Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all. I thought I’d kick off 2015 with a quick look back at my 2014 releases (just in case you missed any), and a peek at my plans for 2015. Despite being a pig of a year for me on many levels, I was surprisingly productive, releasing two full-length novels (STRAIGHT TO YOU and STRANGERS), a zombie novella collection (LAST OF THE LIVING, which included ISOLATION and THE COST OF LIVING along with a number of other shorts), and the long-overdue limited edition hardcover of AUTUMN: AFTERMATH.

I also managed a couple of short stories too, most notably THE LUCKY ONES (which appeared in DEAD WATER), THE DEVIL (from THE BLACK FANG BETRAYAL) and THE DEAL – a story which is exclusively available to newsletter subscribers. And, of course, there’s the free audio download of JOE & ME.

So what does 2015 hold? There’s a lot being planned behind the scenes, and I thought I’d pile the pressure on myself by announcing the major projects I’m working on this year. Notice there are no timescales quoted here (I never seem to keep to them anyway!) but this is the order I’m tackling these novels.

KAI
My first middle-grade novel. Think ET meets GODZILLA and you’re halfway there.

THE SPACES BETWEEN: ELYSIAN FIELDS
The first book in my long-teased horror/ science-fiction/ noir crime series. If you’ve not heard me talking about this one before, here’s a quick tease: Several years ago London was destroyed in a white-hot nuclear haze. Millions of people were displaced, and huge numbers ended up in rapidly constructed newcities like Elysian Fields. Designed to house around one hundred thousand, the population of Elysian Fields is several times that. It’s a dangerous, sprawling hell-hole of a place ruled by gangs, violence and fear. When a prominent business leader’s son disappears, social worker Greg Dawson becomes embroiled in the mission to snatch him back. But the more Dawson discovers about Elysian Fields, the more he comes to realise there’s a huge gulf between what we’re being told and reality. In the spaces between the two, absolutely everything changes.

17 DAYS
Yes, I know… I’ve finished this book twice already, but I’ve still not got it quite right. I had a rollercoaster year last year, and in the midst of all the ups and downs, I’ve realised where I was going wrong. Mark Thane is a downtrodden and overlooked nobody. When he discovers he only has 17 days left to live, he’s forced to question everything. The country is on the verge of revolution, and Mark unwittingly finds himself at the eye of the storm. This time last week no one knew who Mark Thane was. By the time his number’s up, the entire world will be watching his every move.

FOCUS
A sick and twisted love story. Adam’s wife died last summer. He’s not going to let her die again.

So there you go. Plenty of work ahead. Add to this more signing events and the continued expansion of the Infected empire (Infected Films and Infected Audio, anyone?) and that’s more than enough to keep me busy. I hope you’ll stick around, because 2015 is going to be a cracker!

What’s next?

Since STRAIGHT TO YOU was released, a lot of people have been asking what’s next. That’s a difficult one to answer, but I thought I should at least try.

I’ve a couple of completed novels in the bag which I’ve told you about previously (STRANGERS and 17 DAYS). As yet no decisions have been made as to when/how they’ll be released. All options remain open, and I’ll let you know as soon as I do. There are a few other things in the pipeline…

I’ve been saying for a while that I’ve had my fill of zombies, infections, apocalyptic pandemics and the like. That’s not strictly true. There’s one story left that I want to tell, and I’m working on it at the moment. I hope to have it finished by April/May this year and released soon after, probably as an ebook-only novella. I also have a number of short stories due in the next few months, and I’ll let you know as and when each of those releases are scheduled.

But the project I think I’m most excited about right now is THE SPACES BETWEEN. It’s a four book horror/science-fiction series set in the near future. If I was to describe the tone of the books, I’d have to say they’re like a head-on collision between QUATERMASS and Stieg Larsson’s MILLENNIUM TRILOGY (well that’s the vibe I’m going for, anyway). I’ve been planning these novels for several years now, but have only recently begun the actual writing process. Here’s a bit of hastily thrown together blurb for TOMMY, the first book in the series:

Nine years ago London was wiped off the map as a result of a catastrophic terrorist attack. Millions of displaced people have since been rehoused in a number of hastily constructed newcities, the largest of which is Elysian Fields, just outside Birmingham.

Parts of Elysian Fields are no-go areas: dangerous, virtually lawless and hopelessly overcrowded. The government and police troops do what they can to maintain order, but it’s increasingly difficult. The residents are on their own.

Almost.

There are some who still try to help. Greg Dawson is one such person. An old-school social worker, he’s now forced to carry a gun and wear full body armour to work each day. But the job and the people haven’t changed, just the situation, and Dawson’s as dedicated to protecting the vulnerable as he always has been.

When Tommy Huxtable, the five year old son of a powerful party member, is taken, Dawson’s called on to find and recover the child. But the deeper he digs, the more he discovers that nothing is as it seems in Elysian Fields.

You can keep up with my progress with TOMMY and other projects on the ‘Forthcoming Releases‘ page on this site.