Six Stories – Matt Wesolowski #blogtour Guest Post @OrendaBooks

 

Published by Orenda Books

ebook: 20 December 2016   |  Paperback: 15 March 2017

 

1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who took that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby.

2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure.

In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. And who’s to blame… As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth. A chilling, unpredictable and startling thriller, Six Stories is also a classic murder mystery with a modern twist, and a devastating ending.

 

It’s a pleasure to be taking part in, and winding up the blog tour for Six Stories (together with the brilliant Susan from @thebooktrailer – do check out her fabulous blog).  I must say a big thank you to Karen Sullivan and especially to Matt for coming up with such an excellent guest post at very short notice.

 

The Terror

by Matt Wesolowski

 

The advice is this; ‘don’t read reviews’, but even when you do, ‘don’t take it personally’.

There have been plenty of books I’ve not enjoyed, plenty of albums I’ve declared ‘terrible’, plenty of films I’ve turned off 10 minutes in because they’re ‘not funny’, ‘boring’ or ‘awful’.

Until Six Stories was unleashed on the world, I never considered these thoughts I had about other people’s art, I never considered my dismissal of these fragments of other people’s souls.

That may sound dramatic, but that’s what it is when you create something; the thing you put up for judgement by the world, contains a little piece of you. The terror is the knowledge that that part of you is up for judgement.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to twist about reviews or be precious about someone else’s opinion. I just want to reflect on what it’s like to know that your creation is not altogether yours anymore.

I remember the first time I took my little boy to his first day at nursery, I walked out of that room with his wails echoing after me, piercing my very soul with accusation about what a terrible father I was. Of course, this is natural, it’s my paternal instinct kicking in, it’s that first stage of letting go. Even now, some days I drop him off at school and feel a little bit emotional walking back the way we have come with an empty hand.

Whilst art is not directly comparable to a child, the emotions are similar, for me anyway. One of the scariest things I’ve experienced was waiting for those first reviews to come in. I’d like to tell you I was cool, blasé about the whole thing, that I didn’t obsessively check Amazon and Goodreads those first few weeks, but that would be a lie. Just like leaving my boy in the care of others, pushing Six Stories out into the world shared a similar anxiety, that lack of control. I couldn’t hold it close to me and protect it, it was out there in the big bad world, this thing that I had created.

What if everyone hated it? What if, this novel that I’d poured my heart and soul into was a failure?

The internet is a scary and sometime strange place and to expose a little bit of you in front of this abyss is an utterly terrifying prospect.

I feel that by now, I’ve made a little bit of peace with the terror. As I’ve said, there have been books, music, films, art that I’ve not enjoyed and some I have. That doesn’t, by any means, mean that their creators are failures, that they’re bad at what they do, it’s just a mis-match of taste.

There are going to be people that hate Six Stories, the odd format, the characters, the storyline; it’s going to jarr with them, it’s going to be a discordant racket, white noise in their imagination or a black monolith of boredom.

Or else, they’re just going to be non-plussed. It’s going to pass them by, instantly forgettable and average.

But whatever people think, that’s ok, that’s part of the process and there’s nothing I can do about it.

 

 

About the author:

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for children in care and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North.

Wesolowski started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous magazines and US anthologies.

Wesolowski was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at ‘Bloody Scotland’; Crime Writing Festival 2015 and his short crime story ‘Tulpa’ was subsequently published in the Northern Crime One’ anthology (Moth Publishing 2015). His debut crime novel ‘Six Stories’ will be available through Orenda Books in the spring of 2017.

 

Author Links:   Website    |    Twitter    |    Facebook    |    Amazon UK    |   Goodreads

 

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4 Comments

  1. April 7, 2017 / 9:53 am

    Loved this guest post! I always try to take the author into consideration when writing my review to keep it as respectful of their work as possible. Opinions differ and I cannot imagine how nerve-wracking it must be to have one’s work read, discussed, and judged. It’s like authors are parading naked in front of us, presenting their words, and we are here to judge. Keeping one’s distance with what is being said about your very own story isn’t easy, I’m not even sure it’s possible, but I guess there’s a balance to find to take them as they go and keep in mind there are millions of people, therefore millions of opinions…
    Again, fab post!

    • Karen
      April 8, 2017 / 10:56 am

      Thanks for commenting Donna. It’s demoralising enough having a review negged on Amazon – but it must be so difficult for a writer to see their work that they’ve poured perhaps years of blood sweat and tears into being trashed by a nasty review.

  2. April 7, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    Great post. Although I think the opinion on Six Stories is pretty unanimous… I don’t write bad reviews; I’d rather say I can’t give the book a good review and not review it at all. It’s the thought of all that work that’s gone into it; who am I to diss that on my wee blog? Even if I don’t like it, I’ll support it with RTs etc, particularly if it’s a debut.

    • Karen
      April 8, 2017 / 10:53 am

      I agree with you Linda. I don’t post negative reviews on the blog either. If I haven’t loved a book enough for a blog post then I might put it on Amazon/Goodreads and as you say, support with RTs of other blogger’s posts.

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