Q: How have things been since we last chatted a year ago?
Pretty damned good all in all. We’ve become official permanent residents of Canada, so I can stop worrying about being thrown out of the country. And the writing is flowing pretty smoothly at the moment. When it gets like that, I’m usually a happy chap.
Q: How does it feel to be a best seller in the Amazon digital charts?
Pretty damned strange. As of writing this, The Invasion is in the top 10 of both the SF and Horror charts for the Kindle on Amazon.com (and is top 20 in the horror chart for all books) — it’s something of a minor hit. Great to see one of my books up there with the big guys, but somehow it doesn’t feel quite real. Maybe it’s because it’s -only- an ebook and as an old fart I still don’t attach the same value to them. Or maybe it’s because I just don’t want to acknowledge the fact that my first SF book has done so well, which might mean I’ve been writing in the wrong genre all this time 🙂
Q: How have things been on the publishing front?
As always, swings and roundabouts. Some things have gone really well this year, like sales to anthologies, and the GWP chapbooks and ebooks. Others, like print appearances of novels for example, have been plagued by delays, mostly caused by the current poor state of economies and people’s bankbooks. But there are signs that improvements are on the way in that area, so fingers crossed.
Q: Can you give away hints as to what to expect from the new Midnight Eye novel.
In “The Skin Game” Derek Adams gets hired by a Scottish Lord to investigate someone who is after an item in the Lord’s collection – a belt made of wolf hair. In short order the Lord is dead, the belt has turned an unsuspecting punter in a werewolf, and a cult of werewolf wannabes are after Derek. To say much more would be to give too much of the plot away…
Coming later this year, both in print and ebook.
Q: If I remember correctly you went through a small period of a funk, how did you manage to get yourself out of it?
I was in a rut for a wee while. It happens to me every so often, and the way out of it, for me anyway, is usually to write something out of my normal comfort zone. This time it was “The Invasion” which is Sci-Fi. (mostly) I found while writing it that it brought up several new ideas for short stories in a Lovecraftian vein, so I wrote them, and they in turn led to some new Carnacki ideas, so I’ve been writing them. The next time I’m in a rut, I might try a western and see where that takes me.
Q: You seem to be getting quite a few credits along some big names, how does that feel?
Bloody brilliant. Just this year my anthology sales will see me alongside the likes of Ramsey Campbell, Gary Braunbeck, Tom Piccirilli, Steve Rasnic Tem, Stephen Volk and many others. I’m even going to be alongside an H P Lovecraft reprint (Pickman’s Model). It makes me feel like a real writer instead of somebody just bullshitting his way through.
Q: What projects are you working on now?
I’m about a third of the way into a new novel, The Creeping Kelp. A Wyndhamesque disaster novel about mutant seaweed 🙂 I’m having fun with it. Also eight stories done of my proposed set of twelve new Carnacki tales. I love writing these as well, and seem to fall naturally into the right ‘voice’ for them. I can see myself writing even more.
I also have a couple of short stories I need to get to, for anthologies I’ve been invited to contribute to.
Q: Depending on who you listen to these are troubling times for the genre, what’s your take on the current events, especially with Dorchester going digital.
Things change. I’ve been around long enough to remember when horror was -really- in the ghetto, and there’s a long way to go before it gets that bad. That said, there’s no denying that the industry as a whole is changing. Those that don’t adapt, won’t survive, it’s that simple. I’m not sure that Dorchester going digital is a sign of them trying to adapt though. I’ve heard rumors that they’ve been in trouble financially for quite a while now, and this move maybe more a sign of that rather than any change in the horror publishing industry as a whole.
Q: How do you think this will affect the small press?
As I said, adapt or survive will be the name of the game. Those that embrace digital wholeheartedly will prosper I believe. I’d hate to see the small press becoming purely a limited edition niche market though. I have fond memories of saddle-stapled pamphlets and photocopied covers. To me that’s what the small press is for… amateurs and enthusiasts finding a way to express themselves. And there will always be a place for that. It just might not be in print.
Q: So what can we expect in the next 12 months?
To start with there’s a whole bunch of anthology appearances
– Mountain Magic: Spellbinding Tales of Appalachia (Woodland Press)
– Specters in Coal Dust (Woodland Press)
– Call of Lovecraft (Papercut Press)
– Watch (Imprint Phoenix)
– Cthulhu 2012 (Mythos Books)
– Gaslight Arcanum (Edge Publishing)
I also have a story coming at Escapepod, and another in a new pro market Daily Science Fiction.
Then there’s the release of The Midnight Eye: The Skin Game
There’s also the ebook release of all of my Black Death Books back catalogue, which includes the Watchers trilogy and all three Derek Adams books.
Then there’s a slew of new chapbooks from GWP, a bunch more ebooks and, if the wind is fair, print releases of Island Life, The Valley, Berserker and a couple of short story collections.
There’s a film in production in South Africa that I co-wrote, “The 5” (girls with big guns spouting philosophy while offing people spectacularly), and the possibility of the film of “The Amulet” getting the green light to go.
All that, and I am trying to sell a new novel provisionally titled “Hunter’s Dock”. Fingers crossed, it’s under “serious consideration” with a publisher at the moment.
Busy, busy, busy.