Monday, 25 August 2014

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

...Jim Goforth

1. Tell me about your book Plebs and where you got your inspiration for it?

Plebs is a grindhouse excursion of horror which starts off as a simple night out for three young men celebrating a friends birthday. After the celebrations wrap up, the trio decide to keep a bit of a party vibe going and end up heading way out of town, carrying on with a few mindless shenanigans. After finding themselves at a lake, they encounter a band of mysterious and possibly dangerous fugitive women, and what begins to look like a promising late evening of fun and frivolity with these attractive lasses takes a turn for the worse, and just keeps on getting worse. An assortment of nightmarish scenarios emerge the more the guys become entangled with the women and all sorts of hell breaks loose. Things get ultra-violent, it is bloody and hectic, not for the faint of heart. To coin a phrase I’ve been using to promote the book, Plebs is a grindhouse splatterpunk horror with a cinematic quality.

My imagination is a suitably dark and twisted one, and I have all sorts of ideas constantly churning, so I’ve never short on things to write about. My only problem is finding the time to get everything I have in my head out and written.

2. Do you admire your own work?

I do actually. I write what I want to write and I write the type of things that I most like to read, so consequently there has to be some admiration for what I conjure up in there. I’m one of those writers who is often happy with my first draft, or what I initially write and rarely do I change things the second time around, aside from fixing up punctuation, commas, those sorts of things. More often than not, what I’ve written is either how I wanted it to be or it has turned out better than I might have anticipated. So yeah, long story short, I do admire my own work.

3. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not at all. If we’re still talking Plebs, then it turned out great, better than I might have anticipated it. For the most part, I didn’t have any clear idea of how it was going to end, which is often the way my writing goes. I never meticulously plan, I always write in order, from start to finish, never scenes written out of sequence and I just let my characters run and go crazy and get themselves into all sorts of trouble by themselves. If we’re referring to the book I just finished writing, well I haven’t actually gone back to look at it yet since finishing it. I may decide the whole thing needs one hell of a shake-up, but I’d have to say I was pretty happy with how it turned out as I was writing, despite my habitual problem of blowing the word count out to an astronomical size.

4. Is there a message in your novels you want the readers to grasp?

Not essentially messages I want the reader to grasp, but there are certainly loads of underlying themes and concepts within the work. Some are obvious and pretty easy to acknowledge, while others are more subtle and woven into the thread of the stories. Much of my work does feature a cautionary thread, or themes which become fairly prominent, while other stories are just for sheer entertainment, regardless of whether they might carry something one might construe as a message of sorts.

5. Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Richard Laymon is my favourite author of all time, indeed the number one inspiration and influence on my own writing. Laymon was a master of his genre, he could blend the violent with the humourous, the poignant with the disturbing, and he possessed the knack of making a reader really care what happened to his characters. Above all else, he was a true storyteller, and while anyone can fill up a book with blood and guts and mayhem for shock value, if there is no story to it all, then it may as well be for nothing. Laymon had the ability to anchor everything to a strong and solid storyline every time.

6. Do you watch horror movies on or from behind the couch?

Haha! On the couch, in bed, anywhere I can have a great visual of them. I am a big horror film aficionado. I’m a fan of horror in all its mediums, be it books, films, music, whatever and have been from a very early age, hence the lifelong ambition to be a horror writer.

7. Sunrises or Sunsets?

Sunsets. I’m a night owl, a nocturnal person, so usually when the sun rises I’m hoping to be asleep. Nothing against sunrises, I like them too. I’d just rather be asleep when they are happening.

8. How did you chose your genre?

Quite easily. I started writing when I was young and I used to write all kinds of things, in a cross section of a wide array of genres, but naturally I gravitated towards the darker realms of fiction, not just in terms of books I liked to read, but the types of stories I liked to write. The lifelong fascination with horror has stuck throughout, and it isn’t a genre I see myself stepping away from for quite a long time yet. I still have many, many horrific tales to tell.

9. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it all imagination?

Nope, all from the dark murky depths of my imagination. I don’t even specify countries or actual places, all places, towns etc. in my work are created and wholly fictional. There might be aspects of certain characters or personalities and so forth which may come from a broad spectrum of people encountered over the years, but no character is based on any person and this is the case with all of my work. I like everything I write to be derived from inside the restless quagmire of my thoughts, except of course where certain facets require a little research.

10. What’s next for you?

I have a whole bunch of projects in the works. I have just finished writing another novel, which, like Plebs, started out as a short story idea. It ended up being a massive 190k words, so there will definitely have to be some cuts in there somewhere to bring the word count down a fraction. Next to appear in print from me is a six author collaboration titled Feral Hearts which was both a challenge and a hell of a lot of fun to write. A bunch of very talented authors are involved in that, most of which are also working together on another collab, due out some time later. I also have a collection of short stories/novellas which is in final edits at the moment and will come out shortly. Other than that I have stories which will be appearing in the heavy metal horror themed anthology Axes of Evil II (I’m in Axes I also) and the extreme anthology from my publisher J. Ellington Ashton Press, Rejected For Content. This latter one is a favourite of mine, started from a group chat between a handful of us at JEA, quickly taking shape as a genuine anthology with the possibility of spanning out to three volumes. Since I rarely stop writing, I am also writing a lot of other short stories for a variety of anthologies I’m interested in, with plans for more and then at some stage, when I clear some of them up, I will be able to concentrate on starting work on the follow up to Plebs.

11. Which character speaks the loudest to you? Do any of them clamour to be heard over the rest?

The whole cast of Plebs clamoured at me incessantly. It is a relatively big cast of characters, with some certainly taking centre stage over others, but even the small players or walk on roles had their moments and their things to contribute. Some get shouted down, some refuse to adhere to what I expected they would do and some of them just won’t go down without a fight. The whole reason Plebs grew from its original incarnation as a short story was because of the characters. I realised there was so much more I wanted to do with them that a short story wouldn’t do them justice.

12. Which book do you wish you’d written?

None of them actually. There are certain books which have had a major impact on me and have stayed with me ever since I first read them (a couple of notable examples of this are Walkers by Graham Masterton, Watchers by Dean Koontz and Cabal by Clive Barker, as long with the majority of Richard Laymon’s work), and while they certainly shaped my desire to write, how I write and what I write I don’t wish I’d written any of them. I’m writing the books now that I want to write

13. How do you handle working with an editor without letting pride get in the way?

The editors I work with are absolutely fantastic and have been right from the start. I’ve been writing for a very long time, but in terms of being published that is only a relatively recent thing so I consider myself to still be learning. Any advice, any suggestions made by my editors I take on board. I’m open to keep learning and honing my craft, and many things dispensed to me from editors have been invaluable pieces of advice. I was pretty fortunate with Plebs in that it was submitted as a first draft, completely unchanged from first write and it had extremely minimal edits required. I haven’t yet had to make wholesale cuts and changes, anything ever altered has been subtle and slight; most of my edits mostly revolve around being too sparse with use of commas or needing a bit of an infrequent sentence restructure.

14. What alcoholic beverages do you favour when you hit a wall?

I don’t drink so much these days, but several years ago it would have been bourbon, vodka, Southern Comfort, scotch, you name it. Nowadays my drinking is fairly minimal, and besides hitting a wall hasn’t yet become an issue for me, in that I write so many different things often simultaneously that shifting from one to another is the best way to deal with it.

If that method ever starts failing me, then I’ll consider bringing out the bourbon. And probably writing a pile of gibberish I’d end up trashing anyway…

15. How do you deal with brilliant ideas that pop up while you’re writing something else? 

Good question because it happens almost constantly. I usually work on multiple projects at any given time (which is also my method of dealing with any sort of writers block), so most of the time I’m dealing with several ideas at once. Occasionally that means some have to go on the backburner while I get others out and written, but if it is truly a brilliant idea and I’m too entrenched in whatever I’m already writing, I won’t lose it, it will merely stick in my head and either develop, or just lodge there waiting for its turn to be freed.


Corey Somerset, Tim Hayworth and Lee Hunter have had one hell of a good night.
And it isn't over yet.
Celebrating their friend's birthday with drunken debauchery and intoxicated antics they've just stumbled through a mini-wave of mindless vandalism and though they've wandered far out of the realms of civilization they are keen to keep the party vibe going.
When they encounter a band of mysterious fugitive women who call a bizarre encampment deep in the woods their residence it appears a strong likelihood that continuing the party is on the cards.
But it won't come without a price.
The collective of unnerving lawless women are open to the suggestion but not without the threesome completing a request first, a seemingly straight forward barter proposition that will bring the boys face to face with something else that dwells in an unorthodox co-existence with the girls in the wilderness.
These are the Plebs and the shocking violent encounter the trio are unwittingly pitched into with these freakish feral fiends may be their first but it won't be the last.
As the shiftless young men become inextricably entwined and involved with the agenda driven dangerous women so too do their fates, with them unravelling killer secrets, duplicity, bloodshed and brutality along the way that encompasses not just them but more of their friends, new enemies and old enemies.
A simple night of bad decisions escalates and snowballs into an expedition of terror spanning all the way home and beyond with Corey and his friends engulfed in a nightmare where the lines between man and monster blur.

Depravity, death and destruction reign supreme and it isn't just the Plebs that want them all torn limb from limb.


About Jim

Jim Goforth is a horror author currently based in Holbrook, Australia. Happily married with two kids and a cat he has been writing tales of horror since the early nineties.
After years of detouring into working with the worldwide extreme metal community and writing reviews for hundreds of bands across the globe with Black Belle Music he has returned to his biggest writing love with first book Plebs published by J. Ellington Ashton Press. 


No comments:

Post a comment