Reading Agency Creative Champion Competition

Young Volunteer List

For the first time this year, the Reading Agency are doing a book list for the teenage volunteers supporting the Summer Reading Challenge over the holidays, and I’m delighted that my book, Frozen Charlotte, is on it! Yesterday they also announced that they’re looking for Creative Champions to promote some of the books from 1st June to the 8th August. The winning submissions will receive copies of their chosen book and £100 to fund their campaign to promote it as creatively as they like, whether that involves joining up with a film maker to produce a trailer, commissioning an artist for something arty, or just having a big old book party with cupcakes and bunting and stuff.

The competition is open to young people aged 13-24, and you can enter individually or as a group with a bunch of book-loving friends. Full details here. If you want to enter then make sure you do so by the 27th May deadline.

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Crawlers

As part of our ongoing plan to Take Over the World, I have recently read fellow Chainsaw Sam Enthoven’s book Crawlers:

The cover, I believe, tells you what you most of what you need to know about the book – there’s a dreadful, spidery thing attached to his neck! Arghh! Nightmare-inducement commenced! Crawlers is the story of four boys and four girls who find themselves trapped in the Barbican Theatre when a horde of these horrible, squidgy, slimy Crawlers (and Mr Enthoven is immensely skilled at describing, in exquisite detail, just how nasty these things are) descend upon the building. Once attached to the back of the neck of the people there, they are able to control them and make them do their bidding zombie-style. Thus a kindly teacher trying to help the protaganists one minute might be trying to bash their heads in the next. And the real killer of it is that the Crawlers don’t have to attach themselves to a person’s neck. Meaning that anyone in the theatre, no matter how normal they might appear, might have a Crawler on them somewhere – which makes for a lot of mounting paranioa within the group.

The action is all confined to a theatre, which is very well-utilised as a creepy Doom-esque setting – disconcertingly quiet and deserted when it shouldn’t be. This also contributes to the increasingly claustophobic atmosphere, especially as the paranoia and terror mounts. In parts it’s almost a little bit reminiscent of a classic Twilight Zone episode: ‘ Four boys and four girls are on a trip to the theatre. Little do they know that they will never see the play. They’re about to be plunged into a nightmare. Beneath the theatre lies a secret. And now she has been released…’ There’s also a good dash of classic horror films, video games and old-school Goosebumps in the mix as well. This is a very visual book that feels more like a film – in an enjoyably, toe-curling horrible, way. If you like your horror creepy, freaky, fast-paced and a little bit gross, then Crawlers is definitely the book for you.

This is Sam, looking rather sinister:

 

And here’s his take on the Chainsaw questions:

1. What’s your favourite book?

No: impossible. The effort of narrowing it down to one would make blood
hose out of my eyeballs. But I’ve listed my favourite five hundred at
www.librarything.com/profile/othersam if that’s any help.

2. What’s your favourite monster?

The Thing, from John Carpenter’s The Thing. Everything after the husky’s
muzzle peels like a banana: now. /that/’s a monster.

3. Who’s your favourite bad-ass monster slayer?

Monkey’s been kicking &rse in China since the sixteenth century and he
shows no signs of stopping now. Have you played Enslaved: Odyssey to the
West? That transplants him and his story to a post-apocalyptic future
USA. Monkey fits right in, smacking robots instead of demons, just as if
he’s lived there all his life.

4. If you could make a pact with the Devil, what would you want in exchange for your immortal soul?

The original Sam Enthoven, the fool, swapped his paltry soul for mine
long ago. We wrote a story about it, you can read if you like, here:
www.theblacktattoo.com/thenewdeal.html

5. The Chainsaw Gang are all trapped on a desert island with no food. Who would you eat first and why?

I would eat myself: a leg first I think – mine are reasonably well
toned. I don’t like strange meat, and it doesn’t come much stranger than
The Chainsaw Gang.

Finally, if you haven’t heard about it already, we’re offering one lucky winner the chance to win a complete set of latest signed books from every single one of the Chainsaw Gang in our Blog Tour Competition. 

Here’s how it works:

To win the Chainsaw Library you need to score votes. Each vote goes into a vast hat at the end of the competition and one winning name will come out. The great thing is you can enter per blog: that’s nine chances to win! So make sure you visit each and every blog on the tour. Votes are scored as follows:

+1 if you link the blog/website to yours

+2 if you stick our Chainsaw banner up somewhere

+1 if you’re a Facebook fan/friend – here’s the link to my fan page.

+1 if you comment on this blog post

+1 if you reTweet this competition.

+1 if you follow us on Twitter – here’s a link to my twitter page 

The closing date of the competition is Friday 5th November and the competition is open to UK residents only.

Finally, the Chainsaw Gang will be out in force at the Crystal Palace Children’s Book Festival tomorrow. Myself, Sam Enthoven, Jon Mayhew, Alexander Gordon Smith, Steve Feasey, Alex Milway and Sarwat Chadda will all be there so come along and say hello to us if you can. We don’t bite. Much.

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