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Monday 31 December 2018

Casting the Runes

UPDATE: Released February 7th, 2019

If you're still waiting for this, so am I; the plan was for a December Audible release but it's been pushed to early in the New Year. I can't tell you any more than that, but I can tell you this; I've heard the finished show and I'm really happy with the way it's turned out. Just look at the headliners in our powerhouse cast:

Anna Maxwell Martin, Reece Shearsmith, and Tom Burke in Casting the Runes

If you need to scratch your Jamesian itch while you're waiting, Neil Brand's 15 Minute Drama adaptations of five M R James stories are available on BBC Sounds until January 18th. And if it's the straight text you want then Audible itself carries several Casting the Runes original short story readings, most of fine quality.

So, what do we bring to the table? A new and contemporary take on the story is something I've been wanting to tackle for some time, and when Simon Barnard at Bafflegab Productions offered me the opportunity, I went for it.

The idea had been cooking for a while. I've always been a fan of Night of the Demon, in which Bennet and Tourneur brought the tale forward in time to a '50s setting to produce a remarkable movie and a classic of the genre. There's an underlying power in the story that doesn't only survive translation, but energises the retelling.

I revisited the film before I tackled the script (one of the joys of the job, and you get to call it research). But that was for the sole reason of ensuring that I took nothing from it.

I was there for the day of the recording in West London. It went well. If you want to know anything further, you'll need to give it a listen.

(You can read about Audible's free 30-day trial at audible.co.uk; if you leave Audible you get to keep your purchased material, so technically you could get the download for nothing. When I signed up last year it was to get hold of Adam Roche's remarkable podcast series The Secret History of Hollywood, only to find that Audible-exclusive podcasts are bundled in with your membership at no extra charge. So I got my free stuff and stayed to graze, on items like Bafflegab's own award-winning production of Blood on Satan's Claw; which is why such offers make commercial sense, I suppose.)

As soon as I get that firm release date, I'll post it here and on Twitter.

(Cast photo by Lisa Bowerman)

Saturday 22 December 2018

THE SPIRIT BOX 2-day promotion, free download

From midnight to midnight (Pacific Time) over Sunday December 23rd and Monday 24th, you can download The Spirit Box from Amazon at no cost. Zilch. Zero.

Update: extended to the end of Christmas Day, December 25th.

Click here for your region's Amazon link or scroll down and click on 'Buy the ebook'.

“The finest British writer of bestselling popular fiction since le CarrĂ© … Gallagher, like le CarrĂ© , is a novelist whose themes seem to reflect something of the essence of our times, whose skill lies in embedding those themes in accessible plots.”—The Independent 

Rachel's in trouble. She's a ticking bomb. A couple of co-workers bullied her into stealing a radical new drug from their employer, and now it's lodged inside her. They're watching her like hawks and her time's running out. John Bishop runs security for the company; as a father who once lost a teenaged daughter to an accidental overdose, his drive to hunt down the thieves and rescue their victim grows more intense with every lost minute. He can never bring his own child back. But he can save someone else's. Then his superiors realise that if the swallowed package bursts and Rachel dies, their secrets are kept safe and their problem goes away. Though Bishop's on the trail, he's an easy man to cut loose and discredit. But now he's Rachel's only hope. 

"Gallagher's hardboiled style is pitch-perfect for the tale's grim events, but he leavens it with dislocating moments of powerful emotion that draw the reader irresistibly to the characters. The novel packs a wallop that should make an impact on fans of both suspense and horror fiction."—Publishers' Weekly 

“Stephen Gallagher has carved a highly individual niche with his distinctly psychological approach to the genre.”—Yorkshire Evening Post 

“His prose is clear and diamond-sharp, his imagination dark and vivid... a terrifying walk along the edge of nightmare.”—Time Out 

“One of Britain's most exciting writers of literate, nerve-shredding thrillers.”—Starburst 

“Perhaps the finest contemporary British thriller writer.”—GQ 

“Gallagher has quietly become Britain's finest popular novelist, working a dark seam between horror and the psychological thriller.”—Arena 

The Spirit Box Stephen Gallagher Paperback: 292 pages £7.99 Publisher: The Brooligan Press (7 Nov. 2017) Language: English ISBN-10: 0995797374 ISBN-13: 978-0995797376

Thursday 20 December 2018

Seriously, eBay?

I reckon Putin's people must have hacked eBay and now they're trolling me. I searched for a nice old hardback copy of Boris Pasternak's counter-revolutionary classic Doctor Zhivago, and now when I log in these are my literary 'recommendations':

The map puzzle book is the hardest to explain, unless it's an unsubtle message for me to 'get lost...'

But then you can always rely on family for support.