When the lockdown began, I promised visitors to this site more regular updates. Things started well, and I gave away a load of audiobooks and ebooks and recommended a decent short film. And then it all came to an abrupt halt. I wanted to write a brief post to explain my sudden absence, and to thank the people who’ve helped me through it.
Two weeks ago today, I had a heart attack.
It came out of the blue. My dad suffered years of heart-related problems at the end of his life, and I was determined my life would take a different route. I did everything I should – I sorted out my diet to reduce my cholesterol and lost weight, I exercised several times a week, I took steps to sort out my high blood pressure… At 8:00am on Tuesday 14 April, I can honestly say I felt in better shape than I ever had. Ten minutes later, though, it was a very different story.
I’ll cut to the chase. My family are incredible, and our NHS is second-to-none. Within an hour or so of suffering the attack, I was in hospital and undergoing treatment. Within three hours I was sitting up in bed in the coronary care unit of the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham, feeling well enough to be able to send my wife and kids the picture below.
I’m doing well now, all things considered. Because of the quick response time, there’s barely any damage to my heart, and I’m hopeful that within a few months I’ll be back to normal (whatever normal is these days). But there’s no question that this has been a life-changing experience. I was very fortunate, but when something like this happens, it’s easy to think ‘what if…?’. Things could have been very, very different. The outcome could have been much, much, much worse.
So I just wanted to let you know I’m still around and I’ll be back at work soon. The real purpose of this post, however, is to publicly thank some folks. Firstly, to my wonderful wife Lisa and my amazing kids. I’m a very lucky man. I put you all through hell that morning, and I’m sorry. Thank you from the bottom of my (now improved) heart for your love and support. I pride myself on usually being able to string a few words together, but I could never express how much I love you all. Also, to my extended family and friends – I will never forget the outpouring of emotion and the deluge of good wishes I’ve had from so many folks. It’s enough to bring a tear to this grumpy old bugger’s eye. Actually, who the hell am I kidding? I’ve been reduced to tears on many occasions since my ‘mishap’ (as my youngest daughter Zoe has labelled it).
I also want to pay tribute to everyone at the QE hospital, and to the NHS as a whole. I received incredible care, delivered at astonishing speed. In normal circumstances that would be remarkable enough, but I had a heart attack at the peak of the most serious and wide-reaching health crisis in living memory. I am simply in awe of the NHS and will be forever grateful for the treatment I received.
So there you go. It’s been a tricky couple of weeks. If my 2020 was a novel, no one would publish it because it would be too far-fetched! In all seriousness, though, wherever you are, please give your loved ones a hug and also show your appreciation for the many thousands of healthcare workers keeping us all safe and well at this unprecedented time.
And I still have a few codes for free audiobooks – TRUST, STRAIGHT TO YOU, THE COST OF LIVING and STRANGERS. Fill in this form if you want one. There aren’t too many left, so be quick. I’ll remove the form from this post when they’re all gone.
I’ll admit, when I first started writing the original AUTUMN novel back in 1996 (I think), I wasn’t too bothered about trying to work out what caused the horrific infection that wiped out most of the human race (then made millions of them them get up again). As I’ve always said, the books are more about the human stories that followed than anything else. But by the time I got to AUTUMN: PURIFICATION in 2004, I’d spent quite a bit of time thinking about what might have happened. You sort of get a hint of an explanation in that book.
It was much, much later when I decided to come clean and write about the chain of events that triggered the AUTUMN apocalypse. The story – JOE AND ME – was written, but as far as I was concerned the AUTUMN series was done and dusted and I had no immediate plans to publish it. Enter my friend MICHAEL WILSON of THIS IS HORROR. Michael asked me to write the first THIS IS HORROR chapbook, and I saw an opportunity to release JOE AND ME into the wild. I was thrilled with the reception the story received, and that inspired me to re-write and expand the companion collection, AUTUMN: THE HUMAN CONDITION. JOE AND ME also features in that book.
I’ve thought a lot about JOE AND ME since the coronavirus pandemic began (you’ll understand why if you read it), and I decided to share it again. I thought the best way of doing that was to link to the episode of the THIS IS HORROR podcast when I narrated an audiobook version. Forgive my rough around the edges Brummie delivery – I’m very much an amateur when it comes to audio – but here it is. I hope you enjoy it.
Hello everyone. Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. It’s actually only a few weeks, but it feels like a lifetime. In my 20+ years of writing apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, I never believed we’d ever collectively experience anything like Covid-19. Before you stop reading, don’t worry – this isn’t me using this nightmare situation to try and sell a few books.
Couldn’t resist sharing that video, though. My old pal Iain McKinnon and some of his colleagues made a series of short HATER promo videos back when DOG BLOOD was about to be released, only for us to be unable to use them because it looked like the movie was about to happen.
Anyway, back to the point.
It’s surreal and frightening to be sitting here in lockdown like this. If I’m honest, it does feel like something out of one of my books, and plenty of folks have been quick to point that out. I wrote THE COST OF LIVING when my family and I moved into our current house and set it on our development; now we’re genuinely isolated in our home from a viral pandemic. The AUTUMN series, of course, is all about a world ravaged by a virulent disease, and with the toilet roll panic buying hysteria in the supermarkets, I’ve seen things on the TV news which definitely remind me of HATER (chapter 20 in particular). But for all these similarities, I DON’T THINK THIS IS THE APOCALYPSE.
Terrifying though, isn’t it?
The books I write have always focused on the worst case scenario. You can bet the folks you meet in the first chapter will have been through absolute hell by the time they get to the last page (if they get that far). The infections they’re dealing with are just a MacGuffin designed to cause maximum chaos for my characters to sort out. We are not those characters, and though the disease we’re fighting today is an absolute fucker, I’m hopeful it will be beaten. Things feel so oppressive and grim right now that it’s easy to believe we’re all trapped without hope in a grim Moody dystopia, but we’re not. We can and we will get through this!
Stay safe, stay positive, stay sensible and stay healthy. My sincere best wishes to you and your families. I’m going to make a conscious effort to post here regularly in the coming weeks. I have some freebies and other things of interest I want to share with you (although my stories might be the absolute last thing you want to read right now!).
Ebooks were absolutely fundamental to me finding an audience back in the day, so I always like to give the annual READ AN EBOOK WEEK a mention. If you read German, can I cheekily recommend my recent release LEBENSHALTUNGSKOSTEN. Or, if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, why not check out THE LAST BIG THING, which has recently been added to the program.
Or here’s an even better idea… visit a site like SMASHWORDS or AMAZON, shell out a few quid and take a punt on a brand new author.
The German language edition of THE COST OF LIVING – LEBENSHALTUNGSKOSTEN – is now available from Amazon. If you’ve not read THE COST OF LIVING before, allow me to recommend it to you. It’s a nasty little tale about a particularly horrible infection doing the rounds. I wrote it back in 2014 when I was at a low ebb, and the ending in particular reflects my grim state of mind at the time.
I’ve always been very grateful for the support of the THIS IS HORROR team, and I always enjoy chatting with Michael Wilson and Bob Pastorella. I’ve been fortunate to appear on their podcast on a number of occasions, and my most recent conversation with Michael and Bob is now available for your listening pleasure. We cover all kinds of stuff in this one, including CHOKEHOLD and THE BLEED (about which I’ll have exciting news very soon). Click here or on the graphic below to listen.
Regular readers will know how much I love SCREAM MAGAZINE. I try and post here or on Instagram whenever there’s a new issue out. Issue 58 has got to be my favourite issue yet, not least because it features a STORMING review of CHOKEHOLD! “David Moody is one kick-ass writer… An enjoyable, hellacious ride into a blood-splattered finale that doesn’t disappoint.” I’ll take that, thank you very much!
As always, there’s loads of great stuff in SCREAM, including fascinating articles on SON OF FRANKENSTEIN and Tod Browning’s MARK OF THE VAMPIRE, and a look back at HOUSE OF THE DEVIL as it approaches its 10 year anniversary (where the hell does the time go?).
Thanks for your support over the last twelve months. I hope you’ve enjoyed my writing. As always, there’s loads in the pipeline. I’m very excited about next year’s projects, especially THE BLEED: RUPTURE, by MARK TUFO, CHRIS PHILBROOK and myself which will soon be hitting the shelves.
I wish you and your friends and families all the very best for the holiday season, and good luck to us all for 2020 (I think we’ll need it!).
The Office Christmas Party can be a nightmare at the best of times but when it coincides with the end of the world, things get even messier.
For mild-mannered security guard Howard Stanton, this was meant to be an easy shift. A chance to keep his head down and watch Die Hard movies while the rest of the staff get wasted. But then the zombie apocalypse happened and people expected him to do something about it. Was that even in his job description?
It’s going to be a long drink- and drug-fuelled night. The world’s going to hell and it’s down to Howard to hold it all together. He’s in charge tonight, and if he screws up, it’ll be everyone’s last Christmas.
“Who’d have thought it? Comedy horror from us two miserable sods!” —Wayne Simmons, author of Plastic Jesus and Flu
“Wayne, do you think we’ve gone too far?” —David Moody, author of Autumn and Hater