MY LITERARY JOURNEY
For the next two weeks I am going to be welcoming featured Authors of the Horror Anthology "Exhumed" coming soon from Gravelight Press! Help me welcome James Goodridge to the Writer's Journey Blog this week.
My journey as a writer may have started late in life but I have no regrets for all that I have experienced. I feel was meant to bring me to this point and time to write. I like to call myself a reader who writes. My parents instilled in me and my older siblings the importance of reading and helped by teachers like Ms. Green who saw the importance of education enough to cross a teacher's picket strike line to teach the students in P.S. 77 in Bronx, New York in 1968. To this day when I hear any song by Peter, Paul & Mary I think of her.
Fantastical days in the world of fiction after attaining a library card from the old Clason’s Point Branch of the New York Public Library in the East Bronx. One of the first books I enjoyed and still enjoy to this day is Crow Boy by Taro Yashima which I related to back then because I found myself in the main character's shyness.
Soon like other kids I was captured by comic books. My parents would give me and my late brother a dollar which went a long way back then to buy Marvel, DC, and Dell titles for 12 cents,25 cents, and 35 cents. I was just as happy to curl up on the windowsill of our family apartment in Bronx River Houses reading comics as I was to be outside with my pals.
What one would call classic television from that era is when I first considered a writing journey. When I started to pay attention to the writers of such shows like The Twilight Zone (reruns) amazed at the output of Serling, Matherson, Beaumont, Bradbury, etc.
Life experiences sidetracked me though. Yet I did gravitate to a strange hodgepodge of writers like H.G. Wells, General U.S. Grant (the plain style of his memoirs), Upton Sinclair, Donald Goines, Octavia Butler, Joy Harjo, Lewis Mumford, Yukio Mishima, James Baldwin, and Raymond Chandler.
During Black History month 1998, Star Trek Deep Space 9 aired an episode titled Far Beyond the Stars teleplay by Ira Steven Behr and Hans Beimler from a story by Marc Scott Zicree later made into a novel by Steve Barnes. To say I was blown away doesn't grasp half of it.
Avery Brooks’ (he also directed it) character, Sisko/Benny Russell’s dream-like fight to become a science fiction writer struck a chord with me. But what genre should I write? After reading John Updike's A Sense of Shelter, as I said on a podcast interview last year, I wanted to write what I called the great American short story. So, in 2009 I wrote a coming of age story and submitted it to Writer's Digest annual contest. I think to this day the editors at WD are still laughing at what I submitted.
A few years of learning the basics and submission rejections and I came across a review in the late great Village Voice of a book Afrofuturism by Yatasha Womack in 2013 which led to membership in the Black Science Fiction Society, a site run by Jarvis Sheffield.
Like taking the blue pill in the Matrix a whole new world opened for me. A short story The Artwork by me appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of BSFS's Genesis magazine and was my debut in its Twilight Zone style.
From there I found my pedigree is short stories in a pulp fiction style in the sub-genre of occult detectives. This journey has been hard, and I tell people it is a lonely act that you engage in. One in which you have to live with your characters and confront things about yourself you may not like. But all in all, it's worth it.
Bio: Born and raised in the Bronx now located in the Yorkville section of
Manhattan, James has been writing speculative fiction since 2009. After ten years as an artist representative and paralegal, James decided in 2013 to make a better commitment to writing. Currently at work on The Passage of Time Saga, a series of short stories in the occult detective genre featuring Madison Cavendish and Seneca Sue living vampire and werewolf occult detectives. You can find these characters in the horror anthology Halloween Party 2019 and Exhumed 2020. James has also written a series of Twilight Zone style short stories titled The artwork (I to V), Fantasy Erotica Scierogenous Anthologies Volumes I and II and Blerdrotica Anthology 2020.
He has a writer's page on Face book: https://www.facebook.com/james.goodridge3 and www.Wordpress.com: https://whogivesyouthewrite.wordpress.com/author/goodridgejames/
Who gives you the Write and writes an annual series of blogs for black horror history month
at www.horroraddicts.net He is a member of the Black Science Fiction Society.
Find his books at: www.amazon.com/author/jamesgoodridge