JEA AWARDS 2015/WITH TOOTH AND CLAW/COLLECTION RUMINATIONS
I wrote a post about awards last year so I won’t go overboard on repeating everything I said then, I’ll just keep it succinct. Yeah, yeah I know, big ask for me, the guy who loves writing words…a lot of them.
J. Ellington Aston’s annual awards has happened for 2015 and With Tooth And Claw managed to pick one up for Collection of the Year. My bottom line in writing is that I do it because I simply love to write and my head is a constant churn of stories demanding to be written, but it is most definitely a cool thing to have other folks dig your work and enjoy the stories as much as you enjoyed writing them.
With Tooth And Claw came out in February this year, and while it’s been a little more of a slow burner than Plebs, it has garnered several great reviews and moved well in several countries. It crops up every so often on the top 100 Sea Stories category on Amazon, which amuses me no end, since the closest to water any of the tales get is a thunderstorm in Cavedwellers.
Comprised of seven pieces (three of which are more novella length than short story-hey, I write long stories, long books…I love it) With Tooth And Claw is my first collection, and what will be the first of many. I have mentioned before that I intend to release a collection of shorts/novellas in between each novel I put out, so consequently, the majority of shorts that I’m writing at the moment, won’t be destined for specific anthologies as they have been in previous years, but will be solely for compilation in my own collections. Since the next book to be forthcoming from me is the black/death metal undead splatterpunk opus Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger, it’s safe to say you can expect the ensuing book to be another macabre bunch of extreme horror tales. Then, of course the follow-up(s) to Plebs will follow.
For those who have read With Tooth And Claw, and enjoyed it, hated it, ambivalent about it, left reviews (cheers for that, I love reviews-good, bad and ugly) those particular stories are not all new. In fact, a couple of them are very, very old, written a long time ago and the concept for Cavedwellers is older still. For the most part though, they are newer works, not written for anything specifically, aside from taking up rental space in my twisted imagination, and needing to get spilled in gory ink splatters on the page. While any more collections to come from me will primarily be new and previously unpublished pieces, I might happen to slip in an older tale or two, and possibly some of those who have been included in prior anthologies.
I’m not overly fanatical about the idea of putting together a book of stories which have been previously published for the following reason.
If one is a fan of a particular author, it might be reasonably safe to assume that they’ve sought out the majority of works that particular author has written, or has read the various stories they’ve put out in different books. I know when I seek out a collection of a favourite author, I’m mostly interested in reading a bunch of new stories, or at least works which I’m not familiar with. To me, grabbing a collection of stories, only to find they’re all just reprints of stuff I’ve already read, is a little bit like cheating the reader. So, rest assured, any collection I put out is not going to follow that trajectory, bar perhaps one or two stories which will be derived from maybe lesser known, or not as widely read, anthologies. It’s the same ideology for me, behind writing big books. Give the readers something to really sink their teeth into and get immersed in, and give them new material. If they’re part of your fanbase, it’s a fair bet they’ve already read those stories you have in separate books, so don’t screw them by reselling the same shit they’ve already read. That’s just my own personal opinion on the concept and I’m sure plenty would see it differently, as in a ‘best of album’ or some shit, but at this stage in the game, something like that is not going to be in my plans. New books will mean new stories.
On a final note though, I have to give a massive shout-out to my brother in horror and metal, the incomparable Toneye Eyenot. This legend’s debut, The Scarlett Curse, won the Authors Choice Award for Book of the Year and it is thoroughly desevred. Nobody deserves success, acknowledgement and recognition more than this guy, and I’m extremely proud of him and everything he has achieved. He is going to be a major force.
Brilliant cover artist and author Michael Fish Fisher (the man behind the entire Rejected For Content series cover art and myriad others) won Editors Choice for Book of the Year with DC’s Dead, while Kent Hill’s Straight To Video anthology picked up Editors choice for Anthology of the Year. Big congrats to all involved.
For those who haven’t yet read With Tooth And Claw, here’s the link.
And here is the link for The Scarlett Curse
Straight To Video
In any case, before I start to make a liar out of myself with that ‘keep it succinct’ disclaimer at the start, I’m out of here.