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Posts Tagged ‘John Connolly’

A Haunted Treat: a free Short Story with a Twist in the Tail!

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

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To celebrate the official publication of Haunted next week, Oxford University Press and I got together to plan a little extra treat for all you horror hounds out there. A completely FREE short story for you to download onto your Kindles! Just click this LINK and you can start reading straight away. Also included are the first few chapters from both Haunted AND Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide!

It’s a particularly creepy little number that I call ‘Turn Her Face to the Wall’. Last year, I was involved in a special Halloween event to help support my local library. The evening involved me performing dramatized readings from a few of my favourite creepy stories, including ‘Oh Whistle and I’ll Come To You’ from the spooktacular (that’s a word, right?!) pen of Mr James and a story from ‘Nocturnes’, a terrifying collection from modern master of the macabre John Connolly. I decided to write my own story for the evening, and to set myself a challenge…

The story had to be chilling and mysterious throughout – a nagging sense that something isn’t quite right with the picture the reader is being presented with – and then there had to be a twist. Only the twist must explain the entire story. And, to make it doubly difficult, the twist must take place in the very last sentence! In fact, in the very final two words!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy! And keep an eye out for a little teaser that connects Turn Her Face to the Wall directly to Haunted, though you’ll have to read Haunted if you’re going to get the gag!

Ghostly Goings On

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

In support of my brilliant local library in Skegness, I recently held a HALLOWEEN STORIES BY CANDLELIGHT event. Basically, it was me acting out some classic ghost and horror stories, including MR James’ terrific chiller ‘Oh Whistle and I’ll Come To You, My Lad’ and ‘Some Children Wander By Mistake’ by modern master of the macabre, John Connolly. I also penned an exclusive Halloween story of my own for the event, a mysterious piece which only makes sense when you hear or read the very last word of the story! I called it ‘Turn Her Face to the Wall’.

Anyway, the evening went really well. There were props and atmospheric lighting and some very creepy introductory music for each story. I’d also arranged for a few surprises to take place during the tales, with librarian Sarah suddenly appearing at key moments in some spooky and really rather gruesome disguises! Another terrific librarian Sue had her  cameo at the end of ‘Some Children…’ when she suddenly sprang from nowhere in a very freaky clown mask! It was great fun, especially when one of the kids in the audience jumped so high he almost landed in his mum’s lap!

But one thing still puzzles me. Towards the beginning of the evening, before the audience had arrived, librarian Ben took a photo of the empty stage area. Imagine our surprise when, viewing the photos at a later date, this strange figure seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. You see, even ghosts enjoy being spooked at Halloween!

A Fanboy Thrilled

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

 

Writers are big readers. They have to be. It’s something I always stress to kids when I do creative writing classes in schools – you want to be a writer? Then the first thing you have to be is a reader. A wannabe builder wouldn’t start his career without the guidance of an experienced mentor, and it’s the same with writers. We need guidance, someone to show us the tools of the trade and how to use them effectively. Unfortunately there isn’t an apprentice scheme for scribes. We can’t just pop round to our favourite writer’s house and ask to stand over his or her shoulder while they hammer out their words.  There’s really only one way a writer can learn his craft, and that’s by reading – observing from a distance the way in which experienced artisans ply their trade, picking up tips from a growing, often intuitive understanding of how words are put together. Then it’s just a matter of lots and lots of practice.

Reading a lot will inevitably lead to obsession with certain authors. (more…)