Author and Scriptwriter

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

Monday 25 March 2019

The Harrowing

Something new's starting on my Patreon page: I'm going to be writing a story in daily instalments, in real time. Straight from my brain into my Patreon posts. It'll be available to all Patrons, and you can become one for just $1 a month.

This is something brand new - and I have to admit it's a bit scary - but the plan is that every morning I'm going to spend 20-30 minutes writing a new Patreon post, which will be the next instalment of an ongoing serial called The Harrowing. It's a horror story with a mediaeval setting, taking place in the winter that followed the Norman Conquest. I think I know where this story's going, but there are a lot of questions that will need to be answered along the way.

Hopefully it's going to become part of a bigger project called Ravenshore - which I'll telling my Patrons more about soon, along with the historical background to the story - but in the meantime, the first instalment will be up at 11 o'clock this morning GMT.

Hope to see you there.

Here's a quick taste of what to expect:

Twenty of them moving over a dull winter beach of muddy, rusty brown. A few men - two or three village greybeards and half-a-dozen monks in hoicked-up robes - and the rest women and children. Two monks pushed a handcart, bent double by weariness and hunger.
Above, against the empty white sky, crows wheeled. Inland, plumes of smoke hung black above the land. A bitter wind blew in from the sea.
A horse nickered, and hooves drummed. Out of the woodlands that lay up ahead broke a dozen horsemen; they spurred their mounts along the flat beach towards the procession.
Foam flew up in short-lived crystal white webs from where the horses tore through the grey-brown surf.
The group stopped. One of the younger monks stumbled forward and drew himself up, arms outspread to make himself a futile shield for the rest. One of the horsemen brayed a laugh; it echoed briefly, metallic and cruel, above the clamour of the hooves.
Then there were only the hoofbeats, and the brittle crash of the waves upon the strand. The line of men and women didn't move; the two who'd been pushing the handcart leant on the handles, heads bowed, as if taking pleasure in a rest that would soon become eternal. They'd all been marching a long dark time, seen friends and family slaughtered, homes burning, fields sown with salt. All that, and worse: it seemed a time of beasts and devils, from which death could only be a release...

To read the rest, click here.

Tuesday 12 March 2019

The Lowdown with... Nicholas Kaufmann

Nicholas Kaufmann is the critically acclaimed author of numerous works, including the Bram Stoker Award-nominated General Slocum’s Gold, the Thriller Award-nominated and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated Chasing the Dragon, Still Life: Nine Stories, Dying Is My Business, Die and Stay Dead, In the Shadow of the Axe, and 100 Fathoms Below, co-written with Steven L. Kent. In addition to his own original work, he has written for such properties as Zombies vs. Robots and The Rocketeer. His short fiction has appeared in Cemetery Dance, Black Static, Nightmare Magazine, Dark Discoveries, and others. His non-fiction has appeared in On Writing Horror (Writers Digest Books), Dark Scribe Magazine, Annabelle Magazine, Fantastic Metropolis, Hellnotes, Rue Morgue, and others. He has also served on the Board of Trustees for the Horror Writers Association and is a member of the International Thriller Writers.

You can also visit Nick on LiveJournal, Twitter, and Facebook.

1. Tell us three things about yourself.

1. I've been writing since 4th grade, when I wrote my first illustrated story about a boy and his father who are stranded on another planet filled with monsters and dinosaurs. As you might imagine, I had some issues about how little time my father was spending with me!
2. I was the founder and president of my college's Godzilla Film Club, in which I showed a different Godzilla film every other week from my own personal VHS collection. Frequently, I was the only one there.
3. I don't like avocado. I just don't. You can have mine.

2. What was the first thing you had published?
I had a few things published in my high school and college literary magazines, although nothing I would want anyone to read today. My first professionally published piece was the short story “La BĂȘte est Morte” in the anthology BELL, BOOK & BEYOND, edited by P.D. Cacek.

3. Which piece of writing are you proudest of?
I'm very proud of the story "The Fire and the Stag," which appeared recently in BLACK STATIC #63. I think it might be the best thing I've written so far!

4. …and which makes you cringe?
Oh, man. Any number of my early stories make me cringe. It's hard to choose just one. Maybe "Better Off with the Blues," which appeared in the charity anthology SCARS, edited by Gina Osnovich, in 2001. The anthology was for a good cause, the Red Cross, and it raised a lot of money, but looking back at that story...ugh. It was my first attempt at writing something voicey, and all the cliches and forced folksiness just make me cringe now.

5. What’s a normal writing day like?
I tend to write in the afternoons, rather than the mornings, so I'll grab some lunch and then do my writing in the New York Public Library's main branch (the Ghostbusters branch, I call it). It's a beautiful building and being there inspires me. Being around other people also keeps me honest. I can write at home, too, but I usually get less done. There are too many distractions at home.

6. Which piece of writing should someone who’s never read you before pick up first?

It depends on the reader, of course, but most people seem to recommend CHASING THE DRAGON to their friends. My most recent novel, 100 FATHOMS BELOW, co-written with Steven L. Kent, is another I'd probably tell people to read first.

7. What are you working on now?
I'm working on a new horror novel, tentatively titled THE HUNGRY EARTH, in which a new residential and commercial development is being planned on a capped landfill where something happens to be living underground, something that used to eat the garbage, but now that no more garbage is coming it has to find a new source of food.

Monday 4 March 2019

The Lowdown with... A.C. Wise

A.C. Wise was born and raised in Montreal and currently lives in the Philadelphia area. Her short fiction has appeared in places such as Clarkesworld,, Shimmer, and The Best Horror of the Year Volume 10. She has two collections - The Ultra Fabulous  Glitter Squadron Saves The World Again and The Kissing Booth Girl - published with Lethe Press, and a novella, Catfish Lullaby, forthcoming from Broken Eye Books. In addition to her fiction, she contributes a monthly review column to Apex Magazine, and the Women to Read and Non-Binary Authors to Read series to The Book Smugglers. Find her online here and on twitter there.

1. Tell us three things about yourself.
I'm Canadian. I have an uncontrollable book-buying problem, though I don't really consider it a problem. I think corgis are the best, and the two corgis who live in my house agree.

2. What was the first thing you had published?
The first thing I had published was a short story in a yearly journal of work by students put together by a local library when I was in high school. The first thing I had professionally published was piece of flash fiction printed on a coffee label by Story House Coffee. Sadly Story House no longer exists, which is a shame because I love the idea of fiction on coffee labels. As a big coffee drinker myself, it felt very appropriate for my first professional publication.

3. Which piece of writing are you proudest of?

Hmm. That's hard to say. I've always been rather fond of "Final Girl Theory", which originally appeared at ChiZine, back when they regularly published short fiction online. It's since been reprinted in a couple of anthologies, and podcast at Pseudopod.

4. …and which makes you cringe?
Oh, geez. There are any number of embarrassing trunk novels and stories that will never see the light of day and I shudder to think of them.

5. What’s a normal writing day like?
I have a day job in addition to writing, so during the week, my writing is usually limited to whatever I can squeeze in at lunch. If I'm lucky, I can set aside a block of time on the weekend for writing, and it's always lovely to be able to immerse myself versus knowing I have less than an hour to cram in as much work as I can.

6. Which piece of writing should someone who’s never read you before pick up first?
For a single story, I would say "Final Girl Theory" again, however if someone wanted a broader sample of my work, I would recommend my collection The Kissing Booth Girl and Other Stories. It's got a little bit of everything - fantasy, horror, science fiction, erotica, and cross-genre mash-ups.

7. What are you working on now?
Just moments ago I turned in the edits for my debut novella, Catfish Lullaby, which is slated to come out from Broken Eye Books this summer. I'm excited for it to be out in the world, and for folks to read it! It's kind of a Southern Gothic, weird horror type thing that's secretly about family/found family. There are also creatures with too many eyes and too many teeth and the end of the world is at hand, so it's got something for everyone!