Microphone - Podcast - Interview

Gothic Bite Magazine Interviews Their Writer, James Vaughan

At Gothic Bite Magazine, we love welcoming new patients to become part of our asylum. We question them and learn about them. It doesn’t matter what creative field they are part of because they’re our patients now. This week, we welcome James Vaughan.

Patient Name: James Vaughan

I’m James Vaughan, an occasional writer for GBM and a part-time custodian. I’m Taurus and enjoy long walks on the beach…Oops, sorry, wrong interview. 

If that last line didn’t make it obvious, my key trait in the Ghoul Family is humour. I’m the comedic relief to the rest of our gang’s tragedy, showcase the theatre masks because I’d rather laugh now and cry later. 

So, what are some of the key bits of info that go into these introductions? Let’s see, well, I’m from the State of Maryland, to be exact. My education was in food prep and management, yet I’m still at the level of adding water…Huh, clearly putting that to good use as a writer and janitor. 

While most of the other Ghoul Family members are highly specialised in their areas. I’m more of a jack of all and master of none regarding my interest and Goth’s credibility. 

 The Questioning

GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: Why did you decide to write for Gothic Bite Magazine?

JAMES VAUGHAN: My mentor turned best friend had an idea, or was it a vision? Not sure. Either way, she came to me and a few others wanting to start a magazine. 

If I remember correctly, at first, we were going to do superheroes before we switched to Goth culture. I was still on board to help as someone with a social disability. 

Television Retro

I loved her pitch of a site for monsters made by monsters. A safe place where all misfits are welcome. Heck, I remember telling her I’ll join you, but what happens three weeks from now when I run out of stuff to write? I’m not that Goth. Yet here we are seven years later, and I’m still here.

GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: What do you like the most about Gothic Bite Magazine?

JAMES VAUGHAN: For me, it’s the Ghoul Family itself. As we established, I have some social difficulties and tend to be more of a back-of-the-room observer. 

Schizophrenia - Mental Disorder

I bring it up again only because it extends to our writer’s planning chatroom as well. The GBM Gang are career editors, indie authors, and horror and history buffs cranking out multiple articles weekly. I only turn up every blue moon or so to chime in. 

Troxler Effect - Spiral
Troxler Effect – Spiral

The fact that I’m just some guy who shows up every month or so with the most basic of articles, and these heavy lifters that genuinely keep us running always welcome me with a smile or a friendly word like I’ve been there the whole time means the world. 

On second thought, it’s not just the GBM Ghoul Family. It’s you all, our readers, my ‘Biters.’ I’ve been told how welcoming the Horror Community is after seven years of walking in your world. That fact is so true.

 GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: What does the word “Gothic” mean to you?

JAMES VAUGHAN: To be perfectly honest, I’m not really sure. I suppose I could tell you what the dictionary says, but that’s what it means to Webster, not ME. 

Gothic - Goth - Girl

If I really think about it, Gothic is being able to explore and express darker topics or subjects without being labelled as “evil.”

GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: What do you think people and society need to know about gothic people?

JAMES VAUGHAN: Now, I don’t know if this term is exclusive to D&D or not, but we have what’s known as edge lords. These are players that are usually the rouge class. 

They usually always come dressed head to toe in all black, do nothing but quietly brood in the corner and have an overly tragic past. They don’t like to talk about it. 

I’m sorry, but doesn’t that ever sound like every Goth in a high school movie? We took one of those ‘Which type of Goth’ and ‘How Goth are you?’ quizzes when we started. 

I often joke my results came back “bitch, please.” I guess what I’m getting at is we are not all Marilyn Manson or dress like Kiss‘ long-lost fifth band member.

GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: When writing your articles, do you do research, and if so, how far do you go with your analysis?

JAMES VAUGHAN: No, I can’t say that I really do. I don’t really like doing research. As I stated before, I’m a jack of all trades master of none. 

This makes all my interests vast but very surface-level. That said, I enjoy having a more anecdotal style, which means I can go more off opinion than fact. 

Maybe having to look up the year a song or film came out, possibly what type of voice or range a singer has.

GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: What is most important to you when writing your articles?

 JAMES VAUGHAN: Two things are most important to me when writing articles. 

I always ask myself: Is what I’m writing about actually Goth enough, or can I find an angle to force a square peg through the round hole to make it Goth? 

Quite a few times, I’ve pitched something and been told, “No, that’s too sci-fi,” or “That’s more fantasy.” 

Assassin's Creed - Valhalla
Assassin’s Creed – Valhalla

The other thing I find important is if I’m being repetitive. I cover a lot of music-based content. Most of the artists stand behind a mic and sing into a camera. 

So, it’s kind of a challenge to not rehash the same old phrases since, obviously, you already know they sound great. But visually, they aren’t really doing much. 

GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: Which Gothic people influence you the most in your life?

JAMES VAUGHAN: Hmm…Well, straight out the gate Tim Burton. He’s probably one of the more evident and generic picks for Goth.

But with The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Batman Returns, Beetlejuice, and The Addams Family being significant parts of my childhood, he must be my front-runner. 

The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton
The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton

Then there are others like Ozzy Osbourne and Billy Idol. While it took a while to land on my signature look, I love their style and have incorporated bits from them and others.

GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: Which gothic entertainment genre is your favourite and why? I.e. movies, television series, literature, cosplay, conventions, events, music, concerts, etc.

JAMES VAUGHAN: I’ve watched and enjoyed many classic 80’s slasher films. I can’t say movies are my favourite medium, nor can I make that claim for music. Even though that’s mainly what I like to cover here at the Bite. 

Freddy vs. Jason - 2003
Freddy vs. Jason – 2003

I’d have to say cosplay is my favourite form of Gothic expression. My three main recurring characters are The Joker, Red Hood, and Beetlejuice. 

So, we have a psychotic clown, an undead assassin, and a poltergeist. I love things like Halloween or conventions where I get to dress up. That is because I’ve noticed that I’m a bit bolder and more confident while dressed as these three characters.

GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: Do you believe in the paranormal? By that, I mean in hauntings, there are creatures out in the wild we still don’t know the existence of?

JAMES VAUGHAN: I don’t really know. I mean, I’d like to think so. I believe enough to not have mirrors in my bedroom because I thought I saw someone peering over the bottom edge of the reflection. Do with that what you will. 


But the other thing, too, is that the people who tell me ghosts and monsters do not really exist put their faith in the Bible, which, correct me if I’m wrong, speaks of a seven-headed monster.

GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: What was your reaction when you found out you’d be a regular writer for Gothic Bite Magazine

JAMES VAUGHAN: “I’m a regular?” I really am not a regular writer for the Bite. Recurring or occasional, maybe, but the regulars are, for sure, my fellow Ghoul Family members. 

I will say I’ve been a weekly writer in the past, and our founder Ivy believes in me enough to be a weekly regular and two-article-a-week writer. 

She is correct, I could be, and I’m honoured she has such faith in me. I choose not to be. So, between my part-time job, many hobbies and just non-GBM chat sessions with Ivy, I will probably stick with my occasional status.

GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: What do you wish Gothic Bite Magazine could do to be more popular on the gothic scene? I.e., podcasting, vlogging, live ghost hauntings, etc.

JAMES VAUGHAN: Umm… I’m not sure. Because I’m a surface-level goth, I don’t think I’m qualified enough to answer this question.

Social Media Era

So, I’ll leave that one to you, the masses, our GBM Biters; what would you like to see us branch out into?

GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: What can readers expect from James Vaughan in 2023? 

JAMES VAUGHAN: For 2023, I have a nice little back catalogue of ideas I’ve wanted to tackle. When I did my Queen article, I said to keep an eye out for an article focusing on the other ladies in the video, and that’s a promise I still plan to uphold. 

The Little Match Girl Illustration from Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tale
The Little Match Girl Illustration from Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tale

I’ve also found outside of my love for music, I’ve started noticing a Southern or Wild West lean in some of my pieces. Playing off that all Goths are not the Hollywood stereotype, let’s go for cowboys; they also have plenty of myths, legends and ghost tales, so why not?

GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: Where will Gothic Bite Magazine bring you in the coming years?

JAMES VAUGHAN: If the last question has anything to do with it out West. Seriously, though, this is an interesting one. We have often discussed ways to grow the magazine, and one of our recurring ideas is attending horror conventions. 

Winter always wants to dress me up like Pennywise 2017, and to dress up to go to cons is something I really enjoy. Who knows? In years to come, I may finally go to more than one Convention a year, and Winter can finally put me in clown makeup.

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