Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Lazarus Gate Blog Tour Roundup

With another interview going live today, I thought I’d take the opportunity to consolidate the links to all the promotional stuff I’ve being doing of late. If you’re looking for Lazarus Gate-related blogs, interviews and essays, then here’s where to find them on the web:

Blogs & Interviews:

Villainous Visions – the inspiration behind the Artist:

And I’ve also been lucky enough to receive some really lovely interviews. Check a few of them out:

Friday, 30 October 2015

The Ghost Writer: Out Now!

Albert Brownlow is a collector of ghost stories, although he has never found one that has rung true. Until now.

In the village of Amblesford lies a house, known for miles around as a place of ill omen, where the stench of death hangs in the air and the shadow of the hanging tree can be seen by the light of the full moon. Into this fell place comes the ghost writer, an antiquarian and writer of tall tales, whose curiosity leads him to darker places than even his imagination can conjure…

This is a story of hubris, loneliness, and friendship. It is a story of dark deeds and darker souls that can haunt a place beyond all reason.

It is a story of death.

Earlier this year, I wrote a ghost story.

This wasn’t for any particular reason, other than the fact that I wanted to write something a bit scary, and short-form, for my own enjoyment rather than on-commission, as so many short stories are. There was an element of an academic exercise to it, too, because I really wanted to write something in the style of my horror hero, M. R. James. For that reason, the story is set in days gone by (I plumped for the 1920s), and features an antiquarian getting himself into a spot of supernatural bother.

As I wrote, the story took on a life of its own. It went through seven iterations, eventually becoming rather long—too long, in fact, to be considered a short story any more. And so my novelette was born. I call it The Ghost Writer.

The Ghost Writer is an English ghost story in the classic style, albeit with a hard edge that might be more impactful to the modern reader. I’ve gone for atmosphere rather than blood and guts, suggestion rather than reveal, and a dash of ambiguity that I hope will have people discussing the truth of the protagonist’s tale long after Halloween is passed.

Indeed, as Halloween is now upon us, and the season for reading ghost stories is nigh, I’ve formatted and uploaded The Ghost Writer to various online booksellers (links to follow). It’s at this time of the year that I always dig out my copy of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary or Walter de la Mare’s Short Stories, and I’d encourage all of my readers to do the same, because those gents really are the masters of an art form that has many imitators but no true rivals. If The Ghost Writer were to appear on your winter reading list alongside one of those greats, I would be honoured indeed!

You can buy The Ghost Writer from Amazon here, or Smashwords here, in various digital formats.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Farewell to Fantasy Con

Well, Fantasy Con 2015 has come and gone. It was my first ever convention, and it was an absolute blast. I had no idea what to expect, but it’s fair to say that I did not expect to be hanging out at the bar with the likes of Joe Hill and Sarah Pinborough within half an hour of stepping through the door (they were both lovely, and ignored the fact that I was a bit shell-shocked I think)!

Less than two hours later I was very nervously speaking on a panel about writing within franchises. More nervous because, where I’d expected a small-ish room with a table at one end, we were actually on a stage in a rather large lecture theatre. I was up there with Mark Morris, Paul Kane, Rebecca Levene, and one of the con’s heavy hitters, Wheel of Time author Brandon Sanderson.

I was later to be cursing Brandon (light-heartedly of course), as his signing clashed with my reading, which meant I almost had to read to three people, all of whom I knew! Thankfully, you can always rely on your friends to whip up an audience at the last minute, and when those friends include agent Jamie Cowen, and Black Library favourites Gav Thorpe and GuyHaley, you’re a fortunate chap indeed!

The launch of The Lazarus Gate went well (apart from being interrupted by a fire alarm!), with a fair gathering of industry professionals, and a publicist on hand to ply me with wine so that my hands would stop shaking as I signed books. It helped that Mark Morris was beside me once again, and he proved quite a draw – he’s a real pro, that chap!

Pre-signing smiles!
The Dark Lord, Adam Nevill
(aka The Nicest Man in Horror).
Totally goobering;
fan selfie with S G Volk!
A con is a strange affair for a newbie. So many industry professionals, so many famous writers, and dozens upon dozens of not-so-famous ones like me, all rubbing shoulders together. I learned an awful lot just by chatting to fellow authors, and from attending panels on a variety of subjects, such as ‘the future of genre publishing’ and ‘writing short fiction’. I had dinner with the fabulous Titan crew (editors Cath Trechman and Natalie Laverick, publicist Lydia Gittins, and writers Marc Turner, Mark Morris, Dan Godfrey, Tim Lebbon and Nina Allan), hung out with Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane (the latter of whom provided the highlight of my weekend with his brilliant play on Saturday night), and also got to meet my two horror heroes: Adam Nevill and Stephen Volk, who really did make me lose my cool and go all fanboy… oh dear!

Big shout out to the Redcloaks for making the event go so smoothly.

There are less Latham-centric reviews of the event around, such as here. In all, a fantastic time was had, I came away with some new friends (and a sore head), and I’m already looking into my accommodation for next year’s event, this time in sunny(ish) Scarborough!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Darker Side of (Alt) History

An obligatory promo post today. My second book for Osprey Dark, Bug Hunts, is out now, so it seems a fitting time to take a look at both titles that are currently on the shelves.

Osprey Dark is an alt-history imprint of the famous military history publisher. Along with their Osprey Adventures range, each title delves into a fictionalized version of historical (or mythological and even future) events, presenting fun-packed ride into the realms of the fantastical.

The first of the two books is The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. This narrative looks at a version of events where the famous Washington Irving story was fact instead of fiction, and the writer was actually a hunter of headless revenants, taking his battle against the supernatural around the globe. The artwork by Alan Lathwell is just lush. It’s a great read for Halloween – but don’t just take my word for it, check out this review

The second book is Bug Hunts: Surviving and Combating the Alien Menace. This was great fun to write – at its heart, it’s a 23rd century tactical handbook for the intrepid STAR Industries Marine Corps, battling against alien ‘bugs’ inspired by a variety of cinematic tropes. It’s a homage to the SF horror that I’ve loved forever, although of particular fun was the chance to write an original future timeline, galactic history, and devise a technical weapons manual for my marines. There’s a review for that one, too!


Want to be in with the chance of winning a signed copy of Sleepy Hollow for Halloween? Check out my Facebook and Twitter pages for details.