Monthly Archives: December 2014

Out of Time – Extract

This is an extract from my latest novella, Out of Time. Out now on DeadPixel Publications.

The stone-finished walls of the hotel were discoloured from the constant pounding of the elements, and he could see that some tiles had been lost from the overhanging roof. One of the ground floor windows was sporting a huge, unsightly crack running from corner to corner. The place would definitely benefit from some light renovation work, along with the premises next door.

Before checking in, Joe crossed the road and stopped on the promenade for a few moments to gaze out across the churning sea. Angry white-topped waves crashed against the fortified sea wall, sending droplets of water flying through the air. He could taste the salt on his lips.

Looking around, so far as he could tell the only other people in this dying town were an old lady walking an excitable little brown dog, and a couple of teenagers making out on a bench. They were getting splashed by the waves, but didn’t seem to care. Evidently, they had other things on their minds. Joe watched as the boy tried to sneak a hand up inside the girl’s red puffa jacket. But she caught him in the act and smartly swatted his hand away.

‘Get a room!’ he felt like shouting, but restrained himself. The kids would probably stab him to death and steal his bags.

Leaving the young lovers to it, Joe crossed the road again and walked up the short path that led to the hotel entrance.

The door was big, old, and heavy. It had once been green, but now most of the paint had flaked off like dried skin exposing the sodden brown wood underneath. If it hadn’t been for the sign outside, he might have taken the building for a squat.

Pulling down the door handle, he pushed hard. The door swung inward on creaking hinges into a small reception area. Inside was a scuffed brown sofa, a coffee table, and a large oak desk set against the far wall. On the desk sat a little brass bell. Joe walked up and rang it.

Immediately, a door behind the desk opened and out stepped a plump little woman wearing a prissy white apron. Her greying hair was swept back in a bun, and she appeared to be in her mid-to-late fifties.

The moment their eyes met, Joe was overcome by the strangest sensation. There was something vaguely familiar about her, though he was certain they’d never met. He had never even been to this town before.

Weirder still, he got the impression that the woman felt the same way. There was the smallest flicker of recognition in her eyes. Then, it was gone.

“What can I do you for?” the woman asked with practised politeness.

“Oh, hello. My name is Joe Dawson. I believe I have a reservation.”

“Oh, Mr. Dawson… Good, good…” she said. “We’ve been expecting you…”

Out of Time

Out of Time

The 2014 Out of Time Blog Tour

In the third quarter of 2014, to support my new release Out of Time, I went on my first blog tour. This is when you do interviews or write posts for several different blogs and/or websites and schedule them so it runs like a virtual ‘tour’ to gain maximum exposure across a number of platforms. If done correctly, it can be a mutually beneficial arrangement whereby the owner of the website or blog gets some free content, while the writer gets some free publicity. It’s much more cost-effective than heading out on the road and meeting folk the old-fashioned way!

I’m not going to lie, it was extremely hard work, but I met some great people, discovered some new places on the net to hang out, and sold a few units, so all-in-all it was a worthwhile exercise.

Thanks to everyone who asked me probing questions, edited my long, rambling answers, let me post crap in their lovingly-crafted domain, or otherwise humoured me.

Here is a quick summary:

The Books of Blood:

The Horror Tree

Kev’s Blog:

Rainstorm Press:

Wag the Fox: Gef Fox’s Den for Dark Fiction:

Stuart Conover:
DeadPixel Publications:

Morpheus Tales:

Out of Time is out now:

Pop Punk Not Dead Tour 2014 Review

Only Rivals / Candy Hearts / State Champs / The Story So Far/ New Found Glory

The Forum, London, November 29th 2014


Here it is. The final night of the 2014 Pop Punk Not Dead Tour. The only UK representatives on the bill, Dublin’s Only Rivals, are more grungy alt rock than pop punk, and taking the stage just after 6:30 didn’t help their cause. Still, they are a tight unit and have some decent tunes. Their new EP, Details is out now.

On the other hand, the Candy Hearts embody what pop punk is all about. As the name suggests, sugar sweet melodies and killer hooks combine with emotionally-heavy lyrics sung with gusto by Mariel Loveland to great effect. Most of the short set was taken from this years ‘All the Ways You Let Me Down’ album, probably their strongest to date.

State Champs were up next, showcasing tunes from last year’s debut full-length ‘The Finer Thing.’ If you missed it, that’s a great album, and they hit all the right notes live. Polished and fluid, and with some good crowd interaction, the New York 5-piece made more than a few new friends tonight and ensured that pop punk certainly is not dead.

Main support The Story So Far have been around a long time now, and have amassed a healthy body of work to call upon. Live they are technically flawless, and perhaps the only thing missing from their repertoire is the presence of a couple of killer singles that might threaten the charts. They closed their 10-song set with High Regard, possibly the closest thing they have, apart from Small Talk, which they didn’t even play. Still, if this is the story so far, its pretty fucking impressive.

This being the last night of the tour, many in attendance were expecting something special and headliners New Found Glory didn’t disappoint. In fairness, they rarely do. Even after almost 18 years together and eight studio albums, they still give each performance everything and play every show like it could be their last. After a slightly surreal intro tape they ripped straight into Understatement, lead track from arguably one of their best-loved albums Sticks and Stones. After that, the classics kept on coming, Better Off Dead, Hit or Miss, Don’t Let Her Pull You Down, Failure’s Not Flattering, Dressed to Kill, Truck Stop Blues, and, of course, My Friends Over You, mixed with a few stand-out tracks from most recent album Resurrection.

During his between-song banter, guitarist Chad Gilbert said the concept of the new album was based on finding that inner strength and belief that helps you triumph in the face of adversity. Anyone who knows the back story of NFG, and in particular the scandal that broke last year surrounding ex-member Steve Klein, will know what he was alluding to. Another thing Gilbert said in one of his between-song raps that stuck with me was that life isn’t about chasing fame, money or success, its about making memories. He’s probably right about that because in the end, memories will be all any of us are left with and if that’s the case we made some good ones tonight. Cheers boys.

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