Friday, 22 January 2010

A Quiet Weekend Away

I received my contributor copy of “The 4th Book Of Terror Tales” yesterday, where my story “A Quiet Weekend Away” nestles in with tales by such genre luminaries as Peter James, Neil Gaiman, Kim Newman, Simon Clark, Peter Crowther and Tony Richards. I’m very chuffed with it.

I thought it might be interesting (perhaps only to me) to include some of the background to the story, since there’s no ‘afterword’ in the book.

The story was written during October 2002 and originally sold to Durant Haire’s anthology “Beyond The Dust” which had a quite frankly stellar TOC but died when the publisher did. I knew I wanted to do something with ghosts and, at the time, there was a mobile phone ad on TV, where leaves and rain drops created faces and it struck me as quite a scary image. For some reason, that linked in with people being menaced by something they couldn’t see and plague pits (my mind works in mysterious ways). Once I had that, everything seemed to fall into the place with the final piece being a comment by my friend David Roberts (who often reads my stuff in draft, focussing on the folk-lore and medical aspects) about the nursery rhyme “Ring A Roses”. He also sent me a PDF of plague info, so as a thank you, I named the village Berstor, an anagram of Roberts. Sue Moorcroft, my critiquing partner, also helped me out, picking up a couple of bits I’d missed.

The research on York was from mine and Alison’s visits and also the Internet and the garage and its environs are based on the one just outside of Rothwell on the A14. The bit about the beggar in the park is real - it happened to me, on my first solo trip to London and has been sitting there for the best part of 16 years, waiting to fit into a story.

I'm thrilled it's finally found a home and in such a handsome volume too! Viva Rainfall Books!

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