New Nowhere Hall review

And so, before I dive headlong into the final third of the editing job I’m working on right now, I just have enough time to upload a link to the latest review of Cate Gardner’s Nowhere Hall, this one courtesy of Neal Hock over at the Bookhound’s Den – you can read what the man said here. =)

I really do recommend that people take out a subscription – these books tend to sell out quite quickly so, if you like the sound of what Spectral is doing and publishing, then I suggest you do just that. Subscribing is the best way to ensure that you receive every issue hot off the presses (as journalists are wont to say enthusiastically), as well as getting the occasional email newsletter and subscriber benefits (such as, when the hardback edition of the 2012 Christmas Ghost Story anthology is published, you’ll be able to claim money off the cover price). And, on top of that, you will always be guaranteed top-notch production values as well brilliant story-telling, from some of the best writers in the scene! To make it even easier, there are Paypal buttons down the right-hand side of this website for convenience of ordering…

(If you wish to pay by any other means, email me, Simon Marshall-Jones, at spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com and we can arrange something – thank you!)

The Ghosts of Christmas Future

As you know, Spectral Press is all about looking forwards to the future – but, sometimes, taking a glance backwards can be just as thrilling and inspirational. And that’s what Spectral will be doing next year, inspired by an almost throwaway remark Tweeted by my good friend, the writer Scott Harrison.

At one time, there was a tradition of publishing ghost stories based around the Christmas festivities. The Victorians were particularly fond of ghost stories and, since they bequeathed to us the ‘traditional’ Christmas (less the rampant consumerism) by more or less ‘inventing’ what we now come to understand as Yuletide festivities, the marriage of the two ideas seems somehow inevitable. And so, we now have the image of scary tales being told to rapt audiences sitting by the hearth, with the burning Yule log crackling gently in the background.

Equally inevitably, the Christmas ghost story became a regular inclusion in annuals published around that time of year. One of the most famous examples of this type of story is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (1843), a tale of greed, parsimony, ghostly visitations and redemption, and finally painting for us the perfect image of what Christmas eventually came to mean in later years. Dickens also wrote four other Christmas stories: The Chimes (1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), The Battle of Life (1846), and The Haunted Man (1848). Many other authors, including MR James for instance, wrote tales specifically based around the Christmas celebrations.

Spectral wants to revive the tradition of the Christmas ghost story. Starting in December 2012, an annual anthology of such tales will be published, in a format yet to be determined (but my immediate thoughts are that it will be an unlimited e-book, with a special limited hardback edition also being available). Unlike the chapbooks, which are invite-only affairs, I will most likely throw open the doors for submissions – and submissions will be open from January 1st to June 30th in any particular year.

PLEASE NOTE! DO NOT SEND IN ANY SUBMISSIONS NOW – PLEASE WAIT FOR AN ANNOUNCEMENT WITHIN THESE PAGES BEFORE SENDING ME ANYTHING!

Already, the response has been quite encouraging, so it looks very promising for this venture. I’d like to think that maybe, just maybe, this could be the start of something that will eventually become a regular feature of the genre publishing landscape, in however small a way. I, for one, am very much looking forward to see what happens.

King Death video trailer

So, here it is, the video trailer for Spectral Volume IV (produced by PenMan Press, on behalf of Spectral), Paul Finch’s King Death – enjoy!

And this time we managed to produce it BEFORE the chapbook sold out…

Anyway, if you’re interested in securing a copy, you can reserve one by sending me an email on spectralpress[AT]gmail[DOT]com. I won’t actually be putting it on pre-order until October, but you can still express an interest in buying a copy even so.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Competition news

Just giving you guys advance warning that in the very near future Read Horror webzine will be running a Spectral Press competition – Michael Wilson (High Priest of Read Horror, Chief Interrogator of Authors and Wrangler of Zombies [no doubt]) and I are working out the details at the moment, but I can guarantee you that there will be some nice prizes on offer AND that it’ll be an interesting competition. I’ll make a proper announcement as soon as we’ve got something to tell you!

Keep watching this space, as the well-worn cliché goes…. =D

A bumper crop of new reviews…

Today, I bring notice of not one, not even two, but THREE reviews of Cate Gardner’s Nowhere Hall:

First up is Walt Hicks’ write-up at the Page Horrific site, run by David T. Wilbanks. Hicks calls the Spectral line of chapbooks ‘wonderful’ and that indeed sets the tone for the rest of the review. Interested parties can read what else was said here.

Review number two is from Anthony Watson’s Dark Musings blog. Anthony is a subscriber, so it’s always great to hear when those who have very kindly sent me their hard-earned money have good things to say about the imprint – in fact, Anthony says “…It’s great to see horror so well served by a publisher with such high standards of quality. Continued success seems assured for Spectral – which is great news indeed…” – comments like that make it all worthwhile. Read the rest here.

Finally, Jim Mcleod weighs in with his assessment over on Ginger Nuts of Horror, and I am glad to report that it’s another positive one. Don’t just take my word for it, however: head on over to the site and read the write-up for yourself, which can be found here.

Rest assured, there’s a lot more supernatural goodness in store over the coming years – so why not take out a subscription today to ensure you secure YOUR copies of future chapbooks? Look for the convenient Paypal buttons down the right-hand side of this blog.

Onwards and upwards!

Two new reviews and news

First off is a fantastic review of Nowhere Hall from Colum McKnight of Dreadful Tales, who calls it “… [a] whirlwind of greatness… contained within the pages of yet another brilliant Spectral Press release…”. If you want to know what else Mr. McKnight said, then please go here.

And now here’s a somewhat neutral review of Abolisher of Roses from Robert Morrish on his Twilight Ridge blog. It certainly isn’t a negative review, but neither is it a positive one – I guess you can’t win ‘em all, as they say. You can read what Robert says here. =D

Going back to Nowhere Hall briefly, I will start to send out copies to everyone that’s bought one within the next few days. Thanks to everyone who has waited patiently for their copy!

An Eloquent Nowhere Hall review

Hot on the heels of my previous blog-post came news of another review of Nowhere Hall, this time courtesy of The Eloquent Page and reviewer pablocheesecake  – and, yet again, I am pleased to report that it’s another positive one, saying that Spectral Press ‘…has delivered another classic tale…’ You can read the rest of the review here.

Nowhere Hall is on its way…

Just a very quick update to let y’all know that Cate Gardner’s Nowhere Hall is at the printers, the signature sheets have already come back, have been numbered and are packed up ready to be sent to be signed. What all this means is that, if everything goes as it normally does, I should start to send out subscriber and individually-purchased copies by the end of next week. So, those who’ve ordered a copy expect something wonderful to drop through your letterbox very soon!!

It’s all go here at Spectral, I tell you….

New Nowhere Hall review

Mondays are normally the bleakest link in the week, but there is a certain type of Monday morning I do like – the type where someone has sent me something that brightens my day considerably. In this case, that someone is Jassen Bailey and the something in question is a new review of Spectral Volume III, aka Nowhere Hall by Cate Gardner, posted on his The Crow’s Caw review website. If you want to know what Mr. Bailey said, then please follow the link from here.

Expect more reviews very soon!!