Bookapalooza

Posted in horror fiction, Writing on April 24, 2014 by jennyashford

I have returned at last, and this time I come bearing many, many gifts. All of you simply must click on over to my all-new, updated, super fantabulous author page. Notice that there are a couple more books that conspicuously were not there before! That is because I decided to take a few of my old manuscripts that I still thought were decent enough for public consumption and put ’em out in the marketplace for others to enjoy (or eschew, as the case may be). Please check them out! Also, I made this quick and dirty book trailer for one of the new novels, The Five Poisons. It’s only thirty seconds, just watch the thing. It will make me happy. I will also shortly be adding another short, graphic/collage type book called Bluebottle. It’s a fable of foibles, and what not, with bugs. Watch out for that too. That’s right, I want you to spend all your disposable income buying my copious words. Deal with it.

In other writing news, Damnation Books will be publishing yet another novel of mine, called Red Menace. My lovely editor has just finished her first go-round, and I’m almost embarrassed to relate to you folks how awesome and kick-ass she thinks my book is. Will y’all think the same? Time will tell. There will of course be a linky here when it is published.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled goldbricking. Over and out.

Holy fuck, it’s me at last

Posted in Goth and Post-Punk, graphic arts, horror fiction on December 17, 2013 by jennyashford

FlameWings

 

 

 

 

 

 

And what the hell have YOU been up to, missy, other than being a blog-writing layabout, I hear all three of you asking. Okay, yeah, I’ll admit (once again) that I haven’t updated this shit in ages. But cut me some slack, y’all. It’s been a very busy year for your humble lazybones blog writer. I’ll just hit some of the highlights:

  • I got a second novel, called Red Menace, accepted for publication by Damnation Books. Should be out in a couple of months.

 

  • I got laid off from one job, got a shitty job that I hated but that also laid me off after a few months (yay!), and now have a relatively decent full-time graphic design job fairly close to home (so no more hour-long commute).

 

  • Started a giant Amazon store selling sex toys and various horror and Halloween paraphernalia.

 

  • Made some teensy weensy inroads into doing two things I’ve always wanted to try, DJ’ing and modeling.

 

  • Did a fuckton of promotion and graphic design for a promising goth/industrial club here in central Florida, which unfortunately folded this month (boooooo).

 

  • Lots of other cool projects that I can’t go into at the moment because they’re still in limbo.

There, now you can see why I haven’t deigned to come over here and scribble anything. I’m BUSY, bitches. Of course I have my trusty partner in crime and dearest one Thomas to help me out, which is good, but there’s still so much to do and hardly any time or money to do it in.

Money? Yeah, I said money, and that was a really hamhanded segue into my next topic. See all that stuff I listed up there? Yeah, that shit needs some cohesion. I’m wanting to unite all the threads (publishing, retail, DJ’ing, and so forth) into one overarching media company, just so my aging scattered brain can keep track of everything better. How can we, your blog readers, help with that, you may be asking. Glad you asked that, even though I totally just made you ask it. Right here is a fresh, shiny new Indigogo campaign that I started with the express purpose of scaring up some scratch for my grand vision. Y’all probably know how Indiegogo works, so if you can spare anything at all, please click over there and throw me a couple bucks. Depending on the size of the contribution (that sounded dirty, didn’t it), you can get lotsa cool perks, like free signed books, stickers, t-shirts, maybe even a free vibrator or slave collar, if you’re into that (and hey, I ain’t judging). DO IT. Be your best friend…?

Sexy Music Video Villainry

Posted in Uncategorized on March 10, 2013 by jennyashford

Hey, it’s me again, back from another long dry spell of not posting shit on this blog. I am a terribly neglectful blogger type person, I admit it. The line to flog me begins to your left.

Anyways, speaking of flogging, I’m posting to flog a little project that I was only tangentially involved in, but I’m trying to get as much exposure for this thing as I can because hey, it’s my sweetie’s thing and I’m a good supportive girlfriend like that. So…the Canadian goth-pop band The Birthday Massacre have been having a contest to submit the best fan-made video of a track off their latest album. The video linked below, for the song “Calling,” stars my dearheart as a sexy, sword-wielding baddie. It also stars our lovely friend Arielle, wearing kick-ass outfits supplied by moi, wardrobe consultant extraordinaire. Directed by our friends Don and David Lee. Please watch and upvote! Thank you, darlings.

Playing Catchup

Posted in Miscellaneous ranting, Uncategorized on June 13, 2012 by jennyashford

Hey internets, remember me? Great steaming balls, I had almost completely forgotten that I had a blog that I used to write on, many many moons ago…well, last October was my last post, but eight months is like an eternity in the 21st century, n’est pas? The reasons I haven’t posted are mostly the same reasons that other people stop posting so often I suppose; life gets in the way. Also, I haven’t been doing a great deal of fiction or article writing to link to, so there’s that. My books are of course still available here, and I’ve still got my GraveCake store (with a few new designs added in the past few weeks), so if you’ve got some horror-earmarked cash burning a hole in your fanny pack, chuck copious amounts of it in my direction, won’t you? I could always use more money for cigarettes and booze.

Speaking of monetary concerns, I realize I left things kinda hanging in that department on here, and the three people who read this blog who might actually worry about it could be forgiven for thinking I had simply starved to death, hence the abrupt ceasing of posts. However, I’m happy to report that quite the opposite has occurred. After months of commuting to the Redneck Riviera for part-time work, I was finally able to obtain full-time employment in the Orlando area, praise Carl Sagan. And just in time too, for a mere two weeks after beginning my new gig, I found out that the old place in Daytona was laying off pretty much my entire department. Bullet successfully dodged. The new job, despite taking forever for my nocturnal ass to adapt to (WORKING??? In the DAYTIME??? What fresh hell is this?), is wonderful, relatively low stress, and well paid. Also, there’s free booze. Yes, you read that correctly; I got a job working for Van Gogh Vodka, whose luscious espresso flavor has deliciously wiped my memory of many an evening. Provided I can keep my sticky fingers away from the well-stocked bar in the office lobby, I should be golden.

In addition, Tom and I finally got a house together at the beginning of June, and are settling into a luxurious (though still box-laden) gothic domesticity. Splitting a huge house in a frou-frou gated community with two other roommates has allowed us to live like disgusting yuppies for far less money; since my paycheck has nearly doubled and our living expenses have been almost halved, we hardly know what to do with ourselves. (That’s an exaggeration; really we have plenty of ideas about what to do with ourselves, none of which involve money directly, unless you count the dough laid out on various rubber novelties.)

Anyway, reading my last posts on the blog cheered me up considerably today, because I realized how my life had turned around entirely for the better in these past few months, and how I should really stop worrying when things are tough, because awesomeness might be just around the corner, waiting in ambush. And with that sage bit of quasi-advice, I will leave you with a recent photo of me and my dearheart (taken at the venerable Venue 13, which you should totes check out, if you’re into that kind of thing), so that you all may be made violently ill by our epic cuteness and mutual adoration. In your face, life.

Flogging More Product

Posted in Uncategorized on October 27, 2011 by jennyashford

In my ongoing quest to make enough money being a lazy slacker and selling shit online, and since people still aren’t buying enough copies of my book to make me independently wealthy (glares in everyone’s general direction), here’s a store I set up selling some pretty natural gemstone necklaces and bracelets. If you’re too lazy to read, you can just buy some of these and wear them instead, no literacy required. Go on, tart yourselves up!

A Reader’s Guide to “The Associated Villainies”

Posted in horror fiction, Writing on October 17, 2011 by jennyashford

I did one of these for my last collection of horror stories (Hopeful Monsters, as you’ll recall), so I thought for consistency’s sake that I’d tackle one for my newest collection as well (it’s available here). It’s basically just a rundown of where the ideas for the stories came from. Read, if you’re interested. Thanks. 🙂

“Time, of the Essence”
This was written (but not used) for an anthology of stories set in a specific Southern town on Halloween in a year of the author’s choosing (pre-1950, if I recall correctly). I wanted to play with the idea of costumes or masks as veneers hiding what was really going on underneath, but also the idea that the real veneer was perhaps the one you didn’t know you were wearing. I also wanted to tie that in with the conflict between progress (both social and technological) and conservatism, by throwing in references to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the beginning of the end of slavery, and the theme of machines replacing human labor. (By the way, I made a two-part YouTube video of me reading this story aloud, if you’re into that sort of thing; just do a search on the story’s title.)

“On the Halfshell”
This was also written for an anthology, but not used; the theme was basically giant animals or giant monsters. I wanted to think of an animal that wasn’t perhaps the most obvious choice for a rampaging beast, i.e. one that’s pretty much completely sedentary. I thought it turned out pretty funny, without completely losing the horror element. Of course, your mileage may vary.

“Three Stories Down”
Basically this was an attempt to write something in a rather David Lynchian vein, where I took a character’s mental state and made it manifest in reality, though I chose to keep the tale rather dreamlike and ambiguous, so that the reader was never really sure if what was happening was real or entirely in the protagonist’s head. I enjoy reading those types of ambiguous stories, so I thought I’d try my hand at writing one.

“Yellow Wings”
I have a very vivid memory of going on a camping trip as a kid and seeing a freakishly large yellow and brown moth just hanging out in one of the campground’s bathrooms. Until then I had no idea that moths that large existed, so the experience stuck with me, and served as the germ for this story.

“Living Fossil”
An attempt to take the “human transforming into animal” trope and do something a little different with it. Plus, Nazis.

“The Expulsion”
Because the whole concept of exorcism is sort of hilarious to me, and with a nod to the Leslie Nielsen film Repossessed, this was just a jokey little confection I penned on the idea of a for-profit exorcism outfit with no religious trappings whatsoever.

“Homunculus”
I’m enchanted with the idea that, before the concept of sexual reproduction was completely understood, there were actually serious theorists who believed that each sperm cell contained a fully-formed (if impossibly tiny) human being, which would then simply grow bigger in its mother’s womb. If this were true, I reasoned, then every male masturbatory session would result in enough tiny people to populate several armies, and the story just wrote itself from there.

“Auto-da-Fé”
I wrote this quite a few years ago, around the time of all that brouhaha in Kansas about the teaching of evolution in public schools (a battle that depressingly went on to encompass many other states as well). Anyone who knows me well knows that creationists are really my main bete noir, so this was a kind of dystopian vision of what I thought a future run by fundamentalist creationists would look like.

“Tempest in a Teapot”
This one is actually a sort-of sequel to a story I wrote called “Spreading the Love,” which is available in the ChimeraWorld #3 anthology from Chimericana Books. It posits a future where religion has been wiped out by a drug, but in this installment things take a strange turn involving particle accelerators and the whole Russell’s teapot idea (look it up on Wikipedia if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

“Three Sides to Every Story”
I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, though I do like to use some sci-fi elements in my stories and cross-fertilize them into relatively mundane situations where they don’t really belong, ha ha. So in this story I used the concept of overlapping parallel universes and applied it to a rather straightforward domestic violence/murder type scenario.

“’Til Life Do Us Part”
Growing up I often developed hopelessly romantic obsessions with various rock stars and so forth, so I wanted to write a story in which everything my teenaged self wanted to believe about these unobtainable people actually came true. But then, because it’s a horror story, I had to go and fuck everything up with a ridiculously tragic ending. Or not, depending on your perspective, I suppose.

“At the Gates of the Serpent’s Garden”
This was straight up based on a dream I had years ago; the description of the abandoned building and the ghostly women is pretty much exactly how I remember it from the dream, and the character of Ruth is based largely on how I perceived myself growing up.

“Component Parts”
The idea for this came from a book I read about unsolvable or unprovable mathematical hypotheses; I’ve always had a fascination with codes or mathematical proofs that resist solutions for many years (or forever). Of course I had to gore it up, because it’s a horror story, but I did like the idea of a mathematician becoming so obsessed with his work (in this case, trying to prove the Riemann hypothesis) that he goes completely batshit.

“Neither Rain, Nor Sleet…”
I live in Florida, and we get hurricanes every now and again. One summer we had four of them within a month and a half, and the woods behind my house were pretty much torn to shit. One day while I was contemplating the carnage, I thought how eerie it would be if all the downed trees revealed some structure out there in the woods that I hadn’t known was there.

“Fates and Furies”
I remember wanting to write a sort of subtle psychological study of three very different women that wouldn’t even seem like a horror story at first, but would slowly ramp up the tension until this big shocking revelation at the end. I also sort of saw it as writing separate characters that would roughly correspond to three different aspects of my own personality.

“Heartworms”
The germ of this story was another strong memory from my childhood. When I was a kid, my uncle made this kick-ass dragon mask for Halloween; it was basically a masterful papier-mache sculpture covered in glitter (hence the mention in the story about the glitter being in the house for years afterwards, which is completely true). For some reason that mask so terrified me as a child that I refused to go upstairs at my grandparents’ house while it was there, because I knew it was in my uncle’s room on its tall stand, lurking and contemplating my demise.

“Slumber”
I wrote this a very long time ago, so I’m not sure where exactly the idea for it came from. The character of Jilly is again based on my own self-perception as a kid, of being one of those quiet, shy, not-terribly-popular children that never got invited to parties. There’s also a strong “Carrie” influence, though it’s more obvious to me now than when I initially wrote it.

“Relieving Osiris”
Yet another story based around my longtime love affair with Egyptian mythology, this time tied in with an almost absurdist zombie motif.

“The Vulture’s Egg”
I’m a bit of a pervert, I admit that, which is why quite a few of my stories have elements of erotica.This one I wanted to be just sort of borderline pornographic, in my own lyrically schizoid way, with an added dollop of that whole sex/death symbolism thrown in for added spice.

“The Process of Elimination”
I apologize in advance for this story, which was basically my attempt to write the grossest thing I could think of, something that would make me gag even as I was writing it. I got the idea to go scatological from this other story I read (can’t remember the title or the author, sorry) where this fucked-up dude keeps his wife chained in the basement and makes her lick shit off his ass and various other horrible things (and yes, I gagged when I read that too, although it was a damn good story nonetheless).

“Quarantine”
Other than the supernatural ending, this story is a pretty much straightforward retelling of an incident that happened to my ex-husband and I a few years ago when we were visiting his family in Wales. And yes, the Cefn Golau cholera cemetery is absolutely real, and looks very much as I described it in the story.

“Winter House”
I really like haunted house stories that are sort of low-key and unsettling, so this was my homage to the genre; a subtle ghost story without an obvious ghost.

“Trip-Trapping”
Another thing I like to do in my own stories is to take an established trope or genre and try to do something not-entirely-obvious with it. So this is essentially a crime story, but one in which the crime isn’t actually what it appears to be.

“Alpha Canis”
A pretty much traditional werewolf story set in the somewhat unconventional milieu of the BDSM fetish scene.

“Pale Sire”
This story took me a long time to write, because the initial idea for it came out of a very personal situation in my own life, though I think the tale became sufficiently bizarre that the circumstances that inspired it would not be obvious to anyone but me. I wanted to play with the idea of guilt as infection, and again explore the fascinating (to me) theme of ambiguous perception, of never knowing if the protagonist is experiencing the events in reality or only in her own imagination. This is probably my favorite story in the collection, by the way, and it is also the most recent.

New Book, Partial Resolution of Issues

Posted in horror fiction, Miscellaneous ranting, Writing on October 6, 2011 by jennyashford

Yeah, I went ahead and published another volume of my short stories. It’s called The Associated Villainies, and it can be yours for the low, low price of $15 (Kindle version to follow shortly). If you’re a fan of extreme horror juxtaposed with almost lyrically purple prose, then this is the book for you. Buy many, many copies for all your friends and enemies.

In case any of you were concerned about the dire financial situation I described a few posts back, I’ll give a brief update. I got a part-time job back at the place I used to work before moving to Orlando; it necessitates driving back and forth between O-Town and Daytona three times a week (about fifty miles one way), but it’s better than no job at all. It’s only a temporary measure, though; next week might be the last week, though I’ll have to see what corporate has to say, if they’ll allow the manager to keep me on longer. I’m still looking for a full-time position closer to home; I’ve had a couple of job interviews, but neither have come to anything. I’ve done some freelance work, but have yet to be paid by the business-owning scumbags who apparently want graphic design services for free. Sigh. I’ve been doing okay, though, considering; money’s tight, but I’m used to scraping by, and I’ve still been able to afford going out to the clubs and having fun with my boyfriend a couple nights a week. My birthday was a couple weekends ago, and that was a stellar time; I couldn’t believe how many of my friends went out of their way to come out to my parties, make me cakes, buy me drinks and presents, and do various other nice things. Awwww. So in spite of all my worries, I’m still enjoying life to the extent that I’m able, and I guess that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?