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Tom

Reviews

Review of Writers on writing – an author’s guide vols 1 – 4 – Edited by Joe Mynhardt

Published by Crystal Lake Publishing   I was sent a copy of this book by Crystal Lake Publishing for review purposes and, initially, I thought it would be a set of essays repeating the same usual advice lines for writing your first book, overcoming writer’s block etc. So I didn’t have any great expectations. How wrong could I have been? Joe Mynhardt has put together an extremely readable and inspiring set of articles from a range of different authors, most…

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Reviews

‘I know your secret’ by Graham Smith – A review

‘I know your secret’ is a police procedural based in Carlisle and the borders, England. As such it immediately captures my attention as this is where I live, and Cumbria rarely gets much notice at the best of times. Another attraction point is the strength of Graham’s debut novel, ‘Snatched from home,’ the timeline of which is immediately prior to this story. I picked up my copy at a local book-signing event laid on by Graham and his comrade in…

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Reviews

How to Write Realistic Zombies and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction by Jackson Dean Chase – a review

Jackson Dean Chase has carved out something of a niche for himself with his series of phrase books and guides to writing. Sure, there are a lot of general self-help writing books out there but not so specifically tailored to the dark fiction genre and certainly not with the author’s inimitable style. He is well qualified to write such a book seeing as he is a best-selling horror and YA author, as well as having an encyclopaedic knowledge of horror…

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Reviews

Sword of the Legion by Matthew Gomez – A review

I have been more than impressed with Matthew Gomez’ short works featured on his website, usually in response to a Chuck Wendig challenge. So it was great to see one of his stories published in New Realm Vol 5 #1 (an online publication you can purchase via the links below.) In my opinion it’s a hard thing to pull off a short story in the fantasy genre as it usually requires literary space for the necessary world-building, or at least…

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Blog Reviews

The Doll Who Ate His Mother by Ramsey Campbell – A review

Ramsey Campbell is often quoted as an influence by many a modern horror writer, and the fact that I hadn’t read any of his output so far was shamefully hanging from my neck like a dead crow of neglect. So I finally purchased his first book, The Doll Who Ate His Mother second hand from Amazon. Doll is Campbell’s first novel and is quite a short read.  Here’s a brief synopsis: The main character, Clare, is driving her emotionally unstable…

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Blog

Interview with horror author Mark Lukens

This week’s interview is with Mark Lukens, US horror author. He’s already built up an impressive catalogue of finely crafted stories, the latest of which is entitled ‘Ancient Enemy.’ It was my pleasure to catch up with him via cyber-space and hear about his work, inspirations and views on the current horror market. As usual, the questions are posed for the most part in either x or y format – so read on, connoisseurs of chaos, and experience the muse…

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Reviews

Review of ‘Some will not sleep’ by Adam Nevill

I was initially given an ARC of Some will not sleep, but once I’d seen Ritual Press’ hardback signed version I just had to buy a copy. Before I delve into the stories, a word has to be said about the production quality of the copy I received. In short, it is superb. The spec of the imprint includes 120gsm Munken Pure paper and the cover bound in Wibalin boards with printed endpapers, together with a foiled spine and head…

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Stories

North of Lonesome Creek

“That’s it, just beyond that fallen oak,” the old woman said, pointing at the splintered trunk of a tree recently felled by storm, subsidence—or something else. John Absolom pulled the hood of his cagoule back, letting the rain patter on his scalp and form rivulets down his neck. He raised a pair of field glasses and focused on the white fleck of raw wood indicated by their octogenarian guide. “No blackening,” he said and flicked the matchstick in his teeth…

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Blog

‘Why are you brandishing that nail-gun?’

Greetings to all Connoisseurs of Chaos, To say the last week has been a busy one would be an understatement. So I thought I’d bring you up to date on some really cool things that are happening in the run-up to Halloween.   Firstly, my next book, ‘Beasts, Brutes and Abominations’ is ready for publication. Here’s the timetable: 15th October onwards – E-book available for pre-order at full price of $2.99. If you’ve liked my facebook page then you’ll be…

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Resources for writers

The Ideas Library

This is a picture that my wife, Helen, took of one of my favourite walks. It’s a place called The Ridge’ and features this inspiring walk through a tunnel of Beech trees. It represents an ancient glacial deposit from the last Ice Age and, as such, has an air of mystery about it. Not least because in the Autumn you can often see fairy rings produced by toadstools to the side of the main path. There’s also a host of…

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