Sometimes things just click into place. Here’s an example: a while back I had an idea for a short story which was inspired, in part, by the steel works at Port Talbot, Wales. You can see a photograph below. I’d always loved the idea of a place like this, perched on the very edge of the land, being one of the last enclaves of the human race after some unspecified apocalyptic event.
And then I was contacted by a friend of mine, Dan Boucher, who is one of the minds behind www.thenovelblog.com (and who has helped me out on a number of occasions in the past… remind yourself of his incredible work here). Dan’s partner in crime on the blog, Peter Mark May, runs Hersham Horror Books and releases regular PentAnths – themed anthologies featuring stories from five invited authors. So I landed myself an invite to contribute to DEAD WATER, and my Port Talbot-inspired story seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
We all need water to live, but what if that life giving body was not so friendly after all?
Last night I had the honour of interviewing James Herbert again – this time at Foyles in London, in front of a sell-out audience of more than 200 people. As I said in my previous piece, it’s hard to quantify the effect James’ books have had on me and on my writing. I don’t profess to have slavishly read everything he’s written, but his style, approach, attitude and (of course) his success are an inspiration to anyone who writes horror. There’s no doubt in my mind that discovering his books as a teenager was a pivotal moment which set me on the path to doing what I do today. Thanks again to James, his team, and the staff at Foyles. A truly memorable evening.
By the way – the audio quality isn’t great, but I stumbled across a brief clip of James and I on YouTube this morning. It’s embedded at the bottom of this post. (Thanks to YouTube user astroduckula – I hope you don’t mind the link, and I hope you enjoyed last night!).
And on the subject of James Herbert… my friend Michael Wilson (the brains behind THIS IS HORROR), recently interviewed James for SCREAM magazine. The interview appears in the latest issue (pictured) which is available now.
And on the subject of This is Horror… the second in their series of chapbooks – THIN MEN WITH YELLOW FACES by Gary McMahon and Simon Bestwick – is released this Saturday, 22nd September. There will be an exclusive launch event in Manchester on Saturday featuring Ramsey Campbell and Conrad Williams alongside Gary and Simon. Click here for details. I believe there are a few copies of JOE & ME (my entry in the series) still available. That’s a story no AUTUMN fan should be without, but I’ll say no more about that for now…
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.
Really pleased to announce that I’ll be appearing at a This is Horror event at Warwick University on 22nd June to launch their chapbook series. I’ll be there alongside Simon Bestwick and Joseph D’Lacy, and the evening will be hosted by the great Jasper Bark. The event is free, but spaces are limited. Email email@example.com for tickets.
I look forward to seeing you there. If Simon, Joseph, Jasper and I are even half as good as the poster, then we’re all in for a good night!
And don’t forget… JOE AND ME – my story and the first chapbook in the series – is released on 15 June. Click here to pre-order.
I promised to tell you about two new projects this week: here’s the first.
Many of you will already know about This is Horror – an excellent website which, in its short existence, has developed a large following and a reputation for being a key resource for finding out about all things horror. The founders of the site have plenty of enthusiasm and ambition, and are about to branch out into a new venture: the This is Horror Premium Chapbook series. These chapbooks will be released every quarter and will showcase original stories from (in TiH’s words) “some of the very best names in the genre today”.
I’m honoured to have been asked to contribute a story, and I’m very pleased to announce that my piece – Joe and Me – will be the launch title.
I don’t want to say too much at the present time, I’ll just give you the salient facts: the chapbooks will be strictly limited to 500 copies, and Joe and Me will be launched in early June (with a launch event to take place in Warwick later in the month). Pricing, subscription and ordering details will be made available very shortly, but for now you can find out more by visiting this page over at www.thisishorror.co.uk. My story will be followed later this year by tales from Conrad Williams, Joseph D’Lacey, and a collaborative story from Gary McMahon and Simon Bestwick.
So what’s Joe and Me about? Well again, I won’t give too much away at this stage, I’ll just say that if you have even a passing interest in the AUTUMN series, you might want to check it out!