It’s been a while since I’ve posted here (especially as I’m now putting out a monthly newsletter which you can sign up to here). But, with my debut collection, Paths Best Left Untrodden clawing its way from its subterranean lair this Saturday, it would be remiss of me not to mention it.
I started thinking about a short story collection about eighteen months ago. I’d had a number of shorts published in some quite prestigious and exciting anthologies. Hopefully I gained a fair few readers from my fiction sitting shoulder to shoulder with some titans of the genre, such as Gemma Files, Richard Chizmar, Mary SanGiovanni, and Brian Evenson but, after the relative success of my debut novella, The Balance, I felt there were perhaps others who might want to absorb the breadth of my work to date without having to invest huge sums on the anthologies I’ve been part of. Of course, I also wanted to get some new, unpublished tales into the world.
The title, Paths Best Left Untrodden is very much a representation of what horror is for me. The misstep. The erring from what, deep down, we know is the correct trajectory and into a state where control leaves us and where we are at the mercy of monsters, human or otherwise. I hope that people will find this thread throughout the thirteen stories in Paths.
Responses so far have been overwhelmingly positive, with incredibly kind blurbs from four sensational writers in TC Parker, Ross Jeffery, Dave Jeffery and Dan Howarth. Dan also saw fit to publish Paths as the second title under his new Northern Republic imprint. Initial reviews from Simon Paul Wilson at Kendall Reviews and J Maddux entertainment have also been effusive.
This has alleviated some of the pre-release nerves.
One thing I was never nervous about was the cover art. Placed into the safe hands of Greg Chapman, who also crafted the cover for The Balance, I find myself with a thing of beauty to hold in my hands. And something which, in its sinister-yet-not-overt nature, hopefully represents the contents of the book well.
Paths Best Left Untrodden is released Saturday 5th June in eBook format, with a paperback due imminently thereafter, through Northern Republic. You can pre-order your copy here.