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Posts Tagged ‘Witchfinder Dawn of the Demontide’

Witchfinder Giveaway

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

To support the release of Haunted, I’m giving away a FREE signed copy of Witchfinder 2: Gallows at Twilight!

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All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is leave a comment below. A simple ‘Howdy’ will do!

In other news, I’m now preparing for the HAUNTED SCHOOLS TOUR. A UK-wide tour in which I’ll be visiting schools with the brand new SUPER-SPOOKY SUPERNATURAL FICTION SHOW. More about this in the coming weeks. For now, get commenting!

Competition closes Sunday 29th September.

PS – don’t forget to download my new FREE horror short story, TURN HER FACE TO THE WALL. Guaranteed to chill, the twist in this tale comes in the very last word! Just click here to download

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!

Spectacular Writing from Jersey Schools!

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Signing books at Grainville

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the wonderful Grainville School in Jersey for a day of events that included Haute Vallee School, Le Roquier School & Jersey College for Girls. As well as the usual Witchfinder Experience (during which we discovered lots of devilish goings on and executed a particularly bloodthirsty witch), I also engaged the children in a HUGE creative writing workshop. As ever during these sessions, I was amazed by the creativity of the pupils. My main aim as a writer is to get kids excited about reading and writing their own stories, and I am delighted to report that the children of Jersey did their schools proud.

The central story we all collaborated on involved a dark conspiracy to split the world in two! Together we built a strong main character called Jill – a clever, sensitive girl who eventually found the strength to overcome her grief for her dead brother and stand against Armageddon! Again, I was overjoyed (and a little awed!) by the ingenuity of the children during our storyline brainstorming.

After the visit, the brilliant Miss Basu sent me a collection of the children’s stories. They’re so good I just had to share a few lines with you.

One of the things I try to impress upon young writers is the need to grab the reader’s attention in the first paragraph or, better yet, in the very first line. This advice was taken on board by Justyna, Zoe, Ross, Trudy, Aimee, Andre and Chiannon in the opening to their joint story:

‘The suffocating silence of the desert seemed unbreakable. Nothing but the barely audible sound of wind humming softly in the distance. Unbearable heat radiated from the demonic ball of flaming gas they all once had loved so much.’

Wow! What an opener! I loved the sense of arid desert silence being eternal and unbreakable. I was immediately hooked. The same is  true of this poetic opening sentence from Sophie, Matt, George, Molly, Eleanor and Jordan:

‘Blistering winds tore at the clouds, pulling at the edges like strands of an old man’s hair. The rain battered against the windows; the rustling of papers could be heard inside his room.’

I love the imagery here and the fact that everything seems so alive: the clouds, the rain, the papers. The atmosphere is evoked so brilliantly, and we are immediately intrigued as to who ‘he’ might be.

Another striking opening comes courtesy of Jasmine, Mollie, Alice, Alia, Sam, Bennie and Jamie. This one puts us directly in the thoughts and feelings of the main character and plunges us into the midst of an incredible mental tumult:

‘Thoughts spinning out of control through my mind. Bashing up against my dented skull. Like a broken record, never stopping. Screaming inside my head, repeating the same dreaded words over and over again…’

I love the staccato rhythm of this writing, pushing us on like a train hurtling along its rails. The imagery of thoughts bashing against a dented skull is great, conveying the turmoil of the character and how unpleasant those thoughts must be. I, for one, want to know more about this intriguing person and what has happened to her.

This piece from Jack Evans-Rentsch is perhaps less overtly dramatic but is just as atmospheric and intriguing. Despite the character here claiming this is a calm place, I feel tension bubbling under Jack’s words:

‘The keys were laid out in front of him clearly as he played. White on black, black on white, his fingers moved to the tempo. The light blazed down on him with the musty smell of the old wooden stage and the hot feeling of the light. The audience was looking, watching, waiting with eagerness as he played. A white rose lay on top of his gleaming black piano. The mood was relaxed. He felt happy here. Calm, soothing. It hadn’t always been like this.

Two years ago Alex Grabrier was sitting in his therapist’s office. He wore his black suit with a gleaming white shirt and a blood-red tie.’

The final image in the paragraph of the blood-red tie contrasts so cleverly with the white rose and, with an almost brutal ease, throws off the tranquillity of what has gone before. This is actually very sophisticated writing, and for this reason I decided to award Jack the prize for best creative writing piece.

All of the entries had something to recommend them and, as I’ve already said, I was incredibly impressed with the students’ work. An effective piece of character-building was shown by Lara Peters who, in her opening paragraph, used words very economically and very effectively to give us a strong character sketch, particularly in the second sentence where actions are used to hint at character type:

‘She was a quiet girl, kept herself to herself. She stumbled around the school, listening to every movement, every word. Her name was Jill Blackmore.’

Back to dramatic action now with Charlotte le Gresley. Again, the action is tense and very well drawn, and I love the imagery of ‘scars’, suggesting the Earth is wounded:

‘I saw the sea, and any sense of normality, disappear into the vast darkness. Into the scars of the Earth. The boats, the swimmers, the buoys, everything in the stretch of blue was sucked into the swirling vortex of black. Screams, like the chorus of panicked birds, filled the air as the great waters fell. I stood on the edge of the precipice and watched the pure rock, crust, and souls fall into the abyss.’

Phew! I was there on the precipice too, weren’t you? Very effective writing.

I can’t include snippets from everyone’s work here (although I must make mention of William, George, Arianne, Danny, Lucy and Kelsey’s terrific image of ‘mountains crumbling like fresh cookies’), but I really appreciate all the hard work put in by every student, and I can assure you I read and enjoyed every entry.

It is a wonderful thing for any author to think that a visit could inspire such clever and creative responses. But I am a little worried… After all, on the basis of this inspiring selection, in a few short years these children could be fully fledged authors in their own right! I’d better warn all my author friends – we need to up our game!

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!

More Creepy Creations from the Caterham Kids!

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

I recently posted some amazing artwork and creative writing pieces from the very talented pupils of Caterham School, all of it inspired by the Witchfinder books! I’m really proud to bring you yet more grisly and ghastly offerings from the brilliant kids of Caterham… (Click the pics for larger images).

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TRAQUEUR!

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

How cool is this?! The brilliant cover for the French edition of ‘Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide’. Published by the wonderful team at Castelmore (an imprint of Bragelonne, who publish David Gemmel, Iain M Banks & Clive Barker), ‘Traqueur 1‘ hits the shelves this January. I really love the look of this book – the creepy goatish demon face with eerie glowing eyes, the gorgeous colours of brooding  red and tarnished gold, the cool spiky lettering and the overall design suggesting an ancient tome (a little bit like the fabled ‘Codex Tempus’ from Witchfinder 2: Gallows at Twilight). It’s also the first time with any of my books that my name’s been over the title – careful, Castelmore, I’ll get a big head! Traqueur is in stock and can be ordered from Amazon France by following this link

Christmas Competitions!

Monday, December 19th, 2011

THIS COMPETITION CLOSES MIDNIGHT 26th DECEMBER 2011… only a few hours to go!

 

To celebrate Christmas in a very Witchfindery way I’ve put together a competition across 3 platforms:

1. Win Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide by finding me on Twitter at WitchfinderBook and tweeting me a hello!

2. Win Witchfinder: Gallows at Twilight by finding me on Facebook at William Hussey Witchfinder and posting a howdy on my wall!

3. Win Witchfinder: The Last Nightfall by posting a comment on this site!

3 winners will be selected from all entrants and the competition closes on Boxing Day (26th December). Only 1 week to enter, guys!

In the meantime, I’d just like to wish a very Merry Christmas to all you Witch-seekers! May your cauldrons bubble and your demons dance!

(PS – the pic above is from the brilliant Finnish film Rare Exports: A Christmas Movie, well worth a watch if you’re interested in the dark origins of a certain Mr Claus…)

The Scariest Thing in the Entire WORLD!

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The Witchfinder General - a glorified bully

Top children’s horror writer Barry Hutchison recently asked me a very interesting question: What were you most afraid of as a child? Here’s my (perhaps rather unusual) answer:

Lots of COOL things scared me when I was little: the thought of vampires crawling in through my window and draining every drop of blood from my body; nuclear radiation turning me into a cannibal frog beast (did that mean I ate people or just other frog beasts? Hmm); the massive spider-badger that absolutely, definitely lived under my bed, no matter what my dad said (one day I’ll tell you exactly what a spider-badger is. As Sherlock Holmes used to say, the legend of the spider-badger is ‘a story for which the world is not yet prepared!’).
 
But there was one real life thing that scared me more than anything else.
 
He was called Martin, and he was the school bully.

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