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f g cottam the colony draft

Not quite the finished article but if the two sequel covers are anywhere near this strikingly atmospheric I’m going to be one very happy author. Finished the edits to Island Life (the second book in the trilogy) two days ago, a day ahead of deadline. As far as I know it will go on sale next month along with the revised version of The Colony.

My novella An Absence of Natural Light goes on sale on December 17, so anyone seeking a spooky Christmas read please take a look when the time comes. It’s 25, 000 words or about 100 pages long and should divert you for a couple of disconcertingly uneasy hours. It features a hero who deserves a happy ending but whether he gets one or doesn’t, you’ll have to find out for yourself.

What can I tell you about Island Life? All the main surviving characters from The Colony are compelled to break their own resolutions never to go back to the Outer Hebrides and New Hope. For some of them, the experience proves fatal. No one is really safe there, but they already knew that…


With two novellas and two novels completed, this has been the most productive year creatively of my entire writing life. I can’t wait for this stuff to come out and discover what the reaction to it is.

I’ve spent the last couple of days reading the final edit of An Absence of Natural Light, the first of the novellas, written back in January and being brought out by Bloomsbury Reader. I’m really impatient to see it published. That should happen in a matter of weeks.

The first of the novels should also go on sale this side of Christmas. It’s the second novel in what’s now my Colony trilogy and will be put out with a revised version of The Colony which is much improved on the original, faster paced and just better all around.

The novellas are themed around my Dark Echo invention the Jericho Society and the second of them – The Going and the Rise – introduces Ruthie Gillespie, a major character in both Colony sequels.

I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time with Ruthie this year. In Ventnor, where she lives, that’s delightful. On New Hope Island, though, it’s a bit unnerving. New Hope is home to residents much less warm and human than Ruthie is. And some of them have very dark ambitions.

Since I’ve never enjoyed writing more (or been happier with the results), I think I’ll manage another novella by the end of the year. Waiting for this stuff to appear is too frustrating without that distraction.

Delay is sometimes inevitable. The very talented editor working on The Colony sequel can’t get to it until November. I rushed The Colony out and regretted it. To me it seems worth getting all my future digitally published fiction absolutely right.

Worth the wait? Not for me to say. You lot will be the judges of that.


‘A treasure trove of dark dreams and sinister sorcery’ –The Times

I’d like to send you a book, for free – the debut appearance of my favourite character, Ruthie.  

You just need to tell me where to send it…

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