Posts Tagged ‘David Moody’

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.

Detachment – David Moody Blog

October 13, 2012 - 2:52 pm 1 Comment

To get you in the mood for Hallloween, I have a guest blog from successful horror author David Moody, who talks about . . .
DETACHMENT
David Moody
How many times have you been watching a movie or reading a book and you’ve found yourself screaming at the characters to not go down a particular dark hallway, or to stay away from a certain locked room? We curse these mindless idiots who stumble around in the dark for our entertainment, almost applauding when they get their inevitable comeuppance. Countless whole franchises are built on the premise that stupid people will be killed. Without these morons there would be no chainsaw massacres in Texas, no nightmares on Elm Street, and Friday 13th would be just like any other Friday down at Camp Crystal Lake.
But you know what? I think maybe we should go a bit easier on these gullible victims, and here’s why: there’s an enormous difference between doing and watching. In the heat of the moment, if it was you with your back to the wall, maybe you’d make the same fatal decisions they do. We’re watching from a distance. We have the benefit of detachment.
Have you ever been caving? Spelunking, some folks call it. I used to love it, back in the days when I had a). spare time and b). no responsibilities. I’d think nothing of suiting up and disappearing down into a hole in the ground with a load of mates for endless hours of crawling, squeezing and climbing through the cool darkness and eerie subterranean silence.
It was only when I got home and thought about what we’d been doing, that I realised how dangerous it could have been, and it was only then – post-event – that the nerves set in.
I remember a particular occasion – I was in the middle of a party of ten or so, and we had to get through a low tunnel to get any further forward. And by low, I mean low, as in crawling on your belly to get through. And did I mention the stream? Picture the scene… (I’m six foot tall and weigh about fifteen stone, by the way): ten similar-sized blokes, facedown, crawling over rock and mud through a passage no more than a metre wide, filled with running ice-cold water, and with just a few centimetres clearance above our heads. You had no choice – once you’d started to crawl, you had to keep going. There was no way of turning back, even if you wanted to – no space to turn around, and people directly behind and in front. I can still vividly remember the frequent banging of my safety helmet on the low rock ceiling above me, and the way my battery pack would often snag and stop me moving forward. I remember the lack of light – only being able to see the soles of the boots of the guy in front of me and a little of the surrounding area, often having to keep my head down because there wasn’t even enough room to look up. I remember the discomfort at the cavern’s lowest points, when the water and low ceiling combined to leave just enough room to keep breathing and drag myself through…
At the time, it was an adrenalin rush, and getting through and out the other side was an enormous buzz. But it was only afterwards that I started to question what the hell we’d just done. I remember getting home and having nightmares about that cave. Even now, many years later, writing about it has made me feel really uneasy because, with the benefit of hindsight, I’m thinking ‘what if?’ What if I’d got stuck? What if someone else had got stuck? What if we’d all been trapped down there? Can you imagine the horror – wedged underground, lamp batteries fading, claustrophobia building, numb with cold, bodies cramped, unable to even stand up… It really doesn’t bare thinking about, and maybe that’s why your mind keeps such thoughts at bay when you’re actually in danger. Dwell on the risks and you’ll start to panic. Start to panic and you’re probably screwed.
Like I said earlier, when we’re watching a movie or reading a book, we have the benefit of detachment. We’re separated from the action and, to an extent, the real emotion. So maybe we should give the protagonists of the horror stories we love a break? They’re running on nervous energy – fight or flight, sink or swim. Mark my words, they’ll feel it later when they stop and look back at what they’ve been through. That’s if they survive, of course!