Thursday, 27 July 2017

My George A. Romero Wake

I had a little wake for George A. Romero on my own, in the shed. He was a big chap for me and many others who were formed in the 80's. Were the 80's the heyday of horror? I don't know, but it's a thing...not necessarily a true thing, but a thing.

Romero was zombies. I quite like zombies. Cute, bits falling off, all shambly and oooooharrrg - teenagers without all the attitude. If the 80's were the heyday of horror, perhaps this is the heyday of the zombie - right here and now. And that's Romero, isn't it? The Walking Dead, 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, Juan of the Dead (brilliant Cuban zombie romp), and on, and on...zombies are entrenched in modern popular culture and Romero's the father of all that and a bag of doggy biscuits. As a legacy he left us a great big zombie baby and it's growing at an alarming rate.

Romero's favourites of mine, though, were Creepshow, Monkey Shines, and The Crazies...I watched Creepshow at the end of the week as a final salute, but plenty of you have seen that, and this isn't about movies, per se...this little post is about how I felt about them.

This was my week of horror movies - my Diary of the Dead...hohoho.

Day One - Sunday: I have a confession to make - I don't like horror movies. I don't enjoy be grossed out, freaked out, or bored. Sometimes I appreciate horror movies - the construction, the acting, the vibe...but very rarely do I 'enjoy' them.

I started off light, like warming up for a working out I didn't want to do, and watched 'Scary Movie'. The idea, this week, was to force myself to watch movies I'd never seen, and force myself to watch them beginning to end whether I was enjoying them or not. Scary Movie sucked. Building up to a slightly heavier set, I watched 'Cabin in the Woods'. I didn't know anything about it, and going in after 'Scary Movies' I found it pleasantly enjoyable, and shouting at the TV for the characters to die. Overall, it was a good day. Scary Movie 1/10 if I'd been a teenager. Cabin, 7/10. I surprised myself, thinking I didn't like horror movies and frankly enjoying Cabin - proved myself wrong straight off the bat.

Monday: 'Viral'. Cheap and cheerful, mildly annoying characters, and a maddening refusal for most of them to die. I enjoyed it well enough, though. I'll give it a 6/10.

Tuesday: Stupid movie day. Further confession - I've torn my shoulder and couldn't be bothered to search for a movie, so I just watched what I could on Netflix. 'Funhouse Massacre' and 'Cockneys vs Zombies'. Both absolutely shit, hence my enjoyment factor was multiplied by two as I generally like shit movies as long as they're watchable. 2/10 on face value, with a x2 multiplier for campy-shitness rounding them up to a 4/10.

Wednesday: Freddie vs Jason. I watched this for nostalgia, more than enjoyment. It was fine. Middle of the road. 5/10. I followed it up with 'Let us Prey'. I tend to quite like anything from the Irish Film Board, and I really enjoy Liam Cunningham. It was daft, over the top, and very watchable. I'm giving it a 7/10. One of the better nights in my horror week.

Thursday: Jaded, I think. I searched in vain for something on Netflix I could be bothered to watch. I tried 'House of the Dead II' just because I quite like stupid video game adaptations, but it was unbelievably dire. I like 'Resident Evil', even 'Doom'...they're just fun. This, however, wasn't. I said earlier about the Irish Film Board, who were behind 'Stitches'. I tried it and hated every single character so much I turned it off. I watched 'The Void' after that. The set up was great, the effects, the pace...but my god. The dialogue and script were so awful it killed it. I didn't watch either to the end, and Thursday was a bust, and nearly broke the week for me. So, after resolving to watch every film this week 'til the end, I failed three for three.

Friday: At this point, I didn't have the stomach for anything horror, or a movie at all. I ended up watching 'The Tournament', for no reason at all. It was watchable (Robert Carlyle, Kelly Hu and Ving Rhames - and Liam Cunningham, again). Nice change of scene. 6 or 7/10.

Saturday: Thinking about how I felt about horror. Loads of other films to watch, but honestly? I enjoy writing horror, but watching horror feels a little like a busman's holiday. I don't want to watch most of the things other people watch and rave about. I like sci-fi, and action, and comedy, and for preference in the horror field - comedy horror, or cheesy horror...overwhelming dread and unrelenting misery just aren't my bag. I thought about a rewatch of something funny (Tucker and Dale vs Evil, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, Final Girls) but watch this instead:

I've been thinking about horror the whole week. That's what a wake is, isn't it? A farewell, but a chance to reflect, too. A farewell to Romero, certainly.

It's not a dead genre. It's flourishing. Novelists like me struggle, maybe, but the horror genre (with regard to movies and games in particular) is massive and shows no sign atrophy.

Shame for me, good for many others.

Saturday night, after Creepshow, I turned off the PC gratefully, sank into my armchair with Joe Hill's 'The Fireman', and for the first time in a week enjoyed something with no reservations, no qualms, and no expectations at all.

Love you x

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Reading 'The Mirror and the Chair' from 'Trapped Within', a charity anth...

Me, reading words from a book.

PIG by Craig Saunders and Edward Lorn

Here you go. PIG. Craig and Edward, sitting in a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Sort of. Actually, I sat in my shed, Edward sat in his office. I'm in Norfolk, England, he's in Alabama, U.S.A.

There was literally zero kissing, but we did manage to write a novel together. 

Here's the skinny:


A quiet town, the kind of place old folk go to watch the sea roll in and the years roll out. The kind of place guys like the man in the pig mask can make an easy dime, or an easy killing. 

An ancient entity...

An inhuman intelligence crawls up the shore and sprawls over Pointvilla. A thing capable of stealing bodies, and drawing minds into one, into it - the MIND. An intelligence pulling Pig Mask inward as others swirl around Pig himself, like he’s a planet, a force, and the rest are drawn by gravity. 


Ray and Bill are kin. The entity might understand loneliness, and the drive to consume and kill and torment...but it doesn’t understand brothers and sisters. It doesn’t understand siblings. Some people are tied together by more than blood. 

In a town at one with the Mind, survival comes down to brothers and sisters and old dudes with a penchant for good weed.

There. That sounds alright, doesn't it? Here are the links:

The paperback will be along forthwith, as will the Audio, which the wonderful Molly King will be reading.

I'll post another, erm, post, about this in a few days.

Love you.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Summer Promotion (2017) #2

Morning. Hmm, isn't it? Lovely. Lovely morning.

There, pleasantries done and dusted.

I made paperback versions of 'The Outlaw King', 'The Thief King', and 'The Queen of Thieves'. I don't expect anyone but me actually wanted this to happen, but it did, and I'm happy with them.

Here's the rub, though - all three would cost £28 (ish). Which, to me, seems prohibitively expensive, because Amazon hates paperbacks, or something, maybe. BUT...I have a cunning plan.

I created The Line of Kings Omnibus Edition, which costs £19.99. That's £8 cheaper for you...and I earn exactly the same amount in royalties as I would if you were kind enough to buy all three stories separately.

Anyway, if you want to have a copy to hold, that's my suggestion. Edited by Faith Kauwe, cover art by Chris Taggart, cover mash-up by me. I'm really pleased with all of them, but at 800+ pages, the Omnibus is a beast and it's my favourite of the bunch.

That's probably enough of that. Other things: PIG by Edward Lorn and Craig Saunders - I'm working on the paperback formatting right now. The cover, edits, Kindle versions are all DONE. It will be all up in you within ONE WEEK. 

More to come on that, obviously. 

I'll be making a short YouTube video about PIG and The Line of Kings very soon. 'Summer Promotion #1' I said all my books will be up for free - this includes The Line of Kings and the three separate novels. So you don't even have to buy the paperback. Honestly, I'll be very happy if you do, and it's not that I don't want you to. I just feel bad about people giving me money because I'm mentally ill. 

Buy PIG, though, eh? Edward's not mental and he needs to eat. 

AND...Red Ice Run is around 10% shy of 'The End'. That should be done within the week, too, and then it'll be over to Ryan for a third, and most likely, final draft. 

Love you.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Summer Promotion (2017) #1

I'm running a free promotion from July 11th (tomorrow) until September 5th (my BIRTHDAY - 45!).

Because I have a fairly healthy back catalogue, this means I have enough work out to give away at least two titles at all times during the summer, even without the DarkFuse titles (these are not included in my promotion, but are DF are running a separate promotion at $2.99 for novels and $1.99 for novellas).

Here's the list. Follow me on Amazon, or just check Amazon over the summer to find a title you might like, or buy a DF title at the discounted rate.

Highwayman (Darkfuse)
The Dead Boy
Left to Darkness (The Oblivion Series #1) - Darkfuse
Masters of Blood and Bone - Darkfuse
Cold Fire
A Home by the Sea
A Stranger's Grave
The Love of the Dead
Spiggot, Too

UNIT 731 - Darkfuse
Death by a Mother's Hand
Flesh and Coin - Darkfuse
Bloodeye - Darkfuse
Deadlift - Darkfuse
A Scarecrow to Watch over Her
The Walls of Madness
Days of Christmas

As Craig R. Saunders:
The Outlaw King (The Line of Kings Trilogy Book One)
The Thief King (The Line of Kings Trilogy Book Two)
The Queen of Thieves (The Line of Kings Trilogy Book Three)
Rythe Awakes (The Rythe Quadrilogy Book One)
The Tides of Rythe (The Rythe Quadrilogy Book Two)
Rythe Falls (The Rythe Quadrilogy Book Three)

Short Fiction Collections:
The Cold Inside
Dead in the Trunk
Angels in Black and White
Dark Words

Lastly, I've been quiet here and on YouTube, because I've been in a rut, but I've been working regardless and I'll post more in 'Summer Promotion (2017) #2.

Love you.