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.

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.

New interview and more chatting…

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by William Cook recently for his series on the Secrets of Best-Selling Self-Published Authors, and you can read the piece here. Please spend some time looking around the site. William has assembled a really great resource for anyone who’s interested into taking the independent publishing route. Visit www.selfpublishingsuccessfully.com.

And I owe an apology to Suzanne Robb and Emma Ennis of Fresh and Untitled, because I neglected to share the last part of our epic conversation about characters and plot development. I’m correcting that right now…

Normal service is slowly being restored here after the unexpected complications of early 2016. I signed a few very important pieces of paper a while back, and that means I’ll finally be able to tell you more about the release of ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING (HATER book #4) VERY soon.

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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Announcing THE FRONT

When things are quiet here, it’s usually because I’m working hard on stuff in the background (honest). Right now I’m dividing my frustratingly limited writing time between a few major projects: ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING (HATER book #4), a huge Infected Books initiative for 2016, THE SPACES BETWEEN and this one.

A short while ago, top writers and good pals TIM LONG and CRAIG DILOUIE invited me to contribute a book to a brand new three volume World War II zombie series called THE FRONT. How could I refuse? I can’t say too much about it right now, so I’ll just let the cover of volume one do the talking. Tim’s writing this one, and it should hit the shelves in December. My book will be next up in the early part of next year.

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Exciting, eh? So I’m sorry if I’ve neglected the site a little recently, and I apologise if I’m taking far too long to reply to any emails or messages you’ve sent this way, but at least it means 2016 should be filled to capacity with apocalyptic horror. I can’t wait.

If you want to hear more about this and other projects, don’t forget to come and see WAYNE SIMMONS and I in conversation at Waterstones, New Street Birmingham on 30 October at 7pm. Full details are here.

The second HATER trilogy

I’ve got some more HATER news for you: I’m writing a new HATER book. Actually, I’m writing three.

For me, the original HATER series was nicely self-contained. Although the whole world had gone crazy and imploded, the books were first and foremost Danny McCoyne’s story. I resisted even thinking about writing other books for a long time because I’d told all of Danny’s story and without a damn good reason to go back to the world of HATER, I thought any additional novels would just be a cynical cash in.

Enter Ed Barratt.

I introduced you to Ed last week. He’s the producer of the new HATER movie, and over the last few months he and I have talked extensively about how, if the first movie is successful, we’d want the rest of Danny’s story to be adapted for screen. The second HATER trilogy is a direct result of those conversations.

Details are pretty sparse at the moment, but click the link and I’ll tell you what I know.

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