“I loved this book. It broke my heart.”

October 9th, 2015


The first review of THE BASTARDS’ PARADISE:

“I loved this book. It broke my heart and gutted me and made me cry, but it also made me grin, and shake my head, and turn the pages faster.

And when I walked blinking out into the light, it stayed in my head. And that, not-so-fucking-gentle-reader, is what makes a story.”

Yes. Because this is the reason to write: to be read, to be able to tell that story, have that conversation, communication, with one reader at a time. Many thanks to Cat Hellisen, and to all readers to whom this book, this Poppy world, speaks true.


THE BASTARDS’ PARADISE is forthcoming from Roadswell Editions, November 2015.

Always a miracle

October 2nd, 2015

BASTARDS' proofsProofs and jacket in hand for THE BASTARDS’ PARADISE.

It starts as an idea, a pile of sticky of sticky notes, a file – in this case, three times that process, as UNDER THE POPPY led to THE MERCURY WALTZ and now the final journey of the BASTARDS’ PARADISE – and then it’s complete. This is my 16th book, and it’s still and always a kind of miracle: to open the envelope and take out the proofs, the smooth and crackly jacket. And the ebook is a different kind of miracle – that books can be so accessible, so easily.

What a process, what a journey, what a joy.


Appetite must be fed

October 1st, 2015


It’s a book I’ve read and reread throughout the years – the very first authentic horror novel I encountered; I think I was ten – and now, I’ve written an adaptation, performative fiction that asks the most essential, the simplest of all living questions: for what do you hunger?

Eternal life? Endless beauty? The security of total surrender?

If you come to the table, you can ask yourself that question, too. Tickets to DRACULA are available here. 

And here’s a conversation about the production, in the space where dinner will be served.

My definition of hunger has changed throughout those years.

Bundle of fun

September 26th, 2015

PKD.2015.All Covers Large

StoryBundle’s gathered an amazing array of writers into their PKD Award Bundle – writers like Lew Shiner, Liz Hand, Walter Jon Williams, Lisa Mason – writers whose novels were either winners or finalists for the prestigious Philip K. Dick Award. I’m really pleased that my own CIPHER is part of this bundle, too.

The way StoryBundle works is, you basically pay what you want, get 11 books, and help a designated charity, too, if you choose.

And then you read. Because you want to go somewhere, see something, feel something, understand something, that you never have before: and because good writing is – along with all of the above – enormous fun. So go and have fun! As of today, you have 18 days to get your bundle on.


August 27th, 2015


The beautiful front cover . . .



. . . and the beautiful back cover. A glorious jacket created by Rick Lieder, that speaks of the road and the city, the reckless flight of rooks, the body forever in love: THE BASTARDS’ PARADISE.

Coming this fall from Roadswell Editions, in ebook, trade, and bespoke editions – the bespoke will be signed and wrapped by hand, and carry with it a small and special box of mementos, all selected by me, to echo the story of that road and that lifelong love.

These books have been a total joy to write – to everyone who joined the story of Istvan and Rupert, reading along the way from the beginning to, now, its end, so very many thanks!

“What are your books about?”

July 11th, 2015


What kind of books do you write?

Book cover illustration

I mean, what genre? Horror? Historical? YA? What?



What are they about?


About a man whose darkest art finds him.

About a boy almost a man and a girl almost a woman who talk themselves into the truth.

And two men who take on the world with a box of puppets and a concertina.

And a questing man who thinks he wants to see: and does. And then can’t stop.



All my novels (16 and counting, not counting short fiction) share one view of the world – through a crowd of  characters, situations, genres, all different lenses on that same view – that making art can be a question of life or death, of life and death, life’s laughing answer to death: and that there’s no steeper fun to be had than plunging into that making, and letting it make you who you are, always were, had to be.

And always, always, there’s the joy and play of language, the story and the words it takes to tell it as a game shared by the reader and the writer, collaborators, making our play together.

If you want to play with me, read on! Because that’s what my books are about.