I’ve had the pleasure of taking part in a couple of excellent events over the last few weeks (and my final appearance of the year is coming up this Saturday…). First was TALES AND TASTES 2 at the Delish Deli and Kitchen in Rugby on Halloween. It was a brilliant night, where I found myself sandwiched between SARAH PINBOROUGH and JOSEPH D’LACEY. A genuinely warm and appreciative crowd, generous and accommodating hosts, great food and drink… what more could we ask for? Click the link below for a few pictures.
Last Saturday saw the third annual HORROR IN THE EAST convention in Lowestoft, the UK’s most easterly town, and the setting for the final book in the HATER series, THEM OR US. It’s always a great event, but it’s a real shame it never seems to draw the crowds it should. Honestly, folks don’t know what they’re missing. I can show you, actually – visit the Videos page on this site to watch me, Adam Millard, Iain McKinnon and others on the panels from both this year’s event and the 2013 con.
Thanks as always to the organisers (Gary and Claire at Delish, Emma and Jo in Lowestoft), and to all those folks who came out to support the events. Hopefully I’ll see some of you this weekend at Zombie Ed’s annual celebration of all things zombie – the DAY OF THE UNDEAD in Leicester.
I had some great responses to my post about planning last week, several from fellow authors who were keen to tell me how they do things. As I keep taking great pains to work out, the What Works For Me posts are exactly that: what works for me.I thought it would be interesting, though, to share What Works For Them. It illustrates perfectly my point that there are no ‘one size fits all’ rules to writing.
I go to a lot of events, and I decide not to go to many more. I’m a fussy sod – much as I genuinely love talking to other authors and publishers etc., I have to say I prefer meeting readers. Many conventions seem to be one thing or the other, but Horror in the East was a straight down the middle collision of both. Relaxed, informal and well supported by both the local and the horror community, it was an absolute pleasure to be there. Congratulations to Emma Bunn and Jo Wilde for putting together such a superb event. I’ll be back for more Horror in the East on 1st – 2nd November 2013, and I hope to see many of you there.
Pictured: the excellent Horror in the East line-up. From left to right: (front) Richard Cosgrove, Andrew Hook, Joseph Freeman, Michael Wilson, Conrad Williams, (back) Sean Page, me, Adam Baker, Adam Millard, Joseph D’Lacey, Simon Coleby, Ivan Bunn, Iain McKinnon, Henry Baker, Paul Huggins. (Photo pinched from Adam Millard on Facebook – hope you don’t mind, Adam!).
I’m planning a lot of events for the latter half of 2012, but this is one I’m particularly looking forward to.
Earlier this week I posted about a new edition of THEM OR US (see here). You might remember that the book is set in Lowestoft, the most easterly town in the UK, and a place that I have family connections with. Cast your mind back even further, and you might recall that when the book was launched last November, we held an event in the town (and subsequently destroyed the place courtesy of some great post-apocalyptic artwork – click here for a slideshow).
As a result of the success of the event last year, co-conspirators Jo Wilde and Emma Bunn have organised a new horror convention to take place in Lowestoft this November – AUTUMN: HORROR IN THE EAST.
Details are just beginning to emerge, but here are the important facts: 1. The event will be FREE to attend, and 2. Loads of excellent authors have already signed up including Adam Baker, Jasper Bark, Conrad Williams, Wayne Simmons, Simon Bestwick, Iain McKinnon and myself.
Come and join us for a weekend full of horror and Haters down by the sea! Keep an eye on the official website and Facebook page for more information as and when it’s announced.
I’ve met Iain McKinnon (author of Domain and Remains of the Dead) on numerous occasions over the years. Invariably when I’m pointing him out to people, I say something along the lines of “that’s him over there… the one with the dreads”. Not any more.
Iain has announced that he, like me, is going to become a member of the ‘final haircut’ club – i.e. he’s going bald. Unlike me, however, he does have some choice in the matter, and he’s made the excellent decision to have his dreadlocks shaved off for charity on 16th June, in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support.
Here’s another book recommendation which I intended to make when it was released last year: Iain McKinnon’s REMAINS OF THE DEAD.
I love the concept of parallel sequels, and on this occasion McKinnon tells a story which starts at the same point as his previous novel DOMAIN OF THE DEAD, then shoots off in a completely different direction. And it’s all the better for it.
“The world is dead, devoured by a plague of reanimated corpses.
Cahz and his squad of veteran soldiers are tasked with flying into abandoned cities and retrieving zombies for scientific study. Deep in infected territory, hundreds of miles from their support vessel, the ever present dangers weigh heavily on Cahz’s mind as he shepherds his team to make quick, clean extractions.
Then the unbelievable happens. After years of encountering nothing but the undead, the team discovers a handful of disheveled survivors in a fortified warehouse with dwindling supplies.
Surrounded by hordes of ravenous corpses, Cahz is faced with the terrible responsibility of determining the five passengers who will escape in the helicopter. While those left stranded must continue to fight off the infected and starvation long enough to be rescued.”
I enjoyed this book a huge amount, and relished the glee with which McKinnon leads us and his survivors through the dead world. As I said at the time: “Believable characters trapped in a nightmare scenario—REMAINS OF THE DEAD is a breathless, high-octane zombie thriller. [McKinnon has] written another great book here…”
I feel particularly bad about this, but it’s illustrative of how busy the last year has been: this post is horrendously overdue. I met Remy Porter back in March 2010 and I was sent a copy of DEAD BEAT in June last year. I promised to give the book some exposure here but, unfortunately, it took me until this January to get to read it, and another few months have now passed before I’ve finally been able to sit down and write this. Apologies to Remy for the delay!
By now I guess many visitors to this site will have already read DEAD BEAT or at least will have heard something about it. I hope Remy won’t mind me describing it as a ‘typical’ zombie novel to an extent. It has pretty much everything you would expect: a mysterious outbreak, a flawed hero with a beautiful girlfriend, a no-good waster who smartens up and proves himself when the sh*t hits the fan, a family of foul villains who’s depravity knows no bounds, and as much blood, gore and zombie action as you could want. Set in a quiet, rural area, the distinctly British tone and atmosphere makes a refreshing change from many other stories in the genre today.
I’ll be launching a new HATER website very soon, and the ‘Projekt’ you might have heard me talking about will finally be revealed. In the meantime, here’s a photograph (courtesy of Gavin Brogan) to whet your appetite…
And finally… the publisher’s advance mailing has begun and the first reviews of DOG BLOOD are starting to appear. I wouldn’t recommend reading them if you haven’t read HATER, but for those of you who have…
You might remember me mentioning Iain McKinnon in my post about Grimmfest last month. I said you’d be hearing more about Iain, and here’s why: Permuted Press has just published his debut novel Domain of the Dead. I was honoured to be asked to write an introduction to the book, and you can see my endorsement on the cover above. It’s a great read – an exciting, fast-moving, traditional zombie novel with a cool cast and more than enough wild moments and flashes of originality and invention to keep even the most jaded fan of the Undead entertained this Christmas. As if that wasn’t enough, you can watch a trailer for the book (and an absolutely cracking zombie-short – The Dead Walk) over on Iain’s official website, www.domain-of-the-dead.com.
But if you want to see something REALLY scary, check out this picture of Iain and myself taken at Grimmfest when Iain was kind enough to host the post-screening AUTUMN Q&A session.