Dawn of the Dead

Whilst most people herald the arrival of a new year – new beginnings and all that jazz, and they start making promises that this is the year they’ll change, for us, all it does is awaken the darkshines. Since the darkshines first awoke when we were 14, the new year has been nothing but an excuse to say ‘good riddance’ to the old year, whilst dreading what crap the new one has in store. And whilst we’re mostly out of the darkshines’ shadow, this year has been no different, with our Facebook statuses reading: ‘*puts bullet in 2014’s heart. Aim gun at 2015* start running, bitch’. And ‘may 2014 crawl off and die and may 2015 never live to see its first sunrise’.

Positive stuff.

To be fair, we’ve been on a high for a couple of months now, and we were even feeling positive and excited for the future. The future’s always been a big black hole to us with random planned events thrown in to give us something to look forwards to. So we were due to come crashing down. That’s the nature of our darkshines. It’s been worse this time around because the high doesn’t normally last as long as it did this time. But we know we’ll come out of it so we just wait for the dark clouds to pass. Our coping strategies include writing, video editing our ghost hunting show and exercise.

And you probably thought you were about to read another ‘new year, new me’ post. Let’s face it – the world doesn’t change just because we all have new calendars. It sums it up when after spending New Year’s Eve with your best mate playing Cards Against Humanity and The Last Day on Earth, the New Year starts, the fireworks go off and you’re on the bog. Guess it’s the New Year taking the piss. After that ‘unique’ start, you know you’re going to have to face the rest of the year armed with a sense of humour and a sarcastic retort.

But at least this year has started pretty bloody well.

Silent Dawn has been longlisted for the Exeter Novel Prize. We can’t believe it either, so read the longlist here. If you remember Bleeding Empire was longlisted for the prize last year and we got invited to the prize giving, which led to us doing a reading at the Salem literary festival. To be honest, we didn’t rate Silent Dawn’s chances at all. For a start, we only wrote it in September and the deadline for the prize was Halloween. We were going to submit The Malignant Dead, but as the short story version was published in October, we couldn’t enter the novella version. Cue a mad edit of Silent Dawn to get it somewhat presentable. So for this reason, we don’t expect it to get shortlisted. We’ll find out on February 1st. But we’re thrilled to be longlisted.

This was the Silent Dawn pitch we wrote for Scardiff: “Silent Dawn isn’t real. She’s a terrifying computer game character who erodes players’ sanities. Just because she’s been linked to disappearances centuries ago, doesn’t mean she’s real. Just because game aspects appear in reality, or because people start vanishing, doesn’t mean she’s real. Just because she’s standing in the corner…”


  1. She sounds a lot like a modern version of the King in Yellow… which makes her awesome.

    As for that “New year, new me” stuff… fuck it. If you’re awesome already then there’s no reason to start over.

    • ooh we’ve never heard of the King in Yellow. We’ll have to check it out.

      All that New Year new me stuff is bollocks. People don’t change just because we get new calendars.

      • The King in Yellow is an awesome old (1895) book of short horror stories. At least the first half of it is awesome but given that the book is free on Kindle you don’t have to worry that you’re wasting your money.

      • ooh excellent, thanks! We’ll definitely check it out.

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