Friday, 6 April 2018

Abraham Fogg and the Witches in a Nazi Submarine Base

It's not every evening I get to witness creative genius of a bizarre, eerie, and inspiring nature in a live performance. But tonight is set to be one of those rare occasions. Abraham Fogg is going to use his original compositions to narrate a seminal Swedish-Danish horror classic, Häxan, in a Nazi submarine base in France... No, you didn't imagine that last sentence! I guess you want to know more. Abraham was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.

1) Who is Abraham Fogg and what is his mission?
Abraham Fogg is an electronica project that aims to narrate stories in music.
I've been a composer for fifteen years and this project is a space of absolute freedom, where I can deeply express what I am and the music I love. I’m very protective about this and my mission here is to defy and enjoy myself.
I’m inspired by the Electronica or Intelligent Dance Music (IDM) movement on one hand. This movement was born in the 90s English club subculture, and I know a lot thanks to the great record company, Warp Records. I connect a lot with the term "Brain Dance" that talks for itself and represents very well how you could define what I do. On the other hand, I’m deeply touched by the work of "Holy Minimalist" composers like Arvo Pärt or Tavener.

In Häxan, I want to give a second life to this great film, and bring back the sensations people had when they first watched it in the 20s. I want to provoke a radical experience for the audience.

2) What is so special about the film, Häxan?
"Häxan" or "Witchcraft Through Ages" is considered one of the first horror films in history. This study on how superstition and misunderstanding of mental illness can lead to witch-hunts defined a lot of this genre's codes. It was made as a documentary, but the vision of its director, Benjamin Christensen, transformed the dramatised sequences into something both beautiful and scary. The film is from 1922 and was very innovative and disturbing. When it came out, it was banned in the US and in many other countries. The direction of photography is inspired by dark classical painters, like Bosch or Rembrandt, which make it timeless. I think this film still has a lot to tell us today. With its very early feminist tone and its true indictment against obscurantism, this film is in a way strongly echoing our times. Christensen was a true visionary and I hope people will discover his work through this project.

3) Where will you be performing next?
I’ll start a tour this winter that will be announced later on. I can already say that there will be some very exciting experiences, like playing in the castle of a city historically known for it’s witchcraft culture. I’m working with the great photographer, Nona Limmen, on an exhibition linked to the show. With Maxime Perbellini, a French historian specialised in medieval witchcraft, and we will certainly do some conferences too. I’ve also work with my dear friend, Biorn Ivemark, a doctor in sociology and translator from Sweden, and a photographer called Emmanuel Ligner.

4) Where can we find out more about your music?
You can follow my Facebook page "Abraham Fogg" for further announcements and the website of my company: www.collectifopera.com




Thursday, 8 February 2018

KindleScout

My forthcoming collection has been accepted for KindleScout. This means you can read it and nominate it. If it gets enough nominations, I'll be able to sign a gargantuan book deal that will allow me to spend more time writing stories you love. Check it out here: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3PDH4KZWOZHYN



The Animal Inside is a collection of thirteen strange and twisted stories that will take you for a walk along the fine line between insanity and reason, the peculiar and the prosaic, and the animal kingdom and human society, then leave you wondering where one ends and the other begins. These tales will confuse you, amuse you, shock you, and intrigue you, but they will also cause you to question the world and contemplate your own animal inside.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Paperback Giveaway: The Tunnel Runner

Would you like to start 2018 with a FREE paperback copy of The Tunnel Runner by Cameron Trost?
For your chance to win, simply click on Enter Giveaway below.

If you don't like free books, you can buy a copy here: The Tunnel Runner, print or ebook

Please share this giveaway with your family and friends, and join Cameron on Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon.



Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Tunnel Runner by Cameron Trost

The Tunnel Runner

by Cameron Trost

Giveaway ends January 06, 2018.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Friday, 8 December 2017

Like Sisters

I would like to thank P. Emerson Williams for his wonderful artwork which accompanies by short tale of sororal suspense, Like Sisters. It features in Morpheus Tales #31.

https://www.amazon.com/Morpheus-Tales-31-Ebook-Magazine-ebook/dp/B077S5LLHY/

The thirty-first issue of the UK's most controversial weird fiction magazine is out now and features Black Raindrop By Christopher T. Hamel Illustration By Greg Chapman, The Experimental Man By Todd Outcalt, Dark Work By Shamus McGillicuddy Illustrated By Jeffrey Oleniacz, Once We Were All Readers By Richard Farren Barber, Bodies By Chuck Lyons, The Screecher By Anthony Watson, Child Of His Desire By Alan Loewen, Like Sisters By Cameron Trost Illustration By P. Emerson Williams. Read the magazine Christopher Fowler calls "edgy and dark".


Saturday, 29 July 2017

Oscar Tremont, Investigator of the Strange and Inexplicable


After years of training, honing his skills in the art of detection, Oscar Tremont is set to make his inaugural appearance. Are you ready? "The Hunt for the Stayne Fortune" finds our hero cracking codes, donning disguises, and saving the day. This novella is for fans of old-fashioned mystery with Victorian charm and spirit in a contemporary setting.

Let's whet your appetite with a few facts about Oscar Tremont! 

Favourite beverage: Whisky, preferably Lagavulin
Bad habit: Breaking and entering
Good habit: Following his conscience (even if that means breaking and entering)
Distinguishing features: His musketeer moustache
Achilles' heel: Now, that would be telling! 


Join the virtual launch and preorder your Kindle copy today!




Saturday, 18 March 2017

Into the Woods: An Anthology of Sylvan Stories

"Forgotten Falls", a sylvan story about a German metaphysicist on a personal journey to a haunted waterfall in remote Australia, is out now in "Into the Woods". It joins a host of atmospheric tales set in forests from the likes of Ramsey Campbell and Tracy Fahey. Hannah Kate, the editor, has kindly answered a few questions about the anthology, forests, and her publishing project, Hic Dragones.

 1. The title of the anthology, Into the Woods, is very evocative. What inspired you to choose this theme?

A lot of our favourite fiction has a distinctive sense of place – from Stephen King’s New England to Agatha Christie’s country houses – and so we do tend towards publishing stories that have a strong connection to particular spaces (real and fictional). The novels we’ve published all have this – with the seaside (Blood and Water), the city (Aimee and the Bear and Psychic Spiders!) and the forest (The Tattooed Wolf) – and our anthologies also tend to have this focus. A lot of the stories in Hauntings focused on uncanny and unsettling inside spaces, so it made sense that our next collection would be outside. The woods were an obvious choice, because there are just so many different types of forests and woodlands, and they evoke so many different types of response.

2. Do you have a favourite forest, and what draws you to it?

I have a soft spot for those ‘forests’ that are called ‘semi-natural woodland’ in the UK. These are patches of woodland that have mostly grown up naturally – often on the site of ancient forests – but which may only be a few hundred years old and may be the result of replanting. As a child, I lived near Inglewood Forest in Cumbria and then next to Blackley Forest in Manchester, so these are the sorts of woods that I’m used to. What fascinates me about these woodlands is the way the history of trees interweaves with the history of people. Trees are felled and houses built, but then houses are demolished and a forest is planted. I think people often overlook this complex history, because they assume that a forest is either ancient woodland or a new cultivation, and that once a forest is cut down that’s the end of the story. I like the places in between, the places that aren’t ancient but aren’t new either. My story in Into the Woods takes place in urban woodland spaces – those places where the trees came back. Officially, these woodlands are created and maintained by people… but maybe the forest also finds its own ways to exert control?

My current favourite examples of urban woodland spaces are all in North Manchester: Bowker Bank Woods (in Crumpsall), Baileys Wood (in Blackley) and Boggart Hole Clough (also in Blackley).

3. Forests have always had a deep-rooted effect on the human psyche, whether as places of refuge or of danger. Why do you think this is? Has this changed over time as the world’s forests dwindle?

I think our fascination with forests goes hand-in-hand with our project of deforestation, to be honest. In Britain, ancient forests began to be systematically cut down during the Anglo-Saxon period (it’s not a new phenomenon!), but a kind of folk memory of the forest has persisted. For instance, despite the fact that it hasn’t been true for over a millennium (if, indeed, it was ever true), it’s still reasonably well-known that once upon a time you could cross the entire country without ever touching the ground. On the one hand, I think there’s a nostalgia about the forest – it’s part of the ancient landscape, and so it’s a romantic and imaginative place. On the other hand, there’s a sort of buried guilt about its destruction – it’s something natural and powerful that was destroyed (is still being destroyed) by the relentless march of human progress. In a way, it’s a bit like our relationship with certain wild animals, like wolves (in the UK particularly). We don’t have to live in the forest with the wolves anymore, so we’re free to idealise and romanticise them – but we also know it was us that killed the wolves and uprooted the trees, and there’s always the fear of being somehow held to account one day.

4. What are your aims for Hic Dragones?

Hic Dragones is a micropress with ambitions of becoming a small press – we’re not after global domination just yet! At the moment, we’re focusing on publishing a small number of new books each year, and on publishing our new editions of Victorian penny dreadfuls. As well as Into the Woods, we have another anthology coming out this year (Nothing) and then we’ll be opening submissions for our next project. We’re currently publishing instalments of our edition of George Reynolds’s Faust – an early Victorian penny dreadful about the man who sold his soul to the devil. We’re really pleased to be able to publish Faust, as this is the first modern edition of Reynolds’s serial, and we’ve been able to include the original illustrations as well. Once Faust comes to the end of its run, we’re going to be announcing the publication dates for Spring Heel’d Jack. In a nutshell, I guess our aims are pretty simple: we just want to keep publishing stories that we like and encouraging people to read them!

5. You chose to include my story, Forgotten Falls, in the anthology. Thanks, by the way. What was it that appealed to you?

For me, the story’s appeal lay in the way that all-important sense of place was combined with a sense of character. Without any heavy-handed exposition, we get to know the protagonist Schenker and the things that have brought him to where he is at the start of the story – but Schenker’s history (and his future) are completely bound up with the forest in which he finds himself. He believes he is completely in control of his surroundings – in fact, he’s so busy thinking about people that he barely gives the forest itself a second though – but is he really in control?

Another thing I liked about the story was the type of forest that you chose. As I said, there are so many different types of woods and forests, so we were keen to reflect this in the stories we chose. ‘Forgotten Falls’ takes us to a subtropical rainforest, a place that’s very different from the ancient forests, urban woodlands and patches of wilderness found in other stories in the collection. One of the real pleasures of putting together Into the Woods came from seeing the ways in which writers evoked such an interesting array of settings.

6. Lastly, where can we buy a copy?

The book is available in paperback and eBook from our website and from all good online retailers, including Amazon. For readers in the UK, the paperback edition can also be ordered by local bookshops and libraries.

Bio: Hannah Kate is an editor and writer based in North Manchester. She is the founder and editor-in-chief at Hic Dragones, and has had stories and poetry published in a number of anthologies and magazines. She also presents a weekly literature show on North Manchester FM, imaginatively entitled Hannah’s Bookshelf, and she is currently the treasurer of the Friends of Crumpsall Park.

Links: Hic Dragones – www.hic-dragones.co.uk (FB: hicdragones, Twitter: @HicDragones) Hannah Kate – hannahkate.net (FB: HannahsBookshelf, Twitter: @HannahKateish)


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The Man behind the Shadows

It's Christmas soon - very soon - and bookworms know what that means, right? Yes, you got it, ghost story time! "The Sorrowful Wife" is one of three ghost stories of mine to be published in 2016; an eerie accomplishment that took me by surprise. Mark Nixon, the editor of Shadows at the Door, which is a fully illustrated hardcover anthology of new ghost tales in the old tradition, has kindly accepted to answer a few questions for you, the fan of all things phantasmal.

1. What inspired you to produce Shadows at the Door? 
A love of classical horror and sharing stories. Ghost Stories are meant to be shared, and that's exactly why shadowsatthedoor.com was founded. To tell new and terrifying horror stories in an accessible way. Of course, after a while, fans of the site began to call out for a published book featuring their favourite authors, and I'm nothing if not a servant to them.

2. Where did the idea for the title come from?
Shadows at the Door represents what I believe is the true strength of horror: the implied. Once you see a monster, or a killer, fear can be deconstructed, you can plan, spot weaknesses and so on. But the unknown? A silhouette stood at the foot of your bed? Well, that could be anything, and that's terrifying! Anyone who has been home alone and spotted an unknown shadow at the door knows true fear.

3. Why would the anthology make for a great Christmas gift?
Ghost Stories are a quintessential part of Christmas, it's one of life's great pleasures to sit by the fire and read a pleasing terror. M.R. James in particular continued this tradition and many of the stories in the anthology are inspired by him. It's also a beautifully presented book, and a handsome addition to any bookshelf.

4. What are your other (not in this anthology) favourite ghost stories?
How much time do you have? I'll limit myself to some favourites such as Oh Whistle and I'll Come to you My Lad, The Signalman, Rats, Canon Alberic''s Scrapbook, The Monkey's Paw, The Upper Berth, The Mezzotint, Number 13 and controversially, The Price as I'd like to think it counts as a ghost story.

5. Where can we grab a copy of the anthology?
Hardbacks can be bought on the Shadows at the Door website, and the ebook is coming to Amazon before Christmas. The fully scored Audiobook is due in the near year!

Thank you, Mark.