Beltane Fires and Samhain Horrors


When I was writing my folk horror novel The Jack in the Green, I knew I wanted to blend ancient and modern to create a new horror story. As I so often do, I looked to the Celtic calendar for some inspiration.

30th April/1st May:
Beltane, or Fire Festival, which has its origins in pagan and druidic practice. The name Beltane is derived from Belenus (a Celtic sun deity) and when translated means ‘the fires of Bel’. Fire Festival is celebrated on May Eve and traditionally marked the bringing out of livestock into the spring. Animals would be herded between the fires to ward off illness, and rowan would be hung above the hearth in the home to purify the live-giving fire. Beltane is a fertility festival, and that aspect was key to my decision to work some of its lusty magic into the story of The Jack in the Green. As you’ll find when you read it, fertility is a strong theme in the book. After the Beltane fires have died down, we celebrate May Day (1st May), which sees the tradition of ‘The Jack in the Green’ played out to this day in places such as Whitstable and Hastings. The anarchic, often rather drunk, Jack is dressed from head to toe in greenery and processes through the town as an anarchic symbol of mischief and mayhem. The origins of this fiendish figure of fun are said to harken back to Roman times, when a tree would be cut down and decorated in veneration of the Goddess Flora. This tradition is said to have given us the maypole, around which promiscuous revellers would dance and cavort. Jack would be proud of them, no doubt.

Samhain (31st October) is another festival of renewal in addition to being the name of the publisher of The Jack in the Green! (Pronounced Sow-when). As the wheel of the year turns into winter, Samhain marks Celtic New Year. We celebrate it nowadays as Halloween, and aspects of ancient tradition can be seen in our ‘guising’ (wearing masks and costumes) and the act of remembering our dead ancestors, perhaps most strikingly of all in the Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Celtic belief made Samhain a time to reflect on past mistakes and to take stock, and this is really what Tom’s journey in The Jack in the Green is all about as he moves through the darkness into enlightenment.

It is one of the great pleasures of being a writer to take folklore that fires the imagination and to blend it all together into something new. 

I hope you enjoy reading The Jack in the Green and ‘May’ I wish you all a fantastically fiery Beltane!

Now, where did I put that Jack in the Green costume…? 

The Jack in the Green is on sale at only $0.99 thru 6th May from:

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble Nook

Kobo

Apple iBooks

Samhain Horror

About the book:

A nightmare made real.

On Christmas Eve, six year-old Tom McRae witnessed an unspeakable atrocity that left him orphaned, his childhood in tatters. Now in his mid-thirties, Tom still has terrifying nightmares of that night. When Tom is sent to the remote Scottish village of Douglass to negotiate a land grab for his employer it seems like a golden opportunity for him to start over. But Tom can’t help feeling he’s been to Douglass before, and the terrible dreams from his childhood have begun to spill over into his waking life. As murderous events unfold and Tom’s feverish nightmares escalate, he will discover the hideous truth behind the villagers’ strange pagan ritual of The Jack in the Green.

“I have enjoyed all of Frazer Lee’s work, but The Jack in the Green is by far my favorite! Lee strikes the perfect balance between psychological horror…and vicious violence and gore.” (5 out of 5 stars, The Horror Bookshelf)


The Jack in the Green: The countdown to Beltane has begun!

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To mark Beltane (May eve) and in celebration of this year’s Festival of Fire, my folk horror novel The Jack in the Green is on sale from today through to 6th May for the special price of only $0.99.

Here’s what one reviewer said about the book:
“I have enjoyed all of Frazer Lee’s work, but The Jack in the Green is by far my favorite! Lee strikes the perfect balance between psychological horror…and vicious violence and gore.”
(Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, The Horror Bookshelf)

Spread the word like wildfire my f[r]iends – thank you!

Cheers,
Frazer

The Jack in the Green – ebook only $0.99!

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Kobo

Samhain Publishing

(special price offer ends 6th May 2016)

About the book

A nightmare made real.

On Christmas Eve, six year-old Tom McCrae witnessed an unspeakable atrocity that left him orphaned, his childhood in tatters. Now in his mid-thirties, Tom still has terrifying nightmares of that night. When Tom is sent to the remote Scottish village of Douglass to negotiate a land grab for his employer it seems like a golden opportunity for him to start over. But Tom can’t help feeling he’s been to Douglass before, and the terrible dreams from his childhood have begun to spill over into his waking life. As murderous events unfold and Tom’s feverish nightmares escalate, he will discover the hideous truth behind the villagers’ strange pagan ritual of The Jack in the Green.

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The Lamplighters: Book Pipeline Finalist

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The results of this year’s  Book Pipeline Competition, for writers with material suitable for Film/TV adaptation, have been announced and (insert fanfare here) I’m thrilled to announce that my novel The Lamplighters is a Finalist!

It’s a real thrill to have The Lamplighters make the selection from over 900 entries.

Congratulations to Grand Prize winner Zach Fortier with I Am Raymond Washington. It sounds like a fascinating book and I am looking forward to reading (and seeing!) it.

Here’s the complete list of Book Pipeline 2015 Finalists and Semifinalists. Congrats to all who were selected:

Finalists

Executive Outcomes by Nick Bicanic
A Fistful of Clones by Seaton Kay-Smith
The Lamplighters by Frazer Lee
Stranded by Douglas Wentworth
The Dress Thief by Natalie Meg Evans
The Wet Woman by Alejandra Mattoni

Semifinalists

Do Not Resuscitate by Nicholas Ponticello
Jubilee by Jennifer Givhan
Just a Theory by Annie Wood
Monsterland by Michael Phillip Cash
The Virus by Janelle Diller

What does this exciting news mean for The Lamplighters?

Well, in the coming weeks I will be consulting with the Book Pipeline and Script Pipeline development team to discuss the screen adaptation potential of my work.

I’ll keep you posted on any developments.

Thanks for reading,
Frazer

Bram Stoker Award® Finalist for Best First Novel,
The Lamplighters is available in ebook and paperback from:

Samhain Horror (publisher website)
Amazon.com (kindle)
Amazon.co.uk (kindle)
Barnes & Noble (nook)

and wherever scary horror novels about The Skin Mechanic are sold.


The Skintaker & The Stay: Horror Happens Radio Show With Jay Kay

  
Hear more about my latest novel The Skintaker and my new film The Stay on the Horror Happens Radio Show. You can listen to the archived broadcast over at Soundcloud.

HHRS host Jay Kay’s thoughtful questions and his insights into the horror genre are second to none. It was fun to chat with Jay about my writing and filmmaking work, live on the airwaves.

Check out the Horror Happens Radio Show for some amazing guests and interviews! Share, Support & Listen On-Demand Right Now at:  https://soundcloud.com/jay-k-horrorhappensrs and follow HHRS on Facebook and Twitter.

The Skintaker is out now in ebook, paperback & audiobook:

Samhain Horror
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

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The Stay is available on DVD & VOD

      

 


Bram Stoker Award® Finalist ‘The Lamplighters’ – now an audiobook!

lamplighters

“The Skin Mechanic is destined to become one of the great monsters of modern horror”
(David Brzeski, British Fantasy Society)

 

Bram Stoker Award® Finalist for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, The Lamplighters is out now in an audiobook version from Audio Realms, narrated by Susan Saddler (who also narrated The Skintaker).

 

If you love to fill your ears with fears on the go, you can get your copy of The Lamplighters audiobook from:

Audible

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

– and wherever audiobooks about beautiful Mediterranean islands that harbour dark and terrifying secrets are sold.

 


Panic Button: Horror Channel UK TV network premiere


Panic Button, the acclaimed horror/thriller feature film I co-wrote with John Shackleton, David Shillitoe & Chris Crow, gets its UK network telly premiere this Friday 15th January at 22:45.

Watch it on Sky channel 319, Virgin TV channel 149, Freeview channel 70 and Freesat channel 138.

And for more social networking scares read Panic Button – The Official Movie Novelisation by yours truly!

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Praise for ‘Panic Button’ – the novel:

“A chilling commentary on the modern phenomenon of social media…I highly recommend reading this book, after which you really should go and see the film as well” (Jim McLeod, Ginger Nuts of Horror)

“More than competes with anything the creators of the original Saw could dream up” (Hellnotes)

“Frazer Lee explores the real dangers of putting our lives online and, through his characters, shows the real-life consequences of cyber-bullying, privacy, identity theft and the dangers of hiding behind the internet” (Malysa Stratton Louk, Digital Journal)

This is an intelligent and propulsive book, pressing all the right buttons – panic or otherwise – as a standalone piece of fiction even if you’ve not seen the movie version” (Paul Mount, Starburst Magazine)

Praise for Panic Button: The Movie

“The best British horror in years” ☆☆☆☆ (Adam Stephen Kelly, Ain’t It Cool News)

“The Social Network of Shocks” ☆☆☆☆ (Alan Jones, Film4 Frightfest)

“This is British horror at its bloody best” ☆☆☆☆ (Sky Movies)

“Nail-bitingly terrifying” ☆☆☆☆☆ (Abertoir Film Festival)


JanuSCARY Sale

I’d like to wish all my f( r )iends and followers a very Happy New Fear 2016 with some discounted January chills.

THE STAY
Winner, Best Atmosphere – Independent Horror Movie Awards

The Stay Dvd starring Daniela Finley

30% OFF THE STAY DVD
includes 1 hour of extra features
https://www.createspace.com/850000973
Use code: ZA2NYMYM at checkout

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~*~

ON EDGE
Winner, Best Horror Short – Dragon*con
+
RED LINES
Winner, Best Short – Fearless Tales Genre Festival

On Edge and red Lines DVD starring Doug Bradley

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30% OFF On Edge + Red Lines DVD
includes Doug Bradley on-set interview & more
https://www.createspace.com/213479
Use code: DYYE4RU4 at checkout

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Enjoy,
Frazer x

 


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