Okay, this might be a bit of a strange situation, but we here at Undead Review have been following it with the same interest one would have waiting for a race car crash, though this was actually enjoyable even without the twisted screech of metal. Was it a feud? A shallow publicity stunt? A drunken bet gone horribly awry? All of the above? My money’s on the drunken bet, but I usually assume alcohol plays into anything fun.
Let’s set the scene. Two indie authors bring their novels out on the same date, the 28th of September. So far, so good, so what?
Well, each author put out a press release accusing the other of theft, that each was trying to steal the other’s thunder by stealing the now much sought after launch date, that’s what. Then, respected horror blogger Jim Mcleod of The Gingernuts of Horror ran both the press releases, before angrily accusing both writers of conspiring to create a publicity stunt that amounted to little more than a cheap gimmick one might witness watching a wrestling match, minus the folding chair.
In the comments section of the above mentioned article, both writers rejected the accusations of a publicity stunt, and placed a little wager to show their sincerity in the matter: After one week of sales, whoever had the lower Amazon sales ranking would need to present the winner with a signed copy of their book at FCon in October.
And so it began.
From there, Gef Fox of the book blog ‘Wag The Fox’ started doing some investigative journalism, to try and get to the bottom of this so-called ‘rivalry’.
I think I’ll let the results speak for themselves (hint, it didn’t go so well).
Things only escalated from there, with a back and forth on Facebook that would have easily trumped any of the political debates on television as of late, until finally a challenge was issued – a Rap Battle where the public would choose the winner to this epic event. Yours truly even got himself involved, placing a vote for Rich Hawkins. It was a close match, no doubt, but Hawkins did have the zombie novel, and though I loved Kit Power’s GobBomb! I had to cast my vote for the zombie writing Hawkins. My love of stirring up trouble had nothing to do with it at all.
Further bets were placed, insults thrown about, and a governing body created just to settle the final winner, but somehow, in the end, peace prevailed. Jim Mcleod, the man who had accused both of being shameless publicity hounds, demand a ceasefire <link Ginger Nuts of Horror: Oi! You Two Quit It>. Kit Power and Rich Hawkins, seemingly coming to accept the end of their feud, agreed to host a joint launch party on Facebook. Sadly, their rivalry is now just a thing of the past, my enjoyment of what seemed to an epic in book launch history over and done with before a duel to the death could even be called out for.
Or is it? The duo did a joint interview of sorts on the Manuscripts Burn blog called ‘5 things I rate about you, which… Well, see for yourself, Manuscripts Burn: Five Things I Rate About You.
With just a couple of days to go to the joint launch party, We at Undead Review decided to sit down with the two authors for an exclusive chat, to see how troubled the waters really are, hoping against hope that there was just a bit more fight left in them. What follows is a transcript of that chat…
Undead Review: First of all, I’d like to thank the both of you for agreeing to sit down and talk about things with me. Zombies tend to be big fans of drama, thus the overdramatic moaning you hear all the time instead of just expressing what we want, and for this zombie, the drama from your rivalry was a thing to behold.
KP: You’re welcome.
RH: No problem!
UR: My first question is usually the same in situations such as this, how much alcohol was involved and what kind was it? I’m really hoping it was whiskey because all good bets start with whiskey. That’s also how all good hospital visits, police reports, and lawn gnome kidnapping sessions start, but that’s a story for another day.
RH: Oh, probably! we all know how fond of his whiskey Kit is…
KP: Well, yes, I did leave the West Country, so managed to graduate from Cider at least…
RH: But honestly, it doesn’t matter – it’s just a friendly bet.
KP: That’s right. Just a friendly bet, from two ‘just-friends’.
UR: When Jim Mcleod called you both out on Ginger Nuts of Horror, throwing down with some very serious accusations, how did that feel? It had to have stung just a bit that a respected guy like Jim was calling you both out.
RH: Well, more embarrassing for Kit than me, obviously – I mean, Kit writes for the site, so it’s almost like being told off by the boss…
KP: Nah, I respect Jim and his opinion, you’d be mad not to, he’s such a fixture on the scene. And he’s too big a man to publically take sides, whatever he might privately feel about the relative merits of two rival claims…
RH: …But of course that doesn’t matter anyway, because we’re all friends again now.
KP: Yeah, absolutely. Water under the bridge. 🙂
UR: When the winner of your wager is decided, and I’m referring to the first week’s sale bet here, has the topic of outfits been brought up yet? As in will the loser be wearing a pauper’s clothing while the winner stands in near royal regalia. I only ask because if I were the winner in such a challenge, I wouldn’t want the loser upstaging me by trying to dress better.
KP: I think it’ll be tough enough on R… I mean, whoever loses, so I wouldn’t want to see his misery compounded.
RH: Well, in fairness, most of us are already wondering what Kit’s come as most of the time so…
UR: Who first came up with the rap battle idea?
RH: Oh that was ALL Kit. And this time he admits to being drunk, it’s all on Facebook…
KP: Oh, nothing. I’m just surprised you’re not trying to take credit for this too…
RH: I’ll take credit for the win…
KP: What, the ‘declared null and void by the governing body’ win? Be my guest…
UR: When all was said and done after the rap battle had been decided, after the governing body stepped in to hand down a verdict, how did you both feel about it. Was it considered fair and impartial enough for the both of you?
RH: A win’s a win. It’s fine, whatever the authorities say, the people know the truth…
KP: Yup. They know that we’ve both been given lifetime bans from Battle Rap and forbidden all bragging rights.
RH: Only God can judge me…
KP: I’d like to see that stand up in court…
UR: I have to say, you both handled yourselves extremely well in the aftermath of the ceasefire. A lesser man may have gloated about his win, or lamented his loss, but you two bucked up and accepted that one was simply better than the other. Good on the both of you.
KP: Now hang on…
RH: Absolutely. The best man won, and we all accepted the result.
KP: THERE WAS NO RESULT!!
RH: Of course not. 😉
UR: I haven’t read The Last Outpost yet, but those creatures in The Last Plague were terrifying. They had a lot of zombie like traits while being at the same time completely different. So violent. You wouldn’t think it, what with all the flesh eating and such, but zombies really aren’t all that violent in nature, so those things scared the hell out of me.
UR: Kit’s book GodBomb! was a wonderful read, if you haven’t checked it out yet Rich it’s got my recommendation. I mean, it had me firmly entrenched from beginning to end, but you know, bombers versus monstrosities even H.R. Gieger would have been too terrified to draw…I think we know who wins that fight.
KP: Erm. Thanks, I guess…
RH: Well yeah, obviously, I mean, no offence Kit, but my creations are…
UR: Did it ever occur to you that while The Last Outpost was bound to give people nightmares, possibly forcing them straight into church, that Kit’s book might force them right back out?
KP… Do I even need to be here?
RH: I’m glad you asked that, because…
UR: Rich, you know I love a good fight, and that involves some good insults, but don’t you think comparing Kit to Scrappy Doo was kind of a low blow. I know I don’t speak for everybody, but all people hate Scrappy Doo.
RH: Well, but he’s so cute…
UR: I know what you mean…
KP: SCREW YOU HAWKINS! THIS INTERVIEW IS OVER!!!!
<KP has left chat>
UR: Well, that wasn’t very mature…
RH: Well, he’s like that – throws his toys out of the pram at the slightest criticism. Shame he’s so thin-skinned but there you go.
UR: I hope I haven’t inadvertently started the feud back up *snickers*
RH: Don’t worry about it. I think I’ve got it covered either way… 😉
That might not have gone entirely as expected, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little happy with the results. Let’s be honest here, the fuse was already there, just waiting for the right spark, if I had to be the match, then I accept my fated position. What can I say, zombies love a bit of drama, and a good feud is the height of drama. If only someone can get them in the ring for a wrestling match, I volunteer to be the one who throws in the chair. Now I need each and everyone of you reading this to go out and buy both GodBomb! and The Last Outpost. Do me a solid here okay? Not only are both of these guys talented authors with great books, but if I’m going to keep this feud going, they’re going to need the cash. You’re going to get an awesome book, I’m going to get my feud. It’s a win – win scenario. You know you can trust me to always have your best interests at heart because if you can’t trust a rotting dead guy, than who can you trust?
You can find Kit Power’s GodBomb! here:
You can find Rich Hawkins’ The Last Outpost here: