I feel somewhat like Fan Number One as I was almost, if not…the first shop to read, meet and promote the ‘Spook’s Apprentice’.
I met Joseph and Marie his lovely wife at a car park between here and there where they travelled from, a dark part of the ‘County’ (well Joe says it is dark in Fylde)
We soon became friends and have promoted all the books, nearly always at the very start of the tour and have T-shirts to prove it!
I knew that eventually not only would the books be loved and win awards, We help run ‘Sefton Super Reads’ and Joe won the second year we did it, Robert Swindells won the first with ‘Ruby Tanya’.
Joe used to say the film rights were done and if lucky it would get made and maybe be ok and maybe sell a few more books…well he has sold I am told over 4 million and rapidly rising everyday.
I tingle with anticipation of reading the 13th and sort of last ‘Spook’s', I am usually lucky enough to get an editors draft as a trusted fan.
Joe used to tell a ‘true’ tale of Mick the Guard at Lancaster Prison and the ‘Witches Well’ and has some photo’s of the setting in his author presentation.
I was very pleasantly surprised and then somewhat curdled to tears when I got a very early copy of ‘Castle Ghosts’ or ‘The Ghost Prison’ as it has now finally become.
Curdled to tears because I was so scared! I couldn’t see the pages as I wept at the horrors that oozed into my head, all of this in such a succinct and yet perfectly formed short novella. The illustrations by Scott M Fischer add a new dimension to this tale of very dark dungeons.
Joe is an absolute master of spine tingling descriptions that leave a lasting scare in your mind. He puts me in mind of Poe and Stoker. You sort of get that feeling and smell as you read…
For a short book of 100 pages, not a word is wasted and you literally do get left dangling…
Scott’s illustrations sort of ooze across the pages in a dark and devilish way and do seriously add a feeling of darkness and dastardliness to the reading.
The description of what is in ‘Witch Well’ is nerve jangling and as the reader you literally are stood shaking in fear.
I would genuinely say this is a book you will read several times and find a different nuance each time, a truly masterful work by the Spook himself.
Every Halloween should have something good and scary to read…
Joseph Delaney will be signing copies of ‘Ghost Prison’ and his award winning ‘Spook’s Series’ on Tuesday 10th September at 4.30pm in Formby Books