Behind the Book: A Cold Season

Video Preview

See a video preview of A Cold Season, produced by Mark West.


“Alison Littlewood’s A Cold Season wasn’t a good book. It wasn’t a great book. It was a career defining masterpiece that exuded chills and almost… hurt, in a frightening way. Hands down one of the year’s greatest novels, it was the perfect debut and the ideal introduction to a welcoming worldwide audience.” Matt Molgaard, Horror Novel Reviews.

“This is a terrific supernatural horror novel…It’s beautifully crafted to build up suspense through deft hints rather than the more usual blood and thunder. By moving softly, it generates a powerfully claustrophobic atmosphere and builds to the climax…[it] launches Alison Littlewood as a new author to watch.” The San Francisco Book Review.

“Chilling, dark and frightening, A COLD SEASON will keep all readers on the edge of their seats.” Teresa Roca,

“One of the best horror debuts of 2013, was by an author I knew very little about before the novel was released, Alison Littlewood.  Her novel A Cold Season, is a creepy tale of all that a parent will do to protect her child.” RA for All.

“The reader will likely feel him or herself trapped in an ever-tightening embrace of atmosphere which feels too accomplished for a first novel. It’s highly unsettling in the best way . . .  Alison Littlewood will likely be around the genre for quite awhile, and horror readers will be thankful for her arrival.”

“Brilliant, wonderfully written and very spooky.” Tim Lebbon, author of Coldbrook and The Heretic Land.

“a fast paced horror story that is chilling without being gory.” The Coffee time romance and more blog.

“Littlewood creates a dark and foreboding feeling from the moment the book begins… Recommended!” Jenn’s Bookshelves.

“Littlewood’s stylish and atmospheric writing style kept me reading way, way past my bed time!” Martina Bexte, BookLoons.

“A Cold Season is an excellent debut and I’m already looking forward to more from Littlewood.” Becky LeJeune, No More Grumpy Bookseller.

“A dark and disturbing tale from a bold new voice in horror writing.” Fade into Fantasy.

“A creeping, chilling, lingering horror story.” Sue Granquist, Black Gate.

“I am anxious to read more by this author and would recommend A Cold Season to anyone looking for a creepy, not gory, read.” Café of Dreams.

“The narrative draws you in as the suspense grows with each twist and turn building to an astonishing climax. Alison Littlewood has given readers a delightfully spellbinding tale just in time for the Halloween season.” The Bookin’ with Bingo blog.

“In much the manner of a Stephen King book, Littlewood gets this thriller going quickly, into a fast and easy read. You can not believe this is her FIRST novel, and she knows just how to keep the reader sitting on the edge of their seat.”  The Bless Their Hearts Mom blog.

“Littlewood takes familiar themes of horror and delivers a unique story and vision that keeps the reader guessing throughout. Her writing comes with vivid detail and sucks you in to the point you don’t want to put the book down.” Dean Richards, Fanboy Comics

“Alison’s outstanding first novel is one of the finest debuts published this year and marks her out as an important new voice in the canon of supernatural fiction.” Alan Kelly, This is Horror

“An impressive debut novel, I’d say – the sense of unease that’s present from the start builds to a pervasive paranoid uncertainty, and the underlying dread escalates to scenes of real terror. Atmospheric throughout, and disturbing to the end.” Ramsey Campbell, “Britain’s most respected living horror writer,” Oxford Companion to English Literature

“Hugely enjoyable – perfect reading for a dark winter’s night.” The Richard and Judy Book Club

“Littlewood’s first novel is an assured and finely-crafted piece of work, probably the best horror debut since Joe Hill’s 2007 novel, Heart-Shaped Box.” Matt Craig of Shots, Page Horrific and Reader Dad

“A Cold Season is Yorkshire author Alison Littlewood’s first novel, and one of the first books to bear the name of the new imprint publishing it; that is to say Jo Fletcher Books, fresh out of Quercus. It’s a dark fantasy with dark designs on our hearts, and I dare say it sets a high watermark for both Alison Littlewood and the genre fiction division her impressive debut heralds. Cass and Ben are very well realised characters – as are the parents and teachers and pupils whose paths cross theirs – and the harrowing trials they are put through serve to bring us closer to them, even as mother and son are driven further and further apart.” Niall Alexander, The Speculative Scotsman

“A thick layer of snow hides the sins of a creepy rural village in Alison Littlewood’s chilly debut novel, a confident, claustrophobic tale of a mother and son cut off from the world by the weather, drawn into an icy community with secrets to tell.” SFX magazine

“A Cold Season is an intelligent, sensitive book. Its chills are delivered with precision certainly, but in subtle yet equally terrifying manner it’s the parts that aren’t scary which speak as loudly as the parts that freak you out.” Spooky Reads

“A scary read that will chill you to the bone.” Crimesquad

“The novel builds a real sense of foreboding and dread, which creates a chilling reading experience for fans of demonic and religious horror.” Library Journal

“This is a very spooky story – Disturbing in a Midsomer Murders kind of way.” Daily Express

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Cold Season, and would highly recommend it to anybody who loves to curl up with a good, creepy thriller on a long, dark winter’s evening.”  Alan Toner,

“An utterly gripping, subtle and compelling occult horror story. This one’s just crying out to be made into a modern Hammer film. One of the best novels I’ve read all year. I loved it.” Gary McMahon, author of The Concrete Grove

“With some wonderfully observed moments – especially between Cass and Ben – and some solid character building – Bert and his old dog Captain – this drags you in and then pulls the rug out from under your feet. From a shocking moment in the snow, up to the gruelling (and startling) climax, this is an excellent book, by a writer assured of her craft and ability and I, for one, can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Very highly recommended.” Mark West, author of The Mill

“Littlewood’s fiction is set in a world where the possible and the improbable rub shoulders, and strange stuff creeps through the gaps in out of the way places. She writes with a keen eye for the telling detail and the ability to conjure up subtle shades of emotion, her stories illuminated by compassion for our failures and undercut with anger at inhumanity. She is the real deal, a writer with a unique vision and the talent to make us see the world anew through her eyes.” Peter Tennant, Reviews Editor, TTA Press

“Well written, spooky and with plenty of tension and suspense, this book kept me hooked from the first chapter.” My Random Musings.


My Random Musings

Shaun Hamilton’s Book Reviews

Jenn’s Bookshelves

Café of Dreams

Coffee Time Romance and More

Becky LeJeune, No More Grumpy Bookseller.

The Bookin’ with Bingo blog.

Matt Molgaard of Horror Novel Reviews

Martina Bexte, BookLoons.

Sue Granquist, Black Gate.

The Bless Their Hearts Mom blog

Dean Richards of Fanboy Comics

Annette Gisby at Books and Tales

Matthew Craig of Reader Dad

Paul Kane at Sci-Fi Bulletin

Mihai Miscatelli at Dark Wolf

Jason Baki at Kamvision


Matthew Dent

Spooky Reads

This is Horror

The Littlereader Library

Author Interviews/Press links

I’ve been named a ‘woman in horror to watch’ at RA for All.

I was named breakout horror author of 2013 at Horror Novel Reviews.

An interview at Geek Planet Online.

There’s an interview and an exclusive excerpt at Bloody Disgusting.

A Q&A with Fade into Fantasy.

An excerpt is online at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist.

Another excerpt, this one at Boing Boing.

An interview with Luke Walker.

“Genial, supremely talented and damn scary, Alison is about to take you on a journey around her mind… Good luck!” An interview at the Horrifically Horrifying Horror blog, with Shaun Hamilton in the question master’s seat.

In Penistone in Particular (page 17).

Featured author with an in-depth interview and book review in Black Static #27.

Interviewed at This Is Horror, along with a quick ‘getting to know you‘.

Interviewed at Ginger Nuts of Horror.

Featured author at Shadow Writer (where you can read chapter one).

Interviewed in SFX magazine issue 218.

Interviewed in the Yorkshire Post, 12/1/12 – a snippet is here.

A Cold Season is a Richard and Judy Book Club choice for Spring 2012

A Cold Season is a ‘publisher’s pick’ for 2012

Large Print

A Cold Season is now available in large print, from W. F. Howes Ltd.

Special edition

A special signed jacketed hardcover of A Cold Season, with artwork by David Gentry, is available from PS Publishing.

About Jo Fletcher Books

A Cold Season is published by Jo Fletcher Books, a fantasy, SF and horror imprint of Quercus. Jo Fletcher formerly worked as a publisher at Gollancz, and her illustrious career has seen her work with authors including Sir Terry Pratchett, the late Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Charlaine Harris, Joe Hill, Neil Gaiman and Ursula K. Le Guin. She is also a noted editor, writer, poet and journalist, and has been published widely throughout the world.

“…hugely enjoyable – perfect reading for a dark winter’s night.”
The Richard and Judy Book Club