Thursday, 27 June 2013

Sacrifice at last takes a real, physical form

At last, my new Mark Heckenburg novel, SACRIFICE, has a physical form – and here it is. I can now relax in the full knowledge that it actually exists.

I’m being mischievous, of course.

The book received its final proof-read several weeks ago, so it was only a matter of time before it rolled off the presses, but it’s always a joy for an author to see your dreams and imaginings take a solid, tangible form.

SACRIFICE is the second in the Heck series, following on from STALKERS, and it takes more of a police procedural line as Heck and the rest of the Serial Crimes Unit are pitted against a so-called ‘calender killer’, a maniac working on a monthly cycle as he celebrates holidays and festivals with gruesomely appropriate human sacrifices. Folk can rest assured, however, that the action quota will be as high as it was in the first book, if not higher, and that I’ve gone out of my way to make it as scary and disturbing as possible.

On a different matter, but still on the subject of scares, I’m very proud to announce that TERROR TALES OF THE COTSWOLDS, the second in my ‘round Britain’ series of regional horror anthologies from GRAY FRIAR PRESS, has made the final ballot for the British Fantasy Award in the capacity of Best Anthology. This series originally stemmed from my love of regional British folklore and myth, and in all cases the authors contributing were asked to bear this in mind when writing their stories. So for example, with TERROR TALES OF THE COTSWOLDS, Thana Niveau told a tale concerning the famous Uffington Horse, John L. Probert discussed the magical properties of Cotswold stone, and Simon Clark reawakened a Shakespearean curse on the streets of Stratford-upon-Avon, among many others of course – there are usually about 13 original stories in each of these anthologies. One of the unique features of the series, though I will admit to having been influenced by the late, great Ron Chetwynd-Hayes in this regard, is my determination to intersperse true-life instances of folklore-related terror between the stories – just a page or so in each case, a palate-cleanser before the next dish is served.

Four titles have now been published in the series – LAKE DISTRICT, COTSWOLDS, EAST ANGLIA and LONDON, and though COTSWOLDS is the first to be honoured with a final nomination for the British Fantasy Award, several tales from the other volumes have been selected for reprint in various Year’s Best editions, so overall they are making an impact.

On the same subject, the next book in the series, TERROR TALES OF THE SEASIDE, is now in the latter stages of compilation. As editor, I’m very happy with the stories thus far residing in it, and feel strongly confident that we’ll have this next book out in time for WORLD FANTASY at Brighton over the Halloween weekend. Those attending must keep their eyes peeled; we'll only have so many, and with luck they'll go like the proverbial hot cakes.

No comments:

Post a Comment