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Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. Matt started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in Ethereal Tales magazine, Midnight Movie Creature Feature anthology, 22 More Quick Shivers anthology and many more. His debut novella The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013 and a new novella set in the forests of Sweden will be available shortly. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. He is currently working on his second crime novel Ashes, which involves black metal and Icelandic sorcery.
This is a series that keeps on delivering, here we are at the fourth book, and it is just as addictive and original as the first, Six Stories. I really love the premise for this one, a chilling mix of the occult and an internet craze join the fabulous six stories format with online journalist Scott King. Six podcasts are delivered to us, to digest and form our own opinion after 24 year old vlogger Elizabeth Barton is found dead in The Vampire Tower on the Northumberland coast. Three young men were convicted in what they called a prank gone wrong, are they responsible? With the Beast from the East weather system and vampires haunting the pages, questions started whirling in my mind. As I read I felt as though a number of truths were being set free. As always Matt Wesolowski keeps a fabulously tight rein on the different voices, which so easily could run wild. Each character is unmistakable and I was able to hear them with sharp clarity. Beast is another winner of a read for me, if you haven’t yet joined in, what are you waiting for?!
Wonderfully clever and chilling, Changeling is a short novel that contains just as much as it needs to, and so is perfectly formed. This episode of Six Stories, a series of podcasts by online journalist Scott King, takes us to Christmas Eve 1988 and the disappearance of seven year old Alfie. If this is your first taste of this series, I think you could read it as a standalone, however I highly recommend starting at the beginning with Six Stories, followed by Hydra. The cold case podcasts are beautifully written by Matt Wesolowski, the voices so distinctively clear that I almost heard, rather than read the words. Wentshire Forest is deeply dark and exquisitely creepy, full of folklore, ancient belief and strange goings on. My heart battled with my head as I heard each podcast, I thought I had an inkling as to what was happening and will admit to a certain amount of smugness which was soon whipped out of me as the ending packed a real punch. Changeling continues a series which just keeps on getting better and better, it surprises, thrills and enthrals in equal measure.
A wonderfully distinctive, intense, and piercing read. In 2014 a young woman Arla Macleod kills her family, later, as investigative journalist Scott King begins to unravel the story with podcasts on the internet, danger steps into view and stalks ever closer. The second in this fresh and different series takes a short step back in time from the first, while you can certainly read this as a standalone, I do recommend beginning with Six Stories. Matt Wesolowski excels in creating individual voices, each podcast sounded as clearly as a bell tone in my mind. I could hear each character speak, see them gesturing, I looked into their eyes and beyond, and they demanded my attention. A featherlight connection to Arla is created, which strengthens with each podcast. As the countdown to answers continued, my thoughts writhed on a jagged cliff edge, and there was only one way down. Hydra provokes thoughts and rattles feelings, creating an original and enthralling read, highly recommended. ~ Liz Robinson
March 2017 Debut of the Month. This is startling, clever, and quite, quite different. ‘Six Stories’ isn’t that long, but it packs a mighty wallop. In 1997 teenager Tom Jeffries was found dead at an outward bound centre, in 2017 investigative journalist Scott King releases podcasts relating to the death, six interviews, six different perspectives on what happened. The moment I started to read, the descriptions landed like a lightening strike on my awareness, setting the scene completely. This feels so original, Matt Wesolowski places Simon King’s voice in italics, the other voices are introduced, clearly individual and distinctive, so that I could hear them talking in my mind. I was aware of the tension building, aware that something was coming towards me at a rate of knots. I was constantly listening, judging, thinking. ‘Six Stories’ is a skilfully written tale, it prods, provokes, and also thoroughly entertains. ~ Liz Robinson A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'Two years ago, I was on the Pitch Perfect Panel at Bloody Scotland, which offers and opportunity for aspiring crime writers to pitch to a panel of experts. Matt Wesolowski was one of these writers, and his proposal for Six Stories was my pick of the lot. Not only was I intrigued by the concept of a book written in the form of Serial-style podcasts, but the setting, in the Northumbrian fells, rich with myth and legend, transfixed me. Several months later, Matt sent me the manuscript for consideration, and let’s just say that an offer was made within hours. Six Stories is a fresh, original, compelling, utterly terrifying and beautifully written thriller, with extraordinarily vivid characters who not only leap from the page, but are startlingly authentic in voice and manner. Both an up-to-the-minute concept and an excellent – almost old-fashioned murder mystery – Six Stories is exquisitely described and perfectly wrought. So which of the six witnesses’ stories is true? The answer will astonish you. Absolutely mesmerising. ~ Karen Sullivan, Orenda Books