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Andrew's horror novella, 'The Bathtub', is now available.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Acceptance! Stones

I’m chuffed to have had a short story accepted.  It’s a horror called ‘Stones’, and should be published in May.

‘Stones’ is about a newlywed couple who come across a stone circle while on honeymoon.  I think of it as atmospheric rather than gory, and I hope readers will agree.

As usual I’ll refrain from naming the publication until it’s released, but I will post a link as soon as ‘Stones’ is out.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Wales in Winter

A few weekends ago my wife and I went to North Wales for one of our semi-regular long weekends.  As usual, we had a great time.

Not as usual, we fell victim to the unseasonal cold weather and were semi-snowed in.  We were able to get out for walks from our hotel and had some really fun and stunning yomps across moor and through forest in several inches of snow.  Going anywhere by car, though, carried too great a risk for us to chance it until we went home (and had to detour an extra twenty miles, but that’s a different story).

So, what have our holiday woes got to do with writing?

Well, it made me think about the hardships some of my characters living in North Wales must have faced.  Even in the modern age we saw the difficulties of farming in unseasonal cold weather, with the lambing season underway in deep snow and sub-zero temperatures.  It’s difficult to keep animals alive in these conditions with barns and heaters and the like; it must have been horrendous in centuries gone by.

And travelling is near-impossible.  We needed walking boots just to get out of the hotel, and our thick coats were no insulation against the wind whistling down the Llanberis Pass.  Such luxuries weren’t available in years gone by; wet shoes and near-useless cloaks would have been the order of the day.

All that surely breeds a special type of person; hard working and resilient.  It’s made me realise that my ancient Welsh characters need to have these sort of characteristics as well as the frivolous, Devil-may-care attitude to life I tend to give them.  They can still be fun, though.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Acceptance! The Torridon Witches

I’m delighted to be able to say that I’ve had a horror novella, The Torridon Witches, accepted.  As usual, I’ll refrain from naming the publisher until contracts are signed, just in case anything goes wrong.  It’s a publisher I’ve enjoyed working with before though, so I’ve no reason to expect problems.

The Torridon Witches is a story set in the Torridon region of remote modern Scotland, against the backdrop of seventeenth century witch trials and burnings.  It tells the tale of four friends who go backpacking in the area and get caught up in witchcraft.

The idea came to me in holiday in western Scotland a couple of years ago.  The place is stunningly beautiful and rugged, and I decided I wanted to write a story set there. 

On the same holiday I bought a paperback about Scottish witch trials, and that book gave me the germ of an idea which eventually became The Torridon Witches.

Although the story is set in the present day, I had to do quite a bit of research into historical witches and witch trials.  It’s not something I’m an expert in, but as my background is in history I enjoyed the research as much as the writing.

I am grateful to Phil who, as always, read my first draft and provided invaluable comment and advice.