More King Death reviews

Today, we have a bumper crop of reviews for the latest Spectral chapbook, Volume IV of the series, in fact we have THREE of them to tell you about.

First we have one from Jim Mcleod’s Ginger Nuts of Horror website, wherein it cites the Spectral chapbooks as “…a top quality product in both production values and the quality of the writing…” – you can read the specifics of what Jim says about Paul Finch’s entry in the burgeoning Spectral library here.

Next comes a write-up from pablocheesecake via his The Eloquent Page review site. As he notes here this is a departure from the usual Spectral story, in that it’s historical supernatural fiction – but does that affect his approach to and judgement of the story? I’ll let you discover what he thinks by directing you to the review here. (He also makes note of the excellent cover artwork by Neil Williams – a nice and welcome touch I felt)

Lastly, but certainly not least, we have the very latest review from Read Horror magazine, this time written by Dan Howarth. He calls this particular story “…deeply unnerving reading…” but you should go ahead anyway and read what he has to say in his in-depth review of the chapbook, which can be found here.

Thanks to all who reviewed the book – more soon!

Competition time!! News!!

Yes indeed, it’s competition time over on the Read Horror website and what a competition it is too!! Spectral has teamed up with this great magazine to bring you an absolute stonker of a short story writing contest, with prizes to match, to wit:

“The grand prize is a lifetime’s subscription to every single publication put out by Spectral Press from 2012 onwards, as well as getting the story published in a future anthology or chapbook! Second prize is a year’s subscription (four issues) of the acclaimed Spectral chapbooks (from Volume V on), with the third prize winner receiving one future publication of their choice! Any ephemera, like bookmarks, postcards and posters, will also be included in each of the winner’s prizes if available, etc.”

So, what do you have to do to win this exciting booty? Well, first you’ll have to hop on over to the Read Horror website, read through the competition blurb and rules, and then get your thinking caps on! This’ll be your chance to show Spectral publisher/editor Simon Marshall-Jones and Read Horror editor Michael Wilson your short story-writing prowess. It’ll be your chance to get published and read by people! What better incentive is that?


Today marks the first anniversary of this Spectral Press website/blog – it’s hard to believe that it was just over a year that the imprint was first conceived and that less than two months later it became an actual reality (and here’s a link to the first ever blog entry written on the site). Paul Finch’s King Death will round off Spectral’s first complete publishing year very nicely, and Simon Kurt Unsworth’s Rough Music will be the 1st anniversary issue, so to speak.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has helped make Spectral the success it has become – all the authors, subscribers, readers and reviewers, especially to those people who took what I was attempting to do entirely on trust. In particular, however, I want to extend gratitude to Neil Williams, who is entirely responsible for the look and layout of Spectral (including the creation of some stunning and atmospheric covers) and also to Mark West who, as well as being a great writer, has been something of a dab hand at producing some excellent video book trailers for the imprint. Without all these factors, Spectral Press wouldn’t have achieved anything like the amount it has in the short time it has been in existence.

Next year, I have some plans to expand the imprint, with the introduction of a new line of limited hardback novellas, to be given the umbrella title of ‘Spectral Visions‘. I am hoping to make an announcement about the first in the line within the next couple of months, as well as provide more details about the novellas themselves. From the imprint’s perspective, it’s the logical next step to take. Here at Spectral Towers I hope that you will come along and join us as the imprint grows and expands!

Nowhere Hall gets another review…

And here we are, on another cold and grey Monday morning, wondering just how quickly we can make the week go by until it’s the weekend again. Well, here’s something that will at least occupy a small portion of that time: a great new review of Cate Gardner’s Nowhere Hall, this time from Richard Baron and posted to his personal website – you can get to it by clicking the link here.


And now, a little news of something happening later on… a fabulous Spectral/Read Horror competition. Details will be revealed in all their wondrous glory on the Read Horror website sometime today, and I can guarantee that it’s an extremely wonderful competition, with some magnificent prizes to be had… either keep a look out on the site itself, (and while you’re there, check out the 100 Horror Story Recommendations), or come back here tomorrow when I will be blogging about it. I foresee this as being quite a popular competition….

LATE EDIT! The competition has now gone live on the Read Horror site – get to it! =)

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 column and an interview

Head on over to Read Horror to have a gander at my second Re(a)d-Letter Day column for them, wherein I talk at some length about the literary and cinematic ‘evolution’ of that ever-popular creature of darkness, the vampire. From Bram Stoker’s Dracula to Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga by way of vintage Aurora model kits, it’s all there…. here’s the link.

I was also interviewed by Jim Mcleod for his Ginger Nuts of Horror website recently. I get to talk about all kinds of things, not just about my publishing ambitions (although they do get a mention!) – find out what I did before becoming a publisher and what my favourite hobby is (and why I do it, as well as why I got back into it after an absence of decades). I am not entirely sure what it all says about me, so I leave that up for you to decide. The interview can be accessed here.

Enjoy! =D

Read Horror review and something a little different…

Just a quick little blog-post this morning:

First, Michael Wilson over at Read Horror webzine gave Gary McMahon’s What They Hear in the Dark a short review, giving it a thumbs up. Michael will also be reviewing the other Gary’s Abolisher of Roses at some point in the near future – in the meantime, here’s what he said about Mr. McMahon’s chapbook.

Antipodean writer Angela Slatter, of Sourdough & Other Stories (Tartarus Press) and The Girl with no Hands (Ticonderoga) fame (both of which I have reviewed), asked me to participate in one of her fun little ‘Drive-by Interviews’, which she published today. You can see what I said by clicking here.

Don’t forget, too, that copies of Cate Gardner’s Nowhere Hall are now available on pre-order, but I urge you to get your order in quickly as there are only FIVE copies left (15th June 2011)…. =)

A review and a new career as a columnist….

First up on this dreary Monday morning (has anyone bothered to tell the weather that it’s actually June?) is a short review of Gary Fry’s Abolisher of Roses courtesy of Chris Bissette – his take on the most recent chapbook can be found here.

Also, the beginning of this month saw my debut as a columnist for Read Horror webzine, the first instalment of which you can read here…. please feel free to leave a comment or two, and I sincerely hope that you can join me every month for my ruminations on genre, books, film, media and other things.