Tag Archives: Joan De La Haye

Revisited : Requiem in E Sharp by Joan De La Haye

Joan was the first author to sign a novel with Fox Spirit. One of her novels with us also has the distinction of being our first crime release. Requiem in E Sharp.

Requiem Cover

 

‘A troubled detective

A tormented serial murderer

Sundays in Pretoria are dangerous for selected women.

A murderer plagued by his childhood, has found a distinctive modus operandi to salve his pathological need to escape the domination of the person who was supposed to cherish him.

As The Bathroom Strangler’s frenzy escalates and the body count mounts, Nico van Staaden, the lead detective on the case, finds himself confronting his own demons as he struggles to solve the murders of the seemingly unconnected victims. The lack of evidence in the sequence of deaths and pressure from his superiors are challenges he must overcome.

The resolution is bloody, savage and merciless.’

You can find the book on Amazon here
‘Bravo. I picked this book up and couldn’t put it down. Dark and grisly at times, the character development pulls you into the lives of these hopelessly screwed up people and doesn’t let you go. I’d never dreamt of having a peek into the backstory of a serial killer as intimately as I got in this book. Equally disturbed and enthralled, I am wondering how I am already done reading and yet in want of more?!’ – Amazon reviewer

The opening paragraphs

Sunday, 23 June

His hands shook. He wanted them to stop; he wanted everything to stop.

All he could hear was her banging on the piano. It reverberated along the passage,
through the tiled floor of his childhood bathroom and into his brain. The feel of the cold,
smooth surface of the bath beneath his small curled-up body was soothing and calmed him.
It was safe as long as she banged on the piano. The moment the music stopped the real
nightmare would begin. Urine ran down the insides of his legs causing his jeans to cling to
them. The music stopped. She would be coming soon.

He closed his eyes and tried to shut out the memory.

The car boot slammed shut and brought him back to the present. The street lights above
his head flashed on and illuminated the quiet street. A slight though cool breeze played with
crisp brown leaves on the ground around his feet; a dog barked down the street, disturbing
the quiet suburb. The owner of the dog yelled at it to shut up. Why did people keep dogs to
protect them, then stop them from doing their job? It was something he would never
understand.

 

Awards Season

Awards season has well and truly started and we hope you will forgive us a moment of vanity as we ask for your support.

Our own Joan De La Haye (Shadows, Requiem in E Sharp, Oasis, Burning) is up for an award in the South African Indies for ‘Burning’. We couldn’t be prouder and if you had a moment to support that would be very wonderful of you. Voting is open now.

burning-v2

Also at the moment the British Fantasy Society are taking suggestions for their shortlist. We were surprised and delighted to be shortlisted for Best Anthology and Best Small Press last year and if you like what we are doing we would be really pleased* to have your nomination this year.

* massive understatement.

You can check out when our books were published here.

***Bouchercon Voters: Eligible crime releases include
ANTHOLOGY: Drag Noir ed. K. A. Laity
COLLECTION: Extricate/Throw the Bones by Graham Wynd
NOVEL: White Rabbit by K. A. Laity
SHORT STORIES:

Any/all of the DRAG NOIR stories
“Headless in Bury.” Missing Monarchs: Fox Pockets Anthology
“Smallbany.” Short story. Free promotional story for Drag Noir from Fox Spirit Books

Not the Fox News: The First State of the Union

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future recently. It’s sort of my job, but it’s also something that we can’t avoid at this time of year. 2013 is calling time and putting the chairs on the tables whilst 2014 is trying not to look too nervous as it takes its tracksuit off and warms up. This is a time of year where reflection isn’t just expected it’s almost compulsory.

That leads to some really kick ass writing by the way. Paul Cornell’s 12 Blogs of Christmas are always really good value but this year he’s been on exceptional form. 2013 has been what my amazing girlfriend would call ‘burly’, an intense, bruiser of a year that’s worked hard for all 365 days and is only reluctantly showing signs of slowing down. There have been times, and anyone who was reading my blog in the top six months of the year would know exactly what times they were, when it’s been deeply, profoundly unpleasant.

Thanks for having my back this year, Phil.

That lack of pleasant hasn’t just stemmed from the profound professional frustration I’ve felt for a good chunk of this year. A lot of it has stemmed from the realization that a lot of the time, geek culture enables and encourages misery. The whole concept of geek/nerd/counter culture is so wrapped up in being the underdog that even when we aren’t, we’re conditioned to act like we are.

It’s not just that there’s always something wrong with a movie or a book or a comic or someone’s blog post either, although God knows that sort of stuff has been endemic this year. When we’re not complaining that something’s been done wrong, we’re complaining it’s been done at all and we absolutely will not stop until the same nine people agree with us, argue with us or passive aggressively block us on Twitter.

Again.

I’ve seen things, to misquote Roy Batty, that would make you go ‘…Wait, you’re supposed to be a grown up? You’re the industry leaders whose standards we all have to aspire to? SERIOUSLY?’

I’ve seen authors ignore some of the first people to beta read their first book as they pass in convention hallways. I’ve seen authors pick fights they had no business being anywhere near or comport themselves on Twitter in a manner that suggests their ASSHAT UNION membership card has arrived and they’re just so pleased they can’t wait to show it to everyone.

It’s not just authors either. Bloggers who’ve picked fights for no reason other than they can, journalists who’ve started fights they can’t finish then played the victim card and run. I’ve seen celebrity authors pampered and sucked up to by the same editors who let out streams of invective as high pitched as they were ineffectual at people who they thought beneath them. I’ve seen ‘fans’ race to pour scorn on anyone who dared to like something they didn’t, or sneak pictures of an old, tired, ill man because it might be the last time they were in the same room as him and God forbid they should treat him like a human.

I have so much more. I have an amount you wouldn’t believe of stories of people being dicks. Objectification by both genders, high school cliquery, bullying, the sort of cult of personality bullshit that makes you want to not just leave these people’s company but shower and not stop until you feel clean again.   Fandom, and I actually cringed writing that word, has shown the world it’s ass over and over in 2013.

It’s been pretty depressing at times. You may be able to tell.

Here’s the thing. I have an outsider complex the size of a small moon at the best of times and there’ve been months this year that I’ve felt like a man without a country. Times where I’ve looked around at the conversation and the people leading it and frankly wondered if it wasn’t too late to learn enough about football and soap operas that I could fit effortlessly back into the general population, sort of like Bruce Campbell at the end of Darkman.

I didn’t for three reasons. Firstly because simply making that comparison tells me this is where I should be, secondly because Bruce Campbell already had that exit sewn up and thirdly because when it comes down to it, I’ve seen what comes next. And it’s BRILLIANT.

Seriously, the dusty cults of personality, the grudges held for years, the ludditery and celebration of the past at the endless, endless expense of the present and the future? It’s being replaced, person by person, con by con. What’s replacing it, Commander Bowman?

See, Dave knows.

But surely publishing is dying? I pretend to hear you cry. Publishing isn’t dying. Or rather it is in the same way that comics publishing was dying a decade ago when I ran a comic store. Numbers are down, prices are up, electronic retail is squeezing it dry and the sky is falling.

But the sky is always falling.

Comics endure. Books endure. We endure and survive and, ultimately, evolve. Look at the indie press scene in this country and don’t use small press as a term, please. It belittles the hard work of everyone involved in companies like Anachron, Jurassic and Fox Spirit. These are groups of people whose invention is matched only by their lunacy at working so hard for so little financial gain. Colin Barnes, Jared Shurin and Anne C. Perry, Aunty Fox, all the others have stepped up and MADE something whilst everyone else has been busy doomsaying and remembering how drunk they got at We Like A-Line Flares and The Bay City Fucking Rollerscon back in 197aeons ago.

Authors, editors and agents are the same. Lou Morgan, Andrew Reid, Joan De La Haye, Jennifer Williams, Liz De Jager, Alec McQuay, Dan Sawyer, Vincent Holland Keen, Adam Christopher, Colin Barnes again, Steven Saus, Scott Roche, Jared Shurin and Anne C. Perry again, Tim Maughan, Kate Laity, Mhairi Simpson, David Barnett, Nayad Monroe, Sarah Hans, Mur Lafferty, Lee Harris, Amanda Rutter, Den Patrick, Will Hill, Kim Curran, Guy Adams, Tom PollockDjibril al-Ayad, Matt Wallace, Jacqueline Koyanagi, Juliet Mushens and all the others have built their careers from the ground up. Brick by brick by author by book these people have hand sold, promoted, represented appeared on podcasts, written blogs, submitted work, read slush and slowly and surely they’ve made ground. Slowly and surely they’ve changed the game. Slowly and surely they’ve won .

You know the coolest thing about that list? I added to it twice and I know it’s not complete, even now. These people, and the legions I missed, are building the future with a combination of grim determination and total empathy. The con organizers are the same, and anyone who thinks different hasn’t looked at Nine Worlds, the plans LonCon 3 have or what Lee Harris and Sophia McDougall are building at FantasyCon ’14.

It won’t be overnight, because it never is, but the change that’s coming isn’t just one of talent, it’s one of atmosphere. At every level of every element of genre fiction publishing, the culture is changing from one of tradition and exclusion to one of individuality and inclusion. Yes the support structures are smaller, yes the work is harder to do but the rewards are all the sweeter if you can do it. Like the man says, it’s a good life if you don’t weaken and everyone I mention here can attest to that. These people love what they do so much they teach other people to love it too. No whining, no backbiting, no psychological games. Just the agent, the editor, the publisher, the writer, the reader and the text and, yes, they’re all walking into a bar.

This is a wonderful time to be anywhere near fiction. The step change that’s coming will echo up and down for decades to come and it’ll be so much more positive and interesting than so much of what we’ve had to put up with in recent years.

What do you think, Josh?

Good boy.

What’s next? That’s easy. It’s the future. And this time everyone’s invited.

Happy New Year

 

Jacqueline Koyanagi

Getting Foxy 1: Joan De La Haye

Fox Spirit is 18 months old or there abouts this Christmas, as it my nephew. So I thought it was a good time to remind you all what we’ve been doing the last 18 months, especially those of you who are new to the den and the freshly minted Skulk. Hopefully it’ll also distract from the deadlines I didn’t quite make in 2013. Over the next few weeks instead of an advent calendar I am going to do a series of posts highlighting the people and books we have out there for your delectation. I’ll come back to Nun & Dragon when I look at some of the other anthologies. First of all I want to spotlight Joan De La Haye. You can find reviews of Joan’s books on our publicity page DSCN1370 Joan took a chance and threw in her lot with Fox Spirit when it was still little more than an idea. Really if she hadn’t we might never have done anything more than Nun & Dragon so you have her to thank/blame at least in part for all that has come after. First and foremost a horror writer Joan has also turned her hand to crime, drawing in the corruption rife in South Africa to a dark procedural. Joan has three books with us as well as some short stories and a fourth book slated for 2014. Shadows is a dark, unsettling psychological horror with cruelly dysfunctional relationships, personal demons (literally) and the horror of doubting your own sanity. mirror-3   Oasis crams a lot of story into 50 pages in a zombie novella with a fresh twist. oasis cover 600x800   Requiem in E Sharp is a serial killer story that is delivered with Joan’s trademark darkness. Requiem Cover   If you like to curl up with the fire lit and a blanket over you, the curtains pulled tight and indulge in some genuinely creepy reading check out Joan’s books.

Available Now at Amazon.everywhere

I am pleased to announce that ‘Requiem in E Sharp’ by Joan De La Haye went on sale as an ebook on most amazon sites earlier today, slightly before it’s official release date on Monday. It is not yet available elsewhere and there is some delay in it becoming available in South Africa, however I hope to be able to announce wider availability and other eformats in place on Monday as planned.

In the mean time reviewers please contact me on adele @ foxspirit .co.uk if you are interested in a review copy of the ebook.

For more information on the book you can find the synopsis and an extract in our ‘Novels’ section and for more information on Joan please visit our authors pages.

Joan De La Haye Interview

The lovely Joan being interviewed on Radio in SA, talking about writing and her books.

Press Release: Requiem in E Sharp Release Date

Fox Spirit is pleased to announce the release of its first title, a serial killer thriller ‘Requiem in E Sharp’ by South African author Joan De La Haye.
‘Sundays in Pretoria are dangerous for selected women.

A murderer plagued by his childhood, has found a distinctive modus operandi to salve his pathological need to escape the domination of the person who was supposed to cherish him.

As The Bathroom Strangler’s frenzy escalates and the body count mounts, Nico van Staaden, the lead detective on the case, finds himself confronting his own demons as he struggles to solve the murders of the seemingly unconnected victims. The lack of evidence in the sequence of deaths and pressure from his superiors are challenges he must overcome.’

The ebook will be available from 9th July at Amazon and shortly after at Wizards Tower and other outlets.

The book will be made available as a paperback for print on demand later this year.
The release of ‘Requiem in E Sharp’ will be followed later in July by Joan’s post-apocalyptic zombie novella ‘Oasis’. The re-release of her horror novel ‘Shadows’ will be in August.

Also in August Fox Spirit will be releasing its first cross genre ‘Bushy Tales’ anthology ‘Tales of the Nun & Dragon’. This collection features the writing talents of Adrian Tchaikovsky, K.A.Laity, Wayne Simmons, Sarah Cawkwell and many others, with cover art by Vincent Holland-Keen and internal illustrations by Kieran Walsh.

Joan De La Haye Radio Interview

Fox Spirit author Joan De LA Haye will be interviewed on 1485am Radio Today in SA by  Michael De Pinna and Carolyn Steyn on Monday 25th June 2012, talking about her books.

You can ‘Tune in’ here and it’s at 2pm in local time which is 1pm GMT.

Joan’s Novel ‘Requiem in E Sharp’ will be Fox Spirit’s first publication in July, with the Oasis release and Shadows re release following shortly.

Joan De La Haye

We are delighted to be able to announce that over the next few months we will be publishing two novels and a novella by Joan De La Haye, starting with her horror novel ‘Shadows’.

Shadow’s has been available as an ebook before but Joan is moving to Fox Print for this and a further two books ‘Requiem in E Sharp’ and zombie novella ‘Oasis’.

Synopsis for ‘Shadows’.

‘Sarah is forced to the edge of sanity by the ghosts of her family’s past. Suffering from violent and bloody hallucinations, she seeks the help of psychologist and friend, Michael Brink.

mirror-3

After being sent to an institution in a catatonic state covered in blood from stabbing her unfaithful boyfriend, Sarah is forced to confront the truth about her father’s death and the demon, Jack, who caused her fathers suicide and is now the reason for her horrific hallucinations. Unlike her father, Sarah refuses to kill herself. She bargains for her life and succeeds.

In Sarah’s struggle to regain her life and her sanity, she discovers more things to the world than she could ever have imagined and leaves her seeking the answer to the nagging question, Who is really mad?’