The Attitude Smorgasbord: Sarah Norquoy

From May to December 2015, I delved into the lives of 21 writers, finding out what made them tick, who would play them in a film of their lives and what advice they would give to their young selves. Now the Smorgasbord is back, rebooted and raring to go, with a fresh batch of writers lined up for the next seven weeks.

First up is Sarah Norquoy. I met Sarah in 2016 when I was invited to Stromness in Orkney, to give a talk at an Emergents workshop. I was working on the final draft of Boiling Point, and Sarah was experiencing extraordinary success with her blog, Norq from Ork.

thrillers-with-attitude-crime-fiction-sarah-norquoy

Hi Sarah, Norq from Ork, has been incredibly successful. Why do you think it has struck such a chord with readers?

Thank you very much! I think it’s because I write about every day things in a simple and  funny way. People can identify with what I’m saying and as you say, it strikes a chord.  I didn’t set out to write that way, it was just the voice that emerged.   That said, I also write about very touching and moving aspects of life which people seem to appreciate too.  The posts that do the best are the ones where you’re tapping into an emotion that people can completely identify with, even if it’s something as mundane as loading a dish washer or cutting the grass.  Also people enjoy seeing the scenery of Orkney which I often share. I have nicknames for family and friends which seems to be a real hit as well.  I’ve always nicknamed my husband Orkney Beef and that dates back years to when I was completely nuts about him and he didn’t know I existed, so I just continued with the name.  Then I thought up names for my children and people started to ask what their name would be or suggesting one for themselves.  The whole blog is generally a bit of light relief, people know what they are going to get and they seem to like it.

Do your family ever get annoyed with you for writing about them?

They have never yet, but I’m very careful about what I write. If I’m unsure I will always ask permission first and if anyone doesn’t want to be involved then of course I would honour that. Usually  they love it and encourage me in what I’m doing. I have a regular feature called My Week in Pictures and  I discovered that my daughter and her boyfriend often try to get featured in it.

Where did you grow up, and how did it differ from life on Orkney?

I grew up in Sutton Coldfield on the outskirts of Birmingham, but I’ve lived in other places too and moved up to Orkney after 12 years in Cambridge.  It is COMPLETELY different from Orkney in every way.  We only saw the sea once a year on our family holiday and I always dreamed of living by the sea.  Now I can see it from my sitting room, kitchen and dining room window and I never tire of it.  I still have to pinch myself sometimes.

How did your blog evolve?

I’ve often been told how entertaining I am on things like Facebook and Twitter and many friends suggested I take it to a wider audience and write more. I’ve always enjoyed writing and often said I want to write a book, so the blog was merely a discipline to make me write on a regular basis. It quickly gained momentum and people enjoyed it and started signing up to read and follow up.  I’ve loved it and am really pleased I took the plunge.

How did you feel about putting yourself, and your family, out there?

I’m careful about what I share and if someone doesn’t want to be involved then I would honour that completely.  There’s much of my life that I’ve shared but there’s also much of my life that I haven’t. It’s a risk sometimes and I’m quite a sensitive soul so if someone said they hated me I think I’d cry!  Thankfully that hasn’t happened and I hope it never does.

 Have you ever regretted a post, or wished you’d pushed one a little further?

I haven’t regretted any but I have certainly felt like I’ve taken a risk with some and thankfully they have paid off.  It’s not so much the funny stuff as the personal accounts like for example talking about the death of my brother.  There are still a lot of things I want to explore like talking more about my life as a single parent.  They were difficult days and I would like to think that sharing some of my experiences could help someone else who may be going through it. Sometimes I wish I was braver with my writing as I’m quite risk averse, but maybe I’ll get there yet.

 Have you ever written, or considered writing, any kind of fiction or poetry?

 I’ve written some short stories. I entered my first one in the George Mackay Brown Fellowship completion and won a prize, and I’ve had a short piece published in Living Orkney magazine.  There’s book which is in the process of being written but it lives in my head a lot of the time..… I’m always, always, always writing in my head. The problem is that dreaded four letter word T*ME to get it all written down into something ready to send away. Gah…. 

Who inspires you?

I’ll try to stop this tipping into a load of gushing tripe but in all honesty it’s everyday people. The elderly who have lived through wars, rationing  and tremendous hardship with stories to tell, people who show kindness, friends who have stood by me through thick and thin. People who have overcome adversity and keep going.  My husband inspires me, and sometimes, I’m just inspired when I look in the  mirror and remember I raised two kids on my own with a mountain of difficulties to overcome. It’s taken me a long time to say that.

What has been your best writing moment so far?

Seeing my piece published in a magazine was thrilling, winning a prize in the competition mentioned earlier, being messaged by someone saying they love my work and how much did I charge.  But most of the time it’s getting an email or message from someone saying how a blog has touched them in some way or made them laugh. Being stopped by someone and told my blog really boosts their day, or made them smile or even cry. I’m always so touched that people want to make contact. A couple of posts I’ve written have had 900 views in a day.  That was astounding but I don’t know why some go like that and others don’t.

What are your ambitions, writing wise?

I want to be published.  The half written book I want to finish and publish, and I wold love to publish the blog in the form of a book too.  The ultimate dream for me would be to walk into a book shop and see my book there and know a complete stranger chose to buy it.

Do you have any particular writing habits?

Not really, I tend to write the blog in the evening but I’m always  jotting down ideas in note books or on my phone so I don’t forget it.  I observe people and make mental notes and jot them down.  Someday all these jottings will be worth a fortune I’m sure of it.

Who would play Norq From Ork in the film of your life?

Dawn French. I think she could do the funny parts of me perfectly and the the really difficult parts of my life sensitively. I asked her on Twitter once but she didn’t reply so I guess I’m going to have to think again.

A few short questions to finish with. 

Okay,  but I’m rubbish at narrowing these down to one so I may have to give you a few answers for each question.  What you gonna do, fire me?

Heh, heh. I guess not. Favourite books? 

The Outrun, The Time Traveller’s Wife, Rebecca, We Need to talk about Kevin, Stuart: A Life Backwards (warned you)

Author?

Not often I stick to one author but that said I know I’ve read all of Jonathan Tropper’s books. 

Meal?

Chinese noodles and crispy seaweed.  Also, your money’s safe with me but not your chocolate. 

I’ll keep that in mind next time we meet. Film? 

I loved The Help also loved A Brief History of Time.  Don’t make me choose. *sobs*

Music?

Quite an eclectic range. Right now I’m listening to Norah Jones in the car but another day it could be bangin’ tunes at full blast.

What are you reading right now?

3096 Days.  The story of Natascha Kampusch and how she survived 8 years being held in a dungeon after being kidnapped aged 10  She finally escaped at 18 and her coping strategies to stay alive and sane, and her ability to write so eloquently about her experience, is remarkable.  Now she really is inspiring. 

Thanks Sarah. It’s been a pleasure.

Thank you for asking me. It’s been an interesting experience. 

 Where can readers find out more about you?

My blog is Norq From Ork where you can subscribe, I also have a Facebook page called Norq from Ork.  You can tweet me on @SarahKNorquoy  and my Instagram is NorqfromOrk.  Take a look and say hi. 

LG Thomson is the author of thrillers, Boyle’s Law, Boiling Point, and Erosion, and of post-apocalyptic thrill-fest, Each New Morn. Find out more at Thrillers With Attitude.

thrillers-with-attitude-boiling-point-crime-fiction-release

Fully Engaged

jekyll

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is a story of rare impact. As with Catch 22, the phrase Jekyll and Hyde has transcended the book and become part of our everyday language.

Although Jekyll and Hyde is not my favourite Stevenson story (that plaudit goes to The Bottle Imp), I have recently been dwelling upon it as the duality at the heart of the tale seems to me to reflect the contemporary existential struggle.

We are living at a time of incredible change and innovation. Knowledge, opportunities, and the possibility of interacting with people across the world are only a device away. Young people especially, have the chance to learn and connect with the world in a way that was unthinkable during my formative years before the internet existed and the main job of the local librarian was to keep knowledge-hungry kids out of the adult section lest they stumble upon something more challenging than Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven.

But with the positive comes the correlating negative. The ability to engage has become a fear of ever switching off and life is lived at an intensity previously unknown. Long gone are the days when school with all its trials and tribulations was left behind with the ring of the final bell. Now there is no respite; the good, the bad, and the intensity of knowing what everyone thinks about everything all the time shadows you home.

Sinatra sang Saturday Night Is the Loneliest Night of the Week; before the advent of the internet you might have thought so but with the rise of social media don’t you just know it. It’s right there on Facebook, everyone is at the party and you weren’t invited.

There is no escape, no let-up. So-called banter gets grotesquely out of hand in group chats. People flounce after being roasted, but being roasted is better than not being included in the first place. Opinions become fact, rumours mutate into truth, while in her bedroom a naïve girl takes an intimate photograph to send to some guy she doesn’t know and who most likely isn’t who he says he is.

Child exploitation didn’t start with the internet and if the web disintegrated overnight it wouldn’t end, but the gaping maw of the web, ever hungry for more and more images has made the cynical corruption of our children increasingly profitable.

The internet doesn’t just make the gratification of sexual voyeurs easier to achieve; it seems to make everything easier but what we are being fed is the illusion of choice.

Everything on the internet is a click, a swipe, a tap of the keyboard away. Instant gratification followed by more instant gratification leading to a dulling of the senses. Maybe that’s why so many young people self-harm – because feeling something is better than feeling nothing. Or maybe it’s because they read about it online and they want to be as tortured and sensitive as everyone else.

No wonder so many of them turn to drugs, which are also only a text or a click away. They know the dangers, sure they do – they get told about them at school. But health warnings don’t work, the kids either feel so young and invincible that the thought of losing a few brain cells doesn’t matter, or they are on such a nihilistic mind trip that death by drugs seems like an acceptable option.

The ones who survive this stage of their lives will come out at the other end to face a Brave New World, for the internet and all that comes with it, is in its infancy. We haven’t begun to tap into what is possible; depending on your point of view this is either an exhilarating thought or one which terrifies.

Perhaps instead of the device being hand-held and never out of grasp, it will become corporeal. The screen will be absorbed into the body and everyone barcoded at birth so that they may purchase what they will with the blink of an eye or a flicker of a thought.

We will be 100% engaged and Hyde, as he does in Stevenson’s tale, will have won.

Everybody hates clowns

alternative christmas

The idea of a midwinter festival has a lot going for it, particularly here in the North West of Scotland where the time between sunrise and sunset can be less than six and a half hours long, but Christmas is out of control.

If the pressure to join in with the yuletide festivities is getting too much for you, give yourself a break and listen in as I cut through the Christmas bloat on Losing The Plot’s Alternative Christmas.

There are some cool tunes too.

Thrillers With Attitude Literary Smorgasbord: Jon Miller

If you have ever been anywhere near a writing group or book festival of any kind, you will know that writers come in all shapes and sizes, from big robust circles, to tiny stabby stars. They come in different flavours too, from cool, classic vanilla, to eyeball-exploding, triple-hot chilli sauce.

Thrillers With Attitude is on a mission to find out what makes these weirdly-shaped and strangely-flavoured writers tick.

My guest this week is poet, musician, teacher, and fellow presenter on Lochbroom FM, Jon Miller.

Hi Jon, welcome to the Literary Smorgasbord.

Tell me a little about yourself – where did you grow up?

 I spent the first seven years of my life in India and Africa: Mumbai and Kenya though there was also about a year spent in Zanzibar. My father was a banker; my mother busied herself being a mother. We lived the colonial life in the dying days of Empire. We had live-in servants, nannies, large cars. My father appears to have fought the Mau Mau during the Uprising but no-one seems to want to talk about this in the family. He had some strange scars and his regiment did not have a good reputation. We had holidays in the Seychelles and there are old 8mm reels of film of us cavorting on white beaches our hair bleached by years in the sun. I have the moles and the skin damage to prove it.

When we came back to Glasgow, I grew up in and around Broomhill and Partick in the West End. I also grew up inside my body and my mind as they tried to make sense of each other. Most of the time was spent up trees, on bikes, playing football, exploring disused railway tunnels and discovering pornographic magazines discarded in hedgerows beside the allotments.

 What were you like at school?

 I watched myself attend school without much purpose or understanding as to why I was there. It was something that was happening to me, like body hair or the burgeoning notion of a future. I was good at football but average at everything else apart from English which I was also rather good at. Once I discovered books I read voraciously and the football faded into the background.

 What are you passionate about?

 I get passionate about playing music, politics.

 Tell me about your route into teaching.

 I had spent as long as I possibly could avoiding a proper job. I was writing – poetry and fiction – getting published but not really earning anything (I didn’t realise then that it takes a very long time for this to happen). I was eventually officially declared ‘destitute’ – perhaps my highest accolade – but by this time I had a young family. Teaching was something I knew I’d be good at so it suggested itself as a way of finding money (which you don’t find as a writer).

 Was it something you wanted to do?

 ‘Wanting’ is as strange word. I found myself doing it and found it was energising and involving and rewarding although I was not aware that this would be the case before I started. Is ‘wanting’ unconscious? Are you impelled towards things that are good for you even if you are not fully aware of the reason for your choices? Teaching was not something I intended doing yet here I am still doing it so something must have worked out okay.

 How did your expectations of the job match up to the reality?

 Perfectly – I knew what to expect, had few expectations and they were all fulfilled. I realise now that I have helped a hell of a lot of kids get to a place that has done them a lot of good and that was something I hadn’t considered.

 Do you ever get frustrated by the books or poems you have to cover in class?

There are many different ways to be frustrated with books/poems. We choose most of the texts we teach: these are selected for varying reasons, not all of them literary. There are very few texts we ‘have’ to cover by diktat. Those that we have to are of varying degrees of success in their composition. Some barely qualify as literature, some are deemed ‘classics’ – that might be the same thing. If you teach a particular text for many years you gain an intimate understanding of its flaws and successes.

 Are there any you personally don’t rate or actively dislike?

 Yes – but it would be churlish of me to mention them and I lack churl.

If it was up to you, what books or poems would you like your students to read?

 I might like them to read them but they might not like to read them. Anything by Don de Lillo, Samuel Beckett, Les Murray, Czeslow Milosz. The Bible. Lao Tzu. As long as they keep away from Jackie Kay and Benjamin Zephaniah.

 There is a scene in the classic 1980s film Ferris Buellers Day Off where a teacher drones painfully on in front of a catatonic class – “ Anyone?  Anyone? Anyone?   Have you ever felt like that teacher?

 Yes. Today in fact. But part of the variety of teaching includes times when no-one wants to be there. I include myself in that.

 How do you keep it fresh?

 Generally, I keep it in the fridge. On other days, I rely on energy and the desire to take on what most people ignore. It comes from creativity and thinking up new ways of approaching an idea, character or poem. That’s the best bit.

 Report cards aside, how much time do you spend producing your own creative writing?

 Reports are less and less creative these days as they are often compiled from computerised banks of comments. The days of elegantly handwritten irony are long gone. I produce creative writing in fits and starts – usually I have a wee fit of remembering that I once did it and start something. I have lots of poems no-one has ever seen or have not been published at all (some of them are even quite good). I am wryly fond of Christopher Hitchens’ statement that “Most people have a book inside them – and that’s where it should stay”. I doubt if the world needs another minor poet cluttering up the shelves.

 What advice would you give to the young Jon Miller?

 He still is quite young – but I’ve no idea who he is and I doubt if I would recognise him if I did, apart from his mass of curly hair which I would envy. The young Jon Miller is still going to be the way he was so he probably would still be bewildered by the huge range of competing voices in his head so it would not make any difference. There is an assumption in the question that the current Jon Miller knows something about something worth passing on which is highly dubious.They both exist much like a hollow wind down a long corridor.

 What’s next?

 Bed, I think.

 A few short questions to finish.   What is your favourite book?

 Impossible.

 Author…

 Samuel Beckett. Don deLillo. Les Murray

 Food…

 Probably toast. Anything cooked by my wife.

 Drink…

 The first one of the day.

 Film…

 The films of Michael Haneke and Steve McQueen (except Twelve Years a Slave which is terrible.

 Television programme…

I don’t watch television. Although I will watch football online when I can because it induces a delicious mindlessness, emptying me of all thought because football has a wonderful capacity to seem brimful of meaning but is finally and completely vacuous. It leaves me in a blissful state of benign Buddhist emptiness.

 Radio programme…

 Most mainstream radio is pretty predictable – apart from some Radio 4 programmes where they are given space to discuss ideas and culture. I prefer podcasts such as RadioLab or Welcome to Nightvale. The best ones are more inventive, imaginative and experimental in their use of sound and deal with a kind of life that mainstream radio ignores.

 Music…

 The Phantom Band. Bukka White. R L Burnside. Mark E Smith. Nick Cave. Henryk Gorecki.

 What are you reading right now?

 The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud. It is based on Camus’ LEtranger but told from the point of view of the brother of the Algerian Meursault killed. It is a neat conceit that redresses some of the psychological and imperial ideas the original did not deal with.

Where can people find out more about you?  

 Why on earth would they want to do that? Call round to the house. Bring cake.

Alternatively: Some poetry I produced in collaboration with Peter White, artist.

There is also a short poetry collection entitled ‘Still Life’ which can be purchased from the American Amazon site for $345.48. Obviously rare and collectible.

I have some wee interviews and local documentaries for Lochbroom FM.

There are also various videos and EPs of bands I have been in on Youtube: Naked Strangers, Mojo Walk. EPs also available.

It’s been a real pleasure having you on the Thrillers With Attitude blog, Jon.

twitter thing

Jon Miller

LG Thomson is the author of Boyle’s Law, Erosion, and Each New Morn.

 

Book Week Scotland 2015

B&W banner

Book Week Scotland 2015 runs from 23 – 29 November, with hundreds of book-related events taking place across the country.

I have been invited to speak at Ullapool Library on Wednesday 25, and I’ve got to tell you – I’m really looking forward to it.

Expect readings, revelations, and a sneak preview of Boiling Point.  Should be a lively night.

If you live in – or are visiting – Scotland, check out the list of events on the Scottish Book Trust website.  Chances are there’s something great going on near you.  Why not go along and show your support.

LG Thomson is the author of Boyle’s Law, Each New Morn, and Erosion.

 

 

Thrillers With Attitude Literary Smorgasbord: Linda Gillard

If you have ever been anywhere near a writing group or book festival of any kind, you will know that writers come in all shapes and sizes, from big robust circles, to tiny stabby stars. They come in different flavours too, from cool, classic vanilla, to eyeball-exploding, triple-hot chilli sauce.

Thrillers With Attitude is on a mission to find out what makes these weirdly-shaped and strangely-flavoured writers tick.

My guest this week is bestselling author, Linda Gillard.

Welcome to the Smorgasbord, Linda.  What were you like at school?

A swot. I was academic, deeply religious and starred in school plays. I couldn’t decide whether to become a nun or an actress when I left school. I chose the latter.

Tell me something about the evolution of Linda Gillard the author.

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t make up stories in my head. The first time I dared to think, “Maybe I could do this” was as a teenager in the ‘60s when I read the romantic suspense novels of Mary Stewart. She was a big influence and I still re-read her with pleasure.

After I abandoned acting, I worked for some years as a freelance journalist, but I didn’t start writing fiction until I had a nervous breakdown and had to quit teaching. As I convalesced, I started writing a novel for something to do. That was Emotional Geology. I became addicted to writing and kept writing novels – seven so far and the eighth should be out next year.

When did you first describe yourself as a writer?

After I got my first publishing deal in 2004. I’d been writing fiction for some years, but didn’t think I could describe myself as “a writer” until someone actually paid me for it. But I knew in my heart that I was a writer, even if I didn’t earn money doing it.

What is your style of writing?

I’ve no idea. Accessible literary fiction?… I certainly don’t write in any particular genre. But I think the journalism background shows. I cut savagely and like to think every single word earns its keep. I can’t bear waffle.

Are you inspired by any writers in particular?

I’m not sure I’m inspired by them – it’s more a question of bow down and worship – but these writers (in alphabetical order) have been influential: the Brontës, Dickens, Georgette Heyer, Daphne du Maurier, Dorothy Dunnett, Margaret Forster, Shakespeare & Mary Stewart. I would also cite Bruce Springsteen’s songs as a literary influence.

What are you working on right now?

My eighth novel which has the working title, The Trysting Tree. It has two interweaving story lines – one set in 1914 and one in 2014. It’s about memory and trauma. Most of my books are.

How much research do you do?

Enough to get started on the book, then I research as I go, looking up whatever I need to know. I’m wary of the distractions of research. It takes so much time, even with the internet. I prefer to make stuff up, then check later to see if I got it right.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It varies. I took a two-year break in the middle of writing Emotional Geology when I was getting my kids off to university and moving house. Now I write full-time and hope to complete a book in little more than a year, but life intervenes. I was treated for cancer in 2012 and subsequent disability has really slowed me down, physically and mentally. This year my first grandchild was born and that’s proved a delightful distraction from writing. I’m definitely getting slower and now I self-publish there’s so much more to do.

What is your writing routine – do you have a favourite time of day for writing?

I don’t have a routine. I write whenever I can make the time and find the energy, but mornings are best.

Do you have any particular writing habits?

I draft on lined A4 using disposable propelling pencils from WHS. I try to write as fast as I can without thinking too much about the quality. The editing starts when I type it up.

I can write straight onto the screen but I write better longhand. Chemotherapy damaged the nerves in my fingers so I’m no longer a very fast or accurate typist.

What inspires you to write?

Landscape. People. Problems. People with big problems, isolated in a real or interior landscape. The characters always come first, then a sense of place. I don’t actually need a story to start writing, just a situation that gets me thinking, “What if…?”

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Write for writing’s sake. Don’t expect publication or financial reward. You’re very unlikely to get either unless you go down the indie route. Writing is its own reward anyway. When you feel angry about your unsolicited manuscript being rejected, remember: nobody asked you to submit it!

If you’re thinking of going indie, write the best book you possibly can and make sure it’s properly edited. Ideally, wait until you have several books ready to publish. It’s hard to make an impact with just one.

I also recommend that any would-be indie author joins the professional body, The Alliance of Independent Authors. They offer advice, support and friendship. Their closed Facebook group is a mine of information, generously shared.

What are you reading right now?

The Singing Sands by Jospehine Tey.

Is there any one book you would like to have written?

The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett.

Who would play Linda Gillard in a film adaptation of your life?

Young or old Linda? Old Linda would be played by Helen Mirren.

What advice would you give to the young Linda Gillard?

Travel more. Get more exercise. Make more friends. Live as if you only have 10 years left, because you never know…

A few quick questions to finish – favourite book?

The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett, her six-book series of historical novels set in the 16thC.

Author…

Dorothy Dunnett.

Drink…

Gin & tonic – with lime please.

Food…

Cheese.

Film…

Field of Dreams

Television programme…

I don’t watch TV but I tend to binge on DVD series. My favourite so far has been Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom.

Music…

I love all kinds of music and couldn’t live without it. I’d rather go blind than deaf. It’s really hard to choose a favourite composer, but today (and most days) my choice would be Haydn.

Where can readers find out more about you? 

On my website and Facebook.

Linda Gillard

Linda Gillard

LG Thomson is the author of Boyle’s Law, Each New Morn, and Erosion.

Tales of Terror for Hallowe’en

pumpkins

A thousand years, give or take, before Einstein predicted the fourth dimension the Celts were already celebrating the night when the past, the future and the present became one.

Samhuinn (SAH-vin) was the day when the Celts brought their animals into the winter fold. It was a time of thanksgiving to the gods for the return of safe cattle and a plea for a bountiful food supply in the following year. In this season of the earth’s decay, Samhuinn was also a feast of the dead.

Early Christians in Scotland transplanted the Feast of All Saints onto the existing Celtic festival and so Samhuinn became Hallowe’en, a night for guising, when people dressed in disguise so that they would not be recognised by the spirits of the dead and trapped by them in the limbo between this world and the next.  When imported to the United States by Scots and Irish immigrants, the tradition evolved into trick or treating.

As a Scot, I’m a stickler for referring to this tradition as guising, but when it comes to making a Hallowe’en lantern, carving a pumpkin is a much more enticing prospect than spending hours scraping, gouging and hacking at the traditional Scottish turnip – a medium as yielding as your average boulder.

I went out guising every year when I was growing up in the 1970s.  There were a few glamourous wee fairies and the occasional witch roaming the streets, but mostly it was hordes of wee tramps going from door to door dressed in their dad’s old gear.  I was channeling Laurel and Hardy, the piece de resistance of my ensemble being a plastic bowler hat – a souvenir from a weekend trip to Blackpool.

This Hallowe’en I’ll be staying at home, cosied up by the stove, a glass of red wine to hand as I read a few of my favourite tales of terror.

Check out my list and please feel free to make a few recommendations of your own.

Happy haunting.

Classic shorts:

  • The Tell-tale Heart, Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Monkey’s Paw, W.W. Jacobs
  • The Bottle Imp, Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Lottery, Shirley Jackson

Creepy collections:

  • Zombiesque, published by Daw Books Inc
  • Zippered Flesh: Tales of Body Enhancements Gone Bad, edited by Weldon Burge
  • Night Shift, Stephen King
  • Books of Blood, Clive Barker

Long scares:

  1. Under The Skin, Michel Faber
  2. Dracula, Bram Stoker
  3. The Road, Cormac McCarthy
  4. The Stepford Wives, Ira Levin

LG Thomson is the author of Boyle’s Law, Each New Morn, and Erosion.