Thursday, 26 February 2015

Death by a Mother's Hand - R.I.P.

I think I started doing an obituary for my stories when no one wanted them. Thankfully I sell a story here and there now, but it's tradition. You can't buck it. 

So, 'Death by a Mother's Hand'. I wrote the first draft in two days, but only got round to finishing the final draft today. Which is pretty good timing. It's a Mulrones' novella. Next month another Mulrones' novella is out from Darkfuse, Flesh and Coin. The month after that will see the rerelease of the first Mulrones' story, 'A Scarecrow to Watch over Her.' 


Flesh and Coin, Kindle and Limited Edition Hardback, 10th March.

Anyway, that's that, then.

Death by a Mother's Hand, R.I.P.

11th November 2014 - 26th February 2015

Love you.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Why science makes people just as miserable as religion and other answers to the world's problems...

Wondering about depression, the sheer hopelessness of it all that people feel, all the time or just sometimes when things get tough. But because I'm a wordy twat, then I started wondering just what it is that causes this common dissatifaction in people's hearts and mind.

I think it's science's fault, just as much as it is society, religion and all the other constraints we put on our understanding of the wider world around us.

Science tells us it has the answer. But it doesn't, of course it doesn't. It's a panacea, no better than the Daily Mail telling a hopeful elderly audience that there's a cure for dementia, cancer, arthritis...just around the corner.

Science tells us it can answer the fundemental questions of the universe...as does religion.

And that's the problem, isn't it? That we want answers. We want to know. People don't want to sit in the pub of life any longer, bemoaning the state of the world and musing on the rights and wrongs of life. No, we want to look it up on Google. We want to know.

And in this endless quest for answers, we seem to forget that element of chaos that surrounds us all. We strive for a happiness that isn't always there, read books with dumb titles like 'Secrets of Happy People!'

All the time, looking for answers, wanting that sure thing, we've lost our sense of fascination. Isn't there, sometimes, something wonderful, something liberating, about not knowing? Wasn't it more fun, in the pub of life, when people talked and mused and wondered instead of looking for answers on Google?

Anyway...thought for the day and all that. I'm like fucking Reader's Digest, me.

Love you!


Monday, 23 February 2015

Flesh and Coin and the Mulrones

With the release of my third novella with Darkfuse, Flesh and Coin, just around the corner, I thought I'd write a blog about the Mulrones. The Mulrones feature in this story, as they have in other stories...and will again.


Flesh and Coin
Released March 2015 
Pre-orders from Amazon, or, directly from Darkfuse.com

As a reader, I always enjoyed Stephen King stories when they returned to Castle Rock. That recurring theme, place, or character appealed to me. When I read Gemmell's Drenai stories I saw that you could continue stories, with a larger theme, without those stories ever having to be sequential. The first time I met the Mulrones, in 'Scarecrow' (released Blood Bound Books, reissued as 'A Scarecrow to Watch Over Her') I knew I'd come back to them. I just didn't know how. They never were central to the story. I haven't written anything entirely from the Mulrones' viewpoint...I don't think I will. But they're the pillars that these stories revolve around. 

In Deadlift, they're present. In the background, certainly. But that story concerns a mask, a rather evil artefact, and that mask concerns the Mulrones. One Mulrone in particular - Ma Mulrone. 


Deadlift - Amazon wherever you are, or direct from Darkfuse.com

To us, Ma Mulrone would seem, I think, inherently evil. But she isn't. She simply has a different perspective. She's not, after all, quite like us. She's very, very old. She probably hails from the original travelling people, the Romany, but nowdays she's something else. She's the matriach and the driving force behind her clan, the Mulrones. Her intentions, her thoughts, can't ever be clear to us, but she's driven mainly by a stern sense of what's right, and what's wrong. The fact that people like us, with our comfortable houses and smart suits and our cornflakes for breakfast can't understand her idea of right and wrong is irrelevant to her. 

She's more about balance, I think. If anything, she's the scales. For there to be balance, though, there has to be something to weigh...and it's the Walkers who weigh in. Not against her, specifically...just, again, a different people. 

The Walkers are featured in a novel, 'The Noose and Gibbet' (originally published by Anachron Press, to be reissued soon by Darkfuse as 'Hangman'). They are, perhaps, the ones that plant things like hope, and redemption, in humanity. Ma Mulrone's more of a farmer of people. She's the one that cuts down them down when they get out of hand. 


Available from Amazon.

So, that's the present. The future of the Mulrones? A novel entitled 'Highwayman', set in the same universe, that deals with the Walkers, but with the mask from Deadlift, too. And I'm just putting the finishing touches to another Mulrones' novella, 'Death by a Mother's Hand'. 


Available from Amazon/Pre-Orders.

Thanks for reading. 

Love you! x

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

State of the Union Address. Not really. It's a blog.


First up, that there's my latest book - Masters of Blood and Bone. Some early reviews are in, so I'm sharing a couple here just in case someone want to buy it and, at a remove, fund my next beer run...

'Easily my favorite book of the year [...] From the very first words on the page this book reminded me of Neil Gaiman's writing (my favorite author). As I continued through, I realized it's the perfect respite for anyone suffering American Gods hangover (since there still isn't another book in what Gaiman has always referred to as a series).' - tsundokubooks

'“Masters of Blood and Bone” combines the quirkiness of Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas series with the hardcore mythology of Clive Barker to create an adventure that is both entertaining and terrifying. This is horror adventure at its finest. Holland and Ank must battle evil across a world that is at times sublime, hilarious, and terrifying. Saunders gives the reader characters that are both larger-than-life yet also supremely human so that the reader is given a rare journey through the end of the world in a fantastic yet accessible way that turns the reader into a participant rather than an observer.' - Examiner.com

'Craig Saunders has taken the detective genre, by way of urban paranormal noir, and run it through the blender with a strong measure of high fantasy, and written with a deft, contemplative style ripe with intense imagery. [...] Saunders has a terrific writing voice, and he’s able to blend these disparate genres seamlessly. [...] Holland is a great protagonist and his daughter is a wonderful character filled with an agency of her own. Ank is a real spit-fire and a far cry from the damsel in distress, despite being trapped in a rather peculiar and threatening situation. In short, I found Masters of Blood and Bone to be a perfect read, and I loved every page of it. There’s just so much literary panache and noir-cool that it’s utterly impossible for me to not fall in love with this book. [...] Highly recommended. - Michael Patrick Hicks, author of Convergence.

Now Masters Of Blood and Bone is one of those books that you can just sit back and read, almost in awe and appreciation of a major talent. First off the style of writing keeps you pinned to every page, there's a perpetual darkness to the writing but the thing that stood out most for me was the story and the scope of ideas on show. - Paul Read or Dead

Finally, two I'm very happy about, because they're both authors I really like.

'All the imagination of a Clive Barker novel in a succinct, easy-to-read package. All fun. Zero filler. Craig Saunders has done it again. Holland and Ank are two of the coolest, most lovable characters I've read. These two alone make the book hard as shit to put down. Add in the crazy, over-the-top fantasy/wizardry/mythology plot and you're bound to read this novel in a single sitting. The chapters are uber short, and Saunders's writing it lightning fast.' - Edward Lorn, Author of Bay's End and Dastardly Bastards.

'There's this phrase I've seen in blurbs on old King paperbacks that I've always wondered about: "compulsively readable." I've never been sure what that phrase means, but I want to use it now...Masters of Blood and Bone by Craig Saunders is compulsively readable. Saunder's writing style is snappy and fluid. It is fast-paced and violent, yet there's also depth. Great storytelling and characters.' - Keith Deininger, Author of Marrow's Pit and The Harrow.

***

Second up, you might have noticed I've redesigned the blog...kind of. It's a work-in-progress, and I'm hoping/vaguely thinking that it might be time to set up a real website. Not sure yet if it would be an improvement, especially as blogger now allows me to upload enough pages to put up samples of all my novellas/novellas on Amazon (I haven't included anthologies and periodicals, because it'd be overkill). Speaking of murder (was I?) I killed 'The Island Archive' blog, too. Mostly because it was pointless, but also because I just couldn't be bothered. One blog's enough, really ;)

Love you!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Update of the Week! Ta-Da!


Quick update on releases and release schedules. Masters of Blood and Bone is out. I'm going to do an update on this in more depth soon. Initial reviews are pretty good, averaging at 4.5 stars, which is about as good as anyone can hope for on Amazon...but more on that in the next update.


Flesh and Coin will be released next month (March 2015) Pre-Orders are live now.


A Scarecrow to Watch over Her will be released April 2015. Pre-Orders are live now.



Insulation will be released May 2015. Pre-Orders are live now.

The End! Love you - more soon.