Tuesday, 20 August 2019

A Question About Talking Monkeys

"Don't these talking monkeys know that Eden has enough to go around?" - Right in TwoTool

I have a serious question.

What is it about us humans that you find is stupid?
Yes, that's it. That's my question. I'm sharpening the dialogue in my novel-in-progress, PARASITE CROP, and one of the main characters has issues with the human race. In particular, in the way they treat each other, the planet, and animals. So that's why I'm asking you what makes us so dumb? 
It could be anything. Perhaps it's our attitude towards something, or the way we insist in queuing for everything. Is it our obsessions or possessions? Could it be about your selfish neighbour who comes home late and always slams their frontdoor? Or is it that we don't have thick hair around our necks and so must grab a scarf come winter? Are there any additions to the human anatomy you think could be a credible evolutionary step? Do you think technology has stolen common sense and we rely too heavily on the calculator in our pocket or the reversing sensors on our vehicles? How about that some of us need glasses, and others kidney transplants? Tell me anything. Tell me a story. Give me some fuel with which my characters can throw on the flames...
I've said this before: I'll be sure to mention you in the acknowledgments when the book is complete. And that's a promise.
 

By the way, I must thank you for the spike in TERROR THREADS sales - after my last email about short stories, some of you grabbed a paperback or an ebook. Nice one, guys! Also, a big shout to all who sent birthday wishes. Seriously, you ALL rock!
 

As always, thanks for your time in reading this, and I look forward to hearing why you think us humans, us talking monkeys, are dumb.

M.
Your friendly author-guy from the UK.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Shorts and Heroes

"What a hell of a feeling, it is dark all day. But there is something in the sky that glows."
 - Dark All DayGunship

Shorts and Heroes.

Hey, how you doing? I've been playing this writer's game since 2013. Absurdly I never took note of where any published short story landed. I know, right? What's all that about?
Several of you guys, including a close friend of mine (Matt!), have admitted being unable to keep track. Well, me too. And so after a labourious task I've compiled a list, and you can find it below. Aside the magazines and ezines, they're available via my Amazon page: author.to/MarkCassell.
What are your favourite short stories from other authors? One of mine is “The Thief Immortal” by Brian Lumley. It tells the life story of a man named Klaus August Scharme with the unusual gift of stealing the years from any living thing and adding them to his own. I read it something like 25 years ago and it remains with me to this day.
Can you recommend any short story I should read?
 

 
Here's a review snippet for one my shorts featured in 100 Word Horrors Pt.2, published by KJK:

 '...Some of these [stories] had some rather haunting lines, like “No Such Thing” by Shaun Hutson, while others were just down right disturbing or scary like “Beachcombing” by Mark Cassell or “The Gurgle” from Michael A. Arnzen.'

I'm proud of that one, especially given that I grew up on Shaun Hutson's novels. I've also had work published alongside other literary heroes of mine: Clive Barker, Brian Lumley, Joe R. Lansdale, Guy N Smith, Graham Masterton, Jack Ketchum, and Ramsey Campbell. Those are the guys who inspired me to begin playing this game.
I'll shut up now. Here's that list:

“Seeing is Believing”
Sirens Call #12 ezine (SC Publications, December 2013)

“Alone with the Bones”
 Dragon: Ten Tales of Fiery Beasts anthology (Scimitar Press, January 2014)

“Ten Minutes Till Deadtime”
 Hell’s Garden anthology (Lafcadio Press, January 2014)

“Hole in the Sky”
 Cogwheels: Ten Tales of Steampunk anthology (Scimitar Press, July 2014)

“Pumpkin Patch”
Sirens Call #17 ezine (SC Publications, October 2014)

“Death’s Ahead”
Sirens Call #18 ezine (SC Publications, December 2014)

“Alpha Beta Gamma Kill”
“Domino”
“Patient Zero”
Future Chronicles #1 ezine (FC Publications, January 2015)

“On the Vine”
Sirens Call #21 ezine (SC Publications, June 2015)

“Eye Tech”
“Vanished”
Future Chronicles #2 ezine (FC Publications, July 2015)

“The Xenonog”
Sirens Call #22 ezine (SC Publications, August 2015)

“Next on the List”
“Midnight Clay”
“A Demon’s Thread”
“On the Vine”
“The Artist and the Crone”
“Due South”
“Red, White and Black”
“Intensive Scare”
“Meeting Mum”
“Seeing is Believing”
“Disturbed”
“Welcome Home”
Sinister Stitches collection (Herbs House, October 2015)

“Disturbed”
 Fiends: Ten Tales of Demons anthology (Scimitar Press, November 2015)

“The Artist and the Crone”
 Hell’s Grannies anthology (Lafcadio Press, December 2015)

“Salamandrine Fires”
Future Chronicles #3 ezine (FC Publications, January 2016)

“A Sunset Companion”
 Hell’s Kitties anthology (Lafcadio Press, October 2016)

“Naked Wings”
“The Donation”
“Pieces of Cake”
 Burger Van anthology (Severed Press, November 2016)

“Away in a Mangler”
 Bah! Humbug! anthology (Matt Shaw Publications, November 2016)

“Speed”
Sirens Call #30 ezine (SC Publications, December 2016)

“The Commission”
Shadows at the Door anthology (Shadows at the Door Publishing, December 2016)

“The Rebirth”
Collected Easter Horror anthology (KJK Publishing, April 2017)

“All in the Eyes”
Trapped Within anthology (EyeCue Productions, June 2017)

“A Story of Amber”
Collected Halloween Horror anthology (KJK Publishing, October 2017)

“Demon Alcohol”
Afterlife anthology (JA Press, October 2017)

“In Loving Memory”
Sparks anthology (Burdizzo Books, October 2017)

“Dust Devils”
Tales from the Lake 4 anthology (Crystal Lake Publishing, October 2017)

“Trust Issues”
Masters of Horror anthology (Matt Shaw Publications, November 2017)

“The Rebirth”
“The Commission”
“Demon Alcohol”
“Away in a Mangler”
Sussex Horrors anthology (Herbs House, January 2018)

“A Song for Them”
“Over the Edge”
100 Word Horrors Pt.1 anthology (KJK Publishing, January 2018)

“Alone with the Bones”
“In Loving Memory”
“Alpha Beta Gamma Kill”
“The Rebirth”
“Vanished”
Five Doses collection (Herbs House, April 2018)

“Demon Alcohol”
Night of the Living Cure anthology (Wolfgang Anthologies, June 2018)

“Ho Ho Hollow”
Collected Christmas Horror Vol.2 anthology (KJK Publishing, September 2018)

“Reanimation Channel”
The Black Room Manuscripts Vol.4 anthology (Sinister Horror Company, October 2018)

“In Skin”
Dark Places, Evil Faces Vol.2 anthology (Dark Terror Publications, October 2018)

“Naked Wings”
Sinister Horror Company annual (SHC, October 2018)

“Dust Devils”
“A Story of Amber”
“Claimed”
“The Rebirth”
“Pile of Dirt”
“Dead Lines”
“The Commission”
“Diagonal Dead”
“Demon Alcohol”
“A Sunset Companion”
Terror Threads collection (Herbs House, November 2018)

“Beachcombing”
“Feed the Crop”
“On the Second Date”
100 Word Horrors Pt.2 anthology (KJK Publishing, March 2018)

“Ollie Visits Grandma”
Shallow Waters Vol.2 anthology (Crystal Lake Publishing, July 2019)

“River of Nine Tails”
In Darkness, Delight: Creatures of the Night anthology (Corpus Press, August 2019)


Again, most are available on Amazon (author.to/MarkCassell) and here's a direct link to my most recent short story collection, Terror Threads.

By the way, I'm fully aware that I've been quiet these past several months ... That's because I'm hacking at my next novel, PARASITE CROP. It's getting there, I promise.

Also, don't forget: What's your favourite short story you've ever read?

As always, I thank YOU, my reader.

M.
Your friendly neighbourhood author bloke.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

I can't be alone.

"A start, an end, a rise and fall, no system eternal and no one immortal."
End of an EmpireCelldweller

Please tell me I'm not alone ...


How the devil are you? It's been a while since I threw you an email, so here I am. I do hope January is being kind to you.
There's still an Amazon box hanging around our house left over from Christmas. And Isabelle has claimed it. I can't be alone here, surely? Do you have any pets? And what kind of madness did they get up to during the festivities?
By the way, a HUGE thanks if you snatched up SUSSEX HORRORS because you helped it reach No.1 bestseller on two (yes, two!) of Amazon's anthology charts. Also, TERROR THREADS is still doing well, the collection of short tales taking the Shadow Fabric Mythos along a different path which, I admit, was unintended. But it's certainly building the background to another book which is on my to-write list.
Speaking of short stories, I'm not touching any for a while, and instead concentrating on my next book, PARASITE CROP. Remember that question about immortality? Thanks again for the bombardment of answers, you have helped build the plot for me. And for that, I'll be sure to give you all a shout in the acknowledgements when published.
I promise.
Another question, this time regarding food because the main character of PARASITE CROP is a chef (yeah, if you're a chef or work in a restaurant, please shout!): Do you have any tales you'd like to share about having dinner at your house or someone else's, or perhaps dining/serving/cooking/washing up at a restaurant?
You get the idea. Tell me. The weirder the better.
Don't forget, gimme that answer and I promise to add you in the acknowledgements.
As always, I thank you for being here, and may I take the time to wish you a great rest of January? Cool, because I just did.
 
Your friendly neighbourhood author-bloke.
M.
 
PS - Here are those links again:

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Two things

"Immortal. In madness you dwell." - The Thing That Should Not Be, Metallica

I moved to East Sussex.

You're probably fed up hearing about us moving home, but down here on the edge of England life is good. Anyway, I'm speaking with you about two things, and I'm all excited.

Firstly, it's almost Christmas and I have a present for you. At least a chance for you to grab a discounted copy of Sussex Horrors, a short story collection where I share pages with Rayne Hall and Jonathan Broughton. It's going for 99c/99p from now until the 19th of December. Find your preferred digi-version right here:
http://www.markcassell.co.uk/books/sussex-horrors/

If you already have a copy, in whatever guise (some of you even have those signed paperbacks!), then you're already a hero. And for that, I think you're great!

Now, please, I'm not only here for that. TWO THINGS, remember? So, before I run away into the kitchen and prepare dinner, I'd like to invite you into my world. I have a question:

If you were immortal, what would be both good and bad about it?

There's a reason I'm asking, and you'll find out next year, but, yeah... Tell me what you would get up to and why it may not just be all fun and games.

Yours (that friendly neighbourhood author-guy),
M.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Is it just me, or ... ?

Yeah, that Christmas thing.

How you doing? Ready for Christmas? I'm not. Almost, but not quite.

My wife and I had one target this year, and that was to move home. Our moving date came close to the end of October, and by the time we upacked, settled in, and truly made the house Our Home, I realised something: Christmas is almost on us!

Seriously, is it me or did Christmas leap forward a few months without telling anyone?

While unpacking, I found a box of paperbacks left over from conventions, so I'm offering you the opportunity to grab a signed copy or two! Also, well ... you know ... a paperback makes an AWESOME Christmas present, right? Right?

Oh, and the paperback edition of Terror Threads landed a few days ago. I have several of those left from the first print run.

Here's a list of what I have (all £6 each, excl. postage):
The Shadow Fabric
Sinister Stitches
Hell Cat of the Holt
Chaos Halo V1 - ABGK
Sussex Horrors
Terror Threads
Please note: this is on a first-come-first-serve basis (should it be hypenated like that? Haha). All overseas readers are welcome, of course! I'll never leave you guys out. Ever.

Feel free to reply via email or contact me if we're buddies on social media. And if they are gifts for others, please be sure to get me to personally sign them to whoever the LUCKY recipient is. :-)

I'll sign off now. Thanks for reading ...

Seasons greetings from your friendly neighbourhood author-guy,

M.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

A Teaser for Halloween

It's almost upon us...

"... I knew how they’d died in the 17th century: one swinging from a tree, the branch creaking as she mocks those whom hold the rope; another smirks at a gloating township through hungry flames; one bleeds from countless wounds over every inch of her naked body, the fatal penetration of a blade as she spits a curse into the Witchfinder General’s determined glare; another, accepting the water into her lungs as she watches the light of day blur with the man who holds her below the surface; and the last, a curse uttered from scabbed lips as the moonlight reflects from a swinging blade the moment before it severs her neck.
Here they were, under a 21st-century moon, returned. Long-haired and gowned, yet their faceless heads glistened smooth in the moonlight. No features, with mottled and veiny flesh ..."
 - excerpt from one of ten stories in TERROR THREADS.

Released on the 3rd of November, this short story collection is currently still up for the discounted pre-order price. So be sure to grab it before those £$£$£$ go up (find it here: Terror Threads).

As always, BIG thanks to all you guys!

M.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Terror Threads


Here's a treat for you guys.

How about snatching up my next ebook for a SPECIAL pre-order price?
From now until 3rd November, Terror Threads is available exclusively on Amazon for only 99p (99c) - please click here. After that, the price will jump up ... so, this is your chance to save some pennies.
Here's the blurb:
TERROR THREADS
Ten standalone tales in the best-selling Shadow Fabric Mythos. Each story of ghosts, of demons, of the occult, weaves the mythos tighter and proves we all have the power to see in the dark. Both an introduction to the Shadow Fabric and a companion book, this collection of horror stories contains the following:

"Dust Devils"
- When a driving instructor's pupil fails to turn up for a lesson, he doesn't just drive off. He investigates ... things.

"A Story of Amber"
- Two brothers and a grandfather's secret. This is a story that begins in childhood and ends in adulthood.

"Claimed"
- In Yellowstone Country Park things are black.

"The Rebirth"
- A primary school teacher's lesson fails to go to plan when a peculiar Easter egg lands in her possession.

"Dead Lines"
- An artist learns she is not the only one holding the brush.

"Pile of Dirt"
- After a serious accident, all you want to do is relax in your garden. But the mysterious pile of dirt that has appeared on your lawn bugs the hell out of you.

"The Commission"
- A photographer's commission proves to be a pain in the neck.

"Diagonal Dead"
- It's a shame the dead can't stay dead, especially those who are discovered in a wall cavity.

"Demon Alcohol"
- Staying at a bed and breakfast in a quaint harbour town, Tammy is not in the mood for uninvited guests. Especially when she's hungover and the guests are demons.

"A Sunset Companion"
- The low October sun can cause road accidents by blinding drivers ... but perhaps there are other causes in the surrounding woodland.

Most of the stories featured in this collection have been previously published in anthologies.
Grab Terror Threads at the special pre-order price.
Click HERE to be taken to your country's Amazon page.

What the reviewers say about some of the stories:


Dust Devils (first published in Tales from the Lake Vol.4 (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2017)

"When a driving instructor went to pick up his last learner, he did not expect to get involved in a mystical monster attack. Having read other work by this author I was not disappointed with the story. An ancient monster, a deranged man and bloody death scenes, all things that I love..." - Amazon reviewer


A Story of Amber (first published in Collected Halloween Horror Shorts (KJK Publications, 2017):

"Brothers Chuck and Dillion were farm kids who experienced an unexplainable freakish event in their fields one Halloween. They are all grown up now and have unfortunately drifted apart. You've heard of gemstones having healing properties, well, what if the opposite was true... Oh that antagonistic Amber, a beauty to be wary of as it unifies and evades.

So damn unique, I had NO idea what was going on here I just knew that I was digging it.

Mark is a very highly regarded indie author with quite a few highly regarded works out there. I have only read two short stories of his, so far, but I can totally see why. His writing is like alternate (yet not bizarro) dimension kind of stuff, multi layered with precise attention to detail. I really need to check out more from him. His Shadow Fabric Mythos series is....yep, you guessed it, very highly regarded." - Goodreads review


The Rebirth (first published in Collected Easter Horror Shorts (KJK Publications, 2017):

"A wooden egg and a nasty surprise. I like how throughout you are following Kelly as she tries to rescue one of her students. The descriptive style makes you feel as you are walking Kelly's steps. Whilst this is not graphic it has that creepy feel to it and will make your imagination work overtime." - Amazon reviewer
 
Grab Terror Threads at the special pre-order price!
Click HERE to be taken to your country's Amazon page.
 
Thanks!
M.