Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Terror Tales of London - all set to order!

Well, this is something I've been waiting to announce for quite some time. The latest in my TERROR TALES series, TERROR TALES OF LONDON, is at last available for pre-order, and is due to ship in two to three weeks, and how about that cover from the impossibly talented STEVE UPHAM!!!

Those who've been following the TERROR TALES series, which I've had the pleasure of editing since 2010 for GRAY FRIAR PRESS, will know that we are slowly but surely working our way around the United Kingdom, and may even go beyond these shores at some point, in a quest to present paperback anthologies of combined fact and fiction, most of the latter brand new and original, and all of a most chilling and spookifying nature.

London, the first purely urban district we've focused on, was always going to present its own unique opportunities for the writers participating, and trust me, they have not disappointed. All of them have seized this chance with both hands, and have contributed some amazing horror stories, introducing us to a host of monsters, ghosts, demons and killers - and all in the heart of England's capital.

Perhaps I should stop blabbing now, and let the back-cover blurb and the stellar TOC put you fully in the picture.

The city of London – whose gold-paved streets are lost in choking fog and echo to the trundling of the plague-carts, whose twisting back alleys ring with cries of ‘Murder!’, whose awful Tower is stained with the blood of princes and paupers alike …

The night stalker of Hammersmith
The brutal butchery in Holborn
The depraved spirit of Sydenham
The fallen angel of Dalston
The murder den at Notting Hill
The haunted sewers of Bermondsey
The red-eyed ghoul of Highgate

And many more chilling tales by Adam Nevill, Mark Morris, Christopher Fowler, Nina Allan, Nicholas Royle and other award-winning masters and mistresses of the macabre. 

The Tiger by Nina Allan
London After Midnight
The Soldier by Roger Johnson
Queen Rat
Train, Night by Nicholas Royle
The Horror At Berkeley Square
The Angels Of London by Adam Nevill
Boudicca’s Bane
Capital Growth by Gary Fry
The Black Dog Of Newgate
The Thames – Rosalie Parker
The Other Murderers
The Red Door by Mark Morris
The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
Undesirable Residence by Barbara Roden
Nosferatu In Highgate
The Horror Writer by Jonathan Oliver
Butchery In Bleeding-Heart Yard
Perry In Seraglio by Christopher Fowler
The Monster Of Hammersmith
Someone To Watch Over You by Marie O’Regan
The Black Death Returns
The Outcast Dead by David J. Howe
What Stirs Below?
The Bloody Tower by Anna Taborska

As always, we intersperse alleged true tales of London terror with brand new works of nightmarish fiction in an effort to create as real a sense of time and place as we can. 

For those to whom all this is pretty new, TERROR TALES OF LONDON is the fourth in the series to date. Thus far, we've published TERROR TALES OF THE LAKE DISTRICT, TERROR TALES OF THE COTSWOLDS and TERROR TALES OF EAST ANGLIA, from each one of which stories have been selected for inclusion in Year's Best Horror anthologies ... something we're very proud of, as it shows that the authors we use have totally bought into the horror-folklore ethos of this series, and are absolutely hitting the spot in terms of their writing.

But don't take my word for it. All these titles are still available either from GRAY FRIAR PRESS themselves, or Amazon. Why not check 'em out for yourself?

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Setting out to create the perfect murder

There are quite a few cool things to report this week, starting – and I’m particularly happy with this one – with the brand new crime anthology I’m featured in, THE PERFECT MURDER, which is now available for pre-order from Amazon.

Bearing in mind that this all-new e-antho, which will be published on June 10, can be yours completely free of charge, is this an opportunity you can really afford to miss?

Aside from my own novella, HIM!, it also includes brand new thrillers from authors like JACQUI ROSE, LUCA VESTA, MARK SENNEN, LAURENCE O’BRYAN and MICHAEL RUSSELL.  

There are more than likely to be a few chilling nights this summer if you get hold of that one, I’d venture to suggest.

Meanwhile, on the subject of crime and crime writing, here’s a link to a new three-e-book bundle, BEST OF BRITISH CRIME, which STALKERS will feature in next month (to be published on June 20, price £6.99). TOUCH by Mark Sennen and COLD KILL by Neil White are included in the package.

Still on the subject of crime and thrillers, I’ve recently been flattered to be asked to write a guest blog for SHOTS, the excellent crime and thriller ezine, in which I tackle the thorny issue of why I’ve moved the main focus of my writing away from the horror genre.

In truth, I still do pen the occasional horror story - more than the occasional one in fact, but there is no doubt that I’m now concentrating very hard on the thriller genre. However, rather than regurgitate everything I say there right here, why don’t you chaps just toddle along and have a look for yourselves – feel free to follow the LINK

Many thanks to ace crime-blogger AYO ONATADE for honouring me with her invitation, and taking charge of that article.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Old terrors linger in our rural backwaters

Okay, first off – the big development of the week is that I’m slowly but surely joining the modern world. I’ve at last made my presence felt on Twitter. I can be reached there, should anyone desire to follow my inane ramblings, at @paulfinchauthor.

The next bit of news this week is that I’m able to announce, with some excitement, that a major British film company has expressed interest in a novella of mine, The Stain, which was first published back in 2007 in my collection, STAINS.

I can’t say too much yet for fear of putting the mockers on it. And let’s not kid ourselves, ‘expressing interest’ means nothing more than it says – they are considering it as a possible project, and that’s all. No one has asked if there’s a script. No one has taken out an option. There are no guarantees of any sort. In fact, the only guarantee in the world of movie adaptations is that, from the moment of first interest to the day of principal photography can be such an agonisingly long wait that Ice Ages will have been and gone in the meantime (and that’s assuming you ever actually reach that hallowed final stage).
But let’s not be boring either. It’s always a bit exciting, and without bits of excitement what would life be? For those who don’t remember, or haven’t yet read it, The Stain tells the story of a struggling film company’s attempt to plan the sequel to a legendary 1960s horror movie, and their ill-fated efforts to write the script at the same location used for the original: a gothic mansion in remote woodland, which has apparently has had a disturbed atmosphere ever since the cameras stopped rolling. I mean come on, what on Earth could go wrong?

Still on the subject of spooky stories, I’ve also heard, and am chuffed to bits, that two superb contributions to last year’s Terror Tales books – The Cotswold Olimpicks by Simon Kurt Unsworth (TERROR TALES OF THE COTSWOLDS) and The Fall of the King of Babylon by Mark Valentine (TERROR TALES OF EAST ANGLIA), have both been selected by editor Stephen Jones for inclusion in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR 24, which will be out later this year.

Well done and congratulations to those guys, both of whom truly bought into the Terror Tales ethos by creating stories combining mystery, folklore and nightmarish horror. 

It’s always gratifying to see this kind of recognition, but I had no doubt in my mind, on first accepting these submissions, that they would catch the eye.

The Cotswold Olimpicks concerns the arrival of an outsider at the famous ‘Cotswold Games’, a celebration of rural eccentricity, which has occurred in that lush part of the world every spring bank holiday since 1612. There is lots of singing, dancing and drinking, but as you know, it’s never a good idea to take these ancient countryside customs lightly – something deeper and darker nearly always lies beneath.

The Fall of the King of Babylon takes us to old Ely, and Babylon, the decayed warehouse district of the city, now cut off by the River Ouse and degenerated into a den of thieves whom the authorities seem unable to touch. Of course that isn’t the end of the matter. There are ancient forces in this remote, mist-begirt landscape, and they’ll have their say as well. 

By the way, TERROR TALES OF LONDON, the fourth in the series, is now in its final stages of production. Keep watching this space for cover art, table of contents and preorder details.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Big day at the Book Fair, plus Dark Hollow

The London Book Fair was an amazing experience. For those who don’t know, it’s a massive book-publishing trade fair held each April in Earl's Court, and in terms of its importance to the industry, it is these days regarded as being second only to the Frankfurt Book Fair.

With that in mind it was quite an amazing (and humbling) experience to go down there this year as a guest and see posters everywhere depicting STALKERS and my next novel in the Mark Heckenburg series, SACRIFICE.

Below right is a shot taken during the fair, in which I sit on a panel with two fonts of wisdom on various book-related matters, authors Andy Briggs (on my left) and Conrad Williams (on my right). Top literary agent, Julian Friedmann, (seated far left) is the compere.

On the subject of STALKERS, it is still selling well. We’ve now passed 110,000 sales, which is something I could never have dreamed of when it was first bought by Avon Books, and on top of that, we’ve now sold it to Piper-Verlag, based in Munich, so a German language version of the book will be coming out at some point soon. Meanwhile, pre-orders for SACRIFICE are pretty exciting too. They’ve just breached 7,000, which isn’t half bad, I suppose, considering the book is only due for publication in July. I can also at this stage exclusively reveal (though it's possible I may have mentioned this already on Facebook, that the third book in the Heck series will be called HUNTED, and this, I think, is scheduled for publication next February.

Still on the subject of Avon Books and HarperCollins, I’m pleased to announce that a brand new short story of mine, HIM! – though it leans towards being a novella, in terms of length – is included the publisher’s brand new crime-oriented e-anthology, THE PERFECT MURDER. More info on when this is available soon, though the antho will contain work by some of Avon’s current hottest-selling crime and thriller authors – folk like Jacqui Rose, Mark Sennen, Luca Vesta and Mike Russell. What’s more, the rumour is that it will be available absolutely free – at least for a time. So it’ll be well worth keeping your eye open for that one.

On a totally different matter now, the financial keystones are finally falling into place for the movie adaptation of Brian Keene’s best selling horror novel, DARK HOLLOW, which I co-scripted with Paul Campion, and there is a distinct possibility that we could enter pre-production in July, with the shoot perhaps scheduled for August and September.

And just to prove that this blog isn’t always just about me, here are the terrible twosome – Brian on the left and Paul on the right, captured cooking up some promo stuff for the movie.