Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Break out the leftover Halloween candy!! The judges have settled on a winner for the GUYS READ: THRILLER contest.

First of all let me apologize for the delay. Unfortunately I had a death in the family of someone who was very dear to me. It has been a trying week with many other things piled on (being sick as well) and it has taken a great amount of energy to get back into blogging.

But let this be a celebration of writing and life and all things thrilling. And before we announce the winner and let you read it below - we wanted to chime in on WHY it was chosen. There were many entries for this contest and many of them were well thought out but in the end they missed a key element that would take it to another level.

Let's get down to the nitty gritty. Our fearless writer accomplished many things in a few short sentences. At first read you think you know what is going on. But then we are steered somewhere completely different which is refreshing and fun. The opening is left with a cliffhanger - always a great aspect to thrilling writing - and really made us want to read more. Another aspect to this top pick, it sets up a story in a few short lines. We are getting story, thrills, creeps, and a cliffhanger. And most of all, it was not typical. What we get at the end of the few lines is something we are not reading in every short story or book coming out right now. There are no zombies, vampires, ghosts, etc.

However, there were some great entries that did have zombies, vamps, ghosts and otherworldly beings, but they didn't really change the game or leave us with a sense that there was more to the story than a shocking opening.

This leads me to a discussion I had with one of the judges about the term THRILLER. For many of the entries, the term meant straight up horror. Blood, scares and monsters. We feel thrillers are more or less a story that keeps you on edge, something that has a ticking clock, a story that is not necessarily horrifying but something that keeps you turning the page or not wanting to turn the page in fear of what will happen to the main character. Yes, many of these elements are part of horror writing. But with horror writing there is a greater sense of dread, doom and gloom. Thrillers aren't always doom and gloom. A bank robbing scene is thrilling but not necessarily horrifying. Being chased by a horde of flesh-eating zombies is both thrilling and horrifying and we would put that in the horror cataGOREy (see what we did there?)

Okay, okay... without further adieu we are pleased to announce and quiet shocked to be honest that our winner is a well known published author. Before you scream UNFAIR, let me tell you that all entries given to the judges were anonymous. Because, yes, we all know that a name author could sway judging. However, I can tell you right now, the judges were stunned that said author even had time to enter but were stoked at the entry.

Walden Pond Press, Underneath the Juniper Tree and Literary Asylum are completely elated to announce... wait for it....

Author of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Darth Paper Strikes Back, Horton Halfpott: Or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, The Losening of M'Lady Luggertuck Corset, and many other fabulous books is our winner!

AND here be the few short lines that captured our imagination.

       The man in the sewers sent a message with his mind. "Return to me my pets! You've slaked your hunger up above... now return to me!" 

       Hours later they began to arrive. First one, then two, then dozens and dozens. Knee deep in the swarming mass, the man welcomed them with gentle hands.
      "Ah, my lovely tapeworms. You've grown long and fat.... now... tell me the secrets you've learned."

I don't know about you, but I want to read more and I am grossed out a bit. At first I thought it was rats, but when I got to tapeworms I was all giddy. What's going on in this story, where is it going to take us, what happened before we got to this point? Many answers await us.

We want to THANK everyone for their entries, their hard work, spreading the word and having a good time with the contest. Keep writing, keep thrilling, and stay away from tapeworms... just sayin.

Head of the tapeworm... ewwww
Stay tuned for more THRILLER interviews and if you haven't had a chance to read GR:T yet... what are you waiting for!!?

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