SPECTRAL PRESS PRESENTS:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
AWARD-WINNING WRITER STEPHEN VOLK
PRIES INTO THE CHILDHOOD OF HITCHCOCK
IN HIS HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED FOLLOW-UP TO WHITSTABLE
One evening in 1906 a chubby little boy of seven, son of a London greengrocer, is taken by his father to visit the local police station.
There he suddenly finds himself, inexplicably, locked up for a crime he hasn’t committed – or has he? Blinking into sunlight, traumatized by his overnight stay, he is told by his father the next morning: “Now you know what happens to naughty little boys!” But the incident is the catalyst for a series of events that will scar, and create, the world’s leading Master of Terror in the century to come…
The boy is Alfred Hitchcock.
The story is the gripping and evocative new novella by Stephen Volk, writer of the highly-acclaimed novella Whitstable – which featured Peter Cushing as its central character and was published in 2013 (also by Spectral Press) to coincide with the centenary of the great actor’s death.
Leytonstone – like Whitstable – elevates fact (in this case an anecdote the famous director told repeatedly throughout his life) into resonant and poignant fiction, lifting the veil on not only the innocent and troubled young “Fred” but his emotionally needy mother and a father constantly struggling to do the right thing. But what none of them knows is that, after that fateful night and its consequences, their lives will be changed forever…
As a screenwriter used to creating fear and terror for such directors as William Friedkin and Ken Russell, Stephen Volk has long been fascinated by both Hitchcock’s films and Hitchcock the man. “I wanted to explore what makes a person want to frighten others for a living,” he says. “But I’m all too aware that Hitch was a mass of contradictions, and any absolute ‘truth’ is an elusive beast, as notable recent films have proven. This is my Hitchcock – a scared little boy.”
Whitstable and Leytonstone are parts one and two of Volk’s putative series of thematically related but separate fictions, to be called The Dark Masters Trilogy.
PRAISE FOR STEPHEN VOLK:
“One of the most provocative and unsettling of contemporary writers” Andy Hedgecock (Asst Fiction Editor, Interzone)
“A master craftsman” Dark Musings
PRAISE FOR “WHITSTABLE”:
“A chilling cat-and-mouse tale… Whitstable is a triumph… as fitting a tribute to the man as could be imagined” Starburst
“Not only a gripping story but a vivid vignette about one of Britain’s best loved actors” Hellnotes
“I loved Whitstable! It’s a beautiful love letter to a man, a genre, and an era that means so much to those of us of a certain age” – Mick Garris, producer, Masters of Horror
STEPHEN VOLK is best known as the writer of BBC TV’s notorious Halloween “hoax” Ghostwatch, starring Michael Parkinson, which caused outraged viewers to jam the switchboards, and even raised questions in Parliament. He also created the award-winning drama series Afterlife and the recent supernatural mystery film The Awakening starring Rebecca Hall and Dominic West. His play, The Chapel of Unrest, was presented exclusively for one night only at London’s Bush Theatre starring Jim Broadbent and Reece Shearsmith. His short stories have earned selection in Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Best British Mysteries, and Best British Horror, and he has been a Bram Stoker, British Fantasy and Shirley Jackson Award finalist. He is the author of two short story collections: Dark Corners and Monsters in the Heart – the latter of which won a British Fantasy Award for “Best Collection” in 2014. He has also won a BAFTA.
Cover image by Ben Baldwin
Publication date: March 2015
Available in limited signed and numbered hardback (125 copies), unlimited paperback, and eBook.
Retail: £21UK/£24EU/$50US & RoW
ALL PRICES INCLUDE POSTAGE/
Available from the publishers: Spectral Press, 13 Montgomery Crescent, Bolbeck Park, Milton Keynes, MK15 8PP
$50 US & RoW
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(Note: Advance PDF copies for review purposes only available on request, and will be available in a few months)