Monday 4 September 2017

House of Spines by Michael J Malone @michaeljmalone1 @OrendaBooks #MyLifeInBooks

A terrifying psychological thriller cum Gothic mystery, as a young man with mental health issues inherits an isolate mansion, where all is not as it seems...
Ran McGhie's world has been turned upside down. A young, lonely and frustrated writer, and suffering from mental-health problems, he discovers that his long-dead mother was related to one of Glasgow's oldest merchant families. Not only that, but Ran has inherited Newton Hall, a vast mansion that belonged to his great-uncle, who it seems has been watching from afar as his estranged great-nephew has grown up. Entering his new-found home, it seems Great-Uncle Fitzpatrick has turned it into a temple to the written word - the perfect place for poet Ran. But everything is not as it seems. As he explores the Hall's endless corridors, Ran's grasp on reality appears to be loosening. And then he comes across an ancient lift; and in that lift a mirror. And in the mirror... the reflection of a woman... A terrifying psychological thriller with more than a hint of the Gothic, House of Spines is a love letter to the power of books, and an exploration of how lust and betrayal can be deadly...

House of Spines by Michael J Malone is published by Orenda Books on 15 September 2017. I'm really delighted to welcome Michael here to Random Things today, as part of the Blog Tour.
He's talking about the books that are important to him, and have left a lasting impression on his life, in My Life In Books.

My Life In Books ~ Michael J Malone

Enid Blyton – I’ll kick off with the woman who got millions of children into reading. (And quite possibly writing.) My favourites were the Five Find Outers. They were way more fun than The Famous Five in my opinion.

Stephen King – IT – Just as this classic horror story gets an outing in the movie world, I’m reminded that as a young reader I moved from children’s books like those from the sainted Enid and straight into adult writers like Mr King. IT gave me the shivers. I should re-read to see if I can still handle it. As I get older I find I scare much more easily. What’s that about?

Ursula Le Guin – Her Earthsea series was just spellbinding.

Denise Mina – The Gartnethill Series was my introduction to Denise. Crime fiction with heart, humour and intelligence. As I write this, her latest book – The Long Drop- has been shortlisted for The McIlvanney Prize. It’s a stunning piece of writing.

Jeffrey Eugenides - Middlesex – A child is born with
indeterminate genitalia and his/her story is set against the great events of modern American history. Given the increased focus transgender issues are receiving in our media, this book feels prescient. You WILL fall in love with this book and the characters inside it.

Harper Lee – To Kill a Mockingbird – there’s a reason why this book has sold over 30 million copies. If you haven’t read it, why the hell not?

James Lee Burke – The Tin Roof Blowdown. This is set against the horrors of
Hurricane Katrina, but I could have chosen any one of his books. I love his Dave Robicheaux series. Dave’s your archetypal flawed detective with his pure mental side-kick, Clete Purcel. Crazy psychos and lyrical writing – an unbeatable combination.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon – Shadow of the Wind – who could fail to be captivated by The Cemetery of Lost Books? When this was published in the UK I was working in a book shop. I pressed this one into as many hands as I could. Spy thriller, romance, fantasy, mystery – a worldwide bestseller and for good reason.

Joseph Boyden – The Orenda – The eagle eyed among you will recognise the
word Orenda as being the name of the wonderful Karen Sullivan’s publishing house. The concept of Orenda is a supernatural force believed by the Iroquois Indians to be present, in varying degrees, in all objects or persons, and to be the spiritual energy by which human accomplishment is attained or accounted for.
The book itself is set in the 1640’s in The New World. Native tribes fight each other and collide with European settlers. The sense of time and place is quite brilliant. As soon as I finish writing this I’m going back for a re-read.

Being Alive/ Staying Alive/ Being Human – These deserve ALL the superlatives. Simply amazing poetry collections from Bloodaxe Books that will appeal to poetry lovers and the merely poetry-curious. If they taught this stuff at school, poetry would be the new black.

Michael J Malone ~ September 2017

Michael Malone was born and brought up in the heart of Burns' country, just a stone's throw from the great man's cottage in Ayr. Well, a stone thrown by a catapult, maybe.

He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Don't ask.

BLOOD TEARS, his debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge:Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers and when it was published he added a "J" to his name to differentiate it from the work of his talented U.S. namesake.

Find out more at
He can be found on twitter - @michaelJmalone1

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