Five years in the making, The Daniel Gates Adventures series of occult horror novellas began with The Lucifer Glass in 2013 and concluded with The Lucifer Gate in 2018.
Samhain Horror, and then Crossroad Press, published the ebooks, but these stories have never been in print—until now.
This handsome hardcover edition, combining all four books in one volume, is strictly limited to only 350 copies worldwide. When they are all sold, the book will be out of print. It’s a handsome tome and features blue cloth binding and a matte finish dust jacket.
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.
He can’t wait to invite you into his lair.
Just mind your feet on those skulls and bones…
About The Skintaker
You have what he wants!
Reclusive nineteen-year-old Rosie Shields hopes for a new lease of life that will free her from the stigma of her debilitating skin condition.
Making a pilgrimage to the Amazon rainforest, Rosie experiences a new world beyond her wildest dreams among the mysterious Myahueneca tribe.
But Rosie’s dreams soon turn to nightmares when she embarks on a ritual vision quest that takes her to the very heart of darkness.
Trapped between murderous hunters and raging forest fires, Rosie will be thrust into a fight for survival, a struggle that awakens an ancient evil stirring in the shadows…the demonic deity known as The Skintaker.
Praise for The Skintaker
“A phenomenon in horror fiction that is truly chilling.” (5 out of 5 stars, Wesley Thomas, Horror Novel Reviews)
“A grandly entertaining period horror adventure in the classical Kipling and Conrad tradition…THE SKINTAKER has never a dull moment. I thoroughly enjoyed it.” (Eric Red, screenwriter of NEAR DARK, THE HITCHER and author of IT WAITS BELOW and WHITE KNUCKLE)
“Fans of extreme horror will find it all very satisfying, as author Frazer Lee paints his narrative so vividly.” (5 out of 5 stars, Mallory Heart Reviews)
“I loved this book! Filled with fabulous descriptions and fully formed characters I devoured The Skintaker in one sitting…I didn’t want the adventure to end. This was my first novel by Frazer Lee but it definitely won’t be my last. If you’re looking for a great read, grab this 5 star book and hold on for the ride.” (5 out of 5 stars, Horror Maiden’s Book Reviews)
Horror novels never really die. They do sometimes go out of print, then find new publishers and (rather like the monsters within their pages) are resurrected to give you sleepless nights all over again.
Attend the tales of The Lamplighters and The Jack in the Green. Both are back in shiny new ebook editions from Crossroad Press.
I have been teasing the covers on my social media for a little while, and now it is time to unleash these beasties.
Feast your eyes, f(r)iends.
The Lamplighters was my debut novel, and had the honour of being selected as a Finalist in the Bram Stoker Awards for ‘superior achievement in a first novel’. It introduces the character of the Skin Mechanic (who will return in a new edition of my prequel novel The Skintaker soon) and goes something like this:
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.
The Jack in the Green saw me turning my bloodshot eye to folk horror, and the story takes place in the same fictional universe as my forthcoming novel Hearthstone Cottage. Here’s the scary skinny:
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.
My blog post is about the importance of setting in my new horror novellas The Lilyth Mirror and The Lucifer Gate, both available now in The Daniel Gates Adventures Vol. 2 from Crossroad Press.
And when you’re done reading, be sure to peruse the other Halloween Haunts blog posts, which offer everything from author interviews and excerpts of new books, to writing advice and horror history – along with more great giveaways each day.
My thanks to the HWA (of which i am proud to be an Active Member) and Halloween Haunts editor Michele Brittany.