Book four, coming soon. Here's the cover. I hope you like it.
Book four, coming soon. Here's the cover. I hope you like it.
Book four, coming soon. Here's the cover. I hope you like it.
The audiobook of ANGELA is now available in full and for free (ad supported) on Youtube.
If you enjoy it please help me out by liking and sharing it. Let me know what you think in the comments too.
A train runs through these three stories, and like all trains, and all journeys, it must terminate somewhere, and this is the end of that line.
I chose the name TERMINAL because it's both a condition, and an ultimate destination, and these stories are examinations of the human condition, as much as they are journeys with definite endings.
The three stories are set in the same universe and although they are loosely connected in terms of tone and theme, they are also more closely connected in some key ways that only become apparent when reading the three stories together in the order they are collected in TERMINAL. I think they are more satisfying when read this way, as three chapters in a larger critique of humanity and human nature.
Also at just $2.88 they're cheaper when bought together ;)
I was lucky enough to be interviewed by the awesome Ben Warden recently. Ben is editor of the #SFFiction project and author of his highly acclaimed romantic comedy 'Life Without', which made the top ten literary fiction e-books on amazon.
Ben is someone I reached out to when first publishing THE END to ask advice for advice. Not only was he generous with his help, he has supported me ever since. Twitter is full of writers who at best ignore each other, and at worst are obstructive to others success, but Ben is one of the good ones. You should follow him and check out his work.
In the interview we talk about motivation, dealing with reviews both good and bad, and a little about my new book DRIVE.
Ben: So Drive has the catch line ‘what drives a man?’. What drives you to writing horror, what is it about that genre that grabs you?
Adam: I’ve always been a fan of horror. I think one of the first books I read was The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, which later became the film Hellraiser. I also read Carrie by Stephen King and American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis when I was very young – probably too young – and they all had a big impact on me and no doubt influenced the kind of stories I write now. I think what I love about horror, in particular horror literature, is how great a tool it is for exploring the inner workings of human nature, both as a reader and writer. As a writer, thinking about what your characters are most afraid of is a good way of getting to their emotional core and of giving them layers that hopefully make them more interesting and sympathetic, or as sympathetic as a serial killer or zombie can be. Also horror is a great opportunity to use metaphor and allegory, which I like to do.
Ben: Absolutely; the imagery in your books is great reading. What I find brilliant about all your novellas is how character driven they are and how far you let us see into the characters' thinking. What is it about putting the reader right at the centre of that thought process; why do you do it to us, Adam?! :]
Adam: Yeah, sorry about that! I just find getting inside the heads of flawed, monstrous people really interesting. I want my readers to be appalled by the things my characters do, but to also get to a point where they understand why they do what they do. I love the idea of getting my readers to feel sympathy for monsters.
I've spent the last few months travelling around Europe and during that time I listened to a lot of audiobooks (easier to read when driving or lying on the beach) and maybe because of my own recent output they were almost all about serial killers. I read about Richard Ramirez, Ted Bundy, Fred and Rose West, and Charles Manson. All were fascinating, all were terrifying, but what I learned listening to those stories is that there is nothing more terrifying than the truth, and nothing more monstrous than the human being. No matter how many flesh eating monsters or demon birds I dream up, none of them will ever be as horrifying as the things that occur in those true accounts for the very fact that they happened to real people, and real families.
I may review the books I read here in the future, but in the meantime you can listen to Helter Skelter, The True Story Of The Manson Murders for free (ad supported) on Youtube.
ps - Fred and Rose West were the worst of the bunch.
I am super sceptical that book trailers have any impact whatsoever but I did one for THE END and I did one for ANGELA so it didn't seem fair to leave my new story DRIVE out.
So here it is. I was going for Lynchian nightmare. What do you think?
So DRIVE is finished. The journey David and I have been on has come to an end, and I feel pretty good about it. The night is over and the welcome sun is rising. I’m not as glad to say goodbye to him as I was with Angela, I think because I felt her pain more distinctly than I do David’s, or because he deserves it, at least partially. Angela was a victim, David is less so. Yes he has struggled, yes there are reasons he has led the life he has, but everyone struggles, and his experiences aren't all that unique. Many other people have been through the same things and didn’t find catharsis in blades and cruelty. Maybe his mind was wired in a way that predisposed him to kill. Maybe his troubled childhood was an excuse, rather than a cause. We’re free to speculate, but we’ll never know. We meet him too late in his life to ask these questions. By the time we meet him he is already on that fateful journey, and like all journeys it must terminate somewhere...
DRIVE was inspired by many things. McCarthy’s The Road. Pride. Lust. Shame. The desire to write a male character after writing two females. But most of all it is about another damaged family and the destructive power of love. How love can cure, and how a lack of it can kill.
So that leaves me three for three. DRIVE, ANGELA and THE END. My three miserable little stories are out there in the world, no longer strictly mine, free to be interpreted, enjoyed, ignored. Between them they form a kind of loose trinity, connected by theme, length and tone, and the train that runs through them. In early 2016 I am going to release them as a collection called TERMINAL.
THE END tells the story of Zoe, a thirtysomething single parent who finds herself in the midst of the zombie apocalypse, and then loses herself there too. The audiobook is narrated by Shiromi Arserio.
It has been on sale through Audible, iTunes, and Amazon for a little over a year and has had some great feedback, but I really want the story to reach as many listeners as possible so now, for the first time, it is also available on Youtube for nothing more than the cost of sitting through a few ads.
I really hope you enjoy it. If you do please hit the thumbs up and share it with your friends.
Well it's been a long time coming (just less than a hundred years in fact), but my Great Grandad's journals from his time in World War 1 are now available to buy from all good retailers.
His words are an important historical record of the first global war, covering in minute detail the grit and grime of that hand fought battle. Sometimes banal, sometimes grand and blasting, what struck me when I read what he wrote for the first time is that each passing year has only added to the value of the record. To see all the ways that war has changed, and the ways it has stayed the same gives us a unique perspective, an opportunity to reflect, and perhaps even change.
Reading, transcribing and editing them has been a labour of love for everyone involved and we know that had he still been around he would have loved for his history of that great war to be as widely available as they are today.
To celebrate its release I will be discounting the book by 50% for the next month.
Click below to order your copy now.
Good writing is honest. To be effective it needs to say something true. “Write what you know” say the givers of advice. "I am a fireman who lost his family, so I will write about a fireman who has lost his family", say some, and that’s great. That sounds like an important and interesting story. That fireman has something to say. I take that advice more generally. As I understand it, if you know loss, write about that, or joy if you’re lucky enough. I’ve written about grieving zombies, lonely women and remorseful killers. I’m none of those things but each story poked at an emotional core that was true to me, and it was the telling of this truth, as opposed to just explaining the plot, that kept my writing and fuelled me to complete them.
With Drive going through the weird gestation I put my work through before I release them I went back to a sci-fi story I’ve been writing for years. It’s been rewound, rewritten and reorganised more times than I can remember and it is finally approaching something resembling a first draft. But I don’t love it yet. I love the world and the characters and the imagery, I just don’t know what it’s about. The End was about loss, Angela about loneliness, and Drive about lust, but I still don’t know what this story is about at its core, and so writing has turned into editing, and editing turned into inertia, but I continue to chip away at it. Inspiration for this story comes in fits and starts. It needs more honesty, some emotionally resonant core. I need to find someway to hide something true in it, because at the moment it’s just a series of things that happen in a pretty world.
I am writing something else. Something so honest it’s unpublishable. In that nothing is hidden, every word is honest to me. I probably will never publish it, but it’s freeing to write without having to obsfucate the truth and increasingly the question I ask myself as I write is that. How much truth can I obscufate? And how can I make that hidden truth entertaining? Or if not entertaining, can I make it into art? How much of myself am I willing to sell? This is problem with the money motive. Can art and profit ever really co-exist? Time will tell.
I have been lucky enough to be asked to participate in the Dark Dreams Halloween Giveaway with an enormous and awesome group of authors. The sheer plethora of prizes on offer is far too great to go into here but the highlights include a bountiful amount of books and a grand prize of $175.00 Paypal cash.
All you have to do to enter is click below and like, follow and share the links and pages included in the Rafflecopter widget thing.
I'm giving away a copy of THE END or ANGELA, signed sealed and delivered by post to anywhere in the world.
a circular symbol depicting a snake, or less commonly a dragon, swallowing its tail, as an emblem of wholeness or infinity.
There are times when when I hate what I write. It's not affecting. It's clumsy. It's embarrassingly earnest. It's error-ridden. It's not clever. It's not published. It's not Cormac McCarthy. It's not David Lynch. It's not good enough.
And by extension I'm not good enough. I'm not talented enough. I'm not special enough. I'm not getting reviewed enough. I'm not reaching enough people.
And I'm not.
But I'm on my way.
The Japanese photographer obsessed over his wife and muse Yoko, documenting her every detail, every quirk and glance, finding all of her beauty and preserving it for us to see - until the day she left him in 1976.
Perhaps his scrutiny became too much. Maybe the camera lens detached him from his subject and left her feeling like a bird in a cage, in isolated adulation. In her own words,
Once she was gone he turned his camera to new muse, a more ominous one, the black feathers and shining eyes of the raven. In his seminal photobook, "The Solitude Of Ravens" he says more about loss and loneliness through his images of these birds and the places they inhabit than many books can.
The images reflect the mental state of the artist, as all the best art does, and without Yoko, Fukase fell into a deep depression. Depression brought with it alcohol and together they abused each other. Despite remarrying Fukase continued to photograph his ravens, and he continued to drink, until one final drunken night in 1992 when he fell down the stairs at a bar, and into a coma, in which he would remain until his death twenty years later in 2012.
Yoko visited him in the hospital twice a month.
This is my favourite image of his. Birds and blackness. Angela would love it.
The audiobook version of THE END has been lucky enough to get reviewed over at www.audiobookreviewer.com and I'm pleased to say Zoe and her brain eating friends got a solid 4.8 out of 5!
You can read the full review here :)
And that's not all, they are also giving away a copy of the audioboook to one lucky winner! You can enter the contest below, or on the Giveaways page of audiobookreviewer.com. Get clicking!
If you write for a review site and would like a free review copy of any of my work please feel free to get in touch.
I haven't blogged in a while. Life has been having its way with me. Some of it is Cambodia's fault, some of it influenza's, some of it the space my brain needs to itself before I go into a final edit. You can call it laziness if you want. I won't argue with you. But despite my apparent lack of meaningful creative activity things are happening. I've been coming to terms with criticism and what to do with it, (short version, accept all of it, ignore most of it) and I'm gearing up to finish David's story and send him out on his final journey. He's a complicated man. A bad man? Yes. One of the worst, in fact, but he's still a man, and as he himself says, what a man does in the shade of his own shadow is of no one else's concern, except perhaps yours and mine dear reader ;)
I'm able to more directly specify my influences for DRIVE in a way that I wasn't for ANGELA or THE END. Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD is probably the primary influence. Both stories chronicle a single journey, and without giving anything away, both deal with a universal central relationship. And both look at men who commit atrocities. Not all these men are the same man in THE ROAD, whereas they are in DRIVE. THE ROAD is one of those books I go back to time and again. I adore the tone of it and McCarthy's bleak writing style. It's so efficient but so affecting. Every dash of his ink is a masterpiece. If I could write a book with the kind of artistry he shows in a single line I would consider myself a success. In fact I'm considering writing DRIVE without chapter breaks in an homage to THE ROAD (which itself is one long unbroken chapter, as much as it is one long unbroken journey) but I wonder if perhaps I haven't reached the level of literary skill required to make that work yet. At the moment that's how it reads, but when you see it in print it may well be cut up into little pieces.
It's what David would want anyway, I'm sure.
I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in the Bleeding Hearts Valentine's Day giveaway by the ever awesome Claudette Melanson, along with a host of other authors, all generously giving away their work and other prizes in exchange for your likes and follows. I'm giving away ANGELA in ebook format, and a cerise swarovski crystal pendant, which couldn't be more valentinesy if it tried, but also ties in nicely to ANGELA, without giving too much away.
All you have to do is complete one or more of the below actions to be in the running for that author's prize. That's it. Couldn't be simpler really could it?
Well, what are you waiting for?
THE END came a little less than a year ago. It was my first book. I had written it while I was supposed to be filling out spreadsheets and answering the phone at my job, mainly as a way of escaping the terrible, terrible tedium of doing those things, but also as a way of scratching a brain itch that had been bothering me for while. It was like playing with a kind of mental scab till it bled onto a page. It hurt a bit, but I liked it. I liked going there, to the place in the book, a place where I was in charge of everything. I liked thinking like Zoe, making her a flawed human and perfect monster, and I liked playing out fantasies of global annihilation and trying to make awful things beautiful. It felt nice, like it was cleaning me out. I suppose you could say it was therapeutic, if you'll allow me the cliché. Then one day it ended. I wrote the last few words and it was all out of me. Done. Finished. I printed it off and looked at it sat there existing as a pile of paper and words, newly born into the real world and thought, "What now?"
I hadn't really considered what I'd do when it was done. I wrote it for me and for the sake of writing it and never anticipated anyone would ever read it, but now here it was, outside of me, all over the table.
Obviously there was some pride involved. I read what I wrote and I liked it. I'm not a particularly proud person so this was unusual for me, uncomfortable even, but yes, I liked it, and I had the strangest feeling that it needed to be read, otherwise it would die. Like reading it was oxygen, not for me, but for it.
I know, it sounds pretentious; I suppose it is pretentious, but once a book exists if it isn't read, then isn't it effectively dead? If I had stopped writing mid way through, if it had never fully left my head then fine, terminate it, let it die, but I didn't stop, I saw it through and now it was here it didn't feel like mine to kill anymore. So I did what I was soon to discover hundreds of thousands of other people in the same situation had done before and published it on Amazon. It's ridiculously easy. A few clicks and there it is, surrounded by orange and white, your name stuck all over it, like it IS you, representing a part of your life, exposing your hopes and fears for all the world to see (should you get your keywords right and market the shit out of it). At the time it went out no one else had ever read it. No one. I had edited it myself (rookie mistake, it was full of errors) and so I had literally no idea if it was any good. Of course I liked it, and I knew I wanted people to read it, but I had no expectation whatsoever. Sales were.....ok. Great for a day, then non existent for a month. There were free promos of hundreds, then thousands and amongst all this the feedback started. Reviews and retweets, comments and stars, a dizzying, addictive feedback loop that can make your year, then ruin it in the blink of an eye. I was so naive. I had no idea how all that would feel. It's at once gratifying and invasive. It's pretty intense. And when it's good it's very very good, but when it's bad, well, you know. I'm not complaining. I'm grateful anytime someone reads it, whether they love it or hate it, I'm just happy to know that it's being read, that Zoe is chewing her way through brains all around the world, but what I could never have understood before hand is how those words and stars get under your skin, for better, and for worse.
Anyway, then came the paperback, and then the audiobook, and I carried on writing. THE END made Matt at Obsessive Book Nerd's top five of 2014. ANGELA came out. Life carried on.
The feedback began again, some good, some bad, and the world didn't end.
No more than I wanted it to anyway.