Archive for the ‘Bully by AJ Kirby’ Category

From Saturday, the excellent new venue the Hyde Park Book Club will be selling copies of some of my selected paperback titles for just five quid. Yup five quid. There will be copies of Bully, Paint this town Red, and The Art of Ventriloquism up for sale. To find out more about HPBC, please go here.

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dedication_1xI’m running a competition with a difference this week. This is YOUR chance to have your name recorded for posterity in the Dedication section of my forthcoming dark fiction novel Small Man Syndrome. And all you have to do in order to qualify is purchase a copy of one of my previous Wild Wolf Publishing-produced horror novels from this site, and your name will automatically be entered. The closing date for the competition is Friday 27th November 2015.

Small Man Syndrome is in the very early stages of forthcoming. Though the text is complete and fully edited and ready to go, the cover is still in production and I’ve still not been given a proper publication date. But the book will OUT. Most likely early in the new year. And what better Christmas present could you get for the man, or woman, who has everything than a dedication in a book? It’s certainly different…

In order to enter, you’ll need to first buy a book. For the purposes of this competition, I have two on offer; Bully, which is priced at £9.99 inc. UK P&P, and Paint this town Red, which is priced at £11.99 inc. UK P&P. Please enquire for P&P to locations outside the UK. In order to buy a copy, simply email me here: andrewkirby92 (at) btinternet (dot) com and I’ll give you my details so you can pay by Paypal. Otherwise, I’ll give you my address so you can send a cheque.

You can choose which book you’d like to read by visiting the Bully and Paint this town Red pages.

And you can find out more about Small Man Syndrome by visiting the dedicated page on the website.

Bully coverIt wouldn’t be a Halloween horror countdown without reference to the book which started it all off for me, Bully.

Buy Bully as an ebook or paperback from here.

“A creepy spine-chiller”

“Akin to old school James Herbert”

They say you should never go back. But sometimes you don’t have a choice.
After Gary Bull’s miraculous survival from an explosion in Afghanistan, he is compelled to return to the small town where he grew up, a place that he thought he would never set his eyes upon again. Memories of a past long buried come back to him and he finds himself forced to face the horror of what he did when he was young. It started with the bullying…

Newton Mills appears normal enough on the surface, but scratch the surface and there is something far more sinister.

It has more than its fair share of graveyards and the skeletons are liable to walk right out of the closet.

Newton Mills is the scene of a despicable crime.

Industry Reviews

Andrew McQuade, Gorezone Magazine, Issue 60:

The work of ‘a talented writer’. There are ‘moments of genuine intensity in the horror scenes’.

Tyson Mauermann, Speculative Book Review, November 2010:

Bully is “a deep psychological thriller.” “The book constantly keeps you on your toes…”, “Bully is an interesting character with a shady past (…) When Bully returns back to his hometown in England he notices that things are not as they seem and that something is amiss. Kirby does an excellent job of describing the tiny hamlet and the various idiosyncrasies. The world building and characters are very well done.”

“Bully is fast paced and a quick read. It reminds me a little bit of Stephen King’s IT” and “In the end, it is a interesting psychological horror that may be just what you are looking for if you like the strange and unknown. It also does a fairly good job of subtly discussing post-tramatic stress in all of its many forms.”

Hannah Glick, Books Editor, Leeds Student Newspaper:

“Reading this book is like trying to get to sleep after drinking too many vodka red bulls…”

” …Where Kirby really shines is his naturalistic, boisterous dialogue. It is rare to read speech that is written as it should sound and it has worked to tremendous effect in this novel.”

” On picking up BULLY, I could tell I was in store for something sinister. But it was more than that; it was horrific, bitter, twisted and aggressive… If you like your stories dark and dramatic, it may well be your type of book.”

 

Amazon Reviews

Alison Littlewood, author of The Unquiet House and A Cold Season, said: “I really enjoyed reading Bully… It’s also a good chiller and keeps you turning the pages…”

Deano C from Manchester said: “A well written book that deserves to be up there with Ramsay Campbell and James Herbert.”

Foxexile said: ” I will certainly read more by this writer and I would say to anyone looking for a good read in the horror genre to pick up this book.

Heather R said: “This was a great read, and one that reaches far beyond the niche of traditional horror.”

Terry Gardiner of Gloucestershire said: “It is the only book I have deleted from my Kindle.”

John Johnson of Leeds said: “wonderful story”.

N. Button said: “I’d certainly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dark fiction.”

LovingKindle said: “This novel gripped me from the start to finish – from the explosive opening in Afghanistan to the grisly climax in Newton Mills. Breathtaking stuff!”

Anna Stephens said: “Bully is a very accomplished second novel for A J Kirby. There are flashes of brilliance in this well-crafted horror tale and a sure forewarning of some more excellent fiction from this talented new writer.”

Jonathan Woolley said: “anyone who has lived in any Yorkshire town in the seventies and eighties will feel something for this book; the hopelessness of the job situation reflects the darkness of and aftermath of Thatchers regime.”

Holly Stacey of Essex said: “A a gripping read with an end that makes you want to sleep with the lights on.”

Lauren G (UK) said: “The tone of the novel is excellent.”

Joseph Stanley of London said: “This book stands head and shoulders above its genre. To label is as merely horror writing is to do it a grave disservice- this is a highly accomplished work of psychological fiction. Kirby’s writing draws you in from the first line – on many occasions I felt an idea or thought was planted in the readers mind only to be brutally played out later on in the narrative. The writing is impassioned, visceral, and shockingly powerful. The dialogue in particular stands out for how convincing it is, which only makes the impact of the novel harder as it reaches a conclusion. Be warned though – this book is a darker, grittier and more disturbing read than you might expect. Kirby’s writing leaves an imprint that remains long after the book has been closed…highly recommended.”

Vincent Rodriguez said: “Bully is a slow burning novel, which entertains, sickens, entrances and thoroughly entertains right up to the splendidly set up finale. I have to agree with other reviewers that this is so much more than a horror novel, and indeed it holds its own alongside the first class psychological thrillers of the Harris and King. Kirby has clearly studied the masters of this genre and as far as a second effort goes, this is right up in the first division. Through a meticulously woven narrative, he succeeds in making the reader feel uneasy, yet thoroughly enthralled as Gary Bull evolves from the perpetrator of childhood evils to the victim of the most harrowing psychological torture. In spite of his vileness in youth, Gary is a likeable character and you do find yourself rooting for him as he descends into terror. I know I should have felt that justice was being served, but sympathy for Gary was still hard to shake. This is the hallmark of a masterly creation, of which Kirby should be congratulated. The book is a real page-turner and can be read almost at one sitting. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dark fiction, and I for one, will be searching out Kirby’s other tales.”

41m2iTg-3fL._SL500_AA266_PIkin3,BottomRight,-16,34_AA300_SH20_OU02_Whilst I’m trying to attract new readers for my genre fiction with some FREEBIE ebook deals on Amazon this month, its also worth mentioning customer feedback as a kind of seal of approval for the quality my writing. I don’t just want to win readers by giving my writing away…

So anyway, my dark fiction novel Bully won’t be part of the FREEBIE deals, but continues to generate great reviews on Amazon. And I thought the time was right to revisit the book and capture some of the best comments.

If you’re interested in reading the book, it’s here.

And here’s a selection of reviewers’ comments:

Alison Littlewood, author of The Unquiet House and A Cold Season, said: “I really enjoyed reading Bully… It’s also a good chiller and keeps you turning the pages…”

Deano C from Manchester said: “A well written book that deserves to be up there with Ramsay Campbell and James Herbert.”

Foxexile said: ” I will certainly read more by this writer and I would say to anyone looking for a good read in the horror genre to pick up this book.

Heather R said: “This was a great read, and one that reaches far beyond the niche of traditional horror.”

Terry Gardiner of Gloucestershire said: “It is the only book I have deleted from my Kindle.”

John Johnson of Leeds said: “wonderful story”.

N. Button said: “I’d certainly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dark fiction.”

LovingKindle said: “This novel gripped me from the start to finish – from the explosive opening in Afghanistan to the grisly climax in Newton Mills. Breathtaking stuff!”

Anna Stephens said: “Bully is a very accomplished second novel for A J Kirby. There are flashes of brilliance in this well-crafted horror tale and a sure forewarning of some more excellent fiction from this talented new writer.”

Jonathan Woolley said: “anyone who has lived in any Yorkshire town in the seventies and eighties will feel something for this book; the hopelessness of the job situation reflects the darkness of and aftermath of Thatchers regime.”

Holly Stacey of Essex said: “A a gripping read with an end that makes you want to sleep with the lights on.”

Lauren G (UK) said: “The tone of the novel is excellent.”

Joseph Stanley of London said: “This book stands head and shoulders above its genre. To label is as merely horror writing is to do it a grave disservice- this is a highly accomplished work of psychological fiction. Kirby’s writing draws you in from the first line – on many occasions I felt an idea or thought was planted in the readers mind only to be brutally played out later on in the narrative. The writing is impassioned, visceral, and shockingly powerful. The dialogue in particular stands out for how convincing it is, which only makes the impact of the novel harder as it reaches a conclusion. Be warned though – this book is a darker, grittier and more disturbing read than you might expect. Kirby’s writing leaves an imprint that remains long after the book has been closed…highly recommended.”

Vincent Rodriguez said: “Bully is a slow burning novel, which entertains, sickens, entrances and thoroughly entertains right up to the splendidly set up finale. I have to agree with other reviewers that this is so much more than a horror novel, and indeed it holds its own alongside the first class psychological thrillers of the Harris and King. Kirby has clearly studied the masters of this genre and as far as a second effort goes, this is right up in the first division. Through a meticulously woven narrative, he succeeds in making the reader feel uneasy, yet thoroughly enthralled as Gary Bull evolves from the perpetrator of childhood evils to the victim of the most harrowing psychological torture. In spite of his vileness in youth, Gary is a likeable character and you do find yourself rooting for him as he descends into terror. I know I should have felt that justice was being served, but sympathy for Gary was still hard to shake. This is the hallmark of a masterly creation, of which Kirby should be congratulated. The book is a real page-turner and can be read almost at one sitting. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dark fiction, and I for one, will be searching out Kirby’s other tales.”

Triskaidekaphobia. That means the fear of the number 13. And, with Halloween less than 13 hours away here in the UK, here are 13 horrific things to help you get through the night, a baker’s dozen of frights.

First up, for all of you who fear the number thirteen, here’s me answering 13 questions on all things horror on the Horror Sleaze Trash website. And here’s three other horror writers I’d recommend: Ralph Robert Moore, Ron Malfi, and of course, the master, Stephen King. So that’s four.

Five is a review of my horror novella Sharkways by the writer Anna L Stephens (here). Six is me interviewed on the Ginger Nuts of Horror website, and seven is a link to The Horror Anthology of Horror Anthologies, of which I am a part. Eight, nine and ten are these excellent horror and dark fiction publishers: Wild Wolf Publishing, TWB Press, and Damnation Books.

Eleven is a list of the 50 scariest horror films of all time, twelve is my guest blog on the Legend Press website about everything-phobia

dANCINGSo, pumpkins at the ready. Here’s the latest in my scary story a day campaign on the build up to Halloween. THE DANCING QUEEN’S LAST DANCE: http://thenightlight.co.uk/2011/05/the-dancing-queens-last-dance/# And this is your bonus, number 13.

And if you can’t wait to read more, you can read more stories by AJ Kirby here: http://andykirbythewriter.20m.com/custom_1.html

Or why not check out my creature feature, Paint this town Red, here. Or dare to open The Black Book here. Or try my supernatural tale of revenge from beyond the grave, Bully, which was an Amazon horror number 1, here.

And don’t forget that if you play with fire, you’ll get burned. The Haunting of Annie Nicol has been described as “the perfect ghost story” and is available here.

The road to hell begins in the mind… So watch out at Halloween. Sharkways is a novella which can be read in one sitting, and will scare the pants off you. “The ascent from the midway point is fantastic, and fuses some great, tangible imagery with some haunting psychological terror. (…) Kirby ratchets the tension up to ten and delivers a gratifying finale…” Horror Novel Reviews.

Well, by the skin of your teeth, you’ve managed to make it through to the final strait in my countdown to Halloween blog, and you’ll have read your petrified eyes over a number of my stories already… So are you ready for another one? I hope so, because there’s someone banging at your door and he won’t be turned away. His voice is gruff and seems to carry up from the bowels of hell. Can’t you hear him?

Trick or treat? he demands. Trick, or treat?

Do you trust him? Of course not… But then, trust’s a very funny thing, isn’t it. So now, get ready for something a little different. Today’s story is called A QUESTION OF TRUST: http://wordlnd.weebly.com/a-question-of-trust.html It featured on the Wordland zine, run by the excellent Terry Grimwood…

And if you can’t wait to read more, you can read more stories by AJ Kirby here: http://andykirbythewriter.20m.com/custom_1.html

Or why not check out my creature feature, Paint this town Red, here. Or dare to open The Black Book here. Or try my supernatural tale of revenge from beyond the grave, Bully, which was an Amazon horror number 1, here.

And don’t forget that if you play with fire, you’ll get burned. The Haunting of Annie Nicol has been described as “the perfect ghost story” and is available here.

The road to hell begins in the mind… So watch out at Halloween. Sharkways is a novella which can be read in one sitting, and will scare the pants off you. “The ascent from the midway point is fantastic, and fuses some great, tangible imagery with some haunting psychological terror. (…) Kirby ratchets the tension up to ten and delivers a gratifying finale…” Horror Novel Reviews.

We’re nearly there. Maybe you can already hear the impatient knocking at your door of so many trick or treaters. Maybe you’ve already handed out all your candy and are scarping the barrel, handing out cans of beans or whatever’s left over in the cupboard. But let this be a warning to you. Cans of beans are your means of survival. Because if the forces of darkness do take over on All Hallows’ Eve on Friday, and you’re forced to board yourself up in your cellar, how are you going to survive without your essential provisions? Well? Huh? (And in case the zombie apocalypse does happen, I wrote this guide a few years back for Itchy Leeds magazine)…

Anyway, that’s not what I really wanted you to read today. What I really wanted you to read today is this piece. Horror doesn’t have to concern monsters. The monsters can be ourselves.

Spooky doorwayAnd so, without further ado, here’s the latest installment of my story a day on the build up to Halloween. DOORWAYS. http://thrillskillsnchills.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/doorways-by-aj-kirby.html

And if you can’t wait to read more, you can read more stories by AJ Kirby here: http://andykirbythewriter.20m.com/custom_1.html

Or why not check out my creature feature, Paint this town Red, here. Or dare to open The Black Book here. Or try my supernatural tale of revenge from beyond the grave, Bully, which was an Amazon horror number 1, here.

And don’t forget that if you play with fire, you’ll get burned. The Haunting of Annie Nicol has been described as “the perfect ghost story” and is available here.

The road to hell begins in the mind… So watch out at Halloween. Sharkways is a novella which can be read in one sitting, and will scare the pants off you. “The ascent from the midway point is fantastic, and fuses some great, tangible imagery with some haunting psychological terror. (…) Kirby ratchets the tension up to ten and delivers a gratifying finale…” Horror Novel Reviews.