Black Bookish Resources

Black Bookish Resources

Black Owned Bookstores: Click the link to see a list of black owned bookstores in your state.  

In my state of Indiana, Brain Lair Books in South Bend is doing the thing! They have quite the extensive horror selection too!

Charnaie put together a great list of Publishers Specializing in Diversity over on her blog, Here Wee Read.  Make sure you subscribe to connect with even more diverse and inclusive books!

Graydon House, a subsidiary of Harper Collins, is accepting unagented submissions from Black authors until Sept. 8. If they make an offer, they will recommend agents to you. Send pitch letter and the first 30 pages to:

Penguin House put out a list of horror books by African American authors and I have several author additions to the list:

Chesye Burke                              Qwantu Amaru                         Nalo Hopkinson
Tananarive Due                           Colson Whitehead                   Justina Ireland
Linda D Addison                         Samuel R Delany                     Tade Thompson
Wrath James White                     Brian Barr

This list is no where a complete list of resources.  I will make every effort to keep updated frequently.  If you have bookstore, publisher, or author suggestions, please share in a comment and I will include on the next update. 

The Only Good Indians

Title: The Only Good Indians
Author: Stephen Graham Jones
Publisher: Saga Press
Synopsis: Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.
Release Date: July 14, 2020

"What'd they use in the old days, wood? Horn? A bladder? The skullcap of a wolverine, because the old days were metal as hell?

Real, witty, creative, and representation!
The Only Good Indians is a modern Native American legendesque story about a group of guys that have done some super uncool stuff to the animal kind. We first follow Lewis through is dive into madness as the spirit of an elk calf h(a)unts him. We then travel back to the reservation where the other friends, Gabriel and Cass (Ricky has already died), are forced to face their past transgressions.

I loved the Native aspect to this story. One of my favorite creatures is a wendigo, so I have a special love for Native lore. I feel Stephen Graham Jones captured the culture well with only a few stereotypes (alcoholism) and a strong female character (Denorah).

I just wish the Elk Head Woman had a cooler name. It reminds me of the time my then 8 year old son named his fictitious superhero Tuna Fish Man.

Available July 14, 2020

Thank you Saga Press and NetGalley for gifting me a DRC of The Only Good Indians in exchange for an honest review.

Welcome Cherished Reader!

Greetings and welcome to my little Crystal Lake dock of the Internet!  Confessions of a Book Slayer features bookish discussions, promotes up coming releases and small press projects, and spoiler-free book reviews of horror, fantasy and other fiction genres.  You can learn more about the blog and what to expect here on the about page.

My first confession

Forgive me, for I have sinned.
It has been 38 years, 8 months, 30 days, 2 hours, and 46 minutes since my last confession.
I am...
addicted to books.

There, I said it. Phew!

Origin Story
Born at the beginning of the '80s to young adult parents, during the rise of the slasher film, I was destined to be a horror fanatic.  My earliest memories are of me on my dad's knee watching cartoons with melted faces and occupying the chair next to him during one of his grotesque drawing sessions. I collected Garbage Pail Kids, watched Pee-wee's Playhouse, and made up stories with characters from Thundercats.

In 1988, I started 3rd grade in Miss Chu's class at Royal Oaks Elementary in Visalia, CA. [If you're reading this THANK YOU!] As a class, we read Bunnicula by James and Deborah Howe. Part of this lesson included making a paper mache Bunnicula and displaying it for the whole school to see.  The pride I felt in our hard work being appreciated is one of my favorite memories of my childhood. 

To cope with the emotional abuse I suffered at the hands of my father and stepmother, I began writing dark poetry. When prose didn't work, I turned to alcohol and self destructive behavior and when that didn't work anymore, I tried suicide. Thankfully, I didn't succeed. I fought back.  I was no longer silent to the mental turmoil and decided that the best way to stick it to them, was to live. 

And I did.  I moved 1300 miles away.  I had my first child. Then a set of twins. I was no longer the focus, but rather these three insanely perfect beings I gave life to, were center stage. However, it wasn't until my second failed relationship before I returned to my creative roots and began to write again.  

I wrote my first novel.  I was so proud of it. It had vampires and werewolves and violence [oh my!] and I honestly thought it was the best thing ever written and it would put Stephanie Meyer out of work.  

Then I threw it away.

Guys, it was horrible. It was 200 pages of trash. I am not embarrassed by it, but I am certainly relieved I didn't try to publish it. 

That is when I realized to be a better writer, I needed to read more books.

In Comes the Slayer
In September 2018, my youngest son attempted suicide via overdose of my prescription medication. I am a domestic abuse survivor, a rape survivor, a child molestation survivor, and I was not prepared with how watching my child not want to live would affect me.  Once the immediate danger was over, I turned to books to help me cope that reality.  I started with the second half of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  Those characters gave me hope, reminded me that horrible things can happen, and it does get better.  

Going into 2019, I set a Goodreads goal for the first time.  I wanted to read 1 book a week. I ended up completing 207 books last year.  I read some great ones.  I read some really bad ones. But one thing was certain, even when my stressors were eliminated and life returned to somewhat of a norm, I couldn't stop thinking about reading.  I went everywhere with a book.  I organized monthly reading lists. When I wasn't reading in my free time, I felt guilty, like I was cheating on the books.  

But I love it!  I love reading.  I love books.  I love audiobooks with amazing narrators and the ability to read in the dark with my Kindle.  I love going to book stores and thrift shops and smelling used books.  Hey, don't judge me. 

The Books of Horror group on Facebook was the perfect accessory to my book slaying.  There is a community of readers and authors that are some of the best people in the Internet world.  As a member for a few years, I have never felt intimidated to ask newbie questions or seek guidance. I was able to get a full Horror Fiction 101 education. I read something other than an Anne Rice or Stephen King bestseller.  

At the start of the new year, I became a prodigious reader focused on diversity of both authors and genres.  In my favorite genres, fantasy and horror, the vast majority of authors I read were cis white men.  I wanted to change that. 
I entered the bookstagram-verse as The Book Slayer in January 2020. Soon to follow were Twitter and Litsy, then NetGalley and Book Siren for DRCs. 

And still, I felt something was missing...

Next Episode
On a dark and stormy night, Confessions of a Book Slayer was born.  No seriously, it is 1:30 am and there is a legit thunderstorm going on.  

I have three goals I plan to accomplish with this blog. 
  • use my platform to boost BIPOC, LGBT+, and cis female authors
  • support Indie writers and small press publishers by offering honest reviews
  • amplify marginalized voices, especially in the literary world, and become a better ally
I want to create a welcoming, informative, creative space for all bookdragons to discuss all things bookish.  I'd love for you to become one of them!