My as-live radio chat with Armand Rosamilia, talking about the difference between writing short stories and novels, writing for Lovecraftian anthologies, and the vagaries of writing for the independent presses, among other things – I had a blast.
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.
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.
Q. What influences helped play a part in your writing?
A: It would have to be the reading I did in the genre as a teenager in a small West Coast Scotland town in the early-seventies, before Stephen King and James Herbert came along, that were most formative.
I graduated from Superman and Batman comics to books and I was a voracious reader of anything I could get my hands on.
Tarzan is the second novel I remember reading. (The first was Treasure Island, so I was already well on the way to the land of adventure even then.) I quickly read everything of Burroughs I could find. Then I devoured Wells, Dumas, Verne and Haggard. I moved on to Conan Doyle before I was twelve, and Professor Challenger’s adventures in spiritualism led me, almost directly, to Dennis Wheatley, Algernon Blackwood, and then on to Lovecraft. Then Stephen King came along.
There’s a separate but related thread of a deep love of detective novels running parallel to this, as Conan Doyle also gave me Holmes, then I moved on to Christie, Chandler, Hammett, Ross MacDonald and Ed McBain, reading everything by them I could find.
Mix that with TV watching of Thunderbirds, Doctor Who, the Man From Uncle, Lost in Space and the Time Tunnel, then later exposure on the BBC to the Universal monsters and Hammer vampires and you can see where it all came from. Oh, and Quatermass. Always Quatermass.
Add a hefty slug of heroic fantasy from Howard, Leiber and Moorcock, a sprinkle of fast moving Scottish thrillers from John Buchan and Alistair MacLean, and a final pinch of piratical swashbuckling. Leave to marinate for fifty years and what do you get?
A psyche with a deep love of the weird in its most basic forms, and the urge to beat up monsters.