Monday, 29 October 2012

Guest Post: Author James Dawson shares his favourite Horror Stories +++ Win a copy of Hollow Pike! (UK & ROI!)

Today I have another awesome Spooky Special guest post coming your was courtesy of Hollow Pike author James Dawson. I read Hollow Pike last week and let me tell you, it is one great Halloween read! Three lucky readers will be able to find out all about Hollow Pike for themselves because thanks to Orion Children's Books/Indigo I have three pretty purple-edged paperback copies of the book to give away! (Details below). 

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Hollow Pike by James Dawson
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Release date: February 2nd 2012
Ages: YA

Something wicked this way comes...

She thought she’d be safe in the country, but you can’t escape your own nightmares, and Lis London dreams repeatedly that someone is trying to kill her. Lis thinks she’s being paranoid - after all who would want to murder her? She doesn’t believe in the local legends of witchcraft. She doesn’t believe that anything bad will really happen to her. You never do, do you? Not until you’re alone in the woods, after dark - and a twig snaps... Hollow Pike - where witchcraft never sleeps.




Guest Post: James Dawson's Favourite Horror Stories!



This time last year I did two specials on my love of horror films, including a run down of my ten all time favourites


This year, I thought I’d share sixsixsix of my favourite horror stories – guaranteed to keep you awake in the wee small Halloween hours…

1. Dark Matter by Michelle Paver (recommended 14+)
Easily the scariest book I’ve ever read. Dark Matter sees a disillusioned, working class Londoner, Jack, set sail for the Arctic with a group of posh explorers. But wait til you learn what awaits them on the perpetually dark wasteland of Gruhuken… Isolation and madness are the names of the game in this chiller. Without giving anything away, as Jack is stranded on the island and the hours of sunlight dwindle, you’ll be sleeping with the light on, I promise. All this, plus a truly sweet and unexpected love story emerges. Highly recommended.

2. Chris Priestley’s Tales of Terror series
Fantastically dark and twisted, Priestley released three portmanteau collections: Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror, Tales of Terror from The Black Ship and Tales of Terror from the Tunnel’s Mouth. These are perfect ‘just before bedtime’ stories, linked by a running theme. My favourite of the three is Uncle Montague, in which the sinister Uncle of the title recounts how he came to own the curious trinkets dotted around his remote house in the forest. Much, much more bite than most ‘children’s’ ghost stories – some of them genuinely got under my skin.

3. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
A more challenging read. A macabre carnival arrives in a sleepy US town, and two boys on the verge of manhood find themselves spellbound by the creepy circus. Poetic and dreamlike, Bradbury’s 1962 novel is really where all those ‘scary clown’ stories originated. The tale is steeped in metaphor, and while chilling on the surface, the true terror is ageing. The adult characters mourn their lost youth and will do anything to get it back, while the boys must decide if they are ready to let go of childhood.

 4. Breathe by Cliff McNish
A hugely effective ghost story. When Jack and his mother move into an old farmhouse, they have no idea it already plays host to a family of ghosts – some a lot more friendly than others. Worse still, Jack has severe asthma, and an attack could put his life in great peril. This one features one of my favourite characters, the terrifying ‘Ghost Mother’, one of those seemingly charming, but frightening changeable figures, not unlike Cathy Bates in Misery. This is one mother you really don’t want to annoy…

5. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (adult read)
Sometimes a book is all the more scary without the ghosts, vampires and demons. Shriver’s tale of a mother picking up the pieces of her life after her son commits an atrocity is terrifying for this purpose. Like Rosemary’s Baby without the silly demon worship, ‘Kevin’ examines if a child can be ‘born evil’. The dread builds as Kevin gets older and his behaviour more disturbing. What’s more you can never really be sure if you can rely on Eva, his mother, as a narrator when she clearly despises her son. Required reading for anyone considering a family.

6. Room 13 by Robert Swindells
This was my favourite book as an eleven year old, and it stands up well even today. Fliss and her mates are on the Year 6 school trip when one of the party falls ill. The next night, Fliss sees Ellie-May being compelled to enter ‘Room 13′, a room which simply vanishes by day…I used to read this one to my Year 6s before the annual residential. Creepy, fun, pacy and unexpectedly gory, this more than any other book on the list inspired me to write scary stories. There are too few books like this around. A great antidote to Cullen-style vampires…


What have I missed? In winter, I love scaring myself half to death, so please PLEASE add your recommendations below!



To find out more about James follow him on twitter: @_jamesdawson

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To be in with a chance to win one of three copies of Hollow Pike by James Dawson just fill in the Rafflecopter entry form below.
Competition is open to readers in the UK and Ireland.
Competition closes November 5th 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

37 comments :

  1. I would recommend Daemonic by stephen laws, A gripping read.

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  2. Fantastic post - particularly love the Tale's of Terror books :)

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  3. I'd recommend any book by Richard Laymon =) x

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  4.  I haven't read those yet, but read The Dead of Winter by the same author and enjoyed that one!

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  5. Alex Sarah Louise Sharrock29 October 2012 at 16:00

    My fave scary reads are Unrest by Michelle Harrison and The Harrowing by Alexandra Sokoloff :) Thank you for the giveaway! :D xxx <3 

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  6. I haven't read any of the books James mentions although I do have Breathe on my Kindle ready to start this week. I just finished Anna Dressed in Blood which was recommended to me as a creepy Halloween read. It was ok, but a bit drawn out I thought. Would love to win a copy of Hollow Pike and not only because it would look awesome on my shelf and my favourite colour is purple :-)

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  7. The Best of H. P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre

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  8. I think Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough was a very creepy read. I definitely recommend it!

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  9. The first book from Cody McFadyen was intense for me :)

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  10. I love scary books, I don't think I've read enough of those but I always love to read them when the weather is dreary. That cover of Hollow Pike is just creeeepy. I'll be adding some of these to my list for sure. =) Anything by Stephen King, he never let me down during high school, he's the king of horror for me. 

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  11. I havent read any of the books above but Id recommend Anna Dressed in Blood.

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  12.  Unrest is coming up soon on my TBR. Really like the sound of it!

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  13.  Me too! I read lots of Stephen King as a teen (and had lots of nightmares!)

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  14. I haven't read that one yet even though I have a copy! I've heard lots of good things, though! :)

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  15. I like Stephen King and his books are so scary.The Running man was especialy good.

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  16. I really like Coraline by Neil Gaiman, even though it was creepy rather then scary. Still give me bad dreams though.

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  17. Charlotte Ingham31 October 2012 at 11:36

    Only a short story, but I've always loved 'Lady with the Velvet Collar' by Washington Irving - freaked me out as a child!

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  18. Sounds intriguing......The Harrowing really is!

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  19. Edgar Allan Poe's stories.

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  20. The Dead of Winter

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  21. i would recommend any Deen Koontz books

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  22. The Shining always scares me when I read it!

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  23. Anna Dressed In Blood freaked me out while I was reading it! Such a good, scary book!

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  24. I love to read anything by Stephen King....they scare he half to death, but I can't put them down until I have finished it.

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  25. Cant wait for this absultely brill!!!

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  26. I had it for ages before I read it!! You should try and read it soon :)

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  27. The Woman in Black was very, very creepy but I don't think I've read a scary books since I was a kid!
    This book looks absolutely awesome, want to get my hands on it definitely x

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  28. Looks like a list of great reads! I love anything by Darren Shan for a scary read myself - never disappoints.

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  29.  Would love to win this

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  30. Sounds great, I'm going to add it to my to-read list whether I win or not ^_^

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  31. This looks great, right up my street. 

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  32. I recommend I Am Legend by Richard Matheson - much better than the film!

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  33. I loved Something Wicked This Way Comes! It was enchanting yet terrifying at the same time, certainly got the pulse racing! An oldie but a goodie :)

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  34. Don't think I've read any of the books, but some do sound very gripping.
    A scary book that probably sticks in my mind most is Slugs by Shaun Hutson.  Don't know what it is about that one, but the thought still gives me the creeps.

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  35. Alex Sarah Louise Sharrock8 November 2012 at 23:16

    ooh enjoy! it is a fab read! :) xx

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