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LIVE GIRLS - Ray Garton

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Category: Writer/Book Forums
Forum Name: The Book Club
Forum Discription: Numerous authors and types of books discussed here.
URL: http://www.neo-forum.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=12703
Printed Date: January/26/2022 at 1:03am


Topic: LIVE GIRLS - Ray Garton
Posted By: pattirose
Subject: LIVE GIRLS - Ray Garton
Date Posted: July/31/2008 at 6:16pm
It's almost August and that means it's time to read LIVE GIRLS and we even have the author, Ray Garton, here to join us which is absolutely fabulous!

When does everyone want to start?

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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy



Replies:
Posted By: Belladonna
Date Posted: August/01/2008 at 12:50am
I should be done Twilight Eyes by the end of sunday. But if you want to start before that I will catch up with you.

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Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/01/2008 at 5:45am
Sunday sounds perfect to me, I'll be able to finish up the non-fiction I'm reading by then.

Gem? Gene? Did you guys find copies of the book?

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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: gemtaur80
Date Posted: August/01/2008 at 6:08am
Sadly no :(


Posted By: breezit
Date Posted: August/01/2008 at 6:38am
As pattirose already knows, I read the book already, so I'm willing to jump into the discussion once everyone else starts reading it. I'll be curious to hear people's opinions, this is one graphic book.

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"In the real world as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems. Dean Koontz



Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/01/2008 at 7:40am
I have heard soooo many good things about this book over the years and I have been dying to read it for a long time now. I am so happy we picked it for a bookclub read.

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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: Belladonna
Date Posted: August/01/2008 at 2:54pm
Originally posted by gemtaur80 gemtaur80 wrote:

Sadly no :(


Awww man, maybe you'll get find a copy over the weekend...

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Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/01/2008 at 5:22pm
Originally posted by Belladonna Belladonna wrote:

Originally posted by gemtaur80 gemtaur80 wrote:

Sadly no :(


Awww man, maybe you'll get find a copy over the weekend...


Can you try the library?




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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: Belladonna
Date Posted: August/05/2008 at 9:14am
I'm getting a late start, will begin reading it tonight. Patti have you started it yet?

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Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/05/2008 at 12:35pm
I've only read the first couple pages.

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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: GeneB
Date Posted: August/05/2008 at 2:10pm
I need a copy. I started reading Reborn by Wilson but would love to group read with y'all.

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Ask me about DEAN KOONTZ Forum T-shirts. Cool.



Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/06/2008 at 6:28pm
If you don't find a copy Gene I'll send you this one when I'm done. It's good - you'll like it, it's a fun read!

I'm just starting chapter 6 and he's on his third trip back to "Live Girls".


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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: Belladonna
Date Posted: August/07/2008 at 2:39pm
I'm enjoying it too, but I'm only in the beginning stages...great start!

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Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/07/2008 at 5:48pm
It sure did start off great didn't it?

I am almost done, I had to put it down at the most exciting part to get over to the folk festival. It was really hard to put it down with only 20 or so pages left.

I know very little about writing aside from what I like and don't like but this book has everything I like, action, vampires, sex, just the right amount of gore, a very original storyline, great characters. I'm curious as to how it's going to end.


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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/07/2008 at 10:28pm
I just realized I also have one of his novellas called MONSTERS - WOOHOO!

Finished LIVE GIRLS and I would highly recommend it!

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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/08/2008 at 12:10am
I'm here because I was invited, but if you don't want the writer hanging around while you discuss the book, please don't hesitate to say so. I'll understand and I'll duck out. Otherwise, don't mind me, and please be honest -- I can take it.

I'm glad you enjoyed the book, Pattirose. And I hope you have fun with MONSTERS. It was my very first novella and was inspired by and largely based on (though fictionalized) my experience with the Seventh-day Adventists in Angwin, California, in 1984. Their response to the publication of my first novel (Adventists think novels are baaad, especially horror novels) was, uh ... shall we say, less than receptive? It was just reprinted in my collection SLIVERS OF BONE.


Posted By: Belladonna
Date Posted: August/08/2008 at 12:51am
Course we'd like you to join in, you're very welcome here! I've been busy at work the past few days, but after today I'm off til wednesday and will read much more of Live Girls then.
I've also ordered Dark Channel, Seductions, and Loveliest Dead.


Patti, glad to hear you liked it so much!! I can't wait to have time to read!



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Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/08/2008 at 7:09am
Ray: It's great to have you here!

I have a couple questions for you. I was wondering if you have ever lived in NYC?
At the time the book was published, did you get any flak saying it was too graphic?
And lastly the ping pong ball thing, is that true?



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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: breezit
Date Posted: August/08/2008 at 7:52am
I enjoyed the book a lot also! I like the mixture of sexuality and vampirism. Not a book I would recommend to my mother, but it's very effective.

The novel was ahead of its time in a lot of ways. I think it's great how Leisure is re-printing a lot of the old classic novels, re-introducing them to a new generation of fans.

I was in NYC a few years ago, and they've really cleaned up the area that Ray describes in the book. It's hard to believe it was ever that sleazy.   



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"In the real world as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems. Dean Koontz



Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/08/2008 at 8:17am
Originally posted by breezit breezit wrote:

I enjoyed the book a lot also! I like the mixture of sexuality and vampirism. Not a book I would recommend to my mother, but it's very effective.

The novel was ahead of its time in a lot of ways. I think it's great how Leisure is re-printing a lot of the old classic novels, re-introducing them to a new generation of fans.

I was in NYC a few years ago, and they've really cleaned up the area that Ray describes in the book. It's hard to believe it was ever that sleazy.   



I lived there in the 80's and I find it hard to believe they cleaned it up, lol! I remember seeing working girls out in see-thru teddies in the winter and that wasn't even in Times Square, I can only imagine what those girls were wearing!

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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/08/2008 at 8:51am
Pattirose -- I've never lived in New York, but I visited a couple of times in the '80s. LIVE GIRLS was a result of my first visit, during which I took a walk through Times Square. As a sheltered small-town boy raised in a very religious family, it was an eye-opener. I visited a peepshow booth just like the one described in a book. The "dancer" was an emaciated, obviously drug-addicted young girl who was anything BUT attractive -- she had sores and rashes on her and appeared to be half asleep. The slot below the window looked exactly the same as the one in the book, too. As I looked at the hole that had been cut out in the middle of the slot, I thought to myself, That looks like it's been *chewed* open. At that moment, LIVE GIRLS sort of dropped into my head, almost in one whole piece. I hurried back to my editor's office at Pinnacle Books, asked if there was a typewriter available, and began writing.

At the time, I didn't get any trouble for the book being as graphic as it is. In fact, it became a selling point. I've been much more graphic in other books since then. Vampires had always been very sexual creatures, but to the best of my knowledge, no one up to that point had thrown vampires and sex together in such an in-your-face way.

Thanks for the kind words about the book!


Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/08/2008 at 9:15am
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions - appreciate it.

The way you described the city was so accurate I just had to know if you'd been there. It's also interesting to know how the idea for the book came about.

I liked your descriptions, the one about the way the light reflected off the pools of rain on the pavement and your descriptions of the characters, Vince and Casey and Chad and the way you described Chad's boss, it was pretty funny. They were quite realistic and I've met people like them before. The whole pingpong ball thing was awesome!

Are you writing the screenplay for the movie also?



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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/08/2008 at 11:13am
I'm not involved with the movie -- except to cross all my appendages and hope it's good. It begins shooting in Detroit later this year. I have no idea if the movie is set in the New York of 1987 and Detroit is being used as a stand-in for the old Times Square of that time, or if they've altered the time and setting. We shall see.


Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/08/2008 at 11:22am
I'm looking forward to it.

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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: Belladonna
Date Posted: August/12/2008 at 7:38am
Spoilers...













I loved right around page 141 when Davey smells Casey and his stomach starts to grumble!
I'm at the part right now when he sees Anya's newspaper clippings' that date back to 1920. He has to meet her back at her apartment tonight...



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Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/13/2008 at 10:17pm
"Can you say 'menstruation?' I knew you could."


Posted By: breezit
Date Posted: August/14/2008 at 1:21pm
I want to know if Ray had a similar job as the main character in the book. I thought the office politics of the book were hilarious.

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"In the real world as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems. Dean Koontz



Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/14/2008 at 3:52pm
Thanks, Breezit. No, I've never had such a job. But I've absorbed the details of office politics from friends who have.


Posted By: breezit
Date Posted: August/14/2008 at 4:12pm
Ray, for those of us who enjoyed LIVE GIRLS, what book of yours would you recommend as a follow up?   Put another way, what do you consider your best work thus far?

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"In the real world as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems. Dean Koontz



Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/14/2008 at 4:35pm
Good question, I'd like to know also.

-------------
"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/14/2008 at 11:51pm
I haven't read a great deal on this thread to avoid spoilers for if I read it in the future, but despite telling myself I'd wait until reading The Loveliest Dead first before deciding if I wanted to order Live Girls, I'm not very curious and thinking of ordering it.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/15/2008 at 5:05am
Our library only has 3 of his books, THE FOLKS, THE NEW NEIGHBOR, SLIVERS OF BONE, plus I have his novella MONSTERS, which is in the Boneyard collection that has Koontz's name on the cover, (that's why I bought it, I know, I know, I am such a sucker)lol!

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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/15/2008 at 11:00am
My local library doesn't have any of his books, but as I've stated before, my local library sucks.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: breezit
Date Posted: August/15/2008 at 11:08am
My local library only has Garton's SLIVERS OF BONE, which is a 2008 anthology from Cemetery Dance.

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"In the real world as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems. Dean Koontz



Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/15/2008 at 11:22am
Slivers of Bone, that's one of his short story collections, right?


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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/15/2008 at 1:34pm
I'm also interested in reading the Buffy novel Garton wrote, just because that's my ultimate favorite show of all time.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/15/2008 at 2:24pm
Breezit wrote: Ray, for those of us who enjoyed LIVE GIRLS, what book of yours would you recommend as a follow up?   Put another way, what do you consider your best work thus far?

My personal favorite of all my work might not be the best follow-up to LIVE GIRLS. My next vampire novel, LOT LIZARDS, was unrelated, but some have called it a sort of unconnected sequel to LIVE GIRLS. So far, it has been published only as one hardcover edition from Mark V. Ziesing Books. It's about a sleazy trucker who travels from truck stop to truck stop, and the load he's carrying are some gorgeous female vampires who then pose as "lot lizards" (less-than-glamorous hookers who work the back lots of truck stops) and prey on truckers. The direct sequel to LIVE GIRLS, written nearly two decades later, is NIGHT LIFE. It was published in hardcover by Subterranean Press (I've got a copy of it currently listed on eBay) and in paperback by Leisure. It recently went into a second paperback printing (along with RAVENOUS) and may be on the shelves in bookstores again, I'm not sure. My most recent Leisure paperback, RAVENOUS, is a werewolf novel that has been heavily compared to LIVE GIRLS. In it, the werewolf curse is not spread through bites, as usual -- it's sexually transmitted. I'm just now finishing up BESTIAL, the sequel to RAVENOUS, which brings back Karen Moffett and Gavin Keoph, the private investigators from NIGHT LIFE, and it will hit stores in April of 2008.

My personal favorite is not a horror novel. It's a dark comedy-thriller called SEX AND VIOLENCE IN HOLLYWOOD (I've got a copy of that on eBay right now, too, as well as a hard-to-find advanced uncorrected proof -- shameless plug, heh-heh). I've always been kind of a frustrated, closet comedy writer. As a boy, I wanted to be Rob Petrie when I grew up (the title character in THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW) and write jokes for THE ALAN BRADY SHOW with Buddy Sorrell and Sally Rodgers, in an office with a piano, where we would relentlessly make fun of Mel Cooley's bald head -- and of course, I wanted to be married to Mary Tyler Moore in those hot little tight pants! Writing SEX AND VIOLENCE IN HOLLYWOOD was extremely satisfying because I'd finally written something that was more comedy than anything else, and I was pleased with the results. It is currently in the works as a movie called SOUTHLAND, to be directed by Charlie Matthau.


Posted By: goathunter
Date Posted: August/15/2008 at 3:08pm
I'll second the recommendation for Sex and Violence in Hollywood.

Hunter


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/15/2008 at 3:54pm
Sex and Violence in Hollywood certainly sounds like something I might want to check out.

Hey, Ray, just out of curiosity, were you a fan of Buffy when you decided to write the Buffy novel?

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/15/2008 at 8:39pm
Dawn and I were both big fans of Buffy, and then Angel. I wanted to do more Buffy novels, but it just didn't work out that way. No particular reason, just circumstances. Buffy was a lot of fun, one of the few examples of the horror genre being handled well on TV.


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/16/2008 at 1:48am
I have never been a big TV watcher, but Buffy and Angel sucked me in because to me it wasn't just good TV, it was storytelling at its finest. I have read a few of the novelizations, and sometimes the writers really get the characters wrong and i wonder if they ever really watched the show. Since you're a fan, I'm definitely interested in reading yours.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/17/2008 at 1:46am
If you read it, FinalExam, I hope it becomes one of the Buffy novels you like. It's called RESURRECTING RAVANA.


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/17/2008 at 1:51am
Yeah, I've had it in my "cart" for a while, debating on it. I bought one by Elizabeth Massie because I loved her novel Sin Eater, bu thaven't read her Buffy novel yet. Think I'll go ahead and order yours and Live Girls.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: Belladonna
Date Posted: August/17/2008 at 2:23pm
Originally posted by RayGarton RayGarton wrote:

Breezit wrote: Ray, for those of us who enjoyed LIVE GIRLS, what book of yours would you recommend as a follow up?   Put another way, what do you consider your best work thus far?

My personal favorite of all my work might not be the best follow-up to LIVE GIRLS. My next vampire novel, LOT LIZARDS, was unrelated, but some have called it a sort of unconnected sequel to LIVE GIRLS. So far, it has been published only as one hardcover edition from Mark V. Ziesing Books. It's about a sleazy trucker who travels from truck stop to truck stop, and the load he's carrying are some gorgeous female vampires who then pose as "lot lizards" (less-than-glamorous hookers who work the back lots of truck stops) and prey on truckers. The direct sequel to LIVE GIRLS, written nearly two decades later, is NIGHT LIFE. It was published in hardcover by Subterranean Press (I've got a copy of it currently listed on eBay) and in paperback by Leisure. It recently went into a second paperback printing (along with RAVENOUS) and may be on the shelves in bookstores again, I'm not sure. My most recent Leisure paperback, RAVENOUS, is a werewolf novel that has been heavily compared to LIVE GIRLS. In it, the werewolf curse is not spread through bites, as usual -- it's sexually transmitted. I'm just now finishing up BESTIAL, the sequel to RAVENOUS, which brings back Karen Moffett and Gavin Keoph, the private investigators from NIGHT LIFE, and it will hit stores in April of 2008.

My personal favorite is not a horror novel. It's a dark comedy-thriller called SEX AND VIOLENCE IN HOLLYWOOD (I've got a copy of that on eBay right now, too, as well as a hard-to-find advanced uncorrected proof -- shameless plug, heh-heh). I've always been kind of a frustrated, closet comedy writer. As a boy, I wanted to be Rob Petrie when I grew up (the title character in THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW) and write jokes for THE ALAN BRADY SHOW with Buddy Sorrell and Sally Rodgers, in an office with a piano, where we would relentlessly make fun of Mel Cooley's bald head -- and of course, I wanted to be married to Mary Tyler Moore in those hot little tight pants! Writing SEX AND VIOLENCE IN HOLLYWOOD was extremely satisfying because I'd finally written something that was more comedy than anything else, and I was pleased with the results. It is currently in the works as a movie called SOUTHLAND, to be directed by Charlie Matthau.


This is great information! I did not know Live Girls had a sequel and I'm also very interested in the others mentioned, Ravenous, and soon to be finished Bestial!

Ray, the books I currently have, but haven't read yet are Dark Channel and Seductions. How do you feel about these stories, what were they like to write?   Is there one you like the least out of all the ones you've written?

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Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/17/2008 at 10:53pm
SEDUCTIONS was my first novel. I was 19 when I sold it in 1983 and it was published the following year. When it hit stores, I was living in Angwin, California, a Seventh-day Adventist community in the Napa Valley. I was raised in the Seventh-day Adventist cult, educated in its schools from grade one to my freshman year in college, a year I attended Pacific Union College in Angwin. At the time of the book's release, I was no longer a student at the college, but lived there because that's where all my friends were -- some of whom I'd known since childhood. Well, Adventists don't approve of novels or fiction in general. Their Victorian-era prophet Ellen G. White (who, it was later found, copied much of her copious writings from other writers, uncredited, including some of the stuff she claimed God showed her in vision -- she was also a masturbation-obsessed drunk, it turns out, but the cult still claims she was God's messenger and calls any evidence to the contrary "Adventist-bashing" lies and the deceiving work of Satan) claimed God told her that reading fiction could cause, among other ailments, "mental inebriation" and physical paralysis (and she knew something about "inebriation," I assure you). The Seventh-day Adventists did not react well to SEDUCTIONS. My friends stopped talking to me -- or even looking at me -- literally overnight. My whole life was turned upside down ... and threatened. I ended up having to flee the Angry Adventists of Angwin, in fear for my life. And my career as a writer of horror fiction had begun.

DARK CHANNEL is what I call my "New Age" horror novel. My best friend Scott Sandin and I attended the "harmonic convergence" in Mt. Shasta, California (very near where I live) in the late '80s. We ended up calling it the "moronic convergence." We attended the performance of a "channel" -- a woman who claimed an ancient and very wise being spoke through her, and this being was generous enough to offer its sage advice to any mortals willing to fork over the bucks. It wasn't a very convincing performance -- in fact, it was pretty funny. But I wondered to myself, What if it really *was* speaking through her ... and in spite of what it said, what if it was *not* friendly? I based the channel in the novel on JZ Knight, who used to channel a 6,000-year-old warrior-king named Ramtha (yeah, right). Knight is now a filthy-rich motivational guru (who, I believe, is behind the recent popular motivational book THE SECRET) with so much plastic in her face, she should have the word "Mattel" stamped on her ass.

By the way, with the reappearance of Karen Moffett and Gavin Keoph, BESTIAL ties LIVE GIRLS, NIGHT LIFE, and RAVENOUS into a kind of loose series. Someday, I hope to involve the two investigators in a battle between the vampires of LIVE GIRLS and NIGHT LIFE and the werewolves of RAVENOUS and BESTIAL.


Posted By: Belladonna
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 12:04am
Ray, I can't imagine the life you've led and what it must have been like for you. Wow.

I didn't know Seductions was you're first novel, I think that'll be my next read when I get around to it. I'm going to try to pick up Ravenous and Night Life also.




Spoilers...






I couldn't help but feel bad for the creatures in the basement, especially when one saw Davy's hand and she said he was like them.

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Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 12:42am
Ordered two Garton's, Live Girls and Ressurecting Ravana.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 8:29am
I ordered 4 from the library: LOT LIZARDS, NIGHT LIFE, RAVENOUS and DARK CHANNEL. I hope they don't all come at once, lol!

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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 11:10am
Just curious, patti, when you order these books from your library, is it like a loan from another library, or does your library buy them for its own stock? Just curious, because I can't get my library to get any new books. I even tried to get them to get one of the anthologies I was in and the Horror 101 book in which I have two essays, thinking a local author being involved would entice them, but they were not enticed.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 11:35am
Our library only has 3 of his newer books so I checked other surrounding libraries online and found those others easily. They are called interlibrary loans and I believe most libraries in the US and Canada are hooked up to that system. Only thing is you can't get new releases as the home library keeps them for their own customers.

If it's a new release I just request that our library purchase it and they usually do until they've used up their budget for the year, which usually happens by October. I just heard back and they are going to purchase LEATHER MAIDEN for our library but it'll take a few weeks to get into the system.

The 3 Garton books they have are all signed first editions which I thought was strange.....don't they cost more money? Maybe Ray can explain how that works with the signed first editions?

FWIW I think your library sucks.

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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 11:37am
My library does suck. I loved it as a kid, when it was all the magical world of books and I didn't realize just how much they didn't have.

To get back on topic, by the time I get Live Girls in the mail and get it read, you all will be so over this discussing it, but I'll throw my two cents in then anyway.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 11:48am
One of these days you must join us for a bookclub read when it is actually going on, lol!



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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 11:50am
It's the pressure of having to read something at a certain time, I don't know, it's a mental block or something. Although i do remember reading the John Saul book for the read, although I read it a bit early.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 11:58am
I feel the same way and many times I am not in the mood to read something at the given time but I have discovered lots of new books and authors from those bookclub reads so I try hard to join in on them even when I don't want to.

It's like when I get a book that I've requested from the library, I have to stop what I'm reading and read it which I find more annoying. Usually I want to read the book when I order it not a month or two later, I've already moved onto something else by then.


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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 12:01pm
I'm really looking forward to Garton, in part because he seems so cool on the board. I've grown very fond of writers that are very interactive with their fans online lately, including Brian Keene and Brian Hodge (although he's been incommunicado on his board for almost a year now). Lately I've been chatting back and forth with Robert Deveraux.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 12:13pm
I think it's pretty awesome too!
I only wish I could have gotten Koontz to come here - that would have been a blast! Or McCammon, especially considering the vast amount of die hard fans he has here.

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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 12:14pm
Would have been awesome. I understand why some authors don't do this direct communication with fans, and I don't hold it against them. And as a writer myself, I alwasy work extra hard to keep from imposing on them, from asking advice yadda yadda yadda, because I don't want to make them feel that I'm using them in some way.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 12:21pm
I was a little choked when Koontz refused but when he patiently explained why I totally agreed and felt like a fool for asking in the first place.

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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: breezit
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 12:28pm
Originally posted by RayGarton RayGarton wrote:

SEDUCTIONS was my first novel. I was 19 when I sold it in 1983 and it was published the following year.


Wow, Ray Garton is a lot younger than I thought! He must have only been in his early 20s when he wrote LIVE GIRLS -- that's quite an achivement at such a young age.

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"In the real world as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems. Dean Koontz



Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 12:31pm
Sure is! I'm looking forward to reading his other books.

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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 12:39pm
Makes me feel like an underachiever, here I am almost 34 and mostly just small press and ezine credits under my belt.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: breezit
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 12:40pm
One writer you could invite is Jonathan Maberry, who has posted here in the past and is considered a rising star in the horror genre. GHOST ROAD BLUES was a blast to read.

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"In the real world as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems. Dean Koontz



Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 12:43pm
Yeah, I really enjoyed Ghost Road Blues, I've got to get to reading the two sequels.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 1:25pm
The signed first editions are pretty pricey. Somehow, my work has become quite collectible over the years. I am stunned at the prices some people will pay for some of my books. It's actually very moving and makes me feel good, but damn ... some of those books are expensive!

I will turn 46 in December. I was 23 or 24 when I wrote LIVE GIRLS. I started writing stories at about the same time I learned to write. I wrote my first full-length novel with a beginning, middle, and end and characters who evolved over the course of the story when I was in the seventh grade. It SUCKED, of course, but it was a novel, heh-heh. I loved doing it so much, I kept at it. By the time I sold SEDUCTIONS, I like to think I was better at it, and I hope I've improved since then.

As for interacting with my readers -- I live for it! Writing is a very solitary occupation. I sit here in my office and type and type and type, and sometimes it's easy to forget that people actually READ this stuff! I can't tell you how good it feels to learn that someone enjoyed something I wrote -- it means the world to me. As an avid reader my whole life, I know how much pleasure a book can bring, and if something I've written does that for someone, I'm very, very happy. It's really the only reason I do this.


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 2:47pm
I've also been writing since I could write, my first stories these little one page rip-offs. I just get off on telling stories, and I love hearing from other writers about their experiences.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 4:06pm
FinalExam -- You wrote that you've been published in the small press. Could you tell me what you've done and which publishers you've worked with? I've been published by small-press publishers a lot, which is probably how so much of my stuff ended up collectible. What have you written?


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/18/2008 at 11:40pm
When I say the small presses, I'm talking magazines. I have not had a novel published as of yet. Partly because I am more a lover of short stories and my dream is to release a collection someday; unfortunately there is not much of a market for them and publishers don't want them.

Anyway, enough babbling. I've had stories appear in a lot of e-zines like Dark Recesses, Flash Me, The Harrow, Mytholog, Byzarium, Dred, Another Realm and some print magazines like Withersin, Black Ink, Mount Zion Speculative Fiction Review, Hungur; I've appeared in two small anthologies--Tangle, Damned in Dixie and have two essays in the nonfiction book Horror 101 from Midnight Marquee Press.

Jesus, I didn't mean to give my resume, got a bit carried away. Like I said, no novel publications to claim, although Blind Eye Books did express some interest in a time travel/gay love story novel I wrote, but ultimately passed. I'm thinking of submitting a proposal to them for a short story collection, although I already know it will be a hard sell.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/19/2008 at 12:19am
For the record, the above post is exactly why I tend to avoid talking about my writing with established writers; I just end up babbling about myself and feel like the other writers are rolling their eyes and thinking, "Jeez, it's not like you've really accomplished much, yet you have an awful lot to say about yourself." I apologize if I rambled on.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/19/2008 at 1:57pm
There's nothing wrong with giving your credits, FE! You've written work that has been published, and you should be proud of that. I'm sorry to say I haven't read anything of yours. If you tell me what name you write under, I'll keep an eye out for you. Self-promotion is something I've never been very good at because I've always been uncomfortable talking about me. But my attitude toward that has changed over the years. We writers HAVE to promote our work, because more often than not, even those who publish it do very little promotion at best. And I've discovered something -- people are always interested in writers. I think most people have a certain amount of respect for writers, and when they learn that's what you do, they want to know more. That makes the self-promotion a little easier. So don't be shy, FE!


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/19/2008 at 2:20pm
I publish under my full name, Mark Allan Gunnells. Like I said, no real impressive credits. The only pro-rate magazines I've been in are Dark Recesses and Withersin. I'm in a gay horror/fantasy anthology called Tangle, but please don't look it up. My story in there is one I wrote at 19 and it shows; several reviews I've read of it name my story as the worst of the collection, which stings but I can't argue with. I got much better, I hope. I'm most proud of the nonfiction book Horror 101 because I worked very hard on my two essays. And I submitted a novel to that publisher, Midnight Marquee Press, but they decided to stop doing fiction as it wasn't selling as well as their nonfiction titles. I did write an article for their magazine.

Anyway, I am learning about self-promotion because, really, who else is going to do it for me? Brian keene taught me a lot about it, he goes out there and really pushes his stuff, and I can respect that. It isn't easy trying to get your foot in the door. My local library wouldn't even stock Horror 101 or Tangle.

I think people are innately interested in writers too, but many editors have told me never to write about writers because--and I've been told this more than once--"No one wants to read about writers but writers." That logic seems insane to me. I mean no one told Grisham, "No one wants to read about lawyers but lawyers."

I'm babbling again. Anyway, I just keep plugging away at my writing. It is what I love, so I'll do it no matter how much, or little, I get paid to do it. It can be frustrating at times, especially being primarily a short story writer when the market for short fiction is almost nothing.

Enough about me, what is your process? Do you have a specific schedule, a certain time you write? Do you have rules of how much you need to write a day? I'm just curious.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: GeneB
Date Posted: August/19/2008 at 3:04pm
It's really cool that both of you are on here, BTW. Thanks for doing this in public instead of thru PM...this conversation is good for the rest of us too.
Keep on keepin' on.

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Ask me about DEAN KOONTZ Forum T-shirts. Cool.



Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/20/2008 at 6:22pm
My process. Hmm. I've been doing this so long that I don't know if I have a process anymore. It's not something I consciously think about doing. I don't have a set schedule. I work just about every day, anywhere from five to eight hours, depending on my involvement, my momentum, what I'm working on, etc. At the moment, that has changed. For reasons far too long and ugly to get into here, I have found myself in a situation that requires me to write more than half of this entire novel in four weeks. The fastest I've ever written a novel is about four months, and that was back in my misplaced youth, when I was in my twenties. When I wrote movie novelizations -- which are pretty quick and easy because the story and characters already exist -- I was always given at least three months for the job. This ... is different. The book is due at the end of this month. Since the beginning of August, I've been working 12 to 14 hours a day. I've slept little, had no time to do much planning. I'm not working from an outline. I had a very general idea of what I wanted to do, but nothing specific. I'm sort of making it up as I go ... and I've been going VERY FAST. I'm exhausted. I have about sixty pages to go and eleven days in which to write them and then do a VERY quick edit. When I'm done, I plan to slip into a nice relaxing coma. I've learned something, though. When I'm not this pressed for time (and I never have been before), I tend to over-think and over-analyze things. In this case, I'm just ploughing ahead like a runaway train. And it seems to be working. It's almost like automatic writing -- most of the time, I have no idea where it's coming from. I need to think and analyze less in the future and just keep moving forward.


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/20/2008 at 9:25pm
I'm struggling to come up with a new writing schedule myself. For many years I worked third shift, and had tons of downtime on the job. I would take my laptop and write at work, and found it to be incredibly productive. The majority of the stories I have--and we're talking hundreds--were written at work, so much so that I always thought if I ever published a collection I'd call it "Tales from the Midnight Shift." Anyway, a few months ago I got a promotion and moved to first shift. It is much busier and I no longer have time to write at work. I figured I would easily adjust to writing at home, but over the years it became so ingrained in me to write at work that it turned out to be harder than I expected. Plus my partner is usually here with me at home, and while he understands on an intellectual level that I need time to work, he also demands a lot of my attention when he's around, added to the fact that I sometimes feel guilty if I tell him I have to go off and be alone to write so he shouldn't disturb me. Ultimatley though the responsibility is on my shoulders, I'm hoping to hammer out a new schedule soon and get into the rhythm.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/20/2008 at 10:28pm
FinalExam wrote: Plus my partner is usually here with me at home, and while he understands on an intellectual level that I need time to work, he also demands a lot of my attention when he's around,

HA! There's a topic about being a writer that could take up a WHOLE THREAD! Since you've become so accustomed to writing at work and have found that to be so productive, Mark, it sounds like you need to find a job that pays well, but that you can go to and then ignore in favor of writing. Have you considered running for Congress?


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/20/2008 at 11:37pm
lol, too many skeletons in my closet. Or actually too many skeletons OUT of my closet.

I have two college degrees, but gave up my well-paying professional job becaues it was making me miserable and took a job as a 3rd shift security guard. I did that for four years, but did it too well--and still had ample time to write--as they were adamant I take the supervisory position, even offered me a raise I couldn't refuse. I just have to make time to write at home, and I need to teach my partner how important it is to me. Like I said, he understands that on an intellectual level, but he still doesn't seem to feel I'm really "doing anything" and has no qualms about coming in and just starting chatting. As it is, I am most productive on days when he is working afternoons, so he's gone when I get home. Still, Im sure I can figure it out, I take a notebook with me everywhere and write a bit here and there whenever I can.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/30/2008 at 11:38pm
Sorry I haven't posted in awhile, but I've been immersed in finishing BESTIAL. It absolutely MUST be in my editor's computer when he arrives at work on Tuesday morning. I just wrote the last line late Saturday afternoon. I'm exhausted. I've been working non-stop for a month. Now I've got to spend the next couple of days on a quick edit and then it's out of my hair. I need a break, a change of scenery, and some exercise.

BESTIAL is very different than RAVENOUS (it's the sequel). While RAVENOUS was a fairly traditional werewolf story (except that the werewolf curse is a sexually-transmitted virus), BESTIAL is a pretty wild, out-in-left-field story. In fact, one might even call it a horror comedy.

If I see another werewolf again for the rest of my natural life, it'll be way too soon. Heh-heh.


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/31/2008 at 2:52am
Glad to hear you've finished and your fans can look forward to a new by you soon.

I was curious: I was recently reading how John Saul's publisher has a clause in his contract that they are only obligated to buy books he writes in the horror/thriller genre, kind of discouraging him from experimenting outside of that. Do you find it difficult to work outside the genre for which you've become known? Do you feel pressure from your publishers to sort of recycle what has already proven successful?

I'm just wondering, I myself prefer the horror/fantasy genre, but the two ideas for novels that are picking at me the most lately, sort of pestering me to write them, are both outside that genre. Specifically in two different genres in which I feel the least comfortable, one a love story, the other a murder mystery. I feel I'm very weak at both those genres, but the ideas won't go away.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: RayGarton
Date Posted: August/31/2008 at 9:26am
Because I've been writing horror for so long, it's very, very hard for me to sell anything else. It's not contractual, that's just the way it is in publishing. Once you're successfully pigeonholed, it's extremely difficult to break free of that. The sad fact about horror is that, while it will always be a popular genre among readers and filmgoers, as a viable way for a full-time writer to make a living, it's as dead as the Lindbergh baby. Leisure is one of the very, very, very few publishers still publishing horror under the word "horror." There's horror out there, but the "H" word has become so undesirable that nobody uses it anymore. That's why I'm going to start writing things outside the genre under a pseudonym. When I say this, people usually respond with, "You're leaving horror?" I doubt I would ever abandon the genre -- even when I write non-horror fiction, it usually ends up having horrific elements. But I need to focus on non-genre work for awhile because horror has become a publishing ghetto.


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: August/31/2008 at 9:39am
It is a shame. I think horror has great potential, if people would just not look down on it. Even writers who have become famous for horror balk at having their work described at horror. I miss the days when there was a lot of horror out there, I loved the Dell Abyss line.

I hate that publishers and even some readers see a writer doing one thing and don't want to see them try anything else. We writers want to explore a lot of different types of stories. When I read Grisham's legal thrillers now, I get this sense that he is so tired of these kinds of stories, but that is what his audience demands. I feel he really comes alive as a writer now when he gets to stretch himself.

In any case, if you do publish some non-horror novels under a pseudonym let us know so we can check it out. I'm going to read Live Girls after I'm done with Odd Hours and Devereaux's Santa Claus Conquers the Homophobes. One of yours that I'm really interested in is Sex and Violence in Hollywood, but I'm kind of broke so I keep hoping I'll come across a cheap used copy.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: GeneB
Date Posted: July/02/2009 at 6:19am
I just read Ray's LIVE GIRLS, and I must say it was the best Vampire story I've ever read...like the Anita books but better.
Good job, RAY!! (If you are still around!)

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Ask me about DEAN KOONTZ Forum T-shirts. Cool.



Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: July/22/2009 at 12:53pm
You gonna read Night Life Gene?

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: Belladonna
Date Posted: October/26/2009 at 10:10am
I just finished Night Life and thought it was an excellent story. There were some scenes that were extremely disturbing, when Karen and Casey were in the hotel.


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Posted By: pattirose
Date Posted: October/26/2009 at 11:51am
Very disturbing indeed, I doubt if I will ever forget them. I used to wonder about Stephen King and how he came up some of the weird stuff he's written but Garton..... Wow! I wouldn't want to p*ss him off, LOL!!

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"Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake" - Life Expectancy


Posted By: GeneB
Date Posted: December/11/2009 at 4:04pm
If I had night life, I would read it!

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Ask me about DEAN KOONTZ Forum T-shirts. Cool.




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