Darkly Dreaming Disneyland

untitled-design-3Disney isn’t all candy colours and cute cartoons. There is a definite and well documented darkness that bursts into life around Halloween. Having been lucky enough to visit during the spooky season I can say first hand that the atmosphere is fantastic. There is so much to look at from the spectacular stage shows full of contemptible villains to the parades and oversized pumpkins.

Here is a list of rides  (in reverse order) that might interest those of a fright-loving persuasion.

5. Ratatouille:

This ride doesn’t have an obvious spooky theme but there is an exciting level of threat throughout as you sit in a little mouse car. Smaller kids can enjoy it too as it is a screen based attraction. Dodge knives and mallets in 3D format as you run a culinary rat race.

4. La Tanière du Dragon:

There is a certain secret beneath Sleeping Beauty’s castle. If you look hard enough you can find a cave within which something very scary sleeps. Go quietly or risk waking a very fiery monster.

3. Pirates of the Caribbean:

Board the boat to sweep through the sailors life…or should I say death. With sinking ships, skeleton pirates and small but smooth, fun dips this is fun for the whole family.

2. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror:

One for the big kids! The Hollywood Tower Hotel was mysteriously closed in 1939 after a strange incident. Enter the 5th dimension if you dare but beware sometimes the elevators can spontaneously freefall. Only for those prepared to take the plunge.

1. Phantom Manor:

High on Boot Hill stands the ominous Phantom Manor, a beautifully dilapidated mansion that holds a dark and sinister history. Discover the story of a Western settler, his beautiful daughter and her cursed fiancé. With a distinctly European spin this attraction is my favourite. The familiar stretching portraits hang on the wall, the fortune teller is there and of course the Doom Buggies carry you along but the malevolence of the Phantom is very apparent and quite unique to this park.

It must be stated that the cast members are amazing but if you do go planning is essential. If you have Magic Hours use them. There are plenty of tip videos on YouTube. Finally, if you can get your hands on a toffee apple go for it!

Farewell for now fiends,




Hi guys, SHATTERED is officially out there now. Just want say thanks to everyone that has supported me with it.

This week it managed to hit NUMBER ONE on the DarkFuse Bestsellers list!

Also, I managed to keep pretty good company for a while on the Amazon Ghost Fiction Bestseller List:


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All-in-all a pretty fab week!


DarkFuse have officially launched my debut novella SHATTERED. Please find the full release statement here. Just wanted to say briefly that the guys at DarkFuse have been amazing and it really is worth having a good look around their website as it is full of great fiction by authors that I am amazed and astounded to be listed beside!


TitanCon Recap

Winter is definitely coming and just before it hits I’d like to recap the amazing event that was TitanCon 2013.


TitanCon is a Belfast based event that was brought about by a number of different groups coming together with the purpose of presenting an innovative convention. Brotherhood Without Banners, The Other Ones and Arkham Gaming Centre. For information about the many supporters of TitanCon just click here.

Game of Thrones

The main focus of TitanCon is the celebration of the prolific Game of Thrones phenomenon. Both the books by George R.R. Martin and the HBO adaptation are discussed on panels. Guests are also invited to take part in cool GoT inspired craft sessions and photo/signing opportunities are available with the stars of the show.

Being a huge fan of both the books and the show myself I was giddy with excitement going into The Green Room. Everyone was really friendly, warm and welcoming. I was over the moon to sip coffee with Ian McElhinney (Barristan Selmy in the series), Ron Donachie (Rodrick Cassel), Luke Barnes (Rast) and Aimee Richardson (Princess Myrcella Barethon). I will be very interested to see Aimee on screens in the future. She is definitely an engaging and exciting local talent to keep an eye on.

Aside from the whole Game of Thrones aspect there is a whole lot of other interesting things at the event. Crafters selling wares, gaming, artists, musicians, Cosplay and of course the literary panels.

Literary Panels

Adam Nevill

Being first and foremost an avid horror fan I was really looking forward to meeting Adam Nevill. I was not disappointed. This guy has it in spades without question. Not only a great writing talent but he brought a perspective to the panel that was both informed and thoroughly insightful. I was very excited to pick up a copy of Apartment 16 and The Ritual. I am now eagerly anticipating getting my hands on House of Small Shadows upon publication.

Ian Mcdonald

Prolific SF writer Ian McDonald also brought a wealth of intelligent discourse to the proceedings and I am glad to have come into contact with such an enthusiastic and open guy. His private words of encouragement really meant a lot to me and have proven extremely inspirational.

There were three of us present that are just at the very beginning of our writing careers. A varied group of “newbies” as it were. Laurence Donaghy,Kenneth Gregory and myself. Topics discussed included the process of getting published, writing families, conflict and resolution issues and blending genres. I found the blending genres discussion very interesting in relation to the different beliefs on how far that technique can go. Each discussion was moderated brilliantly.


I can honestly easy it was a pleasure to be invited to a convention with such warm and friendly organisers. The crew that pulled it all together are a phenomenal team. The success can be clearly seen as TitanCon 2014 has already been confirmed as going ahead. All I can say is well done guys. If you keep building upon the success of this professional convention soon all shall hear you roar!


Colour me Con-happy!

TitanCon is coming and I am proud and privileged to announce that I will be a part of it.


This year the convention will be held in The Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast. It will run from 6th – 8th September with a literature night on the Friday, the main event on Saturday and an exciting coach tour on Sunday. The weekend is going to be nothing short of epic.

Guests include SF author Ian McDonald, supernatural horror writer Adam Nevill and many more. There will also be visitors coming from the Game of Thrones production set! As the shooting schedule is confirmed the full guest line up will be announced. TitanCon has a history of having fantastic panelists and this year the line-up looks set to stun attendees.

More details will follow in upcoming months.

Hope to see you there!

An Evening with Damian Gorman

damianOn Monday evening I was lucky enough to be invited to do my very first reading at The MAC. This amazing arena for the artistic community in Belfast was opened in 2012 and is a standout venue in terms of both its impressive architecture and the events held within its walls.

I had heard about an opportunity to meet with Damian Gorman, who was completing his Artist-in-Residence term, and I jumped at the opportunity to get as much as much advice as possible from the BAFTA winning writer. After a fantastic one-to-one meeting I felt truly motivated and inspired.

Damian has helped encourage and engage local writers throughout his career and it will be sad to see him leave these shores shortly. However, it will be possible to bid him a fond farewell at his last appearance Saying Things.

damian2With such a great host and wonderful venue I was enthralled to join other local writers to offer up an extract from SHATTERED. I have to admit that my nerves were jangling but after a hasty introduction to the work and a plea for patience (in case my aphasia kicked in) I started into the prologue. It all went well thankfully. With a two-pronged technique of taking my time and remembering to breathe I managed to read the introduction to the upcoming novella and after speaking with audience members after the event I was pleased to find that it was enjoyed. Comments included “very scary”, “chilling”and “gruesome” and that was the reaction after hearing only the first few pages. I don’t think I’d be able to do it every day but the response really was music to a the ears of this horror writer.

There was some amazing talent in the room and I thoroughly enjoyed sitting back and listening to the readings from the other writers. With a huge variety in content and format the evening was very interesting and intimate. I wish the best for all the participants and of course to Damian who has brought so much to the writing community here in Northern Ireland.

Cover Reveal

Recently my publisher revealed the final cover art for my debut novella SHATTERED. I am so excited about it. I don’t want to give too much away but suffice to say it literally gets to the heart of the story. I also feel that given the release date of November the overall colour scheme fits in well the winter read vibe the book has. Zach McCain is an amazing artist and has worked on cover art for great authors such as Greg F. GifuneAlan Rykerand Michael McBride to name but a few. It is my honour and privilege to share with my blog followers the image he has created. Just click the picture to see it enlarged.


Now we just have to wait for summer to roll on through so I can share the novella with you. I hope you are looking forward to it!


A Weekend with Colin Bateman


I have never participated in any kind of creative writing course. Even at university I had always veered towards critical analysis of the classics rather than learning the tools and techniques needed for writing fiction. Strangely the thought of studying the actual procedure involved in both writing and the publishing process was something that made me feel pretty nervous. However, during a snowy weekend in January I set those anxieties aside and headed to a hotel in Bangor to attend Colin Bateman’s Best Seller event.

It was a fantastic and productive weekend. The ambience was warm and inviting. Colin’s relaxed demeanour made me feel at ease and he conducted the class in a personal way. He illustrated the key factors involved in getting into gear with writing through colourful anecdotes and accounts of his own experiences. Colin’s advice was clear, concise and practical and just the jump start that many aspiring authors could do with. The main point I took away was mainly just to get on with getting the words on the page. I also discovered that the process of submitting to publishers doesn’t have to be scary if you are organised. Special speakers including literary agent Paul Feldstein and author Stephen Walker further highlighted that being a professional writer is an achievable aspiration.
The course really was a very positive experience. I came away feeling extremely motivated to turn more of my ideas into full blown manuscripts. I also feel equipped to break each part of the process down and work confident in the fact that through effort, focus and action I can attain the goals I set for myself. I am also really chuffed I got to talk with the author of Divorcing Jack, The Mystery Man series and Murphy’s Law to name but a few. Now, back to work!



Things have been hotting up here in the depths of Kane HQ. The big news is that SHATTERED is almost ready to be published by DarkFuse and I am excitedly awaiting to see the finished artwork for the cover. I’ve also been submitting a number of reviews and articles to DarkMedia Online. Please feel free to check out both of these great websites.

I’ve had my first experience as an interviewee. The topic up for discussion was the upcoming novella and my motivations for writing. I was also queried as to what is like to get to this stage after my brain injury. It was a bit of a roller coaster truth be told but hopefully it will go down well and raise awareness of the great support system that is the Cedar Foundation. I will post links as soon as it is published.

The next stage is completing edits on the first draft of my first full length novel. Getting there slowly. Upcoming blog posts will include A Weekend with Colin BatemanWriting Room and Interview with an Author, to name but a few.

Please keep dropping by for updates and exclusives.

See you in your nightmares,