Monday 16 October 2023

The Best of Lovecraftiana

My copy of The Best of Lovecraftiana, published by Rogue Planet Press and edited by Gavin Chappell, arrived today. My story The Psychic Investigator appears in it.  

This is available from for £7.40 in paperback or as a kindle ebook. 

Below as a sample of my story are the opening paragraphs:

Greg Conroy sat as comfortably as he could in the sound studio at Radio Lancashire, hoping to look relaxed. It was a small room, but well equipped. Gillian Butterworth, who would be interviewing him, was already there. She smiled encouragingly.

“We’ll do a sound test first, then start.”

He’d been told the interview would last fifteen minutes and be aired tomorrow on the afternoon show. It wasn’t his first time here, of course, though that didn’t make him feel any easier. He shuffled on his chair, wishing he had not put a cardigan on beneath his jacket. Even though it was a cold September day outside he was already feeling hot inside the studio. Luckily, as it was radio, no one would see the sweat on his face – other than Gillian.

“So, what was it, Greg, made you want to become a ghost hunter?” Gillian said as soon as recording began.

Greg shook his head, before remembering no one other than Gillian would see him do this. “I prefer psychic investigator, Gillian,” he added quickly. “Ghosts are only one of many phenomena I hope to come across.” He settled on his chair, starting to feel at ease with this familiar question. “It was coming across a book by the late Colin Wilson sparked things off. It was an account of paranormal activity in a house in Pontefract – what was to become known as the Pontefract Poltergeist. I read this book umpteen times in my teens. I was fascinated by it. It was this made me want to carry out investigations of my own.”

“You were involved with the TV series, Hauntings. That didn’t end well, did it? What went wrong?"

“I’m a serious investigator, Gillian.” Greg leaned forward, feeling his pulse begin to quicken as his agitation at what went on with the producers of Hauntings came back to him. “I have no time for fake clairvoyants who make ridiculous claims about evil spirits the minute they step inside a building, especially where nothing, not even remotely bad took place – or become possessed by hostile spirits at the drop of a hat. They make a mockery of everything I have tried to do. As for crew members who scream in panic at the slightest noise! It became obvious to me my reputation would be in tatters if I stayed with that show – so I quit.”

“You place a great deal of importance on your reputation for scepticism, Greg?”

“I approach every investigation with what I like to call open-minded scepticism. Yes, it takes a lot to convince me that something is genuine. Only facts impress me. Which is as it should be if you are a serious investigator, not a showman out to impress the gullible.”

“What is going to be your next investigation?”

“I’ve been invited to Edgebottom. There’s an area of the town I’ve been told should be worth looking into for strange phenomena. Grudge End.”

Gillian looked up from her notes. For a moment Greg was sure he saw concern cross her face before professionalism took over and she moved on to the next question.


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