I’ll admit, when I first started writing the original AUTUMN novel back in 1996 (I think), I wasn’t too bothered about trying to work out what caused the horrific infection that wiped out most of the human race (then made millions of them them get up again). As I’ve always said, the books are more about the human stories that followed than anything else. But by the time I got to AUTUMN: PURIFICATION in 2004, I’d spent quite a bit of time thinking about what might have happened. You sort of get a hint of an explanation in that book.
It was much, much later when I decided to come clean and write about the chain of events that triggered the AUTUMN apocalypse. The story – JOE AND ME – was written, but as far as I was concerned the AUTUMN series was done and dusted and I had no immediate plans to publish it. Enter my friend MICHAEL WILSON of THIS IS HORROR. Michael asked me to write the first THIS IS HORROR chapbook, and I saw an opportunity to release JOE AND ME into the wild. I was thrilled with the reception the story received, and that inspired me to re-write and expand the companion collection, AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION. JOE AND ME also features in that book.
I’ve thought a lot about JOE AND ME since the coronavirus pandemic began (you’ll understand why if you read it), and I decided to share it again. I thought the best way of doing that was to link to the episode of the THIS IS HORROR podcast when I narrated an audiobook version. Forgive my rough around the edges Brummie delivery – I’m very much an amateur when it comes to audio – but here it is. I hope you enjoy it.
I go to a lot of events, and I decide not to go to many more. I’m a fussy sod – much as I genuinely love talking to other authors and publishers etc., I have to say I prefer meeting readers. Many conventions seem to be one thing or the other, but Horror in the East was a straight down the middle collision of both. Relaxed, informal and well supported by both the local and the horror community, it was an absolute pleasure to be there. Congratulations to Emma Bunn and Jo Wilde for putting together such a superb event. I’ll be back for more Horror in the East on 1st – 2nd November 2013, and I hope to see many of you there.
Pictured: the excellent Horror in the East line-up. From left to right: (front) Richard Cosgrove, Andrew Hook, Joseph Freeman, Michael Wilson, Conrad Williams, (back) Sean Page, me, Adam Baker, Adam Millard, Joseph D’Lacey, Simon Coleby, Ivan Bunn, Iain McKinnon, Henry Baker, Paul Huggins. (Photo pinched from Adam Millard on Facebook – hope you don’t mind, Adam!).
Issue 8 of SCREAM is out now. As well as the usual stack of great features, reviews and interviews, it also features an in-depth interview with me which was carried out by Michael Wilson of the superb Read Horror website.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, SCREAM is a magazine for people who genuinely love horror, not just those who want to sell it. Click this link to pick up a copy, and try it for yourself if you haven’t already.
It was great to finally meet Adam and Gary, other folks including Joseph D’Lacey, Simon Marshall-Jones, and also more members of Moody’s Survivors who’d made the trip to Warwick (now roll on Lowestoft!)
It was truly heartening to see so many people supporting the event with such enthusiasm. Thanks to Adam, Gary and Michael, and thanks also to everyone who came and spent their Halloween evening with us. Writing can be an incredibly insular occupation at times (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing), and it’s great to have opportunities like this to present your work in public and get such a positive and immediate reaction. Here’s to more Read Horror events.
Photographs by Andy McGeechan, used with permission.
I’m absolutely thrilled to announce another great event for October, and this one promises to be a real cracker! On Halloween, I’ll be appearing at the Warwick Arts Centre for an ‘evening of terror’ alongside two excellent authors, Adam Nevill and Gary McMahon. The event will be chaired by Michael Wilson, editor of Read Horror. Tickets are £8.00, and are available here.
On the subject of upcoming appearances, I’m sorry to have to announce that due to circumstances beyond my control, I now won’t be appearing at the Aliens to Zombies convention in Los Angeles. I hope this doesn’t disappoint any of you who were planning to attend.