Monday, 17 November 2014

Unexpected Birthday Presents

One of the nice things about being a writer is that every so often, out of the blue, people send you exciting things in the post.  And statistically I suppose that the longer you go at it, the more of a chance there is that those things are going to arrive on your birthday.  Still, it was a nice surprise when not one but two parcels containing contributor copies arrived just in time for me to pretend that they'd been sent to celebrate my successfully surviving another year.

I've already talked plenty about 01 Publishing's anthology of Lovecraftian Horror Whispers From the Abyss - and rightly so, it's really good - but I tell you, however good it was as an e-book, it's a whole lot better in print.  And this isn't just my weird, old-man affection for books that are made out of dead trees talking, either; in fact, it's got a lot more to do with my weird, old-man affection for additional artwork and sexy formatting and books that are generally really nicely put together.  Honestly, I wish I could show you how great this thing looks on the inside ... and I could, quite easily.  But it would involve taking more photographs, or scanning or something, and honestly, I'm bored with both of those things right now.  You'll just have to take my word for it.

Anyway, as exciting as getting print copies of Whispers From the Abyss was, it wasn't quite so exciting as what Spectral Press head honcho Simon Marshall-Jones sent me.  A little back-story: in 2012 I won a competition with small press Horror publisher Spectral to have a story produced as a chapbook, a competition I only entered because I'd had my eye on them for months as potential publisher for that particular story, The Way of the Leaves.  As well as getting tWotL chapbookised, my prize for winning was a copy of every chapbook Spectral put out henceforward, which was pretty cool because - more so that it has any right to have done for what's still a relatively new imprint - Spectral has become one of the lynchpins of British Horror over the last three years.

Actually it seems an age since I've talked about The Way of the Leaves, and perhaps when it was released it got neglected a little, falling as it did between Crown Thief and Prince Thief coming out.  (Though, that was also partly because it sold out pretty quickly.)  I don't remember even posting any  reviews, and it got some particularly solid ones: Morpheus Tales even reviewed it twice, with J. S. Watts calling it "...haunting, dark and lyrical..." and Stanley Riiks pointing out that it's "...a soul-chilling tale worthy of the Spectral name," that "...builds into a heart-wrenching urban fantasy..."

So, short story long, what Simon sent me was the gorgeous boxed set of the first eight Spectral chapbooks (including my own, obviously) pictured above, which is a pretty great birthday present by any definition.  I mean, look at it!  It's like someone painted the monolith from 2001 red and then it spewed chapbooks.

As a postscript, it would be great to end by mentioning that there were plans in motion that would mean more people got to read The Way of the Leaves, what with it being one of the better things I've written and only having appeared in a limited edition and all.  And maybe there are even plans afoot in that direction.  But if there were then I obviously wouldn't be able to talk about them.  
So I won't.

No comments:

Post a Comment