Ghosts! Zombies! And Eleanor of Aquitaine!

6dThe plan was for The Red Hand to be a short, sweet second volume of the trilogy. That was the plan. Somehow, though, it grew and grew. It grew so much that I had to hack off some bits to make room for other bits.

Never one to discard a fresh body part, I kept them on ice – and now the nice people at Abaddon are presenting these deleted scenes on their blog for your delectation. The first – in which Gisburne, Galfrid and John tell ghost stories around a fire – is up today, here.

There will be two more, posted on Wednesday and Thursday morning this week, in which we lose the heir to the throne and meet the formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Gisburne has an unexpected guest – who just happens to be dead. Enjoy!

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Then three come along at once

2014 was not the easiest of years, and I can’t say I’m entirely sorry to see it go. At times, in terms of workload, it felt like it had been sent to test me – to make me find out what my limits really were. I did. It wasn’t fun. But it was instructive, at least. I now know not to have another year like that.

Its last hurrah came in the form of a flu-like virus – the one that has you coughing day and night for weeks, which seemingly everyone suffered from – which then led to the early stages of pneumonia. Terrific. Only now am I feeling normal again (well, as normal as I ever did). 2014 just didn’t want to relinquish its grip without a fight.

Well, it didn’t have everything its own way, and all that work wasn’t without issue. As a result of it, I have three books out in three consecutive months.

image-serviceDecember saw the publication of The Zombie Renaissance in Popular Culture – an academic tome that grew out of the Zombosium at Winchester University in 2011, where I gave a paper. The book is a collection of chapters by a variety of authors and academics on all aspects of zombies in our culture, the very last being my own contribution. Snappily titled Zombies, a lost literary heritage and the return of the repressed, it offers a brief overview of recent zombie literature, and then deals with one of the great fallacies of zombie lore: that it has no literary heritage. It does – and it’s Viking. Viking zombies. They’re just my thing.

Read about them here.

image001In January, Hunter of Sherwood: The Red Hand, the second volume of the Gisburne trilogy, was published by Abaddon (one of the imprints of Rebellion, who publish 2000AD). It was meant to be a short and snappy second book. It wasn’t. It was huge. A monster. Some of this had to be trimmed back for the sake of everyone’s sanity, but this means there will be some ‘deleted scenes’ available, featuring events and encounters not included in the final novel All of these will be posted on the Abaddon blog as well as here. Anyway, at the time of writing, the eBook has got 25% off in the Rebellion online store January sale (to which the above link will take you) but you can also find it on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Reviews are starting to come through on Goodreads, and they’re very pleasing – all 4 and 5 star reviews. Thank you to all who have taken time to review it (and read it, of course).

TheVikingDeadGermanVersionFebruary will see the return of an old friend. My first novel, The Viking Dead, is to be published in a German version by Voodoo Press. It’ll also be available on Amazon. OK, so this one’s cheating a bit – I mean, I didn’t have to write it all over again, and it wasn’t me translating it – but hey. Three books is three books.

In your face, 2014…

Free Guy of Gisburne!

The second of the Hunter of Sherwood trilogy (the Guy of Gisburne novels) out January 2015

The second of the Hunter of Sherwood trilogy (the Guy of Gisburne novels) out January 2015

No, he’s not in chains – not quite yet. But if you want a piece of him, he’s available to you, right here, right now – for nothing at all.

Yes, the lovely people at Abaddon (my publisher) have posted a teasing sample from The Red Hand here. Well, not teasing exactly – more like a couple of whacking great chapters. These are the opening moves of the new book – what I like to think of as the pre-credit sequence. The scene unfolds in the sewers of Jerusalem (sly homage there to that paragon of historical authenticity, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) and the contents of said sewer system are about to hit the fan in a majorly apocalyptic, flamey, burny kind of a way. If you are a fan, and you’d like to be hit full in the face with that, um… action… or if you’d just like to try a taste (yum) then click away now.