Tuesday, 31 March 2015

INTRODUCING RAYVEN BLACK


I don't sit down and write a story as soon as I get a new idea. I mean, not usually. There are exceptions to this rule, of course. For instance, coming back from Kyushu -- the southern island of Japan -- I grabbed a couple of hours sleep and then went staggering to my laptop to write a tale about the place, 'Hanako from Miyazaki,' which got snapped up by the first editor I sent it to (a little tip to other writers here: Western editors just cannot resist tales with Eastern settings).

More normally though, it takes a while, and that's very definitely the case with this one. I got the idea for my first ever superhero story years ago. I had the character, the setting and the circumstances, even the full title. But I didn't sit down and write it for one very simple reason ... who on Earth would buy it?

But then, two Decembers back, I dropped in on the British Fantasy Society's Xmas gathering, as I almost always do. And among the indie publishers showing off their wares was Pete Coleburn of The Alchemy Press. He took me over to his table, saying: "Maybe you'd like to write something for us?"

And there, right in front of my nose, were the first two editions of The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes, and Peter informed me that antho #3 was looking for submissions at that very moment. What happened next? I think you might have already guessed. The very next morning, I sat myself down at my beaten-up old desk and started writing my first Rayven Black tale. Editor Mike Chinn bought it straight away, it appeared in print back in September, and now it is in eBook form at Amazon, with other outlets hopefully to follow.

I'll be working on more tales about this hero in the near future. Meanwhile, you can find out more about her first adventure HERE.


Sunday, 8 March 2015

FREE FICTION FOR THE YOUNG (and YOUNG AT HEART)

When I first started writing professionally, I produced a good number of stories -- mostly supernatural and spooky science fiction ones -- aimed at younger readers, mostly for the likes of Mary Danby's Armada anthologies and Richard Davis' sf collections. I've not penned many of them since those early days, but I have since written a few more tales that -- although aimed at adults -- are perfectly suitable for younger readers too. And I've recently collected my personal selection of the very best of them into this little book on Kindle. About half the fiction in it can be found in other places, but four of the stories -- my Armada Ghosts chiller 'The Girl in the Cellar,' for instance, and my dystopian future fantasy 'Summertime' -- are available to the general public for the first time in several decades.

And the book is absolutely free on Amazon from today until Wednesday 11th, inclusive. But why wait until Wednesday? Pick up a copy straight away, and take a look at some early stories that I'm still extremely pleased with. You can take a look at the book's Amazon page HERE.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

I'VE FINALLY TURNED TO CRIME!

Down the years, I’ve largely become known as a writer of supernatural fiction, dark fantasy, and horror. I’ve written science fiction too, and even some short mystery stories, but those have almost always had either a supernatural or a futuristic twist. But now my very first full-blown crime novel – THE DESERT KEEPS ITS DEAD – is out from Telos Publishing. No spooks, no sf, nothing but action and intrigue and evil-doing. It’s available in eBook format and in a paperback version too. The back-cover write-up is below:

The desert … it prefers to keep its dead. It wraps them up in its hot, dry arms, leeching the moisture from their skin ….

Ex-FBI agent turned private eye Matt Barrett arrives in Sunset City, Arizona searching for a teenage runaway, only to find her dead and buried in the desert sand. Investigating further, he learns that other young girls have gone missing. It seems there may be a serial killer on the loose. But Sunset City is an unwelcoming place of dark, closely-guarded secrets, and Barrett is resisted at every step of the way, soon finding his own life in danger …

A gripping, noirish debut crime novel from acclaimed horror and dark fantasy author Tony Richards.

‘He’s convincing … convincing enough that the locals will read about their city as described by Tony Richards and shudder. And that’s what we call a writers’ writer’ – John Pelan.


THE DESERT KEEPS ITS DEAD is available in eBook format from Amazon, B&N Nook, Kobo, or as a fine looking trade paperback from Telos Publishing.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how my readers react to this new change in direction. Who knows? I might even pick up some new ones. And a second novel featuring the same detective ought to be in my agent's clutches early next year.

Monday, 6 October 2014

THE WRITE ADVICE



Once again, my richardsreality website has been through a major update, with a new interview, additions to the photo gallery, news of my latest novel HOT BLOOD from Samhain Publishing, and updated info for the e-book versions of my Raine's Landing series.

Most importantly, though, I've added a couple of articles on the subject of going about writing a novel.. Under the general heading 'Some Thoughts on Writing,' Part One is titled TRUST YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS, while Part Two comes under the heading THE DIFFERENT DRAFTS.

I've nearly thirty years experience of seeing novels into print with the likes of Tor Books, Pan, HarperCollins and Schusters, and I very much hope all you prospective authors out there find some of my advice useful.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

A WAR BETWEEN IMMORTALS


Last year saw the publication of my chiller Under the Ice from Samhain Publishing. And it certainly drew some critical praise, but it was short, a novella in fact.

This year sees something much, much bigger, because my dark fantasy epic Hot Blood is out from the same publishers. Here's the back-cover blurb:


Who dares to challenge a vampire?

Two very different immortal creatures have arrived in New York City. One is Tanya Merrit, the last of the Ykrall, a race that lives among—and depends on—human beings.

The other is Janos Wolkran, an ancient and extremely powerful vampire. He has with him a brood of servants, humans that he has converted. But one of his servants is dying. And Wolkran has chosen Tanya’s lover, Kathy Harrison, as a replacement. When he kidnaps her, Tanya sets off in a pursuit that will lead her around the world…and into a battle to the death between immortals.

Hot Blood starts out in Manhattan before moving on to Latin America. And then, after a brief stop-over in London, England, the action transfers to Prague, and beyond that to Budapest, finally ending up in the Zempleni Mountains, part of the Carpathian Range. Like I said, this is one big book  and took me several years to finish.

The novel is available either 
as a superb-looking trade paperback or in e-book format, either directly from Samhain, or from Amazon, Nook, or Kobo.

Want a piece of fiction you can really get your teeth into? Well, this should keep you busy for a while. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

THE BIG AUGUST SALE!


















How about this for a special offer?

For the rest of this month, all of my self-published e-books in all formats will be available for 99c plus delivery fee (totaling around 77 pence in the UK). That takes in books normally priced at $2.99, including 3 full length novels in my Raine's Landing dark fantasy adventure series, the huge short story collection pictured above, and The Complete Sherlock Holmes in the 21st Century.

Which means that all of my e-books on Amazon Kindle are now the same low price. And the same applies to KoboSmashwords, and B&N Nook.

Happy reading. And in some cases, scary reading too -- though not everything is write is scary by a long chalk. There's something for most tastes here.

IMPORTANT P.S.: EVEN MORE GOOD NEWS ... I'VE DECIDED TO CONTINUE THIS SALE INTO SEPTEMBER. DON'T MISS THIS CHANCE TO PICK UP SOME GOOD-SIZED BOOKS AT THE MINIMUM PRICE.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

AT LONG LAST BLOOD!

Let me transport you back in time to the late 1990s. Remember those days? (And I really don't want to hear that you weren't even born then, smartarse!)

Pan Macmillan had a couple of years earlier published my second full-length novel, Night Feast, a great thick blockbuster of a horror tale involving some of the nastier gods of Ancient Egypt transmuted into human form, the plot spanning the decades from the Great Depression to the -- back then -- present day.

And they were within a couple of months of publishing my third one, again big and thick, but spanning continents rather than decades this time. It was called Hot Blood, and featured two different types of vampire, one good and the other extremely evil.

I'd checked all the edits. I'd read the final proofs. The cover was done, and I felt all ready to go ...

When Pan decided to cut their horror list almost altogether and the book got dropped (I kept the advance, you'll be glad to hear).

This was the start of the massive slump in horror publishing that happened around  that time. In fact, pretty well none of the major publishers were interested in even looking at that type of fiction for a good seven or eight years thereafter -- and believe me, my long suffering agent Leslie Gardner of Artellus really tried.

And when vampires did finally make a huge comeback -- well -- they weren't the types of vampires featured in my novel, not by an awfully long shot.

But now I'm very proud to say that, after 15 years or so, Hot Blood is finally to see print. Samhain Publishing -- the same guys who brought out my chiller Under the Ice last year -- are producing it as an e-book first, and hopefully as a paperback later on. I took the opportunity, naturally, to revise the book and bring it up to date before I even showed them the manuscript. And they have run with it since then, with the end result that I sent the final  proofs back just two days ago, and the novel will be available in September.

I hope my readers feel that it's been worth the wait.