A Decade in Horror: Part 1

It’s February, which means it’s Women in Horror Month (WiHM).

But what is WiHM?

It’s a time to show our support and encouragement to women in all areas of the horror industry. Sounds crazy because this should happen all year round, right? But sadly, this isn’t always the case. February is about reminding folk not to forget or overlook the female creators amongst us – be they writers, artists, actors, film-makers or any other creatives within the field.

Can you remember the last time you read a horror novel/novella/short story by a female writer? If not, I urge you to remedy that right away and show us lady wordsmiths of dark and dangerous prose some love! We’re every bit as competent as our male counterparts and have stories to tell that are just as terrifying.

I’ll be listing some of my favourite writers on Friday, so watch out for that. For now, I’m going to discuss where it all started for me (mistakes, bad covers and tongue-in-cheek vampires). But first, since I’m a woman and it’s WiHM, I’m going to stand up and give a shout out to myself.

Because who else will if I don’t?

I don’t have a massive following and am pretty much beaten into obscurity by complex online algorithms, which are enough to make me feel like I’m having an aneurism whenever I try to figure them out. It probably doesn’t help my cause that I’m introverted and find it exceptionally hard to sell myself. I have so much self-doubt it’s crippling at times. But then I look at reviews and testimonials for my books and am reminded that I MUST believe in myself because others do.

2021 marks the tenth year since I took up writing seriously. In 2011, I undertook a comprehensive writing course for which I received a certificate of competency within ten months. The first three novels I published, over the subsequent three-year period, were part of what became The Reluctant Vampire Trilogy – a paranormal fantasy based at the seaside. (Who even knew there was such a thing?)

Did I know what I was doing? Hell no. I was learning processes from scratch and making stuff up as I went along. But each challenge that confronted me was extremely important to aid me in my journey. I needed to make mistakes (and holy shit, did I make lots!) in order to progress. All of it was a steep but beneficial learning curve – from plotting to finding target audiences.

These first three books of mine (Slippery Souls, The Forgotten Ones & Tattooed Gods) were very much trial and error. Even down to the covers, which I got tragically wrong in the first instance. They portrayed stories for a much younger audience than the books were actually intended (and were a bit naff, in all honesty). But when I realised I’d fucked-up (having listened to feedback) I made the necessary changes.

Here’s how the original covers looked:

And here’s how the covers ended up:

Was the trilogy a success? It depends how you look at it. Financially? Not especially. But learning how to plan and write a novel, then edit, format and publish it, these aspects were absolutely priceless. And Slippery Souls, the first in the trilogy, was short-listed for the UK’s Writing Magazine’s Self-publishing Award 2012, which was pretty damn cool.

I like to think of The Reluctant Vampire Trilogy days as my apprenticeship. I gained valuable skills and knowledge, which then enabled me to become the writer I am today. Stylistically the books are far from my best work, but they are vibrant, quirky and a whole lot of fun. By the time I’d wrapped up the last book in the trilogy, I knew I was ready to take on my ultimate passion – supernatural horror fiction. 

Cue, Emergence, my debut horror novel. And oh man, did I have fun writing it! It allowed me to dig deep and visit some really dark places. The characters were more evolved and my prose more grown-up. I felt by this point I’d found my real voice.

For this week only, to celebrate WiHM (and to entice you to take a chance on me, if you haven’t already), Emergence is on a promotion for 99c (99p).

It’s a ghost story about a young widower who takes his daughter to visit his childhood home. It’s kind of like if The Shining was based in a family home that’s haunted by ghosts and visited now and then by Succubus. Would you dare turn off the lights?

Emergence is available on Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble & Google Play.

Rocking red nails for WiHM ❤️

Posted in Uncategorized

Happy New Year!

Exciting news! The insanely cool horror site Tales to Terrify have featured my story ‘The Hole in the Wall’ on their podcast today!

What a great way to kick off the new year! 😁 You can listen to it here: https://talestoterrify.com/episodes/466-r-h-dixon-roy-bishop/

All the best to everyone for 2021!🥂

Posted in Uncategorized

Looking Ahead…

The gloom doesn’t fully dispatch with the light. There are too many shadows to be thwarted, no obvious source except for that of the space itself. This section of the cottage seems too disjointed. Shouldn’t belong. – The Muse

I haven’t been very active on social media these past few months. I needed some time to recharge because I haven’t been too well lately, but I’ve kept myself busy and have a few things lined up for 2021.
I completed a novella called The Muse and submitted it to a few publishing houses. Usually I don’t bother submitting my work anywhere and go straight down the self-publishing route, but there were a few open calls for submissions that caught my eye, so it seemed like the right thing to do this time around.
After a few weeks had passed, a much respected publishing house within the genre requested to see my full manuscript – which was very exciting! Rejection is par for the course in this field, and I’d fully expected an initial ‘thanks, but no thanks.’ Eventually they got back to me to say they’d decided they wouldn’t be taking it on – but The Muse had made it into their top thirty out of 300 submissions!
So close, yet so far.
But hey, I’m okay with that. To be in the top ten percent of submissions isn’t too shabby at all. Got to focus on the positives!
If there are no takers, I’ll release The Muse myself sometime next year. It’s a claustrophobic, ghostly tale of resentment and paranoia set in the remote wilderness of the Scottish Highlands (one of my most favourite places in the world, which always makes my creative juices flow as easily as mead in Valhalla).
I’ve recently just got back from visiting the northwest coast. Watching stags mooch about in the bracken close by and golden eagles soar above the loch at the bottom of the garden was sheer bliss.

I’m planning on releasing an anthology of short stories next year too. These Covid times have been quite stifling, so I haven’t felt the need to get weighted down in another novel just yet. Working on shorter pieces has been much better for my motivation and concentration, so I’ve been having lots of fun with experimental short stories.
I’m also part way through another novella (no title as yet), which is set in a hotel in Jamaica. It’s more of a fun-filled romp than anything I’ve done before. A package holiday from hell, you could say.
And I’m still chipping away at the follow-up to The Cundy. It’s become a beast of a project – in more ways than one. Progress may be slow, but I’m excited about what the end result will be. Where The Cundy sets the scene and lays down the foundations for the series, The Weeper dives straight into the action.
Here’s hoping for good things in 2021. For now, don’t forget that Cribbins and The Shadow of a Shadow are set during the festive period, should you fancy a creepy Christmas read (or re-read) 😉 

Stay safe,


Posted in Uncategorized

Women in Horror Fiction…

This year I have a new reading system in place. I started with a book by a female writer, followed by a book by a male writer, then another female, then a male… so on and so forth, you get the point 😁

I decided to do this after realising how imbalanced my reading ratio was last year (around 3/4s male). There are so many fantastic female voices in horror out there, and on reflection it seemed wholly unfair that I might unintentionally overlook some of them. So that’s why I decided to change my reading habits and make my own TBR list completely equal from here on in.

I’m just finishing up Adam Nevill’s The Reddening (which I’m loving!), and my next read is a toss up between these two beauties.

Monster, She Wrote by Lisa Kroger & Melanie R Anderson

Pine by Francine Toon


Posted in Uncategorized

When Will I, Will I Be Famous…

Look who’s in the Whitby Gazette today!



You can read the article HERE

Posted in Uncategorized

Horror Drive-In Review…

Great start to the day! Just received an amazing review for The Shadow of a Shadow 🖤

Horror Drive In FB

You can see the full review HERE

And here’s where you can grab a copy:

Posted in Uncategorized

He’ll eat your heart, Eat your eyes…

Devour your soul, Then your lies,

He’ll make you scream, Make you cry,

And won’t let up until you die.

OUT NOW! The Shadow of a Shadow is now on sale in PAPERBACK and eBook (Kindle, Kobo, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google Play etc) format. The eBook version has a time-limited launch price, so grab a copy now.


I created a little teaser video this week, shutting myself in the cupboard under the stairs with a torch…


You can watch the video on YouTube HERE

Posted in Uncategorized

Facebook Competition: Win Signed Paperback…

Facebook TSOAS Comp

To celebrate launch day next week, I’m running an international competition on Facebook for someone to win a signed paperback copy of The Shadow of a Shadow.

If you’re on Facebook, see details HERE

Posted in Uncategorized

Writer’s Life: One Month in Lockdown…

Blog PicIf someone had told me last year about the mayhem that would unfold in 2020 in regards to Covid-19, I’m not sure I’d have believed them. I mean, this is like something straight out of a horror novel, isn’t it?

I’ve had trips cancelled and celebrated a lockdown birthday (a milestone one at that), and now I’m about to have a lockdown book launch!

The Shadow of a Shadow will release next week (30/04/20).

What’s it about?

In a nutshell, when a gruesome folkloric figure emerges from the shadows, stirring up old memories that were probably best left forgotten, a Dracula-obsessed woman is forced to solve the mystery of her cousin’s disappearance 16 years ago.

I’ll post links next week. 7 days and counting 🖤


Posted in Uncategorized

Women ❤️ Horror

“It is women who love horror. Gloat over it. Feed on it. Are nourished by it. Shudder and cling and cry out – and come back for more.” – Bela Lugosi

This month is Women in Horror Month, a celebration of all the ladies, past and present, who’ve contributed to the genre – writers, actors, filmmakers & artists.

I’ve been looking to Instagram for some reading inspiration and have a growing list of female authors to try out which I’m really excited about. So far this year I’ve read three books by authors I wasn’t previously familiar with, and all of them were outstanding!

Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss – The story of 17-year-old Sylvie who goes to stay at an encampment in Northumberland with her parents. The encampment is run by a professor who is interested in the area’s history of ritual sacrifice.

The Grip of It by Jac Jemc – James and Julie move to a new house to escape James’ gambling problems in the city. From the very beginning it’s clear there’s something not quite right at the new house. The prose is both stunning and haunting – very reminiscent of Shirley Jackson. It’s one of my most favourite reads of recent times.

The Hunger by Alma Katsu – Inspired by the historical tragedy of the Donner Party (many families who took a fatal wagon route to get to the west coast of America in the 1840s), The Hunger is a gruelling and terrifying fictionalised version of events. The characters were expertly dealt with and the supernatural element was multi-layered, fresh and exciting. Loved it! Katsu also has a novel out called The Deep, which is based on the story of the Titanic, which I MUST read.

Last year I read 21 books. Of those, 13 were by men and 8 by women. So I’m making things fairer this year by reading a book by a man after every book by a woman. (I’ve rejigged my TBR list, which you can see at the bottom of this post).

Do you have any favourite ladies in horror? Or know of any ladies in horror whose work deserves more love?

The past few weeks have been a total write off for my Ben Nevis training, as I’ve had a cold that’s WAY outstayed its welcome. Seriously. It just won’t go. But I suppose all the physical inactivity has made way for lots of reading time instead.

Oh, and I’m still working on my book. So cheers to me this month too, being a woman in horror and all that 😉


2020 Reads

Currently reading:
Growing Things – Paul Tremblay

Next up:
The House Next Door – Anne Rivers Siddons
Imaginary Friend – Stephen Chbosky
Monster, She Wrote – Lisa Kroger
I Always Find You – John Ajvide Lindqvist
Missing Person – Sarah Lotz
Kill Creek – Scott Thomas
Pine – Francine Toon
Ghoster – Jason Arnopp
The Twisted Ones – T Kingfisher
The Reddening – Adam Nevill
Come Closer – Sara Gran
I Died Yesterday – Andy Graham
The Between – Tananarive Due
The Stand – Stephen King
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
Widow’s Point – Richard Chizmar
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Starve Acre – Andrew Michael Hurley
The Family Plot – Cherie Priest
Sour Candy – Kealan Patrick Burke
Into the Drowning Deep – Mira Grant
Hellbound – David Caffrey
Within These Walls – Ania Ahlborn

Posted in Uncategorized