WELL HELLO, everybody. My name is Tory and this is my very first blog entry. If you’re reading this I’m sure you’re familiar with my frantic and neurotic tweets, my overuse of heart emojis, and what I’m sure you characterize as an obsession with author WB Welch and her collection of short stories, Blood Drops. If you’re new to me—Party Freckle, Book Pimp, Cheerleader—then great news! I’m about to get you up to speed on everything that’s happened over the past two weeks.
That’s right: two weeks. That’s how long I’ve been a part of the #WritingCommunity on Twitter. It’s a bit of a synchronicity, all things considered, that I joined Twitter the day Blood Drops was released. I didn’t know WB Welch before then. Hell, I didn’t know any of you. But once my handle was listed in Steven Viner’s amazing follow train thread for writers, I found myself sucked into this community and surrounded by books and books and books—more books than I could ever possibly read.
It occurred to me quickly that among all these self-published books there’s got to be something that will knock my socks off—and maybe the rest of my clothes too. Lol. (I was a bit flirty at first, admittedly to get attention, because it works—so there’s your one free flirt, reader. If you want another you’ll have to earn it. Wink emoji.)
With all these books linked in writers’ bios and tweeted into my news feed, I couldn’t help myself but to start browsing for something to read. After all, Christmas was coming up and I knew I’d be getting my usual Amazon gift card in my stocking back home. I hadn’t read a book in a while, and you guys inspired me to get my nose in between some crisp, factory-printed pages again.
Among the Amazon samples I just so happened to read was that of Blood Drops. I am a huge fan of the short story, for one thing, and there’ll probably be another post soon dedicated to short fiction alone and what happened to it when the internet revolution killed the small press, the magazine, and the literary journal—but this post isn’t about that.
I read “Her,” the first story in the collection. It was fun and interesting and dark and creepy—not to forget (cringe emoji for sensitive readers) a little bit erotic. It struck me as bold that this random author I didn’t know would decide to make that the first story in her collection. It struck me as risky.
And it made me want to read more.
I decided I was going to order the paperback after I dumped my stocking out on the floor and fished out my gift card among all the peppermints and Reece’s cups and whatever thirty-seventh book lamp or eyeliner or Game of Thrones toy my parents had stuffed in there with it.
Then I ran across a tweet from WB. A giveaway of ten paid Kindle copies. I was the first to comment, and after a quick DM I suddenly had it, FO’ FREE, on my phone. Now I’m a paperback girl thru and thru, don’t get me wrong. Right before I sat down to type this, WB and I talked about how great it is that she’s moving more paperbacks than ebooks, because people carry paperbacks around with them out in the world and others see them. Conversations spark. Recommendations occur. Buzz generates. Ereaders, God love them, hide books from the public—which is great if you read erotica, but it does nothing for an author, forcing them to rely on Amazon’s algorithms to mathematically and coldly generate book recommendations. No thanks. Lol.
I’m not here to knock ereaders. Read however you want to read. That’s not what this post is about.
I read Blood Drops over the course of several days, a handful of stories at a time, and then finished the last half in one exhilarating sitting. You can find my review of Blood Drops in my tweets or on Goodreads or you can just do yourself a favor and go get your own copy right now. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like horror. This collection is much more than that. It has real human emotion in it. It has metaphor. It had connective tissue that thematically brings everything together to one big devastating and heartbreaking conclusion.
If you’re willing to believe in it.
If you look closely enough.
If you’re a discerning enough reader.
There is depth to the writing of WB Welch that serious writers aspire to, and much to be learned from her about how to build a character, how to set a scene, how to make sentences dance like smoke from a candle flame. I ordered myself a paperback copy of Blood Drops before I even finished reading the ebook version she was kind enough to give me, and then as soon as I turned the last page I immediately one-clicked her debut novella, Brenna’s Wing. It’s next on my reading list. Sorry guys, but I can’t move on to another author until I’ve consumed every single word WB has written.
But don’t worry. It won’t take long. (I’m obsessed, remember? Laughter emoji.)
I took to Twitter to shout my love for Blood Drops from the rooftop, and so many of you not only helped me share my feelings with likes and retweets and replies, but a number of you lent me—and especially WB—enough of your trust to toss up a couple bucks and get yourselves a copy.
Since then, word has been spreading. The book isn’t selling like crazy or anything, but it’s selling steadily, and there looks to be an upward trend in momentum. Three paperbacks shipped. Five paperbacks shipped. Eight paperbacks shipped two days in a row.
Tweets are popping up randomly with reviews, with commentary on a particular story, with a photo of a newly arrived paperback, or with an outright call for more people to read it.
In our private conversations, which are vast and span night and day ever since I started talking about her book, WB tries to credit me for the momentum her book is gaining, but it has absolutely nothing to do with me. I was just a reader who happens to be REALLY REALLY LOUD. Lol. Blush emoji.
It’s not me making her book sell.
Her book is making her book sell.
Because in that book you’ll find the warm, beating heart of one of the kindest, most generous, hardest-working writers who blinks and draws breath today—and that beauty shows in her words. As our conversations became more and more focused on our shared goals and dreams, I realized how badly WB wants this. How doggedly she has been pursuing a career as an author. To live the dream of being adored the world over for your stories, of movie options and book tours and stellar book reviews in the New York Times. To claim that prestigious front matter, #1 Bestseller.
I can’t go into details about the things WB and I have been working on, but I hope she’ll be able to share exciting news with you soon. The only reason why I mention it at all is because despite the fact that she has so much on her plate, she insisted that we spend much of our conversations talking about me, about my writing, about my goals.
I know I hardly ever mention it on Twitter, but I’m a writer, too. I’ve been one for a long time. I have lots of material to show for it. And I live in a world where it’s really hard to get anyone to read it.
WB Welch is reading one of my novels—the one I care about the most—and the things she says about it I’ve never heard from anyone before. It couldn’t have come at a better time. You all probably think of me as an excitable person, happy perhaps, even a little crazy. The latter is true, but the rest is all theatrics. I present myself as happy in hopes that I’ll actually feel it—when I can muster the energy, that is. You guys have seen the melancholy, the sudden spurts of sad poetry, the mood swings.
I’m derailing. This post isn’t about me. This new blog will provide ample opportunity for me to feel sorry for myself and beg people to read what I write.
I keep saying what this post isn’t about, and it’s time to wrap up. (“That’s what she said” gif.)
Here’s what this post is about:
It’s about me saying thank you to WB Welch for noticing me when you didn’t have to, when you could have just sat back and let me praise your work until the maximum number of people bought it and then when my influence hit a brick wall abandoned me. But you saw right through all my bullshit, all my friendly but impersonal antics. You saw the real me. (Wink emoji.)
This might sound pathetic to some people, what I’m about to say, but I don’t care: WB, you are, truly and officially and in all other ways, my best friend in the whole world. Like I said to you in our messages, I feel like you’re my long-lost sister, and somebody lied to us along the way. I’m grateful for every moment. I can’t wait until you’re famous. I love you for every word.