Wednesday, 29 June 2016

NEW ON KINDLE -- TWO EXTREMELY DIFFERENT TYPES OF GHOST

If there's one thing I love to write, it's stories with a sting in the tail, Roald Dahl-type stories where the last line knocks the reader sideways. I've written quite a number of them down the years, but honestly believe The Woman in Brown to be my very best, so far at least. It's a ghostly mystery tale that starts in London in the late 1950's and then moves on to the present day. I'm not going to tell you any more than that. But Linda Landrigan, the editor of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, snapped it up the moment that she read it. And now, a year on from its publication in that magazine, it's available on Kindle.









Postcards from Terri goes back much further than that. A short novel of slightly over 32,000 words, it was first published in 2004 by the respected indie publisher Sarob Press. It resurfaced in 2007 in my Pendragon Press collection 'No-Man and Other Tales,' and appeared in the States in 2010 in my Dark Regions Press collection 'Our Lady of the Shadows.' It's a tale about two friends who have led very different lives since leaving college. Steve Corlingsten's existence hasn't turned out well ... he is divorced, has a job he hates, and life has generally proved to be a massive disappointment. Whereas Terri Campion has traveled the world, lived in various countries, had affairs with rich and famous men, and lived out her existence to the fullest. And the novel starts with these two very different people being reunited. There is just one problem. Terri's dead. She was killed in a car crash a few days back, and is appearing to Steve as a ghost.

Now Postcards from Terri is available on Kindle too.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

OH NO! OH MY GAAAD! I'VE TURNED INTO A PUBLISHER!

I've been dealing with publishers since 1987, when my first novel -- the Bram Stoker shortlisted The Harvest Bride -- originally appeared from Tor Books in the States and then from Headline in the UK (my editor was the famed Jo Fletcher in the latter case). I've sat in their offices discussing my work. I've gone out on drinking sessions with them, occasionally to the severe detriment of my health. And they've been nice enough to buy me lunch or dinner on a number of occasions. I've always found them to be pleasant enough people. They've done their very best to present my novels well and to promote them. Which is not to say that my relationships with these guys haven't had their ups and downs. But in nearly thirty years, I would never, ever once have believed I might become a publisher myself one day (I'm talking proper, solid books, not e-ones).

Except that now it's happened. Blow me down. Above is the cover of the premiere novel from Raine Manor Publications, Raine Manor being the ancestral home of the craziest magician in my Raine's Landing series of fantasy novels.

Dark Rain -- the first of them -- originally appeared in 2008 from Eos/HarperCollins, introducing readers to a spellbound Massachusetts town inhabited by powerful wizards like Judge Samuel Levin, Woodard Raine, and Doctor Lehman Willets, but also by ordinary people armed with no magical powers but with boundless courage and resolve instead, like Ross Devries and Cassie Mallory, the heroes of the piece. The book garnered a lot of rave reviews and got me more fan emails than I've had in quite a while. But it only ever came out as a mass market paperback and, after 8 years, the only hard copy that you're likely to be able to get hold of is a battered secondhand one.

Only that now, there is this fine-looking trade paperback version , courtesy of RMP. And now that I have got the look and layout absolutely right, I will be releasing copies of the other novels in the series in the next couple of weeks,

You can find out more about this new edition of Dark Rain here.

WELCOME TO BIRCHIAM-ON-SEA

I haven't done much in the way of blogging -- or anything else on social media -- for a good long while. Why? Because the work of writing novels has been eating me alive of late. I honestly believed that I would finish the sixth in my Raine's Landing series -- Witch Hunter (see below) -- by Xmas 2015. It had already been through seven or eight drafts, after all. But I started reading what I'd done a few days before the holiday break, and realized that I still wasn't satisfied with it. Christmas and New Year passed, and I started work again. And it took me three more very intensive drafts to get the story reading just the way it should. It was mentally fatiguing work, but well worth it to get Ross and Cassie's latest, greatest, and most heart-gripping adventure right.

And I was planning to take a long break after that, but ... what is it they say about no rest for the wicked? My second full-blown crime novel -- The Tribe, a follow up to 2014's The Desert Keeps Its Dead --  is due out later this year from Cemetery Dance Publications. And since there is a third installment in the story of my fictional detective, I realized I'd better get cracking and start writing it. Which is what I'm doing right now (I am on a break this afternoon), only stopping every so often to do some research on stuff like assault weaponry and helicopters (yes, you read that last word right).

But however much you try to hide behind your laptop, the world moves on regardless. The world of publishing especially. And so much has been going on the last few months, it is going to take me three whole postings to describe it all.

The first matter to deal with is the book above.  I've been writing short horror and dark fantasy stories set in the fictional south-coast English town of Birchiam-on-Sea for the past ten years. The first -- The Waiters -- appeared in Weird Tales. And since then, Birchiam stories have shown up in Black Static magazine, the Black Book of Horror, and top anthologies like The British Invasion. And now all of them have been collected together by Trevor Denyer, editor of the esteemed Midnight Street magazine. It's a truly wonderful-looking book, and there's even an introduction -- explaining the whole concept behind Birchaim -- by a certain T. Richards. Moon on Dark Water: The Birchiam Chronicles is available both as a Kindle and as a good old-fashioned paperback book.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

WHAT'S THE VERY LAST THING THE INHABITANTS OF RAINE'S LANDING WANT TO SEE ... A WITCH HUNTER!

It's been 2 whole years since my last Raine's Landing novel was out, and it occurs to me that some people might have thought that I was finished with the series. But no, very far from it. Ross Devries, Cassie Mallory, and all the other host of characters remain close to my heart, as does the whole idea of an ordinary-looking Massachusetts town that's actually full of magic and is bound under a hex cast by a real witch who escaped from Salem.

But I've been working on my first couple of straight crime novels down the last 2 years -- the second one, 'The Tribe,' is due out from Cemetery Dance Publications in the next few months. A new and very adult horror novel is now with my agent. And my old pal at Dark Renaissance, Joe Morey, asked me to write a ghost novella for his series of them, Mr. Jakes (more news about that later, since the DR list is currently being moved to Dark Regions Press). And so I've been kept extremely busy.

But I was finally able to get my breath back in the Fall of last year, and immediately knew where I wanted to go as soon as I had some time on my hands. Back to Raine's Landing, obviously. I just love this series. And, from the responses I've had, people seem to love reading it too. I already know how it finishes up, and am determined to bring it to a proper conclusion. I'm not there yet, though. There are going to be several more episodes before the Grand Finale. But I think this sixth and latest book has to be one of the most gripping of them.

WITCH HUNTER is available exclusively on Amazon Kindle for the next few months. And I'll be starting work on the seventh novel very soon.

“But I am innocent, I tell you! I am not a witch!” 


“Well, we shall soon find out the truth of that. Prepare yourself for your ordeal.” 


Back in 1687, Verena Oakemont was put to death by the notorious witchfinder Thaddeus Firman. And – despite her protestations – she really was a witch, and a powerful one too, the daughter of a demon. 

Three centuries later, she’s escaped from Hell and returned to Raine’s Landing. Death has made her magic powers far stronger than ever, and it’s not merely the town that she wants to subdue. Her gaze is fixed upon the world beyond it. 

But that’s not the biggest problem Ross and Cassie have to face. Something even worse is coming in Verena’s wake, the servant of an ancient force that would destroy the Universe itself. And the only person who has any chance of standing in its way … is Cassie’s brand-new daughter, May. 

A vengeful witch. A brutal hunter. And a magically-empowered child. These are the ingredients for the most climactic Raine’s Landing adventure yet. 

Friday, 14 August 2015

SALE ON - CHAPTER ONE, DARK RAIN

Dark Rain was the first of my supernatural adventure novels set in the fictional town of Raine's Landing, Massachusetts (there are currently five, with a sixth on the way). It was first published in 2008 by Eos/HarperCollins and edited by renowned editor Diana Gill. A couple of years ago, I got the rights to this novel back, made a few small changes, put on a new cover by the terrific Steve Upham, and reissued it in all formats as an eBook.

And now it's on sale for 99c (plus any fees). Here's what the story is about:

There’s something very strange about Raine’s Landing, Massachusetts. In the first place, there’s a problem getting in there … voices start up in your head, warning you to stay away. And then there’s that creepy looking mansion at the summit of the biggest hill, weird creatures roaming through its grounds. Not to mention the fact that the town’s buses operate without a sign of any driver. And that’s when you begin suspecting there might be some otherworldly force at work … like witchcraft, perhaps. 

Now Raine’s Landing has a brand-new visitor who’s not intimidated by that kind of power. He’s an ancient demon who has adopted human form. He loves to control people’s lives, and feeds on their fear. And when he starts his deadly games, not even the town’s adepts – magicians descended from the genuine witches of Salem – can stop him. So the job is left to ex-cop Ross Devries and his Harley-riding sidekick Cassie Mallory. They don’t have any magical skills, just their guns and fists and their sharp wits. But will those be enough? 

"An innovative, compelling novel of dark fantasy. I recommend it" – News from the Crypt. 

"It will keep you on the edge of your seat. A definite must read for those into dark fantasy, paranormal fiction, or just a good book" – SF Revu. 

"The narrative is never less than compelling as it hurtles towards a resolution. All that remains is to wait patiently for the sequel and find out what else Richards has in store for us" – Black Static Magazine. 


You can find out more about Dark Rain and all my other eBooks on 99c sale at the moment RIGHT HERE.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

AUGUST SALE





















E-book versions of my work -- available not only on Kindle but on Nook, Kobo, and Smashwords too -- are not usually that expensive. But for most of this month, they're even better value, because they're all available at minimum price. That includes three of my Raine's Landing supernatural adventure novels (the first of which saw print in 2008 from Eos/HarperCollins), a huge collection of my horror stories titled Three Dozen Terrifying Tales, my near-future detective novel The Electric Shaman, and the self-explanatory The Complete Sherlock Holmes in the 21st Century.

And if you happen to be a member of Amazon Unlimited, then almost all of my self-published fiction on Kindle can be had for an even better price than that. Zero, in fact. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

NEAR-FUTURE DETECTIVE FICTION

Short stories don't always sell immediately. Far from it.

Many years ago -- for instance -- back when it was still safe to do so, Louise and I visited Zimbabwe. She was in a conference for most of the first week. I spent my first few days wandering the streets of the capital, Harare, and having a good but slightly edgy time ... I narrowly avoided getting robbed by a street gang on one occasion. Then I hired a Land Rover one-ton pickup truck, and drove about a lot, visiting nearby nature reserves and the amazing Chinhoyi Caves, or simply stopping in the middle of plain nowhere for a while to drink in the near limitless views. Once Louise's conference was over we moved on, first to the ancient walled city of Great Zimbabwe, then to the Victoria Falls, and finally to the vast Hwange National Park on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. It was a spectacular trip, one I'll never forget.

Arriving home, I wanted to write something about the place, and wound up finishing a novelette set in the near-future and featuring an African homicide lieutenant. I spent the next couple of years sending it around to all the science fiction magazines and regular anthologies, with absolutely no result. And so I put the MS away in a drawer and forgot about it for a good long while.

Until one day I thought, It's a mystery story too, isn't it? So why not at least try it on a couple of mystery magazines?

I was slightly dubious that this would work, but got the story out again, polished it up, and submitted it to Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, which I had sold a couple of much shorter stories to about a decade back. And blow me down ... editor Linda Landrigan snatched that novelette up straight away. And so I wrote three more, each with the same central character and each story interlinked and following on from the next to form a continuous narrative. 'The Very Edge of New Harare' first appeared in AHMM in January 2012, 'The Hunting Party' in October 2013, and 'The Clan' and 'The Danua Boy' in March and April of 2014. And then I wrote a final long tale featuring not only my detective and his new family, but also bringing back a very devious criminal from one of the earlier tales. And now the whole sequence of stories is out as one book on Amazon Kindle.

In the not too distant future, the Dark Continent has changed. It’s become Federal Africa, with all of the old countries now united into one great nation. The separate tribes are gone, technology has boomed … it is a very modern place. 

 But if you think that it’s completely changed, meet Lieutenant Abel Enetame of the Zimbabwe State Police Force, a single father with a great deal on his plate. He doesn’t only have the usual crimes to deal with, murders, assassinations, kidnappings. There are violent Black Supremacists. There are fanatics like the Tribalists, who want to take the whole place back to the old days. And there are egotistic billionaires and power-crazy politicians.  

 And when those kinds of people start getting their hands on brand-new devices that can do startling things, like change the past, for instance … well, that’s when the sparks really start to fly. Because the future of the whole of modern Africa might well rely on one police detective. 

 You can find out more about THE ELECTRIC SHAMAN here.