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Friday
Jun032016

Nerding Out with Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea knows a thing or two about monsters. He has written some wickedly awesome monster-cryptid horror titles, including Swamp Monster Massacre, The Montauk Monster, and The Dover Demon. Hunter has the realm of the supernatural covered in novels like Forest of Shadows and Sinister Entity.

In his newest novella, I Kill In Piece, Hunter explores a more human monster.

Hunter Shea has been a consistent favorite of mine over the last half-decade when it comes to horror fiction. I purchase his titles when they are released.  

Hunter is also a very funny and insightful guy. Enjoy this Nerding Out session.

Duane:  In your latest novella, I Kill In Piece, you present a normal man driven to kill by mysterious circumstances, and in the process, he dispatches some unsavory individuals. Murder is always softened when the deaths are perceived to be warranted. The concept of murderous vigilantism has captured our culture’s attention for the better part of the last decade. From Dexter, to the actions of characters on The Walking Dead, DIY vengeance has seeped its way into our collective psyche as the end-all solution. Experiencing vicarious violence has never been more popular, harkening back to the days of gritty films like Death Wish and Vigilante. Do you think it’s just general human frustration and a sign of the times, or simply, a coincidental, shared plot device?

Hunter:  I think it’s a definite sign of the times. I grew up in the Bronx in the 70s, and Death Wish was something we were all wishing would happen just to give the scumbags that made our lives miserable a taste of their own medicine. Those were dark days, not just in New York, which is why 70s cinema, even beyond horror, is so damn bleak and depressing. On a side note, it’s also my favorite decade for film, which should come as no surprise.

Fast forward to present day, and yeah, crime is at an all time low. Times Square is so sanitized and commercialized I wanna puke. But, there is this tremendous feeling of unrest in the country. We’re sick of being screwed by Wall Street, Main Street, politicians, terrorists, big banks, you name it. And it feels like we have no recourse. No one in power gives a frog’s fart about the little man. No one speaks up for us, fights for us, gets things done for us. As a society, we’re fed up. The current presidential election process makes that very apparent. We know we’ve been lulled into bleating sheep, but deep down, we want to be the big bad wolf. So we live through our fantasies, which are being broadcast in movies, TV, books and comics.

Duane:  I’m a huge fan of the Jessica Backman series. In Forest of Shadows, you introduced future heroine/paranormal investigator with the character of Jessica Backman, but as a young child. Was your plan always to continue the adventures of the adult Jessica in later novels Sinister Entity and Island of the Forbidden?

Hunter:  Oh, you give me too much credit for advance planning. I actually meant for Forest of Shadows to be a one and done novel. However, so many people came to me asking for more (like, almost 5 people who weren’t relatives!), I couldn’t resist. Besides, it took me five years to write it, so I felt very much at home in that world. As you know, I couldn’t carry on with the adventures of her father (Brian Lumley did something like that brilliantly with his Necroscope series and I’ve been told I’m not fit to shine or so much as look at his shoes). So I started to ask myself, what would happen to a girl who lived to tell the tale of something that horrific? My own girls were teens at the time, so it made perfect sense to fast forward to Jessica the potty mouthed, badass 19 year old carrying on the family tradition of tracking down restless spirits.

I gave birth to Sinister Entity, and knew I couldn’t quit Jessica and Eddie. Island of the Forbidden takes places a few years later, with her and her psychic friend in pretty rough shape. See, to me, if this stuff is truly real, you’re not coming out the other side the same as you went in. I love those characters, yet I keep doing horrible things to them. It’s not about the ghosts in this series. It’s about the mental, spiritual, and physical toll living in the world of the dead takes on these two rather unfortunate but determined people. Living in a haunted house doesn’t hurt, especially when it comes to nightly inspiration.

Those books were published through Samhain, and even though Samhain is in the process of shutting its doors, there are plans for more misadventures.

Duane:  Horror Hypotheticals Presents: “Shit Happens in the Woods” – It is the middle of the night and you are stranded deep in a remote wooded area. The only useful tools in your possession are a flashlight and a large hunting knife. Danger is imminent; it is lurking in the darkness. It’s not a matter of when; it’s a matter of what. Would you rather stumble across a frightened, yet aggressively defensive family of Sasquatch? Or the real-life Jason Voorhees? Two adult Bigfoots and a powerful juvenile, or…  Crystal Lake’s favorite son, machete in hand and murder on the mind. Choose your own horror misadventure.

Hunter:  Jason scares the shit out of me. No way do I want to get stuck on the tracks with that meat train barreling down on me. I’ll take my chances with the squatches. My only hope is that I’m hairy enough to pass as one of the family. Fear sweat should get me nice and funky, too. I don’t think I’d try any of those squatch hollers and calls you see nut bars do on TV. That would just piss them off. I do have an added advantage – I’ve been working in corporate America, dealing with executive for 2 decades. I really know how to speak to lower life forms.

Duane:  Most life experiences and general themes can be filtered through the lens of a horror novel, short story, etc. The creative versatility that can be utilized within the horror genre is one of its main appeals. Do you have aspirations to dabble into other literary genres?

Hunter:  Before I hang up my laptop, I’d love to have written in every genre, including romance. I’m a voracious reader, so if I’ve read a genre, I feel I could write in it. I’ve turned into my father lately, buying textbooks to read casually. Now, I do it with a goal in mind. I do plan to commit myself to full time archaeology some day, so I’ve been studying up.

My first 2 Pinnacle books, The Montauk Monster and Tortures of the Damned are labeled as thrillers, but each beats with the black heart of horror. I have done a children’s picture book (under a different name) and I’ve been trying to do middle grade fiction as well. My wife is disabled, and we’ve been through hell together. I keep talking about writing that story as well. The very first book I wrote was a romantic comedy. I kind of dared myself to do it. It’s actually quite funny. Too twisted for your typical rom-com lover. Look, life is too short to go through it with tunnel vision. I want to do it all.

Duane:  If you could play around in someone else’s yard, i.e. write fiction for an already established franchise, which fictional property would you pick and why?

Hunter:  I’d gladly step into R.L. Stine’s skin and take over the Goosebumps series. To be able to spend my days writing horror for kids, just being gross and funny and knowing there are legions of young minds devouring every word, man, what a trip that would be. I met him at a convention once. He gave a hilarious speech (he used to be a comedy writer) and when I got face time with him later, he couldn’t be more down to earth. He signed my book “Thank you for paying for my son’s college education. Bob”  I don’t think there’s been a more successful franchise other than Harry Potter. Oh yeah, plus I’d get the added benefit of being rich as hell. Oh, the things I’d do with all that dough.

Duane:  You are given the awesome task of programming a weekend of horror double-features at a local theater. Which films do you choose for your double-bills on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night?

Hunter:  I’m hoping it’s a drive-in! Here goes:

Friday : Motel Hell and Psycho

Saturday : The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Funhouse (Tobe Hooper night)

Sunday : The Descent and The Creature from the Black Lagoon

Duane:  Zombie Apocalypse Team: You get to pick 3 fictional characters from ANY universe to be part of your zombie apocalypse team of survivors. The only stipulation is that they have to be human, without any supernatural powers or abilities in the paranormal, psychic, or magical arts. Who do you pick? 

Hunter:  Now this is a tough one. I guess I’d want to surround myself with some eclectic folks to make my time left on this green and blue blob a little fun. So I guess it would be Yossarian from Catch 22 so I could feel better about my own neurosis, Catherine Bourne from Hemingway’s The Garden of Eden because she seemed down for anything (but I’d skip the wine bottle stuff), and Jesse Ventura’s character from Predator because who really has time to bleed?

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Follow along this tour with the hashtags: #IKillinPeace #HunterShea #evilancientswords

Synopsis for I Kill In Peace

  • Publication Date: April 12, 2016
  • Publisher: Samhain
  • Publication Length: 104 pages

Killing gets easier…with practice. 

Peter Blades is, in every sense of the word, an ordinary man. Hard worker, father, husband, a man content with small-town life. Except for one small fact—he’s slowly being turned into a ruthless killer.

Compelled by mysterious texts to murder, he’s provided a fiery red Mustang and an ancient sword to carry out an ever-growing hit list. His jerkoff boss is victim number one. You always remember your first.

By the time his sword sings through the air to dispatch a would-be school shooter, taking lives is as easy as breathing. And if the world is going to hell around him, all the better. No one wants to burn alone.

Biography

Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weaned on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself.

Publishers Weekly named The Montauk Monster one of the best reads of the summer in 2014, and his follow up novel, Hell Hole, was named best horror novel of the year on several prestigious horror sites. Cemetery Dance had this to say about his apocalyptic thriller, Tortures of the Damned – “A terrifying read that left me wanting more. I absolutely devoured this book!”

Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. Copies of his books, The Montauk Monster and The Dover Demon, are currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME.

He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years.

Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light-hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, crytid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane.

Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hot dogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.

You can follow his travails at www.huntershea.com, sign-up for his newsletter, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Praise for Hunter Shea

This wholly enthralling hulk of a summer beach read is redolent of sunscreen and nostalgia, recalling mass market horror tales of yore by John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Peter Benchley.” — Publishers Weekly — Voted one of the best reads of summer, on The Montauk Monster

“Bloody good read!  This guy knows his monsters!”- Eric S Brown, author of Bigfoot War and Boggy Creek: The Legend is True, on Swamp Monster Massacre

“Hunter Shea is a great writer, highly entertaining, and definitely in the upper echelon in the current horror scene. Many other writers mention either loving his work and/or having the man influence their own, and for just cause. His writing suits anyone with a taste for the dark and terrifying!” –Zakk at The Eyes of Madness/The Mouth of Madness Podcast

NEWSLETTER!

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Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Samhain

Want to Feature Hunter Shea?

If you would like a copy of the book for review or to conduct an interview with Hunter Shea, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at Hook of a Book Media: hookofabook@hotmail.com

Monday
Apr042016

Nerding Out with David Bernstein

In this edition of Nerding Out, I ask author David Bernstein the hard-hitting questions. Like who would win in a fight between two iconic horror characters played by actor Bill Moseley. Or committing to a firm choice in the theoretical scenario of forceable monsterhood. And, of course, the Zombie Apocalypse Team question.

We also discuss David’s work, past and present, including his brand new collection of short stories, A MIXED BAG OF BLOOD. Synopsis and purchase links follow the interview.

Duane: Great single-author short story collections are always a treat to read. Dialing it all the way back to Stephen King’s NIGHT SHIFT, I remember relishing every unique little peak into the twisted mind of King through his early short fiction. You have captured much of that magic with A MIXED BAG OF BLOOD. What inspired you to put together such a diverse collection of short stories?

David: I’ve always enjoyed writing a variety of horror/dark fiction. I began my writing career by penning short stories and had a number of them published over the years.  John Foley—the short fiction editor for Thunderstorm Books at the time—contacted me and asked if I had a novella or collection that I’d like to submit for possible publication with Thunderstorm.

Since I had a number of published shorts, I gathered up the ones I thought would appeal to a wide audience (and ones I really liked of course). I wanted a book that a reader, no matter what kind of horror fiction they enjoyed, would find something enjoyable in at least most of the stories if not all of them. (I know I enjoy reading collections that contain a wide variety of tales.) Thunderstorm accepted the book (I was thrilled of course) and that’s how it came to be. Now, it’s published in paperback form from Sinister Grin Press.

Duane: JACKPOT (by Adam Cesare, Kristopher Rufty, David Bernstein, Shane McKenzie) was a demented slice of gory, dark humor. Can you elaborate on the origins of this collaboration, and perhaps offer some insight into the sequel?

David: It’s interesting how things come to be. I was originally asked by Shane McKenzie (when he was a co-owner of Sinister Grin Press) if I wanted to write a short story that would be included in an anthology. A few weeks later, he wanted to do something more and had this crazy idea about a serial killer winning the lotto. He asked if I’d like to be a part of it and of course I said “HELL YEAH!”  He contacted Adam and Kristopher who also loved the idea and we all couldn’t wait to see where we could take it. No one had any say over what the other person did. If I wanted to kill someone off or do this or that, then so be it. See how crazy we could get. 

The sequel is top secret, but I can tell you things are going to get even crazier.

Duane: Horror Hypotheticals Presents: "Slasher Death Match" – Chop Top Sawyer vs. Otis Driftwood. One night only, in the Octagon (I’m not an MMA expert, but I assume all battles MUST be fought in the Octagon), no weapons; just bare hands and feet. Both of these sadistically insane characters were brought to life through a series of iconic performances by Bill Moseley (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects). The tale of the tape for this fight is literally identical. Who comes out alive in this bloody battle of scrappy psychopaths?

David: Otis Driftwood, though Sawyer is far more deranged. Anyone who eats their own scalp flesh is nuts! Otis seems far more physically stronger and uses guns. If it came to torture, I think Sawyer would win.

Duane: If you had to be a monster, while still generally adhering to the universally agreed upon mythos of said beast, what type of monster would you be?

David: A Twilight vampire so I could walk around in the sunlight. If not that, then a regular vampire. They’re strong, hard to kill, don’t get sick (for the most part) and live a long time. I’ve always liked the night so that wouldn’t be an issue.

Duane: A grand event is being thrown in your honor. It’s the party of the century. The band/artist of your choosing will play an entire concert at this gala affair. All expenses and logistical factors have been handled. Who do you pick to play, and what song do you have them dedicate to the person of your choosing?

David: Wow, what a difficult choice! There are so many: Anthrax, Tom Petty, Weezer, Van Halen, Slayer, Lady Gaga . . . yeah I have a diverse taste. But I’ll have to go with Everclear. Years ago I was in Baltimore hanging out with friends. We had no plans, just to go out and party (it was my birthday) and one of the bars we went to had Everclear. I was so surprised. It was just pure luck we walked in there. It was a small venue, open roof and the summer night was perfect. The band mingled with the crowd and it was awesome.

Duane: What would your dream film collaboration be between two different artists, be it director, actor, writer?  I’m talking about a teaming of talents from any era.  Envision, in an alternate-universe, Hitchcock directing Scarlett Johansson in a psychological thriller.

David: I’d love to see more of what Affleck does. I think he’s an exciting new talent when it comes to directing. I’d love to see what he could do with a Poe or King story. I would have loved to see Clint Eastwood play Roland and direct the movie. I would have loved to see Del Toro direct The Hobbit movies—especially seeing how shitty they turned out. Besides stuff like that I don’t really have a dream team, just directors I like. Richard Donner and John McTiernan are two of my favorites.

Duane: Zombie Apocalypse Team: You get to pick 3 fictional characters from ANY universe to be part of your zombie apocalypse team of survivors. The only stipulation is that they have to be human, without any supernatural powers or abilities in the paranormal, psychic, or magical arts. Who do you pick?

David: How could I not go with Rick, Daryl and Michonne? Rick takes no shit and is a great leader. Michonne is intelligent, calculating and keeps a cool head. Daryl will provide the ability to track people, animals and threats and set traps.

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Follow along the tour with these hashtags: #AMixedBagofBlood  #SinisterGrinPress

A Mixed Bag of Blood synopsis

  • ·    Print Length: 86 pages
  • ·    Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
  • ·    Publication Date: March 1, 2016

From a man seeking vengeance for a dead loved one, to a monster lodged in a person’s nose, to starving vampires and samurai battling zombies, a bully meeting his gruesome demise, along with prostitutes being sacrificed, a boy who refuses to stop swearing, and the consequences of one man’s night of unprotected sex comes a dark and disturbing collection of sinister tales filled with dread, bloodshed, humor and the bizarre.

This is a Mixed Bag of Blood.

Biography of David Bernstein

David Bernstein is originally from a small town in Upstate New York called Salisbury Mills. He now resides in NYC and misses being surrounded by chainsaw-wielding maniacs and wild backwoods people that like to eat raw human flesh. He’s grown used to the city, though hiding bodies is much harder there. He is the author of Amongst the Dead, Damaged Souls, The Tree Man, Witch Island, Relic of Death, Apartment 7C and the forthcoming Episodes of Violence. David writes all kinds of horror, from hair-raising ghost stories to gore-filled slashers and apocalyptic tales of terror. He loves hearing from his readers. You can reach him on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/david.bernstein.3. Visit him at his website: davidbernsteinauthor.blogspot.com email dbern77@hotmail.com, or on Twitter at @Bernsteinauthor.

Praise for A Mixed Bag of Blood

Dave Bernstein let his mind wander and his pen write where I know you'll want to read. With an introduction by Kristopher Rufty, this is a reason to stay at home and read on a pleasant Saturday afternoon like I did.” –Cat After Dark
 

Praise for David Bernstein

"David Bernstein delivers a fast-moving tale of desire and destruction that gives new meaning to the words, 'Be careful what you wish for.' Relic of Death twists reality and will leave you reflecting on your own personal Achilles heel long after you finished reading…" —Allan Leverone, author of Mr. Midnight

"A fascinating, unpredictable, ever-shifting tale of greed and desperation. Highly recommended!" —Jeff Strand, author of Pressure

“Fast-paced, cinematic, and excellent. Horror fans gather around, it’s time for another chilling tale from David Bernstein.”  —Keith Deininger, author of Within and Ghosts of Eden

"A harrowing, brutal thriller, Skinner is Bernstein at his best!" —Peter Giglio, author of Shadowshift

Add to GoodReads

Purchase Links

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Check out Sinister Grin Press

Tuesday
Mar292016

Nerding Out with Kristin Dearborn

It’s been awhile since I checked in on you with a new Nerding Out interview. What I thought to be an absolute impossibility actually happened. I fell out of the habit of daily reading. The horror… There are a number of projects keeping me busy, but that’s no excuse. I was on an average of 80 – 100 books-a -year reading bender. I was on tear for years, blistering through pages and pages of genre fiction like my life depended on it.

I suppose reading “burn-out” was inevitable.

That is why it is exciting to for me to interview an author that I have not had the pleasure of reading yet. New blood to ignite my reading passion.

Kristin Dearborn’s new novella, Woman in White, may just be the remedy for my malady. Plot synopsis follows the interview.

Kristin was a good sport with my nerdy questions and has an incredible sense of humor. She even managed to trigger a slight reverberation of interest for me in Buffy. Sorry… I know! I just never had an opportunity to get into the show. But that may change.

Enjoy our little chat.

Duane: Most life experiences and general themes can be filtered through the lens of a horror novel, short story, etc. The creative versatility that can be utilized within the horror genre is one of its main appeals. Do you have aspirations to dabble into other literary genres?

Kristin: My heart lies with speculative fiction: sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. I don’t see myself delving into any other genres, and whatever I did write would, I’m sure, be firmly entrenched in horror elements. I do enjoy a good mystery that straddles the line between mystery and horror, like Mo Hayder’s Birdman or Thomas Harris’ Silence of the Lambs. I am an unapologetic pants-er, and I think tight plotting is critical for a good mystery, and I don’t think I have the chops for it.

You touch, though, on one of my favorite things about horror: it’s the only genre that’s also an emotion. Horror can be at home anywhere, sci-fi, mystery, fantasy, literary fiction…horror has a space in each of the other genres. That fluid pervasiveness is one of my favorite things about the genre.

Duane: You are given the awesome task of programming a weekend of horror double-features at a local theater. Which films do you choose for your double-bills on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night?

Kristin: Great question!

- Alien & The Thing
- Halloween & Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
- Piranha 3-D & Cloverfield

Duane: If you had to be a monster, while still generally adhering to the universally agreed upon mythos of said beast, what type of monster would you be?

Kristin: I’ve always had a soft spot for werewolves. Way better than vampires: no sun allergy, can still enjoy garlic, can check one’s self out in a mirror. You lose the eternal life bit, though, which is a bummer. I feel like werewolves kinda go in two directions. The first is more traditional and probably more realistic (cause, you know, werewolves and realism) which is where the change is triggered by the moon, and you spend the next two nights blindly falling prey to your baser instincts. The second is more romanticized, where you can change whenever you want, and still have some humanity left when you’re the beast. I like the idea of the former better, it’s more monster and more animal. The first few transitions would be rough, but you’d start to get the hang of it, and figure where to position yourself when the moon rises. I’d head way up north in Canada where I could eat elk and moose and fight with grizzly bears. If I were the second, more sentient type of werewolf, I’d become a super hero and fight crime in my near-unstoppable wolf form. Just no silver jewelry, please.

Duane: What is your impression of the horror community as a whole and how has being a part of this community influenced your life?

Kristin: The horror community is, with very few exceptions, fantastic. I’ve tried very hard to make engaging with the community a priority, and annually attend events such as the World Horror Convention, (the now defunct) Anthocon, the Stanley Hotel Writers’ Retreat, and everyone’s favorite, NECON. Arriving at these events is like coming home, showing up to a family reunion where everyone actually likes each other. I’ve found other authors enthusiastically willing to help lift me up, help me network, and share laughs (or gross-outs) over a beer or cocktail. We share blurbs, offer copy edits and beta reads, cross promote one another, and keep each other sane.

Duane: Let’s say you are given the opportunity to play around in someone else’s yard, i.e. write fiction for an already established franchise. Which fictional property would you pick and why?

Kristin: I feel like the Buffy universe has a lot of untapped potential—other slayers in other times, other situations. We know most of them don’t make it to the age of eighteen because of the dangerous lives they live. We also know they can have children (like Principal Wood!). What happens when you mix teen pregnancy and slayers? What does it mean for their babies? Then you have to consider the Watchers and their council. I also wonder about Buffy’s predecessor. About Faith’s early days. Joss Whedon does a fantastic job at establishing a fascinating universe, I’d love to play in the sandbox. I would go for pre-Buffy lore, and avoid the “every girl a slayer” stuff.

Duane: Time-travel. I cannot think of a more fascinating “what if” scenario than time-travel, other than parallel dimensions, that is more creatively ripe for exploration. In this hypothetical, you have time (ha!) to prepare before you leave, including making sure your wardrobe is consistent with the date and place of your time-journey. But you must not disrupt anything, if at all possible. You are to be a passive observer only. If you could go back in time to one specific place and date, where and when do you choose?

Kristin: Okay, so imma going to call shenanigans on your question from the get-go, in that you CAN’T go back to another time without influencing something, e.g., “A Sound of Thunder.” Since this is a stipulation, though, it absolves me from doing something responsible and admirable with this question. I find the Gilded Age fascinating, and have set some (so far unpublished) books there. The Victorian era is drawing to a close, and people are just starting to break out of the tight social constraints of the era, cars have become a thing, electricity is gaining traction, as is indoor plumbing. It’s the eve of WWI, the jazz age, an era with trembling potential. This is a time where the excess are similar to what we have now, and the divisions between the haves and the have nots are staggering. Since I cannot change anything about the time I go back to, instead of assassinating Hitler in the crib or insuring Lee Harvey Oswald’s shot missed, I would go back to Mrs. W. K. Vanderbilt’s Great Costume Ball, which happened on March 26, 1883. This was, to the best of my reading, the pinnacle of American excess and ridiculous costume and pageantry. The event kicked off at 11 p.m. and went until almost dawn. I wish I had some deep and political reason for wanting to see this time and place, but really it’s just to be drawn up in the romantic magic of it all.

Duane: Zombie Apocalypse Team: You get to pick 3 fictional characters from ANY universe to be part of your zombie apocalypse team of survivors. The only stipulation is that they have to be human, without any supernatural powers or abilities in the paranormal, psychic, or magical arts. Who do you pick?

Kristin: In the spirit of Woman in White, I’m going to pick a team of lovely ladies for this one.

First, the last survivor of the Nostromo, Lt. Ellen Ripley. She went toe to toe with the Xenomorph on the Nostromo, survived Hadley’s Hope, and finally sacrificed herself on Fiorna “Fury” 161 in what she thought would end the alien species. (Spoilers, it didn’t.) But I think after tussling with aliens, a few zombies wouldn’t even have her blink an eye. She didn’t want to let Kane and his face hugger inside the ship, I’m sure she’ll be great at keeping out zombies.

Second, Imperator Furiosa. She’s gonna be the one to drive, she will make sure all the vehicles and mechanicals are running properly, and with the survival skills she has from the Mad Max universe, I don’t think the zombies will be a problem. I’m imagining her missing arm will be an advantage, as it gives her something to defend herself with if she finds herself sans weapon, and if the zombies bite it, she won’t be infected.

The third and final member of my team is The Bride, Beatrix Kiddo, codename Black Mamba. Imagine the scene where she fights the Crazy 88 with her katana. Now imagine a crowd of zombies. The zombies aren’t around for very long after The Bride shows up. A trained assassin, she can keep a cool head, and is definitely skilled in combat. In 2013 a new species of parasitic wasp was named after her, Cystomastacoides kiddo, because she is THAT badass. I toyed with Michonne from The Walking Dead in this role, but that seemed like too easy.

Now I’m totally going to cheat:

Two ladies I wish could be on the team but are too supernatural: Willow Rosenberg and Hermione Granger.

Three other characters I strongly considered, but decided to go girl power instead: Jack Burton: A reasonable guy who’s experienced some unreasonable things; Snake Plissken: who admittedly doesn’t give a shit about the human race; and R.J. MacReady: who knows he’s still human, and knows some of you are still human, too.

These have, without a doubt, been some of the most fun questions I’ve gotten to answer!

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Follow along the publicity tour with these hashtags: #WomaninWhite #DarkFuse #IcyHorror
 
Woman in White by Kristin Dearborn
NOVELLA
Available: Feb 4, 2016
Publisher: DarkFuse
Format: eBook ($2.99)

Synopsis

Rocky Rhodes, Maine.

As a fierce snowstorm descends upon the sleepy little town, a Good Samaritan stops to help a catatonic woman sitting in the middle of the icy road, and is never seen or heard from again. When the police find his car, it is splattered in more blood than the human body can hold.

While the storm rages on, the wave of disappearances continue, the victims sharing only one commonality: they are all male. Now it's up to three young women to figure out who or what is responsible: a forensic chemist, a waitress struggling with an abusive boyfriend, and a gamer coping with the loss of her lover.

Their search will lead them on a journey filled with unspeakable horrors that are all connected to a mysterious Woman in White.

Praise

"Horror born straight from a nor'easter, Dearborn's Woman in White is a great read for a winter night—with a monster I'll never forget." —Christopher Irvin, author of Federales and Burn Cards

"Kristin Dearborn's Woman in White is a rip-roaring monster tale with sharp-eyed characterization and something to say about the power dynamics between men and woman. Thought-provoking and entertaining as hell!" —Tim Waggoner, author of Eat the Night

"Great stuff! Suspenseful, quickly paced, unpredictable and wonderfully evil tale. Kristin Dearborn’s best yet!” —Jeff Strand, author of Pressure

Biography

If it screams, squelches, or bleeds, Kristin Dearborn has probably written about it. She’s written books such as Sacrifice Island (DarkFuse), Trinity (DarkFuse), and had fiction published in several magazines and anthologies. Stolen Away was recently a limited edition offered from Thunderstorm Books, which sold out. She revels in comments like "But you look so normal...how do you come up with that stuff?" A life-long New Englander, she aspires to the footsteps of the local masters, Messrs. King and Lovecraft. When not writing or rotting her brain with cheesy horror flicks (preferably creature features!), she can be found scaling rock cliffs or zipping around Vermont on a motorcycle, or gallivanting around the globe. Find more on Kristin at http://kristindearborn.com.

 

 

Tuesday
Jan192016

Nerding Out with Kristopher Rufty

Kristopher Rufty writes the kind of books I like to read (see PILLOWFACE conversation below). His latest novel DESOLATION is arguably his best work to date, a psychological horror tale that is twisted and heart-wrenching. This book will haunt you, and not in that creeped out spooky sense. It will carve much deeper than that.

I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Krist during HorrorHound weekend in Cincinnati last year. Krist signed a shit-ton of books for me while we nerded out over our favorite horror films, slasher flicks in particular. Some of the questions that follow expand on these topics.

Enjoy this horror nerd out session.

DESOLATION synopsis and purchase links can be found after the interview.

Duane:  The emotional core of DESOLATION is the shattered dynamic of the Marlowe family. I had to put the book down during some of the more tense family interactions. I barely flinch at the bloodiest of gorefests, but the emotional cuts in this novel go pretty deep. I imagine it must have been draining to write these scenes. Does writing scenes of such complicated sadness impact your process and, if so, what do you do to return to a happier place?

Krist: They do affect me, greatly. Especially with this book. I’d be depressed, physically drained, by the time I was finished writing for the day. If I wrote at night, I had nightmares when I went to sleep. It was a rough, but compelling experience, writing DESOLATION. During the process, the daily writing, I’d spend time with my family to come out of the funk. They helped, a lot. Just talking with them, or sitting in the room while my oldest son played video games, watching how much he enjoyed it. Date nights with my wife, going out, or staying home and watching Netflix also helped.

After the book was done and turned in, I had to work on something that was more fun and less dark. I wrote BIGFOOT BEACH. I needed something like that to help me recover from the emotional brutality DESOLATION had been.

But I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy writing the book. I did. I enjoy writing anything. But it was just so abusive to me at times that it was hard to get back to it the next day.

Duane:  I’m a huge fan of your novel PILLOWFACE. I worshipped the 80s slasher icons when I was a kid. They were my heroes. My reasoning was that if you could domesticate someone like a Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers, you could mold them to be your best friend and personal bodyguard. Jason and Michael could beat up anyone. They were indestructible. And they were scary. I suppose the intimidation factor played a big part in why I thought these madmen were so cool. PILLOWFACE captured all of that fantasy, but now fully fleshed out in front of me in novel format. Boy meets psychopath. Can you elaborate on the origins of this story?

Krist:  What’s funny is the initial idea stemmed from very much what you just mentioned. As a kid (and still as an adult), I loved Jason Voorhees. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Myers, Kruger, and Leatherface as well. But Jason…he was just something special. I know to anybody else, that makes me sound like a weirdo. Horror fans understand what I mean by that, though. I loved to cheer on Jason, to see how he would dispatch teenagers and how the final girl would dispatch him in the end.

I grew up in the sticks, on an old dirt road. We had a large yard with an even larger field behind it. Many summer days were spent mowing that yard. My dad also had me mow the field once a month. One hellish summer day, filled with crushing sunshine on the back of my neck, I worked on cutting the field. As I rode around on the tractor, I stared at the woods. I pictured Jason Voorhees stumbling out of the woods, wounded from a battle. In my heatstroke fantasy, I nursed him back to health, and in doing so, we became great friends.

That idea stayed with me. I wondered what would REALLY happen if a young horror fan and aspiring special FX artist was introduced to something straight from the movies he adores. I believed he’d be star-struck, and that would make him blind to the danger he was in until it was too late.

PILLOWFACE still might be the most fun I ever had writing a book. It flowed out of me quite easily, and usually with a smile on my face.

Duane:  What is your all-time favorite slasher franchise, and what are your top three entries in said franchise?

Krist:  FRIDAY THE 13th, without a doubt. And my top three would have to be 1, 4, with 3 and 2 tied. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series comes in at a close second.

I also am a big PHANTASM lover, although I know they’re not “slasher”. I may get some flak for this, but part 2 is my favorite, with part 1 coming in second and part 3 in third place.

Duane:  How about your favorite non-franchise slasher flick?

Krist:  The Mutilator, Madman, The Burning, My Bloody Valentine, House on Sorority Row, Final Exam, Don’t Go in the Woods…Alone, The Prey, The Dorm that Dripped Blood. Of course the Halloween series, and so many more. All those tie for my favorite!

Duane:  If you could play around in someone else’s yard, i.e. write fiction for an already established franchise, which fictional property would you pick and why?

Krist:  I’d love to do an F13 novel or script. I’ve had an idea for a sequel for a long time that I think would be fun to do. But to play around in other worlds, I might have to pick writing some comics. I’d love to work on THE PUNISHER or SPIDER-MAN. Maybe even resurrect the old DARKHAWK series from Marvel. Or do a run on MAN-THING.

I love comics. They really got me into reading when I was younger. I bought my first comic book when I went into a gas station to buy the latest Fangoria. This was in 1989. They were sold out of Fangorias, so I bought three comics. Two Spider-man books and one AVENGERS. I’ve been reading comics ever since.

Duane:  What would your dream film collaboration be between two different artists, be it director, actor, writer?  I’m talking about a teaming of talents from any era.  Envision, in an alternate-universe, Hitchcock directing Scarlett Johansson in a psychological thriller.

Krist:  That’s a really hard question. I could sit here and talk your ear off about the “what if?” factor for days. I would like to see what Lloyd Kaufman could do with a very large budget. Or let Trey Parker and Matt Stone take on something outside the norm for them.

Duane:  Zombie Apocalypse Team: You get to pick 3 fictional characters from ANY universe to be part of your zombie apocalypse team of survivors. The only stipulation is that they have to be human, without any supernatural powers or abilities in the paranormal, psychic, or magical arts. Who do you pick?

Krist:  Daryl Dixon (naturally): The man has survived a long time in the zombie apocalypse and has mostly kept his head together through it all.
The Punisher: He has no supernatural powers and is a weaponry master.
Miss Kay Robertson: Yes, from Duck Dynasty. She can make anything into a fine meal. She’d be great to have when food choices are scarce. 

______________________________________

Desolation, Synopsis

Samhain Horror
PAGES: 266
ISBN: 978-1-619233-09-6 Trade Paperback (List: $15.95)

There’s no escaping your past. Especially when it wants revenge.

Grant Marlowe hoped taking his family to their mountain cabin for Christmas would reunite them after his alcoholic past had torn them apart, but it only puts them into a life and death struggle.  On Christmas Eve, a stranger from Grant’s past invades the vacation home and takes his wife and children hostage. His agenda is simple—make Grant suffer the same torment that Grant’s drunken antics have caused him. Now Grant must confront his demons head on and fight for his family’s lives. Because this man has nothing left to lose. The only thing keeping him alive is misery—Grant’s misery.

Biography, Kristopher Rufty

Kristopher Rufty lives in North Carolina with his wife, three children, and the zoo they call their pets. He’s written various books, including The Vampire of Plainfield, Jagger, The Lurkers, The Lurking Season, The Skin Show, Pillowface, Proud Parents, and more, plus a slew of horror screenplays. He has also written and directed the independent horror films Psycho Holocaust, Rags, and Wicked Wood. If he goes more than two days without writing, he becomes very irritable and hard to be around, which is why he’s sent to his desk without supper often.

Praise for Kristopher Rufty

“Kristopher Rufty is the demented reincarnation of Richard Laymon!” --Jeff Strand

 

A Dark Autumn is a wild gender role reversal of ‘I Spit On Your Grave,’ with gonzo nods to Norman Bates and ‘Friday The 13th’ thrown in for good measure. Kristopher Rufty delivers the goods yet again.” --Bryan Smith, author of Kayla Undead and The Late Night Horror Show

 

“A creepy, gripping tale of horror. And it’s got one of the best death scenes I’ve read in a long time!” --Jeff Strand, author of Pressure and Dweller

 

“A powerhouse debut novel. Rufty’s prose will suck you in and hold you prisoner!” --Ronald Malfi, author of Floating Staircase and Snow

 

“An occult thriller with a new twist. Rufty juggles captivating characters, breakneck suspense, and insidious horror in a macabre story that will leave you feeling possessed by the end of it. Next time you think about taking that old Ouija board out...forget it!” –Edward Lee, author of Lucifer’s Lottery and City Infernal

 

Purchase Links

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Desolation-Kristopher-Rufty/dp/1619233096/

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/desolation-kristopher-rufty/1122582601?ean=9781619233096

Samhain

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5684/desolation

 

Saturday
Dec192015

Nerding Out with Whitney Peyton

Whitney Peyton – rapper, PA native, underdog – is an independent artist of immense talent, both lyrically, and in live performance. If you have never been to a Whitney Peyton show, make it happen next time she is in town. You are in for a treat. The direct, matter-of-fact way Peyton engages with an audience in between songs is unparalleled in today’s live music scene. Intimate hip-hop. Is that a thing? It should be.

Do not mistake my use of the word “intimate” to imply that a WP show is lacking in energy. During a typical set, Peyton will no less than crowd surf, crowd walk, rap on top of the bar, rap within the crowd, dance, borrow a phone from the front row and record from her POV, wear your hat, and dance some more, all while never missing a beat on vocals.

Peyton delivers arena-sized excitement.  The performance is just as important as the music.  But it’s not really a performance. This is Whitney being Whitney.

If this interview gives off a subtle fan-boy vibe from yours truly, it’s because I’m that impressed with Whitney Peyton.  She is that gifted. 

There is a high level of intelligence and self-awareness within her lyrics that I connect with, along with her general all around relateability as an artist and performer.

Duane:  The lyrical acrobatics you perform are not only impressive, they are also story-driven. Every bar is part of a narrative flow that ties into the next line, until the song culminates. You obviously have a love for language and writing within a structure. How much time and effort goes into this part of your craft?

Whitney:  I actually don't think I've hit my pinnacle yet as far as the vocabulary I could apply to writing my songs. I am improving every day and every song is a story that was written based on something going on in my life. I continue to read books and stay sharp when it comes to language!

Duane:  What is your absolute dream collaboration with a living artist?

Whitney:  I would collaborate with Adele! She needs to collab with a rapper and I think we'd make a great team.

Duane:  Do you ever hold specific bits of rhymes over to be used for collaborations/features, instead of using them in a solo song where the lyrics may not necessarily fit within the theme of the track?

Whitney:  No, I would say I work just as hard on collabs as I do my solo work! I write each verse specifically to that song so it's not like I just rip a page out of my rhyme book and try to force it to fit.

Duane:  What current TV show would you most like to make a guest appearance on?

Whitney:  The Walking Dead. I want to be a walker! I think I'm pale and thin enough to get the role! haha

Duane:  You recently performed with a live drummer (Matt Traynor from Blessthefall) at your December 2nd show in AZ. Do you see yourself ever touring with a full live band?

Whitney:  I would love to at least tour w/ a drummer. I have performed with full bands in the past so this was not the first time, but with the right musicians it can add a lot to the live show!

Whitney Peyton performs live with drummer Matt Traynor 12/2/15 at Livewire Scottsdale, AZ. Photo credit Bad Fish Photography

Duane:  You are stranded on a desert island. For some strange reason, you have a CD Walkman and enough batteries for a week. You also have three CDs of your choice. What are your top 3 desert island albums?

Whitney:  Can I have an instructional album on how to build a life raft out of tree bark? HAHA JK. I'd have to say anything by Hopsin, Missy Elliott, and Adele of course (this changes every week I have so many favorites).

Duane:  Your tone and delivery is aggressive, yet vulnerable. I think that’s part of what makes you stand out; the juxtaposition of the two sides. This combined with your lyrical abilities, stage presence, and unique personality truly defines the statement “when there’s a million copies, but only one of you”. This isn’t just a boastful rapper exaggeration. How does it feel to be a singular voice in such a crowded industry?

Whitney:  There's pros and cons. I think because there aren't too many rappers like me it kinda makes it tough when marketing myself because people are always like "who do you sound like?" and I have a very difficult time answering that. On that same note it certainly helps me stand out!

Duane:  Zombie Apocalypse Team: You get to pick 3 fictional characters from ANY universe to be part of your zombie apocalypse team of survivors. The only stipulation is that they have to be human, without any supernatural powers or abilities in the paranormal, psychic, or magical arts. Who do you pick?

Whitney:  Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, Jack from Tekken, Bullseye (Marvel). These guys would make the best bodygaurds!

Pre-order Break the FrameDuane:  Your new album Break the Frame will be dropping on January 5. This is extremely exciting. What other surprises does Mrs. Making Moves have in store next year for the Underdogs?

Whitney:  I will be touring a lot in the new year! I am actually already booked through spring. People can see my upcoming dates on http://whitneypeyton.com/tour-dates/