I asked fellow Midnight Roost anthology contributors to share some things about themselves prior to publication and those generous enough to do so will be appearing here for the next week or so.
Each entry gives a taste of their contribution, a little about them, how to contact them, how their story came about, and definitely a link to Midnight Roost (which you should purchase because it would make each and every one of us happy.
you do want to make us happy, don’t you?
i mean, considering what we wrote, you want us to know you’re a good person, right?).
Let’s start with a Hallowe’en-themed introduction to the anthology as a whole:
Paul’s contribution is The White Lady. Here’s the opening:
It had been a stroke of luck to find The White Lady.
The White Lady in a whiteout. A sudden blizzard that had appeared out of nowhere, forcing him off the road. Behind him, at his back in the rear-view mirror, practically chasing him. Visibility had dropped to nothing, conditions treacherous even after he slowed down, something he’d been reluctant to do. Which explained why he’d skidded and ended up veering sideways into that ditch. Why he’d had to eventually abandon the BMW, its tyres spinning uselessly like Wile E. Coyote’s legs off the side of a cliff. Everyone knew that those kinds of cars were hopeless in the snow, but then there wasn’t supposed to be any snow, was there?
(I particularly love “its tyres spinning uselessly like Wile E. Coyote’s legs off the side of a cliff.” Beautiful image, that. And “Everyone knew that those kinds of cars were hopeless in the snow,” because, having owned a 535is, I concur, yes, they are worthless in the snow)
How the story came about:
I came across the legend of The White Lady a while ago online, and didn’t realise until I started to look into it that many countries have their own different versions of her – usually some kind of spirit that exacts vengeance. I figured I could do something with that, and filed it away, as you do.
Then I was guesting at the Ghost Story Festival in February 2023 in Derby and was asked to do a reading – something that hadn’t been read before basically. I remembered this research and dug it out, thinking I’d write and read this brand new story. But as I was writing it, I realised it would be way too long for a half-hour reading slot. I eventually chose something shorter.
Luckily, Kaye had already approached me for a story – I knew her from a couple of previous projects, including giving the Keynote Speech at the Wordcrafter virtual event. I ran “The White Lady” by her and thankfully she loved it! The timing was just right for this story to come out, I guess. It’s nice when things slot into place like that.
About Paul Kane:
Paul Kane is the award-winning (including the British Fantasy Society’s Legends of FantasyCon Award 2022), bestselling author and editor of over a hundred books – such as the Arrowhead trilogy (gathered together in the sellout Hooded Man omnibus, revolving around a post-apocalyptic version of Robin Hood), The Butterfly Man and Other Stories, Hellbound Hearts, Wonderland (a Shirley Jackson Award finalist) and Pain Cages (an Amazon #1 bestseller). His non-fiction books include The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy and Voices in the Dark, and his genre journalism has appeared in the likes of SFX, Rue Morgue and DeathRay. He has been a Guest at Alt.Fiction five times, was a Guest at the first SFX Weekender, at Thought Bubble in 2011, Derbyshire Literary Festival and Off the Shelf in 2012, Monster Mash and Event Horizon in 2013, Edge-Lit in 2014 and 2018, HorrorCon, HorrorFest and Grimm Up North in 2015, The Dublin Ghost Story Festival and Sledge-Lit in 2016, IMATS Olympia and Celluloid Screams in 2017, Black Library Live and the UK Ghost Story Festival in 2019 and 2023, plus the WordCrafter virtual event 2021 – where he delivered the keynote speech – as well as being a panelist at FantasyCon and the World Fantasy Convention, and a fiction judge at the Sci-Fi London festival. A former British Fantasy Society Special Publications Editor, he has also served as co-chair for the UK chapter of The Horror Writers Association and co-chaired ChillerCon in May 2022. His work has been optioned and adapted for the big and small screen, including for US network primetime television, and his novelette “Men of the Cloth” has just been turned into a feature by Loose Canon/Hydra Films, starring Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, You’re Next): Sacrifice, released by Epic Pictures/101 Films. His audio work includes the full cast drama adaptation of The Hellbound Heart for Bafflegab, starring Tom Meeten (The Ghoul), Neve McIntosh (Doctor Who) and Alice Lowe (Prevenge), and the Robin of Sherwood adventure The Red Lord for Spiteful Puppet/ITV narrated by Ian Ogilvy (Return of the Saint). He has also contributed to the Warhammer 40k universe for Games Workshop. Paul’s latest novels are Lunar (set to be turned into a feature film), the YA story The Rainbow Man (as PB Kane), the sequels to RED – Blood RED & Deep RED – the award-winning hit Sherlock Holmes & the Servants of Hell, Before (an Amazon Top 5 dark fantasy bestseller), Arcana and The Storm. In addition he writes thrillers for HQ/HarperCollins as PL Kane, the first of which, Her Last Secret and Her Husband’s Grave (a sellout on both Amazon and Waterstones.com), came out in 2020, with The Family Lie released the following year. Paul lives in Derbyshire, UK, with his wife Marie O’Regan. Find out more at his site which has featured Guest Writers such as Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Charlaine Harris, Robert Kirkman, Catriona Ward, Dean Koontz, Olivie Blake and Guillermo del Toro. Find him on Twitter and Instagram.
See all Midnight Roost stories here.