Is this our LAST CHRISTMAS?

Very pleased to be able to announce the release today of LAST CHRISTMAS – the final book in Infected Books’ YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE series, and the first time WAYNE SIMMONS and I have collaborated on a story. It’s silly. It’s bloody. It’s Christmassy. It’s a whole lot of fun and I hope you enjoy it.

The Office Christmas Party can a nightmare at the best of times but when it coincides with the end of the world, things get even messier.

For mild-mannered security guard Howard Stanton, this was meant to be an easy shift. A chance to keep his head down and watch Die Hard movies while the rest of the staff get wasted. But then the zombie apocalypse happened and peopled expected him to do something about it. Was that even in his job description?

It’s going to be a long drink- and drug-fuelled night. The world’s going to hell and it’s down to Howard to hold it all together. He’s in charge tonight, and if he screws up, it’ll be everyone’s last Christmas.

It’s been a quiet couple of years, but things will be cranking up a gear or two (or ten) in 2017. THE FRONT: RED DEVILS will be out in February, ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING (HATER #4) will be out in August, and there will be other surprises along the way. Oh, and important paperwork has just been signed for the screen adaptation of HATER. More news coming soon…

Pick up LAST CHRISTMAS now from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Amazon.de. I hope you have as much fun reading it as we did writing it. And if I don’t get to post here again before Christmas, wherever you are and whatever you celebrate, I hope you and your families and friends have an excellent time.

Horror in the East – this Saturday

As I was saying the other day, time flies. It feels like only five minutes, but it’s five years this month since THEM OR US, the final Danny McCoyne HATER book, was released (note the careful wording there… the final Danny McCoyne book – the HATER story takes a new direction in next year’s ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING).

You might remember, THEM OR US is set in Lowestoft, the most easterly town in the UK. I launched the book there back in 2011 with a special event at the library (which features in the novel). We had a great time and, as a result, the annual HORROR IN THE EAST convention was born. After a sabbatical last year, I’m thrilled that the event is back. It’s free, and it’s this Saturday. Hope to see you there.

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One year to go

H4dummyOne of the major differences between traditional and independent publishing is timescales. Indie publishers tend to have very short lead times between a book being finished and being released. Traditional publishers, on the other hand, do not. So bear that in mind as I tell you that ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING, the fourth HATER novel, will be released by Thomas Dunne Books on 17 August 2017 (ie one year yesterday). I’ll share more details as soon as I’m able. There’s lots of HATER stuff going on behind the scenes. Lots of HATER stuff.

I know it’s going to be a long wait. Keep yourself busy by reading the free STRAIGHT TO YOU serialisation on WATTPAD. The second of this week’s chapters has just gone live.

I am Legend

IamLegendRichard Matheson’s I AM LEGEND is a remarkable book. Do a straw poll of a hundred horror authors and ask them to name the single piece of fiction which most influenced them, and I’ll wager that a good number will cite I AM LEGEND. It’s not just authors – the same is probably true of film-makers too. You can’t read the book without having scenes from George Romero’s original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD play out in your head.

There’s no question, therefore, that this is an hugely influential novel, and the fact it’s been filmed on no less than three occasions is further proof of that. Interestingly, though, it’s also a remarkably slight book, coming in at less than 200 pages. So how does Matheson cram so much into so little? I decided to try and find out. There will unavoidably be spoilers ahead.

As I type I’ve literally just finished re-reading the book for the umpteenth time. I thought it would be interesting to give you my thoughts on the novel and then, over the next few weeks, to look at each of the film adaptations in turn (and if you’re not aware of the movies, they are as follows: LAST MAN ON EARTH, THE OMEGA MAN and I AM LEGEND).

I’m sure you know the basic plot by now but, just in case, here’s the back cover blurb: Robert Neville may well be the only survivor of an incurable plague that has mutated every other man, woman, and child into bloodthirsty, nocturnal creatures who are determined to destroy him.

By day, he scavenges for food and supplies, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. But all the while the infected lurk in the shadows, watching his every move, waiting for him to make a mistake…

Continue reading

Nightmare on the M6 – updated

Straight to You coverI’m late with the first of this week’s updates to the free serialisation of STRAIGHT TO YOU. My excuse is that I was at a meeting about the HATER movie (but, as you’ve no doubt come to expect, I can’t tell you anything about that just yet…).

In today’s instalment, Steven and Roy have a terrifying experience on the M6 north of Birmingham. Not unusual in itself – I’ve had more than a few experiences there myself – but they were nothing like this. The end of the world is getting nearer. Will they reach the end of their journey in time? Read the book on WATTPAD to find out.

Updated 11 August – the second of this week’s chapters has now been added. Enjoy!

Forthcoming events

HorrorExpoIrelandI’ve got a few events coming up at the end of this year and I wanted to give you plenty of advance notice.

First off, on 30 October, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be heading to the Freemasons Grand Lodge in Dublin where I’ll be guesting at HORROR EXPO IRELAND 2016. This sounds like a cracker: Running from 2pm to 2am Horror Expo Ireland promises an unforgettable and unique experience, which boasts a plethora of horror related events and activities ranging from panels, Q&A sessions, screenings, and paranormal investigations. While it is fair to say that this event is not your average convention, the organisers have provided a public platform which is entirely fan focused, as the audience is afforded an opportunity to critically engage with the genre of horror from a range perspectives alongside some of the industry’s most acknowledged experts.

Tickets are €40 and more information is available here. Follow the event on Facebook and Twitter.

The following weekend on 5 November I’ll be making a return to Lowestoft – spiritual home of the HATER series – for HORROR IN THE EAST 4. This year the event is based in the town library (which features in THEM OR US – thanks to David Naughton-Shires for the graphic below). If you need reminding why Lowestoft occupies such an important place in HATER folklore, then click here. More details will be announced shortly. It would be great if you could join us and spend the day deep in Hinchcliffe territory…

Lowestoft library

And on 12 November I’ll be heading to the Phoenix Centre in Leicester for the 10th UK FESTIVAL OF ZOMBIE CULTURE hosted by Zombie Ed (the brains behind Terror4Fun and the ZOMBIE TIMES). If you’ve not been to one of Ed’s undead events before, you’re in for a treat. Join the Facebook group here. Ticket details will be announced shortly.

This is Horror and Straight to You

I had an absolute blast taking part in the live 100th THIS IS HORROR podcast. It was a real laugh, very interactive, and we covered all manner of topics including the HATER movie, the new HATER trilogy, mental health issues and writing, Year of the Zombie, and many other things. We also talked about the current serialisation of STRAIGHT TO YOU on Wattpad, and this is the perfect time to tell you that the second of this week’s chapters has now been added for your (free) reading pleasure.

If you missed Sunday’s podcast and have a couple of hours spare, you can listen to the show here.

Remember me?

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 HALF and THE LAST SUMMER) 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.

An update

I thought it was about time I posted a quick writing update. I’m balancing a number of projects at the moment that I hope will come to fruition in the near future. It’s been a busy twelve months and I’ve had to shelve or delay some projects to focus on others. Here’s a quick summary:

ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING
Is the first book in the second HATER trilogy, and I’m well into writing it. I’m scheduled to be done by April 2016, and I hope to be able to announce some exciting news about publication plans for the new series once negotiations are complete.

THE HATER MOVIE
Producer Ed Barratt is currently talking to a number of potentially interested partners about the movie. The script is in cracking shape. More news as soon as I can announce it.

THE FRONT
My book in this World War II zombie series is due out in early 2016. Timothy Long’s first volume will be hitting the shelves shortly, with Craig DiLouie’s book following mine. Very exciting.

TOP SECRET MULTI-AUTHOR INFECTED BOOKS ZOMBIE PROJECT
I’m just tormenting you! Watch for an announcement about something special coming next week.

THE SPACES BETWEEN
Is proving to be a real bugger to write. I’ve spoken about this science-fiction/ horror series on numerous occasions previously (and I’ve a host of competition winners lined up to appear as characters). Thing is, it’s such a huge project set in a really expansive world, that I can’t quite settle on the format and structure. Right now it looks like it’s going to be six volumes long (I’d previously said four): OCTOBER 12, THE COLLECTOR, ELYSIAN FIELDS, MESSIANIC, THE LOW PLACES and ASCENSION DAY. This one will definitely be worth the wait… I’m just sorry that the wait’s proving to be so long.

More soon.

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