For those of you who may be interested,
here is a longer, more in-depth look at me...
Wofford Lee Jones has been a fan of the horror, suspense and thriller genres ever since he was a young boy. His very first initiation in to the formidable world of horror came when he was a kid. One night, he traveled across town with his family to visit some friends. While his parents visited with the other adults in the kitchen, he and his older sister, April, were in the living room flipping channels on the television. The channel they happened upon was already playing the most well known of horror films, Psycho. He and April watched in utter terror as Marion Crane was stabbed to death in the famous shower scene of room one of the Bates Motel. Horrified of what had just happened, they turned off the television (and by ‘they’, he means his sister) for a few minutes, thinking they couldn’t take any more but curiosity quickly got the best of them. After turning the TV back on and off again twice, they finally finished watching the rest of the movie.
Shortly after being scared from watching Psycho, Wofford found The Shining playing on a late-night channel after his parents had gone to bed. Again, he watched in utter terror as the ax-wielding Jack Torrance hacked Holloran down in the halls of the Overlook Hotel. After slapping the button of the television off and running up the basement stairs to his room, he nervously descended once again and watched the remaining part of the movie, albeit a very short part since it was already so close to the end. But that one horrific sequence became entrenched in his mind.
The 80’s brought Wofford in to the incredible world of horror films with such favorites as: Hell Night, This House Possessed, The Fly, The Evil Dead, The Thing, The House that Bled to Death, The Silent Scream, Re-animator and a host of so many more. The 80’s also brought those famous slasher/gore franchise films, such as Friday the 13th, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Hellraiser of which he is a huge fan of them all. These films had a huge influence in pointing him toward his love for all things horror.
Wofford also became a huge fan of creature movies early on after he begged his dad to let him stay up late and watch the movie, Tentacles. His dad, Harold, reluctantly agreed to do it this one time—since it had been a school night—as long as Wofford didn’t complain about being tired from not getting enough sleep and that it didn’t affect his grades. (Wofford secretly thinks his dad agreed because Harold likes those sci-fi creature movies himself and didn’t mind watching that one with his son). Tentacles would probably be silly by today’s standards but back then, when Wofford had no creature movies to compare it to, that movie did much to open up his imagination. He soon found opportunities to watch other creature horror movies such as Jaws, The Howling, C.H.U.D., Fright Night, Aliens and many more at his friend’s houses, and they had a profound effect on him.
Wofford had always been a huge movie buff but sadly did very little reading during his early and teenage years. He didn’t become an avid reader until he was in his late teens and picked up a copy of Dean Koontz’s Twilight Eyes. It was the first real novel he ever read. Novels were a huge eye-opener for Wofford where his imagination exploded even more. The written word of a book defined the vividness of a story even more and in a way no movie ever could. Wofford will forever be a fan of a book’s written word rather than a movie rendition of that same story.
The defining moment in his life, that caused him to want to become a writer, was around 1993 when Wofford picked up a copy of Second Child by John Saul. After reading that book, he sat mesmerized staring at the worn and tattered paperback and marveled at how someone could imagine a storyline like he’d just read. He began to ask himself the simple question: How does someone think up a story and pack it into X number of pages? And in mulling over that question, it gave birth to his journey of ‘wanting to be a writer’. Wofford would like to publicly thank John Saul for his many works. It is because of him that he is now a writer.
As Wofford continued soul searching on how someone becomes a writer, he also became interested in acting, particularly film acting, but stage acting soon followed and became another heartfelt love for him. Photography and filmmaking piqued his interest as well and became a huge part of his life for a number of years.
The film acting came first as he wanted to see how far he could go within the industry; you know, that big dream of being in the movies. On his quest to be that famous film actor, his journey allowed him to meet one of his best friends: the amazing, talented and very funny, Shane Willimon (ladies and gentlemen, let’s all give a huge round of applause for Shane. He’s a pretty phenomenal and awesome guy).
Shane was very influential in Wofford’s acting career and suggested that he audition for some local theatre shows to learn the craft of acting. As suggested, Wofford jumped in to the theatre world with his heart, soul, mind and body and did a number of shows where Shane acted as his mentor.
My good friend, Shane Willimon
Wofford has been praised for his stage work and has won two cherished awards for it. He received the Greenville Little Theatre Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy as Tony Kirby in the hilarious play, You Can’t Take It With You. He also received the Joanne Woodward Award a few years later for Best Supporting Lead in a Drama for his role as Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet. Wofford has never forgotten just how much Shane has helped him over the years. He also would like to publicly thank Allen and Suzanne McCalla, Richard Cowan and Benjamin P. Robinson for all those chances they took with him by allowing him to perform on their stages. So much love goes out to all of you for giving him those opportunities. He will never forget those moments.
Me, as Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet
At one time during his acting career, he moved to California to work on that dream of being in film but very quickly, financial troubles caused him to return to the upstate of South Carolina. He continued to act in local film projects and stage productions in and around Greenville, but California had sort of killed the acting dream altogether. He was auditioning less for theatre roles and traveling less to Atlanta, Georgia and Wilmington, North Carolina for chances to be cast in independent films and commercials.
When Wofford had time between auditions, he began to do more photography. He started doing professional headshots for his actor friends who were trying to make it in the film and theatre industries. His photography began to get noticed and he soon became lead photographer for three of the main theatres in Greenville where he previously acted: The Greenville Little Theatre, Centre Stage and GLOW (Greenville Light Opera Works).
Me, as Tony Kirby in
You Can't Take It With You
During all this time of doing photography, acting in or working behind the scenes in film and theatre projects, his first novel, Soul Dreams was sitting in the wings. Over all those years, Wofford worked on Soul Dreams when he could, in between all the other creative endeavors.
Finally, everything clicked in Wofford’s mind and he realized where he found his true passion and happiness; it was and had always been in writing. All the other interests had given him a certain amount of fulfillment but not the all encompassing love of creating a story and seeing it through to its completion. Knowing his love for writing was the most important of all his other interests, he now knew exactly what he had to do.
Beth Munson (left) as Alora and Me (right) as Finner in Walking Across Egypt
The last theatre stage show Wofford acted in was Walking Across Egypt in 2013 at Greenville Little Theatre. Since that time on stage, he has turned in his acting shoes. This is not to say he will never step foot back on the stage again; there may be a show that comes up that he just has to do; who knows? And his film friends in the upstate still ask him from time to time to be in their film shorts or movies, but so far he hasn’t taken them up on their offer. And that is okay with him; he is perfectly happy and content sitting solo, writing in a note pad (to transpose to the computer later) or busy behind his computer typing on the keys to lay out that precious story for all you readers out there.
In 2016, he stepped away from Third Mind Films, the film company he helped start, because he simply wanted and needed to focus on writing. He is still very close with two friends and co-creators of the company, Dean Ferreira and Chris Cashon. He still helps them on as many of their projects as he can, especially if and when he needs a short break from writing. He just isn’t interested in film as he once was other than watching movies and simply being entertained by them.
Soul Dreams had been 25+ years in the making while he dabbled in all those other creative interests. Now, Wofford spends as much of his time writing, studying writing technique or simply reading a novel by those amazing authors he admires.
Logo for Third Mind Films. Click on logo to be taken to Third Mind Films website.
In July of 2017, Wofford married the love of his life, Laurie Griffith Jones, a woman who he has been friends with since the mid 90’s. They eloped to Christopher Place Bed and Breakfast in Newport, Tennessee and it was the most perfect weekend. He knows he is extremely blessed to have Laurie by his side and is very grateful that God and fate allowed them to meet so many years ago and then allowed them to reconnect at the best time in their lives to become more than friends. Wofford counts her as his everything, his biggest fan, his heart and soul, his muse, his badass in crime and his soul mate for life, because he is most assuredly hers.
Photo Credit: Angela Zion Photography
Wofford is now living the life he has always dreamed, married to the most beautiful and amazing woman, writing as often as he can, living in their dream home in Greenville, South Carolina. And the icing on the cake is that they live with the most awesome four-legged son, their badass, bionic Boxer, named Baxter. Wofford counts himself extremely lucky and blessed beyond all measure that so much is right in his life.
Photo Credit: Renee Carolla Photography
Wofford would love to thank everyone who reads his tales because without you, this writing journey wouldn’t be as enjoyable. But even if he only had his one fan and reader out there—and that adoring fan would be Laurie—he would still write because there is a deep longing and need within him to do so. He appreciates all of his readers and is so very grateful that you take the time to read his creations and go on these dark journeys with him.
He would like to thank you for reading Soul Dreams and his collection of eight horror tales, Off the Beaten Path. Please stay tuned. This guy is just getting started. There are many more tales on the way.
Photo Credit: Renee Carolla Photography