Sometimes Karl's writing spends time in the sunlit patches of literary fiction, where it likes to picnic beneath an old oak tree, accompanied by a bottle of wine, some cake, and a good book. At other times his words slope off into the dark shadows of horror fiction, and if you follow them you might hear chains rattling behind locked doors and the paranoid screams of the lost echoing in the distance. There is no obligation to enjoy both of those avenues. His aim is to tell a good story, regardless of genre.
Karl loves exercise, computer games, the natural environment, animals, social justice and zombies.
To find out more, please visit Karl's blog http://karldrinkwater.blogspot.com
Where to find Karl Drinkwater online
Where to buy in print
Cold Fusion 2000
(4.00 from 1 review)
By Karl Drinkwater
Published: December 8, 2012.
Alex Kavanagh is a physics-obsessed geek who's just had a horrible day. While drowning his sorrows he sees an ex, Lucy Spiers. They go on a date and he realises he still loves her.
Problem: she's actually Lucy's twin sister, Jane. As lies pile up Jane wonders if she can avoid breaking Alex's heart like her sister did.
A novel about making peace with the past, set in Manchester in the year 2000.
(4.00 from 3 reviews)
By Karl Drinkwater
Published: November 29, 2011.
An isolated Welsh island seemed like the perfect escape for a convict on the run, a jilted woman, and a policeman seeking a quiet life. When the surly locals turn to murderous violence the three visitors are forced on the run together, trying to stay one step ahead of their increasingly insane pursuers.
The bad news keeps coming. There are too many to fight and there is no escape from the island.
Karl Drinkwater’s tag cloud
Smashwords book reviews by Karl Drinkwater
- Smashwords Book Marketing Guide
on Dec. 08, 2011
Many thanks, it has given me a number of ideas to try out which I hadn't already thought of for my book. Having read the guide last night I am now going through it a second time and putting the ideas into practice.
on April 12, 2012
This novel did exactly what I wanted: entertained me on a long train journey to France and back. The novel was well plotted and confidently written.
There are definitely influences from Stephen King. Phrases such as "Sometimes they came back" reminded me of his stories; some of the children scenes resembled Salem's Lot; and the plot setup was reminiscent of Needful Things in the way that characters were manipulated so as to create animosities between them.
One downside of the structure is that there is lots of exposition. This is mostly unavoidable if you are going to introduce a large cast of characters and want each to feel rounded. However, although the downside is that it can slow down the novel slightly, it does lead to a feeling of scale and interconnectedness which compensates. I just mention this so that you don't get disappointed with this novel if you are after something fast-paced from the off. Instead it works best if you let it get under your skin and drift along for the ride.
There were a few typos, no more than inevitably sneaks into a work of this length while editing out other errors. I've therefore not let them affect my rating, and rather than list them have emailed Jonathan directly, so they will probably disappear from future versions and you can ignore this comment.
All in all a satisfying read that doesn't answer every question, but does take us to a mysterious and satisfying conclusion.
- The Best Friend
on April 12, 2012
Concisely written yet only revealing the situation to the reader gradually. I would have been interested to also read it as something longer, to know more details, but perhaps that would destroy its effect.
- Streets of Red by Kenneth Chirayil & Zechariah Dewitt
on April 28, 2012
An enjoyable and quick read with a Death Wish pulp vibe. It could expand well into a longer story. Tip - don't read it on your smartphone, it benefits from a larger screen!
- Horror Shorts
on June 22, 2012
I wavered about how to rate this. The six stories range in sub-genre from creature feature (‘Toad-Lickers’; ‘Crownford’s Secrets’; ‘No Smoke Without Fire’), to ghost (‘The Washroom’), to sci-fi (‘Harry Wilson’s Dad’), to mad scientist (‘The Grave-Robbing Doctor Hawthorne and the Lady in the Black Veil’). Some of them walk a fine line between cliché and comfortable genre expectations. My favourites, which I would recommend, were ‘The Washroom’ with its creepy mystery and well-placed reveal; and ‘No Smoke Without Fire’ for its complete hopelessness and fast-paced horror. They are both the kinds of things I would like to see more of, and if all the stories had been at this quality I would have rated it as a four star collection. There is nothing wrong with the other stories, they just didn't capture my interest and hold it in the same way. I think Drew Brown has a good imagination and should focus on bringing us the unexpected and atmospheric.
With free books I always seem to find lots of typos. I can say that there were far fewer in this collection than I'd expected, usually minor apostrophe misuse, so I was pleased that I wasn't distracted so much by external factors. As usual I'll send a list of them to the author rather than list them all here.
Overall I recommend dipping into this collection and seeing the range of stories Drew has conjured up.
Three stars = 'I liked it'.
- Zombie Tales: Primrose Court Apt. 502
on July 30, 2012
An enjoyable short story; a jagged slice from a bigger picture of a world going to pot (sic).
- Valley of Death, Zombie Trailer Park
on July 30, 2012
This was an entertaining read. It does what you would expect, delivering the requisite gore and horror, leavened by some humour. It doesn't strive to do more than that, but that isn't a problem. It's a fast-food zombie novel, aiming to satisfy.
My main problem with it was the typos. Usually misplaced commas and apostrophes, but sometimes more than that to the point where it breaks the flow and pulls you out of the story. E.g.
Deputy Holmes unlocked the shotgun, from it's cradle, and held it muzzle to the floorboard after checking that the safety was engaged.
Burning with an disturbing smile it's face was a three foot tall teddy bear, with bright blue glass eyes.
In an appendix to the novel the author wrote that they are not overly concerned with grammar - they are happy to split infinitives, misuse commas etc. "Deal with it or find another spinner of tales. It's the story that matters, damn it."
I understand where the author is coming from but I disagree that those things are unimportant. It is like saying that when serving a meal only the flavour counts. However, if you serve it looking a mess then it puts people off before they get to the flavour. Since it is hardly any effort to at least do a bit of work on the presentation there's no reason not to. I expand on that idea in a blog post at http://karldrinkwater.blogspot.com/2012/07/dont-be-sloppy-with-tool-of-language.html
As it stands I would have given the novel an extra star if it didn't have the typos. It is up to you to decide how much they might bother you.