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A group of 13-year-old boys go hiking on the moors of South West England -- and gradually begin to disappear, one by one.

The Moor is a coming-of-age horror novel that explores themes of friendship, the cycle of abuse, and the struggle to shake off the bad things that happen to us when we're growing up. 

The main story takes place over a long weekend in 2002, as a group of 13-year-old boys set out on a walking tour across the moors of South West England — and gradually begin to disappear, one by one. The rest of the story takes place in 2015, and follows one of the boys as he journeys back to the moor to face the evil he uncovered 13 years earlier. 

Set against the windy darkness of Rutmoor, the weekend starts with teenagers exchanging ghost stories around a campfire. As their walk gets underway and the boys begin to fall out, though, odd things start to happen. There are noises in the night. A severed rabbit's foot turns up outside someone's tent. 

Soon, the boys begin to disappear.

As panic sets in and a storm approaches, the remaining boys have to band together to face a darkness not even the local ghost stories could have helped them predict.

Sam Haysom is a writer and journalist covering culture and entertainment for Mashable. He wrote the bulk of The Moor during National Novel Writing Month in 2015. You can read all about his experience here. He's also written a number of short stories, one of which won first prize in a monthly competition run by the dark fiction website Spinetinglers.

A graduate of Cardiff University, he grew up on the edge of the New Forest and now lives in London.

News Cuttings (1951 1997)

From the Devonshire Herald, 13th August, 1951

Police Appeal For Information Regarding Missing School Children

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of two missing school children in the Rutmoor area has been asked to contact Devon and Cornwall police immediately

Devon and Cornwall Police have issued an urgent appeal for information regarding two school children who were last seen on Friday evening.

Matt Reece, 16, and Charles Gregson, 14, were reported missing on Saturday after wandering off from a school camping trip in Rutmoor National Park.

Teachers and classmates, who camped in the North East of Rutmoor just south of Gorgon Tor, noticed their absence after they failed to show up for roll call at 8am on Saturday morning. Upon inspecting their tent, trip leader and school PE teacher Mr Simon Matthews found it to be empty.

Aside from two pairs of walking boots, the rest of their possessions were still in the tent.

Police were contacted by Mr Matthews after a search of the surrounding area yielded no trace of the boys.

Reece is described as being an athletic, sensible young man with several years’ walking experience and a good knowledge of the surrounding area. He was in training for the 12 Peaks Challenge (Gold Award) after successfully completing the Silver Award the previous summer.

Gregson is described as sensible and intelligent, but an inexperienced walker. It was his first visit to Rutmoor National Park.

The boy’s mother, Mrs Sarah Gregson, has issued a passionate plea for information regarding her son’s whereabouts.

“If anyone has seen my boy or has any information at all, no matter how small it seems, please contact the police immediately so we can get him back safely,” she said. “Charles doesn’t know the area at all well and we’re very, very worried about him. Please come forward so he can be safely returned to his family.”

Chief Inspector Douglas Brown, who is heading up the investigation, said the public should not to hesitate to contact police.

“No matter what you think you may have seen or heard, no matter how small or insignificant you think it may be, we would like to hear about it,” he said. “We’re also interested in speaking to anyone who was out walking or camping on Rutmoor on the night of Friday 10th August or at any time over the following weekend.”

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So when's the book out?

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Hello beautiful people,

This update is long overdue. Ever since The Moor became fully funded on the last day of July (THANK YOU SO MUCH for helping me get it there, by the way) I’ve been meaning to let people know what the process will look like going forward. Due to a hopeless lack of organisation on my part, though, I’m only just getting round to it now.

So: when will you actually be getting…

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