A month after publication of The Suffering, I have four bits of great news to share with you.
Last Friday, I was invited to Beyond Radio to chat about the book, my inspirations, and what started me on my path to all things horror. It was unreal to head down to the studio, settle myself behind the microphone, and start chatting to the lovely DJ, all while live on the radio! When I got the email from Greg Lambert asking if I’d like to come in and give an interview, I foolishly expected it to be pre-recorded. I mean, I am quite sweary in general, as all my friends can attest to! So I didn’t think there was any way I’d be unleashed on the general public without the chance to cut and edit accidental F-bombs. Thankfully, I managed to rein it in and, apart from a pause where my mouth almost said “then the shit hits the fan” when I was describing the ghost attacks, I got through it without even a hint of a cuss word. Phew!
It was an incredible experience, and one in which I experienced the feeling of, “Yep. I could get used to this!” Hopefully the interview will be the first of many, as I had an absolute blast.
Books of Horror Author Smackdown
One of the main challenges I’m facing as a brand new author is swallowing down Imposter Syndrome. I think the more you put yourself out there, the more the “what if it doesn’t work out?” voice quietens. Because, if it doesn’t work out, who cares? At least you’ve thrown your hat in the ring. I’m trying to keep the phrase, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” at the forefront of my mind, to remind me that everything is worth a try, and there is nothing to lose. Thankfully, I had a burst of this mantra on Sunday night, when I was scrolling through one of my favourite Facebook groups, Books of Horror.
Last week, the admins announced that there would be an author showdown, where 32 books voted for by the group members will go head-to-head in a battle in September, giving everybody 6 months to read all the winning entrants in order to narrow it down to a winner. I knew what an incredible opportunity it would be to make it into the top 32 and have all participants read The Suffering. But, at first, the nagging voice was screaming in my subconscious: “As if you’d stand a chance! Don’t add your book to the potential list – people will laugh at you. Who do you think you are? You’ll not make it, then you’ll be disappointed, so why put yourself through it?” etc etc. But last Sunday, lying in bed and idling scrolling, I had a rush of the “Take a shot, who cares if you miss!” mentality. I added The Suffering to the list, with an apologetic disclaimer (“I know it’s only a month old so I don’t think many of you will know it, but what the hell!”).
I was blown away to see that I got 70 votes, and ended up making it into the ‘ring’ at number 31 of 32, out of 138 entries! So, no matter what that voice tells you, ignore it and take that shot. Making it into the Smackdown is huge exposure to horror-loving readers, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Bring on September! Virtual boxing gloves at the ready…
The Suffering Giveaway!
Another fun thing this month is a competition I’m running on Instagram, to win a paperback copy of the book. I love entering book giveaways, and it’s been fun seeing likeminded people entering and hoping to win. The competition is open now and will run until this Friday (31st March 2023) at 4pm GMT. So, if you would like a shot at winning a paperback copy of The Suffering, head over to Instagram now! Just follow my page (mjmarsauthor), like the competition post, and tag a friend who loves to read horror. Good luck!
Finally, some more fantastic news for the book. I was accepted for a BookBub deal! This was insanely fortunate, as less than 20% of applicants manage to secure a deal. I nearly fell off my chair when I opened the email stating the offer. BookBub deals can lead to huge boosts in sales and exposure, so I couldn’t be happier about it. The deal will begin on 13th April, so I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about it in my April news update!
As you can see, March has been a whirlwind of fantastic news. But I’m only able to write about each thing because I managed to shut up the negative voice for a few minutes to make applications, blow my own tiny trumpet, and ask others to believe in The Suffering. If, like me, you’re plagued with self-doubt when it comes to your writing, I hope this news roundup has given you a bit of a nudge to take some of your own shots in the coming months. If you miss some, who cares? But the ones that actually land could change everything.
If you haven’t yet checked out The Suffering and would like to, it’s available on Kindle Unlimited, Kindle, and paperback from Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, and other international online book retailers.