As a writer, I like to keep my hopes on a short leash. For me, getting carried away is not an option. I keep my feet on the ground in respects to my career. When I started last April, I knew nothing would happen overnight, that it was a gradual event. It takes time to write, generate some buzz, find readers who want to read your work. It’s nearly been a year now – some amazing things have happened in that time. In fact, I’m very proud thus far, I couldn’t have dreamt of the first twelve months going any better. There’s one main reason for this: you people, the readers, the horror fans who give my work a chance. You make my writing career, my dream, possible.
Writing has many different layers. One side of this is the networking. Naturally, during the year, I have connected and become friends with many authors. Some are in the same boat as me, some are more established, and some are pioneers in their field. One of these writers, Matt Shaw, is a phenomenal talent in the horror genre. His extreme material – known by some as the Black Cover books – has taken Amazon by storm. With over fifty books in the market, the guy is an inspiration to any budding writer. I’ve been speaking to Matt for several months and I’ve read a lot of his work (keep an eye out for my reviews on this site). He provided a foreword for my very first anthology, Carnage: Extreme Horror which, for an author of his calibre and busy schedule, was a very generous thing to do. I didn’t forget this.
A few months ago, Matt approached me with a special topic in mind. Matt has established the year of giving back, a scheme where he rewards his readers for their support. In 2015, he aims to fulfil this in a variety of ways. Matt was approached and invited to attend a hen do (bachelorette party) and surprise the bride, who is a huge Matt Shaw fan. In collaboration with her sister, Matt organised this and made it a possibility. Matt, noticing that the bride was also a reader of mine, asked if I wanted to attend with him. After some discussion, I said yes. Much like Matt, I believe that rewarding the readers is a nice thing to do. They make our dream possible, after all.
So, this past weekend, we both travelled hundreds of miles to Chester in the U.K. The plan was simple: Attend the hen do, surprise the bride, give her free books, and leave having made her evening. Despite some nerves on both our parts, we managed to pull it off. Seeing the bride’s reaction – video below – when Matt arrived, sporting bottles of champagne and his trademark grin, was priceless. We laughed, we drank (soft drinks, after all, we are professionals) and we chatted. Overall, the evening was a blast. Months of planning came to successful fruition. Not only did I get to meet a reader, a first for me, I also got to meet a fellow author who knows how to treat his readers. For me, this was a win-win.
I’ve just returned from Chester and I can honestly say, it was one of the most rewarding weekends of my life. For me, this was uncharted territory as a writer, a chance to meet one of the people who have supported me over the year. This was Matt’s gig, but I was proud to be a part of it. I can honestly say, this will not be the last time I do this. After all, this reaction was priceless.
Roll on London Film and Comic Con in July, it’s going to be a blast.