Monday 28 March 2022

Only Watching You, by Mark West

I'm pleased to announce that Only Watching You, my second mainstream thriller published by The Book Folks, is now available.

Cryptic, intimate threats make a woman question everyone close to her…

Claire Heeley has been getting her life back on track after separating from her cheating husband, when she is almost run over.

This is the first in a series of incidents that lead her to believe she has a stalker.

Someone has daubed a hangman symbol outside her home, and each day letters are being added to the game.

Whatever the writing on the wall, something spells serious trouble.

Can Claire find out who has it in for her before a death sentence is written out?

ONLY WATCHING YOU is the second suspense thriller by bestselling author Mark West. Look out for his first, DON’T GO BACK, also available FREE with Kindle Unlimited and in paperback.

Following an acrimonious separation, Claire Heeley joins a local social group meaning to start a fresh chapter in her life.  But as she begins to make new friends, other areas of her life take a sinister tone.  As well as seeing hangman images wherever she goes, with one game seemingly to use her name as the answer, she’s being followed by a mysterious stranger and terrifying messages are left on her car.  When the persecution increases, Claire must protect her family as she strives to uncover the truth.

Tell all your friends!

Monday 21 March 2022

Nostalgic For My Childhood - Poster Magazines part 3

When I blogged about "poster magazines" before (you can read the 2019 post here and the 2020 post here), it certainly struck a chord but I was surprised to find people my age had never heard of them.  So, here's a few more...

Me, in 1978, with my hero
Poster magazines were essentially A4 glossy colour magazines which folded out into a (large) A1-sized sheet.  One side would be the magazine (with articles and plenty of photographs) while the reverse would be a giant poster and, depending on what you’d bought, the image might be a person, an action scene or the film poster.  I had several and most kids I knew had at least one huge poster on their wall.

The possibilities were endless.  Dez Skinn (before he created Starburst magazine)  produced Monster Mag which featuredgory movie stills from the likes of Hammer Films and Amicus.  Music was a big draw (singers and bands alike, as well as musical styles - my friend, the writer Mark Morris, remembers having punk ones on his wall).  You could pick up magazines devoted to TV series like Star Trek (a whole run of them), The Six Million Dollar ManDoctor WhoSpace: 1999The ProfessionalsThe HulkBattlestar Galactica and Planet of the Apes.  Film tie-in's were especially popular - if it was a blockbuster (and the 70s and 80s were full of them), there'd be a poster magazine on the newsagents shelves sooner rather than later (featuring the likes of Star WarsSuperman and James Bond).

spacemonstersmag reckons the magazines died out in the 1990's, which is a shame.  I still have a few in my collection (though not on the walls of my study) and think they’re great fun, another nostalgic item for film and TV fans of a certain age.

Did you have any?  Which ones were on your wall?
1978 (clearly a bumper year for Poster magazines!)


You can check out the previous posts, from 2019 and 2020 here

Monday 7 March 2022

Don't Go Back update

As hard as it is for me to believe, my debut mainstream thriller Don't Go Back (published by those good people at The Book Folks) has been available for a fortnight. And what a two weeks it's been!

Having come out of the UK small press I wasn't entirely sure what to expect but the reaction has been better than I could have imagined. People - some my friends from real life and Facebook, others I had never interacted with - were hugely helpful and supportive, sharing my posts and tolerating me talking about the book a lot and letting their friends and followers know that Don't Go Back was out there.

The book went straight into the Hot New Releases Chart in the top twenty and as I write this on Sunday 6th it's currently sitting at #31 which I am really happy with - after all, if I'm known for anything at all, it's as a horror writer, not a thriller writer. Even better, the book charted in the US, Australia and Canada which is hugely gratifying, especially for a novel that is set in a very typical English seaside town.

Reviews and ratings have been very good and we're showing a 4.5/5 on Amazon and 4.39/5 on Goodreads (and Steve Bacon was good enough to blog his review too). People seem to have taken well to the dual timeline which is pleasing because the writing process for that and trying to get it all tied together seemed - at times - to be a never-ending headache.

So if you're one of those people who bought, rated and/or reviewed Don't Go Back then I want to thank you (with a special mention for Ross Warren). Like most writers, I create the stories because they're in my head and I enjoy the process of getting them out onto paper but to know that someone else derives pleasure from it makes all those painful parts (why won't this character do what I want her to, why isn't this part working, why on earth did I think it was a good idea to have a dual timeline?) worthwhile.

And if there's anyone you think might like a dual timeline thriller novel set in an English seaside town with some funny bits, a few scary bits, a couple of sad bits and a whole lot of suspense, please tell them all about Don't Go Back.

A captivating thriller about a woman whose past suddenly catches up with her

When Beth receives news that a once-close friend has died, after years away she reluctantly returns to the seaside town where she grew up.

Beth becomes increasingly unsettled as she attends the funeral, encounters people from her past, and visits her teenage haunts.

She is forced to take herself back to the awful summer when she left for good. Yet it is not just memories that are resurfacing, but simmering resentments.

Someone else hasn’t quite so readily put their past behind them, and unwittingly Beth will become the key to their catharsis.

As she puts two and two together, the question is: whatever possessed her to return?

DON’T GO BACK is a truly nail-biting read that will appeal to fans of Claire McGowan, Vanessa Garbin, Teresa Driscoll, Linwood Barclay and Anna Willett.

This is the best book you’ll read all year!

Tell all your friends!