Friday, 14 August 2015


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


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


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


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


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.