Category Archives: samhain
I always wanted a pumpkin patch.
My earliest Halloween memory is of Trick or Treating with a hollowed out turnip dangling from a string that threatened to snap as the candle flame licked at it and my tender young fingers. Actual pumpkins were in short supply when i was a kid (back in the late 1800s). But they became easier to pick up as the years rolled by, and are now a seasonal staple in farm shops and supermarkets across the land.
My first attempt at growing my own jack o’lanterns took place two decades later in a tiny, urban garden in the heart of Camden Town, London. The soil composition was mostly thick clay and cat poo, so it was a miracle when one green little fruit appeared – and not at all surprising when it died a week later.
Fast forward another decade and here we are at Lee Cottage. It’s our second Halloween out here in the countryside (…the October Country, if you will) and as the Season of Mists fast approached I was more determined than ever to give growing pumpkins another go.
We started them off in my office, on the windowsill that gets the sun. I read M.R. James Ghost Stories to them to get them germinating, and pretty soon we had four viable plants. We planted the best three of them outside and, after a lot of feeding and watering and slug wrangling, got two lovely pumpkins per plant.
The smaller ones we ate in September (one roasted in a risotto, the other souped up) had a very mellow flavour. But October’s batch has ripened much more, with that classic earthy sweetness.
Our biggest, prize pumpkin will be carved up by our two little monsters today. I like to think my sons will, like their Dad, marvel at the fact that they are scooping seeds from a pumpkin that we grew from a seed.
And at this special time of year (when the cycle of life, death, and birth is embedded in our Samhain rituals and customs) i can’t think of a more perfect way to celebrate than with a pumpkin plucked from my very own patch.
I always wanted a pumpkin patch.
Well, at long last i got one. And next year, it’ll be bigger.
Happy Halloween to you and all your pumpkins. Young or old, shop-bought or hand-cultivated, enjoy them!
Big news today – my publisher Samhain Horror signed a deal with Audio Realms who will produce audiobooks of The Lamplighters, The Lucifer Glass, The Jack in the Green, and the forthcoming The Skintakers for release in 2015.
Audio Realms has released horror audios by the likes of Brian Keene, Ramsey Campbell, H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker and many more – so to say I’m thrilled about the deal is a bit of an understatement!
More details as I get them.
(Sadly, Vincent Price is not available for narration duties. I don’t get to choose who performs the reading, but if I could my shortlist would be Doug Bradley, Robert Englund or…Christopher Lee!)
Happy Halloween dear f(r)iends!
Plenty of Tricks and Treats for you here, in Count Frazula’s Halloween Playlist:
(Spotify) Halloween Playlist 1 – Count Frazula
And here’s my favourite of the latest Halloween viral videos (thank goodness the characters in my tales aren’t this sensible! HELL NO!)
Delighted to see the first reviews of my new Samhain Horror novel The Jack in the Green hit the web.
Here are a few choice cuts:
“An intriguing tale filled with genuine horror and a plot that explores some very dark territory” (Rating: 4/5, Horror Novel Reviews)
“Quintessential British horror with vivid interludes of bodily trauma and mental anguish” (Keri O’Shea, Brutal As Hell)
“A romp of a book that combines pagan mythology with visceral contemporary action” (Rating: 4/5, MikaReadsHorrorFiction)
“A captivating read that weaves a spell, leading you into the Scottish countryside to a village that isn’t all that it seems. The shocking ending makes this one of the most satisfying reads of the year. Frazer Lee scores again, big time.” (Rating: 5/5, Hunter Shea, author of Forest of Shadows and Evil Eternal)
My thanks to all for taking the time to read, rate and review!
‘The Jack in the Green‘ release day is upon us dear f(r)iends.
To celebrate the release of my new Samhain Horror novel I’ll be posting an extract over at the Samhain Cafe, giving away a paperback copy on Goodreads, and signing books at the British Fantasy Society open night book launch party in London.
Meanwhile, here’s a tune to wish you all a green day before Jack puts out the light…
“An intriguing tale filled with genuine horror and a plot that explores some very dark territory…” Horror Novel Reviews
I think visually, so when it comes to writing a new novel a mood board is an essential I can’t do without. Lucky for me there’s so much foliage around these parts, as when the time came to draft my new Samhain Horror novel ‘The Jack in the Green‘ (out in paperback and ebook, October 1st) I found inspiration during every stroll.
Some of the images made it straight into the text (readers of ‘The Jack in the Green’ will know the importance that trees joined at their roots have in the overall story), while others simply served to get me in the mood before writing. Like music (or in my case in addition to music) an evocative image can help fast-track you into your writing process. And, as was the case with many of the images included in the gallery below, I occasionally got lost inside of them.
I hope if you pick up my new book that you’ll enjoy getting lost in those forests too.
Just watch out for ‘The Jack in the Green’. “He’s in the trees…he’s waiting.”
Here’s a snippet:
I found myself completely wrapped up in this one, eager to reach conclusion and receive a few answers to my mounting questions. With a fine razor edge twist, Lee carries this story into a fully fleshed out novel.
Satisfaction is found within this read. So when all is said and done I am highly recommending this one. Be ready for what you really aren’t ready for. Whatever you do, do not read the ending first. Open this and enjoy.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
The postman came a-callin’ today with a big box o’ books, and I knew it was that George McFly ‘Back to the Future’ moment as I tore into it and saw the Samhain Horror logo peeking out from a gap in the cardboard. It’s an undeniably good feeling to hold your new book in your hands and sniff the pages. If it ever stops being so, it’s probably time to hang up the pen.
Yes, my author copies of ‘The Jack in the Green‘ had arrived. Aren’t they handsome?
There are only 10 of these author copies in existence and you can grab one by entering the Goodreads Giveaway.
And I hope you’ll check out the book anyhow when it releases on Oct 1st in ebook and paperback.
He’s in the trees. He’s waiting…