So yeah, yeah, yeah ~ I know, I keep saying I'm going to keep this Blog updated and I don't but things DO keep getting in the way I promise! I'm not really ignoring you!
Today, I want to talk about my author friend, Horror writer Catt Dahman, and why I have so much love and respect for her right now!
I've mentioned her before as the author of the Z Is For Zombie series but she is also responsible for so much more! In the last six months or so , she has also released the awesome Smooth, Alice And Friends and most recently, Titanic Q.E.D which is a homage to H.P.Lovecraft and is simply a brilliant read! Her latest, Helen Of Troy, Vampire is still waiting to be read but I am expecting big things from it if it reaches her usual standards. (She will be nervous now, reading this and anticipating my latest review!)
I met Catt through Goodreads and, more specifically, the Author-Reader Co-Op section, where she was asking for reviews for Z Is For Zombie. Anyway, she loved my brutally honest reviews so much that she took away some of the criticism I levied at her and rewrote two of the books in the series and made edits! How cool is that? That I had an influence on her work??
This kind of helped her get a Publishing Deal with Severed Press and ever since then she has continued to send me her books for review purposes and has continually praised me publicly and bigged me up at every opportunity!
Last Wednesday, this Guy called Gary Mundford was responsible for organizing this huge Zombie Fest event on Facebook where authors and fans could get together and exchange dialogue, win competitions and give away/ receive free E-book downloads. The event was a tremendous success and not least helped by Catt who stepped in to help when Gary became swamped by his real life. The event was awesome, I ended up getting loads of new stuff to read and offering out my review services but everyone agrees that if Catt hadn't jumped aboard, the chances are it might all ended up a bit of a damp squib.
She has encouraged me to try writing stuff of my own because she says I have a way with words and so when this Zombie Fest announced that they would be producing an anthology of short fiction to commemorate the event I decided to give it a go. My story only went and got included!! The anthology is not quite ready yet because Gary is formatting and editing it in his spare time but
will be free for a week, I think it was decided and, after that, will go on sale with proceeds going to the Walking Wounded charity. Now, if Catt hadn't have encouraged me to write, something I have toyed around with for years without actually ever really doing or achieving anything with it, then I would never have gotten my name in print! Now, I actually have something published though I am more nervous about Catt reading it than anyone else because she is my inspiration and my muse!
This is just one of the reasons as to why I am now putting her on my 1001 Books And Authors To Read before You Die list. Though there were moments when I might have thought her Z series faltered slightly and I wondered how it could last 9 books, by the final novel I was suddenly realizing how close I was to the characters and how much I had enjoyed reading their exploits to the point that I became quite passionate and emotional at the way she treated them in the last book. I believe I even called her jokingly a "a nasty, sick bitch" for some of the things she put them through ~ something that she thankfully took as a huge compliment. Her words (and I paraphrase) were along the lines that these are the words every horror writer lives to hear! Lol!
Oh, but that's not enough. There's more reasons why I love this author and have nothing but the utmost respect for her. She is tireless to a fault, has anther 5 books on the go even now and even more irons in the fire. When Catt was on American Radio Station, Zombie Radio, doing an interview, she gave me a shout-out; she calls me HER British Reviewer and gets possessive over me if I offer my reviews to other authors and continues to tell me to keep going in regards to my writing to the point where I am now slowly putting together a portfolio of short horror fiction that I am toying with the idea of releasing as an anthology collection at some point in time! At the moment, that's all it is ~ just an idea I have but who knows where this will take me and I am determined to keep writing and see where it goes.
But that's still not it. Following after Zombie Fest, (and early indications are that it was such a success there will be another one) Catt and a few others have all gotten together to form a new Indie Publishing House as self-publishing looks like it is going to end up being a death knell for writers; due in part to all the dross that has flooded the market in recent years that has been self-published. And because she has so much love and respect for ME and my honesty and integrity, she has asked me to be one of her Editors checking submissions for quality when they come in. There is no money involved as yet but Catt and her team have high hopes and aspirations for this Publishing enterprise so who knows where this might lead and I might even have a foot in the door should I get anything together worth publishing. I don't expect any special treatment if I do and will expect to be treated just as any other author but can think of nothing more exciting than having Catt help promote my work!
I once told Mrs.Sparky, when talking about the artwork that I sporadically do, that I wanted to leave something behind to mark my passage. Maybe this is how it all starts to happen, how I will get to leave my mark, who knows... there are no guarantees in life but if you don't aim high then you might as well go home ~ a credo that I've kind of borrowed from Catt and her new Publishing House, J Ellington Ashton Press! Remember the name, because from little acorns, big trees grow and Catt and the rest of the team have all got high aspirations for this new endeavor....and to be asked to be a part of this, though a little overwhelming, has left me feeling excited, thrilled and more than just a little bit flattered.
Anyway, that's it ~ I'm so sorry that this has been such a long post but I wanted to share with you all just a few of the reasons why I love Catt Dahman! She has become more than just my favourite author right now, she has become a dear friend and I hope that she feels the same. If you are reading this Catt, thank-you for inspiring me and believing in me and I promise to live up to all your expectations of me!
That's me, Sparky, signing off... (for now...)
P.S all my reviews of her books are available on Goodreads and Amazon, so feel free to check them out and don't forget to give her books some of your own love!