To anyone popping onto this blog regularly, I can only apologise for the lack of posts in recent weeks. I've been astoundingly busy.
Not only did I surrender my Christmas break to dive into TALES OF TRENZALORE, the new Dr Who epic from BBC Digital, but I had to deal with a structural edit for THE KILLING CLUB, the third outing in my new series of Heck novels (published on May 22 this year), then I had to outline the fourth in the series - as yet untitled - and, after that, write a first draft screenplay based on a new fantasy/horror idea of mine that has recently caught the interest of a major Hollywood producer.
If all that sounds tremendously exciting, you're right ... it is. But it's also been massively time-consuming and has left almost no space on the schedule for twice-weekly or even bi-weekly bloggage.
However, I think it's vital to take time out to report on events now and then, so here we go ...
With the worst of the winter weather (hopefully) falling behind us, I'm shortly about to embark on the conference and convention trail for 2014, and will be starting out in March with an event that marks a real first for me.
I'm hugely flattered and honoured to have been invited as a guest to a literary luncheon hosted by THE LADY magazine at The Caledonian Club in London. This is going to be a lot of fun, I can sense it already, though I don't really know what form it will take - a brief presentation between courses, followed by questions and answers, I imagine.
Previously I'd have thought THE LADY, Britain's oldest weekly women's magazine, would be a universe away from the violent streets and blood-spattered urban passageways prowled by Detective Sergeant Mark Heckenburg, but I'll actually be one of three guests on the day, and one of the other two, D.E. MEREDITH, (pictured left) author of the compelling Hatton & Roumande series, is also a thriller and mystery writer, so I guess that could be one of the themes of the event. The other guest, meanwhile, is ANNA HOPE, an actress well known for her startling appearance in Dr Who (as pictured at the top, and without the special FX make-up below right), but whose debut novel, Wake, tells a very different story from that in which she was famously feline - it's an emotional and beguiling tale about the painful aftermath of war.
I'm not sure what the attendance situation is, but anyone interested in going can investigate ticket availability HERE. Hopefully I'll see some of you there.
On other matters this week, I've a few bits and bobs of interesting news to report.
First of all, my congratulations go to writer NINA ALLAN, whose amazing and terrifying story, The Tiger, which first appeared in TERROR TALES OF LONDON last year, will appear in Ellen Datlow's BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR #6. I remember being hugely impressed by that story the first time I read it in my capacity as editor ... I don't think I'd ever felt so affected by a sense of decadent evil and immorality. Anyway, I'm really glad to see Nina get this nod of approval. Thus far that brings Year's Best selections from last year's Terror Tales books to five, as Anna Taborska, Marie O'Regan, Mark Morris and Stephen Volk will all be going into other volumes, with The Bloody Tower, Someone To Watch Over You, The Red Door and The Magician Kelso Dennett respectively (and the contents of other 'Best Of' volumes are still to be announced).
On this same subject, those who follow this series will be interested to know that the next edition, TERROR TALES OF WALES, has now been delivered for typesetting. Such is the tightness of schedules these days, that it won't be available for pre-order for a few weeks yet - most likely it will be published in mid-April - but I think I can safely predict it'll be worth the wait.
Lastly, I mentioned TALES OF TRENZALORE at the top of this column. Well, I've had quite a bit of mail about that. It's due for release on 27th of this month, and it includes brand new Who novellas by Mark Morris, Justin Richards, George Mann and myself, but if you want any more info before then, you might be interested in an interview on the subject I did with THE TIME WARRIORS website. That can be found HERE.
Thanks for bobbing in, as always. More updates soon.