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WILLIAM MEIKLE

Genre Fiction

The End of an Era

I mentioned to Sue that I was ’emotionally invested’ in my GHOST CLUB collection. I meant it as a joke, at the time, but there’s more than a nugget of truth in the remark.

It feels like the culmination of the last six or seven years of writing. Before this collection there were the Carnacki stories, the Holmes stories, the Challenger stories, and the collaborations with M Wayne Miller, the deluxe hardcovers and sales to Dark Regions and Dark Renaissance. But with the end of Dark Renaissance in particular, that door is now firmly shut, and THE GHOST CLUB feels like a death, and an obituary as well as a celebration of everything I love about the era and the storytellers.

I’m fast approaching my sixtieth birthday, a wee milestone that has me thinking about what I might be able to achieve with my writing from now on. S T Joshi’s remark about me ‘trying to make a career out of Carnacki pastiches’, while badly researched and a cheap shot, also got me thinking, and one result is that THE GHOST CLUB marks the end of me writing in other people’s worlds unless I get specifically commissioned.

I have my own furrows to plow, in the Sigils and Totems mythos, in my enduring, unwavering love for creature features, and in the fantasy field where I have things I’ve always wanted to write and never got round to. I’ll also still be writing period pieces, but from now on, they’ll be my period pieces.

Onward and upward.

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THE GHOST CLUB Launch party and tour itinerary

The Ghost Club Party and Tour is taking shape.

The tour is in support of my new collection, THE GHOST CLUB, coming on 9th December from Crystal Lake Publishing.

There’s going to be live podcasts, interviews, reviews and guest blogs on various subjects like Nigel Kneale’s THE STONE TAPE, why I write Victoriana, London’s influence on my writing, my five favorite ghost stories, Scottish supernatural fiction that’s influenced me and a lot more including live readings from me here on FB.

I may even practice the SHE SLEEPS IN THE DEPTHS song that turns up in a few of my stories. I promise not to sing it live if you’re nice to me.

Join me in the online party and tour here –>

https://www.facebook.com/events/1980022735543624/

Here the itinerary so far: –

06/12/2017 Blaze McRob, Big Ultra Man, Guest Blog
06/12/2017 David Wood, Wood on Words, Podcast
07/12/2017 John Linwood Grant. Graydogtales, Interview/Feature
08/12/2017 Steve Pattee, Horrortalk, Guest Blog
08/12/2017 Sylv, Sylv.net ,Interview
09/12/2017 Stacy, Horror Addicts, Guest Blog
09/12/2017 Ash Hamilton, Horror Fix, Guest Blog
09/12/2017 Steve Savile, Newsletter Guest Slot
10/12/2017 Steve Lockley, Whisperings, Guest Blog
10/12/2017 Jimmy Weinholz, The Horrific Network, Podcast
11/12/2017 Josh Reynolds, Hunting Monsters, Guest Blog
12/12/2017 Nick Kaufmann, The Scariest Part, Guest Blog
12/12/2017 Armand Rosamilia, Arm Cast Podcast
13/12/2017 Mark West,Strange Days, Guest Blog
14/12/2017 Eric Ian Steele, Confessions of a British Writer, Guest Blog

More info and additions to come.

On Literary Snobbery

One of my pet peeves is literary snobbery. I hear it far too often, in cries of ‘hack’ and ‘appealing to the unwashed masses’ from people who are so entrenched in their rigidly defined enclaves they can’t see past their own shit.

Sure, literary work has merit. But that doesn’t mean that genre work does not. And it also doesn’t mean that only a carefully defined part of genre writing that might be literary if you squint at it is the only genre work that is valid.

Pulp is seen as second class by far too many people. People hear ‘pulp’ and think ‘shoddy’, whereas I hear ‘pulp’ and think ‘adventure.’ and ‘fun’– and for that, I get castigated.

Well, screw ’em all.

Storytelling for the sake of storytelling is often lightly dismissed as ‘just entertainment’ — but not everything has to have deep psychological insight. Sometimes all you need to be satisfied is people in peril, and a bad guy to beat up. And there’s nothing wrong with that in my opinion.

My most successful and probably most commercial work is The Invasion. It reached #3 in Kindle SF and #4 in Kindle horror, so covers both genres, and is the tale of a strange green snow that starts to fall during a winter storm—snow that quickly starts to spread—and multiply—and mutate. It’s a B-movie on paper, and a homage to many of the things I love—alien invasion, slimy horror, apocalyptic disasters, and normal working folks in peril. It’s pulp, through and through, and over 20,000 people have bought it. That tells me there’s more people like me out there.

They’re the ones I’m writing this stuff for, not for the sneering sycophants looking for their place in the ivory towers. I’m down here with the unwashed masses. And I like it.

Onward and upward.

New Book day: INFESTATION from Severed Press

 

New today, a new big bug novel from me at Severed Press. It’s pulp, pure and simple. Sweary Scottish squaddies and big bug mayhem in the waters off Baffin Island. It’s not subtle. But it’s not meant to be


It was supposed to be a simple mission. A suspected Russian spy boat is in trouble in Canadian waters.

Investigate and report are the orders.

But when Captain John Banks and his squad arrive, it is to find an empty vessel, and a scene of bloody mayhem.

Soon they are in a fight for their lives, for there are things in the icy seas off Baffin Island, scuttling, hungry things with a taste for human flesh.

They are swarming.

And they are growing.

INFESTATION is a tribute to several things – 50s B movies, Alistair MacLean books and movies, Aliens, and Dog Soldiers are all rattling around in there.

But mostly it’s for the love of big beasties. Mostly.

 

November Newsletter

The three Sigils and Totems novellas are now available in a compiled ebook collection from Crossroad Press ( paperback on its way)

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.

I’ve started linking it through to some of my other characters and ongoing work, so there’s sigils and totems stories featuring members of the Seton family, Derek Adams, the Midnight Eye, and Carnacki. Augustus Seton will be getting involved in 16th C Scotland soon too.

The novellas that used the concept, BROKEN SIGIL, THE JOB and PENTACLE were well received and are in standalone ebooks, and now collected in this single omnibus edition.

As ever all shares or mentions of the book on social media would be greatly appreciated.


 

A bargain box set is now available that contains, among other fine things, my early Scottish vampire novel ELDREN: THE BOOK OF THE DARK. And all in, you get 10 novels for 99c / 99p. Bargain! Here’s the gen.

Ten dark novels of supernatural horror from some of today’s bestselling authors!

This collection includes:

  • Closet Treats by Paul E. Cooley
  • The Crypt of Dracula by Kane Gilmour
  • Eldren: The Book of the Dark by William Meikle
  • Still Water by Justin R. Macumber
  • Refuge-Night of the Blood Sky by Jeremy Robinson
  • Dark Rite by David Wood and Alan Baxter
  • The Flat by Rick Chesler and Jack Douglas
  • Laughing Boy’s Shadow by Steven Savile
  • Piercing Through by RJ Fanucchi
  • Hunger by Jeremy Robinson

 


 

In other news

 

  • I’m busy setting up a tour of blogs and podcasts for the launch of THE GHOST CLUB from Crystal Lake Publishing on 8th December. Got some great blurbs in for the book too.
  • I’m looking forward to the release of INFESTATION, my big bug creature feature novel from Severed Press, and I have a new contract to write another novel for them.
  • I have a story in THROUGH A MYTHOS DARKLY from PS Publishing
  • I have a story in SHADOWS OVER MAIN STREET 2 from Cuttingblock Press alongside the likes of Joyce Carol Oates and Joe Lansdale
  • I have one of my Sherlock Holmes stories in OCCULT DETECTIVE QUARTERLY #3
  • I have a novella coming in the huge I AM THE ABYSS anthology from Dark Regions Press alongside the likes of Michael Marshall Smith and Steve Rasnic Tem that’s available to order now
  • Crossroad Press have a schedule for the publication of all my rehomed DarkFuse books new and old. Next up is RAMSKULL, a Scottish black magic Hammer horror tribute thing
  • Carnacki:The Edinburgh Townhouse and Other Stories is selling well from the Lovecraft Ezine Press
  • I’m on part 3 of a secret big honking fantasy trilogy I’m writing with a name author.

Busy, busy, busy.


Featured Book for Halloween

THE HOLE reached the top 100 overall in the Amazon Kindle charts, and reached #3 in Amazon Horror for all formats.

The origins of this one are simple – I heard two news reports on the same day.

The first was about a sinkhole in small town USA.

The second was about a strange inexplicable hum plaguing a large area of country.

I wondered… what if they were both in the same place?

From there it was only a short distance to the town, a roadside bar and diner, and a couple of odd-job men down on their luck and about to literally fall into a hole filled with their worst fears.

GET IT HERE

There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Meikle is one of the premier storytellers of our time. The Hole is one hell of a story, a fun ride and a blast to read. If you are looking for some good summer entertainment, don’t turn on the idiot box, pick up a copy of “The Hole”, find yourself a nice tree to sit under and get lost in the magic of a great story. The Hole will certainly be time well spent and I highly recommend it.– Famous Monsters of Filmland

At the centre of this fabulous story is a pounding pulp rhythm, onto which Meikle has layered a philharmonic gemstone of plots, characters, and thrills to create a triumphant symphonic masterpiece of modern genre writing. – Ginger Nuts of Horror

Another tour de force of pulp fiction from the imagination of the best purveyor of out and out genre fiction currently plying their trade. – Dark Musings

William Meikle should be a household name if this is the sort of rip roaring story he produces. – The Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog

A seriously creepy thriller – lights on for this one!– CAYOCOSTA72 Book Reviews

This is an intelligent and well-rounded horror story even with its tip of the cap to “The invasion of the body snatchers” and its pod people. Meikle shows adeptness in handling the story as he takes it right to the edge of absurdity but keeps from crossing that line. This is the first book that I have read by Meikle but I can guarantee that it will definitely not be the last. – Examiner.com

Musing on my writing career as I approach 60

I’ve been reflecting on my writing career so far as I rapidly approach my sixtieth birthday in January.

There have been many ups and downs over the years, but back when I started out in early 1992, if I’d been offered the publications I now have, I’d have sold my soul for them.

When I first started, all I wanted was to see my name in print. That was fine for a few years. I placed a whole shitload of stories in the small press for just a copy or two of the publications. I got quite cozy down there before I realized I wasn’t actually getting anywhere.

So then I wanted to get paid. Then I wanted a pro-rate story sale, then a novel sale, then a sale in a pro anthology, then a story collection…in hardcover… then I wanted to go full time… and lo and behold, it has all come to pass, and more, especially in the last 5 years. ( I also wanted to sell a film script to Hollywood – but let’s not go there. Okay? )

There’s still things I want to achieve – a story in one or more of the Year’s Best anthologies, a mass market book deal, a luxury yacht so I can just sail round the world all the time – that kind of thing. Some of them might even be achievable.

I recently sold my 80th pro-rate short story. Now I’m wondering whether 100 is feasible. Given that 25 years ago I was wondering whether 1 was feasible, I guess I’m doing something right.

But it’s in the nature of the beast that I’m never satisfied, always looking ahead to the next gold ring. ( I also get jealous of some of my fellow writers. Shush… don’t tell them.)

This past eighteen months has seen a necessary realignment for me with both Dark Renaissance and DarkFuse going out of business, bringing with that a load of stress I could have done without.

But the orphans are rehomed, and the new babies have also been adopted, so today I again decided to count my blessings and look at what I’ve achieved. I can’t quite say I’m content… but I’m happy.

For now, that’ll do.

In the meantime, I’ve got new and old works coming from Crossroad Press, a novella in the big I AM THE ABYSS antho from Dark Regions, a new collection, THE GHOST CLUB coming from Crystal Lake, a big bug novel, and another novel to write coming with Severed Press, I’m in discussions about a collection, and I’ve got a large secret project in the works that’s two-thirds of the way done. So it looks like I’m busy for a whole longer.

Onward and upwards.

To infinity and beyond.

New Book Day: Sigils and Totems: A novella collection

The three Sigils and Totems novellas are now available in a compiled ebook collection from Crossroad Press ( paperback on its way)

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’ve also started linking it through to some of my other characters and ongoing work, so there’s sigils and totems stories featuring members of the Seton family, Derek Adams, the Midnight Eye, and Carnacki. Augustus Seton will be getting involved in 16th C Scotland soon too.

I think I’ve stumbled into something that could keep me busy for a few years.

More details HERE.

The novellas that used the concept, BROKEN SIGIL, THE JOB and PENTACLE were well received and are in standalone ebooks, and also collected in a single omnibus edition ( the paperback will be along soon).

There’s a novel that expands 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, coming soon, 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.

Alongside them, there’s a growing number of short stories, including the title story in my latest CARNACKI collection, THE EDINBURGH TOWNHOUSE.

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.

Newsflash – Rowan Casey boxset offer

Most of you know that I’m involved in the VEIL KNIGHTS series under the pen name of Rowan Casey with 11 other fine writers. Today we’re running a promo to bring new readers into the series, with a box set of the first three books on sale at Amazon for only 99c in the US. It’s also now on offer for US NOOK, KOBO and ibooks readers.

We’re already up to book eight of the proposed twelve. This set contains the first three books, and the third one, HOUND OF NIGHT, is my contribution to the series. Regular readers of mine will find a Seton family member in here, as well as the Concordances of the Red Serpent, and an opener of the way that is becoming strangely familiar.

Get it on AMAZON.COM

In the distant past the Knights were formed to serve as the protectors of humanity against the powers of darkness and the supernatural. A powerful sorcerer known as the Merlin served as their leader and mentor. Together they erected the Veil between this world and what they called the demimonde, or half-world, which served as the home to all the supernatural races. They took all the creatures, races, and demons that form the supernatural legends we know today and locked them away on the other side of the barrier.

For centuries that barrier has held and in time the Knights came down through history as nothing more than a legend about a group who supported their King and lived lives of chivalry.

Now Merlin needs them again, and calls them forth from their hiding places to do battle against the old foes.

These are their stories.

 

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