Wednesday, June 29, 2011


The Ha of Ha

The legendary Des Lewis has put together another original anthology, this one boldly entitled The Horror Anthology of Horror Anthologies. The conceit behind the book is that all the stories are concerned with (fictional or real) horror anthologies. When the project was announced I didn't think I would have anything suitable for it, as I rarely write horror stories these days. But it occurred to me that I could rewrite one of my unpublished stories and turn it into something resembling a horror story. I did so and to my delight the story was accepted!

'Tears of the Mutant Jesters' is about a horror anthology that suffers from appendicitis (an appendix is the vestigial organ found in some volumes that is a reminder of a time when books ate grass). This story is one of a growing number of adventures featuring a character named Thornton Excelsior that I have written in the past twelve months. I don't know from what psychological hinterland Mr Excelsior came from, but he seems to be muscling his way into all my weirdest tales. Maybe he's trying to take over the extreme surreal end of my oeuvre spectrum? Everyone needs to have at least one end of their oeuvre spectrum taken over from time to time...

My complimentary copy of The Horror Anthology of Horror Anthologies popped through my letterbox this very morning. It is available direct from the editor here and presumably will also be available on Amazon soon.

Hello Rhys!

A friend bought me 'Twisthorn Bellow' as a birthday present; I am normally reticent about reading books about nitroglycerine-laced Golems, but after reading it, a number of adjectives ran through my head! Incredible! Amazing! Astonishing! This is one of the best books I have ever read, and I became incredibly immersed in the story (when I was reading about Twisty fighting HellBoy, I thought to myself 'be careful, Twisty!!!'.

I was wondering; it's a little bit sad that the professor, Twisty, Miss Aborita et al. die at the end; any chance of bringing Twisty and the gang back in a sequel? Maybe you could write a story about them all fighting Gallic unpleasantness in the after-life?

Thanks for a cracking-good read; definitely now one of my favourite books, and I have 'A New Universal History Of Infamy' on order!

All the best,
Thanks for your message! Most kind of you to make those comments! And of course such appreciation from a reader is what makes it all worthwhile!

I have no plans to resurrect Twisty or any of those other characters; as far as I'm concerned they are dead and will remain so; but I have written another novel along similar lines. I think I learned certain lessons while writing Twisthorn Bellow and I tried to produce a novel even more packed with strangeness, satire, jokes, weirdness, etc.

That novel is called The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange. It hasn't been published yet, or even accepted by a publisher, though Meteor House have expressed interest; so hopefully it might happen before too long!

Thanks again! Regards to you!
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