PuffinswriteI’ve been struggling to get started on a new novel and today have decided to shelf it.

And I think I know why.

My big love in reading is for literary horror and strange supernatural fiction. I also love writing it, as evidenced recently by my novellas TORMENTOR, THE HOUSE ON THE MOOR, PENTACLE, and my CARNACKI collection of last year. I thought as a whole they contained a lot of the best work I’ve ever done.

But here’s the thing – they didn’t sell well, comparitively. And although TORMENTOR picked up a few good reviews, all of the above mostly sunk without leaving much of a trace either on sales or on any of the ‘YEARS BEST’ lists.

As a full time writer dependent on money coming in, it’s simply not sustainable for me to devote too much effort on this side of my enthusiasms. And in the meantime, other, more adventure oriented works like THE HOLE, THE DUNFIELD TERROR and THE INVASION continue to sell where the other, what I think of as more subtle, work flounders.

So it’s into the trunk with the quirky ghost story – it might get brought back out at a later date – and it’s back to something a bit faster moving. Luckily I love creature features and monster mayhem too, so it’s not as if I’m betraying my ‘talent’, such as it is.

The monsters are unlikely to make any of the ‘Year’s Best…” lists, geared as those lists are to the literary end of the spectrum.

But if I get paid and can keep doing this for a few more years, I won’t complain.

Well, not too much anyway.