S Squad news, general writing news, and a new giveaway, all in the newsletter this month.
Big beasties fascinate me.
Some of that fascination stems from early film viewing. I remember being taken to the cinema to see The Blob. I couldn’t have been more than seven or eight, and it scared the crap out of me. The original incarnation of Kong has been with me since around the same time.
Similarly, I remember the BBC showing re-runs of classic creature features late on Friday nights, and THEM! in particular left a mark on my psyche.
I’ve also got a Biological Sciences degree, and even while watching said movies, I’m usually trying to figure out how the creature would actually work in nature — what would it eat? How would it procreate? What effect would it have on the environment around it?
On top of that, I have an interest in cryptozoology, of creatures that live just out of sight of humankind, and of the myriad possibilities that nature, and man’s dabbling with it, can throw up.
All of this means I can’t avoid writing about the beasties, from Giant Crabs in CRUSTACEANS, to Yeti in BERSERKER and ABOMINABLE, man-eating seaweed in THE CREEPING KELP, another big blob in THE PLASM, killer shrooms in FUNGOID and Giant Ants in GENERATIONS.
And there’s the tales of the S-Squad, my latest foray in the genre.
The S-Squad series is a tribute to several things – 50s big-bug B movies, Alistair MacLean books and movies, Aliens, and Dog Soldiers are all rattling around in there.
But mostly it’s for the love of big beasties. Mostly.
So far the team’s various members have come up against giant Isopods, revenant Nazis in a UFO base, velociraptors on Lundy Island (in a forthcoming anthology), and a variety of Ice-Age beasties in Siberia.
Unlike the Dog Soldiers team of a mixture of various Brits, my squad, after the first book at least, are all Scots, from Glasgow and Edinburgh, Inverness and the Islands, which gives me tension, patter and a degree of culture clash among them to play with.
I have such plans for them…
As I said, this is an indulgence, not a guilty pleasure, since there is no guilt at all, simply fun, joy and adventure.
This is who I am. This is my playpen.
Come and join me.
I spent much of June finishing off my fourth CARNACKI collection. It’s now off to a potential publisher for review, so keep everything crossed for me. I want to see this one out in the wild as I would then have all of my Carnacki stories published in one of the four collections. It is a dream I have.
I’m now working on the fourth of the S-Squad tales. I’ve taken them to a hotter spot this time, and seeing how they cope with Amazonian jungles and snake gods. Ideas for book 5 are already bubbling under.
The website got a bit of a tart up this month too. I’ve added SSL security, so if you come in via https://www.williammeikle.com , it’s all nicely locked. I was asked about a Press Pack, realized I didn’t have one, so I’ve added one of them too. There’s also a new NEWS sidebar on the front page, new pages for the new books mentioned in this newsletter, and a few new review blurbs from places like Cemetery Dance and Amazing Stories. Which is nice.
THE BOATHOUSE, the latest novel in my loosely connected Sigils and Totems mythos launched in June in ebook and paperback from Crossroad Press.
In this one you’ll find a hurricane, a scrimshaw chess set, a derelict boatyard, beer, cigarettes, a Newfoundland fishing town, more beer, sigils, totems, a ouija board and an old whaler, going to rot…among other things.
We went through a hurricane here a few years ago, and this story was sparked off by some of the mayhem the force of nature left behind. So there’s that, a lifelong love for interesting chess sets, and a look at another facet of my ongoing Sigils and Totems mythos (see the INFO link under the book cover for more details on my website.)
But it’s mainly about getting older, and friendships lost, and found again in dire circumstances. I’m pretty proud of the way this one turned out, and there’s a lot of me in it, being as I am a small town lad who left home young, and has now ended up in a small town again. In my case I wasn’t returning to my childhood home, but given that my parents are now both elderly back in Scotland, I can relate.
As ever, if you buy it and read it, a wee review anywhere of your choosing is always appreciated, on this, or any of my books.