Posts Tagged ‘punk’

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

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.

 

 

 

2018 WRITING WRAP

Untitled design(4)

This is basically an extended version of a Facebook post I put up earlier, which I figured I’d add here too, with a little more in it.

At the start of the year, some folks might recall me setting myself something of a challenge, which was to try and release either a book a month or the equivalent of that. At that time, aside from writing, editing etc. I wasn’t working full-time, so time was in abundance, albeit never enough to get everything written I want. That’s just a standard state of affairs, regardless of how much time I might appear to have. Always too many ideas, be they for short stories, or novels, or short stories I wish to expand into novels or any number of things. I always work on multiple projects at any given time, and even so, I’m still being bombarded with ideas. Some are good, some are terrible, others tend to grow on me, but if they warrant writing or they need to be written they usually stick around until they get written.

In any case, that challenge did not come to fruition. Barely a month or so after setting that bold, and foolhardy, challenge, I was back working full-time, and time was no longer a commodity I had a lot of. After being out of full-time work for a few years, I must say I got used to the idea of having so much time in which I could get things written, and of course, in that time, I did get plenty written. Which is why, seemingly inundated with what should be enough time to either get new things written, polish up old projects, or compile stories into collections etc. etc. I threw myself under the bus by setting myself a challenge that would have probably only ever been met had circumstances and situations not changed in any way. But, naturally, they did, and after a few years out of full-time work I was right back into it. Consequently, as per usual, I didn’t get everything written I wanted, or planned to. Still, several of my earlier books were written while working another job full-time-Plebs was written in snippets on lunch breaks, sitting in parks and all kinds of things (Stay tuned for a post some time down the track which is going to explore a whole bunch of trivia and things you might not have known about various books, including Plebs and others)-so it’s not impossible to get things done; they just get done a little slower than they otherwise might. So after getting a new book out early in the year, things definitely slowed down throughout coming months. I was still writing, putting books together, working on an assortment of projects, but not with as much time as was afforded to me earlier on.

I did however get some books out there.

Harvester’s Trade, an all new novella revolving around a group of dangerous, violent convicts being transported to an unknown location by bus was my first release, and it came out while I was still swamped with plenty of time to set foolish challenges and work on new material. Then there was Disquiet: An Assemblage of the Unnerving. This one was a collection comprised of several of my lesser known stories and tales which were drawn from niche anthologies or books which didn’t particularly have a wide readership. Some works in here were quite restrained and dare I say, tame by my standards, while others were probably a little more what most folks familiar with my work would be expecting.

Extremes came along next, and this one is pretty much exactly what its name would suggest. This is a collection of some of my most extreme horror tales, again from myriad anthologies. The difference between this and Disquiet is that several of the stories contained within this book were originally published in books that were pretty big, featured some of the biggest names in the game, and hit a much broader audience than the works featured in Disquiet. Nonetheless, Extremes, despite being comprised solely of reprints still remains to this day my biggest, and fastest selling book. Page reads in Kindle Unlimited for this have also been pretty insane and continue to carry on that way. There are a lot of stories in here which were a hell of a lot of fun to write and while they might rank as some of my favourites in that regard, I wouldn’t necessarily say they are all the best of my work. Still, I have my own opinions on why this book in particular is so popular-some I’ve explored in earlier blog posts, some I plan to explore in a future post. Stay tuned for that.

Havoc Vulture followed Extremes, and unlike the two previous books this one was all new, a novella that originally started life as something else, as many of my books end up. The initial plan for this was for it to be a short story in a collection of tales which would all draw their names from some of my favourite black metal songs. The themes or subject matter or what-have-you contained within those stories wouldn’t essentially have anything to do with the song itself-for example, I planned to write one entitled Blizzard Beasts from the Immortal track (and album of the same name) which is pretty self-explanatory. Scary motherfucking beasts in the snow with a bunch of fools trapped in a cabin or some such shit. Instead, Havoc Vulture (which for those who don’t know, is a song from my favourite band Satyricon’s album Rebel Extravaganza) turned into more, a novella to be precise. Based around a bunch of sixteen year old black metal fanatics in a small country town who are first thrilled to discover an infamous band is coming to play a show in their town, and then distraught to find the powers that be in the town have stamped all over the idea of that happening. This one tossed up a conundrum regarding what various sub-genres of fiction and so forth can be construed as. I made mention of the fact that there are two schools of thought on what is considered young adult fiction. One suggests it is the material, topics, subject matter and so forth-things which are targeted directly at a young adult audience which makes a book YA. Another school of thought-and this is where I tend to disagree-is that if the main characters or protagonists of a particular book are teenagers or children or of a young adult age then that in itself makes a work YA. As I mentioned I strongly disagree with that notion for multiple reasons, but it’s something I’ve already covered elsewhere, and have no plans to reiterate it here.

After that I put out From the Vault, which was something entirely different for me, or at least for what most readers would expect from me. This was neither a novel nor a collection of short stories, nor was it by any stretch of the imagination new, at least not to me. This one was a collection of roughly fifty poems which I originally wrote way back in the nineties as song lyrics. These were drawn from a collection of hundreds I wrote way back then, and followed no theme whatsoever aside from the fact that most of them were works which explored darker themes. Essentially, the pieces here signify the very start of me blending horror and heavy metal, something I continue to do regularly (check out Havoc Vulture, Undead Fleshcrave, numerous other works for some prime examples of that). Not all of these poems/songs/what-have-you were horror, in fact many of them were not. However several were, and they serve as some of the earlier forays into horror from me. At this time I’d also written a couple of horror novels, but did little more with them aside from writing them. Anyway, that book acts as a nice little trip down memory lane, and also provides a bit of insight into the history of some of my writing.

What would end up being my final release for the year was More Extremes, which again, is pretty much what its name indicates. More extreme horror tales, following in the footsteps of Extremes, and setting up a series which at this stage is open-ended. It could become just three books, it could span beyond ten. Who knows? For now, it’s just the two of them, though I already have numerous stories and ideas for the next installment, largely because several of the tales I planned to be in More Extremes didn’t end up in there.  I had intended to have eight tales in here, with an even split of reprints and new material, but of course since I was now working on stories amidst full-time work and numerous other activities which cut my writing time down drastically, it was taking longer than I anticipated for the book to come together. As a result I replaced one of the unfinished new stories with a much older piece, in fact a longer story from a book that is now no longer in print in order to get the book out before the year elapsed. Ultimately, with the inclusion of that tale, alongside a couple of others which were remarkably musically themed, More Extremes ended up quite heavy on the horror fused with metal I made reference to before. That was unintentional, but it worked out well given the fact I decided to dedicate the book to a good friend of mine who passed away earlier in the year, who was a massive metal and horror aficionado (also a metal musician with a hand in horror movies. RIP brother Killjoy.So while the end result wasn’t an even split, there are still several all new stories included in More Extremes, and you can rest assured that the next volume will be largely, if not completely, made up of all new stories.

I also put together Triggered, and Punk Vs Metal (with Michael Fish Fisher handling most of the editing for the punk side and the creation of the book’s cover), and wrote a few stories for various other anthologies, but since none of those were specifically just my work, they can’t be counted in the release of my books. Still, despite not hitting the original planned number, and knowing as soon as I was back at work, that I never would, I’m still pretty stoked to get the books out that I did. Now I have something of a head-start on next year, but again, we’ll wait and see how much of what I want to get out actually gets out. Stay tuned for these upcoming projects which will be coming out in no particular order. Murder Academy, The Forgotten, Greater Extremes, Clans (which is an expansion of my story in Punk Vs Metal. It has a few horrific moments, but genre-wise it isn’t intended to be horror at all. It’s actually more urban and is quite a lot like a long-running story I started writing when I was a teenager, and plan to revisit as a series some time down the track-probably sooner rather than later), and several others. Follow-ups to numerous novels as well as a crossover novel combining characters from at least two other works are also in the plans, but as mentioned above…time. We’ll see what happens. Anyway, links to the books that did come out are located just below. Check ’em out, leave ’em a review, good, bad, or ugly, and stay posted for new books coming in 2019.

If you spend your life doing bad things, sometimes bad things are going to come for you. Ten dangerous criminals are just about to find that out.

http://smarturl.it/harvesterstrade

HARVESTER'S TRADE

 

Don’t play in the woods after a storm, don’t assume you’re safe inside your comfortable family home, and whatever you do, don’t hold a giant party without inviting the locals.

That fear you’re starting to feel isn’t irrational, it’s real.

Terrible things are going to happen.

http://smarturl.it/disquiet

DISQUIET(3)

 

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

EXTREMES

 

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

 

Copy of HAVOC VULTURE

 

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

http://smarturl.it/fromthevaultdark

 

FROM THE VAULT(1)

 

Sometimes, people are pushed to their absolute limits, made to go to extremes. Sometimes it’s not enough.
Sometimes, they have to go to more extremes.

http://smarturl.it/moreextremes

 

EXTREMES(2)

 

 

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.