13 Questions with the Masters

Have I got a treat for all you Horror Addicts out there… today marks the begining of the end. That’s right, it’s finally time for the Masters of Macabre and Phobia Phollies!

I’ve got a little information here for you about the contestants for the first ever MMM Challenge and the basics of their stories. Each one of the contestants was given a phobia, a place, and a boy toy as the building blocks of their stories.

First up, a name Horror Addicts are sure to recognize is Season 4’s Best In Blood, Chris Ringler!

Ringler’s phobia for the challenge is Agyrophobia (which is the fear of crossing roads), his place – Graduation and his item – Golf Clubs.

Born in Flint Michigan, Chris was raised in nearby Linden where he lived and attended school. He fell in love with writing as a teenager when he started writing short stories and began working on fanzines with friends. In 1999 Back From Nothing, a short story collection, was published by University Editions. Since that time Chris has finished writing a novel, a children’s series and has been published in Bare Bone and Cthulhu Sex Magazine. He has also received Honorable Mention in THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR twice.

His latest book is Noches De Corazones De Negros. Along with writing, Chris is also an artist and photographer and he currently resides in Flint and battles invisible space beasts in his free time. In October he and some friends will be bringing Flint their first horror convention.

Also by Chris Ringler: Back From Nothing, This Beautiful Darkness, The Meep Sheep, Red Dreams, and The Kreep Sheep.

For more information about Chris check out these websites:



Our next spotlighted author is Don Pitsiladis whose phobia Astraphobia (the fear of lightning & storms). His place and boy toy are a Sporting Event and Riding Mower.

Don Pitsiladis is a married 35 year old with 4 boys, 2 dogs, and 2cats.  He has been writing off and on since the 7th grade, but only seriously started looking at trying to make it a career, even a small one, within the past two years.  “The Problem With Neighbors” will be his very first story ever presented to a large audience.

In Don’s words, “What better way to debut than sharing one’s own fear with the world?”

For more information on Don, check out his myspace and twitter pages:



Next up is author Jerry Davis. Jerry was given the fear of technology, Technophobia, as his phobia. With Y2K being his place (or in this case time period) and his toy, surprise, surprise…a Computer.
Jerry J. Davis is a writer and photographer in the Chicago area. During the day he’s a mild-mannered webmaster and digital marketing specialist who works for a large international corporation. At night, however, he lives in a small cottage at the edge of an enchanted forest preserve, and spends time dodging mosquitos and searching for the fabled Stonehenge made of old refrigerators which is rumored to be somewhere behind his porch.

For more info on Jerry check out this site:


Failed writer, failed actor, and failed human being, Rish Outfield can be found hosting The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine (www.dunesteef.com), a podcast presenting genre stories performed with a

full cast, followed by lengthy geekcentric chatter.  When he’s not working on that, he can often be found thinking of you and feeling sorry for himself.

Rish’s phobia for the MMM Challenge is Entomophobia (the fear of insects). His story will take place during a Luau, and his boy toy…a Hang Glider!

Check him out at:



Our next Master of Macabre contestant hails from Germany.

Shaunessy Ashdownlives in Berlin, where morbidity is mother’s milk and horror lurks round every corner. His job is fashioning insidious instruments of torture known as schoolbooks. These are deployed in institutions throughout Germany and Austria for the purpose of traumatising and corrupting the youth there.

Ashdown has the challege of writing about Spectrophobia, which is the fear of mirrors and one’s own reflection. Take that and mix it in with a Bachelor Party and a motocycle and you can expects crazy things to happen!

FInd out more about Shaunessy Ashdown by checking out his Facebook page:


Next on out list of MMM contestants is R. Michael Burns. His challenge was to create a horrifing tale center around Ailurophobia, the fear of cats, as well as a Stereo or Sound System, and a Parade.

R. Michael Burns is an October child with a background in philosophy, theater and other occult arts. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association, the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group, and the Gainesville Fiction Writers Group.

His fiction has appeared in various magazines and e-zines, including Dreams of Decadence, City Slab, Dark Regions, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Dark Recesses, Lovecraft’s Weird Mysteries, The Shroud, and Arkham Tales, as well as in the anthologies Orphans of the Storm, Bell, Book & Beyond, Cthulhu Express, Extremes 5, Goodbye, Darwin, Bound for Evil, and Horror Library III. He has other fiction forthcoming in the e-zine Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. His article “Creative Writing 301” was picked in a Predators and Editors poll as the second-best non-fiction article of 2006.

A Colorado native, he lived for the better part of five years in Japan, where he taught English to Japanese students from 1 to 70. He currently resides in the dark swamps of Gainesville, Florida, where he teaches high school English, runs the Creative Writing Workshop an the Japanese Pop Culture Club, and coaches speech and debate.

For more informations about R. Burns, be sure to check out these sites:



Colin F Barnes herds words in  an often random order; not unlike a room of monkeys battering away at typewriters with their poop covered paws. (Do monkeys have paws or hands?). The usual outcome of this seemingly random plucking of words is a glimpse into a dark world of psychological malopropisms, dystopian nightmares, and fluffy children’s stories. *one of those is a lie.

The basics of Colin’s story reminds me of the movie/game Clue. At the Gallery Opening with the Hunting Knife, throw in Necrophobia (fear of death & dead) and you’ve got one twisted story coming your way!

Find out more about Colin at:



And last but certainly not least is author Tom Andry who was given the task of basing his story around Osmophobia (fear of smells). His short story takes place at a picnic and involves a telescope.

Tom Andry is the Associate Editor of Audioholics.com and host of the AV Rant podcast. He’s been writing mostly reviews but has lately returned to his prose roots. He has written many unpublished short stories, poems, and a few screenplays that may still be produced. Tom the father of three boys, is happily married, and currently resides in Perth, Australia. His background is in drama, creative writing, and research psychology which basically means his kids are in for a pretty rough time. His wife, Tanel, doesn’t have it so easy either. His first work for public consumption is an eBook titled Bob Moore: No Hero. The followup, Bob Moore: Desperate Times, is scheduled for release October 2011.

Follow him at: