Next Door: A Horror Anthology

My friend MATT SHAW released a new anthology last month, and I had a story in it. NEXT DOOR is a collection of original stories about the things that go on in other people’s houses. How well do you really know your neighbours? Anything could be going on on the other side of your garden fence…

As well as Matt and myself, the book includes stories by Tim Lebbon, Shaun Hutson, Ryan C. Thomas, Jeremy Bates, Guy N. Smith, Matthew Stokoe, Justin Woodward, Gary McMahon, Rich Hawkins and Jim Goforth. The book is being published to complement Matt’s second movie, also called NEXT DOOR, which is due for release in 2020.

Tim Lebbon’s THE SILENCE

I’m sure you know Tim. He’s a very prolific, very approachable writer whose written many original novels as well as TV and movie tie-in books (including STAR WARS, ALIEN and FIREFLY). I’d known him for a while through social media then met him in person for the first time at a horror convention in Birmingham in February last year. We were table-neighbours for a very enjoyable weekend and, as is the done thing, we book-swapped at the end of the event. He went home with a copy of HATER, and I chose THE SILENCE.

I’d long known that a film adaptation of Tim’s book was in development, and we talked quite a bit about it over the weekend. Fast-forward a few weeks and I was on holiday. I devoured THE SILENCE (and thoroughly enjoyed it) in the space of a few short hours at the poolside. I was really interested to see how the film adaptation stacked up. Jump forward in time again until April this year, and THE SILENCE appeared on NETFLIX accompanied by a huge wave of publicity.

I’ve been stung by having one of my books adapted into a less-than-satisfactory movie, and I’m always nervous for fellow writers I know when films of their works are in the pipeline. So how did THE SILENCE stack up?

When the world is under attack from terrifying creatures who hunt their human prey by sound, 16-year old Ally Andrews (Kiernan Shipka), who lost her hearing at 13, and her family seek refuge in a remote haven.

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Bird Box

Here’s one which doesn’t need any recommendation from me, but I wanted to comment on it anyway. I first read Josh Malerman’s BIRD BOX several years ago. My friends at THIS IS HORROR sent me a copy of the chapbook they’d published by Malerman, THE HOUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF A LAKE, and I was really taken by it. Having been aware of the buzz surrounding BIRD BOX, and the fact it was being adapted for film, I picked a copy up and was seriously impressed. Fast-forward a few years, and the Netflix movie adaptation of BIRD BOX is proving to be incredibly successful.

Unless you’ve been living in a house with the windows covered and have been blindfolded every time you’ve dared step outside your front door, you probably know what it’s about by now. If not, here’s a synopsis and the movie trailer:

Five years after an ominous unseen presence drives most of society to suicide, a mother and her two children make a desperate bid to reach safety.

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Forthcoming events

A quick post to tell you about a couple of events which are coming up. On 24 and 25 February I’ll be heading back to Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham, for the BIRMINGHAM HORROR CON. It’s always a pleasure to take part in a hometown event, and this time I have the honour of signing alongside such horror luminaries as Simon Clarke and Tim Lebbon. I’m very much looking forward to it, and I hope some of you are able to make it to pick up a copy of ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING, YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE and more. Tickets are available here and you can find out more about the event on Facebook.

And on 30 June I’ll be heading to London for my first convention in the capital since, I think, 2009. The LONDON HORROR CON is another show from Vic Wright and the Horrorcon team, so you know it’ll be a blast. The event takes place on 30 June and 1 July at Printworks London, Surrey Quays Road. Tickets are here, and more details are here and here.