A couple of months ago one of my short stories, Roach, about a cockroach farm in China (it’s a thing), appeared in the anthology Night Terrors 12 via Scare Street Publishing. I’m pleased to announce that as Scare Street continue their all-out assault on the world of horror fiction, this month sees the release of Night Terrors 14, which includes my creepfest Eyeless.
Eyeless is a gruesome little tale about an elderly gent who is moved into a care home where the residents receive visits from a mysterious supernatural entity after lights out. My intention with this was not just to write a straight-forward horror story, but also a dressed-up disquisition on life and the slow-death ageing process that we all have to endure, if we’re lucky.
Also in this volume you will find a realtor desperately tries to sell a haunted house before it consumes her body and soul, a young couple’s vacation at a campground takes an ominous turn when something menacing lurks nearby, and a haunting melody leads a curious girl to a bittersweet tale of love and loss. Because when night falls, a dance of death begins. And once the music ends, the only sounds you hear are your own screams of terror.
As always, Scare Street have assembled a killer cast of authors, including my old buddy and peerless sick, twisted bitch (she likes it when I call her that), Renee Miller, the full table of contents reading something like this:
1. Marshmallow Murderer by Melissa Gibbo
2. Organ Manipulator by Justin Boote
3. Camping with the Carnival by Jason E. Maddux
4. Serenade by Craig Crawford
5. Sold by Renee Miller
6. Gram’s Garden by J. L. Royce
7. The Gift that Keeps on Giving by Peter Kelly
8. The Womb by Edwin Callihan
9. Eyeless by C. M. Saunders
10. Dark Home by Simon Lee-Price
11. The Wooden Box by P. D. Williams
12. The Limb Farmer by Caleb Stephens
13. Ouroboros by Melissa Burkley
14. Crow’s Books by Ron Ripley
Night Terrors 14 is out now on paperback and ebook.
Leave a comment | tags: anthology, book, C.M. Saunders, ebook, fiction, horror, paperback, publishing, Scare Street, writing | posted in Anthologies, fiction, horror, Writing
Like most other people, I am struggling to take any positives from 2020. One positive, however, is the fact that I’ve had more time to reassess things, and tackle some of those jobs I’ve been putting off. One of those jobs was revising my novel, Sker House, my attempt at the ‘Great Welsh Haunted House Story.’
I worked on it sporadically for five or six years, mainly because there was so much research involved because I wanted it to be as factually accurate as possible. Sker House, and many of the places I talk about in the book, are real, and so are some of the local legends I reference including that of Kenfig Pool and the Maid of Sker. Well, they are at least as ‘real’ as legends can be, anyway. The book also incorporates some documented historical events, like the awful practice of wrecking and the Mumbles Lifeboat Disaster, which didn’t actually happen in Mumbles, but here at Sker Point.
In 2016 I got to a point where I was just done with Sker House. I was so desperate to get it out there, I forewent the process of looking for a traditional publisher, commissioned my old mate Greg Chapman to design a cover (based on an old postcard I found of the original Sker House) and decided to publish it myself. Or more accurately, via a now-defunct writer’s collective I was then part of.
Though it became my biggest selling book and picked up some great reviews, truth be told, I’ve never been 100% happy with the version of Sker House I originally put out. The plot was a bit meandering and unfocused in places, and I slipped into using the passive voice a bit too much. The back end of the book felt a bit rushed, and there were a few silly grammatical errors and the odd missing apostrophe or comma. In places I forgot I was writing for an international audience, and referenced things like the Dissolution of the Monastries without actually saying what it was, or what the implications were and how it tied in with the story. From a more practical standpoint, the formatting was also a bit wayward. I was still learning the ropes then and experimenting with different techniques and software.
Some things seem fine the first dozen times you read them, but if you go back and read them a thirteenth time years later you’ll probably find some things you’d like to change. The beauty of self-publishing, apart from maintaining complete creative control, is that you can do just that. During this re-write I also added 4,000 words or so to the original. I’m not sure how that happened because my intention was to do the opposite, but there you go.
Helped largely by a succesful Bookbub promotion, the first edition is my biggest selling book which means a lot of my readers already have it. If you’re one of the few thousand who are in possession of the original (now substandard) version, get in touch and I’ll send you a free copy of the 2020 remaster.
If you still haven’t visited Sker House, why not take advantage of the special relaunch offer I’m running and do so now? It shouldn’t need saying, but THIS INVITATION APPLIES TO THE BOOK ONLY. NOT THE ACTUAL HOUSE.
I said something similar before and got a solicitor’s letter from the house’s current owner. I don’t want that to happen again.
The revamped, revised, rewritten, and remixed Sker House is available on ebook and paperback.
Onwards and upwards
2 Comments | tags: book, C.M. Saunders, ebook, fiction, ghosts, haunted House, history, Maid of Sker, mystery, paperback, paranormal, reissue, Sker House, supernatural, wales | posted in Books, dark fiction, fiction, History, horror, Wales, Writing
I am pleased to announce that my short story, Down the Road, is featured in part two of the new twin-volume anthology on Smoking Pen Press entitled Vampires, Zombies & Ghosts.
Here’s a sneak preview of the breathtaking cover art by Elle Rossi.
I first wrote Down the Road, an alternate take on the phantom hitchhiker urban legend with one of my customary twists in the tail, several years ago. It was originally accepted by another publisher for a proposed new horror fiction magazine, but financial problems meant that project was put on hold indefinitely. After about two years in limbo, I finally accepted the fact that the project was probably never going to get off the ground, withdrew my story, started submitting it again, and here we are. It’s one of my more subtle, thought-provoking offerings. I am excited that thanks to the good people at SPP, it will finally see the light of day. Or the dark of night.
Vampires, Zombies and Ghosts (Volume 2) is out now on paperback and ebook.
4 Comments | tags: anthology, books, C.M. Saunders, ebook, fiction, ghosts, horror, paperback, short stories, Smoking Pen Press, vampires, zombies | posted in Anthologies, Books, dark fiction, fiction, horror, Writing
As per tradition, behold!
Here’s a list of every book I managed to read cover-to-cover in 2017:
The Cabin by Amy Cross (2015)
Wrong Attitude: A Brief Guide to Living In & Visiting Thailand by Steve Price (2015)
An Introduction to Thailand: The Ultimate Travel Guide by Robert Halstead (2014)
The Beach by Alex Garland (1996)
To Travel Hopelessly by English Teacher X (2012)
Cold Call by Jon Hillman (2016)
Appetite for Destruction: Legendary Encounters by Mick Wall (2010)
The Kennedy Conspiracy File by David Southwell (2012)
Meat by Michael Bray (2012)
Lost Signals by various authors (2016)
We Are Always Watching by Hunter Shea (2017)
The Printer from Hell by Amy Cross (2016)
I Am Haunted by Zac Bagans (2012)
Accidental Agent: Behind Enemy Lines with the French Resistance by John Goldsmith (new edition, 2017)
Unit 731 by Craig Saunders (2016)
Sinister Scribblings by Matt Hickman (2017)
DOA 3 by various authors (2017)
Battlefield by Amy Cross (2016)
Scavengers by Rich Hawkins (2016)
Preppers: Survival Basics by John Adams (2014)
Part Reptile: UFC, MMA and Me by Dan Hardy (2017)
Abandoned by Blake Crouch (2009)
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen (2016)
The Housemates by Iain Robb Wright (2011)
Church by Renee Miller (2017)
For previous year’s lists, check out these links:
2 Comments | tags: 2017, autobiography, books, bookshelf, ebook, horror, paperback, reading, travel, year in review | posted in Blogging, Books, dark fiction, fiction, horror, Leisure, Reading
The environment won’t be happy about it, but I’ve finally bowed to pressure and released my indie titles which were previously only available as ebooks on paperback. Benefiting from the treatment and now ready for purchase are Out of Time, Sker House, No Man’s Land: Horror in the Trenches and my latest offering, Apartment 14F: An Oriental Ghost Story (Uncut).
The links will take you to the UK Amazon site, but you should be given the option there to click off it and go to whichever Amazon store is most appropriate to your location.
Take it from me, getting these paperbacks to market wasn’t an easy task. Formatting and getting the covers to fit properly represents a whole new level of fuckery. As you can see, I didn’t succeed every time, and the paperback of Apartment 14F (Uncut) now sports a completely new minimalist look. Ho-hum.
My X Book collections won’t be issued in paperback in their current form. I am still a huge ebook advocate and want to have some e-exclusive stuff in my repertoire. Besides, the plan is to put out book 3 early next year, then combine all three into one bumper volume at some point thereafter. That will represent a much meatier proposition, and better value for money.
1 Comment | tags: books, dark fiction, environment, ghosts, horror, paperback, paranprmal, psychological, sci-fi, supernatural, thriller, time travel, wales, writing | posted in Books, dark fiction, fiction, horror, Reading, Writing