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This year has been just as horrific as a horror novel. In fact it’s difficult to think up anything more frightening than Covid-19. No matter how scared you might be when you read a horror novel, at least when you reach the end and put it down, you’re perfectly safe.

For an author, of course, daily life hasn’t changed much. I spend all day on my own at home, writing. I sorely miss socialising in the evenings and weekends, and in particular I miss the close collaboration between Dawn G Harris and myself, creating and co-authoring short horror stories together.

The first two of those horror stories, "Stranglehold" and "Cutting The Mustard", have both proved to be remarkably successful. Both stories were bought literally hours after having been finished, and have already been published in the Polish horror magazine Okolica Strachu and also in anthologies and online horror magazines in Greece, Russia, Bulgaria and France.

"Stranglehold" has been acquired by Cemetery Dance magazine and "Cutting The Mustard" by Jeani Rector for The Horror Zine Book of Ghost Stories. Once we have enough stories, Dawn and I will be bringing them out in volume form as a collection.

I have never written stories with another author before, but in spite of the difference in our sex and our ages, Dawn and I think remarkably alike, and our writing styles slot seamlessly together.

My next horror novel The House of a Hundred Whispers will be published in the UK and USA in time for Halloween. It’s a haunted house story set on Dartmoor, which is teeming with myths and legends about frightening creatures, especially Old Dewer who goes out on the moors at night with his pack of hounds, hunting for lost ramblers.

Following that will be The Children God Forgot, a horror novel with quite a controversial theme, featuring the same characters who appeared in Ghost Virus, Detective Sergeant Jamila Patel and Detective Jerry Pardoe. Much of the story takes place underground in London’s sewers, so that it is claustrophobic as well as psychotic!

The Children God Forgot is being published in French by Livr’S, the young and energetic company who brought out Ghost Virus, under the title Les Anges Oubliés. In Poland it will be published by Rebis, who brought out Ghost Virus as Wirus.

Since my last letter for this website, I have been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Horror Writers Association, for which I am most appreciative. The award comes in the form of a spooky house which is now on my bookshelf. I am hoping, though, that I have plenty of lifetime left to write even more horror stories and crime thrillers.

I have continued to write short horror stories on my own, and the latest "The Red Butcher of Wrocław", will be appearing in Midnight In The Pentagram, a new horror anthology published by Silver Shamrock, and also in an anthology of Christmas stories to be published in Poland in November.

My connection to the Polish city of Wrocław in Lower Silesia is very strong, and I was deeply disappointed that my visits there in 2020 had to be cancelled because of coronavirus. I was due to make a promotional film about the city on behalf of the council, and we had even developed it as far as a full script and a storyboard, and had a date set for filming.

I have also had to postpone the fourth annual Graham Masterton Written In Prison Award. This is the contest I instigated for the inmates of all of Poland’s prisons to write short stories, and since it began in 2016 it has attracted more and more interest, and the involvement of other well-known writers in Poland. I was due to go to Wołow Prison in September to present the prizes, but that will have to be put off.

Apart from Poland, two visits to book fairs in France had to be scrubbed – one to Pont-Audemer and another to Toulouse.

Believe me, though, I count my blessings. My work has not been affected anything like as seriously as most other professions, and I am not exposed to the risk that so many other people have to face, and I feel for them. Stay safe, keep reading, and hopefully we will be able to look back on this pandemic before too long and know that we were threatened by a demon that was far more frightening than anything that I could have ever dreamed up.

Graham Masterton
April, 2020

Earlier letters:
Letters from Ireland, November 2015
Letters from Ireland, February 2014
Letters from Ireland, April 2012
Letters from Ireland, July 2007
Letters from Ireland, December 2003
Letters from Ireland, January 2002
Letters from Ireland, July 2000
Letters from Ireland, February 2000

AGENT: My agent is Camilla Shestopal at Peters Fraser & Dunlop agency, email c.shestopal@pfd.co.uk

Fan mail to Graham Masterton: manitouman1@yahoo.com