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Posts Tagged ‘Kids horror’

First JEKYLL’S MIRROR review is in!

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Hi all

Well, JEKYLL’S MIRROR, my new update on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic thriller of a man battling his inner demons, is out on 1st January!

Dr-Jekyll-y-Mr-Hyde

Not long to wait! This is always a slightly scary time for writers. You’ve worked for months, even years, on a book which you hope readers will enjoy. Many people have helped you along the way – in the case of Jekyll’s Mirror, my brilliant editors and a few experts in the field of cyber-bullying (which is the central theme of the book). But ultimately the book must be judged on its own merits.

Which means you, the writer, must be judged. Eep!

Thankfully, most of the reviews of my books have been very kind, and I’m hoping that other reviewers enjoy JEKYLL as much as the first reviewer has. Here then is an excerpt from that review, which appears on the brilliant Book Bag website. Check out the full review at the link here:

‘The horror side of the story is great – full of blood and guts and nasty villains with evil intentions. But the story also tackles some very kitchen sink themes – cyber-bullying and domestic abuse.
It’s not easy to marry these very different strands but Hussey manages it really well. You race through the story, thoroughly entertained by the schlocky narrative but underneath that, you’re always hoping that Sam will find a resolution for his “real world” problems.
We all have a dark side. And Jekyll’s Mirror shows us how pernicious it can be if we don’t acknowledge it…

The Nightmare Eater Begins To Feed!

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

nightmare eaterThe Nightmare Eater is here! And his diabolical presence is all thanks to awesome editor Adrian Cole and the fright-fans at Franklin Watts.

Adrian contacted me last year requesting a truly terrifying tale. He wanted something fast-paced and super creepy, with a strong lead character and a memorable setting. Oh yeah, and he wanted it all wrapped up in a punchy 3,000 words!

Now, for a long time I’d wanted to write a story set against the fairground world in which I’d grown up. For the first few years of my life, candy floss stalls and hot dog joints, shrieking rides and screaming klaxons, hook-a-duck games (which my great-grandfather always claimed he had invented) and spinning gallopers (merry-go-rounds, as they’re known to non-travellers) made up my world.

The Park 1

You know, fairgrounds are places of fun and adventure, but even showmen admit that there has always been a dark side to these touring carnivals. Sometimes this is an in-your-face kind of creepiness – the ghost train, the horror house, even the freak shows of the Victorian circuits – but there’s also another sort of spookiness. I’m not exactly sure how to describe it. Perhaps it’s contained in that moment when you walk through the Hall of Mirrors and, from the corner of your eye, you see a sudden flash and have the sense that, for a split second, some unknown figure is standing right next to you. Or the uncanny feeling that, behind the fixed smiles of the horror house dummies, a real smile lurks, and it is not a friendly one…

In The Nightmare Eater we are presented with a fairground of thrills and spills. A dizzying wonderland which tempts a young boy to break a sacred promise.

Fairground people are, by necessity, nomadic. They travel from place to place, rarely laying down roots, and sometimes they are discriminated against because they don’t quite belong. Often in our society immigrants suffer the same prejudice. In this story the son of an immigrant family journeys into the dark heart of a fairground and discovers much about himself in the process. In ‘Grimaldi’s House of Horrors’, young Tomasz  Kaczmarek will face a creature beyond his imagining, and must summon the courage to face it down.

For if he fails this Eater of Bad Dreams will devour all in its path…

I had huge fun writing this story. Trying to capture the elusive carnival world of my youth was a real challenge and a perfect joy.

So ROLL UP, ROLL UP! One ticket left to Grimaldi’s House of Horrors! Enter if you Dare…

HAUNTED cover & Quote 3!

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Hi guys

It’s time for another random/intriguing quote from Haunted! But before we get to that, here at last is the cover for the finished book!

Illustrated by the phenomenally talented Rohan Eason, whose previous credits include his brilliant, atmospheric work on The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, it reflects the dark fairy tale vibe of a story in which a young girl must overcome her grief to battle the spectral forces that are threatening her town. The cover shows our hero, Emma Rhodes, approaching the derelict (and quite possibly haunted) Sparrow House: the former residence of a mass murderer, the Victorian ruin now harbours a mysterious newcomer to the cursed town of Milton Lake.

As Emma approaches so the spirits of the ‘unmade’ swarm around her. It is a bold, stark design which, we hope, will catch the eye and stir the imagination. It hints at the tone of the book – mystery, intrigue, spookiness galore and more than a few heart-stopping surprises – but also leaves much to the imagination…

Here’s a look at the full book design. On the back you can see the fabled ‘Ghost Machine’ telephone discharging its ectoplasmic, spirit-forming energy onto the page. This then forms into those shadowy characters that threaten Emma Rhodes.

For larger versions just click on the images!

You can also read all about the challenges HAUNTED presented over at the brilliant Book Zone website – just click here

And now for the third intriguing HAUNTED quote:

‘She had laid down the challenge and then abandoned her brother to the spell of the Sparrow House…’

See you soon for more Haunted news and yet more teasing and tantalizing random lines!

HAUNTED Quote 2

Monday, March 18th, 2013

It’s Monday (boo!) and time for another random/hopefully intriguing quote from my next nerve-shredding novel HAUNTED (out in September). So without further ado here is a glimpse of Chapter 5:

‘Emma caught sight of an egg-shaped head with little holes where the ears had been; goggle eyes staring out of lidless sockets; skin ridged white and scarlet, like the contours left by lava on the face of a volcano…’

See you next week for more frightsome snippets!

HAUNTED Quote 1

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Hi All

Over the coming months, I’ll be posting some intriguing and some purely random quotes from my forthcoming thriller HAUNTED. You can find out more about the book by clicking here. And so on with the first quote:

‘… I did not want it to be true. That is why I treated you so roughly, Oliver. You were the only one whose voice I could not deny. Now, as silence and darkness nears, I beg your forgiveness.

Your friend, Thomas Edison.’

And the winner is…

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Firstly, many apologies for the delay in announcing the winner of the recent competition. I’ve had a truly gruesome case of the dreaded lurgy – projectile pea soup puking and everything!

But now, without further ado, the winner of the signed Witchfinder competition is…

JANINE PHILLIPS!

Congratulations, Janine – the book will be in the post to you very soon.

Stick around for more competitions coming soon…

Win Witchfinder 1: Dawn of the Demontide!

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Hi All

Isn’t January just about the most miserable month of the year?! Even the hellish denizens of the Demon Father’s domain are feeling gloomy, their razor-sharp teeth all a-chatter and their infernal blood frozen like the water of Damnation Lake (check out Witchfinder 3, chapter 21, ‘Forest of the Damned’ to find out just how *chilling* that bedevilled body of water really is!).

So to relieve the post-Christmas blues, how’s about a giveaway?

1 signed copy of Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide is up for grabs! All you need to do is leave a comment below this post. I’ll select a winner at random on Friday 25th January.

Good luck!

The 12 Days of Witchfinder

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Ho-ho-ho, horror freaks!

A Very Witchfindery Christmas to all! In celebration of this time of festive cheer and goodwill to all men and monsters (‘Now you’re making me sick to my infernal stomach,’ the Demon Father complains), I’ve prepared a new take on a favourite carol, now featuring elements from all three Witchfinder books. Hope you enjoy, and best wishes to you and yours this Christmas!

THE TWELVE DAYS OF WITCHFINDER

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

A demon in an oak tree!

(then, in the usual way):

Twelve Scarabs Scratching

Eleven Crones-a-cursing

Ten Banshees bawling

Nine Zombies moaning

Eight Toads-a-tumbling

Seven Weres-a-wolfing

Six Ghosts-a-gliding

Five Demontides!

Four Raging Trolls,

Three Grim Grimoires,

Two Hellish Hounds

and a demon in an oak tree!

PS – check back here after the festive season and I’ll have a competition with a BIG PRIZE to banish those January blues!

The Next Big Thing – HAUNTED!

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Last week the supremely talented Sarah Pinborough tagged me in The Next Big Thing blog series. It’s basically a gang of writers helping to spread the word about their upcoming titles. My answers to the standard ten questions are below, I’ll then be passing the baton to the authors listed at the bottom. So here goes…

1. What is the working title of your next book?

HAUNTED (the working title was GHOST MACHINE). It comes out September 2013.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

HAUNTED is part of a loose series of books, each with different characters and settings but with the connecting theme of supernatural objects. I wanted each object to be a little left-field (not the overly-familiar Ark of the Covenant, Spear of Destiny stuff) and have space within its established history/mythology for me to play about, for example by introducing ‘celebrity’ historical cameos. I also wanted each object to have an emotional and thematic relevance for the characters rather than just be a cool MacGuffin.

In HAUNTED we are presented with the Ghost Machine, a device for communicating with the dead created by inventor Thomas Edison. Edison claimed in several magazine articles in 1920 that he was on the brink of creating such a device. He was, however, a notorious practical joker, especially with journalists, and so, after his death, the claims were dismissed as yet more tall tales.

In my story the mystic telephone was indeed created by Edison, but his horrific experiences with it led to a cover-up. At the start of the book, the machine turns up in the small English town of Milton Lake, where an unidentified necromancer begins using it to call the souls of the dead back to our world. It is then the task of Emma Rhodes, our hero, to locate the Ghost Machine before it goes it overdrive and the dead of Milton Lake overwhelm the living.

The theme of the book is the destructive power of isolation and the inability to communicate, emphasized by the object being a tool of communication and community.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Tricky one. The short answer is Young Adult thriller, but really it’s a supernatural whodunnit with elements of romance and historical adventure.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

The main character is a young girl who feels responsible for the tragic death of her baby brother. Someone very soulful like Saoirse Ronan would be brilliant. The lead male character is this American kid – very dark and brooding. Ezra Miller, maybe? He was terrific in ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When the dead rise, a haunted girl rediscovers her reason for living.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Represented by the very talented Veronique Baxter of David Higham Associates, published by Oxford University Press.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Research aside (about 2 months on that), the first draft was completed in three months. Then the real work began!

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I was aiming for the haunting quality of Cliff McNish’s excellent ghost story ‘Breathe’ coupled with the town-in-jeopardy excitement of Michael Grant’s GONE series. I’m particularly pleased that Mr Grant has read HAUNTED and has given the book a fantastic cover quote: ‘A nail-biting chiller, which will leave readers begging for more. Be prepared for some sleepless nights.’

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I love science and history and had read a fantastic (and exhaustive!) biography of Edison by the scholar Paul Israel. By some strange temporal alchemy, which every author relies on, I then saw an article about the Ghost Machine online. I had also wanted to write a book from a teenage girl’s point of view (I needed a challenge!), and this seemed the ideal subject matter.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

Let’s see, we have: a theme park haunted by its mass-murdering owner; a haunted house cleansed by ‘soul-catchers’; a Byron-esque hero with some jaw-dropping secrets; an exorcism in a forest; an antique store called the Phantasmagorium full of supernatural curios; a couple of major plot twists; a chapter or two where we meet THE Thomas Edison; and, oh yeah, a town overrun by the ravenous dead!

 

And so to next week’s authors – 3 phenomenal talents who will be telling you all about their fascinating forthcoming projects on Wednesday 21st November:

Andy Briggs

David Gatward

Andy Remic

Headless Witchfinder Competition!!!

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Hi guys!

A competition for all you bookworms out there! Simply leave a comment below to be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of Dave Cousin’s spellbinding novel ’15 Days Without A Head’ and ‘Witchfinder 2: Gallows at Twilight’! The competition closes Thursday 22nd March – so better get your skates on! And while you’re here, why not take a look at my recent interview with Dave in the first of the ‘Essential Six’ series!