The Silence set visit and USA trip

November 8th, 2017 • Posted in Movie News, Random Stuff |

I’m just back from a very exciting trip to Toronto, where I visited set of The Silence movie. It was a strange, surreal and frankly brilliant experience, and I’ll write about it in a lot more detail closer to the movie’s release date (no spoilers here!).

Suffice to say, I was made to feel very welcome by all involved, and it was fantastic to meet everyone there.  I met so many people that names became a blur, but special shout out to director John Leonetti, genuinely one of the nicest guys.  It was a real pleasure to watch a true professional at work.

And then there was Stanley Tucci (see pic) and Kiernan Shipka, two lovely people who I’m so thrilled are in the movie. I didn’t meet the rest of the superb cast (details here) — they weren’t there for the scenes being filmed — but the visit cemented my belief that the book is in the best hands possible.  I firmly believe it’s going to be THE horror movie of 2018. Watch this space for more.

After Toronto, I flew to Boston. It was great to visit my American brother Christopher Golden and his family, see loads of old friends at the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival, and then stop off in New York on the way home. I spent some time with my excellent agent Howard Morhaim, and had a load of really productive meetings with editors.

The trip of a lifetime. Loads more about the movie soon, but meantime why not check out the book before it hits the big screen?

Take it easy.

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DUSK now available as an ebook

August 23rd, 2017 • Posted in Book News, Random Stuff |

The first book from the new incarnation of Dreaming in Fire press is out now, and it’s the British Fantasy Award-winning DUSK!

Here are the Amazon links. Please check it out:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Find out more on its dedicated book page.

I do hope you’ll pick this up! Please let me know what you think.

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A Year of Challenges — half done!

June 18th, 2017 • Posted in Random Stuff |

Those who pop along here regularly will know that I do enjoy the occasional horrific challenge, such as an Ironman triathlon or running up and down mountains.  I do it for fun.

I also do it for charity, and this year I’m raising money for DKMS (Delete Blood Cancer) in memory of a dear family friend we lost last Christmas.  I’m aiming to raise £2,000, and I’m almost halfway there.

So, here’s what I’ve done so far…

I started off in January with a 50 mile bike ride.  It doesn’t sound much, but coming out of the winter it was hard, cold, and it got dark very early!  A tough one because of that.  Job done.

In February it was time to hit the trails for the Hoka One One trail half-marathon in Margam Park, South Wales.  A lovely race, the weather was nice, if a bit misty.  It’s by no means a PB course, with lots of climbing and muddy trails, but that’s the sort of running I love.

In March, I went off-piste a bit and undertook a mountain (almost) marathon.  Only 22 miles, but tough enough to warrant the term!  I undertook the local Monmouthshire 3 peaks, a 22 mile route taking in the Blorenge, Skirrid and Sugarloaf mountains.  It was really tough, but it was great doing something a little different, including navigating and carrying enough food and water for the whole challenge. I loved every minute of it, and hope to do it again soon.

April was a full month challenge, in which I rode 400 miles on the bike throughout the month.  I must admit, the final weekend was a long ride on Saturday, and then a 30 miler on Sunday to make up the miles!  Good fun, and good for my triathlon training.

And May was the first tri of the season, the epic Blaenafon Triathlon.  It’s the longest running triathlon in the UK (about 34 years now, I believe), and it’s renowned for being really, really hard.  The easy bit is the pool swim, then it’s on the bike for 28 miles of mountains roads.  Once off two wheels and onto two feet, it’s a 9 mile run all the way to the top of the Sugarloaf mountain and back down again.  A scorcher, painful, hard work, and damn right I’ll do it again next year!

June brought an easier, flatter triathlon, the brilliant Cotswolds 113.  It’s a half ironman, almost completely on the flat, and I was thrilled with a time of 5:27 (I’d aimed to go sub-5:30).  Great fun, and wonderful support from my friends in the might NEWT (Newport and East Wales Triathlon) club.

So that’s the first 6 months of my Year of Challenges done.  Looking to the future, the next six months will bring the Velothon Wales, the Brutal Half (a half ironman … with a run up and down Snowdon), as well as other events I have yet to decide upon.  But at least one of them will be a trail marathon to round off the year.

Here’s when I ask for your help.  I admit that I’m doing these events because I love them, but I’m also very keen to raise money for worthy causes. I’m still determined to raise £2,000 for DKMS, so if you’d be kind enough to donate you can visit my page here and do so.

Here I am, looking forward to giving you the full 12 month roundup at the end of the year!

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2016 … sporty stuff

December 30th, 2016 • Posted in News, Random Stuff |

This is what I got up to in the swimming/biking/running realm this year!

It’s been a busy 2016.  I’ve trained harder this year than ever before (650 miles running, 2230 on the bike, 70 miles swimming … need to work on the swimming!), and I hit Ironman Wales in September feeling pretty good.  Getting there involved some other great races, loads of fun — and very tough –– training with the splendid NEWT triathlon club, and of course, a few bits of new kit.  There were more than a few wife’s-raised-eyebrow-at-yet-another-Wiggle-delivery moments.

Cirencester Duathlon was an off-road duathlon in February, cold and muddy and the only mountain bike race I did this year.  Hard work!  And very, very muddy.  I loved it, and it took weeks to get all that mud out of the bike.

Bath Half marathon was one of the biggest races I’ve done, good fun but so many people that the roads felt clogged, and it made me realise how I really prefer smaller scale races.

Talking of which, the Titan Half-iron distance was a brutal race with excellent organisation, great tee shirt and medal, and a stunning course.  60 miles of proper hills on the bike (including Llangynydr), and the half-marathon was misleadingly tough.  Didn’t really do as well as I’d hoped, but enjoyed every minute of it.

The Velothon was a fantastic closed-road bike race … well, they don’t call it a race, but it was!  Very mixed terrain, thousands of participants, and a couple of killer hills, the second of which — Caerphilly Mountain — defeated me.  I was pleased with my time, but disappointed with that 100 yard walk of shame, and because my main target for the year was Ironman Wales (which has one of the most notoriously hilly bike routes of any Ironman) I was also worried that the bike might be a problem.  So I entered…

… the Iron Mountain sportive.  Even harder and longer than the Velothon, it also put my mind at rest.  A great day.

In May I also raced the May 4th Marathon, a mountain marathon in the Shropshire hills.  Tough as hell, with beautiful scenery, it reinforced my love of trail running which will continue into 2017.  Epic bling, too.  It’s all about the bling.

The NEWT relays at the Cotswolds 113 was fantastic fun, as was the Cotswold Lake 62 Olympic distance.  We also had a great time at the Back to the Trenches poppy run in November, 6 cold muddy miles with obstacles thrown in.  Masses of mud, loads of fun with great friends.

And then…

…Ironman Wales.  The biggie.  It was one of the greatest days of my life, and you can read my in-depth race report here.

A fantastic year!  And 2017 is going to be a fun year too.  So far I’ve entered a trail half-marathon in February, the Cotswolds 113 (half ironman), the legendary Blaenafon Triathlon, the Velothon (again … can’t resist those closed roads), and in a year in which I’ve decided not to go full distance … my A race will be the Brutal Half, which includes the small matter of an ascent of Snowdon in it’s half-marathon run.

Hope to see you out there!

Mission accomplished

 

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2016 … in writing

December 21st, 2016 • Posted in Random Stuff |

2016 is nearly done, so as usual I’m spending a few minutes, and a few paragraphs, summing up my year in writing.

It started as a bit of a ‘tie-in’ year when it comes to book releases, with books 2 and 3 of The Rage War trilogy both released this year.  I had a lot of fun writing these books and immersing myself in the Alien and Predator universes, but I’m also pleased to be able to get back to my own original work, too.  The Rage War has been very well received, and I continue to get emails and messages about these books regularly.

Rime was an original science fiction novella released as an ebook from Venture Press.  I think it’s really good, and I’m hoping to look into a print edition next year.

My second thriller The Family Man was released in the summer.  An indirect sequel to The Hunt, I think it’s a better novel, and people seemed to mostly like it.  Unfortunately it didn’t make it into the supermarkets (The Hunt was available everywhere), which obviously had an effect on sales.

I had a few short stories published this year too, including a couple of reprints, in anthologies such as Peel Back the Skin, Something Remains, Year’s Best Weird Fiction Vol 3, and others.

When it comes to new work, this year I’ve been writing a new fantasy novel with Christopher Golden for HarperCollins (we’ll be revealing more about this next year), as well as developing a couple of new novel projects, writing the Kong: Skull Island novelisation, and beginning work on the follow-up to my forthcoming novel Relics.

2016 has ended with some exciting movie news which I’ll be able to say more about in the New Year.  With The Hunt being pitched to some major Hollywood studios right now, and this new news about a separate project, 2017 could turn out to be quiet interesting!

Also, 2017 sees the release of Relics in the UK and US, the first in a new series from Titan Books.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a safe, Happy New Year.

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Ten Years On …

November 30th, 2016 • Posted in Random Stuff |

Ten years ago last May my mother passed away. Sometimes it feel like just ten days. Three months following her death, I decided to quit work and try to make a living writing full-time. Mum was always very encouraging and a great supporter of my writing, and she’d instilled a love of reading in me from a young age. I’ve mentioned before how she gave me The Rats to read when I was ten years old. And how it didn’t do me any harm. Honest.

I think about Mum every day.

Ten year later I’m still here. Tomorrow, 1st December, is the tenth anniversary of my first day as a professional writer, making a living purely out of making stuff up, writing it down, and selling it.

I remember calling my Dad from work sometime that September and saying, “I’m giving up work to write.” I’d been worried about making that call––Dad is in his eighties now, and I thought he’d berate me for giving up a steady job and income. But his first reaction was, “Your Mum would be chuffed.” That was when I knew it was the right decision.

It was a leap into the unknown. Although I had some money saved, and knew there were a couple of book deals incoming, for the very first time in my adult life I didn’t have a monthly pay cheque. That came as something of a shock, but it was also extremely liberating.

I have never once regretted the decision––not even slightly––and when it comes to writing, the past ten years now feels like most of my adult life. Sometimes I still miss working with other people, but I’m also comfortable in my own company, and with various collaborative projects, the wonders of Skype and the World Wide Web (read in Uncle Bryn voice), and occasional lunches with friends, I’ve never found writing to be a lonely business.

So after these past ten years, and over twenty novels (a few in collaboration), a couple of collections, a few novellas, dozens of short stories, a few screenplays, a handful of movie options, and one Hollywood film, where am I? It strikes me that lots has changed, and yet quite a lot hasn’t. I’m still sitting at the same desk in the same position in the same room … although now that room is also home to a couple of bikes and a load of sport kit that would have left the Tim of ten years ago bemused (and probably my Mum too … I often imagine what she’d say when I’m out on my bike: “You be careful, it’s not you, it’s the other idiots out there!”) . I’m still writing horror … but I’ve also edged into thriller territory, and I’m writing another fantasy novel with my long-time collaborator and American brother Chris Golden.

And, of course, I’m still forever in that ‘waiting for news’ limbo that writers spend most of their time haunting, striding up and down, worrying, stressing, wondering just when the news they’re hoping for will come in and knowing very well that it won’t be quite as soon as they’d wish.

… waiting, stressing, striding …

So what have I learned? Writing is a twenty-four hours a day job. It’s hard work, demanding, exhausting, frustrating, your ego is massaged sometimes, but more often takes major hits that leave it low and in hiding. Only a small proportion of writers make it ‘big’, and most of us write to live as much as live to write. Book deals come and book deals go. And some people don’t view writing as a job at all. I still get plenty of ‘will you write us a short story and we’ll pay you with exposure’ requests (try that next time you’re having your car serviced: ‘Sorry, mate, I can’t pay you, but I’ll tell all my mates you do a cracking oil change’).

I’ve also learned that writers in my chosen genres are among the nicest people on the planet. It’s inevitable that whatever direction your life takes will present you with new opportunities to make great friends, and that’s been very true of my career. I’m never without a constantly fluctuating level of money-concern, but when it comes to friends I am rich indeed.

If you’ve been buying my books over the past ten years, thank you. You keeping buying them, I’ll keep writing them. I once commented to a writing friend how lucky we were doing what we do for a living, and he berated me, and said that we work bloody hard, we take hits, there’s no guaranteed income, we sometimes live on a knife-edge, and in some regards there’s an ongoing process of reinvention required to navigate our muses through the minefields of professional writing. He was right, of course. But I still feel privileged to do what I do.

I hope it continues for another ten, twenty, thirty years. I’ve got enough ideas, for sure. My muse feels younger than my 47 years. Inside, I’m still a kid huddled in my bed between waking and sleeping, staring at the darkness between the partly-drawn curtains, and wondering, What if…?

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Outdoor Fitness

November 25th, 2016 • Posted in Random Stuff |

There’s a familiar face in Outdoor Fitness magazine this month!  It’s a real thrill as it’s one of my favourite magazines.  A great piece, too.  If you enjoy the outdoors at all, I’d recommend this magazine.

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Race planning for 2017…

October 26th, 2016 • Posted in Random Stuff |

Those who know me — or those who read this blog, or follow me when I’m on Fb and Twitter — will know that I have a more than passing love of triathlon.  In fact, it’s become a big thing in my life, and my love of swim/bike/run/eat is growing.  This year I raced Ironman Wales (you can scroll down and read my race report), and I decided to not do a full iron distance next year.

Instead, I’m doing a half distance race called the Brutal. It’s got that name for a reason.

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Honestly, I think it’s going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  The swim is a chilly dip in Lake Padarn in Snowdonia, the bike is two laps around Snowdon’s footprint (almost 60 miles involving over 5,000 feet of climb), and then the run is one lap of the lake and then … an ascent and descent of Snowdon!

Yep.  I’ve certainly let myself in for it this time!

As well as that, I’m racing a flat half-ironman in June (the wonderful Cotswolds 113), and I’m also in for the Velothon in July.  And there’ll be other races too, I’m sure, but for now these are the three booked in.

Can’t wait!

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Researching, reading, and real life

October 20th, 2016 • Posted in Random Stuff |

Facebook?  Twitter?  I hardly remember them.  #OfflineOctober has been wonderful, and I’m still not missing the whole social media thing.  So much so that I really have to consider to what extent I’ll go back on after October. Right now I’d be happy to dump it altogether, but I know as a professional writer it’s probably advisable to have some presence.

Perhaps I’ll develop and update this website and start a decent mailing list.  That could be the way to go. Thoughts?

Now that I’m not reaching for Facebook every ten minutes to see just HOW MANY people have like that incisive and witty comment I just posted, I’m finding I have a lot more time for working, writing, and living.  I’ve just finished reading the excellent The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood, you should do yourselves a favour and pick that one up.  I’m also enjoying Walking the Himalayas by Levison Wood, and I’m reading quite a bit of research material for a novel proposal I’m working on set on the England/Welsh borders around 1070.

And, yeah, real life.  Sometimes good, sometimes bad.  But away from the computer screen, it’s great to be living it properly again.

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Life back…

October 6th, 2016 • Posted in Random Stuff |

…that’s what it feels like, anyway.  #OfflineOctober is going well — I haven’t felt the temptation to log into Facebook or Twitter, I’m reading more, writing more, and avoiding hearing about what strangers are eating for tea or what Donald Trump said next.  It’s fantastic.  I’d recommend it!

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