Lecturer’s new horror book unveiled in time for Halloween
A University of Wolverhampton graduate, who now teaches Creative and Professional Writing in the School of Humanities, is delving into horror in his new book which is due to be published by Poe Girl Publishing in October.
Ameles: Currents of Unmindfulness is Rob Francis’ first short-story collection and consolidates much of his previous creative focus firmly into the horror genre. He signed with Poe Girl Publishing in February this year.
Rob Francis, who lives in Dudley, completed his PhD in Creative Writing in the School of Humanities.
Rob said: "There's a long-standing tradition of horror research at our University, Dr Ben Halligan, Dr Nicola Allen, Dr Louise Fenton and Dr Mark Jones, to name a few, and I'm really pleased to be part of that gang now with my latest book, Ameles: Currents of Unmindfulness.
“My work over the last decade or so has often had one foot in this genre - Bella is a ghost story at heart, The Wrenna has a folk horror undercurrent to it, much of my scholarly work has focused on the uncanny and abjection - so it feels quite natural now to step firmly into horror territory. Much of this has been influenced by my teaching too, we run horror and speculative fiction modules on our Creative and Professional Writing courses, and engaging with students on this in light of the continuing evolutions in genre fiction has really helped shape and sharpen this collection of tales.
"I grew up reading Point Horror and Goosebumps books, and watching films I was too young to be watching. It was inevitable these influences would come out in my writing at some point. I love the way horror fictions make us react - one tale might make us wince, another might make us giggle, some might trigger our fight or flight response, some leave us with an odd, lingering feeling we can't quite fathom. That's what I hope readers get from this collection, a full spectrum of what horror does.
"Some people might ask, why write horror? It's all been done? How many times do we need to see werewolves and zombies? These questions have been part of my research here. Most innovations in the horror world have been in the way writers play with the archetypes of heroes, monsters and the usual settings. What I've tried to do in Ameles is to play with perspective, narrative form and the readers reactions; when they meet things in the text they expect to find, but find themselves disorientated by the way it's been placed. So, much of this is an experiment with conventions and form."
Rob will be launching the book in the University’s Harrison Library, City Campus, Wolverhampton on 31 October 2023 alongside two recent graduates and horror writer, Chris Long.
Rob has written five poetry chapbooks, Transitions (The Black Light Engine Room Press, 2015), Orpheus (Lapwing Publications, 2016), Corvus' Burnt-Wing Love Balm and Cure-All (The Black Light Engine Room Press, 2018), Lamella, (Original Plus, 2019) and Fieldnotes from a Deep Topography of Dudley (Wild Pressed Books). His debut novel, Bella, was published by Wild Pressed Books in March 2020. His poetry collection, Subsidence, was published in December 2020 with Smokestack Books.
In 2019 he was the David Bradshaw Writer in Residence at the University of Oxford and is currently Poet in Residence for the Black Country Geological Society.
Author R.M. Francis is available for social media interviews and promotions. Contact Graeme Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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