Thursday, 15 December 2011

Children of the Plague

Just released on the Kindle my short story collection, it'll be interesting to see how it goes. This is of course my first attempt at self publishing an E-book.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Twisted Library- Anthologies cancelled.

Due to the poor financial conditions the Twisted Library (Library of the Living Dead and Library of Horror)have cancelled all of their unpublished anthologies. I'm a huge fan of its owner, Doctor Pus, and this is a very sad turn of events but hopefully this action will in the long run save the Library from fully closing. It does however give me lots of stories back, these include-
4 x zombie short stories
2 x zombie flash
1 x zombie poem!
1 x zombie v vampire mash up
1 x vampire short story
1 x werewolf short story
A couple of these stories are actually some of my best work ever so its pretty sad. It all comes to about 25,000 words now without a home, not sure what to do with them yet, might even hold onto them for a while, add to them and maybe even one day put them out as an e-book collection. I might even self published them for a pound or so a go.
What do you think?

Monday, 31 October 2011

Holiday of the Dead book signing

Here's some photos of the book signing which took place on Saturday in my home town of Glasgow, Scotland. Also attending were Iain McKinnon, Ian Paton, Matt Hilton, Tony Wright and Rod Glenn. I had a great time and a few of my family also popped along to give me some much appreciated support. As this was my first time I was shaking like a leaf beforehand but once I got started I was fine, or at least I think I was. And also I'd like to say a big thank you to the guys at Wild Wolf Publishing for firstly accepting my story and then organising this event.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Attempting a trilogy!

I must be mad, I'm attempting to write a trilogy- all three books at roughly the same time. They involve Maggie and Lucas as they fight evil around the world, Lucas is a priest belonging to a secret order and Maggie is a cop who he encounters in the first book.

The status and working title of each book is-

Fallen Angel- set in London and first draft complete. An evil angel returns to earth to seek her vengeance.

Rise of the Valkyrie- set in Edinburgh and outline done along with the first few chapters. Demons who feed on the dead are travelling backwards and forwards in time, increasing their powers as they await the final battle.

Flesh Hunters- set in Venice, outline done only. Investigating a series of bloody murders Maggie and Lucas discover that werewolves are real and their numbers are growing.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Book signing

Back off to my home town of Glasgow in a few weeks to do a book signing for the anthology Holiday of the Dead. Really looking forward to it but also very nervous as it'll be my first reading in public! There should also be a few of my family, my mother, father and sisters there so that's a wee bit of extra pressure as well :-(

I've started doing a few practice runs, and it looks like I'll be about twenty minutes, hopefully not everyone will be asleep by the time I'm finished.

My partner Pam will be there as well so should have a few pictures to show in a month or so. If anyone lives in Glasgow it's on the 29th October, Waterstone's on Sauchiehall Street from six o'clock.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Some updates

Its been a while so here are some updates on my ongoing projects

Fallen Angel
- First draft is at last complete and I'm now going through it again and doing the usual adding some bits and chopping some others. Hopefully in a couple of weeks it will be ready for some beta readers.
The first two chapters (unedited) are up on my website, please go and have a look-

Meta Horde
- This collab novel with Sean Page is now away at one of Sean's friends having a bit of an edit and a tidy up. Once that's done we'll decide what to do with it next. Really looking forward to seeing the finished product- I've got high hopes for this one.

Pyramid of the Dead
- My Inca/Zombie novel, still waiting to hear from the editor at my publishers, Library of the Living Dead Press, hopefully it wont be too much longer but it does seem to be dragging on a bit.

Last Train to Dover
- My zombie novel set in real time- I've had some great feedback from beta readers (and not all good thankfully) but I've put this on the back burner for a few weeks. I want to go back to it with fresh eyes as it may help with some of the issues.

Short stories
- only got one in the works at the moment. A disaster anthology where I was asked to fill one of the slots. That reminds me- I need to get that finished!!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Fallen Angel- update

Just a little update on my new project. I've changed the title slightly, dropping Daemon and just calling it Fallen Angel. Also I've basically chucked away the first outline and at least a few thousand words! Its now taken a different approach apart from the two main characters who I've kept. It's about a fallen angel, Lilith, and her plans to take over the world to get her long awaited revenge. A cop, Maggie McGuire and a priest, Father Michael Bowers fight to stop her. The full outline is done and most of the chapters have been started in a least a small way, but as usual I'm sure it will change quite a bit as things go on. I'll post some more updates but I'm hopeful that the first draft will be done by the end of July.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

New Voices in Horror

Jonathan Wood has kindly added me onto his blog section "New Voices in Horror" Please pop over to his site and have a look around. Many thanks to Jonathan for including me.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Another nice review for the Church

Steve at Zombie Zone News has posted a nice review up on his site. He liked the story but also raised a few areas for improvement, hopefully I will learn from these mistakes! Please pop over to his site and have a look.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Meta-Horde Update

Just a little update on the collab novel I'm doing with Sean Page. We've knocked around a few ideas and I've done a very rough 1st draft of the novel. Its only 51k as it still needs a few things added/taken away/changed but it feels like its a pretty good start. Its off with Sean now to have a look at so it'll be interesting to see what he says. Really enjoying the experience so far so fingers crossed that one day it will see the light of day.
More updates to come.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Alienology- Tales from the Void cover

This is the cover for another anthology I've been lucky enough to get in. I don't usually do much sci-fi so looking forward to this one coming out. It's from The Library of Horror, part of the LotLD family.

Holiday of the Dead Cover

Here's the amazing cover for Holiday of the Dead (formerly Wish you were Undead). I'm really happy to be in this anthology, its going to be huge! See the earlier post for the amazing list of authors involved.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

My new project

I've started doing a collaboration novel with Sean T Page, author of The Official Zombie Handbook and founder of The Ministry of Zombies.

Don't want to go into too many details at the moment but the book will be set in the already established "Ministry of Zombies" universe. The title of the book is Meta-horde and its coming along very nicely at the moment. The outline has been done, and changed a few times. The word count is about 20k so far and ticking along pretty well. Its been a pleasure working with Sean and we both have high hopes for this project.

I'll post a few more updates as things progress.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Wish you were Undead

Here's the line up for Wild Wolf's forthcoming zombie anthology. Some really big names in there and its a huge honour to be alongside them. Twin teenagers (named Jack and Katie after my nephew and neice) are on one last holiday with their father before they start to do their own thing. When the dead start to rise it might be their last in more ways than one.

Dark Inside By Shaun Jeffrey

Squawk By Remy Porter

Jennifer By Iain McKinnon

Cherry By Tony Wright

A Side of Cranberry Sauce By Clyde Wolfe

Dig By Lee Kelly

Apocalypse Noo By Vallon Jackson (aka Matt Hilton)

Thanksgiving Feast By A.M. Boyle

Oatmeal Cookies By Eric Dimbleby

In The End By R. M. Cochran

Naked Fear By Tonia Brown

Undead Side of the Moon By Lyle Perez-Tinics

Storm Coming Down By Iain S Paton

Rockets’ Red Glare By Bowie V Ibarra

Zombie World Death Perception By Calvin A. L. Miller II

School’s Out By Derek Gunn

Guises By S. Michael Nash

Ladykiller By Ricki Thomas

Daddy Dearest By Dave Jeffery

Sleep Comes Does Never By A. P. Fuchs

Roman Holiday By David Dunwoody

Larry and Hank’s Big Dead Fishing Adventure By Eric S Brown

Home Is The Sailor, Home From The Sea By William Meikle

Burj By Nigel Hall

A Dark Moon Honeymoon By Rob Smith

The Last Trip Together By John McCuaig

The Day The Music Died By Joe McKinney

Wabigoon By James Cheetham

The Four Of July By Shawn M Riddle

The Zombie Whisperer By Bob Lock

The Day I Discovered The Truth About The Man In The Red Suit By R. Phillip Roberts

December In Florida By Asher Wismer

One Dead Whore By Wayne Simmons

Seahouses Slaughterhouse By Rod Glenn

And a special bonus short story by Night of the Living Dead co-writer, John Russo ‘The Walk-In’

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Another great review for The Church

Sonar4 Landing Dock Reviews just posted a wonderful review for The Church.

Please pop over to their site to have a look.

I'm really pleased with what they had to say.

Here is a part of what they said-
McCuaig adds a special way of dealing with survival at the end of the world. He shows people in the most human condition ever told in a story. Faith, hope and what people long for in a crisis is shown here with eloquence.

The Church is an eye opener for people to look at certain others in a position of authority where faith takes priority, where fear of dying will make you do almost anything, listen to anyone, follow anyone.

The Church is a page-turner. It is not only entertaining, but mind-blowing. It is one that I know I will read over and over again.

Monday, 14 February 2011

A little update

I suppose to help myself as well I've knocked up this little update as to what I'm upto at the moment.


Pyramid of the Dead- accepted by the LotLD- just waiting for the editor to get in touch.

The Last Train to Dover- now completed, I've been lucky enough to get 3 beta readers to give it the once over before it goes into the next editing stage. I'm really looking forward to seeing what they think.

I've also started my next novel-
Daemon:Fallen Angel
Which is nothing to do with zombies! This is a supernatural thriller/horror and the outline is just about done. More details to come.

Some possible big news coming up- I can't say much yet but having discussions with a British writer/publisher about doing a collab novel set in an already well established zombie "world". I'm really excited about this but don't want to jinx it until its all been agreed- hopefully watch this space.
If this goes ahead it will no doubt go ahead of Daemon:Fallen Angel


Still doing a few and waiting to hear from about half a dozen. The great news is an acceptance from Wild Wolf Publishing for a little story called The Last Trip. This is about two teenagers away on the last holiday with their father before they get too old. But when the zombies attack it might be their last in more ways than one. There are some great authors in this one already, I'll update a bit more when the list comes out.

Speak to you soon.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Church- Chapter One

As a little taster I've now added Chapter One of my debut novel to my blog and website- please have a look.

1- How it Started

I slowly awake to the sounds of the birds singing in the apple garden. My eyes open to the view of a cloudless sky with its sun shining down upon me. I feel so content until my mind forces me back to reality.

During these warm summer months I, Sam Miller, always sleep up on the roof of my new home, Saint Luke’s Church. The cool nights under the stars are my only escape from my memories. For the plague has ascended from Hell to wipe out everything I ever cared for.

It started about six months ago. Time, days, calendars don’t mean much any more, so I may be a little out. The dawn, the dusk, and the changing seasons- that’s all that matters now.

Standing up I walk stiffly over to the edge of the roof. In the distance I can see my house. Where we used to live, when it all started.

“Come on everyone. Let’s get moving!” Standing at the front door of my house all I see is chaos. Our kids Jack and Katie are immigrating to Australia today and with my wife Pamela in tow they’re racing around getting their last minute bits and pieces together. “Okay, ready” they shout as they bundle past me and head down the drive to the car. As I leave I gently pat my two Dalmatians- Molly and Tyler- who are standing faithfully by the door. “I know you’ll miss them. We all will.”

Laughter fills the car on the trip to the airport but I also see the sadness in my wife’s eyes. Our children are all grown up now and flying the nest.

“Bye Mum. Bye Dad. We’ll ring when we arrive.” They run away down the security lines and are off on a new adventure.

A couple of days later the warnings start on the television and radio. A severe strain of the flu is what they’re saying. At first we aren’t that bothered. There is always something they put on to scare you. Our attitudes change when the newscasts from around the world show hospitals overflowing, filled with masses of sick people. I will always remember the words of that broadcast.

"This virus is highly contagious. If you develop any symptoms, please stay at home. Don’t risk the chance of infecting others. Don’t go to the doctors or to the hospital. Call the emergency number below. They’ll come to you.”

There is lots of conjecture about what this virus actually is. News channels, chat shows, even documentaries come up with their own ideas and conspiracy theories: secret military experiments gone horribly wrong, the ultimate act of global terrorism, perhaps an act of vengeance from God for all we’d done. Seems to me that we’ll never get the answer.

Pam and I start to worry. Sure we are both pretty healthy but still it’s only natural. We’ll be okay, so will the kids, or so we thought.

After calling Jack and Katie in Australia we hear the terrible news.

“It’s getting real bad here, Dad” Jack’s voice shakes with fear. “We’re helping out in the hospital but there are just not enough beds.”

That is our last contact with them. The phone lines go down. Pam and I just hold each other and cry. We worry far more about them than we do for ourselves.

I keep telling my Pamela that everything will be alright. They’ll sort out a cure soon enough. It’s only a matter of time. She smiles back at me, but I can tell she is no where near as confident as I am.

Things deteriorate quickly. By the end of the first week, all streets are full of army patrols. Walking down the road we can see them decked out in anti-viral white suits that I’d only seen before in movies. Their faces are masked, served oxygen from tanks strapped to their backs. For the first time in my life, we have armed soldiers in our city. Driving around in armoured vehicles, they blast out a chilling message from loudspeakers:

"The city is now in full lockdown. Martial Law has been declared. Under no circumstances is anyone allowed out in the streets. If you disobey this order you will be shot on sight. You have been warned.”


Within a month, I estimate, about eighty percent of the world’s population die. Going by the reports from the last ham radio broadcasts, and from the accounts of passing travellers who manage to dodge the patrols, it seems accurate. Horrific as those numbers are, it gets a hell of a lot worse.

Once the Berlin Virus runs out of viable hosts it viciously mutates. It starts to search out and infect recently dead human flesh. It raises them up and turns them into mad raging beasts with an unstoppable urge to kill. Packs of monsters attack immune people so the new virus will have more hosts. Its way of killing is to eat its victims.

The virus turns itself into near perfection. No matter how much it has destroyed the host’s body it keeps on going, relentlessly searching out fresh victims to kill and then infect.

My beloved Pamela falls victim to both strains of the virus. Crying out in agony as pounding headaches run through her head, her temperature soars higher and higher by the hour. I feel so helpless. My fingers go numb from dialling the emergency number they gave us. All I get is a fucking recording. I leave my name and address just in case someone is checking, but they never come.

Three days after the first symptoms, my dear love breathes her last sweet breath and dies as I hold her in my arms. With tears rolling down my face I carefully wrap her lifeless body in a crisp white bed sheet. Before covering her beautiful face, I give her one last kiss.

Night comes but I am unable to get any sleep. Sitting in my kitchen, with only a flickering candle light for company, I wish the damn virus would come and take me to join her.

The dogs start to growl and run about daft. Barking like mad they look up the staircase.

“Shut up!” I scream. “Sit yourselves down!” Their barking only gets worse. I know they want to go up but something stops them. Tyler, the older one, finds bravery from somewhere deep inside. He runs full speed up the long staircase.

It goes quiet.

“Tyler,” I call out. “Come on boy. Get down here now.” But he doesn’t return. I grudgingly grab the candle and start to go up. With each step I take the boards creak. My shaking hand causes the candlelight to bounce off the walls, changing the shapes of the shadows.

Reaching the top of landing, I make out a vague outline at the far end of the hallway. The candle light is so damn poor I can barely see a couple of feet ahead of me. I walk slowly onwards to investigate.

As I edge myself closer to the shadowy figure I hold the candle way out in front of me. Its light catches the face of the silhouette. My darling Pamela stares at me.

"You're alive!"

I start moving towards her. I stop. What I can see is no longer my love. This thing standing in front of me is an abomination. While it looks like her, its sunken grey eyes just stare back at me lifelessly.

Her skin is a horrible shade of grey, yet her teeth and lips are a bright red. When I look down I see the reason why. Grasped in her hand is the head of our dog. His blood drips down her nightdress.

She drops the chewed meat to the floor, groans deeply and moves towards me. My muscles refuse to move. The shock has paralyzed me.

As she reaches for my neck I instinctively move, twisting away from her deadly grasp. Stiffly she shambles forwards. On missing me, she loses her footing and stumbles down the stairs.

During the fall she smashes her head repeatedly on the bare wooden steps. Thick, black blood oozes from both her ears.

Sitting beside her, I shudder to think what would’ve happened if she survived the fall. Deep down I know that I could never have delivered the fatal blow. There is no way I could have ended her undead life. It doesn’t matter to me what she had become. She is my wife, and my love for her is undying. I couldn’t have killed my Pam.

For another two weeks I stay in the house with Molly, my last dog, as my only company. She is definitely this man’s best friend. By now all the food has run out, along with the supplies I have took from my neighbours’ house.

Ron and Mary Gavin were away in Spain on holiday when the outbreak started. Soon after, they were stranded when the authorities banned all non military air travel out of the country. It was a futile attempt to contain the threat.

I know I have no choice but to go outside. I can’t just starve to death. Danger from the army patrols no longer existed, but the numbers of the undead roaming have grown rapidly. They are passing by my house every hour.

I’m not sure anywhere would be safe. Even so I decide to head for the local police station at South Norwood. After all, they are supposed to protect us- not that they have been doing a good job of it recently. My reasoning for heading there is faulty, I know that, but logic has long since disappeared from my life.

One morning I decide it is time. Molly and I have to set out while we still have some energy left. We wait until the road outside the house looks clear. Not a mile away, things start to go terribly wrong.

We are attacked by three of the undead. The bastards stumble out of a hidden doorway, just as we are passing a small row of shops.

I drop the leash in shock. Molly runs straight for them. She doesn’t stand a chance. She attacks but the zombie doesn’t even flinch as she bites deep into its rotted leg. Within seconds all three descend on my dog. At least her howls don’t last long.

In a state of despair I run. As I pass houses and gardens several more zombies spot me. They are soon in pursuit. About twenty of them are now right behind me.

Around the next corner I find my salvation. The church stands before me in all its glory, and there are people- real live people- standing on top of the walls.

“Help!” I scream. “Please let me in!”

Thankfully the doors open just enough to let me inside. I arrive at my new home.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Great review for The Church have posted a great review for The Church, the guy seamed to really enjoy it!

When I first got The Church (written by the very talented John McCuaig) I honestly wasn’t expecting much. I thought that is was just going to be another unoriginal zombie novel that wasn’t going to be anything I hadn’t already encountered countless times before. I am happy to admit that I was wrong and it is actually a pretty damn good book. It is well-written, has an interesting plot, great characters, and a ton of action. I really dug The Church and had a great time reading it.

One of the things that I liked most about the novel is the fact that the zombies take a back seat to other issues for most of the book. Yes, there are zombies running around eating everyone in sight, but they really aren’t the main antagonists here. They show up every once in a while and kill some of the characters, but overall they are pretty much just one of the many obstacles that our heroes must contend with in order to survive.

The real evil in the book isn’t the zombies, but Reverend McKay and his cult-like followers. McKay is an insane, power-hungry, manipulative guy who will stop at nothing to be in charge of others. Anyone who opposes (or even disagrees with him) is swiftly thrown out of the church where they are usually devoured by the hungry sea of zombies waiting outside the church’s gates. He is one of those scary religious nutcases who does whatever he wants and claims to do it in the name of God. People like him give me the creeps as they are usually able to manipulate others into doing their bidding. The reverend is a scary dude and I think I would personally have to deal with a handful of zombies than cross paths with him.

The other characters are also very well done as well. Sam is just your basic everyday guy mourning the death of his wife (and wondering about the fate of his adult children) who is forced into the role of the reluctant hero. He is just an average guy and is by no means an action hero, so it is interesting watching him do whatever it takes to save lives and stay alive himself. Matt is a good character as well, and after the death of his father he goes from an easy-going guy to a hardcore badass who the other survivors are more than eager to follow since he is such a natural leader. I liked Dawn as well (even though she starts out as an unlikable bitch before she falls for Matt and comes to her senses about McKay), and her brother Wayne is pretty intimidating as the Reverend’s main enforcer and bodyguard (though I think he is killed off way too soon and there could have been a lot more that could have been done with him). Overall, I think that the characters from this book are realistic and fleshed-out, and if most readers are like me they will find themselves really caring about what happens to all of them.

I also appreciated the fact that there is almost a nonstop flow of action going on as well. There is very little lag time as there is usually something going on at all times so it helped hold my interest. We have zombie attacks, brutal murders (the fate of Matt’s father is pretty cruel), gun battles, and a ton of other stuff going on though out the book that kept me highly entertained. I can’t think of a single time that I was reading it where I felt bored or tempted to skip ahead a few paragraphs or pages.

Other than a few grammar and spelling issues (sorry, I’m an English teacher and I notice these things) there is nothing negative that I can say about this book. It reminded me a little of Simon Clark’s novel Blood Crazy as well as “28 Days Later.” I thought that it was an excellent read and McCuaig is no doubt a great writer. I look forward to checking out his future writings and think that he will have a fan base fairly soon (I know I am a fan of his work so far). Check out this book if you get a chance, I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.