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WILLIAM MEIKLE

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Severed Press

Newsflash: Operation Loch Ness Launches

New today: OPERATION: LOCH NESS follows the survivors of the Scottish Special Forces squad from INFESTATION, OPERATION: ANTARCTICA, OPERATION: SIBERIA and OPERATION: AMAZON, home to Scotland, and a meeting with a legend.

Click on the image for details and buying links, or go straight to Amazon here

Please give me a hand with the launch, and retweet this Tweet. Make an old man very happy.

S-Squad are relieved to be home, and even an order to investigate animal mutilations at a local wildlife park does not seem like an onerous detail.

But things take a turn to the twilight zone all too quickly around the S-Squad, and even their homeland is not immune.

Something is feeding, ravenously, on animals, wildlife, and now people in the Scottish Highlands, and the trail leads to only one place, a place of legends, and the dark waters of Loch Ness.

 


 

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Onward and Upward – Captain’s Log

With OPERATION: LOCH NESS finished and delivered to Severed Press, and OPERATION: SYRIA set up as my winter project, I’ll have written six of these S-Squad books in two years.

And I’m still having fun. After the disappointments of DarkFuse and Dark Renaissance going under, and the fact that my Sigils and Totems idea hasn’t grabbed many of you the way it grabbed me, fun is exactly what was needed.

I was in a funk for a bit, a combination of life circumstances, turning 60, the afore mentioned publishers closing, and having a few hits to my confidence at once, but I’m slowly coming out of it, thanks in the main to the S-Squad lads, and the fact that THE GREEN AND THE BLACK is being well received, as was THE GHOST CLUB earlier in the year.

A look at what’s in the pipe also cheered me up.

Coming up I have:

  • Operation: Loch Ness – Severed Press
  • Operation: Syria – Severed Press
  • Carnacki: The Keys to the Door collection – Dark Regions Press

On the shorter work, there’s a bunch of anthology appearances (I just need one of these to take me over 100 in the ‘wall’ )

  • Operation Severn / Prehistoric / Severed Press
  • Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation / Tales from Arkham Asylum/ Dark Regions Press
  • Blacktop / I Am The Abyss / Dark Regions Press
  • Tumshie / Halloween Haunts / Dark Regions Press
  • Nocturnes and Lacunae / Transmissions From Punktown / Dark Regions Press
  • Something for the Weekend? / Voices in the Darkness / Ulthar Press
  • Into the Light / Their Coats All Red / 18th Wall Productions
  • The Color From The Deep / Summer of Lovecraft / TBA
  • Carnacki: Bats in the Belfry / Tails of Terror / Golden Goblin Press

Before Operation: Syria, I’ve got a couple of stories to write for anthology invitations, and a nice new invite just came in this morning.

Plus there’s a historical fantasy trilogy I’ve been working on with another (much more famous than me) writer, my first full-length collaboration, and it’s getting near to be done. More on that as and when I can.

So although I was thinking things aren’t that great, counting my blessings, and writing this down, has done the trick.

Onward and upward!

Some musings about the S-Squad

The S-Squad books are me having fun.

The S doesn’t really stand for anything apart from the fact that they’re Sweary, Scottish, and Squaddies. Probably not a good idea to get Sir Sean Connery to do the narration.

In these I’ve lightened my touch, and gone for all out, balls to the wall, plot and adventure. They’re pulpy, in the old sense of the word, irreverent, and more than a wee bit sweary. I’m also enjoying the hell out of writing them.

They’re definitely creature feature homages at their basic level, with added influences ranging from ALIENS, PREDATOR, DOG SOLDIERS and any number of Alistair MacLean books and movies. They’re also in a voice that I am able to drop into naturally, that slightly sarcastic Scots idiom I grew up with. Not having to worry too much about whether the dialogue is natural frees me up to write, and these come at me fast and furious. I’ve written four in the past 18 months, and the next one should be done well before Christmas.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have few pretensions. I’m not a literary writer. I don’t spend days musing over le mot juste. I just get on and tell the story to the best of my ability. I tell a lot of stories. That has led to me being called a hack in some quarters, but if a hack is someone who values storytelling, then I suppose that’s what I am. I’m making a definite choice to write mainly at the pulpy end of the market, populating my stories with monsters, myths, ghosts, men who like a drink and a smoke, and more monsters. People who like this sort of thing like it, and the sales of these books are proving to me that there is a definite audience out there for it. So fuck anybody who dismisses it as hackwork. This is who I am, and I wont be apologizing for it.

Now that that’s out of the way… 🙂

I hope to be able to be pitching and selling new ideas for these guys to Severed Press over the next few years.

OPERATION: AMAZON recently came out, I’m working on OPERATION: LOCH NESS, and I have sketchy ideas already for OPERATION: INNSMOUTH, OPERATION: ROCKIES, OPERATION: UR and OPERATION: MONGOLIA, among others.

I’ll be at this for a while I hope, something to look forward to as I march into my seventh decade on the planet, dragging my history behind me as inspiration.

I’d love for you to join me on the journey.

operationamazon

Bring on the Monsters

My writing is a mixture of the nearly subtle, and the not at all subtle. At least I think so.

I’ve approached subtlety in my short stories, and my reading passions veer toward the more subtle end of the scale.

But when it comes to actually making money from my writing, the bucks come in fastest from the most unsubtle of my work. THE INVASION is not in the least bit subtle — an apocalyptic alien invasion thing with flesh-eating goop, plucky survivors and nasty, no redeeming qualities aliens. People over the last nine years have lapped it up in their tens of thousands. It’s much the same with other of my more pulpy works, with thousands tuning in for THE VALLEY, ISLAND LIFE and THE HOLE, to name the most popular. And good old Derek Adams still sells regularly.

My recent CARNACKI and GHOST CLUB books, while getting critical praise and good reviews, do sell, but only in the hundreds compared to the thousands of the pulpier books.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last 26 years trying to turn away towards the more subtle, in the hope of making an impression among the weird fiction group, as that’s my own reading passion. But now, the Sigils and Totems stuff, (i.e. the more subtle of my recent work) has fallen off the radar completely, and meanwhile the S-Squad series creature features are taking off, and proving to me, all over again, that the direct, no-nonsense, big beasties and big bangs stuff is what my core readership is after.

So I’m going to chase them for a wee while.

Subtlety be damned.

Bring on the monsters.

 

 

The way ahead for a pulpy pensioner

My pulp fiction sells better than my attempts at weird, more literary short fiction.

There’s no beating about the bush about that, it just does. Over the years my heart has been in trying to make a break through in the weird short story field, and I’ve pushed myself hard in attempts to leave a mark in that area.

But after nearly thirty years at it, it’s not got me where I want to be, and to some in the weird fiction arena I’m still–I’ll always be–‘That hack. That pulp guy’.

They see it as an insult. I wear it with pride.

My pulp fiction sells much better than my weird short fiction.

So, now that I’m in my Sixties, and a pensioner to boot, I’ve been thinking about the way ahead again. I had been planning to write another collection of Victorian supernatural stories this year, and even had an editor interested, but on consideration, my heart is no longer in it. I think I’ve said all I have to say in that area in THE GHOST CLUB, which is what I’ll point to if anybody asks why I’m not doing any more. That collection has picked up great reviews, and is selling relatively well. But INFESTATION, my recent pulpy, big-bug short novel is outselling it, and all my other books, by a long way.

So what with that, and my attempts to sell recent short stories to new weird markets not getting me any joy, this year I’m sticking to what works for me. I’ve got a contract to write another pulpy thriller for SEVERED PRESS, my third with these characters, and I’m having a lot of fun with them.

So there’s that, and the fact I want to write another Derek Adams book sometime this year. I’ll be back in the ghost story arena with CARNACKI at some point too, as that’s a love I can’t shun, and I’d like to get a fourth collection done that has some new stories and also collects some published stories that haven’t yet been collected together.

So I choose fun.

Fun is good. It’s better than angst, especially when you’re a pensioner.

Besides, my pulp fiction sells better than my weird short fiction.

 

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OPERATION: ANTARCTICA

NEW BOOK DAY!

A creature feature novel from Severed Press.

OPERATION: ANTARCTICA follows the survivors of the Scottish Special Forces squad from INFESTATION, to the opposite pole this time, and an investigation of a derelict NAZI base.

In this one you’ll find more sweary Scotsman, lots of bullets, Nazis, occult rituals, an electric pentacle, Winston Churchill, lots of ice, more bullets, and more swearing.

I’m having great fun with this group of my countrymen.

They’ll be back.

What’s left of them.

GET IT HERE

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