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WILLIAM MEIKLE

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THE GHOST CLUB on discount

AMAZON currently have THE GHOST CLUB on sale at 99c for KINDLE. Get in quick and snatch it while it’s cheap.

In Victorian London, a select group of writers, led by Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker and Henry James held an informal dining club, the price of entry to which was the telling of a story by each invited guest.

These are their stories, containing tales of revenant loved ones, lost cities, weird science, spectral appearances and mysteries in the fog of the old city, all told by some of the foremost writers of the day. In here you’ll find Verne and Wells, Tolstoy and Checkov, Stevenson and Oliphant, Kipling, Twain, Haggard, Wilde and Blavatsky alongside their hosts.

Come, join us for dinner and a story.

‘The Ghost Club is a massively ambitious anthology of stories ‘by’ classic authors as imagined by the extremely talented William Meikle. Massively entertaining, too.’Simon Clark, author of the award winning The Night of the Triffids

It’s where we come from. The Victorian era storytelling tradition was the launching point for horror, and also for crime fiction, for science fiction, for fantasy and for much of how we see the world today. It gave us Sherlock Holmes, Dr Jeckyll, Dracula, the Invisible Man, Captain Nemo, and all manner of ghosts, spooks and spectres that still fill our entertainment of choice today.

THE GHOST CLUB is my way of paying homage to that tradition. This is who I am.


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May newsletter

Sigils and Totems news, general writing news and a new giveaway, all in the newsletter this month.

THE BOATHOUSE, the next in my interlinked Sigils and Totems series, is currently in production at Crossroad Press.(Series details at the link under the book cover.) If you want to catch up, one place to start is with the other novel in the series.

SONGS OF DREAMING GODS is the story of a house. In this one you will find creepy china dolls, a haunted lavatory, some hippies, some large, nasty ratty things, a chess board, a reaper, some cops, the great beyond, the other great beyond, and a lot of singing.

It’s an exploration of my growing Sigils and Totems idea. 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 is 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 is behind the walls? How do they work? Why do they work? And who chooses the concierges who run them? Or fixes them when they go wrong?

SONGS OF DREAMING GODS is an exploration as to what is behind the curtain.

 


In April I finished the third of my S-Squad books for Severed Press, OPERATION: SIBERIA. It should be along in a few weeks time. Now I’m at a crossroads, trying to decide what to write next. I’ve got one outstanding anthology invitation to do, and a fourth S-Squad book contracted, but Carnacki has been shouting at me with some new stories to tell, so I might go back to him for a couple of months. Newfoundland’s short summer is just around the corner, and there are walks to take and whales to see, so I don’t intend to push too hard.

I made a decision to do more reading now that I’m officially a pensioner. The fruits of that can be seen on my blog, where I’ve been posting reviews; I’ve been rereading a lot of favorites, and reviewing them. If you’re interested in what I like to read, head on over and have a look at my blog


 

Win up to 10+ Horror eBooks!

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Feel free to share any of the links from this newsletter to your social media or to anyone you think might be interested. The more the merrier.

After all, many a meikle maks a muckle.


 

Book Review: THE CEREMONIES by T.E.D. Klein

The CeremoniesThe Ceremonies by T.E.D. Klein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dread is a word you don’t see used much in association with horror fiction any more. And it’s a shame, because used properly, slow building dread can be more horrific than any gore or bloodletting.

Fortunately, there are writers who understand this, and one of the best examples can be found in THE CEREMONIES, which starts slow, gets slower, but accumulates dread along the way like a wool suit collecting cat hairs. And it’s a marvel of timing, precision and skill, with its cast of great characters all circling around the central motifs, each of them catching glimpses of the whole but none completely understanding what they are being shown, or why.

It’s also a remarkably timeless book. It was written before laptops, before cellphones and email, but by setting it mostly in a remote rural farmscape, it feels older still, and its throwbacks to genre giants like Lovecraft and Machen in particular seem to root it even farther back in time again.

The slow build, taking care and attention to let us get to know, if not like, the main characters, gives their respective fates at the climax emotional resonance, and a depth thats often lacking in fiction in the field.

The writing itself is rich and lyrical, the handling of viewpoint and control of pacing is expertly done, and the book is one of the wonders of modern weird fiction.

It’s a shame Klein hasn’t produced more over the years, but kudos to PS Publishing for the fine new paperback edition I read this in, which is a lovely piece of packaging for a book that deserves to be showcased.

View all my reviews

 

 



 

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April Newsletter

A new reissue of Tormentor, some short story sales news and a new giveaway for April, all in the newsletter this month.

The last of my DarkFuse novellas to be reissued, TORMENTOR is now available from Crossroad Press.

In this one there’s a lot of fish, some drums, some beer, a lot of whisky, dancing, some good weather, some bad weather, weird noises in the night and some Spaniards – among other things.

I’ve had a love affair with the Isle of Skye for many years. If we hadn’t come to Newfoundland, we might well have ended up on the same stretch of coastline described in this novella, a windswept shore near Dunvegan Castle.

This novella was a long time in the making. The basic idea came to me way back in 1991, but it took me a long, long time before I felt that my writing was up to the needs of the story. Then, a couple of years back, it all finally came together.

No limbs, no limbs, no head, no head, left arm gone, left leg gone, no legs, no head.

A door is open, and something is coming through. It’s just a matter of when — and what.

With Tormentor William Meikle has crafted a genuine classic Haunted House story that excels in so many different ways.The Ginger Nuts of Horror

Next up from Crossroad Press will be a new short novel, THE BOATHOUSE which is another in my Sigils and Totems series, so watch out for that in May.


I have several nice short story sales to report this month. I’ll have a story, LACUNAE AND NOCTURNES in a forthcoming Dark Regions Press anthology set in Jeffery Thomas’ PUNKTOWN setting, I have an Arthurian fantasy short, THE ROOT OF ALL THINGS coming in By The Light of Camelot from Edge Publishing, there’s a new Carnacki coming with BATS IN THE BELFRY in an Ulthar Press anthology. Also from Ulthar Press, I have a story SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND coming in a new antho, VOICES FROM THE DARKNESS, and there’s a reprint of my CARNACKI: THE KEYS TO THE DOOR coming in Japanese from the magnificent, but undecipherable by me, Nightland Quarterly.


 

April Giveaway – Win 3 Meikle Scottish Supernatural novellas

 

April Giveaway

After the success of last month’s giveaway, I’m running another. Just me this time, and three of my Scottish supernatural novellas that were previously published by DarkFuse and are now available again from Crossroad Press. Three lucky winners will get all three in either epub or mobi formats.

  • Clockwork Dolls
  • The Job
  • Pentacle

These three say a lot of what I’m all about as a writer, so for a chance to win them, head on over and chance your luck at my site

 



 

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Regrets, I have a few. But then again…

It’s one of my biggest regrets that I didn’t start writing until I was in my mid-thirties. Since then it’s felt like I’ve continually been trying to catch up to where I want to be with it, and now that I’m 60 I can feel the pressure build as time gets ever shorter and age starts to wither both my attention span and my eyesight.

Hopefully both will hold out as I’ve got an ideas list as long as your arm to work my way through that includes more Carnacki stories, a handful of creature feature novels, and some themed supernatural story collections, including more Derek Adams.

In the longer term, before I pop off, I keep thinking about another sprawling fantasy epic. I had a go with one of those in the WATCHERS trilogy back almost twenty years ago now, and I’m working with Steve Savile on another historical trilogy with fantasy elements.

But it’s the big epic that I keep meaning to do and every few months, like now, it whispers for attention again. Something else always seems to come up and makes me put it on the back burner, but it’ll still be there, whispering away.

It’s been there for years now. I hope, in twenty five more years, I’ll have got round to it. GRRM stole my thunder a bit in that what I had in mind was very like GAME OF THRONES in concept if not in execution, but there’ll be more magic in mine, more barbarians hacking about with big axes, and fewer dwarves in brothels. I have a basic plot worked out – mirror magic, seafaring pirate whale worshippers, cursed weaponry and children abducted to grow up strangers in a strange land as slave workers in vast mines. I can see it all laid out in my head, and the plot covers years of this place’s history. It’s just a matter of writing the bugger.

If you ever see me at a con or in a bar, ask me about it – talking about it might be just the kick in the arse it needs to get going properly.

 



 

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Slave to the rhythm

In TORMENTOR , my latest release from Crossroad Press, there’s a lot of fish, some drums, some beer, a lot of whisky, dancing, some good weather, some bad weather, weird noises in the night and some Spaniards – among other things. Things like rhythm, and booze.

The novella was a long time in the making. The basic idea came to me way back in 1991, but it took me a long, long time before I felt that my writing was up to the needs of the story. Then it all finally came together.

You see, I have a theory about how the world works – no, bear with me, this isn’t a pseudo-science rant. Well, maybe it is – but it’s something that’s been on my mind for a while, and it has turned up in a lot of my stories of recent years.

We are creatures of rhythm and vibration. Not just us either, and not just the animal and plant kingdoms, but the whole of the universe.

An earlier paragraph from another book of mine sort of sums up the first part of my philosophy nicely.

“Life is an opportunity to create meaning by our actions and how we manage our way through the short part of infinity we’re given to operate in. And once our life is finished, our atoms go back to forming other interesting configurations with those of other people, animals, plants and anything else that happens to be around, as we all roll along in one big, happy, ever dancing, universe.”

It’s the dance that’s the thing, and our attempts to learn the steps and keep time with our partners is how we fumble through life.

Everything has a natural rhythm. The Earth spins once a day, goes around the sun once a year. The moon goes round the earth every 28 days. Your heart beats in a rhythm particular only to you. Everything has its drumbeat and everything contributes to the dance. You’ve just got to know when to lead and when to follow.

And sometimes, if you let go and let the rhythm do its thing, magic happens, and the rhythm gets into you and through you and off you go, careering along with no other thought than the dance, and the sheer overwhelming joy of it.

And, to return to my point, in TORMENTOR, the rhythms are dormant, waiting to be wakened, and when they do make themselves known, they are not recognized for what they are.

The dancers take their time, finding the steps slowly, tentatively.

But in the end, we all dance together.

 



 

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A Bargain Meikle ebook Bundle

Dark Regions Press have put together a bargain ebook bundle of five of my books, and are selling it for just $9.00 direct from their website at The William Meikle Bargain ebook Bundle

The bundle consists of…

    • The Quality of Mercy – A weird Sherlock Holmes collection
    • The London Terrors – a set of three weird Holmes novellas
    • The House on the Moor – a Scottish haunted house novella
    • The Watcher at the Gate – A Carnacki collection
    • The Kew Growths – A Professor Challenger collection

 

The print (deluxe hardcover and paperback) editions of these were originally published by Dark Renaissance. Now Dark Regions have the ebook rights, and sell them individually on Amazon.

But their direct selling of the bargain bundle means I get a bigger and better cut of royalties for this promotion, so if you’ve been swithering about any of them, head on over and get me some beer money!

All cover art by the great M Wayne Miller.

In search of the thing.

I don’t know if it’s the same for other writers, but for many years I’ve been in search of THE THING.

THE THING varies over time, a nebulous concept of interlinked thoughts, wishes, desires and an out of focus future where I’ve nailed everything I want to say, packaged it up tight in a lean, mean, novel, got it in the hands of publishers, and it’s so good that readers will fall on it in ravenous droves.

Every so often, I think I’ve cracked it.

The last time was these past few years with my SIGILS AND TOTEMS mythos works. The idea stuck with me for a long time, which is usually a good sign, I think I wrote some of my best stuff, in BROKEN SIGIL and SONGS OF DREAMING GODS in particular, and in a bevy of related work and stories, and I hoped that, this time, THE THING had been unleashed. I sent SONGS OF DREAMING GODS out with all the positive thinking I could muster.

And waited.

And waited.

Hope is, if not lost, at least fading. And I think I know where the problem lies. This particular incarnation of THE THING is my thing, not yours. The central conceit of the SIGILS AND TOTEMS mythos is my thing, not yours. They say writers should write for themselves. I did. And I’m proud of it.

But I can’t force anybody to read it.

Last year I had Joshi telling me I was a writer with nothing to say for myself, and one of his hangers-on calling me a hack. I let that get to me more than I should have, and that’s because THE THING wasn’t going as well as I hoped it would.

But that’s the thing with THE THING. It’s not static, but is a constantly mutating, changing organism.

And now it’s weird and pissed off, whatever it is.

Onward.

 



 

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