About the book
Checkmate is set in a real place, Dilston Castle in Northumberland in North East England, a ruin with a chequered and romantic history.
Checkmate has its own theme tune. Cam ye o'er frae France, you can access many versions on YouTube.
This is the song that haunts Mack, 'a song to teach a man to hate' and was written during the Jacobean uprisings, to besmirch the reputation of George the First.
I have always written horror stories. They're the place I escape to when I can't sort out the real world. A problem I can solve.
I discovered an academic interest in the genre when I came across an advert for an MA in creative writing. I have two masters degrees and a PhD in Creative Writing. My thesis title was 'On Barley Hill; Method Writing and Spectral Landscapes and the Supernatural Gothic Horror Story' . This academic work reflects my use of local landscape to generate horrific scenarios within my creative practice.
I've had several short stories published and Checkmate is my first novel. I am currently working on a second novel, On Barley Hill, another supernatural horror story set in the North East of England.
Horror in the North