There are plenty of book subscription boxes available these days. You can get them to suit any age and any taste, featuring every genre from Fantasy to Young Adult, Crime to Horror. But every now and then, a box comes along that genuinely causes a buzz and in this case, even starts a whole movement! The Night Worms started off as a group of Horror enthusiasts, determined to promote and review horror, a social media based book club for true horror enthusiasts, before two of its members decided to kick things up a notch and create their own Horror subscription box. But the Night Worms don’t do things like every one else. Instead of seeing the other Horror Book subscription boxes available on the market as merely competition, they decided to corroborate with them and create the #promotehorror movement on Instagram and Twitter. After two very successful boxes, with a third on the way, I chat with the lovely ladies behind the box to get some insight into its creation as well as what is to come…
1) Tell us about the people behind Night worms.
The people behind Night Worms are two female horror lovers, Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann and Ashley Saywers. I review horror for Scream Magazine and Cemetery
Dance Online. I’ve been married for 22 years to my best friend and we have three children. Our whole family recently moved from Northern California to the Pacific North West.
Ashley also lives in Washington with her husband and their son. She loves horror too! Both of us repped for a horror subscription box company and several other bookish companies-developing a really close friendship and working relationship before we ever decided to go into business together.
We love that we live so close to each other and we can travel back and forth to each other’s houses.
2) What inspired you to create the box?
Ashley and I became friends on Instagram through our dedicated #bookstagram accounts. During the course of a few years, our taste in books became more closely aligned. We realized we were reading all the same books. We decided to combine our efforts to read, review and promote horror through a book club with five other horror loving friends of ours. Night Worms was born.
After about eight months or so, Ashley and I decided to expand our Night Worms brand to a book club subscription package so that more people could read, review and promote horror with us. We are different in that we put the primary emphasis on the books and less of a thrust on the promotional merchandise. We find that lots of the bookish merchandise is either extra filler/clutter or sometimes infringing on the author’s intellectual property. Everything we include beyond books is just to promote horror book collecting, a book collector’s lifestyle or an enhancement of their reading experience through a one-time use consumable–that way there’s nothing leftover that needs to be stuck in a drawer somewhere gathering dust. We collect books-not things.
3) What is it about horror that you love so much?
We love that horror is so diverse and that it’s a niche community of people who are very passionate about it.
4) If readers are new or unsure about the genre, but looking for a book to start off their horror journey with, which one would you recommend? What would your horror book for beginners recommendation be?
A lot of horror authors can write in very different sub-genres so if a reader was unsure because they didn’t want to be scared, horror author Robert McCammon has a few books that teeter on the edge of horror but never cross over like, BOY’S LIFE or THE LISTENER. Stephen King also transcends the horror genre and wrote books like, 11/22/63 which is not traditional horror but more like a time travel, thriller. I would also recommend his newest release, THE OUTSIDER which is like a crime thriller. Paul Tremblay has a book called, THE DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL’S ROCK which has horror undertones but definitely a bit lighter than his book, A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS which is pretty full-on
Grady Hendrix is also a great place to start with his clever, light and sometimes humorous stories in the horror genre. A book like MY BEST FRIEND’S EXORCISM is a great place to start.
5) How do you pick the books and items you feature in your boxes?
Ashley and I hear about a lot of new releases through authors and publishers and sometimes we see a theme or a common thread between certain books so we build a theme around those releases
6) Tell us about the #promotehorror movement? What inspired you to start it?
Basically, horror is a neglected genre in the grand scheme of things. It’s largely ignored for big literature awards due to the fact that people assume it has to be scary or gory to be good and many people aren’t interested in being scared. Many readers of horror actually do a disservice to horror sometimes by rating quality written books lower than they deserve just because they weren’t “scary”. We promote all aspect of the horror genre to help snuff out some of the stereotypes and misinformation out there about horror so that our favourite genre can continue to see an uptick in success.
7) What’s next for the Night Worms?
We have some BIG months coming up. Our February package sold out and it’s going to be a spectacular offering so we are very excited about the unpackagings to go out on social media. April is our Kealan Patrick Burke exclusive package which is generating a lot of buzz and then we have even more signed books and exciting themes coming up for the whole year!
8) How do readers become a part of the Night worm family?
Simply visit our website and click on the most recent, available listing. Add to cart as a one time purchase or click “full details” to subscribe. Join our horror movement on social media: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Thank you so much to Sadie and Ashley for taking the time to answer my questions and agreeing to be featured on my little old blog. Whilst this box is currently unavailable outside of the US, the team are hoping to expand to an international audience down the line, so fingers crossed people, because I am DYING to get my hands on one! Go on to their social media and check them out, particularly Instagram, so you can discover some new horror books and authors and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to stay up to date with all the latest reviews, collaborations and articles.