Posts Tagged ‘grindhouse’

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.
sleepfrontreal
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
PhotoFunia-1486793698
Advertisements

RIDERS (PLEBS 2)

It’s been a long time coming (two and a half years to be precise), but the follow up book to my debut novel, 2014’s Plebs, is just about here. And it’s not just one book, but two. Two fucking Plebs sequels? Technically one, but more on that momentarily…

Formatting is all done, full cover wraps are in the works, a handful of ARCs have been sent out to hopefully generate a review or two to coincide (or near enough) with the release of the books. I’m guessing near enough is probably going to be closer to the mark, since these monsters will be out and unleashed sooner rather than later, and unless one reads remarkably speedily like I do, ARC folks won’t be done reading.

Most people who have followed various interviews and whatnot over the last few years will know that while Plebs was my first published book, it wasn’t the first I ever wrote and more to the point, it wasn’t even originally intended to be a novel. It started off its existence as a short story idea with fundamentally the same premise as the novel ended up with, albeit finishing much sooner, with much less happening than what eventuated.

image

I’ve mentioned once or twice that the more I wrote, the more I wanted to, the more involved I became with the characters. More ideas, plotlines, characters and horrendous things that could be done kept cropping up, demanding to be included, so the original Plebs morphed into what should have been a novella at most, into a six hundred page entity, or a motherfucking big bloody snowball of ultraviolence and splatterpunk fun.

Which leads me to Riders AKA Plebs 2. Why is it two books? Quite simply, because it turned out fucking enormous, to the point where it dwarfed the original book and releasing it as one opus just isn’t feasible. Even after extensive cuts, trims and so forth, the beast was still too big to realistically make it one book, so what you will soon be seeing appear are two separate books, released simultaneously. Riders (Plebs 2-Book One) and Riders (Plebs 2-Book Two). Two different covers, two separate books. However, it is all part of one big story, so I’ll stress right here and now, don’t get to the end of Book One and scream what the fuck? This is no way to end this shit! Book Two exists and will be out at the same time as Book One, so there will be no sitting around waiting a few months or what have you to find out what the hell happens.

I love the covers of both of these; they rank among some of my favourite of my books and books I’ve had stories in along the way. Both of them I had the main images picked out for, for quite some time, since both fit the tone of each book perfectly and I couldn’t be happier with how they look. The font is one of those that appeals to some and not so much to others, but in the grand scheme of things and keeping the series uniform, I wanted it to be the same as Plebs itself. Any future Plebs related books will follow the same blueprint.

Plebs 2 Riders Book 1

13699384_10208907369108759_1385335922_o

These books have been completed for a little while now, at least in terms of being written and probably would have been released a little earlier than now, but various upheavals of all sorts threw up obstacles to keep that from happening. Now though, there will be no stopping them.

Fans of Plebs or anybody who has read it, may know what to expect, then again they may not. In any case, if you’re looking for some extreme ultraviolence, bloody brutality, explicit sex, an undercurrent of heavy metal and a plethora of feral freaks, lethal women, villainous characters and maybe a familiar face or two, then you’re in the wrong place. Nah, just fucking around. You’re in exactly the right spot with Riders. Folks who haven’t yet ventured into the world of the Plebs, see above. And maybe snag a copy of Plebs and read that before delving into these two.

Get ready for it.

Double the mayhem. Double the Plebs. The Riders are coming.

Plebsall3

 

This was a blog of random musings comparing genres of horror fiction and the like to the variety of genres in heavy metal music (two of my biggest passions), which was originally posted on J. Ellington Ashtons inaugural Virtual Readers Convention, JEAPalooza. I meant to title it as something a little more inspired than Horror and Metal, but hell, that name pretty much sums it up so I’m sticking with it.

HORROR AND METAL

Since I so often make reference to this, either in interviews or general conversation, or just about anywhere whenever the two subjects intersect, I figured I would write something which is a little more of a detailed exploration of the statement.

I am a massive aficionado of both horror and heavy metal, but this doesn’t essentially apply just to my writing, more of a study of how two often misunderstood (or maligned, take your pick) genres in their various fields can be entwined. Personally I often write to a soundtrack of different varieties of metal music; I am often inspired by it both lyrically and musically, and it often works to set out a scene or aid in pacing, or to trigger the right emotion and amplify an assortment of aspects in a certain story. I frequently infiltrate my work with references of a metal nature and often make mention that what I write is a melange of grindhouse splatterpunk and old school classic horror all driven by heavy metal, but that in itself is only skimming the surface in what I mean by the fiction genre and the music genre being so closely aligned, they may as well be brothers from another mother.

Firstly, horror is a massive multifaceted beast. There are so many different styles, types, offshoots and combinations of material which comes under the giant umbrella that is horror, that it is more than a mere genre, it is an enormous extended family breeding a multitude of horrific little subgenre offspring. The question regarding what horror is to different people, comes up so prevalently, and depending on a person’s perspective, personal choice, beliefs or notions, one could ask it of ten random individuals on the street and still walk away with ten entirely different answers.

So too with heavy metal. While it might be a little easier to try and pigeonhole than horror itself, in that most laypersons might define metal music as loud and raucous with lots of electric guitars and drums, the musical genre is much more than that, with the consideration that just like horror fiction, it is a huge family of subgenres, some of which are so far removed in sound that it is almost inconceivable to acknowledge that they all belong to the one genre. Both horror and metal are also constantly being further broken down into subgenres of subgenres, often to the point where it becomes ludicrous, though from an author’s point of view where you might be writing in some far out deviated branch of horror that has essentially spawned its own name, well you might be the only exponent of it. That should make your Amazon ranking look impressive when you’re sitting at number one constantly with your Cryptozombivamptrollpunk or what have you.

Anyway, let’s break it down a little. You can’t mention horror without thinking classic horror. The old chestnuts, the timeless pieces, old school horror done right; dark, scary, not necessarily needing to be overly violent or graphic to remain frightening, but horrific nonetheless. (After all, what is horror if not horrific? Without an element of the horrific or horrendous to it, then it isn’t really horror after all).

So what then is the heavy metal counterpart to that most dignified and enduring style of horror fiction? Naturally, classic metal itself, the original heavy metal. Where the genre finds its roots. If classic horror was a band it would be Black Sabbath. Feel free to argue and say Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, any other name from this era might slip in more easily, but in terms of imagery and profound impact on everything that followed suit, none are more appropriate than Sabbath. Horror and metal going hand in hand, see where I’m going with this?

We can then move on through the evolution of metal music itself to the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) which can be equated to the crop of supreme horror writers of English descent. I’m talking James Herbert, Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker, Mark Morris and so forth, and while granted, they are all very different in their styles, for the purposes of these ruminations they are aligned with the Iron Maidens and Judas Priests. Prolific, traditional, high quality and widely revered.

How about hair and glam metal? Lots of party tunes, drugs, sex, rock and roll and life lived to excess? Goes hand in hand with the eighties heyday of slasher and pulp horror. A whole lot of cautionary tales to be discovered in all of that. The eighties exploded with a massive proliferation of pulp horror fiction paperbacks and that decade was rife with glammed up schlocky bands with big hair and even bigger voices as well. Coincidence? Well, yeah, but you get the picture.

Then there is thrash metal. While there is plenty of fun, frivolity and partying in some of these exponents, there were also lyrical explorations of a political nature, concentration and focuses on natural disasters, impending doom, end of days scenarios and social concerns. Nature and environmental horror, either brought on by humanity or natural forces, step up. Thrash metal has your bases covered.

From uptempo, speedy and aggressive, much like some horrific hellstorm of epic proportions or plague of mutant creatures, which thrash metal might be synonymous with, we can shift to something completely different. The slow trudging crawl of doom metal. Sounds akin to the likes of Poe and Lovecraft. Claustrophobic, dark, despairing and dragging one towards something ominous and inevitable. Technically, Lovecraft could slot in just about anywhere in terms of metal comparisons, since bands and acts from all continuums of the genres have been widely influenced by his work (Metallica, Electric Wizard, Mercyful Fate, Innsmouth, Morbid Angel, I could go on for a while here), but in likening his writing style to anything, there is nothing better suited than the bleak heaviness of doom metal.

Gothic metal? Gothic horror. That was too easy. Tales of the supernatural and paranormal, romantic overtures, magic elements, dark and brooding, yet epic subject matter told on a grand scale slide perfectly in right here, whether it be fiction or music. Of course, the entire notion of vampires and other legendary creatures of horror lore fit within the Gothic scheme of things, and they too segue between horror and metal with ease. Poe and Lovecraft belong here too of course, but then again, they are genre jumpers the pair of them, able to straddle just about the entire spectrum of metal and horror. Play any single of album from the back catalogue of Cradle of Filth and there are some grand Gothic horror stories right there in the narrative of any particular song. That particular band might have roots in another genre, but for me they pen some great Gothic horror with their interpretation of metal.

There are no rules which state that horror has to stick to being straightforward horror either and as a result, often it doesn’t. With the ever expanding break down of genres and splicing of genres, not just within the spectrum of horror, but spreading outside of it to other styles, we consequently end up with horror being married to other things in increasingly twisted unions. While this is certainly the case in metal music as well, this eerie blending of things which shouldn’t breed so well together, yet do, I’ll just focus on one aspect of it. For example horror wed with sci-fi. Enter industrial metal.

Here is the meld of horror (metal) with the sci-fi (industrial). Heavy chugging riffs, pounding rhythm sections twisted into amalgamations with electronica and cold clinical synthesised sounds, programming and unnerving sounds to replicate futuristic wastelands or space age technology. Harsh climates and horrific situations set in times far beyond the present. Visions of the future when shit just might go completely pear shaped. Looking for a suitable playlist to soundtrack your bleak epic horror riddled with hi-tech facets where moments of brutal bloodshed or mind numbing fear are surrounded by alien beings and universes not yet explored? Ministry, Aborym, Deathstars, Dodheimsgard, Godflesh; they might just be the kinds of bands you’d be looking for to accentuate things.

There are many many more facets and subgenres of both horror and metal, but rather than go through the whole lot of them and turn this into a fifty page thesis, I will wrap it up with a comparison of what is both my favourite types of horror to write and my principal metal passions. It will probably come as no big surprise to discover that just as all the rest of the genres have their uncanny parallels, what I love to write and read in horror is mirrored in the music I love best.

At the beginning of this concoction of ramblings, I made mention of the fact that I primarily write splatterpunk. Extreme horror. Grindhouse. This is visceral, violent, occasionally confrontational material, not exactly for the faint of heart. I’m inspired by the legendary Richard Laymon, I love Ed Lee, Bryan Smith, Brian Keene, Shaun Hutson, Bentley Little. Jack Ketchum. There’s unrelenting brutality in their work, harrowing violence, sexual content, perversity and hordes of things to throw a shock into the system, but not at the expense of a good storyline and not without some impact and often, a profound message to be conveyed.

With that said, the heavy metal counterparts for such sanguinary literary excursions should probably be pretty self-explanatory, but for the benefit of those who don’t follow heavy metal with as fervent a passion as me, I’ll go ahead and delve into it.

Extreme horror finds its musical equivalent in extreme metal, and there are no more extreme genres than death metal and black metal. It almost goes without saying that the former with unremitting bludgeoning instrumentation and often subterranean vocal stylings issuing grotesque lyrical content which runs the gamut through ultra-violent dismemberments, mutilations, murders, cannibalism, perverse sexuality, undead fiends, bestial creations and serial killers to all kinds of other cheerful fare, and the latter with occasionally satanic imagery and references, equally violent and sexual subject matter, rituals, dark magic and occult themes, misanthropy and other hate fuelled work driven by cold slices of tremolo riffing, blastbeat drums and abrasive vocals are just about the perfect musical complement for that splatterpunk branch of the horror tree. Again, investigate some of the lyrical content beyond any shock value, depravity or musical horror and there are cautionary tales and messages to be relayed.

Admittedly, I could probably write an entire post revolving solely around all the comparisons between extreme metal and horror, and justifying the statement that metal and horror go hand in hand through that alone, but in the interests in keeping all the likenings relatively uniform in length I will leave it at that for now, and perhaps revisit it at a later day in greater depth.

I know I missed out on plenty; literary horror, monster/creature horror, hauntings and paranormal, YA horror, body horror and many many more, but rest assured, they each have a metal genre complement. Maybe some time down the track, I will touch upon all of those and more as well. For now, I’ll conclude this and let you mull over my semi-coherent ramblings. Feel free to agree or disagree, or even dissect your choice of music relative to what you write.

I’m off to write some splatterpunk to a soundtrack of Mayhem.

-Jim Goforth

I write because I love to write. I have so many stories in my head to write, stories I’m in the middle of writing and ideas which constantly occur to me. I write the type of things that I myself love to read. Consequently, I write horror, the type which occasionally gets called such things as grindhouse horror, or splatterpunk, even old school horror and tags along those lines. It is what I love to do, and what I’ve always wanted to do. From a very young age, it was a goal of mine to become a horror writer, and a goal I have successfully achieved, but of course, I’m only just starting. Ultimately, I will be writing full time and making a career of it, but essentially having only been in the game for a year (in terms of published output), means I’m not quite at that point yet.

My debut novel Plebs came out in January of this year and has been very successfully received, garnered a host of excellent reviews and sold steadily over a variety of different countries, which has been absolutely awesome, thrilling in fact. Since then I’ve appeared in Axes of Evil 1 with my story Sinister Cavan, Terror Train with Training the Unfortunate, Rejected For Content: Splattergore with There Goes the Neighbourhood and Autumn Burning: Dreadtime Stories For the Wicked Soul with Creepy Green Light, as well as being part of the six author collaborative novel Feral Hearts. I have a collection of shorts/novellas With Tooth and Claw in final edits, due out some time shortly after, as well as another novel Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger in with the publishers. My brand of sanguinary ink splatterings will also be surfacing in the likes of Floppy Shoes Apocalypse, Axes of Evil 2, Rejected For Evil 2, Teeming Terrors and Ghosts to name a few of the other projects shortly to emerge, and another multi-author collab has also been largely completed, following some rejigging of the various components.

As you can see, I like to stay busy, I aim to be prolific, and reiterating my opening line, I just love to write.

So while writers love to see reviews of their various works, it is always completely awesome, humbling and a wonderful honour when things like what happened yesterday occur.

My publisher J. Ellington Ashton have a series of awards which are presented each year, and this year, I ended up with an award which looks something like this

WOTY

To take this out in a field of absolutely brilliant authors, loaded with talent, imagination and supreme writing skills is an honour indeed and it was definitely a tight contest, runner up award went to Mark Woods who is the author of the smash hit novella Time of Tides. With a multitude of other great writers also in the mix, indicates it is no mean feat.

Further to this were the following awards presented:

RFC Award

Feral Hearts Award

I’m proud to say I was involved in both of these books as well, as is Mark and several of the other authors in the running for awards, and again, it was an honour to have been part of them. Rejected For Content is a prime example how simple ideas and discussion can blossom from mere seeds of notions and suggestions tossed out there to ponder over, into a fully fledged creation, laden with stories both disturbing and thought-provoking at the same time. Feral Hearts is a unique creature, a project both incredibly fun and challenging to undertake, and a seamless blend of multiple authors different styles.

Plebs is certainly the book which carried me to this, but naturally I didn’t sit back after completing that, I love to stay busy writing, always have and always will, hence the relatively prolific output. I’m currently 80k words into the follow-up to Plebs, and loving writing it just as much as I’ve enjoyed writing everything else which spills out of me in the late hours of the night.

So, in closing, cheers to all of those folk involved with the awards, the various books, projects, upcoming things and everybody concerned with J. Ellington Ashton press, staff and authors alike.

And, you should probably buy all the JEA books.

Links for the award related books below

http://smarturl.it/Plebs

http://smarturl.it/RejectedForContent

http://smarturl.it/FeralHearts

This is the English version of my interview with Emilia Filicamo for the Italian Ravello Magazine, located here in Italian http://www.ravellomagazine.com/alla-scoperta-dei-romanzi-horror-con-jim-goforth/

(Intro translation may be a little rusty, but you get the gist)

Jim Goforth, Australian author of horror novels and passionate about metal music, he agrees to tell me about his career and his passion for horror, is forced to delay a little ‘this appointment due to a sudden family problem, fortunately resolved. And it is just this little incident, this unexpected to do justice to one of his statements, when he says, in fact during the interview, that the only thing he is seriously fear that his family can take risks. Raised up by the resolution of the problem, Jim “surrender” to these pages with all the sincerity possible, telling of hopes and failures, his passion for music and for a fantasy world, what you find in his novels, mostly in shades bleak. Almost to a sort of “moral obligation” are forced to start from a question about the horror genre.

1) You write horror books. Why you chose this kind of genre? Just because it’s popular or there is something more?

I have a lifelong passion with horror in all its mediums and I have been writing in the genre for a very long time, though it is only relatively recently that I have had material published. When I first started writing, which was way back when I was very young, I was writing in all different genres, different stories about a wide array of things, but I gravitated towards the horror side of things. I have an affinity for all things dark and twisted, and there are so many directions one can take with horror, it is far from a narrow field to work in. In terms of genres there are certainly many that are far more popular than horror, but horror is what I love and it is where I do my best writing.

2) I read you began with music, how did you decide to go from music to the books and how did all begin?

Actually the writing came first, since of course I started to write very early in life. I had two books written by the time I was in my late teens, though the first one was more of a thing heavily influenced by all the horror writers I was reading at the time and a combination of ideas from all of them, not exactly at a point where I had my own style. When I realised I didn’t need to write like anybody else, but just to do my own thing and write what I wanted to, how I wanted to, my efforts were a lot better and much more natural. I attempted to get one of the early books I wrote published way back then, but this was well before the age of social media and the ease of communications we have today, so I didn’t exactly have a clue where to send manuscripts or who would be likely to have any interest in them.
After a lack of success getting anywhere with that, I didn’t write anything in the way of horror fiction for a very long time and instead pursued a variety of things in the extreme metal scenes. Eventually my wife and I created Black Belle Music, which was formed for the purpose of promoting, supporting and bringing attention to universal extreme metal scenes, primarily underground, unsigned or unknown acts, though along with a bunch of bigger recognisable names as well. This was done in a number of ways, reviews, interviews, articles, CD distro and similar things on our website, while we also branched out into putting on gigs and shows, becoming most known for annual all day events featuring ten or more bands.
Ultimately, after hundreds and hundreds of reviews for bands all over the world, multiple shows for local (Australian) bands and assorted other things, we put Black Belle on indefinite hiatus, or more to the point closed it down.
From then, I happened to reread an unfinished story I’d started to write years prior to beginning the metal promotions and felt the burning desire to complete it. Reading, and consequently finishing this, reignited my passion for writing horror and after that I have never looked back.
Though I seem to have been writing horror for a long time, it is really only recently that things have taken off for me, and in terms of having material published this year has been the greatest. My debut novel Plebs came out in January, I have a couple of stories in anthologies this year, a collaborative novel with five other authors will be out in a couple of months and I currently have a collection of my own short stories/novellas in with my publishers.

3) Metallic music and horror books seem to be related intimately, I find that a metallic piece is maybe perfect to be in a particular frightening scene. What represents for you this kind of music?

One of my favourite things to make reference to in interviews, and one I will make mention of here in this one, is that to me, horror and metal music go hand in hand. A lot of my stories and pieces make reference to metal bands, artists or songs, some are heavily inspired by a variety of metal related things, in particular of the more extreme genres such as black and death metal. I even have one specific story which is solely created from the lyrics of a song and all elements happening in it are drawn from names, occurrences etc. specific to that band responsible for the song.
A current novel I am in the midst of writing is strongly rooted in those aforementioned extreme metal scenes and takes place within them, though as one of my first ventures into writing about zombies and the undead, it is of course very much a horror novel.
I often write to a soundtrack of music which more often than not is some form of metal. There is a vast amount of different styles, genres and types of heavy metal, just like there is with horror, so different things playing in the background as I write serve to cater to separate parts of stories, or as you pointed out, to cultivate a certain aura or mood.
As I have an immense love for metal music and a background in working with it, and in its assortment of scenes, it is natural for me to make prolific use of it in writing horror and tying the two together, and there is a huge amount of inspiration and subject matter within metal to draw upon and create some thoroughly dark and frightening pieces of work.

4) You love to write since you was very Young, but who was your first fan, the first person to tell you that you were born to write?

My parents of course. Also teachers at school when I was young would be pointing out the fact that writing was a thing I was good at. I was a kid who always managed to write spooky, creepy tales with my own created monsters and other dark subject matter and often these would be stories read out to the other kids in class.

5) Who are your models in writing? I mean horror Writers, even from the past

Richard Laymon is my chief inspiration and my number one influence. Prior to discovering his work I voraciously read authors like Graham Masterton, old Dean Koontz, Clive Barker and many others like this, and even wrote things which I’d say were a little too influenced by what they wrote. After finding Laymon and becoming wholly enamoured with his work and his style of writing, I honed and altered the way I wrote to create more of my own style than something adopted from another.

6) I suppose you met a lot of people during your career, who left on you a great impression?

I have met quite a few people, but most of them are in the various extreme metal scenes rather than the horror scene. Because I am based in Australia which is a long way away from bigger horror scenes such as the United States and so forth where a vast majority of the big conventions take place, opportunities to meet and chat with legendary folk in the genre are minimal. I’ve never been a person to be star struck in any capacity, people are all just people to me, regardless of what career path they’ve taken, or what they do, what celebrity status or anything of that nature, so mostly, leaving any impression on me would be irrelevant.

7) Many horror or fantasy books become movies. Have you ever tried this path? I mean, did you ever think to change a book of yours into a screenplay and then into a movie?

I have never tried my hand at any sort of screenplay writing, though I’ve often entertained ideas of attempting to write scripts. Maybe some time down the track I will have a go at adapting some of my works to screenplays to pitch as movie ideas, or perhaps somebody else may become interested in doing so. Naturally, though I don’t write for my books to be considered as movies, sometimes reading the finished product I think, damn if this was a movie it would definitely be something I would love to watch. Several of the reviews that have been posted on Amazon, Goodreads and various places about Plebs have made reference to the book being a grindhouse horror with a cinematic quality, so who knows, possibly one day it will be adapted as a movie. Of course if that were ever to happen I would want to be heavily involved to ensure the integrity of the story was preserved, for so many wonderful books remade into movies have not been able to transfer the magic of the written word to screen and I would rather no movie be made rather than something which cannot remain faithful to the work it is drawing from.

8) If you never decided to write horrors, which kind of genre would you love to write?

I haven’t ever considered anything beyond horror at this point in time because horror is where I want to be, it is what I love to write. In the past I have dabbled with all manner of different genres such as thrillers, fantasy, adventure, even western styled stuff, but ultimately horror has always been my favourite and where I see myself staying for a very long time. Since it’s only relatively recently that I’ve begun to have things published there are loads and loads of horror stories I have left to write and with a nicely twisted and dark restless imagination, the ideas will keep coming.

9) The book you love the most and sometimes you tell to yourself ” I would have written that book!”

Technically there are no books that I wished I had written or would liked to have written, but I do have many many favourites who have been extremely important to me along the way. First and foremost is virtually everything written by Richard Laymon, notable mentions being Darkness Tell Us (as the first book of his I ever read), Blood Games, Endless Night, Funland, One Rainy Night and Body Rides. Aside from works by Laymon, other important books to me which helped shaped my passion for the horror genre include Graham Masterton’s ‘Walkers’, Dean Koontz’s ‘Watchers’, Clive Barker’s ‘Cabal’, Thomas Page ‘The Spirit’, as well as most things written by Bentley Little just to name a handful. I have a long list of authors and books I grew up reading and still love them all. I was a voracious reader as a kid and while I would, and still will, read just about anything, I read as much horror as I could get my hands on.

10) Do you have Italian favourite authors in horror genre?

Because I don’t read or speak Italian I am not particularly familiar with any Italian authors in the horror genre. I do however have plenty of favourite Italian horror film directors including the likes of the genius Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and of course it would be remiss not to make mention of Ruggero Deodato.

11) Can you talk us about your last book or work?

Plebs was my last work, a full length novel that is 600 pages long. It has been described as such things as ‘grindhouse splatterpunk’ and ‘old school horror with a cinematic quality’, both flattering descriptive terms which I use to promote it with. When I first started to write it, the plan was for it to be just a short story or novella at most, yet the more I wrote, the more I enjoyed writing it, developing the characters and doing all kinds of things with them, so consequently it became a novel with plans for a follow up once I manage to clear some of the projects I’m currently working on.
At the heart of it, it is a horrific adventure story, a tale of revenge on the parts of several of the main characters which many of the grindhouse style movies and mediums it has been compared to have as a core element.
It revolves around three intoxicated young men, carefree harmless slackers, who decide after a night out celebrating a friend’s birthday that they want to carry on partying elsewhere. A random walk takes them way out of their usual realms and deep into the woods where they encounter a mysterious band of fugitive women. While these potentially dangerous ladies are quite open to the idea of continuing the party with the boys, it won’t come without a price and from that point on, things take a turn for the worse.
It isn’t a story for the faint of heart, it involves a whole lot of violence which is carried out by an assortment of factions, including the feral entities known as the Plebs who happen to share the woods in a very uneasy co-existence with the women, sex, blood, depravity and death, so plenty of visceral elements of horror.
There are a host of underlying themes to the book, it isn’t merely a violent splatterfest of murder and mayhem. Anybody can churn out material that is wholly blood and guts, but a story is always important and I’d like to think the storyline contained within Plebs is a strong one.
It certainly isn’t a book that everybody is going to be into, in fact it isn’t a book targeted for everyone, it is a story I wanted to write and I imagine some people are not going to find it to their liking. So far though, all feedback, reviews and word from those who have read it has been pretty spectacular so I’m extremely happy with how it is going. I’d always planned on writing a follow up to it, even prior to completing it, but the great enthusiastic response I’ve received from it and the requests for a second book in the Plebs saga to come, ensures that there will be at least one more. I also have some plans for some projects, potentially shorter stories or novella length pieces, involving side stories related to some of the characters from Plebs.

12) Is there between all the ones you wrote, a book you prefer the most, a kind of ” favourite child?”

Considering Plebs is my debut novel, it is currently my favourite child, though irrespective of that, it would probably still be one work I am really proud of. I do have other completed works which have yet to be published, including of course that one I wrote many many years ago, but Plebs still stands as a favourite in comparison to those. I have multiple novels in the works at the moment which I am immensely enjoying writing, so once they are complete we shall see if Plebs remains my ‘favourite brainchild’.

13) Is there a way, a kind of formula to write a good horror? And which are the mistakes to avoid writing a book of horror?

No, I don’t believe there is any formula to writing horror and I certainly don’t follow any formula at all. When people start to place rules or stipulations on what or what not should be involved in writing horror, that’s when it becomes too rigid, too by the numbers. There should be no restraints on what can be written in terms of horror, and while no doubt there are writers who do tend to use a formulaic approach in their writing because they have discovered that is what works for them, I am not one who is going to follow anything specific in the way I write. As for what mistakes to avoid, I’m not entirely sure that there are any particular mistakes, it is all a matter of learning what does and doesn’t work. There are a whole host of things in the way of subject matter or topics used in horror which some may feel have been overdone or too frequently written about, but in saying that, if a writer still feels like exploring these often travelled paths, then it is up to them to find a new approach or angle, a different spin on it that will make it interesting again.
I wouldn’t suggest to anybody that there are mistakes or topics to avoid, that’s for them to discover, but going into the thought of writing horror with a preconceived notion that they should be actively thinking there are things they need to avoid is going to have their creativity stifled and that goes back to the formula notion. In that event people will start writing to a specific formula which makes things mundane and ordinary, and horror needs to remain fresh and vibrant.

14) How do you understand if a horror book is a good one or is totally awful?

That all depends on individual taste, opinions and views on what they consider to be good or abysmal. It is the same as individuals choice in music, what movies they like to enjoy, even the types of food that may be their favourite. It is all a matter of personal choice, and what one person absolutely loves isn’t necessarily going to be viewed the same by another. I know the type of things that I love to read and to write, but I don’t expect that every single person is going to share the same tastes and opinions as me, and that also applies to the music I love and all the other things mentioned.
Even if a particular horror book for example, might be universally maligned or denigrated as being something that is completely terrible, that doesn’t essentially mean that everybody is going to hate it, that just indicates that the majority aren’t overly fond of it. There are still likely to be some fans of it out there, if for no other reason than the fact that the community as a whole doesn’t like it.
Consequently, the measure of whether a book is good or awful is entirely up to the opinion of each person who reads it.

15) When you write, you are in the arms of fear and of suspense. But what does really scare Jim?

In all honesty, not a whole bunch scares Jim. Perhaps only the notion of being away from my family would be the only thing as my wife and two little children are the most important things in my world. Other than that I’m not easily frightened by much and have no immediate fears that I can think of. I write scary and horrific stuff so there isn’t too much outside what I can conjure up in my mind that can compare.

Thank you Jim!!!

Emilia