Author and Scriptwriter

'Among the most important writers of contemporary British horror.' -Ramsey Campbell

Monday, 29 June 2015

Hello, Hello, Turn Your Radio On...

Yes, I'm back. It's been a busy few months with one thing and another - stay tuned for further posts and there may be some exciting publishing news in the very near future!

In the meantime, I'm getting ready to buckle down to the final rewrites on Redman's Hill. In the interim, the ever-reigning Cate provided me with a book I highly recommend; 2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron, which offers a number of techniques for boosting your productivity as a writer. I'm always up for that, so I decided to try them out; shortly thereafter, Paul Finch wrote this excellent post on his writing method.

So a little more than six weeks later, I now have a new MS for a crime novel, which I'm pretty pleased with and is now more or less ready to go out into the world, which would seem to be a bit of a thumbs-up for Ms Aaron. (Then again, depends what agents think of it.)

Another thing that has happened was that Cate got interviewed on North Manchester FM by the ace Hannah Kate, editor of the excellent little anthology Impossible Spaces among many others. You can listen to the interview below; it's great. In other news, I'm going to be a guest on Hannah's show this Saturday (4th July!), so if you're in the Manchester area you can tune in on 106.4 FM; if not, you can stream live on http://northmanchester.fm/




 

Monday, 23 March 2015

In Order Of Disappearance

I've got a new film review up over at This Is Horror, of Hans Petter Moland's In Order Of Disappearance, starring the ever-reliable Stellan Skarsgard.

You can read it here.



Friday, 20 March 2015

The BFS on Black Mountain

No, I don't mean that the folk who run the British Fantasy Society have been dragged to Mynydd Du and are currently being eaten,/torn limb from limb/driven murderously insane there. Although I'm sure that would make a good short story some time.

Nope - what I mean is that there are not one, but two pieces of news today that relate to both the BFS and Black Mountain. And they go something like this.

David Brzeski has reviewed my little serial novel on the BFS website. The full review is here, but the upshot is basically this bit:

'If anything, the quieter parts—where everything is inexplicably going to hell, and the protagonists have no idea why, beyond blaming each other—are scarier than the gory part, where people get ripped to shreds...  Simon Bestwick does a great job of varying the writing style throughout to suit that of the various narrators in their various periods—assuming, that is, that he did write it, rather than just transcribe them from the originals.'

Well, about that last point, I'll never tell. ;)

The second point regards awards eligibility. Being novel-length but in instalments - each one a self-contained narrative - I wasn't sure which category Black Mountain fell in (always assuming, of course, that any of you guys feel like voting for it!) So I emailed the BFS Awards Admin (thank you Steve Theaker!) and this was his reply;

'If the whole novel appeared over the course of 2014, in whatever format, then I'd say it's eligible as a novel in the current awards. The individual instalments would also be eligible as short stories.'

So there you go - you can nominate the whole thing for Best Novel if you wish, and/or your favourite individual instalment (if you have one) for Best Short Story (all the individual instalments are under 15,000 words, which makes them short stories rather than novellas from the BFS's viewpoint.)

Or, of course, you can vote for something else entirely, as you wish. :)

Thanks for your time, folks, and have a great weekend.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Tales To Terrify: The Children Of Moloch


The brilliant Tales To Terrify podcast is out again, this time featuring my story 'The Children Of Moloch'.

Tales To Terrify was originally presented by Lawrence Santoro, who sadly passed away last year. I never had the pleasure of meeting Larry, but I know he was highly rated as a writer and a host - and most of all, as  a person. I'm very proud to be on the show, which is now presented by Stephen Kilpatrick.

'The Children Of Moloch,' given a superb reading here by J.K. Shepler, was originally published in Death Rattles, an anthology from Gray Friar Press, alongside stories by John Llewellyn Probert, Thana Niveau, Paul Finch, Gary McMahon and editor Gary Fry. It made Ellen Datlow's recommended reading list.

It's a story I'm very proud of, but be warned: it's not a story for the easily upset. It is set in a children's home during the 1980s where many of the children are abused by members of the staff, and is, all told, pretty damned grim.

You can listen to it here, free of charge; if you wish, you can make a donation to help keep Tales To Terrify going.

You can read more about Death Rattles here, and buy it here if you so wish.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Tales Of Redman's Hill. And Gratuitous Cute Hedgehogs.

'Wot no Redman's Hill?'
As you all know by now, my new novel Redman's Hill comes out from Solaris in December 2016.

I know you must all be sobbing your hearts out in disappointment (oi, I told you yesterday about giggling at the back) so in the meantime here's some bullshit here are some wafflings here are some thoughts and musings on how the book came about, over on the Solaris Books website.

Also, here are some wholly unnecessary pictures of cute hedgehogs. Why? Because I'm awesome like that. Because there isn't any cover art yet with which to liven this post up. And because, really, when you come down to it, there's no such thing as an unnecessary cute hedgehog pic.
'ROLL ON NEXT CHRISTMAS!'


Monday, 9 March 2015

Redman's Hill

Me upon hearing the news.
So, the first post of 2015...

Bloody hell: March already. The time whizzes by fast. But I haven't posted because I've had nothing to say, only because I haven't been able to say it...

Well, as you may remember, back last year I intimated I had some big book-related news to break. I've had to bite my tongue while release dates and whatnot were sorted out, but now at last I can say it:

THERE'S GOING TO BE A NEW NOVEL FROM ME!

*bounces around the house squeeing like a mofo*

Ahem.

Me unable to share the news.
The novel will be coming out through those lovely people at Solaris Books (you know, those nice folks who brought you The Faceless) and edited by the steady hand of Jonathan Oliver (who you can blame for both The Faceless AND Tide Of Souls.)

Now, I know you're desperate to know what my new book's about (stop laughing at the back), so here's a bit of a blurb:

The suburb of Crawbeck stands on a hill outside Manchester, overlooking the woodlands of Browton Vale. Alice Collier was happy here, once; now her life’s fallen apart and she’s come
Me, now able to share the news.
back.


Standing on the hilltop, 378 Collarmill Road looks like an ordinary semi-detached house. But sometimes, the world outside the windows isn’t the one you expect to see. And sometimes you’ll turn around and find you’re not alone.

John Revell, an old flame of Alice’s, reluctantly comes to her aid. Together they begin to uncover the secrets and legends of the past – the legends of the Beast of Crawbeck and the mysterious Red Man, and the secrets of the shadowy and ruthless Arodias Thorne.

Alice’s house stands at a gateway between worlds, a gateway she and John must learn to open. Because something ancient has been disturbed, and something dark is coming.

Redman's Hill will be released in December 2016. You can read Solaris' press release here.


Wednesday, 31 December 2014

So, 2014....


It's been an eventful year, both good and bad.

2014 was the year that I moved from Swinton to Liverpool to be with the woman I love. A big decision, but one I'm still very happy about.

2014 was also the year in which we lost a lot of good people. I can't count the actors and musicians and writers that were taken from us, among them Graham Joyce, one of our best novelists. The first anniversary of Joel Lane's passing came and went, and I tried and failed to find something to say. And, this month, it hit closer still to home, when Cate's mum passed away.

I published a few stories, together with a serial that might possibly count as a new novel - and I still have that Very Good News to deliver (but that will have to wait until the New Year.)

I want to take the opportunity to thank the many people whose kindness and support have meant so much of late. My family, my friends - and the reviewers and fans too. A good online review, or a personal message on how much you enjoyed a story or what it meant to you, means one hell of a lot, and it's one of the kindest gifts you can give a writer.

Just a quick round-up, then, of my credits this year:

Stories:
As White As Bone, published in Matter #13 (May 2014, allegedly. I'm still yet to receive either payment or a contributor copy.)
The Lowland Hundred, published in Dead Water, ed. Len Maynard and Mick Sims. (June 2014)
The Battering Stone, published in Horror Uncut, ed. Tom Johnstone and Joel Lane (October 2014)
Night Templar, published in Blasck Static #43, ed. Andy Cox. (November 2014)

Novels:
It may or may not count as a novel - although it will be coming out as a single volume print edition in the future - but if it does, there was Black Mountain. The first episode went up on the Spectral Press website last Christmas as a free taster, before being published as an ebook in early 2014. Thanks to the eagle-eyed James Everington and Anthony Watson and to all kind souls on Amazon for noticing it and reviewing it. And to Simon Marshall-Jones for commissioning it, Graeme Reynolds for the proofing and formatting, and Neil Williams for that stellar artwork.

It was still a tough year professionally, with many crises of confidence. But I'm still here. And the work goes on.

Here's to a better 2015 for us all. Have a good - and safe - New Year, folks.