A fellow investigator and myself had the opportunity to spend a few hours alone a Pittenweem Tollbooth Tower recently. The Tower has a dark history, being the place that people accused of witchcraft during the with hunts of the 17th and 18th Century were held and tortured into confessions. At least 2 people died in the tower under torture. An interesting voice came up during one of the recording sessions. Our voices are fairly quiet, and the unknown voice speaks over us. We were alone, on the second floor of the tower.
The tower is covered in my book Scotland's Hidden Hauntings and the return visit is covered in 'Scotland's Haunted Places', which is due out soon. The full story of the with trials are detailed in the book 'The Weem Witch' by Leonard Low.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXMTWRBFxeU
After extending Rise of the Witch, book 1 in the Witch Hunter series, to novel length, I've recently had it on a free promotion and the uptake was beyond my expectations, with around 10 copies a minute being taken in the last few hours! I now have the nervous wait to see if it brings reviews (hopefully positive!) and whether people will move on to read the rest of the books (the novelettes), now available as a collection.
In the meantime, work on Scotland's Haunted Places has been continuing and I have recently visited some interesting places. First of all there was an ancient Druid worship site, complete with sacrificial pool! It's quite amazing to think that the pool, steps down to the den and numerous symbols, all carved into solid rock, could be up to 2000 years old. I found the perfect image for the cover of the book here, all will be revealed shortly. I also visited the nearby church, situated on a site also formerly associated with druidism. I found the door to the cellar was open so it seemed rude not to go in for a look although when I disturbed a pigeon in the pitch black I almost had to go home to change! I found an old furness, so large I expected Freddy Krueger to turn up any minute! From there it was a short drive and a mile walk along the coast to the ruins of Newark Castle, perched right on the cliff top. It was an interesting place to explore but unfortunately most of the vaults have now been sealed as they are considered dangerous. I have over 100 photos to work my way through now, I wonder if there is anything unusual in any!
It's been a manic time recently! I have completely revised Rise of the Witch, book 1 of the Witch Hunter series. When I first wrote this I planned for it to be a quick read, but a lot of the feedback I was getting was people really enjoyed the story and the concept, but wish it had been longer. Taking that on board, the revisions started and the book has now more than doubled in length. I've also added a new character (but will he make it to the end of the book?)
I am just waiting on it coming back from the Editor which I hope will be within the next day or two. Assuming he does not recommend any major changes, the revised book should be available by the end of the week. People who have already bought the book should be able to update their copies of the revised one by contacting Amazon (I will also be asking Amazon to do this for everyone).
I am also going to bundle the novelettes (Books 2 to 5) to make them available as a single book (they will still be available individually but it will be cheaper to buy the bundled edition). The idea of the novelettes is they represent stand alone stories with the main characters from the first book and there is also be an underlying story line which carries through them all as the characters are developed. I liken it to a TV series, where each episode tells a single short story with a common theme to the main story. This will also allow me to get both Rise of the Witch and the Novelettes collection out in paperback. I will then be able to get started on the final book in the series, Battle of the Witches, which will bring the current series to a close.
Meanwhile work on the second real ghost stories book continues. I am really pleased at how well the first book 'Scotland's Hidden Hauntings' has been received and it now has some press interest. A new idea is also forming for another fiction book, but I am not sure yet whether this will turn into a completely new concept or whether it will tie in better with a second Witch Hunter Series. Time will tell as the story is formulated. Looks like things are going to remain manic!
I had the opportunity recently to have Scotland's Hidden Hauntings
reviewed by a major website, Undiscovered Scotland. I've been a bit wary of doing this in the past, just in case they hate it! Undiscovered Scotland is the best resource I have found for travel information, places to visit and places to stay so I decided it was a too good opportunity to miss and I should be more confident about the book.
I'm so glad I did! I am humbled by the review, it is a massive boost in confidence and has inspired me to get on with the second book! The review can be read here
Gateway Manor is now back from the editor and available on Amazon. The story is a modern twist on the haunted house/house with a secret story, with a home renovation TV show moving into an old manor house and disturbing an ancient evil.
The Witch Hunter series is also in for a 'make-over'! I have been getting feedback from people that they feel the story is a bit rushed. This was the intention, to make it a quicker read, but if people want more, they can have more! I will be going back over the first book, Rise of the Witch, with the aim to expand the story and it will then be re-released as a full novel. Anyone who has already bought the book should be able to update it for the new version. Books 2 to 5 will remain as they are but will also be bundled together into one book which will be subtitled as 'The Novelettes". Work will then begin on book 6, which will be called 'Battle of the Witches' and will be a full novel to being the current series to a close. It will bring aspects of the first book back, and bring the ongoing story line which has continued through the whole series so far to a conclusion. A few teasers: An increase in resistance from the creatures will result in 2 new hunters being trained up to help with the fight. Once the cause for the increased activity is found, the hunters must take desperate action to safeguard civilization, uncertain whether their action will help or make things worse.
The second Haunted Scotland book also remains as work in process. This will be an ongoing project, as I pick up ideas for locations to include as and when I visit them. The cost to make these available in paperback is prohibitive due to the number of photographs and so once the second book is complete, I plan to revise the text from Scotland's Hidden Hauntings and the second book to combine them into a text only book. This will be released in paperback only for people without e-readers.
Gateway Manor is almost ready to go for editing but the cover image has just been delivered so I thought I'd share it.
Scotland's Hidden Hauntings hit the number 1 spot in it's category on Amazon today as well, which was great to see. Thanks to everyone for their support.
I hope to have Gateway Manor published in a week or so, meanwhile the second book looking at haunted locations in Scotland is work in progress (lots of properties still to visit) and I will be starting book 6 of the Witch Hunter series as soon as Gateway Manor is out. Busy times ahead!
When I wrote the short story 'Horror at Gateway Manor', it was intended to act partly as an introduction to a longer story. I am now in the process of writing the full story, which will simply be called 'Gateway Manor'. I don't want to give too much of the plot away just now, but it is a very modern twist on the 'Haunted House' story. I'm enjoying this one, it's been a story that has been rattling about in my head for a while so I decided it was better to get it written so I can fully concentrate on the next 'Witch Hunter' novelette.
Scotland's Haunted Places also remains a work in progress. I have a few properties lined up to visit shortly and after
I've had the opportunity to visit a few places recently which are all going into the next real ghost story book, tentatively titled 'Scotland's Haunted Places: The East Coast'. One had 'Haunted' written all over it - an old infectious disease hospital, which was later used as a childrens home and then abandoned. I hope to have this book ready about April/May.
I also had a good chat with a good friend today about the Witch Hunter series, and a few ideas we came up with will be added into the next 2 books, before I reach book 8 which will tie all the story lines together and bring the current series to an explosive conclusion. Book 6 has been started and will hopefully be out in April. This series seems to be developing a fairly strong following and I thank everyone for their support.
The Troll Bridge, Book 5 of the Witch Hunter Series, is now available on Amazon.
It takes Matt and Peggy to Norway where they must deal with the most powerful creature they have faced. In the battle, they are pushed to their limits, and beyond, resulting in them making new discoveries about what they are capable of.
The series has proved quite popular and I hope The Troll Bridge will continue that trend. There will probably be 2 more novelettes in the series, before the current series comes to an end in Book 8, which will be called 'Battle of the Witches'.
I'm getting a few people asking and can confirm that 'The Troll Bridge', Book 5 of the Witch Hunter Series is nearly ready for publishing. Just got the final few pages to finish before it goes off for proof reading/editing, but I hope to have it available by the end of the month.
I really appreciate everyone's interest in this series.