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6th May 2017

Another six months (or so), and it's time for another update! Let's start with the novel:


Started as the 'final' spin off novel in Stephen Jones' Zombie Apocalypse! series (after books by Mark Morris, Lisa Morton and Alison Littlewood) 'reorganisation' in the publishing world resulted in a new (American) imprint for this one (Pegasus of New York) and a new series. Yes indeed, The Lovecraft Squad is the start of a new Stephen Jones-created set of adventures, and All Hallows Horror is the first book, bridging Zombie Apocalypse and a new world of horror tales. It was a terrific challenge to include all those elements and I had loads of fun with it. I hope you will too. All Hallows Horror is out now. In fact, here I am signing copies of it:


Details on how to obtain a copy are on the book's page here. The second Lovecraft Squad book will be called Waiting and is back to the Stephen Jones / Zombie Apocalypse mosaic style of volume, with several authors contributing. I won't have a story in that one but keeping it in the family Mrs Probert aka Thana Niveau, does! 

Continuing a Lovecraftian theme I never had any intention of creating, my short story 'By Any Other Name' is in the new anthology Cthulhu Cymraeg 2:


You can order the paperback here and the ebook here 

And now onto the non-fiction, which I sometimes forget to mention on here. Over the past few year or so I've had chapters in a couple of books. 'The Most Important Decade of My Life' was a chapter in Eric McNaughton's beautiful book 70s Monster Memories:


70s Monster Memories sold out on publication. Still available, however, is the similarly glossy follow-up, Unsung Horrors, a bumper book of horror movie reviews from the 'golden age'. I've got essays on Jess Franco's Lorna the Exorcist, Ugo Liberatore's Damned in Venice, and the obscure Robert Quarry picture The Deathmaster. Thana's in there too with her thoughts on Willard, Bug, Ben and Kingdom of the Spiders (there's a theme there, isn't there?)


If you fancy a copy or want to read more about it, all the details are here

Earlier this year, as a follow-on from my little books about Theatre of Blood, I 'performed' a live onstage commentary to the film at the Deveraux in London's Strand. My thanks to all who came and for the very warm welcome (and food and drink!) Thana and I were given. Here I am discussing the finer points of how the stars are going to cut Arthur Lowe's head off:



Finally, I should have a new short story collection out in September (my first in seven years!) but more about that nearer the time. Instead I'll sign off with a clue about my next film book. Here's Roddy McDowall wondering just how big IT! might turn out to be. See you next time.


7th October 2016

Six months since the last update, because as usual I've been busy. My thanks to everyone who has bought, read and enjoyed DEAD SHIFT. I know there have been a few requests for a sequel. We'll see…

In the meantime, FantasyCon has come and gone and I have some new books out.




Yes it's my monograph on THEATRE OF BLOOD, my favourite film of all time and now available in hardback from the Electric Dreamhouse division of PS Publishing. You can buy a copy here. Here I am signing copies at the launch: 



Dr Valentine lives again! After all the trouble at Spectral Press I'm delighted to report that well-respected publisher Snowbooks have issued shiny new reprints of both NINE DEATHS OF DR VALENTINE and HAMMER OF DR VALENTINE. You can get them direct from here and here  Here are the covers:


And here I am signing them:

\

My latest crime novella is out from Endeavour. It's the fourth I've written for them and isn't about Parva Corcoran this time. However if you fancy a blood-drenched murder mystery in the style of the Italian 'giallo' cinema, then you might find this one fun. It's available as an ebook-only download from Amazon here



I've had some short stories out, too. My story THE MISSING is in this, a tribute to author and friend Joel Lane, and available from Alchemy Press:



Another tribute volume, this one to a writer who is still very much alive and well and living in London, contains my story THE MEN WITH PAPER FACES.  You can order it from the interestingly-named Snuggly Books. No, I'm not quite sure what that cover's meant to be about either: 


My story TEMPUS EDAX RERUM, a science fiction rewriting of M R James' story NUMBER 13, can be found in THE GHOSTS AND SCHOLARS BOOK OF SHADOWS VOL 3 from Sarob Press:


It was a limited edition & I understand it's sold out from the publisher already. Dealers may still have copies.

Is that all? Yes, except for my new novel, due out in hardback from New York publisher W W Norton and Company in March of next year. I'll talk more about it next time. For now, I'll leave you with the cover:

 
 

8th March 2016


It's hard to believe it's been nearly a year since I updated this site. Hard to believe because over the last twelve months I've been busier writing than ever. The thing about novels, though, is that they take a bit longer to write than short stories, and I now have a couple that hopefully I'll be able to say a little bit more about soon.

In the meantime, I've also been extremely busy film reviewing as well, the fruits of which you can read over at my House of Mortal Cinema. I never expected it to take off the way it has but as long as I enjoy writing the reviews I'll keep doing it.

I'll be posting some new news soon about my books THE NINE DEATHS OF DR VALENTINE and THE HAMMER OF DR VALENTINE. As some of you are no doubt aware, everything went a bit wrong with their publisher, Spectral Press, earlier this year. As a result the rights for both books have been returned to me and I'm pleased to say they've already found a new publisher. The books will also be getting new covers and once I have the 'go' I'll be updating the pages for both those books. 

In between the novels, the film reviewing, and the above fuss, I've written a new novella. The cover's up there. It's by Ben Baldwin and I think it's a cracker. The blurb and the ordering details are all on the DEAD SHIFT page here, which is also where I'll be posting reviews.



Because of all the above, I haven't had much time for short stories, but I did have one come out last year, in Charlie Black's Black Book of Horror series, which is now up to Volume 11! It's called Forgive Us Not Our Trespasses, is 11 000 words long, and you can get it from Charlie's Mortbury Press through the link here


31st May 2015



HAMMER OF DR VALENTINE comes to ebook! After coming out in a limited edition hardback last year Spectral Press have now brought out the Kindle version, which you can order through Amazon. Let's hope a paperback isn't far behind...






Issue 16 of We Belong Dead is now out, and features my articles on the perhaps unfairly neglected Robert Quarry-starrer THE DEATHMASTER and the rather more justifiably neglected 1967 BritHorror THE VULTURE. You can order a copy using PayPal. Just go to wbdmagazine@yahoo.co.uk.





Darrell Buxton's exhaustive book looking at British horror films of the 1980s is now out, and features my reviews of THE MONSTER CLUB and LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM. It's a smashing book and Darrell and all his contributors have put an obsessive amount of work into it. Midnight Marquee Press will be issuing a paperback later in the year but for now you can get the gorgeous hardback here if you fancy treating yourself.




The latest issue of Dick Klemensen's Little Shoppe of Horrors features a marvellous review of HAMMER OF DR VALENTINE (as well as an exhaustive feature on the making of Hammer's 1963 PHANTOM OF THE OPERA). 


6th December 2014


It's been a while in coming but THE HAMMER OF DR VALENTINE is nearly here. It's the sequel to my novella to THE NINE DEATHS OF DR VALENTINE (in case you didn't know) which won the British Fantasy Award (just in case you didn't know that either). This time Dr Valentine has set his sights on the tabloid newspaper reporters who rather sexed up their stories about the killings that happened the first time around. Needless to say he isn't happy, and decides to take his inspiration from Hammer horror films in dealing out appropriate punishment. The book is going to be available in limited hardback, paperback and ebook versions, all being published in a staggered arrangement (or so I've been told). For more info and to pre-order it go to the Spectral Press site here




And while I'm talking about Spectral Press my story The Life Inspector can be found in the first Spectral Book of Horror Stories, which is out now. You can order a copy from the Spectral shop now by going here


My story The Lucky Ones is in Horror Uncut, a new anthology of horror stories from Gray Friar Press. The theme is of economic unease and austerity and you can order it here.


My story The Three Messiahs features in Stephen Jones' ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! ENDGAME, which is now out from Constable Robinson. It's the last of the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! trilogy and I'm delighted that I got to be in them all. And that's not the end of the story by a long way, so stay tuned for further news about me and the ZA universe in due course. You can pick up ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! ENDGAME in bookshops but in case there isn't one near you (a situation that's getting worse all the time) then you can get it from Amazon


Finally for now, my article PICNIC AT THE HILL OF DREAMS: MACHENESQUE MOMENTS IN CINEMA has just been published in issue 30 of Faunus, the Journal of the Friends of Arthur Machen. 

31st May 2014


This is just about to come out, and it finishes with my story 'Learning the Language'. I'm a huge fan of the Terror Tales series, continuing as it is in the tradition of the old Fontana Takes of Terror books edited by R Chetwynd-Hayes. It's available for pre-order now and you can get it here.



LA FEMME is now out from NewCon Press in both hardback and paperback editions. It's a collection of noir and crime stories, and includes my contribution "The Girl With No Face. It's available through Amazon (and in a Kindle edition too) and you can order it here

23rd February 2014


The new Parva Corcoran novella is out. Endeavour has just published the third of Parva's adventures. This time she has to go undercover to investigate suspicious deaths at an exclusive private girls' school. Those of you who check in on this site from time to time may have seen this book mentioned previously under the title SUICIDE BLONDES. It's available as an e-book and you can download it here



13th January 2014

 

 

Here I am accepting the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella for The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine at the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton last November. It was a genuine surprise to win the award and I hope I didn't scare too many people with my acceptance speech, kicking off as it did with some of Edward Lionheart's dialogue from the Vincent Price movie THEATRE OF BLOOD. My sincere thanks to all the wellwishers who besieged me afterwards and to all those who offered their congratulations later on - all your comments were all very much appreciated.

As well as the above, Lady Probert and I were busy at the Convention. Major thanks to everyone who came to The Cabinet of Dr Probert on the Friday night and Dr Probert's House of Horrors on the Saturday. Special thanks to Angela Slatter, Alison Littlewood, Reggie Oliver and Ransey Campbell who agreed to take part in two nights of tales of terror.

Short Story News

PSYCHOMANIA is out from Constable Robinson now. It contains a framework story from me that tops, tails and pops up in between nearly forty stories from some of the best and most respected writers in the horror and crime genres. It was a genuine pleasure for me to be involved with this project and you can order it here.


CTHULHU CYMRAEG is out now. It kicks off with my Lovecraftian story What Others Hear and you can order it through Amazon

WORLD WAR CTHULHU is out. This ebook from Cubicle 7 features my story The Death House. You can download it from the Cubicle 7 site here.

THE TENTH BLACK BOOK OF HORROR is out, and includes my story The Best Christmas Ever. You can order it from the Mortbury Press site here.


I'm very pleased to announce that my story The Secondary Host from EXOTIC GOTHIC 5 will be reprinted in Salt Publishing's THE BEST BRITISH HORROR 2014

In other forthcoming story news:

The Girl With No Face will be appearing in the NewCon Press crime anthology LA FEMME

The Best of Luck will be appearing in the anthology STRANGE FORTUNE

Girlfriend School will be appearing in the Gray Friar Press anthology NIGHT SCHOOLS

The Lucky Ones will be appearing in the Gray Friar Press anthology HORROR UNCUT

Learning the Language will be appearing in Gray Friar Press anthology TERROR TALES OF WALES

Novella News

THE HAMMER OF DR VALENTINE will be published by Spectral Press a little bit later this year. I'll be posting more news, including the cover, as soon as I see it myself!

SUICIDE BLONDES, the third Parva Corcoran novella is nearly finished. The plot concerns murders at an exclusive and isolated girls' school. It will be out from Endeavour Press as an ebook soon.

Non-Fiction News

I'm seriously delighted to announce that I've written the introduction to the new Valancourt re-issue of Charles Birkin's short story collection THE SMELL OF EVIL. I'm sure many of you know Birkin is one of the many authors who have influenced my work and it was lovely to be asked to do it. You can order THE SMELL OF EVIL here.


My article The Darkest Part of the Midnight Sun: Arthur Machen and the Fiction of Ramsey Campbell has been published in the Autumn 2013 issue of Faunus: The Journal of the Friends of Arthur Machen. I'm very proud to have had an essay published in this eminent journal. The intention is that it will be the first in a series of articles examining Machen's influence on modern fiction and film.


My essay Grinning in the Dark: The Humour of Ramsey Campbell is included in this lovely hardcover volume which will be published by Scarecrow Press on 1st Februavry 2014. Like many of their books it's a bit pricey, but you can order it here.

…and finally, I've written an essay entitled Adapting Aickman for Johnny Mains' forthcoming book on the author. This will look at the film and television adaptations of the works of author Robert Aickman.


And that's it for now. I'll try not to leave it so long next time but as you can see, I've been quite busy!


 

 

19th October 2013




My story The Devil in the Details is now out in the anthology Demons and Devilry. You can get hold of a copy here



Here's the lovely cover for Cthulhu Cymraeg, an anthology of Lovecraftian stories from writers who are either Welsh or live in Wales. It includes my story 'What Others Hear' & I'll post details of when it's available in due course.

It will soon be the World Fantasy Convention at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Brighton. Here's what I'll be up to:

Friday 1st November 11.00am - Noon: Machen, Lovecraft and Weird Tales - Panel Discussion looking at the influence of the great Welsh writer Arthur Machen on the pulp writers of the 1930s and 1940s

Friday 1st November 10.00pm - Midnight : Dr Probert's Cabinet of Horrors - Thana Niveau and I will be hosting three short story readings from Angela Slatter, myself, and Reggie Oliver

Saturday 2nd November Noon - 1.00pm: Signing for The Tenth Black Book of Horror

Saturday 2nd November 3.00pm - 4.00pm: Signing for Psychomania (Constable Robinson)

Saturday 2nd November 8.00pm - 9.00pm: Peter Cushing at 100 - Panel Discussion

Saturday 2nd November 11.00pm - 12.30am : Dr Probert's House of Horrors. In which Thana Niveau and I return to host another three tales of terror, this time from Alison Littlewood, Thana Niveau, and Ramsey Campbell

Sunday 11.00am - Noon : Coming Up Short - Panel Discussion on whether or not it's possible to make a living from short story writing.




14th August 2013


I'm a comics character! Isn't that fun? In the tradition of Jim Warren's Uncle Creepy and EC's The Crypt Keeper the talented artist Nik Poliwko has produced this rendition of me. It's all part of a forthcoming comics project in which I will indeed be introducing gruesome horror tales in picture form. More details as they become available!


My story 'A Life on the Stage' has just been published in issue 24 of David Longhorn's fine small press magazine Supernatural Tales. ST & I go way back & I've had stories in issues 7, 9 and 12 as well as the current one. It's well worth your support and you can purchase the latest issue here


My contributor copy of Exotic Gothic 5 Volume II (yes it IS a bit of a mouthful, isn't it?) arrived in the post today. It's a lovely jacketed hardcover (and yes, that cover art looks even more splendid in the flesh, so to speak) from PS Publishing and it features my story 'The Secondary Host'. To order a copy pop along to the PS Publishing site here.




7th July 2013



DIFFERENTLY THERE is now out! Here's what it says on the back cover: 

A man sits in a hospital side room awaiting the cancer surgery that may or may not save his life. As the minutes tick by, time slows and gradually becomes meaningless as he finds himself drawn into memories of his past. But something is wrong. Rather than real memories, what he finds himself remembering are events subtly altered and influenced by his lifelong love of fantasy, horror and science fiction. And through these memories, something is pursuing him.
John Llewellyn Probert’s novella is a tale of magic realism that provides a fascinating and moving insight into the mind of a fantasy fan whose lifelong love of the genre turns out to be more important than he had ever realised.

It's being published solely as a paperback (because of the debacle with hardback printers Biddles going the way of all flesh) and you can order it here.


THE NINE DEATHS OF DR VALENTINE has been nominated for the British Fantasy Award for best novella of 2012. Awards are always curious things, but Dr V has got this far on sheer popularity with those member of the BFS who voted, so my thanks to them & I'm delighted that I / he has made such an impact. I'm currently halfway through writing the sequel, which promises more outlandish and gruesome deaths courtesy of the evil Dr Valentine. with a publication date planned for early next year.


16th May 2013




BLOODY ANGELS is now out! The sequel to WARD 19 features Dr Parva Corcoran investigating a series of murders in Bristol that may have a religious connection. In part it's my tribute to the more esoteric European crime and horror movies of the 1970s, and therefore it should surprise no-one that there are guest appearances from Father Walker and Father McGillivray, both of whom are eagerly awaiting the visit of Cardinal Franco from Rome. It's available to download for Kindle and you can get it here.



My story OUT OF FASHION - a Victorian tale of corsets and horrible wriggly tentacled things, can be found in the Hersham Horror anthology ANATOMY OF DEATH. It's also out now. Go here for purchasing details.



EXOTIC GOTHIC 5 will be out soon. It's a two volume affair and my story THE SECONDARY HOST is in volume 2. It's a good dose of medical nastiness set on the island of Zanzibar. PS Publishing are bringing this one out and for pre-ordering details go here.



Finally for now, THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF PSYCHO STORIES has been retitled PSYCHO-MANIA! and will feature my framework story that turns the whole book into something akin to the Amicus film ASYLUM. I'll post pre-ordering details once they become available.



20th March 2013



Novella News:

Here's a preliminary look at the cover of my next book. DIFFERENTLY THERE will be a novella from Gray Friar Press available in paperback and limited hardback editions. It's inspired by events that happened to me at the end of last year (but not based on them, goodness me no). Needless to say the hospital room and the scary gothic building beyond the window both play a significant part and I'll be releasing more information once it's available.

I've been keeping busy and am just about to deliver another novella. BLOODY ANGELS will be my sequel to WARD 19 and will continue the adventures of Dr Parva Corcoran. This time she's called in to help investigate a series of horrible murders in Bristol that all seem to have a religious theme. This one's another straight crime story but fans of all things EuroHorror will appreciate that it's got quite a giallo feel.
 
Short Story News:

THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF PSYCHO STORIES, edited by Stephen Jones and due out from Robinson Publishing later this year, is going to feature over 30 stories. The structure of the book will emulate the old Amicus movie 'Asylum', with a framework story that begins and ends the book, and pops up intermittently throughout. And that's all been written by me. I'm delighted Steve asked me to do this and it was a lot of fun. The book will open with my story segment SCREAMS IN THE DARK, finish with one called A LITTLE PIECE OF SANITY, and there will be a number of CASE CONFERENCE segments in between the other stories.

EXOTIC GOTHIC VOLUME 5, due out later this year from PS Publishing, will feature my story THE SECONDARY HOST, which is a nasty medical tale set on the island of Zanzibar.

THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER is a tale in the style of the marvellous, witty and cruel tales of Charles Birkin and will appear in the THE TENTH BLACK BOOK OF HORROR later in the year.

OUT OF FASHION is a Victorian surgical tale of corsets and slimy monsters and will be appearing in THE ANATOMY OF DEATH, a collection of five short stories coming soon from Hersham Horror Books.

THE DEATH HOUSE is a Lovecraftian tale of a Nazi torture castle that houses a bizarre art gallery. Jon Oliver is editing the anthology WORLD WAR 2 CTHULHU for Cubicle 7 books in which it will be appearing.

Non Fiction News:

My article THE DARKEST PART OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN - ARTHUR MACHEN & THE FICTION OF RAMSEY CAMPBELL will be appearing in the Autumn edition of Faunus, the Journal of the Friends of Arthur Machen. I don't do an awful lot of academic writing and I'm delighted that this has been accepted for such an august journal.

My essay GRINNING IN THE DARK: THE HUMOUR OF RAMSEY CAMPBELL will be appearing in a book of essays dedicated to Mr Campbell's work edited by Gary Crawford and appearing in hardcover from Scarecrow Press later this year.

Reviews and such:

Firstly, huge thanks to Jim Mcleod for making me his 'Discovery of the Year' at The Ginger Nuts of Horror.

THE NINE DEATHS OF DR VALENTINE has just had a marvellous review in the latest Black Static magazine. It's Issue 33 and I'm very proud of the last line, which says "An accomplished crowd pleaser from a writer who knows his horror and isn't afraid to use it".

And that's probably enough for now!

20th November 2012





It's been a busy year and it's not over yet. My new book, WARD 19, has just come out. It's my first venture into writing the kind of crime thrillers that feature fast-paced plots, eccentric characters and, of course, really horrible murders. In fact I like to think of this first effort as a cross between a Lucio Fulci film and a Charles Birkin story. It's also my first venture into the world of epublishing. WARD 19 is a brisk read and is more of an enovelette than an ebook, so why not give it a go? It's now available to download for Kindle from Amazon .



8th November 2012



This is a magazine I've been buying since the mid 1980s so I was delighted that a rather marvellous review of The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine has made its way into their special Dr Phibes issue. It's on page 41 if you happen to pick up a copy!

There have been a lot of great reviews of Dr V, and I've added quotes and links to the Dr Valentine page. There have been leaks elsewhere online but I'll officially confirm here that owing to its success there will be a sequel, which has the working title The Hammer of Dr Valentine, and which I will be starting soon.



The Ghosts and Scholars Book of Shadows is now out from Sarob Press, and is a lovely little hardback book with some interesting and innovative approaches to prequels and sequel to some of the famous short stories of M R James. My story is The Mezzotaint, and is based on The Mezzotine, which I first encountered on that special 'Ghost Story' series of Jackanory the BBC has back in the late 1970s.

In other news, my story 'The Secondary Host' will be appearing in EXOTIC GOTHIC VOL 5, which is forthcoming from PS Publishing next year.

There are a lot of other projects in the works - in fact more than I've ever had in my life before - which can only be a good thing. News about them here as soon as I know any more!


1st October 2012

FantasyCon 2012 was fantastic in every sense of the word. Let's have a few photos from the quite incredible (and incredibly well attended) launch of The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine:




My thanks to everyone who turned up and made the event really special, even if they did have to put up with ten minutes of manic introduction from me before they could start to buy the book (and goodness me did we sell a lot of them). I'm so pleased about the success of this book that I really can't put it into words. Huge, huge thanks must go to Simon Marshall-Jones of Spectral Press who is the reason the book exists at all:



Thanks to Steve Jones for coming to find what all the fuss was about:



And thanks to Muriel Gray, writer, broadcaster, producer, R Chetwynd-Hayes fan and FantasyCon guest of honour, who bought so many raffle tickets that she won the prize of a copy of the book and the white gloves I wore for my author photo, in which I recreated the famous still of Vincent Price sitting at the organ in The Abominable Dr Phibes. She was so pleased she even tried them on:



As well as the launch, I hosted the raffle with Guy Adams (hopefully there aren't too many pictures of that floating around), did a short reading from Dr Valentine as half of a double bill of movie-themed Spectral Press readings with my good friend Stephen Volk, chaired a panel on short stories which was so well attended and so well received that I couldn't get over it (thanks everyone who came to that as well), and had dinner with Mary Danby, editor of the Fontana Horror series. She's a lovely, lovely lady and was a delight to chat to.

I also signed well over 100 copies of The House That Death Built, which didn't have an official launch, but hopefully Chris Teague of Pendragon Press managed to shift a few copies while I was engaged with the above, plus the launch signings of Zombie Apocalypse Fightback and The Ninth Black Book of Horror, and the midnight panel "My Favourite Ghost Story'.

Thanks everyone - it really was the best FantasyCon ever, and I have spent this morning compiling my list of the writing jobs I now have, which will last me well into next year. Hopefully that's going to include several new books of my own, as well as some mass market anthology appearances. It's all very exciting and I'll release details about them all in due course.




23rd September 2012




Above are some of the books I have stories in that will be launching at FantasyCon this year, along with:



And



Which are books where the entire contents are all solely my own doing.

Here's the full timetable of everything I shall be up to:

Friday 28th September:

8pm     Mass Signing      Regency Lounge

9pm     The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine Launch     Bar Rogue
  
10pm - Midnight or possibly forever     The Fabulous FantasyCon Raffle   Regency Lounge - Hosted by myself and the inimitable Guy Adams. Goodness knows what that will be like.

Saturday 29th September

10am     Panel: What Makes a Good Ghost Story     Fitzherbert Room

3pm       Signing: The Ninth Black Book of Horror

4pm       Signing: Zombie Apocalypse 2: Fightback!

9.30pm  Reading: Excerpt from The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine. Readings Room

11pm     Panel: My Favourite Ghost Story



11th September 2012

 

 

Here's the cover preview for my first novel, which should be available very soon. Ian Alexander Martin of Atomic Fez asked if I would be interested in writing a novel featuring the characters of Mr Henderson & Miss Jephcott, who first appeared in my book Against the Darkness, and what you see above is the result (well, part of it - obviously there's a back cover and a couple of hundred pages in between as well).

Hopefully the book will be available for this year's FantasyCon which is due to take place at the end of September. It's going to be available in a limited jacketed hardcover (with some of my rambles at the end as a bonus) and as a paperback. Go to the books page and click on the Atomic Fez link to order

 

Here's a preview of the cover of The Ninth Black Book of Horror, the Contents list of which leads off with my story The Anatomy Lesson. The book will launch at FantasyCon at the end of the month (along with about a hundred other titles) and I'll be there to sign copies. I'm actually going to be very busy at FantasyCon as I'll also be signing copies of The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine, Zombie Apocalypse 2 and The Screaming Book of Horror to name all the titles I can remember right now, as well as chairing panels and running the charity raffle with Guy Adams. I'll be posting a full timetable of all my FCon activities soon.

 

18th July 2012




Here's the cover for The Ghosts & Scholars Book of Shadows, the Sarob Press hardcover that's coming out in September and which offers a tribute to M R James by collecting together 'prequels and sequels' to some of his most well-known & well-loved stories. My contribution is called 'The Mezzotaint', which is a sequel of sorts to The Mezzotint. Copies can be ordered here and are sure to sell out quickly, so get one while you can!

1st July 2012




Here's the front cover of my latest book. The fold-out dust jacket looks even more impressive. Go to the 'Books' section for more details and the entire thing. The book will be launched at this year's FantasyCon with appropriate free wine and no doubt a performance of some kind on my part.

Also at FantasyCon I shall be hosting, with my good odd friend and fellow writer Guy Adams, the Fabulous FantasyCon raffle! I believe both events are due to take place in the Friday night so afterwards I suspect I shall need a lie down.

My novel The House That Death Built will also be launched at FantasyCon - more news when I have a cover to show you.

I shall also be signing copies of the Constable Robinson anthology Zombie Apocalypse 2 as well as other books featuring my stories that may well be being launched over the same weekend.

I recently signed a contract with Pendragon Press for my eighth book, which is to be a collection of essays on horror films wild, weird, obscure and peculiar. The Little Book of House of Mortal Cinema is intended as an offshoot of my blog of the same name and will be available at World Fantasy 2013

In other news I recently interviewed Hollywood composer Harry Manfredini and the result should be appearing on the This Is Horror site soon.

Finally, my article Robin Hardy: Fantasist in a Wicker Wonderland will be appearing in the 2012 FantasyCon Commemorative book.

1st June 2012



I'm delighted to announce that my nasty story ZZ Experiment Camp will be appearing in Zombie Apocalypse 2: Fightback. Apparently there's going to be a launch at FantasyCon this year where I'm going to be very busy - all the news as regards that coming as soon as I know exactly what's happening

The latest in my regular column for This Is Horror, The Bloodstained Balcony, is about giant monster movies and you can read about it here. I've also tidied up the non-fiction section of this site and posted a guide to all The Bloodstained Balcony columns (with links) so they can all be found in one place.

As well as my regular House of Mortal Cinema movie review posts I now regularly review movies for the This Is Horror website. So far you can read my comments on:

The Wicker Tree
Demons 1 & 2
Strippers vs Werewolves
Osombie
Chill

Occasionally I review books as well and you can read my review of The Mammoth Book of Body Horror at the same site

18th April 2012




The above is one of my favourite films, along with THE ABOMINABLE DR PHIBES, and many, many other horror movies starring the inimitable Vincent Price. In the early 1970s, several of these involved Price playing variations on the theme of a clever, theatrical, flamboyant lunatic despatching a number of individuals whom he felt had wronged him, using a number of creative and outlandish ways. I loved those films and always wanted to write my own version if given the chance.

Well now I have, and Simon Marshall-Jones of Spectral Press has agreed to publish it. It's a novella called THE NINE DEATHS OF DR VALENTINE, and is my tribute to a style of film-making, and a film star, the likes of which we shall probably never see again.

I'll post more details as they become available, but for now I'll leave you with this enticing blurb:

Someone is killing doctors in ways that mimic the murders in Vincent Price's horror films. The Bristol Police force are baffled. The only man who could be responsible died years ago. Or did he... ?

23rd February 2012

Terror Tales of the Cotswolds, which contains my story A Taste of Honey, A Horror of Stone is due to be published in March and is now ready to pre-order here

11th February 2012



It's a new year and I'm glad to say I seem to be getting properly back into the swing of things. Let's start with the fiction news:

First of all, I'm very pleased to announce that my story 'The Mezzotaint' will be appearing in The Ghosts & Scholars Book of Shadows, a hardback book of prequels and sequels to stories by M R James which will be published in the Autumn by Sarob Press.

And in more good news my story 'A Taste of Honey, A Horror of Stone' will be appearing in Terror Tales of the Cotswolds, edited by Paul Finch and forthcoming from Gray Friar Press.

Even more? Okay - my story 'Christenings Can be Dangerous' will be appearing in the hardback anthology The Screaming Book of Horror edited by Johnny Mains (pictured above)

Yet more! My story 'A Life on the Stage' will be published in a forthcoming issue of David Longhorn's Supernatural Tales.

And finally, just to finish off this summary of all the stories I have had accepted for publication at the moment, hopefully 2012 will also see the appearance of 'The Anatomy Lesson' (in The Ninth Black Book of Horror) and 'Forgive Us Not Our Trespasses' (in the forthcoming Pendragon anthology being edited by Gary McMahon).

In non-fiction news I have stopped writing my column 'Profondo Probert' for Prism magazine. I now have a new column at the This Is Horror website. It's called The Bloodstained Balcony, and topics so far have included collectiing film soundtracks, and what constitutes a good horror movie review. I'll be posting an index to the columns on the non-fiction section of this site.

I'm also an occasional reviewer for the same site and you can read what I thought of Christopher Fowler's latest novel, Hell Train, here.

The House of Mortal Cinema has proved more popular than I was expecting, which is very nice indeed. Huge thanks to everyone who has visited the site over the five months since I started it. As long as I have the energy I still intend to keep posting two reviews a week for the foreseeable future.

And yes, there are other projects on the go at the moment, too, both fiction and non-fiction. I'll reveal more when I know more myself.


15th November 2011

Last weekend I was delighted to be asked to chair a session on 'Pushing the Boundaries of the Ghost Story' at the Halifax Ghost Story Festival. My thanks to Chris Maloney, Nicholas Royle, and Mark Valentine (pictured above left to right) for providing such an interesting discussion, where we were able to recommend works by M John Harrison, Walter de la Mare, Joel Lane and Nigel Kneale as examples of ghost stories that are anything but traditional. The day also included a showing of The Hospice, a 1987 TV adaptation of a story by Robert Aickman which I've now reviewed over at the House of Mortal Cinema

27th October 2011

It's been a busy month. Last weekend we were at Manchester's Festival of Fantastic Films where I interviewed director Norman J Warren on stage. Norman's a lovely chap and he's been interviewed many times, so to make things a little different we spent an hour discussing projects he doesn't get asked about much like GUNPOWDER, BLOODY NEW YEAR, and his attempts to get his script BEYOND TERROR to the screen.

FantasyCon has been and gone on the hottest weekend of the year and this time it was held at a fantastic venue in Brighton. Huge thanks to everyone who turned up to watch our version of Blood on Satan's Claw, and extra special thanks to Martin Roberts who filmed it for us. I've added it to the videos section of the website for anyone who wants to watch it (or watch it again). Thanks also to everyone who came to my reading on the Friday night, and to the signing of Full Fathom Forty .

I also have to extend my thanks to The Dracula Society who hosted 'An Evening With John Llewellyn Probert' at The Deveraux Pub in Westminster the weekend before last. I read two chapters from my forthcoming Henderson & Samantha novel, Julia Kruk interviewed me for half an hour, and then Lady P & I performed a double bill of Blood on Satan's Claw and Corruption. Everything has now gone back into the dressing up box (including the glove puppets) which has been stored away for the moment so we can have a rest before thinking about our next stage project.

Next month (ie November) I shall be chairing a discussion on 'Pushing the Boundaries in Supernatural Fiction' at the Halifax Ghost Festival with a panel consisting of myself, Mark Valentine, Nicholas Royle and Chris Maloney. I think my job apart from chairing is to talk about supernatural in film which should be rather fun.

And I do have some other writing projects in the works - more about those when I'm allowed to tell.

14th September 2011

Yes it's that time again. Later this month Lady P and I will be off to Brighton to perform our twenty minute pantomime version of the above horror classic. This time I will be playing most of the male roles and Lady P will essay all of the female roles and much more. It's all happening at this year's FantasyCon where we'll be appearing on stage on the Saturday night.

On the Friday night I shall be reading an as-yet unpublished tale entitled 'The Anatomy Lesson' at 11-30pm which will be guaranteed to wake up the sleepy and ensure a sleepless night for all but the most inebriated.

Finally - I have started a blog so that I have somewhere to post all my thoughts and musings about the world of film. It's called John Llewellyn Probert's House of Mortal Cinema and you can get to it by clicking on the link above. I've also created a page dedicated to it on this website with a link as well, and where there'll be an index of everything I cover.

Next month apparently I shall be interviewing Norman J Warren on stage at the Festival of Fantastic Films but I'm awaiting confirmation of that. Also there's a special event planned in London but more on that later.

5th August 2011

Here's the cover of the latest BFS Journal, and the last Prism under the editorship of David Riley. My Profondo Probert column is about movie retitlings and who knows, it may be the last of the columns depending on David's successor.

Death Rattles is now out, as is The Eighth Black Book of Horror. Both are nice little paperbacks and I would heartily encourage you to get hold of copies as they're both full of properly scary fiction.

 

19th July 2011

 

Six authors with vague memories of a TV series that is now apparently lost form the basis for the latest anthology from Gary Friar Press. Each of us remembers it differently, and I will freely admit that I'm not even sure I saw it, as when it was originally broadcast I was living in Wales, where 'Real Channel 4' didn't exist unless you swung the aerial on the roof far over to the right and squinted at the snowy patterns on the screen. Nevertheless my story 'Scattered Ashes' kicks off this volume and there are also contributions from my good chums Gary Fry, Paul Finch, Simon Bestwick, Gary McMahon and      Lady P herself under her writing alias of Thana Niveau, as well as an introduction from Stephen Volk. Apparently copies are in stock now and you can order it here.

4th July 2011

My story 'The Measure of a Man' which first appeared in my Ash-Tree Press collection Coffin Nails is to be reprinted in the British Fantasy Society's 40th Anniversary anthology 'Full Fathom Forty', the rather splendid cover of which is reproduced above. I understand the book will be ready in time for this year's FantasyCon.

Also launching at FantasyCon will be The Eighth Black Book of Horror which will contain my story 'How the Other Half Dies'. You can probably spot me looking slightly the worse for wear on Paul Mudie's cover design below, which very cleverly incorporates the heads of all the contributors.

In other news my essay 'Grinning In The Dark - The Humour of Ramsey Campbell' will be appearing in a book of studies devoted to the author edited by Philip A Ellis and Gary William Crawford and forthcoming from Gothic Press.

1st June 2011

Here's the cover for the next issue of the BFS Journal, and as you might be able to read from the back we're now up to the fifth Profondo Probert column, which this time is "Everything You Needed To Know About the Friday the 13th Films".

I'm taking a tiny amount of time off from working on the next two books at the moment to bash out a contribution to a Gray Friar Press project that promises to be a lot of fun - more on that in due course.

And talking of Gray Friar, I understand that The Catacombs of Fear has done quite well for them so a huge thank you to everyone who bought the book and I hope you enjoy the forthcoming follow-up just as much.

5th May 2011

Here I am in Italian movie director mode inspiring Lady P to be a Giallo heroine reacting to a chainsaw attack. I have to confess I've always thought there's a lack of finesse to this particular instrument of murder and mutilation, but seeing as at the time we were at the house where Tobe Hooper's 1974 classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed we couldn't help but take some time out to recreate a few classic scenes.

The house itself is now a restaurant called the Junction House and you can read all about it here. You enter to behold the staircase Marilyn Burns gets chased down and beyond that is the doorway that in the film has a steel sliding shutter that Leatherface slams across after bopping Kirk (William Vail) on the head with a sledgehammer. Here's what it looks like now:

We ate lunch in the room Pam (Teri McMinn) stumbles into and finds filled with human bones and jolly nice the food was too.

We were in Texas for the 2011 World Horror Convention and many, many thanks to our good friend Professor Danel Olson who found where the house was and did all the driving. Danel is the editor of, amongst others, the Exotic Gothic series of anthologies published by Ash-Tree Press. He also teaches on gothic literature at his university and we were delighted to learn that somehow he managed to find a reason to show his sophomore students our stage version of Corruption.

Of course it wasn't all fun and frolics with heavy power tools, there was work to be done as well. Here I am taking part in a panel discussion on Commonwealth Horror, chaired by my good friend Gary McMahon. Simon Clark, Simon Strantzas and Brett Alexander Savory were also on hand to provide the audience with plenty of points on how British and Canadian writing differs from that of the US and I think we managed to entertain everyone present.

Thanks to everyone who came to my reading on the Friday night, which was Special Offer from Wicked Delights. And thanks to everyone else who was so lovely to us over the weekend, including Peter Straub, Joe Hill, Simon Clark, Joe R Lansdale and last but by absolutely no means least the "awesome" Gardner Goldsmith who interviewed me for his radio show which apparently is syndicated across the US. He'll also be uploading it as a podcast to his website and I'll post a link when it's up.

 

14th March 2011

Here I am in Usk where I attended this year's annual meeting of the Friends of Arthur Machen. It was splendid weekend & I was delighted to be asked to read a segment from Machen's The Siege of Sidney Street as part of the after-dinner entertainment.

I've just noticed that at Aggiecon last year (which I understand is the oldest and largest student-run science fiction convention in the United States) The Catacombs of Fear was listed at number 27 in a list of 40 books recommended by a panel of Ellen Datlow, Scott Cupp and Jayme Lynn Blashcke. For the full list follow the link here.

My article 'Ten Memorable Moments in Cinematic Surgery' is now available online here.

Finally, it's been a while since the last update and I do have a few writing projects on the go at the moment, namely:

1  A novel for Atomic Fez featuring my supernatural detectives Massene Henderson & Samantha Jephcott which will pick up where my collection Against the Darkness left off.

2  The follow-up to The Catacombs of Fear for Gray Friar Press which will follow the same format as that book and The Faculty of Terror.

3  My first project as editor.

More on all three of these as I make progress on them!

5th December 2010

Christmas is fast approaching and it was with great pleasure that I was asked to attend the Weird Winter Tales event at Reading Central Library this weekend. Thanks to Gwilym Games for his organisation and for hosting an entertaining hour in which I was allowed to give a potted history of Lovecraft in the cinema, interspersed with clips and trailers from everything from Mario Bava's Caltiki the Immortal Monster up to Stuart Gordon's Dagon and the Lovecraft-themed Santa Claus picture Rare Exports that's in cinemas now. Prior to this the audience got to hear two excerpts from The Iconostasis of Imperfections from Wicked Delights which I hope everyone found suitably Lovecraftian.

The latest issue of Prism has been absorbed, along with other British Fantasy Society publications, into this (hopefully) handsome hardcover volume that should be back from the printers soon. My Profondo Probert column this time is about pseudosequels, and of all the films I could talk about to illustrate what I mean by the term for some reason I have chosen to talk at length about the quite awful The Cell 2.

Also in there is my essay on R Chetwynd-Hayes' contribution to The Pan Book of Horror Stories, It Came To Dinner, placing it in context with his other work and the UK publishing scene of the time.

Finally, I was very sorry indeed to hear that Ingrid Pitt passed away on 23rd November. Obviously she was a part of an era of British film-making that was particularly influential to me (and many, many others) but she was the only individual of that era that I have had the chance to formally interview on stage (at World Horror earlier this year). She was a charming lady and lots of fun and I wish her well wherever she may be now. RIP Ingrid.

20th November 2010

My essays on 'The Slasher Films of Robert Hartford-Davis' (covering his 1967 film Corruption and 1971's The Fiend) and Pete Walker's Schizo will be appearing in the above book when it eventually comes out. Once I have an idea of a publication date I'll post it here but in the meantime here's the cover to have a look at.

The Amicus Tributes of John Llewellyn Probert is an article over at The Hellforge website looking at my two Gray Friar Press books, The Faculty of Terror and The Catacombs of Fear. "John Llewellyn Probert’s imagination is a national treasure" it says amongst other very nice things, and in response to the request for another installment, I'm happy to report that I'm working on one right now.

My story 'How the Other Half Dies' will be appearing in The Eighth Black Book of Horror.

Finally, my sincere thanks to everyone who came along to get their copies of the Solaris anthology The End of the Line (and some of my own books as well) signed by me at the recent launch at Foyles Bookshop in London's Charing Cross Road.

8th November 2010

 

Here I am with film director Norman J Warren at the recent Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films. He was a lovely chap to chat to and we covered everything from how the music scores for his movies were written to what it was like filming his 1984 picture Bloody New Year in South Wales. My story Some Must Suffer in Wicked Delights is in part a tribute to the era of British horror film-making that Norman played such a major role in & it was lovely to finally meet him. The bottle of whiskey is in shot because it was the prize for winning the Sunday night film quiz - thanks to Ramsey Campbell and everyone else who contributed answers as part of our winning team!

'The Director's Cut - John Llewellyn Probert's Top 10 Moments in Cinematic Surgery' can be found on page 20 of the October 2010 issue (No. 12) of Medtech Business magazine.

I've written the afterword for Johnny Mains' collection of horror stories from Obverse Press, With Deepest Sympathy, which is available now.

As well as my thoughts on pseudosequels, the next issue of Prism (which will be a hardback courtesy of PS Publishing) will include my essay on the R Chetwynd-Hayes story 'It Came To Dinner' from The 14th Pan Book of Horror Stories.

2nd October 2010

Henderson & Samantha get pride of place (and picture) again this month as there's a very nice review of Against the Darkness in the latest issue of Morpheus Tales , and seeing as they've said I can quote the whole thing as long as I mention them then here it is:

It’s not often you come across a book that’s so much fun. Especially considering I nearly didn’t get past the Introduction.You see, Probert wrote the introduction, and stated that he wanted to create a British version of the X-Files: a very worrying statement. The X-Files was one of those shows I feel I grew up with (although I was well grown up by the time it started), one fondly remembered, and there are already far too many pale imitations, and despite the author also stating that he didn’t want to produce another pale imitation, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and think that’s what all the pale imitators say.
 
Fortunately I was very wrong, and what Probert has produced in this collection is a series of stories that nod respectfully at The X-Files, but very much tread their own path. And it is very British, which isn’t to say our US cousins won’t love it - they probably will because it is so British - but it makes Against The Darkness different enough that it is a very far cry from a pale imitation. Henderson is a paranormal investigator, called in to solve a variety of problems; a haunted school, a Cathedral being used to create evil energy for some nefarious purpose, a gym sucking the life from its users, a curse on a young woman, a painting that kidnaps people, and vampires. Henderson is ably assisted by Samantha Jephcott, a reluctant psychic and former manager of the gym that sucks the life from people.
 
The stories are varied, but all contain the same element of fun and many are slightly tongue-in-cheek, which works wonderfully well. The darkest tale, Probert apologises for it at the end of the book, is my favourite. There are several tales with a dark edge, but all of them feel like an adventure. You know what’s about to come, there will be some sort of weird adventure, and yet when it comes Probert almost inevitably manages to surprise you.
 
The characters of Sam and Henderson grow throughout the book, and the stories work well individually, but also add to each other. In the beginning I was wondering why not just produce a novel, and hopefully that is still to come, but this collection provides a good range of adventures at varying lengths and keeps you coming back for more.
 
My favourite story is “Happily Ever After”, a great wedding tale that will shock and astound. The story is beautifully set-up and has a denouement that will leave you open-jawed. It’s also a story I will make my girlfriend read if she ever mentions wedding again! Again, a great story, but it only barely beats the final and longest story of the collection. “An Element of Emotion” is a very dark tale for this book, but one that manages to entertain, make you smile, and leave you desperate for more.
 
Without a doubt Screamingdreams has become my favourite small-press publisher in the UK since the end of Elastic Books. In this Probert collection they have brought together some terrific stories, which I cannot emphasise enough how fun they are: like the old pulp stories, and those adventures of Sherlock Holmes and H. G. Wells, and the seeds of the “Weird” genre by Burroughs and Lovecraft. Ok, so it’s not perfect, many of the themes will be familiar, but that seems to add to its charm. It’s a nice, warm and cozy book. Fantastic, rather than horrific. One you can imagine curling up with on the sofa and reading in front of a log-fire. This is a book that draws you in without you even realising it.
 
Against The Darkness is no mere X-Files imitator. I can’t remember when I had so much fun reading a book. Adventure into the weird does not get much better than this.

© COPYRIGHT October 2010

Morpheus Tales Publishing

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

27th September 2010

The Seventh Black Book of Horror is out & contains my story 'It Begins at Home'

FantasyCon 2010 has been and gone. Thanks to everyone who came to all the signings to say hello and buy a book (Zombie Apocalypse, End of the Line, and Seventh Black Book), those who came to my two readings, and those who appreciated my Welsh accent during the presentation of the best film award.

I've written a guest blog that should be appearing shortly on Simon Marshall-Jones' site Ramblings of a Tattooed Head, covering the Hollywood Hays Code of the 1930s with specific reference to the MGM Legends of Horror DVD box set

The latest issue of Prism is out and this time my Profondo Probert column covers 'Asylum Erotica' and 'The Reincarnation of Isabel' for all those who need a fix of early seventies Euro-Horror. Next issue I shall be dealing with the subject of 'pseudosequels' with specific reference to the quite terrible 'The Cell 2'

10th September 2010

 

It's nearly time for FantasyCon. As you can see from the poster, I'll be at the above signing on Saturday, 18th September. Also, on the Friday night before (17th September) I'll be reading my new story from The Seventh Black Book of Horror. It's called 'It Begins At Home', it's particularly unpleasant, and I do so hope to see you there.

29th August 2010

No book covers to post this time so instead here I am at a Guy N Smith - themed lunch.

It's almost time for FantasyCon, which is once again being held in the now very familar confines of the Britannia Hotel in Nottingham. Here's what I'll be up to:

Saturday 18th September

1 pm - Signing of the Solaris anthology The End of the Line

3 pm - Signing of the Robinson anthology Zombie Apocalypse

11-15pm - Late Night Reading - 'His Beautiful Hands' by Oscar Cook.

Yes, as part of the launch of MacMillan books' republication of the very first Pan Book of Horror stories I will be reading one of the very best (and certainly one of the nastiest) stories from it in the no doubt subdued late night atmosphere of the Britannia Hotel ballroom.

For those of you who can't make the Solaris signing there's also going to be an official launch on Tuesday 16th November at Foyle's bookshop in London's Oxford Street with many of the contributing authors (including me) planning to be present.

 

 

2nd July 2010

 

My story 'Ring Around the Roses' will be appearing in the above mass market anthology which is due out around November this year. For more information, including a complete list of contributors, go here

And another good review for Wicked Delights! This time from the nice chaps at Horror World:

John Llewellyn Probert is a unique man.  Upon meeting him, one can tell that he is not the most “normal” individual.  Then again, that can be a wonderful thing for a writer of the fantastic.  His funny, charming, and odd personality reeks throughout every sentence of his writing – finding a voice that is like no other. Readers may compare his short fiction to Neil Gaiman, Jeremy Shipp, or Clive Barker (on helium). 

Wicked Delights, his 5th collection has sold out printing both in the UK & USA already, giving Atomic Fez another feather in its… fez.

How would one describe Probert’s stories?  Weird but frightening comes close but like those authors noted above, one must read and truly digest his stories first before beginning to understand what this man is capable of – and how to describe (rather, how description fails to capture their essence).   Asylums run wild (of course) but twist in unique ways.  Books which drink blood from children?  A television station which takes care of one’s financial burdens?  A corporation breaking apart not only departments, but humans themselves?  Yeah, he’s odd but the stories work and his sparse prose allow the ideas and humor to ring the way they should. 

Recently, Atomic Fez and Probert held a contest where the winner won a “Wickedly Delightful” champagne breakfast with the author to help market the collection.  With these 18 tales, not much is needed to celebrate the writing within these pages.  Another winner from a unique press.

-- Dave Simms

 

10th June 2010

 

My story 'The Girl in the Glass' will be appearing in the forthcoming mass-market anthology from Solaris The End of the Line which should be in the shops in November.

My story 'Forgive Us Not Our Trespasses' will be appearing in an anthology forthcoming from Pendragon Press next year.

My story 'It Begins at Home' will be appearing in The Seventh Black Book of Horror which should be out in time for FantasyCon, where I understand editor Charlie Black is hoping to stage another mass signing similar to that at World Horror earlier this year.

The latest Black Static (Issue 17) which is just starting to be mailed out to subscribers has a review feature by Pete Tennant entitled 'Nasty But Nice - John Llewellyn Probert' in which he covers the stories in both Against the Darkness and Wicked Delights in depth. It's a very good review and I'm very pleased indeed that Mr Tennant thought so highly of both volumes

Tales From the Black Abyss has also done a review of Against the Darkness which you can read here

There's another great review of Wicked Delights in the American Library publication Booklist, which reads as follows:

When he’s not penning gruesomely amusing horror tales, Probert writes essays online reviewing some of his favorite slasher flicks, both obscure and famous. In his fifth story collection, his cinematic appetite often manifests in stray movie references and crisp, screenplay-ready narration laced with vivid imagery. The opening story, “At Midnight I Will Steal Your Soul,” for instance, shares its title with a little-known 1964 Brazilian movie and follows a fearful woman’s visit to a psychiatric hospital, where an evil presence waits to claim her soul and body. “Ophelia” recounts the fate of a young woman kidnapped expressly to become a model corpse for a group of unprincipled artists bent on reproducing great paintings. In “Your Help Needed Urgently!,” a deceitful businessman is forced to watch video clips of torture scenes to avoid being exposed. More than once Probert goes absurdly over the top with his story arcs, but his penchant for wily humor and odd narrative twists just as often yields a genre gem.
–Carl Hays, Booklist

Finally, Coffin Nails has received a very favourable review in the latest issue of David Longhorn's Supernatural Tales (Issue 17).

 

12th April 2010

Here I am post World Horror berating a life cast of Anthony Gormley on a chilly Saturday morning in Liverpool while Jenny Campbell (wife of Ramsey) wonders where her head's gone. I thought it might make a good author pic but seeing as it'll be a while before the next book here it is anyway.

As for writing news - it's Honourable Mentions time again, and I'm delighted to report that the following stories of mine have appeared on Ellen Datlow's longlist:

A Dance to the Music of Insanity from The Catacombs of Fear.
At First Sight from The Catacombs of Fear.
Catacomb Interludes from The Catacombs of Fear.
Mors Gratia Artis from The Catacombs of Fear.
The Markovski Quartet from The Catacombs of Fear.
The Neighborhood Watch from The Catacombs of Fear.
De Vermis Infestis from The Fifth Black Book of Horror.

For those of you fancying to dip into Against the Darkness to see what it's like there's now a pdf sampler available here

If you prefer flip-books, then you can read Against the Darkness that way here.   

31st March 2010

 

The Sixth Black Book of Horror is out and features my story 'Six of the Best'.

I'm typing these words just after the 2010 World Horror Convention in Brighton and I'm still recovering from one of the most exhausting and exhilarating weekends I can remember. Huge thanks to everyone who came to see my reading of 'Two for Dinner', the Friday night play, and my interview with Ingrid Pitt.

It was also splendid to meet so many people, and I think I signed my name more times in four days than I have all year.

I'll put up news of the (many) projects I'm getting involved with soon, but for now it's back to the typewriter...

9th February 2010

And it's time to mention Wicked Delights again, mainly because I've had a very pleasing review of the book from Publishers' Weekly:

SF/Fantasy/Horror

Wicked Delights John Llewellyn Probert. Atomic Fez (www.atomicfez.com), $39.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-9811597-2-0

Prolific horror writer Probert (The Faculty of Terror) offers up 18 gruesome, unsettling, and often unnervingly funny tales in his wide-ranging fifth short story collection. In “At Midnight, I Will Steal Your Soul,” a terrifying choir rehearsal in a haunted asylum leads an anxiety-plagued woman to a profound realization. “Two for Dinner” is a heart-pounding tribute to revenge horror films with a gleefully disturbing punch line. “The Mirror of Tears” is a haunting family drama about childhood terror and the sometimes damaging power of love. Vividly creepy images—the pages of a cookbook sucking on a child like leeches, an entire company being reduced to a sculpture of body parts as part of a corporate takeover—are all the more compelling when rendered in Probert’s breezy style. An illuminating and frequently hilarious afterword ends the collection on a gentle note. (Apr.)

The little red star next to the title is also a very good sign as it means the book has achieved 'recommended' status.

And if that isn't good news enough Ramsey Campbell has also read the book and has the following rather lovely things to say about it (and me):

The delightfully wicked Mr Probert wields his prose like a scalpel.

His imagination is impressively warped and gruesome, and yet his tales have an unrepentantly English reticence. There's dark humour here, and unexpected

poignancy - indeed, the book is as full of surprises as the man himself.

Horror is lucky to have him.

 

You can pre-order the book here or alternatively pick one up at World Horror in March & I'll sign it for you.

 

2nd February 2010

Here's Against the Darkness again, which has had a slightly confusing publishing history. For reasons too complicated to go into here the paperback was brought out last October in time for FantasyCon and since then it has been available only through Amazon.

In March there's going to be a hardcover edition available, which can be ordered through the Screaming Dreams website here, and which will be launched at World Horror as I mentioned on the last news posting. I'll be signing copies of the hardcover there but if you already have the paperback bring it along and I'll be happy to sign that too.

26th January 2010

I shall be interviewing Ingrid Pitt (pictured above in Hammer's The Vampire Lovers) on stage at World Horror 2010 in Brighton this March.

It's also where Atomic Fez will launching my new collection, Wicked Delights. I've now added a page to this website detailing the contents. There won't be an official signing session so please feel free to waylay me to get your copy signed. And for one lucky individual who buys their copy from the Atomic Fez stall there my publisher is planning a big novelty surprise...

It looks as if I'm going to be quite busy at the event. Here's the complete programme of what I'll be doing:

Friday March 26th:      

          10-00am - 11-00am   Monster Movie Memories Panel Discussion

           4-00pm -  5-00pm    Black Book of Horror Volume 6 Mass Signing

           5-30pm -  6-00pm    JLP in the Reading Cafe (I've yet to decide which story)

          10-30pm - 00-00am   'Corruption' in Ten Minutes (During this session)

Saturday March 27th:

           4-00pm -  5-00pm     JLP Interviews Ingrid Pitt Live On Stage

Sunday March 28th:

           2-00pm -  3-00pm     Against the Darkness Hardcover (Re) Launch

 

In other news there's a new review of The Catacombs of Fear at the Tales from the Black Abyss website here.

4th January 2010

 

A Happy New Year to All!

Over the next few weeks I'll be posting details of what I'm going to be getting up to at World Horror this year in Brighton. First up, I've just been collaborating on the script for 'Ten Minute Terror Theatre', a little project that will see my first stage performance for nearly 20 years. I shall be playing all the male parts in a special condensed version of the 1967 Robert Hartford-Davis shocker 'Corruption'. The movie originally starred Peter Cushing and is currently unavailable on DVD. The performance will be taking place on the Friday night of the convention at around 10-30pm & I'll be posting more details as they are finalised.

4th December 2009

 

Christmas is nearly upon us and so as a special treat here's the utterly delicious cover of my next short story collection. It's going to be unleashed upon the world at World Horror in Brighton in March 2010 and is coming out under the Atomic Fez banner. I'll be putting up a page devoted to the book and its contents shortly but for now you can find out all about it, including how to pre-order a copy here.

In other news, I was recently invited to become a Full Member of Academi, which is the Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency and Society for Authors. A quick check of their website reveals that not only have they listed me on their Welsh writers database but that full membership is by invitation only, so I accepted as, apart from it being rather nice of them, it's good to see academic institutions embracing horror writers and such an attitude should be heartily encouraged.

Coffin Nails has a nice little write up in Best New Horror 20 where Stephen Jones calls it 'an enjoyable collection of eighteen often amusing horror stories that owe much of their inspiration to the work of R Chetwynd-Hayes and the Amicus anthology movies'.

Ellen Datlow also devotes a paragraph to Coffin Nails in her introduction to Night Shade Books' Best Horror of the Year where amongst other things she says 'Probert is excellent at creating tension'.

My review of the quite incredible 1981 Spanish movie 'Pieces' directed by J-P Simon is now up on the Allthingshorror website here .

My story 'Six of the Best' will be in the forthcoming 'Sixth Black Book of Horror'

And talking of Black Book, there's a review of my story 'De Vermis Infestis' on the In the Gloaming website here .

 

3rd October 2009

 

Here's Paul Mudie's rather unnerving cover for the latest volume of the Black Book of Horror, which is now available from Charlie Black's Mortbury Press. In it you can find my story 'Two for Dinner', which was read to standing room only at FantasyCon the other week (thanks everyone!).

Apart from my reading, I also took part in the August Derleth panel at the same event. Thanks are due to Ramsey Campbell & Joel Lane for keeping things relevant, to Reggie Oliver for taking the 'making it up as you go along' approach with me, and to Ray Russell for keeping us all under control at 11pm on a Friday evening. Otherwise FantasyCon 2009 was the usual exhilarating, exhausting affair and if I didn't get a chance to say hello to anyone I'll do my best to remedy that at World Horror next year.

Talking of World Horror, I've just written a piece about ingrid Pitt (the convention's 'Special Media Guest') that's going to be published in the hardcover souvenir book that will be included in every member's registration pack.

And finally - it's Honourable Mention time! The following JLP stories have been given Honourable Mentions by Ellen Datlow for 2008:

Don't Look Back from Coffin Nails

Final Act from Coffin Nails

Of Music & Mayhem from Coffin Nails

The Sacrifices We Make from Coffin Nails

Recipe for Disaster from Bound for Evil

Because of space only the top 50 stories of the year will be listed in Ms Datlow's 'Best Horror of the Year' book and so the winner out of that lot is 'Don't Look Back'. As well as the stories above three others from Coffin Nails - 'Maleficarum', 'The Moving Image' and 'Between the Pipes' have received HMs in the past so that makes seven from the book altogether.

 

 

5th September 2009

 

 

Here I am feeling right at home with a church organ to my right and an operating table to my left. While I would love to say that this is one of the more spacious rooms at Probert Towers it is in fact the Glenside Hospital Museum, which boasts a rather marvellous collection of strait-jackets, old ECT machines, and antiquated instruments for performing brain surgery. Needless to say I had a lovely morning there and you can too if you manage to visit it during one of the rare times when it’s open.

 

Anyway – the news. There’s an interview with me that's going to be on the Black Glove website in a bit, but before it goes on there it's available on the rather elegant website of the gentleman who interviewed me, Steve Jensen.

 

There will be two brand new JLP stories in The Fifth Black Book of Horror. Charlie Black has now revealed the list of contributors and I’m delighted to see that my tales will be appearing alongside work from such talented authors and all round splendid chaps (and friends of mine) as Reggie Oliver, David A Riley and Paul Finch, as well as Pan Horror alumni David Williamson, Marcus Gold and Ian C Strachan, who wrote one of my favourite stories in the entire Pan Horror series (A Smell of Fresh Paint by ‘Carl Schiffman’ in Pan 20). I’ll post more details when I get them but for now the best place for BB5 news is probably here.

 

I’ve just joined the Friends of Arthur Machen for a number of reasons, not the least of which are that he was a very fine writer of macabre fiction and that I chaired a panel discussion on his work at the BFS annual meeting a couple of years ago which meant that I got to meet some of the society's learned members. In fact you can access the audio recordings of the ramblings of myself, Ramsey Campbell, Mark Samuels, Gwilym Games and Simon Clark in the 'Panels' section, where I've added the audio files as downloads. If nothing else I'm sure a certain amount of fun can be had spotting the various "celebrity" voices.

 

Machen was also a candidate for the examinations to be made a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, which makes me feel even closer to him than his South Wales connections, but I have to admit that another reason I have decided to join FOAM at this time (as it’s quite frothily called) is because the annual meeting is due to be held in my home town of Abergavenny, in a hotel owned by a man whose daughter was allegedly chased by the younger JLP underneath a posh dining table during Sunday Lunch. Or so my mother informs me, seeing as we were only five years old at the time, but I see no reason for that little detail to diminish the rumour of the (very) young but obviously gentleman-about-town-in-the-making JLP getting to grips, as it were, with the opposite sex..

 

I could go on about Abergavenny for hours, and probably will at the Friends meeting in March, but suffice to say it has featured in a number of my stories. If you ever visit Abergavenny Museum, go down into the basement and you will find the setting for one of the scenes (as well as the reconstructed shop) from ‘Nefarious Assortment’ in Coffin Nails. Another story from that collection, ‘Taking Over’, was based on some of the houses I used to cycle past as a youngster. Stories such as ‘The Moving Image’, ‘The Sacrifices We Make’, and ‘Between the Pipes’ have all benefited from the fact that I lived in this rather strange town until the age of fifteen, and I don’t doubt it will continue to inform my work well into the future.

 

FantasyCon 2009 is almost upon us and for at least part of the time I shall be standing next to what will hopefully be a swiftly diminishing pile of copies of Against the Darkness. As well as intending to read one of my latest stories on Saturday 19th September it turns out that I shall also be participating in a panel discussion at the Britannia Hotel in Nottingham on Friday the 18th at about 10-30pm. The subject will be ‘August Derleth and the Legacy of Arkham House’ so come along and add to what should be a lively discussion about classic horror fiction.

 

Finally, the World Horror Convention will be taking place in the UK for the first time next year. Take a look at the website and you’ll see that there’s already a strong British presence registered, and if that’s not a good enough reason to pop along to Brighton for some sand, sea and shocks, with any luck I should be launching collection number five, the title of which apparently has to remain a secret at present until my publisher says I can tell you what it is. I’m also going to be involved in the convention in a number of other ways, all of which should prove entertaining if certain plans come to fruition.

21st August 2009

 

 

My next book will be 'Against the Darkness', a collection of supernatural adventures featuring the detective pairing of Samantha Jephcott and Mr Massene Henderson. They previously appeared in the 'States of the Art' episode of my first book 'The Faculty of Terror', and have also featured in a few short stories over the years published in magazines now long out of print. The 300 page plus book is due out from Screaming Dreams hopefully in time for FantasyCon in September. I've added a page to the Books section listing the contents, the blurb, and everything else you need to know about it.

10th August 2009

I appear to be have garnered mentions in a few magazines this time:

First off, Black Static Issue 12 has Pete Tennant's lengthy and very complimentary review of The Catacombs of Fear. Pete reviewed my very first story (The Trendelenberg Concerto) for 'The Fix' magazine a few years ago and I'm delighted he's included my latest book for review here.

Rue Morgue Issue 92 has an article on Ash-Tree Press that mentions Coffin Nails, interestingly enough calling it 'John Llewellyn Probert's homage to Amicus films' when it's the only book of mine currently in print that isn't! I'll forgive them though as the article is illustrated by the covers of three Ash-Tree books by MR James, Reggie Oliver and me!

Cemetery Dance Issue 62 is apparently about to come out and I understand it also has a review of The Catacombs of Fear.

3rd July 2009

No picture this time, although I've recently been busy supervising the photography for the cover of my next short story collection, details of which I'll be posting here as soon as I'm allowed. Apart from finishing the book, here's what else I've been up to:

My essay 'Corruption & The Fiend - The Slasher Movies of Robert Hartford-Davis' will be appearing in the Dark Scribe Press book Butcher Knives and Body Counts:  Essays on the Formula, Frights, and Fun of the Slasher Film, where it will also be possible to find my essay on Pete Walker's 1976 movie 'Schizo'

My review of Juan-Piquer Simon's quite incredibly silly slasher movie 'Pieces' will be appearing, appropriately enough, in the first issue of the newly resurrected magazine Pieces of Mary.

My story 'Two for Dinner' will be appearing in the Fifth Black Book of Horror.

My review of the UK DVD release of the 1978 ITV version of 'Casting the Runes' by M R James will be appearing in a future issue of All Hallows.

 

14th March 2009

The Catacombs of Fear is now out and looks lovely. Order your copy now from Gray Friar Press, and if you haven't yet got The Faculty of Terror then they can do you a deal on the two. Shall I post the cover again? You know I think I will:

 

I've also started a regular film review column at the Gray Friar website. Click here to get to 'The Catacombs of Film'. The introductory page is self-explanatory but essentially it's an opportunity for me to wax lyrical about any film I feel like passing comment on. A list of all the films I've reviewed can be accessed via the drop down menu under Non-Fiction on the sidebar.

I have already mentioned it on various message boards but if there any movies you would like to see reviewed on there, either so you can chuckle merrily at how I've misinterpreted some important work of cinema or more likely scratch your head at how I've managed to find some merit in yet another piece of low-budget nonsense, then get in touch with me via the 'Contact' button and I'll see what I can do. I've already had requests for 'Corruption', 'Sting of Death' and 'Carnival of Souls' which will all be reviewed in due course, which is more than I can say for 'Confessions of a Shopaholic', the request for which I suspect wasn't serious anyway, although who knows?

6th January 2009

 

The sequel to 'The Faculty of Terror' should be coming out around mid-February. There are no returning characters or creatures and the location is different as well. In fact the only way that 'The Catacombs of Fear' resembles its predecessor is that it retains the same structure, and the cover has a similar design. Oh, and there's another picture of me on the reverse, this time taken round the back of Bristol Cathedral. This time there are five stories linked by a framework and the book is a little longer than Faculty. I have added all the details to a separate page which can be accessed via the book menu.

Anyone interested in reading my comments on page 69 of Coffin Nails (I know - I thought it was rather a weird concept when I was asked to contribute but if you go to the website it makes sense) should click here.

I've also added some reviews and comments to the Coffin Nails page.

1st October 2008

Another Fantasy Con has been and gone, and here is a gratuitous Guinness-filled group shot taken early on in the proceedings to give those who were unable to attend some general idea of the atmosphere at this most convivial of occasions.

Thanks go to everyone who bought a copy of Coffin Nails over the weekend, and extra special thanks are due to those who bought copies from me even after I ran out early on the Saturday. As soon as I have some more from Ash Tree Press I'll be forwarding them, signed and inscribed as requested.

More thanks go to all those who made my reading of 'Guided Tour' (from Supernatural Tales 12 and reprinted in Coffin Nails) such a success that it was standing room only. At the same meeting I also chaired a discussion panel on the works of William Hope Hodgson and Mark Samuels, Stuart Young, Ray Russell and Gwilym Games all helped to keep the conversation lively. My thanks to them and all those who attended.

I've been busy writing a couple of articles for John Mains' forthcoming book on that most lauded / despised of British horror institutions The Pan Book of Horror Stories. Having been a fan of the series since I was very young I was delighted when John asked me to supply him with a list of my ten favourite stories, which you can find on his website devoted to the series here.

Also on the website you can find my essay on J P Dixon's story The Surgeon's Tale from The 29th Pan Book of Horror Stories here. The finished book will also contain my essay on R Chetwynd-Hayes' It Came to Dinner from Volume 14.

The Vault of Evil is an excellent resource for all kinds of supernatural fiction. It was conceived and is still managed by the inexhaustible Kev Demant, and recently I was delighted to see that a thread has been started for Coffin Nails in the 'Favourite Authors' section, which can be accessed here.

My story 'Between the Pipes' published in All Hallows 42 and reprinted in Coffin Nails has received an Honourable Mention in Volume 21 of the Year's Best Fantasy & Horror.

Finally, there's plenty more fiction on the way. I am just putting the finishing touches to a couple of books which I should hopefully be able to announce more about soon.

8th August 2008

Coffin Nails has arrived!

 

 

My latest short story collection is now available. Ash-Tree Press have done their usual superb job of producing a book that is as much a collectors' item as it is a literary endeavour. Needless to say I am absolutely delighted with the result. 18 stories, just over 100 000 words, all contained within this limited hardcover edition. And yes I did say limited so get a copy while you can.

For those of you who may still be undecided this promotional video may help you to make up your mind:

Those of a delicate nature (I can't believe anyone who visits this site is of such a disposition but there you go, here's a warning especially for you) who may find the gratuitous nudity a little too much are advised to stop the film once it gets to the cover image

Those of an even more delicate disposition who may find my attempts at a cross between Roald Dahl & Sir Donald Wolfit as being just a little too much are advised to stop the film as soon as it starts.

Everyone is of course heartily encouraged to buy this rather splendid volume of horror stories and thus allow me to continue with a lifestyle that will ensure that various Milan fashion designers, the distillers of Hendricks Gin, and all those who work in the Savoy chain of hotels are kept in gainful employment.

Go on - you know you want to. There's even a picture of me in a rather fine navy cheesecloth pinstripe on the back cover.


Click Here to Order from Ash-Tree Press

In other news my story 'At Midnight I Will Steal Your Soul' will be seeing print in the GAP anthology 'Another House Another Hill'.

I will be attending this year's FantasyCon in Nottingham in September where I shall be chairing a discussion panel on the works of William Hope Hodgson.

Finally, as predicted below, The Third Black Book of Horror is indeed now on sale in Waterstone's in Bristol's Broadmead Centre.

 

25th June 2008

The Third Black Book of Horror is now out, with the kind of marvellously outrageous cover that hasn't graced a British horror anthology for a few decades now. It contains, amongst others, my story 'John & Jenny and the Lump' - a story written in the style of the Ladybird 'Peter & Jane' books of our youth but definitely not for the little ones. Copies are obtainable from Mortbury Press at http://www.freewebs.com/mortburypress/, and will probably be available from Waterstones in Bristol's Broadmead Centre at some point seeing as the other two volumes can be bought from there. Buy a copy and encourage Mr Black to continue with his sterling work of resurrecting the great British horror anthology tradition.

15 May 2008

It’s been a quite a while since the last update, mainly because I’ve needed to sort out getting the website overhauled. I hope everyone considers this new version to be an improvement over the old. Separate pages will be added for each book I have published as they come out (accessible via the menu) and there’s also now a section covering my non-fiction work and the interview panels I’ve been involved with which will also be updated as necessary. In the meantime below is a quick round up of what’s been happening since the last time I posted:

I was absolutely delighted to receive the Dracula Society’s Children of the Night Award for best work of gothic fiction 2006 for ‘The Faculty of Terror’, which also received two honourable mentions in the Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror’ Volume 20 for ‘The States of the Art’ and ‘The Kreutzenberg Sonata’. I was presented with the beautifully designed award at the society’s annual dinner in Holborn, where my charming and convivial hosts were kind enough to allow me to ramble on in the way that I usually tend to when given the opportunity to address a captive audience once dinner was over. Go to http://www.grayfriarpress.com/events.html to see some pictures.

The Second Black Book of Horror has been published by Charles Black’s Mortbury Press and contains my story ‘In Sickness And…’, about a marital guidance counsellor with rather extreme methods. The best place to get it is direct from the publisher at http://www.freewebs.com/mortburypress/ .


My story ‘Recipe for Disaster’ can be found in Bound for Evil, a handsome, hardcover volume nearly 800 pages in length available from Dead Letter Press through their website at www.deadletterpress.com

Just out in time for Christmas 2007 was the Gray Friar Christmas Book, a limited edition possible start to an annual series featuring stories by author published by that imprint. My story ‘Last Christmas’ rounded off a volume containing festive tales by Nicholas Royle, Paul Finch, Gary Fry, Gary McMahon, Simon Strantzas and Conrad Williams.

In September 2007 Mark Samuels was kind enough to invite me to moderate a panel discussion on the works of one of the all-time great authors of the macabre. ‘Arthur Machen - Master of Holy Horrors’ took place during Sunday lunchtime at FantasyCon at the Britannia Hotel in Nottingham, and the individuals to whom I put my questions were Ramsey Campbell, Simon Clark, Gwilym Games and Mark Samuels himself. The event was such a success that a similar panel is planned for 2008, this time discussing the works of William Hope Hodgson, author of ‘The House on the Borderland’ and the ‘Carnacki’ stories amongst others.

Issue 12 of David Longhorn’s splendid journal ‘Supernatural Tales’ also came out last year and included my story ‘Guided Tour’, which I wrote in the restaurant at Blenheim Palace. Copies can be obtained from www.chico.nildram.co.uk/SupernaturalTales.html

 

 

 

Before that The Black Book of Horror saw print from Charles Black’s Mortbury Press. Aiming to be the new Herbert van Thal (of ‘Pan Horror’ fame amongst others) Charlie was kind enough to include my story ‘Size Matters’, a version of which some will remember I read aloud as part of an after dinner speech, the rather more disturbing bits edited out on that occasion so as not to offend the sensibilities (and stomachs) of those unacquainted with my fiction. The story itself is in the style of Pan authors such as Harry E Turner and MartinWaddell. It can be ordered from Mortbury Press through the following link: http://www.freewebs.com/mortburypress/, or you can buy it from online stores such as Tesco & Amazon. Copies are also on sale in Waterstones in Bristol’s Galleries shopping centre.

One of my very early stories, ‘In the Dining Hall of the Damned’ was published in Lighthouse Volume VII. Check on www.lighthousemediaone.co.uk/ for availability.

7 June 2007

I am delighted to announce that Ash-Tree Press have agreed to publish ‘Coffin Nails’, a collection of my short supernatural fiction. The book, with a word count of around the 110 000 mark, is planned to be available in both hardcover and paperback editions. It will include a few reprints of what I consider to be my best fiction that has already seen print in small press magazines, but the majority of the volume will be made up of new material, including an introduction and notes on the writing of all the stories.

The Ash-Tree Press hardcover anthology ‘At Ease with the Dead’ is now available and contains my story ‘The Brook’. Contents and ordering details can be found at http://www.ash-tree.bc.ca/atp126At%20Ease%20with%20the%20Dead.htm

9 March 2007

The latest edition of ‘All Hallows’ (issue 42, the cover of which is reproduced opposite) is a hefty volume that features another of my music-based horror stories entitled ‘Between the Pipes’. Go to www.ash-tree.bc.ca/GSS.html for details of how to purchase a copy. My story ‘The Brook’, a macabre interpretation of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem of the same name, which had originally been accepted for ‘All Hallows’ is now going to be published in the new Ash-Tree Press hardcover anthology ‘At Ease with the Dead’.

Response to ‘The Faculty of Terror’ has been terrific, and I understand that it has been nominated for the Children of the Night Award for best work of gothic literature for 2006. The limited signed edition has sold out but unsigned copies are still available. All reviews and comments regarding the book, including details of how to order it, are on a separate page of this website which can be accessed here.

My next book will be ‘Against the Darkness’, a collection of stories featuring my recurring supernatural detective characters Massene Henderson and Samantha Jephcott, who most recently appeared in the story ‘States of the Art’ in ‘The Faculty of Terror’. The book is coming out through Screaming Dreams press and you can find more details at www.screamingdreams.com/darkness.htm.

Two of my stories received ‘Honourable Mentions’ in the most recent edition of ‘The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror’ - ‘The Volkendorf Exhibition’ and ‘The Moving Image’.

My story ‘Daughter of the City’ has been accepted for the anthology ‘Dead Ends’ from Screaming Dreams press, which should see publication in both hardcover and paperback in time for FantasyCon 2007.

Finally, those who enjoyed my recent after dinner performance of my story ‘Size Matters’, a tale of an ill-advised foray into body augmentation, will I am sure be delighted to learn that it has now been accepted for the ‘Black Book of Horror’ anthology.
 

1 October 2006

The Faculty of Terror had a very successful launch (along with many other new titles, in fact the number of books on display was exceeded only by the number of pints of beer to be seen at any one time in the publisher’s / dealers room – on the Gray Friar Press stall at least) at the BFS meeting at Nottingham’s Britannia hotel (which used to be the Albany for those who may remember having attended certain university events there in the dim and distant past). The book is selling well and the comments I have had so far have been very encouraging. Alison LR Davies has written a review which will probably see print in Prism magazine & I’ll be posting it on here once it has been published.

My interview with Ramsey Campbell (pictured), and our subsequent readings of ‘Over Time’ from ‘The Faculty of Terror’ by me and ‘Just Behind You’ from the anthology ‘Poe’s Progeny’ by him meant that between us Friday 22 nd September from 9-30pm to just after twelve was FrightNight. My everlasting gratitude to everyone who attended, to the gentleman who turned the lights down and put the blue filter on for the readings, and especially to the individual who wishes to remain anonymous who kept Ramsey and me topped up with drinks during the proceedings. Extra special thanks are due to Martin Roberts of Purple Rage Film Productions who filmed the whole evening, and to Steve Mellings who took some pictures that I hope to post somewhere on this site in the fullness of time.

Another book to be launched at the meeting was Sean Wright’s anthology ‘When Graveyards Yawn’ which contains my short story ‘The Comeback Kid’. It’s available from Crowswing Books at www.crowswingbooks.co.uk

29 August 2006

The Faculty of Terror is now ready for pre-ordering from the following link: http://www.grayfriarpress.com/catalogue/faculty.html.  As mentioned previously, I will be reading the first of the stories in the book, ‘Overtime’, before an audience at the annual meeting of the British Fantasy Society at the Britannia Hotel in Nottingham . The reading will take place at 10-30pm on Friday 22 nd September, after my hour long interview with author Ramsey Campbell. Purple Rage Productions are going to be on hand to film the event.

In other news, ‘Some Must Suffer’ – a 9300 word story written in homage to the work of producer-director Pete Walker and other great low-budget British independent horror film-makers of the nineteen seventies, has been accepted for the new Gray Friar press anthology ‘Paging Mr Hitchcock’. ‘Poe’s Progeny’ the previous anthology from this publisher (which also happens to contain one of my stories) has made the shortlist for the British Fantasy Society award for best anthology. Finally, my story ‘Horror in the Heavens’ has seen publication in issue 6 of Paul Calvin Wilson’s ‘Lighthouse’ magazine.
 

9 May 2006

My story ‘Special Offer’, inspired by watching late-night television in search of inspiration, and in particular the plethora of adverts for low-cost loans that seem to take up more airtime that actual programming, has been published in the anthology ‘Read by Dawn’, Volume 1. It can be ordered through www.amazon.co.uk or from the Beautiful Books website at www.beautifulbooks.co.uk .

‘The Faculty of Terror’ is to be my first book, and should be available from Gray Friar Press from August. It can best be described as ‘an anthology horror film in prose’ in that it intends to emulate British portmanteau films like the classic Ealing ‘Dead of Night’ and Amicus pictures like ‘Asylum’ and ‘From Beyond the Grave’. The book consists of six stories set within a framework narrative that ties them all together and both opens and concludes the proceedings. The official launch will be at FantasyCon 2006, the annual meeting of the British Fantasy Society, which will be taking place in September in Nottingham. I shall be reading the first of the stories in the book at one of the ‘Midnight Reading’ sessions, and fans of good old fashioned British horror will hopefully not be disappointed, either with the story or the way in which I tell it. For more information about the book go to the Gray Friar Press website at http://www.grayfriarpress.com/catalogue/faculty.html
 

2 March 2006

My story ‘Born in the Valley’ has just been published in issue two of ‘Nocturne’ magazine. For ordering details go to www.lighthousemediaone.co.uk/

‘The Volkendorf Exhibition’, featured in the anthology ‘Poe’s Progeny’, has been garnering some very nice reviews, and I was recently informed that it is going to be included in the list of ‘Honourable Mentions’ in the next Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror (Volume 19). The hardback of Poe’s Progeny is sold out but the paperback is still available from www.grayfriarpress.com.

Finally, as well as interviewing Ramsey Campbell at the 30 th annual BFS convention in September, I may well be taking part in the ‘Midnight Readings’ session on either the Friday or Saturday night. If that’s the case, it will be the first time I will be reading one of my stories to an audience. It’s bound to be a memorable occasion and I intend to do my utmost to ensure that no-one who comes along will leave disappointed.

2 February 2006

My story ‘Your Help Needed Urgently!’ about a sinister charity organisation can be found in issue 5 of Fusing Horizons. It’s just been published and can be ordered from www.grayfriarpress.com. The magazine also contains one of my very short pieces -‘Get a Life’ – which I wrote in collaboration with editor Gary Fry.

My story ‘Special Offer’, a rather bleak and bitter offering about the perils of borrowing too much money, has been selected for inclusion in the anthology ‘Read by Dawn’ which will also feature a story and an introduction by Ramsey Campbell. The plan is for it to be published alongside Edinburgh’s international festival of film horror ‘Dead by Dawn’. Ordering details can be found at www.beautifulbooks.co.uk/Read_By_Dawn.111.0.html

17 January 2006

'Nefarious Assortment' - my sexy, scary, ultimately repulsive tale of a bored housewife and a box of chocolates can be found in the anthology 'Goremet Cuisine' from editor Nancy Jackson (who was also responsible for ‘Trip the Light Horrific). You can be order it from www.lulu.com/content/215228.

Once again I find myself the theatre critic for ‘All Hallows’, the journal of the Ghost Story Society. My review of the pantomime ‘The League of Gentlemen are Behind You’ can be found in the latest issue (Number 40). You can order it from www.ash-tree.bc.ca/GSS.html.

19 December 2005

“All is Safely Gathered In”, my 3000 word tale of Harvest Festival unpleasantries, has just been published in Paul Calvin Wilson’s book ‘Lunar Harvest’ (70 pps, available from Lighthouse Media One). My first comedy short story (although some would say that is debatable) is due to be published next year in the British magazine ‘SciFantastic’. Entitled ‘The Giant Tropical Fresh Fruit Invasion of Old London Town’ it’s a science fiction detective adventure featuring man-eating trees, a giant canary attacking Westminster and plenty of custard, as well as various outsized lemons, kumquats, grapefruits and other tropical produce.

My review of issue five of Des Lewis’ revolutionary magazine ‘Nemonymous’ is now up on his website. Go to http://augusthog.tripod.com/ to take a look. It’s the second review on there.

Always keen to keep myself busy, I was recently very pleased to accept Gary Fry’s offer to become part of the team at Gray Friar Press. I’m going to be taking care of the company’s public relations, so future developments in that area should be entertaining to say the least.

Finally, it gives me tremendous pleasure to announce that I have been asked to conduct the live on stage interview with the man the Oxford Companion to English Literature has called “Britain’s most respected living horror writer”, Ramsey Campbell, at the annual convention of the BFS at Nottingham in September 2006. As many of you will know, this was where I attended university, and so after all formalities have been dispensed with I intend to take the willing and the reckless on a tour of establishments I used to frequent in the city centre on the Saturday night, which may well extend into Sunday morning.
 

21 October 2005

My story ‘Best Man’s Speech’, which was written when I was trying to come up with something amusing to say at my brother’s wedding, has just been published in issue 5 of Marc Shemmans’ very smart magazine ‘The Horror Express’. It’s accompanied by a very evocative full page illustration that hearkens back to the cover of the Eleventh Pan Book of Horror Stories. Go to www.horrorexpress.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk for details of how to order. Marc is planning to publish a further tale of mine - ‘Another Quiet Night on the Welsh Borders’ - in issue 6.

3rd October 2005

Poe’s Progeny is now on sale. This hugely impressive collection of homages to great horror writers and macabre styles of writing can be ordered from Gary Fry of Gray Friar Press at www.grayfriarpress.com. My contribution to this volume is entitled ‘The Volkendorf Exhibition’ and is a tribute to what is known as the conte cruele, a writing style as silken as it is nasty, popularised by authors such as Maurice Level and Sir Charles Birkin. Peter Tennant of ‘The Third Alternative’ magazine has already said a few nice words about it (see my review section). To find out more get the book.

I am the theatre critic for the latest issue of All Hallows magazine which for those of you who don’t know is the beautifully produced journal of the Ghost Story Society. Issue number 39 contains my two-page review of the stage version of one of my favourite films, ‘Theatre of Blood’, performed at the Royal National Theatre & starring Jim Broadbent in the lead role of Edward Lionheart with Rachel Stirling as his daughter. Go to the Ash-Tree press website for detail of how to order at www.ash-tree.bc.ca/GSS.html
 

6th September 2005

My story ‘A Matter of Urgency’, a tale of bladder problems, dangerous old ladies, and the perils of listening to fortune-tellers, can be found rounding out ‘Trip the Light Horrific’, a collection of humorous horror stories which after a last-minute change of publisher is now available. Go to www.lulu.com/content/159245 to order a copy. In other news, my story ‘Guided Tour’, a decidedly more downbeat little piece inspired by a trip to Blenheim Palace, will be seeing publication in a future issue of David Longhorn’s ‘Supernatural Tales’. ‘Horror in the Heavens’ is another light-hearted detective adventure which reveals the real reason why people get air-sick, and is due for publication in Lighthouse Volume Six later this year.

19th June 2005

Here and Now Issue 5/6 has just come out. Go to www.bradanpress.co.uk to order a copy at the incredibly reasonable price of £3-50. This special A4 double issue is 128 pages long and includes my 8000 word supernatural detective story ‘A Fear of Fitness’, which is the first in a proposed series of adventures featuring the two central characters of Massene Henderson, investigator of the paranormal, and his sidekick Samantha Jephcott. Because of differing publishing schedules, the second adventure, ‘Bloodsucking in Berkshire’, has already seen print in the first Maelstrom anthology from Paul Calvin Wilson’s team at Lighthouse Media One. A very early Henderson adventure, ‘Bother at the Belfry’, can be found in issue 16 of Thriller UK magazine. To perhaps the disappointment of some readers, the titles of any future adventures may not necessarily be alliterative.

Finally, a big thank you to everyone who has contacted me with comments, suggestions and just plain good old-fashioned encouragement as regards what I’m doing here – since the site went up the response has been terrific and I genuinely appreciate it.

9th May 2005

Supernatural Tales Issue 9 is out and features my 10000 word novelette ‘The Moving Image’. Copies of this excellent small press magazine tend to sell out quickly so get it while you can.

My story ‘The Comeback Kid’, has been accepted for publication in the new Crowswing Books hardcover anthology ‘When Graveyards Yawn’. The Crowswing website is very slick and worth a visit. Sean Wright, who runs the company, has even put together a section on ‘Crowswing authors’, and if you click on my name you’ll find a page Sean has kindly put together about me, together with a smaller, sepia-tinted version of my photo on this website. The address is www.crowswingbooks.co.uk.

Possibly the shortest collaborative effort to see print for some time, ‘Get a Life’, a 185 word short which began as a rant by Gary Fry on the Ramsey Campbell message board and has been completed by my good self will be seeing print in a future issue of Fusing Horizons.

31st March 2005

The website is finally up and running. It’ll probably take a little while for me to get things the way I want them so bear with me, but I would still welcome any comments about what I’m doing here, good or bad.


Stories that should be seeing print soon include:

The Moving Image

David Longhorn tells me that Supernatural Tales 9 should be going to the printer any day now. He’s been kind enough to show me a provisional contents and list and you can look forward to stories by Paul Finch, Michael Chislett, Gary Fry, Barbara Roden and many other fine writers, as well as my contribution.

The Volkendorf Exhibition

Gary Fry is apparently about halfway through the proofreading process of his terrific-looking ‘Poe’s Progeny’ anthology, although with his PhD deadline looming I’m amazed the man has time for anything else at the moment. Planned release date is still May.

Your Help Needed Urgently!

The ubiquitous and indefatigable Mr Fry will have Fusing Horizons issue 5 with us as soon as his laptop is all better. Hopefully a computer doctor is applying a soothing ointment as we speak (to the computer, naturally).

       


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