Lou’s Diary – Entry 3 (text version)

This morning I woke up and there was another pack of crackers lying on the ground next to me.   I would have thought it nothing more than an incredible stroke of luck or some intervention by the Storytellers if it hadn’t been resting on top of a note that read, “You are being watched.  F.T.”

I ate my crackers with a knot in my stomach.  I’m guessing this F.T. person… I hope it’s a person… thought they were doing me a favor by giving me a heads up on being watched, but frankly, I’d rather not know. What good does it do me?  I don’t have any weapons.  I’m weak from hunger.  I’m pretty sure my insides are frozen solid.  Worrying about being watched is just one more layer of crap I’ve got to deal with.

And what’s with this F.T.?  Why don’t they just show themselves?  It’s creepy and rude to sneak up on me at night, even if you’re leaving me food.  So, help me God… if I catch up to this F.T. and they’ve got something better to eat than stale, frozen crackers, I’m going to punch them in the face.  I guess I should be thankful, but screw that.

I’m laughing at my lack of gratitude.  It’s really all I have the strength to do right now.  This F.T. probably expects a big hug and kiss from me if we were ever to meet, but instead he’ll get a good dressing down from a bratty little made-up girl for failing to recognize that I needed a good sight more than crackers and a warning.

I need someone to end my misery.

Is it bad for me to talk like that?  I don’t think so because no one is around to care… except for F.T., and they only care enough to spare some barely edible crackers.

I hear something.  And this time I know it’s not the wind.  It’s a grunt… almost a growl.  I want to shut my eyes and pretend none of this real.  I just want it all to go away… The growl again.  It sounds big.

It’s a funny thing about being scared.  I’ve completely forgotten about being cold and hungry.  I don’t know who F.T. is, but they were right.  I am being watched.

Lou’s Diary – Entry 2 (text version)

I don’t know where I am.  I’m still in the mountains.  I’ve been following a path, and I’m pretty sure I’m heading north… pretty sure.  I may not be real, but I’m hungry.  That doesn’t seem fair. There should be some advantages to being a fictional character.  I shouldn’t have to eat or sleep or… other stuff.

I slept under something that looked like a park bench made out of sticks and logs off the side of the trail last night.  I must be in some kind of national forest or something.  There are mile markers all up and down the trail.  This morning when I woke up there was a pack of crackers under the bench.  I couldn’t believe it.  I don’t know how old they were or how they got there, but I have never tasted something so delicious in my life.  They were stale, frozen, and insanely good.

The only problem is they just made me hungrier.  I haven’t seen a store or house or…. Anything at all in days. If I had my crossbow, I could hunt, but I don’t even know if there’s anything to hunt.   I hear noises, especially at night, but I’m pretty sure it’s the wind.  That’s that I tell myself, anyway.

Why didn’t I keep the crossbow?

I know why.  I thought I’d be dead by now… no, not dead.  That’s the wrong word.  I thought I’d stop existing.  What’s the point without the others… without him?  I miss oz…

No.  I can’t go there.  I won’t be able to breathe if I do.  If I have to live for another second without him, I have to forget about him.  That’s the way it has to be.   I am not real.  I can’t be a part of his world.  It will cost him his life.  It will cost the others their lives. I know it.  From this moment on, I have not past.

Two Notch news and the Banshee Worm King

BOTYA Finalist in the Thriller Category

I’ve been so bad about posting on the blog lately. The sad thing is I have no excuse. I have been working to get the ARCs of Banshee Worm King ready for distribution, but I’d be lying if I said that’s the reason I haven’t been posting. I guess I just needed a break from the interwebs, outside of the time I burn on Facebook, that is.
I didn’t even post some fairly exciting news I got last week. The Man Who Saved Two Notch is a finalist in the Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award competition in the Thriller category. That does not suck at all. To be frank, I love Two Notch, but I’ve been a little disappointed with its sales numbers. It’s really tough to market because it’s not young adult, and I wouldn’t recommend it to young readers of the Oz Chronicles. So, I was hoping it would find an audience on its own. I lowered the Kindle price to .99 and sales have picked up slightly. A couple of reviews have come in on Amazon that made me smile and happy for the characters in the book. And yes, I do get happy for the characters. They are very much fictional characters, but when you spend as much time with them as I do, you grow attached to them.
Here’s my favorite review for Two Notch:

5.0 out of 5 stars By Dave H (Oregon, USA)
This review is from: The Man Who Saved Two Notch (Kindle Edition)
“The Man Who Saves Two Notch” by R.W. Riddle is a remarkable coming-of-age adventure/horror novel filled with ingratiating, quirky, peculiar, riveting, and sometimes poignant, backwoods characters that will make you smile, laugh, lament, gasp, forgive, and overtly cheer for again and again. To say I was amazed with the storyline would be a gross understatement, “I absolutely loved this story!” The first 80 pages are a bit slow but after that the story accelerates at breakneck speed. Be forewarned there are copious amounts of profanity throughout the story! The best hillbilly backwoods adventure story I’ve had the pleasure to read in my lifetime…5+ stars!!!

Thank you, Dave H. of Oregon!

The Banshee Worm King ARCs are coming in three shipments. The first shipment has arrived, and I turned around and shipped them out to people who requested a copy. I’ll keep you posted as more come in.

Thanks for making The Takers #2

Number 2 with a bullet

The Takers soared up the charts Sunday and Monday on Amazon.  It made it as high as number 2 in the Spine-Chilling category on Kindle.  Nice!  It had close to 2,000 downloads.  Thanks to everyone for spreading the word.

While we’re on the subject of my books, I’ll be making Lost Days available for free for the Kindle tomorrow and Thursday (1/18 & 1/19).  Spread the word!  Send your friends the Amazon link: Lost Days