Archive for July, 2017

PROJECT 26

Posted: July 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

PROJECT 26

***SPECIAL J. Ellington Ashton ANNOUNCEMENT REVEALED***

As announced by Roma Gray

P26 – Project 26

26 books, each one representing a different letter in the alphabet, with each letter in turn represented a horror-related concept that starts with that letter.

The owner of JEA, catt dahman, challenged several JEA authors to participate in this grand project. The project consists of an assortment of anthologies, novels, and short story collections. Many of the authors involved in the anthologies did not even know about this, although they were part of a larger contest and won a huge prize (to be announced later)

Over a year in the making, the creative range and scope of this project is both awe inspiring and terrifying. We challenge you to collect them all.

Today we have four new books Backwoods Bonfire a novel by Scott Essel Pratt, Vampz Vendetta an anthology featuring multiple JEA authors and edited by John Ledger, Jurassic Jackaroo: Jasper Junction – a novel by Roma Gray and Lacrimation of the Leviathan a novel by Scott Essel Pratt

What? They’re not being released in order? Damn straight. At JEA we are rebels 😉 In two more weeks we’ll launch a few more. How many? Which letters? No one knows

project26

As announced on Facebook by Roma Gray, J. Ellington Ashton Press have finally unveiled P26, which is of course Project 26, where all 26 letters of the alphabet are represented by either a novel, anthology, or collection in horrific fashion.

Unlike other alphabet related projects which have occurred before, this behemoth is not rolling out books in alphabetical order, instead they are going to emerge completely randomly. The first four to materialise are those mentioned in the above statement.

For my own part, I account for four of the overall letters of the twenty six, including helming two anthologies (featuring a host of excellent authors with stories tailored to suit the specific theme of each letter) and two novels (which, like Riders-Plebs 2, are both part of the same story). These two, if you’ve been paying attention on Facebook, Twitter etc. are of course, Carnival of Chaos and Festival of the Flesh.

These books revolve around a group of disgruntled ex-employees of a rustic old Carnival/circus entity who find themselves suddenly out of jobs after a sinister newcomer and his entourage buy out and take over their place of employment with grand designs on turning it into an enormous modern horror themed monster.

Their own grand visions of enacting some type of vengeance go to hell in a rush, when they make some disturbing and grotesque discoveries that suggest there is far more to the Carnival takeover than mere business.

Now they, and a whole slew of associates, innocent friends, and even the police, are going to find themselves hopelessly entangled in the hideous melange of bloodshed, perversion and savage violence of the Festival of the Flesh, the gruesome entity that lurks behind the bright, seemingly innocuous facade of the Carnival of Chaos.

carnival cover

Stay tuned for more information, actual synopsis’s for both books, release updates, and keep on top of all the other books comprising the project as they roll out. As announced above, four of these, including two novellas by Essel Pratt, one from Roma Gray and an anthology edited by John Ledger, have already been released.

*Warning-All the books constituting Project 26 are horror in genre, but fit under the broad blanket of horror, suitable for the vast majority of readers. Carnival and Festival on the other hand, are WetWorks oriented works, which means they dwell mostly in extreme horror realms. Be prepared for extreme violence, explicit sex, offensive material, potential triggers. If some scenes don’t disturb, you may be dead. Or gleefully perverted.

festival cover

SotS Cover

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Though I will constantly make reference to the late great Richard Laymon as being the chief influence and inspiration on my writing, indeed the man whose work altered and honed the way I write, after I first read ‘Darkness, Tell Us’ back in the early 90’s, it was a little earlier than that when I became hooked on horror and there were myriad motivators prior to Laymon the king. Hutson, early Koontz, McCammon and old King were pivotal to me, but when it comes down to specific books that played a massive part in entrenching me in a lifelong love with the genre, in all its mediums, three novels in particular spring immediately to mind, because they’ve stuck with me from the moment I’ve read them, been re-read over and over again, and never lose any of the horrific charm that first obsessed me with them. They are Graham Masterton’s ‘Walker’s, Thomas Page’s ‘The Spirit’ and Clive Barker’s ‘Cabal’. Since this is the book that made me, singular, I will have to narrow that down to just one and in that event I’m going to run with ‘Cabal.’ Being the kid at school who was always writing tales about phantasmagorical monsters and bizarre beasts of my own creation, ‘Cabal’s’ fantastic graveyard community of Midian was a source of immediate fascination to me, fostering an instantaneous love for these oddities and the characters who joined with them. Having a love for all things dark and all things monstrous meant ‘Cabal’ was just about the most perfect story I’d ever read at that stage of the late eighties, a young impressionable lad with a profound desire to explore these dark and twisted worlds. The characters are all deeply flawed and damaged, and the portrayal as humans existing as the real monsters of the piece is something that has always remained with me, something I like to explore in my writing as well. The atmosphere throughout the entire thing is an epic one, laden with menace, darkness, and fantasy aspects, but often conjures up more emotional moments and feelings of alienation, and Barker is a master at being able to balance everything with just the right touch of poignancy, dropping in moments of shocking violence and a nice splash of sex as well. The copy I first read was the Fontana Collins edition from 1989 featuring Craig Sheffer as Boone in his monster personality after becoming one of the Nightbreed and Anne Bobby as Lori from the Nightbreed film adaptation which came out the following year, and it also contained the curious artwork from Barker himself, appearing throughout, before chapters, at the end of chapters. I was almost as intrigued by these artworks as I was the story and they definitely enhanced the assortment of atmospheres conjured up by the narrative itself. I still own that very same copy, along with Laymon’s ‘Darkness, Tell Us’, one of the very few books I actually have the one copy I’ve maintained from the very first reading way back then and consequently its pages are yellowing and it certainly looks aged, but otherwise I keep it in pristine condition. It has stood up to so many re-readings I have lost count of how many times I’ve pored over the same pages, been immersed in the same unusual characters and drifted away to the world of Midian. It may not be Barker’s most acclaimed or widely acknowledged work, and as a relatively short piece considered a novella these days, might not be as extensively convoluted as much of his other material, but to me it remains a classic and will forever hold a place as one of those books that leave an indelible mark. It’s one of three books that made me, but for the purpose of this article, it is the book that made me.