April 2021

Greetings, fellow horror freak…

 We’re approaching the end of a very, very long journey.

I’ve often been asked just how long it took me to write my debut novel, For Rye, and it’s not as easy a question to answer as you may think.

Do I include the breaks I had to take to study structure, character, and technique? What about the lengthy conceptualisation stage before any words were even put on the page? Even after the thing was effectively ‘done’, I still routinely revisited it to polish certain areas, and of course there’s also the thorough editing phase with my publisher to take into consideration.

All in all, three years of intensive work, a further year of extra revisions, and a couple of years to build a platform substantial enough to get the thing seen by at least a few people was required to get it to where it is today.

Having said that, I feel in many ways like I’ve been waiting my entire life to write For Rye. It is a release of nihilistic anxieties; a war cry, of sorts. On Monday we enter release week, and on Friday the 9th For Rye is released. Talk about the end of a journey.

But its story doesn’t end there. No, a book’s journey only truly begins once it’s in the hands of its readers, and once they begin determining what it means to them. This is the phase of the journey I’ve been looking forward to most, where folks besides myself and my test-readers and editors can sink their teeth into the horrific events of the story, and decide what the thing is truly about.

So yes, For Rye is nearly with us, and to mark its arrival I’ve been hosting several giveaways on social media where participants had to complete given passages from the novel. We’ve seen some entries that have truly put my own work to shame (is it too late to rewrite the book?) and so far there are three lucky winners who have a free copy on its way to them: Jeremy Megargee, Evan Bond, and Wofford Lee Jones, all of whom are tremendous writers themselves, and I encourage you to click their names so you can check out their own work. There’s still two giveaways to go, so I hope you’ll consider entering.

This month I was lucky enough to be interviewed by the fantastic Puzzle Box Horror, where I was given the opportunity to wax lyrical about the novel. Hit the image below to read the interview, and I implore you to investigate the rest of their brilliant site.

Throughout release week, I’ll be speaking to The Writer Community about the technical stuff behind the book, and then to my best bud and literature-aficionado Coffee Fitness Unicorn, who herself is a self-proclaimed For Rye fan, and was one of my most valuable test readers. We’ll be having a chat about the horror genre in general, and then a more in depth conversation on release day specifically about For Rye. Oh, and I’ll also be doing some live readings throughout the week.

As always, make sure you’re following me on the social media channel of your choice so you see when I post the timetable of release week events. Find me on Facebook, Instagram, TwitterGoodreads, and Amazon, and make sure you follow the #forrye hashtag on Instagram, since it’s going to start filling up with reviews and bonus content pretty soon.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the support you’ve shown these past couple of years. Building a platform is a necessary evil for a twenty-first century author, and one I dreaded. I knew my novel wouldn’t get very far without the foundations of some kind of platform, but its benefits have since reached far beyond such a self-absorbed objective. I’ve made friends – real friends – and found in these communities support, encouragement, inspiration, and laughs. For all of this, you have my deepest gratitude.

Next time you hear from me, For Rye will be out in the world. If you do decide to embark on my little nightmare, then please do let me know what you think by way of an Amazon or Goodreads review. These are imperative to an author’s visibility, and even the shortest of reviews goes a long way.

But most importantly, enjoy the ride.

The nightmare is coming…


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