Posts Tagged ‘projects’

CLANS PLAYLIST

As I mentioned in my last post, I already had a playlist for Clans sorted and ready to roll, so here it is. Given it’s a relatively short book in comparison to some of mine, this playlist is something of an extended one-it’s a fair bet you’d finish reading the book before the playlist ended if you actually read in accompaniment to all the songs listed here.

Nonetheless, all of these tracks here have their reasons for being included, and I could have added more, but I think fifty is quite enough. As the story focuses largely on the two rival warring Clans, the Punks and the Metalheads, all the songs comprising this soundtrack, as it were, are drawn from those genres. A little bit of crossover and merging of said genres in spots, but for the most part-two sets of songs with boots firmly placed in their respective territories.

These are songs that are mentioned throughout, or serve as chapter titles, or have much to do with the storylines themselves, or, if you have a keen eye, are mentioned in dialogue or narrative without actually being referred to as songs. Let’s see if you can spot any others, since there are a couple not on the playlist here that do pop up throughout.

CLANS (1)

Anyway, this isn’t a post to ramble on, it just exists as a playlist to accompany the recently released Clans. It’s not done too badly for my first book of the year (I’m going with that despite the fact it came out on December 31 2019, rather than January 1, 2020-forgot I live in the future here and happen to be one day ahead of Amazon), hitting number one in Australia, and number one in Hot New Releases in both the US and UK.

It’s not horror, and there will be several other works I plan on dabbling in that will also stray away from that particular genre, but don’t start thinking I’m stepping away from horror. No chance of that. I’m currently working on two projects (with a third in mind as well) that are firmly entrenched in horror. Whether they will be novellas or novels remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain. I plan to be much more active in terms of writing this year, with hopefully several more releases than I managed in 2019.

And with that said, here’s the Clans playlist. Play that motherfucker loud while you delve into the world of Mantas and its musical clans, and more specifically the Metalheads and the Punks.

punkmetal

  1. Territory-Sepultura
  2. Everyone I love is Dead-Type O Negative
  3. Over the Wall-Testament
  4. Arise-Sepultura
  5. In the Glare of the Moon-Dead Silent Slumber
  6. Concrete Apple-Cadaverous Clan
  7. Cesspools in Eden-Dead Kennedys
  8. Friends Like You-Sick of it All
  9. Last Caress-Misfits
  10. New Rose-The Damned
  11. Torsofucked-Flayed Disciple
  12. Fucking Hostile-Pantera
  13. Bad Apples-Guns n Roses
  14. Rise Above-Black Flag
  15. Youth Gone Wild-Skid Row
  16. Paranoid-Black Sabbath
  17. Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)-Buzzcocks
  18. Over the Edge-LA Guns
  19. Troops of Tomorrow-The Exploited
  20. Transilvanian Hunger-Darkthrone
  21. Search and Destroy-The Stooges
  22. Raw Power-The Stooges
  23. Smash it Up-The Damned
  24. Complete Control-The Clash
  25. Dusk and Her Embrace-Cradle of Filth
  26. Sleeping My Day Away-D.A.D
  27. Metal Thrashing Mad-Anthrax
  28. Rust in Peace…Polaris-Megadeth
  29. The Wolfpack-Satyricon
  30. Solid Gold Beating-December Wolves
  31. Hammer Smashed Face-Cannibal Corpse
  32. Pretty Vacant-Sex Pistols
  33. Fuck Armageddon, This is Hell-Bad Religion
  34. Chapel of Ghouls-Morbid Angel
  35. Angel of Death-Slayer
  36. March of the S.O.D-Stormtroopers of Death
  37. A Call For Blood-Hatebreed
  38. Delusion and Anger-Broken Bones
  39. Peace Sells-Megadeth
  40. Crystal Mountain-Death
  41. Crazy Train-Ozzy Osbourne
  42. Screaming For Vengeance-Judas Priest
  43. Against the Grain-Bad Religion
  44. Cowboys of Hell-Pantera
  45. War Ensemble-Slayer
  46. Let’s Have a War-Fear
  47. Extreme Aggression-Kreator
  48. Bottled Violence-Minor Threat
  49. Bullet in the Head-Rage Against the Machine
  50. Leads to Utopia/The Old Man’s Dream-Old Man’s Child

Welcome to Mantas. A city unlike any other under the sun. One entirely free of discrimination based on race, creed, sexual preference, ethnicity, religion or anything else in between.
One where the only segregation that exists is based upon musical preference. One where whatever type of music each city denizen swears allegiance to defines where they dwell and which group of people they belong with, and these musical passions are their religions, their beliefs, their cultures.
It should be a Utopian existence. It should be ideal. It isn’t.
This is a city beset by violence, plagued by divides. Run by warring factions, split by constant differences.
One ruled by Clans.
And while there is perpetual conflict raging between Clans Mantas-wide , nowhere is quite as volatile as the eternal battle being waged in the inner city where two warring factions hold court.
The Metalheads. The Punks.

https://smarturl.it/clansbook

 

CARNIVAL OF CHAOS/FESTIVAL OF THE FLESH PLAYLIST

The last time I posted here I made mention of the fact that I had a playlist all sorted for Carnival of Chaos and Festival of the Flesh. Therefore, in the interests of shining a bit of light on those particular books, here is aforementioned playlist. Well, after a bit of standard rambling.

For whatever reason, these books (which are of course the same story spread over two volumes) have slipped a little under the radar in comparison to several of my other books. I suspect it might have a bit to do with the fact they first emerged as part of the Project 26 thing where 26 books came out with each one representing a letter of the alphabet. These included novels, anthologies, collections, novellas etc. and while this project was an ambitious one, it also turned out to be a little confusing for people. Consequently, Carnival and Festival, which were never originally intended for that project, but as standalone novel(s) on their own, I offered up because the alliteration in the titles went well with the whole alphabet notion. Nonetheless, various circumstances have several of the books from P26 being unpublished or released or what-have-you, so Carnival and Festival are now separate from that, so why not push them a little, because, why the hell not?

Little known fact. I started writing the stories that would become these books back around the same time I started writing Plebs. Neither they nor Plebs were originally written with titles, and they were all intended to be just short stories, novellas at most. As it turned out, Plebs became a six hundred page monster, and Carnival/Festival even longer, so much so that it needed to be split into two separate entities-the Carnival, of course, and the Festival. Just on the off chance folks hadn’t yet cottoned on (the whole numbering thing of Project 26 muddied the waters a little and had a few people scratching their heads over which to read first) to the fact that these books need to be read in order for the story to make any sense, Carnival comes first, followed by Festival which is the culmination of the massive, sprawling story.

Anyway, as most would know by now, Plebs gained the upper hand in getting written first, and ultimately published a long time before Carnival/Festival were either finished or published. Nonetheless, those stories were eventually completed, quite some time after the initial concept occurred. Years down the track in fact, which was also the case with Plebs, with a re-reading of what I had written already re-igniting the desire to complete the tale. These are characters that I love as much as those in the Plebs series, and ones that have been around just as long. And if you thought Plebs was brutal, bloody, violent and so forth, but haven’t yet encountered Carnival/Festival, rest assured both of these books tend to make Plebs look a little tame. Definitely not works for the faint-hearted at all, so if you dig the thought of getting yourself well and truly blood-drenched and bathed in depravity, dive in.

But, enough of that, here are those playlists, one for Carnival of Chaos and one for Festival of the Flesh.

As is to be expected, there are a lot of metal tracks here, some brutal, uncompromising extreme metal to suit various components of the stories and some of the pretty heinous subject matter, but not exclusively. Compared to some of the other playlists I’ve whacked up here, these ones are pretty eclectic, spanning from the usual platter of heavy metal in numerous sub-genres to rap, rock, sixties tunes, even some dance going on here. And yeah, you’ll probably notice one or two tracks by Insane Clown Posse in here, and be all, what the fuck? Well, those fuckers have made a fortune writing tracks and albums about Carnivals and whatnot, and I genuinely don’t mind some of their songs, so in keeping with the themes of the books, they slot in here juxtaposed nicely against some of the other fare on offer.

Anyway, enough gibberish. Get in and check it all out, and if you haven’t yet Carnival of Chaos and Festival of the Flesh, go and rectify that situation right now. And if you have, perhaps re-reading them with the enhanced experience of these playlists cranking in accompaniment, then that would be a good idea too.

 

CARNIVAL OF CHAOS

Black Seeds of Vengeance-Nile

The Discipline of Revenge-Cannibal Corpse

Carnival of Lies-Obsession

Loyalty-American Head Charge

Knife Party-Deftones

Twist of Cain-Danzig

Tonight in Flames-Cradle of Filth

Stuck in the Middle With You-Stealer’s Wheel

Planet Caravan-Black Sabbath

Money-Pink Floyd

Dead Bodies Everywhere-Korn

Dog’s Out-DMX

Sledgehammer-Peter Gabriel

Bulls on Parade-Rage Against the Machine

Go With the Flow-Queens of the Stone Age

The Lonely Bull-Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass

The Hunt-Sepultura

Dreamhouse-Deafheaven

In Your Nightmares- KidCrusher

The Wild Hunt-Watain

Carnival-Project Pitchfork

Southern Comfort-X-Method

Tequila-The Champs

Jump in the Fire-Metallica

Sweet Leaf-Black Sabbath

Halls of Illusions-Insane Clown Posse

Blood Red-Slayer

Loco-Coal Chamber

Up All Night-Slaughter

Take Me Away-Insane Clown Posse

Hunting Humans-The Misfits

Blessed by Gore-Avulsed

Cannibal Crave-Broken Hope

Just One Fix-Ministry

Fuel For Hatred-Satyricon

Blades of Steel-Imperious Rex

Mirror, Mirror-Candlemass

Rain-The Cult

Let’s Fuck-Dope

Carnival of Rust-Shining

Freakshow-Skillet

Hounds At Ya Back-Destroyer 666

carnivalpromo

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.

http://smarturl.it/carnivalofchaos

 

festival cover

FESTIVAL OF THE FLESH

Total War-War

The Fight Song-Marilyn Manson

Hammer Smashed Face-Cannibal Corpse

Strength Beyond Strength-Pantera

Return to Serenity-Testament

Scratch My Back-Roxx Gang

Sex Action-L.A. Guns

Closer-Nine Inch Nails

Kings of the Carnival Creation-Dimmu Borgir

Murderer’s Row-Power Trip

Creepshow-Skid Row

Festival of the Flesh-Blessedbethyname

Carnival is Forever-Decapitated

Random Acts of Senseless Violence-Anthrax

This Shit Will Fuck You Up-Combichrist

Death Machine-Myrkskog

Rid You of Your Flesh-LIK

Eaten-Bloodbath

Feast of Flesh-Exmortus

Everyone Leaves-Mortiis

The Flesh and the Power it Holds-Death

Mercy, Severity-Mudvayne

Fear of the Dark-Iron Maiden

Violent Demise-Body Count

Hung on a Hook-Alice in Chains

Code of the Slashers-Cannibal Corpse

Covered in Blood-Insan0

Maze of Torment-Morbid Angel

Divine Art of Torture-Necrophagia

How You Gonna Reason with a Pyscho?-Insane Poetry

Sixpounder-Children of Bodom

Lords of Depravity-Sodom

The Perverted Beast-Darkane

Dead and Dripping-Cryptopsy

Justifiable Homicide-Dying Fetus

Heroines-Diablo Swing Orchestra

Carnival of Souls-Savage Messiah

Only One-Slipknot

Everyone I love is Dead-Type O Negative

Crashing Down-Trail of Tears

festivalpromo

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

EXTREMES

EXTREMES

I’ve been a bit lax in posting about this over here, but hey, things have been fairly hectic, and after all, this long-suffering WordPress site is pretty used to getting neglected.

My third release for the year (not taking into account the likes of Triggered) is out now. More appropriately, it’s been out for just under a month. Of course, I am talking about Extremes, the latest collection I’ve self-published while on this challenge I’ve tasked myself of releasing at least a book a month for the year (or the equivalent of one book a month should circumstances arise-more on that later).

Extremes, as the name would suggest, is something that is entrenched firmly in realms of the extreme when it comes to horror. My previous collections (With Tooth and Claw from 2015, and Disquiet: An Assemblage of the Unnerving from February this year) are comprised of stories which are a little more eclectic, varying from the more restrained and tame, one might say, for me, but Extremes is unapologetic in where it dwells. This beast is made up of a selection of several of my more hardcore stories, those which splash around gleefully in the mud, blood, and the mire of splatterpunk stylings and extreme horror, though as noted in the description, they aren’t simply extreme in terms of content and themes, but also in regards to explorations of just what people can and will do when they are forced to confront various situations. We could all say we would never do certain things, or could never envision acting in particular ways, but until faced with a scenario where there’s not much choice left, who knows how things will pan out?

Folks will go to extremes one way or another.

EXTREMES PROMO

Eight tales are included in this book, and though many may have encountered the majority of them before (some were previously published in some pretty successful anthologies which hit large target audiences, and continue to do so), this is the first time they have all been assembled together in the same place, making it easier for those readers who’d like to immerse themselves in a whole book of my style of extremity, yet enjoy an assortment of different stories. They’re cultivated from a spread of different books from the last four years or so, though one of them was written many years ago before it found a home anywhere (mind you, at that point I wasn’t actively seeking to have stories published), and each of the stories, as well as being fairly unflinching and brutal content-wise, have their own reasons for being present and their own different messages and agendas.

All of them were great fun to write, in fact some of them rank as favourites of my own work, at least with regards to how much fun I had writing them and playing around with various characters. On top of that, there are several from this book that stand a good chance of being expanded into full length novels, or possibly novellas. In saying that, I’m not essentially referring to all the same characters resurfacing, since people who have read any of these stories know that not all of the same characters are left standing when the blood clears. Instead, I’m referring to the concepts created for some of them, the various settings, establishments, notions, lore, and so forth. A couple of the tales, for example, both take place in the same establishment, and I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a series of stories revolving around this place, or alternatively stretching it out into a novel. Most likely, the former idea would work better than the latter, but some of the other tales definitely are going to find their universes widened beyond mere short story form. Which ones they are you’ll just have to wait and see, since that won’t be happening any time soon-I’m inundated with myriad projects I want, and need, to get finished, many of which I’ve tasked myself with.

As opposed to the previous collection, Disquiet, which didn’t contain any specific theme bar the fact that all the stories within it were garnered from niche anthologies and books that didn’t have an overly wide readership on first release, Extremes is themed, and obviously so. These are tales from the darker end of the spectrum, the more visceral and unrelenting, leave-no-stone-uncovered approach to horror, and not for the faint of heart, but in addition to that, there are a few other elements which connect various pieces in the book. Have a read of it, and check all those out.

If you are new to my work and want to delve into it via the short story form first before investigating any novels, where your tastes in horror lie will depend on which book I’d suggest trying first. Disquiet is probably a more measured representation of my work, it definitely hosts some more mainstream types of stories, and more accessible material, but hell, if you came for the extreme, the bloody, the violent, visceral, explicit, insane stuff, then Extremes is the shit for you.

In fact, Extremes seems to be the shit for quite a few folk. Of the three books I’ve released this year, this one is both the fastest selling and highest selling so far.

On one hand this is surprising, on the other, not so much. Firstly, Harvester’s Trade, my initial book release of the year, which up until fairly recently was my highest seller, has been out for a couple of months longer, it is an all new story, and it is only a dollar in price. Extremes, however, has been out for less than a month, is the most expensive of all three books, and contains multiple reprints (albeit, never before available all together in the same place). That’s where the latter being most popular is surprising.

The not so surprising is of course, all in the name itself. Extreme horror is no longer just a novelty, a place for intrigued souls to sate their curiosity or to tangle with the taboo, or to venture into when they’re no longer content with more accepted forms of horror. Pushing the limits, the boundaries, going to extremes as it were, isn’t just a thing for hardcore aficionados any more, and if it is, well, then there are a hell of a lot of them and the number is growing exponentially.

Extreme horror is massive these days, almost to the point where it is as universally accepted as much as any other subgenre or what-have-you. Nor is it looking like interest in it is dying out any time soon, in fact I’d say it is quite the opposite. Some things come and go, fads, trends, fashions, genres and subgenres, themes and tropes dipping in and out of favour, but some things maintain, they don’t fade away. Some become so engrained or entrenched that they’re hard to shift in any shape or form-zombies are a prime example of this; folks consistently maintain they are sick of zombies, that they’ve been done to death, that they’re over-saturated in media, and all kinds of shit like that, and in essence much of that is true, but nonetheless, zombies are mainstream now, and they’ve managed to lodge themselves there. They won’t be going away any time soon, because despite all of those above points, they’re still attracting readers of undead books, viewers of television shows and movies, they’ve become a mainstay. And extreme horror, despite any claims to the contrary, is also now a mainstay, and essentially has been for quite some time now. It only seems more evident these days when there are so many exponents of it out there now-some excellent, some good, some at the far other end of the scale-and and the visibility of it remains high.

It’s here to stay; much like the enduring entity that is the undead, extreme horror won’t be going away any time soon either, regardless how many people say, ah, it will die out, something new will come along to replace it. Something new may well come along and sweep along on a successful wave for a while, but that doesn’t mean extreme horror will die out or go away. Not as long as folks keep digging it, not while they keep looking for more extreme approaches to storytelling. Not while folks are prepared to go to extremes.

Anyway, in light of Extremes riding its own wave of success at the moment, I’m temporarily holding back my next release for a little while, to give Extremes some room to run. Technically, the next book should come out in April to stick with the book a month notion, but putting two out next month is the plan to combat that (this would be in relation to the circumstances I mentioned earlier), and to allow Extremes to hold court a little while longer. With that said, there will be a new book coming, and yes, it is new, not a reprint or not anything anybody will have come across before. Following that will be another with material that while largely new to most readers, is in fact quite old, decades old actually. Stay posted for further news regarding that.

In the meantime, if you haven’t yet gone to Extremes, what are you waiting for? Go on, get yourself a little messy.

What lengths would you go to in order to achieve what you want in life? To fit in and be accepted, to escape a dangerous situation, to attain success, or to attain freedom?
When faced with extraordinary circumstances of horrifying proportions what actions are you going to take?
When it comes to all of the above, and more, there are no limits to what people will do. Desperate individuals will resort to desperate measures.
Assembled together for the very first time are several of Jim Goforth’s most extreme horror stories to date, though not merely extreme in terms of content and themes. These tales delve into the great pains taken when souls are confronted with situations that require a severe response, plumbing the depths of depravity, perversion, brutality, horror, and fear.
Horrific events can unfold when people are prepared, or forced, to go to extremes.

http://smarturl.it/extremes

OUTNOW

 

TRIGGERED

Cast your mind back a little to last year, and you’ll probably recall I mentioned something about a new experiment in extremity coming along some time in the future, from the twisted folks at WetWorks who brought you Rejected For Content (note-that means me; I am WetWorks, for those who weren’t aware, so technically, that phrasing was a little incorrect, but you get the gist).

Of course, that occasionally referred to experiment is Triggered, which as the name itself might suggest, is pretty self-explanatory in terms of its agenda, though not in terms of deliberately trying to push triggers, but more a case of exploring them, the reasons behind them and so forth.

triggered full wrap

I originally had the idea for Triggered (and also bandied around the notion of calling it Triggers, before settling on Triggered) quite some time ago, but due to the amount of other projects and things going on at the time-namely, Project 26 and associated works-I just sat on it for a while, before tossing it out there. I also considered making it an invite only anthology, since I know of plenty of folks who would do the theme justice, but ultimately I threw it open to anybody, which was definitely the way to go. I have no problem with invite only anthos, but in ensuring writers bring their A-game to something like that rather than just phoning it in because it’s a pretty safe bet they’re going to be in the book regardless, I always prefer the stipulation that just because you’re invited to submit doesn’t essentially mean the story is going to be accepted. Knowing you’re going to appear in a book opens up that possibility of scribbling a somewhat less than stellar piece or something below the standard of your usual work, so taking that assurance away and keeping everything on a level playing field makes writers strive to produce better work. Any future invite only anthos I run-if I ever decide to run any, that is-will be run like this. Yeah, you’re invited, but that in itself is no guarantee the story will get in.

Anyway, I’m completely off-track. Triggered was meant to be an invite-only entity, but it didn’t turn out that way, and I’m more than happy I did open it up because in the process of taking submissions I encountered several writers I wasn’t familiar with who brought some great work to the table. Some of the usual reprobates who I suspected would be right onboard with taking part in a project such as this also offered up some suitably macabre pieces which fit the theme well, each of the ultimately accepted works providing some very unique takes on the whole Triggered notion.

The concept of Triggered was not to deliberately seek out things that would be blatantly offensive, or solely intended to set people’s triggers off, or anything along those lines, but rather to delve deeper into what triggers various people, the reasons behind them, how different people react when faced with those things that trigger them. In this day and age, seemingly more so than ever, anything can serve as a trigger in some capacity. We have to be mindful of what we do, what we say, how we treat people, how we approach situations, because somewhere, somehow, something in there might flip a switch. Past experiences, overheard words, misconstrued actions, poor choices, a bad hand in life, comparisons, simple conversations through social media, all kinds of things, you name it. Anything can be a trigger to somebody, and unless you’re well aware of what might set it off, you’re not going to know until it is too late.

TRIGGERED(1)

After almost a month of being out, the book has been doing well, sitting up the top of the Hot New Releases in Horror Anthologies in both the USA and the UK for a period, and as hoped, drawing mixed reactions from readers. I don’t want all five star reviews and praise and all that sort of shit; I want folks to make deeper explorations of the tales and garner some understanding about triggers, I want an assortment of responses, and if that means people hate it, that works great for me. Eliciting and provoking responses from either end of the scale is what it is all about; yes, it is ultimately entertainment, but it is horrifying entertainment and it exists to horrify you, but to make you think as well. Read the book, and walk away with something from it, regardless of what it is, as long as it made you feel something. Nothing in Triggered is supposed to make you feel comfortable, and I’d suggest the scribes who presented pieces that appear in these pages do a fine job of ensuring that is the case.

In other Triggered related information, some have asked whether this new experiment is a successor or replacement for the Rejected For Content series. The answer to that is, no. There is still a lot of life in RFC, and a vast array of possibilities for that particular series to explore. After six volumes Rejected For Content is still going strong, still drawing in new readers, and still introducing new scribes with material that should most definitely be rejected on the grounds of content. However, given the amount of time I’m investing in various other projects-if you keep up to date with this site, you’ll probably have something of an idea of some of those-I wouldn’t suggest that RFC is essentially going to be a yearly release as it has been over the last few volumes. Rest assured, Rejected For Content 7 will still be coming, but I’m not going to boldly-or perhaps foolishly-predict when. There is every chance, with the tasks I’ve set for myself in 2018, that RFC7 will not be a major priority until much later in the year, if at all. But yes, RFC remains in WetWorks plans, there is much to do with it and it’s been a juggernaut that can’t yet be stopped.

As for Triggered, it remains to be seen whether that is going to extend to a series or not; I haven’t yet decided. It was initially intended to be an experiment, and it’s been a fairly successful one so far. What happens from this point on, we’ll wait and see. In the meantime before Triggered 2, or Re-Triggered, or Triggered Again, or I could be here all fucking day playing this silly title game, is even brought up in conversation, head on over and check out the prototype-Triggered itself.

Triggers. Everybody has them.

Some traumatic life event. A phobia. Something brought on by anxiety. Fear. Loneliness. Desperation. Desire. Rage. Memories. Hatred.

It’s how we react to them that shapes us.
Will they break us, leave us curled up and lost, helpless and hopeless? Or will they be the catalyst in making us snap? Triggered to run riot and rampage?

Different triggers engender different responses. They can be completely anticipated, they can be unexpected. They can be mystifying. They can be horrifying. They can be deadly. Sometimes they can be switched on, never to be turned off.

Everybody has triggers. Anything can set them off.

CAUTION

Some books come labelled with a trigger warning to advise readers that the material contained within has the potential to generate unpleasant responses.

This book however, has no such thing.

Instead, the whole work in its entirety is one great big trigger warning.

ttp://smarturl.it/triggered

PhotoFunia-1497952739

 

 

 

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.

ZombiesZeroHourFinal1

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