7 Days of Reviews. Day 7: Monty Reads

The last day of my 7 Days of Reviews couldn’t be more aptly timed. Just landed is a review of a Bad People by Rob, known on Instagram as Monty_Reads.

Here’s the thing: most book bloggers are quite uniformed in their approach. It’s not a bad thing, but sometimes, if you follow a lot, it’s hard to differentiate one from the other unless you check who has posted. What makes Rob stand out is that he mostly posts himself holding the book he is reading. Not only does this make it more personal, it also makes it easy to go back later in the week to see their thoughts. But the most unique thing Rob does is employ the help of Piper, his dog. Piper is by far the most well read dog on the Internet (don’t reply to this post and shatter the magic by telling me dogs can’t read!). At least three to four times a week, Piper is photographed in front of the bookshelf, and beside him (I’m assuming it’s a he – the camera hides his modesty to be 100% sure) a favourite read, mostly Stephen King novels. The dog’s got taste. Okay, it’s a little fun, and credit to Rob in getting Piper to sit so still, but it goes to prove Monty_Reads should be your next port of call over at a Instagram. Need more information?

Okay, he likes Vonnegut, King, horror and mystery books. He has well over 700 followers and isn’t afraid to go against the grain when it comes to reviews, which is why I was so happy when he gave a favourable account of his time in the pages of Bad People. He also seems like a genuinely nice guy. I know that’s difficult to evaluate through photographs, but reading his posts, he brings character to his reviews, and makes them more emotive that some. So yes, if you like books, dogs, and nice guys with facial hair, check him out.

Here’s his review of Bad People on his Goodreads Page.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3283474150

7 Days of Review. Day 6: Tracy, AKA, Honestmamreader

I’m sure there is the perception that bloggers are these pallid skinned, spectacle wearing loners whose only joy in life is books, and who dedicate twelves hours of their daily lives with their noses firmly wedges between the pages of said books. This perception most probably emanates from authors who seek out these kind bookworms to read their precious contribution to the world of literature. Well, today, as part of my 7 days review, I’m going to dispel this myth by introducing you to Honestmanreader.

Taken from her blog:

Hey everyone. My name is Tracy, and I blog and review under the name Honestmamreader. I’m Honest. I’m a mother to two children. I’m a reader. All makes sense really when you look at it like that. I love reading, even though I don’t have much time to read, what with life and kids distracting me but, when I do get the chance, I’ll read mostly thrillers, contemporary, horrors, chic lit and I’ve dabbled in historical fiction. If you are an author and would like me to review your book then pop me an email with the synopsis of your book and I’ll happily read and review (if it’s my cup of tea of course).

So yes, bloggers have lives, families, jobs, and like everyone else, a limited amount of time. Don’t abuse it. Respect the person, and as always, do your research. Fortunately, Tracy was kind enough to give me a little of her time to Bad People. Thanks, Tracy! Below is the review, from where you can find out how to contact Tracy too.

https://honestmamreader.wordpress.com/2020/04/14/bookreview-bad-people-craigwallwork-bookbloggers-bookrecommendations/

7 Days of Reviews. Day 5: Alex Pearson, AKA, Finding Montauk.

Following bloggers is a revelation. It’s also a huge guilt trip because you realise how slow a reader you are, and how many books you could potentially get through if you dedicated the time. One of those people that makes me reflect on my own “to read” list is Alex, known on Instagram as @findingmontauk1.

His ability to inhale books and exhale great reviews leaves me in awe. He was also kind enough to lend me his eyes (not literally) to Bad People, the review if which I’ll post below. A few things you should know about Alex: He reviews for Ladies of Horror Fiction. He has over 4k followers on Twitter (@finding_montauk) and 4,664 (at the time of writing this) on Instagram. He’s read 1175 books in Goodreads and has over 400 friends.

He naturally gravitates to horror, so if you’ve got a book that you think might float his boat, or rattle his chains, get in touch via his official website: http://www.findingmontauk.wordpress.com

The Bad People review found on Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3262712953

7 Days of Reviews. Day 4: Sadie Hartmann, AKA, Mother Horror.

Today I’m going to speak to you about a person that, for anyone who likes horror, or writes horror, should really know about (and to be fair, probably does already). Sadie Hartmann, also known by the moniker, Mother Horror, is one of those people whose love for the horror genre has led the way to such things as the breakthrough subscription service Night Worms, and now her Patreon led promotion platform for writers and lovers of all things horror. She reviews for some of the most esteemed horror magazines out there, and her dedication to supporting both established and fledging authors is inspiring, which is why she’s one of the most respected reviewers around today.

I was fortunate enough to pique her interest with Bad People a couple of months ago, and was amazed when she gave it a very favourable review in the UK’s number horror magazine, Scream. Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about her, save to add that people like Sadie not only contribute an immense amount of time to the cause, but serve as the backbone to many careers in the horror community.

This is taken from her Patreon TEAM HORROR, and gives you an idea of her background and achievements. I’ll include a link to the Patreon page too at the end should be be interested in joining.

Greetings! My name is Sadie Hartmann, otherwise known as Mother Horror on social media. I write horror fiction reviews and other content for Cemetery Dance and SCREAM Magazine as well as Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram and other social media platforms & publications.

I am a member of the Horror Writers Association and the co-owner of a curated, horror fiction, monthly subscription package called Night Worms.

I consider myself a horror fiction advocate. Every day I work hard and hustle promoting the genre of horror to the very best of my ability. I have been passionately promoting horror as a hobby/passion for years. In addition to the reviews, I write dedicated blog posts HERE and articles and listicles for LitReactor like THIS

My Twitter analytics inspired me to launch this Patreon. This February 2020 my analytics were insane. 1M Tweet Impressions. 2.3% Tweet engagement (1.3% is considered “high influencer level) and 300+ new followers in both January & February 2020. I love using my Twitter influence to advocate for horror and I felt like others might want to know my techniques for how I do this and also might want to support me to keep the momentum going.

It’s my dream/goal to be able to make enough money as a non-fiction writer in the genre to take my HWA membership to the next level so that I can be a voter in the annual Stoker Awards. I have enjoyed using my current level of membership to nominate books for this prestigious award.

But there is always more that I can do to ensure that horror authors and publishers are successful in getting the right book in the right reader’s hands. You can join me on this mission! The tiers will explain how you can get involved. I have a lot of ideas in order to start a horror genre advocacy movement I’m calling #TeamHorror. This Patreon will be an ideal place for me to share with you what I’ve learned promoting horror while inviting Patrons to practice Street Team Style horror fiction promotion.

~Sadie Hartmann

https://www.patreon.com/MotherHorror

Follow her on Twitter: @sadiehartmann

7 Days of Reviews. Day 3: Sublime Horror.

Sublime Horror is a review site that specialise in all things horror, obviously. There “topics” include movies, TV and books, and reviews come from an array of different reviewers, and as their website states, they’re always looking to expand its team of writers. So if you’re a reviewer, blogger or just like watching/reading horror, drop them an email.

Here’s their guidelines should you be interested…

Our guest contributors are passionate about horror, whether that’s in literature, cinema, theatre, or art. We are open to most ideas so long as they entertain, inspire, or educate people and help them expand their horror horizons. While our focus for a long time has been on literary horror – and that particular emphasis isn’t going anywhere – we are especially looking for new contributors who wish to write about horror outside of literature.

Here’s an incomplete list of the sorts of things we’d love to hear from you about: essays/opinion pieces on a particular angle of horror (or the industry), thoughtful and balanced reviews on new releases, analytical pieces on older works (not “reviews” per se), reading or watching lists that focus on a particular topic or theme, and interviews with authors or people involved in horror (we can help arrange the interview for you, if desired). If your idea does not fit into one of those groups, then still please get in touch.

Thanks to Lucy who reviewed Bad a People. Here’s what she had to say.

https://www.sublimehorror.com/books/bad-people-by-craig-wallwork-review/#more-2531

7 Days of Reviews. Day 2: Entertainingly Nerdy

Today, as part of my meagre attempt to promote bloggers and reviewers, I’m bringing you Kaili from Entertainingly Nerdy, a blog site that delivers on quality reviews.

Want to know more about Kaili? This is taken from her About Page…

Hey readers! First off my name is Kaili and I’m thirty years old. I have one cute son and two cute dogs. I started book blogging about two years ago and I honestly didn’t really think anything would come of it. I wanted to start it because I’ve always love to read and I was hoping to find new books once I started. I figured there were so many authors out there that I knew nothing about and I had a feeling there would be some I really liked.

My favorite genres are horror, thriller, and mystery. I do love a good young adult novel and I’ve just started realizing over the past year that I really like Fantasy too! If you would like to know any more then please let me know and I look forward to working and collaborating with you guys!

I’d highly recommend approaching her if you think your book fits. She also reviews movies and video games too. Here’s her review of Bad People.

Bad People by Craig Wallwork

7 Days of Reviews. Day 1: NIGHTFALL UP NORTH

I make no apologies for trying to promote my work. A lot of effort, sweat and blood goes into writing a book, but it takes an equal amount to promote it. It also takes a lot of kindness and time from others. So to try and celebrate both camps, I’ll be promoting the bloggers who have read Bad People, and include the link to the review. If you’re a writer, this should serve as a means to connect to some wonderful people. As a blogger, it’s a thank you for your tireless effort in spreading the news.

Day 1 is NIGHTFALL UP NORTH

Jamie, who runs the blog, lives in the woods of northern Michigan, where she enjoys reading late into the night. Her favorite genre is horror, but will read almost anything that catches her interest.

Personal Statement: 

I currently read and write book reviews as a serious hobby. My intentions with reviewing are to:

-Share my honest thoughts with other readers

-Connect with readers, reviewers, and authors to discuss our shared interests

-Promote the horror genre, which includes bringing attention to the authors and the diversity of material available

The review of Bad People

https://nightfallupnorth.wordpress.com/2020/04/11/book-review-bad-people-by-craig-wallwork/

Bad People Book Trailer

With the ongoing lockdown, I have more time to get around to things I’ve been putting off. One of those is a book trailer for my new novel, Bad People. So here it is. Thanks to all the wonderful reviewers who provided the pull quotes.

Will COVID19 Mark the End of Horror?

In a recent interview, bestselling author Paul Tremblay talked about releasing his new book, Survivor Song, during a pandemic. The story revolves around a rabid-like virus, and deals with themes of paranoia, fear and isolation. While Tremblay had no idea COVID19 was lurking on the horizon, after reading him talk about feeling almost “apologetic for the book”, it hit me that the current climate of hysteria may impact negatively on entertainment that deal with similar themes (see The Stand by Stephen King, NOD by Adrian Barnes, The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker, and movies like Outbreak, Contagion, and 28 Days Later).

News broadcasts articulate daily on rising death tolls and the continuing spread of the disease, and footage of lockdowns, faces obscured by masks, reports of food shortages due to panic buying, economical uncertainty, job losses, the strain on hospitals and staff, the closing of businesses, shops, restaurants, cinemas, cafes, major events cancelled, holidays lost, and doctors playing God, is the fact we’re seemingly living in the very pages of fiction a push to seek out works that immerse us back into the nightmare? Could COVID19

mark the beginning of the end to horror?

In our home, my wife and I no longer watch terrestrial television for fear one of us will inadvertently switch a challenge and stumble into more footage of coffins stacked atop of each other in shipping containers. This is not a head in the sand moment. This is protecting our mental wellbeing. We know, like everyone else the severity of the situation that exists beyond our door, but for the sake of our sanity, we don’t need to be reminded of it on a hourly basis. For this reason, Netflix has become our respite. But I was surprised to find that, while searching for new episodes of Better Call Saul, under “popular searches” was the documentary, Pandemic. Next in list was Quarantine. Are people searching out these shows/movies, and if so, why? Is it to relate, to understand more, to know that it isn’t just them going through this? It seems so.

Downloads of Stephen Soderbergh’s thriller Contagion have soared, which holds a chilling realism to the current pandemic. Outbreak, the 1995 movie starring Dustin Hoffman is about, ironical, a virus outbreak, and apparently the third most streamed movie on Netflix. So why? Surely now is the time to sing along with Dick Van Dyke as he shoves his sweep up Mary Poppins’s chimney. Or finally get around to that Adam Sandler marathon you’ve been putting off. Or maybe revisit all those Merchant Ivory period dramas you hated as a teenager, but now might find merit in their pretension.

There is a theory that watching movies like 28 Days Later, World War Z, Contagion and Quarantine, allows us to live vicariously through the experience and survive. Whereas actually living through it still holds some uncertainty. This runs risks. By immersing yourself in the extreme, and seeing it daily on the streets you walk, can lead you to some dark places in the mind. Mental health is as fragile now as ever. The need to protect the brain from too much negativity is paramount to survival too. Where horror movies and books used to be escapism, a cheap thrill to detach us from the humdrum of daily life, they now hold little escape from the true horrors that surround us. Sure, there’s no monsters, no man with knives for fingers and burnt face, no clown carrying a red ballon, or zombie apocalypse (though seeing recently masses of people shuffling slowly into Tesco did engender scenes of Dawn of the Dead), but there’s still a genuine threat out there that can take the lives of those we love. When curiosity wanes, and the need to absorb facts and figures decline, people will concentrate again on what they can control, not what they can’t. For the sake of their own wellbeing, they will find solace in reprieve, and seek out the little things we overlook while existing in weekly routines of work, sleep and shopping. We will begin to see each other again. It’s happening now. I recently wrote a letter to my children about this and posted it up on various social media sites to remind people that things will get better. Some extracted passages and passed it on to others. Others cried because they could identify with it.

But what will all that mean to horror? Will we naturally drift away from the genre to help keep us sane? Or will we still listen to its eerie song to survive? I guess only time will tell. But wherever you find solace, enjoy your time there and detach. Life is hard at the moment, so bring as much pleasure into it as possible. And if that involves werewolves, vampires, or some romcom staring Rebel Wilson, then do it. Stay say. Stay indoors.

A Letter to My Children

There will come a time when this will end. The cage door will reopen, and you’ll be free again. You will return to school and engage in play. My son will talk of superheroes. My daughter will stare askance at boys, the world turning mute when they catch your eye. Both your knees will graze, shins will be barked, and laughter will be had on the playground. You will only know of this time by conversations you overhear, mostly by those who have lost someone close, but for you, it will only be a footnote in history, an inconvenience. 

There will come a time when this will end, but for now we are living through it, and for all the fear, the anxiety and panic, in the midst of this strangeness, I have found something wonderful. I have found you both again.

We are closer than ever now. In the time before, when things were normal, I felt distant, even though I was sat right next to you. We existed in silos, lost in our reflections from mobile screens, and speaking at times only to bear out our judgment on the trivial, or to approve what we wanted to eat. We employed conversation as a gesture, a weak display of feigned interest, never the gift it was. Your troubles were insignificant, and mine too haunting to voice. If I’m being honest, your interests roused little in me, and the things I loved left you indifferent. The gulf between us was, at times, as apparent as the youth you hold and the age settling into me. 

There will come a time when all this ends and life will return to how it was. For now, understand that I am happy it is here. I am scared, but happy because this awful thing has made me see you again. I see the tiny lines in your hands as you shell pistachios. I see flour handprints on surfaces after baking bread. I see my son’s eyebrows darkening, freckles blotting his nose. His hair is coarser in my hands, his limbs stretching. I see in my daughter’s face shadows of myself as a child, and that I know she is the better version of me, the prettier version. I believed for a long time I had nothing in me to give, that my mind would always see the darker shades of life, never the bright. But for all my faults, I realise now that you are the good in me. You are the love manifested that I did not think existed.

There will come a time when this will end, but for now, let it teach me how to be a better dad.

This virus is bad, and though it takes lives daily and ignites anger in many, it allows the world to heal. Fish can be seen in rivers. The air is better. And we are together, so close that I smell you on my clothes, and hear your voices in dream as if you are whispering in my ear. So for all the bad, there is good, and for all the fear, there is hope. And for all the heartache, there is love. And when this thing ends, because it will, we will have this time to reflect upon, to remember when we laughed during the mayhem, and for one moment saw each other again.

My love forever, Dad.