So, last week I went and caught some Spanish sun in Cartagena, enjoyed lots of red wine and tapas…and found the most random table top sale ever Old dentistry tools and surgical scissors…every horror writer’s delight!
What’s the most random thing you’ve ever found at a table top sale?
Since it’s International Women’s Day, it would be rude not to give a shoutout to my favourite female writer of dark fiction: Shirley Jackson, the queen of psychological horror. It’s the subtle nature and subjectiveness of her work that I love most, the way she internalises the horror of each of her characters. It’s never about blood and gore with Jackson, the stuff that keeps her characters awake at night is much more likely to be the stuff in their own heads. The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle are two of my most favourite books ever! And I’d be lying if I said that her work hasn’t been a huge influence on my own #IWD
Brand new review for Emergence by Top Ranked Amazon UK, Amazon US and Goodreads Reviewer, Booklover Catlady. Read her full review HERE
Cribbins is just about ready to be sent off for editing. Whew! It’s been a long slog, but then I’m almost sure I said that when the last book was finished. And the one before that.
Writing a book is kind of like delving into the soul, I think. It can be surprising but draining, lonely yet enlightening, as well as a whole load of other stuff that tends to lead to many late nights drinking too much red wine.
Some of Cribbins is entirely made up, but a lot of it takes inspiration from real events and personal experiences, which may or may not have been embellished. All in all, it’s been quite a journey!
As promised, I said I’d do a cover reveal this month…
I don’t have a release date yet, but I expect it to be some time in May this year.
In case you don’t remember, the blurb is as follows:
While struggling to cope with the emotional and physical impact of being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, single mother Sophie Harrington is tormented by a man from her past: her old neighbour Ronnie Cribbins.
Cribbins has been dead for the past fifteen years and Sophie is faced with the possibility that his malevolent spirit could be the cause of her autoimmunity, because she can feel him attacking her senses from within.
Enlisting the help of her new neighbour Piotr Kamiński, a troubled younger man with a dark past of his own, Sophie must look to her childhood in order to expose a secret she hadn’t realised she’d kept hidden. Because if she doesn’t recognise the truth she, along with her eleven-year-old daughter, will be sucked into Cribbins’ cold, black, stinking world forever.
And in Cribbins’ world there’s no medication – just pain and sickness.
Till next time,
in vino veritas,
PPS. Not strictly horror, I know, but paranormal fantasy does sort of stand with its toes sticking over the line a little bit (according to my local library, anyway)… I’m excited to say that my debut novel Slippery Souls, which was short-listed for the Writing Magazine’s Self-publishing Award 2012, has just been bundled together with the other two books in the trilogy, The Forgotten Ones & Tattooed Gods. The complete boxset is available to read on Kindle Unlimited here.
All three books are still available individually, with the original cover art, as well.
I’d like to wish you all the best for 2018. Here’s hoping it’ll be a year filled with great horror fiction, the kind that makes you want to leave all the lights on at night.
During 2017 I read 28 books. I wish I could have crammed in more, but 30, give or take, seems to be my upper annual limit. I love to talk about and share my favourite books, and I’d love to hear about yours too. Here’s a list of my top 5 2017 reads, in no particular order:
Hex – Thomas Olde Heuvelt
With Hex, Heuvelt takes the story of a witch and turns it into something original. It’s sinister and tragic – even darkly funny at times. The characters are well formed and the story itself is fast paced. The threat of the witch is subtly eerie at first, then incredibly frightening, and her actual presence throughout is downright creepy. But it’s the townsfolk, past and present, who are perhaps the real horror of the story.
Thin Air – Michelle Paver
After reading Paver’s Dark Matter a few years ago and being highly impressed by her masterful ability to create such a sense of creeping dread and terror, I jumped at the chance to read Thin Air. And I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a very different setting to Dark Matter, but essentially she uses a similar theme: her protagonist sets out on an adventure (to climb Kangchenjunga in The Himalayas) and within this new environment he is completely out of his comfort zone. Paver successfully showcases the horror of her characters, who are all battling against Mother Nature, as well as their own demons, in order to survive – and there’s always the suggestion of something supernatural at play.
The Road – Cormac McCarthy
I wasn’t sure how I was going to get on with this one. McCarthy’s writing style is quite unusual, and it took me a few pages to get used to it. But once I’d adapted, I found this book pretty addictive. There isn’t a great deal of action, so if you like your post-apocalyptic fiction fast paced, this might not be for you. It’s a heart-wrenching tale of a man and a boy struggling to survive in a ruined world, with some wonderfully raw descriptions and observations.
The Ritual – Adam Nevill
Four blokes, who are old pals from uni, go on a hiking trip to the Swedish wilderness and get lost. I just knew from the premise that this book would be immense. The character development is outstanding. You can feel the tension building between the men, especially as external sources get them all spooked and jittery, and you can’t help but wonder when the strained friendships will break apart. Horrific and graphic in places, The Ritual is a horror story in the truest sense. You can really feel the terror, as if you’re lost in the woods with them.
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon – Stephen King
I’m not sure this is one of King’s better known stories, but it probably should be. It’s such a satisfying read. A little girl gets lost in the woods and has to rely on herself to find a way out. Her struggle to survive in the wilderness is fairly gruelling at times and you really get a feel for her desperation and fear – especially as there is the suggestion of something supernatural in the woods with her.
Are there any books you’re particularly excited to read this year? I have a few on my ‘to read’ pile already and am kicking 2018 off with Bracken Macleod’s Stranded.
I’ve got quite a few writing projects to tackle too. I’ve started drafting up a psychological thriller/ghost story, which is set in a remote location in the Scottish Highlands, and I’m also about to start mapping out the first three books in a new paranormal investigator series. I don’t have a launch date for Cribbins just yet, but I’m almost finished the second draft and I’ll be doing a cover reveal next month. I can’t wait to share it with you!
Till then, I hope 2018 gets off to a great start for you.
From now until 9th January, Emergence is on offer for ($,£,€) 0.99 – so please do help me to spread the word by sharing it with any horror-lovers you know.
Here’s a brand new one Ravens got, just in time to welcome the new year…❤️
Need to discover some new reads in the run up to Halloween?
Then check out this list of 59 FREE novels, novellas, short stories and novel samples!
For the next 12 days, in the run up to Halloween, I’ve teamed up with 12 other authors as part of a Book Club incentive that celebrates dark fiction in the theme of ‘Dark Impulses,’ and will be giving away Emergence for free.
I know, FREE, that’s fucking crazy, right?
As a general rule, I don’t tend to give away my full length horror novels. Too much time and effort goes into them, and let’s face it, I need to earn a living too. So this offer will be something of a one-off.
Emergence was my debut horror novel, so if you aren’t yet familiar with my full length pieces, I’d suggest you start with this one. I’ve also created some extra reading material to enhance the reading experience.
If you already do have a copy of Emergence, you can download the extra reading material HERE. Also that means, since you already have a copy of Emergence, you either bought it online or from me in person, so for that I want to say a massive THANK YOU for your support, I love you guys!
If you do read and enjoy Emergence, can I ask that you please leave a review. I can’t express how important reviews are to an author. Especially an indie author. If a book has 50+ reviews, Amazon will be more likely to feature it in their newsletters and ‘Also Bought’ sections, giving the book more exposure and visibility. Even something as simple as ‘I liked it’ is enough, you don’t have to write an essay.
So anyway, yeah, if you’d like to explore some dark thoughts and urges this Halloween (and goodness knows John Gimmerick in Emergence has plenty), then check out this list of 13 books and feel free to share it with your friends, family members, colleagues and anyone you might meet in the street…