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.
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).
I’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.
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’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.
I guess I could file this post under the ‘What Works For Me’ heading, but it should also be of interest to those of you who are here more for reading than writing, in particular those who’ve already read STRAIGHT TO YOU.
WARNING – MILD STRAIGHT TO YOU SPOILERS AHEAD!
I wanted to talk about locations today: how rather than finding the right scenery to fit your story, sometimes the story can be shaped by a location or, in this case, a journey. If you’ve not read STRAIGHT TO YOU yet, why not grab a low price ebook or signed paperback then come back and see how some of the scenes in the new version of the story came about.
I’ve already spoken at length about how I wanted the rewritten version of STRAIGHT TO YOU to feel more honest and emotional in comparison to the hopelessly naïve original, and I decided early on in the planning process that in order for that to happen I’d need to give the book a foothold in reality.
Here’s me pictured in the idyllic Welsh village of Criccieth last Sunday, and in the background you can see the castle which features prominently in the book. Click the link below to find out more, but please be warned – there are potentially some spoilers ahead.
A belated thank you to everyone involved in putting together the magnificent SCARdiff festival in Cardiff a couple of weeks back. It was an excellent event – very well attended and supported. This was a horror expo created by fans of the genre for fans of the genre, and as such it was a huge success. Congratulations to Wayne and the team. I got to hang out with some great folks, and I’ve posted a few photographs below (one stolen from Rich Hawkins, the other from Zoe Millard – hope you don’t mind, Zoe and Rich!). You’ll also find a clip from S4C (in Welsh) about the Expo which, even though you probably won’t understand it, will give you a better indication of how great a day it was than I could if I wrote for another couple of pages…
David Moody and Dominic Brunt (Before Dawn)
Photo by Zoe Millard
Adam Millard, me, Wayne Simmons and Rich Hawkins (photo: Sara Hawkins)
This coming weekend sees the second AUTUMN: HORROR IN THE EAST convention in Lowestoft. It’s a FREE event, so if you’re in the area please come down and say hello. This year sees a rare showing of the BBC’s notorious GHOSTWATCH with special guests in attendance. Can’t wait. All the details you need are here.
I’ve just confirmed a couple of dates, so I thought now would be a good time to let you know about a few events I’ll be attending before the end of 2013.
GRIMMFEST – 3/10/13 – 6/10/13
Manchester’s brilliant international festival of horror and cult films again takes place at The Dancehouse Theatre this October. Another great collection of eclectic films are showing. Full information can be found at www.grimmfest.com, and I’ll be there on Sunday 6 October.
SCARDIFF 2013 – 27/10/13
A brand new horror event in Cardiff, organised by Fantasy Events, Shock Horror Magazine, and good friend Wayne Simmons. It takes place at the Mercure Holland Hotel, and I’ll be there all day. It promises a brilliant mix of guests and you can find much more information at Scardiff.co.uk.
AUTUMN: HORROR IN THE EAST 2 – 8/11/13 – 9/11/13
A return trip to Lowestoft – the spiritual home of the HATER books! – for this gem of a convention. Highly recommended. I’ll be there, and I hope many of you will be able to support this brilliant free event at the Aspire Centre. More information at www.horrorintheeast.com.
DAY OF THE UNDEAD – 16/11/13
Finally, it’s back to the Phoenix, Leicester for Terror4Fun’s 2013 Festival of Zombie Culture. Twelve hours of zombie movies, special effects, games, competitions… I don’t really need to say anything more! Details here at the Terror4Fun website.
Between July 31 and August 3, I’ll be a guest at Celsius in Avilés, Spain. Details can be found here. Very much looking forward to my first event in Spain!
Scardiff is a new horror expo taking place in Cardiff on October 27. I’ll be there alongside a number of really exciting guests including Dominic Brunt and Bobby Rhodes (yes, the Bobby Rhodes of Demons fame!). Scardiff is the brainchild of Wayne Simmons, Fantasy Events, and Shock Horror Magazine. Reduced price advance tickets are now available, and all the information you need can be found right here.
HORROR IN THE EAST
And then it’s back to Lowestoft on November 8 – 9 for the second Horror in the East convention. Have a look at last year’s report to see what an excellent event it was, then make a note in your diaries to come and join us for this year’s convention. Very relaxed, hugely enjoyable, and all taking place in the town where Them or Us was set! More details can be found here.
AUTUMN: HORROR IN THE EAST
Takes place in Lowestoft tomorrow. I’ll be there from 10am onwards, and it promises to be an excellent day. So if you’re in the area, why not come along? The event is free, and you get the added bonus of seeing the sights of Lowestoft, the town where much of THEM OR US was set. There’s more information at www.horrorintheeast.com and a schedule for the day can be found here at This is Horror.
SCREAM MAGAZINE Will hopefully be in attendance this weekend in Lowestoft. Issue 14 of the magazine is available now. Click the cover for more details. It’s another issue filled with much goodness for the discerning horror fan, including interviews with some of the original Cenobites from Hellraiser, Alex Chandon (the director of Inbred), and Oren Peli (the chap responsible for Paranormal Activity).
GUEST POSTS AND INTERVIEWS
Finally, I was asked to put together a number of guest posts for Halloween specials during October. In case you missed any of them, here’s a list:
Are there really too many zombies, Graeme?
An interview with Booklist Online (warning – some spoilers)