The week before Christmas, my agent sent me a set of notes and edits for the crime novel. There was a LOT to do (there also appears to have been a LOT of writing LOT in allcaps this week, too, oddly) but it's all about getting the novel into the best possible shape to go out into the world. I finished the first redraft yesterday and emailed it off. There'll probably be more changes to make before it's ready, but hopefully the biggest jobs have been done.
Out of the blue, I got an email from a professional horror podcast, enquiring about reprint rights for two of my stories and offering pro payment for them. I checked with the editor who'd originally published the stories, who was fine with it as long as it wouldn't prevent her possibly reprinting one of them herself!
Another nice thing happened yesterday: the anthology THE HYDE HOTEL was published by Black Shuck Books. Edited by two fine gentlemen, James Everington and Dan Howarth, it includes stories by the ever-reigning Cate (of course), Ian Rowan, Alison Littlewood, Ray Cluley, V.H. Leslie, S.P. Miskowski, Mark West, Alex Davis, Amelia Mangan and Dan Howarth. Oh, and one from me.
The Hyde Hotel looks almost exactly as you’d expect it to: a faceless, budget hotel in a grey city you are just passing through. A hotel aimed at people travelling alone, a hotel where you know so little about your fellow guests that they could be anyone… and where, perhaps, so could you. But sometimes things are hiding in plain sight, and not everyone who stays at The Hyde gets a good night’s sleep… Enjoy your stay.
Here's a snippet from my tale, 'Wrath Of The Deep ':
|You can check out any time you like...|
The first thing he registered when he opened the door was the smell. It was a cold, briny stink of seaweed, dead fish, and stagnant air.
The second thing was the cold; the next breath he drew in seemed to scorch his lungs and when he breathed out, it hung pale in the air like smoke.
The third thing was the figure down the corridor.
It stood between him and the top of the stairs. He knew, of course, that it was the source of both the stench and the cold. It was very tall, well over seven feet in height, and dark. He couldn’t make out any features in detail, only its silhouette – except for its eyes, which were round and luminously gold...
In other good news, my 2011 novella Angels Of The Silences will be out next week, in paperback and
ebook form, from Omnium Gatherum. I'll blog more about that soon; it's a piece I'm very fond of, and it's good to see it getting a second outing. In the meantime, I have to read the proofs!
Another lovely thing - two lovely things in one, in fact - was getting an advance peek at Peter Tennant's reviews of Hell's Ditch and Angels Of The Silences for Black Static #50. He loved them both: Angels he describes as 'without doubt one of Bestwick’s finest stories', and Hell's Ditch as 'a magnificent achievement, the work of a writer who knows how to tell a story and make it hurt, but in a good way, and putting on my fortune-teller’s cap I suspect that the best is still to come.'
Peter's also just posted his 'Best In Class' list for 2015. The laurels for 'Best Novel ' went, unsurprisingly - and deservedly - to Sarah Pinborough's The Death House (which if you haven't read yet, I can heartily recommend), but Hell's Ditch is listed alongside works by Simon Kurt Unsworth Alison Littlewood, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Marko Hautala, Angela Slatter and Nicole Cushing as one of the close contenders for the title.
Today marks a new feature on the blog, the Friday Freebie, wherein I make a previously published story available each week. Think of it as a thank you to all who come here! The first one up is a personal favourite of mine: 'Lex Draconis', which first appeared in Tales of the Nun and Dragon in 2012. I'm also adding a 'Donate' button: I'm going to look into a Patreon account in the future too, but in the meantime, it's a sort of online busker's cap that you can toss the odd coin into should you wish.
And that's pretty much it for the first proper week of 2016. Hope you've a good one, folks; I'll be back on Monday with The Lowdown! Till then, have a good weekend - and why not pop over here and have a free read?