December 8, 2014

Chasing Tale [12/8/14]: Ghost in the Shill

It doesn't seem all that long ago that the book industry turned to reality TV as their new resource for blockbuster books. After all, Snooki is a published "writer" thanks to Simon & Schuster. Heck, Kim Kardashian's mom has a cook book with her name on it (does she even know what the inside of a stove looks like?). But reality TV is yesterday's news apparently, as the latest bestseller is coming from, of all places, YouTube.

Who Is Zoella? Meet The YouTube Star Whose Book Is Breaking Sales Records

Affirming my age, I had no idea what a Zoella was until she made headlines last week with word her debut novel, Girl Online, had a stellar first week of sales that eclipsed the great J.K. Rowling's debut week. She has millions of followers on YouTube (a site where comments do not exactly promote literacy) so I imagine publishers saw potential there, and Zoella apparently has been yearning to write a novel--or S&S just threw heaps of cash at her to spur the muse. But, over the weekend questions arose and it turns out that the object of tween idolatry didn't write the book herself.

Was Zoella's novel Girl Online ghostwritten?

After reading the sample provided on, all I can say is that if Girl Online has a hook, the first chapter camouflaged it well. The gal alleged to have ghostwritten the book can't be in any great hurry to take credit for it, I imagine, considering it was a six-week rush job and kinda reads like one. But hey, if a book penned by a YouTube celeb--or by her ghostwriter more likely--gets girls to put down their phones and read an honest-to-god book--or even just open their Kindle app--for five f**king minutes, I'd call it a success story.

I just hope it serves as a gateway drug for those newcomers to novels, and inspires them to seek out better written books.

And speaking of better written books, quite a few of the recent arrivals to my to-be-read pile fit that description, I reckon.

Writing the Novel by Lawrence Block - Did you buy a lot of books on Black Friday? I didn't. I bought one. This one. I have quite a few books on writing, but aside from Stephen King's On Writing I don't have many memoir type books. This one should be interesting in that regard.

Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom - I won this cool looking audiobook from horror author, Edward Lorn, last week. I've heard good things

Apocalypse Girl Dreaming by Jennifer Brozek - This is a short story collection coming soon through Evil Girlfriend Press. I actually interview Jennifer last week, which you can check out by clicking here to learn a little more about the book.

All-Night Terror by Adam Cesare and Matt Serafini - While I have an interview coming up soon with Adam to talk about his new novel, Exponential, I stumbled across this collaborative effort he did a while back as a freebie on the Kindle Store in November. Nice.

The North by Sean Cummings - Speaking of scoping out freebies, this was another one that I was alerted to last month. Teens and zombies? C'mon, you know you're interested. And it's only a buck right now anyway.

The Things in the Darkness by Ira Gansler - Ira stopped by the blog not too long ago with a guest post, as part of his blog tour to promote his debut novel. You can check out the guest post by clicking here.

The Nightmare Girl by Jonathan Janz - Mr. Janz has a new novel coming out in January. It sounds good. It sounds grim and harrowing and gut-wrenching too, but underneath all that is Janz's wordsmithing, which just gets better and better.

One Rainy Night by Richard Laymon - On the classic horror front, I was perusing Laymon's line-up on the Kindle Store and I saw this book that I'd never heard of before. The guy has written a lot and I've heard readers and writers praise their favorites, but this one I don't recall in the conversation before. Well, a small town deluged by rainfall that turns people into homicidal maniacs sounds like something I probably should have heard of, especially since Laymon wrote it.

You Have to Fucking Eat by Adam Mansbach & Owen Brozman - Ah, the follow up to Go the F**k to Sleep. On top of the actual book, I listened to Bryan Cranston narrate the thing via the free Audible version. Oh brother, wait 'til my sister see this.

Harvest by Rob Pobi - This one showed up in the mail courtesy of Simon & Schuster. It's set for release in early January and features a hunt for a serial killer throughout New York City, and at first glance looks like it might be in the vein of Thomas Harris. We'll see.

Stonehill Downs by Sarah Remy - This new release came via HarperCollins and fits into the epic fantasy genre, one of genres I keep meaning to read more of. I actually have an interview coming up in the near future with Sarah too, so keep an eye out for that.

Storme Warnin by W.L. Ripley - This mystery/thriller coming out through Brash Books next year is actually the fourth in a series that now has a new home. I have an interview coming up soon with Warren just in time for Christmas, so get ready for that one too.

Abram's Bridge by Glenn Rolfe - And at the end of December I'll have an interview with Glenn, whose new novella is set to be published by Samhain Publishing. It's a ghost story, so that's already a step in the right direction for my liking.

It's Only Death by Lee Thompson - Ooh, some Lee Thompson goodness coming from DarkFuse in January. This one goes into the noir thriller side of things with a bank robber coming home to see his dying mother only to wind up in a hornet's nest of trouble when old enemies find out he's back in town.

Blockbuster by Liva Von Biela - Also from DarkFuse in January is some near-future dystopian horror. I'm so used to reading contemporary horror from the DarkFuse roster, so this should prove interesting in its divergence. Plus, I hear Lisa is a heckuva writer.

Critical Dawn by Darren Wearmouth and Colin F. Barnes - Archeology and Science Fiction? No sign of Indiana Jones. Shucks. But hey, no sign of Shia Labeouf either. Yay!

Poor, Poor Ophelia by Carolyn Weston - Here's a novel set for release in February from Brash Books. Actually it's a re-release on the book that was adapted into The Streets of San Francisco. And if you're not familiar with that show, there's this YouTube channel you can check out:

John Golden: Freelance Debugger by Django Wexler & John Golden and the Heroes of Mazaroth by Django Wexler - I look forward to listening to these two audiobooks, as the idea of blending sci-fi and fantasy with a computer tech troubleshooting fantastical creatures infecting computer systems sounds really snazzy.

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