Posts Tagged ‘REJECTED FOR CONTENT’

JUST ANOTHER UPDATE

In the interests of paying a little more attention to this site, I’ll be posting somewhat more regularly around here. Which means you’ll either get something semi-coherent or an utter stream of complete gibberish. For now, we’ll go with an update.

At the tail-end of last year I posted up a pretty comprehensive list of projects and books I planned to work on in 2017, including roughly twelve novels. The good news there is that two of those are just about written (another one-The Sleep, subject of my last post, of course came out in January) and will see the light of day this year. Because these two are both part of a larger project, I’m not at liberty to release anything in the way of details just yet. While I’ve had fun working on these books, they’ve monopolised a lot of time, and honestly, I’ll be glad to get that shit done and squared away. A whole bunch of different factors have meant I haven’t exactly ripped through the latter book in the way I normally would, so trying to get it done has been moderately frustrating. I dig the characters and the story, but to say I’ll be glad to see the back of it is an understatement. While I’ve been pouring what available writing time I have into trying to knock this motherfucker over, I’ve had numerous other projects sitting on the back burner, some with rapidly approaching deadlines. Fair bet there’s a few other things I’d committed to, or wanted to write for, that have had their deadlines elapse now.

Naturally I’ll announce news on these books and release details when I’m able, but for now, rest assured, at least two new books will be coming this year. Initially when I made the list detailing the various novels I had in the works, or plans to delve into, I’d envisioned having a bit more done by this time of year than I have so far, but you know, best laid plans and all that shit…

The various factors and outside aspects that have impacted on my writing time turned this latest book into something of a fucking albatross around my neck, and I’ve felt like I’ve been moving through it more sluggishly than I’d have liked when I actually do get around to doing any scribbling on it. Fortunately, the end is in sight and I can get it cleared and move on to all those other projects that are piling up like a mountain of fucking unpaid bills.

After I finally get that sorted, my first focus will be on a few short stories for various anthologies that have to get written. The bonus there is I have a story lurking insidiously around in my head for the first of those, and ideally I’d have already splattered this one out in fresh blood or what-have-you, but in trying to get the novel completed, I set myself the rule of only working on it until it’s done, so nothing else gets written until then.

Knock those antho commitments out of the way and work shall commence on any number of novels, either already started, or some new fiendish endeavours. One thing is a given. This beast will be in there somewhere…plebspromo3

There will be a sequel to Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger somewhere in the mix too, but that will probably be considered sometime after Plebs 3. I did mention on Facebook at some stage that some folks might get to be in one of these two books, at least in terms of appearing as a character, or having a character named after them etc. etc. I recall a pile of people commenting on that particular status nominating themselves to be in the books, but shit, that was a fair while ago and rather than scrolling through the fuckload of posts that have saturated my timeline since then, I might need to do a refresher and see who was keen to get themselves deepsixed (maybe) in either Plebs 3 or The Zombie Trigger 2. Or maybe something else. Who knows?

In other news, the brutal juggernaut that is Rejected For Content will continue to stampede over all and sundry with no remorse, no regard and certainly no signs of slowing down. I made mention of a new disturbing entity that I have brewing which led some to question whether this was going to be something of a replacement for RFC. Short answer, no. Long answer, fuck no.

GET REJECTED(3)

Rejected For Content has so many more stories to tell, so many dark corners and recesses to explore, and so many stones to overturn, so there’s no end in sight for that monstrosity. Again, in the interests of involving readers and fans of the series, I might throw open the potential naming or theming of Rejected For Content, to those very people. In fact I already did toss it out there to gauge reactions and see what sort of despicable shit people were keen on seeing for number 6, but nothing officially set in stone. I’ll return to that when the time is right to start building momentum for the RFC machine. So, for all those who fear that Rejected For Content was on it’s last legs, or out the door, or about to fuck off out of here, no need to worry at all. Not only is the open call for RFC6 going to be happening, but so too will something else RFC related. The latter will potentially occur before anything RFC6 does; we’ll see.

As for the other WetWorks entity I made mention of just above and on Facebook leading to those queries about RFC, well, this isn’t going to be a replacement, it’s going to be something completely different and something to run alongside Rejected For Content. I’m looking forward to divulging some information about this, but again, I’m waiting to do that until I clear some projects. I will say this though; it will be extreme, it will be controversial and without doubt it is bound to upset some folks and ruffle a few feathers. I haven’t yet decided whether it is going to be thrown open, or if it will be invite-only, but I am leaning toward the latter. Which means, as I stated on the Facebook status, that some time shortly, I will be actively seeking for collusion and involvement from suitably deranged, disturbed, extreme, perverse sanguinary scribes. I already have a mental list of folk I’m keen on asking-or should that be a list of mentals?-which is why I’m a little keener on making the project an invite-only thing. Primarily because I know that the folk I’m interested in asking to be part of it, can write the type of material I’ll be seeking. Extreme inkslingers who aren’t afraid to get dirty, bloody, offensive, yeah, you get the gist.

That isn’t to say I won’t throw it open at some later stage, we’ll wait and see how this excursion into extremity pans out. As I said, I’m anticipating that it will stir some people up, but then again, everything does these days.

dual depravity initial wrap

Dual Depravity hasn’t been forgotten either; there will be more volumes of that forthcoming at some stage down the track, with various authors getting involved for those books, but for now, fucking projects, lots of projects. Not enough time to get everything done, and of course, me claiming to ease back on the anthos and concentrate on novels this year worked out a treat didn’t it? Committed myself to a pile of those…

Anyway, that’s enough of that. One more chapter to write on this novel and I’m done, so best I get to that.

JIM GOFORTH HORROR AUTHOR(6)

Advertisements

WRITING WRAP 2016

2016 has been a prick of a year, not just for a handful of people, but seemingly for most folk across the board. With more ups and downs than a rollercoaster (probably more of those downs), it’s pretty apparent that this is a year most people are keen to see the back of, but that’s not really the purpose of this post. Rather than dwell on any of the less than exemplary experiences that have occurred, either personally, or for many others, this is my 2016 writing wrap.

And in terms of writing, personal output and achievements, 2016 was a stellar year for me.

With the exception of only April, May and June, I had something happening in each month of the year, whether it was the release of novels, stories appearing in anthologies or part of the ongoing Rejected For Content series. In some instances there were at least a couple of things each month with October and December being particularly productive.

My initial thoughts way back in the day that I’d try and follow a template of releasing a novel, then a collection, then novel and following that pattern went way out the window considering I had three novels come out in 2016 and no collections. Granted, two of those full lengths were two separate halves of the same story, and released simultaneously, but all the same, they were lengthy beasts and simply not feasible to put out as one book. As for collections, while I do have a pile of stories to comprise collections, not all of them are brand new and with the amount of anthologies I’ve been involved in, undoubtedly there would be reprints. My stance on collections remains the same-until one is a massively established writer with a whole host of things under their belt, putting out a collection largely comprised of reprints folks have probably already read is a rort. Save that for your greatest hits album. When you’re at the stage of making a greatest hits album, that is. Not a mere couple of years or less into a career. In any case, a collection made up of mostly new stories and a few reprints from niche anthologies and lesser read publications will be on the agenda for next year, but we’ll see what happens with that and where it fits in among all the other things planned for 2017.

udfc-full-wrap

I kicked off the year in January with the release of extreme metal zombie opus Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger. Being a splatterpunk/extreme horror take on the whole zombie genre with a constant soundtrack and proliferation of primarily black and death metal driving it, this was always going to be something of a niche book likely to appeal to specific audiences, but a having it reviewed in Metal Hammer magazine was a distinct highlight. Unfortunately with the collapse of Team Rock, it’s likely Metal Hammer and other long-running magazines under that particular blanket won’t exist anymore, so any sequels spawned from Undead Fleshcrave won’t be finding themselves reviewed in those pages.

February saw the release of the very first in a line of battle anthologies, that being the M v F (Male vs Female) books, where a team of male authors captained by John Ledger was pitted against a team of female authors led by Catt Dahman. Simple rules were put in place here; each team were given specific items that had to play a part in their story and a location which it needed to be based in or around, and then each story was voted on by a group of impartial judges with no knowledge on who wrote what. Two books were spawned from this competition, MvF: Deadliest of the Species and MvF: Death Personified. You can catch my tale Lancet, in that latter book.

This was the first of three battle type anthologies I appeared in over the course of 2016, with the other two coming at the tail-end of the year in VS: US vs UK Horror and VampZ vz WolvZ.

In March, the second volume of Tales From the Lake from the always fantastic Crystal Lake Publishing finally emerged after a period of delay (the book was originally slated to be released mid-2015). The story I wrote for this one, Lagos de los Perdidos, was something of a complete departure to my usual splatterpunk, ultra-violent, more extreme end of the scale type material, centering more on a dark emotional side of things. I was one of the judges for the Tales From the Lake competition and almost forgot I was supposed to write a story for the book as well, so this one was written in a mere night or so. All the same, it was definitely one of my favourite stories of the many I penned during the year, and tapped into a different approach to horror, or what most folk might have come to expect from me.

Earlier on I’d jumped onboard with Matt Shaw’s ideas for an Easter themed horror anthology and March also saw the release of that holiday beast, Easter Eggs and Bunny Boilers. In the cheery little tale of mine, When a Bunny Snaps, I introduced a quaint establishment called Fantasy Dress, a costume themed restaurant/bar/club where each holiday of the calendar year sees the female staff dressing appropriately to match said holiday. This was intended to be a one-off, but Matt also pulled together many of the same authors who’d appeared in Bunny Boilers as well as multiple big hitters of the genre for a Christmas antho (or rather, an anti-Christmas antho), so the chance to revisit Fantasy Dress and drop them into festive fuckery was too good to pass up. I’d originally started writing a completely different Christmas horror story and then left it to pen a completely new one which would focus around Fantasy Dress instead.

plebsall3

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

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

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

Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger January 8 (novel)

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

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

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

Rejected For Content 4: Highway to Hell July 15 Editor

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

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

Drowning in GoreMarshlands Malice, Sep 20

TrashedStrange Old Brew, Oct 3

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

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

Full Moon SlaughterHour of the Wolf, Nov 1

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

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

Rejected For Content 5: Sanitarium Dec 8, Editor

VampZ vz WolvZDinner Interruptus, Dec 14

jim-goforth-horror-author4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sleep

Carnival (abbreviated title)

Festival (abbreviated title)

Tyler Flynn

Plebs 3

Global Death: The Zombie Trigger 2

Murder Academy

Aground

Johnny Fox and the Werewolves

Neighborhood

Lycan Gang

Degenerate Children

imageedit_6_8904882051

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

THE REJECTED FOR CONTENT PHENOMENON

Now that the doors to the Sanitarium have been opened wide and the fifth volume of the Rejected For Content series is out in the world, spreading insanity far and wide, I figured it was time to have a little retrospective into the Rejected For Content phenomenon.

What is Rejected For Content?

Well, unless you’ve been living on the moon, or under a rock, or in some other way out of the loop, chances are you may have heard of it. Although it is perfectly viable that you haven’t heard of it at all; after all, the phenomenon isn’t exactly something aimed at all audiences. It isn’t something normal folk who don’t have a penchant for the extreme would be inclined to seek out or investigate.

So what is it? Quite simply it started out as a simple discussion, a notion, an idea to create a place where those stories deemed too offensive, objectionable, disturbing or horrific for various reasons to be published by the majority of publishers could find themselves a home. Essentially, it was to become a suitable outlet for tales that had been, or were likely to be, rejected on the grounds of content.

A small collective of authors were originally involved in the general banter which soon switched from mere discussion to plans and suggestions for a specific anthology. These folk included the likes of Catt Dahman, Scott Essel Pratt, Michael Fisher, Amanda Lyons, Mark Woods and myself. A conversation was mostly revolving around extreme horror and during the course of it I was making mention of the fact that I had a story submitted somewhere that I was pretty sure was going to be rejected on the basis of its content. That story, House of the Goat Monster, was later actually accepted for the publication I’d submitted it to (Ghosts: An Anthology of Horror From the Beyond) and more recently has resurfaced in Dual Depravity Volume One, but from that off-hand remark sprang the discussion that led to the creation of Rejected For Content. Michael Fisher knocked up a cover concept, a call for submissions was opened up and the wheels were set in motion.

It was bold, it was an experimental venture, it was risky, it was a gamble. And it dropped at the perfect time. Into a sea of readers keen to be launched into realms of extremity. This was only a mere couple of years ago.

Extreme horror was not new then by any means; it’s been around for a long time indeed, but its popularity was, and still is, continuing to rise. Folks love the extreme, they dig it, they want to be immersed in it and they can’t get enough of it, and though different things, fads, whatever you want to call them, are going to shift in and out of fashion, extreme horror has entrenched itself solidly and it’s not about to go away any time soon. And what’s more, those stories that were getting knocked back by publishers on the grounds of content that mere couple of years ago, would now stand a much better chance of getting published by those same publications that shied away from them in the first place. Because extreme horror sells. People want it. They crave it. They love it.

The submissions flowed in for Rejected For Content, and they ran the gamut from subtle to outright shockingly gruesome, displaying just how many different levels there are to the concept. What is, or should be, rejected on the basis of the content, doesn’t essentially require it to be an utter bloodbath or a murky mire of depravity and perversion, it can simply be something that is disturbing and disquieting through suggestion alone, enough to make your mind conjure up worse things than what’s already been spilled on the pages.

Catt Dahman helmed this first volume (which later ended up with the subtitle Splattergore), while I assisted and advised with stories, and chased bios and things along those lines. There were no theme limits (and even to this day, despite the various subtitles that were attached to ensuing volumes, Rejected For Content remains an open theme venture), which meant folks were free to run wild with their imaginations, or of course, submit those stories that had been knocked back from other places, whatever they happened to be about. Horror, bizarro, erotica, or even some strange melange of all the above were perfectly acceptable and continue to be.

And surprise, surprise, the audacious gamble paid off. Readers loved the concept, they loved the inclusion of the rejection letters with each author’s contribution, they loved to be frightened, horrified, appalled, disturbed…all those things horror should make the reader feel.

rejected1

http://smarturl.it/RejectedForContent

However, the purpose of Rejected For Content wasn’t a solitary one. It was multi-fold.

Not only was RFC intended to become a home for those difficult to place outlandish, shocking stories with their desire to approach the unapproachable or to delve into topics and material few would be game to consider, it was a place where these stories could convey messages despite the often outrageous content. These weren’t just tales designed to shock for the sake of shock, or to be explicit and ultra-violent just in order to be extreme, they carried an undercurrent of commentary and societal reflections within their grisly or provocative trappings, things to make you ponder and contemplate. Unfortunately there are those who misconstrue writing extreme horror as an excuse to spill buckets of blood or plumb the depths of perversion without bothering to anchor any semblance of a story to it, but that wasn’t the case here.

On top of that RFC served as a place where new and upcoming writers could have an opportunity to get a foot in the door. Publishing might be a hell of a lot easier in some contexts to get into these days, at least in comparison to several decades ago (when I first had a bash at getting work published), but there are still certain expectations, levels of writing, all manner of things to consider and it’s tough for new writers to try and crack. Easier doesn’t mean easy. So with that in mind, RFC also existed to allow some exposure to be spotlighted on some of these folks. In some ways it also served as a launching pad of sorts for several, some who have managed to crop up prevalently over the whole course of the series, some who appeared in perhaps just the one volume. After all, repeating the same table of contents (at least in terms of author names) wouldn’t allow for anything fresh, or new names to appear. Naturally there are multiple repeat offenders and a rare few have the distinction of appearing in every single volume thus far.

This inaugural volume featured tales from many of those involved in the original discussions, including Essel Pratt, Michael Fisher, Mark Woods and yours truly as well as introducing the likes of Toneye Eyenot and featuring some truly worthy pieces from folks like Jason Hughes and Kevin MacLeod.

After the surprise success of Splattergore-or perhaps it wasn’t such a surprise, since it was a unique concept dropped right amidst the scene in all its filthy, shocking, brutal and jarring glory that folks were keen to embrace-it was a given that a follow-up book would be planned. Midway through the process of this was when I took over the series (which is why I also have a story appearing in said book-I’d already written it with RFC2 in mind and had it accepted) and again, the tales creeping in for this one were a wildly diverse bunch that covered all bases, from the quietly disturbing to the brutally affronting. Writers embraced the concept with whole-hearted gruesome glee and readers did likewise. Once more, and as it always will be, the theme was wide open to interpretation, meaning if you had a story that was likely to be rejected because of the content or already had been previously, no matter what it was about, then it was a potential fit for what I later termed the Aberrant Menagerie. A zoo full of freakish exhibits, a collection of the unusual and the horrifying.

The same template established in the first volume, the same reasons for existing, the same ideology was present in Rejected For Content 2. Rejection letters, actual or otherwise creatively conjured up, would be part of the book and have become one of those quirky little aspects that have vastly appealed to readers and are here for the duration.

More importantly though, the stories carried messages, cautionary concepts or presented ideas and notions designed not to just horrify you, but to make you think. Again, there were opportunities for new and upcoming writers to join the RFC brigade. A blend of established inkslingers and unknowns delivered stories essentially deemed unfit to be published on the grounds of content. Nothing was taboo here. Censoring horror is counterproductive and unnecessary sanitization of a genre which, as its very name suggests, should be horrific. It should invoke feelings of dread, or fear, apprehension, terror, even disgust and shock. Which probably explains a little of the success of the series. There are no boxes here to try and fit in, no stone left unturned, no dark corner which can’t be explored, no layers that can’t be sliced and peeled away.

There weren’t just stories here, there were works of poetry (the first volume also contained poems), displaying that less words, or shorter entities could convey just as much of those requisite sensations experienced when reading these books as lengthier stories could.

Toneye Eyenot, Essel Pratt and Amanda Lyons (who are the only three recidivists with the distinction of being in each book of the whole series to date) resurfaced in the Aberrant Menagerie; we had names such as Christine Morgan and Michael Noe dipping into depths of depravity.

The Aberrant Menagerie opened for business in April of 2015 and remains in the top 100 Horror Anthologies today, albeit dropping out now and then, only to resurface with renewed venom and vigour.

rejected2

http://smarturl.it/RFC2

Given the fact that the first book and the second one appeared in 2014 and 2015 respectively, one might assume that the ensuing volume would surface in the following year, but in the grand scheme of things, the span of time between the two wasn’t exactly one whole year. What was more, folks wanted more. No, they needed more. Craved more. Which brings us to Rejected For Content 3: Vicious Vengeance.

This beast also marked the beginning of something of a new trend in the series, where a themed subtitle presented more focus on specific subject matter, at least loosely. To begin with, this wasn’t a conscious decision. Like the two predecessors, RFC3 wasn’t given any title until after I’d compiled the stories and pieced the book together, but it was as I was going through the various submissions that I noticed a high proportion of them received for this call revolved around themes of revenge and vengeance. While the whole concept of Rejected For Content remained open theme, this high occurrence of vengeful tales meant the opus pretty much named itself.

Some very familiar faces made themselves known yet again with Toneye Eyenot, who up until this point had been a regular contributor of poetry, unleashing a stunning story of brutal vengeance to open proceedings and set the scene for what was to follow in a deluge of darkness. Powerhouses K. Trap Jones and The Sisters of Slaughter (Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason) were on-board for this too with tales to eviscerate and decimate, as were a host of newcomers who brought all kinds of weird and wonderful to the table, from more subtly nuanced pieces to the utter gory filth we love at RFC, albeit once more with multiple layers to each composition. Some of these names such as Brent Lorentson, G. Zimmerman and Matthew Weber would return in later volumes, penning truly intriguing stories that most definitely belonged in the establishment known as Rejected For Content.

Michael Fisher, the man responsible for the artwork of both previous volumes was back to create the cover for this one too, with the dark greys, browns and blacks of those two supplanted here by striking blue/purples and bright bold red.

rfc-cover-small

http://smarturl.it/Rejected3

 

Nine months after the release of Vicious Vengeance, another bestial, bloody, hellish RFC baby was spawned. This entity built on the foundations laid in volume three and went one further, by actually having a subtitle set in place prior to the book being put together. This was courtesy of cover artist Michael Fisher who was playing around with ideas for a future RFC cover and created one with the subtitle to match. Thus, Highway to Hell was born.

This time, despite keeping the overall theme as an open one, I made mention of the fact that I would be specifically seeking for some of the submissions to address this subtitle in some way, however folks chose to interpret that or involve some highway to hell, actual or metaphorical, was completely up to them. Plenty of sanguinary scribes rose to the occasion and delivered all manner of good stuff, from a literal walk through hell, to suggestions of mental hells, to folks whose deeds meant they would surely be guaranteed a berth in any perceived hell. Splatterpunk scribes such as David Owain Hughes, John Ledger, K. Trap Jones and others brought the extreme, newcomer Eric LaRocca brought one of the most intriguing stories we’ve seen to date, T.S. Woolard shredded souls with a short, sharp gut-punch of a tale and the whole volume itself made for one hell of a fucked up road trip into the pit (both mental and actual). A blend of seasoned pros and fresh faces was again the order of the day, the same ideals of strong stories with more than just shock factor were present and accounted for.

rfc4cover

http://smarturl.it/Rejected4

Which finally brings us to where we’re at in the series now. The recently released Rejected For Content 5: Sanitarium. By now, the template where we have a subtitle prior to the open call, has been set in place, so while an open theme policy remains consistent, a focus on stories which in some way, no matter how tenuous, adhere to that whole Sanitarium idea, was encouraged. This meant I wanted tales of craziness, insanity, institutions, folks who should be incarcerated in them or whose actions meant they’d end up there sooner or later. And that was precisely what I got, in all kinds of lurid interpretations. The creativity and imaginations of folks out there is astounding, brilliant and captivating, and it’s always fascinating to give these people a simple focal point and see just how differently they all choose to approach it. Consequently, while Rejected For Content will always stay as an open themed entity (not sure I’ve said that often enough in this whole look back on the phenomenon, so best to say it once more), the whole notion of putting a subtitle to the book beforehand or pointing out that I’ll be after a proportion of stories related in some manner to said subtitle gives people something to focus on. Their interpretation, how they elect to approach it or whether they even want to adhere to it at all is all part of the fun, and one of the things that makes Rejected For Content so vibrant, fresh and so much fun to be involved with.

So when the doors to the Sanitarium finally cracked open, there was insanity abounding. Old hands at this Rejected For Content business were lurking in the corridors and new inmates were ushered in and shown to their rooms, where it was either going to be a case of straitjackets or lobotomies. K. Trap Jones, Essel Pratt, Toneye Eyenot booked themselves padded cells, and we welcomed back repeat offenders such as Brent Lorentson, G. Zimmerman and David Owain Hughes, while newcomers J.L Lane, Tamara Fey Turner and Mark Nye brought their own special breeds of insanity.

I coined the simple phrase Get Rejected a while back in the series, and this time I added Go Insane to that. It was fair to say that all those who were admitted to the Sanitarium certainly did that. In fact, they should all be institutionalised.

rfc5-front_1

http://smarturl.it/rfcsanitarium

So, where to from here when it comes to Rejected For Content? Well, you will all have to wait and see, but there are most definitely plenty of plans and plenty of places we have yet to go. I can’t foresee this wrapping up any time soon. I love Rejected For Content and at this point in time, there’s no end in sight. In fact, soon I might be calling on fans of the series to be involved in various future endeavours. For now, be sure to check in to the Sanitarium and catch up on the latest installment. And wonder just where we’re going to end up next.

 

rfcallofthem

 

PhotoFunia-1440502810

 

2016 J. Ellington Ashton Awards/Awards in General and how the right kind of attention could benefit you

Around this time every year it seems I write a post regarding awards, so while this one essentially won’t be any different, it will address a couple of things other than mentioning specific awards.

In any case, J. Ellington Ashton Press recently held their annual awards and it was great to see a whole bunch of well-deserving authors, staff, artists and books receive acknowledgement for their assorted achievements throughout the year. My brothers in metal or splatterpunk or WetWorks, extreme inkslinging, whathaveyou, Toneye Eyenot, John Ledger, Michael Fish Fisher won some truly deserved awards as did many others who have gone above and beyond in 2016. As for me, I snagged this little beauty hereaoty2016

In addition to that Rejected For Content was runner up for Anthology of the Year. This would be for RFC4: Highway to Hell I would assume since Volume 3: Vicious Vengeance came out in October last year. Not too bad considering Highway to Hell has only been out a few months.

rfcaward

I’m pretty sure I say this with each post as well, but I’m going to say it again anyway. I don’t write for awards. If you do write to win awards or that happens to be your motivation for writing, shit, get out of the game now.

I write because I love to write. I love to tell stories, I love to create the kinds of things I personally love to read; I have a restless, twisted imagination full of things that need to be spilled onto the page. I just love writing and that’s why I do it. If people happen to dig the freakish horror tales that make their way out of my head and splatter blood all over the pages, then that is awesome. If those same things garner the sort of attention that results in awards or other forms of acknowledgement, appreciation etc. etc. then that’s pretty cool too. It’s always great to be acknowledged by peers, fans, readers, the general public and so forth, but it will never be (and should never be) the principal motivation to write.

And as for winning awards, well I sure as hell can’t tell anybody how to win them. Because I don’t know. I can’t tell you how to win awards and nor can I tell you how to be the best author or anything like that. But I can tell you how to increase your visibility (so if garnering awards of any variety is one of your motivations, maybe your chances will also increase, hell, who knows) and try and maintain a profile.

Write. Keep writing. Keep releasing things. Be prolific. Don’t rest on your laurels.You can’t expect to maintain a high profile if you write one book, sit back and wait for the world to discover it (sure, there might be exceptions to this, but I can’t think of any right now). Let folks know about it, make people aware you have something out there they should be reading. Don’t assume people are just going to stumble across it without having a few pointers in the right direction. Interact with readers, other authors, potential readers, fans you might already have. Know your fanbase. Increase your fanbase (easier said than done I know, but it can be done). Be approachable. Be supportive of others. Writing isn’t a competition; there’s a fuckload of us out there and it makes more sense to support those fellow creatives than trying and wage war with them. Folks don’t always remember who is there sharing their shit or whatnot, but they sure as hell remember who did some underhanded shit or who tried to make enemies of them or just did some all round general fuckery in the name of climbing up that ladder a little higher. Sure, not everybody is going to get along, there will be those who like to step on others or use others to give them a leg up and then promptly forget who helped them out in the beginning, but again, it’s always a better option to take the higher ground there. Don’t involve yourself in drama. Fuck that shit. Of course, some of it is unavoidable, but for the most part it is. Stay away from it. Nobody wants to be remembered as that writer always getting embroiled in some kind of happy horseshit. Save that for writing. Wasting time on vitriolic rants, vendettas, targeting others or whatever is the in thing regarding drama these days is productive writing time wasted.

Promote yourself. Market your works. Identify your target market and ensure you’re directing the right information to them. No good pitching to folks who won’t have a bar of what it is you’re writing; try and win over a new fanbase or broaden into different areas after you have an established one. Keep potential readers and current fans updated on your releases, upcoming projects, current projects and plans. That again is easier said than done, and there’s often a fine line to tread between promoting and spamming or overkill, but that’s for each to find their own balance.

Create a brand for yourself. Build up a resume of work. Submit to markets. Hell, submit to anthologies and markets that don’t pay shit. I do and I’ll continue to do so, namely because there are so many great projects out there I want to write for, regardless of whether there’s any money in it. If you’ve got grand designs on subbing to the same places over and over because they pay top dollar and you keep getting rejected, might be time to expand horizons a little. There’s no creating a brand for yourself if you’re not getting anything accepted anywhere. That doesn’t mean write and sub for everything under the sun of course. Be choosy, but be a little smart about it. And when you do get rejected-it happens to all of us-be gracious about it. Don’t go on a tirade, don’t assume you know better than whoever knocked you back, they have their reasons. Editors always remember those who can’t take rejection graciously.

Bottom line. Don’t be a prick, asshole, bitch, cunt, whatever. It’s easy enough to achieve, unless of course that’s ones natural persona. In which case, consider your career longevity to not be overly long. Once more, probably exceptions to the rule, but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest folks didn’t always get where they got by being any of the above to others, particularly on a constant basis.

Be gracious, accepting, supportive, approachable, proactive, creative and keep on writing. And don’t write for awards. If you do do enough to earn them the way they should be earned, they will come.

I’ve got a novel to write before this month is out, so rather than ramble on any more here, best I get to doing that.

REJECTED FOR CONTENT 4: HIGHWAY TO HELL

Between writing, editing, all the usual day to day shit I do, running WetWorks and maintaining a presence across a variety of platforms, it would be fair to say this poor old WordPress site has been immensely neglected. In fact, this will be the first post of the year for the abandoned fucker. Last time I was around here making any mention of anything, it was knocking up the extensive playlist for Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger (which came out in January of this year by the way. If you haven’t read it yet, grab a copy, slap some corpse paint and spiked gauntlets on, crank the volume to maximum and dive in).

In some of the time elapsed between then and now I was immersed in the process of putting together the fourth volume of the extremely well received (I’d say bestselling, but I’m opposed to being one of those knobs) Rejected For Content series. This time around, we’re riding the Highway To Hell.

RFC4 WRAP

 

This beast came out just under a month ago and like all of the series so far has lodged its gruesome carcass in the top 100 and is remaining there, maintaining the notion that folks simply love extremes and just can’t get enough. Which is excellent, because let me assure you, there’s no end in sight for this series, though there may be a couple of other projects I have in mind which are related to the whole concept. I’ll definitely be keeping people posted, but anything like that will come after Rejected For Content 5 has been released. Speaking of which, an open call for submissions for that very creature will be happening quite shortly, so all interested parties would be best advised to keep their eyes peeled for that one.

In the meantime, swing around and get your mitts on the latest installment of the grisly, the gory, the explicit, the shit that other publishers are liable to reject on the grounds of content. Featuring some usual suspects, some completely new faces, some up and comers and a couple of scribes who have had the unique ability to pop up in each volume of the series so far.

PhotoFunia-1440502810

 

Rejected For Content 4: Highway to Hell.

Some roads lead to fame and fortune. Some roads lead to safety and sanctuary. Some roads lead to misery and suffering. Some roads lead nowhere. And some roads lead straight to hell.

Come along for the ride if you dare, as Rejected for Content 4 takes you down roads with only one true destination awaiting at the end. Ride actual roads with damaged, deranged souls, and travel along the highways of the mind where psychosis, darkness, and the depths of brutality and perversion dwell.

These stories have all been rejected for content: these stories will all take you on the highway to hell. It’s a long way down.

Featuring K. Trap Jones, Eric LaRocca, Essel Pratt, T.S. Woolard, Amanda M. Lyons, Brian Glossup, Kindra Sowder, John Ledger, Jonathan Edward Ondrashek, James Longmore, S. A. Mckernan, David Owain Hughes, Rebecca Kolodziej, Michael Fisher, Rebecca Pate, Peter Oliver Wonder, Josh Davis, Roma Gray, Lyndon D. Johnson, G. Zimmerman, Mark Woods, William Bradley, Jay Helmstutler, and Toneye Eyenot.

Warning: Strong violence, explicit sex, coarse language, blood, and gore.

http://smarturl.it/Rejected4

PhotoFunia-1470103386

REJECTED FOR CONTENT 3: VICIOUS VENGEANCE

The third installment of the Rejected For Content anthology series from JEA’s WetWorks imprint is out, released into society in all its gruesome glory.

The grotesque. The grisly. The extreme. The erotic. Punishing. Poignant. Vicious. Vengeful. Rejected. For Content.

RFC3 full wrap

Comprised of twenty three pieces Rejected For Content 3: Vicious Vengeance is the longest of the series so far and marks the second time I have taken the reins as editor. Unlike the first two volumes I don’t have a story in this collective, instead I’m just the man helming it. Like the predecessors, this book features a wide array of talented authors, ranging from the well established to some unknown and upcoming faces, which is one of the hallmarks of RFC. There are names folks will be very familiar with, there are names that folks will be hearing much more of in the future. Among this sanguinary sprawl of provoking prose and poetry are a few scribes who have the distinction of featuring in all three volumes of the series thus far, which is rather cool. New faces are constantly being attracted to the whole concept which is a wonderful thing; it sees the tendrils of RFC spread further and wider, but it is also great to have top notch work still being submitted by folks who have pretty much become synonymous with the series.

The subtitle of the opus, ‘Vicious Vengeance’, as I make mention of in the foreword wasn’t one that I had in mind prior to starting the submissions, reading, cutting down process, but as I did go through the myriad stories that were submitted, there was a high percentage of them which revolved in one way or another around revenge. Consequently, they assisted in throwing a suitable moniker up. Naturally, it isn’t all of the stories which are steeped in bloody vengeance and ruthless revenge, but the large proportion of them meant the book essentially dubbed itself.

Nor are all the stories and works brutal, violent, overtly sexual or the types of things one might expect to have been originally ‘rejected for content’. No, there is poignancy here, touching moments, things which are far more subtle than affronting and shocking (though rest assured, that’s here in spades too), cutting insights on society, people’s behaviours, intentions, psyches and mental states. These stories involve human souls laid bare, skin peeled right back to reveal the often hideously ugly interior and on the surface some might shock, but they will all make you think, mull over and contemplate. They all have their reasons to be rejected on the grounds of content for other publishers who might be prone to shy away from this deliberate ugliness, sordidness, offensive or abrasive, but at WetWorks these tales of terror are embraced with open arms.

For those who are thinking, fuck, RFC2 wasn’t released that long ago, that WetWorks is fucking cranking out this series, I’ll gibber on about that a little. I had folks clamouring for another RFC and stories ready to roll, so after number 2 had been out for a while I opened up a submissions call for part 3 with a strict deadline to be adhered to. The response was excellent, to the extent where I ended up with some great stories that unfortunately couldn’t make the cut, based on size restraints, so technically if those same writers wish to have involvement with the next installment of a series that keeps growing, it’s well on the way already.

In any case, the speed with which RFC3 came together can be attributed to all the contributors involved. Without their prompt responses to contracts, issues, actions and all the things involved in the compiling and creation of the anthology, it wouldn’t have run nearly as smoothly or efficiently, so the group of extreme inkslingers who have work in Vicious Vengeance are definitely responsible for it being an extremely positive experience, alongside those staff members with the unenviable jobs of formatting and proof copies.

If you’re already familiar with Splattergore and Aberrant Menagerie, then it’s time for you to become immersed in Vicious Vengeance. If you aren’t and you think you have the constitution and fortitude for what lurks within the pages of all three volumes, then throw yourself into them. You might not be the same afterwards, so approach with caution.

One final note before I drop off the link so you are able to go and check out the new Rejected For Content release.

Rejected For Content 4 will certainly be happening. As I mentioned above, I already have a host of worthy stories and at some stage I will be opening up another submissions call to round up a host more. This won’t be happening until next year at this stage; I’m pretty much steering clear of all anthologies-either running or submitting to-for the remainder of 2015 so I can concentrate on my own writing. That has been the plan for some time and aside from RFC4, I imagine it is going to be the plan for 2016 as well, so there will be less short stories in different books from me and more short stories written to include in future collections from me. But, I’m diverging away from the original point…

I’ll let potential submitters, or folks who might be wanting to pen something suitable for Rejected For Content 4, this opus already has a subtitle, as created by the man who is responsible for the cover art of all the books in the series so far. This is ‘Highway To Hell’, so bear that title in mind. While RFC as a series is open theme and will continue to remain open theme for the foreseeable future, I will be specifically seeking a few works which in some way address or involve that subtitle, so start getting those freakish ideas churning and see if you can end up on the Rejected For Content Highway To Hell.

In the meantime, be sure to snare a copy of Vicious Vengeance from the link below (or Barnes & Noble, Book Depository etc, all those places when it becomes available there).

http://smarturl.it/Rejected3

From the shocking to the surreal, the poignant to the repugnant, the erotic to the extreme, Rejected For Content 3 delves into the darkest corners of human hearts and minds. The stories contained within have been rejected from other presses on the grounds of content; tales to shock and frighten, unnerve and disgust, with many disturbed souls driven by vicious vengeance. Featuring Toneye Eyenot, K. Trap Jones, Essel Pratt, Dani Brown, AJ Waters, Lisa Dabrowski, Matthew Weber, Andrew Bell, Jay Helmstutler, Edward Kenyon, Matthew Cash, Victoria Vassilious, Ian McClellan, Ash Hartwell, Stephen Kozeniewski, Roy C. Booth, Axel Kohagen, Brent Lorentson, Gregg Zimmerman, Michelle Garza, Melissa Lason, Catfish McDaris and Amanda M. Lyons.

rfc3 cover

TALES FROM THE LAKE VOL. 2, UNDEAD FLESHCRAVE AND OTHER UPDATES

This poor old WordPress site gets sadly neglected a lot of the time, but on top of running my author page on Facebook, along with pages for WetWorks, Rejected For Content and Plebs, as well as maintaining a Twitter, Google+, Goodreads and miscellaneous other accounts, it’s probably lucky it gets the attention it does. At least it isn’t anything like my BookLikes and AuthorsDen pages. Fuck all happens there with those.

In any event, I figured a little update or two on where I’m at, what projects are in the works, what next to expect from me and all that sort of thing was probably in order.

Firstly, the next thing folks can expect from me is an appearance in Volume 2 of Tales From the Lake from one of my very favourite publishing houses around, Crystal Lake Publishing. This is slated for release in late August, and though I’m not sure whether that is set in stone or if it’s had to be pushed back at all, it should still be appearing in the very near future. I’m supremely excited about this one for a multitude of reasons. Most folks are probably well aware that I’m a massive Richard Laymon aficionado-the great man is my biggest influence and inspiration-and while he would be top of my list of authors I’d love to have shared a TOC with, there are a host of other names that are right up there too, notably Edward Lee and Jack Ketchum. Well, anybody who has been keeping track of the updates regarding Tales From the Lake Vol. 2 will know that not one, but both, of those horror masters will be appearing in the book, as well as the legendary Ramsey Campbell, Tim Lebbon and Richard Chizmar, and a slew of other brilliant horror scribes. I’ll be there too, with a piece entitled ‘Lagos De Los Perdidos’. If you’re familiar with my splatterpunk, grindhouse, visceral style, this particular tale might come as a bit of a surprise, since it’s something of a departure from that. Is it still horror? Of course, but I’ll leave it to people to read it and check it out.

On top of all this, spectacular artists Aaron Dries, who will also be in the book with ‘Love Amongst the Redback Spiders’ has created some stunning artwork to accompany many of the tales, including one for ‘Lagos De Los Perdidos’. Check it out below.

Aaron's art for Lago de los Perdidos

A few other anthologies from J. Ellington Aston Press are just around the corner too, with my most recent appearance being in Suburban Secrets: A Neighborhood of Nightmares, edited by Amanda Lyons and the king of ideas and creative anthology suggestions,, John Ledger. My story in here is ‘Underground Beast Bloodsports’ which is, pretty much, exactly what its name might suggest. Initially, this one was written with a different anthology in mind, but it fits the bill here too. Drowning in Gore, Doorway To Death, MvF are just a few others that will soon be emerging as well; epic concepts all and as usual, great fun to write for. Then, we have Rejected For Content 3. I closed submissions on this at the end of July and after working through them all, and taking on twenty three pieces to comprise the latest juggernaut, this latest installment in a hugely entertaining to work with series, is just about complete. a plethora of great stories pileD up in the submission swarm, but unfortunately, unless I was looking at making a beast that would dwarf Plebs in size, I couldn’t take them all. So, it’s safe to say that Rejected Four is on the cards, before RFC3 has even come out yet, and hell, if there’s an RFC5 on the horizon and many more beyond that, I’m all for it. I love the concept, I love the interest that it’s generated and I love the fact that an assortment of authors, both established and new faces, are looking to get involved.

Michael ‘Fish’ Fisher, the brilliant artist behind both previous volumes; Splattergore and Aberrant Menagerie is once again on-board for the RFC3 cover art. Have a look at it, below.

rfc3 cover

For those waiting for a new novel from me, rest assured, that fucker is around the corner as well. Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger is in edits and once those are complete, the ball will start rolling pretty smartly on the way to unleashing that monstrosity. Metalheads, zombie fanatics, splatterpunks, horror heads who dig things bloody, get ready for this. I’m no zombie genre author, so don’t expect my take on it to follow the same trajectory as those who dwell in the undead domain. This is a sanguinary melange of the grindhouse splatterpunk stylings of Plebs, and With Tooth and Claw, with a fuckload of undead freaks, a cast of assorted characters and a story punted along by black and death metal. Cover art is also currently in the works for this behemoth and I’m definitely looking forward to it. This book was a hell of a lot of fun to write-well, they all are actually-and I can’t wait to have it out and about. It combines a lot of my favourite things and while metal music has always been inspirational and influential on much of my work, and crops up regularly through references in many of my stories, it plays a much more pivotal role in this particular book.

A bunch of metal fanatics head off to attend a concert performed in their hometown by a death metal supergroup and let’s just say, for those guys and gals, things go to hell in a hand-basket pretty swiftly.

In addition to that, the follow-up to Plebs is complete. Technically speaking, it will be follow-ups, plural. Even with the amount of words I cut from the final product (approx. 20 or so k) there’s no other way to do it, than to have it as two books, both clocking in around 130k. I’ll be shooting off the first of those to JEA very shortly, then the other. I haven’t quite worked out the details on how that is going to run, how much space or time will lapse between the release of them both, but we will see how it all pans out. In any case, for fans of Plebs who are hanging out for future installments, rest assured, they are written, they will be coming.

Amidst all this, I’m working on two other novels (one more so than the other since the story has taken control and the characters are starting to dictate how it should run) and a handful of short stories. Some of these are potentially destined for an array of anthologies, while others are intended for another collection. I’ve mentioned in a few interviews along the way, that I plan to have a collection of short stories come out between each consecutive full length novel and for the foreseeable future, I’d like to stick to that. Whether that actually comes to fruition is yet to be ascertained, but I will definitely have enough pieces written to accumulate into another collection by the time Undead Fleshcrave crawls up out of the tomb. Shit, I have enough now, but since I love writing, I’ll just keep on writing. There’s too many stories running around in this restless, twisted imagination, not to be writing them.

Stay tuned.

JIM GOFORTH HORROR AUTHOR

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a fitting track for the upcoming Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger