Author and Scriptwriter

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

Friday, 14 October 2016

Popping Up Briefly: The Nightmare Man, Devil's Highway and The Feast Of All Souls...

Well, Offline October hasn't been working out too badly, despite my occasionally lurking on social media despite my best intentions. Also, I finally managed to get Freedom working on my laptop in the past couple of days, so I've been able to buckle down and get to work without temptation.

Nonetheless, I'm breaking radio silence here, because of a couple of things.

Devil's Highway, as you probably all know by now (God knows I've wittered on about it often enough here) is released by Snowbooks in both hardback and ebook formats on October 17th.

'Their hair was bleached and matted, their chalk-white skin dry and fissured like sun-baked earth.
Their eyes were near-black, glistening clots with a gleam of red; when they grinned their teeth were needles of bone. “Don’t worry, Helen. We won’t hurt you. But something will.”'
In the haunted desolation of post-nuclear Britain, the Catchman walks. Spawned from the nightmare of Project Tindalos, it doesn’t tire, stop, or die. It exists only for one purpose: to find and kill Helen Damnation, leader of the growing revolt against the tyrannical Reapers and their Commander, Tereus Winterborn.
Meanwhile, Helen is threatened both from without and within. Her nightmares of the Black Road have returned, and the ghosts of her murdered family demand vengeance, in the form of either Winterborn’s death or her own. And close behind the Catchman, a massive Reaper assault, led by Helen’s nemesis, Colonel Jarrett, is nearing the rebels’ base. Killing Helen has become Jarrett’s obsession: only one of them can emerge from this conflict alive.
With the fate of the rebellion in the balance, Helen faces her deadliest challenge yet, pitted in single combat against an unstoppable killer, commanding armies in a bloody and pitiless battle – and, at last, confronting the demons of her past on the Black Road.

It's the second in the Black Road series that began with Hell's Ditch, and is probably the most relentlessly paced, action-driven thing I've written. But it's not just an action fest (although Cate didn't enjoy it as much as Hell's Ditch, owing to the prevalence of 'shooty bang sticks'.) There's emotional drama as we learn more about Helen's past - and Winterborn's, too. And there's a new enemy, a relentless, apparently unstoppable monster that stalks Helen: the Catchman.

Where the hell did this particular monster come from? Well, inside my head, as usual. But I can probably pinpoint the inspiration in this case: a BBC TV series from my childhood called The Nightmare Man, in which an inhuman killer stalks a fogbound Scottish island.

Based on David Wiltshire's 1978 novel Child Of Vodyanoi, The Nightmare Man remains a low-key, slow-burning chiller that should be just perfect for this time of year. I've written about it at greater length over at  This Is Horror (thanks for the soapbox, guys!) so you can learn more there. (I have another contribution coming up at TIH later this month - an author interview that I think a lot of you will enjoy!)

Finally, some news that warmed the cockles of my heart and put a big smile on my face: over at Beauty In Ruins, the subject of this week's Waiting For Wednesday, where eagerly-anticipated release are discussed, is The Feast Of All Souls. Bob Milne's review joins those by Lilyn G at Sci-Fi and Scary and Tammy at Books Bones and Buffy, both of whom are looking forward to its release.

So that's all from me. Have a good weekend, everybody!

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