Like most horror writers, I love chainsaws. Nothing quite sums up the concept of a relentless, inescapable, gut-wrenchingly terrifying threat as a man charging after you with a roaring engine of death gripped between his fingers. I can't really imagine a more agonising way to die, either... As far as horror icons go, chainsaws are up there with the best of them.
Which is why it gives me immense pleasure to announce that I am officially a member of what is probably the coolest club in existence – the Chainsaw Gang. The Brainchild of author Sarwat Chadda, this exclusive, blood-splattered, chainsaw wielding, nightmare inducing gang of goremasters includes some of the best new wave YA horror writers around today. You won't find sparkly vampires or cuddly werewolves here. No, they've all been chopped up and eaten by the real monsters, the genuinely scary ones. Because that's why the Chainsaw Gang is here – to rescue you from the PG rated horror of recent years and give you some old school frights that will truly inspire nightmares!
Let me introduce you to the rest of the gang:
Next in line is Steve Feasey, author of the Changeling books and wrangler of some of the nastiest werewolves you'll ever meet, not to mention djinns, demons, vampires and sorcerers. You want fear? You want adventure? Then he's your man. Chainsaw of choice probably a Efco MT4100S, good for instant decapitation.
Following Steve through the exhaust fumes is none other than Sam Enthoven, one of my all time favourite authors. The Black Tattoo was incredible, TIM Defender of the Earth was astonishing, but Crawlers is his best yet – a book so utterly horrifying that you'll never want to leave the house again, especially on a school trip... Don't believe me, just check out the cover! Chainsaw of choice, the CS 536163 Pneumatic, designed to cut through walls, floors and columns in a single pass.
Don't be fooled, boys aren't the only ones who can handle a chainsaw. Take Alex Bell, for example. Author of The Ninth Circle and Jasmyn she delivers real, blood-chilling grown up horror scary enough to send even us running for cover. Chainsaw of choice is a MS 460 R STIHL "Rescue" chainsaw, although if you think she'll be using it to rescue you you're in for a nasty shock.
Next to march down the hallowed Chainsaw Boulevard is the fantastic Alex Milway, author of the Mousehunter books and the brand new Mythical 9th Division. Now Alex wouldn't call himself a horror writer, but with pirates, monsters, killer mice and yetis in his books he's perfectly at home in the gang. Chainsaw of choice is most likely to be a two-person tree saw powered by nothing but elbow grease, but don't let the lack of an engine fool you, it's as deadly as they come.
There's still more to come, with William Hussey emerging from the smoke. Bill is the author of some genuinely creepy adult horror books – which I love – and he's brought his twisted imagination to younger readers with Witchfinder. But if you think these are any less scary, or any less gory, then forget it. You won't know what's hit you. Chainsaw of choice an
And last but certainly not least is Jon Mayhew, master of the macabre. His new book, Mortlock, is fantastic, but not for the faint hearted! Enter dark, fog-bound Victorian London and the scariest circus since Cirque du Freak, but be sure to leave a light on... Chainsaw of choice, a steam-powered Victorian nightmare of a machine that billows smoke and blood in equal measure.
What about my choice of chainsaw, you ask. Well I'd probably go with a Homelite Zip chainsaw. Rusty, smoky, noisy and old school.
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 crank 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.
I will be here:
9th October 11.00, Cheltenham Festival Screenwriting Workshop
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.
Sarwat Chadda 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, me, Sam Enthoven, Steve Feasey and Alex Milway and Sarwat Chadda. Honestly, be there or be forever disappointed that you weren't at THE author gathering of the year, so far! This event is ticketed (tickets are free) so BOOK NOW!
Norwich Millenium Library on Friday 29th October, 2.30pm with me, William Hussey, Sam Enthoven and Sarwat Chadda. There's even a poster for this one!
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 Sarwat Chadda. There will be others, prepare to be surprised! Contact the store and book your place now.