Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

 

This was an article I knocked up for JEA’s Newsletter a few months back, so in the interests of sharing it with anybody who might not have caught it then, I’ll publish it here too.

SO YOU WANT TO PUT TOGETHER AN ANTHOLOGY?

So you want to put together an anthology?

Sounds like a fairly simple straightforward proposition? Well, actually, yes and no.

Assembling an anthology seems to be one of those activities with polarising opinions. Some folks absolutely love it, while at the other end of the spectrum are those who swear they would never do it again. I’m well entrenched in the former camp, but I’ll go into my various experiences with anthologies a little later on.

For now, we’ll deal with basics, and what could be more basic than understanding the terminology, or in fact, exactly what an anthology is.

I’m know I’m not alone in being a little astounded by just how many folks-and here I’m talking about actual authors-who don’t seem to know the difference between an anthology and a collection. This happens with alarming regularity across social media and elsewhere, with somebody making a grand announcement that they have their own anthology coming soon, or such and such is writing stories for their anthology, or I’m putting together a pile of my stories for my anthology. Closer inspection of course, reveals that what said individual is actually referring to is a collection, given all those stories which will be appearing in that book are penned by a solitary author.

An anthology is made up of several stories contributed by myriad authors, while a collection is comprised of several stories all written by just one author. Fairly simple notion, yet one which seems to not be as widely known as it should be.

Then there are those books which feature a fairly heavily weighted percentage of stories by one author, yet also include a few stories from different folk. Technically an anthology per se, but pushing the boundaries of the simple definition there.

Anyway, that’s neither really here nor there; the main point here is if you’re aiming to assemble an anthology be mindful of just what constitutes it. If it is to be made up of all your own stories, well, that’s not an anthology at all. Refer to above points.

I’m no authority on anthos, so don’t take anything I make mention of here as the gospel (except that part about knowing the difference between anthologies and collections-that is the gospel. Can’t expect folks to take you seriously if you don’t learn that distinction); this is more a case of highlighting some of the challenges one might encounter when dealing with them.

Aside from what I’ve already hammered home pretty solidly above, there are no hard and fast rules. Story length is variable, overall book length is variable-that’s all up to the discretion of the individual in charge. Genre, theme, open theme, all of that is wide open to interpretation, unless one has a very clear vision of what they want to present in their particular anthology.

In the event you are specifically searching for submissions and pieces that address a very particular theme, and anything which doesn’t match this criteria won’t be looked at, it’s best to make that painfully clear in your open call. This also relates to genre. If you’re planning on sticking to just the one, make sure that is what you state-again, there are no rules existing that preclude you from having no theme whatsoever and taking stories from every genre under the sun; it might just be a little bit of a harder sell. This is only personal opinion, but an open theme, open genre anthology isn’t something I’d delve into-too broad a scope, no specific defined audience there.

I’m not going to explore the whole accepting submissions, the less fun part of rejecting pieces and providing critique or helpful reasons why certain stories were rejected, or contracts-all of that in itself would be enough to comprise another article-but I may do a follow-up piece later on which does cover all these bases. All of that is part of the process, and perhaps tosses up some of the reasons people hate the compiling of anthologies and wouldn’t do it again for the life of them. Which is perfectly understandable. It can be a challenging process indeed, but like I mentioned earlier, I’m one of those weird folk who dig all of the various elements which are involved.

In any case, once the aforementioned things are all dealt with and in place, one of the most important things with getting your anthology right is establishing a Table of Contents (hereafter referred to as a TOC). That might seem like a no-brainer, but it isn’t merely a case of tossing stories in any which way, or just whacking them up in the order you received them, or something along those lines.

Different people have their different ways of constructing TOCs, but rest assured, the way you arrange this could either make or break your book, and either ensure readers continue reading or pass it up in favour of something else.

This has been well-established before by many others, so I’m just reiterating what has been previously addressed, but I’m a firm advocate of opening up your anthology with one of the strongest stories, if not the strongest, in the arsenal of accepted pieces. I stand by this, whether one is an antho virgin, making their first foray into the assembly of one, or the book you’re constructing is the latest instalment in a long-running successful series. Granted, the latter type might stand more chance of being read by an already established fanbase, but kicking it off with a great story is just going to further cement desire to read on and explore the rest of the stories. As for the former, don’t cruel your chances to gain that readership and build on it, by slapping a TOC together haphazardly and placing what is perhaps a weaker story as the opener.

I’m sure folks have elected to construct their TOC deliberately as such, building up to their best stories in an escalation of quality, tension, or what-have-you depending on genre, but personally I’d never be inclined to go that way. Considering the first few pages of any book are important, you might be able to get away with that with a novel, but not so much anthologies. That kind of slow-burn approach usually leads to story skipping, and ultimately book skipping all together.

And by the same token, don’t do the same in reverse. Having all your best stories gradually winding down until the end of the book features less remarkable ones is liable to engender a negative impact as well.

Before I proceed, I’ll just slip this in here. In an ideal situation, all of the stories selected for your anthology will be stellar pieces, top shelf stuff and whatnot, but in reality, some things are always going to stand out more or appeal to readers most of all. Of course different readers have different tastes, so what one thinks is the best tale may not be regarded as such by another person; it’s all a matter of opinion. Furthermore, if you’ve run one of those anthologies which wasn’t one with a deadline, but rather an open-until-full situation, then you’re left with whatever stories you okayed to fill up the book, and in the grand scheme of things, these might not essentially be the best of the best. There’s a high chance you’ll be contending with a few stories which though solid and well-suited to the particular theme you sought, might fall into that unremarkable category. Constructing your TOC in a certain way to highlight your strengths and distract from any potential weaknesses is a skill you’ll be wanting to cultivate.

Now, back to the last item of the TOC. You want to kick the book off with a bang, and you want to do likewise at the end. An equally strong story as your opener, or your second strongest, or if you so choose, even the best weapon you have in the armoury should be the concluding number. Leave your readers with something memorable, something ticking over in their heads. Hook them right in with the opener, leave them reeling with the closer, and between these two big bookends, keep things interesting and well thought out.

How you do that is entirely up to you, but it could be a case of somewhat similar stories following a logical progression; or it could be starkly different tales chasing one another like some deliberate paradox. Perhaps, if like me, you choose to compile anthologies in the horror genre, you might choose to alternate between shocking and subtle from story to story, juxtaposing brutality with more understated finesse, lulling a reader into a false sense of security before unloading another balls to the wall slugger that leaves them shell-shocked. It is an art form of sorts, and for me, one of the most challenging, yet most rewarding parts of creating an anthology.

There are no sure-fire methods or secrets to ensuring a certain anthology is going to be a bona fide hit, or a big seller, or a massive success. Well, there are certainly ways of shoring up the chances of the book’s success, but even then that is no guarantee. Here I’m referring to bolstering the ranks of your TOC by the possible inclusion of a big name author or more in your selected genre, whether they elect to write something new for it or graciously allow the inclusion of a reprint, but not everybody putting together an anthology is going to be afforded that luxury. Nor is it a guarantee that the name alone will be enough to pull in prospective readers, especially if a reprint is involved. It’s a fair bet diehard fans of said big name author have already come into contact with that story and buying a book on the strength of that alone may not be enough. It’s a gamble, it’s a lottery, it’s a risk.

Since I dwell in the horror domain, and have zero experience with how things operate in say, romance or science fiction or other types of genre, I can’t really wax lyrical on what sort of things are big in their anthology sphere, but I’d imagine, just as in horror, one never knows what is going to be hit and what will be a miss.

Horror itself is a funny entity in that there will be no guarantee in what is going to take off like a rocket anthology wise. Some things seem to be constantly in vogue, while others wax and wane, though innumerable factors may determine whether even those things which have eclipsed trend status and slipped into mainstream acceptance succeed or falter. Once more, if you’ve elected to make an anthology revolving around one of the most popular subjects imaginable, but have a line-up of complete unknowns or newcomers, that’s a gamble. Stacking one side (the theme), while being light on the other (the personnel) is a risky approach which may or not pay off, and same goes for reversing the scenario. Either way, it’s up to the individual to explore and discover what works.

I’ve personally been involved in anthologies in various capacities that represent both sides of the coin; the successful, and those that slip beneath the surface without making much of a ripple at all.

Most folks who know me will be aware that I run a little anthology series which goes by the name of Rejected For Content. This particular entity has been an enormous success, and I’m currently in the process of editing volume number six, such has been the favourable reception to what has pretty much become an unstoppable juggernaut. In its inception, like most ideas kicked around, this was a gamble, an experiment. However, it was a successful one. It dropped at a perfect time into a sea of readers keen to be immersed in the extreme, the taboo, the affronting and sometimes offensive, and from a brainstorming conversation between a handful of folk it went from strength to strength. I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to what else I might have a hand in that would be likely to replicate that success, but inevitably there will be varying degrees of success and failure along the way, and I look forward to that. As should anybody else launching themselves into the world of anthologies. What worked for Rejected For Content won’t necessarily work elsewhere. Its emergence at a time when folks were desiring new levels of extremity assisted it to the point where it now has a hardcore fanbase (and naturally, the opposite end of the scale).

Mere gross-out attempts or shock just for shock value's sake isn't, and hasn't ever been, what Rejected is all about. There has to be solid stories anchoring all of the extremity or it's

Yes, extreme horror has been on the rise for a little while now and continues to be rising, but invariably, like the omnipresent zombies as a theme, it will reach saturation point and folks may start looking around for something else to alleviate that flood of extremity. Nobody has the ability to predict what that something else is going to be, so the best bet in regards to creating your own anthologies is not to follow the same formula and go for the common and overused themes in the hope they’re going to reap rewards, but rather think outside the box a little. Find that something else, even if it is left of centre. As it’s been well-established over the course of this article, assembling an anthology is one hell of a gamble regardless of theme. So rather than borrow from oft-used ideas or try to replicate the success of previous offerings by riding too close to what you suspect made them the hit they were, go for that little something different. The market can be fickle, riding trends isn’t essentially going to reap any reward, but that something different might just be precisely what the market is looking for.

Now, having said that, and having also referred to zombies earlier, I’ll make mention of an anthology experience that tends to go against some of what I just said.

As you might or might not be aware, J. Ellington Ashton Press has been rolling out a series of books in a massive creation that is known as Project 26. This is a collective of books comprised of anthologies, novellas, and novels, covering each letter of the alphabet, coming out in lots of four in completely random letter order.

Among these has been the anthology Zombies: Zero Hour which I took on-board as editor. The particular topics/themes of each book in the project were decided and established quite some time ago, and at the time, I’d have not elected to run with the undead subject, for no other reason other than the fact that they are often over-represented in horror fiction. When the original editor for this book dropped out, I opted to take over it and another one of the P26 anthologies also lacking an editor. Most surprising to me has been the fact that of the two anthologies, and indeed some of the others, the zombie-centric book has been most successful. This either goes to show, that I know absolutely nothing about what is likely to sell, or more likely, that as I’ve mentioned a few times around various places, that zombies are now one of those things which have surpassed mere trend status and comfortably settled their rotting corpses into the mainstream, where pockets of undead fiction fans will always be inclined to read about them. However, that in itself is still no guarantee that a zombie-based anthology is going to be a winner. The books comprising Project 26 have come out with plenty of publicity and attention, alongside teasers and information to prepare readers, excite them and make them look forward to what might be releasing next, so relying on just the notion that it’s zombies selling because zombies sell isn’t really going to push a book far.

 

Putting together an undead anthology with or without established names then letting it loose without any fanfare or press release, or promotion of any sort, and then expecting it to be a chartbuster because, hell, it’s zombies, isn’t realistically going to achieve much of anything. Expectations of success and reality are two vastly different things.

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SotS Cover

I’ve had the great fortune to helm anthologies that have garnered decent levels of success, and I’ve also been able to appear several times in anthologies alongside some of the absolute giants of the horror genre, which is an honour and a joy that never gets old, and I’ve also had stories appear in niche anthos that have had very minimal readership, some to the point where they’re no longer in print. Some of the latter were based around themes which I certainly dug, and imagined many others would have enjoyed too, but for whatever reason, the books themselves just didn’t take off at all. All of which demonstrates that there is no guaranteed success, there is no secret that can be unlocked.

So you want to put together an anthology? Go ahead and throw yourself into it. Hopefully some of this will prove beneficial to you. And best of luck.

 

 

Jim Goforth, 2017

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FESTIVAL OF THE FLESH

Plebs was bloody. Riders was bloodier. The Sleep was monstrous and Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger was an undead splatterfest.

And Carnival of Chaos was just the beginning of a new venture into bloodshed and brutality.

However, the culmination of that new venture, Festival of the Flesh, makes all of those look somewhat tame in comparison.

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I meant to post about this a little earlier, but inexplicable internet issues resulted in me being offline for a couple of days while my internet provider hustled to find out why their so-called fabulous service was suddenly absolute shit, but in any case, that’s neither here nor there.

If you’ve been playing along at home you’ll know that JEA’s Project 26 has been steadily rolling along, unleashing a series of books every few weeks. Project 26 of course is twenty six books in total, one for each letter of the alphabet, all dropping in completely random order. Among these was Carnival of Chaos (which I’ve rambled on about a little in previous blog posts) emerging on the 6th of October, and introducing folks to an octet of disgruntled ex-carnival workers seeking revenge on the man responsible for their jobless predicament.

On October 21, the second part of the ongoing story revolving around these eight would-be vengeance-seekers, along with a host of others sucked into the maelstrom of escalating violence and peril, surfaced in the form of Festival of the Flesh. This cheerful little excursion into depths of depravity is, as mentioned earlier, perhaps a book that will make Plebs and it’s sequel books seem like a pleasant walk in the park.

Carnival of Chaos definitely has its moments, but it is the foundation of the story, the build-up and setting of various scenes, the introduction of the assortment of miscreant characters that populate this freakish, violent and dangerous landscape. Given where this particular book ends, it should probably come as no surprise that Festival of the Flesh launches into bloodthirsty mayhem almost from the word go and doesn’t let up.

Carnival is occasionally laced with levity, lighter moments and instances of jocularity courtesy of some of the characters, but Festival, not so much. It is grim, bloody, ultra-violent, and keeps the foot on the accelerator throughout. In addition there’s a moment in here serving as a brutal analogy for the reality that the laughter is over. Let’s see if anybody can pick that moment.

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The crew comprised of Loco, Blades, Angelique, Cleo, Stix, Ben, Minx, and Jason have discovered exactly what the Festival of the Flesh is, and the true motivations behind the sinister Mister E. steamrolling their former place of employment under a garish new horror themed carnival entity. Along the way, their reckless and dangerous choices and entanglements have created a snowball effect that has dragged numerous others into the slipstream.

Percy, Jason’s flatmate, a studious, naive fellow, prepared to blindly folow Jason and stick his neck out for him and his friends without fully understanding what he’s involving himself in.

Dawn, gym junkie fitness fanatic blonde who happens to live in the same apartment building as Jason and Percy. Her presence in the right place at the wrong time leads her into a world of deadly obsession, and of course the perverse world of the Festival of the Flesh.

Amber, beachy blonde beauty, with an attachment to Ben, and a distrust of all else. Circumstances have rendered her abandoned and friendless, but for the motley crew that is the ex-carnies, and she’ll do absolutely anything in her power to steer the mission away from entering into the Festival of the Flesh.

Colin Kadogan, Patrick Doolan and Jennifer Brand, police officers tasked by their boss, Chief Cavanaugh to investigate the Carnival, certain that a string of incidents are tied to the new horror creation. Chasing leads on what originally seemed like fairly routine cases, albeit of an unusual nature, these officers of the law are about to be catapulted into nightmarish realms, with Doolan in particular coming face to face with horrendous visions of his past.

And while the malevolent Mister E and his whole sadistic family loom large and threatening over all, behind the scenes lurks another more insidious soul. The demented Desmond Drago, surrounded by ghosts, intent on perversion, damage and bloodshed, stalks in shadows, driven by infatuation and the desire to twist the Festival to his advantage.

While many of these characters and others (including Amber’s duplicitious cordon of former friends) first surfaced during Carnival, they are all on a collision course of violence and horror that will land each and every one of them right in the midst of the Festival of the Flesh.

Come along and join them, but remember, Carnival of Chaos needs to be read first before you throw yourself into the mayhem of the Festival.

I can’t guarantee you’ll have a good time, in fact, I’m pretty sure you’re in for the exact opposite of that.

Available now in paperback and Kindle formats (part of J. Ellington Ashton’s massive Project 26, and most likely the bloodiest of the lot). Should come with several warnings, but doesn’t. Most folks by now should be well aware of what they’re getting into here, and the cover alone should serve as warning enough. This is a bloodsoaked, boobytrapped extreme carnival ride into the sheer depths of depravity and horrific violence. Come prepared.

festival cover

 

Hidden within a seemingly innocuous horror-themed carnival exists something far more disturbing. Where those with dollars and depraved desires find everything they seek catered for.

Hunted by mutant backwoods freaks, pursued relentlessly by the malevolent ringmaster who usurped their former boss, stranded in the deep woodland, and fast running out of options, the remaining few free ex-carnival employees are about to be forced into bloody battle that is only the beginning of a descent into sheer terror.

Having discovered the truth behind the carnival’s existence, these desperate souls know there is only one way to save any of their friends from becoming prized exhibits, and perverse playthings for the sick and bloodthirsty. They must gain entry and take part in the gruesome enterprise that lurks behind the garish trappings and faux horror extravagances of the carnival’s new and improved version.

Blood is going to pour like rain, to a symphony of screams. Bodies are going to stack up. The entertainment to be had here is enjoyed only by the most sadistic and degenerate of souls, and from all walks of life they come, from every corner of society, seeking to indulge their sickest, bloodiest impulses.

Peel away the bright, colourful facade of the carnival and you’ll find the hideous heart that is the Festival of Flesh.

http://smarturl.it/festivaloftheflesh

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CARNIVAL OF CHAOS

Meet the eight souls who used to be employees of a quaint little establishment known by the rather cumbersome name of Chippy the Champ’s Classic Circus and Carnival.

They’ve just turned up to work to find their old boss has inexplicably parted ways with the business, leaving it in the hands of a sinister newcomer with an entourage of brutal staff, and vastly different ideas on how to run his new acquisition.

Not only are most of their old professions likely to be rendered obsolete and not required in the malevolent Mister E’s new vision of a sleek, ultramodern, terrifying Horror Park, but their loyalty to their former employer has them at odds with the new owner from the word go.

Harsh words become physical violence, as assaults and intimidation are carried out upon those unwilling to bend to fit into the new Ringmaster’s grand regime. Threats, sleazy propositions, and warnings that more violence and far worse will follow is just the precursor to all dismissed carnival employees being forced to leave the premises immediately without being allowed any access to personal possessions. There are many terminated employees shown the door on this day, but only these eight make the potentially foolish decision to return at a later date, seeking retribution.

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Angelique. The trapeze artist. Acrobat. Gymnast. A fiery, feisty, compact brunette stunner with a burning desire for revenge. She’s a ringleader, an instigator, and possesses a natural willingness to launch herself into dangerous situations, and the ability to convince others to do likewise.

Ben. The strongman. A six foot five shaven-headed behemoth, comprehensively covered in tattoos, fond of toting around sledgehammers. Powerful, loyal, and keen to right the wrongs he sees perpetuated on his friends. Looks intimidating, but there’s a good heart beneath that muscled, inked exterior.

Minx. The elephant trainer. Blonde and nervous, never a leader, always a follower. The least willing to buy into any vengeful missions, she’s also far too prone to succumb to peer pressure. Born of affluent folks, Minx doesn’t really need a job, but the chance to see her beloved elephants again is a powerful incentive to sway her into joining her wronged co-workers in all they seek to do.

Stix. The clown. With a penchant for food and painfully bright ridiculous clothing, the genial Stix isn’t just a circus or carnival clown at work, he’s a clown in general, fond of pranks and mischief, and a good time all round. More prepared to look for the safer way out of trouble than to plunge headfirst into it, he’s nonetheless also prepared to follow his long-time friends and associates into the pits of hell.

Cleo. The tiger performer. Aloof, statuesque, pierced brunette beauty. With a propensity for profanity, a stubborn streak and a temper, to go with no qualms about speaking her mind, she is among the first of those vowing vengeance on those responsible for the carny crew’s rough treatment.

Blades. The knife man. Short, wiry, and gaunt, Blades is small in stature, but big in intimidation. Blades isn’t merely a catchy nickname plucked out of thin air; this fellow is lethal with anything sharp and carries more concealed knives around than an average armoury. Stix’s sidekick, or more appropriately, vice versa. While Stix brings the jokes and good humour, Blades brings the genuine menace.

Loco. The oddity. The freak. The true ringleader, spearhead and driving force behind all the maelstrom of events the displaced ex-carnival workers find themselves engulfed in. A six foot tattooed, pierced, braided, Mohawked entity Loco is who all the others seek direction from. Looks frightening, genuinely is frightening. Carries around an abundance of secrets.

Jason. The sometime sideshow operator. Jack of all menial trades. Easy-going, metal-loving Jason is the newest member of the Carnival, and not being a true ‘carny’ as such, most likely to be kept around for the new Horror Park vision. Instead, despite being in desperate need of a job, he is first to speak up against those seeking to undo the antiquated notions of the Classic. Quick-thinking, quick-acting, impetuous, impulsive, Jason is the wildcard in the vengeful jobless carnival brigade.

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Spearheaded by the persuasive Loco and Angelique, this intrepid (or insanely foolish) octet bide their time for a week, then meet up once more, with plans to return to the Carnival grounds. Motivated partly by the desire to regain some of the possessions they weren’t allowed to take upon their termination, but mostly by the need to somehow seek vengeance on those they feel wronged them, the disgruntled collective return under cover of the dark.

Soon enough they can see that in that week absent from the place, Mister E, his hordes of workers, and most likely those who elected to remain in the new Ringmaster’s employ have not been idle. Nothing remains of the rustic old, tranquil place of employment they were all used to. In its place is a massive sprawling monstrosity of a creation, a modern Carnival behemoth still in the process of being completely set up. Surrounded by towering chain-link fences topped by barbed wire, this giant entity dwarfs the tiny Classic Carnival it has eclipsed.

This is the Carnival of Chaos, and what they’re about to discover inside is going to change a simple revenge mission into an escalating nightmare of terrifying proportions, where it isn’t just the eight of them being dragged into a slipstream of violence, pain, perversion and unimaginable horror, but many others as well.

 

Carnival of Chaos (which is part of the massive Project 26 creation from J. Ellington Ashton Press) is available now in paperback and Kindle, part one of a two book tale which culminates with Festival of the Flesh (available in two weeks).

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Threatened, assaulted, and ultimately dismissed from their jobs, a group of disgruntled ex-carnival workers swear vengeance on the sinister new boss responsible for their state. Coercing even the most unwilling amongst them to join in on the revenge mission, the collective wait, biding their time before returning to the carnival grounds under cover of darkness. Plans for regaining lost property and enacting some simple retribution swiftly turn deadly when a series of grisly discoveries are made.

Now, having unwittingly involved themselves in something insidious and monstrous, this miscreant collective are being hunted by a relentless force. As more people are sucked into the maelstrom, innocent and nefarious alike, they’re all about to find themselves on an escalating nightmare journey into a brutal world of unimaginable pain and perversion.

Snaring a ticket to this carnival doesn’t ensure fun and frivolity. It only ensures carnage and chaos. Survival is not guaranteed.

http://smarturl.it/carnivalofchaos

 

PROJECT 26 ROLLS ON

If you’ve been following the mammoth ongoing Project 26 entity (or alternatively, even if you haven’t-you’d probably have seen an assortment of posts regarding it floating all around Facebook, Twitter and various other places) you would be aware that more P26 books have emerged in recent weeks.

On the off-chance you aren’t up to date with Project 26, I’ll do a quick recap, though elsewhere on this site I’ve laid out what the project is all about. In short, it is a series of books-26 in total, one for each letter of the alphabet. Novels, novellas and anthologies are all represented. Unlike other projects of a similar nature (the whole alphabet represented by books or stories or whatnot) these books are not being released in strict alphabet order, instead they are coming out in lots of four or thereabouts in completely random order, so you’ll never know what is coming next.

In any case, among those recently released are a few where I have involvement in different capacities. Two of these, Slaughter on the Seas and Zombies: Zero Hour, I’m editor for (I’ll just mention here that I wasn’t initally planning to be editor for these, but stepped into the role when the original editor dropped out of the project. I have a story in Zombies, and generally speaking I’m not one to put my own stories in works I’m editor for, hence the disclaimer regarding how I came to be helming those particular books). Nonetheless, both of them are doing well, particularly the latter, despite the fact that it revolves around zombies, which of course many people feel are over-saturating the market, or they’ve had their day or some such shit. Bear in mind though, Project 26 has been in the making for quite some time now, and regardless how one feels about zombies, the truth is, they’ve gone beyond a trend to a mainstay in horror fiction, and there is always going to be a market for material revolving around them. While there may be nothing new under the sun, there are always plenty of ways to put a different spin on things and many of the authors involved in books like this with familiar themes or popular horror entities/monsters/what-have-you have found engaging and unique ways of keeping well-worn paths interesting.

Notions of the undead have fascinated and terrified humanity for centuries, and none more so than those tales revolving around zombies. From the very root of the zombie myth back in Haitian slave days to a saturation through popular culture, zombies have crawled their way up out of their graves, refusing to stay interred.

Now, as their hordes increase and their hungers grow, the undead plagues cannot be stopped. It isn’t just a case of no more room left in hell, now there’s no room left on earth. The apocalypse is here, and it’s time for humanity to abdicate their position as rulers of the planet to those monstrous reanimated ghouls from the tomb.

Humans have had their day. Time’s up. The world belongs to the zombies now. It’s zero hour.

http://smarturl.it/zombieszerohour

 

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Filled with monstrous entities from the deep, both real and fabled, and sailed by marauding pirate ships with bloodthirsty souls looking to plunder and destroy, the great briny blue of the ocean is one of the most terrifying places imaginable.

With almost three quarters of the earth’s surface covered by sea, this vast expanse is home to myriad horrors.

From hundreds of fathoms down, or lurking just beneath the surface, to brazenly navigating the nautical domain, these deadly threats are just waiting for unsuspecting souls to take to the waters.

So come on, take the plunge, dive on in. The water is fine. What exists within it is another story.

http://smarturl.it/slaughterontheseas

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Elsewhere I have stories appearing in a couple of the others released in those surprise bundles, including the demonic collective Dance With the Demon and the swarming plague of horror that is Insectile Illusion, both anthologies helmed by Toneye Eyenot. In the former I have a piece titled Summoning where a black metal band inadvertently bring forth a malevolent being after messing around with what they think is merely a cool song. In the latter I present Sewer Dwellers which features a thief too smart for his own good, thinking he’s evaded police capture by hiding out in the sewers beneath the city. This cunning fellow is about to discover staying one step ahead of the cops is the least of his worries.

Demons – we all have them. Like a parasitic shadow, attaching itself and penetrating its foul claws deep into your soul, your own personal demon feeds on your fears. Fear – the basest of all human emotions; the one from which all our others gain impetus and purpose – even of love.

Throughout history, the Demon has been projected outwards, given form, given a cornucopia of names and even hierarchies. Truth be told, they are a deeply ingrained expression of our own psyches. Manifesting in a myriad of ways: addictions – physical, mental and spiritual; hatred and prejudice, ignorance and subservience – the Demon lives within us all, and choreographs the dance of life towards death.

As you immerse yourself in the demonic tales within these pages, the question may arise…

How much of yourself have you given away, as you Dance with the Demon?

 

Nothing makes the skin crawl more than skin crawling with insects. Making their way into every orifice, burrowing through flesh to lay their eggs by the million; you, their unwilling host. Swarms invading your home, infesting the streets, devouring crops, bringing disease, famine, and death. If the insects decide to take over, there is next to nothing you can do in defence. Now, keep this in the forefront of your mind as you delve into this entomological excursion. The stories within are guaranteed to have you swatting and scratching at illusive insects as you read the tales these authors have poured into this bug collection from hell. Your own bed, especially, will no longer be a sanctuary as the antagonists of these stories follow you into your nightmares.

But hey, it all just an illusion, right? Right?

 

There have also been releases from Essel Pratt, Roma Gray and Mark Woods to check out as the Project 26 Machine rolls relentlessly on. Be sure to collect them all.

And stay tuned as more releases emerge since among them will be new brutality and bloodshed in the form of the dual monsters known as Carnival of Chaos and Festival of the Flesh.

CARNIVAL

Part one of an ultra-violent, splatterpunk, visceral expedition into a world of revenge, pain, perversion and bloody death. Come along and snare a ticket to this carnival, but proceed with caution. Survival is not guaranteed.

FESTIVAL

Hidden within a seemingly innocuous horror themed carnival exists something far more insidious. Where those with dollars and depraved desires find everything they seek catered for.
Peel away the bright, colourful facade of the Carnival and you’ll find the hideous heart that is the Festival of the Flesh. #P26

COMING SOON

 

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.
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
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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

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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.