Friday, 30 October 2015

The Ghost Writer: Out Now!

Albert Brownlow is a collector of ghost stories, although he has never found one that has rung true. Until now.

In the village of Amblesford lies a house, known for miles around as a place of ill omen, where the stench of death hangs in the air and the shadow of the hanging tree can be seen by the light of the full moon. Into this fell place comes the ghost writer, an antiquarian and writer of tall tales, whose curiosity leads him to darker places than even his imagination can conjure…

This is a story of hubris, loneliness, and friendship. It is a story of dark deeds and darker souls that can haunt a place beyond all reason.

It is a story of death.

Earlier this year, I wrote a ghost story.

This wasn’t for any particular reason, other than the fact that I wanted to write something a bit scary, and short-form, for my own enjoyment rather than on-commission, as so many short stories are. There was an element of an academic exercise to it, too, because I really wanted to write something in the style of my horror hero, M. R. James. For that reason, the story is set in days gone by (I plumped for the 1920s), and features an antiquarian getting himself into a spot of supernatural bother.

As I wrote, the story took on a life of its own. It went through seven iterations, eventually becoming rather long—too long, in fact, to be considered a short story any more. And so my novelette was born. I call it The Ghost Writer.

The Ghost Writer is an English ghost story in the classic style, albeit with a hard edge that might be more impactful to the modern reader. I’ve gone for atmosphere rather than blood and guts, suggestion rather than reveal, and a dash of ambiguity that I hope will have people discussing the truth of the protagonist’s tale long after Halloween is passed.

Indeed, as Halloween is now upon us, and the season for reading ghost stories is nigh, I’ve formatted and uploaded The Ghost Writer to various online booksellers (links to follow). It’s at this time of the year that I always dig out my copy of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary or Walter de la Mare’s Short Stories, and I’d encourage all of my readers to do the same, because those gents really are the masters of an art form that has many imitators but no true rivals. If The Ghost Writer were to appear on your winter reading list alongside one of those greats, I would be honoured indeed!

You can buy The Ghost Writer from Amazon here, or Smashwords here, in various digital formats.

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