Saturday, July 30, 2011


Still working on the American Vampires book which is getting close to being completed. I have to say that this book has nearly written itself and has interested me greatly. It's looking at the historical and cultural influences, from various parts of the world, which have fashioned the vampire myth in the States - looking at the folklore in a number of States. But don't expect it to be like Buffy or Twilight. In fact Paranormal magazine here in the UK has already asked me to write an article on the famous Vampire Chair down in Tennessee. Can you imagine that - an actual chair which is a vampire? And I was able to drag up a story from Latvia which concerned a vampire mirror which is very spooky. So the next time you look in a glass ......

I've just finished the section on the vampire and witch-lore of New York State with its nachtmerrie and witches and am now doing the lore of North Carolina. The book should be finished within a couple of months or so - and I'm hoping it'll be popular as I don't think there's another vampire book like it, I've certainly learned a lot doing it - and then I'll hopefully be working on the Lovecraft book for New Page.

It's not finalized yet but we'll hopefully get something up and running over the next month or so. And of course there's always the comics which are slow but worth it. At the moment I'm taking things a bit easier as my wife and children are off from school and I'm trying to fit a few things in with them - although it's not easy sometimes.

Still I'm off tomorrow to see Captain America with my son who's just returned from scout camp in England. I hope a lot of you are getting a bit of a break over the summer - where's it going eh? Will let you all know when American Vampires is finished and when we've finalised the new Lovecraft book, maybe not a for a little while. Take care and watch out for the vampire kind!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lovecraft Looming

The American Vampires book is almost three quarters finished although I'm taking a few days off here and there to share part of summer holidays with my family.

My time seems to be taken up at the moment with community work - I'm the Chairman of a community facility in a massive housing estate which allows one-parent families to return to education by providing courses and a creche for them. It's very satisfying but as you might expect it's hard work if you're to do it properly. So I've been working with the Project Manager to develop and expand this which is taking up a fair amount of time but which I could handle if there weren't for another set of projects including bringing four rural villages together in a sort of joint project.

There's talk of a marathon next year but again a lot of work. And I do want to spend some time with the family who are all off over the summer - my wife being a teacher. So I've been working on Dutch witchcraft trials for the New York section of the book. However, it's coming along well and I'm very pleased with it.

And of course I've another book in the pipeline with New Page. We're just talking about it at the moment although I've some sample text written. This one looks as if it's going to be about Lovecraft which I'm told is gaining a new lease of life in the US and as a project I find it extremely exciting.

Because the new World's Creepiest Places was finished ahead of time and because there was little correction needed to be done it looks as if it might go to the printer's early and be out slightly early. I should get the final read through from Gina this coming week. And the Ghosts and Hauntings book should also be coming out this week.

I'm looking forward to working on the Lovecraft book which is going to be something of a challenge - and what's life if you don't have a challenge?

Just heard the news as I'm working on this that it looks like Amy Winehouse has been found dead. What a waste of talent! I really enjoyed her stuff and it's been on my turntable for a few days now.

A premonition?

That's not to take away from all those families in Norway who have lost loved ones. All our thoughts and prayers go out to them. And if my son happens to be reading this - he's away at scout camp in England at the moment and I know he sometimes reads this, though he says he doesn't - we're all missing you Michael.

I'll keep you all abreast of the Lovecraft book but keep watching for Ghosts and Hauntings!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Going Dutch Again

It's been over a month since I was on this blog. In the meantime I have been in Amsterdam, which is still an amazing city - I lived there for a while years ago - my family and I truly enjoyed it.

One of the things that I found truly moving was the Anne Frank house which my daughter wanted to see as she's read the Diary at school. Amazing to think of a family hiding away in such a narrow house during the Nazi occupation.

We had a good and restful time and then found ourselves back in the midst of rioting and destruction that is the 12th of July in Northern Ireland. I was talking to a man today who was in Spain over the 12th and he was telling me that he was watching the English channels over there and all they were getting from Northern Ireland were pictures of rioting going out all around the world.

I watched people coming on to say that this is their culture and they must defend it - and if you want to take that attitude then I suppose you can - but how can it be a culture if you are destroying your own area or someone else's? Where's the "heritage" in that?

I had to do a couple of messages on the 12th and I was out and about round our town and all I saw were gangs of youths with beer cans getting moved on by police. And on the television I watched the cars that someone had worked to buy and maybe hadn't paid off yet being burned by gangs of youths in the name of "culture" and "heritage".

One thing my trip to the Netherlands did teach me - and which I suppose I already knew - is that most of the people over here don't really know anything about the culture of the House of Orange-Nassau, which we all claim to celebrate. Or rather they only know what they want to know. Still it's over for another year although there'll be a number of other marches and probably more tension. I don't think it does the image of the Province any good.

On the more positive side, the American Vampires book is coming along - I've just finished the section on South Carolina and am working on the New York State one which once more brings in the Dutch, they're getting everywhere. It really is a book that I'm enjoying writing.

And the new Ghosts and Hauntings should be out soon from New Page with a section from myself in it. Other than that I'm working on comics and have a new strip coming out in an Italian comic called Dark Matter in October. Some of it may show up at the San Diego convention next week. Oh and keep an eye out for an article on Giovanni Aldini from "Man Made Monsters" in an upcoming issue of Paranormal magazine.

The holiday was great but work beckons. Will talk again soon I'm sure.