Crimefest 2015


I’ll be attending this year’s CrimeFest in Bristol, and participating in a panel on the Friday (12.30 – 13.20) called Private Eyes And Lone Wolves: Lacking The Backing Of The Law along with fellow writers Frances Brody, Rosie Claverton, Cal Moriarty and Ruth Downie. Between 14.10 and 14.30 on the same day I’ll also be giving a talk about the blurred borderline between crime and horror fiction.

Forbidden Planet Halloween Signing


No Tricks, just Treats this Hallowe’en as the greatest names in British horror gather downstairs at the FORBIDDEN PLANET LONDON MEGASTORE ( to sign their terrifying tomes on Saturday, October 25, from 1:00–2:00 pm.
Here’s a list of the authors, artists and editors who participating:
Pat Cadigan
Ramsey Campbell
Michael Chislett
Adrian Cole
Peter Crowther
Les Edwards
Jo Fletcher
Christopher Fowler
Amanda Foubister
Stephen Gallagher
Stephen Jones
Paul Kane
Alison Littlewood
Paul McAuley
Gary McMahon
Lou Morgan
Mark Morris
Kim Newman
Thana Niveau 
Reggie Oliver
Sarah Pinborough
John Llewellyn Probert
Joe Roberts
Lynda E. Rucker
Mark Samuels
Robert Shearman
Laurence Staig
Lavie Tidhar
Simon Kurt Unsworth
Stephen Volk
Conrad Williams
There will be in-store give-aways and, for the first 10 people to buy all five ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! titles on the day, a prize draw for the latest Sony XperiaTM Z3 phone (worth more than £470!) to tie-in with the publication of ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! ENDGAME.
For those who cannot make it into London, you can pre-order your signed books through the FORBIDDEN PLANET website.
Following the signing, many of the authors will move across to The Bloomsbury Tavern, 236 Shaftsbury Avenue, where THE BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY is hosting an Open Day in the Upstairs Bar, and where you will be able to socialise with the writers, artists and publishers into the early evening. There will also be a raffle of books featuring some of the authors present.
So, please come along and join us on Saturday the 25th for THE GREATEST HALLOWE’EN HORROR SIGNING EVER!

Shadows & Tall Trees


On October 7th I posted a blog about the Gothic Manchester Festival, and how I was hoping to write a new short story in time for a reading I was scheduled to perform at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation along with Ramsey Campbell and Stephen McGeagh. I intended to write something “brisk and baleful”, around 1500 words. Well, I didn’t. Not brisk, anyway. It ended up being around 6000 words, and I ditched my original title, Way Out Via 30 Steps (although I like that title too much to discard it completely). It is now called Shaddertown, and it will be appearing early next year in the excellent Shadows & Tall Trees (edited by Michael Kelly), alongside Alison Moore, Kaaron Warren, Myriam Frey, David Surface, CM Muller, Robert Levy, Charles Wilkinson, Tara Isabella Burton, VH Leslie, Brett Cox, Michael Wehunt, Ralph Robert Moore and Ray Cluley.

Hit me with your Twitter stick

Somewhere under Manchester...

Somewhere under Manchester…

As part of the Gothic Manchester Festival I’ll be reading (alongside Ramsey Campbell and Stephen McGeagh) at an event run by the excellent Twisted Tales people (27th October). The evening is an opportunity for us to talk about why we have chosen to set so many of our stories in Manchester. It was lovely to be invited along, but after confirming my attendance I began to have a bit of a panic. How many stories had I actually set in Manchester? I went through my files… plenty set in Warrington and London… a handful set abroad in the Charente-Maritime, in Venice, in the Northern Territories of Australia… but Manchester? Er… one. Which is fine, I suppose. I could read a bit from that (Late Returns, set in Didsbury, if you’re wondering), and try to relax this idea of boundaries to include Warrington while we discussed our reasons and motivations.

A Warrington skyline, 2006

A Warrington skyline, 2006

But I thought I’d use my Manchester shyness as a spur to write something new. And something audience-friendly. By which I mean short. Something brisk and baleful, under 1500 words if I could manage it.

I’d been on a tour of Manchester’s subterranean tunnels and long wanted to use that as a location in a story, but it was only while travelling back from Ormskirk last week, when I saw a sign at a railway station (WAY OUT IN 30 STEPS) that I made connections and felt the prickling of an idea. There was every chance it would simply end up on an index card under a pile of Urgent and Pending and Do this NOW you complete sac-head. So I started posting it on Twitter, deciding that I couldn’t cope with the shame of not finishing a project that I was releasing piecemeal to the public.

It’s first draft, warts-and-all, so please be gentle with me if you decide to tag along. You might hate it (you might even enjoy it), but remember first and foremost it’s there to act as a fire under my backside…