The Third Time is a modern sequel to M.R.James's classic ghost story A Neighbour's Landmark, which you can read here if you like. I have always thought that A Neighbour's Landmark was a rather underrated tale - it's one of my favourite of James's, and one of the ones I find most frightening, but I think many people probably overlook it in favour of Oh Whistle... or The Mezzotint et al. It's also a story that rather begs for a sequel, since the ghost is still at large at the end of it.What is the "shrieking ghost" doing now? Read to find out.
I wrote The Third Time as a submission to the Ghosts and Scholars Book of Shadows Volume 2, published by Sarob Press in 2014 after the great success of the first volume.
I am delighted that the story is being reprinted in Best British Horror 2015, for several reasons (aside from the fact that it is very nice to be included in the "best of" anything). The Book Of Shadows volumes tend to sell out very quickly. Also, they naturally have a premium price tag, being produced in a really beautiful limited & numbered edition hardcover - very attractive to existing M.R.James fans but perhaps a little expensive if you are thinking of buying just to see whether you like that sort of thing! So it's nice to see my story reappearing in this more affordable paperback anthology. It's available from Hive and of course from that usual suspect, Amazon.
Incidentally, submissions are now open for the Ghosts and Scholars Book of Shadows Volume 3! The guidelines originally appeared in the Ghosts and Scholars Newsletter in print format, but you can read them here thanks to Supernatural Tales, who have kindly reposted them. Be sure to check which stories are still up for prequel/sequel grabs as quite a few have been covered already in the previous two volumes!