I’m delighted to welcome Eddie Generous, Unnerving’s main man and the editor of a fantastic new anthology, Hardened Hearts. Here Eddie talks about the need to read, to read anything and everything and that it really doesn’t matter where the book comes from or how(ish).
Eddie Generous, Biography –
Eddie Generous is the creator, editor, designer, and publisher of Unnerving and Unnerving Magazine. Besides other books he published this year, he also is the editor and publisher of the anthology Hardened Hearts. In early 2018, Hellbound Books is publishing a collection of his novelettes titled Dead is Dead, but Not Always, and also he is teaming up with Mark Allan Gunnells and Renee Miller to release Splish, Slash, Takin’ a Bloodbath, a collection of short stories.
Unnerving Magazine Site: http://www.unnervingmagazine.com/
Eddie Generous Site: https://edgenerous.wixsite.com/eddiegenerous
Cheap Books and Broke Readers
By Eddie Generous, Unnerving Publisher/Editor
In something nearing equal value, a writer needs to be a reader, that’s obvious. But writers are usually broke and books, like everything else, cost money. Sure, you can jump into being a reviewer and score free eBooks, and occasionally a paperback ARC. Unfortunately, most places providing an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) have rules about where the thing goes, so you get stuck in a genre niche. The best writer is all over the place, written now, written in the past, written whenever, and by nature reading only ARCs leaves you focused on a small sampling of the great works available. This is where a reader needs to think beyond Chapters, Waterstones, or Barnes & Noble.
As a citizen of smaller towns and rural areas most of my life, I’ve stayed out of big box bookstores. Meaning when possible, I’ve visited the new and used stores, almost always stick to the previously enjoyed copies. And even then, most of the books I buy are a step even lower than this.
For years (prior to reading ARCs for review), I went into second hand shops on a weekly basis looking through the stacks of moldy and musty titles, seeking gems. It’s gotten down to once a month or so now, same with the used shop in my town.
Though it was a little more, my favorite thrift store shopping for books happens at Value Village. I’ve found dozens of gems over the years and often these books are in very good condition (nothing throws off the prettiness of a bookshelf like a book without a dust jacket). Value Village being the big box version of a thrift shop, I rarely have had one nearby, so the next step down are the not-for-profit outlets like the Salvation Army, hospital axillary stores, Goodwill, and then the for-hardly-any-profit junk stores where books are just a think in the corner collecting dust. There are also the unicorn rare library sales where books line community halls, prices ranging from a quarter to a buck, and the nursing home fundraisers (Sue Grafton anyone? How about a stack of John D. MacDonald crimes?).
After that, for the diligent, there are recycling centers. I know this might sound odd, but if a recycling center has a book lover (even some who respects them enough) this individual will often keep a couple shelves of the nicest books sent in for destruction, open for donation. I’ve scored a handful of books in this manner.
Say you’re already doing this and the voracity in which you read still exceeds the depth of your pockets, there are a few things you can do.
Firstly, have you considered selling your children? Ha, just kidding. As tempting as it probably sounds, it’s illegal. Some laws seem to exist solely to keep readers without all the books they need.
Actually, firstly, since you might just have kids, have you considered renting them out to the neighbors for yard work? There’s also the option of renting them to the creepy old woman down the block who has had nine children die on her and is oh so lonely (just make sure they don’t eat or drink anything she offers… unless you’ve got a life insurance policy on them. Joking, geez, settle down).
Secondly, have you considered bundling up, two or three sweaters in the winter instead of cranking the heat. Margaret Atwood said something about heat the person not the house, didn’t she? If Margaret Atwood said it, it can’t be all bad.
Thirdly, do you really need a car so big and newish? Have you considered a moped, the kids can ride in a trailer or walk, kids these days aren’t getting the exercise like they used to, so this is a win-win-win (the third win being how cool you’ll look on your moped).
Fourth, and finally, get rid of all other sources of entertainment expenditure. Netflix can go. The XBOX One, sell that stupid thing, it goes back to the kids getting too fat, too early in life. You need to keep the internet to online shop for books, but do you really need that phone and the expensive plan attached? Text messages are a distraction from reading anyway.
Or, if none of this sounds like a good idea, I guess you can just go to the library.
*Note: I don’t have children.
**Note: But, if you don’t mind, please consider buying Hardened Hearts below.
About the Hardened Hearts Anthology
17 stories of difficult love, broken hearts, lost hope, and discarded truths. Love brings pain, vulnerability, and demands of revenge. Hardened Hearts spills the sum of darkness and light concerning the measures of love; including works from Meg Elison, author of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award), Tom Deady, author of Haven (Winner of the Bram Stoker award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel), Gwendolyn Kiste, author of And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe and Pretty Marys All in a Row, and many more.
Hardened Hearts dips from speculative, horror, science fiction, fantasy, into literary and then out of the classifiable and into the waters of unpinned genres, but pure entertainment nonetheless.
The Author Line-up:
Foreword by James Newman
It Breaks My Heart to Watch You Rot by Somer Canon
What is Love? by Calvin Demmer
Heirloom by Theresa Braun
The Recluse by John Boden
40 Ways to Leave Your Monster Lover by Gwendolyn Kiste
Dog Tired by Eddie Generous
The Pink Balloon by Tom Deady
It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To by J.L.Knight
Burning Samantha by Scott Hallam
Consumed by Madhvi Ramani
Class of 2000 by Robert Dean
Learning to Love by Jennifer Williams
Brothers by Leo X.Robertson
Porcelain Skin by Laura Blackwell
The Heart of the Orchard by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi
Meeting the Parents by Sarah L.Johnson
Matchmaker by Meg Elison
And many other fine online retailers.