Every once in a while, I come down to start work and discover a pleasant and totally unexpected email from a happy bunny customer. Actually, to be honest, we have a lot of happy bunny customers here at PS Towers (indeed, as I’ve said on many occasions, our customer base is the most loyal and generous in the biz) but it’s the ones that come for my own work that really strike home.

This one—from a fellow author who is also an actor of some considerable repute—came just a few days ago when we were in the thick of preparing for FantasyCon. Here it is:

Hello. My name is Michael XXXX. I just wanted to drop a line to thank you for your brilliant story, Ghosts With Teeth. I read it last night in an anthology called A Book of Horrors. I bought the book for the names I recognized, (yours among them) and, as is my habit, immediately dove into the entry by Stephen King. But afterwards, I casually started reading Ghosts With Teeth, having no idea of what to expect. I have to admit that your story took me to a place that, as a reader, I hadn't been in decades, one of pure, childlike terror; a sense of looming dread that, quite honestly, I hadn't felt since reading stories by flashlight under my blanket as a kid; stories by Ray Bradbury (and King). I finished Ghosts, utterly horrified, then ran to lock all the doors and windows in my house, only to realize that doing so wouldn't save me from predatory poltergeists! Sick with terror and vaguely nauseous, I then went and locked myself inside my bathroom. To make matters worse, last night in suburban New York was "a dark and stormy" one: halfway through Ghosts . . . the power went out! I've read hundreds of horror stories, but Ghosts was easily one of the best. I blame you for the ensuing nightmares. Thank you for a GREAT read!

Naturally, I responded immediately and said thanks and Michael and I will, I’m sure, carry on our dialogue. But I wanted to mention it here because—aside from my having received several other letters of congrats and applause and my wanting to bring the tale to your attention (in the event you haven’t seen that wonderful book)—like so many tales, it owes a huge debt of gratitude to the editor. In this instance, Stephen Jones.

It was Steve who approached me and suggested I might like to try him with something ‘cutting edge’ . . . in other words, something particularly dark for a new anthology he was putting together to be entitled A Book of Horrors. I was flattered but, as I explained, my stuff is generally lighter in tone, often nostalgic and frequently whimsical. Steve was having none of that. “Try it,” he said. “If I don’t like it, I won’t buy it.”

He’s some salesman, that Steve Jones!

So I sat down and decided to do for poltergeists what I’d done for witches in By Wizard Oak, my Hallowe’en novel for Earthling. In other words, something exceedingly nasty this way comes!

When I sent it in, Steve tickled it here and there, sent it back for my approval and pretty soon it was all done and dusted. So to all those who liked ‘Bedfordshire’ then you owe a doff of your cap to editor Ramsey Campbell. All those who enjoyed ‘Rustle’ give a pat on the back to Rich Chizmar over at CD. For ‘Eater’, give a cheer to Marty Greenberg and Bob Bloch. And, for ‘Ghosts With Teeth’, Steve’s da man. As he so often is.

If you want to check out ‘Ghosts’ then be aware that a paperback edition is due soon from Jo Fletcher Books. If you’re hell-bent on shelling out £35 for a copy of the PS/CD edition (signed by me, Steve and artist Les Edwards) then go here.

Happy trails.