It's Not Sharks You Have to Worry About
A haunted shipwreck? Sign me up!
I did sign up, in fact. I pre-ordered Darcy Coates' latest book FROM BELOW the instant I saw it in her email newsletter. I've been a fan of her work since the first book I picked up—leading me instantly to devour every book she'd written to that point and wait impatiently for the next. She'd done what few authors have done and created a superfan.
I have favorite authors I return to over and over. These writers manage to create stories that I read more than once. I become a completist about filling out my book shelves (real and virtual) with copies of their books. I want to own and read all of their books. And if someone needs a recommendation for something to read, these are writers that I'll suggest if it sounds like something the person would like. I'll badger loved ones to read their books, selfishly, so there's someone that can discuss the books with me. And I'm wounded when the other person doesn't like the books as much.
What's wrong with them?
In this readinary life, you might not find many writers that fit that description for you. It's a joy like falling in love when you do. That's what we say, "I love Stephen King's books!"
True. I don't know Mr. King, but I love his books. I've read many of them multiple times. I've read most of his books, though admittedly I think I'm not reading them as soon after they arrive (I order them all) because I'm not sure how many books he'll write. I hope he's around writing more books for decades to come. (Alexa tells me that he's 70 years old, so there's reason to hope).
Some superfans go even farther with their fandom. They create works of art, fan fiction, blog posts, cosplay costumes, Facebook groups, and write fan letters to the writer. If the write created a language, the superfan will learn the language and speak it with other superfans. Is that you? Who is it that brings out your inner superfan?
I don't tend to express my fandom that publicly. I care, I do, and I'm also the quiet, somewhat introverted, highly-sensitive person (HSP), that gets overstimulated in crowds and must collapse in a quite space after too much socialization. It's funny when I get together with other writers like me. We delight in each other's company and then we have to go off to our own rooms and retreat into writing. Or a nap.
Superfans are terrific ambassadors, town criers, and banner carriers for writers. It's amazingly rewarding to have your stories and books mean that much to someone. (If you're a superfan of my writing, thank you. I'm sending many virtual hugs your way).
From Below by Darcy Coates
I'm not writing any spoilers about the book. It came out the other day and was delivered automatically to my Kindle. Many books by Darcy Coates take place in grand houses, surrounded by woods, isolated, and haunted by tragic and spooky figures. Her characters have good reasons they end up in such a place. They're likable and relatable characters.
And the books are spooky. I love that. Spooky, atmospheric, and puzzling as the characters (and readers) figure out what is going on.
With FROM BELOW, Darcy Coates relocates the story to a new environment—the deep ocean. The Arcadia disappeared 90 years ago almost without a trace. A few odd radio transmissions and then nothing. No clear answer to explain what happened to the ship.
The book engrossed me from the first page. I quickly read the first chapter and forced myself to put down the book. It was late and if I didn't stop, I'd read all night.
The next day I read every chance I got. In the morning, during breaks, waiting for reports to run, and in the evening when I skipped TV to keep reading the book. I haven't been that focused on reading a book in quite a while. I read every day. But not usually with such singular focus and attention.
I also asked my digital assistant to play haunting music to accompany the book as I read. I haven't looked for an audiobook yet, but I might do that in the future and go through it again in that format.
If there's ever a movie of this book, I'm going to be eager to see it. I think it'd make a fantastic horror movie. Get David Sandberg and James Wan on it and I'm sure we'd have something pretty amazing.
Now I'm waiting for the next Darcy Coates book to come out. I think that's GALLOWS HILL, due to be published Sep. 6th, 2022.
Until next week.
Best wishes, always — Ryan
If you haven't read my novel Infestation yet, it's a haunted house in space story, available on my site right now—pay what you want. Or you can pick it up retail if you prefer. You can also support me with a paid subscription to READINARY.