CLANS

Finally, after doing pretty much jackshit in the way of writing for the back half of 2019, bar a short story here and there (two to be precise-one for Matt Shaw’s Next Door anthology and a 100 word piece for Kevin Kennedy’s ongoing 100 Word Horrors anthology series) I’ve got another book out.

Technically it was supposed to come out on the first of the year (January 1, 2020), but of course, since I live in the future over here in Australia, it was approved by Amazon faster than I expected and was released December 31, 2019. That wasn’t really the plan at all; I’d have rather put fucking 2019 in the rear-view mirror and been able to kick off the new year with a new release, but whatever…

In any case, the book, as most of you would be well aware by now, is Clans.

CLANS (1)

The story itself will not be entirely new to some people, though I’d imagine not too many will have encountered it before. What it is, is a novella length expansion of a short story originally written for a little read battle anthology Punk Vs Metal.

In its inception the whole idea of Punk Vs Metal was a cool one, and I was pretty excited to be involved in it, and the notion came up when a whole slew of battle anthos were happening. Ultimately though, due to a vast assortment of fuckery and issues with the thing, I ended up hating that fucking book. It was meant to be one of those books where a bunch of judges vote on punk stories pitted against metal stories, and eventually one team would come out victorious, proving which was the best music genre as explored via horror tales. Endless delays on that, alongside line-up changes, people having to drop out, finding replacements, edits delays and all kinds of other shit just soured the whole thing, so I just took all control of it, did all edits, nixed the idea of having judges at all and got the fucking thing out of my hair.

That experience would rank as my least favourite one in working with anthologies, particularly those of the battle variety, and helped in me steering clear of doing anything in the way of running anthos for the foreseeable future. Submitting stories to other anthologies I will continue to do, at least intermittently, but I’ll definitely be picky as fuck as to which ones they’ll be. There are a select few I’d be down for any time-anything put together by Matt Shaw, always-but for the most part I’ll just be concentrating on my own work.

Anyway, the one thing I derived from the whole Punk Vs Metal clusterfuck was the notion for Clans. Due to word limit restraints the tale had to be fairly concise, so even though I was happy with the way it turned out, I always figured I could expand it into more. Whether that meant making it novella length, or even longer, or perhaps even turning it into a series wasn’t clear, but ultimately I turned that particular story in to a novella sized piece. I could, and potentially still will, do much more with the universe I created there, and the ideologies  that exist in there.

Another important point to remember; this tale is not horror at all. Yeah, there are a few horrific parts that crop up here and there, but the genre itself would probably be more aligned with urban than horror, so to most people who read my shit, that might be different, though to me it isn’t. I was dabbling with a whole bunch of different genres way, way back in the mists of time before I decided horror was where I wanted to dwell, and tales revolving around urban settings, disenchanted, reckless city youth and whatnot were things I frequently wrote about.

Further to that, not only is it not horror, but at the heart of it, Clans is some kind of twisted Romeo and Juliet shit, a love story. It’s also got a shitload of other stuff, messages and so forth woven through the narrative, but that’s up to the individual reader to discern what that is all about. It also has a fuckload of heavy metal and punk rock references threaded throughout, and again, that’s up to keen-eyed readers who appreciate those forms of music to spot them.

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Clans is set in a fictional city (most would know that almost all of my cities, towns, locations, in any of my books or stories are always places of my own creation), Mantas. It’s a city that is free of all kinds of the usual discriminations that plague all others world-wide. It is ruled by segregation though, and that segregation has to do with each resident’s musical allegiance. And where your musical preferences lie determine where you reside, who you live with, which group you form part of. Which Clan you belong in.

If you dig metal, you’re a metalhead, dwelling in the inner city with the Metal Clan. If you’re into punk rock, then you’re a Punk, existing amongst those of your own kind.

Which brings us to the core of this tale. Since it was initially written for the Punk Vs Metal antho, the main Clans to feature in here are, of course, Metal and Punk, and the ongoing war between these two factions. Yes, in reality, I’m well aware that such wars don’t really exist any more-not really since around the 80s or so, but hey, remember…fiction here. Metaphors, you get the gist.

This is where the notion of spinning the whole thing out into an ongoing series is brewing, because naturally, punk and metal are certainly not the only two of the clans that share the city of Mantas. There are many, many more, several of which are mentioned in Clans, but don’t play any major part. That’s not to say they won’t some time down the track. We’ll wait and see, but I like the world created here, so there’s a big chance I will expand it even further. Metal is my preferred choice of music, but that doesn’t essentially mean the Metal Clan would be first and foremost in every story/novella/novel/whatever I chose to explore. I might delve into the Rap Vs Dance  feud that is mentioned in this book. Again, before you suggest, that shit isn’t really a thing, suspend your disbelief. Fiction. Fucking fiction.

Mantas is a world where the only divides that exist are between warring groups of musical Clans, so that’s where most key stories are going to spring.

Anyway, enough of that shit. Time to go and check it out, if you haven’t already.

By the way, probably not a great deal, but Clans has also been my first number one bestseller, if one can call it that. It hit number one in Australia, and has also hit the number one new release spot in a few places, which is pretty cool. It doesn’t mean a shitload to me, but it is still interesting to see considering I was essentially out of the game for a good half of last year, so to have the first book I drop in quite some time rack up a good rank in a day or so after release is a good feeling.

Especially considering it isn’t really a new book per se, just an expansion of an existing (and not very widely read) story, one that adds a little more history and back story, and fleshes out characters a fraction more than an antho short tale would allow.

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Also (and admit it, you knew this was coming), since this is a tale that revolves very heavily around music, stay tuned for a playlist coming very, very soon. Already got one ready to roll-an extensive one of course, since all the songs that crop up throughout, either clearly referred to, or woven into the fabric of the narrative would take longer to listen to than actually reading the book-so that will be going up some time after this does.

Welcome to Mantas. A city unlike any other under the sun. A city not beset with any discrimination bar that between musical preferences. A city ruled by Clans.

 

 

 

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