.

In the case of ALL ROADS END HERE, this means that publication is going to be delayed, unfortunately. The book will now be released on February 12, 2019.

If you’ve pre-ordered the hardcover, please cancel your order. The paperback edition is already available for pre-order here.

Apologies for any inconvenience or disappointment. This is definitely the right approach for the series as a whole and I cannot wait for you to read the remaining books. In the meantime, can I suggest you re-read DOG BLOOD? You’ll be catching up with a few familiar faces in some unexpected places in ALL ROADS END HERE

And again, I’m sorry you’ll have to wait to read the new book. Rest assured I’m working on something to cushion the blow, and I hope to announce an upcoming release for 2018 very soon.

Saying Goodbye to the End of the World

Them or Us (Thomas Dunne Books, 2011)It’s been an odd few weeks (though, to be honest, I’ve forgotten what a normal few weeks is supposed to feel like). I’ve spent a lot of time travelling, culminating in my first trip to Iceland which was the single most surprising and invigorating place I’ve been in a long time. Seriously, if we get word that the end of the world is imminent, I’m booking myself another ticket over there. It’s a remarkably quiet, remote, welcoming, and self-contained country. More about that another time. I’m sure I’ll set a book there one day.

Right now, though, my mind is focused on the setting for one of my earlier versions of the apocalypse – the town of Lowestoft, as featured in THEM OR US, the final book in the first HATER trilogy. At the moment I’m outlining CHOKEHOLD – the final book in the second HATER trilogy (hope you’re keeping up with all these book numbers!) which bridges the gap between the end of DOG BLOOD/ALL ROADS END HERE and THEM OR US.

I wanted to brush up on my HATER history, so I’ve worked my way through the original books while I’ve been developing the new series. It’s a weird feeling when you go back and read your own work. I don’t know what it’s like for other writers, but it always catches me by surprise. I remember most of the plot twists and can finish many lines in my head long before my eyes have reached the full-stop at the end of the sentence, and yet there always seems to be plenty I’ve forgotten too. I’ve enjoyed reading HATER and DOG BLOOD for the first time in years, but THEM OR US has been a different experience altogether because reading it followed the recent passing of my mother-in-law.

Betty was the indirect inspiration for THEM OR US. I’ve written here before about how my in-laws’ decision to relocate to Lowestoft in 2004 resulted in me getting to know this most unusual of towns. I’ve a real personal affection for the place, but because of its geographic location (it’s the most easterly point in the UK), it’s often overlooked. Generally, you don’t go to Lowestoft unless you’re going to Lowestoft. It’s not on the way to anywhere, and in many ways it feels like the end of the line. It has a suitably apocalyptic edge which made it the perfect setting for Danny McCoyne’s last stand.

Do a search for Lowestoft on this site and you’ll find loads of entries: the launch event I held at the town’s library when THEM OR US was first released, the four subsequent HORROR IN THE EAST conventions we held there which were always sparsely attended but huge fun to be a part of, David Shires’ excellent apocalyptic artwork… Lowestoft is a place I’ve enjoyed going back to time and time again.

But no more.

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