Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Horror is (or will be) bursting out all over!

With the weather outside frightful it’s perhaps a pleasing thought to look ahead to the spring, in particular Easter-tide, when the sun will be up, the new leaves will be out and a sense of rebirth will invigorate us all.

What better time could we have chosen for the launch of the second volume in our series of TERROR TALES anthologies?

TERROR TALES OF THE LAKE DISTRICT, my first anthology as editor, was published last October and has now been a huge success – not just for me, but for Gray Friar Press, who I can’t thank enough for having sufficient faith to take it on board in the first place.

It was always my plan to turn this into a whole series of books if I possibly could, and as the autumn months rolled by I dropped lots of mischievous hints on this blog about where the second collection would be set. I knew one thing – I wanted somewhere with the same mysterious atmosphere, colourful history and esoteric aura as the Lake District, but also somewhere that was markedly different.

There were plenty of contenders, but in the end, thinking of the summer months that will stretch ahead of us when this next book is published, picturing sleepy, thatch-roofed hamlets, leafy lanes, rolling hills and a patchwork farmland all basking under a blue sky and mellow sun, a decision was reached with almost indecent haste.

So I can now officially announce that the second volume in our series will be TERROR TALES OF THE COTSWOLDS.

For those who aren’t familiar with that district, it is a handsome swathe of south-central England, lying between Warwick in the north and Bristol in the south, Oxford in the east and Gloucester in the west. It is classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and is famous for its pretty villages, its many ancient monuments and its unique golden-yellow ‘Cotswold stone’. It is also steeped in the major events of English history, and has more than a whiff of the arcane. You won’t believe some of the eerie folklore to emerge from this picturesque region.

But don’t rush off to try and place your orders just yet. We aren’t quite ready. Just keep watching this space for further announcements, and look out for a reproduction of the amazing cover art – which I’ve already seen and have been blown away by – and a Table of Contents that would make any horror editor jealous.

Just to set the scene, pictured at the top is a panoramic view of the Cotswolds at their most scenic (thanks to W.Lloyd MacKenzie). Lower down is the famous Green Man of Worcester Cathedral in the heart of the Cotswolds, which offers sure proof that there are darker than normal undercurrents in this tranquil realm.

But all that is for next year, of course.

In the meantime we still have Christmas to get through, and there can't have been many better ways to commence the final week of work before the festivities commence than by having my attention drawn to two excellent reviews of SPARROWHAWK, my Christmas novella of last year which, thus far, seems to be attracting at least as much attention this year (now available on Kindle HERE).

The first review comes from Geoff Nelder of SCIENCE42FICTION.

I’m not going to print it all out here – you can always pop over there and have a look if you wish, but here are a couple of choice comments:

Four aspects of Paul Finch’s novella drew me in: authenticity of geography and history; the exquisite writing style; personal coincidences; and most of all the grim storyline fascination of apparitional ghouls from the past, and the satisfaction of finally solving the puzzle ...

This novella is unmissable for any aficionado of ghost, horror, and historical fiction ...

Yep, I’m blushing … but not to the extent that I’m self-conscious about drawing your attention to it, or to the next review, which comes from Gef Fox of WAG THE FOX. Once again, if you wish to read it in full, get on over there. But here are a few extracts which left me feeling rather proud:

In a modest 130-or-so pages, Paul builds a rich and memorable story of a tormented man whose torment has not nearly reached its end. London is captured expertly, warts and all, in this story, and the dialogue between John Sparrowhawk and Miss Evangeline is magnetic …

I'm a guy who continues to struggle with appreciating historical fiction, at least the kind that steeps itself in the language of the time … Paul Finch, on the other hand, offers a style of writing that harkens to that time but offers enough of a contemporary feel to make a schlub like me get immersed in the story with little effort ...

Nice, I think. And very timely for sure.

Still on the subject to Christmas, pop back a little later this week, because in a day or so I’ll be posting another of my older Christmas stories to hopefully get folk in the mood for the holiday season fast looming.

No comments:

Post a Comment