Posts in Retrospective

I’ve never been a career chaser.  I’ve worked in post rooms, telesales, technical departments, shops and kitchens, but none of those jobs have ever been about earning a pension.  Nope, I’ve always been there to pay some bills and make my bank account look a little healthier.  The carrot the world tied to the end of the stick it chose for me was never a gold watch.  Which is why, every so often, I find myself in a room full of people having a meeting where the best I can hope to do is look interested.  During those meetings, I always catch myself looking around the rest of my fellow captives, trying to spot anyone else doing the same as me.  Sadly, it seems we’re a dying breed.

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The King

Growing up in the 80s, there was really no avoiding Stephen King.  My parents never read horror, but his stories were everywhere.  They were discussed on TV, they were whispered about on the playground.  Carrie was already a palpable hit for both him and De Palma.  The likes of Christine, Cujo and Firestarter were infamous.  As was Thinner, sneakily written under that tissue paper thin alias he occasionally ducked behind.  The Shinning was dividing people between preferring the book and the movie; an early precursor to so many comic book movie arguments that were waiting for us in the 21st century.  As I grew up the names of his stories became the stuff of legend.  Pet Cemetery, It, The Stand, Salem’s Lot.

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Restoration Man

    Back then, I’d only just started writing and self-publishing horror stories.  I’d finished a few: The Low Road, The Narrow Doors and The Compressionist, but I was still finding my feet.  At first, I didn’t even think about trying to make a story out of my nightmare.  If I’m being honest, I just wanted it out of my brain.
     It was only after a shower and a mug of coffee, that I realised I had to try and do something with it.  I was trying to be a horror writer.  It would be a shame to waste the fear jangling through my system.  So, instead of distracting myself, I sat down and began to work with it.

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Thinking about releasing something new has got me remembering the first novella I published with Kensington Gore Publishing.  The Compressionist wasn’t the first horror story I wrote.  No, that was The Low Road, back in the days of invisible self publishing.  That was followed by The Narrow Doors, which came from attending a cremation and thinking about those patronising advice books they used to publish for girls decades before.  Well, that and a first draft ending that freaked me out.  The Compressionist found me wanting to try something different.  

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