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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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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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.

Autumn: Horror in the East III

I’m very pleased to confirm that I’ll be at the HORROR IN THE EAST convention in Lowestoft again this year. As you might remember, this event is particularly close to my heart, as it was born from the launch event for THEM OR US I held in Lowestoft back in 2011. As you might also remember, Lowestoft and the surrounding area is where the final chapters of Danny McCoyne’s story are played out…

The convention’s taking place on 8 November, and this year we’re in a great new venue (The Marina Theatre, alongside a horror film festival). Admission to the con is FREE. Plenty of authors will be in attendance, and there’ll be loads of great panels and events taking place throughout the day. Find out more on Facebook.HitE3

 

From Lowestoft to Leicester

Had a brilliant time at Horror in the East last Saturday. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s a lovely little convention which boasted a host of top guests. It was great to catch up with old friends again and to take in a long-overdue viewing of the BBC’s controversial (back in 1992) GHOSTWATCH. Thanks to Henry Baker, all the day’s panels were recorded for posterity and are available on YouTube for your viewing pleasure. To save you a click, you’ll find the Armageddon-related discussion featuring myself, Adam Baker, Sean T Page, Adam Millard and Simon Coleby at the bottom of this post. Huge thanks to Emma and Jo, the event organisers – you did a cracking job, ladies. Here’s to next year!

David Moody, Adam Baker, Sean T Page, Adam Millard and Simon Coleby at Horror in the East. (Photo: Deborah Cosgrove - deborahcosgrovephotography.co.uk)

David Moody, Adam Baker, Sean T Page, Adam Millard and Simon Coleby at Horror in the East. (Photo: Deborah Cosgrove – deborahcosgrovephotography.co.uk)

Don’t forget – this Saturday I’ll be at my final event of the year, the annual Day of the Undead at the Phoenix Centre, Leicester. Click here for information. Hope to see a few of you there!