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WILLIAM MEIKLE

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Through a Mythos Darkly

Some stories fall through cracks. Some whole books do.

Getting a story in THROUGH A MYTHOS DARKLY was a big deal for me. It’s from PS Publishing, who were one of my white whale publishers, and my story in it is an alternative history Arthurian thing, influenced as much by Michael Moorcock as by H P Lovecraft. I had an awful lot of fun writing it, loose and racing, and it’s one of my favorites of all the stories I’ve written.

And yet… I’m not sure anybody’s read it. Sure, the book is out, and the hardcover in particular is a lovely, lovely thing. But I’ve yet to see a single review, not even on Amazon, and it’s as if the book’s invisible now that it’s out there in the wild.

So if this is your first time hearing about it, seek it out and give it a chance. There’s plenty in there to reward you.

Get the shiny hardcover here  ( ebook is also available)

Here’s the TOC

Cody Goodfellow . . . The Roadrunners
Jeffrey Thomas . . . Scrimshaw
John Langan . . . Sweet Angie Tailor in: Subterranean Showdown
Robert M. Price . . . An Old and Secret Cult
Pete Rawlik . . . Stewert Behr–Deanimator
Don Webb . . . To Kill a King
William Meikle . . . The Last Quest
Christine Morgan . . . Fate of the World
Konstantine Paradias . . . Red in the Water, Salt on the Earth
D.A. Madigan . . . The Night They Drove Cro Magnon Down
Sam Stone . . . Sacrifice
Edward Morris . . . Get Off Your Knees, I’m Not Your God
Stephen Mark Rainey . . . Excerpts from the Diaries of Henry P. Linklatter
Tim Waggoner . . . Plague Doctor
Lee Clark Zumpe . . . Amidst the Blighted Swathes of Grey Desolation
Nick Mamatas & Molly Tanzer . . . Cognac, Communism, and Cocaine
Damien Angelica Walters . . . Kai Monstrai Ateik (When the Monsters Come)

 

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Dark Regions Press and Me

Dark Regions Press were my breakthrough publisher – the one where I started to believe I could do something with myself in the genres, and the one who gave me my break into both the hardcover markets and the Carnacki / Challenger / Holmes pastiches that have proven so popular with my readers in recent years.

Due to the overlap with Dark Renaissance, and with them taking on the books when it folded, Dark Regions Press is now home to a lot of my material from the past ten years, and I’m always happy to see it there, given the tremendous production values that the company puts into their products.

I also get to rub shoulders with a fine stable of established writers.

If you’re looking for a great read, look no further.

You’ll find my available books over at their online shop here » Dark Regions Press

And there’s a full list of all the novels, novellas, collections and anthology appearances over at my website

I’ve got more stories coming in their fine anthologies in the months to come. First up will be an appearance in the huge I AM THE ABYSS, where I get to rub shoulders with some great writers, and, a wee dream for me, I get a two page, full color illustration by the legend Les Edwards accompanying my story.

So look out for that.

I hope to sell them more work in the future. I love the look of those hardcovers on my shelf.

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CLOCKWORK DOLLS is back

CLOCKWORK DOLLS is back. My latest rerelease from Crossroad Press, and a novella that garnered some of the best reviews of my career.

Does all human passion, all memory, all imagination come merely from the chemistry in our brains, like the movements of a clock follow from the arrangement of its cogs and wheels?

Are we just clockwork dolls?

AMAZON  SMASHWORDS

This one is a bit of a departure for me. It’s darker than a lot of my other stuff, and features a protagonist who is very hard to like.

Dave is a shit; a self-obsessed wanker with few redeeming features. The fact that he reminds me a lot of myself at a certain stage of my life is neither here nor there.

He’s also a skeptic of all things paranormal and likes to show off.

I wanted to write about such a person having an epiphany, of sorts, and it took me down some strange alleys, into studies of philosophical discussions, and thoughts of beer, love, and my place in an uncaring Universe.

As I’ve said, it turned out darker than I anticipated, but there’s also hope here, and I learned some stuff about myself in its progress, which was nice.

Full of strong and well written characters, an ever building sense of dread, topped off with a satisfying conclusion. This novella hits the mark perfectly. – Ginger Nuts of Horror

I never thought that such a short novel could have such a huge impact, not only on my emotions but also on my ideas of God, the Universe and Fate. This is a thought provoker if ever there was one … It’s totally mind blowing. – Magic of Reading

… a brilliantly written story which offers plenty of rewards for those game enough to read it. – Fantasy Book Review

It’s a novella that takes a piece of metaphysics and turns it into a monster. Keep your Secret, gurus. William Meikle has the cure for what ails me. – Wag the Fox

This is a fine story which manages to run the full gamut of emotion but is never stale, it fairly rockets along. Meikle takes what he has learned from years of writing pacy adventures, gives us a character worth caring about, an intriguing plot and away we go. I have always enjoyed William Meikle’s work but with this story he firmly moves into my list of favourite authors and I will be really interested to see where he goes from here. – The Heart of Horror

I know William Meikle’s writing chiefly through his pastiches of the work of others, the role of pulp chameleon one at which he is very good indeed and never less than entertaining, but if this is an example of what he can come up with under his own steam then it’s something I most definitely want to see more of. – Pete Tennant, Black Static #34

 

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THE EXILED is back

When people ask me what’s my favorite of the books I’ve written, this one often comes to mind. There’s a lot of me in this one; it’s Scottish, it’s set in Edinburgh and rural Scotland, and there’s a particularly Scottish flavor to the people and the dialogue. It’s one of those books where I said what I meant to say, and was happy with the end result, which doesn’t always happen.

Its origins are in a nightmare, in my childhood, and in the bars and alleyways of Edinburgh itself. Even the castle makes an appearance.

It’s available again now in ebook at Crossroad Press having originally been published by DarkFuse, and there’s an audiobook, masterfully done by fellow Scotsman Chris Barnes, who got the accents and banter exactly right.

AMAZON     SMASHWORDS

The nightmare? I’ve been having it off and on since I was a boy. It’s of a bird – a huge, black, swan. The stuff that dreams are made of.

In the nightmare I’m on the edge of a high sea cliff. I feel the wind on my face, taste salt spray, smell cut grass and flowers. I feel like if I could just give myself to the wind I could fly. Then it comes, from blue, snow covered mountains way to the north, a black speck at first, getting bigger fast. Before I know it it is on me, enfolding me in feathers. It lowers its head, almost like a dragon, and puts its beak near my ear. It whispers.

I had the dream many times, and always woke up at this point.

Then, in 1991, I heard what it said.

“Will we talk about the black bird?”

The next morning, for the first time, I wrote a story. It wasn’t a very good story, but something had been woken up, and the day after that I wrote another, a wee ghost story. It didn’t have a black bird in it, but it did have some jazz, and a sultry broad, a murder and some dancing. When that one made me 100 pounds in a ghost story competition, I was on my way.

The bird comes back and whispers to me every couple of years – I’ve come to think of it as my spirit guide. Although it terrifies me, it also reassures me in a weird kind of way. As long as it’s around, I’ll still be a writer and not just a drunk with weird ideas he can’t express.

The bird came to me a few years back, and the next morning I had an idea forming, a murder mystery that led to a place of legend and horror, a myth. THE EXILED is a way of making sense of that dream – I think I got close to the heart of it.

Will we talk about the black bird?

When several young girls are abducted from various locations in Edinburgh, Detective John Grainger and his brother Alan, a reporter, investigate the cases from different directions. The abductor is cunning, always one step ahead, and the only clue he leaves behind at each scene are the brutalized corpses of black swans. When the brothers’ investigations finally converge at a farmhouse in Central Scotland, they catch a glimpse of where the girls have been taken, a place both far away yet close enough to touch. A land known throughout Scottish history with many names: Faerie, Elfheim, the Astral Plane – Brigadoon. It is a place of legend and horror, a myth. But the brothers soon discover it is real, and, to catch the abductor, they will have to cross over themselves. 

You’ve just given your wee posh company car away to a known villain in exchange for an old banger and two bacon rolls, you’re on the run accused of murder, and your only alibi is that you were away in Fairyland with a big black bird. It’s hardly any wonder something smells of shite.

To catch a killer, John and Alan Grainger will have to battle the Cobbe, a strange and enigmatic creature that guards the realm, a creature of horrific power that demands a heavy price for entry into its world. The fate of both realms hangs in the balance… and time is running out…

Shall we talk about the Black Bird? 

Totally gripping, The Exiled delivers a killer story that will appeal to fans of both crime fiction and dark fantasy. – The Ginger Nuts of Horror

This book will appeal to people in the overlapping section of a Venn diagram showing Grimm Tales readers, Stephen King fans and crime fiction lovers. – This is Horror

A must-read for any fan of horror or truly dark fantasy. Highest possible recommendation. – Horror After Dark

 

 

NIGHT OF THE WENDIGO is back.

My novel, NIGHT OF THE WENDIGO, is rereleased today in a new ebook edition from Crossroad Press. Formerly at DarkFuse, it picked up some great reviews back in its first release, and I’m hoping it’s going to get a new audience with this new edition.

AMAZON      SMASHWORDS

Four hundred years ago a Scottish cargo ship fell prey to a Wendigo at an early settlement on the Hudson River. Now a team of archaeologists have uncovered the boat, and let loose the evil. Manhattan is soon overrun by an ice storm like no other before it.

There are things moving in the storm.

Blue, cold things, with razor sharp teeth. 

Since I moved from Scotland to Newfoundland I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with cold weather. Part of me finds it fascinatingly beautiful, and I’m often in awe of the force and majesty of the winter storms that sweep this island from January till April. But another part of me pines for warm, sultry days in the sun.

Back in the winter of 2007/8, a particularly harsh one in these parts, I started to have a germ of a story idea. At that stage I only knew I wanted to do an “ancient evil comes back for revenge” tale, and I wanted to trash a big city in print. (This was before I wrote CRUSTACEANS, and I hadn’t tried anything on this scale before.) That it would involve weather extremes was a no-brainer, given that, at the time I had the idea, we had three feet of snow on the ground here.

I started with no real plan beyond an opening scene where archaeologists uncover an old boat on a cargo dock in Manhattan. Pretty quickly a cast of characters started to squabble for my attention; cops, forensic teams, other archaeologists and a conspiracy nut. Somehow they all fitted in to the same story, and I had to step back for a while to outline a plot.

The characters never stopped squabbling, but the main character, the winter storm itself, rode roughshod over them, and it was the force of the storm that drove the story forward in my head.

It runs in my mind like any number of big dumb disaster movies, with its theme of chaos and destruction coming to modern Manhattan, with antecedents in the Emmerlich and Devlin blockbusters 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, and even Godzilla.

I’d love to be able to sit down with my popcorn and beer and watch it for myself on a big screen. It’s a dream I have.

This book is informed as much by classic drive-in B-movies as it is by prose fiction and it’s none the worse for that. It would, in fact, make a pretty good film. It’s an exciting page-turner of a book that I finished in just two sittings. – THE BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY

Night Of the Wendigo is one hell of a story by one hell of a storyteller at the top of his game and is a tale that is not to be missed… I give it my highest recommendation. – FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND MAGAZINE

Night of The Wendigo is another near perfect example of why I love Willie’s writing. Within minutes I was transported into another world, a world in which all the crap of real life didn’t exist. All that existed and all that mattered for my time spent in this book was the book itself. Some books require you to think and concentrate, and some books like this places your brain right in the centre of an 3D Dolby 7.1 surround sound narrative. And please believe me this is no criticism of Willie’s writing, Willie has a gift for writing highly entertaining thrilling novels, and this is no exception. – GINGER NUTS OF HORROR 

 

 

Fifty bricks in the book wall

With OPERATION: ANTARCTICA my book wall has hit 50 covers. Which is nice. And more to come… next goal is 100 for the anthology appearances wall, which is at 93 so far. Not bad for an old fart.

Get details of them all here

 

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A Tale of Two Books

I spent much of December giving my new Victorian supernatural collection THE GHOST CLUB a big push, with a whole-hog blog tour, interviews, podcasts and frequent postings on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and anywhere else that would have me.

At the same time, my very pulpy creature feature book from Severed Press, INFESTATION was out, but I did little to publicise it beyond a few posts here and there on social media, as it had arrived quickly and with little time to set up reviews or interviews to help with the launch.

And now, into the New Year, they’re both out there and selling, doing okay.

But guess which one is doing better?

I think the cosmos is trying to tell me something.

Maybe I should be listening.

2017 – My short story appearances

I was going to post about how it had been a quiet year on the short story front, then I did a count back. I was rather more busy that I thought 🙂

  • The Longdock Air / Shadows Over Main Street 2 / Cuttingblock Press
  • Call and Response / The Arkham Detective Agency / Dark Regions Press
  • A Life in the Day of / NATURE Futures
  • The Last Quest / Through a Mythos Darkly / PS Publishing
  • Carnacki: The Lakeside Cottages / The Children of Gla’aki / Dark Regions Press
  • Carnacki: The Lusitania / Fearful Fathoms / Scarlet Galleon
  • Carnacki: Bedlam in Yellow / Nightland Quarterly / Nightland (Japan)
  • Transplanted / Ask You, Ask Me / Xiaoduo Media (China)
  • Stars and Sigils / Halfway to Anywhere / Sinister Grin Press
  • The Call of the Deep / The Return of the Old Ones / Dark Regions Press
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Gentlemanly Wager / Sherlock Holmes and the School for Detection / Little Brown
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Little Washer Woman / MMX Publishing
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Ghost Shirt / Occult Detective Quarterly #3
  • Occult Legion: The Nest / Occult Detective Quarterly # 1
  • Got my Mojo Working (with David Wilbanks) / Occult Detective Quarterly #1
  • The Needs of the Many / The Stars at Our Door / April Moon
  • The Pied Piper of Providence / Once Upon An Apocalypse / Crystal Lake
  • Staying Alive Among the Beasts / Unnerving Magazine #4
  • Outposts / Further tales of Cthulhu Invictus / Golden Goblin Press

 

Several more interesting things lined up for 2018 too.

Onward!

2017 – My Writing Year

It’s been quite a year.

It started with DarkFuse publishing my novel FUNGOID to great reviews, only for the publisher to fold just as sales were starting to take off, leaving the book, and all my other DarkFuse titles in limbo. I’ve since managed to place all the works at Crossroad Press who are doing a sterling job of getting old and new books into ebook, print and audiobook. They’ve already brought out the new novel SONGS OF DREAMING GODS and the reprint of THE HOLE, as well as the three Sigils and Totems novellas. Next up from them is RAMSKULL, a Scottish Hammer horror tribute with Satanism and bloody mayhem on a small Scottish island, so look out for that.

DarkFuse weren’t the only publisher to disappear. Dark Renaissance finally ended their on-again, off-again dance, leaving me with another couple of books to home. My Sherlock Holmes novel, THE DREAMING MAN, found a home and was published in the spring by the ever reliable Gryphonwood Press, and my third Carnacki collection, THE EDINBURGH TOWNHOUSE was published in the Fall by The Lovecraft Ezine imprint to some very satisfying reviews.

On the personal front, my wife fell very ill, and a lot of the late Spring and early Summer for me was spent in worry that has thankfully abated a bit with her recovery. It left me with some catching up to do on the writing front that I’ve just about managed to handle.

I’ve been involved in the ROWAN CASEY / VEIL KNIGHTS series cooperative venture with some great fantasy writers, and that’s been fun, playing out of my usual comfort zones.

And towards the end of the year I’ve seen the publication of my big-bug creature feature INFESTATION at Severed Press, and, most recently, and the current focus of much of my activity, my Victorian supernatural short story collection, THE GHOST CLUB from Crystal Lake Publishing. It’s picking up great reviews. Which is nice.

2017 also saw me making some inroads into the German language market, with THE AMULET and SHERLOCK HOLMES: REVENANT being published by Blitz Verlag in ebook and very nice mass-market format paperbacks. I have THE INVASION coming from them soon, and have also sold a handful of novels to Voodoo Press for publication in German, so watch this space.

With all of that, my short stories in anthologies and magazines have taken a bit of a back seat this year, but I’ve had some great appearances, including one alongside the likes of Joyce Carol Oates and Joe Lansdale among others, and I’ve repeated my success with sales to Night Land Quarterly in Japan, had my sixth sale to NATURE FUTURES, and some nice appearances in Dark Regions Press anthologies. I also took great delight in providing a James Bond novella to April Moon Books’ BOND UNKNOWN. (Contrary to S. T. Joshi’s well publicised belief, I am not actually trying to make a career out of Carnacki pastiches.)

I hope to get more time next year to hit some short story markets, but it’s already looking to be a busy one.

Coming up I have…

  • The Boathouse (novel) / Crossroad Press
  • Ramskull (novel) / Crossroad Press
  • The Green and The Black (novel) / Crossroad Press
  • Operation: Antarctica (novel) / Severed Press
  • Fungoid (novel) / New Edition coming soon from Crossroad Press
  • The Dunfield Terror (novel) / New Edition coming soon from Crossroad Press
  • The Exiled (novel) / New Edition coming soon from Crossroad Press
  • Night of the Wendigo (novel) / New Edition coming soon from Crossroad Press
  • Tormentor (novella) / New Edition coming soon from Crossroad Press
  • Clockwork Dolls (novella) / New Edition coming soon from Crossroad Press

There’s also the novella, BLACKTOP coming in Dark Regions Press’ huge I AM THE ABYSS anthology that I’m really looking forward to, and work in another handful of anthologies waiting to be published, including a story in Jeffrey Thomas’ PUNKTOWN setting that I think is close to the best thing I’ve ever written.

As for the writing schedule, I’ve got another novel, OPERATION: SIBERIA to write for Severed Press, I’ve got book 3 of a fantasy trilogy I’m working on with Steve Savile to complete, and I’ve had a tickle of interest from a publisher interested in a set of Victorian ghost stories.

I’ve got my 60th birthday in January. I always thought I’d be dead or at least stopped writing by now, but it seems I still have stories to tell.

Busy, busy, busy.

Onward.

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