“Last month I read a surprisingly dark and well-written vampire tale by a new-to-me author, and you may have seen my review of The Truants a few weeks ago. Today I’m thrilled to welcome author Lee Markham to the blog to talk about the book! You guys, what a cool interview! I hope you take the time to read it all (it’s long!). Lee is so interesting, and after reading the answers to my questions, I understand the book a lot more. Not only that, but the publisher is kindly offering THREE FINISHED COPIES of The Truants to any U.S. or Canadian readers, so please read to the end so you can enter this awesome giveaway!”
Read the full interview here.
‘The Truants is a tale of the social underclass, of knife crime, drug abuse and poverty with a clever new interpretation of the Vampire mythology woven between the rat infested tower blocks. It’s beautifully written, almost poetic at times, there were several passages that literally stopped me reading for a moment it was so powerful. The way Markham details the grief of a murdered childs mother were stunning, the vile descriptions of poverty and abuse in a small flat where drug addled parents fester whilst their dirty, lice ridden child is in another room desperate for love and attention is simply heartbreaking… a remarkable piece of work that demands to be read.’
Read full review here.
You know that whole ‘don’t judge a book by its cover thing’? Well, yeah… but I’ve absolutely no doubt that my book wouldn’t be where it is today without the incredible cover Liam Sharp created for its first incarnation as The Knife, and now Zack Crook’s amazing cover art for The Truants, which has just bagged a Best Book Cover shout out at Book Riot… HUGE props, and massive I’m-not-worthy thanks to you both – you are awesome:
“We try not to judge books by their covers, but sometimes we just can’t help it! These books, which have release dates from August until the end of 2018, have some of the best book covers. Some should be works of art on their own. Let’s hope the literature inside matches up to their outside aesthetic.”
See their best covers here.
“Lee Markham’s The Truants is a welcome and memorable addition to the vampire subgenre, full of original ideas and some nightmarishly vivid imagery.”
In many ways, this novel is prime material for a possible TV series. There are enough split narratives, character arcs, and subplots that could very easily be explored or expanded without losing the overall direction or vibe of the tale. Yet as multilayered and multifaceted as the book is, it is still a short and tight tale, and with its many short subchapters, it reads very quickly.
Lee Markham’s The Truants is a welcome and memorable addition to the vampire subgenre, full of original ideas and some nightmarishly vivid imagery. And considering that this is his debut, told with all the confidence and finesse of a veteran writer, it marks the beginning of a promising career.
Full review @ New York Journal of Books
“In a market replete with Buffy clones and romantic portrayals of angst-ridden teen vampires, do we really need another urban bloodsucker novel? Well, perhaps not – unless that novel is The Truants by Lee Markham (Duckworth Overlook, £12.99). It starts with an interestingly bleak premise, and gets ever darker. Distraught at the suicide of his partner, an “old-one” sits down to die in the light of the rising sun, but is stabbed by a young thug before he expires. As the blade is used again and again, and the old-one’s consciousness moves from victim to victim, Markham examines the grim existences of Britain’s have-nots: drug-addicts and the dispossessed, the poverty-stricken inhabitants of sink estates and the victims of mindless violence. A relentlessly brutal, nihilistic read, told in stripped-down, staccato prose, The Truants uses the metaphor of the vampire to portray society’s true victims and shines a despairingly honest light on areas not usually illuminated by genre fiction.”
Source: The Guardian
This one perhaps of more interest to those of you that want to write than other interviews…
Source: The Qwillery
“The Overlook Press is releasing Lee Markham’s debut horror novel, The Truants, on July 25th; and the author is in the process of a blog tour in support of the book. When Dread Central was included in the virtual tour, we asked him to expand a bit on why he chose vampires and how he makes them unique in this novel… read on for Lee’s response!”
‘The Truants does its work… with elegance and singing prose. The flow is such that putting down the book is difficult, and reading too fast, a mistake… the images evoked are both familiar and strange, forcing a slower perusal. Multiple readings would be enriching. Anyone interested in the varied tapestry that vampire fiction has become since Bram Stoker first popularized the genre should find much to enjoy—and ponder—in The Truants.’
Read full review here.
‘This story told from many points of view explores the value of hope-versus-despair and touches on issues of addiction, child abuse, and class conflict. Markham’s grisly descriptions and nods to Stephen King, make this a fresh take on horror, and his thought-provoking consideration of social topics and the power of the subconscious create a unique vampire story.’
Read full review here.
Join LEE MARKHAM and TARN RICHARDSON for a double horror event on Thursday 25th May from 6 – 7pm!
In Lee Markham’s THE TRUANTS, the last of the ‘old-ones’ – ancient immortal beings, as clever as they are ruthless and unable to withstand the light of the sun – has decided to end his immortality. As he sits on a bench on the edge of a council estate to await his demise with the rising of the sun, he is mistaken for an old man, held up at knife point by a young man and stabbed before the sun burns his body to ashes. His assailant scurries back into the belly of the estate with the knife in his pocket, the blood of the old-one seared into its sharpened edge.
But once the blade cuts another person, the congealed blood mingles with that of its victim, and awakens in them the old-one’s consciousness from the depths of the afterlife.
In Tarn Richardson’s THE RISEN, it’s 1917. As war and revolution consume the world, the End Times have arrived. With the apocalypse imminent, the world needs a hero to push back this tide of darkness and save all from the return of the Antichrist. But where is Poldek Tacit, the only Inquisitor able to compete against such daunting odds?
More details here.