Legion: Chapter 1





The room stank of death. A syrupy sweet odour melding with a brown, noxious rot. Sweat, blood, piss, and filth. It was all there. The blanket stench of the infirm.

Hospitals. If ever there were a place John Windsor loathed, it was hospitals. Prime Ministerial obligation was the only reason he inhabited one now, and the last time he had entered one voluntarily his granny Margaret gave in to the smoker’s curse and let lung cancer take her. He’d been twenty years old, but he remembered it as being the very last time he had cried. His Law degree completed not long after, he had begun his journey to the courtrooms, where emotion was a hindrance. Now, twenty years later he was the youngest Prime Minister of the 21st Century, the prospects of his own hospital stay still many years distant. Being faced with other people’s impending death was an unwelcome task, even if a necessary part of the job, and he was counting the minutes until he could leave.

A sycophantic nurse waddled over, a proud grin on her chubby face. No doubt she felt important, getting the job of shaking the PM’s hand, but the truth was she would be forgotten the moment he turned his back. Some people held such small ambition, yet he did not deny her the small moment of victory. Leaning forward, he paired the hearty handshake with a peck on the cheek that sent the woman giddy. He fought the urge to wipe his mouth on his sleeve afterwards.

The plump woman gushed. “We’re so glad to have you here, Prime Minister.”

John smiled, certain he could taste the woman’s sweat on his lips. “It’s my pleasure, Joan.” Good spot on the name badge. Plebs love it when you used their names. “It’s a wonderful job you’re doing here.”

“We do what we can. It’s a hard job, but so vital. We had our funding cut last-”

“Shall we take the tour?” said John, waving a hand towards the ward. Cramped tent cubicles filled it, and likely housed various dying occupants. So much money just to park the nearly dead. So inefficient.
“Oh yes, of course, the tour.” The nurse nodded. “This is the oncology ward where we care for stage 4 patients. I would introduce you to our guests, but most will be sleeping. Best not to disturb them.”

John nodded gravely although it was great news. He had held little desire to look upon the diseased. “Of course, Joan. You are an angel to these people.”

“Me? Oh no, I’m just one woman doing what she-”

“Shall we move on?”

“Yes, Prime Minister, of course. There is lots to see.”

And lots to see there was—a dreadful amount in fact. John endured over an hour of sweaty handshakes and prattling small talk. In the children’s ward, he had to go so far as to kiss a collection of clammy foreheads (his PR Secretary’s idea, not his). By the time John looped back around to where he had begun, exhaustion had set in. Two bodyguards accompanied him the entire time and looked just as bored as he was.

It was time to go. Continue Reading →

Top 10 End of the World Novels




Top 10 End of the World Novels

Hi guys. My sequel to The Gates will be out very shortly and as a way of getting you in the mood for some good apocalyptic fun, I wanted to give you my Top 10 End of the World Novels.

Here we go. In no particular order:

THE STAND

Let’s begin with the book that everyone will demand I include. Stephen King’s The Stand is a classic, and for good reason. Few books are as epic, and the amount of characters to connect with is astonishing. Everyone has their favourites like Stu or Nick, but the bad guys are equally as appealing and in many ways are grey of morality than outright black. What I love is that nearly everyone gets a character arc. No one is static and they all change (for better or worse). The book begins with a devastating plague, but the true theme of the book is simple: Human Conflict. Goddamn you, Harold.

“First came the days of the plague…
After the days of the plague came the dreams.
Dark dreams that warned of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the night roads. The warlord of the charnel house and Prince of Evil.
His time is at hand. His empire grows in the west and the Apocalypse looms…”

Continue Reading →

Should you self-publish in 2016?




Should you self-publish in 2016?

Yes, so long as you set realistic expectations. Wanting too much too fast will deflate your passion quicker than a monkey in your underwear drawer (I have no idea what that means).

So, what is my story of self-publishing? In early 2011 I was in my 5th or 6th year of being a mobile phone salesman in a shop. For the last few years, I had flittered between companies and into and out of management positions (I was never any good at cracking the whip). I was constantly stressed and miserable–mostly because I loathed what I did. Everyday, I grew more and more irritable with the public, and a little bit lazier with my efforts to sell to them. Every morning, I wanted to cry rather than go in and face another day. And don’t even get me started on the immoral area managers who expected results at any cost (Simon Little I am calling you out, bitch!) and felt it was right to treat staff like dirt. Phones4U went bust a couple of years ago and I can’t say I wasn’t a little pleased to see such a dishonest company fall. By that time I was already earning a shit load of cash doing what I love. Charlie, I was winning! Continue Reading →

Technical difficulties

Y U NO?Hi guys. Really sorry about the technical difficulties with the site over the last 24 hours. The server went down for a while which was so stressful that I barely slept last night. My website is now one of my most important assets and I have spent months getting it how I want it. Fortunately, everything is now back in operation, however sadly we lost yesterday’s post – TOP 10 MODERN HORROR NOVELS.

RIP. You’re brightness shone for too short a time.

I will seek to post a new top 10 early next week and will include the link in the next email update. Once again, I’m sorry everyone!

Iain

Authors Build your Twitter Audience




Authors Build Your Twitter Audience

Six months ago, I had 250 Twitter followers and posted perhaps once a month. I didn’t understand Twitter. It seemed like an incomprehensible stream of nonsense. But I also knew that it was important. A tool that could be harness by the wily self published author. So I did what I usually do when I want to improve an area of my business: I obsessed over it. I researched it. And I learned from those who knew better than me. Today I am closing in on 30k Twitter followers and I have a regular stream of traffic going from Twitter to my website. It was pretty easy to do once I learned how. I’m going to tell you what I did.

However, before telling you how I turned things around, I just want to warn you that Twitter traffic isn’t something I’ve found to be high value. Most of the traffic I generate seems to do very little, but as part of my overall strategy of creating ‘funnels’ Twitter has been providing me with a slow trickle of sales and newsletter signups. So authors build your twitter audience!

Continue Reading →

Interviewed by fellow author, Ken Hughes


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Today I was interviewed by fellow author, Ken Hughes (www.kenhughesauthor.com). Here’s how the conversation went:

1. Let’s start at the beginning: how did you know you wanted the kinds of supernatural forces you use in your writing?

tumblr_nvnvq7PkG61t8w028o1_500Growing up, I loved the X-Files, theOuter Limits, Dawn of the Dead, Buffy and Angel, and lots of other horror/fantasy products. I was also reading the books of Stephen King and James Herbert. For some reason, these were the things I loved, and I wanted to live in these scary worlds all the time. By writing my own worlds I get to spend even more time in the place I love to be—fighting for my life against monsters and ghosts. Maybe I love the thrill, but I also love the themes of death, loss, and adversity ever-present within the horror genre.

2. Magic can open a whole set of doors (and pitfalls) in the plot of a story, with new opportunities for characters. How has your concept of the supernatural meshed with your plots?

I have a tendency to weave my plots and characters together, which makes things very complicated to keep in order. I am slowly building a multi-verse which will have characters jumping between worlds. It’s hard work. When the rules don’t apply then you have to restrict yourself or your plots will end up unravelling all over the place! Continue Reading →