I've written at length in this blog about the magnificent turns my writing career has taken since I've stumbled upon the group of people making up both A Murder of Storytellers and Nevermore Edits. For this third entry in my series of "Books Written by Friends," I thought I would venture into the beginning of their work. Thankfully, the book I read isn't the end of their work. If it were, the ending might not be a happy one at all.
The endings in Happy Days, Sweetheart are all designed to be unhappy, but this--the first anthology from Murder--proves to be a thrilling beginning to a creative output that has already lit the local writing landscape on fire and shows no sign of stopping there.
While Murder is primarily a horror imprint, the stories in Happy Days... keep to the macabre by virtue of their theme, but do have some variance in genre:
"Finding Annie" by Shannon Iwanski starts off matters in a darkly comic tone.
Iwanski and C.J. Miles IV eventually steer matters into the abjectly tragic with "Good Morning Mr. C" and "Repeat After Me," respectively.
Kaz Kirkpatrick offers a quick sharp, detour into the subversive with the aptly titled "Repelzul."
Jack Burgos and editor Adrean Messmer finish the proceedings with "Bloody Lizzy" and "Left and Leaving." Fair warning about the final stories in this volume: they are not for the faint of stomach.
The book is short and a breezy read, despite its heavy subject matter. The editing is polished* and indicates a level of professionalism that always challenges me to do better in my own work.
I highly recommend Happy Days, Sweetheart. You can acquire an eBook or paper copy for yourself via Amazon. Alternately, you can acquire a signed copy of Happy Days... and all of the other Murder books at the Hastings in Bartlesville this Satruday, April 30th from 1-5 PM. The authors will be there to sign copies.
Oh, also, I will be there. I have books as well. Maybe I should review one of them in this blog? No. As we all learned last week, I tend to not to get along with myself.
* There are very few typos that I found. Most of them might be attributable to me reading the book on a progressively antiquated Kindle Fire. Those that I did find were almost entirely found in Jack's stories. This is the part where Jack goes quite mad and starts searching all of his stories for bugs. Ha! I'll never tell where they are! Mainly because I can't remember where they are, and those few errors did not interfere with the proceedings in the slightest.