Archive for November, 2013

                          Coming soon….

JIM GOFORTH

Books/SS: Plebs (out soon), Lycanthroship (collaboration with six other authors, also out soon). Also involved in a vampire collaboration with six others which should be out before the end of the year I believe. I also have a couple of other completed (but as yet unpublished full length novels In The Darkest Hour and Spirit Storm, a load of short stories, and about five or six incomplete novels) At the moment I am working on my first foray into the world of zombies.

 

What genre(s) do you write in and why?Horror. I love horror, it’s been my chief writing passion for a long long time. I used to write all kinds of things but the horror genre was the one which ultimately won out. I love dark twisted things, I love where people can take horror, and where it can take them.

What is PLEBS about both on the surface and down deep? Plebs, on the surface is about a few idle young men who run into a whole passel of trouble involving dangerous women, old enemies, new enemies and of course the feral freakish Plebs themselves. Beneath that surface there’s a bunch of different underlying themes, friendship, relationships, finding purpose, blurring of lines between man and monster, the fact that some monsters just can’t be anything but monsters, while man can make a choice to be either and too often elects to take the monster route. There’s a whole host of things in there.

What inspired this? It was originally intended to be a short story with a far different outcome but the more I wrote the more I loved playing with the characters and building them, giving them new directions, new terrible situations to contend with, and since I just couldn’t let them go at a short story I had to make a full length of it. I’m not even sure what initially inspired the idea but the end result turned out a whole lot differently than anticipated.

Who is the main character? Multiple main characters. A few shiftless young men and a host of mysterious women who certainly have a lot more to them than meets the eye. Corey Somerset is the principal character of the guys but the story is not his alone.

What was difficult about penning this? Finding the time to dedicate to finish it. It was on hiatus for quite a while unfinished while I was involved in the extreme metal scene then I re-read it and fell back into the obsession I had with completing the story.

What is difficult for you as a writer? Too many ideas, not enough time to get them all out and written. Some good, some atrocious but they all have to be put into written word just to see how abysmal or great they may be.

What is the best part about being a writer? There are so many great things about it, couldn’t really nail down one specific one. Getting published and out in print would rank high since that has been a lifelong goal of mine but just the whole idea of creating stories, as horrific or unnerving as they may be is exhilarating. Building a large body of work and being happy with the way it has turned out is always very satisfying.

How did you begin your career? I’ve only recently returned to writing horror after a long hiatus where I was involved writing reviews for the universal metal scenes. I started writing virtually as soon as I could read, I was always the kid in school writing about the monsters, freaky beasts and scary stuff and having them read out to the class. Nothing’s changed, I’m still writing that kind of thing, albeit very frequently with humans displaying the monstrous faces they hide under their skin. With regards to it being a published career that’s only a recent thing though it’s been something I’ve sought to achieve from very early on.

What advice do you have for new writers? Never give up, never become disillusioned. Though I’ve been writing for quite a long time now (most of my life) in terms of being published I guess I myself am a new writer so anybody with advice for me feel free to send it my way 😉

What writer(s) inspire you and why? Richard Laymon is the prime inspiration and influence for me, his writing altered and honed the way I write. There are hordes of others who earlier inspired me to write (which I was doing pretty much as soon as I could read) but Laymon will always be the number one influence.

What book(s) do you wish you have written? None. I am writing the books I want to write.

Do you write for yourself or for readers? A combination of both although I first started writing for me. I write what I like to read which I imagine will also appeal to those who like reading similar things.

Do you ever use dreams/nightmares as a basis for writing? Not to a large extent though I’ve taken bits and pieces from dreams to include in stories.

What is difficult/frustrating about writing or being a writer? Probably a common writer gripe but rejection letters and things like that are always frustrating. There’s nothing I find difficult about being a writer but finding the time I want to dedicate to my writing when I have abundant ideas running around in my head is often a fraction hard to achieve.

What work of yours was enjoyable to pen? Most of them so far. I find enjoyment in all of my writing and what I can do with characters, situations,

What 3 words describe your writing? Violent. Visceral. Thought-provoking (yeah that’s two words which make one) 

Which actors/actresses would you love to see in a movie version of your works? Eliza Dushku. Danielle Harris. Katharine Isabelle. Shawnee Smith. (Awesome scream queens, some of them anyway), Billy Wirth, Joseph Gordon Levitt (both multiskilled underrated actors), Danny Trejo (simply because the cool factor of any movie is amplified to maximum just by the addition of Danny Trejo even in a small role-though for Plebs he probably wouldn’t really fit any of the roles. I’d find a spot for him). Bruce Campbell (same reason as wanting Trejo involved. Bruce Campbell is the king). No interest in most of the traditional Hollywood types.

Do you like to write a series or stand alones? Why? Both. Some books are complete entities as they are, they don’t require sequels or prequels or additions, but sometimes there are characters that you just need to do more with, develop further stories and horrendous scenarios for them hence the desire to do a series.

Who, of your characters do you most want to hang out with? The characters I’d most like to hang with are all in a lengthy story I’ve written on and off over the years since way back in teenage years which will most likely never see the light of day. It involves street gangs, movies, heavy metal and then a nation of supernatural entities. Probably never in any plans to be published.

How did PLEBS get its title? It was originally going to be called something else; for the majority of the time I was writing it there was actually no title for it. Reading back through it prior to finishing it I decided that the term the characters use for the freaks inhabiting the book would be ideal. It’s short, punchy, to the point and suitably creepy.

How do you pick names for characters and which ones are you fond of? Mostly just off the top of my head. I’m fond of a lot of them. I give characters I don’t like too much the rubbish names 😉

Have you ever written real people into books? No. I generally don’t use real people as a basis for characters though they may serve as some kind of inspiration for some facets of these characters.

Do you outline and plan or wing a book? I almost always wing it. I might have some kind of plan in my head at the beginning of the book, or at least a few seeds of ideas but it rarely follows any strict path. I like to let my characters just run their own destinies, see what sort of mayhem they can create for themselves.

Which of your works ended differently than you anticipated? Pretty much all of them. Even if I have some preconceived idea about how things are going to end, it rarely pans out like that.

Do your covers matter? To an extent yes. Cover art often swayed me into being interested in reading a particular book, I’d imagine it still does influence people’s decisions whether to read a book or pass it up.

Does art/ music influence you? Some particular types of art/artists are inspiring but I’m more predominantly inspired by music (particularly heavy metal of the more extreme genres) and I often incorporate a lot of musical references in stories. I have written several things revolving around musical facets, bands etc. and I have plans for a series of horror stories with musical genres at their core. 
To me some types of music just go hand in hand with horror.

How do you begin a novel? I just start writing. Either from a rough idea or a more fleshed out concept, maybe just a basic thought but I never meticulously plan it out and most times I might not have any clue what is going to transpire. Novels can also spring from short story ideas, as is the case with Plebs. It was intended to be a short story but instead turned into six hundred odd pages of full length (with plans for a sequel).

Do you get “writer’s block”? Not really. Because I have so many projects on the go at any one time if I get stumped with one or run into some kind of block I switch to another and go back and forth between them all. Ultimately finishing one will inspire me to go back and complete the one I might have become disillusioned with.

Will you be prolific/ are you? Yes I intend to be extremely prolific. I already have a decent body of as yet unpublished material.

What is your goal? To have a plethora of books published. As many as I can write. It’s been a long term goal of mine, even as a teenager to have a large body of horror novels published. I’m not exactly writing for awards, probably don’t really write the type of material that is likely to ever attract awards but hey if that happened, awesome.

Do bad reviews bother you? Not particularly. Having been in the reviewing business (for universal metal scenes) I understand that certain things are not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, not everything is going to have an appeal to suit each single person.

Just like extreme metal, horror is for a niche audience, not everybody is going to like it and personally I don’t want, or need everybody to like what I write.

Do you research books? Yes and no. I don’t exhaustively research a book and all that is going to be in it but if there are certain things I want to address that require a little more knowledge than I might have on the subject I’ll do a little research. Others times I don’t when possibly I should have but hey, some horror requires one to suspend a bit of belief or warp reality a little, therefore maybe anything is possible. Having said that I wouldn’t want to delve into a subject I was completely clueless on without at least doing some kind of study up on it.

Which books have been grueling to write? None of them. The answer to the writer’s block question probably covers this one too. If I happen to run into a wall or start struggling with direction, ideas or anything I simply switch to another book and press on with a different one. That might only ever become an issue if I’m presented with deadlines in the future but working under pressure is fine by me.

Interview from http://www.jellingtonashton.com

http://www.jellingtonashton.com/jim-goforth.html

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Reblogging this for the excellent Alex Laybourne. Check it out!

Official Site of Alex Laybourne - Author

Yes, I have just launched another book, although technically it is only my third published title given that I pulled so much the other day.

The Musings of a Hideous Mind is actually the first collection of stories I ever wrote. They span a number of years in their creation, and despite going through re-edits this year, the main structure of the stories has remained unchanged.

It is the first in a trilogy of anthologies, withe the second and third installments coming out in December (13th) and January (10th), all through Vamptasy Publishing, part of Crushing Hearts Black Butterfly Press.

The collection is now live on all Amazon sites (.com and .co.uk links below), so please, feel free to share the links, tweet and reblog if you feel so kind, and of course, you can always follow the links and grab your own copy today for just $1.99

Musings 1 cover

Amazon.com – 

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Interview/Author page

Posted: November 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

Interview and author page featuring yours truly here

http://www.jellingtonashton.com/jim-goforth.html

Will post it up here a little bit later on

NIGHT TRAIN

Posted: November 11, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

The train was late. Not exceptionally late like an hour or so but it was ten minutes late creeping towards a quarter of an hour.

            Sid stamped his feet impatiently and impotently on the concrete of the platform.

            He debated over lighting up another cigarette but he’d just finished one and the crushed pile of butts at his feet was starting to look as though someone had gone and dumped an overflowing ashtray there.

            He moved away from the butt littered section of the platform. They weren’t all his anyway.

            It was cold and dark on the platform and as far as Sid could make out he was alone on it.

            He shoved his hands deep in his jacket pockets and exhaling a misty plume of vapour out into the chill night air he cursed the public transport system.

            Then just as he was about to delve into his knapsack and dig out his timetable to see if he’d misread the arrival time of the train, he saw approaching lights in the tunnel.

            “’Bout time,” he muttered to nobody in particular and approached the edge of the platform.

            The train neared. But for the few lights it appeared to be completely dark inside the train. It looked like a ghost train and Sid would have thought it was powered by ghosts had he not seen the bored driver at the fore of the machine.

            The train stopped and sets of doors on each carriage glided open with a hydraulic hiss.

            Sid stepped off the platform and into the carriage before him.

            There were a couple of lights on, enough for Sid to see that he was the solitary passenger in this carriage.

            ‘Well I can have my pick of the seats,’ he informed himself gleefully and carefully walked down the steps to the bottom section of the ill lit car.

            “This one,” he said, and sat down in the first seat.

            Empty chip packets and Coke cans littered the floor under his feet.

            “No, not this one,” he said aloud, again to no one special.

            He vacated that seat and took up residence in one about half way up the carriage.

            A graffitied slogan scrawled on the back of the seat before him advised him to ‘Fuck Off & Die.’

            He took the first bit of advice and went off searching for another seat.

            Finally he decided on the very back one, facing away from the direction he was going.

            This felt like the right seat. He settled back to enjoy the journey, watching the outside world rush by, the tiny pinpricks of light from the city like a frantic horde of fireflies.

            Then the train glided to a halt and he heard the doors open again.

            He gazed intently outside at the seemingly deserted station.

            But it wasn’t quite as deserted as he had first surmised.

            Walking up, or rather shambling, up the aisle towards him was a massive man shaped bulk, like a giant piece of granite carved into a rough human figure.

            The man mountain approached.

            Sid waited for him to take one of the plentiful seats but he didn’t. He walked to where Sid sat sprawled ungainly in his chosen seat and stopped alongside him.

            Sid looked up at a dark craggy face with an unkempt beard and greying eyebrows atop rheumy watery eyes.

            A mouth cracked open in the hairy forest covering the individuals’ lower face and a rumbling deep voice issued forth.

            “You’re in my seat.”

            “What?” Sid asked pleasantly.

            “I said, you’re in my seat.”

            “Look, there are plenty of seats in here. Take two of them,” Sid replied.

            “You are in my seat!” The incredible hulk almost roared.

            “Well,” Sid said in what he thought was a genuinely sarcastic tone of voice. “I don’t see your name anywhere on it, bud.”

            “You don’t? You’re blind then!”

            A huge meaty black finger jabbed at an indecipherable scribbles crawled in sky blue on the ripped seat next to Sid’s denim-clad leg.

            “There! That’s my name right there! My name, my seat!”

            Sid gazed down at the scrawl next to him.

            “That’s my name,” the hulk warned him with a black browed scowl and a flash of yellow teeth. “My name, my seat. Now get out! GET OUT OF MY SEAT!”

            As he stared at the blue scribble Sid was amused to find that he could actually read what the slogan said. It said ‘MULL UP, BONG ON’.

            Sid managed to refrain from letting loose with a guffaw.

            “Is your name really ‘Mull Up, Bong On?’” He asked nicely.

            The ugly look on the mountains face was getting uglier by the second and Sid could almost see the evil promise of painful violence being inflicted upon him if he didn’t vacate the seat.

            “Yes. Yes it is. That’s my name. AND MY SEAT! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY SEAT OR I’LL RIP YOUR FUCKING THROAT OUT!”

            “OK, OK Mull, calm down,” Sid held up placating hands. “I guess if you say so, that’s all the proof I need.”

            He stood up slowly, gazing wistfully at the seat as if he were bidding a fond friend a sad farewell.

            He took his right hand out of his jacket pocket.

            “Since it’s your seat Mull, feel free to make use of it.”

            The blade jumped straight out the end of the switchblade handle in his fist and glinted in the meagre light.

            He stabbed the hulk in the bulging stomach, once, twice, three times and then stepped out into the aisle as the goggle-eyed man slumped onto the seat.

            Sid boosted the mountain right up onto the seat so he lay parallel on it and then for good measure slit the prone figures throat.

            Then he wiped the blade of the knife clean over the guys’ filthy overcoat, depressed the button and tossed the handle back in his pocket.

            He gazed for a second at the slumped mess and then strode away back up the aisle to find another seat.

            One day it would happen. One day.

            One day he’d find a seat with HIS name on it. HIS name. HIS seat.

©2013 Jim Goforth

ROADKILL RUN

Posted: November 11, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

ROADKILL RUN

The road was long and winding, curling like a restless serpent through the thickly wooded foliage of the forest. Towering monumental trees marched ever so vigilantly alongside it, green and bristling, as if they were hairy green giant soldiers standing guard over the lonely strip of highway.

In their sky blue Holden Ray Hennessey and James Frew made their way along the desolate road, the volume of the stereo cranked up high to coincide with their high spirits.

Even though it was a good three hours from their destination, neither of the two men were feeling fatigued at all or discouraged by the long distance they were going to have to travel.

     Ray was at the wheel, having made the switch of drivers at the last place of respite, a secluded truckers spot about twenty kilometres behind them, and James was in the passenger seat resting up should Ray’s stamina not last out the final hours.

Ray leaned forward and lowered the volume of the music until it was a little more than a dull hum in the background.

     “You know what this stretch of road through these boonies is, Frew?” He addressed his companion.

     “Twisty, windy, curling and loaded with fuckin’ potholes,” James replied. “That’s what it is.”

     “No, do you know what it’s called?”

     “Forty miles of bad road?” James hazarded.

     “Close, but no cigar,” Ray laughed. “It’s called … wait for it … Roadkill Run.”

     “Roadkill Run? Why?” James wanted to know.

     A malicious sparkle glinted in Ray’s brown eyes as he navigated his vehicle along the treacherous twists and turns of the road.

     “Apparently there’s a tribe of cavemen or something, woods people you know, queer backwards freaks who live up in the hills. They only come down to the road to do their hunting and gathering. Whatever they scavenge off the road is dinner. Crows, rabbits, snakes, foxes, if it gets nailed by a car they eat it.”

     “You’re shitting me,” James looked incredulous. “Where’d you hear that?”

     “I’ve heard it a few times, just whispers and stories. That’s why this road is usually pretty deserted. People don’t like driving through here late at night.”

     James didn’t look convinced.

     “If nobody drives through here how do these tribes-people survive? No cars, no gourmet meals to be had.”

    “Apparently they make do alright. I can believe a car couldn’t make it through this stretch without hitting some critter and laying it low for the woodland gourmands.”

     “You’re jerking my chain aren’t you, Hennessey? Nobody eats roadkill.”

     “Savages do,” Ray amused him. “It’s a true story. A primitive tribe exists in these woods here. Up in the hills there.”

     “These woods?” The dubious expression on James’ face was growing.

     “Yep. Roadkill Run. The restaurant of the primitives.”

     “Bullshit.” James decided. “Absolute bullshit.”

     Ray shrugged, grinned and turned the music back up to an audible level. “Fine, don’t believe me.”

     “I don’t,” James replied, and he didn’t.

     Whoever heard of a tribe of people dwelling in the woods and feasting on the carcasses of animals provided to them by speeding metal juggernauts racing along the curling road?

However, it wasn’t too much of a stretch of the imagination to envision fur dressed barbarians with bones in their noses and sharp bone weapons in their hairy fists.

     James’ mind was all ready to accept that the thick of the woods housed bands of roadkill munching weirdos.

     Ray glanced at him, the mischievous grin still plastered to his features.

     “Hey there’s a long straight stretch of road coming up. What do you say we speed up a few notches and try and knock something off so, the heathens have got dinner tonight? Hey? What do you reckon? They’ll forever be worshipping the blue Holden from heaven which delivered the feast.”

     James bestowed a looked upon him indicating he certainly believed his companion was out of his mind.

     “You want to hit an animal with the car so your mythical imaginary wood creatures can have a feed?”

     “Yeah. Bird, animal, whatever they eat. They’d probably be stoked with anything.”

     James shook his head. “Aren’t you confusing reality with bullshit Ray?”

     “It’s not bullshit. It’s true. We put something on the road and they come and get it and eat it. We can even come back and wait for them to come calling. Or we can just wait for them to come down.”

     “I don’t think so.”

     “Hey, why not?” Ray pressed. “We can even take a few happy snaps of feasting families.”

     “Come on, Ray, just drive the damn car and let’s just get where we are going.”

     “Fine.”

     Ray came round a sharp corner with a screech of tyres and then the long straight stretch referred to was before them, looking like a dark highway in a virtual reality racing game.

     James had seen little evidence that any life at all existed. No birds fluttering away in alarm from the side of the road, no foxes, rabbits, dogs scurrying across the black top pinpointed in the glowing beams of the headlights.

That’s because the woods tribes have eaten all of them, James thought. Crap.

     James gazed out his window at the densely forested landscape rushing past.

Trees grew almost all the way to the very edge of the road. A miniscule strip of bare dirt studded with small infrequent stones was the only border, which prevented the stalwart wilds from choking the road and trampling it under.

     Ray stamped on the accelerator and the vehicle shot forward with an increase of speed as if it had been blasted forcefully from a powerful cannon.

     James stopped gazing out his window; the fast rushing scenery was nothing but a blur.

He returned his attention to the highway, peering through the windscreen.

     “Ray! Look out!”

     The racing vehicle was bearing down on a hunched shape directly in its path out on the highway, a shape that swivelled a shaggy head around as the engine roared.

James grabbed the dashboard with both hands with such desperate strength that had it been constructed of a more malleable medium his fingernails would have punched his fists right through.

     “A monkey!” Ray exclaimed gleefully. “Chow time mountain folk! Come and dig in!”

     “It’s not a monkey, Ray, you fuckwit!” James screamed.

The hunched figure tried to scramble away like a deformed crab dragging some limp shapeless object after it.

     James realised with a horrifying clarity that what the creature was hauling away was a cat corpse, trailing intestines and other unidentifiable entrails.

Then the car slammed into the retreating shape just before it could dive off the road into the undergrowth.

     James covered his head as the body of the cat flew up and sprayed foul matter over the windshield.

     The thump of the larger body echoed in his ears and he saw a twisted form throwing outstretched arms wide as it was flung off to the left of the car.

The car started making an awful grinding noise.

     “Stop the car, godammit!” James bellowed. “You hit a kid you fucking idiot!”

     “Cool it, Frew, just cool it, it was just a monkey.”

     “You ever heard of a monkey living native in this country? You dolt!”

     “Maybe it escaped from the zoo,” Ray suggested lamely, but he stopped the car and mercifully the grinding noise of the tortured engine ceased.

James was out of his seat, out the door before the car had come to a complete halt.

     “You fucking moron,” he was railing at Ray as he left, leaving the car door swinging wide. “You dickhead! Can you believe…”

     His voiced trailed away as he headed back up the stretch of road where the splayed figure had been hurled by the charging bull of the car.

     “Come on James,” Ray wheedled. “Forget it. Get back in the car, let’s just go.”

     James didn’t respond.

     “Don’t make me get out of this car Frew, I’m warning you. Get back in now.”

     Nothing from James.

     “I’m counting to three and then the last train to Clarkesville is leaving,” Ray said. “One… two… two and a half… two and three quarters… Come on James! Three. Ok that’s it. I’m off.”

He didn’t drive off.

     He hesitantly exited the vehicle and stood beside the car, gazing back up the road they’d travelled.

     James wasn’t anywhere in sight. A cat carcass lay sprawled like a feline fur rug on the road, but there was nothing else.

     “James! Where’d you fucking go?”

     Slowly Ray trudged back up the road cursing and muttering. He didn’t expect another vehicle to come screaming down the road.

He only heard it.

It had no headlights.

Whoever was driving was doing so blindly.

Ray screamed like a terrified child and dove for cover.

The rushing dark shape of the lightless vehicle hit his driving form from the knees down and a giant fireball of excruciating agony ignited in both legs.

     The freak car didn’t slow. It had no rear lights either. It vanished in the murk with a barely audible purring engine.

      Ray lay across the gravel-studded strip separating the road from the woods, his shattered kneecaps throbbing regions of sheer pain. He passed out almost immediately due to the agony. He found himself fading in and out of consciousness.

Each time he swam back into the pain streaked world of wakefulness he called for James, his voice ragged and hoarse.

     There was no reply.

     The silence of the waiting woods mocked him as if they were informing him that they’d swallowed James up and all in time they would claim him as well, busted kneecaps and all.

     He drifted back into merciful black.

     Returned to reality.

     A set of feet stood before him.

     “James?” He questioned weakly and hopefully, even though the boots James had been wearing were now absent and his feet were bare.

     Christ James has gruesome feet, Ray thought illogically. Curling black hair on them, dirty as all fuck, grimy and huge. Obviously wasn’t too keen on keeping his toenails trimmed either. They are so long they are almost talons.

     Lying prone on his stomach, Ray could only see as far up as James’ knees. They were knobbly and furred with black bristles of hair.

     When a second and third pair of similar legs appeared behind the first Ray realised he wasn’t in the company of James.

     A shaggy head appeared about three inches from his.

     Yellow eyes with black slits like those of a cat peered intently at him through an unkempt field of wild black hair.

     In that jungle a cavernous mouth cracked open, exposing yellow-black stumps of teeth filed to needle points.

     Ray’s screams were loud enough to wake the dead, frantic and horrified.

     They fell on deaf ears.

     On the long dark lonely stretch of road that was Roadkill Run the woods tribe settled down around the latest offering to begin their feast.

      ©2013 Jim Goforth

A bit of old stuff, some plans.

Posted: November 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

These next couple of posts are going to be a couple of old stories that I doubt I will ever consider getting published in any capacity bar right here, just some short pieces that I wrote some ten or so years ago. More recently my short stories either span out to the 20 or 30k mark or end up blowing out into full length novels but both of these are remarkably short, more like flash fiction under 2k each.

I plan on putting together a whole bunch for an anthology at some stage, may or may not follow a theme, it might just be a series of eclectic nightmarish stuff. I have a few ideas for anthologies I would like to do at some stage in the future with stories and pieces that will be knotted together by common threads but a lot of the older things I’ve written might not fit in with those concepts.

The following two stories are in no such plans, they are free to read for anybody who feels inclined to do so.

Posted: November 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

New cover for my first full length Plebs shall soon be appearing…