I’m on Godless!

I know, I know, I’m VERY late to the game. Almost a year and a half late, in fact. But to be honest, I didn’t have anything I could distribute through Godless.

The Virus series has to remain exclusive to Amazon as it’s part of the Kindle Unlimited program, and aside from those books, I don’t really have much in my backlog.

However, I realised I do have a few short stories hanging around – short stories which have appeared in anthologises, but have since reverted rights back to me. This could only mean one thing… Godless time, baby!

Whilst the anthology stories were edited by the publisher’s inhouse team, they were still written in the infancy of my writing career, and not really a reflection of my current style. With this in mind, I began the torturous task of editing. Submitting the stories as part of an anthology is one thing, but selling them individually is totally different. They didn’t feel complete enough. Not fleshed out enough. And, despite offering them for only 50p/¢, I felt they needed more value for money. So… the edits turned into revisions!

After a while, I finished revising The Bed of Tulips. It got a brand spanking new cover, and became my first offering to the Godless platform.



So what is Godless?

For those not familiar with Godless, it is a new distribution resource for underground, self-published, indie horror authors and narrators! It is the brainchild of Drew Stepek, who initially set up the site to promote his debut novel of the same name back in 2000. Fast forward twenty-one years, when Drew relaunched the site, this time aiming to amplify the voices of indie authors and drive fanbases through a horror-focused community. 

Today, it is a popular site for horror lovers worldwide, offering a fantastic selection of ebooks from a range of truly talented authors. Everyone distributing through Godless, whether they be authors, narrators, or publishers, have been asked to donate 5% of their earnings to Children of the Night – a charity set up to rescue children and young people from prostitution and sexual exploitation. Every purchase you make contributes to a great cause!

If you haven’t already, go check out the site here


The Bed of Tulips


Interested in reading more about The Bed of Tulips? Here’s the synopsis:

Urban explorers Dan, Greg, and Harry are looking for their next big location, one that will catapult their video channel to stardom. An old derelict house looks like the ideal location, with its smashed windows, weatherbeaten exterior, padlocked gate, and a bizarrely pristine bed of tulips.

It’s a quick read, but hopefully enjoyable.


Check it out here


This is only the first, of what I’m hoping will be many, stories I distribute through Godless. Stay tuned!


See the source image


Exploring HMP Harrodale 

Those who have read The Virus will know that a significant portion of the story takes place in a prison (as do the subsequent instalments, but I’ll try to keep this spoiler-free!) In order to make this as realistic as possible, I relied on a number of resources, not only to help me visualise what I was writing but also to help with continuity. In this post, I’ll go into some of the resources I used, and research carried out in order to bring HMP Harrodale to life.


So why a prison in the first place?

Well, I was sick of the same old trope. Don’t get me wrong, the zombie genre is a trope in its own right, but for me it’s the characters that make it exciting. Personally, I was sick to death (excuse the pun) of the good guy who leads a group to salvation amidst a hail of gunfire and exploding limbs. I wanted to create a conflict in the reader’s mind. Do you support the convicts who, let’s face it, aren’t the nicest of people? Or do you support the zombies—something which we’ve been conditioned against since Night of the Living Dead?

So, where better to find a bunch of ne’er do wells?

HMP Harrodale, of course.

The place itself is fictitious, but a lot of it is based on actual prisons in the UK. For instance, the idea behind Frank being embroiled in a fight club came after a number of reports (primarily from HMP Full Sutton) of the same thing. The evolution of technology has revealed this is happening more and more, with mobile phone footage of the fights from different prisons being posted online. 


See the source image



When it came to the actual layout of HMP Harrodale, I initially thought I’d have to rely on poetic licence. I’ve got friends who work in the prison service, so I relied on their input a lot, but I love the research part of writing a novel, and wasn’t really satisfied with first-hand accounts. But then you can’t exactly ring up a random prison and ask to have a nosy around – they’re a bit funny about that… Unless you’re Ross Kemp, of course. Ross Kemp Behind Bars provided a useful insight into prison layouts and was a pretty entertaining watch. 

It helped me visualise attire, commodities that are often sold/traded on the inside, and general lingo used by inmates. If you haven’t seen it, I’d recommend you give it a go!

But I couldn’t just keep referring back to a video. I’d lose my momentum! And, those who have seen my social media rants will know, it’s tentative at the best of times! So, I used a layout map of Pentonville Prison.


See the source image


Yes, it’s old. Yes, it’s outdated. But did it help? You’re damn right it did. I didn’t stick to this entirely, and actually used it more when it came to writing The Host. But it helped as a quick prompt. Especially when I was trying to visualise the escape from the prison. 

That, coupled with the binge-watching of prison documentaries, and a dash of poetic licence, and HMP Harrodale was built!



***If you haven’t read The Host yet, you might wanna skip this part***

I decided to revisit the prison again in The Host. Those who have read will know it plays a significant part in the story.

I’m not going to lie, the amount of times I had to re-read The Virus, just to remember the layout I described, was nothing short of embarrassing! But I had my trusty notebook to hand. It contains all the doodles, key points and info I acquired when writing the first book. Despite this, it still wasn’t enough. So there may have been another rewatch of prison documentaries for the 100th time…

I also adapted the prison layout, just to help me visualise who was where at any one time.



At one point, I had all the main characters in the prison at once. Trying to remember where Gus was, in comparison to Frank & co, who were looking for Lisa, who was trying to find a way out… Is it any wonder why I drink?! 😂 Anyway, I ran out of fingers to count on, so opted for a map to help me keep my bearings. And it worked… For the most part.

Well, that’s it. I think…

That’s HMP Harrodale in a nutshell. I’ll probably end up writing more about the prison when subsequent books get released. But for now, I hope it’s been insightful at the very least. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to drop me a message on social media. Links are at the bottom of the page!

Ciao for now!

Damien Lee Update

Hello, Damien here, y’know the guy who keeps pledging to be more engaging, but invariably falls flat on his arse? Yep, that Damien!

Well, I’ve had an epiphany (it was rather painful, but not as much as trying to spell the word epiphany…) I can’t do everything alone. There’s not enough time, money, or pirate juice in the world to turn me into a super duper social media engagement expert. So, with that in mind, I’ve got an organiser! 

FINALLY, a bit of structure in my life! Hopefully, with a little help, I’ll be able to post updates regularly on here, social media, and my newsletter, without my current WIP having to suffer. It’s currently at 30k and counting, just FYI…

Also, having mentioned my newsletter, I’m going to give it a rejig over the coming days. It is, and will always be, the holy grail of Damien Lee updates. So if you haven’t subscribed yet, click the button at the bottom of this page! If you’re already subscribed, be on the lookout for upcoming emails and be sure to mark me as a safe sender. Part of the restructure will involve culling the subscribers who don’t ever open and read my fabulous content. (Don’t worry, you’ll receive an email to alert you before you’re vanquished… although if you don’t open them, you won’t see it. Oh, the irony!)

I’m also going to use this space a lot more to provide behind-the-scenes content, and additional information about The Virus series. There are loads of tidbits and anecdotes just waiting to be unleashed on the world. So, with any luck, my website should become a lot more entertaining as well!


Stay tuned for more!


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Okay, so that’s not actually my desk, although it’s a pretty accurate portrayal…

I’m going to use this space to post bits and pieces as and when they arise. My ponderings, news and anything else I feel the need to ramble about. Feel free to check back