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.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

INTRODUCING RAYVEN BLACK


I don't sit down and write a story as soon as I get a new idea. I mean, not usually. There are exceptions to this rule, of course. For instance, coming back from Kyushu -- the southern island of Japan -- I grabbed a couple of hours sleep and then went staggering to my laptop to write a tale about the place, 'Hanako from Miyazaki,' which got snapped up by the first editor I sent it to (a little tip to other writers here: Western editors just cannot resist tales with Eastern settings).

More normally though, it takes a while, and that's very definitely the case with this one. I got the idea for my first ever superhero story years ago. I had the character, the setting and the circumstances, even the full title. But I didn't sit down and write it for one very simple reason ... who on Earth would buy it?

But then, two Decembers back, I dropped in on the British Fantasy Society's Xmas gathering, as I almost always do. And among the indie publishers showing off their wares was Pete Coleburn of The Alchemy Press. He took me over to his table, saying: "Maybe you'd like to write something for us?"

And there, right in front of my nose, were the first two editions of The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes, and Peter informed me that antho #3 was looking for submissions at that very moment. What happened next? I think you might have already guessed. The very next morning, I sat myself down at my beaten-up old desk and started writing my first Rayven Black tale. Editor Mike Chinn bought it straight away, it appeared in print back in September, and now it is in eBook form at Amazon, with other outlets hopefully to follow.

I'll be working on more tales about this hero in the near future. Meanwhile, you can find out more about her first adventure HERE.


Sunday, 8 March 2015

FREE FICTION FOR THE YOUNG (and YOUNG AT HEART)

When I first started writing professionally, I produced a good number of stories -- mostly supernatural and spooky science fiction ones -- aimed at younger readers, mostly for the likes of Mary Danby's Armada anthologies and Richard Davis' sf collections. I've not penned many of them since those early days, but I have since written a few more tales that -- although aimed at adults -- are perfectly suitable for younger readers too. And I've recently collected my personal selection of the very best of them into this little book on Kindle. About half the fiction in it can be found in other places, but four of the stories -- my Armada Ghosts chiller 'The Girl in the Cellar,' for instance, and my dystopian future fantasy 'Summertime' -- are available to the general public for the first time in several decades.

And the book is absolutely free on Amazon from today until Wednesday 11th, inclusive. But why wait until Wednesday? Pick up a copy straight away, and take a look at some early stories that I'm still extremely pleased with. You can take a look at the book's Amazon page HERE.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

I'VE FINALLY TURNED TO CRIME!

Down the years, I’ve largely become known as a writer of supernatural fiction, dark fantasy, and horror. I’ve written science fiction too, and even some short mystery stories, but those have almost always had either a supernatural or a futuristic twist. But now my very first full-blown crime novel – THE DESERT KEEPS ITS DEAD – is out from Telos Publishing. No spooks, no sf, nothing but action and intrigue and evil-doing. It’s available in eBook format and in a paperback version too. The back-cover write-up is below:

The desert … it prefers to keep its dead. It wraps them up in its hot, dry arms, leeching the moisture from their skin ….

Ex-FBI agent turned private eye Matt Barrett arrives in Sunset City, Arizona searching for a teenage runaway, only to find her dead and buried in the desert sand. Investigating further, he learns that other young girls have gone missing. It seems there may be a serial killer on the loose. But Sunset City is an unwelcoming place of dark, closely-guarded secrets, and Barrett is resisted at every step of the way, soon finding his own life in danger …

A gripping, noirish debut crime novel from acclaimed horror and dark fantasy author Tony Richards.

‘He’s convincing … convincing enough that the locals will read about their city as described by Tony Richards and shudder. And that’s what we call a writers’ writer’ – John Pelan.


THE DESERT KEEPS ITS DEAD is available in eBook format from Amazon, B&N Nook, Kobo, or as a fine looking trade paperback from Telos Publishing.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how my readers react to this new change in direction. Who knows? I might even pick up some new ones. And a second novel featuring the same detective ought to be in my agent's clutches early next year.

Monday, 6 October 2014

THE WRITE ADVICE



Once again, my richardsreality website has been through a major update, with a new interview, additions to the photo gallery, news of my latest novel HOT BLOOD from Samhain Publishing, and updated info for the e-book versions of my Raine's Landing series.

Most importantly, though, I've added a couple of articles on the subject of going about writing a novel.. Under the general heading 'Some Thoughts on Writing,' Part One is titled TRUST YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS, while Part Two comes under the heading THE DIFFERENT DRAFTS.

I've nearly thirty years experience of seeing novels into print with the likes of Tor Books, Pan, HarperCollins and Schusters, and I very much hope all you prospective authors out there find some of my advice useful.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

A WAR BETWEEN IMMORTALS


Last year saw the publication of my chiller Under the Ice from Samhain Publishing. And it certainly drew some critical praise, but it was short, a novella in fact.

This year sees something much, much bigger, because my dark fantasy epic Hot Blood is out from the same publishers. Here's the back-cover blurb:


Who dares to challenge a vampire?

Two very different immortal creatures have arrived in New York City. One is Tanya Merrit, the last of the Ykrall, a race that lives among—and depends on—human beings.

The other is Janos Wolkran, an ancient and extremely powerful vampire. He has with him a brood of servants, humans that he has converted. But one of his servants is dying. And Wolkran has chosen Tanya’s lover, Kathy Harrison, as a replacement. When he kidnaps her, Tanya sets off in a pursuit that will lead her around the world…and into a battle to the death between immortals.

Hot Blood starts out in Manhattan before moving on to Latin America. And then, after a brief stop-over in London, England, the action transfers to Prague, and beyond that to Budapest, finally ending up in the Zempleni Mountains, part of the Carpathian Range. Like I said, this is one big book  and took me several years to finish.

The novel is available either 
as a superb-looking trade paperback or in e-book format, either directly from Samhain, or from Amazon, Nook, or Kobo.

Want a piece of fiction you can really get your teeth into? Well, this should keep you busy for a while. Enjoy!