New releases

A couple of new releases to tell you about…

MATT SHAW’s THE DEVIL’S GUESTS is out now. Matt’s put together a really ambitious book, and it’s a project I was pleased to be a part of. I had far too much fun creating a particularly obnoxious character for Matt to ‘dispose of’ later in the book. Here’s the cover blurb:

From outside the hotel looks like any other in the city. Inside though, a maze of ever-changing corridors, rooms filled with death, traps and – behind the reception desk with a welcoming smile, a sadistic owner who can not wait to help his guests check-out permanently.

From the twisted imagination of Matt Shaw, and partly based on the serial killer H. H. Holmes, comes a new extreme horror and a new way of telling the story. While Shaw writes the part of Henry, the sadistic serial killer, he has invited some leading horror authors to write their own characters – introducing them to the hotel before Shaw finishes the story off. This is not an anthology. This is one story with guest authors Jeff Strand, Wrath James White, Kealan Patrick Burke, Shane Mckenzie, Sam West, Wade H. Garrett, Ryan Harding, Armand Rosamilia, David Moody, Gary McMahon, Jasper Bark and Mark Tufo.

Click here for more information and to pick up a copy of the book.

Also out now is the paperback edition of GREEN AND PLEASANT LAND, an excellent anthology edited by Steve J Shaw which includes my story OSTRICH.

Green and Pleasant Land is the first in an annual series showcasing the best in modern British horror. Every year, Great British Horror will feature ten British authors, plus one international guest contributor, telling tales of this sceptered isle. The 2016 edition features eleven original stories of small town, rural and folk horror from V H Leslie, Rich Hawkins, Laura Mauro, Ray Cluley, David Moody, Barbie Wilde, James Everington, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Adam Millard, A K Benedict and Jasper Bark.

Click here to order.

And don’t forget, my World War II zombie novel – THE FRONT: RED DEVILS – is out in a couple of weeks time!

The Devil’s Guests – pre-orders open

Last week I introduced you to Matt Shaw‘s contribution to the Infected Books YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE project. Now here’s my contribution to Matt’s next ambitious piece of work. THE DEVIL’S GUESTS promises to be unpleasant in the extreme. Here’s the blurb:

devilsguestsFrom outside the hotel looks like any other in the city. Inside though, a maze of ever-changing corridors, rooms filled with death, traps and behind the reception desk with a welcoming smile, a sadistic owner who cannot wait to help his guests check-out permanently.

From the twisted imagination of Matt Shaw, and partly based on the serial killer H. H. Holmes, comes a new extreme horror and a new way of telling the story. While Shaw writes the part of Henry, the sadistic serial killer, he has invited some leading horror authors to write their own characters – introducing them to the hotel before Shaw finishes the story off. This is not an anthology. This is one story with guest chapters written by: Jeff Strand, Wrath James White, Kealan Patrick Burke, Shane Mckenzie, Sam West, Wade H. Garrett, Ryan Harding, Armand Rosamilia, David Moody, Gary McMahon, Jasper Bark, and Mark Tufo.

The book is released on 3 February 2017 but is available to pre-order now from Amazon. For more about the book and Matt’s other works, visit www.mattshawpublications.co.uk, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Mummified bodies and nuclear meltdowns

Just a few chapters left to go now in the free serialisation of STRAIGHT TO YOU at WATTPAD. The second of this week’s chapters is now available to read, and Steven begins to realise the full enormity of what’s happening to the world around him (hence the clickbait title of this post). Click here to read.

In other news, I’d like to make you aware of a great new edition of the THIS IS HORROR podcast wherein a load of great authors (and me) offer up their most valuable piece of writing advice. Listen here or click the graphic below.

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Great British Horror and shady hotel visits

Some news for you at long last! I’m pleased to announce I’ll have two new shorts available later this year. First up, I’ll have a story in Great British Horror 1: Green and Pleasant Land – a collection of eleven new stories of small town, rural and folk horror by authors including Jasper Bark, Ray Cluley, Adam Millard and Rich Hawkins. The book will be released as a special edition, signed hardback in late 2016, and is available to pre-order now from http://blackshuckbooks.co.uk/green-and-pleasant-land

No doubt some of you will have heard of Matt Shaw. Matt’s had quite an impact on the UK horror scene over the last couple of years, and he recently asked me to get involved in his new project, The Devil’s Guests. Matt’s invited a number of horror authors to each create a character and write a story getting them to a specific location where Matt will… I can’t say what Matt will be doing to them, but given that he’s the author of books including Sick B*stards and Rotting Dead F*cks, you know it’s not going to be pleasant! More news as I get it.

Next Event – Cardiff Independent Comic Expo 27 June 2015

It’s great to be able to confirm that Wayne Simmons and I will be flying the Infected Books flag at the Cardiff Independent Comic Expo next month. Kicking off at 10:00am at the Cardiff Masonic Hall, Guildford Street, the event is designed to showcase the very best in indie comics from South Wales and beyond (with a couple of dodgy-looking horror authors thrown into the mix). Guests include: Jasper Bark, Jason Cardy, Mike Collins, Ian Edginton, Patrick Goddard, Paul Grist, Anthony D Lee, Dylan Teague, Rob Williams, Simon Williams and many, many more. Tickets cost just £5 and are available from the Expo’s website. More information about the event is available on Facebook, and follow the team on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest updates. Hope to see you there!

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Guest blog – GAY, NAZI, CROSS DRESSING ZOMBIES! (or HOW TO SUBVERT THE GENRE AND GET AWAY WITH IT) by Jasper Bark

Jasper Bark once ate my brains (don’t believe me? Here’s irrefutable proof). So it’s with pleasure, and not a little apprehension, that I welcome him to this site with a guest post. Take it away, Jasper…

7645611Over a decade ago, while I was a film journalist, I got to interview producer Jeffrey Katzenberg as part of the the press junket for Shrek 2. At one point I asked him if he thought the Shrek franchise was subverting the fairytale/family entertainment genre, so beloved of Disney? Katzenberg rolled his eyes and shook his head at my question.

“Y’know,” he said. “I get about ten young writers coming into my office every week telling me they’ve got a script that reinvents some genre or other. But you know what – I wish they’d just learn to write the freaking genre, before trying to remake it!” I remember being a bit abashed at the time, not just because he’d brushed off my question, but I probably had some work tucked away in a drawer that aspired to reinvent a genre or two. With hindsight however, I can’t help thinking how spot on his comment was.

Every genre has to reinvent itself over time if it’s to remain relevant and fresh to successive generations. However, so many attempts end up falling flat, or missing the mark. So, what I’d like to look at in this guest post, is the ways in which writers, directors and other genre practitioners have successfully subverted the horror genre throughout its long history, to get an idea of what really works.

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This is Horror – Edinburgh event report

Another cracking THIS IS HORROR event! I had a great time in Edinburgh on Saturday, talking horror and reading a brand new AUTUMN short story to a very appreciative crowd.

Edinburgh-horrorWriting, by its nature, can be a very solitary vocation, and it’s easy to lose the connection between author and reader. Doing these events always reminds me what a great job I have. There’s nothing quite like reading a fresh, untested piece of work to a crowd of folks and getting the kind of reaction you hoped for. And that reaction doesn’t come via email, Facebook or Twitter: it’s immediate and genuine. As I mentioned in a recent post, I’ve had a last flurry of AUTUMN activity and have been writing a few final short stories. After making that post and announcing the contents of the new edition of AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION a week or so back, I went on to write a couple more shorts and one of them, ANGEL, is a piece I’m very, very proud of.

Although numbers weren’t quite what we expected on Saturday, and even though Gary McMahon was unable to be there, Jasper Bark, Joseph D’Lacey and I had a brilliant time. Joseph was there to launch his excellent new fantasy tome, BLACK FEATHERS, which is out this week, and which you can find more about here and here. And Jasper was there just… well, just being Jasper, really. I think the photograph below (pinched from Jim Mcleod – hope that’s okay, Jim!) explains everything. After being asked nicely to read something that wasn’t too crude and full of obscenities (as we were in the middle of a busy bookshop on a Saturday afternoon), Jasper read from his book WAY OF THE BAREFOOT ZOMBIE. If you have it, turn to page 258 and start reading. It’ll explain mine and Joseph’s expressions…

Jasper Bark, David Moody and Joseph D'Lacey (photo by Jim Mcleod)

Huge thanks to all at This is Horror and Blackwells for making the event happen and making it such a success. Particular thanks to Ellie Wixon, and to all those who came to listen to us, including David McDonald, Iain McKinnon, and The Ginger Nuts of Horror himself, Jim Mcleod.

Edinburgh event – 30th March

Here are the full details of the Edinburgh event I mentioned recently. Organised by This is Horror, it takes place at Blackwell’s bookstore on 30th March from 3pm – 5pm. It’s a free but ticketed event. To reserve tickets, e-mail events.edinburgh@blackwell.co.uk with the subject line ‘This Is Horror Event’ or call 0131 622 8218.

I’ll be there alongside Joseph D’Lacey and Gary McMahon, and the event will be hosted by Jasper Bark. It promises to be an excellent afternoon and I hope to see you there.

Check out this wonderful promotional poster created by the very talented Daniele Serra.

Edinburgh-horror

Events round-up

I’ve been a guest at a couple of cracking events over the last few weeks. Here’s a brief recap.

On Friday 22nd June, I appeared alongside Joseph D’Lacey, Simon Bestwick and host Jasper Bark in the Writers’ Room at the University of Warwick to officially launch the This is Horror chapbook series. As you know, I was honoured to be asked to write the first chapbook, and Joe & Me has been exceptionally well received. We’ve had very positive reviews from Rue Morgue, Dread Central, Snakebite Horror, the British Fantasy Society, Shadowlocked, and more. The evening was a lot of fun, with readings from the three of us, followed by a Q&A session. The picture below was lifted without permission from fellow author Adam Millard (thanks Adam!), and shows (from left to right), myself (in my Fix the Chapel shirt, please note!), Jasper, Simon and Joseph.

To get hold of a copy of Joe & Me (and you’ll need to be quick as they’re very limited and disappearing fast…) visit www.thisishorror.co.uk.

On Sunday 8th July I was at the Shock and Gore horror festival at the Electric Cinema in Birmingham – a hometown event for once! After a reading and Q&A alongside Sam Stone and John L Probert – again hosted by the inimitable Jasper Bark – I had the privilege of introducing a screening of Tod Browning’s 1932 classic, FREAKS.

Have you seen FREAKS? If not, can I recommend that you do. For a film that’s eighty years old and barely sixty-five minutes long, it still packs a hell of a punch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Zf-ah9ZrWM

Thanks to everyone involved in these events – Michael Wilson and the This is Horror team; David Baldwin and all at the Electric; Simon, Joseph, Sam, John and, of course, Jasper; and everyone who came along to watch/listen/contribute.

Details of another new horror event coming later today…

Joe & Me is released today – free launch event in Warwick this Friday!

Just a very quick post to plug the fact a). that JOE & ME – the first in This is Horror’s chapbook series – is out today, and b). that I’ll be appearing at Warwick University on Friday 22nd June to launch the series along with Jasper Bark, Simon Bestwick, and Joseph D’Lacey. To order a copy of JOE & ME click here, and to book your free tickets for Friday night, click here.