'I pity this house; the curse of God is hanging over it.'
The Betrothed: Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873)
23rd Feb, 2013
I was honoured to be invited to join the 'Clockhouse London Writers' group, a writing group dedicated to improving and achieving greater success in the literary world. I am amongst some truly great authors; it is definitely a website to watch. Allen Ashley is master of proceedings and commands a gruelling but inspiring two hours somewhere in deepest north London once a month. Updates will follow.
9th Jan, 2013
There's a new venue for the next BFS evening bash in London -
BFS LONDON OPEN NIGHT - 1st March 6-11pm
6th Jan, 2013
Happy New Year, and it certainly will be. 'The Butcher of Peckham' is waiting, poised and ready, for imminent release by Pendragon press. The BIG news is that 'Deeper than Dark Water', an insanely macabre hospital horror short is to be published in the next and tenth 'Black Book of Horror' from the increasingly impressive and popular Mortbury Press.
Don't forget. This is the year of 'World Fantasycon' in Brighton. If you don't register now then you'll more than likely miss out. So don't delay - it will be a major event for the fantastic world of fantasy, horror and science fiction. If you're an aspiring writer then you would be insane to miss this event.
2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of influential Welsh fantasist Arthur Machen, best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction, and WFC will be celebrating the work of this incredible author.
1st October, 2012
Well Fantasycon 2012 is over: friends have been made, deals struck and much fun had. The terrifying 'Ninth Black Book of Horror.' was launched and all convention copies promptly signed and sold.
Huge congratulation to Adam Neville for winning with 'The Ritual', the well deserved August Derleth Award for Best Horror Novel. Now all eyes are on World Fantasy Convention being held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel on the UK's sunny South Coast. Look out for the imminent launch of Pendragon Press's 'Nasty Snips Project 2' and my own contribution, The Butcher of Peckham. Fcon 2012 gallery to follow soon.
9th September, 2012
Brighton's Fantasycon 2012 is almost upon us. Better book the good weather now! James Herbert will be appearing on Saturday to sign copies of his new controversial novel 'Ash'. My own nerve shredding 'Ben's Best Friend' will be published in 'The Black Book of Horror 9' launched at Fcon by Mortbury Press (to be signed by several of the authors including myself) and hopefully making an appearance will be the gut wrenching 'The Butcher of Peckham' in the 'Nasty Snips Project 2'. Warts 'n' all gallery will follow.
It's gonna be great...be there!
In the meantime I spent in a London location an evening in the presence of the truly great Steve Wilson of Porcupine Tree/No-man/Blackfield etc...etc. One of the most industrious and talented men in the music industry. Check him out - you won't be sorry.
...and here's a new face to watch. A future rock legend and that ain't no joke.
Introducing Juan-Camilo - keeping 'metal' in the family!!!
25th August, 2012
It rained...it stopped...it rained, but nothing stops the Muddy Field Party somewhere in deepest East Sussex. As the midnight hour struck so the mood music began, culminating in a very creepy version of 'The Holly and the Ivy.' Then I entertained a well fed and watered (Polish Vodka, Scrumpy, wine, beer etc etc) captive audience with not one but TWO stories -'The Gobbo and the Horn' and then the soon to be published, 'Ben's Best Friend.'
Now roll on Fantasycon 2012!
7th August, 2012
'Ben's Best Friend' is to be published in 'Black Book of Horror 9' from Mortbury Press, most likely to be launched at Fantasycon 2012 in Brighton. This year's convention promises to be one of the best yet culminating in the prestigious British Fantasy awards ceremony. As usual a 'warts and all' gallery of photos will be appearing on this site soon afterwards!
7th July, 2012
I now have a cherished copy of the sumptuously-crafted 'Curious Warnings' - a wonderful collection of MR James short stories - published by Joe Fletcher books and celebrating 150 years since the birth of the mediaeval scholar. Even more cherished as Les Edwards doodled a spooky graveyard scene on the title page. Ebay? Not on your life!!! There was a well turned out crowd at the Mughouse next to London Bridge station to see its launch.
Just finished Adam Nevill's brilliant docu-horror 'Last Days'. There are plenty of in depth reviews out there...needless to say it is a hugely recommended, nay...essential read for any self respecting fan of the genre. Adam has been influenced by such writers as Algernon Blackwood, MR James etc and it shows in the quality and sheer terror between those pages (or on the screen for kindles). Utterly compelling!
Next up - 'Some kind of Fairy Tale' by Graham Joyce.
The time is fast approaching when I'll be performing a midnight read of 'The Gobbo and the Horn, and also 'The Butcher of Peckham' in a field in deepest Sussex. Huge bonfire, hog roast and much ale will help proceedings.
6th June, 2012
Ray Bradbury passes to the great beyond. A sad day indeed. The man who 'inspired generations of readers to read, think and create' will be sorely missed.
Friday 13th April, 2012
The hilariously horrid 'The Butcher of Peckham' is to be e-published in October in the unmissable follow up to Pendragon Press's 'Nasty Snips 1' - aptly titled, 'Nasty Snips 2' - A hugely recommended read. Get over to Pendragon's site for a great offer on both!
10th Dec, 2011
It was a cold and crisp fun night at the Mug House in London after essential post traumatic BFS business had been dealt with. Familiar faces and a healthy turnout see the BFS going from strength to strength. I have two new short 'n' nasty stories are seeking a caring home - 'Ben's best friend' and 'A tale of two brothers.' Making an appearance were Allen Ashley, Adam Neville, Sarah Pinborough, Stephen Jones, Pete and Nicky Crowther, Les Edwards and many more. Roll on Brighton Fcon 2012!
Adam Nevill relaxes with a well earned beer
2nd Oct, 2011
Beneath a blistering sky Fcon 2011 came to a glorious end. With over 500 attendees this year must have been the most successful yet.
A few highlights were -
Meeting up with friends that are more like family.
Brain Aldiss (OBE) on fine form being interviewed by Christopher Priest.
The raffle hosted admirably by Guy Adams and Sarah (...and the f!$%^&ng ticket winner is...) Pinborough.
Allen Ashley and Sarah Doyle's immensely entertaining poetry event.
Reggie Oliver's spinetingling reading of 'Quieta Non Movere'.
Teatro Proberto's hilarious and uncannily accurate 'Blood on Satans Claw Pantomine' followed by a saucy Burlesque show.
'Jo Fletcher books' event at the Royal York hotel.
The launch of so many incredible new books. The wealth and diversity of talent at this event is utterly outstanding - if only everyone could get the recognition they so richly deserve in the public arena. I despair at some of the dross that gets shelf space in the major book stores. Rant, rant, rant...
The hugely entertaing awards cermony. Bit hot though...phew! Nice looking award too.
A blissful weekend of sun, sea and saucery in Brighton.
The amazing amount of behind the scenes work that goes on and makes everything move so smoothly.
I'm just sorry for the readings/panels that I missed or that clashed with other events.
Postscript - wow - just seen the thread of controversy on Sarah Pinborough's facebook. I had to stop watching Coronation Street for God's sake! Times they are a changing for BFS I imagine.
12th Sept, 2011
Souls were chilled once again at the midnight muddy field party this August bank holiday. With a fire roaring and a chill taking to the air I read the very grim 'Always Watching Eye' to a petrified audience. Thanks to all who participated - it was great goulish fun.
Fantasycon 2011 fast approaches and promises to be the best yet! Brighton beware. A gallery will follow...promise.
5th May, 2011
Another short story completed. 'The End is Nigh...whatever.' Bit of a diversion into science fantasy territory. Rather pleased with the writing of this unusual tale in which the world dies from lethargy - apart from our hero that is.
The World Fantasy Convention 2013 is being held in Brighton. So that's World Horror, British Fantasy and now World Fantasy-by-the-sea. Must be something to do with those Ley Lines!
Can't wait to get my sweaty hands on Adam Neville's new opus - 'The Ritual'. Should be out...'round about now.
Had a great time at the London Burlesque Festival a couple of weeks ago. Brilliant, talented, fun people who know how to...party!!! Hosted by the multi-talented, crowd surfing, gorgeous Ivy Paige (plus parrot). I just had to wear my best jacket.
26th Feb, 2011
Where does the time go? Fantasycon (in Brighton!) 2011 is looming - registered and poised. Got some irons in the fire and big plans for 2011. Two new short stories almost complete - details to follow.; one is a bit of a divertion - sci-fi with a touch of humour, 'The End is Nigh...Whatever.' and the other, an utterly ghastly horror, 'The Man Who was a Book'. Planning a collection in the format of those good old movies, Tales from the Crypt etc. Flitching's Revenge seems to be popular with critics - pleased with that. Watch the website for a downloadable audio of one of my short stories to spook you to sleep (or send you to sleep).
Had a great meeting with Anna Taborska, such a talented young lady. Maybe work on a joint effort one day - am I worthy? I certainly hope so. Her work is exceptional - can't wait for that first movie Anna!
20th Sept, 2010
Another succesful Fantasycon comes to an end. I was particularly happy to attend and sign for the launch of Charles Black's '7th Black Book of Horror' (Flitching's Revenge). I know I'm a little biased, but it's brilliant! Great to see Telos publishing win best small press - so well deserved. PS publishing's 'Catastrophia' was launched with the dependable Allen Ashley at the editing helm. My own recommendation is on the front of Raven Dane's awesome 'Blood Alliance.' There's just so much out there. Launches for the 'End of the Line' collection, not to mention the 'Mammoth Book of Horror' with a plethora of signing stars. Onwards and upwards for Adam Neville with Appt 16 - can't wait to see his next opus. I was an early nighter on Saturday - I only managed 3am! (Lightweight, eh?)
Next year Brighton - roll on!
3rd Sept, 2010
Spooked out some willing participants at what has become a regular midnight reading in a field somewhere in deepest Sussex this August bank holiday. 'The Whispering Wood' went down a treat. The moon shone brightly as revellers retired to their tents and caravans to dream of all things ghostly.
Fantasycon 2010 is almost upon and promises a spectaculat line up of guests with stimulating panels and amazing book launches. This is a convention not to be missed. See here for a gallery of post convention photos.
'Flitching's Revenge' is soon to be published in the magnificent '7th Black Book of Horror.' - possible launch at Fantasycon?
Currently working on an Ernest Hemingway fantasy and a Zombie Safari short story. Excerpts will be posted on this website.
14th June, 2010
Well done Adam Neville on your very succesful signing at Forbidden Planet, London along with China Mieville and Mark Charan Newton - and what an incredible book 'Appt 16' is. Haven't enjoyed a book like that for ages. I've just seen it's in its second week at no.1 in the Amazon horror charts - well deserved.
Further good news - Mortbury press are to publish 'Flitching's Revenge' in the 7th Black Book of Horror for a hopeful launch at Fantasycon 2010. We're off to New York for a some 4th July celebrations, Yee Hah!!!
Going to do a bit of pitching while I'm there so watch this space.
Went to deepest North London for a fascinating reading and lecture by Allen Ashley on Science Fiction in books and film (wine provided!) - very informative. Thanks Allen. He's doing a writing workshop for short stories on June 24th. I'll post details here soon.
28th March, 2009
Wow!!! Just got back from an amazing World Horror Convention in (mostly) sunny Brighton. Did some pitching, had a drink, saw some panels, had a drink, attended some launches, had a .....you get the idea. Met some old friends and made some wonderful new ones. Tanith Lee is awesome, just love her. Got a load of reading and writing to do now. Got an inspiration over load. Here's gallery 'quickie'.
3rd Feb 2010
Brighton shock is fast approaching and becoming more exciting by the day-there will be a special gallery here to mark the occasion (1st time in the UK for 25yrs).
Phasma has now been published in the genuinely excellent Spinetinglers anthology 2010.
Very sad news that Robert Holdstock died at the much too young age of 61. I met the great author on several occasions and a nicer man you could not meet.
5th July, 2009
Tremendous BFS evening last friday. The lovely Sam Stone launched her new book (Futile Flame)-all the best to the divine authoress and David Howe. And then there was a Torchwood panel ( Joe Lidster, Mark Morris, Andrew Cartmel, Guy Adams and Sarah Pinborough) and launch of BBC tie in books by aforementioned authors. John Barrowman was even there (in cardboard cutout form). Informal and fun discussion ensued. Great to see Adam Neville, Allen Ashley and Nick Summit amongst many others. I made the last home train with 1 minute to spare!
***'Whispering Wood' sample in short story exerpt section.***
Next BFS London do is 4th Dec
Gallery of the Torchwood evening here.
Great news-'Phasma' has been voted by Spinetingler members to appear in 'The Spinetinglers anthology 2009' to be published Oct 2009.
26th June, 2009
Just returned from idyllic Lesvos (Graham Joyce country) and finished an MR James styled ghostie called 'The Whispering Wood'-excerpt to follow soon. Gave it a reading and it seemed suitably spooky.
Hi to all the friends (Theo, Anita, Sue and Bean) old and new that we met.
26th August, 2009
Much fun was had at Duddleswell last weekend in a field deep in the Sussex countryside. At the stroke of midnight the huddled masses gathered around a huge bonfire and I read a specially written version of 'The road to Hell.' It was a truly ghoulish night beneath a starlit sky and great fun thanks to all that were present.
21st Sept, 2009
Another Fantasycon is over. This event just goes from strength to strength. See results of the awards here. Chris Fowler did a wonderful job as master of ceremonies. Too much money spent on books. Raffle handled glamourously by Sarah (Buff!) Pinborough and Guy Adams. Went to bed 3:30 am last night-and I was one of the early ones! Brilliant midnight panel discussion on extremes and taboos in horror, chaired by Adam Neville. It was so good to meet up with so many great people again. Can't recommend joining the BFS enough. Just a few piccies this year here
8th June, 2008
Mr Allen Ashley had a grand celebration of an important birthday at an Islington venue. There was much fun and entertainment not to mention cocktails at the bar. 'Foul House' fronted by Allen's daughter played a professional set while his wife Sarah entertained and amused us all with some witty prose. Thanks again for inviting us Allen.
Just recovering from Mojito overkill. What an amazing place Havana is-filled with Hemingway inspiration now (see gallery). Just got to sober up and get writing again.
Had a naughty Burlesque night at the Brighton fringe; saw a creepy show by Le scandal-great fun (see gallery-again!)
Virgin books have just published Adam Nevill's excellent 'Banquet for the Damned'. The wonderfully spooky frontpage is worth the visit alone. Had a great evening (BFS open night 6th June) mulling over all things supernatural (and heavy metal) with Adam (say hi to your dad Adam).
Inspired again-Strange World will see the light of day !(and the dark of night)
Congratulations to Sean Wright for completing his 12 albums in twelve months project received to much critical acclaim-an outstanding feat by an outstanding man.
31st July, 2008
Killjoys Derbyshire constabulary saw fit to refuse the 25th Derby Rock and Blues festival a license so consoled ourselves by jaunting off to an artist freind in the South of France. So impressed by his work that I've added 'Mac's gallery' to homepage menu. He's an established full time artist who lives in glorious Pomerols and has exhibited in many prestigious places including Paris and London. His works are a delight and becoming more and more popular-they don't hang about (they're affordable at the moment too). So if you're down that way or want to make contact you can do so through me. Just drop me a line through this site.
Diary dates-BFS evening shindig at Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1AA. Who'll turn up-who won't? Always an event that's well worth a visit. Closely followed by Fantasycon 2008, 19th-21st Sep. An absolute must.
*** Stop press ***
Spinetinglers are going to publish my ghostly short story 'Phasma'-a very adult tale of ultimate revenge-on their excellent website. Go there for fantastic stories of Dark Fantasy and more!!!
26th March, 2008
Ahhh, Soon be in Cuba. Thigh-rolled cigars and Hemingway anecdotes aplenty. Just get those Mojitos lined up!
25th of April sees and evening launch of a couple of Humdrumming publications by Pete Crowther and Rhys Hughes. Venue is the Grosvenor Arms pub near Bond street tube station. Always a fun do and there's nibbles as well.
I see Hammer have risen from the grave and will be releasing 'Beyond the Rave' intitially on myspace in episodes. The teaser looks tremendous.
1st January, 2008
Happy New Year to all!!!
Wow! Chris Fowler to be master of ceremonies at this years BFS fantasycon. Great stuff. Not suffering too much after last nights celebrationst-that's a bonus.
Just reading the copy of 'Old Devil Moon' he gave me at the Xmas fantasycon evening. Loving it already-but then I am appallingly biased. Burning the midnight oil working on a slipstream short-'Shatterback' is almost here. Should be ready soon.
Had an inspiring Christmas in the South of France with a great artist friend. Sunglasses on Christmas day (see gallery). Can't be bad!
30th January, 2008
A must event.
Hosted by the British Fantasy Society and PS Publishing, the bio/bibliography BASIL COPPER: A LIFE IN BOOKS Compiled and Edited by Stephen Jones will be launched on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd at THE UPSTAIRS BAR, YE OLDE COCK TAVERN, 22 FLEET STREET, LONDON EC4Y 1AA from 6:00pm onwards.
...and there'll be a lot of drinking too!
Rock and Blues 25th festival in Derby is kicking off on July 24th (see links). Sooo worth going too. Not exactly literary but oozing with inspirational events. All we need is the weather.
'Shatterback', a slipstream short is finished-lets see if there are any takers.
24th Feb, 2008
The 'Basil Copper: A Life in Books' launch was a resounding success if my sore head and empty wallet are anything to go by. Ltd edition dutifuly signed by all and sundry and will most definitely not be going on ebay! They will sell out fast so order now or miss out. What a magnificent book it is too-credit to Stephen Jones. It was a star studded function-BFS/PS publishing had exclusive use of the pub-such is the power of the written word. Attendance was particularly good as can be seen from the gallery. Chris Fowler, Kim Newman, Doug Bradley, Stephen Jones, Sarah Pinborough and the men from Elastic Press to name but a few. Had an interesting chat with Andrew Hook and Allen Ashley of Elastic Press (Allen probably won't be taking over from Jonathon Ross on film 2008). Get those BFS nominations in now.
Just been to the PS publishing site and seen the latest news on Ramsey Campbell's forthcoming novel, Thieving Fear. The cover design by Vincent Chong is utterly stunning. This is surely a publishing event for 2008!
Right, I'm off to make a Singapore Sling or three. Then 2000 words and I'm off to bed.
ps-password protected page and gallery coming very soon. Watch this space.
1st December, 2007
The world awaits my blog with baited breath-well, I'd like to think so. So what's happening? Fantasycon 2007 seemed ages off and now it's all over. So good to see so many friendly faces and make new friends. Roll on Fcon 2008! World horror convention this year is in Salt Lake City, March 27-30. I see they have a 'ghost of honor'. This year it's Edgar Allen Poe-certainly hope he makes an appearance.
In the meantime kick off Christmas at Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1AA on 7th December. That's when a bunch of cheery souls from the British Fantasy Society will get together for much merriment and drinking.
Just read Graham Joyce's latest blog-always entertaining. What a fascinating community the writing world is. There just isn't enough time to write, read, drink, socialise, drink, work, eat, oh...and drink.
Sean Wright's amazing album-a-month project has to be seen (and heard) to be believed. Great soulful music. This man is so genuinely multi-talented.
'The Cusp of Something' from the great guys at Elastic Press is out. It's the latest (24th) title. I can heartily recommend anything from this brilliant small press.
Nights and days are busy as ever at Hurstwood Park Neuro centre. Much of my writing (and reading) seems to be done during those unearthly hours of the night. The human drama that unfolds there is a constant inspiration to me.
Now, where are those deco's?