Paul Finch

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Paul Finch
Born Lancashire, England
Occupation Author and screenwriter, former policeman and journalist
Genre Crime and horror
Notable works The Heck Novels
Spouse Catherine Finch
Children Eleanor and Harry
Walking in the Dark

Paul Finch is an English scriptwriter and a professional crime and horror writer. He began his writing career on the British television programme The Bill.[1] His early scripts were also for children's animation. He has written over 300 short stories which have appeared in magazines, such as the All Hallows, the magazine of the Ghost Story Society[2] and Black Static.[3] He also edits anthologies of Horror stories with the overall title of Terror Tales.[4][5] He has written variously for the books and other spin-offs from Doctor Who.[6] [7] He is the author of the ongoing series of DS Mark Heck Heckenberg novels.

Early life and education[edit]

Finch is the son of British television scriptwriter and dramatist Brian Finch.[8] He was a police officer with the Greater Manchester Police until 1988[9] and later a journalist.[10]

Children's animation[edit]

In 1998 Finch wrote one episode of Little Hippo: Hippos Ahoy and one episode of Fix and Foxi: A Knight to Rembember for Siriol Productions.[11] In 2002 Finch worked on fifty 6½ minute episodes of an animated TV series for children called Nora and the Magic Tree for Hogg's Back Films.[11]The series is about the adventures of a young girl, Nora, her Friends in the park and the magical underground kingdom that exists beneath the Magic Tree.


Filming The Devil's Rock

Finch wrote additional material for the 2005 film Spirit Trap[12] and co wrote the 2011 film The Devil's Rock with Paul Campion and Brett Ihaka.[13] Tony Lee of Black Static magazine wrote that the interrogations featured in The Devil's Rock made it "often appear to be a filmed play". In addition, Lee suggested the big finale is too reminiscent of traditional Gothic Dennis Wheatley (plus modern splatter!). However, "Although it's a Kiwi production, 'The Devil's Rock' feels like a more worthy successor to the Hammer Film Productions studios ethos than actual new Hammer-label product such as 'The Resident'"[14]

Finch wrote the screenplay for War Wolf, which in November 2014 was in pre-production at Amber Entertainment. [15]

Doctor Who[edit]

Arthur and Mordred in combat, from the "Le Morte d'Arthur"

Abaddon Books[edit]

Paul Finch writes for Abaddon Books who publish a number of books with similar themes or in a shared universe.

Heck novels[edit]

Red Sands Fort - the scene of the finale of Stalkers

Detective Sergeant Mark Heckenberg, or "Heck", is a British Police Officer and a member of the fictional National Crime Group based at New Scotland Yard. The other constant character in the series is his immediate superior Detective Superintendent Gemma Piper, with whom he has an on and off romantic relationship. In the first book - Stalkers - they investigate the "Nice Guys Club"; a highly secretive organised crime group that provide highly unpleasant sexual services to the very rich. Stalkers became a number one e-book bestseller, selling almost 150,000 copies across e-book and paperback.[17] The second book - Sacrifice - concerns a group that is killing people in a highly graphic way on particular days of the year, such as being burned alive on Guy Fawkes Night. Sacrifice, was the most pre-ordered ebook in HarperCollins’ history, with more than 12,825 pre-orders.[18]

The third book in the series was to have been Hunted and the first two chapters of this appear at the end of Sacrifice. However Paul Finch's publishers Avon Books wanted the return of the "Nice Guys Club" sooner than he had intended. Accordingly they do in The Killing Club.[19] At the end of this book Heck transfers out of the National Crime Squad. The fourth book in the series is now Dead Man Walking, which will be followed by Hunted.

The books are published as eBooks and paperback originals by Avon Books. In 2014 The Sun newspaper gave away free eBooks of Stalkers to its readers.[20] The first 6 chapters of The Killing Club were made available free to download onto Amazon Kindle.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Critical reaction[edit]

John Pelan in a review of After Shocks said, "I'll go out on a bit of a limb here and say that I think that Finch owes far more to Sheridan Le Fanu than to M R James. A main strength of Finch's work is his deft portrayal of classic supernatural creatures of myth such as the pooka, goblins and dandy dogs, and the incorporation of local legends and mythology was one that certainly served Le Fanu well."[27]

Dan Howarth in his review of Sparrowhawk for the website This Is Horror said, "One of the principal triumphs of Sparrowhawk is how the story captures the sense of Christmas. The images of deep snow drifts and produce on display in the markets are brilliantly festive, yet Finch still manages to create a sense of terror that holds true to the Victorian spirit of the Christmas ghost story. The scares in the book are sharp and perfectly accentuate a measured and believably atmosphere of dread."[28]

David Marshall[29] wrote about Dark North, "The chase away from the battlefield and into the foothills of the Alps is a magnificently sustained piece of writing."[30]

Personal life[edit]

Finch and his wife Catherine live in Standish, Greater Manchester,[31] he has two children Eleanor and Harry.[32][33]


  1. ^ Onatade, Ayo (2014). "PAUL FINCH on 'Stalkers' and 'Sacrifice'". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "GSS Regular Publications Index". 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Martin, Thomas L. (5 January 2011). "Black Static 14 Dec 2009/Jan 2010". SF Crowsnest. Retrieved 23 November 2014. Issue 14 of 'Black Static' opens well with the excellent story "We, Who Live In The Wood" by Paul Finch. 
  4. ^ "Walking in the dark: Edited Anthologies". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Catalogue". Gray Friar Press. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Walking in the dark: Doctor Who". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "Paul Finch". Tardis Wiki. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Brian Finch - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph (London: TMG). ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "BBC News - Wigan writer's delight at Cannes debut film premiere". 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Mcleod, Jim (2014). "Paul Finch: Part I » This Is Horror". Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Paul Finch Page". Blake Freeman. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  12. ^ "Spirit Trap (2005)". IMDb. 12 August 2005. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  13. ^ Claudio Carvalho (22 September 2011). "The Devil's Rock (2011)". IMDb. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  14. ^ Lee, Tony (Aug–Sep 2011). Black Static: 36. 
  15. ^ "Amber Entertainment | IN PRE PRODUCTION". 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  16. ^ "1.03. Leviathan - Doctor Who - The Lost Stories - Big Finish". 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  17. ^ Farrington, Joshua (2014). "Avon signs five from Finch | The Bookseller". Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  18. ^ Bean, Richard (2014). "Author makes history with biggest ever pre-order - Wigan Today". Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  19. ^ Paul. "Walking in the dark". Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  20. ^ "Free Paul Finch ebook for Sun Readers!". Blake Friedmann. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  21. ^ a b Theaker, Stephen (3 March 2009). "The British Fantasy Awards: A Short History". The British Fantasy Society. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  22. ^ "2002 Bram Stoker Award Nominees & Winners". Horror Writers Association. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  23. ^ "Paul Finch". Science Fiction Awards Database. Mark R. Kelly and the Locus Science Fiction Foundation. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  24. ^ "IHG Award Recipients 2006". International Horror Guild. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  25. ^ "The International Horror Guild Awards for Works from 2007". International Horror Guild. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  26. ^ a b c Coleborn, Peter (27 June 2011). "BFS Fantasy Awards 2011: Shortlist". The British Fantasy Society. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  27. ^ All Hallows 27 June 2001, page 109
  28. ^ Howarth, Dan. "Sparrowhawk by Paul Finch". This Is Horror. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  29. ^ "David Marshall Bio". Thinking about books. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  30. ^ Marshall, David (7 June 2012). "Dark North by Paul Finch". Thinking About Books. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  31. ^ "'Heck' of a time for author Paul - Wigan Today". 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  32. ^ "Wigan author puts a chill in Cannes". Manchester Evening News (Chadderton, United Kingdom: Trinity Mirror). 6 May 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  33. ^ "Paul Finch - Author and Screenwriter |". 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 

External links[edit]