Dead Souls news, plus Grave Girl 2 coming very soon!

Just a quick update to say that Graver Girl (Grave Girl 2) is coming very soon, almost certainly within the next week. The delay has been due to two things. First, a need to change the ending, which now sets up the third book in the series; and second, some changes to Dead Souls as that serial moves past its original thirteen-part run.

After part 13 of Dead Souls, there will be a short break, just a week or two. This is partly to exploit the big cliffhanger, and partly to facilitate a small change to the way future installments are released. Starting with part 14, there will be pre-orders, which means each new part will be available to pre-order at least a week before its actual release date. Dead Souls has always been a bit of an experiment, so little things are changing all the time.

There’ll also be a Dead Souls omnibus at the end of October, containing parts 1 to 13. I’m putting the file together now, and it’s coming out at roughly 900 pages. I have to cut some of the back-matter, though, because 900 is slightly above the maximum limit allowed by Createspace for the paperback edition. Speaking of which, paperbacks of Asylum and other books are still in the pipeline, I hope to have more news soon!

New Grave Girl and Ophelia coming soon, plus pre-order buttons!

First, a quick update to say that Graver Girl (Grave Girl 2) is still on the way. It’s taking longer than planned, because I wanted to rewrite the ending. Also, the second Ophelia novel is almost ready, so more news on that soon.

Second, Amazon has now expanded the pre-order option, so I’ll be able to put up pages for books with pre-order buttons ahead of their release. I’m not quite sure how the logistics will work, but I’m planning to give it a try with some upcoming books.

New paranormal / horror serial: Dead Souls!

deadsoulsfinal1Starting today, the first three parts of Dead Souls are available from Amazon. Dead Souls is a new ongoing horror / paranormal serial set on a remote island, focusing on the return of the mysterious Edgar Le Compte and his impact on the local inhabitants.

Dead Souls isn’t a novel cut up into smaller chunks. It’s plotted and written as a serial, so each part has a cliffhanger and it’s designed to be read as a weekly series of 20,000-word novellas. A new part will be released every Monday, and the usual price will be 99 cents. Each part will get a few free days shortly after release. And they’ll also all be part of Kindle Unlimited.

There will be a total of 26 parts, so by the time it’s finished, Dead Souls
will run to around 2,000 pages and half a million words. There’ll be an omnibus edition at some point when it’s finished.

deadsoulsfinal2I figure this is the perfect time to try this kind of serial fiction, which I’ve been thinking about for a while. When I was a teenager, I even hand-wrote story ideas for a (non-horror) soap opera I came up with, and I ended up with twenty years’ worth of episodes planned out. The notes filled six big ring-binders. I wish I still had them, but one day I threw them out! Um, yes, I guess that sounds a bit weird, but at least I had a hobby!

So this is like the way that Dark Season was originally released, except that this time it’s a much longer project! I’ve got the whole series mapped out, although reader feedback could affect some of the plot elements if people feel strongly about anything. The main story, however, is about Edgar and Kate’s relationship, and I know exactly how that develops and where they’ll be (or not be!) when the whole serial ends.

Hugo: The Lockton Downs Haunting is out now!

Hugo: The Lockton Downs HauntingHugo: The Lockton Downs Haunting is out now from Amazon. It’s a novella (about 56 pages) about a haunted house, and it’s all told from the point of view of the family dog. Yes, you read that right. A dog tells the story. The usual price is 99 cents, but right now it’s free for a few days, so now’s the perfect time to download it.

I got the idea from watching a couple of horror movies a few months ago and realizing that in both cases there was a dog that was with the families when they moved in. It’s quite common for dogs to be shown reacting to weirdness in a house before the rest of the family notices, so I figured it’d be fun to take a traditional side character and make him the focus. The fact that this character happens to be a dog turned out not to be an insurmountable barrier.

Schedule Update!

The original schedule for the end of this month has changed a bit. Graver Girl (Grave Girl 2) will now be out in August, after a paranormal horror novel titled The Girl Clay. More about that later. Also coming soon are The Dead City (Ophelia 2) and the third Joanna Mason novel.

Thoughts on Kindle Unlimited

As most people have probably heard by now, Amazon is launching Kindle Unlimited, a kind of all-you-can eat subscription reading service for Kindle users. It costs $9.99 per month (US-only at the moment), and a lot of people are describing it as Netflix for books, which seems pretty accurate.

As a reader, I think this could be great, and if (when?) it comes to this side of the Atlantic, I’ll definitely be signing up. It doesn’t have every book ever written included, but with 600,000+, I don’t think running out of titles will be a problem.

As a writer, I think it also presents some big opportunities, and therefore I’m going to be slightly changing the way I release books from now on. Or rather, going back to the old way…

I’m going to go back to my old system of serializing things, i.e. releasing each book in a series of chunks for 99 cents each and then bundling them all at the end for $2.99. This system worked well for me until early this year, when I took a break and then changed to just releasing whole books.

I’ll start early next week with the first parts of The Return and Grave Girl. Oh, and I already have some pretty vicious cliff-hangers lined up.

The only real change now is that there’ll be a 90-day window where each new book will be exclusive to Amazon. After that, they should end up on Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo and other sites. I know that’s not ideal, but books in Kindle Unlimited have to be exclusive to Amazon in 90-day chunks, so I’ve made a compromise that I think should work out okay in the end. As ever, I’ll keep an eye on things and maybe there’ll be changes ahead.

Summer Sale – 7 books at 99 cents each!

For the summer, I’ve dropped the prices of seven of my older books to 99 cents (from the original $2.99). The offer will run through July and part of August at Amazon!

The books are Asylum, Devil’s Briar, American Coven, Ward Z, The Night Girl, The Library and The Dead and the Dying. So if there are any titles in that bunch that you haven’t read, and you’d like to, then now’s the time to pick them up!


Mass Extinction Event: The Complete Third Series is out today!

mee3Mass Extinction Event: The Complete Third Series is out today in both ebook and paperback from Amazon. This is the first time I’ve released both formats in one day, so it’s a bit of an experiment. I’m hoping to get the first two series out in paperback in the next couple of weeks.

When I was plotting the third series of Mass Extinction Event, I also plotted the fourth, so I knew exactly where the characters had to be by the cliffhanger. There’s a time jump from the end of the second series, but only about a month. This time around, Elizabeth and Toad are setting out to find a new home, while Thomas heads to Chicago and then finds himself joining a group who live by a lake.

The rotting creatures aren’t around so much, but don’t worry, they’re not gone for good, and besides, I hope there are some real body horror moments in this series. In particular, there’s something horrible that happens to Elizabeth, and I also hope that one of the images right at the end, on one of the final pages, will burrow deep into your nightmares.

Series four will be out either later this year or early in 2015. I just have to juggle various other projects first.

In other news, thansk to Draft2Digital a load of my earlier books are now available at Scribd. I’m very bad at predicting future trends, but right now I think that this type of subscription service might become really big in the next few years, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Amazon did something similiar, probably involving Prime. But as I say, I’m very bad at predictions.

Finally, July should see the release of The Dead City (Ophelia 2) and a new horror novel called The Prison, although a few other books, including The Agency and Graver Girl (Grave Girl 2), are also on the horizon and release dates might get switched around. Oh, and Broken Red (The Broken Trilogy book 3) and the rest of Awake are coming soon as well!