This has been a big week for award announcements! On Monday, the 2018 Splatterpunk Award Nominees were announced, along with final ballot for the 2017 Stoker Awards. Yesterday, the 2018 Audie Awards finalists were revealed. And today, finalists for the first annual Audiobook Listeners Choice Awards were revealed, with my book, Mass Hysteria, narrated by Joe Hempel, listed as one of the five horror finalists.
I don't know if I can adequately explain how much this means to me, but suffice to say I am deeply, deeply honored.
Probably not too many of you know this, but Mass Hysteria almost never was. I had some pretty deep reservations about releasing this particular book due to the extreme and graphic content depicted within. I was in a pretty different place, both personally and professionally, when I wrote this book in 2015, and over the course of writing Mass Hysteria my wife became pregnant and our first child was born within days of my penning that horrific and bleak final chapter. If you've read Mass Hysteria, you can probably understand just how difficult some of these scenes were to pen. I trunked the book for a good long while before I began editing it in 2016 and found myself having to put the book aside once more. I was unsettled and uncomfortable with the material, and I was no longer sure if it was a work I wanted to be associated with.
Fatherhood had changed me, and it was a long time before I began to feel comfortable with Mass Hysteria, or at least as comfortable as one can feel with a book like that. It wasn't until 2017 that I was really able to look at Mass Hysteria with a more critical eye and accept the book for what it was and what it could be. While there were still scenes within it that I was (and still am) uncomfortable with, I found myself at an impasse. I could either release it, or I could forget about it.
Ultimately, I think I made the right choice, and thankfully it seems to have paid off! Readers have responded well and have been very supportive of the work since it released in August 2017. Mass Hysteria was a Top 10 finisher in Horror the 21st Annual Critters/Preditors and Editors Readers Poll, and Cedar Hollow Horror Review included it in their list of Best Horror Books of 2017. Now, I am in the delightful place of seeing Mass Hysteria listed as a finalist in the Indie-centric and small press publisher-focused Audiobook Listener Awards for Horror - and alongside Michael McDowell and Brian Keene no less! Pardon me, but holy shit! All of this, of course, is due in no small part to the efforts of my editor Shay VanZwoll at EV Proofreading & Editing, and Joe Hempel's outstanding narration, and the humbling and outstanding dedication of my wonderful, loyal readers.
To top it all off, this announcement came right on the heels of yesterday's release of Broken Shells, my latest horror novella, which has generated a nice bit of early buzz thanks to a number of overwhelmingly positive advance reviews. So, yeah, not a bad couple days so far!
The Audiobook Listener Awards is a "listener's choice" award, and the winner will be selected by you, the listener! Voting in each of the award categories is open until May 31, 2018. Listeners can vote in each category once a day until the competition closes. You can find all of the award categories and finalists here, so please take a moment to check it out and cast your ballots. If you want to head straight over to the Horror category and vote for your favorite title, this link will take you directly there! You may want to bookmark the announcement page or your favorite categories, and remember to vote regularly so you can help your preferred title claim the top spot.
If you haven't had a chance to brave Mass Hysteria yet, head on over here to learn all about this book. You can find the audiobook edition of Mass Hysteria for sale now on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.
Antoine DeWitt is a man down on his luck. Broke and recently fired, he knows the winning Money Carlo ticket that has landed in his mailbox from a car dealership is nothing more than a scam. The promise of five thousand dollars, though, is too tantalizing to ignore.
Jon Dangle is a keeper of secrets, many of which are buried deep beneath his dealership. He works hard to keep them hidden, but occasionally sacrifices are required, sacrifices who are penniless, desperate, and who will not be missed. Sacrifices exactly like DeWitt.
When Antoine steps foot on Dangle's car lot, it is with the hope of easy money. Instead, he finds himself trapped in a deep, dark hole, buried alive. If he is going to survive the nightmare ahead of him, if he has any chance of seeing his wife and child again, Antoine will have to do more than merely hope. He will have to fight his way back to the surface, and pray that Jon Dangle's secrets do not kill him first.