Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

JUST ANOTHER UPDATE

In the interests of paying a little more attention to this site, I’ll be posting somewhat more regularly around here. Which means you’ll either get something semi-coherent or an utter stream of complete gibberish. For now, we’ll go with an update.

At the tail-end of last year I posted up a pretty comprehensive list of projects and books I planned to work on in 2017, including roughly twelve novels. The good news there is that two of those are just about written (another one-The Sleep, subject of my last post, of course came out in January) and will see the light of day this year. Because these two are both part of a larger project, I’m not at liberty to release anything in the way of details just yet. While I’ve had fun working on these books, they’ve monopolised a lot of time, and honestly, I’ll be glad to get that shit done and squared away. A whole bunch of different factors have meant I haven’t exactly ripped through the latter book in the way I normally would, so trying to get it done has been moderately frustrating. I dig the characters and the story, but to say I’ll be glad to see the back of it is an understatement. While I’ve been pouring what available writing time I have into trying to knock this motherfucker over, I’ve had numerous other projects sitting on the back burner, some with rapidly approaching deadlines. Fair bet there’s a few other things I’d committed to, or wanted to write for, that have had their deadlines elapse now.

Naturally I’ll announce news on these books and release details when I’m able, but for now, rest assured, at least two new books will be coming this year. Initially when I made the list detailing the various novels I had in the works, or plans to delve into, I’d envisioned having a bit more done by this time of year than I have so far, but you know, best laid plans and all that shit…

The various factors and outside aspects that have impacted on my writing time turned this latest book into something of a fucking albatross around my neck, and I’ve felt like I’ve been moving through it more sluggishly than I’d have liked when I actually do get around to doing any scribbling on it. Fortunately, the end is in sight and I can get it cleared and move on to all those other projects that are piling up like a mountain of fucking unpaid bills.

After I finally get that sorted, my first focus will be on a few short stories for various anthologies that have to get written. The bonus there is I have a story lurking insidiously around in my head for the first of those, and ideally I’d have already splattered this one out in fresh blood or what-have-you, but in trying to get the novel completed, I set myself the rule of only working on it until it’s done, so nothing else gets written until then.

Knock those antho commitments out of the way and work shall commence on any number of novels, either already started, or some new fiendish endeavours. One thing is a given. This beast will be in there somewhere…plebspromo3

There will be a sequel to Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger somewhere in the mix too, but that will probably be considered sometime after Plebs 3. I did mention on Facebook at some stage that some folks might get to be in one of these two books, at least in terms of appearing as a character, or having a character named after them etc. etc. I recall a pile of people commenting on that particular status nominating themselves to be in the books, but shit, that was a fair while ago and rather than scrolling through the fuckload of posts that have saturated my timeline since then, I might need to do a refresher and see who was keen to get themselves deepsixed (maybe) in either Plebs 3 or The Zombie Trigger 2. Or maybe something else. Who knows?

In other news, the brutal juggernaut that is Rejected For Content will continue to stampede over all and sundry with no remorse, no regard and certainly no signs of slowing down. I made mention of a new disturbing entity that I have brewing which led some to question whether this was going to be something of a replacement for RFC. Short answer, no. Long answer, fuck no.

GET REJECTED(3)

Rejected For Content has so many more stories to tell, so many dark corners and recesses to explore, and so many stones to overturn, so there’s no end in sight for that monstrosity. Again, in the interests of involving readers and fans of the series, I might throw open the potential naming or theming of Rejected For Content, to those very people. In fact I already did toss it out there to gauge reactions and see what sort of despicable shit people were keen on seeing for number 6, but nothing officially set in stone. I’ll return to that when the time is right to start building momentum for the RFC machine. So, for all those who fear that Rejected For Content was on it’s last legs, or out the door, or about to fuck off out of here, no need to worry at all. Not only is the open call for RFC6 going to be happening, but so too will something else RFC related. The latter will potentially occur before anything RFC6 does; we’ll see.

As for the other WetWorks entity I made mention of just above and on Facebook leading to those queries about RFC, well, this isn’t going to be a replacement, it’s going to be something completely different and something to run alongside Rejected For Content. I’m looking forward to divulging some information about this, but again, I’m waiting to do that until I clear some projects. I will say this though; it will be extreme, it will be controversial and without doubt it is bound to upset some folks and ruffle a few feathers. I haven’t yet decided whether it is going to be thrown open, or if it will be invite-only, but I am leaning toward the latter. Which means, as I stated on the Facebook status, that some time shortly, I will be actively seeking for collusion and involvement from suitably deranged, disturbed, extreme, perverse sanguinary scribes. I already have a mental list of folk I’m keen on asking-or should that be a list of mentals?-which is why I’m a little keener on making the project an invite-only thing. Primarily because I know that the folk I’m interested in asking to be part of it, can write the type of material I’ll be seeking. Extreme inkslingers who aren’t afraid to get dirty, bloody, offensive, yeah, you get the gist.

That isn’t to say I won’t throw it open at some later stage, we’ll wait and see how this excursion into extremity pans out. As I said, I’m anticipating that it will stir some people up, but then again, everything does these days.

dual depravity initial wrap

Dual Depravity hasn’t been forgotten either; there will be more volumes of that forthcoming at some stage down the track, with various authors getting involved for those books, but for now, fucking projects, lots of projects. Not enough time to get everything done, and of course, me claiming to ease back on the anthos and concentrate on novels this year worked out a treat didn’t it? Committed myself to a pile of those…

Anyway, that’s enough of that. One more chapter to write on this novel and I’m done, so best I get to that.

JIM GOFORTH HORROR AUTHOR(6)

THE SLEEP

As if I needed any more proof that I sorely neglect this WordPress site, how about this? My most recent novel came out in January, and here it is mid-May, and I haven’t mentioned shit about it over here. In my defence, I maintain an assortment of different pages and profiles, and more often than not, this is the one which gets left to rot and fester. In any case, best rectify that now.

January 2017 saw the release of my first novel for the year (there will be at least a couple more coming out this year, but those are still under wraps as far as providing details for them goes). This of course, as most people should already know (unless you use this site to keep update on news-in that case, you wouldn’t have a clue), was The Sleep.

TheSleepFront

This book is my spin on a creature feature of sorts, a monster tale, albeit written in my usual grindhouse splatterpunk style, though it probably is a little more accessible to mainstream horror fans than some of my previous works have been. That isn’t to say it has been toned down in any context, more of a case of the story not quite warranting some of the things that have appeared in prior books.

Here’s the synopsis

Obscure urban legends and monstrous myths abound all over the internet, and none are more obscure or bizarre than the one purported to haunt the strange, remote and oddly named town of Growling and its surrounds.
Here, the communities are plagued by freakish weather phenomena, aberrant lightning and something even worse that arrives in the midst of these irregular storms. Here, all denizens adhere stringently with the unwritten rules of what they all know as The Sleep. Here, the way of life for folk is dictated to by the BeastStorms.
When a group of friends, including an amateur horror film maker, an urban legend and supernatural enthusiast, a sceptic and a journalist, among others, stumble across the vague tale online, each have their own reasons for wanting to discover the veracity of the peculiar legend.
Now, they are on a road trip that’s taken them thousands of miles from their comfortable city existences and right into the domain of The Sleep. Where mistrusting, superstitious locals patrol the neighbourhoods in packs with ominous warnings for intruders and unwelcome passers-through. Where dissenters are run out of town to live as outcasts on the fringes of civilization. Where repercussions are severe for those who don’t take heed of warnings to abide by the rules of the land.
Where unholy storms unlike anything ever experienced before, dredge up something more than insane weather. Something monstrous.
Every so often, among all those many legends easily explainable, or proved to be nothing more than pure hoax, there’s one with more than a kernel of truth to it.

One like the BeastStorms.

The whole concept of this tale is one I’ve had in my head for quite some time, and it was all originally derived from one single image (the base image you see on the whole cover wrap-the old dwellings and the sky). Elements were added by cover artist Michael Fish Fisher to further enhance the aesthetics and fit the theme of the book, but the base image itself, prior to any of that, was enough to conjure up the story in my head before I even started writing it, at least in terms of the mythos, what happened when the Storms came and how people dealt with that. Like most of my work, I didn’t plan it or outline it in any way, shape or form; I had the initial characters, what their motivations were and as usual, I threw them into monstrous situations and let them see how-or if-they could come out of it. Unlike the majority of my other books, I did have some idea on how it was going to end, though even that took something of a turn along the way. In any case, here’s a few things folks have been saying about it.
“The Sleep is a combination of a novel and a horror movie which goes in gonzo directions and yet it all makes sense in the end. This is what novels are supposed to do. As horror, when the evil erupts in almost atomic bomb explosion with everyone in its sights, expect the worst for the worst is there spilling with blood, death, and decapitations. The monsters, both human and monsters, are monsters with little pity.”
Goforth layers his novel with violence, and gore, but there’s a compelling story here. That’s what makes The Sleep so good. It’s a dark, gritty novel that reminds us that it’s the things we can’t see that are the most terrifying. When it comes to horror no one writes like Goforth. This is a guy that takes the genre back to it’s early days of true terror, and suspense, and writes like a man possessed. This is the future of horror and each novel gets him one step closer to mainstream success.”
Jim Goforth never holds back and always packs a hell of a punch.”
If you like horror stories and can handle gore, I highly recommend this entertaining book!”
I have a lot of respect for the writing of Jim Goforth. He can take an action scene, draw you in, keep you gasping for breath, and turn the whole situation in another unexpected direction. This is what he does in The Sleep.
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If any of that sounds right up your alley, snag a copy of The Sleep and check it out. Feel free to drop a review off on Amazon and let me know your thoughts. Good, bad or ugly, all reviews are appreciated.

From the author of Plebs and Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger.

Seven intrepid travellers. One obscure tale. One hell of a storm of nightmares.

Some urban legends are true.

http://smarturl.it/thesleep

Another Sleep promo3
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Author Interview: Jim Goforth

Posted: January 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

Jim Goforth is a horror author currently based in Holbrook, Australia. Happily married with two kids and a cat, he has been writing tales of horror since the early nineties. After years of detourin…

Source: Author Interview: Jim Goforth

WRITING WRAP 2016

2016 has been a prick of a year, not just for a handful of people, but seemingly for most folk across the board. With more ups and downs than a rollercoaster (probably more of those downs), it’s pretty apparent that this is a year most people are keen to see the back of, but that’s not really the purpose of this post. Rather than dwell on any of the less than exemplary experiences that have occurred, either personally, or for many others, this is my 2016 writing wrap.

And in terms of writing, personal output and achievements, 2016 was a stellar year for me.

With the exception of only April, May and June, I had something happening in each month of the year, whether it was the release of novels, stories appearing in anthologies or part of the ongoing Rejected For Content series. In some instances there were at least a couple of things each month with October and December being particularly productive.

My initial thoughts way back in the day that I’d try and follow a template of releasing a novel, then a collection, then novel and following that pattern went way out the window considering I had three novels come out in 2016 and no collections. Granted, two of those full lengths were two separate halves of the same story, and released simultaneously, but all the same, they were lengthy beasts and simply not feasible to put out as one book. As for collections, while I do have a pile of stories to comprise collections, not all of them are brand new and with the amount of anthologies I’ve been involved in, undoubtedly there would be reprints. My stance on collections remains the same-until one is a massively established writer with a whole host of things under their belt, putting out a collection largely comprised of reprints folks have probably already read is a rort. Save that for your greatest hits album. When you’re at the stage of making a greatest hits album, that is. Not a mere couple of years or less into a career. In any case, a collection made up of mostly new stories and a few reprints from niche anthologies and lesser read publications will be on the agenda for next year, but we’ll see what happens with that and where it fits in among all the other things planned for 2017.

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I kicked off the year in January with the release of extreme metal zombie opus Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger. Being a splatterpunk/extreme horror take on the whole zombie genre with a constant soundtrack and proliferation of primarily black and death metal driving it, this was always going to be something of a niche book likely to appeal to specific audiences, but a having it reviewed in Metal Hammer magazine was a distinct highlight. Unfortunately with the collapse of Team Rock, it’s likely Metal Hammer and other long-running magazines under that particular blanket won’t exist anymore, so any sequels spawned from Undead Fleshcrave won’t be finding themselves reviewed in those pages.

February saw the release of the very first in a line of battle anthologies, that being the M v F (Male vs Female) books, where a team of male authors captained by John Ledger was pitted against a team of female authors led by Catt Dahman. Simple rules were put in place here; each team were given specific items that had to play a part in their story and a location which it needed to be based in or around, and then each story was voted on by a group of impartial judges with no knowledge on who wrote what. Two books were spawned from this competition, MvF: Deadliest of the Species and MvF: Death Personified. You can catch my tale Lancet, in that latter book.

This was the first of three battle type anthologies I appeared in over the course of 2016, with the other two coming at the tail-end of the year in VS: US vs UK Horror and VampZ vz WolvZ.

In March, the second volume of Tales From the Lake from the always fantastic Crystal Lake Publishing finally emerged after a period of delay (the book was originally slated to be released mid-2015). The story I wrote for this one, Lagos de los Perdidos, was something of a complete departure to my usual splatterpunk, ultra-violent, more extreme end of the scale type material, centering more on a dark emotional side of things. I was one of the judges for the Tales From the Lake competition and almost forgot I was supposed to write a story for the book as well, so this one was written in a mere night or so. All the same, it was definitely one of my favourite stories of the many I penned during the year, and tapped into a different approach to horror, or what most folk might have come to expect from me.

Earlier on I’d jumped onboard with Matt Shaw’s ideas for an Easter themed horror anthology and March also saw the release of that holiday beast, Easter Eggs and Bunny Boilers. In the cheery little tale of mine, When a Bunny Snaps, I introduced a quaint establishment called Fantasy Dress, a costume themed restaurant/bar/club where each holiday of the calendar year sees the female staff dressing appropriately to match said holiday. This was intended to be a one-off, but Matt also pulled together many of the same authors who’d appeared in Bunny Boilers as well as multiple big hitters of the genre for a Christmas antho (or rather, an anti-Christmas antho), so the chance to revisit Fantasy Dress and drop them into festive fuckery was too good to pass up. I’d originally started writing a completely different Christmas horror story and then left it to pen a completely new one which would focus around Fantasy Dress instead.

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In the next few months, I was mostly busy with working on the follow-up books to Plebs and the fourth volume of the Rejected For Content series. In July, Rejected For Content 4: Highway To Hell burst forth in a fiery inferno of the grotesque and the grisly, and in the following month, the sequels to Plebs finally appeared, over two years since that first book (and my debut novel) was released. Riders was split into two books (Riders: Plebs 2-Book One and Riders: Plebs 2-Book Two) because it was an enormous sonofabitch on completion, well over the 180k length that Plebs was. It simply wasn’t viable to put it out as one book, even after extensive cuts. In any case, readers who are familiar with Plebs might, or might not, know what to expect from these books. Brutal, explicit, bloody, yeah, you know the drill. Or if not, dive in and see what it’s all about. Those who have managed to catch up with the latest exploits of the Riders are already calling for a return, so rest assured, that will be on the agenda at some time in the future, hopefully sooner rather than later. Those who have read Plebs, but haven’t yet ventured into Riders, best get into it now.

I was initially planning to write a bit of a spiel on each tale I had published during the year, but as is generally the case, I’m pretty pressed for time as it is, with projects banking up for the new year and it’s fair to say I’ve been a little slack with writing much of anything over the Christmas period, so I’ve got a hell of a lot I need to get done. So with that in mind, rather than go into any more detail, I will just post a list of everything that came out during the year. You’ll be able to see from that list, the rest of the year was pretty hectic as well, particularly around the end of it. I’ll revisit some of the stories I didn’t get around to saying anything about later, but for now I’ve messed around enough in the way of not getting solid words written on anything productive the last week or so.

So, without any more preamble, here’s the list of published works I had, or appeared in, during 2016. Story names from anthologies listed in italics.

Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger January 8 (novel)

M v F: Death Personified (Males vs Females Book 2)Lancet Feb 27

Tales From the Lake Vol 2Lago de los Perdidos, Mar 11

Easter Eggs and Bunny Boilers: A Horror AnthologyWhen a Bunny Snaps, Mar 27

Rejected For Content 4: Highway to Hell July 15 Editor

Riders: Plebs 2-Book One Aug 20 (novel)

Riders: Plebs 2-Book Two Aug 20 (novel)

Drowning in GoreMarshlands Malice, Sep 20

TrashedStrange Old Brew, Oct 3

Dual Depravity Volume One (WetWorks Presents)-with John Ledger Oct 7

Horror Anthology 2016 (Moon Books Presents)-Cavedwellers, Oct 13

Full Moon SlaughterHour of the Wolf, Nov 1

Bah Humbug! An Anthology of Christmas Horror StoriesMental Elf, Nov 27

VS: US vs UK Horror Line Dancing at Hack House, Dec 1

Rejected For Content 5: Sanitarium Dec 8, Editor

VampZ vz WolvZDinner Interruptus, Dec 14

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Fairly reasonable year happening there, a lot of stuff got done. And although I say the same thing every single year, regarding cutting down on anthologies and focusing on my novel projects and so forth, I’ve already committed myself to a pile next year, so rest assured you will see a list of similar length, or even longer, surface around this time in 2017.

Here’s a brief rundown of projects earmarked for next year or ones I’m already working on (or at least those projects I’m at liberty to disclose right now).

January 2017 will have a monstrous start to it. First cab off the rank for me is going to be The Sleep, a new novel that isn’t affiliated with Plebs, Undead Fleshcrave or anything like that at all. Instead, it’s something completely different, a creature feature if you will, or monster type book, albeit soaked in my grindhouse splatterpunk stylings.

Then there will be an appearance with a bonus short story in Matt Shaw’s highly anticipated release The Devil’s Guests, out in February. I will also be appearing in another of Matt’s projects later on in the year, a huge project that already has a hell of an excellent line-up with more authors slated to join the TOC over the coming months.

Alongside a host of anthologies which haven’t yet had details released to the public, I’ll also have stories in Suburban Secrets 3: Home Invasion, Sweet Dreams from Anthology House and another VS project, and that’s just a few of those I can make mention of, two of which are already written for and sorted, ready to roll. No doubt there are also going to be myriad open calls spring up throughout the year I’ll be interested in submitting to, so that resolve to steer clear of anthologies is just something I’m going to concede is probably never likely to happen.

There will also be no less than three Rejected For Content creations (and only one of these will be the next volume in the series-that will be number 6, currently untitled. I’m thinking I may involve fans of the series to conjure up what sort of loose theme they’d like to see explored).

I already mentioned another collection, and depending on how much time I end up with to be able to put it together, that could see the light of day in 2017. I have a body of new stories, as well as those aforementioned reprints from publications that didn’t receive a wide readership on release, that will comprise said new collection.

Aside from that, Dual Depravity Volume Two (with Dawn Cano) will be happening, and I also have plans for a musical-themed anthology focusing on a specific band (and either one of their classic albums, or drawing inspiration from several of their albums). There are actually numerous bands and albums I’d love to be able to do anthologies revolving around in this manner, but again, time is a factor. Deadlines for other projects are already looming, so the focus is going to have to be with them first, then we’ll see where I end up.

In terms of novels, here’s a brief rundown on what I’m working on or will be working on over the course of the year. At this point in time only The Sleep is a definite release but two of the following have deadlines and are slated for 2017 release, so you can expect no less than three novels from me, maybe more. (Most of these are working titles only and are subject to change)

The Sleep

Carnival (abbreviated title)

Festival (abbreviated title)

Tyler Flynn

Plebs 3

Global Death: The Zombie Trigger 2

Murder Academy

Aground

Johnny Fox and the Werewolves

Neighborhood

Lycan Gang

Degenerate Children

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There are also some plans to venture back into worlds already established in a couple of previously published short stories and make full length novels, or at very least novellas, from them, but again, we’ll see if time permits that or whether they’ll become future projects further down the track.

That’s a rough idea of how many novels I already have started work on, completed work on or am near to completing, and that’s without being beset by new ideas. Without a doubt I’ll also be compelled to randomly start new novels out of the blue which aren’t on this list or have absolutely nothing to do with any of the works or planned works already mentioned. That’s how inspiration hits me. Could be the slightest thing, a single picture, a snippet of conversation, a song, anything, and I’ll have the ideas for a new book cooking up a horrific story. The whole idea of The Sleep sprang from one single image and it’s not unusual for me to find an entire book right there in one solitary picture.

I also meant to make mention of this earlier on, but naturally got carried away with talking gibberish. 2016 also saw me crack the top 100 in Most Popular Horror Authors on Amazon, which is largely due to that prolific output, as well as the Rejected For Content series and appearances in a string of successful anthologies. Reaching number 68 has been my peak so far, but I’ve been in there for a month or so, so we’ll see if I can round out the year by staying in there and climbing higher next year with a slew of bloodsoaked releases.

Stay tuned. 2017 is going to be a hell of a ride.

 

 

 

 

 

THE REJECTED FOR CONTENT PHENOMENON

Now that the doors to the Sanitarium have been opened wide and the fifth volume of the Rejected For Content series is out in the world, spreading insanity far and wide, I figured it was time to have a little retrospective into the Rejected For Content phenomenon.

What is Rejected For Content?

Well, unless you’ve been living on the moon, or under a rock, or in some other way out of the loop, chances are you may have heard of it. Although it is perfectly viable that you haven’t heard of it at all; after all, the phenomenon isn’t exactly something aimed at all audiences. It isn’t something normal folk who don’t have a penchant for the extreme would be inclined to seek out or investigate.

So what is it? Quite simply it started out as a simple discussion, a notion, an idea to create a place where those stories deemed too offensive, objectionable, disturbing or horrific for various reasons to be published by the majority of publishers could find themselves a home. Essentially, it was to become a suitable outlet for tales that had been, or were likely to be, rejected on the grounds of content.

A small collective of authors were originally involved in the general banter which soon switched from mere discussion to plans and suggestions for a specific anthology. These folk included the likes of Catt Dahman, Scott Essel Pratt, Michael Fisher, Amanda Lyons, Mark Woods and myself. A conversation was mostly revolving around extreme horror and during the course of it I was making mention of the fact that I had a story submitted somewhere that I was pretty sure was going to be rejected on the basis of its content. That story, House of the Goat Monster, was later actually accepted for the publication I’d submitted it to (Ghosts: An Anthology of Horror From the Beyond) and more recently has resurfaced in Dual Depravity Volume One, but from that off-hand remark sprang the discussion that led to the creation of Rejected For Content. Michael Fisher knocked up a cover concept, a call for submissions was opened up and the wheels were set in motion.

It was bold, it was an experimental venture, it was risky, it was a gamble. And it dropped at the perfect time. Into a sea of readers keen to be launched into realms of extremity. This was only a mere couple of years ago.

Extreme horror was not new then by any means; it’s been around for a long time indeed, but its popularity was, and still is, continuing to rise. Folks love the extreme, they dig it, they want to be immersed in it and they can’t get enough of it, and though different things, fads, whatever you want to call them, are going to shift in and out of fashion, extreme horror has entrenched itself solidly and it’s not about to go away any time soon. And what’s more, those stories that were getting knocked back by publishers on the grounds of content that mere couple of years ago, would now stand a much better chance of getting published by those same publications that shied away from them in the first place. Because extreme horror sells. People want it. They crave it. They love it.

The submissions flowed in for Rejected For Content, and they ran the gamut from subtle to outright shockingly gruesome, displaying just how many different levels there are to the concept. What is, or should be, rejected on the basis of the content, doesn’t essentially require it to be an utter bloodbath or a murky mire of depravity and perversion, it can simply be something that is disturbing and disquieting through suggestion alone, enough to make your mind conjure up worse things than what’s already been spilled on the pages.

Catt Dahman helmed this first volume (which later ended up with the subtitle Splattergore), while I assisted and advised with stories, and chased bios and things along those lines. There were no theme limits (and even to this day, despite the various subtitles that were attached to ensuing volumes, Rejected For Content remains an open theme venture), which meant folks were free to run wild with their imaginations, or of course, submit those stories that had been knocked back from other places, whatever they happened to be about. Horror, bizarro, erotica, or even some strange melange of all the above were perfectly acceptable and continue to be.

And surprise, surprise, the audacious gamble paid off. Readers loved the concept, they loved the inclusion of the rejection letters with each author’s contribution, they loved to be frightened, horrified, appalled, disturbed…all those things horror should make the reader feel.

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http://smarturl.it/RejectedForContent

However, the purpose of Rejected For Content wasn’t a solitary one. It was multi-fold.

Not only was RFC intended to become a home for those difficult to place outlandish, shocking stories with their desire to approach the unapproachable or to delve into topics and material few would be game to consider, it was a place where these stories could convey messages despite the often outrageous content. These weren’t just tales designed to shock for the sake of shock, or to be explicit and ultra-violent just in order to be extreme, they carried an undercurrent of commentary and societal reflections within their grisly or provocative trappings, things to make you ponder and contemplate. Unfortunately there are those who misconstrue writing extreme horror as an excuse to spill buckets of blood or plumb the depths of perversion without bothering to anchor any semblance of a story to it, but that wasn’t the case here.

On top of that RFC served as a place where new and upcoming writers could have an opportunity to get a foot in the door. Publishing might be a hell of a lot easier in some contexts to get into these days, at least in comparison to several decades ago (when I first had a bash at getting work published), but there are still certain expectations, levels of writing, all manner of things to consider and it’s tough for new writers to try and crack. Easier doesn’t mean easy. So with that in mind, RFC also existed to allow some exposure to be spotlighted on some of these folks. In some ways it also served as a launching pad of sorts for several, some who have managed to crop up prevalently over the whole course of the series, some who appeared in perhaps just the one volume. After all, repeating the same table of contents (at least in terms of author names) wouldn’t allow for anything fresh, or new names to appear. Naturally there are multiple repeat offenders and a rare few have the distinction of appearing in every single volume thus far.

This inaugural volume featured tales from many of those involved in the original discussions, including Essel Pratt, Michael Fisher, Mark Woods and yours truly as well as introducing the likes of Toneye Eyenot and featuring some truly worthy pieces from folks like Jason Hughes and Kevin MacLeod.

After the surprise success of Splattergore-or perhaps it wasn’t such a surprise, since it was a unique concept dropped right amidst the scene in all its filthy, shocking, brutal and jarring glory that folks were keen to embrace-it was a given that a follow-up book would be planned. Midway through the process of this was when I took over the series (which is why I also have a story appearing in said book-I’d already written it with RFC2 in mind and had it accepted) and again, the tales creeping in for this one were a wildly diverse bunch that covered all bases, from the quietly disturbing to the brutally affronting. Writers embraced the concept with whole-hearted gruesome glee and readers did likewise. Once more, and as it always will be, the theme was wide open to interpretation, meaning if you had a story that was likely to be rejected because of the content or already had been previously, no matter what it was about, then it was a potential fit for what I later termed the Aberrant Menagerie. A zoo full of freakish exhibits, a collection of the unusual and the horrifying.

The same template established in the first volume, the same reasons for existing, the same ideology was present in Rejected For Content 2. Rejection letters, actual or otherwise creatively conjured up, would be part of the book and have become one of those quirky little aspects that have vastly appealed to readers and are here for the duration.

More importantly though, the stories carried messages, cautionary concepts or presented ideas and notions designed not to just horrify you, but to make you think. Again, there were opportunities for new and upcoming writers to join the RFC brigade. A blend of established inkslingers and unknowns delivered stories essentially deemed unfit to be published on the grounds of content. Nothing was taboo here. Censoring horror is counterproductive and unnecessary sanitization of a genre which, as its very name suggests, should be horrific. It should invoke feelings of dread, or fear, apprehension, terror, even disgust and shock. Which probably explains a little of the success of the series. There are no boxes here to try and fit in, no stone left unturned, no dark corner which can’t be explored, no layers that can’t be sliced and peeled away.

There weren’t just stories here, there were works of poetry (the first volume also contained poems), displaying that less words, or shorter entities could convey just as much of those requisite sensations experienced when reading these books as lengthier stories could.

Toneye Eyenot, Essel Pratt and Amanda Lyons (who are the only three recidivists with the distinction of being in each book of the whole series to date) resurfaced in the Aberrant Menagerie; we had names such as Christine Morgan and Michael Noe dipping into depths of depravity.

The Aberrant Menagerie opened for business in April of 2015 and remains in the top 100 Horror Anthologies today, albeit dropping out now and then, only to resurface with renewed venom and vigour.

rejected2

http://smarturl.it/RFC2

Given the fact that the first book and the second one appeared in 2014 and 2015 respectively, one might assume that the ensuing volume would surface in the following year, but in the grand scheme of things, the span of time between the two wasn’t exactly one whole year. What was more, folks wanted more. No, they needed more. Craved more. Which brings us to Rejected For Content 3: Vicious Vengeance.

This beast also marked the beginning of something of a new trend in the series, where a themed subtitle presented more focus on specific subject matter, at least loosely. To begin with, this wasn’t a conscious decision. Like the two predecessors, RFC3 wasn’t given any title until after I’d compiled the stories and pieced the book together, but it was as I was going through the various submissions that I noticed a high proportion of them received for this call revolved around themes of revenge and vengeance. While the whole concept of Rejected For Content remained open theme, this high occurrence of vengeful tales meant the opus pretty much named itself.

Some very familiar faces made themselves known yet again with Toneye Eyenot, who up until this point had been a regular contributor of poetry, unleashing a stunning story of brutal vengeance to open proceedings and set the scene for what was to follow in a deluge of darkness. Powerhouses K. Trap Jones and The Sisters of Slaughter (Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason) were on-board for this too with tales to eviscerate and decimate, as were a host of newcomers who brought all kinds of weird and wonderful to the table, from more subtly nuanced pieces to the utter gory filth we love at RFC, albeit once more with multiple layers to each composition. Some of these names such as Brent Lorentson, G. Zimmerman and Matthew Weber would return in later volumes, penning truly intriguing stories that most definitely belonged in the establishment known as Rejected For Content.

Michael Fisher, the man responsible for the artwork of both previous volumes was back to create the cover for this one too, with the dark greys, browns and blacks of those two supplanted here by striking blue/purples and bright bold red.

rfc-cover-small

http://smarturl.it/Rejected3

 

Nine months after the release of Vicious Vengeance, another bestial, bloody, hellish RFC baby was spawned. This entity built on the foundations laid in volume three and went one further, by actually having a subtitle set in place prior to the book being put together. This was courtesy of cover artist Michael Fisher who was playing around with ideas for a future RFC cover and created one with the subtitle to match. Thus, Highway to Hell was born.

This time, despite keeping the overall theme as an open one, I made mention of the fact that I would be specifically seeking for some of the submissions to address this subtitle in some way, however folks chose to interpret that or involve some highway to hell, actual or metaphorical, was completely up to them. Plenty of sanguinary scribes rose to the occasion and delivered all manner of good stuff, from a literal walk through hell, to suggestions of mental hells, to folks whose deeds meant they would surely be guaranteed a berth in any perceived hell. Splatterpunk scribes such as David Owain Hughes, John Ledger, K. Trap Jones and others brought the extreme, newcomer Eric LaRocca brought one of the most intriguing stories we’ve seen to date, T.S. Woolard shredded souls with a short, sharp gut-punch of a tale and the whole volume itself made for one hell of a fucked up road trip into the pit (both mental and actual). A blend of seasoned pros and fresh faces was again the order of the day, the same ideals of strong stories with more than just shock factor were present and accounted for.

rfc4cover

http://smarturl.it/Rejected4

Which finally brings us to where we’re at in the series now. The recently released Rejected For Content 5: Sanitarium. By now, the template where we have a subtitle prior to the open call, has been set in place, so while an open theme policy remains consistent, a focus on stories which in some way, no matter how tenuous, adhere to that whole Sanitarium idea, was encouraged. This meant I wanted tales of craziness, insanity, institutions, folks who should be incarcerated in them or whose actions meant they’d end up there sooner or later. And that was precisely what I got, in all kinds of lurid interpretations. The creativity and imaginations of folks out there is astounding, brilliant and captivating, and it’s always fascinating to give these people a simple focal point and see just how differently they all choose to approach it. Consequently, while Rejected For Content will always stay as an open themed entity (not sure I’ve said that often enough in this whole look back on the phenomenon, so best to say it once more), the whole notion of putting a subtitle to the book beforehand or pointing out that I’ll be after a proportion of stories related in some manner to said subtitle gives people something to focus on. Their interpretation, how they elect to approach it or whether they even want to adhere to it at all is all part of the fun, and one of the things that makes Rejected For Content so vibrant, fresh and so much fun to be involved with.

So when the doors to the Sanitarium finally cracked open, there was insanity abounding. Old hands at this Rejected For Content business were lurking in the corridors and new inmates were ushered in and shown to their rooms, where it was either going to be a case of straitjackets or lobotomies. K. Trap Jones, Essel Pratt, Toneye Eyenot booked themselves padded cells, and we welcomed back repeat offenders such as Brent Lorentson, G. Zimmerman and David Owain Hughes, while newcomers J.L Lane, Tamara Fey Turner and Mark Nye brought their own special breeds of insanity.

I coined the simple phrase Get Rejected a while back in the series, and this time I added Go Insane to that. It was fair to say that all those who were admitted to the Sanitarium certainly did that. In fact, they should all be institutionalised.

rfc5-front_1

http://smarturl.it/rfcsanitarium

So, where to from here when it comes to Rejected For Content? Well, you will all have to wait and see, but there are most definitely plenty of plans and plenty of places we have yet to go. I can’t foresee this wrapping up any time soon. I love Rejected For Content and at this point in time, there’s no end in sight. In fact, soon I might be calling on fans of the series to be involved in various future endeavours. For now, be sure to check in to the Sanitarium and catch up on the latest installment. And wonder just where we’re going to end up next.

 

rfcallofthem

 

PhotoFunia-1440502810

 

New Horror Anthologies for Charity:

VS: US vs UK Horror/Bah! Humbug! An Anthology of Christmas Horror Stories

 

In opposition to the last post I made here, now I get to talk about some of the truly awesome stuff that goes on in the horror community. And what could be more awesome than not just one, but two, brilliant new anthologies packed full of some of the best horror inkslingers in the game right now, both of which will be donating all proceeds from their sales to charity?

Well, that’s precisely what’s going on with the two very recently released books, VS: US vs UK Horror edited by Queen of Extreme, Dawn Cano and Bah! Humbug! An Anthology of Christmas Horror Stories put together by the UK’s premier extreme horror king, Matt Shaw.

Like I made mention of in that previous post, I had the good fortune to be involved in of both of these books, lining up in two stunning Tables of Contents alongside many of the biggest names in the business, and many bright and brilliant ones to keep a serious eye on. There are true heavyweights of the genre representing it here and there are some who will be carrying the torch for it for many years to come.

vs

First up, we have VS, which stems from a suggestion devised by anthology ideas wizard John Ledger, and fully developed and realised by Dawn Cano. The notion was simple-pit horror authors from the USA against those from the UK in a bid to see who writes the best horror. Authors from Canada and Australia were also added to the respective teams (Canada with US, Aussies with the UK), which will explain why myself and fellow Aussie inkslinger, brother Toneye Eyenot are involved in the whole thing. The latest in a line of anthologies where various teams are matched against one another in story writing battles which are then judged on by a team of impartial judges (who are also not made aware who wrote which story at the time) over a series of rounds, VS bids to answer that age old question. Which country(s) will come out on top in a no-holds barred, brutal, bloody, horrific streetfight? It was an exceedingly close, and hard-fought, battle throughout, and though all of us involved know the final outcome, it’s now up to the readers to delve into the book and see who they’re going to pick each round, and ultimately, overall.

There’s extreme horror, straight down the line classic horror, bizarro, comedic horror and just about everything in between here, and if that isn’t quite enough to sway you into snaring a copy of this book (and the fact that it’s all for charity), then check out this line-up.

Who writes the best horror: the US or the UK? Find out for yourself in VS: US vs UK, a competition anthology featuring some of the year’s best horror, judged by horror enthusiasts and you: the readers.

Featuring Pre-Fight Hype from The Ginger Nuts of Horror and The Eyes of Madness!

The Contenders…
Duncan Ralston vs Rich Hawkins
James Ward Kirk vs Kit Power
Glenn Rolfe vs Lex H. Jones
Tim Miller vs Daniel I. Russel
John Ledger vs Jim Goforth
Essel Pratt vs Daniel Marc Chant
Thomas S. Flowers vs Kyle M. Scott
Jonathan Ondrashek vs David Owain Hughes
T.S. Woolard vs Toneye Eyenot
Michael Noe vs Dani Brown
Sisters of Slaughter vs Matt Hickman
Salome Jones vs Kitty Kane
Peter Oliver Wonder vs Kevin J Kennedy

Cover art by Michael Bray

The book is available to purchase here

myBook.to/VS

There is also a poll going on over here at the publisher (Shadow Work Publishing) where those who have read the stories are able to vote on which particular story in each round they considered the winner, so if you’ve already feasted your eyes on the various tales, best get around there and vote on them all.

http://www.shadowworkpublishing.com/vs-voting

All proceeds from the purchase of this book will be donated to the Second Chance Center for Animals (US) and the West Wales Poundies Dog Rescue (UK) charities.

bahhumbug

 

Then there is Bah! Humbug! An Anthology of Christmas Horror Stories, conceived and conjured up by the one and only Matt Shaw. If you’ve been playing along at home, then you will most likely be aware that earlier in the year (around Easter, funnily enough), The Shaw pulled together a host of stellar names from the horror community to create an anthology of Easter horror stories-no easy feat, considering it’s not the first holiday most folks would associate with the genre. Or so you would think. The resulting Easter Eggs and Bunny Boilers was a hell of a lot of fun and proves that nothing is off-limits for horror scribes, no holiday is sacred, we all have no problem with putting a unique horrific spin on just about anything.

In any case, several of the same names who were involved in that book have now returned, alongside many other big hitters of the horror community, to contribute either reprints or brand new stories created just for an anti-Christmas anthology. Shit, why let Easter have all the fun? Christmas definitely deserves to be lampooned, chopped up, massacred and strewn in brightly coloured segments over all and sundry, and therefore Bah! Humbug! was spawned in unholy nativity. It was a fuckload of work for Matt, with more and more folks jumping on-board and contributing pieces, but it’s come together superbly, and clocks in at over 100k words.

Twenty five authors comprise this mammoth beast, and like VS, these are both some of the best names in the business, as well as many who will be, and the stories (and poems) contributed run the gamut from all out splatterpunk and horror extremity to tongue-in-cheek irreverent pieces.

 

Once more, if this concept (and the proceeds to charity incentive) can’t convince you this is one book you absolutely must have for Christmas, have a look at this line-up
Terry M. West (poem)
Daniel Marc Chant
Mark West
Kit Power
Wrath James White (poem)
David Owain Hughes
Lisa Lane
Kealan Patrick Burke
Billie Sue Mosiman
Jaime Johnesee
J.R Park
Duncan Ralston
Gary McMahon
Michael Bray
Duncan P. Bradshaw
Mark Cassell
Jack Rollins
Mason Sabre
Matt Hickman
Jim Goforth
Charlotte Bond
Sam West
Andrew Freudenberg
Thomas S. Flowers
Matt Shaw

Cover art by Michael Bray

As mentioned earlier, this book is made up of both reprints and originals, and for my own contribution I have an original tale which features a setting some of you may be familiar with. If you have read Easter Eggs and Bunny Boilers, you may recall an establishment called Fantasy Dress which has their own unique ways to celebrate various holidays throughout the year.

Now you can catch up with that place once more, and if you though things went a little awry at Easter, wait until you see what kind of chaos is unfolding around Christmas.

If you haven’t read Easter Eggs and Bunny Boilers, best rectify that immediately, and grab hold of Bah! Humbug! as well.

All monies received from this title go to different charities each month

 

The book is available to purchase here

smarturl.it/bahhumbug

Grab both of these books as soon as possible. Perfect for Christmas. Perfect for the apocalypse. Perfect for any occasion. Get into them now.

mother-of-battles

humbug

 

 

 

 

Random Ruminations

Posted: December 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

Random Ruminations

I rarely talk of, or dwell or concentrate on negative aspects in the writing world. Mainly because there are too many good things going on or I’m too damn busy with myriad projects at any given time. And for the most part, these more unpleasant happenings and occurrences don’t impact on me, have zero effect on my writing or output, book sales or what have you, but I have seen how they impact on friends and create unnecessary ripples and tensions where none should be.

The horror scene is one that is absolutely packed with brilliant people, stellar writers, supportive souls, wonderful fans and folks who will go the extra mile to lend a helping hand to all kinds, be they new writers looking for assistance, people needing some attention drawn to various projects, publishers needing a replacement to jump in on and help out with a suddenly vacant spot for something or other, others just needing general advice on all manner of miscellaneous matters.

One only needs to check out the level of excellence assembled in two very recently released horror anthologies (I’m going to be posting another post after this which will focus solely on these two books) and the people that got themselves involved in these works to realise how wonderful the vast majority of folks in the horror scene are. Because the proceeds of sales from both of these books goes directly to charity and all writers going into these projects were completely aware of this, and dove headlong into them wholeheartedly and gave their all to their stories to create top shelf products that any horror fanatic would be crazy not to get hold of.

I’m proud to be a part of both of these books, but what’s more is, I’m proud to be a part of the horror community. I love it, I love the vast majority of folk in it and I love to be involved in it, in many capacities.

Unfortunately, like most scenes, it isn’t without its pitfalls, negative things and all round general fuckery. (Shit, I come from the metal scenes and sometimes one could hold up a mirror to one scene and see the reflection of the other in it. Fuckery abounds in both).

In the grand scheme of things, it’s a small percentage of bad apples (for lack of a better word), but often that’s still too many. I’m talking sniping, Chinese Whispers, outright lies and slander, petty vendettas, biting the hand that feeds, talking utter rubbish about other writers or publishers, using people for own personal gains, all sorts of bizarre agendas,stepping on anybody possible in a bid to climb to the top and then pretending it was done alone, riding coat-tails, cashing in on the success of others, a lack of any gratitude in various respects, shit I could probably fill a Plebs-sized book with some of the things I’ve heard and/or been witness to. And I hear a lot, so just as in the metal scene, I know what’s going on. Now, I mostly couldn’t give a fuck about this; I observe, I see what’s what and I know who will either come crashing down or find themselves boxed in without any real other avenues out, but as I mentioned, some of this fuckery has either impacted on friends or associates of mine, or been detrimental in some way. Ultimately, regardless who it impacts on, it’s not cool.

You might be a brand new fledgling writer looking to get yourself out there, looking to get known or acknowledged. Don’t bite the hands of anybody if they’ve been extended to help you in any capacity.

You might have parted ways with a publisher for one reason or another. Unless that’s some serious shit going on which probably should end up in court, or there’s some major fucking money issues, don’t badmouth them to all and sundry.

You might be an established writer who had plenty of assistance, tips, help and pointers to get you headed on the right direction. You might suddenly blow up and become an overnight success, or some such shit. You might be the next big thing. Don’t forget where you came from. Because even if you do, all those you stepped on, on the way up, sure as hell won’t forget.

You might be too easily swayed by others’ opinions. Fuck that. Form your own opinion.

Be careful about what bridges you burn. Some of those motherfuckers aren’t going to be rebuilt. The old once bitten twice shy adage works well here. People don’t like to be associated with somebody who has proved untrustworthy or too eager to shoot off their mouth half-cocked.

You might have issues with others in your community, well, that’s always going to happen, whatever the community. Either sort it out, or just move along. Agree to disagree. Some folks will never see eye to eye, and who cares to? Not everybody can be friends, not everybody will be friends, but there is an ability for most adults with a capacity for lateral thinking to be able to coexist. If there’s an issue, you can address it or you can choose to get on with life without making it the focus of your existence. Dredging up shit and beating it like a red-headed stepchild is tedious, counter-productive and a waste of time for everybody that gets dragged into it, directly or otherwise. Any of the random shit I’ve had the misfortune of somehow being indirectly involved with is precisely this, though it doesn’t hinder my writing or other work at all. It’s just like that fucking mosquito that keeps buzzing around your head when you’re trying to sleep. You’ll fall asleep eventually, but not before you wish you could splatter that motherfucker against the wall.

Most of all of this bullshit is white noise to me and I treat it as such, but since not all people would feel that way, I wouldn’t suggest they try to tune it out. There’s some pretty insidious stuff that goes on at times, some bollocks and slanderous rubbish that spins completely out of control, some of it impossible to ignore. After all, even white noise can get pretty fucking aggravating when it’s incessant.

Can’t we all just get along, you say? Nah, fuck that too. There are people who I would intentionally choose not to get along with, because they’ve revealed their penchant for inane fuckery, and agendas both hidden and not so hidden which detract from writing and serve no benefit, or in any way aid the overall community. So, no I’d never suggest we all try and get along, because that is an impossible scenario with too many different personalities that are bound to clash under any given circumstances. All I would suggest is if you are in it to write, then write. If you’re in it for any other reason, fuck off out of here.

If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a million times and I suspect I’ve got at least another million times to say it. I write because I love to write. Point blank. Simple. I make money out of what I write, but that’s a bonus added to the love of writing. It’s always cool seeing people appreciate and dig the stories I write, and knowing they have similar tastes to me because I’m writing the tales that I love to read.

I submit to paying markets, I submit to non-paying markets, I write for charity, I write books because I have thousands of stories in me I want to tell. Bottom line. I didn’t walk into this expecting I’d sell my first story for a bajillion dollars and swan out of it rich. If you’re in it for that purpose, then probably best to fuck off out of it right now too (I think I’m horribly mangling a similar statement made by Jack Ketchum in that regard). In fact I didn’t even start with stories, I started off with a novel, and even then I didn’t go into it thinking it was a money making enterprise. I subbed it because it was a book I loved writing and I wanted to share the story with others, and that’s still a prime factor in writing stories today. I love telling stories and if I’m getting paid for some of them, sweet. If I’m subbing them to help out others, then I’m supremely cool with that too. I’ve no problem building up a great resume of writing publications and credits, and if there’s no money in some of them, so be it. So many people out there are staunchly against non-paying markets, and that’s all well and good, each to their own. At some stage in a writer’s career, they’ll be able to consider that and pick and choose, and be a little more selective, but coming straight out of the gate and thinking you’re going to crack the moneypot from the word go is hilarious. I’ve explored this whole scenario in another post, so I’m not going to rehash it again, but there are two schools of thought on the whole paying, non-paying market thing and that’s up to each person to decide where they sit with it. It’s pretty damn simple to me, that shit’s all about balance. Again, not everybody is likely to be on the same page with that, but anyway…

I’m going to keep on writing, keep on paying homage to the folks who inspire me, keep on supporting the horror community and those in it. I’m going to continue to sub to paying markets, to non-paying markets. I’m going to keep writing for charity, I’m going to keep assisting those who need or want it. I’m going to keep handing out pointers, tips, advice, what-have-you. I’m going to keep scouting fine extreme horror talent for WetWorks, I’m going to continue writing big-ass books. I’m going to keep on slinging bloody ink and scribbling horrific tales. I’m going to keep doing what the fuck I love to do.

And since black metal is perfect for drowning out white noise, I reckon I’ll put some of that on too.