This week marks the culmination of the spooky season with Halloween on Monday.
When I was a child Halloween was not a big deal but nowadays, of course, it is huge. Every year, I read people complaining that it’s an American import although, of course, it isn’t. All Hallows Eve was a significant date even before the Pilgrims set sail to America. Over the centuries it was marked less in the UK than the USA (perhaps because, in the UK, Bonfire Night on 5 November became the main celebration of the season). In my lifetime the celebration of Halloween has grown more significant with a definite American element but still basically a celebration of the night when all the ghosties and ghoulies make their last great showing before being driven back to the dark places of the earth with the celebration of All Hallows.
While my local church campaigns against any celebration of Halloween because they associate it with devil worship, for most people it’s just a bit of fun and an opportunity to dress up and be silly. I’ll miss the skater Halloween party this year (I’m out of town) but I do enjoy it when I can get along. The costumes are amazing!
I’m marking Halloween by giving away my novella, Dark Magic, from today (Friday 28th) until 1 November. If you missed what I wrote about it at the beginning of the month, here’s what matters:
- It’s short (just 36,000 words)
- People say it’s funny
- People say it’s scary
- It’s FREE for the next five days
- Get it with this link: mybook.to/DarkMagic
Tomorrow, if you’re reading this the day that it was written, it will be October. The days are getting colder; the leaves are turning brown; the evenings are drawing in. It’s the time of year when we begin to gather round the fire (or would if we could afford to turn it on) and tell spooky stories.
It’s a good time, then, to remember that when I’m not writing historical fiction I have turned out the odd contemporary Urban Fantasy. The first of these was Dark Magic.
Dark Magic is a novella. It tells the story of two magic shows: the Maestros of Magic touring the country, playing provincial theatres, and the Carnival of Conjurors successful in the West End. When the Maestros learn that the Conjurors are using real magic – Black Magic – to do their tricks they decide that they must use their own, distinctly unmagical, stage skills to stop them.
I’ve spent far too much time hanging out with magicians and the story is based in the real world of stage magic and illusion but none of the magicians I know have made a deal with the devil.
There are some genuinely scary bits but the comments that come up most often on Amazon reviews suggest that you are more likely to die laughing than have nightmares.
Above all, the book is entertaining, with genuinely funny, although fairly dark moments.
I especially liked the author’s dark, sly sense of humour, this combined with the grisly incidents, made for a great escapist read.
Get ready to suspend your disbelief and enjoy this funny and macabre ride.
Dark Magic is just £1.99 on Kindle. I recorded the whole thing as an audiobook too: it’s available on Audible.