A Monstrous Place: First Chapter

Hey there, nerds!

Well, my first book is released in just a few short weeks (20th of October!), so I thought I’d share the first chapter. Have a look, tell me what you think! (Unless you hate it. I’m a fragile, fragile man.)

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~Chapter One~

He was awoken in the dead of night by somebody calling his name.

‘Billy Tyler.’

He muttered, half-opened one eye, then rolled over.

‘Hello, Billy Tyler.’

Billy grumbled and rubbed at his sleep encrusted eyes with the heel of one hand, his mouth dry, as he propped himself up on his elbow and peered blurrily into the darkness.

‘Billy Tyler, it’s me.’

The voice was familiar and yet not quite right in some way. Like someone doing an impression that was a little bit off.

‘Listen, Billy Tyler.’

‘Who’s that…? Dad…?’ He sat upright now, his eyes a little more used to the gloom of the room, but there was nothing to see other than the familiar vague shapes of his bedroom furniture.

‘Hello, Billy Tyler.’

No, it sounded nothing like his Dad. Who was it? Why was the voice itching at his memory and yet he couldn’t place it? The almost familiar voice wasn’t coming from within the room. Even though the voice sounded as though it was being whispered calmly into his ear, he was sure that it was actually coming from downstairs.

‘Are you there, Billy Tyler?’

‘I said who’s that? I’m trying to sleep.’ He tried to place the voice. It buzzed at him, teasing.

‘I’m here, Billy Tyler.’

‘I have to go to school tomorrow, I need my sleep, I’ve got double maths. I’m not very good at maths so I need to be at my best.’

‘I’m here, Billy Tyler.’

He pulled back the duvet and placed his bare feet onto the carpet, toes wriggling. He pushed on his Doctor Who slippers and padded quietly towards the door, opening it a crack.

‘Down here, Billy Tyler.’

He wanted to stop, to shut the door and go back to bed, but the voice seemed to be physically pulling him forward. ‘I’m probably dreaming anyway,’ he said aloud, as though to reassure himself and stop the knot in his stomach from tightening further.

‘That’s it,’ he laughed. ‘Just a silly old dream.’

‘Down here, Billy Tyler.’

It certainly felt like a dream. Dreams felt completely real and completely unreal at the same time, and this definitely felt like that. Like walking through a sharply focused fog. He reached the top of the stairs and peered down warily into an impenetrable wall of black. ‘Down where? Where about?’

Down here, Billy Tyler.’

‘I don’t want to go down there. I think I want to stay up here. I mean, I know this is a dream, it’s a silly scary dream and I know that of course, I’m not stupid, but I still think that I would really like to get back into bed and not at all go down there.’

Silence.

The front door must have been open because he could feel cold tendrils of outside air snaking up the stairs and coiling around his ankles, trying to pull his reluctant feet forward. Billy wanted to resist. He really wanted to resist.

‘Down here, Billy Tyler, down here.’

He stepped forward. And down.

Step by step.

Carefully.

Slowly.

Step by step went Billy Tyler.

He was now unable to even turn his head back to where he had come from, his eyes fixed forward and unseeing in the inky blackness. Finally he reached the bottom. The front door was indeed open a sliver, the moonlight weaving weakly within allowing some vision. His teeth chattered at the night-cool air.

Out here now. Out here, Billy Tyler.’

Hand shaking, he reached out towards the front door and pulled it open, the wind shaking his pyjamas, toes curling under his feet inside his slippers.

‘Step out now, Billy Tyler. Step out now.’

‘I shouldn’t go out,’ he said. ‘I really shouldn’t.’

‘Step out now. Step out now, Billy Tyler.’

Billy remained in the open doorway, body shivering. On the path before him stood his older brother, Andrew. He could see that his brother’s feet were bare, water pooling around the soles. There was an undefined quality about him, a blurriness to some of his features. It had been a long time since he had seen his big brother, who had died six years ago whilst on holiday. He’d run out into the sea, all excited and shouting and full of life, and thenin the blink of an eyeno one had been able to see him. Dad had run in, others too, desperately searching, diving down again and again and calling his name, but they could see no sign of him. The water had claimed him.

Andrew’s body had finally washed up two days later and five miles down the coast. An old woman walking her dog had come across him. His skin blue, breath gone. Billy’s memory of his brother had gone soft around the edges over time. He’d been so small when he knew him. His sharpest memories were of Andrew’s hair, his whistle, the way he ran and laughed. The rest had slid further away, or else were lost entirely.

‘Hello, Andrew,’ said Billy to his dead brother.

Andrew smiled, or tried to smile. Parts of his face smiled, but others stayed as they were, unable to complete the expression. Like he had forgotten how Andrew smiling actually looked.

‘Hello, little brother. Oh how I have missed you. Would you like to come outside and play?’

He already knew he was going to step outside, step towards his impossible brother. He was sure this was a bad idea, but couldn’t turn back now, however much he might want to.

Billy stepped out of the house and onto the path.

Andrew opened his mouth, wider and wider and wider still, until it seemed like his whole head was a blackened hole full of teeth.

‘I don’t think this really actually is a silly dream at all.’

Billy Tyler wasn’t at school the next day.

Or the day after that.

Or ever again.

A Monstrous Place: A Tale From Between.

Available to buy Octorber 20th.

@mattstottwrites

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‘Monstrous’ Description & Release Date

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Things live between awake and asleep. In the moment after your eyes grow too heavy to stay open, but before the dreams take you…

Molly lives with her Mother in a large, creaking house that she wishes were haunted. There may be no ghosts, but what about monsters? Monsters with an unending appetite that like to steal people away in the black of night.

When, one morning, Molly wakes to find her own Mother missing, she discovers she has a potentially fatal task ahead of her. With only her dead Gran and a retired adventurer by her side, Molly must travel to a dangerous and untrustworthy land somewhere between awake and asleep, before her Mother finds herself planted in a most monstrous garden.

Available October 20th  from Amazon as an eBook and in paperback.

@mattstottwrites

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Be My Friend

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Hey, Nerd!

Oh, God. I’m so lonely. Just a lonesome little writer in a cold, indifferent world.

I guess there’s no hope for me. Nothing that can be done.

OR IS THERE?!

(Yes)

WHAT?!

(Just carry on reading, we’re getting to it!)

THANK YOU, VOICE IN MY HEAD.

‘Like’ me on Facebook

Your Mum is probably on Facebook. And your Aunty; she’s sharing slightly dodgy posts about people of other cultures. Well I’m on there, too! ( Offering almost NO racism whatsoever. Sorry.)

Follow the heck out of me on Twitter

At first I thought Twitter was STUPID. Now I’m on there all the time. So maybe it isn’t stupid. Or I’m stupid. Look, SOMEONE is stupid, alright? Follow me, follow you.

Hop aboard my Mailing List

Ooh, I would consider us super best pals if you signed up for this. The kind of pals that would help each other move house!

(I WILL NOT HELP YOU MOVE HOUSE)

(I’M, UH, PROBABLY BUSY THAT DAY…)

(WHAT DAY WAS IT…? AH! YUP, DEFINITELY BUSY THAT DAY, DOING…. A THING. OF SOME BELIEVABLE DESCRIPTION.)

Be my friend. Be my pal. Oh, sweet holy Space Jesus and Moon Moses, please let us connect…!

(WIPES SWEAT FROM BROW)

So many ways to stay in touch. To be friends. To stalk each other. What a wonderful age to be alive!

That’s it.

Scooping My Brain Up Off The Floor

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Hey there, Nerds!

Welp, things have been a little on the slow side this week. The only day I’ve written fresh story words was Monday. But I think I’ve figured it out.

I’ve got a bunch of ideas for different novels (and indeed novel series) that I want to write. This is obviously a good thing. It’s also a bit of a pain as I’ve been attempting to push-start several series at the same time before hitting ‘publish’. This is basically the biggest reason that it’s taken me so long to get any work out there.

The reasoning behind this was pretty sound: if I immediately launch with more than one series,  readers will be more likely to accept and WANT more than one thing from me. I don’t want to be just considered the writer of one series, and then, potentially, have whatever I move onto next be ignored. I want my readers to be up for trying whatever I put out.

The problem right now, is that I’m splitting my brain and time in too many directions, and it’s caused my writing to grind to a halt. The solution was obvious: put aside the second series for the time being and instead concentrate on getting the trio of ‘Tales From Between’ books finished and ready to launch. I can then go back to the second series (which I already have one and a bit books written for) and really focus on it.

This does mean a possible delay in launching this second series, but that’s okay, because I have a couple of short stand alone works almost ready to go that I can dot between my first series releases. Short works that are very different from the ‘Tales From Between’.

So here’s the plan. As it stands. Right now. It will probably change. Plans have a habit of doing that. They’re annoying as balls that way.

SO!

In October, I will release ‘A Monstrous Place’. WOO-HOO!

A month later, the second ‘Tale From Between’ will be released, followed by one of the separate stand alone books.

Jan/Feb will see the third ‘Tale From Between’ come out to play, and I’ll then also release an omnibus edition featuring all three. The second stand alone book will also be released.

PHEW!

So, yeah, that seems like enough to be going on with… It should also clue readers into the fact that I’m not just going to be the ‘Tales From Between’ guy. There’s going to be other things thrown at their faces at dangerous speeds, too.

Okay, that works, I can actually get back to writing now.

(Keep your eyes peeled, I’ll have a sneak peek at ‘A Monstrous Place’ up on the site soon.)

(Ooh…!)

That’s it.

@mattstottwrites

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A-a-a-a-lmost There…

monsttAs I write this, it’s the first of September. Which means, HOLY CRAP ON A CRACKER, MY FIRST BOOK IS PUBLISHED…

NEXT MONTH…!

YUP.

October shall be the month when ‘A Monstrous Place’ is FINALLY unleashed onto a cold, indifferent world. Of course, if you’re part of my Mailing List, you’ll be getting the book before it’s officially released. Ain’t you a lucky so-and-so? In fact, you’ll be getting it in just a few short weeks. The eBook file is just in the final stages of being fiddled with, and then it will be all spiffy and sexy and ready for your eyeballs.

It’s been a long time coming. I actually finished the first draft of this novel in February… of last year! So yeah. Been dragging me boots somewhat.

BUT NOT FOR MUCH LONGER.

God, I can almost SMELL those disappointing first week sales! Hoo-Wee!

Keep your eyes on this very site for further news and a sneak peek at the first chapter.

@MattStottWrites

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