Ashley Lister is a prolific writer of genre fiction, having written more than fifty full length titles and over a hundred short stories. Aside from regularly blogging about writing, Ashley also teaches creative writing and lives in Lancashire
Will the characters from your latest book appear in any future titles?
Cursed is the third in a series of novellas I’ve been writing under the title ‘a dark tale from Innsmouth’. The first novella, Fearless, introduced readers to my version of Innsmouth university. The main characters in that book were Dr Ellie Green, DCI Gerard ‘call-me-Gez’ Thompson, and Graham (one of the lecturers from the Cognitive Science Unit). Gez has appeared in Unearthed, and is mentioned briefly in Cursed. Gez will likely appear as a thread through each of these stories.
In Unearthed we met lecturers Dennis, Anjali and Sharon, as well as a man named Hargreaves who’s in charge of the Innsmouth branch of the Esoteric Order of Dagon.
None of these characters shifted from Unearthed to Cursed, although Ellie, Anjali and Sharon are scheduled to appear in the fourth book of the series.
In Cursed there are a couple of characters that I’d like to bring back in future titles, although I’m not sure if they’re going to appear in book four or book five. I only know, I’m having a lot of fun with this series and I hope readers are enjoying it just as much.
We’ve come to believe a terrible accident took place during the building of the Starbucks where I worked. The first time I noticed anything, I was in the shop alone, no customers, all co-workers in the back room, and I heard a man ask, “Where are my hands?!” I nearly peed my pants. Since then, every now and then, weird things will happen. We’ll hear someone asking for help or saying, “Hello? Hello? Hello?!” when no one is in the store.
There have been multiple times I’m in the back alone washing dishes and see something move out of the corner of my eye or hear something fall or shuffle. I’ll check, and no one will be there. We’ll hear the bell of our door opening, but no one is there. I definitely don’t enjoy my shifts when something like that happens.
Today is the day when Cursed is available. I’d like to thank my friends and fellow writers who hosted the blog tour and, if you missed any of those, the links are at the bottom of this page. Cursed is the third book in my series of dark tales from Innsmouth. This is the cover blurb:
Innsmouth University’s Explorers Club meet once a month to share stories of the supernatural. They meet in empty houses, abandoned buildings and derelict churches. They meet in the dead of night. They tell stories of the impossible, the unbelievable and the most terrible. And now, it appears, their meetings have been cursed.
This is my favourite of the Innsmouth series so far and I hope you enjoy it as much as I’ve done. You’re going to meet some great characters, such as Sophia and Abigail, and I hope you like the quirky events that make up the narrative.
Because Cursed is a novella I don’t want to give too much away about the story’s content but I will say, in the first book (Fearless) we were introduced to Innsmouth University. In the second book (Unearthed) we saw what the university staff do when they’re involved in research. In this third book we get to see how some of the students behave in their social groups such as the urbex group ‘The Explorers Club’.
The purpose of the Explorers Club is to meet in abandoned buildings and share stories of the supernatural. This idea was borne from my own passion for true ghost stories and I know there are few thrills more exciting than hearing a ghost story in a forbidden location. This is how it’s pitched in the book:
“First,” Ben began. “The Explorers Club meet once a week. As you’ve all realised now, we meet in abandoned buildings, a different one each time, and we always have a guest speaker. The guest speaker will usually tell us about some supernatural experience they’ve had. And the one condition I always stipulate is that it has to be a true story.” He glared at the pews, as though silently challenging anyone to dispute this claim. No one said a word and Abigail could feel tension thickening the chilly air in the church. “This is extreme entertainment like nothing you’ve previously experienced,” Ben declared. “We’re in an abandoned building. We’re breaking the law by being on the premises. And we’re listening to a real-life ghost story from a genuine witness to the paranormal.” His gaze shifted around the room, starting on Sophia and then circling back to her after passing a cursory glance over each of the other attendees. “I’m sure you’ll all agree, there are few scarier ways to experience a ghost story than whilst you’re sitting, illegally, in the dark of an abandoned building, hearing a first-hand account of something that should not have happened.”
To celebrate the launch of Cursed, a novella about storytellers telling stories, I’m having an unusual launch event this evening. I’ll be online with friends sharing true ghost stories and, because it’s online, the event is open to anyone who fancies attending. If you’re interested, drop me an email at email@example.com and I’ll send you an invite.
And, finally, if you’re new to this series of stories, and wondering if it’s worth the investment, this is what reviewers have said about the previous titles:
Fearless: ‘This book is easily one of the best ghost stories I’ve read lately. Ashley’s character work is wonderful, he doesn’t go for the cheap scare, he builds the world and the people in it to the point where you can’t help but feel fear for them and the horrible situations they find themselves in. I’d recommend this to any supernatural horror fan, and I’m looking forward to whatever Ashley puts out next.’
Unearthed: ‘another quality short story from the master tale teller.’
Unearthed: ‘I’m not the biggest zombie fan, but for reanimated beings, this was a blast. Lister had some fantastic gore and I loved some of the banter that developed between the characters.’
It’s not just coming soon. It’s coming VERY soon. Cursed is released tomorrow and there’ll be a live online book launch from 7 – 9 in the evening (GMT). If you want to join in the fun, which will include readings, ghost stories, competitions and giveaways, it would be wonderful to see you there.
This is the link to the FaceBook event where you can find out more details about the launch.
And today, whilst lesser mortals might have rested, I’m spending time at the blog of my good friend, writer Simon Jay. Simon is one of the founder members of the Blackpool Horror Society and a writer with an awesome sense of wicked fun. To find out what we’ve been chatting about, please follow this link.
This is day six of the Cursed Blog Tour and I’m genuinely thrilled to be visiting my friend Emma. Emma is another writer friend who I first met at a writing conference and she’s supportive, intelligent and one of the loveliest people a writer can spend time with. To find out what Emma and I have been chatting about with regards to Cursed, please check out this link.
It’s day five of the Cursed Blog Tour and today I’m over with the Blackpool Horror Society. The Blackpool Horror Society meet online once a month to share stories, ideas and insights into the supernatural. This is a small community of intelligent and wickedly deviant writers (I mean that in the good way) and it’s a pleasure to work with them.
Each Wednesday I blog with Blackpool Horror Society where I’m compiling an A-Z of Horror. If you want to see what I’ve written there for today’s leg of the Cursed blog tour, check out this link.
And so we reach Day Four of the Cursed Blog Tour. Today I’m with writer, lecturer and general Wonder Woman in disguise, Jenny Kane.
I met Jenny a few years ago at a writing conference and she’s one of those remarkable people who are kind, helpful and blessed with the most evil sense of humour imaginable.
Her writing genuinely rocks and if you’ve not wept over one of her romances you’re either a miserable cold-hearted bastard or you’ve not yet read one. Either way, you need to make some changes in your life and introduce yourself to the world of Jenny Kane.
To find out what we’re talking about on today’s leg of the Cursed Blog Tour, please follow this link.
And don’t forget to keep checking back here as the Cursed Blog tour goes from site-to-site, spreading the word about the latest title in my series of Dark Tales from Innsmouth.
It’s day three of the Cursed Blog Tour and, today, I’m visiting with award winning horror writer, Simon Bestwick. If you’ve not encountered Simon’s writing you’re missing out on a wonderful treat. This is the link to his website where you’ll find day three of the Cursed blog tour.
Today I’ve stepped completely outside my comfort zone for day two of my blog tour and I’m visiting a children’s author. So, for those of you who wonder what it’s like to see me when I’m not swearing, or being vulgar, or trying to scare readers out of their wits, this is your chance to see me acting as though I understand the meaning of professionalism.
Today is Day One of the Cursed Blog Tour. You can find me over with the wonderful Colin Davies by following this link. And please keep checking back each day as the tour is going to lots of different places and there will be prizes and giveaways.