Wednesday, 29 June 2016


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


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.


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.