"In Hand Of Glory, Susan Boulton deftly conjures the traumatic fragility of England in the years following the Great War, interweaving a love story and
supernatural crime thriller with an unflinching appraisal of the true horrors of conflict. Recommended." — Neil Williamson, award winning author of The Moon King.
"An intriguing story, beautifully researched with well-drawn characters and an involving central intrigue. Something a little different for the genre and all the
better for it. — Jo Zebedee. author of Abendau's Heir, the inheritance trilogy andInish Carraig.
"From the horrors of the First World War to the decadence of the Roaring Twenties, Hand of Glory is a revenge tale worthy of a Hammer Horror production.
Grisly murders, creepy séances, and gaslight shenanigans, not to mention the overriding presence of a certain severed limb with an occult power from beyond the grave, are combined with a sense of
mortal danger to keep the pages turning." —Mark Yon, Sffworld and book reviewer.
"A stunning and authentic tale of the supernatural, bound to give you goosebumps." — Alex Davis, author, published in Dark Horizons, The
Panels at Mancunicon
The Fuzzy Set of Horror
Saturday 19:00 - 20:00, Room 7 (Hilton Deansgate) 26th March 2016
Ghost stories, supernatural, suspense, gore, shock horror, all of these used to be more or less recognisable and identifed as distinct genres. Today they are
increasingly classified as just horror. What effect does this have on the writing, publishing, advertising and sales of the separate genres and what are we missing - or gaining - by merging the
genres into a collective whole?
Sunday 19:00 - 20:00, Room 6 (Hilton Deansgate) 27th March
The look and feel of gothic art and imagery in and out of the movies, from the work of Tim Burton to Penny Dreadful and the recent Crimson Peak, gothic art adds a new,
old dimension to the production designers palette. This panel of artists, fans and authors discuss the phenomena, what makes it so velvety and rich and how it influences and manifests in their
On Friday 23rd October I will taking part in my very first panel at Fantasycon 2015 in Nottingham. I am getting very excited!
Room: Suite 2
5.00pm Stealing from the Past: Fantasy in History
Much fantasy has real-world fantasy settings. We’re writing novels, not textbooks, so how far can we bend history out of shape to suit our own ends? This panel explores the challenges of placing
strange fictions in historical realities and what we can learn from them
choosing a setting: challenging assumptions about the period
how will it inform your characters?
research: how much is enough and what details to use?
the ‘clunk’: avoiding (or deliberately using) anachronisms
Moderator: Susan Bartholomew
Panelists: Jacey Bedford, Susan Boulton, Anne Lyle, Juliet E McKenna, Toby Venables
Interview with Alex Davis, on his blog, dated 1st May.
INTERVIEW WITH SUSAN BOULTON
Good afternoon one and all, and as promised I’m delighted to present my author interview with Susan Boulton, the author author of Oracle for Tickety Boo Press and all around good egg! So if you
wanted to find out more about the world of Oracle, gaslight fantasy, the writing process and plenty besides, then you’re in the right place!
So, Oracle has just hit bookshelves – can you tell us a bit about the book?
It’s a gaslight fantasy with at its heart an autistic Cassandra in a world in the throes of an industrial revolution.
Excellent stuff – I’d love to explore a bit more what you mean by ‘gaslight fantasy’ – it’s not a term we always hear!
It’s not full-blown steampunk with its strange machines and magic. The setting is akin to early Victorian, more based in reality, yet with a hint of the fantastical.
So what’s the hint of the fantastical we can expect?
A religious order misusing a type of older magic – no, gift would be a better word – left in their charge by a deity, who in turn is intent on bringing about more change in a time of great upheaval
in both the political and industrial elements of the the world Oracle lives in. This is seen through the eyes of my characters.
So the characters are facing the powers of the gods and religion? Sounds full on…
Yes and no. Only Oracle herself has some idea of what is going on. The power behind what seems to but a society in flux with a small religious order bent on regaining their former political power. I
wanted the reader to be aware of layers, that nothing is quite what what it seems on the surface. Only those who have read the book can tell me if I succeeded or not!
So there’s plenty more to explore in future books?
Yes, but which way to go? A line is drawn under the fate of my two main characters, a semi-happy ending, a pause. If and when I pick the story up I feel I would have to move it forward in time a
little and focus on secondary or new characters. Though I would love to explore the fate of a couple of characters who turn out not to be what they seemed to be at the beginning. I am trying hard not
to give major spoilers here LOL!
It’s a spoiler free zone! Is there a second book in the works then?
Perhaps. It is something I am giving serious thought too, but I do have a couple of WIPs which I need to get into first draft before I plunge back into Oracle’s world. I am not very good at working
on multiple WIPs…
Absolutely understandable. So what are you working on at the moment, if you don’t mind my asking?
Two major ones, a follow up to another novel I have written, a supernatural one, using two minor characters from that book and set in 1923 amid all the hubbub in the UK caused of the discovery of a
certain tomb in Egypt. So cats, raising the dead and a very confused police inspector in a county town. The second is, well, a WWII POW story. A sort of Colditz with gremlins wrapped up in the myth
of the Green man. It has spread to two books and follows the hero from Germany 1944 until the bad winter of 1946-7 in the Staffordshire moorlands.
So quite a range there for sure – do those books have homes with a publisher as yet?
The book, the first idea I mentioned is a follow up to, is out on submission at the moment. If the first book sells then the idea will go from planning to first draft. The second, my POW story, has
75% of book one written and 25% of book two written. Hope that all makes sense!
That’s an unusual approach – so how do you tend to go about your writing? Do you write a set amount or time each day, or are you a bit more freeform?
Very freeform. I tend to have an idea, write a scene, then stop. It then sits around for ages while I think about it. I think that is why with a sequel to Oracle I know I can’t force it. It will come
in its own time. Once it does the draft goes at its own pace, with breaks for research.
So how long does it typically take you to write a first draft?
Oracle, once I got going after the first idea, about 6 months. The book out on submission, Hand of Glory, took only three, but that was unusual. I drew on quite a bit of family and local history for
that and it fell into place very quickly. Sadly the WWII POW story has been, to put it politely, a pig to write so far.
Then there’s the editing time of course – how long does that process typically take?
It feels like it goes on for ever and I am never satisfied. I keep fiddling and don’t know sometimes when to stop. Thankfully with Oracle, Teresa helped me see the wood for the trees, and Donna
Scott’s guiding hand helped with Hand of Glory.
A good editor is hugely valuable – I think authors can be their own worst critics at times!
I agree. All I see is the bad grammar, misspelt words and wonky sentences. I forget the story at the book’s heart.
Which is of course what the reader is most interested in! So are there any books – or authors – that you would compare Oracle to?
Difficult to say. I find it hard to compare my work to other’ as I feel their work is so much better.
You’re too hard on yourself, by far! Do you think it’d appeal to any steampunk fans out there?
Yes. Oracle has steam trains which crash, dark satanic mills, an upper class bent on keeping the workers in their place and wide-eyed reformists that believe they have the answer to the affect the
new technology engulfing Oracle’s world. And my characters dress beautifully.
Excellent stuff – sounds like a great read, can’t wait to get stuck in! And how is the book doing so far in the wider world?
Quite well. I have a lot of interest, locally for my signing at Stafford Shire Hall library on the 9th May. Not just from friends and family either! The Stafford Newsletter has done an interview with
me today. It felt quite strange for someone at work that I don’t know to come up and say they were coming and intended to buy a copy. But time will tell, any book these days has to fight for its
place in the market, a book from a small press more so, but I have a good publisher in Gary and we will make it.
Excellent stuff – Tickety Boo certainly are a great team to be with! Thanks a lot for taking the time to chat today, and good luck with all things Oracle going forward!