If all goes to plan and the trains don't get snowed off, I will be spending next Saturday in The Minster Inn in York, drinking beer and swapping ghost stories with a group of fellow writers. This is how I've passed the last three first-Saturdays-of-December, and I hope I get to do the same for a fair few more, because it's become one of the high points of my year. I mean, beer, ghost stories, more beer ... it's hard to go wrong with a recipe like that.
It also means that I've had to write a new ghost story - otherwise what would I read? So far, the results have been pretty positive. In 2007, I read The Untold Ghost, which ended up as the editor's pick in Pill Hill Press's Haunted anthology,and in 2008 I went with The Burning Room, which should be out in Bull Spec next month. Last year's story, Knock, Knock, is still looking for a home, but it's a strong tale and I've faith that it'll make it eventually. Meanwhile, this year I'll be debuting a tale I put together last month and literally just finished the first redraft of, called Prisoner of Peace. I'm really pleased with it, I think it might even be the best of the bunch, and it'll be interesting to see if anyone else likes it as much as I do.
Unfortunately, (or fortunately, I guess, depending on your perspective), I'll be trying to hold me own against some serious competition. I'm not sure just who's going to be around for this one, but previous years have featured the likes of author / editor David Stuart Davies, the excellent Mark Valentine and my friend Mr Rafe McGregor, who introduced me to the whole thing, (and gets mentioned in this blog almost more than I do!)
So if you happen to be in the vicinity six days from now, around one in the afternoon, why not drop in and listen to a bunch of ghost stories? Did I mention there's going to be beer?