Vegan vampires. Cute'n cuddly werewolves. Romantic zombies.
As far as I'm concerened the only good zombie is the one eating the living brain out of someone's skull.
Since when did all our favourite monsters go so 'PG rated'?
I say, ENOUGH!
You say, "Sarwat, get to the point, already!"
So I shall.
A group of writers have decided that it's time that monsters got back to doing what they do best, being MONSTROUS. And heroes got back to bagging and tagging them in the most bloody and violent way possible.
Hence the Chainsaw Gang.
We've decided to spread the word that in amongst the shelves of angsty, pale and love-lorn undead and eco-friendly lycanthropes there is blood, there is dread, there is fear.
The new wave of writers delivering old school horror.
But who are these mysterious masters of the macabre? (See? That's me being all writerly and stuff). And not only who, but where can you find them?
Let's start with Alex Bell. Now when the Chainsaw Gang was first mooted, it was clear that it was going to be 'BOYS ONLY'. We didn't think girls would cut the grade. You know, they'd get all sqeamish and cringy and write tons and tons of soppy scenes set in meadows and what not and basically be all 'girly'. Then Alex came on the scene.
Boy, were we wrong about the girl thing.
Author of The Ninth Circle and Jasmyn she delivers real, blood-chilling grown up horror. You'll be begging for your mummy.
Sam Enthoven. He ticks all the neccessary boxes, the '3 D's' I call it. Demons, death and destruction. Actually he ticks four, with dinosaurs. If you think school trips are dreary, try his latest book, Crawlers. Innocent people turned into mind-controlled psycho-killers, like the good Lord intended.
Steve Feasey. You can never, ever, ever, have enough werewolves. Throw in djinns, vampires and sorcerors and frankly I'm amazed you're not reading his Changeling series right now. In fact, what are you doing on this blog? A love of werewolves is a pre-requisite!
William Hussey. Young, Talented. An exceptional ball-room dancer too. Way, way too keen on the old Hammer House of Horror to be healthy, but good mental health is not required in the Chainsaw Gang. Infact, it's the last thing we want from our members. He's just written the stupendous Witchfinder: Rise of the Demontide. Check it out. Modern science mixed up with the most ancient of horrors. You'll never want to visit the sea-side ever again.
Jon Mayhew. Half-man half-whippet. They said he was a legend, but we sadly now know the truth. He lives and walks among us! Irritatingly talented he's written the completely awesome Mortlock. Spooks. Demons. Knive-throwing heroines (we really like those, more please). Enter dark, fog-bound Victorian London and the scariest circus since Cirque du Freak.
Alex Milway. You don't have to be called Alex to be part of the Chainsaw, but it helps. Alex is a writer, and illustrator, designer (the logo up top is his idea) and all round decent human being. I don't know why he wants to hang out with us but he writes about yetis and that's good enough for me.
Alexander Gordon Smith. No half as scary as he looks in his author photo. He's written the Furnace series which is about a prison built miles underground and run by demons. I really, really wish I'd thought of it first. Nail-biting tension from the first page and cliff-hangers to die for, and many do. A master of the 3 D's.
Now you know us, time to meet us.
The Chainsaw Gang will be blitzing the UK over the Halloween period. This is our 'beta-testing' phase, so we're going to go nice and easy on you. We'll crack it up later. The website will be up later this month and there'll be additional stuff galore, but I wanted to give you a heads up NOW, so you can get your diaries out and mark these dates in RED.
Alex Gordon Smith is a busy boy (he lives in Norwich so needs to get out and about as much as possible).
13th October, 4.00, Thornton Heath Library, Croydon
14th October, 4.00, Coulsdon Library, Croydon
19th November, 4.00, Worksop Library
Jon Mayhew will be ruling the north.
21st Oct: Crosby Civic Hall: Scarefest
26th: GobbledeBook Festival Chester: Teen Panel AM, Full Event PM
27th: Newport Big Read, Riverfront Theatre Newport
29th: Booka Bookshop Oswestry: A Hallowe'en Party
30th: Lancaster Castle
Steve Feasey will be at the Cheltenham Festival on Oct 10th.
I'll be at GobbledeBook Festival, Chester on Monday 25th, 2.30pm to 4.30pm.
Then, there are the BIG THREE events. True and pure Chainsaw.
Crystal Palace Children's Book Festival on Sat 23rd October with Jon Mayhew, Alex Bell, Alex Gordon Smith, Sam Enthoven, Steve Feasey and Alex Milway and me. Honestly, be there or be forever disappointed that you weren't at THE author gathering of the week, so far! This event is ticketed (tickets are free) so BOOK NOW!
Norwich Millenium Library on Friday 29th October, 2.30pm with Alexander Gordon Smith, William Hussey, Sam Enthoven and me.
Foyles, Charing Cross Road. Their big Halloween Angels and Demons extravaganza running Saturday and Sunday, 30-31st October. Guess which side we're representing on Saturday? It'll be the experts in all things demonic: William Hussey, Sam Enthoven and myself. There will be others, prepare to be surprised! Contact the store and book your place now.
Like I said, this is just the beginning...