Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Definition of Horror?

There is a wide spectrum within the literary genre of horror when you think about it - monsters, vampires, zombies, apocalyptic situations, psychopathic killers, massacres, the occult etc... and probably most of them will be pretty much filled with graphic detail. However, in amongst those but still firmly in the genre are books like 'The Loney' (Costa winner) and of course, my own.  Here's the thing - I am currently reading, 'The Loney' and I have to be honest and say it is not scary. I'm so not frightened I could read this at night on my own and I am one big scaredy cat with a colossally vivid imagination! It is, however, beautiful prose. So I kind of like it. It's slow and I can't say there is a build up of tension, but it's atmospheric and it's good literary work. Boy oh boy though, has it had some awful reviews.

Why? Well looking at it objectively with a very interested eye I'd say most people - not all but most - are reading the wrong book. If you think this is horror and you expect horror to scare you witless you will most definitely be disappointed; and many disappointed reviewers don't hesitate to stick a 1* review on a book. They wanted horror and they wanted to be scared. What they read didn't scare them. That's it.

'Father of Lies' was intended to be told for a reason, and that reason was to highlight that whether or not you believe in evil as an external entity, the fact that quite a few people do, is worry enough because innocent people, most particularly children, are still getting hurt in the name of it. I've done a huge amount of research and spoken to people who have suffered unimaginably; and that to me is more horrifying than all the blood and gore you can throw at me. In addition, the entire trilogy, with Ruby as the protagonist, is told via her fragmented memory and the medical people who have tried to help her - thus the chapters are divided into those different perspectives.

Well some people like that and some don't. And, of course, what scares us is highly personal... However, I'm just a writer so I'm not saying this is a higher moral mission, I'm just saying that I tell this story the way I tell it because it runs parallel with a huge amount of horrible suffering that still goes on today, and I tell it with only hints of the real atrocities carried out to show what these poor kids have had to go through rather than for gratuitous entertainment. There are books out there that will satisfy those seeking that kind of thrill but I don't think they will like mine.

In summary - Book 3 will give resolution and will delve into things most people will never have imagined existed, but as one reviewer expected a happy ending - in horror there won't be one, although there may be triumph! But if evil exists it exists - all I can do is fire your maybe we'll all know to look out for it...

 ps - Book 3 - if you'd like to know when it's due and have up to date information - please sign up to my very infrequent newsletter and you will be first to know!


Sunday, 10 July 2016

That Rara Avis...

Well it's just over a month since the second book in this occult horror trilogy was released, so I thought it might be time to take stock and let you know what the readers think of Tanners Dell so far... To  be honest I am thrilled to bits with some amazing reviews.. in fact some of them are so inspiring and well written I've pinched them for my ads! This is one of those... 'Powerful and Disturbing' - I love that!

'That Rara Avis - a truly terrifying horror novel...'
'Wow...just... wow! This book is a deliciously dark cocktail of everything I want and need in a good horror novel...'
'Not only is this a classic, generic horror story, it is psychologcially disturbing...'
'I loved, loved, loved this book - even better than Father of Lies, which says a lot...'
'Omg I am still reeling from this book - I absolutely enjoyed it... it was so intense I feel I watched it in film form...'
'Loved this , want more now , brilliant plot line with plenty of twisting scares, looking forward to more from this author!'
'One of my top reads of the year by a new favourite author.'

Latest Updates: 1. Tanners Dell is already published in paperback on amazon but will also shortly be available for bookstore orders alongside Father of Lies - I will post when it's ready. If you are interested I now have the capacity to arrange signed copies via our Authors Reach website -  where there is a form to fill in and details of costs, which include postage.

2. Next - news on the third and final book in the trilogy: The aim is for it to be ready in time for Halloween. To say it has taken an unexpected direction would be an understatement, and the characters are certainly being put through the proverbial wringer (as is the writer)! Once I have the cover and some more definite details I will, of course post the news... and if you would like to be the first to hear about it please do sign up for my newsletter, which I'll probably be able to send out by early Autumn. I also have another little surprise up my sleeve, so again - if you're on the list I can let you know.

Finally, thank you to every single person who has re-tweeted, followed, shared, posted, liked and most importantly of all - reviewed my work positiviely. I really do appreciate it more than I can say.


Friday, 17 June 2016

A Darkly Disturbing Occult Horror Trilogy

It's official! My occult horror series is now a trilogy. Father of Lies is book 1, Tanners Dell is book 2 and the 3rd is scheduled for a Halloween release. I thought I would have it clearly marked this way (on Amazon) so as to avoid confusion in the future...some readers had not known which book was first and some had not realised it was evolving into a series...actually, neither had I! The darkly twisted village of Woodsend took on a life of its own and is still developing into something that takes unexpected shape as I work....
And here is a gorgeous new ad courtesy of the very talented designer on our Authors Reach team - Gina Dickerson. Disappearing back into my writer's lair in a minute...see you soon!

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Book 3 coming up!

I'm starting Book 3 on Monday now I've done some seriously terrifying research on your behalf! No, please, don't thank me.... the night terrors were my absolute pleasure! And boy have I got a scary story coming up to follow on from Father of Lies and Tanners Dell... got the title (under wraps ...) - woppy doo - and all being well, I'll have it ready by Halloween....meanwhile there are lots of new reviews for Tanners Dell coming in:
'Powerful and Disturbing'
'A corker of a follow-up'
'Absolutely NOT for those of a nervous disposition..'
'Dear Sarah, please hurry up and write the next book, I am totally ensnared!'
'One of my top reads this year by a favourite new author'

So that's very encouraging indeed and inspires me to spend the next 5-6 months on the dark side in solitary confinement living on toast and coffee... Thank you so very much to everyone who wrote a great review on amazon and or goodreads - it really does help enormously. I can't thank you enough! Now I will once again step into my writer's lair...   


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The darkest research yet....

Here I go again on my own... starting today, right now and all in place to get cracking- the darkest research yet for the3rd book following FOL and Tanners Dell.... meet you at Halloween....


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

No. 1 in British Horror

Just over a week ago 'Tanners Dell' was launched into an unsuspecting world, as the sequel to 'Father of Lies'. Now I write occult horror and so it's kind of love it or hate it... yup, I was nervous... but so far I am very happy to say - the readers seem to like it!! Here are just some of the reviews it's had so far
  • 'Occult horror that's unforgettable..'
  • 'A corker of a follow-up and darkly wonderful - really looking forward to the next one!'
  • 'Absolutely NOT for those of a nervous disposition - Sarah goes all out to thrill and to scare and pulls no punches.'
  • Ms England was definitely not a one-trick pony with Father of Lies - Tanners Dell is equally disturbing.'
  • Loved, loved, loved this book - even better than Father of Lies, which says a lot...'
Ms England has done it again - scared the life out of me: one scene in a hotel bedroom, later on in the book, well...I could hardly sleep at all after that!'


So what do YOU think??
Here's a snippet from Chapter 14 to whet your appetite - this is where Celeste, the medium, attempts to connect with the dark side...

'After meditating for a while Celeste picked up the black mirror she rarely used to scry with and peered into its depths. Staring into the mirror in the candle-lit darkness should connect her with whatever or whoever was in the house and fear instinctively swelled inside her chest. Her hands shook. Any second now a face would appear either instead of, or behind, her own.

Who would come?
The black mirror reflected the vague outline of her face and a crown of backcombed hair. She continued to stare into it.
Show yourself
Now the black glass began to waver; very slightly at first like staring into a millpond at night. Fear stuck fast in her throat but she swallowed it down.
Something’s coming.
Stay with it.
All at once the image altered and the eyes reflected were no longer her own.
Who are you? Who’s there?
In response the half-formed face quickly vanished as if down a drain.
Show yourself, you coward
Someone laughed with a long low chuckle that echoed around the kitchen, but she held steady, watching and waiting. A landscape was now being shown to her: swaying silvery treetops and a twilight sky…rooks flying in and out of the canopy… The picture steadily grew as if painted by an imaginary artist, eventually zooming in on a woman hanging out washing in the dark. Rain dripped steadily from the trees and her boots were mired in mud. Zooming in further, the washing appeared to be dirty and saturated in something dark and oozing, yet still the woman’s hands worked, methodically dipping into deep pockets and pulling out more pegs. The mirror crept up like a camera lens behind the woman’s head and a pungent wave of nicotine and wood smoke wafted from the scene, along with the faint sound of ethereal humming… ‘Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie…’ Suddenly, as if sensing an intruder the woman stopped humming. Her back stiffened and slowly, oh so slowly, she inclined her head as if to turn around...

Oh there's more... I now have a newsletter set up - if you click on the sign up form top right then you will be the first to know when the next one's out. That's the thing you see... I wondered if I should stay in this vein but the third book is taking shape - I can't say more in case you haven't read FOL or Tanners Dell.. suffice to say I'm going even darker...And there's more...I had a tiny launch party on facebook on Sunday and there were loads of scary stories and pictures posted on there. To share some of those pics... here they are - look away now if you are at all nervous!

And finally, 'Tanners Dell' made it to NO.1 in British Horror! UK Amazon. Still there too... it's a tiny genre but thank you to everyone who downloaded it and I am so so happy that most people - cross fingers... are enjoying it! 


Saturday, 21 May 2016


The sequel to 'Father of Lies' - 'Tanners Dell' - is now out on kindle and in paperback on Amazon Select' I hope you like it... Here's a little more...

Book Blurb 

'Following the hypnosis of violently disturbed psychiatric patient, Ruby Dean, an unholy, dark force was unleashed on the medical staff who tried to help her. Now only one of the original team remains - Ward Sister, Becky.
Despite her fiancé, D.I. Ross, being unconscious and many of her colleagues either dead or critically ill, Becky is determined to rescue Ruby's twelve year old daughter from a similar fate to her mother. But no one asking questions in the desolate mining village Ruby descends from ever comes to a good end. And as the diabolical history of the area is gradually revealed, it seems the evil invoked is now both real and contagious.'

Don't turn the lights out yet!

Radio Interview Link: