An author of Speculative Fiction, speculates about fiction.

ghost story

Not Before Bed update!

Thanks to the very kind H. Conrad Miller, Not Before Bed has had another great review! Take a look:

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great collection of horror short stories ranging from Lovecraftian to werewolves to that thing that goes bump under your bed. Each story is finely crafted by Craig Hallam in an enjoyable and easy to read way while still having each story have it’s own voice and feel. I think that is one of the most remarkable things about this collection. While it is easy to see how all of the stories came from one author, each story was told with a voice all it’s own that was perfect for that specific sub-genre of horror.

Craig out did himself with his variety of stories. The dark sci-fi in Mandy in the Jar-O have an alien abductee’s horrific realization that her wildest dreams of being wanted are not so wonderful. The Lovercraftian tale of Albert that has little dialogue but such gripping description that every pool of water larger than the size of a drop suspect from harboring tentacled elder gods. These stories have the ability to catch and hold a reader’s attention. After every story I was left asking “When can I read a full story about this?”

I highly recommend this to anyone who loves horror. But I especially recommend it to anyone who wants to look into horror for the first time. It will give you a great primer for the genre and help you find a niche inside of it you will like.


Good job Craig

Well, I could hardly have asked for a better review than that! Let’s hope that it hitting Goodreads and the web in general gives Not Before Bed another little jolt of downloads. I think this is probably the appropriate time for me to give you some updates on the collection itself, too.

Since moving the collection from Smashwords to Kindle Direct Publishing, I’ve forced myself to NOT constantly check how many downloads I’ve been getting every month. And, because of that, I actually forgot to check altogether. Until today. And so, I can now inform you all that in the last year Not Before Bed, Amazon and Smashwords combined, has had a staggering…


I have no idea how this happened, but July last year showed a massive surge which then frittered out to just a few a month. And since I’ve only been looking at the last few months, I almost missed the huge 12,000ish downloads from middle of last year.

While it may be like this... feels more like this.









I think this causes for a huge thank you to everyone, whether they’re reading this or not, who has taken the time to download Not Before Bed. I never thought my shoddy little short story collection would be such a (relative) hit. I have no idea WHY this happened, but I’m not going to argue. If I can get but a portion of those downloads for Greaveburn, I’ll be a very happy camper. Special thanks, of course, go to those who went the extra mile to review it, too; you’ve all been extremely supportive and helpful in your feedback.

And with that, I think it’s time to put Not Before Bed to….well, to bed. It’ll still be out there to download for all those people who still manage to stumble onto it. But for me, it’s been a great experience that’s over now. I’m going home to concentrate on the next project. From here on in, it’s all about Greaveburn’s release later this year. And so, I’d like to bid a final thank you to everyone who made Not Before Bed a huge personal success. Stick around, there’s more writing to come!

Thanks for reading.

>Adaptions and a love of M.R. James

>Is it possible to be faithful to an original text when writing a screen play?

It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Because the films/tv series always seem to fall short. Is it an impossibility to faithfully adapt prose to screen? Or is it just because the human imagination can cover so much more complexity than is possible on screen?

I only ask because I managed to catch the adaption of “Oh whistle and I’ll come to you, my Lad” that was played over christmas. For those who’ve missed out, it was originally a ghost story by the late, great M.R. James; a ghost story writing expert in my humble opinion. The story follows a university professor on a short break to the seaside where he is haunted by a strange apparition he spots on the beach. The story, as with many of James’ works, made me poop in my pantaloons just a tad when I first read it, and still gives me shivers afterward.

The adaption to tv, while good, just didn’t hit the right kind of mark, for me. It stars the incredible John Hurt who manages to act his ass off while having so few lines of dialogue. And he’s brilliant, as are the few other actors/esses involved. Of course, they’ve had to update the story slightly, as the original was written somewhere in the early part of last century (feel free to correct me there), and the updates are done extremely well. In fact, the whole thing is very creepy. It just falls short at the final scare. Which is such a shame.

But I think I’m biased. I’m too close to the subject. Maybe someone else could let me know what they thought? Even if it’s just shy of the final impact of the original, I’d still suggest watching it. The beach scenes are genuinely haunting.