Spectral Press update and other plans…

It’s been a while since I posted anything about my Spectral Press project , so I thought it a good idea to let you all know what’s happening. So here goes:

For starters, this is the line-up for the first year’s publications:

What They Hear in the Dark, by Gary McMahon (April/May 2011)

The Abolisher of Roses, by Gary Fry (September 2011)

Nowhere Hall, by Cate Gardner (January 2012)

More details and blurb about each very soon. There’ll only be the three in the first year, mainly to judge the kind of reaction to what Spectral has to offer. If it looks like the imprint will be successful then I will increase the frequency to every quarter. My aim, eventually (and this is only maybe), is to publish a chapbook every two months OR two every quarter.

The subscription price for the first year is £10 – I’ll be working out the price very soon for both the rest of the world and the $ price for the US. I’ll be setting up the new bank account tomorrow so that within the next week or two I’ll be able to start accepting subscription payments should anyone wish to take one out.

Other writers who have either agreed to write, or have expressed an interest in writing, for Spectral Press are (in no particular order): Alison Littlewood, Steve Duffy, Thana Niveau, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Steve Lockley, Stephen Volk, Mark West, John Llewellyn Probert, Johnny Mains, Simon Bestwick, Nicholas Royle, RB Russell, Willie Meikle and Angela Slatter. Something for everyone there, I should think. Plus it’ll keep the imprint going for a while….

Jumping the gun maybe, but I am also thinking about Spectral Press in the longer term. This is more of a visualisation exercise than anything else, but this is what I would like to see happening with the imprint.

As well as the main Spectral Press chapbooks, I envision two other, parallel series further down the road:

Spectral Old Masters – republishing ghostly and supernatural tales from the early part of last century and before. I don’t quite know how to go about sourcing public domain/out-of-copyright stories (which, intially, I think they would have to be due to financial constraints) so any help in that quarter appreciated. I imagine them to look something along the lines of the main Spectral line, but with more of a Victorian/Edwardian feel to them.

Spectral Pulp – this would be more of a fun line of chapbooks, giving authors a chance to write something they wouldn’t normally attempt as an hommage to the ‘golden age’ of 50s and 60s pulp publishing. This could take the form of a hard-boiled detective story, or a fantasy story, or maybe a science fiction one, accompanied by some lurid and gloriously technicolour cover artwork that reflects the kind of thing that used to grace newsstands and airport lounge book-racks back in the day. The more outré the better in the last two cases….

Even without the two other ideas coming into being, I’ll be plenty busy enough. This ultimately means that next year I will be cutting back on the reviewing (although the books I have here now will be dealt with, I promise), as I want to concentrate on making Spectral Press the success I think it deserves to be, plus I want to resume my own story-writing. I’ve neglected the latter for far too long, I feel. I have many stories, and story ideas, that I’ve been toying with over the last four or so months, none of which have got very far because of time constraints plus certain personal issues that have deigned to intervene. Those latter are now slowly being resolved, so I should have more time to deal with reviews and Spectral business.

At any rate, I hope you can all join me on-board this exciting new venture. I am definitely looking forward to getting the first chapbook out next year – it promises to be quite an interesting ride.


2 Responses to “Spectral Press update and other plans…”

  1. Simon, re sourcing old texts, Derek Wright of Wordsworth commented briefly when I interviewed him last year:-


    The people at Wordsworth are very friendly, and would probably advise you if you had any specific questions.

    A lot of out of copyright material is archived online in the Classic Horror section of Horror Library:-


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