The Unpredictable Labyrinth

“At its best, life is completely unpredictable.”

You know who said that? Christopher Walken. Profound stuff, right? Well, let’s hold off plans just yet for a twenty-foot bronze statue in his name, because he also went on to say “One day you’re saving the rainforest, the next you’re chugging cock.” Hardly Aristotle. Nonetheless, Walken had a point: Life is completely unpredictable. Yesterday proved that.

In January of this year I released a crime/thriller/horror book called, Bad People. Some of you may remember. Those that don’t, where the hell have you been for the past nine months? It’s birth was troubled. The first run had a number of typos that slowed the readers down, and, rightly, reviews reflected the frustrations of many. I amended this with the help of some very selfless souls scattered around the globe, and who to this day are probably still waiting anxiously for the cheque to drop in the mail. Soon, things began to pick up. Three stars became four. Four stars became five. Praise was poured freely and I, like any ego-driven writer, lapped it up like a feral cat licking at the nipple of a vagrant. Once I’d had my fill (Not of a vagrant’s nipple – note to self: good name for an autobiography), and because I’m not the type to just sit at the laptop hitting refresh every three seconds to see how many sales I have (I’m lying – already I’ve stopped writing this blog at least ten times to check my KDP dashboard. For those ignorant to self-publishing, the KDP dashboard is the place where you find out if you’ve earned enough money to quit your job, or curse the Dickens out of every Amazon customer including your own mother for not buying your book. By in large, it’s the latter), I set about writing a sequel, or more accurately, part two of the Tom Nolan series. This became known as Labyrinth of the Dolls. And that book came out yesterday.

Try to picture it: Tuesday morning rolls around and I’ve spent most of it knocking back Imodium tablets like they’re Tic Tacs, and pacing nervously around rooms that I can’t remember entering. I’ll apologise now to the lovely Asian family who had every right to call the police for me entering their home unannounced and consuming half a bottle of Pepto-Bismol from their refrigerator. When I finally succumbed to nervous exhaustion some time around midday and checked my phone for notifications to see if my cream had soured (any double entendre there happened by accident), I was surprised, nay, shocked, to find quite the opposite. Over the course of the day very favourable reviews has been popping up on Instagram and Twitter, all of which never dipped below four stars. The knot in my stomach that felt akin in size to that tied by Gordian and cleaved by Alexander the Great finally began to unravel. My book had been accepted and was liked. To say I didn’t expect some good reviews would be a lie. But like Walken said, life is unpredictable and until I saw for my own eyes the kind and generous words, as well as the sheer effort some reviewers put into the photographs to accompany the reviews, I just never knew what to expect. I’m going to include a few below because they are the heroes in this silly blog, and I am forever indebted to each and everyone person.

I was also interviewed at TBM: Horror Experts where you can read me go on about horror books, movies and why pineapple on pizza will end in me losing several pints of blood.

If you’re going blind reading reviews, why not sit back and listen to Booked. Podcast, who reviewed Labyrinth of the Dolls for this week’s show.

Also, to mark the occasion of Labyrinth of the Doll’s birth, I arranged for Bad People to be made available for free for a limited time. Therefore, if you haven’t purchased either book yet, then I suggest going over to Amazon right now. You’ll also notice that at the time of writing this, the paperback version for Labyrinth of the Dolls is still unavailable. Don’t worry, it will be up either today (September 16th) or tomorrow priced at £6.99 or $8.99 depending on what side of the pond you sit. This self-sacrificing act of giving away Bad People resulted in the book hitting (at last look) number 30 in the Crime and Thriller chart, and 700 in the overall best seller list. To say I am the cat that got the cream is an understatement, but it also nicely circles back to the aforesaid vagrant nipples. So please, all joking aside, thank you. Your support and kindness has been the scaffold around my career as a writer, and it’s because of you I will continue to write more in the Tom Nolan series.

If you wish to buy Labyrinth of the Dolls, or Bad People, then allow me to extend my gratitude once more, and please, after reading either book, drop a little review or star rating when you have the time. Reviews really make a difference and help inform others of what is wheat, and what is chaff.

Until next time, stay safe and best wishes. Craig

Published by craigwallwork

Craig Wallwork is the author of the novels, Bad People, Labyrinth of the Dolls, The Sound of Loneliness, To Die Upon a Kiss, and the short story collections, Quintessence of Dust, and Gory Hole. His short stories have been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and feature in many anthologies and magazines both in the U.K. and U.S. He currently lives in West Yorkshire.

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