Newsletter No. 5

Celebrating the Life and Works of Guy N Smith 1939-2020

Birthday Special

Sending out a Warm Welcome to Fans, Friends and Fiends From Black Hill Books Ltd

As some of you know, we have had a busy time since the last newsletter! The Smith Family held the GNS Memorial Fan Convention in Clun Hightown Hall – on the first Sunday of September, in keeping with Guy’s longstanding Fan Con tradition. It was a splendid occasion attended by many of Guy’s family and fans (report and photos to follow). The occasion served as the wake we couldn’t have after his funeral because of Covid restrictions at the time. An incorrigible workaholic, Guy would have approved of having a ‘working wake’! Isn’t that right Jean Smith?

GNS Works: Signed, Sealed and to be Delivered in 2023

The Smith Family has at last finalised matters at Black Hill Books Ltd, which is an updated version of Guy’s own existing publishing company, and is ready to begin (re)publishing. The Assignment of Rights contract, transferring the copyright of almost all GNS titles to Black Hill Books Ltd, was signed by his widow Jean Smith on Guy’s birthday! Auspicious, we feel.

We enlisted Luke English of English Media Law Ltd and Aurelia Butler-Ball of Brightech Law LLP to help us with the legal side – and we can’t wait to get started! Black Hill Books Ltd can now begin the daunting task of publishing Guy’s horror, mystery and children’s fiction again from scratch. We are even chasing up the rights to Guy’s novelisation of ‘The Ghoul’ with Penguin Random House, which acquired New English Library/Hodder & Stoughton, the original publishers. There are no guarantees we will get them, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get, as the saying goes. We will announce publications as they come – keep your eyes on the GNS Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (or Mastodon/Hive etc.) pages next year, if you can.

Thanks to all of you for your patience – the last two years have been difficult, not least because grief combined with a Covid-prolonged probate, resolving a criminal case brought against a thief and having to instigate a business restructure following Guy’s passing have taken considerable time, effort and emotional stamina. But Guy never gave up, and so neither shall we.

Going Batty

Good news! US-based publishers Centipede Press have released, as part of their Vintage Horror series, a limited edition hardback of Bats Out of Hell in October 2022, bringing to fruition a contract Guy had signed in his last year. If there are any left by the time this goes to print, they can be found here: ttp://

As we keep saying, the stories live on…

YouTube Too

The Guy N. Smith YouTube channel has now been created! Please subscribe to the channel to keep abreast of all uploads. We posted our first video, Mickey Lewis’s charismatic reading of Hangman’s Hotel, one of Guy’s best loved short stories, on Halloween, followed by a reading on November 21st of the Horror Novels chapter of Guy’s autobiography Pipe Dreams by his daughter Tara, timed to celebrate what would have been Guy’s 83rd birthday. The videos are still available to watch, so if you missed them on those dates, here is the url:

In addition, once the kindle books start appearing, we aim to release audiobooks on Audible.

GNS Memorial Fan Convention, Sunday September 4th 2022

The 2022 Fan Convention took place on a wet, murky Sunday in September, but that didn’t stop this special GNS occasion being full of colour, fun and memories. Doors opened at 12 noon, and guests were given exclusive GNS stickers and a warm welcome upon arrival. Highlights included a raffle, an exhibition table (featuring treasures such as Guy’s beloved carved walking sticks and a kinky board game called Libido, which was discovered hidden away in the attic, probably – although not definitely – unused!), a merchandise table, and a GNS book stall (with many books signed by the Great Scribbler) as well as a GNS quiz and a delicious buffet.

The auction table

Author and Sinister Horror Company publisher Justin Park (J.R. Park) gave us a fabulous reading of a few suitably gory excerpts from the novel Beheaded, much to the shocked delight of several rather elegant septuagenarian and octogenarian ladies in the audience! The novel was written as a collaboration between Justin and Guy and was Guy’s last book, published posthumously in 2021.

J.R. Park reading from Beheaded

Beheaded, which was jointly written by Park and Smith and published by Park’s outfit Sinister Horror Company, through which the following GNS books can be found on Etsy and Amazon: Beheaded, The Dark Hours, Tales from the Graveyard, Sabat: The Return, Satanic Armageddon, Werewolf Omnibus,The Casebook of Raymond Odell and The Charnel Caves.

Next up was Joseph Freeman, author of works including Arcadia Lodge and The Cold Heart of Summer, who performed a reading of his terrifying short story Redfield’s Lane which had featured in the Hell of a Guy tribute anthology that marked Guy’s 25th FanCon anniversary. Joseph also proved to be a skilled and comedic auctioneer, as guests bid for various items ranging from Guy’s trademark deerstalker and black fedora hats to his X Factor Magazine collection (magazines about paranormal phenomena, not singing wannabees, you understand!) which contained a GNS article.

Joseph Freeman, pictured here holding a showboard for the launch of The Resurrected, was an articulate and entertaining auctioneer.

The concluding number on the programme was a reading of the first chapter of Night of the Crabs, Guy’s famous 1976 bestseller, by one of his own daughters, Tara Paulsson. Proceeds from the day raised £1,854 in total, an amount that was split 50-50 (as promised) between Black Hill Books Ltd and The Donkey Sanctuary. The donation of £927 was made to Guy’s favourite charity on his birthday, a fitting ‘present’ for a man who had himself cared for a number of sanctuary donkeys on Black Hill over approximately four decades.

Tara Paulsson preparing to read from her father’s bestselling novel Night of the Crabs at the Memorial Fan Con.

What a fantastic, heartwarming day in memory of the late, great Guy N. Smith!

Thanks go to:

Jean Smith, who organised the generous buffet and contacted family and friends for the guest list; Angus Harvey-Smith, who managed sales/payments on the day; Rowan Robinson, who took photos and videos and helped with the quiz; Gavin Smith (BHB Director) for his advisory input; Chris Hall, who helped draw up the guest list and contact fans; Justin Park and Joseph Freeman for their superb readings; Shane Agnew and Hal C.F. Austell who provided some fiendish quiz questions; ‘Reverend’ Iain Daddy, who helped out on the day and provided Tara with her costume, including a most unusual and rather naughty pendant; Mike Bradbury for donating a signed copy of his Confessions of a Subbuteo Player – The History of the Staffordshire Subbuteo Association (a collaboration with Guy) as a quiz prize; and Kelly Freeman who (along with husband Joseph) was indispensable in helping to set up the stalls and run the show. And a huge thank you, of course, to all the friends, family and fans who brought along their love, appetite for fun and deep respect for Guy, the Godfather of Pulp.

Tara Paulsson (Director, Black Hill Books) and Reverend of Doom, Iain Daddy (IT Manager, Black Hill Books).

Mystery Man” Diary 1957

Here is the fourth instalment of Guy’s secret teenage diary, originally handwritten and published in the GNS newsletters for the first time. Guy would have been just 18 years old when he wrote it and was already working in the Midland Bank. Enjoy…

Wednesday January 23rd

A perfect day as far as bank work was concerned. I looked at the Valentine cards in W.H. S but won’t buy any just yet. I bought the book “First Blood” by Jack Schaefer. I went to Lichfield to fetch Lance this evening & went down the Song School. One of the lads mistook me for a master – you should have seen his face! Roll on next Tues & success also.

Thursday January 24th

A fairly good day. I could have got the 4.42 train, but I was on the ‘sack’ so I got the 5.15. Noreen clouted me with the date stamp – quite a dome! I bought 2 Valentine’s cards today. Funny ones! I haven’t seen one suitable to send to Di yet. Miss Brewster came & taught me Book-Keeping. I am accepting the N.F.U. pigeon-shooting offer.

Friday January 25th

Quite a good day. I got the 4.42 train, but walked back to Hopwas, as I dawdled & missed the bus. Saw Di Stanton through the window of Wallbanks’ shop. I went to Lichfield to fetch Lance & went down the Song School. They were all up in arms, calling me “drainpipes” because of my jodhpurs. Quite a good ‘Dragnet’ on T.V. Cleaned my gun.

Saturday January 26th

20 mins delay just outside New St. Station. Got home at 2.15pm. Went shooting to Eric Sansome’s. Had some shots at Teal on the river, but missed. Then we noticed some Teal going down in Dick Gilman’s marsh. After a while they came over us, about 60 yards up. I had a ‘BB’ in & gave them a good lead and fired. A hen teal crumpled up – a runner – but Mac retrieved well. I was very pleased. Then I went to have a last look at the river but someone was using a .22 on the other side so I packed up. Went to the pictures to see “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” & “The High Terrace.”

Sunday January 27th

Went to church in the morning. Dad went off to Lord Ellesmere’s shoot. I went to see Billy & Nellie in the afternoon. Mark Ward, Nellie’s brother, was there. I gave Billy the Teal. In the evening I went to see Coles. We chatted for about an hour then I went home & sent my pheasant feathers to Brice B. Stockwells. I wrote a story for the Tettenhall Observer about a school smoking party.

Monday January 28th

Quite a good day. We finished at 5 o/c and I got the 5.15pm train home. Mum had left the key with Mrs Cole & and she came to meet me off the bus. I had a letter from Stephen Morrell at school. He says his boss’s, Gerty Follylove, used to go to school with Mum. When I took the dog for a walk (10pm) I came across a car at Fazeley Lane [Road?] with two punctures. Tomorrow!!!

Tuesday January 29th

A good day at the Bank. Finished at 4pm. I got the ‘bus (6.30pm) down to Tamworth & went down to Bolehall & waited. No one arrived. I felt very disappointed. Met Nellie Bates on the ‘bus back & told her my troubles. She said, “Leave it to me. I’ll have a chat to her.” Daddy is back from Suffolk. He brought me a cigar case. Watched “Gun Law” on T.V.

Wednesday January 30th

I came home on the 3 o/c ‘bus as Mr Wheeler had given me permission to go to Ladies’ Evening. For the meal we had mushroom soup, salmon, turkey, sherry trifle, cheese and biscuits & coffee. Both Mr & Mrs Charlesworth were “canned up.” The entertainment was a singer and a conjurer. When J.B.D. coughed, the conjurer said, “His Lordship in the Royal Box is a bit horsey.” Home at a quarter to twelve.

Thursday January 31st

Although we were fairly busy, it was a peaceful day. I did 10 batches – my record. I had a brochure from the Rapid Results College & wrote them a stinger back. I got the 5.15 train home. I am wondering if Nellie has seen Di & had a chat to her. I hope so. I shall know on Sunday anyway. I have thought quite a lot about that girl today.

Friday February 1st

A busy day. Came home on the 5.50 train. I feel a bit browned off today. Probably the effects of Wednesday’s late night. Still no cheque & also no reply from the N.F.U. A new girl started at the Bank today – she’s 19 & is engaged. Her name is Sandra. I am waiting for Sunday. I watched “Dragnet” on T.V. An uninteresting day.

Saturday February 2nd

A busy morning. Home at 2pm though. I went round Hopwas wood with the gun. There was a lot of shooting going on. I had 2 shots at high pigeons but did not get one. I had a misfire. I was Mr & Mrs White + kids in the wood. Dad took Lance on his own shoot. Shot a pigeon, but mutilated it so it wasn’t worth bringing home. Saw “Shane.”

Sunday February 3rd

Had lift to Tamworth with Archie Biddel & Sam Loughead. Saw Billy & Nellie in the afternoon. Nellie had not had a chat to Di. Said she had looked in Wallbanks but could not see her. I wrote a story about the F.B.I. for the “Tettenhall Observer.” I went down to Grandma’s & hunted amongst the books in the Cromwell Room. Sent Morrell & Co some comics.

Monday February 4th

A very busy day indeed. Saturday’s work would not balance. It did finally though. We finished listing at 5pm & then ‘Others’ and “Country II” were out. Worked till ten minutes to nine, & still hadn’t found it. I got the 9pm train home & got home at 10.30pm. I hope tomorrow will be O.K.

Tuesday February 5th

Quite a busy day. The inspectors say that if the vouchers aren’t put through the recordak properly we shall have to do without it & write the numbers & names in on the batch sheets. I got the 5.50 train, but it was late & I got the 7.15 bus up home, arriving home at 7.30pm. Too late for Mrs Winfields – damn it! I have plans for February 14th though. Watched “Gun Law.”

Dedication by screenwriter and novelist Paul Ebbs

“I don’t often do the ‘Heavenly Birthday’ thing for anybody – but as Guy N. Smith has been a constant companion to my reading life since I was knee-high to a Caracal, and his daughter Tara reminded us it would have been his 83rd birthday today, I thought I’d post a picture of my favourite of his thirty squillion pulp horror/thriller/porny/Disney(!!!) and Country Living/Country Sports books. I have a pretty comprehensive collection – about 95% of his books – just a few elude me or my wallet, but one day I’ll get there. Happy Birthday Guy, you absolutely made my life a lot better than it would have been without you.”

Mickey Lewis, pictured here wearing one of Guy’s deerstalkers.

Mickey Lewis narrated our Halloween short story, Hangman’s Hotel by Guy N. Smith, which can be found on the new Guy N. Smith Youtube channel. He has also provided the following entertaining write-up.

Tribute by Actor and GNS fan Mickey Lewis

Cunnilingus in Clun, nipple-licking near Norfolk, sex in The Shell Island surf and onanism in Oban – Guy N. Smith had all the kinks a thirteen year old boy could wish for covered!

I’ll never forget first picking up one of his books The Slime Beast in a shop in York at that impressionable age and getting all hot and flustered as I flicked through the pages and saw such phrases as ‘her pink moistness,’ ‘gently, very gently he eased himself into her,‘ lots of mentions of ‘small firm breasts’ and of course the bit where a sneaky perv starts undoing a sleeping girl’s blouse and having an unauthorised nipple nibble – before getting ripped to shreds by the title beast. Heady stuff indeed!

And then there was the gore! The Wash was awash with intestines and plasma, the Black Hill a bloodbath as werewolves by moonlight did their messy thing, and most famously, Barmouth was battered by crabs as big as cows…

Guy’s books would never win any book-snob awards but who cared about that? They were punk-fast Biblio Nasties that were always unapologetically fun! And the locations were amazingly vivid. I remember reading his bestseller Night of the Crabs on the Shell Island beach where it was set in North Wales, then plunging into the waves, daring any crafty crustaceans to take a bite… and on a trip to the marshy location for the Slime Beast in the Wash, I weirdly found lots of dead crabs clinging to the spartina grass…

I first met Guy when I was assistant manager at Forbidden Planet and tried to get his books back in stock. I took a trip to meet him at his isolated house on the Black Hill in Shropshire and we got on straight away. He showed me the model shown below based on a scene from Night of the Crabs, made specially by a fan as a prototype for a potential commercial kit. I loved it but Guy wouldn’t part with it understandably.

We became good friends and I met him on several occasions over the years, interviewing him for the Dark Side Magazine among other things. He’d ring me up for a chinwag, either excited about some new development with his books (he wrote well over a hundred) or having a moan about some ‘bugger’ who’d pissed him off. Everyone who met Guy couldn’t help but love him. With his down-to-earth manner and dry Midlands humour, I could listen to his tales for hours.

I tried several times to get Guy’s books adapted into films, and wrote two screenplays based on his novels Night of the Crabs and Werewolf by Moonlight. With the great help of the well connected Media Macabro honcho Pete Tombs, I got as far as my Werewolf script attracting the interest of director Ben Wheatley, bizarrely enough, (with Matt Berry keen on starring in it!) just before he got big and moved onto other things.

Then Johnathan Sothcott, producer of a string of low budget silly Brit Gangster flicks (Rise of the Footsoldier etc) responded to my ideas for a Guy Franchise and got involved, ultimately wasting both Guy’s time and mine, moaning about my script being ‘too sleazy’ (had he ever read one of Guy’s books???) and telling me to take Wales out of the script as the Americans wouldn’t have heard of it! Tosser. I felt like I’d raised Guy’s hopes again, only to have them dashed.

When I heard he had passed away from Covid just before Christmas 2020, it was a real blow. I’d lost touch over the last few years, what with my own parents dying and then Covid. I somehow thought he’d last forever, sitting smoking his pipe, chuckling over some of his odder fans and adding ‘right’ to every sentence.

So when his lovely daughter Tara got in touch to invite me to a memorial meeting, I didn’t hesitate. Tara and Jean, Guy’s wife, were auctioning off some of Guy’s things. I couldn’t resist one of his deerstalkers, even though I undoubtedly look a bit of a tit in it… (Guy looked much better in it obviously!) but where was the Crab model that I remembered from my very first meeting? That was what I wanted most of all. After all, I’d pretty much got sacked over trying to get a line of Crabs merch based on the model into Forbidden Planet…

It turned out Tara wasn’t selling it as it was slightly broken. A month later, and another trip to the Black Hill and it was finally mine, nicely restored, 18 years after first seeing it.

I probably wouldn’t have turned into Leo Darke and unleashed my own grisly horror novels on the world if it wasn’t for dear old Guy. I dedicated Mr Nasty to him. But I could never have topped his cunnilingus interrupted by a Werewolf scene… I don’t think anyone ever could.

Guy’s own limited edition Night of the Crabs model, bought and lovingly restored by Mickey Lewis.

Coming up

Do look out for Winter – which will be streamed online from 1pm Saturday December 3rd 2022 with story readings by Lionel Fanthorpe, Joseph Freeman, Stephen Laws, Lynda E. Rucker and Steve Rasnic Tem. Fanthorpe’s story includes a dedication to Guy in his introduction.

We intend to post a video reading of Guy’s short story Mr Strange’s Christmas Dream (to be found in Sinister Horror Company’s GNS anthology Tales from the Graveyard) on the YouTube channel on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day – keep your eyes and ears peeled! What better way to celebrate our Great Scribbler two years after he left us? See you there!

Newsletter written and compiled by Tara Paulsson. Black Hill Books Ltd would like to say a big thank you to all our guest contributors to this edition.

Copyright ©️ 2022 Black Hill Books Ltd

Black Hill Sunset “For Dad.” Photographer: Rowan Robinson