And don’t forget to use the coupon code Balance2020 at checkout. Note the capital B in Balance there, people.
It’s both a tremendously exciting and a terrifying time for me, as my debut novella now has a release date. On 28 April, The Balance will be available in all the usual online stockists, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble and so forth. The early release eBook and audiobook versions are available now, with versions appearing on Apple books, Audible and so on in the coming days and weeks. US readers can pre-order the paperback here. There are currently some problems with the Amazon listing of the book, so Kindle users will need to buy direct from the publisher at the link above.
Here’s the back cover synopsis for The Balance:
When myth becomes nightmare … The price of blood is always blood.
Natalia’s in trouble. She only looked away for a second, and now her brother’s hurt. Her relationship with her mother is fractured, her brother’s condition is deteriorating, and her only hope lays deep in the unforgiving forest. A secret spoken only in whispers offers a way out. But when help comes in occult forms a sacrifice may be the only way to restore the balance.
Humanity and nature collide in The Balance by Kev Harrison, a modern reimagining of the Slavic folk tale of Baba Yaga, set in Cold War Poland.
Though I’ve now lived and am very much settled in Portugal, I spent three incredible years of my life living and working in Poland. It was a place I knew little or nothing about when I arrived and one that shall now remain close to my heart and forever feel like home.
The person of Baba Yaga is just one of a multitude of characters woven into the fascinating (and often terrifying) folk lore of the Slavic nations. It’s easy to understand how dark folk tales manage to remain so vividly remembered and so present in modern culture when you consider the history of the place.
Few nations have had their borders redrawn as often as Poland and, of course, the scars of both World War II and its status as a Soviet client state throughout the cold war are particularly raw wounds. A friend of mine told me once, as I left the Schindler museum (from where Oscar Schindler saved thousands from execution) in a state of shocked silence, “You learn about history from books. We learn about it from our grandfathers.” Of course, a great many from Great Britain suffered immensely and gave their lives in the second world war, but the stories of Nazi occupation and the quasi-occupied state that followed liberation, with permanent states of rationing, corruption and constant fear for one’s life, explained much about the psyche of the people of the country. They also explained to me the way folk stories, myths and legends have retained their presence in society until today.
I chose this period of the Cold War, in a rural town, in the heart of a harsh Eastern European winter, as the perfect setting for supplies to run short and for desperation to lead people back to the old ways.
I’ll be writing more about The Balance in the coming weeks before the paperback release. In the meantime, here is a preview of the Audiobook, narrated by Desmond Manny:
My first ever solo release, Cinders of a Blind Man Who Could See, put out by the fabulous people at Demain Publishing, is now available in Paperback. With the original release almost a year ago now (its book birthday is less than three weeks away at the time of writing this post!), we wanted the paperback to be a bit special. So, having talked to Dean at Demain, we decided we would include a brand new, unpublished story, just for readers who pick up the paperback.
The story, ‘All My Bridges Burnt,’ is a very different sort of tale from ‘Cinders…’ It’s fast-paced and action-packed, and was based on a real-world urban legend of a haunting on the road in New Jersey, USA. It was great fun, reading up on the differing accounts of how the ghost-child manifests and then looking at the lay of the land on google maps and street view to get a sense of the geography.
I only hope that this bonus story is as well received as ‘Cinders…’ has been over the past year.
So, if you haven’t picked up Cinders of a Blind Man Who Could See yet, there’s never been a better time to do so. Order your copy here.
Available now for pre-order as a kindle-only edition, is Cinders of a Blind Man Who Could See, part of Demain Publishing’s ‘Short Sharp Shocks’ range of long-short stories. This tale of British folk horror, set in rural Cheshire (not far from where I went to university, a long time ago), deals with themes of loss, isolation, secrecy and strained family relations.
The back cover synopsis is as follows:
Something old lurks in Leonard’s Wood and something – or someone – in the sleepy village of Wincham is feeding it.
Now Owen must face it or risk losing his son forever.
Available now for £0.99 or $0.99, depending on your location, you can pre-order Cinders of a Blind Man Who Could See, here, so it will magically appear on your Kindle, April 19th.
After something of a hiatus over here on the site, I have some news of new releases. First up is that a story of mine – ‘The Waiting Game’ – has been included in the latest issue of Aphotic Realm magazine. In this issue, subtitled ‘Fangs,’ all of the included stories will include fanged creatures. Think dogs, wolves, rats, bats and more besides. My story is a revenge tale with a difference. I won’t yet reveal which species of fanged fiend I included in ‘The Waiting Game.’
The magazine will be released on March 15th and pre-orders will open soon. In the same issue, as shown on the image below, there are stories from a host of talented writers, including Joanna Koch, Christopher Stanley and S. J. Budd, as well as a feature interview with the incredible Adam G. Nevill. This is a magazine that I’ve long wanted to be a part of, so I’m delighted to see it happening.
While details are still being worked out, I have signed a contract for a novelette to be released as a standalone title, as part of Demain Publishing’s ‘Short Sharp Shocks’ range. The first wave of this series emerged just this week, with a host of excellent writers, including Stephanie Ellis and Dean M. Drinkel, who heads up the imprint, among others. My story is a work of folk horror and there will be a cover reveal in due course.