Once an avid reader, devouring several books a week, I now find my reading time restricted by bad eyesight and work on my own books.  My strict motto now is quality over quantity.

This year I have enjoyed several books by favourite authors and discovered two exciting new published ones. I won’t bore you with all of them and apologise to those I have missed out. Some of the best work I’ve read are books I found on Harper Collins’ authonomy site such as Jeff Sinclair’s No Heaven and Jared Conway’s Mummy’s Boy.

Among those already out there in the book stores, among stand out reads so far has been Company of Liars and The  Owl Killers by Karen Maitland…these novels are impossible  to categorise.  At first superficial glance these books are historical set in bleak plague and famine-ridden 13th century England. But they are so much more. Beautiful, dark , authentic and vivid with supernatural undertones, extraordinary characterisation and plot twists, turns and astonishing surprises, these haunting books are in a category all of their own.

I also discovered the delights of new young horror writer, Joe Hill starting with Heart Shaped Box, then Horns with Twentieth Century Ghosts next in line on my bedside table.  A wonderful new voice with a delightfully twisted imagination combined with highly skilful craftsmanship. And so different in style and  tone to his father, Stephen King.

Sam Stone’s Vampire Gene series never fails to deliver. Sam’s work is intelligent, sensual and vastly superior to the the glut of vampire literature clogging up the bookshop shelves.  Reading her latest, Demon Dance is like curling up on the sofa under a furry throw,  with an open log fire  and a fine red wine and a box of luxury chocolates.  A delicious treat for all the senses.

I have been a fan of Phil Rickman for many years, loving his early work such as Crybbe and becoming addicted to his Merrily Watkins series. This year, he moved away from contemporary Hereford to Elizabethan England with The Bones of Avalon,  a mystery starring a real life person…the mysterious Dr John Dee..astrologer to the Queen. Combining real life people and events with  his own plot set in post dissolution Glastonbury, I  couldn’t put this book down…at the expense of my own work!

Only disappointment so far was Stephen King’s The Dome…I had such high hopes of this huge tome but it didn’t excite me in the same way his other work such as The Stand or It did.

Now back to my own work in progress…the sequel to Cyrus Darian and the Technomicron. No title yet but plenty of wild, occult adventures and steam-powered gadgets!