I’ll never be a best-selling… and that’s OK.

Happy Friday friends!!

Yesterday was the one month release anniversary of The Girl Who Hid in the Trees!!  I have to say, the first month has been a dream for Steve-o!  The reception to this dark tale has been so humbling, but it started well before the ‘official’ release date.

My normal process once I believe I’m done is to get feedback from my beta’s/street team.  I also send it to David Sodergren who copy edits my work, for his feedback as well.  Sodergren has his pulse firmly on the horror world and I know he won’t sugar coat anything.  When my beta’s and David both raved that they thought it was my best yet, I smiled.

Then I did a scary thing!  Actually two!  The first was, I asked Gavin at Kendall Reviews if he’d be willing to write a foreword.  He lives and breathes horror but we never really hear his horror why?  So I approached him and was delighted when he agreed.

The second was even scarier!  I put together a list of folks who I respect and who interact with me a bunch and approached them about pre-reading before release date.  I’m no tyrant, so in my approach I said (para-phrased) if you have time and can read it before then, fantastic, if not – no worries!

Every single person I approached said yes and even more surprisingly, when the official release date came around, 85% of them had read AND reviewed it on the Goodreads page!

I took a bit of heat by another author about how far out my pre-orders were, but I purposefully set it that way.  As the reviews started being posted to Goodreads (I set up the Goodreads page well in advance to the release) I saw a pattern emerge.  People would leave a review and I’d see a few pre-orders, and it just kept going.

Now a month later, it’s my little engine that could.

And this is where I talk about something most authors don’t (and I’ll expect one or two messages of anger at some point about it, and that’s fine).

I’m going to discuss sales numbers.

Now as you all know – once I found out that my friend Justin M. Woodward’s mom was diagnosed with Cancer, I pledged to donate all of the pre-orders from TGWHITT to their Go-Fund Me, which I already have.  So – none of these numbers I’m listing are related to the pre-orders.

Since it’s release date on Feb 28th – I’ve had 49 sales of The Girl.

40 ebooks and 9 physical copies.  49 sales in 30 days!  That equates to 1.6 sales per day!

Now look, I’ll never be a best seller.  And that’s OK.  For me it’s about releasing works I’m proud of, stories I want to read and ultimately, hopefully, having a moment in the future where my son sees my books on our book shelf and thinks ‘that’s so cool that my dad did this.’  But sales are also nice!

I’m also a writer who WANTS you to read my stuff.  And frequently for new/newer indie authors, price can be a barrier.  So this is why I will frequently offer up a few freebie days.  It gives me a sense of if people have interest in my works, but also how well I’ve done “promoting” myself.

Guess what?  Yesterday was also a freebie day as a thanks.  So I offered up my novel Invisible and my first collection of shorts Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery.  So how’d they do?

Free downloads

Invisible – 63 downloads

Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery – 45 downloads.

So that means yesterday 108 downloads occurred.  For me that’s a fantastic number!  If I assume that a single person downloaded both at the same time, that’s 54 new potential readers!!  That’s just me estimating.  I know for a fact some folks only snagged one or the other as they’d either already purchased one or got one before via a freebie day.

I had a moment a recently in a grocery store.  I’ve received a few rejections lately (two shorts and 6 poems) and while I try to be positive, it was a bummer.  I stopped at Safeway to grab something and went to the book section, as I always do.

The section is small and crammed there – shelf space a priority.  I glanced at the authors they stocked.  I was at first shocked to see no King or Crichton books, those always are volume movers.  I wasn’t surprised to see a bunch of Patterson and Ludlum.

But then I looked closer and saw that most of the books had a fine layer of dust on them.  I grabbed a few out to make sure I wasn’t seeing things, and sure enough – dust.

Now – don’t get me wrong, I’d love a 6 figure upfront and a movie deal and etc etc.  But for the type of books I write, that’s a pipe dream.

And so, while I stood staring at these books that looked to be forgotten, I had a moment where I was happy with my relationships with my readers.  Where I get pictures sent of my books being purchased and where the reader knows that they’ll be getting a thank you back.

I’ll never be a bestseller, but I’ll always be a real human, and I’ll always say thank you to each and every person that messages me saying they bought one of my books or leaves a review.  Means the world to me.

And if you’re wondering about my royalties from the 49 sales of THWHITT – I keep my prices low purposefully.  I want to be accessible.  I make $2.07 off each ebook and $2.55 off each physical copy.  So that’s $82.80 from ebooks and $22.95 from paperbacks for a total of $105.75 in one month.  For some, seeing that number will make you laugh with hilarity – “THAT’S ALL HAHAHAH!!” for others they’ll see that and think “WOW!  I HOPE TO MAKE THAT MUCH OFF MY BOOKS!”

Either way – just know I’m beyond proud of the $105.  That pays our cell phones and some pizza for dinner tonight.

So thank you to each and every one of you, who’ve purchased it, read it, reviewed it, marked it as ‘to-read’ on Goodreads.  It’s meant the world!

And thank you to everyone who’s reading this blog post.  I really appreciate it!


Now – let’s do some of the normal stuff yeah?

What I’m Reading;

Second Lives – PD Cacek.  Just started this one and already I’m intrigued!


Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery – Toneye Eyenot. Steve likes his werewolf stuff!


Tesla: Obliterating The Deep State – Jason Walker.  Full on conspiracy theory stuff.  Really fun.


Little Black Spots – John F.D. Taff.  My first go around with the King of Pain.  Good stuff!


What I’m Working On;

I’m always busy.  Always haha!

The Stranger – GOT THE ARTWORK! OH MY GOD!  Can’t wait for the reveal.  I’ve also received the beta read feedback from my sensitive reader and I’m pleased to hear I didn’t overstep.  Coming in June!

Ritual – I’m currently 25% into my last batch of edits.  Cover done.  October release.

I’ve actually started working on two releases for next year as well!  More details as they come!

My Music This Week;

First off – this week has been all about the new Rammstein song and video.  I read a rumour it was coming Thursday and it did.  Their new song ‘Deutschland’ was fantastic and the video is stunning.  I’m not sharing it here today, as Youtube has deemed it necessary to confirm your age to view, so I’ll let you check it out on your own.

Bury Your Dead – Collateral

As I’ve said before – I LOVE HARDCORE!  Bury Your Dead have had a few singers and its been 11 years since we’ve last heard from them, but holy hell did they storm back!

This song is viscous in the best way possible!

Dimmu Borgir – Mourning Palace (Live)

I love Dimmu and have been fortunate enough to see them live.  There most recent release has been a mixed bag for me.  Saying that, they also recently released a live offering with a full orchestra and choir.  I love this tune and this version is stellar.  Also the best part is the one violinist who appears to be a fairly massive Dimmu fan as well!


Tiesto – Grapevine

As you know, I listen to a variety of stuff and I really enjoy the good vibes and sunshine lifts of EDM.  I’m actually not a big Tiesto fan in general, but this song is a big exception.  Fun stuff!


Amon Amarth – Raven’s Flight

This is one I’m on the fence about, and I’m actually leaning towards a dislike.  Amon Amarth are a big fav of mine, I even have an Amon Amarth tattoo.  Saying that – their new song was released and it was awesome on listen one, but now I’m finding it a big boring and underwhelming.

Take a listen and let me know your thoughts.


Life stuff;

Nothing much on my end.  It’s been really nice out, so we’ve been able to enjoy being outside a whole bunch!  I’m at a conference in a few weeks in Vancouver so Amanda and Auryn will head up to Fort Mac for a couple weeks!

Otherwise, life as usual!

Take care friends!

See you next week!


Free Thursday!

Tomorrow – yes tomorrow marks the 1 MONTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RELEASE OF “The Girl Who Hid in the Trees”…. ahhhh!

The response has been amazing and thank you so much to each and every one of you who has bought it, read it and reviewed it!  So appreciative!

Haven’t snagged it yet?


As a one month thank you!  Tomorrow, Thursday March 28th, 2019 will be hereby dubbed Free Thursday!

Tomorrow the ebooks for my novel Invisible and my first collection of stories Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery will be free all day!

Please go snag them, read them and review them!



Enjoy all!  And I’ll see you Friday for my normal blog post!


Winner, winner!!

Well how’s about this for a nice Friday blog post!

My contest had fantastic engagement and I was able to break that 400 page like barrier on my Facebook Author page!! So as promised – I drew for TWO winners to receive a signed and personalized copy of The Girl Who Hid in the Trees!! WOOT WOOT!!



I’ll announce those at the end of the post! (haha!  come on, I still want you to read a little!)

I’ll keep this brief!

What I’m Working on;

I’ve potentially got some insane and stellar news about my impending June release of The Stranger and the artwork.  Fingers crossed this works out!  I’ll keep you posted.

Otherwise I’ve been grinding away on a bunch of projects!

What music’s been on;

I listen to such a variety, but this week I’ve been listening to one album a bunch.  The Ghost Inside was involved in a horrific accident a few years back.  The members have all had to endure multiple surgeries, amputations and it was never looking like they’d do anything again.  Their drummer lost a leg, but has since designed a system that let’s him play still.  And recently it was announced that they would perform a single concert in 2019.  Because of that I’ve been listening to their last album Dear, Youth a bunch.  It’s a really solid bit of metal, and lyrically, with what they’ve overcome, it couldn’t be more fitting.  Here’s a playlist of the entire album;


What I’m reading;

Isle of Savages – T. Briar.  It’s ok so far.  I’m hoping it picks up.


Little Black Spots – John F. D. Taff.  Just read the first story The Immolation Scene.  Gonna be a great collection.


Remains – Andrew Cull.  I’m beta reading this and holy hell is it stunning.

What I’m up to;

This week has seen me living the bachelor life as my wife and son were up in Fort Mac helping my In-laws start to get ready for their move.  So I was able to watch a bunch of movies, which I posted about on my various social media accounts.  I’ll try and watch two more movies tonight then pick them up tomorrow!  Can’t wait to see them!


Contest Winners!!

Ok, ok here we go!  I apologize – I honestly didn’t feel like going back through and numbering everyone who commented, so I just wrote all your names down with the number of entries you got and then did the ole number generator to pick two!

Winner #1 – Jennifer Sullivan!  Congrats, congrats!

Winner #2 – Carissa Lynn Lovold!  Congrats, congrats!

If you two can kindly message me so I can get addresses etc!

Thank you to every one who entered and I’ll be doing a few more contests coming up soon!

Enjoy your weekend!!


Contest Time!

Contest Time!
This will be open today (March 20th) and tomorrow (March 21st) with a winner being announced here on my Friday blog post!

Do you want to win a signed and personalized copy of my latest and darkest ‘The Girl Who Hid in the Trees’?

To enter all you need to do is;
– go to my Facebook author page (facebook.com/stevestred)
– sign up here to follow my author website/blog if you haven’t
– comment DONE on the Facebook post once both have been completed!!

As a bonus – I am currently at 384 likes on my author page! If we get to 400, I will give away a 2nd copy!

This contest is open internationally, not affiliated with FB blah blah, all the usual jazz!

So – like my page, sign up to follow my blog, and once complete, comment DONE!

Good luck and I’ll announce the winner on Friday!!

(amazing photo by the fantastic Miranda Crites)


Kendall Reviews – Paradise, Maine

5 star review originally featured at Kendall Reviews!


I was first introduced to the twisted world of Jackson R. Thomas last year, with his stellar release The Beast of Brenton Woods. I love werewolf tales and that story lived up to my lofty expectations.

Now Thomas has returned with Paradise, Maine – but don’t let the title or the cover fool you, this is splatter-riffic.

The plot is straight-forward and pulled from my dream horror VHS tapes that I used to rent. A small, quaint town on the coast hides a secret. The Watcher. A figure shrouded in mystery who lives in the hills above them. The townspeople do their part to keep quiet and not interfere. In order to keep The Watcher satiated a mysterious corporation working with the local Sheriff randomly select people to come as sacrifice. They win an all-expenses paid trip to the scenic Paradise, Maine, unaware of their fate.

From here out Thomas takes us on a sprint through the small town, the cabin that the winner’s get to stay in and the hills above. The foot is fully pressed on the gas pedal as things continue to take terrible turn after terrible turn. I love bleak, dark horror and this is done majestically while infused with some obscene gore, done in the best way possible. Even though I knew no good was to come, I still rooted for the folks trying to survive The Watcher.

I had one small gripe with the story overall – some of the characters names. With this being a pre-release ARC and not knowing Jackson personally, it might be that some of the characters were named after friends or family members, but as is, I found some of them to be annoying and I’m usually fine with that. Oh well, that’s on me!

I enjoyed the characters throughout, and several of them had really enjoyable resolves to live, which sometimes can be lacking in a tale like this. I’m not a fan of characters that survive but don’t appear to try hard enough to survive, if that makes sense. Doesn’t happen here!

So if you’re looking for a fun, fast, slaughter house of a story – look no further. Jackson R. Thomas brings the goods and packs them into bite size zip-lock freezer bags making sure to keep the horror fresh on every page! A must read for fans of ‘Brenton’ but also a must read for fans of books and movies that keep the death counts high!

Alien Agenda Publishing continues to release top notch horror for fans and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next!

(Side note – the version I received was a poorly edited pre-release version. I was assured by another reviewer that they received an updated ARC and the spots were fixed. I declined a new version by AAP and didn’t attribute any of the mistakes towards affecting my review! Thanks to Net Galley, Jackson R. Thomas and Glenn with Aliena Agena Publishing for the pre-release ARC!)

Almost Spring!

Happy Friday friends!!!!

I’m gonna go in reverse here with my normal blog order and jump into what we’ve been doing over here.  Three weeks ago we were mired in a prolonged cold snap.  I might be slightly off on the dates but from approx December 15th to Feb 15th, the warmest temperature we had was -18 C.  We get sun pretty much every day (we average 310 days of sun a year here in Edmonton) but the cold and the wind chill starts to bring you down.  We had three weeks in a row where our warmest day was -27 C.

Today – supposed to by +7!!!!!  In two weeks – it’s supposed to be +20.  And while I don’t let the weather get me down, it can be awfully rough on my wife and son.  (You think it’d be rough on our dog OJ but he could care less if he goes outside haha!)  So here’s a few pics Amanda took the other day on one of their walks.  Of course Auryn found a stick!  One of the best parts right now for him is the puddles along the walks!


What I’m Reading:

I’m knee deep in 5 books right now;

30 Minutes or Less – Matthew Vaughn


The Gordon Place – Isaac Thorne


Toroa – Erik Hoffstatter


Train Thoughts – Jay Sigler


I’m also currently beta-reading Remains by Andrew Cull (author of the stellar collection Bones – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40497019-bones) and its stunning!

What I’m Working On:

I’ve now finished Ritual my crazy novella, The Stranger is off to a sensitive reader, Piece of Me will begin my third go-through which will finish off prepping all of my final 2019 releases.

I’ve begun working on my planned 2020 and 2021 releases already!  Two collaborations are under way, and while I won’t steal any thunder from the other authors, I am so excited for this.

What I’m Jamming:

This week saw me all over the place with my music (which it usually is!).

Moby – Raining Again

I recently finished reading Moby’s second autobiography installment “Then It Fell Apart.”

I’m a pretty big Moby fan and ‘Raining Again’ would probably be my fav song from him.

Paradise Lost – No Hope in Sight

Finishing up the brutal ending for ‘Ritual’ I was listening to a lot of gloomier stuff.  I’m not a big Paradise Lost fan, but really dig this song.


Sworn Enemy – Prepare for Payback

I am a massive, massive hardcore fan.  Seen Sworn Enemy twice (hopefully more in the future!) and they always deliver.  There new album is looking like it’s gonna be a rager and this is the first single off of it.

After the Burial – Behold the Crown

I couldn’t tell you if I’ve ever heard this band before.  There’s a chance I may have seen them, but I can’t remember.  But lately Sirius radio channel Liquid Metal has been playing this a ton and my god I’m digging it.


Misery Index – New Salem

Lastly – I’ve shared this video before, but on Friday, March 8th Misery Index unleashed their latest ‘Rituals of Power’ and holy hell, it may very well be my fav 2019 album.  Just brutal and heavy filled with some fantastic grooves and breakdowns.  Love it and had to share this again, I’ve been listening to the album everyday.


Last two things here before I wrap it up!


Usually I feature one of my releases here and talk about why you should get it blah, blah, blah.  One of the neat things about social media is connecting with folks.  I’m a very, very small fish in a big pond in two different areas – as an author and as a book reviewer.

I recently had the pleasure of connecting with a reviewer and not only has she been awesome to chat with and see what she’s reading, but she’s been kind enough to check out some of my stuff.  So I wanted to feature Kim Napolitano and some of her recent reviews she’s left over on Goodreads of my work!  Give her a follow on Twitter if you’re there – @kimnappi

Jane: The 816 Chronicles (5 stars)


Invisible (5 stars)


YURI (5 stars)


Wagon Buddy (4 stars)


The Girl Who Hid in the Trees (4 stars)


I love when people read my stuff, but it’s even more amazing when they leave a review!! Thank you so much Kim!



I’ll be having two contests coming up shortly!  Next week I’ll be giving away a signed paperback of The Girl Who Hid in the Trees over on my Facebook author page


So watch for those details!

And recently I announced that Dim the Sun was now in physical form.  I have received my copies finally and will meet up with my buddy Rob Derman (who I released the book for to help him raise funds).

We’ll be signing them and I’ll be giving one copy away and he’ll be using the others to try and raise some more funds towards his 2022 Winter Olympic goals!

These will be the only double signed copies of Dim the Sun in existence, so keep an eye out for that!

Cheers folks and enjoy your weekend!!


Book Review: Then It Fell Apart – Moby

Thanks to Net Galley, Moby and the Publisher for the pre-release ARC copy for review!

Then It Fell Apart is the second autobiography by musician Moby and it picks up after his first release “Porcelain.”  I read “Porcelain” when it came out, being a huge music fan and a big fan of Moby.  I don’t believe you need to read the first one to follow along, but I’d highly recommend you do, simply to enjoy where Moby came from, his musical start and just how hard he had to work to reach any sort of level of stardom.

Then It Fell Apart follows up as Moby is struggling with the failure of his 1996 release “Animal Rights.”  The album itself was a blast of punk energy and guitars and for many people who knew Moby as an electronic DJ, the musical output was jarring for many.

So Moby returns to his roots and puts together the album “Play.”  While most casual fans will know it for the multi-million selling album that had every song optioned in some form or another, it was actually a failure upon launch.

From here the book bounces back and forth between 1999 to roughly 2008 and Moby’s younger, formative years.  It’s another fascinating look into an eclectic artist’s life and just what influenced him to arrive where he did.

The stories he shares fall along a sliding chart from sweet, sappy and joyful, to cringe-worthy and awful.  One of the sweetest stories within was his sharing of the dinner he had with David Bowie, Iman, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson.  It was great reading how much Moby worshipped and idolized Bowie, but how he treated him like an equal and gifted him with a fantastic musical instrument.  Moby doesn’t pull punches on his self-reflection and throughout he frequently states how he didn’t care as long as he had his fame, his money and people were talking about him, he was happy.  He goes into great detail discussing just how selfish he was during this time, but how inside he kept telling himself he was happy because other celebrities knew who he was, he was getting and taking copious amounts of drugs and people were coming to watch his shows.

Then the album “18” was released in 2002 and the sales were good, but not great.  Then “Hotel” came out in 2005 and the world had moved on.  While he still had some hit singles, he was no longer the headliner and was struggling internally with what was happening.

It’s a fascinating insight into the “celebrity” mind of Moby, especially now when you follow him on any of his social media accounts and see just how active he is with social issues and how much charitable work he does.

Overall, I really did enjoy the book.  My biggest criticism of it directly relates to the stories told.  Many of them felt unresolved and unfinished.  Two specific examples would be his time with Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell from Pantera and his feud with Eminem.  With the Pantera brothers he discusses how much he loved Pantera and meeting them was a dream.  He hangs out with them and Tommy Lee for a fun night and then that’s it.  The story ends and we move on.  Maybe it’ll be discussed in a third release, but I felt cheated as a reader that he didn’t discuss Dimebag’s horrific death and if it affected him performing live at all.  Vinnie Paul has since passed on later in 2018, so I don’t believe Moby would’ve been able to write about that based on the timeline, but reading that story now, I thought it would’ve sufficed to have a bit of a follow-up on their time together.

The same can be said with his feud with Eminem.  I remember how big of a deal this was.  I remember Eminem having a temper tantrum at the MTV Video Awards and punching Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.  Moby goes into a bit of detail regarding it and how he suddenly realized Eminem was dead serious about it and how some Hip-Hop and Rap musicians distanced themselves from Moby.  Moby even mentions that Eminem drew a detailed picture of himself choking Moby.  Then the story ends and we move on.  I wanted to know what happened.  Was it discussed behind the scenes?  Did Moby and Eminem ever talk about it?  Why didn’t Moby contact authorities about the picture?  If anything it could’ve bumped some of his album sales back then.  Moby does mention later on that old-school New York Hip-Hop musicians kept supporting him, but that’s it, a single paragraph a few chapters later.  I just wished for more resolution for some of the stories, but that’s me personally, and the stories themselves were entertaining.

My last little criticism, and this is because I’m such a massive music and Moby fan – not enough stories/back ground on actually making the albums.  I would’ve loved to hear some of the inspirations behind some of Moby’s biggest and most loved songs.

To wrap this up, criticisms aside, I think this was a really well done follow-up, but also a solid stand-alone autobiography.  Made me appreciate just how hard the struggle can be for even the most established musicians.  I think people will really enjoy this release, and from the way it ended, I’ll be looking forward to a third entry.


Book Review – Rooted: A Poetry Collection



I discovered the collection Rooted by Cassandra Chaput in a truly odd way.  I was in search of a sensitive reader for one of my up-coming-releases and posted on Twitter.  Cassandra messaged me and I sent her the file of my book over for her to read through when she was free.  Through chatting a bit through messages we ended up mutually following each other.

Then recently, I saw her tweet out about her poetry collection.  I saw in her bio that she was a writer, but (and I admit this sheepishly) I failed to look into her published output.  When I saw the collection I checked out the synopsis and knew it was something I’d need to read.  I ended up buying it for International Women’s Day.

The synopsis lets us know what we’re in store for.  I can’t do it justice or paraphrase it.

So I’ll quote it here, taken from Goodreads;

“Rooted is a collection of poetry with focus on mental health, love and heartbreak, self-improvement, and self-love. Trees are resilient, with roots buried deep beneath the soil, feeding them nutrients and helping them grow. You are rooted. Stand strong against the winds that try to tear you down.”

This was a collection I could’ve easily flown through and read in one sitting.  But these poems and in many instances affirmations are designed to be read and to be digested.  You will find that you’ll read a simple two-line affirmation, read three or four poems and then flip back to the two-liner to reread it again.

Throughout, the collection also features some really nice illustrations which worked well to highlight key aspects of the attached poem.

I hate to use the term simplistic, but Cassandra uses such carefully selected words to convey such massive emotions, I was awestruck at how she packed so much into so little, time and time again.

I think this collection is a necessary addition to everyone’s book shelf if you’ve ever suffered from depression, loss or lack of confidence or struggle with anxiety.

I also really think all women should read this.  Cassandra speaks so eloquently and many of the poems, at least I think, are poems that women should print off and repeat every day.

An emotional roller coaster of a collection, this one’s gonna stay with me for some time and I’ll probably be doing another read through this year.


New Novella by Kevin J. Kennedy and Christina Bergling. Grab a FREE Copy Now!

Miranda Crites

I was scrolling through the lovely land of Facebook this morning, sometimes that really is a lovely land, and I came to a post by my friend Steve Stred who was sharing a book review. I like to see what Steve’s been up to, and he always writes wonderful, honest reviews. Check out Steve’s review for Screechers by Kevin J. Kennedy and Christina Bergling on the Kendall Reviews site.   

While I was thinking about how cool this story sounds, I see that the novella is FREE March 8th, 9th, and 10th! I immediately snagged this freebie.

Get yours here:

Here’s the synopsis:

“In the apocalyptic fallout of the burned world, the screecher is a massive beast evolved to kill and built for survival. One screecher abandons its home among the crushed remnants of a city and moves to explore the wider world. Unbeknownst to it, one of its surviving…

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