An author of Speculative Fiction, speculates about fiction.

Posts tagged “horror

Steampunked!

As you can see, my little blog has had a make-over. I’ve retro-fitted the whole thing with a slightly Steampunky edge in a homage to the recent acceptance of Greaveburn to Inspired Quill (IQ) publishing. In the true Steampunk tradition, I’ll no doubt be tinkering away at it for quite some time but the rivets and stanchions are there for now.

Speaking of Steampunk and Greaveburn, I’ve recently bought tickets to the Asylum Weekend Convention 2012 in Lincoln’s historic city. A whole weekend of ‘punkery with loads of great exhibitions, entertainments and of course the fabled Bazaar Eclectica where ‘punks fence their wares. I’ve been in touch with Tinker, the convention’s organiser, and he’s been kind enough to offer me a spot in the exhibition area. So there’ll be me (in my neo-victorian gear, by Jove!) and copies of Greaveburn for sale and even signing if you’re that way inclined.

But there’s more…the enthusiastic and very helpful Tinker has also offered me a spot on a panel, potentially alongside the likes of Robert Rankin, Toby Frost, Sam Stone and others! Of course, I accepted, but I’m PETRIFIFED.

It strikes me that the good thing about going nowhere with my writing is that I always know what to do. All of a sudden I’m very far from home with no map and the nagging sensation that I’m going to make an ass out of myself! Still…I’m excited enough that I’ve completely forgone sleep since signing to IQ.

 

In other news…I’ve re-released Not Before Bed in print (only from the american Amazon, I’m afraid) but it’s also now available for your Kindle (all over the globe). I know, the sensibility isn’t very Steampunk but than again neither is Not Before Bed. I think those short stories deserved one last flourish of attention before I pass it into the hands of fate entirely. While my Horror writing has served me well with some great publications that I’m very proud of  and practice with submissions etc. I think I’ve moved on, now. Not Before Bed was an earlier me, one who was still finding his feet. Greaveburn is the next step in the journey, not away from those much-loved old stories and everything they taught me, but moving a little down the road to where there are whole new set of things to learn.

And I can’t wait to start!

 

Thanks for reading.


In the Zone.

*Feel free to play Dangerzone by Kenny Loggins as you read this post*

I feel juiced! I’m not sure why. I’ve just mashed out two assignments for my OU literature courses (Ingesting unhealthy amounts of info about John Webster’s Duchess of Malfi in the process). That left me pretty mentally exhausted. Then I’ve been on the good old night shifts which, during winter, means I don’t see daylight for five days. When I got up this afternoon, I clutched my hands to my face like Christopher Lee and hissed! I need Vitamin D!

Despite that, I feel good.

Submitting Greaveburn to Independent authors has thrown up some lovely (rejection) comments. More along the line of “good, but we’re not buying”. My shoulders have become so sloped with the weight of these flooding replies that they slide right off. No harm, no foul, thanks for your time. And so when I found (or was found) by Inspired Quill Publishing via my Twitter feed, I didn’t think anything of it. I reciprocate follows with quit a few publishing types, but not for any backdoor attempts to get noticed (which is good, because it wouldn’t work). But in my hour of need, when I tweeted for the assistance of my loverly (sp. intended) followers, for any indie publishing houses that might be looking for new authors, it was Inspired Quill who answered. Unlike most indie’s at the minute, they were open for submissions.

Why the hell not, thought I. So I did.

With only the first two chapters of Greaveburn (IQ’s sub policy) to make it stand out, I’ll admit I was worried. We all hope that the vital intro is awesome, and Greaveburn has just had a major overhaul, but would it be enough?

Apparently, yes.

Enough, at least, to warrant my first EVER callback. IQ liked the intro and wanted to read THE WHOLE THING!

Queue me dancing around the room making WHOOP WHOOP noises like a lunatic. Then the sobering thought…this would be the first time that anyone other than Laura (my very encouraging partner and earnest critic) had read the novel. Holy Schmoly! All my little characters were going to get the treeatment in the confines of a stranger’s head for the first time. How would they hold up? Professor Loosestrife could hold his own. In fact, I pity the poor reader who lets him loose in their cranium. But Abrasia, Darrant and Steadfast? Could they take it?

But, like all good cliffhangers, I’ll have to leave you dangling. It’s only been a few days since I sent the full manuscript and I’m not expecting a reply for quite some time yet. I imagine vetting a novel to be a much harder and time consuming process than we authors would like to think. But I have patience…oh yes…lots…Ok, not that much.

This minor step forward has also spurred me out of a little writer’s rut I’d got into. I’m back in the saddle after an extended absence and writing the Alan Shaw Adventures again. While on the night shift, I’ve finished the third adventure (the novel being a series of adventures spanning the eponymous character’s life) and really starting to enjoy it again. Let’s hope this spurt continues!

And so, now that I’ve kept you for far too long, I’ll leave you be. As soon as I hear something, so will you. In fact, you’ll probably the hear the sobs or cheers from wherever you are in the world. Keep your ears peeled. It comes on the wind!

As always, thanks for reading.


New reviews for Not Before Bed

Well, it’s time for my favourite holiday. All Hallows Eve is upon us once again. And it seems only fitting that the new print editon of Not Before Bed with its striking white cover be on the shelves and ready to rock. And, thanks the emminent thriller writer Pete Denton and the lovely Ecowitch, I also have two new reviews! Here they are:

Pete Denton

One scaaaary Hombre

“I don’t usually read speculative fiction but I’m glad that I downloaded Not Before Bed, which is a collection of short stories from the twisted mind of Craig Hallam!

This is the second e-book that I downloaded when I bought my Kindle and there are plenty of great stories to entertain you on a cold, dark night. I enjoyed reading each and every one of them, though my favourites are Laughter on the Landing, Sarah and the Monster, Lovecraft and Albert. I like it when you can read a collection of short stories and have so many good ones to try to pick the best from.

Once I had started each story I had to read to the end. One of the longest stories in the collection is – Albert. I thought it was an excellent narrative tale that draws you into his world. Craig’s writing brings each story to life and I have to give this book the 5★ rating.

Well done, Craig. I look forward to reading new stories and, hopefully, your debut novel.”

Thanks Pete! Now on to Ecowitch and what she thought:

Ecowitches love the outdoors!

A superb collection of fourteen chilling tales that you really shouldn’t read before bed (unless you’re like me and you really can’t help yourself).  Hallam has a knack for building the tension and fear slowly with Laughter on the Landing, Sarah and the Monster and Albert while giving the reader a short sharp shock with March of the Broken, The Fly Man and the title tale Not Before Bed (which by the way may be the shortest but it packs the biggest punch).  Hallam also takes the more traditional horror genres and gives them his own unique twist with the original viewpoints of Daisy Chained, Hunting Grounds and Sleeping with the Dead.  Each story is very well written and the style changes to suit the story being told with reflections of Poe and Stoker in some and Lovecraft in others.  Hallam uses his words carefully weaving the story and atmosphere together to pull the reader in and keep them there until the very last moment.  I can’t quite bring myself to pick a favourite from these stories but the one that sent the biggest shivers down my spine was the title tale Not Before Bed, which takes your own night fears and gives them a voice, and it’s not one you really want to hear.”

Incredible! I couldn’t have hoped for a better review than that!

And since we’re here talking about it…Not Before Bed is finally ready to buy from Amazon! Own yours today!

I’d like to thank everyone else who’s taken the time to read and review it, I hope I didn’t give you nightmares (Oh, who am I kidding? I hope it did!). Everyone has been extremely supportive, helpful and friendly while I’ve been putting this little project together. Now only if I could get Greaveburn accepted…

Thanks for reading!


New Edition of Not Before Bed!

Banshees and Ghouls!

This may be a bit of a surprise to you, but Not Before Bed has released a new edition!  New cover, new stories, new horrors. Bigger, better and more petrifying than ever before. The really cool bit? IT’S IN PAPERBACK!

You can feel it already can't you? Fear in your fingertips...

That’s right, you denizens of the night, Not Before Bed just made all your fears so horrifyingly real that you can now touch them. The problem is, they can touch you too!

And you could have YOUR copy ready for the fateful All Hallow’s Eve. It’s already available on the Creatspace eShop. And it has just hit Amazon too. But, because I love you, and I have a thirst for hunting long-pig, you can compete against the other victims to win yourself a copy RIGHT NOW over on Goodreads *EDIT – Competition has closed. thank to all who entered*. Go ahead, take a look.

Check behind the curtains, kiss your loved ones good bye.

Then turn out the light, if you dare.


Publicationment!

I’ve had two large thuds on my doormat this week, and for once it isn’t the neighbour’s kid posting frozen poop.

The first package, I cracked open to find this inside:

Creepier and creepiest

 

If you like werewolves and creature features, you’ll love this collection. I’ve only got throgh the first few stories, but I’m so impressed with the quality that Misanthrope Press have injected into their book. I’m very proud to say that my short story ‘Hunting Grounds’ is nestled in those dark pages. And more than that, Paul Anderson gave my story an honourable mention in the Introduction. I could just wee!

The second thud came much later as it was originally delivered to the wrong address; ironically to the house on my street which I have long suspected of harbouring vampires (more on that in a future post). But once I scraped off the dried virgin blood and native soil encrusted on the package from next door, I found this inside:

What fantastic artwork!

What a cover! Where Misanthrope Press went creepy, Pill Hill Press have gone for a full-on awesomeness. This one is taking pride of place on my shelf from now on. In this anthology is my own tale ‘The Fly Man’ (page 105 if you want to skip that way :D). But the other stories are absolutely immense in their scope and diversity. This one will keep you up at night, for sure. If you want to invest in something for Halloween this year, then I’d suggest the hardcopy version. Worth every cent!

I couldn’t be more pleased. In one month, I’ve had two stories printed in two fantastic anthologies. This has given me a real spur to submit to more anthologies in the future. Remember guys, if you’ve read the stories, I’d love to hear what you think!

Thanks for reading.


My first anthology imminent!

I can’t believe how fast this has come around. It only seems like two minutes since I was submitting Hunting Grounds to Misanthrope Press’ Children of the Moon anthology. And now the release is almost upon us. According to the lovely people at MP, the print version will be available to buy next week. From what I hear, it’s chock-full of werewolfy goodness to keep your inner beast satisfied until the moon is fat once more.

The ominous front cover

 

As you can see, the introduction is written by Paul Anderson, who apparently mentions my little story in particular (looking forward to reading that!). So keep your eyes peeled, kids, because this one is going to be a corker! And then let me know what you think!

MP have the usual ways of contacting them, too:

Facebook

Twitter or @misanthropepres (just one ‘s’)

and, of course, the website which will be the first place you can order the anthology.


A new review!

Hi everyone,

Just dropping in really quick to let you know about a new 5* review for Not Before Bed which hit Goodreads recently. It’s by the very nice D.H. Nevins, also a writer who had this to say about my short story collection:

I loved the twisted little stories of Mr. Hallam’s imaginings. Whether the tale is deliciously creepy or falls into the realm of the downright weird, each one will leave you turning page after page into the wee hours of the morning. And above all else, Not Before Bed is FREE! What more could a reader ask for?

Indeed, what more can you ask for? Thanks D.H.!

And coming real soon in September, myself and D.H. will be swapping blog interviews. So stay tuned for that!

Thanks for reading.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11228145-not-before-bed-and-other-stories