At the outset of this series, I discussed its potential with Gary Fry, head honcho at the immensely supportive GRAY FRIAR PRESS, and we agreed to try for an initial five in the series, just to test the water. Well, to date the books have sold so well and have won such praise that we are in no doubt we must continue, so for the moment at least, the books will run and run; two more are now scheduled and being worked on as we speak.
Today's launch sees the first in the series that doesn't actually restrict itself to any particular locale - though location, geography, folklore etc will always be important in these books - but rather focusses on a particular cultural aspect of British life: the traditional seaside holiday. Followers of the series will guess, rightly, that its release was planned to coincide with the WORLD FANTASY CONVENTION in Brighton at the end of this month (and it will be for sale at the Con with all the others in the series). Brighton itself is therefore spotlighted in the anthology, but so are various other popular coastal resorts like Torquay, Blackpool, Southport, Rhyl, Bognor and so on. Not that in this collection they are really underlined as places you'd like to visit.
Perhaps the back-cover blurb will explain:
The British Seaside – golden sands, toffee rock, amusement arcades. But also the ghosts of better days: phantom performers who if they can’t get laughs will get screams; derelict fun-parks where maniacs lurk; hideous things washed in on bitter tides …
The death ships of Goodwin
The killer clowns of Bognor
The devil fish of Guernsey
The Night Caller of St. Derfyn
The Black Mass at North Berwick
The grisly revenge at Brighton
The tortured souls of Westingsea
Hopefully that will whet your whistles for more. But in case it doesn't, here's the full table of contents, which I'm sure you'll agree gives it added sex appeal (the italicised items are the 'true' tales with which I always like to intersperse the fictional ones):
Holiday From Hell by Reggie Oliver; The Eerie Events At Castel Mare; The Causeway by Stephen Laws; The Kraken Wakes; The Magician Kelso Dennett by Stephen Volk; Forces Of Evil; A Prayer For The Morning by Joseph Freeman; Hotel Of Horror; The Jealous Sea by Sam Stone; The Ghosts Of Goodwin Sands; The Entertainment by Ramsey Campbell; The Horse And The Hag; The Poor Weather Crossings Company by Simon Kurt Unsworth; The Devil Dog Of Peel; Brighthelmstone by R.B. Russell; The Ghouls Of Bannane Head; Men With False Faces by Robert Spalding; This Beautiful, Terrible Place; GG LUVS PA by Gary Fry; In The Deep Dark Winter; The Incident At North Shore by Paul Finch; The Walking Dead; Shells by Paul Kane; Hellmouth; The Sands Are Magic by Kate Farrell; Wild Men Of The Sea; Broken Summer by Christopher Harman.
Previous books in the series can still be purchased, and you don't need to go to WORLD FANTASY to get hold of them. They can be found at all good online retailers, such as Amazon, or at their point of origin, the GRAY FRIAR PRESS website. For those interested, they are: TERROR TALES OF THE LAKE DISTRICT, TERROR TALES OF THE COTSWOLDS, TERROR TALES OF EAST ANGLIA and TERROR TALES OF LONDON.
Don't forget, by the way, that my new e-collection, DON'T READ ALONE (70K words of spine-tingling horror) , is currently available for download on Amazon completely FREE of charge, and that it will remain so until midnight on October 27, from which point it will be subject to a special Halloween promotion and can be yours for only 99p, this second deal to run until November 10.