Island Life

All my work starts with an image, like a photograph. It arrives in my head, then starts to run like a movie, and the story builds from there. Sometimes the image is from the end of a story, and I have to run it backwards, but everything is done visually at the start. A while back, I came across a lighthouse on an island.

Over thirty years ago, I was on Lundy Island for a mate's 30th Birthday. We had a great time in the wee local bar, appeared on Channel 4 who were there at the time with us pretending, stiffly, to be locals, and stayed in a converted lighthouse set next to a burial ground and a neolithic chambered tomb. Much fun was had negotiating a piss off the top of the lighthouse while drunk after midnight, and dealing with the wailing banshee that lived in the stairwell.

I lined up the photograph to have standing stones in the foreground and the lighthouse in the background. Then I started to wonder who would live in the lighthouse and what was under the standing stones, and a story began to run. That turned, eventually and more than ten years later, into my first novel, "Island Life" and, as a bonus, the publisher agreed to my picture of the lighthouse being used on the cover, so it went full circle.

I love monsters....especially black and white ones with the zips showing. Treat this novel like a fifties monster flick and you'll have a great time with it.

The book was out of print for many years, but is now available again in print, ebook and audiobook from Gryphonwood Press.


Plot

On a small, sparsely populated island in the Scottish Outer Hebrides, a group of archaeology students are opening what seems to be an early Neolithic burial mound. Marine biologist Duncan McKenzie is also working on the island, staying with the lighthouse caretakers, Dick and Tom, while he completes his studies of the local water supply.

One afternoon the three men are disturbed in their work by the appearance of a dazed female student from the excavation, who is badly traumatized. She tells of the slaughter of the rest of her party by something released from the mound.

Soon everyone Duncan knows is either missing or dead and there are things moving in the fog.

Large, hulking, unholy things.

Things with a taste for human flesh.


Reviews

"...brooding, misty Scottish atmosphere... Many fears come into play—agoraphobia, claustrophobia, acrophobia...solid prose commands attention through to the climax..." -- Garrett Peck; Issue #40 of Cemetery Dance Magazine.

"...reads like Stephen King writing a Lovecraft story, bringing King's level of descriptive prose to the supernatural creature..." -- Steve & Lesley Mazey; methos@eternalnight.co.uk

....draws the reader in, weaving a tightly spun web of folklore, horror, and suspense from which there is no escape. -- Paula Heuschkel for The Modoc Record

Hard to put down, difficult to forget, Meikle weaves a nightmarish story that leaves me wanting more. -- Phillip Tomasso for Bookbrowser.com

I picked it up and didn't put it down. Read it cover to cover and enjoyed one helluva monster story. -- Valarie Thorpe for Really Scary.com