… by saying this is all the fault of a man I’ve never met. Chris McVeigh founded Fahrenheit press in 2015. I’ve followed them since the early days, but its this year that I have really started to sit up and pay attention to what is happening in the indie world. A book published on Fahrenheit is a sign of quality to me, I have read so many great stories through them that simply wouldn’t have seen the light of day via the mainstream. That led me to start looking at what else is out there, and it’s a huge world if you go looking for it. It’s also a world that needs the support of readers. And their cash. Put up or shut up, use it or lose it, put your money where your mouth is. However you want to phrase it, if readers don’t show their support with more than just their voice then we loose these presses to a slow death and the stories with them. Stories are important, the world turns on them and the more voices we can listen to the better off we will all be. Plus, you know, these are often bloody good stories that are gripping and entertaining.
It should be pretty clear by now that I’m going to be focusing on indie presses, writers, books and stories here. A quick word on the mainstream though. I don’t believe the mainstream is necessarily a bad thing. Stephen King made me a reader with Salem’s Lot, that book was my transition from children’s books (many of which I still adore, a Roald Dahl usually appears on my reading list at least once a year) into the adult world. I still remember going to sleep repeating to myself, “they can’t come in unless you invite them, they can’t come in unless you invite them.” I adore JK Rowling and am eagerly awaiting the next Strike and Ellacott novel in September. Nick Hornby, Ben Elton, Ali Smith, Joe Hill – I could go on and on – so many great authors are published in the mainstream. And for a lot of people that is where they arrive at reading. I did. But there is so much more out there which can be hugely rewarding to discover. Its that I want to share along with my passion for reading and the rewards it can bring.
I’m intending to write a mix of (hopefully interesting) comment and reviews. Just to say though that I will only write reviews of books I like. I’m not a professional critic and I have a day job, I don’t have the time to force myself to finish books I don’t like and I wouldn’t review a book I haven’t finished. I believe this approach to reviews annoys some people, if that’s you please do not bother commenting or tweeting to tell me I’m doing it wrong. I just don’t care!
So, that’s what this is all about.