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We interrupt scheduled broadcasting for the point of it all

January 13, 2023

Yesterday was a really bad day again. It feels like it’s been a week, month, year, decade of bad days. I’ve been having hypnotherapy, doing my ‘five things I’m glad for’ each day, practicing my breathing exercises, going out for runs and limiting my time on social media, all that recommended stuff. It’s helped, but it’s not solved the problem. Today on my run it’s kind of struck me that things never get any easier, they just get difficult in different ways.

Last weekend I saw a sale ad on Instagram for the type of shoes that have made me go unnecessary for my entire life, and because I’m tired and depressed and beaten down by this society, I clicked it. And despite it being a site aimed at women they actually had up to UK size 10, ie theoretically my size. So after an entire Sunday morning of overthinking and ruling out I ordered two pairs of ridiculous ‘70s style platforms (not the ones of my dreams – all the leopard print and flames had sold out in my size already) that I don’t need, won’t wear and can’t afford. They arrived yesterday. I’m still too scared to open the box and try them.

Stupid shoe purchases made me overthink about how many pairs of shoes I own and how little storage space we have in our tiny house. I went through my boots again – what don’t I wear (all of them but one pair) what can I sell? I tried some on. I still love them, even though I have no occasion or confidence to wear Edwardian riding boots outside of the house and if I sold them I’d never be able to buy them back for the £18 I originally bought them for again. So what’s the point?

My partner helped by buying two big plastic storage boxes. Maybe we can sort out the shoe cupboard and put some away in these under the bed? I researched shoe storage this morning, unsure of if storing them on their sides would be damaging. The internet told me that the worst thing you can do to keep shoes in good condition is store them in airtight plastic containers.

They decay.

Everything decays.

 

Then it really struck me. Everything really does decay. Me trying desperately to grow back my hair since Covid stress made me lose practically all of it.  Me trying to stop my stored shoes, too fancy to wear, from crumbling and splitting. Clothes. Art. Anything physical just falls apart eventually. But the theoretical doesn’t. Music doesn’t. Writing doesn’t. This paragraph will read the same (barring all arguments about context and progress and understanding) in 20 years as it does while I write it today.

It made me think of this song. I love King Charles’s music. It changed the course of my life in its own way. I miss hearing this song live and there was never a recorded version released. ‘Flesh is tame, blood is tame, everything that will decay is tame.’

 

‘It’s gonna take time to fight back time.’ I can’t believe that gig – the best gig I’ve ever been to – was ten years ago now. Ten years.

It’s a depressing thought in a way, but also affirming in that I have been really low about writing lately. I’ve been doing it, sure (I can’t NOT do it) but it’s such an isolating, underpaid, underappreciated craft and some days I just really wish I could go to a day job, not think for 8 hours, and actually get paid a regular wage. But thinking about how words are lasting, thinking about how Arthur Quiller Couch wrote stuff 100 years ago that has changed my life today, makes it seem maybe worth it.

My mp3 random play on my run was also clearly set out to attack me today.

It played this as I was looking out across the river nearly bursting its banks, across a tree fallen into the water from the high winds yesterday, the sun shining cold through rain spitting from a bruised sky, and it made me cry.

It played this (the musical equivalent of me as a person) and I thought, yeah, God Money ISN’T concerned about the sick among the pure and I WOULD rather die than give you control, and I started to laugh.

The fact that the constant cycle of defeat/defiance my current life situation is pushing me through is utterly exhausting aside, the point is, music doesn’t decay. Words last.

This was the last song as I got home and it makes me feel exactly as much (if not in quite the same way) as it did when I very first consciously heard it nearly 30 years ago.

It doesn’t matter. None of it matters. Hair, flesh, works of art, everything will be gone eventually. Ozymandias. So why hold on. Use it or lose it, or don’t use it and lose it anyway. Might as well use it, then.

 

While I was writing this, there was a knock at the door. It was an old guy asking about our next-door neighbour who died recently. He said he’d heard about it from some friends in The Boot. Next door was wonderful. He was in his 80s and never had any issue with, or even comment on, the queers next door. It’s weird. People are usually OK one on one. I get a reflexive reaction when an old guy says he goes to The Boot (as it is now – awful, weird, homophobic pub chain are Sam Smiths now, it’s sad) but all this guy wanted was to talk about his childhood friend who’d just passed on.

 

I guess in conclusion, wear stupid shoes as daywear, write more, listen to more music and try (try try try try…) to stop caring about what people have to say because we can’t hold onto anything, but also (as King Charles also sings) everything that’s painful passes. I guess me posting something personal on here is a first step towards this goal – sing as loud as you like, because nobody is listening, and that is an awful thing and a wonderful thing.

Come ‘Into Chaos’ with me

December 19, 2022

Front cover of Into Chaos from Sans. PRESSConsidering how chaotic things are *gestures around vaguely* these past few years, the title of this new anthology from Sans. PRESS is very apt!

I’m absolutely delighted to be a part of this gorgeous new book, full of tales of characters stepping beyond and embracing chaos. My story ‘Sweethope Fair’ is a darkly hopeful (fairy)tale of finally daring to do what you’ve wanted to do for an entire lifetime. 

You can get a copy of ‘Into Chaos’ (just look at that stunning cover by Dominique Ramsey!) from the following places:

 

Have you left your festive shopping late, too?

December 12, 2022

It’s that time of year again folks, and if you’re anything like me, you are not only wholly unprepared but also totally snowed under with year-end work! If anyone has any tips on actually getting stuff done at this time of year when it’s dark by 3.30pm, please clue me in..!

It’s not been bad though – a definite improvement on 2020 and 2021 at least. I finished a snowy horror story today in suitably atmospheric conditions (read: fingerless gloves in the house) and it was looking mighty powdery out the window (until it went dark at… yeah, you get the drift. Heh… drift…)

Getting to the point of this blog post. Books make ace pressies, and if you’re struggling for a last minute one, please do take advantage of my disorganised self leaving it up until the very last possible minute to offer up some signed copies for sale.

That’s right! Because I am a marketing genius, I have left it until the 12th December to finally offer signed copies of Cool S via post! I’m amazing! Go, me! Anyway, my incompetence aside, I have limited numbers of all of my books, and a couple of stray anthologies, that I can offer to you at cover price plus postage plus a whole extra 1p for which I will sign, dedicate, personalise, draw immature graffiti over, or whatever else your little heart desires happen to your purchased tome.

UK postage is £5 (second class tracked) and shouuuuuuld get to you by Christmas. US postage is £15 and there’s probably no chance of it arriving on time, let’s be real. Everywhere else, hit me up and I’ll find out postage for you, but it’s likely to cost somewhere between those two.

Photograph of all Die Booth's book covers

So, what we have here in this delicious literary pile as modelled beautifully by our attic rug, are paperback copies of ‘Neon Horror’ featuring my story ‘Tunnel’s End’ (this is a lush, colourful illustrated anthology of queer horror), ‘I Didn’t Break the Lamp’ featuring my story ‘Melt Water’ (this is a lovely thick anthology of creepy tales of imaginary friends), my novel ‘Spirit Houses’, charity flash fiction collection ‘365 Lies’, short story collections ‘Making Friends (and other fictions)’ and ‘My Glass Is Runn’ and 2022 novella ‘Cool S’.

Prices are:

  • Cool S – £6
  • Making Friends – £7
  • My Glass Is Runn – £6
  • Spirit Houses – £10
  • 365 Lies – £8
  • I Didn’t Break the Lamp – £12
  • Neon Horror – £15

Plus postage, payment via PayPal friends and family if at all possible.

I have VERY LIMITED AMOUNTS of each book – the two anthologies I only have one copy of each and I won’t be getting more, so if you want one signed by me, this is it. If you’re quick, then I can get them out to you before the cut-off date of December 16th for sending Christmas parcels.

If you would like to buy any of these books, drop me a message here, via email die.booth[at]gmail.com or message me on any of my socials and I will get back to you, and love you forever for supporting an indie author!

 

Double treats this Halloween (because you’re worth it!)

October 31, 2022
Happy Halloween, creepers! I hope that everyone’s enjoying the highlight of the goth social calendar. I’ve had a particularly good one – it’s been such a relief to be able to finally go out and party again after the real-life horror of the past two years (I mean, I guess we’re still stuck in a dystopian nightmare with current events, but at least we’re not in lockdown anymore and that is fantastic!)

As a special Halloween treat for you, I present the full Cool S book trailer and a whole 20% off print orders
with code SNEAKPEEK20 – so if you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to order your copy, now’s the moment!
 

Horror, queerness and queer horror, oh my!

October 24, 2022

It’s been a busy few weeks as things ramp up to Halloween (AKA horror writer main holiday of the year!)

This Wednesday at 10pm UK time, catch me chatting horror and Diet Riot with fellow Diet Riot author KC Loesener over on her Instagram live. I very much appreciate KC including me in her interview schedule! KC will also be catching up with awesome authors (and editors) Sonora Taylor, Kay Hanifen and Nico Bell this week, so do go check out her Instagram for those interviews too, alongside plenty of writing tips. And if that tempts you into reading some work from the authors involved, you can pick up a copy of Diet Riot here.

Last Friday I was also chuffed to be invited back onto [insert title here] to chat about queer horror with host Raul and fellow authors Mark Allan Gunnells, Lucas Delrose and Chris Williams. It was so nice to meet the other guys and to be included in a panel again – it’s a really new thing for me, and I’m rather aware that I’m not the most verbally articulate, so it’s awesome to have some really great first experiences of podcast chats courtesy of Raul being so kind and such a good host. I much appreciate being included!

If any of this has piqued your interest in a good creeping for spooky season, you can get 10% off my print books until October 28th 2022 here with code HALLOWEEN10 at checkout.

If print ain’t your thing, my ebooks are also always available for just the cost of a posh coffee

And you can watch the Queer Horror episode of [insert title here] below:

 

New Erica Robyn Reads review of 365 Lies

October 19, 2022

365 Lies cover imageI’m absolutely stoked that Erica Robyn Reads has reviewed another of my books. Book bloggers and reviewers are an author’s best friend and I’m so grateful for the support Erica has shown my work – also, she’s an amazing reviewer, so do yourself a favour and check out her regular reviews for your next good read.

This time, the review was for ‘365 Lies’, which is a book that’s very close to my heart (I say that as if all of my books aren’t!) On New Year’s Eve 2012 I made a resolution that I’d write a flash fiction a day for the entirety of 2013. I had no idea if I’d manage to do it, but I did, and I published it in 2014 with all profits made from sales going in perpetuity to The Motor Neurone Disease Association.

It’s so lovely as an author to read such an in-depth review and to see right down to what stories and even what lines really resonated with a reader. I can highly recommend checking out Erica’s excellent blog for a lot more than only book reviews.

But does the dog die? Find out here…

October 10, 2022

'Pickle' Illustration by Christopher Castillo DíazI’m delighted to have been interviewed by Hungry Shadow Press for my story ‘Pickle’ in their upcoming anthology of horror tropes done different ‘It Was All A Dream’.

This one is gonna be incredible – every story has gorgeous artwork included by the super talented Christopher Albert Castillo Díaz (I’m just in love with my very good girl Pickle illustration!)

Here’s a taster of my interview:

We sat down with Die to discuss his upcoming story in It Was All A Dream: An Anthology of Bad Horror Tropes Done Right, how to setup a proper twist ending, and most important… is the dog okay?!

What trope did you focus on?

It’s a smorgasbord of variable offenses, from ‘nobody has curtains in horror movies, especially not young women living alone’ to ‘masked killer’ but mainly focusing on ‘the dog dies’.

If that’s not enough to pique your interest in It Was All A Dream, you can also watch interviews with some of the anthology authors, and Brandon Applegate, the editor, over at Raul Reads’ Youtube channel on his regular feature [insert title here].

I’m also absolutely chuffed to be taking part in another conversation with Raul and some fellow authors on his channel (check it out here: awesome book vlogging goodness!) discussing Queer Horror live on Friday 21st October at 10pm GMT, or catch up later on Youtube. I’d love if you gave it a watch!

It Was All A Dream – live podcast chat!

September 22, 2022

Folks! If you’re at a loose end tonight at 10pm GMT, I’m gonna be doing my first author podcast with Raul Reads live on Youtube, talking with some very talented authors about the upcoming horror anthology ‘It Was All A Dream’. 

The anthology is based around bad horror tropes done right, and features my story ‘Pickle’ (which tackles my most hated trope of The Dog Dies).  You can read more about the book and pre-order here.

Excited and nervous for my first ever podcast! 

You can watch tonight here, and if you click on the link it’ll show you what time it’s due to start in your time zone. If you can’t make it for the live one, it’ll be on there to view afterwards too.

Cool S interview and review by the fabulous Erica Robyn Reads

August 26, 2022

Cool S book pileBack in June, when I was flailing around trying to find reviewers to approach for ‘Cool S’, a story of mine featured in ‘Diet Riot: a Fatterpunk Anthology’ (which I highly recommend you check out – it’s a brilliant collection I’m thrilled to be a part of). ‘Diet Riot’ was reviewed by loads of excellent reviewers, and it’s through that I met Erica Robyn – she noted that she particularly enjoyed my story ‘Fluffers’ and so I asked if she’d consider reviewing ‘Cool S’.

She agreed and since then I’ve been honestly floored by how lovely, enthusiastic, supportive and passionate about indie horror she is. Please check out her brilliant blog for beautifully-presented and insightfully-written book reviews and recommendations.

You can also read Erica’s awesome review of ‘Cool S’ here on her blog:

Cool S by Die Booth is a story centering around the little doodle we all drew at one point. We thought it was so innocent, but what if there was a dark power behind it when done with a certain intent?

Intrigued? Then this is a book for you!

read the rest of the review over at Erica Robyn Reads

And you can read an interview with me about ‘Cool S’ and more here:

I’m so excited to be hosting an interview with one of the kindest souls I’ve met in the horror community, the amazing Die Booth!

We met thanks to Diet Riot: A Fatterpunk Anthology. When I posted my review, Die commented to thank me for the kind words. From there, we started chatting about his upcoming novella. One thing lead to another, and I was blessed with the opportunity to give the book an early read. Horror fans and 90’s babies… YOU NEED THIS BOOK. 

read the rest of the interview over at Erica Robyn Reads

COOL S – OUT NOW – BEWARE!!!

August 25, 2022

Cool S book cover amongst '90s ephemeraIt is the day.

Launch day.

The day of the unleashing of the S.

The portentous day upon which you can finally purchase your very own copy of Cool S, my new horror novella about Cool S, the single most badass arcane occult sigil to ever grace a high school toilet door.

  • You can buy all formats of e-book from Smashwords here: Cool S ebook ($3.99)
  • You can buy it in print from Lulu here: Cool S print (and the print version has pictures!) (£5.99)

And if you buy a print copy from Lulu today (25th August 2022) or tomorrow (26th August 2022) using code BACKTOSCHOOL15 at the checkout, you can get 15% off the price.

There will be signed copies available to buy direct from me if I have any left after my book signing on Saturday 3rd September, so keep a look out if you want me to deface a copy for you.

You can also help make up your mind if you wanna read the accursed lil blighter by checking out the following:

I also present to you a launch day video where I throw ribbons in the air because I didn’t have confetti and accidentally made it a premiere because I don’t understand Youtube, enjoy!