London tour company Strawberry Tours recently interviewed me about Jack the Ripper. Read my thoughts about this most infamous of serial killers here.
I’m thrilled to announce that my coming-of-age/voodoo novel, The Awakening, has been re-released. Initially published as a limited edition hardcover four years ago by Tasmaniac Publications, this is the first time the novel will be available in the US in both paperback and eBook editions. The new edition comes with a foreword by author James Newman (Midnight Rain) and is published by Bloodshot Books. Available to buy in paperback and Kindle.
“THE AWAKENING is a riveting and fascinating novel that really grabs readers. I loved that it’s a coming of age novel that thrusts readers into the story and won’t let them go. Brett McBean was already one of my favorite authors but THE AWAKENING is one of the best books I’ve read in years, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!” – John R. Little, author of THE MEMORY TREE, MIRANDA, and URSA MAJOR
“A story that raises itself above a simple horror tale, THE AWAKENING resonates with heart while applying just the right amount of chills. Highly recommended!” – Ronald Malfi, author of THE NIGHT PARADE
Welcome to the small Midwestern town of Belford, Ohio. It’s a quiet, friendly town. On one corner of Main Street you’ll find Barb’s Corner Store. Opposite you’ll see the town square, with its neatly trimmed lawn and statuesque gazebo. There’s everything you need here. There’s even a local bogeyman. You know the type: reclusive, looks a little strange. The person all the kids are afraid of. Every town has one. Except this one is stranger than most.
Meet Mr. Joseph. With his severely crooked neck and nasty facial scar, the old man from Haiti is the one resident all the kids whisper about and are scared to go near. But there are things about Mr. Joseph no one knows about. He has no heartbeat. No breath passes by his lips. And he has been dead for over ninety years.
It’s summer vacation and fourteen-year-old Toby Fairchild is looking forward to spending a lazy, carefree summer playing basketball, staying up late watching monster movies, and camping out in his backyard with his best friend, Frankie.
But then tragedy strikes. And out of this tragedy an unlikely friendship develops between Toby and the strange old man across the street, Mr. Joseph. Over the course of a tumultuous summer, Toby will be faced with pain and death, the excitement of his first love, and the underlying racism of the townsfolk, all while learning about the value of freedom at the hands of a kind but cursed old man.
Every town has a dark side. And in Belford, the local bogeyman has a story to tell.
Here’s an article I wrote about the inspirations behind my novel, The Invasion. In it you’ll read about my boyhood fear of home invasions, the Manson murders, and my thoughts on horror fiction writers writing stories from fear. Check it out at Shotgun Logic.
I’m a true crime nut. The Invasion, like a lot of my fiction, is drawn from real life horrors (specifically the Tate-LaBianca murders). Over at HorrorTalk, I discuss five home invasion cases that have deeply disturbed and affected me over the years. You can read my article here
Are you a fan of home invasion movies? I am. I’m a sucker for any and all horror/thrillers that deal either in part or wholly with the terrifying threat of a home invasion. I’ve seen a lot of home invasion movies, it’s one of my favourite sub-genres, and so I thought I’d narrow the pile down to the ten most memorable. My thanks to Matt and the good people at Addicted To Horror Movies for allowing me to invade their site.
So far, feedback for my latest novel, The Invasion, has been overwhelmingly positive, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m thrilled readers are responding to it.
Here are two recent reviews:
iHorror (also contains a bonus interview after the review)
You can read the interview at Sylv.net here. It’s short and sweet, so won’t take up too much of your time.
I was recently interviewed by Gef Fox, about my latest novel release, The Invasion, as well as about writing in general. You can read the interview at the Wag the Fox blog, here
My latest novel is now available! I’m thrilled to say the paperback and digital editions of my horror/thriller novel The Invasion have been released and are now available to purchase.
It was supposed to be a quiet end to a long day: five close-knit family and friends settling in for some much-needed sleep after coming together for an early Christmas party.
Instead, it’s the beginning of a shocking night of brutality when six intruders break into the sprawling residence of Debra Hillsboro, a middle-aged romance novelist with a fierce devotion to her loved ones and a strong kinship with her home of almost thirty years.
Armed with smartphones and a modern brand of madness, the intruders – an internet-age cult disconnected from humanity and addicted to causing fear and mayhem – have come to the secluded property for one purpose: to terrorize, and ultimately kill, everyone inside all while filming their heinous crimes.
Outnumbered and cut off from the outside world, the terrified occupants find themselves trapped in a fight for survival as a once place of safety is turned into a deadly maze of darkened rooms and forbidding hallways. On this sweltering summer night, they must somehow find a way to escape before the cult turns the beloved home into a house for the dead.
Also, if you’re a reviewer or run a site dedicated to books or all things dark and disturbing, contact Hook of a Book Media and Publicity to be a part of The Invasion book tour.
I’m thrilled to announce that the limited edition hardcover edition of The Invasion will be published by the wonderful Thunderstorm Books. I’m excited to be working with them again, and couldn’t be happier with the cover artwork, which was done by Alex McVey.
More information about the limited edition can be found here. If you’re interested in securing a copy, best get in quick, as numbers are extremely limited.
Here’s the cover for the upcoming US release of The Awakening. Design by Kealan Patrick Burke.
I couldn’t be happier to announce that my coming-of-age/voodoo novel, The Awakening, is set for a re-release later in the year. The novel was first published in limited edition hardcover by Tasmaniac Publications in 2012, followed by an Australian paperback/digital release by LegumeMan Books. Now, the good people at Bloodshot Books will be releasing the first US edition, to be published in both paperback and digital formats. To find out more, click here:
As is often the case with writing, sometimes you can go for months, even years, without a single release. Then, like blood from a knife wound to the jugular vein, they can come pouring out in one great spurt.
Over the past few weeks, (after a drought of almost two years) I’m pleased to report I have three new works/editions that have been released. They are:
THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF JACK THE RIPPER STORIES. This anthology of Ripper tales contains my story, ‘A Child of the Darkness’. The UK paperback and eBooks editions (Robinson) is now available: Little, Brown. The US eBook is available now (Running Press) with the paperback to be released December 22nd: Amazon
BLURRING THE LINE. A new anthology of horror and dark fantasy stories that contains my story, ‘With These Hands’. Published by Cohesion Press. The eBook edition is available now, with the paperback to follow: Amazon
DER SCHMERZ DES ERWACHENS (THE PAIN OF AWAKENING). The German edition of my novel, THE AWAKENING. Published by Festa Verlag in a special collector’s edition, limited to 666 copies.
I was recently interviewed by writer and journalist Andrew Masterson about the Slender Man case specifically, and horror in general. The article has just been published in The Age. You can find the article here:
I’m excited (and relieved!) to say that I’ve finally finished the last round of edits, and so the new novel is complete! Titled The Invasion, it’s a very dark thriller concerning a home invasion. Loosely based on the Manson murders, and drawing from my own fear/morbid fascination with home invasion crimes, it’s the first in a planned home invasion series, and goes to some very dark places indeed in telling the story of one terrifying night when a modern-day cult break into the house of a bestselling novelist and proceed to terrorize the occupants. As a brutally realistic story, and one heavily influenced by real life crime, it’s similar in tone to The Mother, and should appeal to fans of that novel.
Watch this space for more information regarding the novel.
Aaron Sterns and myself will be at Dymocks, Melbourne, on the 14th of March, signing copies of the Wolf Creek prequel novels. It should be a great evening, so we’d love to see you there. Details of the event can be found here.
To celebrate the release of Penguin Book’s Wolf Creek prequel novels, Notions Unlimited Bookshop is hosting an official launch party. Come and meet writers Aaron Sterns and Brett McBean, get your copies of Origins and Desolation Game signed, down some libations and mingle with other Mick Taylor fans. Date: February 1st 2014, starting at 4pm. For more information about the event, click here. Hope to see you there!
*UPDATE: The five winners have been decided, so the competition has ended. Thanks to all who played and congratulations to the five winners! For the record, my all-time favourite Aussie horror movie is: LONG WEEKEND (1978).
To help celebrate the release of the Wolf Creek novels, I’m giving away five signed copies of the second installment, Desolation Game.
As Wolf Creek is one of Australia’s greatest horror movies, I thought I’d make the competition Oz Horror related. All you have to do is guess my all-time favourite Australian horror movie (note: Wolf Creek is out of the running as an answer, for obvious reasons). The first five correct guesses each win a signed copy of Desolation Game: Wolf Creek Book 2.
Send your guesses to either my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) or a PM on Facebook. Happy guessing!
Happy New Year to all my wonderful readers! Exciting news to begin 2014: the Wolf Creek prequel novels are now available! The thoughtful folks at Penguin Books Australia know you’ll be looking for summer reading fare, and what better way to relax under the Aussie sun than by reading about that lovable cad from the outback, Mick Taylor. Be sure to pick up both the first book in the series, Origin, and of course the second book, Desolation Game. The books are available online in both paperback and eBook editions, and I presume in bookstores all around Australia soon. For more information about my book, click here.
It’s almost the end of the year, and so I thought I’d post my five favourite reads of 2013.
1/ We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson
I’ve long been a fan of Jackson, but this novel put her in the upper ranks of favourite writers. A stunning book, darkly comic and filled with memorable characters. A look at small-town America through Jackson’s truly unique eyes.
3/ Women – Charles Bukowski
I went on a Buk kick early in the year, reading (and in some cases re-reading) almost all of Buk’s novels. While not quite as concise and punchy as Ham on Rye or Post Office, I found Women to be one of Buk’s funniest and in some ways, his most quintessential. Full of hard-drinking and even harder women.
4/ Basal Ganglia – Matthew Revert
A stunning leap forward for the talented writer/publisher/designer. For me, it’s Revert’s most mature and fascinating work. A unique tale about a pillow fort, a wool baby and identity. Marvelous.
5/ Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
The Hitchcock film has been a long-time favourite of mine. I’ve been meaning to read the novel for many years. This year, I finally got around to it. Excellent gothic romance, as good as I had imagined it would be.
Well folks, I can finally announce a project I’ve been eager to share for a while now. Coming soon from Penguin Books Australia – Desolation Game: Wolf Creek Book 2, by Brett McBean and co-written with writer/director Greg McLean. Penguin Books plan on releasing six prequel novels, all original stories that chart the bloody rise of Australia’s favourite fictional psychopath – Mick Taylor. The first two prequel novels (Origin, co-written by Aaron Sterns and McLean and Desolation Game) are scheduled for release January 2nd 2014, in the lead-up to the release of the second Wolf Creek film in February. I couldn’t be more honoured to be a part of this iconic Oz Horror film series, and I hope readers will embrace these original novels.
When sharpshooter and killer Mick Taylor searches for a place to keep a low profile, he finds somewhere where his peculiar talents are appreciated: a war. And in Vietnam, an out-of-control sergeant takes the amateur murderer and turns him into a pro.
Back home, Mick makes use of the sick lessons the army taught him, when hapless tour operators bring a Kombi-load of sightseers out his way into the Western Australian desert. Two suspicious flat tyres deliver an engaged Japanese couple, a father and son, a US army vet and his girlfriend, and a couple of cute girls to Mick’s lair. Middle of nowhere, population one. The group finds themselves in hell, as Mick makes sure their once-in-a-lifetime tour stays that way. And though one of the drivers escapes and goes for help, Mick sees no reason to stop the killing spree.
In the second Wolf Creek prequel novel, the cult film’s writer/director Greg Mclean and horror writer Brett McBean get to the heart of Australian horror’s most terrifying psycho killer. Is Mick Taylor possessed by some dark power in the landscape itself? Something ancient? Does the Red Centre demand blood?
Notions Unlimited Bookshop has reported that, sadly, unless it sees a substantial growth in its customer-base, the Chelsea-based spec-fic bookshop will be forced to close its doors. The owner/manager, Chuck McKenzie, is a long-time friend and a big supporter of my work. He also works hard to help promote Australian authors and publishers, and his bookshop is one of the few specialist shops in Australia dedicated to all things horror, fantasy and science-fiction. It would be utterly sad to see such a wonderful place close. We need bookshops like Notions Unlimited and we need people like Chuck. So please, help spread the word. Buy all your spec-fic books at Notions Unlimited and tell all your friends and family to do the same.
I’m thrilled to announce that my coming–of-age novel, The Awakening, has been re-released in both paperback and digital editions, published by the fine folk at LegumeMan Books. The novel, which garnered some excellent reviews when released last year in limited edition hardcover, combines my love of small town/coming-of-age stories and the fascinating world of Haitian Vodou and zombies. If you missed out on the hardcover edition, I hope you’ll give the novel a chance now it’s available in more affordable editions. For more information, including links to order, go here.