A Special Christmas Offer

It’s nearly Christmas and Billy’s Monsters are here!

In a moment of Christmas Spirit (no Aunty Fox has not been at the sherry) we have decided that if you have bought or buy the paperback of Billy’s Monsters this December we will give you the ebook and send it to a kindle address of your choice.

All you need to do to claim is send your proof of purchase to adele@(NOSPAM)foxspirit.co.uk (remove the (NOSPAM) along with the kindle address you want the book sending to. Please title your email ‘Billy’s Offer’.

If you or the person you want to gift the ebook to are not kindle owners, not to worry, we can send an epub or mobi file to an email address.


billys monsters - front coversmall


The monsters under the bed.

Billy’s Monsters by Vincent Holland-Keen

Paperback available now, ebooks comings soon.

The monsters lurking under Billy’s bed when he was small were real, also not so much lurking as hanging out. Now some of them travel with him in a backpack and when he meets two sisters with a serious supernatural problem Billy’s backpack makes him something of an unlikely hero. 


billys monsters - front coversmall

Cover by Vincent Holland-Keen

Billy would be an ordinary sixteen your old boy if his best friends in life weren’t monsters from under his bed.

Scarlett wants to be an ordinary sixteen year old girl, but her life is on hold thanks to her younger sister, Hester.

Hester is special. She doesn’t know why. She doesn’t know she’s part of a sinister conspiracy centred around the exclusive Elderigh College. She only knows that if she doesn’t keep quiet, the monsters will find her….


Billy’s Monsters : Interview with Vincent Holland-Keen

billys monsters - front coversmall

Billy has a minor role in the adult novel The Office of Lost and Found. What about him made you want to follow up on his story after the events of that?

Well, it wasn’t my idea; you (Aunty Fox) suggested it 😛 But despite that, I did think it a good idea. It had been a while since I’d finished a novel, the proper sequel to The Office of Lost and Found had stalled, and tackling YA just felt right. As a kid, I loved ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, ‘The Weirdstone of Brisingamen’ and ‘The Dark is Rising’. As an adult, I’ve been just as enraptured by Harry Potter, the demon Bartimaeus and pretty much anything Diana Wynne Jones has written. A child or teenager going on an adventure seems inherently more dangerous because they have relatively little power in our world. Grown-ups are primed not to believe them. They can’t solve a problem with a credit card. If they want to chase down a villain, they have to get on their bike or catch a bus. And because they haven’t experienced as much of the mundaneness of life, they can see magic where an adult might not. Personally, I can’t understand why a writer would want to write a novel about a navel-gazing university professor for a coterie of literary critics when they could be writing about explosions and monsters for the kid they were when they discovered their love of stories. Billy was my excuse to do just that.

Were there any difficulties in adapting the Lost and Found world to a YA suitable novel?

No. Do you need a longer answer? Oh, okay then. The Office of Lost and Found is deliberately weird. It’s set in our world, but with a grim strangeness bleeding into it. One of the lead characters repeatedly tells the other that there’s no point trying to make sense of what’s going on, because the answers don’t make any sense. Most of the strangeness is pushed to the background for this follow-up in order to focus on just one of Lost and Found’s threads: monsters that lurk under the bed. Of course, that on its own is fairly conventional in fiction terms, so the fun comes in exploring the repercussions of that reality and throwing in twists on the concept you might not expect. In fact, the most difficult part was figuring out how to handle swearing. There are a least a few occasions where the right word to use was absolutely the f-word, but I fudged in something else instead. That’s not to say the prudish won’t find some abhorrent language in there, but in relative terms I tried to keep it quite prim and proper.

Most of us don’t embrace the monsters under our bed. What makes Billy so different?

But you do, right? I can just imagine you giving the monster a big hug before bedtime and the monster sighing and patting you on the back and going ‘yes, yes, that’s quite enough of that’. I don’t think Billy would quite go that far and to begin with he was certainly as scared as a typical child would be. He feared those misshapen shadows glimpsed out the corner of an eye until he was shown how to view such things in a new light; one where a gruesome hybrid spider-rhinoceros creature could instead be a mate you played tag with (with emphasis on the ‘could’; just like humans, some gruesome hybrid spider-rhinoceroses are assholes you wouldn’t want to play tag with). So I don’t think Billy is really that different from anyone else, he was just given an opportunity denied to most of us.

3 - billy poster

How would you describe Scarlett and Billy’s unusual brand of heroics?

Billy watches too many movies, so likes to think he’s an action hero – Indiana Jones, John McClane, that sort of thing. But there’s a difference between racing into a burning building to save a puppy because you want to be the hero, and racing into that burning building because you want to save that puppy. In contrast, Scarlett absolutely doesn’t think she’s a hero and only does what she feels she has to. Consequently, she’d probably be annoyed if you did call her hero.

There is obviously a lot more to explore in the world of the Nightmare Factory. What are the chances of a follow up having more action take place in that world?

None. Well, maybe a small chance. The worlds conceived in The Office of Lost and Found stretch far beyond the realm of monsters, so I’m interested in seeing what else is out there. And then it would be interesting to see how that something else impacts on our world and maybe the world of the Nightmare Factory. As a general rule, I’m all for smushing lots of things together to find out if the resulting reaction is pleasingly combustible. But for the time being all I can say is that the follow-up to Billy’s Monsters is going to be concerned to a greater or lesser extent with clouds of the white and fluffy variety.

Monster Giveaway!

Tweet the link to an amazon review of a Fox Spirit title posted by you anytime in Oct or Nov 2014 using the #eumonsters along with retweeting the link to this giveaway to be added to a draw for the chance to win your choice of YA novel ‘Billy’s Monsters’ and amazing horror anthology ‘European Monsters’ both in paperback.

Breaking that down

To be included you need to retweet this post on twitter, post an amazon review (any country) of a Fox Spirit title and tweet the link using the hashtag #eumonsters

We will check the hashtag at the end of November and add you all to a prize draw where five names will be selected at random. Please make sure you are following us so we can reach you. @foxspiritbooks

There are five paperback copies up for grabs and winners get to choose between Billy’s Monsters and European Monsters

If you also have a blog we will be happy to provide review copies of available titles as ebooks including Drag Noir and Wicked Women as soon as they are available. Please contact adele@foxpsirit.co.uk if you would like a review copy of any of our titles, include a link to your blog and title your email ‘Review Copy’ so I can find it easily.

Art 3_Kieran_to Vikja story
art by Keiran Walsh for European Monsters