Posts Tagged ‘Horror fiction’

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.

udfc-full-wrap

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.

plebsall3

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

jim-goforth-horror-author4

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

imageedit_6_8904882051

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.

 

 

 

 

 

RICHARD LAYMON. THE KING.

Just about anybody who knows me, interacts regularly with me, follows or keeps up to date with what I’m doing, or even just has a casual interest in what I write, will be quite aware that I am a massive Richard Laymon fanatic.

After all, I’ve made mention probably forty or fifty times that he is my greatest inspiration and influence in writing, and there’s every chance I’ll say it at least forty or fifty times more. So, with that being said I’m going to talk a little here about the late, great Laymon, the influence he had on me and the impact discovering his work had, not just how I wrote, but how I viewed horror fiction in general. And potentially some random gibberish. We’ll see.

I discovered Richard Laymon’s books in the early 90s. A voracious reader of horror fiction, I was already well versed in the works of King, Koontz, Masterton, Herbert, McCammon, Barker, Simmons, Hutson, Strieber, Miller, Straub as well as the likes of John Saul, John Farris, Michael Slade, Gary Brandner and multitudes of others, whether they had a number of books or were just one hit wonders, at that stage and I read anything and everything by all the above. I came across these authors and others by either being intrigued by book covers or synopsis’s, or through other books.

For those who are unfortunate enough to never experience it, with this day and age being ruled by Kindles and ebook formats, back in the day many publishers and imprints used to include blurbs and teasers of other horror books by either the same author or different ones (,some still do and a lot don’t), and I would go through this and make lists of prospective horror authors to check out. For Kindle enthusiasts, or just for something to use as a comparison to the technology of an ebook replacing a paperback, think of it as akin to the Amazon ‘Customers also bought items by these authors‘ feature on an authors Amazon profile.

In any case, one of these blurbs was a book by Richard Laymon (I’m pretty sure the synopsis I first read there was for The Woods Are Dark), so that name went on my list with a host of others to investigate next time I was near a book store or library. The first Laymon book I ever came across was a 1991 Headline first edition paperback of Darkness, Tell Us. I still have the very same copy I first picked up and read; along with a copy of Clive Barker’s ‘Cabal’ and a poetry book with two of my favourite poems (and others)-Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ and T.S Eliot’s ‘The Hollow Men’-it is one of the few books that I’ve managed to hang onto the same copy I originally read. Check it out below.

Snapshot_20150919

I’d picked up a few other (non-Laymon) books along with this, but the cover art and the synopsis had me intrigued, so ‘Darkness, Tell Us’ was the first one I delved into. From that point on, I was hooked. I had to find and read all the other books he’d written. At this point, there was around fifteen or so other titles, which meant I had plenty to choose from and it was also at a stage where he was writing and releasing new books, so there was still loads of Laymon to be found in brick and mortar book stores, even department store book sections, as well as abundant older titles in second-hand book shops. I scoured and ransacked anywhere they were likely to be available to snap up anything Laymon I could find. Blood Games was the second one I read, and along with Darkness, Tell Us, still remains a sentimental favourite. I’ve heard a few folk say that neither of these are among his better, or stronger, books, but that’s a matter of opinion and everybody has differing ones. Personally, I love them both in different ways and initially, the next few Laymon’s I read, didn’t quite resonate the same with me. These were Beware, Night Show and All Hallow’s Eve. In retrospect, I suppose I was probably judging them against the earlier couple I’d read rather than on their own merits, so consequently, when I picked all of these up again and re-read them many years later, I enjoyed them much more the second time around,

It was in 2001 that Laymon sadly passed away, so between then and when I first discovered his work, there were ten glorious years of not just tracking down and collecting all the books he’d already written, but that excitement of waiting for a new release to come out, or knowing that one was coming, about to hit the bookshelves. Alarums, the ferocity of Endless Night (perhaps his most brutal work, along with Beware), the unique perspective of Savage, In the Dark, Body Rides, as soon as they all came out, I was getting my paws on them. For the most part it was a matter of between one or two Laymon novels released a year in that time-frame. Down in Australia, we had the UK Headline editions released, which to this day are still my favourite ones. These days, I will grab any Laymon I come across, whatever publisher it might be through, or whatever the cover art may be, but primarily I am an avid collector of the Headline editions, as I was back in the beginning.

To me, the cover art done by Steve Crisp and Mark Taylor, who between them, had a fairly even split of covers for these Headline editions, was almost as fascinating as the stories themselves, and were a big part of the attraction in collecting them all, and I spent plenty of time just perusing the artwork and examining each one. The one outsider of the bunch was the cover for what happened to be one of my all time favourite Laymon books, that of Funland. This Headline cover was done not by Crisp or Taylor, but by Dave Eastbury, It’s an iconic cover as it is, though there was an unpublished one for Funland which was done by Taylor. Check it out below, as well as the Eastbury one and see which you have a preference for.

This is Taylor’s

funland-unpub-c

And of course, the one most of us (at least in Australia or the UK) know best

funland

As I mentioned I was fanatical about collecting the Headline ones and hanging out waiting for the newest release, both for the story itself as well as checking out the latest cover art, and once upon a time my collection was entirely comprised of Headline editions, bar an obscure cover for Beware which I’ve never seen anywhere else around. I can’t even recall what publisher that was through, it wasn’t a Headline job; it was one I picked up in a cluttered little second-hand book store in Coffs Harbour. Unfortunately, I lost a vast majority of my collection (aside from several, including that prized Darkness, Tell Us) and have had to rebuild it all again. That’s a story for another time, but while my collection still remains largely Headline editions, there are a handful of titles from other presses in there too. Like I said, I grab any Laymon I encounter, in book stores of any variety that might have one sitting around, so Headline snobbery is not rife here. Any Laymon is a good Laymon, and that goes for all the stories themselves, regardless of whether it is one his books where he was on his A-game, or one of those less favoured by Laymonites.

There have been some interesting covers conjured up for the various other presses, along the American releases, but for me, nothing compared to those classic Headline covers. I’d be hard pressed trying to pick out any particular favourite, I dug them all, but here’s a handful of selections.

one rainy night

dark mountain

the-woods-are-dark

bloodgam

Essentially, I could post the lot of them. Endless Night, Quake, Island, they were all equally captivating to me, but anyway, moving on.

I’d already been writing for many years, before I even discovered Laymon, since I started conjuring up stories not too long after I learned to read and along with a handful of horror stories, I’d also written a novel. This entity, revolving around a high school being captured in the thrall of a bizarre blizzard and having the entire school population trapped inside for the storm’s duration, which led to the emergence of malevolent spirits, creatures and all kinds of things, was principally inspired by those authors I was deeply into at the time. Consequently, it was pretty derivative of all of them, a reasonable story I suppose, but not something that I will ever seek to get published in any shape or form.

Reading Laymon for the first time, not only blew my mind, but it completely tipped the concept of horror up on it’s head for me. It also helped to alter the way I wrote myself, it assisted in honing my writing and it showed me that trying to emulate the way others wrote (as I’d largely done with the ill-fated Spiritstorm) wasn’t a plan. So from that point on, I wrote the way I wanted, the types of stories that I personally love to read, without seeking to follow any preconceived notions or strict formulas, or ideas about what, or how, I should be writing. The second novel I ever completed, and a book I still one day have plans to get published, ‘In The Darkest Hour’, turned out to be a far better representation of the way I love to write, as opposed to trying to cobble together stylistic approaches others have made their own.

Laymon isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, that’s for damn sure and as is inevitable, his work has had its detractors, but the bottom line for me is that he was a master storyteller. As opposed to latter day shock merchants who might hurl blood, gore, violence and sexual content at the pages just in some garish, tawdry fashion to elicit shock or repulsion, completely sacrificing any semblance of a story-line, Laymon was a storyteller. He had story-lines, and characters, and while, shit you might have hated some of those more repugnant examples of characters in those books, you certainly felt something for them. He possessed the ability to make you care, one way or another, about certain characters and their fates, and while he didn’t shy away from sex and bloody violence that launched off the pages in lurid technicolour, those things weren’t just in there for the sake of shock value; these elements were aspects befitting of the stories and the pysches of the characters themselves.

His writing was pared down and lean, and for the most part, the pacing was snappy and quick. Stories weren’t an endless slog of brainless gore, or a constant parade of violence without meaning; they successfully married brutality with humour, poignancy with fear, and all in all, the aspects came together in a way to create a solid story. Laymon had his favourite recurring themes crop up throughout many of his books, but one thing was guaranteed; each book was going to be different. Bar the Beast House series, which of course all revolves around the same themes, no Laymon book is a cut and paste job with rehashed characters running through the same trials and tribulations experienced in another.

Ultimately, Laymon was a splatterpunk master and remains the number one, in my book. He may never have scaled the lofty peaks like Stephen King himself and others, but nobody else’s work has inspired me more, and if not for his tragic, untimely passing, perhaps he might have reached those levels, or even surpassed them, maybe still churning out books and still having the likes of me getting amped with excitement for that new opus to drop.

In his homeland of the States, he wasn’t as big as he probably should have been until after his passing, for an assortment of reasons (the original editing botch job on The Woods Are Dark springs to mind), but he was revered in the UK and downunder, and still is.

There have been many emulators, and indeed there are loads of excellent writers out there who could be heir to Laymon’s crown, but for now he remains the king.

feral hearts cover

 

So, the epic vampire collaboration co-written by six awesome authors from the ranks of JEA will be crawling up out of its dark coffin very shortly (currently in final edits and then beta reading) and it is going to be spectacular. I’m very excited about this undead monster finally arriving, it has been one hell of a fun, and also challenging project to be part of and I’m proud to be involved in it alongside writers who I have the greatest of respect and admiration for.

I have a penchant for writing about strong, often dangerous or mysterious female characters-look no further than the likes of Desiree, Melissa and Blaise from Plebs for evidence of that-and I currently have a host of these in works I have in progress featuring such fierce femme fatales (Scarlett and Roxana to name a couple in my undead death/black metal headbanging horrorfest and Angelique and Cleo in my other full length twisted carnival two part nightmare excursion, both books which are well over 100k at the moment, and I have every intention of keeping that tradition going. A lot of horror has the women secondary characters, helpless or hapless damsels in distress needing to be rescued, but that isn’t the case in my works. Anyone who has read Plebs will be only too aware of that fact. With that in mind, will I persist with that in Feral Hearts?

Also in the works is a collection of short stories with the working title With Tooth And Claw. This is comprised of seven pieces, some of them rather long, probably something that could be released as novellas, but I’m keeping them all together in one book. This beast is in with the publishers at the moment, waiting to go into edits and then the ball will start rolling on having that come out too. A couple of these stories are actually pieces that were written quite a long time ago and essentially sat around on hiatus, so reading this collection you will be able to garner an insight or two into some of the earlier horror scribblings of yours truly. I won’t say which are which, up to you to see if you can decipher that when you check it out.

Speaking of older stories I’ve managed to find a home for another older story, written back when I was on a short story binge, punching out a plethora of different ideas and concepts, and that of course is Sinister Cavan which appears in the heavy metal horror anthology Axes of Evil, available now. This composition was written pretty quickly while the idea ran around my brain and as I’ve mentioned in interviews, it may not be precisely the style of writing I predominantly do now, but its conglomeration of heavy metal and tinges of horror makes it suited to something like Axes.

Anyway, while you’re waiting for the fearsome Feral Hearts to rise from the sarcophagus and bare its fangs, be sure to check out the current available works from all the excellent authors who are involved in the project.

http://www.amazon.com/Jim-Goforth/e/B00HXO3FRG/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

http://www.amazon.com/Edward-P.-Cardillo/e/B00BOB0F7M/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_4?qid=1397997271&sr=8-4

http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Woods/e/B00F5ZCMAG/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1397997345&sr=1-2-ent

http://www.amazon.com/catt-dahman/e/B007N5843K/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

http://www.amazon.com/Ms-Amanda-M-Lyons/e/B00C8H0V2A

http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Fisher/e/B00JARA3CE/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_8

 

Make sure to leave reviews for any of our books you might happen to read. We love reviews.

                          Coming soon….

JIM GOFORTH

Books/SS: Plebs (out soon), Lycanthroship (collaboration with six other authors, also out soon). Also involved in a vampire collaboration with six others which should be out before the end of the year I believe. I also have a couple of other completed (but as yet unpublished full length novels In The Darkest Hour and Spirit Storm, a load of short stories, and about five or six incomplete novels) At the moment I am working on my first foray into the world of zombies.

 

What genre(s) do you write in and why?Horror. I love horror, it’s been my chief writing passion for a long long time. I used to write all kinds of things but the horror genre was the one which ultimately won out. I love dark twisted things, I love where people can take horror, and where it can take them.

What is PLEBS about both on the surface and down deep? Plebs, on the surface is about a few idle young men who run into a whole passel of trouble involving dangerous women, old enemies, new enemies and of course the feral freakish Plebs themselves. Beneath that surface there’s a bunch of different underlying themes, friendship, relationships, finding purpose, blurring of lines between man and monster, the fact that some monsters just can’t be anything but monsters, while man can make a choice to be either and too often elects to take the monster route. There’s a whole host of things in there.

What inspired this? It was originally intended to be a short story with a far different outcome but the more I wrote the more I loved playing with the characters and building them, giving them new directions, new terrible situations to contend with, and since I just couldn’t let them go at a short story I had to make a full length of it. I’m not even sure what initially inspired the idea but the end result turned out a whole lot differently than anticipated.

Who is the main character? Multiple main characters. A few shiftless young men and a host of mysterious women who certainly have a lot more to them than meets the eye. Corey Somerset is the principal character of the guys but the story is not his alone.

What was difficult about penning this? Finding the time to dedicate to finish it. It was on hiatus for quite a while unfinished while I was involved in the extreme metal scene then I re-read it and fell back into the obsession I had with completing the story.

What is difficult for you as a writer? Too many ideas, not enough time to get them all out and written. Some good, some atrocious but they all have to be put into written word just to see how abysmal or great they may be.

What is the best part about being a writer? There are so many great things about it, couldn’t really nail down one specific one. Getting published and out in print would rank high since that has been a lifelong goal of mine but just the whole idea of creating stories, as horrific or unnerving as they may be is exhilarating. Building a large body of work and being happy with the way it has turned out is always very satisfying.

How did you begin your career? I’ve only recently returned to writing horror after a long hiatus where I was involved writing reviews for the universal metal scenes. I started writing virtually as soon as I could read, I was always the kid in school writing about the monsters, freaky beasts and scary stuff and having them read out to the class. Nothing’s changed, I’m still writing that kind of thing, albeit very frequently with humans displaying the monstrous faces they hide under their skin. With regards to it being a published career that’s only a recent thing though it’s been something I’ve sought to achieve from very early on.

What advice do you have for new writers? Never give up, never become disillusioned. Though I’ve been writing for quite a long time now (most of my life) in terms of being published I guess I myself am a new writer so anybody with advice for me feel free to send it my way 😉

What writer(s) inspire you and why? Richard Laymon is the prime inspiration and influence for me, his writing altered and honed the way I write. There are hordes of others who earlier inspired me to write (which I was doing pretty much as soon as I could read) but Laymon will always be the number one influence.

What book(s) do you wish you have written? None. I am writing the books I want to write.

Do you write for yourself or for readers? A combination of both although I first started writing for me. I write what I like to read which I imagine will also appeal to those who like reading similar things.

Do you ever use dreams/nightmares as a basis for writing? Not to a large extent though I’ve taken bits and pieces from dreams to include in stories.

What is difficult/frustrating about writing or being a writer? Probably a common writer gripe but rejection letters and things like that are always frustrating. There’s nothing I find difficult about being a writer but finding the time I want to dedicate to my writing when I have abundant ideas running around in my head is often a fraction hard to achieve.

What work of yours was enjoyable to pen? Most of them so far. I find enjoyment in all of my writing and what I can do with characters, situations,

What 3 words describe your writing? Violent. Visceral. Thought-provoking (yeah that’s two words which make one) 

Which actors/actresses would you love to see in a movie version of your works? Eliza Dushku. Danielle Harris. Katharine Isabelle. Shawnee Smith. (Awesome scream queens, some of them anyway), Billy Wirth, Joseph Gordon Levitt (both multiskilled underrated actors), Danny Trejo (simply because the cool factor of any movie is amplified to maximum just by the addition of Danny Trejo even in a small role-though for Plebs he probably wouldn’t really fit any of the roles. I’d find a spot for him). Bruce Campbell (same reason as wanting Trejo involved. Bruce Campbell is the king). No interest in most of the traditional Hollywood types.

Do you like to write a series or stand alones? Why? Both. Some books are complete entities as they are, they don’t require sequels or prequels or additions, but sometimes there are characters that you just need to do more with, develop further stories and horrendous scenarios for them hence the desire to do a series.

Who, of your characters do you most want to hang out with? The characters I’d most like to hang with are all in a lengthy story I’ve written on and off over the years since way back in teenage years which will most likely never see the light of day. It involves street gangs, movies, heavy metal and then a nation of supernatural entities. Probably never in any plans to be published.

How did PLEBS get its title? It was originally going to be called something else; for the majority of the time I was writing it there was actually no title for it. Reading back through it prior to finishing it I decided that the term the characters use for the freaks inhabiting the book would be ideal. It’s short, punchy, to the point and suitably creepy.

How do you pick names for characters and which ones are you fond of? Mostly just off the top of my head. I’m fond of a lot of them. I give characters I don’t like too much the rubbish names 😉

Have you ever written real people into books? No. I generally don’t use real people as a basis for characters though they may serve as some kind of inspiration for some facets of these characters.

Do you outline and plan or wing a book? I almost always wing it. I might have some kind of plan in my head at the beginning of the book, or at least a few seeds of ideas but it rarely follows any strict path. I like to let my characters just run their own destinies, see what sort of mayhem they can create for themselves.

Which of your works ended differently than you anticipated? Pretty much all of them. Even if I have some preconceived idea about how things are going to end, it rarely pans out like that.

Do your covers matter? To an extent yes. Cover art often swayed me into being interested in reading a particular book, I’d imagine it still does influence people’s decisions whether to read a book or pass it up.

Does art/ music influence you? Some particular types of art/artists are inspiring but I’m more predominantly inspired by music (particularly heavy metal of the more extreme genres) and I often incorporate a lot of musical references in stories. I have written several things revolving around musical facets, bands etc. and I have plans for a series of horror stories with musical genres at their core. 
To me some types of music just go hand in hand with horror.

How do you begin a novel? I just start writing. Either from a rough idea or a more fleshed out concept, maybe just a basic thought but I never meticulously plan it out and most times I might not have any clue what is going to transpire. Novels can also spring from short story ideas, as is the case with Plebs. It was intended to be a short story but instead turned into six hundred odd pages of full length (with plans for a sequel).

Do you get “writer’s block”? Not really. Because I have so many projects on the go at any one time if I get stumped with one or run into some kind of block I switch to another and go back and forth between them all. Ultimately finishing one will inspire me to go back and complete the one I might have become disillusioned with.

Will you be prolific/ are you? Yes I intend to be extremely prolific. I already have a decent body of as yet unpublished material.

What is your goal? To have a plethora of books published. As many as I can write. It’s been a long term goal of mine, even as a teenager to have a large body of horror novels published. I’m not exactly writing for awards, probably don’t really write the type of material that is likely to ever attract awards but hey if that happened, awesome.

Do bad reviews bother you? Not particularly. Having been in the reviewing business (for universal metal scenes) I understand that certain things are not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, not everything is going to have an appeal to suit each single person.

Just like extreme metal, horror is for a niche audience, not everybody is going to like it and personally I don’t want, or need everybody to like what I write.

Do you research books? Yes and no. I don’t exhaustively research a book and all that is going to be in it but if there are certain things I want to address that require a little more knowledge than I might have on the subject I’ll do a little research. Others times I don’t when possibly I should have but hey, some horror requires one to suspend a bit of belief or warp reality a little, therefore maybe anything is possible. Having said that I wouldn’t want to delve into a subject I was completely clueless on without at least doing some kind of study up on it.

Which books have been grueling to write? None of them. The answer to the writer’s block question probably covers this one too. If I happen to run into a wall or start struggling with direction, ideas or anything I simply switch to another book and press on with a different one. That might only ever become an issue if I’m presented with deadlines in the future but working under pressure is fine by me.

Interview from http://www.jellingtonashton.com

http://www.jellingtonashton.com/jim-goforth.html