Some sad news to share. STEFAN CUSH from THE MEN THEY COULDN’T HANG died suddenly last week from a heart attack. He was 60. As many of you may remember, TMTCH made a memorable appearance in the first HATER novel. While I was writing the book back in 2006, I was in touch with Phil ‘Swill’ Odgers from the band who’d enjoyed the AUTUMN books. We got chatting and he made an off-hand comment about adding him as a character in a future book. I’d just written the scene in HATER where Danny and Lizzie are at a rock concert and all hell breaks loose when one of the band members starts attacking the others, mid-set. Cut a long story short – the band in the book became TMTCH, and it was Swill who did the attacking, but the rest of the lads were very accommodating and they all made an appearance. I was lucky enough to see the band a few years later, and they were magnificent.
There’s not a day goes by when I don’t think about how lucky I am to still be alive after my heart attack last April. Since my illness, I’ve been in contact with many people who’ve either had a heart attack themselves or who’ve lost loved ones. Very sadly, a member of my family passed away unexpectedly last weekend after suffering a massive heart attack. Without wishing to preach, I’d urge everyone to be aware of their own heart health. I know that health services around the world are under unprecedented strain right now, but please do seek advice if you have any concerns. If I’d not received such brilliant treatment from the NHS last April, I doubt I’d be here today.
My deepest condolences to go out to Cush’s family, friends, fellow band members and fans. A Crowdfunder drive is currently running to support his children with funeral costs. You can find the details here.
Had a great time at Waterstones in Swindon on Saturday with Wayne Simmons at our final stop on the ‘Never Trust a Man With Hair’ tour. A highlight was getting to meet the real Kieran Cope (remind yourself of his story here and here), and presenting him with a signed print of the stunning artwork produced by Craig Paton.
It’s not the first time I’ve met someone who appears as a character in one of my books. Who could forget Swill Odgers from The Men They Couldn’t Hang, and his and the band’s appearance in chapter 4 of HATER?
And in case you’ve missed my numerous plugs recently, you can now get signed copies of the UK paperback edition of AUTUMN: AFTERMATH from my Infected Bookstore and Amazon, and if you’re interested in the limited edition hardcover due out in early 2013, register your interest here.
If you’ve read chapter four of HATER, the title of this post will make sense! A fantastic time was had last night, courtesy of The Men They Couldn’t Hang. I finally got to meet Swill in person, and he even wore his MAG shirt for me (as per his appearance in HATER!).
TMTCH are an absolutely cracking live band with a loyal and dedicated following. There’s still time to catch them on tour in the UK, click here for dates and venues. I’d thoroughly recommend going. The missus and I had an excellent night and it was great to be able to put faces to the names of the people I’d killed in that notorious scene in HATER!
By the way, apologies for the terrible photo and the gormless / knackered / vacant expression on my face. I went to the gig straight from running around this beautiful spot (click).
Our favourite punk-folk band and stars of HATER (new readers click here for an explanation) head out on a UK tour in September. Click the image below for dates or visit www.tmtch.net for more information. I’ll be there, but if Swill comes at me with his guitar you won’t see me for dust…!
The winners of the recent HATER / The Men They Couldn’t Hang competition were:
- Mike Pocock from Kent
- Simon Aston from Surrey
- Louise White from Aylesbury
Congratulations! Your books signed by Swill from the band and I will be on their way to you shortly. Thanks to everyone who entered – we had hundreds of responses.
Watch out for another HATER giveaway very soon.
A few quick updates for a Friday afternoon…
mX, a free Australian newspaper, ran a feature on HATER this week. Click here to download a copy.
An interview I did with www.scyla.com in Spain is now online (in English and Spanish!) here. (An update to this update… another Spanish interview with www.fantasymundo.com is now online here in English and Spanish.)
And finally, Herbst: Läuterung (the German language version of Autumn: Purification) is attracting some great reviews like this one from www.roterdorn.de.
Have a great weekend (an extra long one if you’re in the UK!). Maybe I’ll bump into some of you at Sci-Fi-London on Sunday.
(By the way, the ‘The Men They Couldn’t Hang’ competition is now closed. Winners will be announced next week.)
Remember, there’s just over a week left to enter the HATER / The Men They Couldn’t Hang competition! Click here or on the image below to enter.
While I was originally writing HATER in 2006, I got talking to Phil ‘Swill’ Odgers of the band The Men They Couldn’t Hang. One thing led to another and the end result was that the entire band made a brutal and unforgettable appearance in chapter 4 of the book!
To celebrate the re-publication of HATER and the fact that The Men They Couldn’t Hang will shortly be releasing a new album (visit www.tmtch.net for news of an EP and a tour announcement), we’ve combined forces to run an exclusive competition. Click here (before 30 April) and answer a very simple question for a chance to win one of three copies of the UK hardback edition of HATER, signed by both me and Swill!