On Facebook, there's a little bit of a rivalry brewing between two indy authors … maybe. Anyway, Kit Power and Rich Hawkins both have new books set to come out on September 28. Okay so far, but both have issued press releases accusing each other of choosing the same release date to sabotage one another. On top of that, Jimbo over there at Gingernuts of Horror came out to accuse both sides of conducting a transparent publicity stunt.
From there a wager has been made: Whichever author has the lowest Amazon ranking following the first week of sales will have to present the winning author with a signed copy of their book at the British Fantasy Society convention in October. With the bet made official, the two apparently can't stop slinging mud at each other on social media with #teamhawkins and #teampower hashtags being employed.
But how real is this rivalry?
Let's find out.
Using a shared Google doc, five questions were put to Kit and Rich. Each was to answer the questions inside the same document to keep things neat and tidy. Come to find out that didn't work, as Kit and Rich both went back to the doc and altered each other's answers. A cunning plan by each? Perhaps, if not for the changes being tracked so I could see who did what.
So here are the questions and the answers they provided, along with some highlights on who changed what. Rich, Kit, you guys are either clever little satirists or bumbling saboteurs. Either way, best of luck with both your books.
Note: For ease of reference, in the below text, Kit’s alterations are in bold, Rich’s in italic. Where text is plain, it was written by the person actually credited with saying it.
Question 1: When did you first decide to use September 28th as the launch date for your novel?
Kit: Oh, it was months ago. I remember talking with The Sinister Horror company about it, and then one of them said, hey, that devilishly handsome Rich Hawkins has a book coming out end of September - we could really mess with him and his BFSA nomination, by putting our book out at the same time, and I said ‘Hell yes! That’ll show him for being more talented and prolific than I am so we decided to go with the 28th September. That’s my best recollection.
Rich: It was a long time back. I remember an email exchange with Adam [EIC of Crowded Quarantine] where he was saying how Kit Power needed taking down a peg or two. And I said ‘Yeah, That Gingernuts column of his is so annoying’ and he said ‘but it’s brilliant though’ and I said ‘Yeah, it’s bloody brilliant, that bastard, he’s so talented’ and then he said ‘Yeah’ and then I said ‘Balls to it, let’s put out The Last Outpost at the same time as his novel comes out. that’ll show him’. So that’s how we settled on the date, nothing sinister about it.
Question 2: What makes you think the other publisher decided to pick your launch date for their book?
Kit: Well, I’ve given that a lot of thought. I suspect I may be going mental actually. You can tell just by looking at me that I’m not a well man, and the way I go on about how good I smell flipped over from funny to being creepy some time ago. So it’s probably just rambling paranoia to be honest, that’s my best guess.
Rich: To be honest, I think Kit is probably the most talented living indie author on Facebook, if not the world. I love him so much, and his great smell, I’m so jealous of that! Mouthwatering. I don’t have a good reason for thinking that he picked the date really, I probably just did it in a blackout drunk rage because that’s how I roll, but I guess that’s speculation at the end of the day, I can't know for sure.
Question 3: What do you think their motive was for doing that?
Kit: I think it’s pretty clear that Crowded Quarantine are probably the best independent press in the world. I can’t understand why Adam has never asked me to write for them, even though I know really that it’s because I don’t have anything like the talent of Rich Hawkins, God I’m so so jealous of him. Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, I suspect their motive was pity, as they knew that I’d get all annoyed and make a big fuss and they wanted to give me some free publicity, because they are ever so nice and felt sorry for me, that’s my best guess.
Rich: Again, this is speculation, but Kit Power is so completely awesome it’s a little bit painful. I think he probably thought he was doing me a favour - that the reflected glory of his release would shine a little light on my own humble and frankly inadequate efforts somehow. He’s enormously big hearted like that, and also great smelling. That’s what I heard, anyway.
Question 4: Why should people support your position and buy your book on September 28th?
Kit: I’m very proud of GodBomb! I worked very hard on it, when I wasn’t off with my friends plotting to sabotage the career of BFSA nominated and infinitely more talented author Rich Hawkins, who I’m so jealous of for some reason. My book isn’t as good as his but you should buy mine anyway, out of pity, because isn’t that what it’s all about, at the end of the day?
Rich: The Last Outpost as a really strong sequel to The Last Plague, that build on the themes and characters of that book. I mean, honestly, it’s nowhere near as good a book as Kit’s I don’t think - he’s got a Godlike talent - and anyway he’s so lovely that he really deserves all your money and respect. I guess all I can do is appeal to you on behalf of my poor family, who will starve if I can't sell my book, and I’m proud of that.
Question 5: If you could say one thing to your rival, what would it be?
Kit: My message to Rich would be very simple: I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me. That’s all I have to say.
Rich: I don’t really have anything to say to Kit at this point. Except damn you for being so talented and good smelling, and please stop this because I can’t stand the embarrassment of losing this bet. That’s it, really.
So there you have it folks. As I said up top, I have no idea how much, if any, of this is real. But one thing’s for sure - if they carry on like this, it’s likely to be a long and VERY entertaining journey between now and 28th September.
The Last Outpost by Rich Hawkins and GodBomb! by Kit Power are both available on 28th September, and pre-ordering is already available from Amazon.
To preorder The Last Outpost:
US: <and here? Ta.>http://www.amazon.com/Last-Outpost-Rich-Hawkins-ebook/dp/B013J9QNN6/
To Preorder GodBomb!: