Karl Drinkwater’s Horror Collection - Special Offer

Special offer from now until 8th August: my Horror Collection (e-book) is $0.99 instead of $5.99. (Bought separately, the three books would cost c.$9.)

Yep, you get my full horror collection, all three titles, for $0.99! Turner, They Move Below, and Harvest Festival.

Buy it here.

Please share the news of this bargain. It's worth taking a chance, even if you don't normally read horror.


200,000 Visits To This Site

Numbers can be arbitrary, but it is still nice to celebrate passing milestones. I have just had my 200,000th visit to this site. Since I became a full-time writer I've seen more and more visitors. All are welcome to step into the light.

This is an exciting year for me. I continue with the author's mandate of getting words down (and accepting that they'll be a mix of crap, average, and brilliant, and that the hard work is cutting out all but the brilliant ones).

I have quite a lot of projects on the go.
  • The audiobooks of They Move Below and Turner have finished production and will be available soon. Both have great narrators, and I'm glad Harvest Festival will have some companions.
  • Cold Fusion 2000 is getting a new edition (and then I'll work on a new edition of 2000 Tunes to match it).
  • In NaNoWriMo 2016 I wrote a collection of literary short stories - all about life and relationships and love of various kinds. I can't help being a bit dark so it includes a creepy one about a couple stuck on a desert island that gets covered in water every twenty-four hours. You can only survive by standing on the highest point (which is still underwater). I already had about 70,000 words of short stories written, so that's about 130,000 total. Rather than two average collections, I'm going to be ruthless and work with my editor to identify the best, and just nuke the others, so that one strong collection remains standing. I think it's always the case that in any good book many words will have been discarded along the way, maybe even as many as the final word count. Discarded words still count towards the million we have to write to learn the craft though. 🙂
  • Then my most exciting project (that has temporarily put the project above on hold) - at the end of NaNoWriMo I needed to write a few thousand more words. But I'd already written every relationship story I had planned! So I decided to have fun and write a short sci-fi horror to take me over the goal line. But then I really got into the story, and kept building in new twists. Before I knew it NaNoWriMo was long gone and I was still writing every day. 3,000 words about a man on a spaceship became 50,000 words about a woman on a spaceship (in a type of power armour, backed up by a goddess-level AI), with wider themes and more twists and side-story. I had such fun writing it, and I think it tells in the story. I was never stuck or bored, for the first time ever. So instead of the literary collection being my priority, it became this, and it is now almost ready for the final proofread and publication. Kind of Aliens crossed with Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider crossed with military sci-fi and Event Horizon with a hint of Space Hulk. I had a science expert (non-fiction science author) look over it to do fact checking, and it was all fine apart from needing to change a brown dwarf to a neutron star. I was a bit sad about that because I like brown dwarf stars (some of them are cool enough that you could rest your hand on the surface and not get burnt) but otherwise he said it was good to go, even if some parts of it "felt like I was playing a computer game". I took that as a compliment.
  • After all that is done I'll start a whole new project. Possibly a sequel to one of my books, or something nutso, or maybe a whole new world and story and characters. It's important for writers to be excited by what they are doing, so that it bleeds onto the page.
Thank you for being with me on my journey so far. It's really going places (outer space, for one!)


My Own A-to-Z Of Twitter

Recently I was honoured to be included in An A-to-Z Of Indie over on Twitter. I decided it was time to repay the favour, and have been building up my own Twitter A-to-Z of thanks and appreciation for the last two weeks. You'll find all the posts here (in reverse chronological order - Twitter doesn't do chronological).

I still have a few days to go, but here's the text from the messages I've sent so far (and I'll update it as I continue). You'll need to go to Twitter to see the gifs, but I've made their Twitter handles hyperlinks to their accounts so you can easily follow these cool people. :-)


It's time for me to pay it forward and promote accounts on Twitter that mean something to me. One a day, A to Z. #AtoZKD2017

Many accounts to follow. People to send good wishes to. Sharing is always a fun thing. #AtoZKD2017

And the first one is ... #AtoZKD2017

A is for ...

A is for @AlteredInstinct for giving me this idea. See #AtoZofIndie for the inspiration and kindness. #AtoZKD2017

I was featured by @AlteredInstinct as the letter D, which made my day. https://twitter.com/AlteredInstinct/status/881271615954325505 … #AtoZKD2017

Also, @AlteredInstinct wrote this fantastic review of my horror collection: http://www.alteredinstinct.com/2017/04/book-review-foul-is-fair-by-jeffrey.html … #AtoZKD2017

My favourite part of the @AlteredInstinct review was this final bit shown in the image. #AtoZKD2017

So thank you very much @AlteredInstinct for being first in my #AtoZKD2017

An addendum to A is the author Sarah Anderson @sea_author who is also a whizz with graphics. #AtoZKD2017

@sea_author recently read one of my books and earned gold stars for posting photos of it in the wild. #AtoZKD2017

And her review made me smile "I don't think I've ever read horror like this!" https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2034785244 #AtoZKD2017

So thanks, @sea_author :-) #AtoZKD2017

B is for ...

And next up ... B is for @Book_Connectors #BookConnectors (set up by the wonderful @annecater) #AtoZKD2017

@Book_Connectors is a community of authors and bloggers, brought together due to the sheer love of books and words. #AtoZKD2017

Many of my blogging and reviewer friends (some of which I'll feature later in the series) were met through @Book_Connectors :-) #AtoZKD2017

So thank you @Book_Connectors #BookConnectors @annecater for all you do for authors and readers! #AtoZKD2017

While I am on the letter B, there is also the multi-talented @MsBessieBell - singer, author, musician, designer, editor #AtoZKD2017

I love the strong branding of her books, and the content: http://www.karldrinkwater.uk/2017/02/review-dear-reflection-i-never-meant-to.html
Thanks for being an example @MsBessieBell #AtoZKD2017

I have one more letter B: @Bbrilliantbooks
So much enthusiasm, the Best Newcomer Award at #bloggersbash2017 was well-deserved. #AtoZKD2017

@Bbrilliantbooks Abbie also interviewed me last year on her blog, about my author influences http://www.bloominbrilliantbooks.com/author-influences/author-influences-with-karl-drinkwater/ #AtoZKD2017
Thank you!

C is for ...

C is for horror fan The Corpse Bride @noelle_kelly and her wonderful blog http://bansheeirishhorrorblog.com/ #AtoZKD2017

I met @noelle_kelly at a Facebook party to launch They Move Below http://www.karldrinkwater.uk/2016/08/they-move-below-july-horror-blog-tour-6.html
She was a super guest/horror expert! #AtoZKD2017

@noelle_kelly has also been a huge fan of my work, reading and reviewing all my horror books so far http://bansheeirishhorrorblog.com/bookreview-karl-drinkwaters-horror-collection/ #AtoZKD2017

So a heartfelt thanks to Ireland's amazing @noelle_kelly
Check out her blog, follow her on Twitter. :-) #AtoZKD2017

D is for ...

D is for @emdehaney who shares lines from her works-in-progress as little snippets of glitter strewn across my Twitter feed. #AtoZKD2017

D is also for DISTRIBUTORS, who get books from authors and publishers to the readers and fans. #AtoZKD2017

Distributors include @Smashwords who paved the way in this area, and have a wonderful DRM-free stance. #AtoZKD2017

Distributors include @pronoun who have many useful tools and who give their help staff the title of "Author Happiness Advocate" #AtoZKD2017

Distributors include @IngramSpark for their extensive print distribution network #AtoZKD2017

Distributors include @AmazonKDP and @CreateSpace for making things easy for authors #AtoZKD2017

Thanks to all the distributors helping authors and publishers! #AtoZKD2017

E is for ...

E is for @JanetEmson who writes knowledgeably about books at https://fromfirstpagetolast.wordpress.com/ #AtoZKD2017

@JanetEmson kindly let me appear on her site to talk about the beauty of #shortstories https://fromfirstpagetolast.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/get-shorties-karl-drinkwater-the-jug/

So thank you @JanetEmson for all you do to promote good books! #AtoZKD2017

For E I also want to shout out to my friend and fellow author KY Eden @redcroftjournal #AtoZKD2017

Find out more about her @redcroftjournal books at http://www.kyedenbooks.com/books #AtoZKD2017

F is for ...

Today I change things slightly. Instead of a person, F is for ... Fonts! #AtoZKD2017

There are lots of fonts at http://www.dafont.com/ and for many it is their first place to visit. #AtoZKD2017

But because many are free, the same DaFont fonts get re-used again and again on things like book covers. #AtoZKD2017

I even recognise some of the fonts on genre covers as being "X from DaFont, again" - it ruins the professionalism. #AtoZKD2017

A better option is @fontbundlesnet - many professional fonts, reasonably priced, often in value bundles. #AtoZKD2017

@fontbundlesnet also regularly gives away lovely fonts - https://fontbundles.net/free-fonts Thank you @fontbundlesnet! #AtoZKD2017

Another great font option is @CreativeMarket #AtoZKD2017

@CreativeMarket have much more than fonts - they sell many lovely design elements at https://creativemarket.com/ #AtoZKD2017

And @CreativeMarket even give away some things every Monday! https://creativemarket.com/free-goods #AtoZKD2017
Thank you @CreativeMarket!

G is for ...

G is for @grabthisbook and Gordon. He reviews tirelessly at http://grabthisbook.net/ #AtoZKD2017

@grabthisbook reviewed the first edition of my sci-fi horror, Harvest Festival #AtoZKD2017

And @grabthisbook reviewed my horror short stories, They Move Below: "Mr Drinkwater has a delightfully warped imagination" #AtoZKD2017

@grabthisbook also interviewed me, and I revealed a true spooky event I'd experienced http://grabthisbook.net/?p=1806 #AtoZKD2017

So go and follow @grabthisbook and browse the reviews on his site. Thank you @grabthisbook! #AtoZKD2017

I'm not quite done with G. G is also for @JaySpencerGreen - my first philosophy lecturer #AtoZKD2017

The philosophy course he taught inspired me to do Classics at university, which I loved so much I got a first #AtoZKD2017

And by a strange twist, after various careers, we both ended up as authors twenty years later! https://jayspencergreen.com/ #AtoZKD2017

So many thanks @JaySpencerGreen (who once had a comedy stage name of Derek Saliva - "The name on everybody's lips") #AtoZKD2017

H is for ...

H is for ... Helen Treharne @Tea_Talks! #AtoZKD2017

I met her when I contributed to her Facebook party to launch Book 2 in her Sophie Morgan Vampire Series http://www.karldrinkwater.uk/2016/03/st-davids-day-bookfest-my-contributions.html #AtoZKD2017

You'll find her site at https://helentreharne.com/
Thanks for introducing me to Facebook launch parties, Helen!

H is also for @ShaunEHorton #AtoZKD2017

The connection between my two H friends is that both Shaun and @Tea_Talks helped my own Facebook launch! http://www.karldrinkwater.uk/2016/08/they-move-below-july-horror-blog-tour-6.html #AtoZKD2017

Amongst other things, Shaun has written a series of fun blog posts about cryptids http://shaunhorton.blogspot.co.uk/p/cryptids.html #AtoZKD2017
Thanks, Shaun!

I is for ...

I is for independent! Specifically, @IndieAuthorALLI
They do a great job supporting independent authors. #AtoZKD2017

It doesn't matter how a book gets to the readers' hands. Trade-published, small pub, hybrid, indie - as long as the book is good #AtoZKD2017

As long as the author wrote the story they were passionate about; as long as it burns in the minds of the readers. #AtoZKD2017

An author can transfer rights to a for-profit publisher, who will deal with some of the editing, design, and marketing ... #AtoZKD2017

... or an author can keep all the rights, and hire professionals to deal with editing, design, and marketing. #AtoZKD2017

I wrote a lot more about publishing options at http://www.karldrinkwater.uk/2016/05/a-world-of-writers-and-readers.html and http://www.karldrinkwater.uk/2017/06/literary-shake-up-in-wales.html #AtoZKD2017

Thank you @IndieAuthorALLI & all orgs that support authors, including distributors (D in my AtoZ) https://twitter.com/hashtag/atozkd2017?f=tweets&vertical=default #AtoZKD2017

J is for ...

J is for @julie_cohen, the well-respected and versatile author - and helper of other authors #AtoZKD2017

I've attended a great course by Julie and @rowancoleman http://www.karldrinkwater.uk/2015/07/course-writing-womens-popular-fiction.html (they often run retreats, well worth going) #AtoZKD2017

Julie also advised me on various works: of TMB she said "I was scared shitless and loved every minute" https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1663441321 #AtoZKD2017

Julie's advice is invaluable. She is supportive of the good parts of your writing, and lets you know when you've nailed it ... #AtoZKD2017

... and she is 100% honest when she tells me off for "long-ass paragraphs" or not being concrete enough, or killing space aliens #AtoZKD2017

Julie is awesome. Read her books http://www.julie-cohen.com/
Thank you, Julie! #AtoZKD2017

Another J is multi-genre author @JennyKaneAuthor #AtoZKD2017

Jenny was kind enough to interview me about my "Manchester 2000" books http://jennykane.co.uk/blog/guest-post-from-karl-drinkwater-thinking-manchester-in-the-year-2000/ #AtoZKD2017

Jenny's a great writer, her site is http://jennykane.co.uk/
And although I don't celebrate birthdays, it is hers today. :-) #AtoZKD2017

One more J! I've covered two authors, but want to include an excellent book blog as well. J for Jera's Jamboree! @shazgoodwin #AtoZKD2017

You'll find Shaz's site at http://www.jerasjamboree.co.uk/ - Shaz is one of my many #bookbloggers #bookconnectors friends #AtoZKD2017

There was a lovely review of my novella Harvest Festival at http://www.jerasjamboree.co.uk/2016/05/spine-tingling-harvest-festival.html #AtoZKD2017

I was proud to be included in "5 Halloween Reads to make you shiver" with
@naominovik @Thomas_Novelist http://www.jerasjamboree.co.uk/2016/10/5-halloween-reads.html #AtoZKD2017

So many thanks to @shazgoodwin for all you do for authors and readers! #AtoZKD2017

K is for ...

K is for @AmyKitcher! I've been waiting for a while to do this one. :-) #AtoZKD2017

Amy is both a talented writer, and someone who works tirelessly promoting the quality writing of other authors #AtoZKD2017

Amy's also a lovely person who extends her interest and compassion way beyond her local surroundings. #AtoZKD2017

Amy was kind enough to read and review my non-horror books https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R1G7M09KS0ZY4D/ and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1929448712 #AtoZKD2017

So thank you Amy, for all that you do, and for joining my group of lovely friends! :-) #AtoZKD2017

I was out and about yesterday, so didn't finish K! K is also for @susiekearley, friend of guinea pigs and wildlife! :-) #AtoZKD2017

L is for ...

Time for today's AtoZ. L is for ... lots of ladies with L names. #AtoZKD2017

First up is @stimsonink, author of Redwood, a gothic horror novel. She's one to watch. #AtoZKD2017

LB was also kind enough to review Harvest Festival.
Many thanks! :-) #AtoZKD2017

My second L today is @leonora_meriel, a talented author: I've read her second novel, The Unity Game, & will write a review soon #AtoZKD2017

I think Leonora is getting married today, so the timing is good - congratulations, hope you'll be very happy in your unity game! #AtoZKD2017

As an aside I made tiny edits for LB&Leonora in the past, though both write well, check out their work! http://www.karldrinkwater.uk/p/services-for-writers.html #AtoZKD2017

My third L is @LittleMemoirs - Becca was one of the first of many lovely #bookbloggers to support my work by reviewing it #AtoZKD2017

"A hugely inspiring novel that I adored from start to finish."
Thank you for your review, Becca!
http://www.prettylittlememoirs.com/2013/11/book-review-cold-fusion-2000-by-karl.html #AtoZKD2017

My fourth L: writer, editor, lecturer Barrie Llewelyn @Arleta1. Amongst other things, she put together http://www.karldrinkwater.uk/2016/01/secondary-character-and-other-stories.html #AtoZKD2017

I got to meet her at the collection's launch in Cardiff http://www.karldrinkwater.uk/2015/09/secondary-character-and-other-stories.html
Many thanks for all you do for writers, Barrie! #AtoZKD2017

My fifth and final L today is @Lindahill50Hill, respected bookblogger extraordinaire. #AtoZKD2017

Linda doesn't read horror so I had fun with her challenge: persuading her to read one of my scary books! https://lindasbookbag.com/2016/07/10/a-challenge-with-karl-drinkwater-author-of-they-move-below/ #AtoZKD2017

Thank you Linda, for being so enthusiastic about books, helping authors, helping readers! #AtoZKD2017

M is for ...

M is for E M McIntyre @finlayforever, a fellow author who is incredibly supportive of other writers. #AtoZKD2017

Her books are really well-received - see https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13855383.E_M_McIntyre and https://redkingtrilogy.com/ #AtoZKD2017

She's also said lovely things about my horror books:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1898395441 #AtoZKD2017

Many thanks @finlayforever! #AtoZKD2017

M is also for Kirsten McKenzie @Kiwimrsmac, another author and friend of mine. #AtoZKD2017

Her latest novel, Painted, is doing really well and looks like a great read for horror fans https://www.amazon.com/dp/0473398435/ #AtoZKD2017

Keep on creating, Kirsten! #AtoZKD2017

One more M! @MarkG_Author who seems tireless in his writing and sharing of useful and interesting information. #AtoZKD2017

He's written a lot - check out his latest series of books - https://twitter.com/MarkG_Author/status/885536923183460352 #AtoZKD2017

So I recommend keeping up with all that Mark does! http://markgillespieauthor.com/ #AtoZKD2017

N is for ...

N is for @NerdishMum, who is one of the friendliest and most supportive #bookbloggers I've ever encountered #AtoZKD2017

NerdishMum interviewed me on my first blog tour https://lifeofanerdishmum.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/harvest-festival-blog-tour-karl.html and has reviewed all my horror books! #AtoZKD2017

For her review at http://lifeofanerdishmum.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/they-move-below-by-karl-drinkwater.html I created an interactive version of one of my stories http://philome.la/karldrinkwater/harvest-festival-beta #AtoZKD2017

Visit her excellent blog at http://lifeofanerdishmum.blogspot.co.uk/ which is packed with reviews and author interviews. Thank you, Helen! #AtoZKD2017

While talking about N for @NerdishMum, I was reminded of a book reviewer who introduced me to the term "nerdfighter": @Charli952 #AtoZKD2017

Charlotte is the only person who has reviewed one of my books on video: special kudos for that https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuR-ClWf8l4&feature=youtu.be#t=2m08s #AtoZKD2017

I was on holiday (though also editing a book!) when I saw her review, and it was the best thing about the day. Thanks Charlotte! #AtoZKD2017

O is for ...

O is for @OrnaRoss - famous author, but also tireless defender and supporter of other authors #AtoZKD2017

Amongst many other things, Orna founded @IndieAuthorALLI #AtoZKD2017

Many thanks for all you do, Orna! #AtoZKD2017

P is for ...

P is for Pete Kahle @HorriblePete: horror author, fan, supporter, and more #AtoZKD2017

Pete was kind enough to review one of my books too https://www.amazon.com/review/RLBD1QH29QPPG/ :-) #AtoZKD2017

Many thanks, Pete, and best wishes for the future! #AtoZKD2017

I've linked to a lot of fellow authors, but P is also for @PatriDuarte, because our readers and supporters keep us going #AtoZKD2017

Patricia reminds me that I have fans and well-wishers in other countries than the UK and US. :-) Muchas gracias, Patricia! #AtoZKD2017

Q is for ...

Q is for @TheQuietKnitter. Kate was a "hidden gem" at the 2017 Bloggers' Bash Award (which honoured many of my blogger friends) #AtoZKD2017

Kate is based in the most Scottish of countries and has an excellent book blog at https://thequietknitterer.wordpress.com/ #AtoZKD2017

And no, Kate hasn't reviewed my books or been on my blog tour. :-) I'm just praising cool book people. #AtoZKD2017

Many thanks for being in my #AtoZKD2017, Kate!

R is for ...

It's been a few days (I was in Scotland), but I'm back, and R is for ... Redman @SavannaRedman #AtoZKD2017

Savanna's creative with colours, words and images, and I really like her style. She has a new website at https://www.savannaredman.com/ #AtoZKD2017

She was kind enough to review one of my books https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1OL4CTZ9T9HLG/ #AtoZKD2017

Her Goddess Colorizing Journal would make a great present, and shows how creative she is https://www.savannaredman.com/goddess #AtoZKD2017

So have a look at Savanna's work! I'm glad she's one of my kind and thoughtful friends. #AtoZKD2017

S is for ...

S is for @smbslt - So Many Books, So Little Time! A Scottish super-book-blogger. Visit her site http://www.alwaysreading.net/ #AtoZKD2017

Lainy reviewed They Move Below: "Drinkwater has the knack of creating a tense and terrifying atmosphere" http://www.alwaysreading.net/2016/10/they-move-below-by-karl-drinkwater.html #AtoZKD2017

She also reviewed Turner: "[At] one part near the end of the story, I actually whooped out loud!" http://www.alwaysreading.net/2013/08/arr-turner-by-karl-drinkwater.html/ #AtoZKD2017

So thanks, Lainy! Everyone follow @smbslt, aye! :-) #AtoZKD2017

S is also for @sarahhardy681 who I met via her book blog https://bytheletterbookreviews.com/, but who is also an inspiring book publicist. #AtoZKD2017

Sarah was kind enough to review the first edition of Harvest Festival: "had me on the edge of my seat" https://bytheletterbookreviews.com/2016/05/25/harvest-festival-by-karl-drinkwater/ #AtoZKD2017

Thanks for everything you do, Sarah! #bookbloggers #AtoZKD2017

T is for ...

T is for @TheBehrg: fellow author, musician, and cool guy. #AtoZKD2017

He blew me away with his novel Housebroken: "I don't feel like there's a word wasted in this story" http://www.karldrinkwater.uk/2016/08/housebroken.html #AtoZKD2017

There are some high-quality freebie samples of his work if you sign up to his friendly newsletter at http://thebehrg.us9.list-manage2.com/subscribe?u=c9a3f18628129c74744d3bc45&id=c17d539cf5 #AtoZKD2017

Brandon also enjoyed Harvest Festival: "the fluff stripped away, leaving only a rip-roaring story" https://thebehrg.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/book-review-harvest-festival-by-karl-drinkwater/ #AtoZKD2017

So many thanks to @TheBehrg for inspiring people, writing great prose, and supporting other authors. #AtoZKD2017

U is for ...

U is for ... erm, U is for ... Ups. Unprepared. Unusable letter. #AtoZKD2017

U is for ... Urth. (Groan!)
I follow Life on Earth @planetepics to have nice things in my feed. Thanks for brightening my days! #AtoZKD2017

V is for ...

V is for @VictoriaGoldma2, awesome #bookblogger - see http://off-the-shelfbooks.blogspot.co.uk/ #AtoZKD2017

If you want great recommendations for crime, psychological thrillers, historical fiction and women's fiction, follow her! #AtoZKD2017

V is also for @vegancakery
I'm vegan, I like cakes, and theirs were gorgeous.
Nom. Thank you for the cakes.

I have no X, Y or Z, so I am nearly finished with my #AtoZKD2017
It is really AtoWKD2017, but I didn't realise that when I started. /fail

W is for ...

W is for for three women. First is Jo Worgan @mummyworgan, Brew and Books reviewer. #AtoZKD2017

Jo tried Turner "one fast paced, horror slasher of a read, that had me turning pages at breakneck speed" https://brewandbooksreview.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/turner-by-karl-drinkwater-bookreview.html #AtoZKD2017

Many thanks for your support, Jo! I love it when people try horror and surprise themselves by enjoying it! :-) #AtoZKD2017

W is also for Emma Welton @damppebbles, another super #bookblogger #AtoZKD2017

Emma was an early supporter of TheyMoveBelow; I also wrote about depression in a guest post on her site https://damppebbles.com/2016/07/25/they-move-below-by-karl-drinkwater-blog-tour-guest-post-review/ #AtoZKD2017

Many thanks, Emma! #AtoZKD2017

W is also for Hayley Webster @bookshaped, who wrote the excellent and memorable novel Jar Baby #AtoZKD2017
Thanks, Hayley!

And so ends #AtoZKD2017.
I was kind, never mean.
Although tweets each day were hell,
There's an archive at this URL.


Pace And Length In Fiction

Sometimes there's a slightly snobby attitude towards commercial and genre fiction, along the lines of "If you can read and enjoy it in just a few days then it can't be as good as something that takes many weeks to read and digest."

I don't really go along with that. I love it when readers write a review saying they couldn't put one of my books down, or they rushed through to find out what would happen next, or that the pace was so fast it was like a rollercoaster.

What about when I'm the one doing the reading? I make a certain leeway with the classics. When I'm reading works by Dickens, or a Bronte, or Plato, or Woolf, I do read more slowly, and savour what's there. But I'm a bit more critical with modern fiction. I never want a book to feel like it is dragging. I want to be fully engaged, sucked into another world. I suppose that's a bit like my view on other media such as computer games: I would rather have high-quality perfection that is short (and repeatable) than overlong and padded. Life's too short. Fast or slow pace doesn't matter, but it had damn well better engage me. And although there are many requirements for that - great characters, a tense plot, wonderful style - another one to consider is length.

The other day I was seriously considering whether many novels should really be novellas, and many novellas should be short stories. As an editor who cut-cut-cuts, I often find a quarter of the content in a novel doesn't seem to be needed, and I'd have enjoyed it more without the repetition and padding. The problem is that sometimes the marketers begin with a word count expectation, regardless of whether that is the best one for a story. As such things tend to the over-long, the word-flabby, and engagement is lost.

It's probably why I often fall back on shorter genre fiction for comfort reads. E.g. Who Goes There?, Roadside Picnic, I Am Legend, I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream - all are perfect, and all would have been potentially ruined by being stretched to novel length.

What do you think? Are literary books better than genre or commercial fiction? How important is pace? Will you read a book that doesn't engage you? Do you ever think some books are too long? Your thoughts are welcome!


They Move Below Is A Winner

I am sometimes a bit slow about reporting things. I hadn't got round to saying that one of my books - They Move Below - was a Red Ribbon winner in the Wishing Shelf Awards (back in March).

Some of the judges' comments:
  • "There’s a fantastic mix here and plenty to keep you hiding under the covers."
  • "Perfect for any Stephen King fans."
  • "This author is very good at endings. Not everything in life is clear cut. The author shows this in his writing allowing the reader to conclude what he or she wants from the story."
The award's overall conclusions about They Move Below:
  • "Scary and packed full of twists. A RED RIBBON WINNER and highly recommended."
    -- The Wishing Shelf Book Awards
Discover what the buzz is about for yourself!


An A-to-Z Of Indie

Pleasant things often happen to me out of the blue. Requests for a radio interview. Nice reviews from readers. Messages from fans. Cake.

Last night I was about to go to bed when I found out I had been included in a lovely "A-to-Z of indie" series on Twitter, posted by Altered Instinct, the excellent website that gave me such a glowing review of my horror collection, saying (among other things): "And heck, if anyone can make you think of Gallagher, Herbert and Quatermass in one fell swoop, that's practically a guided tour of the classics of British horror." **

And so I was the letter D:

"D is for @karldrinkwater, ready to scare the bejeezus out of you with horror tales while he smiles."

I love it! If you use Twitter you will find the full A-to-Z here. I ended up following everyone in the thread, since it brought together so many interesting people.

It's very kind when people talk about and share the work of others. A selfless way to pay it forward. In fact, I'm going to try and do an A-to-Z myself in the near future, if I can make friends whose names begins with X and Q.


** (My collection is still short of reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon UK, and Goodreads - hint hint to my fans!)


Buy My Books

Amazon Kobo Nook / Barnes & Noble Apple Books

Popular Posts

Blog Archive