Guest Blog: Winter is for Scary Things by Jen Williams author of The Iron Ghost

As part of my author guest blog series I am proud to present another guest blog spot. Jen Williams the author of  The Iron Ghost  has been kind enough to write a guest blog post for MightyThorJRS today. I am very excited and I would like to thank Jen and Angry Robot Books for the opportunity to host this Guest Blog. 

The Iron Ghost

by Jen Williams

is Out January 3, 2017!

So go get your copy!


Winter is for Scary Things

by Jen Williams

I am a winter person. I like short days and long nights, icy mornings and bare trees. I blame it on being born in February – when your birthday is in such a cold and grotty month, you have to learn to love it. One of the best things about the winter is the fine old excuse it gives you to read scary stories. What could be better than curling up with a cup of mulled cider and a story that will give you the shivers? Plus, it’s traditional. Christmas and ghosts! Here are five of my favourite winter reads:

Affinity by Sarah Waters

Victorian spiritualists, ghosts, and a women’s prison – if that’s not enough to make you want to read it, then I think you need to drink another glass of mulled cider and have a good think about what you’ve done. Waters is a writer who transports you through time: the sludgy streets of a London in winter; the oppressive atmosphere of a tense drawing room; the eerie corridors of Millbank Prison. The ghosts in Affinity are my favourite kind – deeply ambiguous – and if you want an even more traditional haunted house tale, The Little Stranger, also by Waters, is an eerie classic.

The Shining by Stephen King

The Shining is a book that changes the older you get – if you haven’t read it for a while, I recommend dragging it down from the shelf and revisiting the Overlook; you might be surprised by what you find there. As a kid I was terrified of Jack Torrance, with his rages and frustrations. As an adult, I had more empathy for him, and perhaps that is why The Shining is truly frightening. There are few better books, in my opinion, for generating a real sense of creeping dread. Alone with the unquiet ghosts of the hotel, with the snow falling softly outside, there is little to do but listen and wait, wait for the shambling creature edging its way down the corridor towards you…

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

A slightly shorter entry here – The Yellow Wallpaper isn’t a ghost story as such, but it is one of the scariest things I’ve read. It takes the form of a series of journal entries by a 19th century woman, confined to an old nursery room to ‘recover her health’. The interesting thing about The Yellow Wallpaper is that when you come across someone else who has read it, you clutch at each other in nameless dread, not quite able to express the nameless horror of this deeply unsettling story.

The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder

I’m a big Mo Hayder fan. Her crime series with Detective Jack Caffery is excellent, full of dark and twisted murderers and genuine chills. My favourite book by her though is a standalone, sometimes known simply as Tokyo outside of the UK. A young woman with a complicated past travels to Japan to explore the truth behind a terrible war crime. What she uncovers, and the people she meets along the way, will stay with you for a long time. Not for the squeamish, this is one of the scariest books I’ve read – there are no ghosts, but you’ll be faced with something much, much worse.

Muppets Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (sort of)

Okay, so this isn’t technically a book, but part of me felt that Dickens had to be on here, having created some of the most famous and most festive ghosts of all, and terrible person that I am, the Muppet version is my favourite version. It has Michael Caine being grumpy, it has Miss Piggy threatening to punch him in the face, it has a series of really top songs (which I inevitably sob my way through every year) and it has a genuinely scary ghost in the figure of The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Plus I’m sure Gonzo and Charles Dickens were practically the same person. If you want a more sensible and appropriate Dickens recommendation, read The Signal-man – a genuinely creepy short story perfect for a cold winter’s night.


jenwilliams_website

About Jen Williams

Jen Williams lives in London with her partner and their cat. She started writing about pirates and dragons as a young girl and has never stopped. Her short stories have featured in numerous anthologies and she was nominated for Best Newcomer in the 2015 British Fantasy Awards.

You can find Jen online at her website: sennydreadful.co.uk, on Twitter @sennydreadful and on Facebook.


theironghost-144dpi-1

The Iron Ghost

by Jen Williams

About The Iron Ghost

Beware the dawning of a new mage…

Wydrin of Crosshaven, Sir Sebastian and Lord Aaron Frith are experienced in the perils of stirring up the old gods. They are also familiar with defeating them, and the heroes of Baneswatch are now enjoying the perks of suddenly being very much in demand for their services.

When a job comes up in the distant city of Skaldshollow, it looks like easy coin – retrieve a stolen item, admire the views, get paid. But in a place twisted and haunted by ancient magic, with the most infamous mage of them all, Joah Demonsworn, making a reappearance, our heroes soon find themselves threatened by enemies on all sides, old and new. And in the frozen mountains, the stones are walking…

thecopperpromise

The Copper Promise

by Jen Williams

About The Copper Promise: 
There are some tall stories about the caverns beneath the Citadel – about magic and mages and monsters and gods.
Wydrin of Crosshaven has heard them all, but she’s spent long enough trawling caverns and taverns with her companion Sir Sebastian to learn that there’s no money to be made in chasing rumours.
But then a crippled nobleman with a dead man’s name offers them a job: exploring the Citadel’s darkest depths. It sounds like just another quest with gold and adventure … if they’re lucky, they might even have a tale of their own to tell once it’s over.
These reckless adventurers will soon learn that sometimes there is truth in rumour. Sometimes a story can save your life.
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