Category Archives: Fiction

Radgepacket 5 – Tales from the Inner Cities. Cover art and release date.

 

Cracking front cover design! My short story ‘The Estate’ appears at the end of the collection of gritty, suburban tales.

The story flits between past, present and future tense, following our protagonist – a policeman on a tactical response team – as he pursues a young offender on a tough council estate in working-class Stoke-on-Trent. As the chase, and the story, progresses, we realise the protagonist knows more about this particular estate than we realised – he grew up on it. As his past tense relives his childhood , the growing pains, and we realise there is more to this man’s motivations than first meetss the eye. A taut, psychological, twisty tale.

The first draft was written almost four years ago, and inspired by my strict reading diet of Irvine Welsh at that time. The 12’000 word story still stands as my proudest achievement.

There’s other great contributors too, such as Ian Ayris and Paul D. Brazil. The release date is March 19th, and the title will be available from Amazon and Borders, as well as Ebook and Kindle formats, later this year.

Danny Hill

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Necrotic Tissue no more :’-(

 

It’s a sad day for the horror publishing industry; for readers, writers and publishers. The editor of Necrotic Tissue, the once-quarterly horror fiction magazine, has now decided to call it a day. It is a decision based on financial reasons.

Nectrotic Tissue will always be close to my heart, not only because the market produced my first sale with ‘The Ventriloquist’s Dummy’ but because I spent a good chunk of my early writing days studying the magazine, wishing one day I’d appear in it. I don’t know what it was with me and NT, but I just admire it. Although it never had the clout of the big press magazines like Cemetery Dance and Shroud, it was still a cool horror market to be involved in. There was a certain panache about it.

You got the sense that the editors knew exactly what they were doing, from the quality and content of the writing they accepted to the elaborate cover art on every single issue. It sounds cliche, but there will never be another like it.

There is word there may be a Best of Necrotic Tissue anthology, toward the end of the year. A fitting closure. Although I would love to be involved myself, one writer I know that almost certainly should is Natalie Sin, who has appeared in more than just a few of their volumes. For those of you unfamiliar with her work, you should check her out, she produces some of the best short stories I have ever read. She should be famous for them, but isn’t. Yet.

Necrotic Tissue, gone but not forgotten.

 

Danny Hill.

“It’s a new dawn, a new day, and I’m feeeeeelin’ good”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it comes to blogging I’ve fallen by the wayside. During the days when MySpace was at its transient peak, I blogged almost every week; my blogs sheltered all different kinds of incoherent ramblings about everyday things, not to mention a few short story extracts and possible ideas in development.

In fact, now that I come to mention it, have you actually seen MySpace just recently? It almost seems as though the site’s developers are deliberately endeavouring to piss off everyone who still has the misfortune to use it. The majority of its profiles have not updated since the mid-noughties. It’s what Facebook would look like after a nuclear apocalypse. A sort of cyber Atlantis, if you like.

Perhaps it should run a zombie theme. Perhaps black magic could be used to rouse its network users from their collective hibernation.

It’s a convoluted mess, a gross distortion of the site social networkers used to love.

Anyway, I digress. In its day, MySpace had its benefits. I built a healthy readership many moons ago. Some of my readers came from as far away as places like America, Japan, Australia, and, er, Wales. But that was the beauty of MySpace. Whereas MySpace was a great networking site, not only for musicians, artists, writers and poets, but a fantastic platform to showcase their talents as well.

Facebook, on the other hand, merely serves as a vehicle for keeping up with the Jones’s – to see whether you’re making more or less money than the people you went to school with all those years ago; to see how fantastically ugly their children are compared to your own ; to keep track of our former partners/conquests relationship statuses, if anything merely out of curiosity; to giggle at those who care to air the dirty linen of their complex and sometimes ludicrous sex lives on a social networking site… The list goes on.

But the most worrying thing about Facebook is… that it’s just so fucking addictive.

And therein lies the problem… We have forsaken art for ignorance. Sacred, blessed ignorance. And I am just as guilty as anybody else.

Welcome to my new blog.

For those of you who have followed me before, sorry it took so long. I have been procrastinating. For those of you new to my ramblings, this is who I am:

I am a writer of fiction. A professional writer of fiction. Though not one to blow smoke up my own arsehole, I use the term “professional” only because I get paid for what I do, but the pay is far from handsome (as my credit file will testify) and in the ranks of the great published novelists, I am outstanding only in my amateurishness.

So, what do you do? Where can I find you? What kind of stuff do you do?

I started in horror, inspired chiefly by James Herbert, moved away from horror, and now I’m back where I started again. Like a 1970s Mick Jagger, bedhopping from males to females, I like to experiment too, but only with literature, not with my , er, sexuality. (Okay, it wasn’t a particularly good metaphor!)

My earliest fiction can be found in The Monsters Next Door ezine (issues 2 and 5), Bad Marmalade ezine, Flashes in the Dark ezine and SNM. My printed works have appeared in Radgepacket – Tales from the Inner Cities vol.3, by Byker Books, Ruthless, a shock horror anthology by Pill Hill Press, Necrotic Tissue vol.12 and forthcoming in the latest Radgepacket instalment (volume 5), my short story The Estate. ‘The Sneyd Green Karaoke Queen’, another of my short stories, is also available for your perusal for free on their website, under the Radgepacket Online section.

So, predominantly, I write horror and gritty working-class fiction. Tomorrow it could be something else.

I have an unhealthy obsession with werewolves. As a kid, they were the ones that scared me most. Vampires? Dracula? meh! Didn’t bother me. All you need is a clove of garlic and a crucifix. As for Frankenstein and The Mummy, even a Texan Hamburger Eating Champion could outrun those guys. Zombies were pretty scary, but only in considerable numbers. Plus they’re incredibly stupid, easy to outwit, even for me. No, the one that always got to me from the whole Hammer Horror franchise, the one that had me holding a cushion to my face once the ominous music crept in, was Lon Chaney Jr as The Wolfman. Oliver Reed’s performance in Curse of the Werewolf gave me nightmares for weeks.

And as horror movies grew more and more excessive through the eighties, it then became Freddy and then, in particular, The Howling.

I liked the idea of how the werewolves had evolved from Universal’s concept that behind the monster was a man at the opposite end of the spectrum, fearful and cowardly, struck sideways with self-loathing and remorse. The werewolves in The Howling were just as horrific in human form. There was no conscience. This was this concept that gave me the idea for my first novel, The Gipsies.

The story is set in the Staffordshire Peak District, in a small village. When a group of travellers arrive in a fleet of caravans all hell breaks loose. But these are no ordinary Gipsies, as an elderly matriarch in the village points out. They are cursed. And soon that curse spreads throughout the village, waking it from its idyllic slumber. The novel is practically done, just a few tweaks here and there, and will be ready for publication soon.

Before that, though, The Estate will be available from Byker Books. In the story, the protagonist is on a tactical response team, involved in a drug bust on a tough council estate in Stoke-on-Trent. Just as the police take the ram to the front door, a kid bursts through the back door, and our protagonist takes pursuit. But The Estate is not just a story about a chase. Yes, the chase appears in present tense as the protagonist gains on the escapee, but as we delve into the character’s past tense, we discover the police officer grew up on the very same estate, too, and the events of his childhood are explained in detail, a motive unfolds, and in a further tense – future tense – when the protagonist is explaining his actions in the event of the chase to a police psychologist, we find the character may not be as mentally balanced as he first seems. Make sense? If you read it, I promise, it will.

The Estate was written three or four ago, along with my Confessions from a Smoky City series on MySpace (a group of character-driven stories all based in and around my hometown of Stoke-on-Trent) and is still my most ambitious and proudest achievement.

Radgepacket Tales from the Inner Cities, volume 5, will be available from Amazon and Borders and as an ebook from April/May 2011.

Well that’s my introduction done.

Until next time, go slow, take it easy.

Danny Hill.