1971. A middle-aged man, wracked with grief, walks along the beach at Whitstable in Kent... A boy approaches him and, taking him for the famous vampire-hunter Doctor Van Helsing from the Hammer movies, asks for his help. Because he believes his stepfather really is a vampire...So begins the moving and evocative new novella by Stephen Volk, published by the British Fantasy Award-nominated Spectral Press in May 2013 to coincide with the centenary of the most celebrated and beloved of Hammer's stars, Peter Cushing.
"One of the most provocative and unsettling of contemporary writers" - Andy Hedgecock (Interzone)
Stephen Volk was the creator/writer of ITV1's multi award-winning paranormal drama series Afterlife starring Lesley Sharp and Andrew Lincoln, and the notorious (some say legendary) BBCTV "Halloween hoax" Ghostwatch which spooked the nation, hit the headlines, and even caused questions to be raised in Parliament.
His latest feature film, The Awakening, starring Rebecca Hall, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton, was released in 2011. His other credits include Ken Russell's Gothic, a trippy retelling of the Mary Shelley/Frankenstein story starring Gabriel Byrne and Natasha Richardson; The Guardian, directed and co-written by William Friedkin; Superstition starring Mark Strong and Charlotte Rampling; and Octane starring Madeleine Stowe and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
For television, he has written stand-alone scripts for Channel 4's Shockers strand and BBC1's Ghosts. He also won a BAFTA in 1998 for his short film script The Deadness of Dad starring Rhys Ifans.
His first collection of crime, horror and science-fiction stories, Dark Corners, was published by Gray Friar Press in 2006, from which his story "31/10" (a sequel to Ghostwatch) was a finalist for both a British Fantasy Award and a Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award. More recently his novella "Vardoger" was a finalist for both a Shirley Jackson Award and a British Fantasy Award. His stories have also been chosen for Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, Best British Mysteries and The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror. He also writes a regular comment piece called "Coffinmaker's Blues" for the horror magazine Black Static (TTA Press). His acclaimed latest book is the novella "Whitstable" (Spectral Press) was published to coincide with the 2013 Peter Cushing centenary.
Before becoming a full-time writer he worked as an advertising copywriter, notably for Ogilvy Benson and Mather, winning a Silver Lion, IPA Effectiveness in Advertising Award and two D&ADs. Before that, he studied Graphic Design at Coventry College of Art and was a winner of the UNESCO/BBCTV/ICOGRADA/ASIFA International Animated Film Contest for Young People, after which he gained a postgraduate diploma in Radio Film and Television at Bristol University's Department of Drama.
He was born in Pontypridd, South Wales in 1954, and now lives in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire with his wife, the sculptor Patricia Volk, and a cat he doesn't like.