MY CURRENT MANUSCRIPT. THE FIVE BY FIVE GAME.

Posted: June 24, 2014 in Uncategorized
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If you want a little insight into my current manuscript, then here we go.

Shaun Meeks, author of Down on the Farm and At the Gates of Madness, recently tagged me in the Five by Five Game, where a writer then posts five thoughts about their current work in progress and then proceeds to tag five others to do likewise.

This year so far has seen the release of my debut novel Plebs, and inclusion in the anthologies Axes of Evil, and Terror Train, with Sinister Cavan and Training the Unfortunate being the respective stories in those books. It will also see the release of a collaborative novel with five other supremely talented authors from J. Ellington Ashton (who shall be releasing Shaun’s new novel by the way) titled Feral Hearts which should emerge in a month or so, and then some time down the track I have a collection of short horror tales/novellas coming as well. For now, let’s delve a little into my current WIP, which has the working title of Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger.

1. Yes, as you might have guessed from the title, this is a novel of the undead. Before you bang your head against the desk and say Jesus H. Christ on a hovercraft, not another fucking zombie novel, hear me out. Surprisingly, for all the time I have been writing horror (which is a hell of a long time, it is just recently that publishing has become a reality), bar a very recent short story based entirely around the lyrics of a song from Norwegian band Dodheimsgard, I haven’t ever written about zombies before. In it I’ve tried to create my own spin on an oft-traveled route, so it’s pretty safe to say this isn’t just the standard paint by numbers zombie entity.

2. The original idea was for this (like Plebs) was for it to be a short story. I had plans, and perhaps still do, to write a series of short horror stories based in various heavy metal scenes and environments, essentially a notion of pitching various genres of the music against one another. Undead Fleshcrave, for example was to be something of a clash between death metal fanatics and black metal aficionados, and though it is still firmly entrenched in those scenes, the basic premise has grown into a much huger creation that is spanning beyond the initial simple concept I had. It is very much a zombie story which tosses folks from these musical backgrounds into the sort of hell they’ve previously only imagined existed in the brutal lyrics of the songs they love to listen to.

3. While the WIP is a bloody, violent, undead infiltrated horror story full of my usual visceral excesses and characters bordering on the wrong side of deranged (and that’s just some of the so-called good guys), it has plenty of underlying themes that are either easily identifiable or interred a little deeper in the fleshy fabric of the tale, and one might have to dig a little to encounter them. It is also littered with musical references throughout, not just in sentences and metal acknowledgements worked into the flow of the writing, but all place names, establishment names and other similar things draw from either band names, album titles or song titles. One prime example of this (though there are loads of them which I won’t go into here) is the hometown of the chief protagonists, which bears the name Armada. This, for anyone not familiar with extreme metal, is lifted from the album of the same name by Keep of Kalissen.

4. As is the case in a lot of my work, I don’t generally write characters which are out and out good guys or gals, there is often a blurring of distinction between them, and aspects of both sides of the coin make up their various personalities, and this is again the case with this WIP. For the most part, the original collective of men and women who carry the story are what you would call decent characters, perhaps with the tendency to slip either way, depending on circumstance, however there are a whole bunch of other characters they become affiliated with along the way, who might be batting for the perceived good guys, but just well might be anything other than that.

5. This isn’t my only WIP at the moment, but for all intents and purposes it gets to be the prime topic of this blog post, because it is the one I’m concentrating my main attention on to try and get wrapped up. At the moment it is sitting at a giant 160k words, but I would say it is about 90 per cent done and I’m planning to get things finished off before I blow the word count budget to something astronomical. At this point in time, it is looking like it won’t be a stand alone book, but more likely, the start of a series, which is also the case with my other WIP. At 180k and with the first half of what was supposed to be a two part book, that other WIP (revolving around a group of disgruntled ex carnival employees discovering some exceedingly nasty secrets about the company which terminated their jobs) is now going to become two books as well. What can I say, I love to read big books, I love to write big books.

Bonus fact, which actually has nothing to do with my current WIP, but more about my tendency to write books with the size to double as house bricks-I also have a complete novel I called In the Darkest Hour written many years ago which also clocks in at 180k words.

Now to tag five others, so if any of these folk want to play the game too, here you go.

Jacob Rayne, Samuel Adam Reese, Linda Watkins, Michael Fish Fisher, Heather Dowell

Picking a few people I might not have tagged before, as I get roped into these things incredibly frequently 😉

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