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William Meikle

New Carnacki, Holmes and Challenger ebooks

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I know a lot of you have been waiting for these. Dark Regions Press have issued four new ebooks of mine today.

CARNACKI: THE WATCHER AT THE GATE and other stories
SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE QUALITY OF MERCY and other stories
SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE LONDON TERRORS
PROFESSOR CHALLENGER: THE KEW GROWTHS and other stories

thequalityofmercy         thelondonterrors     kewgrowthspaperback

Scotland and Me

 

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A lot of my work, long and short form, has been set in Scotland, and much of it uses the history and folklore. There’s just something about the misty landscapes and old buildings that speaks straight to my soul. Bloody Celts… we get all sentimental at the least wee thing.

I grew up on the West Coast of Scotland in an environment where the supernatural was almost commonplace.

My grannie certainly had a touch of ‘the sight’, always knowing when someone in the family was in trouble. There are numerous stories told of family members meeting other, long dead, family in their dreams, and I myself have had more than a few encounters with dead family, plus meetings with what I can only class as residents of faerie. I have had several precognitive dreams, one of which saved me from a potentially fatal car crash.

I have a deep love of old places, in particular menhirs and stone circles, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time travelling in Scotland just to visit archaeological remains. Orkney in particular got inside and took root in my soul – Maes Howe haunts my dreams.

I’ve also been influenced by many Scottish writers. Stevenson in particular is a big influence. He is a master of plotting, and of putting innocents into situations far out of their usual comfort zones while still maintaining a grounding in their previous, calmer, reality. His way with a loveable rogue in Treasure Island and Kidnapped in particular is also a big influence. Other Scottish writers who have influenced me include John Buchan, Iain Banks and, more in my youth than now, Alistair MacLean and Nigel Tranter. From them I learned how to use the scope of both the Scottish landscape and its history while still keeping the characters alive.

But I think it’s the people that influence me most. Everybody in Scotland’s got stories to tell, and once you get them going, you can’t stop them. I use to love chatting to people, usually in pubs, and finding out the weird shit they’ve experienced. My Glasgow PI, Derek Adams is mainly based on a bloke I met years ago in a bar in Partick, and quite a few of the characters that turn up and talk too much in my books can be found in real life in bars in Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Andrews.

Newfoundland has settled into my head now and I’m setting a lot of stories here, but I keep going back to the homeland. I’ve recently finished a new Hebridean island horror novel, and a new Carnacki story set in Edinburgh, so the auld country isn’t done with me yet.

My most recent novel set back home was THE EXILED. Get it here.

 

In the pipe, five by five.

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Part of counting my blessings today was in looking back at what I’ve done over the past 25 years – and looking forward to what’s still to come.

There are plenty of goodies in the pipeline for the rest of 2016 and into 2017
LONGER WORK

  • Fungoid (novel from DarkFuse
  • Songs of Dreaming Gods (novel from DarkFuse)
  • The Boathouse (novel from DarkFuse)
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Dreaming Man (short novel from Dark Renaissance)

ANTHOLOGY APPEARANCES

  • Blacktop / I Am The Abyss / Dark Regions Press
  • A Gentlemanly Wager / Sherlock Holmes and the School for Detection / Little Brown
  • Carnacki: The Lakeside Cottages / The Children of Gla’aki / Dark Regions Press
  • The Longdock Air / Shadows Over Main Street 2 / Cuttingblock Press
  • The Call of the Deep / The Return of the Old Ones / Dark Regions Press
  • The Last Quest / Through a Mythos Darkly / PS Publishing
  • A true telling of the terror that came to Red Hook / The Heroes of Red Hook Golden Goblin Press
  • Carnacki: The Hound / Gaslight Ghouls / Chaosium
  • The Color From The Deep / Summer of Lovecraft / Chaosium
  • The Needs of the Many / The Stars at Our Door / April Moon
  • The Mouth of the Ness / Cryptid Clash / 18th Wall Productions
  • Leader of the Pack / In Dog We Trust / KnightWatch
  • The Pied Piper of Providence / Once Upon An Apocalypse / Crystal Lake

COMING SOON IN GERMAN

  • The Dunfield Terror (Novel, Voodoo Press)
  • The Hole (Novel, Voodoo Press)
  • The Creeping Kelp (Novel, Voodoo Press)
  • The Night of the Wendigo (Novel, Voodoo Press)
  • Sherlock Holmes: The London Terrors (Novellas, Voodoo Press)
  • The Pentacle (Novel, Voodoo Press)
  • The Invasion (Novel, Blitz Verlag)
  • Sherlock Holmes: Revenant (Novella, Blitz Verlag)
  • The Midnight Eye: The Amulet (Novel, Blitz Verlag)

COMING SOON IN PORTUGUESE

  • The Midnight Eye: The Sirens (Novel, Retropunk Publicacoes (Brazil))
  • The Midnight Eye: The Skin Game (Novel, Retropunk Publicacoes (Brazil))

There’s also a couple of short stories coming in a children’s SF market in China, several hush hush anthology appearances I can’t talk about yet, along with a couple of equally hush hush novellas, and some super-duper secret projects that are so hush-hush they can only be mentioned in whispers, in the dark, at the bottom of a deep well, to myself.

I’ve also got another novel on submission at DarkFuse, with two more after that still to write under my contract, I’ve got a ghost story collection out with a publisher, and several submissions out to anthologies I’m quite hopeful of.

Lots to look forward to in the next couple of years. You can keep up to date with it all by following this blog, or watching my website.

Onward and upward.

Dance me, to the end of love.

tormentor

We are creatures of rhythm and vibration. Not just us either, and not just the animal and plant kingdoms, but the whole of the universe.

A paragraph from one of my books sort of sums up my philosophy nicely.

“Life is an opportunity to create meaning by our actions and how we manage our way through the short part of infinity we’re given to operate in. And once our life is finished, our atoms go back to forming other interesting configurations with those of other people, animals, plants and anything else that happens to be around, as we all roll along in one big, happy, ever dancing, universe.”

It’s the dance that’s the thing, and our attempts to learn the steps and keep time with our partners is how we fumble through life.

Everything has a natural rhythm. The Earth spins once a day, goes around the sun once a year. The moon goes round the earth every 28 days. Your heart beats in a rhythm particular only to you. Everything has its drumbeat and everything contributes to the dance. You’ve just got to know when to lead and when to follow.

And sometimes, if you let go and let the rhythm do its thing, the music makes the magic makes the music, and the rhythm gets into you and through you and off you go, careering along with no other thought than the dance, and the sheer overwhelming joy of it.

I most recently tried to make sense of some of this in my novella TORMENTOR, where the rhythms are dormant, waiting to be wakened, and when they do make themselves known, they are not recognized for what they are.

This novella was a long time in the making. The basic idea came to me way back in 1991, but it took me a long, long time before I felt that my writing was up to the needs of the story. Then, a couple of years back now, it all finally came together and I spent some time in my head on the Isle of Skye, in a small cottage on a shoreline, listening to the beat. What came out the other end is something that is among my favorites of all the pieces I have written, one where I got everything said that I wanted to say, in the order I wanted to say it.

There’s a lot of fish, some drums, some beer, a lot of whisky, dancing, some good weather, some bad weather, weird noises in the night and some Spaniards – among other things. Things like rhythm, and booze.

And more dancing.

In the end, we all dance together.

GET IT HERE 

 

 

I’ve got a little list – of 20 Ghost Story novels

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Yesterday’s list of horror novels caused a deal of discussion. so here’s another- probably my favorite sub-genre, and one I keep trying to do justice to in my own work.

I’ve stretched the definition of novel to allow some that are little more than novellas, but I thought they needed to be in here. I’ve also seen lists of haunted house books that include HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND, but I don’t think that place is haunted at all, so I haven’t included it in mine, although it is a personal favorite book.

  • THE HOUSE ON NAZARETH HILL – Ramsey Campbell
  • NAOMI’S ROOM – Jonathan Aycliffe
  • THE ELEMENTALS – Michael McDowell
  • THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES – Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE – Shirley Jackson
  • SWEETHEART, SWEETHEART – Bernard Taylor
  • A STIR OF ECHOES – Richard Matheson
  • CAST A COLD EYE – Alan Ryan
  • BURNT OFFERINGS – Robert Marasco
  • BAG OF BONES – Stephen King
  • THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR – Anne Rivers Siddons
  • THE WOMAN IN BLACK – Susan Hill
  • GHOST STORY – Peter Straub
  • THE TURN OF THE SCREW – Henry James
  • THE GHOST PIRATES – William Hope Hodgson
  • PORTRAIT OF JENNIE – Robert Nathan
  • A SOUL IN A BOTTLE – Tim Powers
  • FOG HEART – Thomas Tessier
  • THE TAKEN – Sarah Pinborough
  • THE UNINVITED – John Farris

 

I’ve got a little list – of 20 Horror novels

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Apart from the usual suspects of Stoker, Shelley and Stevenson which are givens, here’s a list of 20 of my favorite books in the genre. I’ve excluded ghost stories from this one as I intend to do a list of them separately. As ever, only one per author, otherwise the likes of King, Campbell and Barker would be filling it up.

Apart from the Nevill, these are at least 20 years old now – that’s either because most of my horror reading these days is in the short story form, or that the longer ones I’ve read by authors other than the ones listed haven’t had time to percolate into personal favorites yet.

  • Shadowland – Peter Straub
  • The Hour of the Oxrun Dead – Charles L Grant
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury
  • Falling Angel – William Hjortsberg
  • Our Lady of Darkness – Fritz Leiber
  • The Damnation Game – Clive Barker
  • The Dead Zone – Stephen King
  • Parasite – Ramsey Campbell
  • The Matrix – Jonathan Aycliffe
  • The Ritual – Adam Nevill
  • The Trickster – Muriel Gray
  • Prey – Graham Masterton
  • Toady – Mark Morris
  • Bury Him Darkly – John Blackburn
  • Spectre – Stephen Laws
  • Exquisite Corpse – Poppy Z Brite
  • The Scream – John Skipp and Craig Spector
  • The Fog – James Herbert
  • Legion – William Peter Blatty
  • All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By – John Farris

 

I’ve got a little list – of 20 big influences

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Some things in life stick with you, and shape the person you become, or in my case, the writer I’ve become. I can see influences from all of these things – and many others – coming through in my writing. Not all at the same time, although that would be interesting, but more than one at a time certainly, melding into weird combinations, some of which work better than others. Here they are, in roughly chronological order of which I discovered them, starting back in the early 60’s with Supercar, Fireball XL5 and Stingray.

I’m still striving for the perfect formula.

  • Gerry Anderson
  • The Hotspur
  • Tarzan
  • Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Zulu
  • Ray Harryhausen
  • Quatermass and the Pit
  • The Apollo moon missions
  • Adam Adamant
  • Bogart movies
  • Alistair MacLean
  • Pan Books of Horror
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • William Hope Hodgson
  • John Wyndham
  • Guitar playing
  • H P Lovecraft
  • The Isle of Skye
  • X-Files
  • Newfoundland

I’ve got a little list – of 20 SF novels

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When I started writing in the early Nineties horror and fantasy took over my reading preferences, but I once read an awful lot of SF. Here’s twenty novels I remember fondly.

  • Nova – Samuel Delaney
  • Lord of Light – Roger Zelazny
  • The Chrysalids – John Wyndham
  • Stand on Zanzibar – John Brunner
  • More than Human – Theodore Sturgeon
  • Up the Walls of the World – James Tiptree, Jr (Alice Sheldon)
  • The Forever War – Joe Haldeman
  • The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula Le Guin
  • Rendezvous With Rama – Arthur C Clarke
  • Neuromancer – William Gibson
  • Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang – Kate Wilhelm
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz – Walter M Miller Jr.
  • The Drowned World – J G Ballard
  • Tau Zero – Poul Anderson
  • The Man in the High Castle – Philip K. Dick
  • Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
  • Rite of Passage – Alexei Panshin
  • Downbelow Station – C.J. Cherryh
  • Rogue Moon – Algis Budrys
  • The Island of Dr. Moreau – H G Wells.

 

 

BERSERKER now in audiobook

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My Vikings versus Yeti Sword and Sorcery yarn is now available in audiobook in a wonderful reading by Jonathan Waters from Gryphonwood Press. Five hours of bloody mayhem, death and honor, and big effing howling things. I love it.

GET IT HERE

For Tor and Skald this is their first Viking raid, and their minds are filled with thoughts of honor and glory. What awaits them are beasts – huge, hairy, and fanged, the Alma, who will not suffer intruders in their domain.

When the Vikings slaughter a female Alma, they soon find themselves in the middle of a battle with vicious creatures bent on bloody revenge. Now they must stand and be counted, for destiny awaits in the mountains, where the hairy ones dance.

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