This writer's guide explains how to write short stories and horror fiction for children and adults. The author shows how to build on the inital idea and develop characters and plot. There are ideas for selecting and approaching publishers and information about contracts and publication.
I had my first story published in a local newspaper at the age of 12, followed by 55 more before I was 17. It was a good start to a writing career and I owe much of it to my mother (historical novelist E.M. Weale) who gave me every encouragement. My father, though, was insistent that I followed family tradition and went into banking.
Hence it was twenty years later before I became a full-time author and I had some catching up to do. The 1970's were a boom time for pulp fiction and I made my debut with 'Werewolf by Moonlight' (NEL 1974). It was 'Night of the Crabs', though, which really established me as a writer, virtually overnight in that memorable record, hot summer of 1976. This title was the 'No.1 beach read'. It saw numerous reprints, spawned 5 sequels along with several short stories, as well as a movie.
'Night of the Crabs' enabled me to go full-time. At the time with my wife, Jean, and our four children we were living a reasonably conventional life in Tamworth, Staffordshire. It was time to move on though, and in 1977 we moved to our present home in a remote part of the Shropshire/Welsh border hills.
I was no stranger to country life though, and the further away we were from town and traffic the better. For many years I had been writing for the 'Shooting Times' and several other sporting publications. Then in 1999 I accepted the post of Gun Editor of 'The Countryman's Weekly'. This involved 4-5 articles per week and I relished the challenge.
By this time pulp fiction was virtually out of fashion so diversification suited me, yet my readership has remained faithful to me and technology has made it all possible again with e-books. Thus my backlist is steadily returning to electronic print along with some new books. It is an exciting time.