The truth behind the settling of the feud!
So here at Confessions of a Reviewer, I like to stay above the fray. Occasionally little flashes of animosity burst out between rival authors, but I don’t like to get involved. For one thing, I have friends all over the scene, and don’t like to show favouritism, and for another, it’s just childish.
But this one, I can’t ignore. Because they just won’t leave me alone.
Yes, Kit Power and Rich Hawkins have been supposedly ‘feuding’ then supposedly making up for what seems like the last seventeen years, the source of the alleged row all but lost in obscurity at this point. And then they supposedly made up, and are running a joint launch party today. All sweetness and light.
Well, that was the plan.
Because here’s the ugly truth - while they’ve been off gallivanting about publically doing joint interviews, (big “up” to all the fellow bloggers out there helping out by the way) behind the scenes they’ve both been lobbying me, or should I say stalking me? Harassing me?
That’s right, in the last few days, I’ve had an onslaught of PM’s from both Rich and Kit - each trying to persuade me to take a side in the feud and undermine the other’s standing. Despite my repeated declarations of disinterests and warnings to cease and desist, the messages just kept coming.
Maybe it’s just me being paranoid but a series of missed calls from “unknown” numbers on my mobile, the dog constantly barking at the bushes in the back garden as if someone is hiding in them and even my letterbox rattling at 3am the other night, when there was clearly no wind, has brought me to end of the road with this debacle.
Enough is enough.
You guys can't treat us book bloggers like pawns in your exceedingly dumb chess match. So I’m going to blow the lid off this supposed ‘friendship’ by publishing a short selection of the PM’s I’ve been putting up with the last few days.
Rich, Kit, I’m sorry to do this, but you kept pushing and you gave me no choice.
You brung this on yourselves.
From Kit: sent at 19:15
So I know you said you wanted to stay out of it, but I just wanted you to know that Rich is really starting to get out of order. The last couple of joint posts we’ve done are just… Gah! He compared me to SuperTed, keeps bragging about winning the Rap Battle, and going on about that fucking BFSA nomination! I’m just really worried he’s going to win this bet.
Look, don't you think you could just run a hit piece on Rich? You know, a kind of ‘he’s not really behaving himself very well’ kind of deal? It would really help me out man - I so badly don’t want to lose this bet…
From Rich: sent at 20:22
So I know you and Kit are friends or whatever, but I could really do with your help on this rivalry thing. He’s out of control, man - bringing me up in every interview, ignoring the fact that he lost the Battle Rap - and he’s just obsessed with my BFSA nomination!
Like I said, I know you’re friends, and you liked his book, but is there any way you could say something publicly, maybe on the blog, call him to heal? I think he’d respond well to a public word from a friend, and it would help me out with this dumb bet - he’s so confident he’s going to win, I’m kind of worried about how upset he’s going to be when he loses. I’m really just worried about him.
I wasn’t going to bother replying to either of them because my better judgement told me to say nothing at all. I ended up sending an identical reply to both.
From me to both Kit and Rich: sent at 21:08
I really don’t want any part of this rivalry. I like and respect you both, but I really don’t see why you can't both just get along and run the launch party as planned. I’m not going to just make something up about either of you and post it on the blog. To be honest I think that’s a bit nasty of you to ask me to do that as well.
Did they get the hint? Did they bollocks…
From Kit: sent at 02:24 (does he not sleep?)
Look, I hear you, okay? I do. It’s just… I really want to win this bet, man. How about if you just… maybe just altered your review of GodBomb! to drop in a few references to how much better it is than The Last Outpost? I mean, I know you haven’t actually read it yet, but it would really help me out. Or maybe just something about how ‘there’s a certain Indie author who is lucky this book didn’t come out the same year as his BFSA nomination…” You, know subtle? Or, how about a general article about how zombie fiction is clearly on the way out, and church based suicide bombers are clearly the new wave of horror? Oh! Got it! ‘10 reasons that a suicide bomber is scarier than a zombie!” I could write it, you just put your name on the bottom. Sound good?
From Rich: sent at 02:36 (he apparently doesn’t sleep either)
Okay, I respect that, I know you and Kit get on, it’s just…. He’s out of control. He’s stalking me on Facebook, liking all my reviews, sharing them… it’s freaking me out, honestly. And he’s taking this bet so seriously, I’m afraid if he doesn't win, he’ll go crazy or something. I mean, he knows I live in Somerset, there’s only, like a couple of hundred of us, if he was determined enough…
How about you just make some alterations to your GodBomb! review? Like, where you say ‘Honestly? Just buy this book’ add ‘If you haven’t already bought The Last Outpost’? Or maybe in the bit where you say “There is a lot of horror in this. Horror of the mind. I’m slowly learning that this could be the worst kind.” You could just add “apart from infected zombies. They put the shits RIGHT up me”.
Oh, I know! Why not do an editorial on how we’re in a golden age of zombie fiction, and how that’s obviously the pre-eminent form of horror fiction right now? I could write it, all you’d have to do is put your name on it and post it. Something to think about, anyway.
Now, I had these two down as cleverer than this. I really thought they were intelligent guys but obviously a simple message equating to “NO” doesn’t compute. Clearly, blunter measures were needed. I sent the following reply the next morning, again to both of them.
From me to both Kit and Rich: sent 08.00
STOP WRITING TO ME ABOUT THIS. I’M NOT INTERESTED.
Not exactly subtle, right? And if they’d left it there, so would I have.
Unfortunately…well, see for yourselves.
From Kit: sent 09:17 (did he not see my earlier message or just ignore it)
So, it’s the joint launch party tomorrow - really hope you’ll be able to make it, should be a lot of fun.
All right, I know you said you weren't interested, (ah...ignored it!) but how about this…
On the day of the launch, you run a blog post called ‘Why I am #TeamPower’. In it, you could just talk about how great I am and why you think GodBomb! renders zombie fiction obsolete. You wouldn’t even need to name Rich directly, you could just say ‘unlike some Hawkish writers, Kit understands,...’ etc. Like that. It writes itself. In fact, I could even write it for you - I know you’re busy, I’ve got time.
It would be classy, and extend the site beyond reviews and interviews into big feature articles. This could really put the site on the map, make some waves the day of the big launch! Think about it, man. This could be the start of the big time.
From Rich: sent 10:09 (also ignoring?)
Hello Nev, (clearly!)
So I’ve given it some thought, and I think I’ve found a way through that’ll work for both of us. I get that Kit is a mate and you don’t want to be seen to go against him, and I respect that.
So how about on the day of the launch, you run an article called ‘Why #TeamHawkins deserves a second look’? You could do a whole bit about how Kit clearly stole the launch date, how I won the rap battle, and just ask some general questions - like you did in your review - about if GodBomb! is even really a horror novel at all, sort of thing. It wouldn’t be dissing Kit, exactly, just, you know, trying to be fair and balanced and that. I could even write it for you, I know you’re busy, put your name on it, free content, day of the launch, easy money!
What do you say?
To be honest, I had to edit some of the messages sent to me, as well as leaving most of them out. Some of the things that were being offered to me, by both of them, were quite frankly, obscene.
Well, here’s what I say, to both of you: Confessions of a Reviewer cannot be bought, or bribed, or bullied. We offer reviews and interviews without fear or favour, out of a genuine love of genre fiction and a desire to spread the word of good books. Frankly, this whole thing has made me seriously reconsider that choice. But you know what? I’m not going to let this nonsense get to me.
But I am going to expose it.
Today, Kit Power and Rich Hawkins launch their novels. And I wish them both well. But this private backbiting and attempts to implicate innocent book bloggers in their rivalry has to stop.
Sunlight is the best disinfectant, they say. I hope so.
In the spirit of peace and harmony and all things love and light, and if you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer then please consider using the links below to buy either GodBomb! or The Last Outpost or indeed anything at all from Amazon. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.
Somebody wants answers.
North Devon, England. 1995. A born-again revival meeting in a public building.
The usual mix of the faithful, the curious, and the desperate.
And one other – an atheist suicide bomber.
He's angry. He wants answers. And if God doesn't come and talk to him personally, he's going to kill everyone in the building..
Kit Power lives in the UK and writes fiction that lurks at the boundaries of the horror, fantasy, and thriller genres, trying to bum a smoke or hitch a ride from the unwary.
In his secret alter ego of Kit Gonzo, he also performs as front man (and occasionally blogs) for death cult and popular beat combo The Disciples Of Gonzo,
And for more about Kit, visit his site or find him on social media:
The sequel to the British Fantasy Award-nominated novel, The Last Plague. The Last Outpost continues to chronicle the events as a devastating epidemic reduces the UK to an infected wasteland.
Great Britain has fallen to the Plague and the war is lost. The few people left alive scavenge in the desolation of a ruined country. A lone man wanders the ravaged land, looting houses for food and hiding from the monstrous infected. Guilt-ridden for failing to save his family, there is nothing left for him but memories of the old world - until hope is whispered in a radio transmission promising safety and shelter from across the North Sea. He joins a group of desperate survivors and heads for the coast in search of transport and salvation. His last chance to make amends. But will they survive the journey, hunted by the infected and the desperate men who stalk the land? Will they find sanctuary at... THE LAST OUTPOST?
Rich Hawkins hails from deep in the West Country, where a childhood of science fiction and horror films set him on the path to writing his own stories. He credits his love of horror and all things weird to his first viewing of John Carpenter's THE THING when, aged twelve, he crept downstairs late one night to watch it on ITV. He has a few short stories in various anthologies, and has written one novella, BLACK STAR, BLACK SUN, released earlier this year. His debut novel THE LAST PLAGUE has recently been nominated for a British Fantasy Award for Best Horror Novel. The sequel, THE LAST OUTPOST, is due for release in the autumn of 2015.
He currently lives in Salisbury, Wiltshire, with his wife, their daughter and their pet dog Molly. They keep him sane. Mostly.
And for more about Rich, visit his site or find him on social media: