Monday, 8 October 2018

FantasyCon 2018 schedule

It's almost time for Fantasycon again, so here's my schedule. 

Please come and say hello! I promise I won't bite. (There's no full moon - I checked.)

FRIDAY

5 pm - PS Publishing launch (Octoberland)





SATURDAY

11 am - Horrific Tales launch (The House of Frozen Screams)





1 pm - Black Shuck Books launch (Great British Horror vol 3: For Those in Peril)




Tuesday, 2 October 2018

White Mare

What better way to celebrate the horror fan's favourite holiday than with a book of Halloween stories? Here's an excerpt from my story "White Mare":

It was raining when they landed and it rained during the long drive that followed. Heather’s first impression of England was that it was very green and very wet. Presumably one because of the other. Thorpe Morag was a small Somerset village nestled in a valley in the middle of wet green nowhere. It was near places with even weirder names, like Middlezoy and Huish Champflower.
    Her second impression was that everything was old. Like straight-out-of-a-history-book old. The roads, the houses, even the trees all seemed impossibly ancient. America was all shopping malls and Starbucks and nail salons and car dealerships, all of it new and shiny and clean. Here, Heather wouldn’t be surprised to see medieval peasants ploughing the fields.
    A battered sign finally told them they’d reached Thorpe Morag, and a winding road led them into the village. Two rows of cottages faced each other across a wide patch of grass with a little duck pond and a couple of rotting park benches. The “village green” apparently. There was a pub, the White Mare, and a shop that looked like something from an old black and white movie. As far as Heather could tell, its name was just “The Shop”.
    At the far end of the green, a cluster of trees sheltered a narrow track that led to the Barton farm. The house was a blocky stone structure that looked more like a storage building than a home. It was almost hidden in the shadows of the foliage surrounding it. The trees looked intent on consuming the upper storey, and the view from at least one window was entirely obscured. Heather shuddered at the thought of branches scraping her bedroom window like bony fingers before breaking the glass and reaching in for her.
    “It’s, um… nice,” she said, staring in dismay at the farmhouse. The photos emailed by the solicitor had clearly been taken on some enchanted spring morning when sunlight had conquered the gloom. Heather glanced at her father, but his expression was unreadable. They were really going to stay here? Live here? A glance back at the sparse village didn’t reveal any alternatives. It wasn’t like there was a hotel down the road or anything. But there had to be a city nearby. How far away was London? Surely they could find somewhere else to stay, anywhere else…
    Her dad took the first step towards the farmhouse and Heather had her answer. She heaved a morose sigh as she trudged after him, resigned to her fate. That was when she saw it.



You can get the book from amazon UK and amazon US.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Octoberland

I have always dreamt of having a story collection by PS Publishing - and now I do! The cover art is by the amazingly talented Daniele Serra.



To quote Pete Crowther, from the PS newsletter:

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Let’s talk about Thana Niveau . . .

And, at the very same time, let’s you and me spare a word or two for the late great Ray Bradbury.

Yes, for as I sit typing this out on Thursday evening, with a drenching autumn storm battering both my office window and the gargoyle-festooned roof of the church opposite as it pools in the greensward, my mind has indeed turned albeit briefly to Bradbury. inspired to do so by Thana Niveau’s remarkable collection, OCTOBERLAND and yet I make it sound as though Bradbury is but a single entity when, in fact, he is several.

Yes, for sure, there are many Ray Bradburys. Multitudes even.

F’rinstance, there’s the Ray Bradbury who conceived the knife-wielding toddler in ‘The Small Assassin,’ for example; the one who wrote about the jangling-nerved murderer frantically trying to remove any evidence that he was ever in the death room (including polishing away the possibility of his fingerprints on ‘The fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl’); the one who penned the fable about two time-travelling Knights fresh from the Crusades facing up to a steam train; and, of course, the one who recounts the escapades of the ghosts of Laurel and Hardy trying to move a piano down some steps during one strange and foggy Los Angeles night.

All are wonderful, each is totally different.

And that single line right there says pretty much everything there is to say about Thana Niveau and the stories in OCTOBERLAND. 

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Thana Niveau's stories feature people on the edge - the edge of death, the edge of sanity, the edge of reality. In this diverse collection, two sisters leave a trail of bodies behind them as they go on the run, desperate to outrun the dark secrets of their past. A film fan is haunted by the actress whose brutal horror films he can't stop watching. A child hears a ghostly voice through the radio reciting only numbers. And a young woman revisits the place she and her brother loved above all else - Octoberland - the strange amusement park that tore their world apart. Horror wears many faces here, from creeping dread to apocalyptic devastation, and no one escapes its dark touch.


Table of Contents:

INTRODUCTION by ALISON LITTLEWOOD
Going to the Sun Mountain
The Face
Xibalba
The Things That Aren’t There
Worm Casts
The Language of the City
The Call of the Dreaming Moon
Guinea Pig Girl
The Queen
Caerdroia
Tentacular Spectacular
First and Last and Always
No History of Violence
Little Devils
Bad Faith
Made in Hong Kong
Wasps
Behind the Wall
Vile Earth, to Earth Resign
And May All Your Christmases...
Two Five Seven
Sweeter Than to Wake
Death Walks en Pointe
The Calling of Night’s Ocean


Friday, 7 September 2018

The House of Frozen Screams

It was many and many a year ago, 
     In a gothic dark chateau,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
     by the name of Thana Niveau.
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
     than to write by the moonbeam's glow.

Oh yes, it WAS "many and many a year ago". Publication is a long and arduous process. But at long last, my debut novel is making its way into the world. And look at this exquisite cover, by the hugely talented Ben Baldwin:



The book began life as The Needing, a title which later transformed into The House of Frozen Screams. Writers agonise over the silliest, most seemingly inconsequential things, and I couldn't decide between "The House" or just "House". I threw the question out to everyone on Facebook, but the vote was split. So in the end I left it up to Graeme Reynolds at Horrific Tales Publishing.

Here's the book trailer I made:



And here's the full cover, with blurb:




When Liz and Nick Holland buy Wintergate, an isolated, long-empty Victorian seaside house, they believe they have found the perfect home. However, it isn't long before it begins to have an unsettling effect on Liz. She hears the sound of crying babies in the dead of night, and a sinister presence seems to be stalking her, making her doubt her sanity. Wintergate has a dark secret. Something evil lives there, and Liz must unravel the house's twisted history before she becomes its next victim.

There will be a formal launch at Fantasycon, in Chester, 19-21 October 2018. But in the meantime, you can pre-order the Kindle edition from amazon UK. or amazon US.

And if anyone out there would like a digital copy for review, please let me know!

Monday, 3 September 2018

And Fade Out Again

The only thing stronger than mankind’s compulsion to destroy itself was the determination that it would endure. Like a virus, it adapted. It survived.
Stefani watched the colours, luminescent in the glow from the sun lamps. The light was artificial, but the surrounding coral didn’t seem to mind. It was the only thing truly thriving in the poisoned ocean. If you didn’t count the city.
By the time the human race had finally decided to stop killing each other, the planet was nearly uninhabitable. It was too late to reverse the effects of global warming. The polar ice caps were long gone and the seas had risen, drowning cities, countries and finally entire continents. Most of the land was gone, as were were any hopes of escaping to the stars to find and colonise other worlds. The space program had drowned along with most of the planet.
Stefani couldn’t imagine what it must have been like living above the surface. VR tech could approximate the experience of wandering through forests or deserts, but it all seemed so unnatural, and the animals that had once lived up there were terrifying and strange. She had never known life outside the maternal embrace of the superocean and the comforting womb of New Eden.
Once the world above had reached the point of no return, scientists and architects had focused their efforts on the world below. Or rather – the world that would soon be below. And the Eden Project in Cornwall was a perfect starting point.

from "And Fade Out Again"

Great British Horror 3: For Those in Peril is available for pre-order from Black Shuck Books!