Reset Button + Recs

Blank slate and welcome back. I go by Trent Sketch online. Separating the online world from professional aspirations is my game.

This blog is dedicated to the wonderful world of writing. From great books and reviews to my own original work, a wide range of topics will be discussed with all the tact and grace you'd expect from past go-arounds with me.

Please to enjoy the first contemporary rec (let's say it falls within the last five years for that): Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill An aging metal star orders more than he bargained for when his morbid curiosity leads him to purchase a ghost on a third-rate eBay knock off. Featuring strong first person narration and more twists than your average writer could pull off and not fail miserably, Heart-Shaped Box is the kind of horror/suspense/thriller (all three? I believe so, yes) hybrid that you can't put down. And you wouldn't want to, either. Savor it from your local library or dish out the cheddar for the mass market paperback edition at your favorite book vendor.

Since it's such a special post, I'll even throw in the first DEAR rec (older than five years and totally worth your time, judging by the bold assertion that you should Drop Everything and Read): Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates What can I say that the Bram Stoker Award for Best Horror Novel (1995) didn't? And if you are completely clueless, the Bram Stoker Awards are presented by the Horror Writers Association every year for achievement in horror writing. Think of them as the horror equivalent of the Oscars, though with significantly fewer full page ads in the NYTimes and Variety. Ok, I can say this.

This is one of the scariest novels I have ever read. The voice of the narrator refuses to leave my head. The idea of a mentally unbalanced man with dangerous fantasies surrounding unethical surgery to create a homosexual sex zombie (hence the title) is enough to give the bravest among us nightmares. Oates' masterful prose is merely the icing on the cake. Plus, it's a very, very quick read with large text well worth the two or so hours it takes to plow through. It's also broken into short chapters to make spaced out reading easier.

In a tangentially related aside, it looks like my plan to not attend this year's Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in scenic Secaucus, NJ has been foiled by the announcement of rising novelist (and two time BSA winner) Sarah Langan as a speaker. I hope she and JT Petty JT Petty (who wrote the truly messed up short story "Grape Fruit Spoons" that still haunts my dreams when I least expect it...or maybe you know him for his young reader suspense series Clemency Pogue) are speaking on the same day for I'd hate to have to choose between the two for I know who will win. New contact trumps a second visit to an old favorite. There you have it. The first post of the new blog from your friend Trent Sketch. Don't be a stranger. E-mail's on the side and comments are more than welcome.

Labels: contemporary rec, DEAR rec