Sunday, 30 September 2012

Christmas tales of terror

My new Christmas Tales of Terror ebook is out this November.  It does not follow the same structure as the other Tales of Terror books, in that it does not have a narrator and wraparound story.  It is - for the moment anyway - simply a collection of unconnected stories.

Writing these stories really has proved to be one of those fork in the road moments for me.  I have been encouraged - for perfectly understandable and sensible reasons - to write novels and I will certainly continue to do that (I have lots of ideas for which a novel is the only vehicle), but I want to write short stories too.

Short stories have been a problem for publishers - particularly of children's books - and we have taken care to give the Tales of Terror books a structure that gives them a narrative flow like a novel.  But I wonder whether they will be seen as such an issue in the age of the digital download.

As for the Christmas Tales of Terror, I will write a few more and also write a narrative to go round them as I have with all the other books.  I already know what I want to do and hopefully this might mean the book will have another life in the printed world.  We'll see.

More about these stories later...


  1. Do you know when it'll come out as hardcover/softcover?

  2. At the moment there are no plans to make a paper copy, though I think that may happen. The earliest it would happen now is next year I'm afraid - for the Christmas market

  3. Naww, that's too bad.
    I absolutely dislike reading e-books (but that may be due to the fact that I would have to read them on the computer due to a lacking e-reader device),
    but I suppose I will make an exception, I'm so excited for the book <3

    Thank you for your quick answer.

  4. That's OK. And thank you. I think you may be right about reading ebooks on a computer. Friends of mine - I still don't have an e-reader myself - who have a Kindle for instance, now say that they now read more than they used to.

    I'm going to be interested in how Christmas Tales of Terror does as an ebook. Its a new area for me - to publish as an ebook first.

  5. I have been reading your tales of terror books to my year six classes for the last four years and I think that short stories and the way you write them with a narrator is perfect.
    I can usually read half to whole chapter in reading time and I always stop at the end of a chapter where the next story is introduced. I have not yet had a child who has not thoroughly enjoyed all your books and is now a Chris Priestly fan!

    Can't wait to read this new one to my class!

  6. Hi there! Big fan of your books. I was planning on having the collection of all your books in either paperback/hardcover. I was wondering if maybe "Christmas tales of terror" will be in paperback or hardcover soon? Would love to have a physical book of it. I find that only certain kinds of books can be enjoyed as an e-reader.

  7. Hi. There are no plans at the moment to make Christmas Tales of Terror into a physical book. But I'd like to think it might happen one day - I'd like to see an illustrated edition. We'll see

  8. Hello Chris!
    I´m a Swedish school librarian who loves your Tales of Terror-books. Three of your books have been translated into Swedish and I often recommend them to my students. I´ve just read The Teacher´s Tales of Terror, and it was a very good and spooky read indeed! I hope that you in the future will add some more short stories to that collection, so that it can be published again as a hardback book. I´d also love to see a hardback book of your Christmas Tales of Terror.

  9. Hi
    Thanks for getting in touch. I will definitely do more short stories at some point. But there are no specific plans. A proper edition of Christmas tales would be nice. I'd really like to do that. We'll have to see. There is still a perception among publishers (childrens publishers) that short stories are not marketable, and yet the tales of terror stories have been very successful for me and far and away the most successful books in terms of foreign sales. Thanks for recommending them to your students. Perhaps I'll get to come to Sweden one day!