I don't know how many of y'all have been following this story, but I have been unable to look away. It started out, like any other day in the book world - two books, by two different authors, being released on the same day. No big deal. Definitely not something you'd see in the newspapers or on the evening news.
But then things got weird...
First, both parties released separate press releases on the same day, and claimed that the other had chosen the date as a deliberate act of sabotage.
Then, horror blogger Jim Mcleod of Ginger Nuts of Horror ran the press releases in a post accusing them of an obvious and shallow publicity stunt.
In the comments of this post, both writers rejected the charges, and ended up setting a wager: At the end of the first week of sales, whoever has the lower Amazon sales ranking has to present the winner with a signed copy of their book at FCon in October. [I expect pictures.]
The plot thickened when Gef Fox, of Wag the Fox, put on his investigative journalism hat. He was sure that an interview of them both would settle the issue - but that didn't go well at all. It seems both of these authors are sneaky little devils, and some of the answers had been doctored.
After that article, shit began to get real. After some increasingly angry Facebook exchanges, another challenge was given: a Battle Rap, with the winner decided by audience vote. To make things even better, one of the voters would win an e-copy of their chosen author's new book. That's right - one lucky winner will get a copy of either The Last Outpost or Godbomb! before the books comes out.
The battle lines were drawn and agreed on - twelve lines each, two rounds total, a coin toss to pick who goes first.
I could NOT resist the chance to host this, so I offered a place here on The Gal, and they agreed. The results are below.
Ladies and Gentleman, what must surely be the STRANGEST possibly-fake feud in indie publishing history is about to get a whole lot stranger ...
Kit won the coin toss and elected to go first.
Yo! Rich Hawkins challenged me to a Battle Rap
I was like, yo man you don't want to test me, my rhymes are mad phat,
But he kept pushing, said I was chicken,
I was like 'What am I? Marty McFly? Sit down son, time to take a kicking!'
So here I am, spitting freestyle verses,
Steppin' up to the Hawkins and all his punk-assed curses,
Laying down the law, taking it to the street,
Soon all y'all #TeamHawkins gonna be in retreat,
'Cause #TeamPower is in ascendence, Gonna declare our independence,
Gonna bury The Last Outpost, that book don't stand a chance,
So don't cry for Rich once he's been dominated,
Because his punk ass will still be BFS nominated...
Hold up, Power, it's too late in the hour
To plead your innocence, so give yourself a rinse
Because you betrayed me and called me a lady
And all the time you act as if no one's ever paid me
For my apocalyptic words that slap you on the nose
Like some rancid beef jerky, because you can never hurt me
With your jibes and lies, I see it in your eyes
And your unzipped flies
Because Team Hawkins is here
So grab yourself a beer
And watch Team Power, fall from its tower
Into a pit of deceit all dark and dour
*pics up mic, dusts it off, mutters*
Mic droppers, y'all drive me to distraction,
It's such a 13 year old, throw-a-fit reaction
Y'all think you're showing some kinda bad ass intent,
But boy, that ain't no way to treat an expensive musical instrument!
Give myself a rinse? Son, when you smell this good,
Ain't no need to be deep cleansing before going' out into the 'hood
I've got a natural aroma, sweet smell of success will own ya,
By the time I'm done with you, your skin gonna burn with melanoma,
Called you a lady? Man, you must be tripping
All I ever said was to beware the release date you're ripping'
And please, stop staring into my unzipped fly,
Envy'll be the death of you man, you better recognize...
*replaces mic carefully on the stand*
In case you hadn't noticed this
I'm not the writer you should diss
You steal my release date, tell me to choke
You're a desperado going for broke
Envy? Say what? Bro what's your damage?
How many words a day can you manage?
Coz you see I spit bars and tell tales
And you're the writer going off the rails
Because once Team Hawkins wins the day
Team Power will have nothing to say
Except slangin' and whinin' and cryin' tears
Because to beat me you'll have to wait so many years
*takes mic home*
Well, there you have it. Who won? Place your vote in the comments, picking your winner with either #TeamHawkins or #TeamPower. Remember, if your chosen author is the winner a week from today, YOU could win a Kindle edition of their book BEFORE it goes on general release on the 28th of September.
And... If your author doesn't win, or you're not lucky enough to take the prize, you can also pre-order both books on Amazon.
The Last Outpost by Rich Hawkins
GodBomb! by Kit Power