As I mentioned in my post last Friday, I had a lot planned for the weekend just gone. Some thankyous are now in order…
Thanks to Adele, Vince and the rest of the UN:BOUND team for organising a thoroughly enjoyable zombie shoot on Saturday. You’ll get to see their full video next month, but for now here’s a brief teaser:
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Thanks also to fellow authors Wayne Simmons and Jasper Bark for being such great sports, and to all the volunteer zombies who showed up on the day. And a special mention to Jenny Jackson for her stunning makeup work.
On Sunday, my annual pilgrimage to the Grimm Up North festival was the best yet. Apart from being able to watch THE DEAD (more about that later in the week), and talk about zombies in front of a large and appreciative audience, I was also lucky enough to meet director Robin Hardy (THE WICKER MAN) and take in a showing of his new movie THE WICKER TREE.
Thanks to Sim, Rachel, Steve, Laura and everyone else involved with Grimm for their hospitality and tireless enthusiasm. Maybe I’ll be able to introduce a Moody movie myself there next year (but that’s a story for another blog post…)
Well it’s going to be death and destruction all the way this weekend, and you could be there!
Tomorrow I’ll be filming with Un:Bound in Leicester along with Wayne Simmons and Jasper Bark. We’re looking for volunteer zombies, so if you’re in the Midlands and you fancy playing dead, please come along to Phoenix Square at noon. There will also be book signings etc. More details can be found here and here.
On Sunday, Wayne and I will also be at Grimm Up North (AMC Deansgate, Manchester) for a screening of the Ford Brothers’ Africa-based zombie movie THE DEAD. After the screening, we’ll be signing books, answering questions, and discussing zombies in general (as usual!).
I’m really pleased to announce that I’ll be at this year’s GRIMM UP NORTH horror festival in Manchester. I’ll be there on Sunday 9th October. More details about what I’ll be doing will follow shortly.
Taking place at the city’s AMC cinemas complex in Deansgate, the third Grimmfest looks like being another cracking event. There are some great films showing, including Lucky McKee’s THE WOMAN, the Ford brothers’ THE DEAD, and THE WICKER TREE, Robin Hardy’s long-awaited sequel to THE WICKER MAN. Can’t wait.
By the way, I’ve got a few more events coming up shortly, so I’ve added an ‘upcoming appearances’ widget to the sidebar of this site. Keep an eye on it. There’s some good stuff coming…
The annual Grimm Up North festival in Manchester doesn’t receive sponsorship from film agencies, councils and the like. To help keep the festival alive, they’ve launched the Grimm Club. The cost for a years membership is only £10 (plus £3.50 p&p), and members will receive free gifts, regular newsletters and access to exclusive online material as well as discounted tickets for the festival and priority booking. Click the banner below to find out more.
The second issue of UK horror magazine SCREAM has just been released, and it’s well worth your time. Click here to order a copy. As with issue one, it’s a great read which focuses more on in-depth interviews and articles than most similar mags. This month, there are features on the Zombie Flesh Eaters films, the classic 1931 Frankenstein movie, the new Video Nasties documentary from Jake West and Marc Morris, and Fulci’s The Beyond to name but a few. There’s also a comprehensive round up of October’s Grimm Up North festival.
I’ve had a blast over the last couple of weeks getting out and about. I usually spend too much time sat in front of this computer, so it’s been great actually getting out and meeting people again! With three more AUTUMN novels and the final book in the HATER series out in 2011, I’m planning to arrange many more events like these. If you want me to come visit your neck of the woods, drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do!
There’s a slideshow below (if you really want to see a series of photos of an angry looking bald man and some books), but I wanted to share some of the best bits with you. Firstly, it was brilliant to finally meet some of the folks I’d only ever spoken to by email before: Dawn, Peter, Ryan, Will, Scott, Clym (one of the stars of the Darker Projects adaptation of Autumn no less!), Richard from Scream Magazine and many others.
Grimm up North was a success again this year in its new venue (The Dancehouse theatre, Manchester). The Adaptations panel was particularly good fun when I shared the stage with Conrad Williams (author of the superb One), and genre favourites Christopher Priest and Ramsey Campbell. But for me, my evening with Wayne Simmons at No Alibis in Belfast was the undoubted highlight of the week.
No Alibis is a fantastic little independent bookstore in the Botanic area of Belfast. They specialise in Crime and our event was their first (but hopefully not the last) foray into horror. It was an exceptionally cool evening as Wayne and I read from our books then discussed our writing and the differences and similarities between our approaches to the living dead in front of a really appreciative audience. A wonderful night.
Every stop on my brief mini-tour of the UK was fantastic, and I want to thank everyone who helped put the events together: Emily at Waterstone’s Oxford Street, Sim, Steve and the team from Grimm Up North, Steven at Waterstone’s Leicester (bookseller extraordinaire and part time zombie construction worker), Adele from Un:Bound (read Un:Bound’s coverage of the Leicester signing here), Wayne and Rebecca, Dave at No Alibis, and Mark and Adam at Waterstone’s Colchester. And thanks too to everyone who came out to say hello.
You might remember me mentioning Iain McKinnon in my post about Grimmfest last month. I said you’d be hearing more about Iain, and here’s why: Permuted Press has just published his debut novel Domain of the Dead. I was honoured to be asked to write an introduction to the book, and you can see my endorsement on the cover above. It’s a great read – an exciting, fast-moving, traditional zombie novel with a cool cast and more than enough wild moments and flashes of originality and invention to keep even the most jaded fan of the Undead entertained this Christmas. As if that wasn’t enough, you can watch a trailer for the book (and an absolutely cracking zombie-short – The Dead Walk) over on Iain’s official website, www.domain-of-the-dead.com.
But if you want to see something REALLY scary, check out this picture of Iain and myself taken at Grimmfest when Iain was kind enough to host the post-screening AUTUMN Q&A session.
The Grimm Up North festival may be over for this year, but the organising team are already planning future events, so please check their website regularly.
They’ve just announced a few quick competitions to win merchandise that was donated by the guests, and you can get your hands on some signed books and T-shirts from me. To stand a chance of winning you’ll need to:
Just a quick, belated word about the Grimm Up North festival in Manchester last weekend.
It was a cracking event with a well-supported screening of Autumn taking place on the Sunday. Dickon Tolson (who plays Carl in the movie) was also there and the two of us sat down for a Q&A session after the showing. Huge thanks to fellow author Iain McKinnon (remember that name – more news about Iain coming in the next couple of weeks) for stepping in at the last moment and hosting the session. The Q&A was taped, and as soon as the footage surfaces I’ll post a link.
Thanks to the organisers of the event for showing Autumn and for inviting me along. Thanks to them also for shoving us in a room with a load of props from the workshop of legendary monster maker Bob Keen. As a horror geek it was very cool to be interviewed surrounded by bits of dead animal and severed limbs from Dog Soldiers, Cenobites from Hellraiser and the like…!
Special thanks to those fans who came along to see the film – I really appreciate your support and I hope you enjoyed the event. It was great to meet you all and to finally put faces to the names and email addresses!
Congratulations to the organising team for putting together a very successful weekend. Congratulations also to Carl Whiteley and the Zombie-Aid team for successfully breaking a few zombie-related records on the Sunday: a UK record for the number of people taking part in a Thriller dance, a double zombie wedding and, finally, taking the world record for the number of zombies in a shopping mall (beating even the world-famous Monroeville Mall immortalised in Romero’s Dawn of the Dead!). As we left the festival the streets of Manchester were filling with more than 1800 zombies – a very surreal experience! I thought I’d be getting used to the undead by now…?!