Genre News

The Awakening Re-Released

AwakeningI’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.


The Invasion is here!

InvasionpbkMy 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.


Three New Releases

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.

Melbourne Signing

WCAaron 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.

Wolf Creek Novels Launch

einvite-wolfTo 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!

Competition Time!

*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 ( or a PM on Facebook. Happy guessing!

The Game Is On!

DGFINALHappy 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.

Wolf Creek: The Novels!

DGFINALWell 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?

Keep Notions Unlimited Open!

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.

Melbourne Zombie Convention

sunday-6-october-2013-zombie_conventionJust a quick heads up: I’ll be at the Melbourne Zombie Convention next Sunday (October 6th). You’ll find me at the Notions Unlimited Bookshop stall, which will be stocking plenty of copies of the paperback edition of my zombie novel, The Awakening. So feel free to stop by and say hello.

Suburban Jungle Released

SJ_CoverThe third and final instalment in my ‘Jungle’ novella trilogy, Suburban Jungle, has just been released. I’m excited, yet also a little saddened, to say goodbye to this world. But, the series has been given a wonderful send-off with bonus ‘jungle’ stories from John R. Little, Kirstyn McDermott & Daniel I Russell; an introduction by the wonderful Brian Hodge; cover art by Steve Crisp; and internal illustrations by Keith Minnion.

All three books are still available to order from Tasmaniac Publications.

Buk and Jimmy Go West

buk-and-jimmy-go-west-smallI’m thrilled to announce the release of my latest book, Buk and Jimmy Go West. This wild and bloody novella combines my love of the cinema with my fascination for true crime. Available in both trade paperback and digital editions. Published by the wonderful Australian small press, LegumeMan Books. For more information, click here.

Tom Piccirilli

Tom Piccirilli is a wonderful writer who’s about to undergo surgery to remove a brain tumour. Show some love and support and buy his books.

Amazon: Tom Piccirilli

Bendigo Writers Festival

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be appearing at the inaugural Bendigo Writers Festival. I’m on the panel, ‘The Horror!’ (Sunday, August 12th, 1:30-2:30pm) talking about ‘what frightens us now, and how writers are responding in books and on screen’, along with Geoff Brown, Cameron Oliver and Lucy Sussex. For more information, including the full program, go here.

2011 Australian Shadows Awards

I’m pleased to say that the revised edition of my short story collection, Tales of Sin and Madness, has won the 2011 AHWA Australian Shadows award for best collection. Click here for the full list of winners and honourable mentions.

Reilly’s Dream Horror Book Auction

Some of the genre’s most respected authors have donated books in order to help raise some money to send horror author Ronald Kelly’s daughter to Europe for the People to People Student Ambassador trip. Along with signed books from authors such as Joe Lansdale, Jack Ketchum, and Ramsey Campbell, you can bid on a signed copy of the out of print hardcover edition of my novel, The Mother. It’s for a good cause, so follow the link and bid away!

Ronald Kelly’s eBay auction

Jungle Mania

Attention all writers! Tasmaniac Publications is running a writing competition, to coincide with the release of NEIGHBOURHOOD JUNGLE. To find out more, read on:


To celebrate the second release of Brett McBean’s Jungle trilogy, Neighbourhood Jungle, Tasmaniac will be holding a short story writing competition.

Here’s your chance to further expand Brett’s apocalyptic vision of nature destroying modern civilization as we know it, and maybe carving yourself a slice of infamy under this dangerous canopy, for the lucky winner will see their story published in the final instalment, Suburban Jungle, as well as receiving a set of the trilogy in hardback form.

Stories need to be set around a year from when nature stamped its authority on the world, to coincide with the novel’s timeline. With a word count around 5000, we’ll be looking for stories with well thought out characters thrust into a story worth telling – whether they’re struggling to cope with their new found environment or quite the opposite.

Submissions will be accepted from now until mid-July.

Send as a word document, double spaced with standard text, along with ‘Jungle Mania’ in the subject heading to:

Hardcopies are also accepted and can be sent to:
Tasmaniac Publications
P.O. Box 45
Tasmania 7292

Best of luck to all entries…and remember, it’s a jungle out there!

I Went To The Last Motel…

Imagine if my novel THE LAST MOTEL had really been an early ’80s horror movie; an Australian-made low-budget exploitation flick in the vein of Motel Hell or Friday the 13th. That it had fallen into obscurity in the years following its release in 1981, and more than twenty years later I had written a movie tie-in novel.

Well, that’s exactly the premise the folks at LegumeMan Books and I took with the re-release of my first novel.

Since my novel was heavily influenced by low-budget horror movies of the ’70s/early ’80s, we thought it would be fun if this re-release tied in with the cinematic nature of my book. Initially the publishers and I were simply going to design the book in the mould of a movie tie-in, and leave it at that. But the more we talked, the more we liked the idea taking the concept further and actually creating a faux trailer, poster, lobby cards…

So no, there was no LAST MOTEL movie; no ‘Butch’ Callaghan and no Brazilian video containing the only known trailer for the movie. Everything you see in the offical website was created by the talented people at LegumeMan Books (with a little help from me and some friends). The trailer was filmed by us up at Creswick in April, 2010. The cast (including Butch) was played by our friends (I played the corpse!). The music was composed and performed by myself and Matthew Revert. The poster, lobby cards and video cassette were all created specifically for this re-release.

Apologies to anyone convinced this was a real movie and were hoping that one day a copy of this long-lost movie would turn up.

Still, we hope this re-release concept will be taken in the same way the book was written – with a sense of fun and entertainment, and with tongue lightly pressing on cheek.  With that in mind, here is the IMDB page for the ‘movie’ THE LAST MOTEL: THE LAST MOTEL (1981)

And here is the trailer: THE LAST MOTEL TRAILER (YouTube)

Lastly, the official website for the movie that never was: The Last Motel – The Movie.

Keene To Close The Keenedom

Soon, the message board mecca that was The Keenedom will be no more (Brian lays out his reasons here). As a result, I will no longer have a forum, and will not likely have another anytime soon. However, I will still be posting all of my writing and publishing updates here, and if you’re on Facebook, I’ll be using that as my substitute message board. Here is my Facebook page, if you’re interested in ‘friending’ me.

Check-In Once Again at The Last Motel!

I’m pleased to announce that the new edition of my first novel, THE LAST MOTEL, has been released. However, this isn’t just any old re-release. This edition from LegumeMan Books is a true novelisation of the lost 1981 Australian horror movie, complete with a reproduction of the original cover art and 18 pages of movie stills and never before seen production photos! With no known print of the film in existence, this novel will be as close as most people will ever get to actually watching this brutal horror movie. Available in trade paperback, ebook, and special lettered editions. For more information, visit the LAST MOTEL page. For more information about the movie and the book’s history, visit Last Motel – The Movie.

Vincent Preis Awards 2010

I’m pleased to announce that my novel Die Mutter (The Mother) has come in 2nd place in the German horror literary award, Vincent Preis (Vincent Price), for ‘Best International Literary Works 2010’. Sitting among the likes of Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Brian Keene, Joe Hill and Simon Clark, I must say I’m humbled and awed. Thank you to all of my German readers for voting for Die Mutter.

Vincent Preis Awards 2010

The Truth is Out There…

The truth about my first novel, THE LAST MOTEL, can finally be told!

THE LAST MOTEL was a 1981 Australian horror movie that was moderately successful upon its initial release, but soon fell into obscurity. In 2002 I wrote the novel based on the movie, and, with the writer/director’s OK (in fact, on his insistence) the book was marketed as an original novel, rather than a novelisation. Now that the film’s writer/director – Butch Callaghan – is gone, I’ve decided to come clean and let the world know about this little-seen horror movie. Also, the novel will now be re-printed as a movie tie-in, and will be coming soon from LegumeMan Books.

More details about both the novelisation and the movie to follow. You can go here to watch the trailer for THE LAST MOTEL, listen to select tracks from the soundtrack, and view behind-the-scenes photos and production stills: The Last Motel – the movie.

Special LegumeMan Books Signing

A group of LegumeMan Books authors (Matthew Revert, R. Frederick Hamilton, Steve Gerlach, Andrew Gallacher, and myself) will be at Dymocks, Southland, on May 14th, for a group signing.  If you live in Melbourne, feel free to come by and say hello, buy books, get books signed, and maybe you’ll even get a hug or two.  More details can be found here.


Boycott Dorchester

Dorchester Publishing has been screwing their authors over, and some of them have decided that they’re as mad as hell as they’re not going to take it anymore.  To read about just how Dorchester have been behaving, and what you as readers, writers, artists, etc, can do, go here.