THE END - The Audiobook Reviewer review!

The audiobook version of THE END has been lucky enough to get reviewed over at www.audiobookreviewer.com and I'm pleased to say Zoe and her brain eating friends got a solid 4.8 out of 5! 

You can read the full review here :)

And that's not all, they are also giving away a copy of the audioboook to one lucky winner! You can enter the contest below, or on the Giveaways page of audiobookreviewer.com. Get clicking! 

If you write for a review site and would like a free review copy of any of my work please feel free to get in touch.

⛔️DRIVE _ PROGRESS>>

I haven't blogged in a while. Life has been having its way with me. Some of it is Cambodia's fault, some of it influenza's, some of it the space my brain needs to itself before I go into a final edit. You can call it laziness if you want. I won't argue with you. But despite my apparent lack of meaningful creative activity things are happening. I've been coming to terms with criticism and what to do with it, (short version, accept all of it, ignore most of it) and I'm gearing up to finish David's story and send him out on his final journey. He's a complicated man. A bad man? Yes. One of the worst, in fact, but he's still a man, and as he himself says, what a man does in the shade of his own shadow is of no one else's concern, except perhaps yours and mine dear reader ;) 

I'm able to more directly specify my influences for DRIVE in a way that I wasn't for ANGELA or THE END. Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD is probably the primary influence. Both stories chronicle a single journey, and without giving anything away, both deal with a universal central relationship. And both look at men who commit atrocities. Not all these men are the same man in THE ROAD, whereas they are in DRIVE. THE ROAD is one of those books I go back to time and again. I adore the tone of it and McCarthy's bleak writing style. It's so efficient but so affecting. 
Every dash of his ink is a masterpiece. If I could write a book with the kind of artistry he shows in a single line I would consider myself a success. In fact I'm considering writing DRIVE without chapter breaks in an homage to THE ROAD (which itself is one long unbroken chapter, as much as it is one long unbroken journey) but I wonder if perhaps I haven't reached the level of literary skill required to make that work yet. At the moment that's how it reads, but when you see it in print it may well be cut up into little pieces.

It's what David would want anyway, I'm sure. 

VALENTINE'S DAY GIVEAWAY

I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in the Bleeding Hearts Valentine's Day giveaway by the ever awesome Claudette Melanson, along with a host of other authors, all generously giving away their work and other prizes in exchange for your likes and follows. I'm giving away ANGELA in ebook format, and a cerise swarovski crystal pendant, which couldn't be more valentinesy if it tried, but also ties in nicely to ANGELA, without giving too much away.

All you have to do is complete one or more of the below actions to be in the running for that author's prize. That's it. Couldn't be simpler really could it?


Well, what are you waiting for?

 


THE END... of a crazy first year.

THE END came a little less than a year ago. It was my first book. I had written it while I was supposed to be filling out spreadsheets and answering the phone at my job, mainly as a way of escaping the terrible, terrible tedium of doing those things, but also as a way of scratching a brain itch that had been bothering me for while. It was like playing with a kind of mental scab till it bled onto a page. It hurt a bit, but I liked it. I liked going there, to the place in the book, a place where I was in charge of everything. I liked thinking like Zoe, making her a flawed human and perfect monster, and I liked playing out fantasies of global annihilation and trying to make awful things beautiful. It felt nice, like it was cleaning me out. I suppose you could say it was therapeutic, if you'll allow me the cliché. Then one day it ended. I wrote the last few words and it was all out of me. Done. Finished. I printed it off and looked at it sat there existing as a pile of paper and words, newly born into the real world and thought, "What now?"

I hadn't really considered what I'd do when it was done. I wrote it for me and for the sake of writing it and never anticipated anyone would ever read it, but now here it was, outside of me, all over the table. 

Obviously there was some pride involved. I read what I wrote and I liked it. I'm not a particularly proud person so this was unusual for me, uncomfortable even, but yes, I liked it, and I had the strangest feeling that it needed to be read, otherwise it would die. Like reading it was oxygen, not for me, but for it. 

I know, it sounds pretentious; I suppose it is pretentious, but once a book exists if it isn't read, then isn't it effectively dead? If I had stopped writing mid way through, if it had never fully left my head then fine, terminate it, let it die, but I didn't stop, I saw it through and now it was here it didn't feel like mine to kill anymore. So I did what I was soon to discover hundreds of thousands of other people in the same situation had done before and published it on Amazon. It's ridiculously easy. A few clicks and there it is, surrounded by orange and white, your name stuck all over it, like it IS you, representing a part of your life, exposing your hopes and fears for all the world to see (should you get your keywords right and market the shit out of it). At the time it went out no one else had ever read it. No one. I had edited it myself (rookie mistake, it was full of errors) and so I had literally no idea if it was any good. Of course I liked it, and I knew I wanted people to read it, but I had no expectation whatsoever. Sales were.....ok. Great for a day, then non existent for a month. There were free promos of hundreds, then thousands and amongst all this the feedback started. Reviews and retweetscomments and stars, a dizzying, addictive feedback loop that can make your year, then ruin it in the blink of an eye. I was so naive. I had no idea how all that would feel. It's at once gratifying and invasive. It's pretty intense. And when it's good it's very very good, but when it's bad, well, you know. I'm not complaining. I'm grateful anytime someone reads it, whether they love it or hate it, I'm just happy to know that it's being read, that Zoe is chewing her way through brains all around the world, but what I could never have understood before hand is how those words and stars get under your skin, for better, and for worse. 

Anyway, then came the paperback, and then the audiobook, and I carried on writing. THE END made Matt at Obsessive Book Nerd's top five of 2014. ANGELA came out. Life carried on.

The feedback began again, some good, some bad, and the world didn't end. 

 

No more than I wanted it to anyway.

 

"You know that dream where you're at school and you realise you're naked? That's how putting a new book out feels" 

Twitter

 

 

ANGELA IS HERE...

On the 30th November, after after a long and arduous labour, ANGELA was finally born into the world in the form of a kindle ebook. At the time of writing she is currently sitting on the top of the Gay and Lesbian Horror Fiction bestsellers list, and although she's hard to love, and though in many ways I'm glad to be rid of her, I couldn't be more proud.

You can buy the book here...

As I said in my earlier post, this story was tough to write and lived in gestation for much longer than I expected. It changed a great deal, originally being written in first person from Angela's perspective and with a pretty badly judged comedic element that quickly found itself in the bin. For a while she was blonde. For a while she collected cats not birds. It was only quite recently that I really understood what it was about and through re-writes and editing drew more focus to the themes of abuse and alienation that I believe are at the heart of the story. 

ANGELA is a bleak and unflinching gothic horror about a lonely, middle aged woman who must live with the legacy of her family's dark secret, the madness that grows in the absence of love, and a closet full of delicate skeletons.

A strange and unusual character she is in turns ridiculed and ignored by those around her and finds the only companionship she has ever known in the birds she keeps in her second bedroom. 

Having never known love she struggles to love in an appropriate way and when she starts to feel affection for her female boss a dark presence manifests, and she starts down a road that will lead them to their ends.

So, in celebration of her finally being released into the world I'd like to share a playlist of music that that reminds me of her and her tragic life.

Enjoy!

ANGELA
By Adam M. Booth



Wicked Little Things, by an alternative Adam.

It's an irrefutable fact that people named Adam write the best horror. Scientists have studied it and found it to be true. There's that guy that wrote The Shining, I think his name was Adam King, then there's the world famous author of intricately woven horror epic, Weaveworld, I'm sure he goes by Adam Barker. Don't google it, just accept what I'm telling you then maybe go and buy a book written by someone called Adam. Thanks, we appreciate your support. 

 Adam Ickes

Adam Ickes

One such Adam is Adam Ickes, author of Zombie Tree, and Sock, among others, and, as luck would have it, he has a new compilation of very short stories coming out on the 1st December 2014. Wicked Little Things is the second volume of his 100 Tiny Tales Of Terror series, which compile one hundred horrible tales, each one hundred words long, and each more horrific than the last.

I read the first volume and it was overflowing with imagination and some genuinely disturbed moments, and with so many stories to chose from there is literally something for every horror fan out there. 

Wicked Little Things comes out on the 1st of December and is available to pre-order through Amazon now. 


Interstellar

I went to the cinema tonight and got lost in space. 

 

Interstellar gave me me a feeling I hadn't had for a while, that strange feeling you'd get as a child, hid beneath your covers in the blue dark thinking about the limits of space and how there weren't any. Sad aching emptiness and endless wonder, folding in on each other inside you. It was amazing. Limitless potential imagining limitless potential. 

Adult life is so rarely wonderful. It was nice to feel that way for a while again. 

ALL BEAUTY MUST DIE

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I'm coming towards the end of ANGELA, and I'm ready for her to die, in the nicest possible way.

ANGELA is the story of a lonely woman in her fifties who finds the only comfort she has ever known in the birds she keeps in her second bedroom, and who is haunted by dark forces and an evil influence. The book ought to be out before the end of the month, but then I said that in September. And October.

It's been harder to write than I anticipated. It's a dark story, full of pain and regret. Sometimes I felt like I was torturing this woman I had dreamed up, and felt a weird guilt, like I had written a weapon to beat her with. I could have written her a happy life, but I didn't. I wrote her a terrible one. Imaginary, of course, but it exists now, in its own way, in paper and ink. She suffered. She suffers. She always will. But I didn't write her just to do awful things to her on paper, I wrote her as a kind of tribute to female loneliness and to how shame can poison a family tree. And she's hardly the most likeable character ever scrawled on a page. She's short, in manner and stature, ugly by almost all standards, and she's cold, and she's violent, when she has to be. But, like all of us, she's the sum of her experience. It's not all her fault. A sequence of events took place that made her unlovable, and the same sequence of events could have made you or I the same. "There but for the grace of God go I" said somebody somewhere. Despite all this though I still feel affection for her, like an angry father might for an illegitimate child. I have hurt her, and I'm sorry, but there is love there, somewhere under the surface.