I had pitched the book to legendary horror editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester Publishing’s infamous Leisure Books imprint in 2009, and I was excited to receive a full manuscript request from Don by return. I submitted the book and waited anxiously for the outcome.
…and then Dorchester Publishing went under.
It was difficult not to take that as a sign. Ha ha!
But when Don D’Auria became Executive Editor of the new Horror line at Samhain Publishing, my manuscript followed him there. Don told me he loved the book and thought it would be a fine addition to the line.
Contracts were finalised 26th April 2011, and the e-book was published in November of that year, followed by the paperback in February 2012. An audiobook followed in 2016 (now out-of-print).
Things went a little bit crazy from there. The Lamplighters was selected as a Finalist in the Bram Stoker Awards for ‘Superior Achievement in a First Novel’ from all the horror debuts published that year. I enjoyed sitting up at 4:30am in freezing cold England, watching the Stoker Awards webcast broadcast live from the USA. Don had written to me prior to the awards ceremony and asked me for an acceptance speech ‘just in case’. I wrote some waffle about not winning because I knew I wouldn’t, and I didn’t, so that was that. But as I always say to my creative writing students: “Remember, it’s cooler to be nominated. Unless you win and then it’s cooler to win.”
The Lamplighters was a Finalist again, this time in the Book Pipeline Contest for books deemed suitable for film/TV adaptation, one of only 6 from almost 1,000 entries. I wrote a screenplay based on the novel, and that went on to be a Semi-finalist in the Screencraft Horror Screenplay Competition, from over 2,000 entries.
Close, but no close-up this time Mr DeMille.
I still think The Lamplighters would make for an excellent scary movie, but then I would think that, wouldn’t I? (Ha ha #2)
The book became my first translated work, with the Japanese edition published by TakeShobo in 2015. I was really thrilled about that, especially when I learned that the Tokyo-based publisher has Stephen King and the Star Wars books on its roster. Getting my author copy was a surreal experience, and it’s a very beautiful object, that edition. Hey you guys! My other books are available for translation, just sayin’.
And then, just as Dorchester Publishing had during my initial pitching of the book, Samhain Publishing went under. IT’S NOT MY FAULT, OKAY? STOP MAKING OUT LIKE IT’S SOME KIND OF WEIRD CURSE THAT FOLLOWS ME AROUND… (Ha ha #3).
I like to keep my work out there and available and soon after, I signed with Crossroad Press/Macabre Ink for all my Samhain backlist titles. My thanks to the two Davids at Crossroad for keeping my malformed offspring in circulation.
And so, without any further ado, here it is.
Ten years and a day since I became a fully signed-up novelist, a new 10th anniversary paperback edition of The Lamplighters is now available.
The nightmare continues!
And coming soon… There will be a limited edition hardcover, too.
Happy anniversary, old thing. My thanks to Don D’Auria & all at Samhain, to the two Davids at Crossroad Press, and to all my readers (yes, all 3 of you! Ha ha #4) and reviewers for the last ten years.
Here’s to a few more, eh?
About The Lamplighters:
Life on Meditrine Island is luxurious…but brief. Marla Neuborn has found the best post-grad job in the world—as a “Lamplighter” working on Meditrine Island, an exclusive idyllic paradise owned and operated by a consortium of billionaires. All Lamplighters have to do is tend to the mansions, cook and clean, and turn on lights to make it appear the owners are home. But the job comes with conditions. Marla will not know the exact location of the island, and she will have no contact with the outside world for the duration of her stay. Once on the island, Marla quickly learns the billionaire lifestyle is not all it is made out to be. The chief of security rules Meditrine with an iron fist. His private police force patrols the shores night and day, and CCTV cameras watch the Lamplighters relentlessly. Soon Marla will also discover first-hand that the island hides a terrible secret. She’ll meet the resident known as the Skin Mechanic. And she’ll find out why so few Lamplighters ever leave the island alive.
Here are some nice things that nice people have said about my novel (which is decidedly not nice).
“Lee creates an atmosphere of unease and foreboding that culminates in explosive violence and terror. Rife with frightening imagery, ghosts, and visceral horror, this tale will please the most ardent of horror fans.” – Booklist
“HEARTHSTONE COTTAGE is a nonstop riveting read and the suspense never slackens. Prepare to lose sleep.” – The Haunted Reading Room
“A story which is worthy of being on the big screen! Full of tension, suspense & good old-fashioned heart-thumping scary bits” – Stardust Book Reviews
“This was a fantastic spooky read! The writer pulls you in and does not let you go until the very last page.” – Secret World of a Book
“Hearthstone Cottage is the first folk horror book I’ve read, and what a great introduction to the subgenre…Every chapter represented a new horror for the protagonist as he delved deeper and deeper into madness. Frazer Lee is fantastic.” – The Bookdad
“Gripping from beginning to end, Lee knows how to spin a horror story that makes your flesh crawl. Filled with suspense and tension you will struggle to look away.” – Bunny’s Pause
“Outstanding writing, intriguing layers, the tension and suspense was edge of your seat stuff, relatable characters that I could see myself getting along with and the twists and turns left me aching for more. The author certainly has gained a new fan. Thank you, Frazer Lee, for scaring the crap out of me!” – The Coycaterpillar Reads
“This book had me on my toes until I reached the very last line…I really, really, really enjoyed it.” – Nightfall Mysteries
“I was actually scared to go to sleep at one point…part of the book hit me so hard, I actually had to put it down and have a break…a great read if you enjoy being on the edge of your seat, it was very creepy and suspenseful” – Ally’s Book Corner
“A trippy tale of isolation set in the Scottish countryside that really takes the reader off guard.” – Hedwig’s Books
“A fun, creepy read” – Book Reviews by Shalini
“This is a fantastically creepy tale, with a sense of gradually building menace. Gripping, spooky and thoroughly entertaining.” – Lesley Budge, Orlando Books Blog
I did mention it’s only $0.99 until January 24, right?
My sixth novel #GreyfriarsReformatory is unleashed today in hardcover, paperback and ebook. I can honestly say that Greyfriars Reformatory is my scariest story yet, and I hope you enjoy being spooked by #TheGreyGirl as much as I did when I was writing her.
Emily Drake is institutionalised at experimental facility Greyfriars Reformatory and finds that icy Principal Quick and cruel bully Saffy are the least of her problems when the terrifying apparition of the Grey Girl begins haunting the new inmates – to death. Is Emily’s acute dissociative disorder the one thing that can save her?
My thanks to editor Don D’Auria for always having my back, and to all at Flame Tree Press for supporting the book, and to Simon & Schuster for distributing Greyfriars Reformatory so that it may haunt homes far and wide.
And thanks to anyone who reads, and reviews, the book, I truly appreciate it.
By way of thanks, if you fancy trying your luck in today’s Greyfriars Reformatorygiveaway, click here!
– 1st prize: a signed hardcover copy of Greyfriars Reformatory.
– 2nd prize: a signed paperback of Greyfriars Reformatory.
– 3rd prize: runner up gets a Greyfriars Reformatory ebook.
Giveaway ends at midnight tonight (GMT) & winners will be announced here, and on my social media tomorrow – so best be quick and get a haunt on!
It’s the first day of autumn, and spooky season is well and truly underway.
(I know, it’s Halloweenevery day for me too!)
I was looking forward to signing copies of my sixth novel Greyfriars Reformatory at a series of live reading events culminating in a mass séance that would see several audience members seeking spiritual/medical help.
After they’d stopped screaming.
But the pandemic put an end to all that fun. (Though having seen Host on Shudder, I do have a few ideas about how to proceed with the mass séance at least…)
Instead, I’m delighted to offer signed copies of my books by mail order
(and I promise to wash my hands thoroughly before inscribing them, and before packaging them for transit. It’s the only way to keep the blood off the pages.)
The details are up on my Store page if you’re looking for the perfect Halloween/Nightmare Before Christmas gift for your bestie, your bad self, or your mortal enemy.
There is a slight fly in the pumpkin spice-scented ointment though.
PayPal always used to feature a “special instructions to merchant” text box at check out, so you could specify (for example) HEY FRAZER, PLEASE SIGN IT ‘TO FRANK N. STEIN, LOVE YOU OODLES’.
But PayPal apparently did away with this very useful feature — for reasons known only to itself! (And yes, I know you can add a text box to a PayPal button, but there’s no way to get it to work with a WordPress.com site.) Sigh. It was a useful thing and now it’s gone.
So if you do order a book, please DM me on Twitter, Insta, my Facebook Page
(or in the Comments section below)
with any specific dead-ication (see what I did there?) requests and I’ll get my pen ready.
(If I don’t hear from you first, i’ll haunt your email inbox to check before committing ink to paper.)
And PayPal — please reinstate that super useful “additional instructions to merchant” feature, or I cannot guarantee that the Grey Girl won’t get mad and come for you…
My third novel, The Jack in the Green, a folk horror tale set in Scotland (originally published by Samhain Publishing in 2013) is available again in a new paperback edition from Crossroad Press/Macabre Ink.
My thanks to the two Davids at Crossroad for making this happen.
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.
Praise for ‘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.” (Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, The Horror Bookshelf)
“An intriguing tale filled with genuine horror and a plot that explores some very dark territory” (Horror Novel Reviews)
“Quintessential British horror with vivid interludes of bodily trauma and mental anguish” (Keri O’Shea, Brutal As Hell)
“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)