BloodWorm Book Reviews-
& Couch of Chaos Interview
Donn Tx by Eric Butler
There’s a place in Texas the locals avoid at all cost, where the lost go missing and the damned reside.
You won’t find it on any map, there are no road signs to guide you, and once there, may God have mercy on your soul.
For when the scarecrow awakens, the harvest of the living begins.
Welcome to Donn, TX Gateway to Hell
Now, I'm going to be upfront and honest. I am a massive fan of Eric Butler and he is also someone I consider a trusted friend in the industry. This is simply because I love his writing, his stories and he is, as anyone who has interacted with Eric will tell you, all and all a great guy. Sweet, humble, knowledgeable with the most gorgeous woofers that make me smile on a daily basis with their antics.
But stepping aside from that, he is a talented writer and I find his work so easy to read, even at its most brutal. Now Donn Tx series has proved extremely popular and it is easy to see why. Reminiscent of 80's slasher films, a portal to hell, creepy, no-where-Ville backwater town, Donn Tx ticks pretty much every horror box you want ticking. Lamonesque, minus the fixation on rumps.
Now as they are a series of short stories it is impossibly hard for me to review without dropping spoilers. Not only are they shorts, but they weave, jump and twist along random timelines. The same protagonists, the same setting yet Butler keeps it as fresh as the flesh for the new harvest. Please read them in any order. Skip one, read another twice. It won't matter, for in the end, it is only the harvest that matters.
Overall I give this collection and each story in it 5 BLOODY WORMS.
Anyway, as I mentioned above I found them hard to review without dropping spoilers, so I thought the best solution is just to bring Eric Butler onto the Chair of Chaos and ask him all about Donn Tx.
How and why did you come up with the idea of setting a mini-series of stories around the one town and location?
I didn’t want to get bored. I thought it would be exciting for both myself and the reader if there was a story that could be read as a one-shot, but also belonged to a larger world. You can read it in any order, and if you don’t like a certain sub-genre or time-period, you could skip it without sacrificing the other books. That said, I would hope everyone would read each entry and put together the overall mythology of Donn, TX.
You have characters like the Scarecrow and Orville who are just downright brutal. Yet there is also the major creepoid factor of the Paleman. Do you have a favourite?
It’s hard to pick a favorite, but in the end, I lean towards the scarecrow. He has a fun and scary vibe, but you know his existence came at a tremendous cost, so he is also a tragic figure.
Despite the setting and baddies being the same, how do you manage to keep the harvest stories fresh?
I think the mixture of new town’s folk, visitors to the area, and the diverse nature of all the “monsters” of Donn, TX helps each story feel fresh.
What has been your favourite harvest so far?
2002 is my favorite so far, but only by a hair. As I continue to write these, the mythology grows, and that helps draw me into the world. I’m sure once the next one is done, I will claim it is my favorite.
Do you envision the citizens of Donn ever shaking off their curse?
Maybe, you’ll have to keep reading to find out.
You can find out more about Eric Butler here:
ERIC BUTLER / NAKED CAT PRESS WEBSITE
Now before I get started on publicly promoting my book reviews I want to start off with a few points.
1) I will never ever take money to review a book.
2) These are my thoughts and opinions on books I have read for my own pleasure. If you disagree, excellent, that is why there is such an amazing selection of books in the world, something for everyone.
3) Why do most of my reviews have 4-5 Bloodworms?
Well I won't review books I don't finish (DNF) for a start. I am definitely not going to waste time on promoting them. I am quite particular about the books I do select and whilst I am a horror writer, I do read across the genres, neatly sidestepping romance.
4) You will find I am more critical of traditional published books. These people get paid a motza to create a perfect product and have a whole team. Yes I believe Indie authors and presses need to be held to the same account but I am a little more generous. Overall though, if the story doesn't cut it, it doesn't cut it.
5) Finally I am not a professional, qualified nor do I read deep in literary processes. I enjoy different books for many different reasons. Some are just popcorn fun, some are deeper.