Tales Dark and Light

It's been almost a year now since The Killer You Know was released here in the UK and in the US, and I'm really grateful for the kind words and reviews that readers having taken the time to share. In a world busy with books, it's never not wonderful to have someone choose old Killer McDebutface to occupy 14 or so hours of their short life on earth. 

Some noteworthy occurrences:

Killer picked up some fun press reviews in the aftermath of the release. The Irish Independent featured it as their book of the week, and Publishers Weekly ("arresting"), Crimereads ("richly drawn"), The Sun ("a blinder"), and The Morning Star ("irresistible"), also wrote some things that were bloody lovely. They're certainly more encouraging than any reviews I got as a musician, or even as a general human. 

I was also tickled by The Booktrail website including a The Killer You Know walking trail (!) on their site, featuring quite a few of the real life Midlands locations in the book. And over at Crimereads again, I wrote an article on Friendship Noir, which includes a list of 7 thrillers about troublesome friendship groups.

I've been working really hard on a new novel, and it's taking a bit longer than I anticipated because I really want to get it right. I think it will be worth the wait though. I've also had two children in the time since Killer sold, one mid-pandemic, so things are exciting and inspiring--even if as I write this I can't leave the house.

I will have two new releases this year, though, both of them in short story anthologies: one called Afraid of the Light, and one called Footsteps in the Dark. This light-dark theme is completely accidental, by the way. 

Afraid of the Light
is a crime and thriller anthology that myself and 13 other writers have put together following the outbreak of COVID-19. It features a moving introduction from Alex North, as well as some brilliant stories, with all author royalties will go to Samaritans. My contribution is a very lightly revamped reprint of my story Loveable Alan Atcliffe, and is set in the town just next door to Blythe, (the setting of Killer)

You can read more about the anthology here, and an interview with all the participants, including me, here. I also wrote an article for Writers and Artists about short story writing called Starting Small, which can be read here. Writing something for W&A brings things full circle for me, as not that long ago (at least in my head) I was hauling around a battered copy of their Yearbook everywhere I went, dreaming of one day pestering the many listed agents with my first three chapters and synopsis.

The anthology is only 99p on ebook, too, so please do grab a copy and leave a review should you wish. It's available here.

Il gioco della devozione (Italian Edition) by [S.R. Masters, Doriana Comerlati]Footsteps in the Dark is an anthology being released by Flame Tree Press, and features a completely brand new story called The Cure for Boredom. Not only is this set in the same Blythe-adjacent village mentioned above, I wrote it while in the same headspace as Killer, and I think it makes a really good companion piece to the novel. It's available in a number of different formats, but I'm really excited about the deluxe gold and silver foil stamped hardback (!), available here. 

Finally, the current pandemic has meant that the Italian edition of The Killer You Know, entitled Il Gioco Della Devozione, was moved from March to June 18th. It may be moved again, and I'll update this if that's the case. With a lot of my relatives in Italy, I'm really excited for the book to find its readers there. And it will also be the first time Killer is released in Hardback, which makes it extra special. 

I hope you are all well, and that you're finding reading books as much of an escape as I am during these strange and troubling times. Keep safe and well.