*~*~* Author Spotlight *~*~*
Award-winning author Dan Weatherer was first published by Haunted Magazine in Spring, 2013. “The Legend of the Chained Oak” was an immediate success and was made into a short film which won the award for ‘Best Horror’ at the Portobello Independent Film Festival (2014), ‘Best Short’ at The Bram Stoker International Film Festival (2014) and also the ‘Best UK Short Film’ award at the Stoke Your Fires Film Festival 2014. The film featured at numerous film festivals around the world during 2014. The premiere screening took place in his hometown of Cheadle, Staffordshire, where he kindly donated all of the proceeds to local charities.
In 2015, Dan was shortlisted for the prestigious position of Staffordshire Poet Laureate 2016-2018.
Aside from the publication of numerous short stories with a multitude of presses, his next major project was a solo collection of short stories titled ‘The Soul That Screamed’ (Winner of the Preditors & Editors™ Readers’ Poll ‘Best Anthology 2013’.)
A further two collections “Only the Good Burn Bright” (Spring 2015, James Ward Kirk Fiction) and “Neverlight” (Spring 2016, Spectral Press) quickly followed.
His first non-fiction book titled ‘What Dwells Within’ was released in the Autumn of 2015 and details the life’s work of paranormal investigator Jayne Harris.
An accomplished playwright, Dan was a finalist of the Blackshaw Showcase Award 2016 and a two-time finalist of the Congleton Players One Act Festival, 2016. Dan has had several of his plays appear at festivals and fringe events. Expect to see more of his work on stage very soon.
His is currently offering his debut novel to agents. Work continues in earnest on his second novel and a fourth collection.
He lives in Staffordshire, where is married to his wife Jenni and is a (proud) full-time dad to his daughter Bethany and his son Nathan.
Visit www.fatherdarkness.co.uk for more information.
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*~*~* Books by Dan Weatherer *~*~*
Are we mere puppets, a slave to the will of others? Influence, an inescapable and unseen force exerted upon all of us. Can we ever say that we are creatures of free will, acting according to our desires and not of those around us? Influence is the white noise that bombards our every waking moment, clouding our thought, hindering our judgement.
Looking beyond our existence, there are those beings that dwell beneath the surface of our planet, ancient entities twisted in their resentment of our freedoms, that would mean us harm. Theirs is an influence ancient in its origin, born from evil and cruel intent. Their will presses upon us, calling out to our most primal instincts.
We, oblivious, heed their call.
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**Excerpt from Neverlight**
You will not see it marked on any map, nor will you find anyone willing to take you there should they happen to know its location. Though the promise of untold riches features within the stories associated with this place, so do those of Abarath, the creature said to stand guard over the subterranean labyrinth that goes by the name of Filey’s Motte.
During my travels, I had heard countless stories of careless souls who, in their earnest to find their fortune, entered the Motte never to be heard from again. No doubt you grow weary of hearing such a tale rehashed and repeated ad infinitum, so allow me to present a different version of this famous yarn.
It was 1964. I was twenty-one, foolish and headstrong. My friend Albert and I had taken to the roads that summer, driving across the country in a bid to leave the pressures of university life far behind us. Albert was a bookish sort, and he had taken it upon himself to mark out a series of places that he thought would be interesting to visit. We saw historical monuments, quaint English villages and countless other remnants of our country’s rich heritage. It was Filey’s Motte that was to be our last stop.
Albert explained how he had stumbled across an interesting legend while researching one of his more arcane texts earlier that term. It told of a subterranean labyrinth that at its heart contained wealth beyond all measure. Worryingly, the book also spoke of an unholy guardian that keeps a constant vigil over the maze. Further research yielded several possible locations of the Motte but little more in the way of insight as to its content.
It was the final location on our list of places to visit that proved to be the most telling, for the villagers of (name omitted) came forth with an abundance of information regarding the Motte. The tongues in the village tavern once suitably loosened with ale began to wag and warn of the folly of our plan. Though none could point to the exact origin of the Motte, all in attendance agreed that it predated local records and several argued that the Saxons and the Celts were aware of the Motte. One gentleman who wished to remain anonymous said that the site was once used for Pagan worship, and the beast that was contained within was imprisoned by a brotherhood of Warlocks whose lineage had long since faded to dust. With our interests piqued, we decided to head to the site come sunrise.
We searched the area that we believed contained Filey’s Motte for many hours before finally locating the hole in the ground which would grant us access. A quick inspection under torchlight revealed a narrow slipway that angled steeply downwards before disappearing into the gloom. It was clear that we would need to leave our bags behind and that this was not to be our exit point. Though I would not admit to it at the time, I felt a choking sense of dread as I positioned myself above the entrance. Not wishing Albert to sense my unease I ushered him to follow before disappearing below ground.
The slipway was smooth and my descent rapid. I have no idea just how far the shaft burrowed beneath the surface, but it took nearly a full minute for the passageway to level itself out. It was cold this far below ground, a cold that I have never felt before nor since. A quick recce of the area while I waited for Albert’s arrival revealed that I was standing in a small antechamber. The beginning of the labyrinth lay before me. Once Albert had acquainted himself with his surroundings (alas, his torch did not survive the descent intact), we began our exploration.
Labyrinth fails to describe the splendid complexity of what lay within Filey’s Motte. I had often wondered why there was no map in existence that detailed the layout of the Motte, but upon the maze for myself, I began to understand why.To plot every possible route would take several lifetimes alone and with the beastly Abarath upon your trail, the inconceivable quickly becomes the impossible.
The further we travelled the more curious our surroundings became. The tunnels that we navigated began to take on an organic look and at times I saw the walls begin to pulse. The air grew thick the deeper we ventured and a heavy odour that I can only describe as rotted meat lingered all around.
After countless hours of backtracking and dead ends, it was with a heavy heart that I admitted our misfortune. We were lost. All sense of direction had long since been swallowed by the darkness and the disorientation provided by the Motte. Albert (God rest his soul), took this admission badly and began to kick up an awful fuss, and nothing I could say would placate him. Our surroundings seemed to react to his outburst and though I pleaded with him to cease he continued unabated, much to his misfortune.
I remarked earlier how organic our environment appeared and the reason for this was soon apparent. Albert and his outbreak had disturbed Abarath, and though all who enter the Motte hope not to encounter him, this is an impossibility. For Abarath is Filey’s Motte. Albert and I, like countless explorers before, were crawling through the very innards of a monster. Our chamber rapidly began to fill with a noxious fluid that immediately proceeded to dissolve our shoes. Albert, oblivious to the peril that he was now in disappeared deeper into the darkness, alas before I could continue after him a large fleshy barrier sealed itself between us. That was the last that I heard of him, save for his hellish screams.
Realising the imminent danger that I was now in I somehow plucked up the will to retrace my steps. I lost my flashlight at one point and fumbled in the dark for an ungodly amount of time. My palms were reduced to the bone as were the soles of my feet due to the liquids pouring from the walls and ceiling, yet still I drove forwards. Fervour gripped me the likes of which I have never encountered since; simply put, it was the will to live that kept me moving.
Emerging from the Motte weary and bloodied I found myself amongst the ruins of a burial mound. It was here that I slept until fortune grant that someone find me.
I never did find the treasure of Filey’s Motte, but I do believe I know what it entails. I have embraced every day of my life anew since my ill-fated journey to that place and though I lost a dear friend that day, I for one feel like the richest man on Earth.
What Dwells Within
By Jayne Harris and Dan Weatherer
Spirits don’t just haunt buildings
From beloved dolls to once treasured jewellery, evidence of the afterlife can be found in the most unexpected of places.
Jayne Harris is one of the UK’sbest known female Paranormal Investigators and a world leader in the study of Spirit Attachment (haunted objects). With over 17 years experience in this very misunderstood field of research, in this book Jayne lets readers into her world by sharing her most memorable, and sometimes terrifying cases and gives advice to anyone wishing to take a journey into the paranormal.
Co-written by award-winning author Dan Weatherer, who gives a fascinating insight into historic cases, this book is a MUST have for any paranormal enthusiast and an invaluable tool for paranormal investigators.
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Only The Good Burn Bright
Only The Good Burn Bright is the second collection to be released by award-winning UK author Dan Weatherer and is the first book to appear under his Father Darkness Alias. His debut release “The Soul That Screamed” picked up the writers workshop award for Best Anthology 2013.
Containing over twenty stories that cross both contemporary and gothic horror styles and told in the author’s own inimitable voice, Only The Good Burn Bright is a devilish treat for book and horror fans alike.
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The Soul That Screamed
Dan Weatherer’s debut horror collection The Soul That Screamed discusses the curiosity of man. Whether exploring the origins of local legend or dabbling with the dark arts, the unforeseen and often terrifying effects of our ignorant actions are laid bare inside.
Tales that include the terrifying origins of a mysterious chained Oak, a pensioner with murderous intentions, a young girl lost in death , the ignorance of a charlatan, a box that should remain unopened, a misguided pact with a demon, and more lay within the pages of Dan Weatherer’s début collection, The Soul That Screamed.
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