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

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

triggered full wrap

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

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

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


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

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

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

Triggers. Everybody has them.

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

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

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

Everybody has triggers. Anything can set them off.


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

This book however, has no such thing.

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








If you’ve been playing along at home, then you’ll probably be aware that I’ve been doing a little dabbling in some self-publishing. In which case you might also be aware that I set myself something of a challenge (perhaps a foolhardy one, but that remains to be seen) to release at least a book a month this year, be they full length novels, novellas, collections etc.

If you haven’t been playing along at home, you should be all caught up now. Doing some self-pubbing, making potentially ridiculous plans to release a book a month, not just a story, but full books. Got it.

Now, as I mentioned in my original post addressing these notions, these books aren’t all going to brand new, they aren’t going to be things rushed out just to meet the challenge, and it doesn’t essentially mean I will be sitting here crazily trying to bang out a book a month. I have a lot of stuff already written, some complete things, others well on the way to being finished, and a bunch of different ideas. What I will also be doing is compiling an assortment of collections, some which will feature new stories, some which will be themed, some which will see tales drawn from anthologies and publications which didn’t have a very wide readership.

Anyway, two months in and I’m on target so far.

My first foray into self-pubbing land came out in January, with the novella, Harvester’s Trade.


Ten of the country’s most notorious felons have just been shackled, chained, and blindfolded, and bundled onto a prison bus, with no explanation.
With no knowledge of their destination, this dangerous collective of murderers, rapists, thugs, and violent offenders widely assume they’re being transferred from their current facility to another, or split up and relocated among multiple others. That isn’t the only theory.
Devoid of sight and information these prisoners also suspect they’re bound for other potential fates. Execution. Accidents. Never making it to their assumed transfer facility.
Ultimately, they are all wrong.
Instead, they are being released.
However, it isn’t as simple as it seems. There’s a catch, and it isn’t merely being dumped in the middle of nowhere, miles from civilization, with no food, water or means to protect themselves. From each other, or from anything else.
There are promises of a sanctuary existing somewhere out here in the wilderness, a location where they will be absolved of all their heinous crimes, should they manage to make it there.
Now, dusk is approaching fast and they’re about to discover why nobody wants to be stranded out here once darkness has fallen.

Following that, in February, was the collection, Disquiet: An Assemblage of the Unnerving. This book is one of those aforementioned examples of compiling stories derived from previous publications which, for various reasons, slipped under the radar and didn’t hit a large target audience. Granted, some folks will have read some of the stories published in there before, but some will have not. The various books they were in range from niche anthos to battle anthos to books that featured specific themes. Here, they are all gathered together, and while there’s no theme threading them together, their presence all in the same book might afford them a little more visibility than they received in those prior publications. In any case, check it out.


Disquiet breeds not only in those deep, dark corners and places where we might commonly be frightened to venture into. It isn’t just confined to cemeteries, dark woods, and ominous, abandoned realms, though these are places that heighten those senses of unease.
Fear can spring forth on a simple train trip; it can creep in to pervade a once beloved hideaway, a secret place, it can invade the sanctuary of a happy household. Nowhere is impervious, and nobody is immune. That fear can be irrational, or it can be a portent that something terrible is about to happen.
In Disquiet: An Assemblage of the Unnerving, that lurking fear is wholly justified. Terrible things are going to happen.
Dredged up from the dark, twisted recesses of Jim Goforth’s imagination are the tales contained within this book, each one a different excursion into disquieting domains. From the reserved to the extreme, and everywhere in between, these are stories to horrify, to unsettle, to prove you are right to be afraid.
Though most of these have appeared before, in niche anthologies or publications which had limited readership, they’re now all gathered here together for the first time, in an assemblage of the unnerving.

Both of these books have a few variant covers, considering I tinkered around with a couple of things before deciding on which ones to run with. Harvester’s has two different versions, Disquiet has four. Maybe one day I’ll actually post those alternates, and discover folks might have preferred the ones I didn’t elect to use. Who knows?

They’re also definitely in need of a couple of reviews, Disquiet in particular, so if you have read either or both, slapping up a review on Amazon would be highly appreciated. Good, bad, ugly, it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s a genuine review. If you loved them, say so. If you hated them, say so. If you were ambivalent about them, same deal.

If you have read them both, and need something else to read, stay tuned. More books will be coming. At this point in time, there are four separate entities I have for upcoming months, though I haven’t yet decided in which order they will emerge. These include (titles subject to change)-From the Vault, Havoc Vulture, Extremes, and Headbanging Horror. 

And of course, keep your eyes peeled for a variety of other projects which should be surfacing this year, including Triggered, Plebs 3, Rejected For Content 7 and more. None of that is set in stone right now, aside from Triggered which will definitely be coming very, very shortly. As for the rest, we’ll just have to wait and see what time allows.

As always, too many projects I want to get done, never enough time to do them all.

Then there’s the follow-up to Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger. I need to get cracking on that one too. My wife keeps asking me when I’m getting that one done, since she has a particular dislike for a character that survived the first book. She wants him dead, and she wants him dead now! So maybe I better keep him around a bit longer.

And on that note, head on over and check out Harvester’s Trade, and Disquiet: An Assemblage of the Unnerving.


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


So you want to put together an anthology?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


SotS Cover

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

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



Jim Goforth, 2017


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.


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.



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.


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.


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


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


Johnny Fox and the Werewolves


Lycan Gang

Degenerate Children


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.







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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.






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.


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.