Simon Unsworth Interviewed by This Is Horror…


In the latest This Is Horror podcast, Dan Howarth interviews Zeno client Simon Unsworth, the author of QUIET HOUSES and the forthcoming horror novel THE SORROWFUL (which we announced on the site last year). During the interview, Simon talks about his writing, the editorial process; working with literary agents, small and large presses; film adaptations and more. You can listen to the interview on This Is Horror, or download it from iTunes, or just press play, below…

A (Belated) Reflection on World Fantasy Con 2013…

World Fantasy Con 2013 took place at the beginning of November. With the dust finally settled, we thought we’d share some (belated) memories from what turned out to be a superb event. It was a fantastic opportunity to catch up with many of our authors, and also mingle with a host of publishing professionals.



Simon Unsworth, reading from his upcoming, recently-sold novel, THE SORROWFUL, and smiling happily for the camera during the mass-signing on Friday night…


Freda Warrington, reading from A DANCE IN BLOOD VELVET on Friday

On Friday night, there was a Mass Signing session, during which we caught up with a number of our clients. First up, Naomi Foyle (front) with Jo Fletcher (behind)…


Christopher Golden (who has recently co-written a graphic novel with Charlaine Harris, CEMETERY GIRL) and Tim Lebbon (who we do not represent, but do admire)…


Tobias Buckell at the signing table, and also at his reading on Saturday morning…



The ever-friendly Daryl Gregory gave us a couple of poses…


Anne Lyle was on hand to sign copies of her now-complete Night’s Masque trilogy…

LyleA-WFC2013-Signing (ARBlog)

And, finally, a particularly great moment – new client Ed Cox chats with Neil Gaiman and Joanne Harris (quite the stealth-photo moment)…


Overall, it was a great weekend. With new books packed, happy memories swirling, we now get back to business as usual. Which is, of course, no bad thing…

New Client, New Deals – Simon Unsworth

SKUauthorpicWe are delighted to announce two new deals for one of Zeno’s newest clients, Simon Unsworth. Simon is already very much established in the field of gothic fiction, and he’s now stepping into a wider arena with THE SORROWFUL, a gripping, supernatural thriller set in Hell, pitched as ‘The Wire meets Clive Barker’.

THE SORROWFUL along with a second untitled novel has been acquired by both Robert Bloom at Doubleday (North American rights) and Michael Rowley at Del Rey UK (UK & Commonwealth). The deals were negotiated by John Berlyne of the Zeno Agency. Publication is planned for Spring 2015. Translation rights will be handled by Zeno.

Rob Bloom says  ‘I knew I had to publish Simon Kurt Unsworth’s THE SORROWFUL after reading the first scene, and then that scene was topped, and then topped again and again. THE SORROWFUL is chock-full of intense and vivid Hell-fire imagery, yes, but more than that it is a tautly crafted and suspenseful thriller of the highest caliber. It’s a stunning and immersive novel that will be a rare treat for readers across genres—from horror, to fantasy, to thrillers.’

UK editor Michael Rowley adds, ‘Simon’s vision is astounding; his central character is a wonderful re-interpretation of the world weary, dedicated cop, the setting as captivating as it is unsettling, and the writing itself leaves you desperate for more. We can’t wait to see THE SORROWFUL published as part of the Del Rey list.’

Simon Unsworth is a British author, born in Manchester in 1972. His most recent collection is the critically acclaimed QUIET HOUSES, which was long-listed for the Edge Hill Short Story Collection prize. His short story “The Church on the Island” was nominated for the 2008 World Fantasy Award. His work has been published in a number of anthologies including Dark Horse’s Lovecraft Unbound, PS Publishing’s Postscripts and Gray Friar Press’s WHERE THE HEART IS. And here is taste of what you can expect from THE SORROWFUL

An unidentified, brutalised body. A cowed and fearful populace. A society on the edge of collapse. No support from the authorities. Internecine political intrigue. More defiled bodies. Lies and rumours and false trails. An investigation under these conditions would be a tough proposition at the best of times. But it’s all the harder when it takes place in Hell…

THE SORROWFUL follows Fool, one of Hell’s ‘Information Men’, as he attempts to discover the identity of a vicious killer. But how do you investigate murder in a place where death, torture, and slavery are commonplace? Or when your main suspect-pool is a legion of demons? With no memory of his past, and no idea why this case matters to him so much, Fool determines to solve the mystery. His search will lead him to the man whose roots reach deep into every circle of Hell. He will visit the darkest places where the oldest demons live, where they jealously guard their privacy, and where things exist that have no name.

Welcome to Hell, where skinless demons patrol the lakes, gardens of flame burn things into existence, and the waves of Limbo wash against the outer walls with the souls of the Damned floating on their surface, waiting to be collected.  Hell is evolving, and Fool is caught in the middle…

Simon is currently at work on the sequel to THE SORROWFUL, tentatively titled THE DISAPPEARED.

Zeno at World Fantasy Con…

WFC2013-BrightonWith World Fantasy Con in Brighton fast approaching, we thought it would be a good idea to share some details of our author’s participation. Over the course of the convention, a number of Zeno clients will be participating in panels and also holding readings. First up, here’s the schedule for the readings…

As for panels, we have the following…

Thursday, October 31st

3-4pm – Living in the Past: Writing Historical Fiction (Oxford)

4-5pm – The Landscape of the Fantastic (Cambridge)

  • Simon Kurt Unsworth, Ramsey Campbell, Jay Lake, Alison Littlewood, Adam Nevill (mod.), Samantha Shannon

Friday, November 1st

12-1pm – The Play’s the Thing: Style or Substance in Fiction? (Hall 4)

  • Ian R. MacLeod, Pat Cadigan (mod.), Jack Dann, Ellen Kushner, Geoff Ryman, Lisa Tuttle

2-3pm – Fangs for the Memory: Have Vampires Lost Their Bite? (Cambridge)

  • Freda Warrington, Simon Clark, Nancy Kilpatrick, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Kim Newman, Tina Rath (mod.)

Saturday, November 2nd

3-4pm – Steam Punk’d (Cambridge)

4-5pm – From ‘The Bowmen’ to The Angel of Mons – When Fantasy and Reality Merge (Cambridge)

  • Stephen Volk (mod.), Simon Clark, Tim Lebbon, Fiona McIntosh, Mark Valentine, Conrad Williams

8-9pm – The Thin White Baron: Peter Cushing @ 100 (Hall 4)

  • Anne Billson, Nancy Kilpatrick, Kim Newman, John Llewellyn Probert, Uwe Sommerlad, Stephen Volk (mod.)

Sunday, November 3rd

4:30-5:30pm – The Judges’ Decision is Final (Hall 4)

  • Matthew Hughes, Holly Black, Thomas Clegg, Lee Harris (mod.), Esther Sherman

And that’s all until next year!