News

Hellraiser

Links and Contact button

All the latest Shadow Writer news and announcements.

 

2017 news can be viewed here

2016 news can be viewed here

2015 news can be viewed here

2014 news can be viewed here

2013 news can be viewed here

2012 news can be viewed here

2011 news can be viewed here

2010 news can be viewed here

2009 news can be viewed here

2008 news can be viewed here

2007 news can be viewed here

2006 news can be viewed here

2005 news can be viewed here

2004 news can be viewed here

2003 news can be viewed here

 

February

Advert for Before, by Paul Kane.

 

First up this month are these new promos for Paul’s novel Before (above and below), published by Grey Matter Press. There are several out there being shared on social media, so be sure to look out for them. In the meantime, the book has been selected for yet another ‘Best of 2017’ listing – this time by The Horror Bookshelf, where Paul shares the honour with the likes of Josh Malerman, Ania Ahlborn and Kealan Patrick Burke. THB commented: ‘This is an engrossing novel that will appeal not only horror fans, but fans of other genres as well. Before is impressive in scope and the characters are excellent. I love the contrast of a seemingly average man going up against a force that wields a staggering power. Excellent novel and I can’t wait to dive into Kane’s other works, particularly Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell.’

You can read the full list here and find out more about the novel itself at its official website here. You can also buy the book directly here or here.

 

Advertisement for Before, by Paul Kane

 

----------------------------------

 

 

Above and below you’ll find pictures of a new remarque Paul did last month for a client in a hardback copy of Death. To visit the page for this service on the SW site and arrange your own, just click here.

 

Close-up of 'Death' remarque by Paul Kane

 

-------------------------------------

 

Crime Scene tape image

 

News now of the latest in the ‘Highlighting Horror’ series of events, run by Paul and Marie for the HWA in conjunction with Alex Davis at the Quad in Derby. This time the focus is on dark crime and here’s the official PR mail out: ‘Through exclusive interviews, informative panel discussions and expert talks you’ll learn more about crime fiction’s edgier side, how thrillers have become darker, serial killer fiction, whether there’s a place for the supernatural in crime and how authors can benefit from this increasing crossover. Perfect for fans of crime fiction or for those who might want to write it. There will also be opportunities to purchase books and get them signed by your favourite authors, and socialise with many experienced writers, film-makers and publishers.’

 

Man with gun image

 

As reported by sites such as Rising Shadow, Where Can We Go? and The List here, here, and here, the stellar line-up of Guests for this one include AK Benedict (The Beauty of Murder, Jonathan Dark or The Evidence Of Ghosts), Steph Broadribb (Deep Down Dead, Deep Blue Trouble, My Little Eye), Paul Finch (Author of the bestselling Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg Series), Barry Forshaw (Brit Noir, Nordic Noir, British Crime Writing: An Encyclopaedia), SJ Holliday (Black Wood, Willow Walk, The Damsel Fly), Jo Jakeman (Sticks and Stones), David Mark (Author of the Bestselling DS McAvoy series), Roz Watkins (The Devil’s Dice) and Fiona Cummins (Rattle, The Collector).

 

A Dark so Deadly, by Stuart MacBride

 

And just added: Stuart MacBride – Number #1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series and, most recently, A Dark So Deadly (above).

The event will take place on 24th March at the Quad, tickets are £35.00, and the event is half-price to HWA members. Click here to buy your tickets.

-------------------------------------

 

The Chalk Man, C.J. Tudor

 

Sticking with dark crime for a moment, this month’s Guest Writer is C.J. Tudor – author of The Chalk Man (above and below) from Penguin, which just recently appeared on the Sunday Times bestseller list. To read an extract simply click here.

 

The Chalk Man book cover, C.J. Tudor

 

---------------------------------------

 

Nailbiters, by Paul B. Kane

 

And yet more, because a new glowing review of Paul’s dark crime/psychological collection Nailbiters has appeared at SF Crowsnest. Here’s what Pauline Morgan had to say: ‘In this latest collection of short fiction from Paul Kane, the focus is mainly on the contemporary situation and the horrors that can stalk everyday lives for a variety of reasons. Many of the stories are an exploration of why seemingly normal people carry out abnormal acts. Although most of these stories are seen from the point of view of the perpetrator there isn’t necessarily a sense of having been cheated by not being told the thought processes of how they reached the situation the reader sees them in. Partly that is because the conscious mind is not always in control and reason is not what is driving the actions. Despite what may be thought, horrific crimes are not usually planned in detail.

Grief is a powerful emotion and people often act irrationally under its influence but it can get out of hand as in “Grief Stricken” in which a husband feels the need to punish a surgeon for his wife’s death during a routine operation. The grief in “The Torturer” only comes clear at the end of the story but also results in irrational and horrific actions. Under stress, minds can create fantasies and in “Remote” the protagonist has detached himself from reality, believing that he is an agent on a mission.

The desire for revenge isn’t always associated with grief. Sometimes the victim doesn’t even understand why he has been selected. So when in “Cold Call”, a call centre worker hangs up on a potential client he is surprised that the man wants revenge for his perceived rudeness.

Obsessions can be a cause of aberrant behaviour. Janet, the check-out girl in “Check-Out” is obsessed with Mark, who once made the mistake of making her think she was important to him. Now she is determined that he will notice her properly. Sebastian in “Gemini Rising” has different kinds of obsessions. He wants to know who his real parents are and after discovering a passion for cutting up initially dead bodies transfers his obsession to twins. OCD is an obsession rooted in the idea that if patterns are not observed, then disasters will happen. In “1,2,3,…1,2,3” Michelle has proof of it, even when Josh tries to show her otherwise.

 

Nailbiters books, Paul B. Kane

 

Fear, too, is strong emotion and although fear may be induced in many of Kane’s victims it is the fear of change that makes Beryl in “The Anniversary” behave the way she does as her husband of twenty-nine years threatens to leave her. Fear of the dark is fairly universal. For Kelly in “Blackout” having the light go out on a night when she is alone in the house brings all those fears to the surface, to the extent that she is irrational. “The Cyclops”, too, is a story about fear though in this case it arises from a misconception and illustrates the need for relationships to be taught in schools.

Horror, as the news keeps showing, can occur in unlikely places, where you are meant to be safe. “A Nightmare On 34th Street” shows that even a visit to Santa’s Grotto on Christmas Eve can prove very hazardous…Also amongst these offerings are a couple of police procedural stories as cops are not immune to having nasty things happen to them… And since the creations of Arthur Conan Doyle are now out of copyright, Kane has added to the “Sherlock Holmes” franchise with “The Greatest Mystery”.

All writers would like to see their work on screen. “The Opportunity” is an atmospheric piece showing a felon stalking a woman with the clear intention of murder. Lewis Copson made it into a short film and the script is reproduced here. While we hear horror stories of what scriptwriters do to stories, in this case, seeing both the original and the script it is clear that the latter is faithful to the former and the film itself may well have enhanced the atmosphere.

To add to his versatility, this volume is book-ended by poems. Paul Kane is a good writer and for the reader, this is an excellent book to dip into.’

You can read the full review here.

-----------------------------------

 

Film poster for The Road

 

In January, Paul chose his Top Ten Books and Films (which included The Road, above) for the Kendall Reviews site. To see what he picked just click here.

He was also interviewed by World Fantasy Award-winning author Angela Slatter (the Verity Fassbinder series of books) and you can find this over on her site here.

-------------------------------------

 

Flatliners poster

 

At the end of last month Paul reviewed the new version of Flatliners (above) for Sci-Fi Bulletin, and you can read what he had to say here.

----------------------------------------

 

Poster for BAFTA nominee The Ghoul

 

Tom Meeten’s movie The Ghoul, written and directed by Gareth Tunley, was nominated for a BAFTA last month in the ‘Outstanding Debut’ category (above and below). Tom, of course, plays both Rory and Frank in Paul’s audio drama adaptation of Clive Barker’s The Hellbound Heart for Bafflegab (see previous news update for more details).

 

Film poster: The Ghoul

 

------------------------------------

 

The Wayward Festival, Prize for Horror Short

 

Meanwhile the film of Paul’s story Life-O-Matic has won another award, Best Horror Short at the Wayward Festival. And you can now watch the movie itself online by clicking on the below:

 

Life-O-Matic from Blackeyed Cat on Vimeo.

-----------------------------------

 

Hellraiser birthday card

 

Finally, regular visitors to the Shadow Writer site will know that February is Paul’s birthday month. We’re sure you’ll join us in wishing him a very Happy Hellraising Day!

--------------------------------------------

January

Luna Press 'Harvester' series announcement - featuring Paul Kane, Marie O'Regan, Stephen Bacon, Wole Talabi and Tim Major

 

Happy New Year! We kick off 2018 with more book news. As announced on New Year’s Day (above and here), Luna Press are to publish a new ‘Harvester’ series of collections. One of these will bring together all of Paul’s ‘Controllers’ stories – along with new material and exclusive extras, such as Steve Lines’ terrific illustration for ‘Astral’ (below). You can read more about it all, including Paul’s thoughts, on the publisher’s website here.

 

Astral artwork, by Steve Lines

 

----------------------------------

 

Copies of 'Disexistence', by Paul Kane

 

Speaking of collections, Paul received his contributor copies of Disexistence last month, which you can see above and below (on the shelf alongside 2017’s other releases). You can order yours by clicking here.

 

Paul Kane, 'shelfie' - featuring Disexistence, Death, Before, Nailbiters and Beneath the Surface (by Simon Clark and Paul Kane)

 

-----------------------------------------

 

Banner for Beneath the Surface, by Simon Clark and Paul Kane

 

Beneath the Surface – Paul’s first collaboration with bestselling author Simon Clark for SST Publications – officially launched last month (above). You can find out more and order your own copy by clicking here or here.

 

--------------------------------------------

 

Before, by Paul Kane

 

Paul’s novel Before received yet another brilliant review last month, this time from This Is Horror. Here’s what Thomas Joyce had to say: ‘A fan of horror, science fiction and fantasy from a young age, it should come as no surprise that Paul Kane has a strong love for speculative fiction. He has carried this passion into his own work, from his first mass market novel, Arrowhead (Abaddon/Rebellion, 2008), a post-apocalyptic retelling of the Robin Hood legend which spawned two further novels, to the bestselling Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell (Solaris, 2016), pitting Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective against Clive Barker’s Cenobites (Barker himself is quoted as naming Kane “the resident Hellraiser expert”, which is quite the accolade). He is also the author of numerous other novels, novellas and collections, as well as contributing to many anthologies. His latest novel, Before, has been described as an epic fantasy, but it certainly has its fair share of horror, with Barker’s influence evident in a few scenes.

Before we get into the main story of the here-and-now, Kane adds a little backstory to the mystery beginning with a couple of chapters set in the 1970s. The first takes place in a psychiatric hospital in Germany where English doctor Patrick Vaughn is treating an enigmatic patient in a state of catatonia. Then Vaughn is summoned urgently to the hospital. The patient, Johann, is showing signs of life. Then, in the next chapter, a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam jungle are seemingly on a mission to rescue some POWs… Readers may feel that these two chapters have little or nothing in common, but they lay the groundwork for the epic story that is to unfold. A story that, for the reader, begins in the 1970s in Germany and Vietnam, doesn’t find resolve until present-day England. These opening chapters also show us something about the style of the book; it is a story intended to draw the reader in, to be immersive. While the story is told in a contemporary setting, Kane must build up his dark fantasy framework, hinting at the history of the Infinity and those who oppose it.

Bringing the story into the present day, we meet university lecturer, Alex Webber, a deeply unhappy man who seems to be in the midst of a dark depression. It is his birthday, and he is miserable. Not least because he feels that he is growing distant from his wife, Beverly. They appear to have very little, if anything, in common and the spark seems to have vanished from their relationship. At first, it is difficult to feel any kind of sympathy for this human doormat. But the reader’s interest is piqued by the terrible visions he experiences with increasing frequency. The world around him begins to blur and transform until he sees people dressed in clothes from hundreds of years ago. And the scenes are usually from a battlefield or some other bloody altercation. Eventually, the visions become so vivid that Alex hurts himself, and finds himself referred to a psychiatrist, Dr. Ellen Hayward. At first, Alex’s case seems to be one of depression and self-harm. But as Hayward digs deeper and witnesses his reaction to the visions, they are forced together in a quest for the truth.

Unfortunately, it is not only Dr. Hayward that shows an interest in Alex’s visions. The Infinity can sense Alex by the visions, suggesting that there is an underlying power of which Alex is unaware. Accompanied by his psychotic sidekick, Lucas Peck, the Infinity tracks Alex like a homing signal every time he has one of his episodes, gradually narrowing the search area until the inevitable climax. While it may seem like we are simplifying the plot of this near 500-page book, this is only to steer clear of spoilers. As well as taking time to introduce the elements of dark fantasy to what is best described as a good old-fashioned adventure story, Kane also does a wonderful job of developing his characters, to the point where Alex, seemingly undeserving of our compassion at the beginning of the story, quickly grows into a sympathetic character before developing into a formidable leading man. Similarly, Dr. Hayward never comes across as a stereotypical psychiatrist; with a complex backstory and unorthodox medical style, she soon proves to be an integral component of Alex’s story. And the villains are no less interesting. The Infinity is truly iconic, reminiscent of King’s Randall Flagg (a comparison that has been noted elsewhere) or even Sauron, given his ability to influence men in power to feed his own. Peck presents as a stereotypical psychopath sidekick, yet Kane conveys the true extent of his vicious and heinous character, especially the scene in Alex and Beverly’s living room. The description of that particular scene is especially chilling, and vivid.

Before is epic in scale, building steadily towards a thrilling finale. The characters all evolve organically, and the descriptive language employed by Kane, especially in the action scenes, is quite cinematic. If you like your horror fiction short and to the point, this may not be the book for you. If you enjoy losing yourself in a well-written supernatural thriller with strong elements of horror, curling up in your favourite reading spot with this book may well be the perfect way to spend a long winter evening or two.’

To read the full review, just click here.

 

Before also gained an honourable mention on The Passionate Foodie’s Blogspot for his Top Ten novels of the year, and was included as one of Kendall Reviews’ Top Books of 2017. To read the full listings, just click here and here.

You can find out more about the novel at its official website here and you can buy the book directly here or here.

--------------------------------

 

Haunted Nights, edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton

 

More review love now, this time for the short story Paul contributed to the anthology Haunted Nights: ‘The Turn’. Here’s what Locus had to say about it: ‘Paul Kane’s “The Turn” beguiles with its account of an imaginary boogeyman on the prowl on Halloween before deftly overturning reader expectations.’ To read the whole review just click here.

----------------------------------------

 

Willow Walk and The Damsel Fly, by SJI Holliday

 

We kick off 2018’s Guest Writers with the wonderful SJI Holliday, author of thrillers like Willow Walk and The Damselfly (above). You can read an extract from her novel Black Wood (below) – the first in the trilogy featuring Sergeant Davie Gray – simply by clicking here.

 

Black Wood by SJI Holliday

 

------------------------------------

 

L to R: Roger Gray, Graham Humphreys, Phil Sloman, Dolly Garland, CC Adams, Marie O'Regan - BFS Christmas Open Night 2017

 

Paul was in London not once, but twice last month. The first time was for the British Fantasy Society Christmas Open Night, and you can see photos from this above (from L-R, Roger Gray, Graham Humphreys, Dolly Garland, CC Adams and Marie) and below (Phil Sloman and Alex Davis). 

 

Phil Sloman, BFS Christmas Open Night, 2017

 

Alex Davis, BFS Christmas Open Night, 2017

 

But Paul was also down for the recording of his full cast audio drama adaptation of Clive Barker’s The Hellbound Heart for Bafflegab (below).

 

Hellraiser Puzzlebox

 

Recording of The Hellbound Heart audio adaptation

 

And below you’ll find photos of Paul with some of the cast, including Neve McIntosh (The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Replacement, Lucky Man), Tom Meeten (The IT Crowd, Luxury Comedy, The Ghoul), Alice Lowe (Sightseers, Adult Life Skills, Prevenge) and Bafflegab boss Simon Barnard, plus a photo of Nicholas Vince – the original Chatterer from Hellraiser – also in the play, signing copies of the script. 

 

Neve McIntosh and Paul Kane

 

Tom Meeten

 

L to R: Paul Kane, Alice Lowe, Simon Barnard

 

Nicholas Vince

 

 

While below is a publicity still Bafflegab have put out of (L-R) Alice (who plays Kirsty), Tom (playing Rory and Frank) and Neve (who plays Julia). To read the press release that accompanies it, just click here.

 

L to R: Alice Lowe, Tom Meeten, Neve McIntosh, starring in Bafflegab's audio adaptation of The Hellbound Heart

 

-------------------------------------------

 

Robin of Sherwood, The Blood that Binds, read by Nickolas Grace

 

Paul reviewed a couple of the new Robin of Sherwood audio stories last month, brought out by Spiteful Puppet – who also produced the audio drama The Knights of the Apocalypse in 2016. You can read what Paul thought of ‘The Blood That Binds’, read by the Sheriff of Nottingham himself Nickolas Grace, on the Sci-Fi Bulletin site here. And you can read what he thought of ‘Sanctuary’, which brings back the original Robin, Michael Praed, here.

-----------------------------------------

 

Behind the Mask, Tales from the Id, edited by Steve Dillon

 

Paul’s story ‘Masques’ – a sequel to Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ – has been now reprinted alongside the original in Behind the Mask: Tales from the Id (above), which also features tales from the likes of Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell and Algernon Blackwood. Edited by Steve Dillon (Between the Tracks, Beneath the Stairs) you can find out more about this one at the publisher’s site here.

---------------------------------------

 

Life-O-Matic Poster

 

Finally, film news – and the movie of Paul’s story ‘Life-O-Matic’ has been selected for the Lost Sanity film festival and also won Silver in the Spotlight Horror Film Awards (both below).

 

Official Selection The Lost Sanity Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival 2017

 

Silver Award Winner, Spotlight Horror Film Awards 2017

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------

2017 news can be viewed here

2016 news can be viewed here

2015 news can be viewed here

2014 news can be viewed here

2013 news can be viewed here

2012 news can be viewed here

2011 news can be viewed here

2010 news can be viewed here

2009 news can be viewed here

2008 news can be viewed here

2007 news can be viewed here

2006 news can be viewed here

2005 news can be viewed here

2004 news can be viewed here

2003 news can be viewed here

 

© Paul Kane 2003-2018. All rights reserved. Materials (including images) may not be reproduced without express permission from the author.