Mid-Year Ketchup (… or is that blood?)

Hard to believe we’re almost halfway through the year already. While there’s so much to comment on regarding the year itself, I’ll save most of that for another post. But wanted to catch up on my year so far as both an author and a reader, because it’s been pretty incredible for both.

As an Author:

Dollarphotoclub_86625397.jpgWithin the past 6 months I’ve had 2 of my own works published. “The Girl Who Couldn’t Come Up With an Original Story” was released back in February. A short story, it’s received some incredible reviews and coverage, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. This was a very personal and difficult story to write, and the connection it makes with those who have read it is both profound and humbling.

The Creation - Let There Be DeathI also had the chance to release Book 2 in The Creation Series, “Let There Be Death.” While this series hasn’t quite had the success as some of my other works, it’s one I’m incredibly proud of. A lot of that is my own fault; the series is difficult to encompass in a single genre, but I’m grateful to all those who have discovered it, shared it, and enjoyed it. It’s by far the most challenging thing I’ve ever written, and has stretched me as an author in so many ways. I’ve already started Book 3, which should complete the trilogy, and it’s been such a joy to see this series take shape in ways I would have never imagined.

(And if you haven’t had a chance to start it yet, you can pick up both the first novella in this series and “The Girl Who Couldn’t Come Up With an Original Story” for free by signing up for my newsletter. Enough with the shameless plug.)

My debut novel, Housebroken, continues to pick up steam. It was featured for almost an entire month as #1 in Horror-Suspense on Amazon in the UK, and has done exceptionally well in the US this year as well. It’s great to see a book that’s been out over a year continue to sell, and I’m grateful to my publisher, Kindle Press, for their continued support.

hardcore horrorBeyond my own publications, I was fortunate enough to have a short story of mine selected for a Best Of Horror Anthology, which just recently came out. “Year’s Best Hardcore Horror” has come out to stellar reviews and it’s amazing to be featured alongside so many talented and mainstream authors.

As a Reader:

Dollarphotoclub_98103047.jpgNow while I write, I’m also an avid reader. Most authors are (and any who say they don’t have “time” to read really shouldn’t be writing in the first place). And this year has been a fantastic year for books.

I try to review most everything I read here on my blog, but wanted to highlight a few of my favorite reads so far this year:

(all links will go to my original reviews posted earlier this year)

Tim Lebbon’s “The Silence” — For a post-apocalyptic novel this was an immense amount of fun, and there are several scenes in this book I’ll never forget. A quick and relentless read.

John Scalzi’s “Lock-In” — Brilliant example of fresh and original writing, with some of the best “world-building” you’ll find outside of an epic fantasy world. A must read for both sci-fi or detective / mystery fans.

Kea Wilson’s “We Eat Our Own” — Technically this one isn’t even out yet, so hold your breath for this September, but this was an amazing read. This debut novelist not only broke all the rules but did so in one of the most untraditional, engaging stories I’ve read this year. Don’t miss this one when it’s out.

James Morris’ “Melophobia” — Morris creates an Orwellian-like world where music is outlawed as a “War on Morality” is declared in an alternate history. But rather than follow a predictable plot, this leads down roads I never would have suspected. Beautifully crafted and highly original.

Dollarphotoclub_100291262.jpgNoah Hawley’s “Before the Fall” — The creator of FX’s adaptation of “Fargo” is a brilliant wordsmith, turning a not so original plot into a stunning and gripping read. This is a book that proves it’s all about execution.

Blake Crouch’s “Dark Matter” — Another one that hasn’t yet been released (due out end of July), this is a book that proves concept is king. Fresh ideas and an unrepentant approach, this is a lightning paced read and will undoubtedly lead Crouch to becoming a household name.

Sylvain Neufal’s “Sleeping Giants” — While I didn’t rate this 5 stars, it’s still up in my top reads for the year. This is what “World War Z” should have been, in my opinion; utilizing the “interview” while driving the narrative forward. A highly original concept and very entertaining read.

Stephen King’s “End of Watch” — King puts the crowning jewel in his Bill Hodges series with this final chapter, elevating the entire collection. A master showing off his craft.

A lot of good stuff here folks. If you’re looking for some summer reads, this list is a great place to start. (And if you’re on GoodReads, feel free to add me so I can check out what you’re reading as well).

Now that half of our year is over, I should be posturing on all that could happen in the next six months … But instead, I’m ready for a vacation.

Be back in a few. And happy reading.

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