Author and Scriptwriter

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

Friday 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween! Black Mountain 11: The Dancers In The Pines

Yes, it's here at last. The Dancers In The Pines, the eleventh and final instalment of Black Mountain, is now available on Amazon. Here for the UK, here for the US.

Hope you enjoy. Special thanks to Simon Marshall-Jones, Neil Williams and Graeme Reynolds for helping make this happened - and most of all to Cate, who was each instalment's first audience.

Happy Halloween, folks.

Saturday 25 October 2014

Writing News:The Last Black Mountain and Stuff I Can't Talk About Yet.

Well, the day had at last to come, and now it has. Last weekend, I finished TheDancers In The Pines, the eleventh and final episode of Black Mountain, and sent it over to Simon Marshall-Jones at Spectral Press on the Monday. Mr M-J has professed himself very happy with the conclusion to the series.

So, that's it; at last, the saga of Mynydd Du and the Bala Triangle is at an end. Or is it? You'll have to wait until Halloween to find out, because the final episode won't be available for download till the 31st October. In the meantime, though, there's a sneak preview of Neil Williams' artwork.

In other news... well, I have some very exciting news indeed to share with you - soon. A very nice new writing development, but I can't talk about it yet. Keep watching this space and I'll tell you more soon.

Friday 10 October 2014

Black Mountain #10: The Watcher

It hardly seems any time at all since I first pitched the idea of a serial novel to Simon Marshall-Jones at Spectral Press, but it's been nearly a year. And that brings us to the tenth - and penultimate - episode of Black Mountain.

I can't thank Simon enough for giving me the chance to do this project, or Graeme Reynolds for the formatting. And I can't heap enough praise on Neil Williams for his series of amazing and eerie covers for the episodes, many of them produced in less than a day. I think that with his work for The Watcher Neil has outdone himself yet again; I have to admit that when the print edition of Black Mountain appears, one of the best things about it will be seeing his work given a more tangible home on paper.

Black Mountain has been a fascinating project to work on, albeit sometimes frustrating - I tend to work quickly on projects because my mind is quick to wander to the next, so getting started on the last couple of episodes was like pulling teeth! Once the writing was underway, though, it was as fun as ever.

So now we're into the final stretch, which means I'd better finish here and get back to work on the final episode, The Dancers In The Pines. But first, a quick taster for episode #10:

For centuries the Bala Triangle has kept its secrets. But now Rob Markland, having investigated it from afar for so long, was determined to make it give them up at last.

Into the woods of Coed Capel and Coed Dinas, the ruins of Maes Carnedd and Blas Gwynedd, four people ventured. Only one would return, driven mad by what he’d witnessed.

By the presence that still haunted the empty farmhouse at Ty Mynwent.

That waited by the lake of Llyn Daioni, in the long-abandoned pod houses of Hafan Deg.

By the Watcher.

The UK edition is here and the US one here.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Horror Uncut, and Paul Hearn

The penultimate episode of Black Mountain, The Watcher, is out now, and I'll blog about that soon. First, though, a word about this anthology I'm in called Horror Uncut.

This project's close to my heart for several reasons. One is its theme and purpose - the austerity that's been inflicted on us here in Britain and the suffering caused by it, as this rancid and corrupt government of liars and thugs destroys or sells off our public services and victimises the poor and defenceless - and the other is that it was co-edited by my late friend Joel Lane. Joel died before seeing the project come to fruition, but his co-editor, Tom Johnstone, has done an admirable job of steering the project to completion.

Here's the TOC:

A Cry for Help by Joel Lane
The Battering Stone by Simon Bestwick
The Ballad of Boomtown by Priya Sharma
The Lucky Ones by John Llewellyn Probert
The Sun Trap by Stephen Hampton
Only Bleeding by Gary McMahon
The Lemmy / Trump Test by Anna Taborska
Falling into Stone by John Howard
Ptichka by Laura Mauro
The Devil’s Only Friend by Stephen Bacon
The Procedure by David Williams
Pieces of Ourselves by Rosanne Rabinowitz
A Simple Matter of Space by John Forth
The Privilege Card by David Turnbell
The Ghost at the Feast by Alison Littlewood
The Opaque District by Andrew Hook
No History of Violence by Thana Niveau

A word about my own tale. 'The Battering Stone' is a tale featuring Paul Hearn, a sort of reluctant psychic detective doing battle with the weird wherever it raises its head in Salford. In this story he investigates a string of mysterious suicides in the run-up to Christmas, and a monolith that seems to vanish and reappear at will.

I wrote about seven stories featuring Paul between 2004 and 2007. Two others have been published thus far: 'Hushabye' in Ellen Datlow's Inferno in 2005, and 'Winter's End' in Gary Fry's Where The Heart Is in 2010. He was a sort of down-at-heel, politically active descendant of Blackwood's John Silence, Hodgson's Carnacki and Lumley's Titus Crow, but another influence was the cycle of 'weird police' stories Joel had been writing since the late '90s, which were finally collected in Where Furnaces Burn. That makes The Battering Stone a damned good fit for Horror Uncut.

The last Paul Hearn story I wrote was called 'Effigies of Glass', which I dedicated to Joel. Hopefully it will be seeing print soon, in a forthcoming tribute anthology. Maybe it's time I wrote a few more.

You can buy Horror Uncut here.