Night of the Earwig


Night of the Earwig – Robert de Graauw


Julian Boyle looked at his word count: 10,049. Yes! He’d reached the minimum required – now he was ready to dazzle those tossers on Authormobile!

He sat back in his chair and idly wondered how long it would take to scale the heights of this literary mountain. Not long, he reckoned – anyone with half a brain would be able to recognise the quality of what he’d written.

Of course, his short stories had been pretty shit-hot too, but the editors he’d submitted them to obviously wouldn’t recognise quality if it rammed them up the proverbial. But maybe his peers, the Great Unpublished, had more discerning tastes…

‘Drive Your Book to the Top of the Charts!’ the Authormobile homepage trumpeted to its many hopeful members. Well, when this opus began roaring up the rankings on its way to the Editor’s Desk, it was going to be leaving that crowd of scribblers choking in its dust!

He began filling out the required fields to register a book on Authormobile.

Name? HorrorKing, of course.

Title? Night of the Earwig – if that didn’t suggest something chilling, nothing would.

Short Pitch? He thought for a few moments. How about: ‘An evil horribly-mutated giant earwig reeks havoc across London and only Derek Sampson can stop it’s murderous rampage’? Less than the maximum 25 words at least – it would do for the time being.

Full Pitch? Shit, he’d barely thought beyond the half dozen chapters he was ready to post – he couldn’t describe enough of the novel to fill three or four paragraphs!

He copied and pasted his short pitch into the full pitch box and continued.

Cover? He looked at the choices provided on the website. Fuck, they were gay as! Not one suggested the masterpiece of hardcore horror he was about to unleash! He supposed the picture of the cobblestone street was the least offensive, so he chose that for the time being; he’d rip off some image from the web at a later date.

Genre? Well, ‘horror’, obviously. And ‘science-fiction’ too, with that genetically mutated earwig. And it was definitely a ‘thriller’. Probably ‘fantasy’ would apply as well. And maybe ‘erotica’ – he was looking forward to writing some juicy, full-on sex scenes!

He ticked ‘fiction’ and ‘literary fiction’ too, to be on the safe side…

Classification? It would have to be ‘Over 18’ – his book would definitely mess with the heads of any kids reading it. Though it would also teach them a thing or two about quality fiction, he realised. Maybe go with ‘Moderate’.

Tags? He started typing whatever came into his head: Horror, Earwigs, Monsters, Mutants, Chainsaws, Shotguns, Gore, Blood, Chicks, Sex, Prossies… When he’d reached a few dozen, he stopped. Yeah, that’d be enough. He could add further tags when he’d written a bit more of the novel.

Now was the time to upload his chapters. He clicked on them one by one, waited for them to transfer to the site, and watched them appear on the screen. Shit, they looked good sitting there – like they’d already been officially published, all ready for public consumption.

He clicked back to the first chapter for a quick read-through…