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William Meikle

The waiting is the hardest part…

02houndofnightWith the launch of HOUND OF NIGHT, book 2 of the Veil Knights series today, I’m trying my hardest to keep from checking the Amazon rankings every two minutes, but I’m finding it almost impossible to concentrate on writing.

The series only launched with THE CIRCLE GATHERS last week, and we’re already well into four figure sales and very large numbers of page reads on Kindle Unlimited. It’s fair to say it’s being very well received so far, so long may it continue.

So, there’s that, and the fact that I’m waiting on a go ahead on phase 2 of another secret project that promises to be just as good again, if not better, as this one’s just for me.

I’m also waiting to hear back on a novel submission, two story collection submissions, and a handful of short stories I have out with anthologies I really want to get in to.

So all of that is keeping me from the actual writing. It’s not as if I’ve got nothing to do – I still have two novels to write for DarkFuse, a novella I want to finish, and a couple of anthologies I want to write stories for, and that’s before the secret project I mentioned above.

Still, I suppose it’s better to be busy. In January, I have my 59th birthday, and will be looking down the barrel of sixty. I thought I might slow down a bit in the run up to maybe retiring in a couple of years time, but it’s not looking that way.

Not yet anyway.

HOUND OF NIGHT: The Veil Knights Book 2 is here.

02houndofnight
THE VEIL KNIGHTS BOOK 2: HOUND OF NIGHT has just gone live on Amazon.

Amazon (US) |  Amazon (UK)

Following on from last week’s very successful launch, which has seen Book 1 of this new series sell very well and hit #1 spots in many categories on Amazon, we have high hopes that this will cement that good start and see the series really take off.

Here’s the gen for Book 2.

Sometimes, the magic is real.

John Seton is a grifter, an ex-pat Scots kid working penny-ante magic tricks on the streets of L.A. But John has a secret. In his family, sometimes, the magic is real. And sometimes, it gets him noticed.

A man named Dante Grimm tells him he’s the modern incarnation of a knight of old and that he is part of a group of companions tasked with holding back the darkness to come in a battle the likes of which the world hasn’t seen in centuries, a battle against a foe straight out of their worst nightmares.

Grimm sets Seton a quest, to find an item that is required to stop the coming dark, an ancient piece of leather of uncertain provenance, and high magic.

Seton sets out onto the streets, and quickly finds that he is not the only one after the halter. He is soon at odds with friends, family and foes alike, and when he is betrayed by the one person he has always been closest to, the quest comes to a head.

Seton has a hound on his tail, and he will have to travel far to avoid it, further than he has ever travelled before.

Beyond the Veil, where the darkness is real, and the hounds bay loudly.

 
veilknightsbanner
Twelve authors, including New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestsellers Lilith Saintcrow, CJ Lyons, Joseph Nassise, Steven Savile, and Annie Bellet, have come together to create a modern reimagining of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table sure to please fans of urban fantasy and Arthurian legends alike!

The Veil Knights urban fantasy series will be published under the pseudonym Rowan Casey and will feature regular new volumes detailing the exploits of one of the knights through to summer 2017, when season one of the series comes to its stunning conclusion.

With more than ten million copies of their books in print around the world, the authors bringing this series to you include Lilith Saintcrow, CJ Lyons, Joseph Nassise, Steven Savile, Annie Bellet, Jon F. Merz, Pippa DaCosta, Robert Greenberger, William Meikle, Steve Lockley, Hank Schwaeble, and Nathan Meyer.

Cover art by Lou Harper of Harper Design.

Follow this exciting new series at the links.
Website: www.rowancasey.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorrowancasey
Contact: authorrowancasey@gmail.com

 

Book Review: 5/5 stars to THE DEAD ZONE

The Dead ZoneThe Dead Zone by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At its heart, The Dead Zone isn’t a horror novel at all. It’s a love story, a bitter-sweet tale of a love that might have been. Johnny’s relationship with Sarah runs through the middle of the story, the glue that holds Johnny together when everything else seems bleak and hopeless.

I think everybody knows the plot – Johnny wakes from a long coma with the ability to see the future – and what he sees is bleak – unless a single man can be taken out of the equation early. The moral implications, the ‘would you go back and kill Hitler if you could’ argument drives the story along.

Several themes that would recur in later King novels turn up here – the roads not traveled, a good man trying to do the right thing against seemingly impossible odds, and the corruption of the soul that comes with power. But it is Johnny, the broken man, that gets our whole attention. He’s a fully realised individual, one of King’s great strengths, and we feel his pain and confusion, firstly after the accident, and then, with increasing hopelessness and horror as his ‘gift’ demands its price.

I first read this on its initial publication, more than 35 years ago now, and I wasn’t sure about going back to it. I was worried that my feelings for it might have been colored by repeat viewings of the Cronenberg movie, and also by the somewhat lacklustre TV series from a few years back. I needn’t have worried. As ever, King pulled me in, and I got through it in two sittings with just a coffee break in the middle.

I believe I enjoy it more now than I did then – back in ’79 I was only a lad of 21 and I didn’t really identify with Johnny’s lost years, lost love or fear for the future. An older, more cynical me saw much more of myself in Johnny than I did then, and I do believe it’s risen up the ranks in my list of favorite King novels to somewhere near the top five.

Stilton is a great, slimy, villain in counterpoint to Johnny’s inate goodness, Sarah is as sweet as I remembered her, Johnny’s sacrifices tugged at the heartstrings, and the grace note at the end at the graveside did something it hadn’t managed before – this old cynical fart had a wee tear in his eye as he put the book down.

Five out of five stars, and I definitely won’t wait another 35 years before reading it again.

(This review originally appeared in the KING FOR A YEAR review project in 2015, hosted by Mark West ( http://kingreviews2015.blogspot.ca/ )

View all my reviews

THE VEIL KNIGHTS series launches – Arthurian urban fantasy

veilknightsbanner

The secret is out. I’m really happy to announce that I’m part of a major new fantasy series, launching today.

Here’s the gen.

ARTHURIAN MYTH MEETS URBAN FANTASY

Twelve New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors – including Lilith Saintcrow, CJ Lyons, Joseph Nassise, Steven Savile, and Annie Bellet – have come together to create a modern reimagining of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table sure to please fans of urban fantasy and Arthurian legends alike!

Launching in November 2016, the Veil Knights urban fantasy series will be published under the pseudonym Rowan Casey and will feature a new volume detailing the exploits of one of the knights every month through summer 2017, when season one of the series comes to its stunning conclusion.

With more than ten million copies of their books in print around the world, the authors bringing this series to you include Lilith Saintcrow, CJ Lyons, Joseph Nassise, Steven Savile, Annie Bellet, Jon F. Merz, Pippa DaCosta, Robert Greenberger, William Meikle, Steve Lockley, Hank Schwaeble, and Nathan Meyer. Cover art by Lou Harper.

The Circle Gathers, book one of the Veil Knights series, is out now, with book 2, Hound of Night, following on November 29th!

Follow this exciting new series at the links.

Amazon (COM) | Amazon (UK)

Website: http://www.rowancasey.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorrowancasey
Contact: authorrowancasey@gmail.com

This is a bit of a sideways lurch for me into trying something different. I had an awful lot of fun doing my book, and I think it shows in the final product.

And no, we’re not saying who wrote which one. Not yet anyway🙂

___________________________________________

01thecirclegathers-full-ebook-coverBOOK 1: THE CIRCLE GATHERS

Not all legends are make-believe…

Three years ago, Jessie “the Berserker” Noble was at the top of the MMA fight game, a world-title contender with a brilliant future ahead of her. Then the visions started and her world came crashing down. Hard. Now Jessie’s a shadow of her former self, taking no-holds barred fights in the underground circuit to earn just enough to buy the drugs she needs to keep the horrible things she sees at bay.

When a man named Dante Grimm tells her she’s the modern incarnation of a champion of old and that she and her soon-to-be companions are desperately needed to hold back the darkness to come, Jessie thinks he’s as insane as she is.

But Grimm’s far from crazy. There is a battle coming the likes of which the world hasn’t seen in centuries, a battle against a foe straight out of their worst nightmares.

And for them to succeed, Jessie going to have to dive deep into the heart of the very thing she’s been running from all this time – her visions.

$0.99 for the first week and $3.99 thereafter.

GET IT NOW!

Amazon (COM) | Amazon (UK)

___________________________________________

02houndofnightBOOK 2: HOUND OF NIGHT

Sometimes, the magic is real.

John Seton is a grifter, an ex-pat Scots kid working penny-ante magic tricks on the streets of L.A. But John has a secret. In his family, sometimes, the magic is real. And sometimes, it gets him noticed.

A man named Dante Grimm tells him he’s the modern incarnation of a knight of old and that he is part of a group of companions tasked with holding back the darkness to come in a battle the likes of which the world hasn’t seen in centuries, a battle against a foe straight out of their worst nightmares.

Grimm sets Seton a quest, to find an item that is required to stop the coming dark, an ancient piece of leather of uncertain provenance, and high magic.

Seton sets out onto the streets, and quickly finds that he is not the only one after the halter. He is soon at odds with friends, family and foes alike, and when he is betrayed by the one person he has always been closest to, the quest comes to a head.

Seton has a hound on his tail, and he will have to travel far to avoid it, further than he has ever traveled before.

Beyond the Veil, where the darkness is real, and the hounds bay loudly.

_____________________________________________________

BOOK 3: CLOAK OF FURY will be coming on December 13th, with 9 others to follow in 2017.

Some thoughts on my writing style

fungoid

Below are two quotes from advance reviews of FUNGOID, coming soon from DarkFuse. And both of them pleased me greatly. I love it when I connect with a reader who gets what I’m up to.

“William Meikle is a talented writer, the story is perfectly paced so that the story isn’t bogged down by character, drama or the science – instead it’s a perfect blend of all three. He doesn’t mince words or add any excessive detail, each word he writes is essential to the story.”

“The story is extremely fast paced, leaving little room for breathing as you flip through the pages.”

I work hard at getting the pace and flow of my work right. Actually, I work hard at all of it, but the pace and flow is what I concentrate on. That doesn’t stop me getting called a pulp hack of course, but you can’t please everybody.

I’m a pulp writer, and proud of it. A lot of people hear pulp and think bad, but the pure storytelling aspect of the craft is the thing that gets me excited and keeps me motivated. It also makes the process fun for me when it comes to sit down and write, and if I wasn’t having fun at it, I wouldn’t do it at all. Again, that’s an attitude that leads some to dismiss me as a hack, but I always think that says more about them than it does about me.

I’ve got a little list of things I want to write before I shuffle off into the black, and they’re all pulpy, slightly old fashioned, supernatural based and, yes, fun.

Looks like you’re all stuck with it for a while yet.

Book Review: Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin

Fevre DreamFevre Dream by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the best written vampire novels I have read. A real pleasure after having waded through so much tripe elsewhere.

GRRM knows how to write, and how to plot.

The main character in this book isn’t really a person at all… it’s a steamboat, the Fevre Dream. It is built by a Captain, and his strangely pale partner. Together they take to the river, getting involved in trying to set fast times and race other steamers.

Things hot up when it becomes obvious that the pale partner has night-time interests. He is hunting for others of his kind. And when he finds them, we get to some of the most vicious vamps in literature, along with their equally vicious human “pet”

The characters are all vividly drawn, especially Abner, the steamboat captain who just wants to be on the river, in a big boat.

And GRRM has enough twists and turns in the plot to keep the reader interested through until the end, which comes with a perfect grace note. There won’t be a dry eye in the house.

They really should make this into a movie.

View all my reviews

Sigils and Totems – a Meikle mythos?

brokensigil
I’m just about to embark on a new novella, possibly novel, and after last night’s dreams, I know it’s going to be another in my growing pieces of work that encompass my Sigils and Totems idea.

It’s a simple enough concept.

There are houses like this all over the world. Most people only know of them from whispered stories over campfires; tall tales told to scare the unwary. But some, those who suffer… some know better. They are drawn to the places where what ails them can be eased.
If you have the will, the fortitude, you can peer into another life, where the dead are not gone, where you can see that they thrive and go on, in the dreams that stuff is made of.

There it is in a nutshell. There are houses where people can go to get in touch with their dead loved ones.

But this gives me lots of things to play with. To even get inside a room, you need a sigil; a tattoo or carving on your skin, and a totem, a memento of your loved one. Then there’s the fact that your loved one might be a parallel universe version rather than the one you actually know.

And where do these houses come from? What’s behind the walls? How do they work? Why do they work? And who chooses the concierges who run them? Or fixes them when they don’t work?

pentaclecroppedSo I’ve got all that to play with, plus the fact that the houses can exist anywhere, at any time. They’re like lots of boxy, multi-faceted Tardis, spread across space time, places and situations into which I can hook in characters and stories.

I think I’ve stumbled into something that could keep me busy for a few years.

songsofdreaminggodsThe first two novellas that used the concept, BROKEN SIGIL and PENTACLE were both well received. There’s two novels coming from DarkFuse that expand the idea further, SONGS OF DREAMING GODS, where a house is lying empty in the town center of St. Johns, Newfoundland after a brutal ritual murder, and THE BOATHOUSE, where the rooms are on an old whaling boat in a derelict shed and seem connected to an old chess set, and the arrival of a hurricane.

There’s several new short stories coming soon too, all exploring the idea from a different angle, including a new CARNACKI that tells another tale of the Edinburgh house, a prequel of sorts to the story in PENTACLE, another that wonders what would happen if there was such a house on a space station, one set in late-Victorian Whitechapel, and yet another that takes place in Roman times, in a fort on Hadrian’s Wall.

I’ve also got an idea for a big honking fantasy trilogy using the concept, but that’ll have to wait until the idea develops a bit better and I’ve got time to do it justice.

This latest one I’m about to head into has a burglar entering the wrong room at the wrong time. That’s about all I’ve got so far, but I’m keen to get going and see where it takes me.

Wish me luck, I’m about to knock on the door.

Book review: A Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson

A Stir of EchoesA Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The perfect suburban ghost story. Matheson always did have a way with blending the mundane job of living a working life with the supernatural forces that might swirl just beyond perception and will rush in given a chance. His work was consistently at the top of the field and A STIR OF ECHOES is no exception.

It’s the simplest of simple plots. A working man gets hypnotized, hypnotist accidently opens the man’s mind to the great beyond, and man starts to experience the wider world of the weird beyond his normal day to day life – including the strange woman in his living room.

Matheson makes it work by populating the tale with believeable characters, and by hitting us with several set pieces that not only ramp up the tension but are genuinely creepy and have that ‘cold tingle in the spine’ moment that marks all the best ghost stories.

The Kevin Bacon movie went all out on the special effects for this one, but they weren’t needed. It’s the quiet moments, spent alone in the dark with what’s inside – and outside – your mind that makes this so effective.

For me, one of the best haunting novels ever written. It’s short, fast, and packs a real punch.

View all my reviews

A Free Story a Day Until Halloween – Week 4

freestory

I’ve been posting a free story every day of October so far, and will keep doing so up until Halloween. Just three more days to go!

Here’s week 4 in summary.

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