Posted: June 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

I was invited to join in on the Writing Process Blog tour by a couple of people, namely the excellent horror and dark fantasy author Lucy Taylor and the wonderful scribe of terror Alex Laybourne.

Both of their fascinating insights into the questions asked can be located at the following sites.
Lucy http://darkfantasy.us/dark-fantasy-blog.html
Alex http://alexlaybourne.com/2014/06/22/tag-youre-it-blog-tour/

The questions are all the same ones asked throughout the entire tour, but of course, each response is going to be wildly different and incredibly diverse in terms of how different authors approach the writing process. So, without too much more introductory gibberish from me, here goes the questions.

1. What am I working on? I’m almost always working on multiple projects, usually because I’m inundated with ideas all the time, some which are probably great, some which border on the abysmal, but all need to be written to see how they pan out.
Primarily I’m looking at wrapping up another novel, hopefully as early as the end of today which I’ve touched upon elsewhere on my blog. It is an undead exploration which revolves around extreme metal scenes which is currently at a massive 170k in length and since I’ve gone into a little more detail on my previous blog post I won’t repeat myself too much about that. I plan to cut down the size of that somewhat, of course this is only a first draft, though I submitted Plebs as a first draft too and didn’t actually cut a whole bunch of it at all in the end.
I’m also writing a handful of short stories, some for specific anthologies, others because I have myriad ideas launching themselves at me at any given time of the day.
I’ve just completed first rounds of edits for a short story/novella collection titled With Tooth and Claw which will be forthcoming from my publisher J. Ellington Ashton Press as well as gearing up for the release of collaborative novel Feral Hearts very shortly, an epic, fun and challenging project written along with five of the other supremely talented JEA authors (Mark Woods, Michael Fisher, Amanda Lyons, Catt Dahman and Edward Cardillo-who is also the tireless editor of the book).
On top of that I’m promoting Plebs, of course and the anthologies Terror Train and Axes of Evil. I’m itching to get cracking on starting work on a follow up to Plebs, but I don’t want to jump the gun while I have a bunch of unfinished projects which need to be completed first.

2. How does my work differ from others of the genre? Grindhouse and splatterpunk are two of the things which have sprung up when referring to my writing so I usually appropriate those tags when promoting, and use them accordingly. In essence I suppose I write what could be termed grindhouse splatterpunk old school horror driven by heavy metal, though that’s a fairly loose description as I don’t particularly see myself being pigeonholed into anything specific. As a massive metal aficionado (especially the extreme genres), I love to incorporate those styles of music in my writing and though some stories or works feature these elements a lot more prominently-a prime example being my current novel WIP-of course it isn’t always the case, that would possibly be too confining or constricting.
Horror itself is an extremely broad genre with a wide variety of separate subgenres and styles within itself, so in ways, all of us involved in it are diverse and different, all with different approaches, preferred subject matter, or the way we write. I just write like me, what I like to write and if the things I choose to incorporate or utilise during the process, as well as the end results set me apart, or make me unique at all, that is excellent.
There are quite a few horror authors with roots in metal, one has to look no further than the various contributors in the heavy metal horror themed anthology Axes of Evil itself, but all of us have widely differing eclectic styles, so that’s where any similarities end.

3. Why do I write what I do? Quite simply, because I love it. I love writing in general, but more specifically, horror is a long standing obsession and passion for me, and it has been my first writing love for many many years. Even as a youngster with aspirations to write, it was horror and the dark twisted things I gravitated towards. No other genres or authors stirred me as much as those in the horror domain, nothing else quite captivated me like that and for me it was a natural progression from reading things I loved to conjuring up my own freakish tales of the macabre.
To me, horror is a genre of enormous scope that far exceeds a lot of the narrow views many people used to more traditional mainstream type genres may have, and so much can be done within it. One can be adept at dispensing quiet horror, subdued and thoughtful rather than in your face, with things that insinuate their way into your mind and lodge there, while others can take the less than subtle approach of bludgeoning away with graphic violence and all out visceral mayhem, but in any case there is a whole lot of ways horror can be approached.
I’ve been asked before if I could choose another genre to write in, or if I wasn’t writing horror what would I like to be writing, but right now I can’t see myself dwelling in any other genre. When I started writing I dabbled in a whole lot of different genres and cross sections, but horror won out early and has stayed with me for quite a while now. There are still a vast amount of stories and dark sinister tales I have to write.

4. How does my writing process work? There is no great science to my writing process, or any secret formula. The bulk of my genuine creative writing happens at night, often late into the wee hours. I am a night owl by choice, but it is mostly due to other factors that mean trying to get any real writing completed during the day is mostly a fruitless exercise.
During the day, or in the morning is when I will be checking emails, social media sites and other things along those lines while the kids are active and running around creating chaos, and if I’m lucky I might manage to get a short story or something similar knocked up during daylight hours, but those times are mostly rare occurrences. If I was able to do so, of course I would be writing all the time, spilling words out in some horrific malevolent production line, but in reality there are loads of other duties and things to attend to.
When I actually do get to the point of writing something, it is a simple matter of just sitting down and writing. I am not a meticulous planner, I rarely structure everything so I know exactly how it should be going and more often than not, I might not even have a clue how the story itself is going to end. My characters usually have the power to take the reins of the story and throw themselves in all kinds of trouble. With shorter pieces or works confined to a specific word count, I generally have a clearer idea of the whole spread of it, or a solid outline, though even that is subject to change, shift and alter as I write.
My whole process has itself altered over the years. I used to write everything by hand and then type it all up, which was a great way of connecting with the story and getting thoroughly involved in it, but with the expansive length I tend to end up writing not just novels, but short pieces themselves means this can become a time consuming exercise. Plebs was all written by hand and then typed up, pretty much word for word, not too many changes happening in the translation from paper to screen. It turned out to be in excess of 600 pages in a document, so you can imagine how much typing was involving and how much additional work had to be done. Consequently I now write everything straight onto the computer, though I have a large body of handwritten work spanning back some years laying around.

This is just a bit of a glimpse inside my writing process, hopefully you will have gleaned a little bit out of it. I have two more authors who are going to this tour on over at their sites, so be sure to check them out as well. They are Michael Thomas-Knight who I share a TOC with in Terror Train and Mark Woods who of course is part of the soon to emerge Feral Hearts collaborative work.

Michael Thomas-Knight – author of numerous horror short stories, his latest appearing in the anthology, Terror Train. Michael’s style ranges from classic ghost stories with violent conclusions to atmospheric Eldritch tales steeped in mysticism, cynicism, and irony. His stories have been published in publications, Dark Eclipse, Infernal Ink, SNM Horror Magazine, Fiction Terrifica, and Microhorror.com. His work has also appeared in anthologies, Miseria’ s Chorale, From Beyond the Grave, Shadow Masters and others.

Mark Woods is a loving husband, doting father, successful Chef, a U.K Editor for J.E.A Press and bestselling author who specializes in Horror, Zombie and speculative fiction…
Mark is also an occasional Blogger and full time book geek who writes reviews for such sites as Amazon, Goodreads and Dooyoo. His Blog can be found here:


  1. Thanks for the link/plug Jim. Love your description of your writing. I just finished your story in Terror Train (loved it) – It started off creepy then turned into a Canibal Corpse album cover, lol.

  2. Reblogged this on parlor of horror and commented:
    Check out the post from my fellow writer, Jim Goforth, for the “Writing Process Blog Tour”

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