Posts Tagged ‘writing’

EXTREMES

EXTREMES

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

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

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

Folks will go to extremes one way or another.

EXTREMES PROMO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://smarturl.it/extremes

OUTNOW

 

Advertisements

HARVESTER’S TRADE/DISQUIET

HARVESTDISQUIET

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.

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.

http://smarturl.it/harvesterstrade

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(3)

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.

http://smarturl.it/disquiet

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?

So you want to put together an anthology?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

ZombiesZeroHourFinal1

SotS Cover

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

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

 

 

Jim Goforth, 2017

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)

THE SLEEP

As if I needed any more proof that I sorely neglect this WordPress site, how about this? My most recent novel came out in January, and here it is mid-May, and I haven’t mentioned shit about it over here. In my defence, I maintain an assortment of different pages and profiles, and more often than not, this is the one which gets left to rot and fester. In any case, best rectify that now.

January 2017 saw the release of my first novel for the year (there will be at least a couple more coming out this year, but those are still under wraps as far as providing details for them goes). This of course, as most people should already know (unless you use this site to keep update on news-in that case, you wouldn’t have a clue), was The Sleep.

TheSleepFront

This book is my spin on a creature feature of sorts, a monster tale, albeit written in my usual grindhouse splatterpunk style, though it probably is a little more accessible to mainstream horror fans than some of my previous works have been. That isn’t to say it has been toned down in any context, more of a case of the story not quite warranting some of the things that have appeared in prior books.

Here’s the synopsis

Obscure urban legends and monstrous myths abound all over the internet, and none are more obscure or bizarre than the one purported to haunt the strange, remote and oddly named town of Growling and its surrounds.
Here, the communities are plagued by freakish weather phenomena, aberrant lightning and something even worse that arrives in the midst of these irregular storms. Here, all denizens adhere stringently with the unwritten rules of what they all know as The Sleep. Here, the way of life for folk is dictated to by the BeastStorms.
When a group of friends, including an amateur horror film maker, an urban legend and supernatural enthusiast, a sceptic and a journalist, among others, stumble across the vague tale online, each have their own reasons for wanting to discover the veracity of the peculiar legend.
Now, they are on a road trip that’s taken them thousands of miles from their comfortable city existences and right into the domain of The Sleep. Where mistrusting, superstitious locals patrol the neighbourhoods in packs with ominous warnings for intruders and unwelcome passers-through. Where dissenters are run out of town to live as outcasts on the fringes of civilization. Where repercussions are severe for those who don’t take heed of warnings to abide by the rules of the land.
Where unholy storms unlike anything ever experienced before, dredge up something more than insane weather. Something monstrous.
Every so often, among all those many legends easily explainable, or proved to be nothing more than pure hoax, there’s one with more than a kernel of truth to it.

One like the BeastStorms.

The whole concept of this tale is one I’ve had in my head for quite some time, and it was all originally derived from one single image (the base image you see on the whole cover wrap-the old dwellings and the sky). Elements were added by cover artist Michael Fish Fisher to further enhance the aesthetics and fit the theme of the book, but the base image itself, prior to any of that, was enough to conjure up the story in my head before I even started writing it, at least in terms of the mythos, what happened when the Storms came and how people dealt with that. Like most of my work, I didn’t plan it or outline it in any way, shape or form; I had the initial characters, what their motivations were and as usual, I threw them into monstrous situations and let them see how-or if-they could come out of it. Unlike the majority of my other books, I did have some idea on how it was going to end, though even that took something of a turn along the way. In any case, here’s a few things folks have been saying about it.
“The Sleep is a combination of a novel and a horror movie which goes in gonzo directions and yet it all makes sense in the end. This is what novels are supposed to do. As horror, when the evil erupts in almost atomic bomb explosion with everyone in its sights, expect the worst for the worst is there spilling with blood, death, and decapitations. The monsters, both human and monsters, are monsters with little pity.”
Goforth layers his novel with violence, and gore, but there’s a compelling story here. That’s what makes The Sleep so good. It’s a dark, gritty novel that reminds us that it’s the things we can’t see that are the most terrifying. When it comes to horror no one writes like Goforth. This is a guy that takes the genre back to it’s early days of true terror, and suspense, and writes like a man possessed. This is the future of horror and each novel gets him one step closer to mainstream success.”
Jim Goforth never holds back and always packs a hell of a punch.”
If you like horror stories and can handle gore, I highly recommend this entertaining book!”
I have a lot of respect for the writing of Jim Goforth. He can take an action scene, draw you in, keep you gasping for breath, and turn the whole situation in another unexpected direction. This is what he does in The Sleep.
sleepfrontreal
If any of that sounds right up your alley, snag a copy of The Sleep and check it out. Feel free to drop a review off on Amazon and let me know your thoughts. Good, bad or ugly, all reviews are appreciated.

From the author of Plebs and Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger.

Seven intrepid travellers. One obscure tale. One hell of a storm of nightmares.

Some urban legends are true.

http://smarturl.it/thesleep

Another Sleep promo3
PhotoFunia-1486793698

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.