|Some of my family spent time as miners back then too, and I’d hear stories of theirs, and my imagination filled in the rest.|
Fast forward a few years, and I was on a trip to Orkney visiting the neolithic stones, villages and chambers. I’m in a chambered tomb looking outward at the sun trying to line up a photie. Somebody taps me on the shoulder and says, ‘excuse me.’ I already know there couldn’t be anybody there. I’d just come from the main chamber and it was empty. Turning round was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. And of course, there was nobody there. I drank a few Highland Parks that night.
A few years later I had a similar experience, in Carnac in Brittany this time, and I got some of the same feeling in the catacombs under Medina in Malta.
On that same Malta trip I also had a magical cave experience, an underwater one scubadiving through a wee cave system with the fishes.
I’ve never been to any really big, deep caverns. It’s something that’s on my bucket list, but then again, what if the lights go out and I’m there alone in the dark? The wee boy who’d just read The Hobbit is still here somewhere inside me, and he’s the one who’d be terrified the most.
As well as that, 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 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.
You’ll find plenty beasties in this series.
And here it is.
A treasure hunt into the deepest cave system in Europe takes a turn for the worst.
Now rather than treasure it is survival that is at the forefront of the spelunkers’ thoughts. But their attempt to escape out of the dark deep places is thwarted.
Men are not at home in the depths. But there are things that are, pale terrifying things.
Things red in tooth and claw.
To escape them they’ll have to go deeper.
|I’ve delivered S-Squad #13, OPERATION: LONDON to Severed Press|
I’m in discussions with Severed Press about a new series, about a team of mercenary sea-monster hunters
I’ve sold a couple of new Midnight Eye stories to nice forthcoming anthologies
Just starting work on a series of weird Inspector Lestrade stories, intended for publication by Weird House Press in hardcover with Wayne Miller illustrations. Looking forward to that very much.