Monday, 6 March 2017
[Coughs awkwardly. I've been rather busy.]
The book opens with the 50 page novella 'The Melancholy Haunting Of Nicholas Parkes' which is heavily drawn from the life, music & tragic early death of the brilliant Nick Drake. This is the story I have been expanding into a three-volume novel. It is for all intents and purposes finished but at 1,500 pages long requires very careful editing before I dare start inflicting it upon agents or publishers. Furthermore, the novel features a new poetry collection by a fictitious poet together with lyrics for a couple of imaginary concept albums, all of which are central to the plot of the book.
I am probably deluding myself but I think that this project will be something very special indeed, even if it does fly in the face of the current vogue for short novels. In bygone years I often had to grind prose out at a tortured pace but ever since my liberating life-saving organ transplant in 2011 I have been able to write at a phenomenal rate. Any voice, any style, any format - bang, I just need to sit down at a computer and let fly, and out it pours. What's more, it has been a very pleasant surprise that I have been able to maintain the same brisk narrational pace in a 500,00 word novel that I strive for in a short story.
['Yes, Doctor, I haven't forgotten to take my pills. And no, I haven't been chewing the padding in my cell, that was my invisible musician friend, Nick. He keeps picking at the walls with his long dirty fingernails and scowling darkly at me from the shadows. He's very angry, you see, because I won't go with him - not yet at least. It's in his eyes, a filthy dark mordant smoulder.']
Anyway, TENEBROUS TALES received excellent reviews when it was first published, and received the weird accolade of having the longest review for a work of fiction ever published by the British Fantasy Society. My Nick Drake story was short-listed for Best Short Story of the year at the time but I requested it be withdrawn from consideration for reasons lost in the shadowy mists of time. Ellen Datlow, in her review of that year's best speculative fiction, singled out four of the stories for 'Honorable Mentions'. The book also features an excellent introduction by the incomparably talented Reggie Oliver.
Anyway, here endeth the tedious soft sell. Now chop chop - go buy the book!
UPDATE: Humble and sincere apologies to anyone who bought a copy between 8th - 9th March. Some of these featured several dropped indents. This issue has since been resolved. The book has also been scaled down in size from 'coffee-table' format to merely large paperback size. If having bought this version you would like a refund then please contact me. To add value to the new paperback edition the price has been lowered and two new stories have been added e.g. 'The Mine Field' and 'The She Queen Of Sif'.
Turns round to clip Igor's ear.
Igor (voice of Claude Rains): "Sorry, Master, I will not fail you again."
Me: "No Igor, you will not. Look behind you. I have appointed a new man-servant."
Igor (sharp intake of breath): "Jean Shrimpton? But Master, what does Jean Shrimpton have that Igor does not?"
Thursday, 2 March 2017
"People should stop worrying about the price of eggs," said Dr Freerange-Eggfarmer of Quibble & Gripe, advisors to anyone who'll employ them. "Instead of worrying about Twixit and Ronald Strump, they should let their hares out for a cheeky moonlit frolic - while always ensuring they have enough eggs in the cupboard to bake that last-minute birthday cake."
Unfortunately it had proved completely impossible to retrieve the tea-bags for they had burst open into a squelchy mulch at the bottom of the litter bin. In their place on the radiator she spelled out the word 'Anomaly' with broken match-sticks.
Which of course was true.
Monday, 28 November 2016
Just published by Egaeus Press: "A Midwinter Entertainment".
Features my 40 page short story 'Better Than Borley Rectory', which describes the experiences of a contemporary film crew in the former family home of the quietly famous author of ghost stories, M.R. James. Part homage, part pastiche, the story is predominantly an original work of new fiction.
Also features work by Vincent O'Sullivan, 'X.L.' (aka Julian Osgood Field), Marion Fox, Mark Valentine, Ron Weighell, Alison Littlewood, Arthur Symons et al.
Limited edition of 400 copies, superior quality illustrated 286pp hardback.
Wednesday, 16 November 2016
Saturday, 1 October 2016
"Now listen to me, Hobart. We are going to inject you with a dangerously high dose of methyl amphetamine, but first we'd like you to sign a waiver exonerating us of all responsibility, just in case you decide to do something stupid - like jump out of a third floor window."
From "Night Of The Demon" (1957.)