Friday 30 November 2012

His Own Mad Demons - Reviews so far

There have been three reviews on so far for this collection, all of them 5-star.

M. Crossman (who has 173 Amazon reviews) said: "For anyone with a love for spooky stories this is a great buy.
All five stories are great reads. The book reads like a version of an Amicus film that they never produced.
Well written and no story ever out stays it's welcome. Each one packs quite a punch and yet there is enough variety amongst the tales that the book stays fresh until the last page.
A deliciously dark read and perfect for those long winter nights although it may cost you a few extra pounds on your electric bill as some of you might have to sleep with the lights on after reading.
Highly recommended."

Top 500 Amazon reviewer, It's Only Me: "More than decent collection of tightly written, well worked, hard hitting stories packed with enough horror and psychological tension to put you on the edge of your seat. I'm impressed. Don't know why David A. Riley isn't better known in the UK.

There are 5 stories:-

Their Own Mad Demons
Lock In
The Fragile Mask on His Face
The True Spirit
The Worst of all Possible Places

Each story has it's own theme of contemporary horror featuring a cast of solidly worked, believable characters thrown, without mercy, into horrible situations. Hard hitting, violent, scary tales of modern horror packed with sharp dialogue and cleanly written. Among some of the best I've read.

I don't usually pay more than £3 for a download if I don't know the author but; I'm happy I took a gamble this time. None of the stories are particularly short, more novella than short story, that's another reason for the 5* review. Quality and quantity, not bad for £3."

While writer Shaun Jeffrey kindly said: "There's a reason why David Riley has had stories published in a number of top, professional anthologies: because he's a good writer. He writes solid, atmospheric prose that's filled with believable characters. This collection of five stories has a central theme of devil worship, but the stories go much deeper. They are reminiscent of the kind of stories people tell on dark nights while huddled around campfires, but their effect lasts long after the flames have died down, leaving a chill down your spine that the fire failed to warm."

Saturday 24 November 2012

Tales to Terrify

Very pleased to announce that Tales to Terrify, which produces a truly fascinating series of podcasts, has just accepted my zombie story, His Pale Blue Eyes, for a future broadcast. The story was first published in Bite-Sized Horror, Obverse Books, 2011.

Monday 19 November 2012

Halifax Ghost Story Festival November 17-18, 2012

Another hugely successful Ghost Story Festival was held again this year at Dean Clough, Halifax.

The festival kicked off on Saturday morning with a lively and insightful discussion about the Ghost Story after M. R. James. Panelists included Joel Lane, Ramsey Campbell, Reggie Oliver and Ray Russell.

Ramsey Campbell, Ray Russell, Joel Lane and Reggie Oliver
This was followed after lunch by Dr Jonathan Miller being interviewed by Tony Earnshaw, particularly about his 1968 adaptation for television of M. R. James' Whistle and I'll Come to You, which was shown on a big screeen immediately afterwards. I don't know whether it was a result of the interview or the film being projected onto a big screen, but I have never before enjoyed this adaptation so much. After having originally watched this on TV when it was first broadcast, it was an amazing experience to watch it again in the company of its producer and director!

Tony Earnshaw interviews Dr Jonathan Miller

Following this we moved downstairs into the Viaduct Cafe where Reggie Oliver read one of his stories from Mrs Midnight and Other Stories, A Piece of Elsewhere, where his abilities as an actor were amply displayed by his use of regional accents for his characters. Chris Priestley followed with a lively reading of his story The Demon Bench End. Both were superbly narrated and greatly appreciated by the packed audience. 

Reggie Oliver reads A Piece of Elsewhere
Chris Priestly reads The Demon Bench End

Following a break the evening restarted with psychic entertainer, Max Raven, who carried out some remarkable mentalist feats, during which I think he probably involved the entire audience at one time or another. 

Max Raven

Sunday opened with an informative and lengthy interview with producer/director Lawrence Gordon Clark by Tony Earnshaw. Lawrence Gordon Clark was, of course, responsible for creating the marvelous Ghost Stories for Christmas in the 1970s. This was followed by big screen viewings of M. R. James' The Stalls of Barchester (1971) and The Signal Man by Charles Dickens (1976). 

Lawrence Gordon Clark being interviewed by Tony Earnshaw

A couple of short independent films, Vespers and The Wailing Well, wound up the festival, which finished around 5 o'clock in the afternoon.

Lin and I enjoyed this festival tremendously, and it was a great opportunity to meet up and talk with old friends (though there was not really time with such a packed schedule to meet everyone). It was also a great opportunity to buy some really interesting books from the bookshop on site, which was mainly stocked with Tartarus Press and PS Publishing. Already having a large pile of books still to be read, I restricted myself to a copy of Mark Morris's Long Shadows, Nightmare Light, while Lin bought a Tartarus Press collection of William Fryer Harvey's The Double Eye.

The good news is that it seems virtually certain another festival will be held next year. I look forward to it!

Special thanks should go to Dani Grijak and her team for organising this event and for her enthusiasm for it.

Thursday 15 November 2012

His Own Mad Demons

There are a couple of 5-star reviews on Amazon UK now, which are really pleasing.


Published by Cruentus Libri, and edited by Kevin G. Bufton, Under the Knife will include a reprint of my story Winter on Aubarch 6, which originally appeared in Fear magazine some years ago.The cover is by the ever brilliant Steve Upham.

Wednesday 14 November 2012


The cover for the anthology From Their Cradle to Your Grave has just been revealed by Cruentus Libri Books. The anthology includes my story Prickly, originally published in Death (Playboy Paperbacks). The book is out on the 30th November.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

The Heaven Maker & Other Gruesome Tales by Craig Herbertson

The books arrived from the printers today and we are really pleased with how they have turned out. An impressive 9.5 by 6.5 inches in size, they are priced at £20.

It will be launched in Edinburgh on the 15th, though Lin and I intend to take a few copies with us to the Halifax Ghost Story Festival on the same date.

Now that Parallel Universe has published its first book, we'll be looking at other projects to take on in the New Year. We already have several under consideration.

For ordering information click here: Parallel Universe Publications.

The Lurkers in the Abyss & Other Tales of Terror

This 100-thousand word collection of my mainly earlier stories from the 70s, 80s and 90s will be launched at next year's World Fantasy Convention in Brighton. Published by Shadow Publishing, it's cover will be by one of my favourite artists, Paul Mudie.

Friday 2 November 2012

Horror Writers Association

At the beginning of this year I allowed my membership of the Horror Writers Association to lapse. I've now rectifed that and rejoined as an Active Member again.

The Heaven Maker & Other Gruesome Tales by Craig Herbertson

Some updates on Craig's book.

The book has a foreword by Janis Mackay and an introduction by Craig. The full list of contents is:

Timeless Love (originally published in Big Vault Advent Calendar 2011)
Synchronicity (originally published in Filthy Creations #2)
The Glowing Goblins (originally published in Auguries #16)
New Teacher (originally published in The Seventh Black Book of Horror)
The Janus Door
The Heaven Maker (originally published in The 29th Pan Book of Horror Stories)
The Waiting Game (originally published in Back from the Dead: The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories)
The Art of Confiscation
Not Waving
Spanish Suite (originally published in The Sixth Black Book of Horror)
The Anninglay Sundial
Soup (originally published in The Fourth Black Book of Horror)
A Game of Billiards (originally published in Tales from the Smoking Room)
The Navigator (originally published in Big Vault Advent Calendar 2011)
The Tasting
Steel Works
Liebniz's Last Puzzle (originally published in The Fifth Black Book of Horror)
Big Cup, Wee Cup
Gifts (originally published in Big Vault Advent Calendar 2011)

Copies will become available shortly through

Queries about buying copiers of the book should be sent either to or to Riley Books, 130 Union Road, Oswaldtwistle, Accrington, Lancashire, BB5 3DR, UK. 

Thursday 1 November 2012

The Heaven Maker & Other Gruesome Tales by Craig Herbertson

This is the cover of the dust jacket for the first book published by Parallel Universe Publications, Craig Herbertson's collection of short stories, The Heaven Maker & Other Gruesome Tales. This hard bound volume will be launched on the 15th November in Edinburgh. 254 pages long, the book is priced £20, and includes Craig's first published story from the inconic Pan Books of Horror.