Welcome To The World of Steve Emmett

Logo Block copy

Steve Emmett is 5′ 10″ in his sock feet, 56 years of age, and may weigh more than 120Kg depending on the time of day. What little hair he has left is brown going grey but, in years gone by, he had a rich unruly mop tamed according to fashion – poodle perm; New Romantic side parting; bleached both in whole and part. His challenge to the barber these days is rather more workaday.

Steve studied architecture at the AA in London where he once witnessed Dame Zaha Hadid fall through a canvas chair (admittedly she was just plain Ms Hadid then). He spent most of his working life selling Italian country homes to northern Europeans and Americans, and spent many years living in London and Italy. He will always be grateful to Lehman Bros for wrecking his comfortable existence and providing him with the opportunity to fulfil his writerly ambitions. Steve grew up on Hammer Horror films, Dennis Wheatley and M R James stories, so not surprising that his main aim is to put the frighteners up his readers. When not scaring people he likes to make them smile.

He is a member of the Society of Authors and reviews for the New York Journal of Books. You may have come across him at the occasional book festival or book signing. He is always open to offers.

He likes to read, watch films, go to the theatre, go to concerts and the opera (he loves the opera), and travel. He has been known to frequent good restaurants and drink fine wine. There isn’t much going on in the world that doesn’t interest him and on which he hasn’t an opinion.

Steve is proud to be a Humanist. He is a member of the British Humanist Association and a working BHA Funeral Celebrant. He is also a member of the management committee of Galha LGBT Humanists.


 

 “Have I discovered North Yorkshire’s answer to Stephen King?” The York Press book reviews*

Poke around in the dark corners and decide for yourselves. Discover my work, musical tastes, book and film reviews, thoughts and foibles, friends, and glimpses of my far-from-ordinary world. And don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of the page to find  other relics of interest. If you want to consider buying a copy of Diavolino, buy links are , erm, all over!


Minnie Quay – The Ghost of Forester, Michigan

Catherine Cavendish

 July 1st sees publication of yet another spooky book by my good friend Catherine Cavendish. I asked her to come over and tell us a bit about her inspiration. Take it away, Cat!


pic 1

In my new novel, Saving Grace Devine, a young girl is drowned, but her spirit returns to haunt the lakeside where she met her untimely end. She seeks help from the living, to help her cross over to the afterlife.

From my research, it would appear that my fictional Grace is not alone. Many people have reported seeing ghosts of drowned girls who are all apparently earthbound. Searching for something, or someone. In need of help from the living to help them join the world of spirit.

So it is with this account – the ghost of the lady they call Minnie Quay.

pic 2

Forester Township, Michigan is a small town of some 1100 people. It lies north of Port Sanilac, on the east Michigan coast of Lake Huron which bulges at the seams in summer when all the tourists come, gather around camp fires by the lake and share their stories. Some true – some not. But the tale of Minnie Quay is attested to by many who will swear to its veracity.

On a street in this little community is an abandoned tavern, with the date ‘1852’ above the door. It once belonged to James Quay and his wife, Mary Ann who lived there in the mid-nineteenth century, along with their children. Their eldest daughter – Minnie – died at the age of fourteen in April 1876 and it is her ghost that wanders restlessly along the shore nearby.

In those days, Forester was a busy, bustling lumbering town, used as a seaport for hauling timber to various locations on the Great Lakes. Four long warehouses and a pier (whose pilings can still be seen) saw a constant stream of traffic and sightseers, keen to see which ships had docked that day.

pic 3

There were plenty of visiting sailors and it was one of these who took Minnie’s eye. She fell in love with him, but her parents were horrified when they discovered the relationship. They didn’t want their daughter mixing with sailors! They forbade her from seeing him again.

Poor heartbroken Minnie didn’t even have chance to say goodbye to her beau. In the spring of 1876, the boat he had been working on sank in a storm. He was killed. Mad with grief, Minnie threw herself off the pier into the icy waters of Lake Huron and drowned, her only wish to be reunited with the spirit of her dead sailor. It was not to be.

pic 4

She’s buried in the local cemetery but, by all accounts, she still wanders. Weeping and searching for her lost love. But there is a more sinister side to this story. Some young women have reported that she has beckoned to them to join her in the freezing waters of the lake. One even drowned after saying she had seen Minnie’s ghost beckon to her that night. So, if you are young and female, do take care when strolling along the banks of Lake Huron alone. At night.

pic 5

A ballad was written about her tragic story. Here’s the first verse of one version (courtesy of Wikipedia):

‘Twas long ago besides Lake Huron
She walked the sandy shore.
but the voice of one sweet Minnie Quay
‘Twill echo ever more.

 

Here’s a flavour of Saving Grace Devine:

 

pic 6

 

Can the living help the dead…and at what cost? 

When Alex Fletcher finds a painting of a drowned girl, she’s unnerved. When the girl in the painting opens her eyes, she is terrified. And when the girl appears to her as an apparition and begs her for help, Alex can’t refuse.

But as she digs further into Grace’s past, she is embroiled in supernatural forces she cannot control, and a timeslip back to 1912 brings her face to face with the man who killed Grace and the demonic spirit of his long-dead mother. With such nightmarish forces stacked against her, Alex’s options are few. Somehow she must save Grace, but to do so, she must pay an unimaginable price.

You can find Saving Grace Devine in all usual ebook formats and paperback (where available) here:

 

Samhain Publishing

Amazon.com 

Amazon.co.uk 

Amazon.ca 

Amazon.com.au 

B&N 

Kobo

 

About the author

Catherine Cavendish is joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology competition 2013. Her winning novella – Linden Manor – is now available in all digital formats and the print anthology will be published in October. She is the author of a number of paranormal horror and Gothic horror novellas and short stories. Her novel, Saving Grace Devine, is published by Samhain Publishing on July 1st.

She lives with a longsuffering husband in North Wales. Her home is in a building dating back to the mid-18th century which is haunted by a friendly ghost, who announces her presence by footsteps, switching lights on and strange phenomena involving the washing machine and the TV.

When not slaving over a hot computer, Cat enjoys wandering around Neolithic stone circles and visiting old haunted houses.

 

You can connect with Cat here:

www.catherinecavendish.com

https://www.facebook.com/CatherineCavendishWriter?ref=hl

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4961171.Catherine_Cavendish

http://twitter.com/#!/cat_cavendish

 

 

 

There’s still life in the Little Old Devil

Diavolino No3

If you haven’t read my debut novel DIAVOLINO, now is your chance to do so for virtually nothing. Amazon has made it 77p/99cents – but I don’t know for how long and I have no control over it. Plenty of people have been taking advantage, as you can see from the Amazon image. Nice to be in such good company.

To get your copy, just click the link below:

 

dia_banner_animated4

myBook.to/Diavolino

Catherine Cavendish: My Gothic Influences

Mary Shelley

 

???????????????????

 

I have been reading horror for as long as I can remember. Can I recall the first time I read Mary Shelley’s most famous work, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus? No. It seems to have been in my life forever.

Mary Shelley wasn’t just a one book author. Following on from Frankenstein (published in 1818), came Valperga (1823), The Last Man (1826), Lodore (1835) and, finally, Mathilda, published after her death.

Yet she will always be identified with that one story which spawned dozens of Hollywood films and countless imitators. But, if Mary hadn’t visited Switzerland with her lover, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and his friends, the infamous Lord Byron and his physician, John Polidori, the story might never have been written.

 

pic 2

 

Mary Shelley was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin on 30th August 1797, daughter of the famous feminist and writer, Mary Wollstonecraft, who died ten days after her birth. Her mother had written and published the radical and (for its time) sensational, The Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) and her father was the philosopher and political writer, William Godwin, who was left to bring up not only his own daughter, but also his wife’s daughter, Fanny Imlay – the result of her liaison with a soldier.

The young Mary loved nothing more than to read, and made extensive use of her father’s library. She said that, “As a child, I scribbled; and my favourite pastime, during the hours given me for recreation, was to ‘write stories.’” Her first published work was at the tender age of ten – a poem called Mounseer Nongtongpaw.

The Godwin household saw a steady stream of illustrious visitors, including Wordsworth and Coleridge, but one particular visitor – a student of her father’s – captured not only her attention but also her heart. Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley began an affair in 1814, while he was still married to his first wife. Facing extreme disapproval by her father, the couple fled England and travelled around Europe, accompanied by Mary’s half-sister, Claire, whose mother had become her father’s wife some years earlier.

pic 3

In 1815, Mary and Shelley had a baby girl who tragically died a few days later. In 1816, she, Percy and Claire met up with Lord Byron and John Polidori and stayed at the Villa Diodati in Geneva. It was there, on a rainy evening, that Byron entertained his guests by reading from a collection of ghost stories and then set each of them a challenge – to come up with a horror story. From those early beginnings, two notable works would eventually emerge. In addition to Mary’s Frankenstein, John Polidori produced his classic work (often wrongly attributed to Byron), The Vampyre.

pic 4

Poor Mary didn’t have the easiest of lives.  Later in 1816, her half-sister, Fanny, committed suicide and soon after, the same fate befell Shelley’s wife. The two lovers married in December 1816 but suffered the loss of two more children before Shelley drowned in The Gulf of Spezia, leaving Mary a widow at the age of just 24.

Mary herself died of brain cancer, on 1st February, 1851, aged 53. She is buried, with the cremated remains of her husband’s heart, in St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth, alongside her parents. Nearly a century passed before her novel, Mathilda, was published. This dealt with themes of incest and suicide – not topics we generally associate with the era of Jane Austen!

Mary Shelley was a woman ahead of her time. Frankenstein’s timeless quality remains a landmark of Gothic literature and one that has formed part of the foundation for countless horror writers down the years. I have no reason to assume that will ever change.

pic 5

Now, here’s a flavour of Linden Manor:

 

Have you ever been so scared your soul left your body? 

All her life, Lesley Carpenter has been haunted by a gruesome nursery rhyme—“The Scottish Bride”—sung to her by her great grandmother. To find out more about its origins, Lesley visits the mysterious Isobel Warrender, the current hereditary owner of Linden Manor, a grand house with centuries of murky history surrounding it.

But her visit transforms into a nightmare when Lesley sees the ghost of the Scottish bride herself, a sight that, according to the rhyme, means certain death. The secrets of the house slowly reveal themselves to Lesley, terrible secrets of murder, evil and a curse that soaks the very earth on which Linden Manor now stands. But Linden Manor has saved its most chilling secret for last.

Linden Manor is available from:
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com.au
Kobo
B&N

About the author

Catherine Cavendish

Catherine Cavendish

Catherine Cavendish lives with a long-suffering husband and mildly eccentric tortoiseshell cat in North Wales. Her home is in a building dating back to the mid 18th century which is haunted by a friendly ghost, who announces her presence by footsteps, switching lights on and strange phenomena involving the washing machine and the TV.

When not slaving over a hot computer, Catherine enjoys wandering around Neolithic stone circles and visiting old haunted houses.

www.catherinecavendish.com

https://www.facebook.com/CatherineCavendishWriter?ref=hl

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4961171.Catherine_Cavendish

http://twitter.com/#!/cat_cavendish

 

 

 

My Writing Process

There’s a new meme doing the rounds and this is it. I was tagged by talented  author Catherine Cavendish – author of the dark and spooky (do go check her out, that link on her name works!). She challenged me to answer a few questions about my writing. So here goes…

The Three Usual Suspects at Waterstones York

The Three Usual Suspects at Waterstones York (L: Julia Kavan R: Cat Cavendish Seated: Me)

What am I working on?

It would be easier really to say what I am not working on. My writing has led me off in different directions and whilst I wouldn’t claim to be a polymath there are times I feel ever so slightly like an emerging polymathette (if anything ending in -ette can be so physically large! Maybe a couchette? In leatherette?).

 

Blood of the Gods

Have I had some terrific feedback on this from test readers! But, to date, the agents I have approached, whilst commending my writing, say they wouldn’t have a clue how to sell it. If you’ve ever read Anne Rice‘s vampire books, or Joanne Harris‘s Sleep, Pale Sister, then you’ll have a teeny weeny idea of what Blood of the Gods is. I have combined ancient Rome and the god-emperors with a dreamy, dark, parallel world of bad business in the present day. And my vampire is, well, let’s say traditional (ie. no sparkles and no hint of empathy with mankind) and different, too. I continue to seek a suitable lair for this but will wait for the right offer as it has been a labour of love and a result of which I am proud.

 

Threshold

Glass prison

My first foray into the psycho-sexual, written together with author Julia Kavan. I write the part of a troubled psychiatrist, Julia the part of a disturbed young woman who enters his life. There were times we doubted we would get to the end without one of us killing the other, but here we are. It was a great experience – I hope for Julia, too – and has produced a tight, chilling tale that almost all readers have loved. I say almost because one said it was too disturbing to finish – and that was such a compliment! As with Blood of the Gods, we are looking for a suitable institution to take this one forward.

 

Massacre Magazine

Human hand with blood

Click to see on Amazon

 

Click Image

Click to see on Amazon

 

Alert: Overuse of the word ‘proud’. But I am. We are. Of this new venture. What Julia and I realised was that the established publishing world seems afraid to touch real horror, and this means that there a good writers of it not being published. So we had the idea to produce a new magazine which would take only the edgiest of submissions, the stories that push the boundaries, and instead of trying to make money out of it simply use it as a vehicle for exposing horror writers we think deserve a chance. We’ve had some terrific stuff in the first two editions and just wait until you see what’s in Issue 3 next month! Our thanks to all those who have subbed from all over the world – and thanks to those who have published with us. There is still lots to do, but progress is sound and the feedback positive.

 

Humour

Italian flag

My little eBook – rather an ePamphlet – The A-Z of Understanding Italians has been such a success that I have decided finally to write my semi-autobiographical novel about the hiarious adventures of a struggling ex-pat estate agent in Italy. Yes, this was the book I wanted to write in 2008 and was told by ‘those who know’ not to bother. Well, I reckon they were wrong. The reaction to A-Z has astonished me and that’s market research in my book. So, right now this new one has the working title Mozzarella and Mayhem and is in the early stages. Watch this space.

 

Humanist Funerals

It seemed to me that as I enjoy writing stories, and it was suggested to me that I could ghost write family stories/autobiographies, that I could probably do something useful and rewarding with this skill that I seem to have. You know, I have always fancied being a cardinal or bishop, but being an atheist is rather a block to that. So when I saw that the British Humanist Association was looking for new funeral celebrants I was almost defeaned by the bells ringing. If you want to know more about this side of my life please visit my other website:

http://humanistfunerals.org/

 

How does my work differ from others?

It’s mine! (Well, except when half is Julia’s).

 

Why do I write what I do?

Because I am what I am. I think the love of horror comes from being forced to attend Catholic Mass as a child. Such blood lust and cannibalism.

Some people don't understand Romanicism

 

How does my writing process work?

It’s a reflection of my own life: three steps forward, two back. I stagger around bumping into ideas and try to keep them in my head for a time when they might come in useful. I lay awake at night worrying about a new novel and only when I feel I have a decent idea do I begin to write anything down. Then I try to be strict, by starting at 9am (ish) and not stopping until I have written at least 1,000 words each day. Some days I manage more, but rarely. I can’t leave a crap sentence on the page/screen, you see. I read published books with lines like, “She sat up and threw her legs off the bed,” and “His eyes bounced off the top of the cupboard.” Well, sorry and all that, but it is crap writing and doesn’t get near my second draft. I tend to turn in on myself and woe betide anyone who disturbs me just as the right word is emerging.

 

Now I have to tag two more authors. Here you go:

Julia Kavan

Xavier Leret

 

The Book Awards 2013 Winner!

Nobody is more surprised than me but I am the winner of the 2013 Book Awards for book reviews at the New York Journal of Books.

2013Reviews-1 (2)

The Book Awards have been run by ‘not for profit’ publisher Acclaimed Books Limited since 2008 and, in that time, tens of thousands of voters from over one hundred countries around the world have shown their appreciation by supporting and nominating books in the competition.

“We have run the awards for over five years but last year was the first time we featured the, often unsung, stalwarts of the literary industry, our supporting professionals. Without the help of these talented individuals and organisations, many of our much-loved stories would never have seen the light of day.  Steve has received particularly warm support. It really is quite an accomplishment for a ‘behind the scenes’ professional to inspire so many to get online and vote in such numbers, and Steve is a very worthy winner!” The Book Awards Managing Director, Peter Lihou

The Book Awards are the only international awards that are open to all professionals offering services to authors and titles distributed in Kindle or printed formats by Amazon.com sites around the world. Anyone can nominate or vote for a professional without charge or registration. Dubbed The People’s Book Awards, this openness attracts large numbers of visitors to the awards site www.thebookawards.com

Some stories are simply too good to resist…

Julia Kavan’s brilliant short story is re-released today. If you missed it last time, catch it now…

Dreaming, Not Sleeping

Some nightmares are simply too good to resist…

Dreaming 1000x1600
Excerpt

So, I’m here. There’s no turning back.

A few steps farther off the path and I will be consumed by the dark. A few steps farther and I will be embraced by the forest, wrapped in the musty smell of decay, held in its damp caress. A few steps farther and I will be lost forever.

Fallen twigs snap beneath my feet. Leaves whisper conspiratorially as I brush past. Twisted branches snatch at my face, scratch my cheek, draw blood. I press my fingers first against the wound, then against my lips, tasting the ferrous stain on my skin. I can hear my own breathing, my own heartbeat, over the wind whipping through the canopy of trees above me.
Not long now and I’ll see him. Not long now and I’ll be held softly in his arms and loved in a way I have only briefly tasted but often imagined.

Buy it now!

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

and all the other little Amazons

You can find Julia here: http://www.juliakavan.com/

Happy New Year!

Goodbye 2013, welcome 2014

It’s customary to celebrate the arrival of a new year with Strauss’s Blue Danube waltz, so here it is – but with space images, ‘cos when we’ve fucked this planet over once and for all we’ll be relying on space travel to save our species.

I found this video on Youtube and this is what it says:

Using the power of the free high-resolution space simulation program, Celestia, visit the world of “2001, a Space Odyssey”. Follow a meticulously choreographed dance of spacecraft from the movie, to the music of the Blue Danube. Experience the beauty of space from gifted Celestia designer Jean-Marie Le Cosperec. You can interact with all of these spacecraft in Celestia, fly next to them, visit the space station and moon base, and examine the ships up close. Visit http://gregs-educational.info to obtain Celestia. This 2001 add-on is available for free. Details and links to the add-on are on that site in the links section, and on Jean-Marie’s website at http://celestiasws.free.fr/index_en.html

Have a good one!

Arise! Spring Edition Submission Call

Admin:

Shall I submit one myself, or not?

Originally posted on Massacre Publishing:

Sunrise MassThe light! It burns!

The dark days may linger but spring advances. The light will soon be upon us and we must be prepared. The time has come to seek themed stories for Edition 2 of Massacre Magazine. And what is it that we seek?

Resurrection

What can you dig up to make out bones tremble and our flesh creep?

Handy - Spring

Let your mind wander to dark places and dark times – past, present…future. What we really want to see is imagination at work rather than the obvious.

If you have a new twist on an old theme or ancient myth, send it in, however… just one word of caution. Zombie stories are acceptable BUT they will have to be exceptional to be successful.

So, whether you’re breathing new life into the undead, or rising from the ashes, send us your submissions!

Fire treesDeadline for ‘resurrection’ themed stories and dark verse is:…

View original 106 more words