Sunday, 15 May 2022

Short Story - High Moon

      Hello and thank you for dropping by my blog today.

The video attached to this particular outing is of Yours Truly reading the short vampire story High Moon. This particular story has a very special place in my heart as it is the earliest of many shorts that I have written over the years. Back in 2011, I was working on The Casebook of Sam Spallucci and, one day, I felt like a bit of a break. I had recently been watching (for about the hundredth time) For A Few Dollars More, which still ranks as one of my favourite films, and I decided to sit down and whip out something similar but with, shall we say, teeth. High Moon was the result. 





Originally intended to be a stand-alone story of a Wild West vampire that was set in the past of Sam’s world, it was a story that stuck with me and I revisited it a year later when I started to play around with ideas for Sam’s fourth outing, Dark Justice. I realised that I had inadvertently created the titular character for Sam 4 in this story, even though I had, at the time of writing it, left him nameless. So, as Dark Justice started to percolate in my imagination, I created two more shorts (First Hunt - Then and Family) to act, with High Moon, as a trilogy prequel to the vampire novel surrounding the rogue vampire named Justice.


I hope you enjoy the story in all its glory here. If you want a hard copy for yourself you can find it in Oh Taste and See and my Children of Cain - A Vampire Omnibus. It is also available as a single short ebook story



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.


Monday, 9 May 2022

Spalluccipedia: Grace

      Hello and welcome to this little Spalluccipedia article, a quick dip into the world of Sam Spallucci.

This time around, I want to ramble on about Grace. Those of you familiar with my books will know that Grace Darling is a postgrad student at my fictional Luneside University and, to supplement her income, works as a barmaid at The Borough, Sam’s local in Dalton Square. She is a firm regular in Sam’s stories, appearing in every one so far (at the time of writing this, I have just finished the seventh book, Sam Spallucci: Fury of the Fallen). She is incredibly likeable, never seeing bad in people or, at least, keeping her thoughts to herself, and is a firm favourite with my readers.




 

It is quite apparent from the outset that the young woman has a severe crush on Sam, even though he is considerably older than her and, unlike everyone around him, is oblivious to her attentions. This was a really important factor for me when writing the stories. As I say in the video, many noir writers insert a feisty secretary or such to sex up the stories. I wanted to keep away from that trope and have a female character who was more normal. As such, Grace does a normal job and reacts as a normal person would to things that happen around her. She is not throwing herself at Sam but waiting patiently in the wings until the time is right for her to declare her feelings.


Unfortunately for poor Grace, when she feels the time is right in Dark Justice, Sam distances himself from her for her own protection, feeling that the circles in which he moves are far too dangerous for the young woman. Little does Sam realise that this action inadvertently pushes her into danger in Troubled Souls.


I think the thing that I like most about Grace is that she is completely non-judgemental. We see this in Ghosts From the Past when Sam’s ex, Caroline, is an utter bitch to her. Plus time and time again she encounters weird and wonderful folk who cross paths with Sam and she just accepts them. My favourite instance of this has to be in Fury of the Fallen when she encounters the fallen angel Asherah and the two just bond immediately, discussing tea, the ancient Levant and, when he’s not in earshot, Sam himself.


So, where is any possible relationship likely to head for Grace and Sam? Well, all I can really say right now is that way spoilers lie, so just watch this space.


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.


Sunday, 1 May 2022

A.S.Chambers - May Roundup

 Good morning and welcome to what seems to be a rather damp start to May.

First, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported my latest Kickstarter for Bobby Normal and the Children of Cain. The project reached its target in less than an hour, which is amazing. It’s just so great to see so many of you wonderful people eager to read the third outing for Bobby and his kid sister Katy as they journey through the Divergent Lands with three familiar figures from the modern-day stories of Sam Spallucci.





The Kickstarter has about six days left and there are still plenty of rewards available, including bundles which contain the first three books of the series, the vampire books Children of Cain and Songbird, plus one with The Casebook of Sam Spallucci. So something for everyone. You can have a look here.


Talking of Sam, two exciting pieces of news on that front! First, his next adventure, Sam Spallucci: Fury of the Fallen, is now complete! This, the seventh book in the series will be out this autumn and will see my beleaguered investigator of the paranormal recovering from the after-effects of Bloodline. He will have a new houseguest in the form of the Potency, the sociopathic rock from the beginning of time who manifests itself in the form of an eight-year-old girl, plus there will be an entanglement between our hero and the fallen angel Asherah who sweeps into his life as he tries to solve the mystery of some cursed books. 


Not only that, but I have just finished the formatting of the first Sam Spallucci: Omnibus. It’s a collection of the first three books: Casebook, Ghosts From The Past and Shadows of Lancaster. I am really excited about this one as it will be my first hardback and, not only that, but the cover art is all my own work, using photography of the gorgeous Ashton Memorial.


    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.



So, that’s all for now.

Have a great May!

ASC.


Saturday, 30 April 2022

The late, great... Spike Milligan

    A literary hero of mine whom I’ve been revisiting a bit recently is the wonderful Spike Milligan. Born in India in 1918 and serving in the British Army during the Second World War, Milligan was a keen jazz trumpeter who seemed to drift into anarchic forms of humorous entertainment as a response to his experiences in the horror of war, most notably as the frontman of the Goon Show which ran on the BBC radio channels from 1951 and was how I first encountered him, first at the insistence of my father and then at university where my social group held him as a cult icon.





I think the thing that I admire most about Milligan is that he just went for it. So often, especially in modern creativity, there is a great deal of reserve and a feeling that one should be mindful of others’ feelings. I can’t help but feel that this, from a creative point of view, can be exceedingly detrimental and indeed unhealthy. 

Art needs to be passionate. 

Art needs to come from the heart. 

Art often needs to challenge. 

These are things that Milligan definitely did. He railed against authority and all the blind stupidity of social superiors as can be seen in his books about his time in the army. He swung completely the other way from the regimented life of the soldier to the anarchic form of entertainment that we saw in The Goons and then later on in his solo work, some of which is so far off the wall as to be almost unintelligible, yet still bizarrely hilarious.






However, this brash personalty covered a deeply traumatised individual who seriously struggled with his mental health. He suffered from bipolar disorder and apparently had numerous mental breakdowns. This can be seen in his vast collection of poetry. On one hand, many verses are guaranteed to make the reader weep with sadness, feeling futile that there is nothing they can do to help this troubled man. On the other, the reader will be weeping with uncontrolled mirth at the small, precise witticism which has effortlessly flown from Milligan’s mind.


The one thing, though, that for me really illustrates Milligan’s creativity is a story he told in an interview a few years before his death in 2002. He said how he used to leave letters from fairies at the bottom of his garden for his children to find. This resonated with me so much! There, for me was the real Spike Milligan, an individual who found wonder in the little things and wanted to pass that on to the next generation. A true wonder of the modern literary world.




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.

Sunday, 24 April 2022

Writer's Block (It's not what you think it is...)

 If you go online and peruse the numerous writers’ groups on social media and the like, there is one topic that is likely to crop up more than anything else: the dreaded writer’s block. There will normally be at least one member of a forum or group bewailing the fact that they are suffering from the affliction and that they cannot drag even the slightest word or description out of their brain. 





So, without wanting to sound over harsh here, I want to say categorically that I feel writer’s block is something which we tend to inflict upon ourselves. It could very well be completely subconscious, but I do feel that there can be a tendency amongst the writing community to feel that at some point in your life you have to have suffered from The Block. It’s as if it is a rite of passage that all future great writers have to endure on their path to fame and fortune.


The thing that I find most oxymoronic about the whole thing is that writers who go onto social media to write that they have writer's block are doing the very thing that they say they cannot, at that moment in time, do — they are writing. Sure, it may just be to bewail their current condition, but isn’t ninety per cent of writing that anyway? The greatest works out there are the writer commenting on their own state of life or those around them.


I was once told, many years ago, by an author who led a local writing circle, that writer’s block does not exist. He felt that if we could not write something about a particular topic, then we were simply writing about the wrong thing. I wholeheartedly agree with this. All too often, those trying to break into the writing business start off trying to write something that they feel will get them published rather than something about which they are knowledgable or which they enjoy. This leads to them hitting a wall when things just dry up or they get bored. Writing is an art form; art is expressive. If the writer wants to pursue this art then they need to write about that which burns within themselves. If they do this they will never run out of material to explore and enjoy.




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.



Friday, 15 April 2022

Short Story - Dog Days

 Welcome to this month’s short story where Yours Truly reads the short, quirky zombie story, Dog Days.





This particular story was one of those sit down and write it in one session stories. I was in the process of compiling a selection of short stories for my first anthology Oh Taste And See and decided that I was a few short, so spent a few days bashing out some random ideas that I had bouncing around in my head. One such idea was centring a story around a zombie dog. I decided that I wanted a character that would be gruesome to behold but would be devoted to its creator. I then started to ponder about what said owner might want to do with their new found zombie. The obvious sprang to mind: eliminate someone who let their dog defecate everywhere and eradicate the annoying kids from next door.


Okay, so obvious to me…


As a result, Dog Days  was born.


Fun fact, I normally see this story in a cartoon panels when I’m reading it, with the diary writing protagonist looking somewhat like Dennis the Menace’s dad from the Beano. In fact, at some point I would love to see it turned into a mini comic strip, but that would require me to have a few more hours in the day than I actually posses. So, for now, it remains in Oh Taste and See and the Macabre Collection: Volume One, both of which there are links to here should you be tempted to purchase a copy.



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, 9 April 2022

Spalluccipedia: Kanor

 Welcome to this month’s little Spalluccipedia article. Today, I want to have a chat about the big bad of Sam’s world, the hooded, brooding figure that is Kanor.





For me, something that can really make a story is having a good villain of the piece, whether it be your Lex Luthor or Kingpin of the comic world or, say, a Sauron of a more literary universe. One thing, though, that really gets the audience to connect to the villain, is understanding why they do what they do. We see that with the above-mentioned adversaries and, as Sam’s world progresses, we start to get hints of that with Kanor. As I say in the video, this is a person who halted paradise. He stopped heaven and Earth from becoming one. Surely he had to have a very good reason?


His creative origins go back to my teenage years when I was writing stories about this vampire called Claw who was battling through a post-apocalyptic land in order to take out its ruler, Kanor. These stories, over the years, have morphed into the Bobby Normal series and the Divergent Lands series and, as we travel through the post-Divergence land that Kanor created, we see that it truly is a horrible place in which to live as a human. 


One thing that I am really enjoying doing with the big bad of the Spallucciverse is leaving a breadcrumb trail of clues as to his identity. I would love to hear your theories in the comments below.



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.