Friday, January 25, 2019

Book Tour and Giveaway: Scenes of Mild Peril by David Court

Scenes of Mild Peril
David Court

Horror/Sci-fi /Satire/Short Stories
Across thirty disquieting stories, we'll encounter such tales as, "Sovereign's Last Hurrah", featuring a team of retired super-powered villains embarking on one last caper with their legendary super-hero rival.

"A Comedian Walks into a Bar", in which a hungry and ambitious amateur learns that the fabled secret of comedy may come at too high a cost. "83", where the interview for a dream job becomes a nightmare, and "In Vino Veritas, In Vino Mors", where a dying wine collector takes part in a very special tasting session, courtesy of a very special visitor.

You'll encounter possessed little fingers, magic swords, sanity-defying factories, stranded astronauts, lovecraftian librarians, virulent plagues, and pork scratchings ... all with a twist in the tale, courtesy of the equally twisted mind of David Court.

Book Trailer:

David Court is a short story author and novelist, whose works have appeared in over a dozen venues including Tales to Terrify, Strangely Funny, Fears Accomplice and The Voices Within. Whilst primarily a horror writer, he also writes science fiction, poetry and satire.

His writing style has been described as "Darkly cynical" and "Quirky and highly readable" and David can't bring himself to disagree with either of those statements.

Growing up in the UK in the eighties, David's earliest influences were the books of Stephen King and Clive Barker, and the films of John Carpenter and George Romero. The first wave of Video Nasties may also have had a profound effect on his psyche.

As well as being a proud VIP writer for Stitched Smile Publications, David works as a Software Developer and lives in Coventry with his wife, three cats and an ever-growing beard. David's wife once asked him if he'd write about how great she was. David replied that he would, because he specialized in short fiction. Despite that, they are still married.

What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
Like my list of top ten movies or tunes, this is a list in constant flux. Trying to name my top ten would be like trying to herd cats or knit with fog, but I can have a flying guess at what my present top ten are – but in fifteen minutes it may have changed completely. One thing that won’t change is that I’m a huge comic fan and consider them as valid as any other form of literature (which you’ll probably identify from reading Scenes of Mild Peril), so that’ll be reflected in this list. So there won’t be as many as ten, and they’re not in any particular order, but here we go;

Saga of the Swamp Thing by Alan Moore – It’d be way too easy to put Moore’s Watchmen here, but I think Swamp Thing is a way more crucial piece of work. It elevated comic writing to a new level, as well as giving a level of depth I hadn’t seen before to what is essentially a horror story. Without this, you wouldn’t have Sandman or the like – It changed the landscape of comics.

The Borderlands Series of Horror Anthologies (Various authors; edited by Thomas F. Monteleone) – If I’ve ever been inspired by anything in my own writing, it’s the stories in Borderlands. It’s contemporary, chilling and smart horror, every single story from which has stuck with me for years. If Scenes of Mild Peril were a building, the Borderland Series would be its foundation. Some of the best short stories you will ever read lurk within those covers. Adam Faraizl who played the young Eddie Kapsbrak in the original TV adaption of “It” was at a horror convention and asked if anybody remembered these books. Only a few hands shot up, including those of my wife and I. There was a brief moment of kinship between us all.

Raymond E. Feist; the guy was my proper introduction to fantasy literature. I’d read the Hobbit but as a kid found Lord of the Rings a dull, laborious slog. I grew to appreciate it as I grew older, but Feist’s Magician series opened my eyes to properly written approachable fantasy with likable characters. Scenes of Mild Peril has a fantasy story in it, but it’s a bit of a piss-take of all the long-winded dullest fantasy staples.

Clive Barker; I grew up on a diet of eighties schlock-horror about carnivorous rats and toxic slugs, and Barker was a breath of fresh air. His stuff felt sexy, subversive and dangerous. A touch of the cosmic horror of Lovecraft, with a healthy dollop of nihilism to top it all off. His work is still as fresh now as it was then.

Ray Bradbury; The absolute master of the short story, able to convey concepts and plots in a few dozen pages what other authors would struggle to fit in a novel. I learned of his existence through “The Martian Chronicles” being shown on British television, and my teen brain was blown away by it.

I grew up on the Mr. Men books and, even with the cynical eyes of my jaded adulthood, I find them lovely stripped back pieces of storytelling. They should be mandatory reading for all kids, like Roald Dahl.

Pretty much anything by Grant Morrison; He made the Justice League of America relevant again, he introduced metaphysical aspects to previously mundane and simple comic concepts – he made comics clever again. We3, The Invisibles, his run on Batman – all as awesome as they were bizarre and off-kilter. Slightly self-indulgent, pretentious at times and not to everybody’s taste, but I’m somewhat of a fan.

What book do you think everyone should read?
Despite the fact I’ll claim to not have a favourite book, I always give the same answer to this. There’s a book called Bad Wisdom written by Bill Drummond and Mark Manning, and published back in 1996. It’s part-travelogue, part drug-fueled fantasy – all about an epic journey to take a status of Elvis Presley to the North Pole, all related in two very, very different accounts from the two authors. I don’t know how easy it is to get a copy of it these days – my own copy is so well-thumbed it’s only holding together through luck – but I recommend you find it.

It’s a reading experience like nothing you’ll ever have – a travelogue, like all the best ones, where the destination is less important than the journey. And bloody hell, what a journey.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but the first time I remember ever enjoying writing something which was liked was back at secondary school. We were assigned to write a story with the title “The summer I met…” where the tale had to be about an encounter with a fictional character. We were told it had to be at least six pages long but my story – a veritable saga in which I had adventures with Gizmo the Mogwai from Gremlins - took up most of a notepad, easily ten times the required length. The teacher loved it, and I remember that experience fondly; having created something from scratch that somebody else really enjoyed. That’s all I’m doing still, to a fashion.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
The golden answer is; it depends. If I’m writing out of my comfort zone, I like to do a bit of research to avoid any glaring errors. In Scenes of Mild Peril, I close with a story called Let it Cry. My wife is Irish, and on our last holiday to her spiritual homeland of Dublin, we went on a Ghost Bus Tour (“Who you gonna call? Ghost Bus Tours!”). One of the grisly stories of the evening realty struck a chord, and I put pen to paper – or rather index-finger to keyboard – as soon as I arrived back in England. It was going to be a horror tale, but a historical piece. There wouldn’t be anything supernatural in it, as the real events were horrific enough, but because it was a historical piece I wanted it to feel real. I wanted the atmosphere to be just right. I didn’t want anybody to read it and suddenly be dragged out of the story by a glaring anomaly or anachronism.

So, I did substantial research; I studied the geography of the region I’d be writing about, and researched the names of the characters and their jobs to make sure they were in common use during that historical period. And I feel the story works all the better for it.

For my science fiction stuff too, I’ll end up trapped in Wikipedia for hours. It’s too easy to get bogged down in too much research though, and there’s a careful balance between your story reading like a story and remaining entertaining and not a list of regurgitated facts.

Do you see writing as a career?
I’m lucky enough to hold down a fulltime job and it’s that which supports my finances so I can spend time writing. If I could leave my job to write full-time as a career, I’d do it in an absolute heartbeat.

Realistically though, I know how difficult that is. There are so many writers out there and so many books being released, that being able to earn enough to make a living from transcribing made-up nonsense requires a combination of both skill, timing and luck.

But everyone can dream, right?

What do you think about the current publishing market?
There’s a lot of us about, aren’t there? Self-publishing has made it easy for the writer to get him stuff out there and seen, but it’s made it much more difficult for a writer to get his head over the parapets to be seen. And – I speak from personal experience of this, being equally guilty of it in the past – the quality varies dramatically in the stuff that’s out there. With traditional publishing, everything at least had a cursory glance by an editor or two, but without that, there’s some utter dross floating around on the market. Not all of it mind, but enough of it to muddy the waters, as it were.

There used to be a stigma to self-publishing in that it was viewed as vanity publishing, and I think we’ve gone a little way to shift that, but barely enough.

Where do you write?
I have a spare bedroom which tends to be used to store all the crap in the house that gets laughably referred to as the “study”. I have my laptop in there, a selection of books for my research, and – the moment I step into the room – three cats for company.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
Music is really important to me, and I don’t enjoy sitting in silence. As long as it’s not too distracting, I have to listen to music when I write. It’ll tend to be stuff light in lyrics, classical music or film soundtracks. If I sit in silence, I’ll stare at my monitor without managing anything productive for hours.

I’ll even admit to having Spotify playlists built up based on what I’m writing – fast, up-tempo stuff for action scenes, slow classical pieces when I’m trying to write atmosphere, stuff like that. So, I consider music as much as a tool as my dictionary to assist my individual writing process.

Win a $20 Amazon gift card or a signed copy of Scenes of Mild Peril by David Court.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


  1. Renee Collins (google account)January 25, 2019 at 7:26 PM

    Different but interesting. Like the cover choice.

  2. Author sounds very creative and unique. Awesome!

  3. this sounds awesome, will have to check it out!

  4. Possessed little fingers? Sounds deliciously horrible. lol
    sherry @ fundinmental

  5. the cover looks absolting amazing

  6. Great book cover, and the book sounds interesting.

  7. The cover is very unique, I don't think I've seen anything like it before.

  8. I enjoy the book cover, it is something that would catch my eye in the store as it seems like something I'd be interested in reading.