Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Christmas

It's been a while - October in fact - since I've done anything on the blogs. The reason for that is that the last couple of months have been very busy and I've been slightly injured by being accidentally and peripherally caught up in the riots which have been taking place in Northern Ireland over flags and emblems. I'm recovering slowly although I can't sit for a long period of time in the one position, nor can I drive for long distances at the moment  but I'm getting there.

A lot of my work has been in the community field over the last few months and I've not been doing as much writing as I would have liked. Still, American Vampires seems to be doing well and I'm inundated for interviews - one with the prestigious Huffington Post so keep an eye out for that.

I've also a new book out in the Middle East and did an interview in  Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania recently. I'm also getting a bit of publicity in Russia as I appeared as a kind of presenter/expert on the a programme of vampires on the First Channel in  Moscow. Still planning a trip to Iceland as well once these injuries are fully better.

I'm MCing a Junior Rock School this afternoon - part of a youth project that I've been working on - and then home to rest and watch a bit of football. West Ham plays Everton this afternoon but it'll be a tricky game and they might not do it. David Moyes team - Everton - have been playing incredibly well this year but we'll see what Big Sam's boys can do.

In the meantime I hope every one of you have an extremely Happy Christmas and a Preposterous New Year. I won't leave it so long the next time and will talk to you all then

Monday, October 15, 2012

Way Out West

It's taken me a bit of time to write here again. Two reasons. One I've been off to the States and in the Old West - in the wonderful town to Cheyenne for the Cheyenne Zombiefest -and second I've been reconfiguring my computer after somebody kindly sent me a virus designed to attack my hard drive.

Thankfully there was a secondary memory source built in and my friend Darryl and I were able to save much of the stuff that was on it, although we lost a little bit, but even though we had a good number of protections built in Darryl had to rebuild a bit of the main drive. I have my suspicions as to who it was sent me the virus but I can't prove it so I'm saying nothing. Anyway, the whole system is now changed and functioning and I'm getting used to the different command bars. So apologies for the delay.

On a brighter note, the Cheyenne trip was really something. It was the first time that I'd been to America in over 30 years so it was a bit of an adventure. And I met a lot of good people out there and those who were really interested in where I'd come from and how things were in Northern Ireland. It was great to meet Americans who had a genuine feeling for what's happening over here - a lot of whom were more clued in than I'd imagined.

Those whom I met in Cheyenne were absolutely terrific and couldn't have done enough for me. I'd like to say a massive thanks to Rory for inviting me over. As I told him when I was growing up Westerns were all the rage over here and I always wanted to be a cowboy. The good people of Cheyenne made that wish come true. Even more so because they gave me a terrific cowboy hat - a genuine cattleman's hat bought in The Wrangler from the hands of the Cattle Queen of Wyoming. This has now pride of place gives me a kind of "western gravitas". I'm going to wear it when I chair my next meeting with the "suits" from Stormont who chide me for not wearing a tie. Let's see what they make of the hat!

The trip was great and it was terrific to meet all the people who came to the lectures and to the book signings. And thanks to the couple who traveled all the way from Utah to meet me. I'm really glad that Zombiefest was such a success - I hope that I contributed in some small way to that. Truly great too to meet my co-guests, Jonathan Maberry and his lovely wife Sara and the inimitable George Hardy of Troll 2. We all had a ball and are now corresponding over the net and may combine on a new collaborative project which we talked about in Cheyenne. It's easy to become both isolated and insular as a writer and so it's great to meet others and expand your horizons - I really hope that the project between us all comes off and will keep you informed.

If you've never been to Wyoming and Colorado, I would definitely recommend that you go. The people there are great and I hope that I can count many of them as my friends. But the trip was exhausting for me. Three plane changes - one of which got significantly delayed - and three different time zones. I was shattered when I got home and it took several days before I felt human again. But it was worth it and if Wyoming was closer I'd be back in a heartbeat. To all who looked after me so well, my sincerest thanks.

And the only way to fly is Great Lakes Airlines - an unsolicited plug there. When you're looking directly over the co-pilot's right shoulder in flight it gives a whole new perspective to "priority seating". But what an experience! Go on, give it a try!   And I see I have another two invitations to the States for next year - one to Los Angeles and one to Atlanta, Georgia. I may become what the airlines sometimes describe as "a frequent flier".

Of course one of the big pluses on the trip was to meet my editorial staff at Career Press in  Newark. I know you think that I have to say that because Laurie reads my blog - but it's true. I've been working for them since 2003 but had never met them, So it was great to put faces to names and thanks for the chilli soup - it was fantastic.

And I think this would be a good time to say that American Vampires is ready and in stores. Hope you enjoy it. In a week's time I'm off to Dublin to meet with Irish President Michael D. Higgins and then there may be a trip to Iceland on the cards. I'm getting too old for all of this you know! But keep an eye for American Vampires in the shops and we'll talk again very soon.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lovecraft has been shipped.

The new book on Lovecraft is now out and I've got some author copies just yesterday. It's the biggest book I've done for Career and it should be out and in the shops or avaulable to order online as from the 15th August I think. It looks very well and I'd bve interested to hear what people think.

The next book is American Vampires which will be out at the end of the year - we're already going through the edit - which will be out in October. So if you want to read about a vampire chair or vampire plants, there'll be something in this book for you.  There's been a lot of interest in both it and the Lovecraft book already and we're gearing up a number of interviews. So watch out for those.

The Wyoming trip still looks as though it's on for the end of September so those of you who live in the US may get to see what I look like. Fortify yourselves with strong drink now! And there have been a few requests for radio interviews when I'm over so we'll have to see about those as well. Some of you have been asking what comes after American Vampires and the truth is that I don't know. We're considering a couple of ideas but nothing concrete yet.

The publishing world is very slow at the moment. One of the things we're looking at concerns witchcraft in America and I can truthfully say that to the best of my knowldge there's not another book on American Witchcraft like it. But I don't know - it's really up to the publisher.

On the Carnival of Dark Dreams - I now have the book completed and the English publisher is still considering what Andy and I have done. Hopefully that will be out before too long. It's an interesting illustrated book and something a bit different from what I've done before now. But it's difficult for writers at the moment - the markets are so limited and even when your book is accepted, it can a while to get round to publishing it. Just have patience!

I'd better go and get a bite to eat. The Olympics are on over here and the television doesn't seem to have gone off - we've all day coverage for the whole Games - so I'll sit and eat and watch them. And then get back to a new science fiction book that I'm working on. This could be the novel of 2013 or then again it might not. One thing - you never know.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Checking In

I said that I would try and keep up with this blog but it has not been easy. A mixture of work and illness has prevented me from writing as often as I'd like. Some time ago when in South America I cut my hand and lifted some sort of parasite which left me with a condition which is not a million miles from malaria - in fact they treat me for it with quinine sulphate.

It has also triggered a condition which is akin to Menieres Disease which is like the onset of vertigo and means you can't really stand up which is what I've been suffering from recently. It would appear to be triggered by sleep so you get up in the morning and the bedroom is going round. They can't treat you for it only "manage" it which is a bit frustrating because it means you can't work until the treatment kicks in. And worst of all there was a problem with my main television and it had to be left in - so no Sky. Sitting around waiting for the thing to pass and no television in my living room!

The good thing is that the condition seems to affect me in blocks - the last one was several years ago, so hopefully it'll eventually pass. Anyway, just at the minute I'm taking each day at a time. Been clear for a few days now. Problem of leading a kind of nomadic life. I can't even look at a computer screen when the thing's affecting me without being ill so haven't had a chance to get too much writing done. But have actually managed to do some more on the Carnival of Dark Dreams and fingers crossed that will be out sometime next year.

And another bit of news - Gina and I have finished our edit on A Haunted Mind which has now gone to the printers. It should be in all good booksellers soon. Still planning to come to Wyoming and am busy finalising some plans to be there in September.

Working too on the new Jackers book which might be on your websites sooner than you think. It'll need a bit of editing but it looks like it could be ready to go very soon. The summer here's a bit of a washout - severe flooding in some parts of the Province though thankfully not here. I live at the top of a hill anyway. Off to get something to eat but as soon as this condition clears completely will be back at this blog. Thanks for your patience and to those who wrote to me many, many thanks

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Carnival of Dark Dreams

All right! All right! I did say that I'd try to maintain this blogspot more frequently. I've been up to my eyes with a few projects - some of which are community related - and really haven't had the time to get near it.

Thanks to all you people who wrote directly to me and I've tried to reply personally to as many as I can. To others, please be patient and I will get round to answering all your mails.

The Haunted Mind book is getting ready for printing. Gina and I have more or less completed the final edits and the publicity company has been in contact regarding the campaign - so that will begin this week coming I think.

I'm also getting ready to sort things out for a trip to Wyoming. It's my first trip to the States in about 40 years and I've never been to Wyoming so it should be exciting. Hopefully everything will be fine. And maybe next year there might be a trip to Los Angeles - it's being talked about. There have been so many invites to the States and elsewhere for which I'm really grateful and I didn't want to continually say no. So it looks like Wyoming is on.

I'm also doing a new book - not for Career this time - with an artist named Andy Paciorek which is called Carnival of Dark Dreams. It's looking at some strange creatures that you won't find anywhere else - things from the fringes of folklore and legend. It's very demanding but a whole lot of fun and Andy's illustrations are incredibly well suited to what we're trying to do. If you want to see some of the material look on his own blogspot.

As yet we're still talking about a new book for Career and I'll let you know when we've decided. The publishing market is very slow at the moment but A Haunted Mind (August Publication) and American Vampires (October publication) are waiting in the wings.

Everybody tells me that this is a really slow year both for publishers and writers with everyone being very cautious. I suppose that we'll just have to see it through. I really can't get over how quiet it's been. But I am looking forward to the trip to the States and seeing what's going on there. Will try to write a bit more frequently and that's a promise. Hopefully befoe the end of the month. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

More Strange Creatures

Broke the little toe of my right foot in a silly argument with a chair about a fortnight ago - I turned suddenly and caught it on the leg of the chair - and it turned a rather fetching shade of black so I thougfht I'd better go and get it X-rayed. It was broken all right but the medics could do very little with it except to strap it up.

Then on Tuesday, I was in a queue in a supermarket and the woman in front of me stepped back in herhigh-heels and just clipped it. Agony! So still hobbling around.

The Strange Creatures chapbook that I had mentioned might be going ahead as I've been contacted by a publisher who might be interested. It's early days yet but there is a bit of an interest in the strange creatures that I'm doing - some of which I've never seen anywhere else. So working at that and I have almost ten creatures/entities done which Andy, the illustrator, is drawing. Of course nothing might come of it - I never bank on anything until the contract's in my hand - but it's very interesting actually doing it.

As well as that I have a print of the Italian comic that I did with David Lloyd out in Spain - or so he tells me which should be interesting.

I've also been contacted by a publisher in Bosnia about a comic strip but things are a bit difficult there - epecially with regards to payment. The Bosnian marka isn't exactly legal tender here - and he can only pay me in marka as he is a small outfit - and I'd have to get it changed in some other EEC country into euros which isn't exactly the most stable currency at the moment and by the time that would all be changed the amount wouldn't really be worth it. But we'll see. It's one of the things that people don't think of as being connected to writers.

Was talking to Adrian on Tuesday and we're definitely going to go ahead with a kind of scienc fiction posted on the web. The only thing I have to do now is to write it - I have one partly written and am doing a bit on that whilst I'm working on Strange Creatures but it's slow.

The Wyoming trip looks as if it might be on. I'm flying out from Northern Ireland into Newark where I've a 4 hour stopover before catching  plane to Denver and it'll give me a chance to meet the people from Career who are based there. I've been working for Career for almost ten years now and whilst I know a lot of the people there, I've never met any of them. So I'm very excited about that. Let's hope the trip comes off which I'm sure it will. If you are reading this in Cheyenne, I might see you in September.

And of course congratulations to West Ham Football Club who made it from the Championship back into the Premiership. I watched the match against Blackpool yesterday but I couldn't really watch the last couple of minutes - still all ended well. And Chelsea against Bayern Munich although my wife was disgusted - she doen't like Chelsea at all. Anyway, I'll keep you up to date with Strange Creatures and of course A Haunted Mind and American Vampires should be out soon. I'm sure I'll be back again soon

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Strange Creatures

Outside the sun is shining but it's incredibly cold. In fact  I was out earlier this morning and there were a few flakes of snow in the air. Snow - in May! Maybe the Mayans had it right and we're approaching the end of the world.

Taking a little bit of a break from writing - well not really - and doing a bit more community work. I say not really because I'm drafting a new chapbook with an artist friend which we might try out with various publishers.

The subject of the book is Strange Creatures and it arose out of some of the stuff I've been doing for Career on odd creatures. A few people have been in contact with me with suggestions for future creatures on the Career blog site and I thought well why not do a bit of a chapbook on these entities. So when Andy contacted me - he worked on some of the books I'd done for Barrons Publishing in New York, it seemed too good an opportunity to turn down. Who'll publish it I don't know but we're putting a sampler of sorts together and hoping to do it like an old-style chapbook of odd and dark creatures which you probably won't find anywhere else. It's an interesting thing to do and keeps my hand in writing whilst I'm doing other things.

I'm also working with Gina at Career on the edits for A Haunted Mind the new Lovecraft book which will be out soon and after that American Vampires which i know some of you are patiently waiting on. After that I'm not sure and so the chapbook is a good way of keeping busy. Hopefully, it'll see the light of day although with the publishing world the way it is I wouldn't think it'll be any time soon - but you never know.

I've had an invite to address a convention in Cheyenne in Wyoming and I might go to that - at the moment we're sorting some of the practicalities out. So if I do and you happen to be in Wyoming around the 29th September, come up and make yourself known to me. I think I should go if we can get it sorted out as it would give me a chance to connect with my US readers.

If you read Chinese or Russian, I have three or four foreign editions out in those areas too. Maybe they'll give me an invite to go over there as well - one can always live in hope!

Anyway, hail is hitting the window and there's football on television I think so might take a break and go and watch that. I'll keep you all up to date about the possible Wyoming trip if we can get it up and running. And if the chapbook takes off we'll talk about that as well.

Things are moving if very slowly.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

American Vampires

A lot of people have been in contact with me asking me when American Vampires is coming out. I'm really flattered that there's so much interest. My answer is that it will be later this year - I'm told that it's not even been pre-advertised for pre-order on Amazon as yet so it's a little way off yet. But do keep watching.

Note from the publisher - American Vampires is set to ship in September for an October publication.  Click Here for More Information.

Before that we have A Haunted Mind coming out which will be at the end of the summer. Gina and I are looking through the edit now and it looks like there will be very little to change so we can maybe go for earlier than we had anticipated. And then we're through to American Vampires! Keep watching.

A number of others have asked if there'll be another book coming out before the end of the year or maybe next. I don't know. I've been talking to Career about a couple of projects but we haven't agreed anything yet. There's also a possible book with an Irish publisher on highwaymen - there's a lot of local interest here about that one - but once again nothing's firmly agreed. The publishing world is in such turmoil everywhere, it's difficult to tie future books down but if things work out you'll be the first to know.

I'm busy writing a couple of things on football at the moment - yes, I am a big football fan nd follow the English Leagues. Mary, my wife, is a huge Arsenal fan so when they lose there's really no living with her. My son is Manchester United - whom I'[m not keen on. My own team - I got into this when I lived in the East End of London years ago - is West Ham who are in the Championship. However, I have a strong feeling that they could make their way back into the Premiership under Sam Allerdyce. They won 6-0 yesterday against Brighton which has restored my faith. So writing something about that for local magazines. I'm told there is another Bob Curran who is an American football coach - maybe he and I should meet up some day.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Easter Wishes!

Well, American Vampires is almost complete. I have just finished the last section and have it off to Career. This only leaves me a Conclusion to do - which I'm hoping to have finished before Easter - and that finishes off the work.

If you look on my previous blog you'll see the cover which I've seen and approved. I think it looks very dramatic and eye-catching. So what next? Well I've sent Career a couple of ideas including a full proposal but nothing agreed as yet. I'm up to my eyes in developing a tourist route here in Northern Ireland as part of the International Appalachian Trail so that'll keep me busy for the next week. And I've a couple more proposals out there so watch this space. However, as Mary my wife and the children are off school for the Easter Holidays I'm going to take a few days off. I have a heap of reading to do - and I have been asked to do a couple of comic strips.

At the moment I'm working on a project with young people using comics as a reading tool and getting them to design their own, so I'm doing a bit on that. Enough to keep me going but there'll be new books out - to all those that asked, don't panic. I'm not done with writing yet.

But be sure to have good Easter. Make sure you've plenty of Easter eggs. I'm off tomorrow to buy my wife one - we've been together for thirty years and I've never missed buying her an egg at Easter yet! See you later in the month but in the meantime Happy Easter.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

American Vampires Again

I hope that everybody had a very happy St. Patrick's Day. I've been meaning to update this blog but have been suffering from a few computer problems which I've had to sort out. So trying to get the final touches to American Vampires finished under a little bit of pressure. But we've most of the book done and like A Haunted Mind I've been sending the sections up to Gina as they get done.

This is, I think, the side of authoriship that a lot of people never see - it's not just all about sitting down and writing the book, it's putting the bits and pieces together and working through everything even after it's finished. I've always looked on a book as a kind of collaboration between the author and the publisher and that the two of us have to work to make the book the best that it can be. So we have to sit down and work out all the technical stuf as well.

I'm liasing with Ian too who'll be doing the illustrations for both books. Just for a change, he won't be doing the cover for American Vampires - that's done by a new artist. Jeff who works at New Page sent me down the cover for this book the other day and I have to say that it looks pretty striking - not the kind of volume that you'd miss of a shelf. You're getting an early look!  I hope that the text is up to the fantastic cover.

Getting ready for Easter and I'm trying to get a few days off. I do have another book proposal in with New Pager but haven't heard anything back from them - they need to go through meetings and the like. But am trying to plan things out for later in the year - I work about five months ahead, It's the only way I can do things and there might be something on the comics front again, so keep watching.

Anyway, I've promised to make my wife a cup of tea so I'd better go and get it for her. Somebody wrote and asked me if I had "drowned my shamrock" on St. Patrick's Day? I have to admit - and this is supposedly a terrible admission for an Irishman - that I don't drink. Haven't done so for nearly 30 years. Not out of any real convictions but I just don't. How's that for a confession? It makes for a cheap St. Patrick's Day though. Will talk soon I'm sure providing this computer holds up

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Haunted Mind Off to Bed

Well, at long last, A Haunted Mind is finally finished and has been sent off to Gina my editor. This was the longest book that I've ever had to write for Career and also one of the most detailed. But I think it's been worth it - I can't think of another Lovecraft book that's like it. None that I've ever read. This will now go to a review edit and then we'll progress to a final edit and it should be hitting the stands later on in the year. I see information is already up here so that you can all pre-order it.

But no time to rest as I've American Vampires to finish - it's almost done and I should have it finished within a month or so. I have a new proposal in with Career and I'm working on a new science fiction book pieces up which might be up on the Amazon webpage very soon. This is a new area for me so I'll be interested to see how it goes - it's pretty much in the vain of Star Wars but a little bit different so hopefully it'll appeal to those fans. We'll see how it goes anyway.

But keep your eyes out for the launch of A Haunted Mind. I'm rather pleased with it - as is Gina - and I've been sending stuff down to Ian Daniels who will be illustrating both it and American Vampires and he seems to like it as well. But it's been a real task and when it was finished I put my feet up for an afternoon and watched the football - alas I am a fan of English football. You can't live in my house and not be -Mary my wife is a big fan of Arsenal whilst my son follows Manchester United, much to my disgust I'm afraid.

I used to live in the East End of London and the only two teams you could support there were West Ham and Leyton Orient, so I finished up as a Hammers fan. They're in the Championship at the moment but are expected to come back into the Premiership - although they'd need to play better then they did today! 1-1 with Doncaster who are struggling. I should have stuck to writing this afternoon! At the moment the rugby's on - Ireland against Scotland so I'll go and watch that. I promise I won't leave it so long until my next blog.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lovecraft and Vampires

I haven't been keeping this blog up to date because things have been hectic. I've had a few medical problems - nothing major but taking up time - and I've been playing catch-up since. The health service here in Northern Ireland is a bit of a mess and I've been back and forth to get various medial tests don whilst they determine several things. With the result that I'm running behind on the Lovecraft book. However I've hopefully sorted things out with the terrific help of Gina my editor and we're certainly on track for publication.

I was barely out of hospital when there were problems with one of the community projects that I'm working on which required my time as I'm chair of the entire project. That held me up as well but New Page have been very understanding and Gina and I are working towards a final edit. So the book shouldn't be delayed.

American Vampires is also generating a lot of interest. I was on the Barb Adams show last weekend and we could really have talked for much longer. Barb very kindly e-mailed me and invited me back for a more in-depth interview. Some of the things which we were going over on the Vampires book - for example a vampire chair and a vampire well - seem to have appealed to her. So listen out for that when the book comes out - I should be doing several interviews.

Oh and went to see The Woman in Black as part of a birthday treat - Valentine's Day is my birthday. It was excellent in places - lots of spooky atmosphere although I wasn't too impressed with Daniel Radcliffe's acting which seemed a bit wooden to me. Very much like Harry Potter for my liking. But it did have good bits - even if some pieces were borrowed from other ghost stories - and it really is good to see a really spooky story on screen instead of what passes for "horror" these days. Now if somebody would do A Turn of the Screw by Henry James which is also one of my favourite ghost stories and works on a lot of levels. But I also do like Susan Hill's book - one of the better stories - and I did like the film. Go and see it

Shouldn't be too long for the Lovecract book - I think it's due out late Summer/early Fall. And this will give me a little time - we're already starting to think about follow up - to look at Jackers and get it onto the Amazon website. Tell you about that next blog but it's coming. Off now to get something to eat but will be back soon

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cthulhu and Other Things

First, bear with me for a moment as I'd like to thank all those who wrote to me concerning the Sandie Williams thing. I think Sandie has the right to express her opinion and if she wants to write to me again, I would welcome the mail. If she doesn't like my work or thinks it's not up to speed then that's her privilege - she has access to more of her family records than I have but that's fine. I hope she finds some of my work acceptable and my thanks to those of you who clearly do. It gives me great heart.

Right. Now out of hospital which wasn't all that pleasant an experience and held up a lot of my writing. But I think that it was worth all the hassle and am feeling a great deal better. However, they need to keep taking blood samples to check my status and I suspect that our National Health service now owns more of my blood than I do. I had to take a couple of days more or less off - my wife insisted that I take a rest after what I'd been through - and I've been running like a mad thing ever since trying to catch up.

I'm still working on A Haunted Mind and we're almost there. This is going to be a massive book - quite possibly one of the longest and most complex that I've ever written - but it's been really revealing. I've learned a lot about Lovecraft and his inspiration since I've been doing it and it has taken me into byways which I've found amazing. I've also found it one of the most difficult to write as I want to get a lot of things right and it meant really going ino the Mythos and making connections. I've had to look at not only the books but at role playing games and comics - which was really no real hardship for me as I'm a big comics fan - in order to get some sense of continuity from the Mythos.

I've been talking some of the aspects of the book over with Gina , my editor - since I wasn't sure about the length of time I'd be in hospital I've been sending her up sections of the book as I finish them so that we have something to work on - and we think that this is going to be a fairly detailed book and one wich I truly hope will be a good contribution to the Mythos. But you will determine that.

Now a quick query. Some of you know that I've a page on Amazon as well and I was thinking of using that to test out some chapters of a new SF novel. Don't tell New Page but I've been working on a couple of space novels in secret! If you'd be interested in seeing the fruits of my work, I may put them up on Amazon in the next few months or so. I've been talking to Adrian who does some of the comics with me - I had a meeting with him on Tuesday - and he may even do a cover for it. Then we might do an e-book or something - we'll see what the response is like. But would you be interested?

It's very different to the stuff that I do for New Page but those that have read it like it so I'm thinking of going with it. Let me know what any of you think anyway. Must go as there's something to eat ready but will be back again . See, I'm writing more of these. Will let you know as soon as A Haunted Mind is finished and then it's on to American Vampires for which I've just done the Catlaogue Copy! The work of a writer is never done!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year

I've been meaning to get onto this blog for a couple of days but haven't quite managed it. I've been up to my eyes with the two new books.

However I did want to wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope that for you all 2012 will be a good one.

What prompted me to write this is an e-mail I received through Career Publicity from a Sandie Williams taking me to task about part of what I had written about the Cornish pellar Tamsin Blight. She claims that the Blights arte ancestors of hers, and I have no reason to doubt her, and that she had obviously done a fair amount of geneogical research into her ancestry and I had "got it wrong". I have tried to get in contact with her to explain a few things but curiously I am told that the e-mail address she has quoted does not exist so I thought I'd use this function to reply. Please bear with me for a moment whilst I answer her.

Firstly Sandie you send the communication to Career Press which was the wrong publisher. They are not the publishers of Mysterious Celtic Mythology and indeed have nothing to do with it. Had you checked the publisher you would have found it was Pelican Press in Louisiana.

That aside, I did not have the ancestral archives that you - having taken a person al interest in the family - would have at your disposal so I am therefore grateful for any information which you might be able to furnish, although I feel you did not have to be so abusive.

My source on Tamsin Blight was William Bottrell who as you may know is regarded as one of the foremost Cornish folklorists and whose work is widely quoted in many Universities and colleges. He wrote several pamphlets on her. However, as you point out that his work is supect, I will only use it again with qualifications. Thank you for this information.

Also puzzling is the reference which you say I make to Aleister Crowley as a woman - I have looked through the relevant section mentioned quote and can find no reference to that. Perhaps you have a different edition of the book and if so perhaps you could furnish me with the details so that I can get in contact with the publisher regarding it.

I don't know whether Sandie reads my blog - she would have found it much easier to contact me through this than by bothering publishers who have nothing to do with the book in question but I will be pleased to answer any questions that she has.

Right, apologies for all that but as I said, I could find no other way of contacting her.

In the meantime A Haunted Mind - which is published by Career/New Page - goes apace. Both Christmas and New Year were quiet. I only went and saw Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows which was something of an effort for me. As you all may know I'm a great Sherlock Holmes fan and struggle with anything that's outside the framework of the original books. But it wasn't bad. And I went and saw Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol which was the latest Tom Cruise vehicle - all absolute nonsense but good fun. Too much Cruise though - it's over 20 minutes too long and I gather he wanted that to keep in onscreen. But go and see them both. And peace and prosperity in 2012 to you all - Sandie Williams included!