All the latest The Suffering news

September News

This has been another crazy month full of exciting things. Here’s my run-down of all the latest happenings and September news as the seasons change and we start to get spooky…

The Books of Horror Brawl

The brawl was incredible! It’s still going strong, with the powerhouses that are Nick Roberts, Gage Greenwood, John Durgin, Duncan Ralston, Andrew Van Wey, Felix Blackwell, and Daniel J. Volpe scrapping it out to get to the top spot.

My round was exhilarating, and I was overwhelmed by the lovely comments and insane amount of votes The Suffering picked up! John’s outstanding The Cursed Among Us took the win of course, but I got a crazy 42% of the votes. This blew me away, so thank you to everyone who voted or left a kind comment about it being a tough decision! Best of luck to John for the rest of the competition (and to all the other competitors!).

Bookstagram Awards 2023

What an honour!

I was scrolling through my phone yesterday morning when I discovered that The Suffering has been nominated in the Bookstagram Awards 2023 for Horror Novel of the Year. I’ve had a lot of lovely bookish surprises this year, but this is definitely up there as one of the best! What an honour.

As you can see, it is very tough competition! If you’d like to vote for The Suffering or any of the other amazing books nominated, please visit Daniel J Barnes Facebook page, or message him via Instagram (@djbwriter).

500 Reviews in the US

On the day The Suffering was tussling it out in the brawl, I hit a huge milestone by reaching 500 reviews in the US. I am grateful to everyone who has taken the time to review the book and spread the word. It means the world. We are almost there in the UK, so if you have read the book and haven’t yet left your review, I would appreciate it!

Halloween 10k Run

I am currently in training to run my first ever 10k this Halloween at Lancaster’s Pendle Witches run. So far, I’ve worked my way up to 7k so I’m optimistic I can hit that magic non-stop 10k by the end of October. Best of all…I’ll be running it dressed as Lisa Vaughan! Well, it is Halloween, after all.

Dundee Horror Con

Come and join me on the 7th October at the Dundee Horror Con! This will be my first experience as a vendor, and I am very excited. I’ll be offering up signed books, mugs, T-shirts, postcard packs, stickers, keyrings, and more. Stop by and say hi!

I’ll be the one with the huge ghost banner!

If you can’t make it to Dundee but would like to check out my merch, you can pick up items with your favourite ghost in The Suffering shop! There is more merch to be added soon, including a beautiful new postcard pack that I am very happy to share with you.

I have a feeling my October news is going to be even more exciting than my September news, so watch this space!


October Writing

October was a pivotal month for my writing. As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to brand myself as a horror writer, focusing only on the horror genre and beginning work on a full-length horror novel. It makes sense, as most of my short stories have been published in horror anthologies, providing me with a spook-filled portfolio to approach prospective agents and publishers with when the time comes. Happy belated Halloween, by the way!

As of 5th October, it isn’t only short stories in my portfolio. I was over the moon to have the No Sleep Podcast pick up one of my shorts, Better Than Mardis Gras, and turn it into a segment on their incredible show. It features as the second story in Episode 16 of Season 13. Hearing three talented actors perform the story gave me goosebumps. It felt even better because this was a story that has faced rejection in the past. It reinforced the idea that you should never shelve something just because you get a few rejections. One day it may find a home, and a perfect one at that!

I have to admit, there was one glaring error in the story – a dreaded hanging adverb! There is no writing mistake that stands out more than an adverb at the end of a creepy sentence, read out by an actor, with atmospheric sound effects in the background, followed by a dramatic pause. Believe me, now I know. But hey, I cringed. I moved on. If I hadn’t have spotted that as a mistake, maybe I should worry (and yes, I wish I had spotted it before I submitted it!). But we live and learn – that’s what writing is all about. It’s a comfort to me to know that even though our work may not be as perfect as we’d like, we still get these chances to showcase and improve.

So, I’m chugging away at my horror novel. I’m not taking part in NaNoWriMo this year, but I’m enjoying seeing participant word counts growing on Insta! I’m currently on 20k and hoping to hit 30 by the end of November (definitely not enough to make the Nano grade!). Good luck to all of you who are participating. I can’t wait to hear about your successes.