Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Guest Post: J.G. Clay

This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but Travels with Rufus was in full effect and I just didn't have it in me to put it all together. So I sincerely apologize to Mr. Clay. Now...
J.G. Clay is another Forsaken author with a mind as warped and twisted as any of us. Just perusing his website jgclay.com gives one the willies. So pull the covers up to your chin and ignore the noises coming from under the bed. Enjoy!

I was going to give you a short story, but there's a slight problem. As my editor - the great Chris Nelson- and my proof-reader - the workhorse known as Michael-Israel Jarvis -can testify, my short stories aren't that short. I'd be rubbish at Flash Fiction, let's put it that way. So, instead, here's a slightly whimsical gonzo take on my Booktrope journey so far. Where the Crazy Carousel of Clay ends up is anyone’s guess.

Sometimes I Fantasise.....

Writing's a bit of an obsession for me. It's the closest I get to OCD in my day to day life. It has to be done, rain or shine, in sickness and health. Maybe that's why I do it. Maybe it's my way tiny bit of order and calm in a life that's borderline anarchic. Writing in itself though is only ever meaningful if there's someone out there to read it. That's strictly my point of view, by the way, before you grab your flaming torches and pitch forks.

Ever since I first put pen to paper, there's always been a desire behind the process, the desire for someone to actually read what my words and hopefully be affected by them in some fashion. Whether it's admiration, repulsion or offence, it doesn't t really matter to me. As long as there's some sort of reaction. And, as any jobbing writer knows, to get these reactions,you need to get the words out there. You need to pay obeisance to the Great God, Publishing.

Over a year ago, I self-published a little tome called 'Tales of Blood and Sulphur'. It was pretty good - a bit rough and ready with a tinge of self-consciousness but not a bad read. At least, according the six people who reviewed it anyway. It didn't exactly set the world on fire. Thoughts of yachts, flash cars and a lifelong season ticket for my beloved Birmingham City evaporated in the cold light of the Amazon Sales Rank. But optimism is the name of the game in indie publishing. As my fellow author S.E Rise says you've got to 'piss or get off the pot'. (He didn't actually say those words by the way. It's the title of a great little writing guide authored by the man himself. It's a good read).

So, anyway, as I flounder about in the unforgiving Desert of Indie, I come across that fabled citadel known in hushed tones as 'Booktrope'. There's no guards about, so I shuffle up to the door, Adidas clad feet kicking up tiny dust devils, a harsh wind blowing through what little hair is left on the top of my head. I knock on the giant wooden door fully expecting a weird contingent of mutant Monkey Guards to come gambolling through, ready to kick my sorry scruffy Indie backside into the heat and dust of Desert Indie. To my surprise and sheer delight, it doesn't happen. A hirsute but genial chap called Jesse James smiles, opens his arms, ushers me in and places my fragile creative ego under the care of a blonde pocket rocket of energy known as Maddie Von Stark. It's been a long road but the journey has just begun.

All of the above never really happened by the way. I submitted my manuscript, got accepted and picked up by Forsaken. I was still placed under Maddie’s stewardship, however.

 I haven't looked back since. My experience has been extraordinary, amazing and rewarding and I haven't even released a book yet. I'm no longer floundering around on my own. There's a community and more importantly, a team, behind me. It's a great feeling. Having other people casting an eye over your work leads to insights never before seen - ideas that would have vaporised becoming crystalline and solid and a sense of confidence almost impossible to maintain when you go it alone.

This is just the start of my Forsaken journey. The ‘Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor’ is close to release. I can only wonder just how turbo charged this ride is going to become from that point onwards.
J.G Clay is definitely a Man of Horror. There can be no doubt. Putting aside the reverence he has for the horror greats, such as King, Barker, Herbert, Carpenter, Romero and Argento, there is another fact that defines his claim for the title of the ‘Duke of Spook’. He was born on Halloween night. By a quirk fate, it was also a full moon that night. Co-incidence?
The 41 year old hails from the Midlands in the United Kingdom, is married with one step child and two dogs that bear a strong resemblance to Ewoks. Beyond the page and the written word, he is music mad and can hold down a tune on a bass guitar pretty well. He is an avid reader and also has an enduring love of British sci-fi, from the pages of the ‘2000A.D comic to the televised wanderings of Gallifrey’s most famous physician. Clay is also a long-time fan of the mighty Birmingham City Football Club and endures a lot of flak from his friends for it.
You can find J.G. Clay on Facebook, twitter, and his website, JGClay.com


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