Joe Hill returns to the UK this month to support the release of his new novel NOS4R2. One event which we’re particularly excited about is his appearance in Edinburgh on May 31, organised by Blackwell’s – a venue which is close to our horror-emblazoned hearts after our Live Scottish event earlier this year with Joseph D’Lacey, David Moody and Jasper Bark.
Kicking off at 6:30pm at The Pleasance Theatre, and hosted by Jim McLeod, the event will comprise of a Q&A session, audience questions and an extract from his new book. We decided to catch-up with the evil genius who has masterminded this event, Blackwell’s Fiction Buyer, Ellie Wixon and the horror host, Jim McLeod.
Ellie explains the genesis of this event, “When I caught Joe’s tweet explaining he had just submitted his forthcoming book, NOS4R2, I knew I had to go for it. At 9am the following day I was on the phone to his publisher. That weekend I made a heart-shaped box and filled it with deep purple rose petals and a brass key with a cool hand made tag that said ‘Welcome to Blackwell’s’ . I sent it off and emailed a detailed pitch idea to his publicist and a few weeks late I got the gig!”
“It was relatively simple, and all down to the fabulous Ellie Wixon, from Blackwell’s Edinburgh,” says Jim McLeod on how he came to land the enviable role of horror host for the evening. “Ellie is in charge of the fiction department in this excellent bookshop, and her genre selection is a treasure trove of books. I’ve known Ellie for nigh on four years. I remember talking to her when my daughter was still being carried around in a backpack. I came into her shop one day and she just sprang the proposal on me.
“My initial reaction was one of shock and horror. I’m not one for standing up and talking in front of an audience. You will always find me at the back of room hiding in the shadows. At university whenever I had to give a presentation, I had to get slightly tipsy, don’t worry Ellie I will save the drinking until after the event.
Once the initial adrenalin rush passed, I realised that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and for that I am forever in Ellie’s debt.”
For the uninitiated Jim explains who he is and his horror credentials, “I’m a forty-something fan of horror fiction. Like many other fans of the genre it was James Herbert’s The Rats that ignited my passion for all things horror. However it was Brian Lumley’s Necroscope series of books that really drove the horror stake right into my heart.
“As for what I am doing for the genre, I host the Ginger Nuts of Horror blog. Before I talk about what I try to do with my site, I have to explain the name. It is not a description of my nether regions.It was supposed be the Ginger Nut of Horror, but a typo changed it from being a description of my being ginger and nutty for horror to one of slightly dubious connotations. One good thing though is that in a Google search for ‘Ginger Nuts’ my website ranks higher than the famous biscuit.”
“The aims of my website are to promote and highlight what I think are the best books from the small and independent horror presses through my series of reviews interviews and news articles. While it is always fantastic to get a big name author on board, I prefer to stick to the lesser known writers, as these are the guys that I hope will benefit the most from what I do. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to interview most of my favourite writers working today, including William Meikle, Gary McMahon, Mark West, Adam Nevill, Joseph D’Lacey and John Llewellyn Probert.”
Ellie says on learning she had landed the Joe Hill event, “It means a great deal to me as I am a huge fan of his so as you can imagine I was floored when I got the news. Especially as this will be the Scottish launch for NOS4R2! No pressure for on me then!”
Jim, too, is a huge Joe Hill fan, ”I first encountered Joe with his novel Horns. Horns was one of those glorious moments when after you turn the final page you just go “WOW!” This was quickly followed by a trip to my local bookshop to stock up on his other books. I’ll be honest – I haven’t read his comics yet. I used to have a serious comic addiction. I haven’t purchased a comic in over 18 years, since my monthly order from the comic shop came to £150. I will have to read them, however in this day and age of credit and debit cards, I am even more terrified of my addiction. At least [back in the day] I could physically see the cash coming out of my wallet.
“I think Joe has a unique standing in the genre. To me he is the grand unification between the glory days of the King and Herbert era, and this brand new exciting era of horror. This is a man who grew up with a master of the genre [Stephen King]; I think he has a unique understanding of the genre’s heritage, one that he is utilising to take us – the readers – to new and exciting territories.”
Tickets for the event are just £5 and can be purchased from Blackwell’s Bookshop, Edinburgh. You can telephone 0131 622 8218 or email [email protected] for tickets. You can also get in touch to pre-order signed copies of NOS4R2.
Joe Hill UK Tour
Tuesday, May 28th, 6:30 PM • The Gallery at Foyle’s, London, UK.
Wednesday, May 29th, 12:30 PM • Waterstones, The Oracle, Reading, UK. NOTE: Signing only.
Wednesday, May 29th, 7:00 PM • Waterstones, The Galleries, Bristol.
Thursday, May 30th, 1:00 PM • Waterstones, Deans Gate, Manchester. NOTE: Signing only.
Thursday, May 30th, 6:00 PM • Waterstones, Liverpool.
Friday, May 31st, 6:30 PM • The Pleasance Theater in association with Blackwell’s, Edinburgh.
Saturday, June 1st, 1:00 PM • Forbidden Planet, London. NOTE: Signing only.