Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The eagle has landed!

I am delighted to say that yesterday I received my author's copies of my new ghost story collection, The Sea Change & other stories, published by Swan River Press in Dublin.
(Excuse the murkiness of the photo - I took it after dark with Photo Booth. There is no excuse for the appalling floral wall-paper however.)
The Sea Change is an entirely separate project from my novel-writing. My novels usually fall into the thriller/crime category (though up at the literary end of the thriller pool) but the stories in The Sea Change are all supernatural ones. I've been a fan of ghost stories since I was a child - I love the work of M.R.James and my bookshelves are home to a host of tatty old Fontana ghost story collections. It was perhaps natural therefore that my very first forays into fiction would be creepy tales. I say "first forays" but although my first published short story, Nathair Dhubh, appears in the collection, so does Alberic de Mauleon, an M.R.James prequel that first appeared in Sarob Press' Ghosts and Scholars Book of Shadows last autumn.
The stories have a variety of settings including the South of France, the German Eifel and rural Slovakia. Anyone who has read The Vanishing of Katharina Linden or Wish Me Dead may recognise the setting of Grauer Hans as Bad M√ľnstereifel. There is also a story based on my experiences of sub-aqua diving - I always felt there was a spooky story in that! You can also read my ending to M.R.James' unfinished tale The Game of Bear, which up until now has only been available in the subscription magazine The M.R.James Ghosts and Scholars Newsletter
One or two readers have asked me whether the tales are "terrifying"or look-under-the-bed creepy etc. I can reassure anyone who is not fond of extreme horror that these are (I hope) spine-tingling rather than gross - more abbey than abattoir, one might say.
The book is available for order online (world wide) at Order The Sea Change
Given that the book is a hardbacked edition with dust cover and a limited print run, the cost is obviously higher than for my other books. I am pleased to say therefore that Swan River have produced a free sampler eBook which includes one of my stories - Self Catering. This is a great way of sampling individual stories from different Swan River authors before you commit to buying a whole collection!  Details are here: Swan River Reader
I'd like to say a VERY BIG THANKYOU to everyone concerned in bringing The Sea Change to publication - Editor Brian J. Showers whose boundless energy has pushed this project through, Meggan Kehrli who created the cover design, Jason Zerrillo who did the beautiful dust jacket painting and Jim Garrison who created the design for the board covers. Also Iona Grant for the photograph (taken at a secret location on the Scottish coast!) that inspired Jason's gorgeous painting, and Jim Rockhill for proof reading the book. I shall shut up now before I start to sound like I am presenting the Oscars...

Above: Bad M√ľnstereifel, scene of Grauer Hans, one of the stories in The Sea Change.

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