Author and Scriptwriter

'Among the most important writers of contemporary British horror.' -Ramsey Campbell

Monday, 15 August 2016

Things Of Last Week: 15th August 2016

No things of the week on Friday, for the simple reason that we were having guests around for dinner and the day turned into one long blurred round of cooking and cleaning for yours truly. (Yes, Cate actually has me house-trained. Sort of.)

A few nice things have come along. First up, you can now pre-order both Devil's Highway and The Feast Of All Souls from Amazon. Devil's Highway is released on 17th October (still - despite my handing in the MS three weeks late) and The Feast Of All Souls will be out on 6th December. Two very different novels, both of which I'm very proud of. So go on, do your bit for my flagging self-esteem. Pretty please? I have neither pride nor shame...

Fear Magazine has risen from its grave: issue 37 includes stuff from Ramsey Campbell, Gary McMahon... and me, in 'Paintings,' collaboration with Johnny Mains. You can buy it here.

The first advance reviews for Ellen Datlow's Nightmares: A New Decade Of Modern Horror are out, from Irene Cole: "...the most groundbreaking horror of the new millennium" and The Book Lover's Boudoir: "Datlow offers another impressive, diverse and hugely enjoyable collection of short fiction... a great collection of horror fiction. I’d highly recommend it."

The anthology includes my story 'Hushabye', alongside work by Mark Samuels, Gene Wolfe, Brian Hodge, Kaaron Warren, Lisa Tuttle, Gemma Files, Nicholas Royle, Margo Lanagan, Steve Duffy, Laird Barron, Stephen Graham Jones, Reggie Oliver, Ray Cluley, M. Rickert, John Langan, Anna Taborska, Livia Llewellyn, Dan Chaon, Robert Shearman, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Garth Nix, Nathan Ballingrud and Richard Kadrey.

Speaking of Livia Llewellyn, she's written a great guest column for Nightmare magazine's 'The H Word', The Mountains, The City, The Void:

"The woman who moved to this tenement building ten years ago, a woman with a different job, a different body, a different name, is gone. The actress who lived in a sprawling Inwood block apartment sixteen years ago, who stood on a subway platform in complete silence with ten thousand other New Yorkers, all of us smelling of smoke and ash, has vanished. The seamstress who spent a summer in a small New Jersey town in the early nineties, sewing costumes for Shakespearean actors by day and constructing conjure circles and sex magic rituals in the old growth forests by night has been left far behind in the night, so far I cannot see her anymore. And there are other, older permutations of myself, whole years that are little more than dark smudges in my mind, layers of geologic strata that are now so alien to me that I would not know these women if they were to appear in front of me this second. And all the people who once knew me, friends and relatives and lovers, are gone. No one who knew those versions of myself exists anymore. My life is a Frankensteinian patchwork of lost moments and experiences. The joys, the triumphs, the silences, the assaults, the love, the violence, the shame, the struggles, the pleasures, the pain, the beauty, the monstrosities: the act of working my way through life toward death has erased it all, year by methodical year. I know nothing.

Except when I write."

You can read the whole thing here.

Some years ago, when I was working in a call centre, (shudders) I became friends with Sinead Parker, who left to study Drama at Manchester Met University. She emerged three years later with a degree and a partner in crime called Katie Norris, with whom she started writing and performing songs and sketches that were chock full of black comedy and absolute filth.

Norris and Parker's first show was All Our Friends Are Dead, and was screamingly funny. Their second show, See You At The Gallows, is currently on at the Edinburgh Fringe until 28th August and has been getting a succession of rave reviews, so if you're in the neighbourhood it's worth checking out. And watch out for Norris and Parker, because they are going to be huge.

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