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.
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.