Posts Tagged ‘David Moody’

Green and Pleasant Land (Great British Horror 1) edited by Steve J. Shaw

October 15, 2016 - 6:34 pm No Comments

Green and Pleasant Land (Great British Horror 1) edited by Steve J. Shaw: Authors: Jasper Bark, A.K. Benedict, Ray Cluley, James Everington, Rich Hawkins, V.H. Leslie, Laura Mauro, Adam Millard, David Moody, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Barbie Wilde

Published by Black Shuck Books on 24th September 2016

275 Pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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11 stories all set in Britain. Each story set in a different part of Britain, each with its own horrors.

Hermaness by VH Leslie: A couple going on a hike, their relationship on the rocks (no pun intended) and the oppressing fog. Throughout this story, you could sense that something was going happen, the way the author described the scenery you could imagine walking across the clifftop. I completely underestimated the ending.

Meat for the Field by Rich Hawkins: Many times I have driven through a small village and wonder what secrets the community are hiding. This story is about one such village. Everyone is excited about the up-coming festival except Gregor, the keeper of the cornfield. The author kept the mystery of the festival right to end of this story, building up the suspense and Gregor’s torment.

Strange as Angels by Laura Mauro: What do you do when you find a strange flying creature, this was the dilemma that Frankie had. Frankie had used Jimmy as a crutch through most of her adult life, but caring for this creature made her a stronger person. She began to realise just the type of person Jimmy was and that she could stand on her own two feet. I loved the ending of this story and would like to read more of Frankie after the event.

The Castlemarch Man by Ray Cluley: Charlie was a treasure hunter, but not your metal detector type, he uses GPS co-ordinates to find the trinkets. This story is about Charlie going back to Wales a year after the event, but what event we don’t find out till the end. The author mentions the lead up to the event throughout the story and although you know something has happened to Charlie’s wife Lyndsey, you don’t find out till the end. The Castlemarch Man reminded me of an urban myth, whilst you know he does not exist, there is always that small doubt in the back of your mind.

Ostrich by David Moody: A story about a woman who although having everything in life, is not happy. This story reminded me of an episode of the TV series Tales of the Unexpected and it was apt that the episode I was thinking about was mentioned in the story. You could sense her unhappiness with the obsessive nature of her husband and his lawn. I loved that at the end she found happiness in her new surroundings.

Blue Eyes by Barbie Wilde: I loved this story and the dilemma that Gazza had, when he came across the most beautiful woman with amazing blue eyes. Although you knew that he had already made up his mind to do the act, the ending was a surprise and I must be honest, I found the ending really funny and was laughing way after I had finished the story.

A Glimpse of Red by James Everington: I started off thinking this story was about Beyza and Altan and their life in witness protection. The further I got into this story I started doubting myself, was Beyza having a nervous breakdown, did Altan get taken to stop her testifying. The story was intriguing and even after I had finished the story, I was still thinking about it. This story left my emotions confused as on one hand I felt sorry for her as she had lost her child but then I would think that she was the cause.

Mr Denning Sings by Simon Kurt Unsworth: A Sunday morning church service, an unusual setting for a horror story. Mr Denning enjoyed his Sunday worship, but this Sunday is was disturbed by a mystical creature and a cough. The story was written with a lot of detail and it felt you were at the service hearing the cough. I can imagine what happened to Mr Denning at the end but I would love to read more.

He waits on the Upland by Adam Millard: A main concern of any farmer, is the safety of their livestock, but when the sheep on Graham’s farm gets mutilated he is obsessed in tracking down the culprit. On top of this his wife Jenny is ill, adding to the stress. Whilst reading this story you could feel Graham’s anxiety and although he had little patient with his wife, he was worried about her. The ending was unexpected and I don’t know who was more surprised Graham or I.

Misericord by AK Benedict: Isabelle has spent her whole career studying carvings in churches and with her fiancée Katie spent one afternoon looking at carvings, in quite an old church. That was until something terrible happens.  When I have been in an old church I have been curious about the carvings on display and I loved the way the author incorporated these to tell the story. It kept my interest to the end as I thought that the reverend knew more than what she was letting on, she felt like she was a big cat stalking her prey. The ending made my skin crawl as I have never liked flying ants and this story just enforced that feeling.

Quiet Places by Jasper Bark: We first come across Sally caring for the village folk that are all comatosed. Going back to when they moved into the village, Sally hoped that it would help David open up, but when they come across The Beast, things take a turn for the worse. Running through the story is a creepy voice which is known as Hettie of the Hedgerow. Researching the family history and the local folklore Sally finds out that the Beast is the fault of an ancestor. Whilst reading the scenes in the forest I had goosebumps and you could sense that it was leading up to a final showdown. The suspense carried throughout the story, but even I could not predict the outcome. You could feel the desperation in Sally and the need to help David and his dark moods. For me Hettie was more horrific than the beast as it certainly knew how to play Sally

This book is a great read and congratulations to Steve Shaw for picking 11 great authors. Each story is so different and I loved every single one. I hope there will be 2nd book in the future.

 

Reviews Coming Soon

March 5, 2014 - 10:21 am No Comments

As you can imagine my reading list is quite full, but to intrigue you and entice you into reading my blog, here are some of the reviews you can expect to read over the next two months:

The Darkness Within: Final Cut
Sam Stone

Snowblind
Christopher Golden with

The Pretenders: Book One (Graphic Novel)
Christopher Golden and Charlaine Harris

The Language of Dying
Sarah Pinborough

The League of Sharks
David Logan

The Axe Factor
Colin Cotterill

Once Upon a Time in Hell
Guy Adams

Stuck on You
Jasper Bark

Best British Horror 2014
(Ed) Johnny Mains

Straight to You
David Moody

Ack Ack Macaque & Hive Monkey
Gareth L Powell

Where You Live
Gary McMahon

And that’s just for starters! I’ll also be posting reviews for DVDs and book reviews by Andy Angel. on my www.theresa-derwin.co.uk site I’ll also regularly blog about my plans for KnightWatch Press and about formidable Women in Horror

Moody & Simmons Double Act

July 8, 2013 - 1:05 pm 1 Comment

This is Horror: Moody & Simmons Double Act

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On Saturday 29th June 13 at 7pm I joined an intimate audience of around twenty horror fans or so to meet David Moody and Wayne Simmons as they chatted about all things horror and the writing industry. This bizarre double act, better known as the Mitchell Brothers of Horror, were as fun and lively as you would expect; and some of their stories were a bit off the wall.

The two met in 2005 . Following the Dawn of the Dead remake, Wayne found himself looking for zombie books. Believe it or not, there were very few people writing in the sub-genre back then. Wayne looked at ‘All Things Zombie’ and found David’s site. David was giving away his first book free as an ebook. Now, back in the anals of history, there were no such things as kindles or nooks, and David was giving away a PDF version. To this day, he still gets fans arrive with a tattered old self printed manuscript to be signed. What appealed to Wayne at that time as a reader, was that David was doing things differently, and his books were very unlike anything he had seen before in the genre. After conversations with Dabid, Wayne sent him a short story, which would later become his debut novel Drop Dead Gorgeous. This, again, diversifying from the ‘norm’ of zombie fiction, was set in Northern Ireland, Wayne’s hometown, and looked at the dynamics and tensions prevalent in NI. From then, we have a tale that is reminiscent of Abbot and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Morecombe and Wise . . . Moody & Simmons’ paths kept crossing, and from their, grew, if you’ll pardon the pun, the Never Trust a Man with Hair Tour. Despite the gradual deterioration of book signing events at stores, both Moody & Simmons state that the Waterstone’s staff have been brilliant, and in fact, this event which took place at the Esquires Coffee Shop in Coventry was supported by Rich at Waterstones.

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David talked briefly in retrospect about when he hosted the signing of James Herbert’s Ash where there was an endless line of people in the queue. This was a real culture shock for David, as despite his success, he is pretty much still an Indie Horror author, much like Wayne.
When Wayne started to see some success, he says he ‘worked his ass off’ to get the book in the stores, and it wasn’t easy. He found himself in the position of having to buy back the rights to his own book and funding the delivery of DDG to Forbidden Planet stores himself. This took a lot of attitude and persistence, but proves the power of hard work and the talent of Wayne as a writer.
As for David, his first book Straight to You is currently being rewritten for a re-release, but initially, it was a self published book, born as a result of David’s redundancy package, a pittance I would imagine, but a pittance that allowed him to get his name out there. It was important for both writers that they get their readership, more than anything. From downloads, David went for Print on Demand and the sales were steady. Then came the release of Hater with an email following a month later from LA, asking for the film rights to Hater. After going through his friends to see who may have played a practical joke, the email and subsequent call turned out to be genuine – and the man touted to produce/direct? Guillermo Del Toro. Yep, he of Pan’s Labyrinth fame. From there, a publisher in NY took on David’s books. Though not to the same scale, Wayne’s career hit a similar high when he submitted Flu to Snowbooks. This was at about the same time swine flu hit and the book sold through three print runs in six months, astounding!
I could go on for ages with the things the double act talked about in two short hours, but my fingers are already starting to hurt. However, I’ll finish with one small story, then a few gems of quotes from the Mitchell brothers of Horror.
David finished off by telling us about his worst ‘review’ ever, though both David & Wayne agree that you can learn so much from reviews. David apparently received an email from a man invoicing him for the time wasted spent reading Autumn. Obviously, this man has no taste!
So no, on to the quotes of the evening:
DM: I’m a frustrated filmmaker’
DM ‘I couldn’t get rid of these stories that I wanted to tell.’
WS: ‘I write as I go along, from an idea that sparks me off. I normally start with two characters interacting.’

Plastic Jesus by Wayne is out Nov 13. David is currently working on the re-write of Straight to You, but has just released his collection of Autumn stories, Autumn: The Human Condition from Infected Books.

Continue reading for my review of this book:

Autumn: The Human Condition
Author: David Moody
Publisher: Infected Books
Page count: 448pp
Release Date: 1st July 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
The latest addition to David Moody’s Autumn series, is a large collection of stories spanning the five books in the Autumn sequence. The books tracks existing characters and new characters through their attempts to survive.
The vignettes start with the tale of Jake Wilson, who has moved to Canada with his family. His overprotective Mom Polly phones him in the early hours of the morning to tell him that Vancouver has gone silent. Something is happening, something big and dark and this excerpt reminds us that the events of the Autumn novels are on a global scale. The silence in Vancouver is spreading across North America, and it isn’t long before Polly’s family are silent too.
Next we ‘meet’ Amy Steadman, and this is where things get really interesting, as the book progresses, we get tales from the point-of-view of the dead. Amy is a 24-year old graduate, the ‘face’ of the lingerie boutique where she works selling designer goods, but Amy hates the way appearance matters so much. A good job really, because she won’t look very pretty for long!
It starts with a cough, people choking and collapsing all around the world and dying rapidly as they vomit blood. Then three days later they get up again.
Through different voices, Moody tells us how the world adjusts to what has happened. Moody captures the air of frantic panic and disbelief as the bodies start to fall and vehicles crash and planes fall out of the sky, destroying the cities and towns. Moody is a master auteur at describing the human condition as the title suggests. In the segment entitled ‘Innocence’ he further captures the fear and naivety of childhood in the face of this world defining disaster. Truly scary at times and moving, this is the perfect accompaniment to the Autumn universe. A must have for Moody fans.

You can find out more about Moody at http://www.infectedbooks.co.uk/ and Wayne at http://waynesimmons.org/blog/?page_id=135

Zom-B & Zom-B Underground

January 11, 2013 - 11:42 pm No Comments

Zom-B & Zom-B Underground
Author: Darren Shan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page count/size: 217/212pp
Release Date: 27th Sept 2012 & 3 Jan 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Darren Shan, successful children’s horror author, has launched this new zombie 12 part series for kids (and discerning adults). The first novel, Zom-B, starts in the Irish village of Palliskenry as young 11 year old Brian Barry searches amidst the zombie attacks for a responsible adult to save him, instead coming across a horrific creature whose version of salvation is to kill the boy. That is ‘Then’.
‘Now’ finds teenager B watching the outbreak disbelievingly on the TV news, scorning the news with Mom & Dad. And Dad is a class act by the way; regularly beating up Mom & B and supporting racist and bigoted political groups. Because of B’s Dad’s racism, B has a ‘secret friend’, Vinyl, a black boy named as such because his Dad works in a retro record store.
A good portion of the book is spent building up the tension as B tries to avoid falling into the same racist trap as Dad, whilst still ending up bullying kids. B is a confused character, loving and hating Dad at the same time, ashamed of Dad’s racism, whilst also longing for acceptance. This brings a whole new and interesting dimension to the novel, which surpasses the level of a good zombie romp, whilst still retaining this vibe.
There are some great visual horror touches to the book, particularly in B’s dream sequences, which are really quite creepy and in Zom-B Underground, the teenager’s first encounter with the strange Mr Dowling.
Visually, both books are strong as well, boasting fine interior artwork to illustrate key passages.
B Smith is, as mentioned earlier, a complex character, reminiscent of the likes if Danny McCoyne from David Moody’s Hater series; flawed, yet likeable.
There is so much more to this book than I expected there to be. With a couple if neat twists, some age appropriate visceral horror and laugh out loud humour, Shan again proves he is a top notch children’s writer.

This brings me on neatly to Zom-B Underground, the second book in the series released Jan 2013. This book starts with a quick summary of the events in the first book, before launching in with B Smith awakening after these events. In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I’m keeping this short & sweet. B wakes up in some sort of military complex, held prisoner underground and interrogated by doctors and the military. Eventually let into a relaxation area, B meets similar teenagers trapped in the underground complex. B has some difficult choices to make as the book progresses, and as with the first book, there is plenty of action, horrific moments and great character development.
I look forward to the next installment.

Domain of the Dead

November 24, 2012 - 3:23 pm No Comments

Domain of the Dead
Author: Iain McKinnon
Publisher: Permuted Press
Page count/size: 252pp
Release Date: 23rd Nov 2009
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

Featuring an introduction by horror author David Moody, this post zombie apoc novel jumps right in with the action, as lead female Sarah, holed up in a warehouse with a number of other survivors, hears a helicopter, a sign of hope for the disillusioned and starving group. This could be their only escape of chance, so a meeting is held and they decide the only possible way forward is to leave the sanctuary of the warehouse, where only four weeks supply of food remains, and hunt down the helicopter. Some of the group is rescued by the crew of the research ship Ishtar, assigned to find a cure, and they are brought there for safety
Professor Cutler, the obligatory arrogant, chauvinistic and genius scientist believes he has the answer. The character being, to be blunt, a dick, means his actions are somewhat predictable, though he does make the reader raise a wry smile in reaction. Sarah is a strong female lead and McKinnon has a distinctive narrative voice as he delivers an action packed, yet character driven, adventure.
The emotional aspect of this novel is welcoming; this isn’t just about guns against the walking dead (WDs), it’s about survival, loss, grief and companionship. McKinnon, through one of the doctors, also provides logical, scientific reasoning for the virus.
The novel leaves us with a cliff-hanger; though at firsts I was concerned McKinnon had forgotten about a number of characters stuck on the mainland, it appears he was teasing the reader ready for this cliff-hanger. Definitely left open for the sequel Remains of the Dead, which I look forward to reading, this novel is not only fun, it is memorable.