Saturday, 17 November 2012

Splinters Catch Up and Competition Winner.

Has it really been 2 weeks since Splinters was launched at the Horror in the East convention in Lowestoft?
There's a bit of catching up to do then isn't there.

The convention was a load of fun. We sold books, drank alcohol and met some lovely people.

"Team Splinters"
(photo courtesy of Jenny Cosgrove)
 It was great for me to meet David Moody, Simon Coleby and also Adam Millard and his wife Zoe-Ray, who sustained a nasty injury during the afternoon.
(photo courtesy of Adam Millard)
I also finally got to meet Michael Wilson, the man behind the This is Horror website. I love his passion and enthusiasm and I'm very pleased to say that we are planning something together a little later on this year...
Emma and Jo, the organisers of the event should be very proud of what they achieved and we'll certainly be back next year.

The following weekend Joseph came to London town to do more Splinters related shenanigans at the Big Green Bookshop. It was a really great evening and Joseph read 'The Mango Tree' a wonderfully haunting tale and one that you too can read if you buy a copy of the book.

Joseph at the Big Green Bookshop
(photo courtesy of my telephone)
Since writing the last blogpost, Splinters has had some more reviews.
Here they are.
This review by Ben Bussey on the Brutal as Hell website.

There's this wonderful blogpost in praise of Joseph from the marvellously talented author Sam Enthoven.

But there is no doubt that this is the review that Joseph and I will remember for a very very long time, courtesy of BookCunt. Please read it if you can.

All the pre-orders have been posted and (hopefully) have arrived at their chosen destinations. One of them had the 'Golden Ticket of Death' in. And I can reveal that the winner is

Many congratulation to Steve, who wins loads of signed Joseph D'Lacey goodies, my own personal copy of Roald Dahl's Collected Short Stories and £50 to spend on any books he wants at the Big Green Bookshop. He also wins a full sized hand painted version of the Tarot Death Card, designed and painted by Robin Stevenson.
Last night I went to The book launch of Joseph's new novel BLOOD FUGUE, which is published by Proxima Books (part of Salt Publishing). I will be doing a review of this very shortly (the short version of that review is 'it's fucking amazing'), but I wanted to share with you a couple of photos from the launch. It was held at Blackwell's in Charing Cross Road and also appearing were Jonathan Green, who read us a horrifically dark alternative version of Alice in Wonderland and Pat Cadigan, who's story about possibly the most evil sadistic vampire hunter ever, was hypnotically brilliant. Jasper Bark, the evening's host fell ill halfway through after eating Blood Fudge, a vegan fudge that had been made especially for the launch.
He left the stage for a bit and just as Joseph had finished reading he came back out, looking very ill indeed. He then proceeded to attack Joseph.
Jasper Bark turns psychotic and attacks our boy, Joseph D'Lacey.
(photo courtesy of This is Horror)
Having bitten half his throat out Jasper then turns on the audience.
things are getting a little out of hand.
(photo courtesy of This is Horror)
Thankfully after charging full pelt into the crowd and sending me flying over the back of my chair, he returns to 'relative' sanity before further carnage ensues.
Joseph recovered and was able to sign books at the end.
The wonderfully talented Jenny Jackson was responsible for the horror make up here and also she was the person who stuck that razor blade in Zoe-Ray's face at Lowestoft two weeks ago.
As you can see, i've met some amazing people during my time on this book and my next blogpost will be a roll-call of honour and a huge shout out thank you for everyone who's helped us get this book published.
  But in the meantime...

Thursday, 1 November 2012

2 Days to Go.

Splinters will be born in two days time. I've got a bag packed by the front door and i'm practicing my breathing exercises.
Tomorrow, I head off to Lowestoft for the book launch at Horror in the East Convention.

This is the first one of these, so who knows what to expect. But judging by the lineup of authors, it should be a cracker.
  • Adam Baker
  • Ivan Bunn
  • Henry Baker
  • Simon Coleby
  • Joseph D'Lacey (that's our boy)
  • Joseph Freeman
  • Andrew Hook
  • Paul S. Huggins
  • Iain McKinnon
  • Adam Millard
  • David Moody
  • Sean T Page
  • Conrad Williams

  • I recently read Joe and Me, a brilliant short story by David Moody, so I really keen to meet him too. This is one of a new series of chap books which This is Horror are producing. They are well worth a look.
    This is a FREE convention, and I'd like to thank Emma the organiser, for givng us the opportunity to launch the book there.


    We've now arranged a London launch date for Splinters too, so those people who can't make it to Lowestoft will be able to whoop and cheer and congratulate Joseph on a fine piece of writing.

    It's happening on Saturday November 10th, from 7pm at the Big Green Bookshop in cosmopolitan Wood Green, North London.
    Detail of the launch can be found here.

    View Larger Map
    The shop is only five stops from King's Cross on the tube and it'll be a really great night. There may even be some special surprises, so if you are in the United Kingdom on November 10th, come along.

    The book got another fantastic review yesterday from The Eloquent Page website. Thanks to Paul for really getting it.

    Don't forget, that if you order a copy of the book before Monday 5th, you will be in with a chance of winning all this stuff.
    • A signed copy of Meat
    • A signed copy of Garbage Man
    • A signed copy of Kill Crew
    • A signed copy of Joseph's new novel, Blood Fugue, courtesy of the lovely people at Salt Publishing (published in a couple of weeks).
    • A signed copy of Black Feathers, Joseph's new two part novel published next year, courtesy of a gorgeous publishers Angry Robot.
    • £50 to spend on any books you like, courtesy of the UK's finest bookshop
    • My own personal copy of Roald Dahl's Collected Short Stories, in recognition of what a great storyteller he was.
    Instructions on how to claim the prize will also be inside the winner's book.
    We think this is a pretty special prize. And even if you don't win, you'll have got yourself a brilliant collection of short stories. YOU CAN'T LOSE!  



    Tuesday, 30 October 2012

    Four Days.

    This Friday, Joseph D'Lacey and I will be in Lowestoft. I've never been to Lowestoft before.

    This is where it is. 
    We'll be in Lowestoft because there is a new Horror Convention called 'Horror in the East' happening there.
    This is where Splinters is being officially launched on Saturday.
    That's 4 days time.
    4 DAYS TIME!!!
    OK, calm down.
    • You sent out the proof copies for people to review. a
    • The finished copies have now arrived, safely from the printers. a
    • The Tarot Death Card has been designed. a
    • Joseph will be able to sign and number all the pre-orders before the weekend. a
    • You have found accommodation for your trip to Lowestoft. a
    • The book is awesome.  aaa
    Pumpkins love a bit of D'Lacey

    Here are a couple of recent reviews of Splinters.
    This rather lovely one from Nathan Robinson on Snakebite Horror.
    This equally gorgeous one from Jim McLeod on Ginger Nuts of Horror
    and Scott Pack (Who stars as Me on his famous blog Me and My Big Mouth) wrote this review of Mango Tree, one of the stories in the collection.
    Go on.. you  know it makes sense.

    Friday, 26 October 2012


    So, this afternoon at about 1.32pm a 7 tonne truck arrived, with a pallet (amongst other things) in the back, addressed to me. I'd been waiting for this since 8am. Here it is.
    It's the pallet at the back on the left.
    I knew what it was. I was pretty sure I knew what it was.
    OK. So half an hour later, after getting the boxes up the steps to my flat and into my flat I sat back and looked at the boxes.  
    So, I guess we ought to open them eh?
    Ooh, what's that cheeky little thing poking out of the box?
    Shall we open it up even more??
    So, there they are. The first copies of Splinters that i'd ever seen. The book i'm publishing. A book that I care about deeply and think is pretty amazing actually.
    So, I guess i'm going to have to touch one now....
    Ooh, a sexy new book.
    It is real. It's a real book. I'm so so excited.
    I look inside and there are words. The brilliant words of Joseph D'Lacey. They are all exactly as I remember them. Which is a relief.
    It has happened. Splinters by Joseph D'Lacey is a thing. An actual thing.
    Today has been good.

    You can read all about this book right here. 

    Due Date

    Today, I am sitting in my flat patiently waiting for delivery of 500 copies of Splinters by the awesome Joseph D'Lacey.

    The books are in a van en route to chez Timeline and I cannot wait to see what the final product looks like. This is a very nervous time. What if the PDF I sent to the printers was corrupt? What if it says Spintlers on the cover? What if they're all printed upside down?
    Of course, none of this will happen....but it's odd what goes through your mind.
    So while I wait, I should tell you that the 'Golden Ticket', which has been loving designed and created by Robin Stevenson (@Raliel) has been delivered.
     Every copy of the book that's ordered before publication date will be sealed. In one of those sealed copies will be a 'Golden Ticket'. In this case the golden ticket will be a Tarot Death Card. The person who finds this card inside their book win loads of amazing things, including signed books, and £50 to spend at the Big Green Bookshop.  Read more about it here.
    And here it is.
    It's pretty.
    But that's not all, because Robin has not only created this wonderful card, but he's also painted a full size version, which he has kindly agreed to add to the list of prizes.
    Wanna see it? OK!
    It's painted on a wooden painting block and it's absolutely staggeringly gorgeous. I've even bought a copy of the book myself in the hope that I find the 'Golden Ticket'.
    Robin is a truly talented artist. His work has been chosen by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer to sell at their celebrity auctions and this painting is undoubtedly a very collectible piece.

    So while I wait for the copies of Splinters to arrive, why not give yourself a chance of getting your hands on all that loot by buying a copy.
    Even if you don't win, you still have a brilliant book to read. Read my preview of it here.
    You can't lose.

    Wednesday, 24 October 2012


    Here's a rundown of the twelve short stories in Splinters by Joseph D'Lacey. This is the book that we're (i'm) publishng very very shortly. It really is wonderful, so please spend a couple of minutes reading this. It means a lot to me.
        The idea of this is to give you not only a flavour of the book, but to also give you an idea of the reasons these stories were chosen and why I put them in the order I did.

    Set in Gemini Apartments, the story explores paranoia, where nosey neighbours take on a modern twist. It's a multilayered story that starts off with a sinister uneasy undertone, which then spirals and spirals to a whole new level. I chose this story to put in first, because a) it's one of my personal favourites and b) because it sets a tone for the whole book.

    Lights Out
    When you were young were you scared of the dark? Did you think there was something under your bed that might get you? This is the classic premise of this 10 pager. Our main character Joe has lived with this fear since he was young, but it has remained with him. As he has grown, his imagination of what could possibly be under the bed has grown with him. And now his son is beginning to worry what's under HIS bed. There's a twist. A brilliant twist.

    By now, after two stories, you'll probably need a break. Not only to compose yourself, but to savour the stories you've just read.

    Right, OK? Let's continue.

    Altar Girl
    This story marks a change of direction in the book. Life, for Sophie has not turned out the way she'd dreamt. Her husband is a slob and her kids are spoilt and ungrateful. As she stands by the kitchen sink, she wonders to herself, 'if only things were different...'
    It's a Wonderful Life never got this dark.

    The Quiet Ones
    This tale follows an assassin's journey across a treacherous and inhospitable frozen landscape to eradicate a commune, who have chosen to leave behind civilization. What grabbed me about this story was how claustrophobic it felt, despite the vast open spaces this story is set in. It's also told by an unseen narrator, which adds to the sense of unease.
    This short passage sums this up;
    'You zero the crosshairs on her temple & let your finger rest on the trigger.
    Death is a moment away.
    You are the keeper of that moment'.

    Four stories down .
    I know, you're already convinced. Here you go, you can BUY IT HERE

    OK, now you've sorted that out, we'll continue;

    The Unwrapping of Alistair Perry
    Another multilayered story, literally in this case. Our eponymous hero finds himself transforming into something different. Something he's always wanted, but something unattainable until now. But this is just the start of Alistair's journey. Where will this transformation lead him?
    Another superb and well thought out surreal story that keeps you guessing until the very end.

    The Mango Tree
    Joseph's previous novels Meat, Garbage Man & to a certain extent Kill Crew explore our relationship the earth the dangers of not living in harmony with nature, earning these books a further sub-genre 'Eco Horror'. Mango Tree also visits this theme.
    On the island where he lives, Etoile is a loner. The islanders visit him to buy the fish he catches, as it is far superior than any other.
    The children on the island avoid him & the other islanders warn them that he will come for them at night if they don't behave. When Etoile catches one of the children trying to pick a mango from the tree next to his hut, after a dare, we learn that perhaps there is something special about Etoile. Something very special indeed.
    This story highlights, once again, how versatile Joesph is as a writer. The pace and style of it is completely different from the previous five stories in this collection. It is a beautiful piece of writing.

    So, here are the first six stories. Yes, we're half way through now. There are still half a dozen little gems to go. Not a zombie in sight (don't worry, there's got ot be one somewhere).
    Armageddon Fish Pie
    This is a poignant, thought provoking story which follows one man as he prepares for the end of the world. Throughout the story, he watches the reactions of others and reflects on his past. This was one of the first stories I chose to put in the collection, because once again it shows how versatile a writer Joseph is. In fact, the last three stories are all so individual you may think they'd been written by different people. This is unlike any 'End of the World' story you would imagine.

    This story, based in and around New Delhi, is a warning of how too much heroin can transform you into something completely different. It's the shortest story in the collection, and there's something about it that reminds me of this scene in An American Werewolf In London.

    Rhiannon's Reach
    This, in contrast to Kundalini, is the longest of the stories in the collection. Previously published in a wonderful chapbook a few years ago, this is the story of a man who, after having a near-death experience whilst diving is now equally terrified and obsessed with the sea. Much like being in the sea, this story carries us along, until we suddenly find ourselves out of our depth. Joseph once again touches on man's relationship with nature in this tale, which keeps you guessing until the very end.
    Son of Porn
    Time for a little relief, in the form of Nutbuster McGooch. A porn baron who is possibly the most sexually depraved person alive. I think Joseph enjoyed writing this story and despite its light hearted nature, does ask a few questions about evolution. Possibly. After the last story, I wanted to add something that changed the mood. I think this does it very effectively.
    What They Want (What Aliens Really, Really Want)
    Another inspired and totally unique story, taking a whole new look at why aliens may be interested in the human race. It's actually 4 mini stories in one, each story looking at a different period of time and location in history. The last of these four stories is the killer. And the last line gets you just there.
    So we've reached the last story in the collection. And we couldn't leave you without first giving you a zombie story. But as is the way throughout this collection, it's a different take on the traditional zombie story. So here it is.
    The Food Of Love
    This is a beautiful, tender love story, in which a doctor and nurse fall in love trying to find a cure to a terrible illness that is sweeping the earth. Symptoms of this illness inevitably lead to death, but worse than that (for those still living at least), the dead come back to life shortly afterwards and are hungry for meat in whatever form it takes.
    This story has it all, and Joseph really cranks up the emotion. There's a lot more going on in this final story than just zombies and it's a fitting way to end the collection.
    There you go then. That's Splinters. It's awesome. If you like awesome, there are two free stories that aren't in the book on this microsite
    Oh, and if you haven't bought it yet and i've persuaded you to give it a try...

    There's only going to be 500 printed and each will be numbered and signed by Joseph. It's only £8.99 and if you order it before November 3rd you stand a chance of winning loads of stuff. LOOK

    Monday, 8 October 2012

    Choose our Golden Ticket.

    OK, it's time for you to help us out again.
    You've helped us choose the title, you helped us decide that having a cover competition was fraught with trouble. And now, with a bit of luck, you'll help us to decide which of these 2 designs should go on to become our 'Golden Ticket'.
    A quick reminder;
     Every copy of Splinters that's ordered before publication date will be sealed. In one of those sealed copies will be a 'Golden Ticket'. In this case the golden ticket will be a Tarot Death Card. The person who finds this card inside their book win loads of amazing things, including signed copies of Joseph's books & £50 to spend on any books you like.  Read more here.

     Local artist Robin Stevenson (@Raliel) is designing our tarot card and has forwarded me two design options. Obviously, these are just sketches. The finished article will be even more spectacular. However, we'd like you to help us decide which of the designs you like best.
    Now then, which do you prefer?
    You can vote for 1 or 2 at the top right hand corner of this website.
    Voting will finish at midnight on Wednesday 10th October.
    Thank you for helping out.

    Friday, 5 October 2012

    Golden Ticket update

    We've had a fantastic response to our Golden Ticket competition since it was announced on Wednesday. A quick reminder of how it works.
     Every copy of Splinters that's ordered before publication date will be sealed. In one of those sealed copies will be a 'Golden Ticket'. In this case the golden ticket will be a Tarot Death Card. The person who finds this card inside their book win loads of amazing things. Read more here.

    Now things have got even more exciting. Because we've found an amazing artist to design the Tarot Death Card for us.
    Robin Stevenson (aka @Raliel on Twitter) is a wonderful, extraordinary individual whose artwork has been chosen by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer to sell at their celebrity auctions. I've known Robin for some time and his energy and passion is hugely infectious.

    This is Robin.
    And here are a couple of his previous pieces.

    I cannot wait to see what Robin's interpretation of a Tarot Death card will be, but it's sure to be memorable. It will be a unique and collectible piece which makes this Golden Ticket Competition even more special.
    So now, not only can you win loads of books, but you will also get a totally unique piece of art, signed by Robin.
    This just gets better and better.

    Wednesday, 3 October 2012

    So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.

    I never thought my life could be
    Anything but catastrophe
    But suddenly I begin to see
    A bit of good luck for me
    'Cause I've got a golden ticket
    I've got a golden twinkle in my eye.
    Ah, remember that classic moment when young Charlie Bucket finds a Golden Ticket and wins a trip to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory? Roald Dahl, you wonderful clever man.
    Well, Timeline Books is offering an amazing prize for the lucky person who finds a 'Golden Ticket' inside their copy of Splinters.
    However, this is the golden ticket that you're looking for.
    Every copy of Splinters that is pre-ordered will be sealed. Inside one of the copies will be this card. It will be signed by Joseph. 
    The lucky recipient of this card will win the following amazing prize.
    • A signed copy of Meat  
    • A signed copy of Garbage Man
    • A signed copy of Kill Crew
    • A signed copy of Joseph's new novel, Blood Fugue, courtesy of the lovely people at Salt Publishing (published at the end of November).
    • A signed copy of Black Feathers, Joseph's new two part novel published next year, courtesy of a gorgeous publishers Angry Robot.
    • £50 to spend on any books you like, courtesy of the UK's finest bookshop 
    • My own personal copy of Roald Dahl's Collected Short Stories, in recognition of what a great storyteller he was.
    Instructions on how to claim the prize will also be inside the winner's book.
    We think this is a pretty special prize. And even if you don't win, you'll have got yourself a brilliant collection of short stories. YOU CAN'T LOSE!


    Tuesday, 2 October 2012


    This is the ISBN for Splinters.
    Cost me £120.

    I reckon it'll look good on the back of this.

    One Month to Go

    There is one month to go before Splinters is officially published.


    Here is the situation.
     I've ordered the ISBN's (international standard book number) from the ISBN agency. There was an exciting moment when I got a phone call from them to tell me that there was another publishing company in the UK called Timeline Books. Apparently they'd registered in June 2012. I knew I should have done this earlier.
    They've published a book called 'Rediscovering the Orpington Car'. It is a book about the Orpington Car. Thankfully it is not an awesome collection of dark fiction by an award winning author. Otherwise there might have been some confusion. The nice people at the agency told me that, as the subjucts of our books were so wildly different it wasn't a problem having the same name. It does however mean that the series of books i'd planned to publish on vintage cars may have to be put on hold.

    I've been posting out uncorrected proof copies of the book to people who we hope will read, enjoy and review the book. Two dozen have been posted out and we have another 12 to send. The national newspapers do not give very much review space at all to short stories and even less to horror. It's been a real task to find the right people to send copies of the book to.
    It's frustrating for me, and no doubt to other publishers and authors of short stories, that this format isn't given more exposure. Good short story writing is a joy to read. It takes incredible skill for an author to get across their message in this limited style. What the reeader is getting in a short story collection is actually 10-12 wonderful mini novels. That's value right there. In fact I might even put the price of the book up, it's that good.

    I won't put the price of the book up. It is that good though.

    If you know any friendly reviewers who appreciate the fine art of story writing, please point them in my direction.

    Oh yes, and also with one month to go before publication, I have a proff  proof reader. A proper one. I have asked her to do this daunting task in about 10 days. This will give us enough time to do the changes and get it off to the printers for them to print copies of the book in time for publication. It's all very exciting.

    The cover design has to be finished too.

    Oh, and we need to get some posters together advertising the book launch to send to our friends at Horror in the East.

    And we have another exciting announcement soon as well.

    ps. Thanks to Ramsey Campbell for the very kind email he sent, wishing the book the very best of luck.

    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Time for a Catch Up

    Trying to publish a book, when you own a bookshop and have two children under 5 is a piece of cake. What makes it even easier is that there are 48 hours in a day and 24 days in the week. I don't need sleep, the Internet provider that I use is excellent and never 'outs', I remember to reply to every email I'm sent and everyone always replies to my emails immediately too.

    Yesterday the proof copies of 'Splinters' arrived.
     I hope you like the cover. We're really pleased with the way it turned out.
    When I spoke to the printers a few weeks ago to get the pricing for the review copies, not having anything printed on the cover saved about £50. I thought that, as our budget is about a grand, saving £50 would be wise.
    Putting together the PDF to send to the printers proved pretty tricky in the end too. My computer at home has a pathetic connection and so trying to do any editing work took about 5 times longer than it should as the screen kept freezing because the document was so big.
    In the end I sent it to the bookshop and spent a day there polishing it off.
    The proofs look OK. here's a sneaky peek inside...
    There are a few glaring font related mistakes which need correcting and other bits and bobs which hopefully will be spotted by our crack team of proof readers, but the stories themselves are pretty much perfect.
    The original price we were quoted to have the 500 copies printed also increased by about 10%. That's because I stupidly didn't take into consideration that, in order for the book to be paginated correctly, I might have to add a few more pages to the size of the book. It's still a very good price for what we're getting, but it means that I'll have to buy 10 less bottles of Champagne for the book launch (I'd budgeted to buy 10 bottles).
    I still haven't ordered ISBNs. 
    ISBNs are International Standard Book Numbers, and if you want to sell a book through more than your own house/website, then it makes sense to get one. Each number is unique and makes cataloguing a lot easier. You can read more about the exciting world of ISBNs here.
    They cost about £120 for 10. You can't buy individual ISBNs, so it looks like I'm going to have to publish 9 more books.
    The bookshop I co-own with Tim is called The Big Green Bookshop. We open 7 days a week and both of us have to work most of those days in order to keep up with all the stuff we do there. When there isn't anything happening in the bookshop of an evening (which is rare), there's all the marketing, website updating, reading (a necessary perk of the job) etc to be done. My kids like to help me with this.
    Squeezing in the time I need to publish Splinters has proved somewhat of a challenge. So much so that I've just reached an agreement with Tim that allows me to dedicate one whole day each week for the next 7 weeks to Timeline Books. This is the first one of those dedicated days.
    .....sorry, please excuse me, my daughter wants to play snakes and ladders. Oh and she wants a jammy sandwich. And a Fab. And she wants cuddles.... 
    I've managed to do more Splinters related stuff in this one day, than I have in the last 2 months and it feels great.
    We have now set a date and a place for the glorious launch of Splinters. There will be a London launch the week after, but on Saturday November 3rd, Joseph and I will be jumping around and exploding with book launch joy in Lowestoft, where we will be taking part in Horror in the East.
    I spoke to Emma, the organiser, earlier today and it looks like it's going to be an amazing convention.
    I hope she doesn't mind me not bringing any Champagne.
    So, we now have a product (almost finished) and a launch venue. Right, we need some pre-orders now. So for the next 6 weeks I am going to shamelessly (but in a rather lovely way)  plug, push, market and encourage people to get behind this utterly brilliant collection of stories.
    So go on. Buy one. It'll make me very happy. x

    Monday, 20 August 2012

    What on Earth are we going to put in this book, anyway?

    From Joseph D'Lacey

    Without revealing the table of contents, I did want to say little about the anatomy of Splinters.
                Ever since Cadenza Magazine accepted the first story I wrote in 2001, I’ve been dying to put together a collection. Without self-publishing, however, it became obvious as time went by that such a project was a big ask.
    I’ve tested the water with two or three publishers over the years but they didn’t dig my work. Additionally, the short story ‘market’ is a tough one. People don’t buy anthologies the way they did when I was a young, voracious reader and you rarely see them prominently displayed in bookshops.
                Because it seemed an unrealistic expectation, I stopped giving the idea of a collection any real energy a long time ago. Isn’t it funny how sometimes, when you stop pushing, things just fall into your lap? Unbeknownst to me, Simon Key created Timeline Books and had me on his hit list. A few months ago, he got in touch with a proposition. The rest is interactive publishing history.
    Or, at least, it will be after we release the book…
                I was concerned about the selection process, I have to say. If we didn’t see eye to eye on what we liked and what worked best, where would it leave us?
    I sent Simon about forty tales in batches of three or more and when he’d read them all we met and discussed his responses. Of the ones he chose, some are previously published, others have never been seen. Some are satirical. Some are bleak. Some are funny. Some are gruesome. All of them are tales I’m proud to have written and I’m relieved to say that Simon has chosen the best of my short fiction from the last eleven years.
                For the moment, that’s all I can tell you but I sincerely hope you love them. Every single one.

    Splinters is available to pre-order here

    Friday, 17 August 2012

    A small announcement. Actually, bollocks to that, it's a huge announcement

    I am delighted to anounce that Splinters, the collection of short sories by Joseph D'Lacey that we are publishing is now available to pre-order. We've set up this rather delicious microsite here.

    Before I type any more, I'd like you  to click on the link please.

    Go on.



    It's rather exciting isn't it?

    Joseph's going to put a post up here over the next couple of days that'll give you an idea of what to expect in the book, but I thought it'd be good to give you a taster. Which is why you can read one of Joseph's stories, 'Gaolbreak', on the site.

    I understand that blogs are visited more if there are pictures of cats on them, so here you are.

    Wednesday, 20 June 2012

    Cover Design Competition - An announcement

    Following some unhappy comments on Facebook about our design the cover of Splinters competition, we have decided to cancel the contest and go with a different idea.
                It seems people felt that to run a competition in this way doesn’t value the work of artists in the way it should and that the resulting exposure would have little impact for the winning artist. We think, honestly, that people were upset at the thought that we would get our cover for £50 rather than paying an industry standard fee. Joseph looked into professional original cover art when he was thinking about self-publishing. Quotes ranged from £400 - £1200. Far outside our reach.

                Timeline Books is a tiny, independent publisher. We've brought out one book so far, Greg Stekelman’s London Tales. There’s no way it could afford professional rates, so the competition seemed like a fun, cheap way for us to encourage creativity and possibly bring in some visual surprises from ‘outside’ the industry box. But we do understand that working for free or for small rates is a subject that people find upsetting.
                 Joseph says "Speaking as an author, I’ve yet to make a living wage from writing after twelve years of work, so I can understand why the competition annoyed people. That said, for many years I accepted publication without taking a fee – it was either that or no publication and I needed to get my work to readers somehow"

                Timeline Books is an interactive publisher. It’s also a fledging publisher. We’re relying on public comment and advice for direction and help in the project. That’s either democratic, or socialist or something. Whatever it is, it’s very exciting because neither neither of us know what’s going to happen next!
                 So after weighing up the pros and cons we have decided to cancel the contest. We're especially sorry to those of you who’ve made a start on work but we hope you can understand the reasons for our decision.

                Meanwhile, panic not, for there is a Plan B (from outer space…)
                There might even be a Plan C (but we haven't thought of it yet)

    We'd be interested to know what you think about this, btw.

    Friday, 15 June 2012

    Cover Design Competition. Win Big.

    You have helped us choose the name for the new book of short stories by the brilliant Joseph D'Lacey, which will be coming out at the end of September.
    It will be called 'Splinters'. It is a short story collection of dark fiction, fantasy and horror and it is an honour to be publishing it.

    We'd now like you to design the cover.

    The winning design will be used on the cover of the book and you will also win £50. That's the kind of money some of us can only dream about.

    It is very simple.
    Here are the rules.

    Cover Competition
    Timeline Books
    22, Bradmore Green,
    Brookmans Park,
    AL9 7QR

    Conditions of Entry

    - Artwork can be in any format (drawing, photo, computer generated etc)
    - Printed copies of artwork are acceptable. Original artwork need not be submitted.
    - All art being submitted must be original and belong to the person submitting it.
    - Artwork must be in portrait format. The final work will occupy a standard A5 sized cover but entries can be any size.
    - Entries can be sent to the above address by post or emailed as an attachment
    - Please include name, address, email and/or telephone number and age (if under 18) with your entry. - If your artwork is chosen the original artwork may be needed to ensure that we can obtain a quality scanned image for use on the book cover.
    - The winning image may need to be altered to accommodate the title & author's name.
    - You can enter as many times as you like.
    - All artwork will be judged by a panel of judges, whose decision will be final.
    - Closing date for the competition is July 25th 2012.

    The Prize

    - The winning artwork will be used as the design on the cover of Splinters, the new short story collection by Joseph D’Lacey being published in September 2012. The artist will be credited inside the book.
    - The winning artist will receive £50 and a signed copy of the book.
    That's it. Couldn't really be easier could it?
    The more people who know about this the better so please help spread the word.

    Tuesday, 12 June 2012


    So, we've chosen the stories that are going in the collection. You have helped us choose the name of the book. Splinters. Well done everyone, excellent choice.
    So now we're going to work out how much it's going to cost to print the book. If you're more organised than me, you would have probably done this first, but hey, this is Timeline Books.
    Printing is an expensive business.
    Right, imagine someone wants you to make a potato print of an owl on a piece of paper.

    It will take a good hour to buy the potato and to carve the owl onto it. Once that's done it will take 10 seconds to print one owl. If they then wanted another 100 owl prints, it would take no time at all to print the other 100 owls, cos you've already got the owl print ready.
    This is my crass description of the printing industry. The cost of small print runs is a lot more per book than the cost of larger ones.
    Our print run is 500. This is relatively small and so the cost per book would usually be quite high. The cheapest I can find online for what we're looking to produce is around £2.40 per copy. This does not include typesetting, proofreading, editing, designing the cover or all the other expenses that publishing a book includes.
    As our budget for the whole project is £1,000.
    Ah, but wait.
    I have worked in the bookselling industry for 26 years and have lots of wonderful friends who I could maybe ask advise and/or help.
    So I have.
    I spoke to my friends at Gallic Books and I asked them who they used to print their books. Gallic Books are lovely. They told me that they used a company called CPI Anthony Rowe and they also if I sent them the book specification they would get a quote for me. You see, I told you Gallic Books were lovely didn't I?
    So now we've got the quote back from the printers and rather than £2.40 a copy, they have quoted us about £1.40. That has just saved us £500.

    It also means we have £300 left to do everything else to get this book published.
    So now it's down to you lot again.

    I need help to build a microsite to get some pre-awareness for the book. Are there any html whizzkids out there who would like to offer their services on a micro budget? If so, please get in touch. It would be greatly appreciated.

    We also need an editor & a couple of proof readers who love their jobs so much that they'd do this in their spare time (almost).

    News of our latest competition will be announced very soon too.

    Wednesday, 23 May 2012

    The Author's Side of the Story

    My name is Joseph D’Lacey.
    I am pale, unfit, anxious and have personal hygiene issues. The arse-covering bit of my jeans wears out with unsettling regularity. I can’t remember the last time someone nice came to visit me but my mum (and my gerbil*, Roy Batty) consider me a deity.
    I should explain:
    I’m a professional author, which means I make enough money from writing to starve to death several times a year. On the plus side, no one ever tells me what to do (except editors, but they don’t count as people) and I get to spend several hours a day staring out of the window. Also, when I go to parties, which I never do, I get to impress people by casually dropping the fact that I’m ‘published, you know’.
    Why am I telling you this?
    I’m telling you because, despite the inevitable cynicism that arises when writing long-term, I love my job.
    Recently, I’ve loved it even more because things are changing. After years of submitting work, chasing agents and editors, and tripping over myself to be noticed, publishers have started to approach me.
    I know. Miracle, right?
    One of those publishers is Simon Key of Timeline books, co-owner of The Big Green Bookshop and all-around good bloke. By now, you’ll know the circumstances under which we first met, so when Simon emailed to say he wished to publish my work, I was chuffed to bits - he wanted to bring out a collection of my short fiction! When Simon mentioned this, the bits of my chuff flew even farther apart.
    Some time later, I sent the following text to Simon:
    To which there came no reply. A few days afterward, Simon admitted he had no idea what the text related to.
    “It’s a title,” I said. “For the book.”
    There was an appreciative silence.
    We decided to talk about other things for a while before circling back to titles.
    “So what do you think of Splinters?” I asked.
    “What? Oh. It’s fine. I mean, it’s really, really an okay title. You know, for a book. About wood.”
    Is it a coincidence that Timeline Books’ HQ is in Wood Green? I think not. Was it mere happenstance that that very morning, I’d got a tiny sliver of bamboo stuck under my fingernail? I’ll leave it with you. Either way, we came up with about ten more titles and whittled it (see what I did there?) down to four. At which point the genius that is Simon Key said:
    “We should let the public decide.”
    And then it was my turn to say:
    Well, I thought Oh. What I actually said was:
    “That’s a brilliant idea, Simon. Have I mentioned before that you’re a genius?”
    And the rest, as they so often say these days, is interactive publishing history.
    Next time:
    If a book’s cover is two slices of organic wholemeal tin-loaf, what should the filling be?

    * I don’t own a Gerbil. I made that bit up. The rest of this article is entirely factual.

    Monday, 21 May 2012

    The Result

    Well after 9 days, lots of tweeting, emailing and bothering, we have the result of the 'What Shall We call Our New Book'.
     Of the four choices we offered there was a clear winner. With an impressive 40% of the vote you have chosen


    Well done. 

    Monday, 14 May 2012


    When Tim West and I decided to open a bookshop in 2007, we had no real idea of what we were doing. Yes, we'd worked in bookshops for a long time and we could add up and talk and press buttons. But opening a shop, starting a new business, talking to solicitors, borrowing £60k for the bank. All that jazzy stuff was new to us. It was also a massive learning curve and we relied on lots of help and advice to make it work. We still do as a matter of fact. (thanks).

    When Tim West and I decided to open a bookshop in 2007, we started a blog. It was called 'Open a Bookshop, What Could Possibly Go Wrong' (subtitle; '2 blokes, one shop, no idea'). On this blog we chronicled the whole adventure from day one. We tried to be as honest and open as possible about our attempts to make the bookshop a reality. Sometimes we were perhaps too honest. But that was the point, I guess. To share our journey.

    In a similar vein, I am very new to this Publishing lark. The new book by Joseph D'Lacey will be the second book I publish. The first one is called London Tales by Greg Stekelman and it's ever so good. You should probably buy it.
    Anyway, back to the point. I have decided that throughout the whole of the process of publishing this book I shall try and share as much of the experience with you as I can on this here blog. I'll talk about choosing the titles for the collection, editing, printing, getting ISBNs (which i didn't do with the first book), marketing and loads more stuff besides. I will no doubt make 'hilarious' mistakes, and I will no doubt rely on you lot to help me out along the way. But I will be totally honest about stuff. I hope it's worth reading and maybe will give you an insight into one way of publishing books.

    It's always slightly scary doing new things, so having a place where I can share my thoughts will help me too.

    Right, so that bit about helping. You decide the title of the book. Click on one the 4 choices on the top right hand side of this page.
    SEE? You're helping already. It works!

    Thanks for reading.

    Friday, 11 May 2012

    Your First Mission - Name Joseph D'Lacey's Book

    We are an interactive publisher.

    Interactive ; Adj. Involving the actions or input of a user.

    So that kind of means that we want you to help decide stuff for us along the way.

    You want to know why? Well, to put it frankly, we want you to buy the books we publish. There's no point in publishing a book that nobody wants to read, so it's important that the opinions of our potential customers are heard. You are in the best position to make reasoned decisons about things that we (the  publishers and author) are perhaps so closely involved with that are opinions are somewhat clouded.

    Now, here is the first decison I'd like you to help us make.

    I'd like you to choose the title of Joseph D'Lacey's collection of short stories that i'm publishing in September.

    Here's the remit;

    It's a collection of 12 stories, that are part horror, part dark fiction, part fantasy, part dystopia. Each story has a different element and provokes a different feeling. It shows the incredible scope of Joseph's writing. The collection will appeal to fans of horror (as this is what Joseph is best known for), but I also feel that it deserves to be read by an audience that appreciates the art of storytelling. They are very special indeed.

    Jospeh's previous titles have included Meat, Garbage Man, Snake Eyes & the Kill Crew.
    So with this in mind, we have come up with 4 suggested titles. It is up to you to decide which one we will use. There is a poll on the top right had side of this here blog, on which you can vote for your favourite. The most popular title when voting ends at 9.00pm on Sunday 20th May will be the title that we choose for the collection.

    Don't let us down. I love you all.

    Timeline Books- An Announcement

    I am a bookseller. But I am also a publisher. My publishing company is called Timeline Books. I have published one book so far. Yes, ONE. It is London Tales by Greg Stekelman. It is awesome and if you haven't bought it by now and you have £40, then I suggest you do. There are only 250 in the whole world and tests prove that by buying a copy your life will improve on average by 3.2%*.
    When I set up Timeline Books, I thought to myself that i'd probably publish just the one book. But having enjoyed the whole experience so very very much, my taste for publishing more has grown.
    And this is why I am delighted to announce that I am going to be publishing Timeline Books second book.
    It's going to be a collection of the finest short stories by Joseph D'Lacey. Joseph is awesome and I cannot tell you how excited I am to be publishing this.

    Let me tell you a bit about Mr D'Lacey.
    • He wrote a book called Meat, which I reviewed on this blog here back in 2008 (there is also an interview I did too).He also wrote a book called Garbage Man, which has some of the most powerful imagery I have read. He also wrote the novella Kill Crew, which I reviewed a bit here
    • He was awarded Best Newcomer in 2009 at the British Fantasy Society awards for Meat
    • Stephen King is a massive fan and has said that 'Joseph D'Lacey Rocks'.
    • I have spent the last 2 months reading his short stories and I feel like I am the luckiest person alive. They are brilliant.
    This is what Joseph looks like, should you want to say hello to him if you meet him.

    Joseph would probably be filed under Horror in bookshops. If there was a more specific sub genre, it would be Eco Horror. But the scope of his writing means that I am reluctant to place him in one particular genre. His stories put me in mind of Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected, but with an even darker, more sinister (and sometimes hilarious) conclusion. What I love about his writing is that I never know quite what to expect. His latest book, Snake Eyes, published in the USA, contains two novellas. Each one takes you on a journey that has layer after layer of storyline. It takes you further and further into his crazy and imaginative mind. You don't know what's going to happen, but when it does happen...BOOM!!

    The book will be published on September 27th 2012. This coincides with the publication of a book by JK Rowling, which one or two of you might know about. We thought it would be good for her to have a bit of competition.
    There will be a Limited Edition of just 500 copies. Each one will be signed and numbered.
    There will be a competition to design the cover of the book. This will be launched in May at the same time as the title of the book is announced.
    There are more things, but this is quite enough excitement for one blogpost.

    This is going to be something very special. If you know anyone who you think would want of copy of this (who wouldn't to be honest), please let them know.

    *I made this up, but you should still buy a copy.