Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Kult

Now that the film of The Kult is just about complete, I've reduced the eBook price by a whopping 50% to celebrate:

It's hard work getting word out about the book, so please feel free to help me spread the word by reposting the link or telling anyone you think might be interested. And if you've read the book and would consider writing a review on Amazon, however brief, that would be awesome. Thank you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Nurturing a love of books

I can’t resist keep buying books. I was in Rhyl yesterday and popped into The Works (which is a discount bookshop) and picked up Stephen King’s Duma Key, Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold and Andrew Davidson’s The Gargoyle in a £5 for 3 books deal. I don’t know when I’ll have chance to read them, but they’ll be added to my ever growing ‘to be read’ pile.

But that’s the thing. I love books. Ebooks, printed books, it doesn’t matter. I love reading - always have - and I’ve instilled that love in my son, who at 8 years of age will stop awake late at night reading to himself (which is something that I can't tell him off for) He’s already far advanced in terms of his reading ability and was above the reading age that he should be years ago (I also bought him another book yesterday. I think his book collection will be competing with mine soon). Although he reads to himself, Deb and I still read to him every night too, so even though I don’t always get time to read my own books, I read lots of children’s books. We take him to the library every month and he takes out about 6 books at a time.

Recently The Education Secretary, Michael Gove said that children as young as 11 should be expected to read 50 books a year as part of a national drive to improve literacy standards, because the academic demands placed on English schoolchildren have been “too low for too long”.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he said the vast majority of teenagers read just one or two books as part of their GCSEs, normally including John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.

Mr Gove said all schools should “raise the bar” by requiring pupils to read large numbers of whole books at the end of primary school and throughout secondary education.

It follows the publication of a report in December showing that reading standards among British teenagers had slumped from 17th to 25th in a major international league table.


One of the most important things you can teach your children is to love reading and it needn’t cost anything but time to do. Find a subject they are interested in and then nurture it. Above all, make it fun.

And for something completely different to read, here’s an interview where I talk about serial killers:

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Monsters, Winter's Bone and book discounts

Watched two films over the weekend, both of which were quite cheaply shot, but both of which showed that you don't need giant budgets to make decent films, especially if there's a good script and actors that can do their job well. First up was Monsters:
“Six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion a cynical journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border.”

Now reading that you’d think this would be an action packed, monster laden movie, much like District 9, but in fact the action is in short supply and the ‘monsters’ hardly feature at all. The film is more a character study and revolves around Samantha Wynden, played by Whitney Able and Andrew Kaulder played by Scoot McNairy and their interaction together as they try to get across the Mexican border back to the US. Both actors play their parts pretty well, but Whitney was the better of the two. Essentially it was about the human side of the story, but I felt that a few action scenes would have helped raise the bar for what is otherwise not a bad film, but one that could have been far better. 7/10

The second film was Winter’s Bone:
This was another film that forsakes action for character, but in this case it worked really well: “An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact.”

Lead character, Ree Dolly played by Jennifer Lawrence was superb in her role as the 17 year old responsible for raising her younger brother and sister and coping with her withdrawn mother. When a local Sheriff tells her that her father, who manufactures crystal meth, has put up their house as collateral for his bail and unless he shows up for his trial in a week's time, they will lose it all, she sets out to find him, but the community of mountain people are staying tight lipped, forcing Ree to delve deeper if she’s to get to the truth and save her family home. Jennifer Lawrence’s performance was strong enough to carry this film on her own, but the other characters, many who had never acted before, gave a real sense of place and added to the feeling of mistrust that bubbled beneath the surface. 8.5/10

Finally, if you haven’t heard, Dark Regions Press, publisher of my collection Voyeurs of Death and the upcoming Fangtooth have been awarded the Horror Writer Association’s Speciality Award, and to celebrate they are offering 25% of everything for a very limited time using the coupon code: HWA2010. So what are you waiting for?

Friday, April 01, 2011

Book better than film?

The book is always better than the film. Isn't that what they say? You can't judge The Kult yet as the film hasn't been released, but you could always check out the book first, just like these other people have:

"Jeffrey, one of horror's rising young stars, has really hit his stride with THE KULT. Part mystery, part police procedural, part horror story, it's one thrilling ride. Jeffrey had me guessing at the killer's identity half a dozen times, and the reveal, when it finally came, knocked me over. You don't want to miss this one!" --Nate Kenyon, author of THE REACH and THE BONE FACTORY

"The Kult is a satisfying read that digs its bloody hooks in from the first sentence and drags the reader through its pages at a velocity far exceeding that of lesser novels." -- Dark Scribe Magazine

"The tension in this story is beyond anything I’ve read before, really intense and edge-of-your seat reading with the plot seeming to turn with every page." -- Book Chick City

"Shaun Jeffrey has written a cracking good story that I really enjoyed reading and I highly recommend it to other crime thriller fans." -- Booklore

"If you decide to read The Kult (which you should!), make sure you block out an entire weekend strictly for reading because you won’t be able to put it down once you’ve started!" -- Fatally Yours

"The Kult is a gripping read that’s part horror, part mystery, part police procedural, and completely in-your-face." -- Musings of an All Purpose Monkey