And now *drum roll please* the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Well, the moment I’ve been waiting for at any rate. The moment that the brand new cover artwork for ‘Got Ghosts?’ is revealed. And here it is, in all its wonderful psychedelic glory.
The artwork is by Vincent Holland-Keen and I particularly like the way he’s captured not just the spooky atmosphere of the book, but also the general sense of breathlessness and rushing about. Very much a case of lights, camera, inaction as people bump into ghosts and knock things over while they’re trying to run away! And (ahem) I do love that I’m described as ‘writer and director’. Moving up in the world!
The book is due out from Fox Spirit in a couple of weeks, just in time for Halloween, so do keep checking back for details of when and where you can get it. As Carl the producer says, “Some psychic you are, darling – you didn’t see that one coming!” I’ll try to make sure you can’t say the same about the book.
Yesterday was edits day on my latest book Got Ghosts, which is due out from Fox Spirit just in time for Halloween.
Sometimes the editing process can be distinctly fraught, but this time it was, relatively speaking, a doddle. No more than a few typos, a couple of awful howlers, and a general scrape-and-polish.
Whilst wading through the line-by-lines, I reminded myself how much fun I had writing this little book. It’s very tongue-in-cheek, not to be taken seriously in the slightest, and I found I was giggling out loud at various places. I also gathered a few quotes that I’ll be dropping into the conversation at random over the next few weeks, just to whet folks’ appetites a bit. Starting with:
The only trouble was, mad and bad in real life was nowhere near as exciting, or as romantic, as it was in books and films.
No, it isn’t about Lord Byron, but there is a rather Byron-esque character who makes a dramatic appearance about half way through.
I’m very excited by the whole project and can’t wait for the cover art, which I’m told will be available very soon. You can bet I’ll be posting it on here the minute it comes through!
Terrific news in the last few days – my new book ‘Got Ghosts?’ is due out from Fox Spirit in October, all set to coincide with Halloween!
The book is a complete romp, very loosely based on the hit TV show ‘Most Haunted’, and features a haunted English manor house, and all the things that go wrong when the film crew of (entirely fictional) television series ‘Got Ghosts?’ come for a weekend to make a programme there.
Greystone Hall’s owner Emily has far too much to deal with, including a plethora of ghosts, an arrogant producer, happy and unhappy mediums, a set of missing paintings, and yet more ghosts, not to mention a burgeoning romance with someone she doesn’t expect.
More details to come, but then if you’re good psychics you’ll know that already…
I’ve been remiss lately in reporting on new books from various friends, colleagues, writers and publishers. Top of the list are two new releases from Fox Spirit – African Monsters, and Things in the Dark.
The latter is the latest in the Fox Pockets series – a wonderful collection of small, beautifully produced volumes containing some excellent stories. You may remember my own Boyfriend From Hell turning up in the Fox Pockets Shapeshifters anthology. Things in the Dark looks set to continue the trend with “a collection of strange, scary and sometimes humorous tales considering all manner of … things in the dark” – eighteen stories involving the weird and wonderful. You can find it on Amazon and if it’s anything like as good as Shapeshifters was, it’ll be well worth the effort.
African Monsters is “a fantastic anthology featuring many African writers at the forefront of the new wave of Speculative Fiction tapping directly into the deep and rich mythology of African cultures…” according to Ivor W Hartmann, the editor of another of Fox Spirit’s Monsters series. This collection also features a heap of stories from authors including Margret Helgadottir and Joan de la Haye. And the cover is simply gorgeous. Get a copy here and see for yourself.
I forgot to mention the other week that Fox Spirit Books, who are due to publish my novella Got Ghosts? in 2017, won themselves the coveted British Fantasy Award for Best Independent Press recently. It’s no more than owner Adele Wearing and her team deserve, given the sheer love, care and attention they put into creating each and every book they produce. The end results are as much works of art as books, and always worth a read. Very well done, here’s hoping for more accolades soon!
I’m just popping in to say that my paranormal romp of a novella, ‘Got Ghosts?’, has been accepted for publication by Fox Spirit.
The book centres around a rather dubious tv company and the mayhem they cause when they try to film a ‘haunted house’ programme at the thoroughly ghost-ridden Greystones Hall. There are poltergeists, priest holes, missing paintings, happy (and unhappy) mediums, and ghosts galore!
I’ll have more details soon but in the meantime, in the words of the old Disney tv advert, “I’m so excited!”
This is a little snippet from ‘The Boyfriend From Hell’, the story I have in ‘Shapeshifters’ from Fox Spirit. It’s a totally tongue-in-cheek romp involving aliens, tentacles and locked bathroom doors, and if you want to see more then check out how to get your hands (or tentacles) on the book here.
The one thing I didn’t know about Stef was his bathroom habits. I’m for letting it all hang out, but not Stef. For a guy he was surprisingly reserved. The minute he got inside that room the door would slam shut and the bolt would snick, and that would be that. I thought it was women who were supposed to hog the bath, but Stef would stay in there for hours. He didn’t even turn into a prune – just emerged looking pink and newly-scrubbed. I assumed he had a thing about cleanliness and left him to it, and kept my nagging for things that mattered, like birthdays and taking out the trash.
Until one particular morning after the night before. We’d been celebrating his birthday. I didn’t know which one because he was coy about his age, but I’d baked a cake and stuck a token candle on the top, and I’d bought him a brand new waterproof watch.
“Thought it might come in handy,” I said. “For all the time you spend soaking in the bath.”
He smiled, and put the watch on straight away, and gave me a thank-you hug which turned into other things. Things involving mouths and arms, and a bottle and far too much to drink. I don’t indulge as a rule – the people I work for take a dim view of that. Just this once, I thought. Once can’t hurt. Shows how wrong you can be. I woke up next morning with a head that was playing drum solos and a violent urge to be sick. But when I staggered to the bathroom I found the door was already shut and locked.
This little book seems to have rather sunk without trace, which is a shame as it deserves better. It’s a beautifully produced little volume for one thing, with nice crisp white paper and eye-catching cover art. And the stories too are worth more than a second – or even third or fourth – glance.
Part of the ‘Pockets’ range from Fox Spirit, this is sci-fi, but it’s so much more than your usual bunch of aliens, robots and tentacles – or even alien robots with tentacles. Yes, some of the stories have aliens (or robots, or tentacles) but they also have intriguing, thought-provoking shapeshifters inspired by folk tales and legends from around the world.
My own favourites were K A Laity’s Hispanic dragon tale ‘Carlos’, and ‘Bultungin’ by Joshua Reynolds, a strange, dream-like story set in Lagos and clearly based on African mythology. But every other story was good too – all original, all well written, all edging the literary end of science fiction. I loved them.
Oh – and if you do decide to check the book out, you can read my own tentacle (yes, I went there!) romp ‘The Boyfriend from Hell’ while you’re at it. It may not be as literary as some of the other contributions, but I’m hoping it’s just as much fun.