Inspiration from Horror? Absolutely.
I got a hilarious tweet earlier this week something about “its doubtful horror has any redeeming social value.” It came as kind of a potshot response to one of my twit-graphics. Highly doubt the person read the post, I asked and got no reply. I’ll file it in the drive by folder and delete. The reason I mention it here is because of another fairly significant development which occurred quite possibly on the same day. I received a message about a review of Firetok with a link to the actual post. I wouldn’t share a private correspondence which followed but I will gladly share the public part. It was posted on Amazon Canada which believe it or not it, is not seamlessly integrated with the U.S. version. Not sure the significance here but it looks like Canadians can post in both, not sure about the other way around. But if you review a US book on Canada, it does not appear in the US reviews. Does it impact your ranking? I have no idea. Enough on that, the review went exactly like this-
I’ve just finished reading “Firetok”; the most powerful book I’ve read since Katherine Neville’s “The Eight”, years ago. Dog, hero and old man shine like beacons in a grim, bloody landscape. The hero suffers from PTSD and so do I, but I was finally able to read a book about bad things happening to good people because I instinctively trusted Firetok, Douglass and old man — rightly so, it turns out. It’s not an easy read. It’s not a cozy read. It’s possibly the most horrific story I’ve ever read, but it’s ultimately about good overcoming evil, light overcoming unspeakable darkness. And learning how to be true to yourself by being aware of life around you.
The suspense is at times unbearable; the mystery, irresistible; the horror, overwhelming. The supernatural and spiritual elements feel real. The characters are all beautifully and honestly drawn. Firetok himself is a force to be reckoned with; a dog that will haunt you. I loved him. I felt real sadness when the book ended: I wanted to keep traveling with Douglass, Firetok and the old man. (Think Tony Hillerman meets “Fargo” — and move over Stephen King!)
This review does not do it justice: This is one of those very rare books I wish I could give ten stars to.
I do hope Gordon A. Wilson writes more novels about them. And hot dawg, this book would make an incredible movie!
Here is where I start talking again. I am not big on blowing my own horn, don’t see that changing anytime soon. This is someone who found a real connection and purpose for a “horror” book. Anyone who has read some of my older posts know I was initially pretty surprised to learn my book was considered horror. Kind of speaks for other parts of my life, I thought it was all pretty real life-ish. I still don’t consider myself good enough to write horror so I just call it writing. So many conversations I have had about horror as a genre. Many have been documented here. So misunderstood and misaligned but rightfully so. There are plenty of people putting out horror which fits the drive by tweetists remark. But not all of it. It’s a huge umbrella.
Another similar recent experience involved conversations with a beta reader/reviewer. She openly admitted to not accepting horror anymore due to too many authors just overdoing it. It was no longer interesting for her. I knew Firetok was more than that. I asked her to consider it and she did. I figured if someone who admittedly really wasn’t into the horror genre could stomach the book, I could at least get some good feedback. Here is where it gets interesting. She loved it. Her review was incredibly supportive. She got it. Even the undercurrents flowing through the book.
The part of the first review which mentions bad things happening to good people. This is reality as I have experienced it and witnessed it. For every person plodding through life trying to do the right thing I swear there is a least another person willing to steal his last dollar or stab him in the back. That is life as I see it. Good triumphing over bad? That’s how I want to see it even if in real life I don’t possess the power to do so. Am I on a crusade to get people to realize horror is more than what they think it is? You bet. It sure can be, but don’t take my word for it. Horror can be horrific and inspirational.
My thanks to MF Miller for taking the time to post such an incredibly inspiring review. http://goo.gl/v4p5Cu
Originally published at www.firetok.com on March 12, 2016.