Sunday, 31 July 2022

A.S.Chambers - August Roundup

 Greetings all…

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. I personally have been having a few weeks off, doing what I enjoy most for rest and recreation: walking. It’s been great to get out in the countryside and enjoy my local North Lancashire and venture further afield to beautiful Keswick, taking in the glorious stone circle at Castlerigg. It’s a location that I would love to use in the Sam Spallucci books, but could be a bit of a stretch, although in 2024’s Lux Aeterna he will be going on a road trip with a certain vampire in search of a certain sword, so who knows…




So, now I’m back off my hols, I’m hard at it once again. I’ve spent the last few days polishing off the next Bobby Normal outing, Bobby Normal and The Fallen. It’s been a great one to write and is my definite favourite of the series to date. We catch up with Bobby after the devastating end of Bobby Normal and the Children of Cain and follow Bobby as he gets drawn into the world of the fallen angel Asherah. It was interesting to write this one at the same time as Fury of the Fallen as I was able to make some cross-references between the two books. BNTF should be out Easter 2024.




The Kickstarter for my seventh Sam Spallucci book, Fury of the Fallen, is now live. Following on from the devastating events of Bloodline, Fury sees the arrival in Lancaster of two fallen angels: the narcissistic Asmodeus and the seductive Asherah. Sam gets drawn into their web of lies and deceit as he tackles rebelling ghosts at Lancaster Castle, bewitched books at the Old Pier Bookshop in Morecambe and a genie who can’t stop himself from granting absurd wishes. The Kickstarter reached its target in just 40 minutes! I was totally blown away by everyone’s support. 


Also, a quick word about book signings and appearances. I’m going to be out and about three times during August. On the 6th of August, I’ll be making a much welcome return to Wigan Comic Con. I think it’s been three years since the last one, so it will be great to meet up with familiar faces. On the 13th of August, I’ll be guesting at CoCo Comic-Con here in my very own Lancaster! This will be a small affair at Pizza Margherita and will be focussing on small creators. I’m really looking forward to it. Then on the 28th of August, I shall be returning to York Comic Con at the York Racecourse. This is always a fantastic event and is well worth attending. You can find details of all of these events, and more, here


Don’t forget to visit my website www.aschambers.co.uk for more details about my books. 

You can subscribe to my newsletter here for up-to-date details regarding all my writing and appearances.

You can check out my Patreon Book Club for advance screenings of my videos and free books.


ASC.


 


Saturday, 23 July 2022

One Minute Workshop: Write to Write

      This month, I want to have a little chat about something that I get asked a lot, and I mean a hell of a lot. People will come up to me and ask, “What genre should I write in order to ensure that I get published?”






My reply is always this: “Why are you thinking about getting published?” Basically, writing is an art form. It is there for us to explore various ways that we can express feelings and emotions that are within us. Think about a painter or a sketch artist. They normally have a pad or canvas set up where they can let their imagination run riot and experiment with whatever is currently bouncing around inside their head. 


This is how the writer should approach their creative process. If we have an idea nagging at us, then we need to explore it or it can just get in the way of other things and we become convinced that we have writer’s block, whereas what the problem is, in reality, us not following our creative muse, so to speak.


Now if in the process we get published, then that’s fabulous. But the publication of work should be secondary to its creative journey. We should enjoy our writing journey, not try to force a literary square peg into a round hole. We should be proud of what we create rather than stress about whether or not some publisher in an office will like it.



Don’t forget to visit my website www.aschambers.co.uk for more details about my books. 

You can subscribe to my newsletter here for up-to-date details regarding all my writing and appearances.

You can check out my Patreon Book Club for advance screenings of my videos and free books.


ASC.


Saturday, 16 July 2022

Short Story - Biscuit Tin of Doom

      Greetings one and all! This month’s short story video is Biscuit Tin of Doom which is taken from my first horror anthology, Oh Taste And See.




Back in the sepia-coloured days of my teenage years, I had a Saturday job selling Clarks shoes on a concession in my local Burton’s Menswear. My mum had been the cleaner there for some years so kindly arranged for me to have a trial over a couple of weeks. It was discovered that I had a head for selling, was neat and polite and got on with the rest of the staff, so I got the job. I stayed there for about three years. 


It was the beginning of an on-and-off relationship with the retail sector that has been with me throughout my adult life, always providing a nice little fallback should I need an injection of income. I’ve worked in shoe shops, gentleman’s outfitters, jewellers, paper shops and off-licences to name but a few. However, the one which sticks in my memory most is that first teenage Saturday job. The reason is the people that I worked with, one of the most memorable being the store manager. I think it is safe to say that he was a chap who lived on nervous tension. A chain-smoking, cola-swilling, Mars Bar-consuming bag of energy, he was one of those who was convinced that if something could go wrong, it would go wrong. I’m sure most people reading this can think of someone like that whom they have worked with. So one day, when the idea of the eponymous biscuit tin came to mind, I immediately saw my old store manager being the one fretting about whether or not it should be opened.


You can find this story in its original place in Oh Taste and See, but also in my Macabre Collection. There are purchase links over on my website.


Don’t forget that I have Patreon Book Club where you can access all these videos long before they reach this blog. Also, Seraph tier members get free books for joining as well as free signed copies of every new material book that I publish. You can find out more details here.


You can also visit my website www.aschambers.co.uk for more details about my books. 


You can subscribe to my newsletter here for up-to-date details regarding all my writing and appearances.


Take care and keep looking out for what lurks in the shadows…

A.S.Chambers.

Sunday, 10 July 2022

Spalluccipedia: Williamson Park



Greetings one and all and welcome to this monthly dive into the shadowy world of my paranormal investigator, Sam Spallucci.


This month’s video has me wandering around somewhere in Lancaster that I frequent a lot: Williamson Park. Situated at the highest point for miles around, when viewed from Castle Hill on the opposite side of town, it creates the illusion that a green canopy surrounds the city with the glorious Ashton Memorial standing sentinel, peeking up majestically from the lush undergrowth.






Originally a huge quarry, providing the vast majority of stone from which many of the buildings in Lancaster were built. It was then decided in late Victorian times that it should be repurposed as a park but no one actually set the wheels in motion until Lord Ashton took up the reins and hence, the completed park was named after his family: Williamson.


The park’s crowning glory is the Ashton Memorial which the aforementioned local Lord had constructed as a memorial to his wife. There is also the butterfly house which used to be a tropical plant greenhouse. 


The park is a must-see spot for any visitor to Lancaster, providing not only a wonderful place of calm and lovely little mini-zoo, but also the best view of Morecambe Bay and the lower Lake District for miles around.


Don’t forget to visit my website www.aschambers.co.uk for more details about my books. 

You can subscribe to my newsletter here for up-to-date details regarding all my writing and appearances.

You can check out my Patreon Book Club for advance screenings of my videos and free books.


Take care and keep looking out for what lurks in the shadows…

A.S.Chambers.


Saturday, 2 July 2022

A.S.Chambers - July Roundup

Well, June has been an exceptionally busy month. It saw the publication of Bobby Normal and the Children of Cain, the midway point in the five-book series set post-divergence, which will tie into the penultimate Sam Spallucci book, To Dare The Dragon. You can buy standard copies over on Amazon or signed copies direct from Yours Truly. Just follow the links on my website. I’ve even got a special offer of all three Bobby Normal books over on my eBay page.



This week just gone saw me finish the first draft for a Child of Light: Alec's Story. This novella is going to be one of a duology. It will be released next year alongside the other half, Child of Fire: Amanda's Story, and will provide a pair of companion books to Sam Spallucci: Lux Aeterna. The two books will follow the adventures of the Twins that are mentioned throughout the Spallucciverse as they spiral into the world of Sam.


I've also been working on a new set of videos. They are Easter Egg videos for all my stories and I'm hoping to release one every fortnight or so. They will be previewed initially by my Book Club members before being released into the wild a week later. All my Book Club members will receive an automatic shoutout and all future Kickstarters will offer shoutouts for my new books. If you fancy a shoutout on these videos, Book Club membership starts from just one pound a month and all proceeds go towards helping me pay for artwork and publication costs on my books. You can find out more here.



Talking of Kickstarter...

July 25th sees the launch of the Kickstarter for Sam Spallucci: Fury of the Fallen. This is the seventh out of the ten adventures for Sam and will see the fallen angels Asmodeus and Asherah rock up in Lancaster, sending his life down a decidedly interesting path. The Kickstarter is going to have some cracking rewards. As well as the shoutouts and book bundles, there will be two opportunities to choose bizarre cases for Sam as well as the chance to have your surname used for a family who will be brutally murdered by Asmodeus, not only in this book but also in a short story that will appear in the anthology Out Of The Depths. You can see a preview and details of the Kickstarter here and a sign-up for notifications here


Don’t forget to visit my website www.aschambers.co.uk for more details about my books. 

You can subscribe to my newsletter here for up-to-date details regarding all my writing and appearances.

You can check out my Patreon Book Club for advance screenings of my videos and free books.


Okey-doke, that's all for now,

ASC

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

The late, great... Ivor Cutler.

 To quote a certain musical about a certain guy with a certain technicolour coat, way way back many centuries ago, not long after the Bible began, or to be more precise, somewhere around 1987, I was sitting in a dull classroom awaiting the beginning of an even more dull English lesson. I had accepted my fate and was readying myself to sit with a fixed stare on my face whilst my teacher whiffled on about which author was their fad of the moment. I would practice one of my usual endurance tactics of counting cracks in the ceiling or spots on the face of the teenager next to me. 

However, a few minutes before the teacher walked in, something was to happen that changed, not only the next hour but the rest of my life.



One of the few guys who I actually considered to be a friend plonked himself down to me and said, “Billy! Billy! Gruts for tea!”


Now, this in itself was nothing really new. Steve was known for exploring all things relatively random, but that day I found myself somewhat intrigued so I asked him what the hell he was on about.


He had been rifling through a selection of his dad’s tape cassettes and found one by an “old Scottish guy.” The first track had been a short story which consisted of a conversation between a father and son talking about gruts.


I asked the obvious question: “What are gruts?”


Steve said that he didn’t have a clue. He guessed that they were food of some description. He fished out the tape and I listened to it. I spent the next hour contemplating what was to be my epiphany on writing. Gruts For Tea by Ivor Cutler is, for me, still one of the best pieces of short-form writing that I have had the pleasure of reading. It simply tells the story of a son complaining to his father that he hates the wretched food that his father consistently provides from foraging in the High Wood. His father tries to convince the son that it is the best they can get, but this is not good enough for the youngster as he has reached the end of his tether.




On the face of it, Gruts For Tea is a surreally humorous tale, which makes the reader chuckle at the sharply honed and precise wit every time, especially when read by Mister Cutler himself. And that was how I saw it then as a teenager. It showed me that writing does not have to be what everybody else does or what everybody else expects. The author just needs to sit down and write what is there. They need to let it flow. Don’t hold anything back, fearing what others will think. Be a true artist and let whatever is bubbling around in your head roam free on the page. And this was what saved my next hour as I sat and contemplated this very thing while my teacher prattled on about an author who meant nothing to me. In short, it set me on the path to where I am now as a writer.


However, Gruts For Tea, and indeed a lot of Mister Cutler’s work, has a much deeper level, and I think that this might be even more of a reason why they have endured with me. Tucked away in the levels of surrealism and dry wit, are comments on society and on relationships. We see people who are trying to live with cards that they have been dealt. Cards that the dealer knows are marked and uses to constantly win the game. When I read his works now, with the passing of thirty-five years or so, I still enjoy the humour, but I feel a melancholy that nothing has changed since the time that he wrote them. Working classes are still downtrodden; middle classes are still striving for prizes that they cannot ever achieve; the rich are locked in their ivory towers oblivious to the things in life that truly make us happy.


So, if you want to read works that will really change your life and make you question everything whilst doing so with a wry smile, then the late, great Mister Ivor Cutler is definitely for you. 



Don’t forget to visit my website www.aschambers.co.uk for more details about my books. 

You can subscribe to my newsletter here for up-to-date details regarding all my writing and appearances.

You can check out my Patreon Book Club for advance screenings of my videos and free books.


ASC.

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Short Story - Nightingale

 Hello there and welcome to this month’s short story video.

The vampire Nightingale has long been a fan favourite with my readers and, I must admit, also with me. She always comes across as a very human character, even though she is in possession of superhuman strength, longevity and a whole collection of vampiric abilities and gifts. This short was intended to give her a standalone moment where we could really get to know her. Previously, she had just appeared briefly in The Case of the Vexed Vampire, which ties in with this short, surrounding the complicated birth, as it were, of Dave Nichols as a vampire. 






I love how she still has a bright outlook on things here. We see her and Marcus mingling at the comic convention and, whereas Marcus is quite disparaging of the whole thing, Night finds it all rather intriguing. 


The story itself took a while to write. I remember starting it when I was actually attending a comic con myself and, my overactive imagination being what it is, I wondered how a vampire would see all those densely packed bodies in their varying outfits. So, I scribbled down a rough plan and typed out the first few paragraphs. I then got ensnared in Sam Spallucci: Ghosts From The Past and the story got sidelined somewhat. I came back to it about nine months later, knuckled down and finished it off.


You can find it in its original place in Oh Taste and See, but also in my vampire collection Children of Cain: A Vampire Omnibus where it sits alongside the other stories that contain Dave, Nightingale and Nightingale’s errant brother, Justice.



Don’t forget that I have Patreon Book Club where you can access all these videos long before they reach this blog. Also, Seraph tier members get free books for joining as well as free signed copies of every new material book that I publish. You can find out more details here.


You can also visit my website www.aschambers.co.uk for more details about my books. 


You can subscribe to my newsletter here for up-to-date details regarding all my writing and appearances.


Take care and keep looking out for what lurks in the shadows…

A.S.Chambers.