No official posts as such today but I couldn’t let the one year anniversary of Ghost Cities go by without comment. Yes, this website/blog is one year old today! The very first post New Zealand Ghosts went up on 9 September 2011 and the rest is history. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has ever visited and/or decided to follow this site and liked and/or commented on any of the posts that have appeared on it. It goes without saying that any website or blog is totally dependent on its visitors and Ghost Cities is no exception. I’d also like to re-affirm my commitment to scouring every corner of the world and every period in history for the very best ghost stories, urban legends, unsolved mysteries, tall tales and conspiracy theories; reviewing supernatural-themed short stories, novellas, plays, poems, novels, TV shows and films both old and new; and bringing you the best of my own work, both published and unpublished. I plan to be around as long as there’s someone out there who wants to read the content on this site and I hope you’ll all join me or stay along for the ride for as long as it lasts.
Once again, thanks all and I hope to celebrate many more anniversaries with you in the years to come!
Despite being almost thirty years old, Ghostbusters has weathered well and still has the ability to elicit a wistful smile from a generation old enough to remember the likes of Madness, Reaganomics, legwarmers and the glory years of Liverpool FC. That’s because Ghostbusters, being made in the middle part of the decade that taste forgot, is as Eighties as it is possible to get. You would think that in the cold, cynical world of 2012 the film would be a bit like an old Status Quo album – so many good memories, but is it wise to revisit, in case you realise it is actually a load of rubbish? Okay, for those too culturally snobbish and those too young to have ever experienced the Ghostbusters phenomenon, here’s the spiel: three young(ish) paranormal investigators are sacked from their positions at Columbia University and decide, once armed with a fireman’s pole and an old ambulance, to set up a ghost-busting service. Meanwhile, Dana Barratt (Sigourney Weaver) is having trouble with her fridge, possessed, it seems, by the spirit of – bear with me – Zuul, an ancient Babylonian and follower of Gozer, the Destructor. Ooh Er.
Anyone who enjoyed reading my post yesterday on ‘A History of Witchcraft’ may also be interested in my new novel Wydda, which has just been published as a Kindle e-book and is now available for download on the Amazon website. More details are below but Wydda is basically a story of witchcraft, paganism and the struggle between good and evil set in my own home town of Cambridge, England. It is also the first part of an ongoing series, The Eternal Struggle, which should appeal to regular readers of this blog and hopefully anyone else who has an interest in urban fantasy, mythic fiction and tales of mystery and the supernatural.
Just a quick post to say that I’ve got snazzy new usernames for both my Facebook profile and the Ghosts in the Cloisters’ fan page, both of which are below together with my Twitter details if you’d like to follow or get in touch with me via any of those forums (they will from now on also appear on this site’s ‘Contact’ page).
As an added treat, given the time of year, I’ve also included a suitably Christmassy extract from my own story Ghosts of Fairport (click to read!), one of the forthcoming sequels to Ghosts in the Cloisters, which I hope you’ll enjoy.
That’s all folks!
Christmas is here! Well, not quite, but for most of us the excitement of the festive season tends to start in earnest when November becomes December. Christmas is also a time that is associated with ghost stories every bit as much as Halloween for reasons that I hope to explore in future posts. For the moment, given that authors as esteemed as Charles Dickens and M R James made it their policy to write Christmas-themed ghost stories, I thought that I would share with you one of my own contributions to the genre of the seasonal chiller. The following extract from The Secret of Thorn Lodge (click to read!) is another unpublished short story from the world of Ghosts in the Cloisters. It is the tale of two students who arrive at an ancient country house just in time for Christmas. Needless to say, Thorn Lodge hides more than one nasty secret and this is one holiday that will prove anything but festive for the young couple. I hope everyone who reads the extract gets a pleasurable shudder, which is of course the response I’m hoping for!
PS Tune in tomorrow, same place, same sort-of-time for a post on the darker, pagan origins of the Yuletide season!
Check out my guest post The Haunted Bookshop on the excellent blogsite The Write Place, The Write Time of talented fellow writer Tiffany Dickerson.
Just a short one today. With Halloween approaching rapidly, I thought I’d treat (see what I did there?!) you all to some of my own work in the form of a sample from one of my own Halloween-themed stories. You won’t find The House on Banbury Road (click to read!) in the Ghosts in the Cloisters e-book which has been published but the full version of the story will be in the soon-to-be published paperback, which will also contain several more unpublished stories as well as a wealth of other material from this website and beyond (so watch this space!).
Regrettably, since the life of a writer is a busy one (especially when you also have a day job), the posts on this blog will henceforth be going out every other day rather than daily, as they have until now. Fear not, however, for I have lots of weird and wonderful ideas for posts going forward and I hope you all continue to enjoy and keep reading Ghost Cities.
Bye for now 🙂
Just to let everyone know that I’ve set up a Facebook fan page for my book, Ghosts in the Cloisters, so if you’d like to check it out click on the ‘Facebook’ link in the sidebar under ‘Blogroll’ (and if you like the book or this website you’re very welcome to join as well!).
There was a slight ‘glitch’ with Monday’s post ‘Books of the Dead’ so I’ve re-posted it below – apologies all round! I’ll be back with another brand new post this time tomorrow.
A few years ago Wordsworth Editions, a highly respected publishing house most famous for its range of classic literary fiction, published a line known intriguingly as Tales of Mystery & The Supernatural. This was a collection of works written by Victorian and Edwardian ghost story writers, including giants such as Bram Stoker, Wilkie Collins, M R James, H P Lovecraft and Rudyard Kipling as well as far less well known (but perhaps equally gifted, in this field at least) writers such as W F Harvey, Algernon Blackwood and Sir Andrew Caldecott. Their aim was to bring those works which have been forgotten undeservedly back to a mass audience for the acclaim that they deserve. Many of the short story collections that made up this line of Wordsworth editions had been out of print for decades, despite being some of the finest examples of the short story form in any genre. Sadly, the Tales of Mystery & The Supernatural are no longer being published, although there are still plenty available in the right bookshops (and online of course). I hope to talk about a number of the writers in this range in future posts but I thought I’d start with one of my favourites: William Hope Hodgson.
Just a quick one today.
I’ve often been asked what my greatest likes and dislikes are and I always answer, as I will now, with the words of a great man: “I can’t stand burnt toast. I loathe bus stations – terrible places, full of lost luggage and lost souls. And then there’s unrequited love, and tyranny, and cruelty.”