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WILLIAM MEIKLE

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Q&A: What do you have coming up?

So, Willie. What do you have coming down the pike in 2017 and beyond that we can look forward to sinking our teeth into?”

On the novels side, I have 3 coming from DarkFuse, all in limited edition hardcover at first with ebooks to follow …

SONGS OF DREAMING GODS is a tale of a very strange house on a corner plot in St. John’s Newfoundland, and a continuation and exploration of more parts of my ongoing Sigils and Totems works. Dark fantasy more than horror I think…

THE BOATHOUSE is a short novel set here in my new home town of Catalina, and is a tale of an old boathouse, a hurricane, a derelict whaler and a very strange scrimshaw chess set… it also touches on the sigils and totems mythos, but less overtly.

RAMSKULL is a Scottish based Hammer horror homage – satanic rituals on a remote Scottish island, with plenty of gore and mayhem.

On the short stories front, I have 2 collections coming…

CARNACKI: THE EDINBURGH TOWNHOUSE is another set of new Carnacki ghost stories, this time coming from the Lovecraft Ezine fiction imprint.

THE GHOST CLUB is a set of Victorian supernatural stories coming from Crystal Lake and is a set told as if by different writers of the period, so there’s tales by Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, H Rider Haggard, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, Jules Verne etc… Pretty damn ambitious of me, and might fall flat on its face, but I had to try… 🙂 More info on that coming soon.

There’s another Newfoundland based horror novel currently with DarkFuse for consideration, a tale of industrial archaeologists and strange things coming up from an old mine shaft…

And I’m working on a big epic historical fantasy trilogy collaboration with another writer at the moment… book 1 nearly done. More info on that when we’re ready to tell the world…

 

As always, get my newsletter to keep up to date with forthcoming releases.

Q&A: What was your favorite story to write?

That’s always a difficult one, as it changes with my mood. But I think I nailed it most in two fairly recent novellas, BROKEN SIGIL, and TORMENTOR, both from DarkFuse.

BROKEN SIGIL was the start of what is growing into a personal vision of mine, a mythos surrounding haunted houses that’s now spun off into more novellas, novels and short stories and is still growing. Broken Sigil itself is a slice of modern noir concerning a cop, a dead, unfaithful wife, a murdered partner and an obsession with the movie The Maltese Falcon. I got a lot out of my system with that one, and emotionally I think it really works.

TORMENTOR is a rather more traditional haunted house tale, set on a remote Scottish highland lochside; a recently bereaved artist arrives looking for seclusion, but the house wants to communicate. Loudly. The idea of a communicating rhythm underlying the real world is also a personal thing for me, and in TORMENTOR I got to figure out the ideas as I went along, and even scared myself a bit in the process. Again, I said what I needed to say, and I think it works splendidly.

But ask me again tomorrow, I’ll probably choose something else, as THE DUNFIELD TERROR is also one where I think I nailed it. And FUNGOID…

Getting away from favorite to ‘most fun’, I always come back to my Scottish PI Derek Adams. The Midnight Eye is really just me in another reality, mooching my way around the streets of Glasgow, drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and fighting the dark side. That’s my happy place.

 

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July Newsletter

I’ve got several things of note to report this month

  • During Late July/ August I’m guest authoring on a GOODREADS group, HORROR AFICIONADOS, where they’re doing a guest read of FUNGOID. I’d love to see some of you over there
  • I’ve sold another flash fiction story A LIFE IN THE DAY OF… to NATURE. That’s 6 in 7 years to them, and it makes this former scientist all warm and fuzzy happy knowing that there’s a huge print run and that it sits in libraries, labs, offices and newsagents all over the world.
  • My Victorian supernatural collection, THE GHOST CLUB is due later this year from Crystal Lake Publishing, and it’s out with some writers for possible back cover blurbs at the moment. Can’t reveal anything yet, but some of my favorite authors are saying nice things. Which is lovely.
  • My James Bond meets the Cthulhu Mythos novella, INTO THE GREEN in BOND BEYOND from April Moon Books should be along this month. I’m sharing space with a novella by Ed Erdelac, and it will be published in Canada, where early Bond novels are out of copyright, meaning BOND is in the public domain and can be used in stories if you don’t mention things from later books or the movies. So my Bond is a chain smoking, hard drinking, bit of a bastard. They way I like him.

I’ve also got several things out on submission that I’ve got everything crossed for. I’ll keep you posted.

You can keep up to date with all my news ( and get a free ebook of my collection HOME FROM THE SEA) by signing up on my website

A Sigils and Totems Mythos – the story so far

I’m just about to embark on a connected set of stories that will add to my growing pieces of work that encompass the Sigils and Totems idea. A Meikle Mythos if you like.

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?

So 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 more to come.

The 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.

NOVELS

  • Songs of Dreaming Gods (coming soon from DarkFuse)
  • The Boathouse (coming soon from DarkFuse)

NOVELLAS

  • Broken Sigil (DarkFuse)
  • Pentacle (DarkFuse)
  • The Job (DarkFuse Magazine)
  • The Midnight Eye: Farside (Coming soon from Occult Detective Quarterly Presents…)

SHORT STORIES

  • Renewal ( The Black Room Manuscripts Volume 2 / The Sinister Horror Company )
  • Stars and Sigils ( Halfway to Anywhere / Sinister Grin Press)
  • Carnacki: The Edinburgh Townhouse – coming soon in a new collection from Lovecraft ezine
  • The House of the Dead – coming soon in THE GHOST CLUB collection from Crystal Lake Publishing
  • Outposts – coming soon in Further tales of Cthulhu Invictus / Golden Goblin Press
  • The Yellow Room – TBA
  • Refugee – TBA

 

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

 

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

BOOK REVIEW – 5/5 stars to OUR LADY OF DARKNESS by FRITZ LEIBER

Our Lady Of DarknessOur Lady Of Darkness by Fritz Leiber

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OUR LADY OF DARKNESS isn’t an exciting read. It’s a slow burner, a mass of details, all seeming inconsequential at first, that build and grow into something that is ultimately rich and strange and terrifying.

There’s a lot going on here, in the range and depth of characters that remind me of some of Raymond Chandler’s or Ross MacDonald’s lost people in California, in the details of the occult nature of city building, and in the secret pasts of famous genre writers such as Jack London and Clark Ashton Smith among others.

It’s all wrapped up in a mystery being solved by a broken man, trying to put a jigsaw of pieces back into some kind of order that might make sense to him.

It’s compelling stuff, and the denouement is the stuff of nightmares for bibliophiles.

One of the great works of modern supernatural literature, it deserves to be much better known than it is.

View all my reviews

Captain’s Log – A commentary on the state of the world

 

“It appears to be organic, Captain,” the technician said. The huge viewing screen in mission control confirmed that there was indeed something new in the skies overhead. The ISS had spotted it first, some thirty minutes earlier—a darker patch in space almost dead ahead in their plane of orbit. It covered over a thousand cubic miles of space, and seemed to be getting bigger at an exponential rate.

“I can see that,” Captain Rogers said. “But what is it?”

“Spectrographic analysis coming in five, sir,” the technician replied, then, under his breath. “But I know what it looks like.”

Rogers had been thinking the same thing.

It looks like a wet cowpat. A bloody enormous wet cowpat.

The ISS comms link crackled into life.

“Houston, we have a problem.” Colonel Franks, the British head of the team, had lost some of his normal reserve. “It’s starting to smell like crap up here. We need to get to a higher orbit, and fast.”

That was the last broadcast of note from the vessel. Two minutes later they heard strangled retching. Franks shouted.

“Shit.”

The line went dead.

*

By the time Rogers got called into a command meeting five minutes later the phenomenon—nobody wanted to give it a name yet—occupied two thousand cubic miles of space. The ISS was lost, somewhere inside.

“Is it still showing up on radar?” someone asked.

“No,” Rogers replied. “All we can see is…decaying organic material.”

“What do you mean by that?” the General asked.

“Crap, General, to put it bluntly. As far as we can tell it’s a waste product emanating from a sub-space anomaly at its center.”

“A waste product? From where?”

“That’s what we’re trying to determine right now, sir.”

“And the station is somewhere inside this stuff?”

“We believe so,” Rogers said. “If it maintains orbit, it should come out the other side in ten minutes or so.”

“And if it doesn’t?”

If it doesn’t, we’re all in the shit.

*

The ISS was declared lost an hour later. The decaying organic matter—spaceshit as it had become known everywhere except the command room—now covered a huge expanse of space, currently in an almost geostationary orbit over North America.

“We should nuke it,” the General said. “Nuke it now, before it gets any bigger.”

“We risk turning one pile of crap into a million small piles of crap,” Rogers replied. “We’d all be up to our necks in it.”

“I’m there already,” the General replied. “The President wants answers, and he wants them yesterday.”

“Well here’s an answer for him,” Rogers said grimly. “Given its current rate of expansion, the whole planet will be engulfed in less than a day. It’ll blot out the sun completely.”

And when that happens, we really will be up shit creek.

*

Dawn brought with it a chocolate brown sky and an odor that drove everyone inside—but even there the stench pervaded everything and everywhere.

“It could be worse,” Rogers said, with a macabre sense of humor. “It could be raining.”

Thick brown droplets began to spatter out of the lowering clouds.

“Nuke it,” the General snarled. “Let’s nuke the bastards.”

*

The Russians and the Chinese had the same idea. Five separate nukes were sent up. The spaceshit swallowed them all without so much as a burp; the only outcome was an even faster rate of growth.

Rogers’ estimate was proved right. Within a day the planet was completely engulfed. The brown rain fell over everything, too thick to run off to sewers and rivers. It just lay there, stinking and putrid.

The President demanded results, and Rogers’ team was expected to deliver. Rogers held a command meeting, but the outcome was less than edifying. Beyond sending up more nukes the best minds at NASA came up blank.

“We can’t exactly hose it all down,” someone said, but nobody laughed.

“We should try communicating with it,” one of the scientists said, his voice little more than a whisper.

The General barked a laugh.

“If you think I’m going to try to talk to shit…”

Rogers put up a hand.

“Maybe he has a point. This stuff is coming out of a sub-space anomaly. Whatever’s on the other side might be capable of listening.”

The General sighed.

“Nothing else has worked. Do what you can. But best make it fast. We’re two feet deep outside the door already, and rising fast.”

*

“Just to get this straight. We’re using the most sophisticated, most powerful piece of broadcast technology on the planet to talk to a pile of shit?” the General said as they prepared the message.

Rogers nodded, unwilling to reply, as that meant opening his mouth and tasting the air—it had become noticeably more foul in the past hour or so, almost palpably so.

“Make it so,” he said.

The message got delivered.

The world held its breath, for several reasons.

The response came as a string of beeps, whistles and static—a message, of sorts, but one that was going to take a while to decode. All Rogers knew was that they had been right.

“It’s slowing down, sir.”

*

The cleanup operation took several years, and the smell lingered for a long time afterwards. At the same time, teams of interpreters and code-breakers from all over the world attempted to decipher the message that had come out of the anomaly.

When Rogers finally saw the translation, he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

“We’re terribly sorry. It was a genuine mistake. We saw what you were doing to the planet and thought we’d come to the right place.”

 

New Release info – Deal or No Deal

My latest novella, DEAL OR NO DEAL is out today, and is a return to the world of Derek Adams, the Midnight Eye, and the streets of Glasgow

Three beers and a packet of crisps is a tempting offer for your soul when you don’t really believe you have one. But when it comes time to pay up, suddenly it doesn’t seem like such a sweet deal. You’re going to need help, but who are you going to call?

I read widely, both in the crime and horror genres, but my crime fiction in particular keeps returning to older, pulpier, bases.

My series character, Glasgow PI Derek Adams, is a Bogart and Chandler fan, and it is the movies and Americana of the ’40s that I find a lot of my inspiration for him, rather than in the modern procedural.

That, and the old city, are the two main drivers for the Midnight Eye stories.

When I was a lad, back in the early 1960s, we lived in a town 20 miles south of Glasgow, and it was an adventure to the big city when I went with my family on shopping trips. Back then the city was a Victorian giant going slowly to seed.

It is often said that the British Empire was built in Glasgow on the banks of the river Clyde. Back when I was young, the shipyards were still going strong, and the city centre itself still held on to some of its past glories.

It was a warren of tall sandstone buildings and narrow streets, with Edwardian trams still running through them. The big stores still had pneumatic delivery systems for billing, every man wore a hat, collar and tie, and steam trains ran into grand vaulted railway stations filled with smoke.

Also by the time I was a student, a lot of the tall sandstone buildings had been pulled down to make way for tower blocks. Back then they were the new shiny future, taking the people out of the Victorian ghettos and into the present day.

Fast forward to the present day and there are all new ghettos. The tower blocks are ruled by drug gangs and pimps. Meanwhile there have been many attempts to gentrify the city centre, with designer shops being built in old warehouses, with docklands developments building expensive apartments where sailors used to get services from hard faced girls, and with shiny, trendy bars full of glossy expensively dressed bankers.

And underneath it all, the old Glasgow still lies, slumbering, a dreaming god waiting for the stars to be right again.

Derek Adams, The Midnight Eye, knows the ways of the old city. And, if truth be told, he prefers them to the new.

He’s turned up in three novels so far, THE AMULET, THE SIRENS and THE SKIN GAME, all out now in ebook at all the usual online stores and in shiny new paperback and audiobook editions from Gryphonwood Press.

THE AMULET is also out in a Portuguese language edition from Retropunk Publicadoes (with the other 2 to follow) and there’s a German language edition of THE AMULET from Blitz Verlag.

There’s also an ever growing list of Midnight Eye short stories and this new novella, DEAL OR NO DEAL.

Derek has developed a life of his own, and I’m along for the ride.


Coming up from me…

After a relatively quiet patch on the publications front, I’ve got a lot of material coming out in the rest of 2017 and through 2018.

On the longer works side I have the following:

  • Songs of Dreaming Gods, a Sigils and Totems novel from DarkFuse
  • The Boathouse, a Sigils and Totems novel from DarkFuse
  • Ramskull, a Hammer horror homage novel from DarkFuse
  • The Ghost Club, a Victorian supernatural short story collection from Crystal Lake Publishing
  • Carnacki: The Edinburgh Townhouse, a short story collection from the Lovecraft ezine imprint
  • The Job, a Sigils and Totems novella from DarkFuse
  • Deal or No Deal, a Midnight Eye novella from Gryphonwood Press

As for stories in anthologies, there’s these to look forward to:

  • The Root of All Things / By the Light of Camelot / EDGE Publishing
  • The Last Quest / Through a Mythos Darkly / PS Publishing
  • Blacktop / I Am The Abyss / Dark Regions Press
  • Nocturnes and Lacunae / Transmissions From Punktown / Dark Regions Press
  • Call and Response / The Arkham Detective Agency / Dark Regions Press
  • The Longdock Air / Shadows Over Main Street 2 / Cuttingblock Press
  • The Pied Piper of Providence / Once Upon An Apocalypse / Crystal Lake Publishing
  • Outposts / Further tales of Cthulhu Invictus / Golden Goblin Press
  • Tumshiehied / Between Twilight and Dawn / Golden Goblin Press
  • The Needs of the Many / The Stars at Our Door / April Moon
  • The Mouth of the Ness / Cryptid Clash / 18th Wall Productions
  • Carnacki: The Lusitania / Fearful Fathoms / Scarlet Galleon

There’s also a whole load of German Language editions of my books in the works at Blitz Verlag and Voodoo Press, with THE INVASION from Blitz Verlag being next in the pipeline.

So there’s that lot, a couple of secret projects I can’t talk about, and a load of other things currently out on submission. More than enough to keep me busy well through 2017 and past my 60th birthday in January.

If you want to keep up to date with publication dates and releases of the above, announcements will be made first on my newsletter.  ( there’s a free ebook of my HOME FROM THE SEA collection in it for you too if you sign up ).

Onward!

 

And now for something completely different…

I don’t think I’m going to be writing any straight horror fiction for a wee while. I looked my worst nightmare in the face a couple of weeks back (those of you who need to know, already know ), and came out the other side of it with a different perspective on life, and how I want to spend the rest of it.

I won’t be giving up writing – I don’t think I could at this stage – but my focus will be different.

Quite how that will manifest itself is yet to be seen. I certainly envisage writing more Carnacki tales, and I can’t quit weird fiction entirely, as it’s in my blood. But as I said, I’ve faced my real horror; the written thing isn’t going to cut it for me, at least for the time being.

So right now I’m reevaluating the way ahead. A big project has fallen in my lap that gives me some breathing room, a sprawling, epic, historical thing with only hints of the supernatural, and I’m going to dive into that to see where it takes me.

There’s a couple of invitation stories I need to write first, but neither of them are straight horror either, so they’ll get done in the next week or so. Then it’s head down and head first into something different.

I think that’s what’s needed about now.

I probably won’t be on social media all that much for a while either. If you want to follow irregular updates on progress, sign up for my newsletter. 

Onward.

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