I work at home. ‘Yes, but what do you do all day?’ I’m often asked.
So in the spirit of keeping you up-to-date with what I’m writing, here’s what I’m actually doing this year. I think it’s probably about the same as any other writer, a mix of projects that will remain stillborn and others that will fly.
Later this month, the ‘Paperboy’ paperback hits the stands, although not at WHSmith, who apparently considered it ‘too upmarket’. There will be a compo to win copies later in the month, and you can decide then if it’s too upmarket or not.
In May, ‘Hellion: Curse Of Snakes’ comes out from Andersen Press. This teen horror reboots the Medusa legend to a North London council estate, and may develop into a series.
In June comes ‘Bryant & May Off The Rails’, which I think is possible my favourite B&M title to date, as my ageing detectives get into the tunnels of the London Underground system, searching for a ghoulish, impossible killer.
Also, there will be a variety of new short stories appearing in anthologies from PS Publishing’s ‘Gutshot’, a collection of Western-themed tales, to ‘Back From The Dead: The Legacy Of The Pan Books Of Horror’.
On the press front, I continue my regular ‘Interference’ column in ‘Black Static’ and ‘Forgotten Authors’ in the Independent On Sunday. I’ll be covering the Harrogate Crime Festival for the Financial Times, where I’m now the crime reviewer, and I’ll be writing about the World Horror Convention.
I’ve finished a brand-new collection of eighteen horror stories called ‘The Horrors’. My last collection won seven awards, but this one is yet to find a publisher.
I have finished the 8th draft of my screenplay ‘Hell Train’, and am finally happy with it. Now to find a buyer. Take it to Hollywood and they’ll treat you like the enemy, take it around the UK and they’ll tell you they have no money. What this really means is ‘I have my own pet projects and I’m not interested in yours.’ In British film terms realism is in, fantasy is hard to finance. Last year’s ‘Franklyn’ was a brave stab at producing a low budget British fantasy and should have been greeted with applause. Instead it was ignored. At least ‘Moon’ found an audience. But these films are made through network connections and sheer chance.
I’m now at work on several projects; I have knockout plots for two new Bryant & May books, and I’m halfway through my first thriller, ‘There’s Something I Haven’t Told You.’
There are other long-term plans – a big supernatural thriller, a sequel to ‘Paperboy’ called ‘Film Freak’ and ‘Invisible Ink’, my collected volume on Forgotten Authors. So now you know why I haven’t done the hoovering this week.