A week in a seedy caravan at 'The Good Times Holiday Park' is not exactly the holiday sixteen-year-old Sam has been dreaming of, but he knows his mum is struggling and doing the best she can. At least he meets someone his own age to hang out with – Polly – but neither of them is prepared for the strangeness that ensues.
Beautifully paced and full of deft touches that bring the 1980s setting to life, Visions of Ruin is set during a rainy weekend at a caravan park on the edge of rundown seaside town.
|Me, on a Surrey bike, just outside Holimarine Corton, summer 1986.|
Picture by Nick Duncan, who shared a lot of seaside adventures with me back then.
Having spent the last four years writing three mainstream thriller novels (the first two of which, DON'T GO BACK and
ONLY WATCHING YOU, have now been published by The Book Folks), I've only dipped a toe back into horror when people have asked for short stories. But the genre is in my blood and when Ian Whates asked if I'd like to write a novella for him, I jumped at the chance - I like and respect him a lot and I'm proud to be associated with NewCon Press.
I started writing this just after I finished DON'T GO BACK and the idea took a little while to come together until I realised I could combine two of my apparent obsessions - teenagers in the 80s and a rundown east coast British seaside resort. Once that had clicked in my head I was off and running and the writing process itself (as well as drawing several maps of the caravan park central to the story) was hugely enjoyable and brought back a lot of good memories of holidays in the 80s.
The book is available as ebook and paperback editions and there's also a 60 copy Limited Edition hardback which I thoroughly enjoyed signing the book plates for.
|pictures by Dude|
|Amazon - 31/3/22|
When he announced it in the NewCon Press newsletter, Ian wrote: "I am delighted to welcome Mark West back to NewCon Press' publishing schedule. Mark's short fiction has appeared in several of our anthologies over the years, including Ten Tall Tales and Hauntings, but this time he contributes a longer piece, Visions of Ruin, which will be the 9th entry in our NP Novella series. I rate this as Mark's most accomplished work to date, and was bowled over by it on first reading."
“A taut ghost story that transported me back to the 80s, with plenty to intrigue and unsettle along the way. A pleasure to read, with a terrifically neat ending.”
– Alison Littlewood
Visions Of Ruin can be ordered directly from the NewCon Press website here.
£19.99 (Signed Hardback, LTD ED)
Thanks to Ian Whates for both asking for and then enjoying the story enough to want to publish it, Nick Duncan for sharing all those adventures with me on the east coast in the 80s, Teika Marija Smits who helped push me to start, Alison Littlewood for her kind words and, as always, David Roberts & Pippa for the Friday Night Walks and the mammoth plotting sessions.