Questions 2020

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Good morning,
The first book I have ever read from you was The Skull. Our English teacher back in high school, this was probably around 2000-ish (9th grade English), took us to the library to check out a book. I went straight to fiction and was browsing through the Stephen King collection. (Very small school, very small library budget, very small Stephen King collection) I had read them all and what I hadn't read was checked out.
I happened to see a book titled The Skull, not far from Stephen King, grabbed it and looked at the cover. I remember it was an old paperback version and it had a skull on it with really elongated incisors. I quickly read the back cover and it looked like the type of books I enjoy reading. Then the bell rang and I quickly checked it out and went to my next class.
I remember I read it in one evening and loved it! I stop at garage sales all the time if I see books out. I always hope I can find a copy with the same skull on the front. I also read on my Kindle and I was hoping to get a Kindle version of it too.
I guess to make this really long story into a question, when will those be put back into print and will there ever be an ebook version of The Skull?
Thank you,
Kristine Wright

Hi Kristine, many thanks for getting in touch. I'm glad you enjoyed The Skull (the original title was HOMUNCULUS but the publishers thought people would wonder what that meant!!). I don't know if there will ever be an ebook version of it but keep your eyes open, you never know. My publisher, Caffeine Nights, does a great job with e-books so some of my earlier titles should be available for you. I hope you find them. All the best.

Hello shaun Toothless here (birth certificate says luke though)
First off I want to say thank you for the signed book, I wasn't entirely sure you would put Toothless but I was generally excited when I opened the book and saw it so thank you 🙂 I would of loved to of seen your response to that one when you were signing the books for everyone 🤣
I say it any time insend a message but I again want to say thank you for the books you write.
They have helped me through stuff in the past.
19th November this year marks 1 year since i lost a very good friend of mine through suicide, the only guy that I called a mate and meant it. I wasn't much of a social person when he was here but he got me out the house a few times and when he did we didn't half do some daft things (I would be in trouble if I admitted them to the wrong person) but since he left this world I have been lost in my thoughts and not sure what to think or do.
I took up a new hobby in July to try help me (diabolos if you're interested to know, basically giant yoyos with sticks and string)
But the only constant I've had is your books and yes I have read certain lines and they have depicted what happend but im thankful for it because it in a twisted sense helped me face what demons I have and have helped me through losing the only constant friendship since I was 5.
I learned 8 30 seconds to mars songs on guitar during the first month of the first lockdown which I play every so often, probably not your style/taste of music but they are amazing and the songs ive learned are brilliant (I will say I am a massive heavy metal fan and nothing beats a good old guttural breakdown mid song)
Right, sorry for going on a bit of a tangent/rant, it's allowed me get some shit off my chest which I hope you don't mind.
If you have managed to get to the end then I want to say yet again thank you for your work and I genuinely hope it continues for years to come, I hope for the day that 2 hermits like us can meet in a social setting even if only for 5 minutes 🙂 thank you once again.
P.S I had a signed book brought for me for Christmas last year by the name of Richard Howard, I don't suppose you have any ideas about who wrote it would you? 🤔🤔

Hey Toothless... :)
I hope you're well, mate and many thanks for getting in touch. I must admit I pissed myself when I saw your request to have your book signed as “Toothless” but you're one of my readers so I just thought “nothing this lot do, surprises me...” ha, ha...You were good enough to buy it, the least I could do was sign it how you requested it.
I'm sorry to hear about your friend. We never really know what goes on inside people's heads do we? Very sad. But make sure you look after yourself (we hermits have to take care of ourselves, you know that!!!)
My daughter used to like Thirty Second to Mars and I wouldn't piss on any kind of rock music. I was listening to a bit of Disturbed the other day and I love their aggressiveness. Try some of their riffs...I agree, NOTHING beats some good heavy metal...
Thanks again for getting in touch. Look after yourself and, as you say, maybe one day, we can come out of our caves and have a chat for five minutes...or even longer.
Take it easy, Toothless.
p.s. I've heard he's fucking brilliant :) Let me know what you think... :)

Just got testament cant wait to read and I've ordered progeny from caffeine nights
Steven Houghton

Hi Steve, let me know what you think of the books. If you love them tell me...if you hate them....lie to me... :)

Hi there,
I have a few questions in regards to the books The Uninvited II and III if you'd be so kind.
I'm the sole operator of a small publisher in Australia that reissued the Clive Harold book in 2015. I'm aware that the stories published under the alias Frank Taylor are unrelated despite Star Publishing listing them as sequels but hoped you could tell me the reasoning for the marketing of these books as sequels and whether or not you had any connection to the original or Clive Harold?
Unfortunately Clive Harold passed away in 2001. WH Allen has since seen itself adventure through multiple buyouts and mergers as you are likely aware and now belong to Penguin Random House. I managed to get the rights to republish the book and am working closely with Clive's son but a lot is unknown about the publishing side of the story hence why I'm seeing if you can help. Do you happen to still have the rights to your books or are you aware of Penguin owning them?
Also can you clarify if Peter Elson illustrated the second and third books? I've been unable to find any credit for any artworks related to the three books.
Thanks in advance.
- CJ Thomson

Hi and many thanks for your message and enquiries.
To be honest, the only involvement I had with The Uninvited was to write parts 2 and 3. I'm sure my agent would have more details about the rights etc. than me. I wish I could be more helpful but I'm afraid I'm just a humble writer....I wish I could have been more use to you.

Right guys, that's it for another month. As usual, many thanks for sending in questions. Keep them coming. Its always great to hear from you and, in the meantime, hands, knees and boompsy daisy or whatever the current Government catchphrase is....
And also, a very, very Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all of you and thank you again for supporting me in 2020 and every other year.
See you in 2021....


So you might want to file this in the 'random' draw, but I have two questions that might seem a little 'off-topic':
1. Were you at the first screening of Highlander 2 at The Point in Milton Keynes back in '91? I'm pretty sure I sat a few rows behind you.
2. If the answer to the above is correct, would you be at all interested in coming on our Highlander-related panel show this Sunday to discuss the 'controversial' sequel?
Cheers and thanks for reading,

Hi Grant, I think that is one of the most obscure questions I've ever been asked ha, ha. You may well be right. I could have been at that screening of Highlander 2, I did spend a ridiculous amount of time in the cinema then. Unfortunately it looks as if I've missed your panel to discuss the sequel...sorry.

I doubt Shaun will ever see this message, but it's worth a try. I have been a big fan of his work for over thirty years, and have enjoyed his sick and twisted mind.
I have started writing myself and have noticed many similarities between the two of us. We are both Iron Maiden fans, alcoholics, do our best to avoid people and write sick fucked up stories.
Below is a copy and paste version of my Novelette, Cream of Revenge Soup, for Shaun to enjoy at his pleasure.
(text attached)
Andy McGowan

Hi Andy, many thanks for sending this (I love the title by the way). I will get around to reading it I promise but I'm shit at reading stuff people submit. That's one reason why I never did endorsements on other people's books. The only one I can remember was being asked to do a comment on "Weaveworld," back in the 90's and I wanted to say "this shagpile saga is shagged out" but the publishers didn't fancy that...The only other book i put a comment on was Bruce Dickinson's first novel.

Hello Shaun,
How's it going, I've been reading your books since I was 17 (am now 39) the first one was Renegades while I was in Perth WA and I was hooked. I have about ten or fifteen of your books on my shelf and have been re-reading them to get through this covid19 crap. We have shitty nobody celebrities in Australia too unfortunately but we have our share of gore too. Maybe one day you could set a future book in Australia. Maybe.
Cheers Pat from Australia

Hello Pat, many thanks for the kind comments. They are very much appreciated. I think so called celebs get everywhere (like damp and mould). It's good to know my books have been a bit of an escape during this bloody virus. This is as bad as any horror story!!! You take care of yourself. All the best.

Hi shaun been a fan for years read slugs while was in school always looked forward to new books in wh smith great to see liverpool win league cant wait to read progeny spawn was one of my favourite keep safe
Steven Houghton

Hi Steven, many thanks for the kind words. I was talking to someone the other day about possibly completing the "slugs trilogy" (which it was always intended to be). I'll see what happens. Yes, I must admit I was hugely relieved to see Liverpool crowned champions. Worth the wait. PROGENY is out in November so I hope you like it. Let me know what you think. All the best.

Please, please, please can we have a new Nightingale book. I love these, hubby loves Sean Doyle.
Regards Helena 🤞

I'm glad your hubby loves Doyle...a man of impeccable taste obviously.

Hello Shaun. Thirty one years ago as a mere fifteen year old I discovered the brilliance of Metal. One Friday night in November 89 watching an episode of the James Whale radio show I saw an interesting guest donning a Motley Crue t-shirt. Turns out he was a famous author in the horror scene. Being curious as to whether he mentioned anything about the world's greatest genre of music I chanced upon a read of one of his novels, Slugs. I was instantly hooked by his dark, creepy and bloody storylines and proceeded to seek out the rest of his books. Some fifteen years later I was fortunate enough to meet the guy at the Necessary Evil launch at London Bridge and was chuffed to converse with him and also have him sign my Assassin painted leather jacket. This was a memorable experience that will always stay with me. Forward SIXTEEN years to the fucking bollocks 2020 I find myself with a fair bit of time on my hands and able to read a lot more. I've just finished The Skull a couple of days ago and really enjoyed the classic horror style. The next few weeks shall see me reading Chase, Testament and The Abduction until Progeny is released (will try to fly through Spawn as a refresher too). I always look forward to the next read knowing I'll never be disappointed and hope one day there'll be more Sequels. Anyway what I really wanted to say is keep up the excellent work and (to use a now everyday phrase) please stay safe. Wayne.
P. S Have you seen the South Park pandemic special yet and if so what did you think of it?

Hi Wayne, many thanks for getting in touch. I remember signing your jacket!!! (I'm pleased with myself for actually remember anything these days ha, ha..). The signing was in the gift shop of the London Dungeon if I remember rightly. I'm sure there was a BBC film crew in tow somewhere, filming for a programme called "End of Story"...(fucking hell, it's all coming back to me now...). Always good to talk to a fellow metal fan. I'm so happy you like the books and they're still entertaining you. I just wish you weren't having to read them in fucking Lock down. I think this second one is going to cause all sorts of problems for people, both financially and regarding mental health. However, I suppose we're all going to have to get used to this shit for a long time to come. I hope my books help you a bit, Wayne. Progeny is out on November 5th and I've almost completed my next book for 2021 (if there's anyone around to read it...).
I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think. It's always good to hear from readers. You take care too, Wayne. p.s. I have seen the South Park Pandemic Special. I loved it. The guys who do it are fucking genius. I love them.

Hi Shaun,
Did Graeme Sayer used to teach locally in Milton Keynes?
I had a brilliant Drama teacher at secondary school, in MK, with the same name and wondered if it was the same person?
I also want to say thanks for all of the novels that have filled the rainy afternoons and fuelled some pretty random nightmares.
After years of being unable to read because of some eyesight issues 'Last rites' is the first book I have been able to physically read in a very long time.
Thanks again

Hi Tina, I honestly don't know if Graeme used to teach in Milton Keynes. Send a message in and ask him. He's a nice guy, he won't snap your head off. Well, I don't think he will ha, ha. I would apologise for the nightmares Tina but...I'm secretly chuffed...And I am so happy you were able to read "Last Rites." Many thanks for getting in touch.

Right folks, that's it from me again. I hope you're all okay and not suffering too much with this fucking Lockdown and Covid shit.
I honestly think the world is coming to an end!!! Everything is so depressing and uncertain. Makes me wonder why I don't start writing something more upbeat but I know you wonderful bastards would skin me alive if I did ha ha...
Anyway, you lot take care, keep your distance, stand on your heads or whatever today's fucking Government advice is. And I hope you've all got your copies of PROGENY (out on November 5th). Look after yourselves...ALL OF YOU.


Hi Shaun (Mr Hutson seems a touch formal?)
Just wanted to say I'm a fan of your work (Slugs, Breeding Ground & Death Day in my teenage years, several more recently seeing as I'm stuck in the fucking house due to the world's shittiest plague stalking the UK so I'm reading more than usual). Your books have reminded me how much I enjoy horror writing.
Especially your brand of, well, erm, weird and memorable yet more than slightly nauseating (I say that as praise by the way) horror writing. Also I'd watch the hell out of a film version of Assassin, if nothing else, just to see if it could actually be filmed.
Thank you for doing what you do & you have good choice in football teams too.
Kind regards
Pete Richardson

Hi Pete, many thanks for the kind words (and yes, Mr Hutson is far too formal... Don't ever call me Mr Hutson...) This time is quite unbelieveable isn't it? It's like something out of a fucking horror film. I've done a book (with Matt Smith) called The Tainted Souls set during the lock down and I'd got a couple of other ideas set around it too but I'm beginning to think that when it's all over absolutely NO ONE is going to want to be reminded of it!!! I'd love it if there was a film of Assassin. I've even done a script of it should that ever be needed ha, ha. Anyway, stay safe (or whatever the new cliché is) in lock down and I hope my books help you through it a bit. I just want the football to start again!!! All the best, Pete.

Hi Shaun
Great news to hear that there are a number of new works on the way. Just wondering if there will be a physical release of Tainted Souls? Also quite interested to hear about the process of writing this book. Who came up with the idea? Were you sending chapters to each other? How did it feel to co write and is there a degree of compromise/disagreement along the way? Anyway, hope you are keeping well and as a fellow 'red' here's hoping that the football season gets underway soon!
All the best
M Vasey

Hi, I hope you're getting through bloody lock down. Tainted Souls should be available by now. There's a bit at the beginning of the book telling how it came about. I just e-mailed Matt Shaw one day to ask how he was in the lock down/virus and mentioned that it would be a good background for a novel. He said why not write one with him (or something like that). We just wrote our own parts then stuck them together. We'd had the whole thing done in about three weeks. Matt did all the hard work as far as getting the cover artwork done and the distribution etc. I just wrote my bits and sent them to him. I hope you manage to get hold of a copy. Let me know what you think. Like you I'm desperate for the football season to start again but, the longer this goes on, the more doubtful I become.

Heya Shaun.
Hope you're keeping well? You asked me to get in touch when I'd read Testament but thanks to lockdown I've been too bloody busy running round after Alex and Christian (he's 5 next week, you weren't bloody kidding when you said time flies after having a kid were you?)
Anyway, Testament was superb mate. A proper return to the writing that got me hooked on your books in the first place, couldn't put it down and enjoyed the little nods back to renegades immensely. I am thrilled that Darren and Co are publishing the stuff your fans want and not the drivel the big wig directors and other publishers spew out for the sheep.
Just got hold of my PDF copy of Tainted Souls and am looking forward to my death. As Matt succinctly stated on Facebook "I can safely say I am going to fuck you up"
Having survived a book that has a similar title (I agree with you, we'll just gloss over the title similarity) I'm looking forward to a gruesome death
So what's next mate? You've done Horror, Thriller, war (2 different ones even if you won't admit to one of them and then tell a newspaper that it's one of your favourite authors - sly haha), sci-fi, western, kids, comedy, quiz, and a movie novelisation, you're yet to write in a style I haven't fucking enjoyed. You've not done an autobiography yet haha... Still laughing... Fell off my chair... Sorry. Seriously though keep em coming as long as you can mate, this July marks 20 years since I picked up renegades for the first time (and I still haven't got my hardback war novels and first edition of slugs signed)
How do you think they'll end the football season? Your lads are waiting to be crowned champions and mine are waiting for promotion (hopefully ahead of Leeds). If they scrap this season I reckon that'll be horror enough for both of us haha.
Take care mate, be good, and if you can't be good, be good at it
Adam (Woody the Baggies fan)

Hello Woody, I hope you and the family are well, mate. This virus and lock down is fucking awful isn't it? Like you I miss the football so much (especially in view of Liverpool being on the verge of winning the league!!!) and the longer it goes on the less I think it'll ever start again. I also miss going to the cinema. Fucking virus...
I'm relieved that you liked Testament. I know I'd done other books with Doyle in but it felt right doing a direct sequel after so long. I've finished another book called PROGENY but, the way things are it's impossible to give a publication date. I know they're doing cover artwork for it but that's about it. I've also got a couple of collections of short stories on the go so at least there'll be more stuff for you to read! Anyway, you look after yourself and the family and fingers crossed for the football season.
All the best.

Good evening Mr Hutson,
Thank you so much for Testament. That book was fucking great and Sean Doyle is a totally wonderful character.
I am lucky to have in my possession your version of the Terminator which is a great read.
Stay safe
Kindest and warmest regards from the USA
Steven Cook

Hi Steven, I'm so glad you enjoyed Testament. It's always nerve racking when a new book comes out and when Doyle is in it it's even scarier! Glad you managed to get my version of The Terminator too. It's a bit of a rarity these days. Many thanks for getting in touch. All the best.

Right folks that's it for now. Keep the questions coming in. It's always a pleasure to know you're enjoying the books and I really appreciate your comments.
Take care of yourselves.


Hi Shaun,
I've been a fan since my teens in the mid 90s. Just had to say thankyou as your book Testament saved my Christmas! All the awful reworkings of classics such as war of the worlds, a Christmas Carol and dracula on the BBC 'updated' for a modern audience were truly terrible! Luckily I had Sean Doyle to read about and keeping it read. Have to say for me this was up there with Compulsion my previous fave of yours. Also, hats off to caffeine nights for the really lovely hardback and cover art... Really nicely presented! Please say I don't have to wait years for the next one? Keep up the great work!!!
Chris from leytonstone

Hi Chris and thank you for the kind words. I agree with you completely about the BBC adaptations of those classics. They managed to fuck every one up and seemed more concerned with box ticking than portraying great stories. I'm relieved you liked Testament. Every time a new book comes out I shit myself wondering if people will like it or not and it seems a more acute thing when Sean Doyle is involved ha, ha. I agree with you, Caffeine Nights did a superb job on the cover and the general "appearance and presentation. " And no, you don't have to wait years for the next one (well, provided the fucking Corona Virus doesn't wipe everything out)... there's a new novel called PROGENY on the way and I've also done a collection of short stories. Couple with that you can also find (very soon) a new book I've co-written with Matt Shaw called The Tainted Souls. It should be available in the next two weeks. Let me know what you think.

Hi Shaun,
Hope you're well. I love your books. They're great escapisms. Two questions, if I may:
1. How has Horror changed since you started writing?
2. What happened to 'Homunculus'?
Thank you.
Kind regards,
Mark Anthony Smith, from Hull

Hello Mark, very kind of you to say such nice things. Yes, horror has changed incredibly since I started back in the Golden Era of Horror (the 80's). I think the main reason it changed is because of two books. One brilliant, one appalling. Namely The Silence of the Lambs and Twilight. I think you can figure out which one is brilliant and which appalling...
Millions of people read Silence of the Lambs and thought they'd read a horror novel. They hadn't. They'd read a thriller. But its success made publishers want books about human killers. The crime novel explosion took off and has never slackened off to be honest. That was in 1990. The last nail in the coffin was Twilight. It fucked up the genre so much and was so successful that publishers only wanted "the next Twilight". They didn't want vampires or werewolves that were scary, they wanted the insipid kind that were in "Twilight. " I probably sound bitter and twisted. What I really hate is that most publishers turned their backs on a very successful and popular genre. Now, most book shops don't have a horror section at all or, if they have, the only thing in it is Stephen King and some Lovecraft stories.
"Homunculus" became "The Skull". There was supposed to be a re-print/re-release but it never happened because I left Pan Macmillan for another publisher.
Anyway... hope that answers your questions and thanks again for your interest.

My name is Laura and I just want to say that I'm such a big fan!
My first book that got me into the horror genre was Slugs and Relics.
They got me hooked! I'm 31 now and you are my favourite Author thanks so much for the reading material!
I'm wondering possibly if by any chance you would sign my copy of Slugs? I'm not sure if that's appropriate etiquette or not.
If it's the latter then I really apologise. Anyways thank you for taking the time to read this.
Many thanks

Hi Laura, I'm flattered... I'd love to sign your copy of Slugs but, with all this Corona Virus shit going on, it might not be a good idea right now... once all this is over (if it ever is!!!) then I'd love to do that for you. I hope you're keeping safe and well during this time.

Hi Shaun
Hope all is well in your world!
Got to say, Testament is absolutely fucking fabulous! Loved every page of it! Renegades is up there as one of my all time favourite reads and Testament follows it up superbly well! Result! So, really quick question, will Doyle be back in a 5th novel (bet you've been asked this a few times!!)?
Take care (by all means use my name in a future story line!)
Chris Whiteman

That's very kind of you. I'm really glad you liked it. I'd love to bring him back again but he keeps getting older (Like me... Ha ha... ) I might have to go back and do some prequels when he was younger or he'll be chasing villains on a fucking Zimmer frame! I'll have to think about what the future holds for the old bastard... I have just finished using your name in The Tainted Souls (a novel I've written with Matt Shaw)... It should be out in the next few weeks... All the best.

How's things Shaun
Hope 2020 is finding you well
Just having a sort out of old stuff and found my old tickets this being from 40 years ago in June I saw Maiden many times before this tbh In the clubs 78/79 What a band and look at them now I know you are a Maiden freak what's your first gig etc
Cheers mate
Paul 🤘

Hi Paul, fucking hell... Forty years ago... Scary isn't it? My first gig for Maiden was quite late (compared to you) I didn't see them until the Powerslave tour in 1984... I made up for it after that though ha, ha... My first ever gig was a band called Y&T at the Dominion Tottenham Court road in 1982... I was deaf for three days afterwards... Ah, those were the days... But Maiden are still my first love when it comes to music. I remember taking my daughter to see them at Sonisphere a few years back and, standing in the crowd and singing "Run to the Hills" with my daughter singing away beside me was one of the best experiences of my life... They're still fucking amazing.

Hello Shaun, My mum has read all of your books and she has recently got me into them as well hehe. I'm an aspiring horror writer and I was just wondering, how do you come up with your ideas??
Many thanks!
Madeleine Cutting, UK

Hi Madeleine, your mum is obviously a woman of impeccable taste :)... thank her from me for introducing you to my books. I'm glad you like them too. An aspiring horror writer, eh? Well, my only advice would be to write the sort of stuff you'd want to read. Never compromise. But always remember the story is the most important thing. My own ideas come from all over the place, newspapers, TV, things I've heard and read and sometimes just something that hits me out of the blue. As you know, the ideas can come from anywhere and at anytime. I used to have a file stuffed with everything from bits of paper to napkins and ticket stubs, everything with an idea scribbled on it! I don't think I used many of them but... You never know...

I am just about keeping my sanity here until I read the rant and again life is worth living.
Testament is outstanding. In my opinion this is a world government conspiracy to stop me gambling and enjoying a glass of Bourbon but the Mrs is happy as this is the first time I will have a little in the bank.
All best mate looking forward to next book.
John Elliott

Hi John, I know what you mean... this fucking lock down is driving me nuts (or even nuttier than before...) I'm glad you liked Testament. There's supposed to be a new book coming this year called PROGENY but, with the virus etc. fuck knows when it'll get released... Life is just not the same any more is it? I have just finished a book with Matt Shaw which should be available in a couple of weeks called The Tainted Souls. It might keep you going in the meantime... And... Stay sane, mate. All the best.

Right folks, many thanks for your questions, that's me done for another month.
There's a new book out (written with Matt Shaw) soon called "The Tainted Souls" set during this bloody Coronavirus outbreak so keep your eyes open for that and thanks again for your questions and your kind words. And, I know it's a cliché, but, all of you, stay safe. And... Fuck Corona.
At this difficult and bloody frustrating time I'd also like to thank, once again, the man who keeps this website going, Mr Graeme Sayer. I owe you, mate. There will be an exclusive short story on here soon from me so, keep yours eyes peeled.