Holy Terrors: Film Review

I must declare a personal interest in this film, as a participant, but it is a great laudatory review nevertheless.

Folk Horror Revival


In August 2017 via the pages of Fortean Times Magazine I first heard of the film Holy Terrors created by Mark Goodall and Julian Butler much to my delight and anxiety. Not only was it a movie featuring 6 weird tales of Arthur Machen but it was made in Whitby! Machen and Whitby – two things I cherish very dearly so I was very eager to see this film but also worried that it might be awful. (Those worries were happily unnecessary.)


Also at the time we at Folk Horror Revival were organising the Winter Ghosts event for the following December in Whitby. I mentioned to our Events Manager, Darren Charles how the film could’ve been a good addition to our bill if it were not already fully booked. Then much to my surprise and delight, I received an email from the film director Mark Goodall, who had heard about…

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Some Quotations I Like

The origins of some very well known quotations: very satisfying!

Heather Burnside Author

Words can be very powerful. They unlock a whole wealth of meaning and are capable of eliciting strong emotions. Sometimes you read something in a book, which is so poignant that it stays with you. At other times there are sayings that are so widely used in everyday speech that we overlook where they originated from. This is often the case with Shakespeare.

I’ve put some of my favourite quotations below but I’m sure there are others that I’ve temporarily forgotten. I couldn’t resist adding a few from my own books. I think most writers have moments when they’ve written a line or two that they’re particularly proud of, so please excuse my self-indulgence in including a few quotes of my own.

“We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.”

Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan

“There is only one thing in life worse…

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In celebration of St. Valentine’s Day and the grooviest decade of the 20th century: Only One Woman e-pub special

Any post with ‘groovy’ in the title deserves reblogging!

Only One Woman

In celebration of St. Valentine’s Day

Accent Press has given

Only One Woman

a special discount for purchasers of e-pub copies.

For a limited period only, it is available as follows:

UK: 99p 


USA: $1.36 


Australia: 99c


Almost 500 pages of sheer authentic nostalgia for the late 1960s music scene in the UK.

The Paperback edition is not included in this offer.

Take a trip back to 1968/1969 with Renza, Stella, and Scott. Discover how they met, what happened to Scott’s band, Narnia’s Children, when they came to England to record and tour.

Enjoy the music of the grooviest decade of the 20th century with Narnia’s Children. Remember the fashions, the vibe of the Swinging Sixties, and recall the huge world events and social changes shaping the lives of Renza, Stella and Scott.

Journey with Scott and Narnia’s children as they tour the UK and Europe and…

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Easy Blogging for Authors: 10 Tips for a Successful Author Blog

Plenty of interesting thoughts for authors here.

Campbells World

Good early morning campbellsworld visitors and readers everywhere!
This morning I’m excited to bring you a really great post.
I totally suggest you read it, and then if you would, please share.
Thanks in advance if you do.

Easy Blogging for Authors: 10 Tips for a Successful Author Blog

The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors is here!
by Anne R. Allen
I’ve made some spectacular blunders in my blogging career. But since we learn from our mistakes, I’ve got a boatload of information now.
As Ruth and I say: “We made the mistakes so you don’t have to.”
The worst decision I made was trying to turn this blog into a monetized business blog. That lasted about six months— until my doctor said I was going to have to choose between blogging and living to see my next birthday.

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So: wherefore Wilfred Books?

Wilfred Risdon at his office desk in 1937
Wilfred Risdon at his office desk in 1937

That is a very fair question; as always, I try to avoid lazy generalisations, but I think it must be a racing certainty (not said from personal betting experience, I hasten to add!) that at least a few of those people who ever come across the name of my publishing company must wonder on the origin of the name; so, dear reader (especially those aforementioned few): I will enlighten you.

Perhaps simply because of the uncommon nature of my family name (and without indulging in unnecessary self-analysis, although I knew it was a subject that had also intrigued my father), I became interested in family history about twenty-five years ago (note to self: it’s just a number) and, to cut the proverbial long story mercifully short: in the course of my research, and thanks to a dear, previously unknown, but now sadly departed relative in Weston super Mare, I was made aware of his uncle, although by that time he was, sadly, deceased.

Wilfred Risdon, as seen in the photograph above, was my grandfather Charles Henry’s youngest brother, born in 1896; hence, my grand uncle (no: not great uncle!). Len, his nephew, had known Wilfred (sometimes ‘Bill’, but NEVER Wilf!) quite well, and he was able to give a reasonably good synopsis of his life and career, the most ‘interesting’ (interpret that how you will, especially in view of forthcoming revelations) aspect of which was his involvement with a figure in twentieth century politics who has, subsequently, acquired almost the reputation of a pantomime villain (boo, hiss: oh yes he did!): Sir Oswald Mosley.

I was far enough removed from Mosley’s time of influence (again: debatable, I know) in politics, even though I had been aware of his death and a certain amount of the backstory, to be sufficiently intrigued by the little I knew to find out more. Luckily for me, even though he was undoubtedly not a ‘household name’ (a sobriquet that seems to have fallen out of use: nowadays, we all seem to be either ‘celebs’ or ‘plebs’), there was plenty of reference material to be found on Wilfred, and I was very lucky, from an expedient point of view, to make contact with people who had either known him personally (not enough though, unfortunately), or worked with him, or been very close to his legacy of work.

In his defence (not that I consider that he needs one, as the book details), parliamentary politics was not Wilfred’s only sphere of influence: he was also a fervent anti-vivisectionist, and I think it is fair to say that I have come to support his sentiments in this area since encountering him, albeit at some remove. When Wilfred broke with Mosley just before the start of world war two (which didn’t prevent him being interned without charge or trial under the notorious Defence Regulation 18B[1A] in May 1940), he started working for a London anti-vivisection organisation and, such was his professionalism and efficiency, by the end of 1956 he had engineered the amalgamation of the small organisation into the larger, but again London-based National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), and he took over as Secretary at the beginning of 1957; he held that position until his death in 1967; ironically, by then, the organisation had moved into the heart of the medical establishment, which ‘relied’ on animal testing: Harley Street. The NAVS, now known as Animal Defenders International (ADI) has morphed into a global NGO.

Although I combined the research on Wilfred with more general research, over a period of a few years, it became obvious that his was a story worth telling; the crucial decision I had to make was how to go about it. Initially, I prevaricated because, although I knew that a biography was by far the best vehicle, I doubted my ability to complete the task satisfactorily and, in all honesty, I was more than a little bit daunted by the immensity of the task. Thankfully, a few very decent people persuaded me to do it, and all credit to them. Overall, including the writing of the book, which took about two years, I spent twelve years preparing it: an awful lot of research was required if I was going to do the job properly, which was the only result I could have countenanced.

I ended up with a book of 700 pages, including 7 appendices, a bibliography and index (the latter being essential, in my view); you might think, with some justification it has to be said, that that is a very long book for such an arguably insignificant figure in twentieth century affairs, but my view is: you don’t have to read everything if you don’t want to, but you can’t read what isn’t there, and you can always come back later to material you ignored initially. Also, I would have felt that I had given the buyer a poor deal if I had skimped purely for the sake of getting the book finished too quickly, simply for the sake of ‘getting it to market’.

In a way, although the writing of the book had been something of a grind, I proceeded methodically and regularly, which I actually quite enjoy, as did I the writing aspect, as I always have; it was actually the easy part, because it was something over which I had complete control; whereas, the publishing part was an unknown quantity — an unknown country, as it were. I had no stomach (or confidence, come to that) for the orthodox, conventional publishing process: find an agent and/or editor, with ensuing criticism and recommendations for revision (looking at it the worst possible way, of course); then either with their help or alone, find a publisher, if that was even going to be a practicable possibility. No, I thought: I’ll go it alone!

Would I do it again, knowing what I know now? Yes: of course. Would I use the services of a small publisher like I have set out to be, if such had been available to me at the time? Absolutely! I certainly don’t regret the time I have spent learning about the publishing process, but it is also very possibly true that I could have used that time, confident that I was leaving the publication of my magnum opus in the hands of someone who knew what he was doing, to develop other projects which might have brought me similar satisfaction, intrinsically, leaving aside the matter of the filthy lucre.

That being the case, I therefore invite any aspirant, or even demoralised existing authors (demoralised on account of receiving too many knock-backs) to consider letting me help them with the benefit of my experience, especially if the book they want to publish is not considered by the mainstream to be sufficiently ‘saleable’ (an entirely personal and also possibly judgmental assessment, based on the fickle fluctuations of ‘the market’); perhaps because the subject matter is potentially controversial, which is not unusual if politics is involved! I am prepared to look at potential publications at any stage of completion, so if you have a project that you would like me to have a look at, please go to my Wilfred Books publishing website, and look at the ‘About’ page, which has a link to a New Author Information page, and from there you can go to a questionnaire into which you can enter enough information to give me an idea of what sort of project you have in mind. The link is:


I hope the foregoing has been of some interest, and potentially of use as well, so, with that, I thank you for reading this, and I hope to meet you as a new author soon!

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Dancing Around Our Zimmer Frames with Generation Z by Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon’s musings on Generation Z!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Delighted that author Jane Risdon has joined us again for the new series of Posts from Your Archives.

Dancing Around Our Zimmer Frames with Generation Z by Jane Risdon

Since writing this piece in 2013, I have had several people read it again and mention it to me. The subject often comes up when talking about music and what life in a Residential Home might be for the Baby Boomers when they get to ‘that’ age.

I thought I’d share it again.

I hope you enjoy it and it gets you thinking.

I think we should start a movement to ensure that such places have a decent music collection available for those of us born in the 1950s and after, for whom George Formby and Pearl Johnson and Teddy Carr – wonderful in their day – is the stuff of nightmares.

At primary school we had Country dancing lessons and…

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Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Elephants and Whales, Blogging Watering Hole, Music and Funnies

More reading suggestions to start the week……

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the weekly round up and a huge thank you for your visits. For many the weather is dire at the moment and I hope that you get some respite from the cold in North America soon and if you live in Southern Africa that your drought breaks in the near future.

The world in general is in back biting mode with political in-fighting and cabinet re-shuffles. Health services are in crisis due to poor managment and the current flu season and the headlines are their usual doom and gloom. As you look at the headlines it is clear that the only way to get your 15 minutes of fame is to do something anti-social.

Thankfully here in blog world there are plenty of writers who share the other side of humanity which is positive, socially minded, caring and honest.

Thank you to those who have contributed this week…

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