Author and Scriptwriter

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

Tuesday 20 January 2009

More on the collection

More news on the forthcoming short story collection from Gray Friar Press:

The collection is due out in May, and has been provisionally titled Pictures Of The Dark. It'll be collecting stories from the first ten years of my writing life. The extremely cool Conrad Williams has agreed to do an introduction.

There will be more news soon(ish). Keep watching the skies...

Out with the old...

So today, at last, America got a new president.

After eight years of being run by an insane chimpanzee and a pack of raving crooked fundie lunatics, the Bush Gang are OUT!

Oh yes. Thank you God.

I'm not going Obama crazy, like some. I remember all the fanfare and optimism with which Tony Blair was elected here in Britain back in '97. And how a lot of people's hopes were cruelly betrayed. 'Guarded optimism' just about covers it. There's a big opportunity to make some real changes. Let's face it, nearly anything's got to be an improvement on Bush and co.

The 'New Right' brigade have really set the political agenda since the late '70s- Reagen in the US, Thatcher over here. Before that, the consensus had more to do with the legacy that Roosevelt and Attlee left. So, that lasted about 30 years. Guess how long it's been since 1979..?

And maybe I'm just talking bollocks. But nonetheless- this goes out to all the Americans I know. Congratulations and here's a better tomorrow. God knows we need all the luck that's going...

Tuesday 6 January 2009

Holy shit!

It's all happening here. You wait for years to see a book with your name on the cover, and then two come along at once. Possibly three, in fact...

News has just arrived from Gary Fry of the wonderful Gray Friar Press that he's going to publish a collection of my short stories later this year. I'd submitted a proposal ages ago and damn near forgotten about it, so this is the nicest kind of surprise. Gray Friar do a fantastic job publishing some of the best writers in British horror- Gary McMahon, (Lord) John Llewellyn Probert, Paul Finch, Conrad Williams and Nick Royle to name but a few- so it's a huge buzz to get published by them.

Title and table of contents are to be confirmed, and a release date of April/May has been suggested. Jesus. Between that and rewrites on my novel, I don't think my feet are gonna be touching the ground in the first half of 2009. And then there's getting a second novel sorted out to consider!

Still pinching myself and feeling dizzy here. Watch this space for more details.

Tide of Souls is due out from Abaddon Books in November, and there's a novella being published in Pendragon Press's Triquorum series due out- also possibly in '09.

Apologies if I've gone a bit hyperlink-crazy in this post... couldn't resist it!

Saturday 3 January 2009

Happy bloody New Year

Well, I've recovered now from both my hangovers. Yes, that's right, I had two. Some friends I didn't get to see on New Year's Eve invited me over New Year's Day and I ended up crashing. Two mornings running where I tottered around moaning quietly and demanding a) coffee, b) toast and c) a quick and painless death.

OK, it wasn't THAT bad.

I'm kind of hoping things will get better in '09, but I ain't holding my breath. 2008 was a funny year. It was shitty for the world on multiple counts- the economy, Bush not being dead yet, the Iraq slaughter dragging on... not to mention a seriously high mortality rate among good and talented people.

Just a few of the lights that went out last year were:

Paul Newman (actor)
Forrest J Ackerman (former editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland- one of the all round greats of sf/horror fandom)
Bettie Page (ex-glamour model)
Harold Pinter (playwright, poet, Nobel Prize winner and anti-war activist)
Paul Newman (actor)
Adrian Mitchell (poet and anti-war activist)
Studs Terkel (historian- author of Hard Times and The Good War, oral histories of the Great Depression and the Second World War by the people who'd lived through them- activist, talk show host, and defier of bullies and thugs right up to the end. One hell of a guy, who I really wish I'd had the pleasure of meeting.)

There are a lot more, but you get the idea. There was a serious fucking cull this year of people this last year. And just when I was hoping it was over, the crime novelist Donald Westlake (who also wrote, as Richard Stark, the 'Parker' novels, including the classic Point Blank), died on New Year's Eve.

And a guy called Tommy Tee died as well, on the 23rd. He'd managed my favourite band, New Model Army, for 20-odd years.

And an old friend of mine passed away with cancer.

So on the one hand, it was an arsehole of a year.

But the weird thing is that for me, personally, it wasn't so bad.

I know I'm tempting fate in a serious way saying that, but I don't mean to. In a way I guess I'm giving thanks, because it could have been a hell of a lot worse. Two of my friends have lost their jobs- hell, one of them's staying with me now. I still have a job, despite working in the financial services industry by day. I'm bloody lucky.

Also, 2008 was the year I got a book deal. My first novel will be out in November 2009 (assuming the publisher's still there. And the bookshops.) It's called Tide of Souls, and it's a horror novel featuring loads of zombies.

All of which puts things into a little perspective, next time I have a hangover.