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I was back at Newcastles Castle Keep for my final Cursed Horror Stars talk on Bela Lugosi.It brought back great,if rather cold memories. It was February 2016 and my book hadn't been long out. I decided it was in my best interests as a writer to promote myself, even if I was restricted to the North East.

Well as it turned out, the Castle were screening the Lugosi classic White Zombie (1932)and I was brought in to give a talk on the actor's life and career.

It was great fun but bloody cold!

But thanks to my friend Dave Newton, who took the above photo, we had a ghostly visit from Lugosi himself!

I was back there on 14 July, and I'm glad to say that thanks to our incredible hot weather, the Great Hall was above freezing! This time it was a screening of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), one of the best horror spoofs ever made. I can't say I'm a big fan of Bud and Lou, the latter's child-like antics tended to annoy me, but they were in excellent form here.More amazing was Lugosi's performance as Dracula; it was only the second (and last) time he played the Count on the big screen.

I would say he was better than he was in Dracula (1931). Far less theatrical. A great high point in a career already in decline.

Sadly my talk on Robert Quarry had to be cancelled, so this is my last one at the Keep this year. I've got a possible talks at a venue called the Heaven & Earth in Bedlington. Will give you the news when it comes. So with Old Man Goat taking a rehearsal break due to holidays, my next writing related event will be my week at the Swanwick Writers' Retreat, which will celebrate its 70th anniversary; it'll also be my 10th year.

How time flies!!!!

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