Tag Archives: You Don’t Belong Here

The Ginger Nuts of Horror best novels of 2017

Well, this is a good start to the day…

Jim McLeod at The Ginger Nuts of Horror has picked YOU DON’T BELONG HERE as one of his favourite novels of 2017!

‘Time travel is a funny old game, so many novels and stories are written using time travel as theme, but so many of them fail to understand the complexities and consequences of it.  Luckily for us we have writers like Tim Major who are capable of writing an enthralling novel that uses time travel in a logical and well thought way.  “you don’t Belong Here” Is an exciting rollercoaster ride across time that challenges the reader to pay attention.’

Thanks so much Jim! Despite the cold up here in my attic office, I’m glowing.

Click here for the full article.

Book soundtrack: You Don’t Belong Here

I’ve created book soundtracks for all of my longer fiction (novels and novellas, both published and as-yet-unpublished), partly as a way of consolidating the tone, partly as an indulgence and a pat on the back and partly, typically, as a distraction activity during the final draft. The idea is to provide a musical teaser before reading the novel, or a soundtrack of a theoretical film adaptation, but not simply a background playlist.

Today Ginger Nuts of Horror published my article about book soundtracks, including the rules of my nerdy game (yes, there are rules and no, I don’t always stick to them. I won’t repeat the rules here (because you can read the full article instead), or the stories behind some of the track choices, but I don’t think it’s bad form to repost the Spotify playlist:

Two more reviews of You Don’t Belong Here (and a guest post)

I’m behind. The move to York was successful, securing broadband less so, but we’re here and I’m all operational again. Somehow, in the midst of the move I completed the final draft of my current novel, so there’s that.

Two reviews of You Don’t Belong Here have appeared online recently. The first is from Shoreline of Infinity, and is wonderfully positive throughout:

“This is not your average time-travel tale, then – well paced, with reveals all the way to the last page. For someone looking for something a little different, I’d recommend picking this up and giving it a go – and whilst this isn’t a book which invites a sequel, I’ll certainly be looking out for more of Tim Major’s work in future, especially if it brings this kind of fresh look to another sub-genre that can suffer from being a little predictable.”

The second is from Ginger Nuts of Horror. This one has me totally floored. While I’m taking this conclusion with a large pinch of salt, I’m also incredibly flattered:

You Don’t Belong Here is a novel that dares to do something different with a well-worn concept, an intelligent idea carried off with great success, in years to come when people talk about great and influential time travel novels, this is one that should be mentioned along with the greats of the genre.”

Finally, I think I neglected to blog about my guest post on The Bookish Outsider, ‘Windows into the Soul’, which is about the recurrence of houses in all of my long fiction.

“Gaining a clear mental image of a location goes a long way towards ‘finding’ a story, in the same way that pinning down the characteristics of a protagonist is vital. Moreover, characters are shaped, in part, by their surroundings. Your home isn’t just an expression of yourself. It goes the other way, too. It changes you. It makes you.”

New Year writing roundup

Phew, a fresh start. Actually, the arrival of 2017 is the first of a couple of fresh starts in quick succession for me – I’ll be moving house (and town) in mid-January, when I and my family will be packing up in Oxford and moving to York.

Still, this seems a good time to round up all the loose threads from the tail-end of last year…

You Don’t Belong Here

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 22.42.03Firstly, another positive and thoughtful review for YOU DON’T BELONG HERE, this time from Rising Shadow. The reviewer summarises the novel as ‘delightfully different from the time travel novels that have been published recently’.

Also on Rising Shadow, you can read an interview with me, in which I discuss SF influences, failed novels, the Infinite Monkey Cage and gratefulness.

If you haven’t read YOU DON’T BELONG HERE yet, it’s currently available on Amazon for only £6.88 for the paperback or £6.54 for the ebook. Bargain!

Short stories

Jonathan Green is currently prepping the Kickstarter for the followup to his popular Sharkpunk anthology, sensibly titled Sharkpunk 2. Alongside stories by James Lovegrove, Jon Oliver, Guy Haley and more, it’ll feature my weird horror story about the Greenland Shark, ‘Eqalussuaq’. You can join the Facebook group to receive updates.

Tunnel Vision

I also have new stories forthcoming in Hic Dragones’ Into the Woods anthology and the British SF magazine, Shoreline of Infinity. More info as and when.

You can read a reprint of my creepy primary-school story, ‘Tunnel Vision’, for free on the Pantheon website, which features the excellent illustration by Carrion House shown on the right.

See my list of published fiction for a full list of the stories and reprints I sold in 2016.

Writing progress

I’d been prepared for 2016 to be lacking in new writing, given the birth of my second son in June and a whole three months away from writing fiction. Somehow, however, I ended up writing slightly more than in each of the previous three years – around 126,000 words. My being freelance (and therefore more flexible) must have been responsible, despite the fact that it’s felt like more of a struggle finding writing hours.

Anyway, these 126k all-new words were plugged into just two projects. The first was BLIGHTERS, now available from Abaddon. The second project is a new SF novel, about a group of people who spontaneously produce clones. I’m nearing the end of a second draft and I’m hoping that a third will clinch it.

Other than that, I have two other writing projects coming up in 2017. They’re secret for now. It’s immensely exciting to be looking forward to what’s next.

You Don’t Belong Here – first reviews

Reviews of the novel have started appearing online…

  • The Eloquent Page – “You Don’t Belong Here is that perfect blend of cautionary tale, psychological horror and introspective character study. Tim Major does a great job of picking apart his protagonist and also keeping the reader on their toes. This is the sort of suspenseful writing I always enjoy. This story feels like it should sit somewhere between an episode of The Twilight Zone and Tales of the Unexpected. Highly recommended.”
  • The British Fantasy Society“[Daniel Faint] has either gone mad by being alone in the mansion for so long, or something has gone wrong and he is as sane as most folk. This is pretty much what the reader has to decide, and to be honest from the moment I picked the book up, I got straight into it…”
  • Horror After Dark“You Don’t Belong Here is a story that is very difficult to categorize. It’s a time travel/mystery/psychological mind game. How’s that?”

Also, you can read an extract from the start of the book at Speculative Fiction Showcase.

YOU DON’T BELONG HERE on TV

Thankfully, the title of this post isn’t too close to the bone, as I felt a little more at home being interviewed on camera than I expected. Or, at least, it wasn’t an excruciating experience, and I didn’t clam up. Here’s the brief interview segment from my local news channel, which contains a bit of a primer for YOU DON’T BELONG HERE, a chat about time travel and Sunday’s FantasyCon panel, as well as an unplanned reveal of the theme of my next novel.

My FantasyCon schedule

FantasyCon2016

Next weekend I’ll be heading to FantasyCon for the second time. The difference will be that, whereas last year I skulked shyly at the edges of rooms this time around, this time I have a novel to promote (though I reserve the right to skulk). I’ll be appearing at these events:

Friday 23rd Sept

  • 9–11pm Horror Writers Association & Jo Fletcher Books Party – where I’m looking forward to meeting other HWA members and writers.
  • 9.30pm Tim Major reading – I’ll be doing a reading alongside Alex Lamb (though I haven’t yet decided what I’ll be reading) as part of the ‘Sci-Friday’ bunch of writers. I like to see my reading slot as acting as a warm-up for recent Clarke Award winner, Adrian Tchaikovsky.

Saturday 24th Sept

  • 2–3pm Snowbooks launch – where my time-travel novel, YOU DON’T BELONG HERE, is the side attraction to the launch of Snowbooks’ series of horror novellas by authors including Mark Morris, Ray Cluley and Cate Gardner.

Sunday 25th Sept

  • 1–2pm ‘How to Build a Time Machine’ panel – my first ever panel appearance… Expect a lot of blustering, though I genuinely have built a time machine as part of my preparation.

You can read the full FantasyCon programme here.

Cover reveal! YOU DON’T BELONG HERE

Guys! My novel has a front cover!

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 22.42.03

I’m immensely proud of this cover – it really isn’t the easiest novel to encapsulate in an illustration – and I owe huge thanks to the wonderful Emma Barnes at Snowbooks.

The lovely quote from Adam Roberts doesn’t hurt, either. (Have you read Bête and The Thing Itself yet? Do, do, do.)

Announcement: a novel!

I’ve been a little quiet recently, but now I can reveal what I’ve been working on…

I HAVE A NOVEL COMING OUT.

I’m thrilled to announce that my first full-length novel, YOU DON’T BELONG HERE, will be published by Snowbooks next year. It’ll be out in paperback and ebook in September 2016.

It’s a time-travel psychological thriller. Here’s a blurb, though almost certainly not the final one:

Daniel Faint is on the run with a stolen time machine. As the house-sitter of a remote Cumbrian mansion, he hopes to hide and experiment with the machine. But is the Manor being watched by locals, his twin brother or himself from the future? Daniel is terrified about what the future may hold but, as he discovers, there can be no going back.

I’ve previously posted about this book under its working title, The House-sitter. I started writing it in January 2014 and it’s changed dramatically over the course of eight drafts. Even though I’m now sick of the sight of it, I’m proud of it, too.

The book is in really good hands. Emma and the Snowbooks team have been lovely and I’m really looking forward to working closely with them over the coming months. And it’s wonderful to tell people about it, finally. So I’m going to write this out again, because it feels good:

I HAVE A NOVEL COMING OUT.

More details soon.