Posts Tagged ‘novella’

CLANS

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

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

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

CLANS (1)

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

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

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

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

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

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

PhotoFunia-1578116090

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Screenshot 2020-01-03 at 14.10.42

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

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

 

 

 

HAVOC VULTURE PLAYLIST

Even though I should be finishing up Greater Extremes I figured I’d take a few minutes out to knock up a playlist for black metal horror novella Havoc Vulture, because, why the hell not? Besides, being such a music-heavy piece, revolving around metal fans, a band and whatnot, it stands to reason that it should have a playlist of some description.

Like the playlists I made for other books, the songs contained within are either mentioned (or the bands are), play some part, are appropriate to the material or serve as scene setters.

Unlike the other playlists, I didn’t exactly set them out in any specific order, though for the most part the songs listed run parallel to the story itself. I probably could have crammed in a whole bunch more considering the majority of tracks here are drawn from my favourite music genre, but in the interests of not overwhelming what is just a novella with a playlist more suited to a thousand page novel or some such shit, I’ll keep it trimmed down to twenty, listed below. Feel free to crank these particular tunes while you’re reading the story.

g

Burzum-Burzum

Freezing Moon-Mayhem

Havoc Vulture-Satyricon

Chased Through the Woods by a Rapist-Waking the Cadaver

Fucked Up and Ready to Die-Darkthrone

Fucking Hostile-Pantera

Tyrants-Immortal

Expendable Youth-Slayer

Beneath the Remains-Sepultura

Into the Cold Voids of Eternity-Naglfar

The Dark Rivers of the Heart-Limbonic Art

The Possession-King Diamond

Unchain My Heart-Gorgoroth

Wolves-Marduk

A Fine Day to Die-Emperor

A Witch is Born-Gehenna

Desecration of the Holy Kingdom-Black Witchery

Atrocity March-Revenge

Stellar Master Elite-Thorns

Out in the Haunted Woods-Ancient

Copy of HAVOC VULTURE

There’s another point of interest regarding this book I’d be curious to know people’s opinions about. If you are reading Havoc Vulture, have already read it, plan to read it etc. etc. I’d like you to report back to me with your side of the YA debate.

As I’ve made mention in a variety of other posts, both here, Facebook and wherever, there are two distinct schools of thought regarding just what in fiction is considered YA (young adult). In this case I’m talking horror, but of course the divide occurs across all genres.

The issue is this. One side considers any work YA if the protagonist(s), chief characters and so forth are themselves young adults. Children, teenagers and so forth. That’s the only basis they use. Not content, not anything, merely the age.

The other side-and this is the side I’m on-considers YA work to fit into that category via the content of the material. Therefore, sex and violence and all those kinds of more adult-oriented materials are perfectly legit to be included, but are not extreme, excessive, explicit, you get the picture.

Havoc Vulture is driven largely by a cast of characters who are all sixteen years of age. There are older individuals, there are appearances by adults, but all of these are either secondary characters or very minor characters. The protagonists are all essentially young adults.

Therefore, by the former school of thought regarding what constitutes YA in fiction, Havoc Vulture would fit squarely in that bracket. However, the content in said book is anything but young adult in terms of the levels of violence, subversive activity, and other elements.

I certainly wouldn’t be driving it towards a young adult audience or marketing it as such, but maybe I should be, if the majority of folks tend to think young adult is anything where the characters themselves are young adults. Granted, there are probably plenty of cautionary messages and things of that nature that could be pulled from the story itself to act as warning to young adults, but trying to push it as a YA horror? Nah, I don’t think so.

Anyway, that’s up to you readers to decide. Check out this playlist, then check out the book itself, have a read and let me know if you consider Havoc Vulture to be in any way, shape or form, a young adult suitable book. If so, well shit, I’m pushing for it to be included in school reading.

Freedom’s Way doesn’t see many heavy metal concerts. Certainly not those of the black metal persuasion.
Which is why sixteen year old Reid Torrance and his friends are overjoyed beyond belief with the news that infamous black metal band, Vulture, are coming to perform in their town.
Reid and friends are diehard black metal fanatics, and everything they know about the notorious genre they learned from Reid’s big brother, Gav.
Unfortunately, Gav won’t be on hand to witness the famed Vulture show. Gav’s in prison, locked up for a string of crimes that will see him behind bars for a long time.
And now it looks like Reid and co. won’t be attending the performance either. Freedom’s Way’s powers-that-be, and morally strict, won’t abide by a corrupt musical presence in their town, and are quick to stamp out this foolish notion, and crush dreams to dust.
However, a group of older black metal fans are privy to other knowledge. The banned concert will be going ahead, regardless, and for a price they’re willing to take Reid and friends along to the unsanctioned musical mayhem, to be held at a secret location far from the prying eyes of town authority figures.
Maybe Reid should have paid more attention to his initial misgivings.
An evening of illicit entertainment is about to become far more than that for this group of metal-loving teenagers. It’s about to spiral into a vortex of unimaginable terror, where histories are laid bare and events few of them dreamed possible are going to unfold in a nightmarish chain.
Careful what you wish for. You might not be prepared for the horror unleashed when you finally get it.

http://smarturl.it/havocvulture

 

Upcoming titles

The first half of this year was pretty hectic with a rush of writing activity, and a few different books coming out. That was largely due to the fact that I wasn’t working full-time, and had some of those works already mostly assembled. I still do have other projects largely put together, but will be releasing them at a later date.

The second half of the year has slowed down, at least in terms of putting books out. I know I’d set myself the challenge of releasing one book a month or the equivalent, but again, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, that fairly bold claim was made when I had surplus writing time, and wasn’t engaged in myriad other time-consuming factors. Nonetheless, there are still books coming.

First off will be More Extremes, which I’ve made reference to around one or ten times already. Following in the footsteps of Extremes (which is still my current best-selling book so far), this will be a collection of my more extreme horror tales, though of course that doesn’t essentially mean they are all loaded up with blood, gore, and violent extremity. There are far more levels to the definition extreme than that, and subtlety can often trump blunt force trauma. A constant wash of the same sort of extremity, or merely choosing to stay in that one lane deadens the impact of what is considered extreme, when one can do more with it than just sever heads and eviscerate bodies. Shit, there doesn’t even have to be blood, gore, and shock for the sake of shock, when simple themes can conjure up extreme thoughts and provoke curiosity.

Unlike Extremes, which was comprised of all reprints, mostly from books which had a pretty wide readership (go figure why this book is my biggest seller at the moment), More Extremes will be split equally down the middle, being made up of half reprints and half new stories. At least that’s the plan. If I happen to suddenly find a fuckload of time where I manage to get more new stories completed than the four I’m currently working on, then maybe that will tip the balance a little. But as it stands, that’s what I’m looking at. Any other Extremes books following this will however, be mostly, if not wholly, comprised of new tales.

Work on this has been slower than I’d have liked, because, again, life, and all those other aspects of it taking ownership of all the time I used to be able to spend writing. However, it is getting there, slowly, but surely, which is a fairly new thing for me. I’m used to writing and getting through things at a rapid rate, so it’s a bit of a change having to contend with things not coming together as quickly as I’ve become accustomed to.

I’d like to say this will be emerging in the next few weeks, and I’ll boldly predict that will be the case, but we’ll see. Keep your eyes peeled for it.

EXTREMES(2)

Once that beast is let loose, I’ll have another book coming along. This one, currently being written, is either going to be a novella or perhaps a full-length novel. Initially I’d planned for it to be a novel, but if I can manage to wrap up the story in novella format, then that’s what it will be. However, I have my doubts that will be the case. I suspect the story will take off and the characters will run themselves far out beyond a simple novella length.

I’ve revealed nothing about this one yet, in regards to what it is even about, and nor will I, at least not immediately. I did reveal the cover on a couple of social media sites last night, but at this point in time, that’s the extent of what I’ll be revealing. It’s not connected with any other novel, series, or anything else I’ve written, it’s something completely new, something I planned to do some time back, but had sitting on the back burner for a bit while I worked on other projects. In the meantime, while you wait for these books to emerge, as well some others which will be along in the future (including Plebs 3, Global Death: The Zombie Trigger, another couple of collections, and a book which will combine characters from two of my books), you can check out the cover for the book that will chase More Extremes out of the gates. Murder Academy.

I actually made a couple of covers for this, one without the tagline, but I reckon it looks better with it. You might disagree, and that’s fair enough, but I’m digging a little slash of red among the austere greys and blacks. I’m looking forward to getting it out there. As always, stay tuned.

MURDER ACADEMY(1)

METAL IS THE LAW (OR THE BOOK OF HEAVY METAL…OR, YOU GET THE GIST)

 

Over the last couple of months there has been a dominant theme occurring in the books I’ve been involved in, and if you’ve been following in any capacity you will already know what that is. Of course, I’m talking about heavy metal.

I’ve been known to appropriate a couple of phrases from various reviews and refer to my work from time to time as grindhouse splatterpunk horror driven by heavy metal, but that doesn’t always mean the musical element is in the content, but moreso the spirit. In this case however, the heavy metal is well and truly alive in the content of these latest few books.

Firstly, the tail end of June saw the long-awaited release of a new battle anthology (and the last one I aim to be part of for some time, with a concentration on other projects being more in my plans) Punk Vs Metal. Here I use the term long-awaited not so much to refer to hordes of readers eagerly anticipating its arrival, but more in reference to the incredibly patient authors involved. As anybody is well aware, metal and punk music aren’t exactly mainstream chart-busting types of genres, so consequently any book dealing with them is likely to be a niche one, not something targeting a massive cross-section of the public.

The long-awaited part is due to the fact that those involved with Punk Vs Metal had to wait longer than one might anticipate for this book to finally see the light of day, courtesy of a pile of factors impacting on it and delaying release. Initially the whole punk versus metal as a battle anthology notion came about in early 2017 or thereabouts when a whole host of competitions were being bandied about, and while teams were decided on back then as well, the various members chosen for each side didn’t remain constant. There were line-up changes, drop-outs, replacements, and a whole bunch of shit going on that made progressing with the book a difficult task. What was more, PvM was originally going to be one of those battle anthos that followed the same trajectory and template of all those that came before it. By this I mean a panel of judges would go through the stories round by round and vote on them, with winners in each round, culminating in an overall team winning at the conclusion. The delay on all of that was such that eventually I took control of the book and decided to cut the whole judging part out of it, not merely so the authors involved didn’t have to keep waiting and waiting for some shit they’d been waiting for far too long as it was, but for a different approach to the battle antho template. After all, going into a book such as this with a preconceived notion of who is going to win, or having already been told who the judges voted as winner, tilts readership in a sort of bias or predetermined mindset, whether intentional or otherwise.

Therefore PvM is the only battle antho where judges aren’t involved and the results of which story wins in each round, or which teams ultimately wins, is determined solely by the readers themselves and nobody else.

It was a fun idea for a book, and there were some top notch authors writing for it, but in all honesty, after all was said and done, it was just a relief to finally have the book out there and be finished with it.

One upside to take away from it was the fact that my story in PvM is something that I now plan to do more with. If you’ve read the book and encountered my tale, Clans, then you’ll know what it is all about. If not, well you will discover all about it when I expand it into what will either be a novella length work, or (less likely) a full length novel. In any case, it is something that I’m debating turning into an ongoing series, as the tale itself revolves around a city where there are no wars or conflict between races, or anything of that nature, but instead ongoing conflict between people who swear allegiance to various musical genres. The Metal clan and the Punks of course are the prime characters in this particular story, but should I choose to expand the universe more, the other clans mentioned in the tale, as well as others that don’t feature will also come into play at some stage.

Again, if you have read this story, the first thing you might have taken away from it is that it isn’t horror at all. There are probably a few bits in there that could loosely fall under the horror banner, but for the most part, it’s more of a love story than a horror story. A twisted musical metal-infused love story set amidst a backdrop of warring clans, but one nonetheless, and one that tends to hark back to my early days of writing when I worked daily on a long-running urban story featuring youth gangs.

So, with that said, be sure to keep an eye out for the expanded, extended, uncut version of Clans, coming along sometime in the future, and then potentially, more books in the same universe. There will be horrific moments in there of course, but their base genre will not be horror.

In the meantime, check out PvM, and feel free to drop a review detailing your thoughts on the stories within, let us all know who won, and decide once and for all whether metal prevails over punk, or vice versa.

punk vs metal proper cover

What happens when a team of writers who swear allegiance to punk are pitched into brutal, no-holds-barred story war with a squad of scribes pledging loyalty to metal?

http://smarturl.it/punkvsmetal

The second book, which came out at the start of this month (July) was the novella, Havoc Vulture. This one is also very metal oriented, revolving around a group of teenagers obsessed with the black metal genre, first excited about the prospects of an infamous black metal band coming to their town, then deflated by the knowledge the powers-that-be running the place have quashed any hope of the performance proceeding.

Like many of my books, the original intentions for it were rather different to how it turned out. Initially I was planning to write a series of short stories each titled after the names of some of my favourite black metal tracks, and release them all in a themed collection. (Story content would have nothing to do with the songs themselves of course-these would be horror stories merely inspired by the various titles e.g Blizzard Beasts or something of that nature would be pretty self explanatory, but nothing thematically to do with the Immortal song’s content). While I still might delve into something like this down the track a piece, the first story I started writing was Havoc Vulture, and though the initial story-line remained the same as I’d pictured it, it became evident that it was going to span into a novella rather than just a story.

Given I have a tendency to write quickly, this one took a little longer to complete than I would have liked, but I suppose writing time on it sandwiched between editing for others and working on an assortment of other projects at the time accounts for that.

It is a horror story, of course, venturing into the extreme territory, but the ages of the main eight protagonists (sixteen) got me pondering over something.

There’s been a lot of conjecture of late-and probably not just of late-over what exactly constitutes young adult as a genre. Personally, I was always of the mindset that for something to be considered young adult it was essentially a book with a young adult readership as the target audience, and therefore something where the subject matter and content would be suitable for such an audience i.e light on violence and sex and that sort of thing. However, I’ve seen an assortment of interpretations floating around social media and so forth with people suggesting that the ages of the actual characters might play a part in a book being deemed young adult. I’ve never seen it that way, certainly not with a book that could be loaded up with content that is far from suitable for a young adult (ages variable) crowd to be delving into, even if the protagonists or main characters are teenagers or whatnot. Yet, apparently there’s a school of thought that deems any book featuring those of a certain age to slot into that young adult genre, regardless of the kind of content.

Therefore, since all of Havoc Vulture’s main characters are sixteen (and young adult age), and others that make appearances aren’t much older, and any adults don’t spend enough book time to have any real bearing, should I be pushing a book that is bordering on extreme horror as a young adult work? Definitely something to mull over. There’s some grey areas there, and despite these strange suppositions that it would be construed as a young adult book, I’m going to go with my original stance on that particular blurring of lines genre and suggest otherwise. Merely having young adult characters in your book isn’t always going to indicate it’s going to be suitable for that particular audience.

Nonetheless, if young adult readers do want to read Havoc Vulture, then I’m not planning to dissuade them. There’s plenty of messages in there they can walk away with.

Copy of HAVOC VULTURE

Freedom’s Way doesn’t see many heavy metal concerts. Certainly not those of the black metal persuasion.

There’s a good reason why they tried to stop this one.

Vulture are coming, whether they’re welcome or not.

http://smarturl.it/havocvulture

Finally, keeping with the metal theme, is my most recent book. From the Vault came out a couple of days ago, and while it isn’t a novella or anthology focused on heavy metal or featuring metal or anything along those lines, it is a collection of poetry which was originally written as lyrics for metal songs.

Since I make mention of the origins of all these lyrics/poems/whatever one wants to refer to them as in the book introduction and afterword, I won’t repeat myself too much again here, but all of the forty pieces that are included were written way back in the 90s. All of them were written as lyrics; some of them actually had music written as well-some in full, others in bits and pieces. Unfortunately much of that has been lost along the way, and I’d be lucky to remember how to play half of it in any case, but all the lyrics themselves I’ve kept intact for decades.

Going back to that point above where I say I generally write things fast, all of these pieces are no exclusion that rule. I’d say almost all of these pieces, as well as a large number of others I have that I’ll consider for future collections (potentially themed) were penned very quickly. At least one a night is the general standard, while there were multiple occasions where several were completed in a single night. Bar changing a word here or a line there, they didn’t get changed; I didn’t spend a lot of time tinkering around with them or agonising over getting them just right. They spilled out onto the page as they were-hand-written of course, since I wrote everything by hand once upon a time-and that’s how they remained. I’ve always written just about everything like that, and continue to do so to this day, which is part of the reason I write fast. Often the final result isn’t exactly as I’d envisioned it, but different ideas steal in to replace ones I had originally, so it balances out well. Half the time I write lines, paragraphs, scenes etc. in my head while I’m doing other things, and by the time I get around to typing or writing them out, the core elements might remain the same but the actual wording becomes somewhat different. That usually wasn’t the way with writing these lyrics; I’d sit down with pen and paper and write, and what came out then and there generally accounted for the final product.

Anyway, From the Vault: A collection of dark poetry and lyrics is out now, and doing well, and for only a dollar you too can read some of the things I was writing well over twenty years ago (in addition to novels and stories, which I was also writing way back then). At some stage I might write up another post that focuses solely on that particular book and goes into a little more detail on some of the works, and stories or reasons behind them, but we’ll save that for another day.

FROM THE VAULT(1)

Words from the past. From the dark. From the vault.

http://smarturl.it/fromthevaultdark

In the meantime, feel free to check out any of the aforementioned metal-themed books-Punk Vs Metal, Havoc Vulture, From the Vault-and headbang your way through some horror. As I mentioned earlier, I know very well that metal is really something for a niche audience, hardly something targeting a mass mainstream readership, but hey I’m in this writing game because I fucking love writing, and that’s the bottom line. I’ll keep writing all kinds of shit, but rest assured, I’ll always be dropping a few stories in there revolving around heavy metal, or inspired by heavy metal; that’s never going to change.

Now Go Forth and Headbang. And Horrify. And be Horrified.

 

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.

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

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

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

Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger January 8 (novel)

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

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

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

Rejected For Content 4: Highway to Hell July 15 Editor

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

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

Drowning in GoreMarshlands Malice, Sep 20

TrashedStrange Old Brew, Oct 3

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

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

Full Moon SlaughterHour of the Wolf, Nov 1

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

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

Rejected For Content 5: Sanitarium Dec 8, Editor

VampZ vz WolvZDinner Interruptus, Dec 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sleep

Carnival (abbreviated title)

Festival (abbreviated title)

Tyler Flynn

Plebs 3

Global Death: The Zombie Trigger 2

Murder Academy

Aground

Johnny Fox and the Werewolves

Neighborhood

Lycan Gang

Degenerate Children

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

WTAC AUTHOR NAME

WITH TOOTH AND CLAW

After a bit of a minor delay, my latest released With Tooth and Claw is now out everywhere, available in paperback and Kindle format.

The book is a collection of macabre tales, comprised of seven pieces, three of which are novella length. Essentially these three stories are long enough to constitute being released as separate standalone works, but I have never been a fan of the idea of single novellas, though they are a big thing these days. Personally, I prefer a book to be a book sized one, a little more for folks to sink their teeth into (no pun intended) than a single story, so any shorts I happen to write which aren’t for various anthologies will always come out as a collection. With that being said, I actually have plans to release collections relatively frequently, in between novels, which is the case here, with this coming out between Plebs and my upcoming novel Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger which is complete and awaiting first edits.

While these stories are all going to be new to readers, technically one or two of them are actually quite old, written a long time ago and the concept behind one of the more recent longer pieces is even older still.

As one might expect from me, they are bloody, visceral, visually explicit and full of dark imagery, though maybe not quite to the extent of some of those I’ve written (Rejected For Content 1 and 2 spring to mind), but if you’ve read my work before, rest assured they are all definitely in the same vein.

So without rambling on too much more-I’ll save that for my next post-I’ll drop the link off for it. Swing round, check it out, feel free to leave a review if you so choose, as always I’m happy with good, bad or ugly, and let me know what you think.

Chad, Vincent and their friends are going camping. Chad doesn’t even like camping. The only reason he is even here is because the delectable Denise has come along too.
Now they are all assembled around the campfire drinking and trying to scare one another with lame horror stories. None of which are particularly scary. Chad is hoping they hurry it up and move along to some more risqué games, preferably involving Denise.
However, Vincent has one more tale to tell…
Nick and Maree just want to have a good night together. But people won’t stop messing with them. The town bully, the self-perceived beauty queen, even the local cop want to give them some sort of hell.
Maybe that is a very bad idea…
Stu just wants to get himself as drunk as possible and visit all the strip clubs in town, ogling and deriding all the naked dancers he can. Pretty much the same thing he does every night. He thought he knew all the exotic dancing bars and strip clubs, but apparently not. Club Styx isn’t somewhere he has ever been before…
John has come home from the war, a deserter, sneaking back into the country. He hasn’t come back the same as he went away. He’s brought something with him, a curse, a contagion. And it isn’t something he can contain. When it starts to spread, it is going to spread like wildfire and there will be no stopping it…
Cody and Jeff are supposed to be on a simple stakeout mission, warned by their brutal criminal boss to follow his orders to the letter. Boredom and curiosity are going to get the better of them, and this basic job is about to get a whole lot more involved…
Donna can’t let herself fall asleep. Because when she does, the same thing happens every time. People die in a grisly violent fashion. She’s tried everything to halt the inevitable, but she’s so sleepy. And drifting off…
Josh and Megan are hiking with their group, aiming to reach the peak of notorious Mount MacGinnis. When a freakish thunderstorm drives them all to seek sanctuary in the many caves existing in the mountainside, the duo take the opportunity to explore their developing relationship. However, there are others in this group who appear to know a little more about the mysterious cave network than they are letting on.
Before long, it isn’t just going to be heavy rain and blustery wind pouring havoc down on these unwary shelter seekers…
There is a whole lot of gruesome death and violence inflicted within this collection of macabre tales, but the majority of it contains one common element. Weapons and tools are not utilised here, bloody havoc is caused, with tooth and claw.

http://smarturl.it/withtoothandclaw