10iversary Chilling Chat with Sapphire Neal

10IVERSARY

Sapphire Neal was born in a small town in East Texas. She spent her years traveling to different states with her family before moving to Southern Utah to complete her high school FB_IMG_1578074892181education. While traveling, you could always find her knees propped up on the back of the driver’s seat and nose stuck in a book. It was her love of reading and storytelling that bloomed into her passion for creative writing.
Formerly the HorrorAddicts.net Blog Editor and Author Interviewer, Sapphire currently resides in the DFW metropolitan area.
She came up with the idea for the blog. She was the first Blog Editor and worked from 2010-2014.

1.)    How old were you when you first became interested in horror?

I was very young, around five or six. My parents are avid readers so I would sit with them and they would read aloud to me. Turns out they were reading Stephen King. I also watched my first horror movie around that age—Hellraiser. They always took the time to explain that it was all fake, it wasn’t real blood, etc. So, I was watching horror movies and Tales from the Crypt mixed in with your typical princess films as a kid.

2.)    What is your favorite kind of horror?

I like classic horror for sure, but I’m a sucker for paranormal and psychological horror. The mind can do terrible things to a person whether the cause be of your own creation or something more sinister.

3.)    What is your favorite horror novel?
The Ruins by Scott Smith—It was the hopelessness of the situation that stuck with me. You stay on the ruins and die OR you step off the ruins and die. I had to set the book down a couple of times when I found myself yelling at the characters on the pages.

4.)    What is your favorite horror TV show?

Hannibal. My heart broke when NBC canceled it. I grew up on the original films and I’ve really enjoyed every adaptation of Hannibal Lector, but Hannibal is definitely my favorite. Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy have a fantastic connection and honestly, anything Bryan Fuller touches is gold.

5.)    What is your favorite horror movie?
That’s a tough question. If we are talking more old school (at least for a ‘90s kid), I would probably have to go with Misery. Classic SK. Kathy Bates as Annie was intense. I’m also a big fan of The Conjuring and Insidious franchises. They are fun to watch and see how everything is connected!

6.)    How did you first become involved with HorrorAddicts.net?
It all started with me trying to get a birthday gift for a friend. She is a huge fan of Night’s Knights, so I reached out to Emz about getting a signed copy as a gift. Then Emz and I kept talking and finally, she asked if I would be interested in helping out with the blog. The rest, as they say, is history!

7.)    What is your most favorite memory of the HorrorAddicts.net Blog?
Pretty much any interaction with the Wicked Women Writers. My interviews with those amazing ladies were fun and inspiring. It was so interesting to learn about them—their love of writing and horror. They are just a great and very encouraging group of ladies.

8.)    What is your favorite part of the blog?
The 13 Questions interviews of course! (Laughs.) But seriously, I love Free Fiction Fridays and the anthologies.

9.)    Why is this part your favorite?
It’s great to read fresh horror content from various writers. You never know what kind of story you’re gonna lost in this time. It’s also a great way to find your next favorite author.

10.)  What would you like to see on the HorrorAddicts.net Blog in the future?
Continue to see it grow and churning out that wonderful horror content we all crave.

Addicts, you can find Sapphire on Amazon and LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

Horror Addicts Guide to Life – Available now!

FinalFrontCoverHorror Addicts Guide to Life

Available now! 

Cover art by: Masloski Carmen

Editor: David Watson

Do you love the horror genre? Do you look at horror as a lifestyle? Do the “norms” not understand your love of the macabre?

Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a book written by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is your guide to living a horrifying existence. Featuring interviews with Midnight Syndicate, Valentine Wolfe, and The Gothic Tea Society.

Authors: Kristin Battestella, Mimielle, Emerian Rich, Dan Shaurette, Steven Rose Jr., Garth von Buchholz, H.E. Roulo, Sparky Lee Anderson, Mary Abshire, Chantal Boudreau, Jeff Carlson, Catt Dahman, Dean Farnell, Sandra Harris, Willo Hausman, Laurel Anne Hill, Sapphire Neal, James Newman, Loren Rhoads, Chris Ringler, Jessica Robinson, Eden Royce, Sumiko Saulson, Patricia Santos Marcantonio, J. Malcolm Stewart, Stoneslide Corrective, Mimi A.Williams, and Ron Vitale. With art by Carmen Masloski and Lnoir.

 

HorrorAddicts.net #88, Rick Kitagawa

ha-tag

Horror Addicts Episode# 088

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini

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rick kitagawa | the jesus cleaver | lost boys

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

 

| Lost Boys | BayCon Recap | Cliff Nielsen |

| Horrible Disasters | Ghost Golf Giveaway |

| Black Magic | Kbatz: Vincent Price |

| Marie Sumner: Horror | Writer Workshop Winner |

| Events | Dead Mail | Rick Kitagawa |

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Creepiest Places On Earth

http://list25.com/25-creepiest-places-on-earth/

Cliff Nielsen

https://www.facebook.com/cliffnielsenillustration?fref=ts

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h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

Sapphire Neal, David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email horroraddicts@gmail.com

c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

http://www.horroraddicts.net

m u s i c

http://www.graveconcernsezine.com

13 Questions with Peter Giglio

Not only is author Peter Giglio our featured author for the up coming episode, he is also a member of the Masters of Macabre!

The story he has written for episode 69: Future, is titled Trust; and as Peter stated, “The story will appear later this year in Tales of Terror and Mayhem from Deep within the Box, edited by Charles Day and Jessica A. Weiss (Wicked East Press). With this story I explored the notion of friendship gone awry and the deterioration of the Good Samaritan in modern culture. I also wanted to write a horror story with a cat that didn’t die. I’m tired of felines coming to bad ends in horror. I love cats!”

Though, Peter only has one novel and one novella published, all of his work is available in both print and e-book form. Giglio was kind enough to share some information about his novels Anon, A Spark in the Darkness, and Balance. “Scott Bradley said that Anon is, “Richard Yates meets Bentley Little.” I think that’s a fitting description, and also my intent. I wanted to explore how anxiety seeps into the culture and allows people to turn blind eyes to institutional evil. It’s, in part, a novel of possession, but not demonic possession. Here are the first notes I made on the novel: We are the demons. We are the monsters. We bring sentience to good and evil. And the more evil we allow, the more evil we become. I should also remind everyone that Anon is available from all online booksellers in print and e-book format.”

A Spark in the Darkness is my new release. Joe McKinney, the acclaimed, Bram Stoker Award nominated author of Apocalypse of the Dead, said that it, “Puts the bite back in the vampire tale.” I’ll say this, no sparkly vampires here! But there is a spark, and that spark is humanity. This is the work I’m most proud of. Here’s the summary: On the final day of her second life, Edie returns to the family she abandoned five years earlier. Edie is not merely a vampire, she’s a Goddess…one of the vanishing race of beings the vampires need to keep their kind alive. But being dead has taught her much about life, and Edie’s determined to destroy the evil thing she’s become. For something has changed within her, something almost alive in her dead soul. But can a single spark in the darkness be enough to save all she holds dear? I worked with an extremely talented editor this time out, Annetta Ribken. And the publisher, Etopia Press, was wonderful to work with. A Spark in the Darkness is available from all major online booksellers and it’s only $3.99.”

“I don’t have a release date for Balance yet, but it’s coming soon. It’s a kick-ass zombie novella that will take you places other zombie stories don’t. Eric Shapiro (author of Stories for the End of the World ) and his talented wife Rhoda Jordan (screenwriter and star of the motion picture Rule of Three) were my first readers, and they were so helpful! A large chunk of the story is written from the POV of zombies! That’s an idea that will cause some to bristle. Good. I like challenges and Balance was definitely a big one. It’s also a terrific story and I hope everyone will read it. Here’s what I randomly wrote on a post-it that seeded the idea: Zombies—What’s Inside?!?!  I just had to answer the question, and I think everyone will be entertained by my conclusions.”

With such a wide range of horror creatures, I was curious as to what Peter’s research was like for each story. “Most of my research is done online, but I’m very careful to cross-reference sources to ensure the facts are accurate. I also reach out to people with specific knowledge based professions and/or studies. But a lot of my writing doesn’t require copious research. The best research, as always, is to live a full life and write what you know. At the beginning of a project, I figure out what I don’t know and I learn it. My process changes all the time, but one thing always stays the same: Cut out everything that drags the story down! I abhor predictability and filler, so when I edit, I take out the bits that don’t delight me and rework the stuff that seems too obvious. Lately, I’ve been writing longer outlines, step-by-step beat sheets. Discoveries still occur through composition, but I find this gives me a chance to think the details through before I hit the page. At the end of the day, the right process is the one that works, and every project is a little different, so I don’t know if I’ll ever land on any one way of doing things.”

Not only is he an autor but Giglio is an Executive Editor for Evil Jester Press. Before that, however, he “worked in Corporate America for 15 years. His previous jobs have inspired some of his work, but he will admit that he  didn’t have bad jobs with mean, angry bosses. Peter does love to explore evil in the workplace, feeding his fascination with institutional horror. His new anthology, which was previously mentioned, is centered on workplace terror, and he is very proud of it.”

He also added that, “through my job I’m bringing a few classic horror novels back into print and working with authors to publish their novels. My goal here is to improve the quality of horror fiction available, giving equal consideration to authors and readers. EJP’s first anthology, which I edited, is called HELP! WANTED: Tales of On-the-Job Terror, and features Stephen Volk, Jeff Strand, Joe McKinney, Gary Brandner, David Dunwoody, Lisa Morton, Amy Wallace, Vince A. Liaguno, Scott Bradley, and many more terrific authors. My goal here was to bring a new kind of anthology into the horror realm. I will continue to do that. Regarding my writing, my short term goal is to crack a New York house. My long term goal is to become a Bestselling novelist and working screenwriter. With Scott Bradley, I’ve written a screenplay that’s generated some buzz in certain circles. Fingers crossed that it becomes a film, but I’m realistic. These things take time. And I need more than patience; I have to work hard and smart. I think I’m doing that. At least I hope so.

Having the past carreer that he has, I wondered what had gotten Peter into the horror genre in the first place. This is what he had to say, “I read Stephen King as a kid (still do, by the way) and immediately fell in love. Growing up, 50% of my theater-going experiences were horror related. I like that horror is generally honest, willing to look at the underbelly of humanity and not just the pretty stuff on the surface. I think we learn more about ourselves if we explore tragedy, pain, and evil. Ignoring these aspects of our nature allows them, in many cases, to fester and thrive. I’ve noted that horror fans and writers are some of the most generous and decent people in the world. There, in my humble opinion, is a reason for this. I don’t like horror that only seeks to injure; for instance, straight-up torture porn is not my bag! But I do love—and I mean LOVE!—splatterpunk! Innovators like John Skipp remind us that horror hurts. That’s good. But Skipp, who is my favorite author from the splatterpunk movement, also writes about hope and love and courage and redemption. Characters we care for go through hell, and it makes The Light at the End (fittingly, the tile of Skipp’s first novel) all the sweeter.”

Giglio fans, be sure to keep an eye out for Peter’s current projects. “I’m writing a novel with Scott Bradley under contract. It’s called The Dark and it’s really scary and exciting! As I mentioned earlier, I’m trying to get a film made, another collaborative project with Mr. Bradley. My zombie satire, “The Power of Words,” will soon be released in Hollie Snider’s terrific anthology, Live and Let Undead.  And my zombie novella, Balance, is coming soon. I have several planned novels and anthologies, so 2012 should be an exciting year for me.”

Peter also had some parting words for all you readers out there!! “Yes! If you love books, support authors by buying them. I hear so much whining about the death of print. Yet, when I question folks further, I find they don’t routinely buy books. “I can’t afford them. Times are tough,” they say. I understand. But we hold the power, folks. If you want supply, you must demand with your dollars. Starbucks is not going to stop making coffee, because people mindlessly shell out $4-$5 for a 20 oz. latte. Immediate gratification, right? Wait…I thought you were broke? Think about where you put your dollars, as limited as they might be in the current economy. Feed your brain with a book and make coffee at home for a fraction of the cost. We determine the world in which we live! Sure, reading won’t cure all of society’s ills, but it sure doesn’t hurt. In short, buy more books!”

For more information on Peter Giglio, check out his website:

http://www.petergiglio.com/

Most Wicked 2011

Horror Addicts everywhere have been wondering, ‘Who will be 2011’s Most Wicked?’ The wait is over, put your hands together (or on the keyboard to type ‘congrats’) for our newest Wicked Women Writer Challenge winner…

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Laurel Anne Hill!

Laurel was excited when she heard the news, “I feel both honored and amazed.  With all the great WWW podcasts submitted, I never expected my story, Flight of Destiny to win.” She then added, “I have to admit, though, a bit of worry has crept into my mind.  Rhonda Carpenter did such an amazing job organizing this year’s WWW Challenge.  Talk about a difficult act to follow!”

The idea for Flight of Destiny came easy for this steam train fan. “I’ve served on several steampunk panels at science fiction/fantasy conventions.  Some authors of steampunk ignore the laws of physics when they craft their stories.  For over a year, I’ve wanted to see if I could write an engaging short story in that genre and include a few scientific details at the same time.  My WWW assignment presented a perfect opportunity.”

Hill’s steampunk knowledge didn’t cover everything though. “I needed to research the physical characteristics of polonium-210, as well as details about its discovery and purification.” She also did “some fact checking about the operation of steam-powered vessels in the Nineteenth Century was necessary, too.  And spent several hours reading about women’s Victorian-era clothing.”

For this year’s competition, each Wicked was given a poison, a place, and an object to base their story around. Laurel was given: Radio Active Polonium-210, Aircraft Carrier on the Pacific, and Cuban cigars.

“My prior employment involved working with radioactive materials and one previous boss of mine smoked cigars.  My assigned poison and place presented no unusual problems.  But an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean?  I knew little about Naval operations aboard such a vessel.  That part of the assignment generated an internal “oh, no.”  Then the steampunk idea hit me and my racing heart slowed to normal rhythm.”

Curious, I had to ask how her writing and podcasting processes came together. “I tend to mull over ideas in my head before I start writing.  I select a main character, give him or her a problem, and try to climb inside of his or her mind.  Then I write and revise over and over, finally reading the piece out loud for rhythm.  My story goes to my writing group for feedback.  Additional revisions follow.  During this process, I write in time blocks as short as thirty minutes or as long as eight hours. [When I start a podcast] I read the manuscript a couple times to prepare, then set up my computer, microphone and pop-filter (a knee-high nylon stocking stretched over a diamond-shaped metal hanger) inside of my bedroom closet.  After recording the entire selection twice using Audacity, I sound edit the better version.  Sound editing takes me the longest, often several hours.”

One thing is for certain if she can combine radio active materials, aircraft carriers, and cigars to make one killer story; then there is nothing this Wicked Women Writer can’t write! I’m sure next year’s WWW challenge will be just as deadly, if not more so, than this year!

Hill fans, be on the look out for Laurel’s up and coming projects: “My new fantasy/horror short story, “The Vengeance Garden,” is scheduled for publication in December 2011, in the “Spells and Swashbucklers” anthology (Dragon Moon Press).  I’m also working on several other short stories and a steampunk novel.”

For more information on Laurel Anne Hill check out these websites:

http://www.laurelannehill.com/
http://laurelannehill.com/blog/
http://www.facebook.com/people/Laurel-Anne-Hill/1171607081

13 Questions With M.J. Hahn

Stylist by day and word slinger night, M.J. Hahn is back again! And, it’s almost like he never left “[w]hat with being on GothHaus Season 1 and all. But it’s always fun for him to get a story together for Emz and all [you] Horror Addicts.”

Hahn’s story for HA episode 66: 1970’s is titled Sunset Tunnel. “Naturally,” M.J. stated, “like everything else I write, it’s set in San Francisco. It’s a true story from my 7th grade summer vacation waaaay back in ’78. In a nutshell, it’s about 3 D&D geeks who take dungeon exploring to a whole new level! Seriously — it’s a miracle we all didn’t end up on the backs of milk cartons!”

Now all you Horror Addicts out there are familiar with GothHaus. The show that M.J., Rhonda, Emz, Kirk and everyone else on the GH team work hard to bring to you every episode. Hahn was kind enough to let me in on the inner workings of GothHaus. “Emz was gracious enough to let me take the reigns for GothHaus this season. Wooho! Thanks Emz! After we worked out the general theme of Haunted Reno Casino, I loosely outlined where the season needed to end up. The scripts usually come together pretty easily. 5 pages of snappy dialog later, we record our parts separately a week or so before the show airs. After a fevered exchange of emails and MP3’s, and then a few hours on GarageBand, the show ends up sounding like we’re all hanging out together, even though we’re from all over the map. This season we went international! Welcoming the wondrous Mike Bennett into the GothHaus family.”

Wondering what’s in store for the “gothy, gothy house,” or aching for some sneak peeks? Look no further Addicts… “How about a new love interest for Fang, and then the return of a very pregnant Raven and Darkblood at the end of this season! There are definite plans to continue and expand the world of GothHaus. But you’ll have to talk to Emz about that! She’s officially in charge of season 3! Hahn would also love to take it into animation form if any body’s buying!” *Hint Hint*

Another well known M.J. project is The Bellefaire Podcast, which we talked about in our last 13 Questions interview. Bellefaire was just the first book in the newly named series, The Latchkey Tales. “Book two, The Isis Heart is now finished! All 13 episodes are available now at IsisHeartPodcast.com & iTunes. Book 3: The Tear Catcher, is now outlined, with a few rough chapters. The story picks up a year after Isis Heart with the principal characters, Crowley & Yuki, returning for more supernatural high jinks.”

If podcasts just aren’t for you (which is just silly if you’re a Horror Addicts fan) or you’re wanting a physical copy of Hahn’s work then you’re in luck! “Both The Bellefaire and The Isis Heart print novel versions each have at least 5 additional chapters, which delve into the back-stories of the villains in each tale.” Currently, Hahn is working hard, “formatting them to perfection for kindle and nook.”

As I mentioned earlier, M.J. is continuing his career as a hairstylist. Business has “been okay. I’m getting by. I love all my long-term gals! But everybody’s broke in SF! And it costs a BUTTLOAD of money to live here! So, this year I picked up some commercial work for a certain hair product line (which shall go nameless!) This involves going to LA every so often. Generally, I can last 72 hours before I start to climb the walls and crave the fog!”

What’s in store in the future for M.J.? “Well,” he said, “I’m grateful to still be able to pay the bills! Other than that, definitely completing the Latchkey series. We’ll have to wait and see what the next presidential election holds! If it gets any crazier, I’m moving to Budapest!!”

Be on the look out for future projects from M.J. Hahn. “Once he has GothHaus Season 2 wrapped up, he’s going to release a three part production of E.M. Forster’s: The Machine Stops. This will be featuring the fabulous Mike Bennett. Forster’s only Sci-Fi short story from 1909 eerily predicts a dystopian future where face to face communication is not only out of fashion, it’s practically barbaric! It will make you want to stop using Facebook!”

For more more information on M.J. Hahn be sure to check out these websites:

The Bellefaire Podcast – http://bellefairepodcast.com/

The Bellefaire Podcast on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bellefaire-Podcast/81640676817?ref=nf

The Isis Heart – http://isisheartpodcast.com/

13 Questions with Henry Snider Part 2

Alright Horror Addicts, let’s welcome back HA veteran Henry Snider. This returning Addict has a message for all you readers out there. “It’s fantastic [to be back]. Horror Addicts is a great place for authors to get their work recognized and, hopefully, build a fan base. Besides, with bands I’d otherwise not hear, movie and book news – what’s not to love? Then there’s the fiction in every podcast. Nightmares become flesh straight through my speakers . . . it’s a cornucopia of insanity! And let’s face it folks, I’m all about the crazies. For episode 61 1920’s I’ve been lucky enough to secure the vocal talents of the delightfully devilish Melanie Skipp to read, Someone to Watch Over Me.”

Now, I’ll do my best not to give anything away but this week’s story, Someone to Watch Over Me, is based off of many real life people and places. The story takes place in “McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, hometown of the original flapper and famous silent movie actress, Olive Thomas. [Who] had a long-running battle with alcoholism. It ultimately took its toll in 1920 when in a drunken stupor she drank her husband’s medication for chronic syphilis, not knowing it was to be administered directly and not ingested. When she was found, the poor gal had already expired.”

“The Mound” which is referenced in the story is an actual location, “a portion of which still exists and can be visited. It was excavated in the 1890s, uncovering thirty-three burials as well as stone and bone tools, marine shell beads and pottery. Rev. Mark Gruber, a former professor of anthropology stated that he agrees with the 1896 address by archaeologist Frederick Putnam that estimated as many as 500-1,000 human remains at the site.” And for all you military buffs out there “The Mound was actually scouted by George Washington as a potential location for a fort, as it sits alongside the river and high on a ridge.”

Fans, you can check out Henry’s now up and running website http://henrysnider.com. There you can find information on his past, present, and future projects. The site includes both his writing and photography, though, as of late Henry has had to put a bit of a hold on both. As mentioned in the previous interview with Henry he was in two car wrecks in 2008 and 2009. “I’m still suffering from blinding headaches due to a car wreck that crushed some nerves in my head. However, the docs are severing them again in a few days which means I’ll be a numbskull once again (the humor of which my wife will never let me live down) and hopefully back behind the camera. As for horror based projects, I’m currently working on two. The first is a different view of anatomy and the second is a erotic horror project based on my short story, The Vessel. Both will be on my website once complete.”

Just curious, I had to ask how many publications Snider currently has. He replied with, “Whoof. Unfair question for the moment. Remember, I just actually started writing for publication in 2010 and lost a good portion of that year to the healing process. How about I answer that one this way – since 2010 I have six acceptances, two rejections, a dozen pieces currently under consideration and am two-thirds done with a novel. Not too bad considering the circumstances.” No, not bad at all!

Now if you’re wondering how to get your hands or well eyes on some of those acceptances, let me give you some details. “To date there’s only one work that will be available on e-book and that’s Last Call. It’s part of the Rapid Decomposition anthology due out later this year. All other acceptances to date are for print publication only. However, one of the stories, A Murder of Crows made the cover of the forthcoming Fearology 2: Beware All Animals Great and Small. Olden’s Wood is in the sequel anthology, Fearology 3: Planting the Seeds of Horror.” More information about his publications is available on the Henry Snider website.

Having already asked what frightened Snider in the first interview; I decided to shake things up and find out what actually got him into the Horror genre in the first place. “Can I blame Mommy and Daddy? They took me to see Jaws in the theater when I was five and I’ve never been the same. No? Well then how about I discovered the adrenaline rush that came with being scared out of my wits addictive. Much like people who go crazy for roller coasters. I like to share what makes me keep the light on at bedtime. Let’s see – I know I read Ayn Rand’s Anthem as a kid and I stayed awake nights thinking about not having an identity all my own, but I’d have to say the two front runners are Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Matheson’s Hell House. Both of those are terrifying (the latter of which caused a few questions and my parents to start monitoring my reading a little more closely).”

Snider’s goals for 2011 are simple enough:

  • World domination.
  • Hunting licenses for tourist season.
  • Making “Naked Mondays” mandatory.

“Seriously, though, my immediate goals between now and the end of August, 2011, are to finish the 8 stories I’ve committed to (and submit them – no slacking here, folks) and finish my novel. Beyond that, rewrite the novel and have it ready for submission by December 31st.”

Keep an eye out for future projects from Henry. “I’ll toss a few bones out there for coming attractions . . . my novel, Drive-In Feature takes place at, of all places, an abandoned drive in theater whose land is cursed and has a dark history. I’ve had a good time with it, though juggling three concurrent time lines has been a real challenge. As for upcoming shorter works, they include demonic children . . . angels . . . killer birds . . . plants that crave human flesh . . . zombies during the Civil War . . . crazed circus performers . . . flappers gone wild (oh, wait, that one’s in Horror Addicts episode 61) . . . religious fanatics . . . cannibalism . . . gateways to other dimensions . . . and vampiric crack whores – gotta have your perforated-hickey-making vampiric crack whores.”

For more information on Henry Snider be sure to check out these websites:

http://www.henrysnider.com
http://www.facebook.com/henry.snider
http://twitter.com/#nightmarescribe
http://www.csfwg.org
http://myspace.com/nightmarescribe

13 Questions with Steve Merrifield

Well Horror Addicts, here we are at episode 60: 1800’s and we have the honor of having Steve Merrifield as our featured author. Now not only is this Steve’s first time to be on HA, it is also his first time to be interviewed. He mentioned to me that, “It’s flattering that someone has shown an interest in me and my work, but equally it feels a little strange too in the sense that for me the experience of writing and self-publishing on-line is pretty much a one man activity, so there is little discussion about my writing and writing in general barring a couple of emails or Facebook comments that I have engaged with. It’s nice.”

The story written for episode 60 is titled, The Darkwood Mysteries: The Peacock Cabal. “The main character, Emily Darkwood, is a student of medicine and she is intrigued by a mysterious ailment that has killed a young man. She finds out that other young men have died in similar ways and her investigation reveals a conspiracy and a sinister threat…”

The upcoming series, The Darkwood Mysteries has come to life thanks to our very own Emerian and Horror Addicts. Merrifield explained to me the birth of The Darkwood Mysteries. “I hadn’t written anything so short before being given the chance to do a story for season 6. While I initially found it tough to tell a story within the limitations of a short story I realized it was actually a great format for an idea that had been knocking about in my head for a while; a female investigator and adventurer battling the supernatural and the criminal in Victorian London. Emily Darkwood is a young woman putting herself through medical school despite it being a male led profession at that time. Her parents were killed in mysterious circumstances as a child, and one of the items she inherited from her parents estate is an amber stone that has the power to draw it’s user and the forces of darkness together. This causes her to be drawn into lots of different adventures, which she hopes will eventually lead her to find out the circumstances of her parents deaths, and her tales are narrated by her young servant Jack Hobbs.”

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Steve currently has three books out: Harvest, Ivory, and The Pack. “Harvest was his first book. Written to see if [he was] able to commit to a long haul project as [he] used to have a habit of starting projects but not finishing them. [He] ended up with a novel [he] was pleased with and it encouraged [him] to write more. Harvest is about an ancient force of destruction unleashed in a tower block, and a group of very different people who are all thrown together by their experiences with it, and have to come to terms with what is going on which ultimately leaves them the only ones that can challenge the growing danger.”

Merrifield’s short novel Ivory is centered around a young girl with the same name. Who has an unusual appearance (white skin and hair with black eyes) and a mysteriously undeniable allure, and Martin an artist who is drawn to her despite the dangers that surround her. It was influenced by one of my favourite novels; Oscar Wildes The Picture of Dorian Gray, with it’s themes around the corruption of beauty and the dangers it can pose.”

While The Pack “was quite a different book for [Steve], although it is essentially a ‘when animals attack’ storyline with dogs going wild in London, [he has] written it as a crime novel. It’s the first of a series of stories [in which he plans to use the same main character], although each can be read as a stand alone story.”

**Horror Addicts Exclusive**

Steve was kind enough to create a HA special, a coupon for Horror Addicts readers to get his e-book The Pack for 99 cents instead of $4.99 at smashwords.com! Just enter the information below:

Promotional Price: $0.99 Coupon Code: WW44Q Expires: June 30, 2011

**Horror Addicts Exclusive**

Curious, I asked what inspires his work. “The three that are completed and those I desperately want to get out of my head and onto my pc are all very different, and have their sources in different places. Harvest was inspired by tower blocks local to me as I have often found myself thinking that although they are much maligned in the UK, the way they are built could make them very secure desirable places – raised off the ground with a view, but if there is danger in the building it could be a very scary place as the environment itself traps you. Ivory was inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray as I mentioned earlier, and The Pack was inspired by ‘when animals attack’ stories that I have enjoyed like The Rats, The Slugs, The Birds, except I went for animals I have always been uneasy around – dogs. The Room that I am working on now came about because I wanted to write a haunted house story with a different spin and I wanted to make our every day surroundings scary – opening doors is going to be a frightening thing to do for my characters in my next book.”

Currently, all of Merrifield’s books are only available as ebooks. “Harvest and Ivory are available for free and can be downloaded in lots of places, but mainly through manybooks.net and smashwords.com. The Pack is the only commercial release at the moment and can be bought through smashwords and they also distribute to most of the big online retailers including iBooks.”

Steve isn’t out for fame or anything like that, he would rather be successful which for him means writing stories that people enjoy. While still earning some money from it so that writing could be a job and not just a hobby. Though he may love writing, being an author can be challenging. According to Steve, the hardest part about writing is…. “Finding the time! I moan about it so much, but having a full time job doesn’t leave me much time to write let alone all the added work of being self-published and self-promoting. I have no shortage of ideas, just not enough time to get them out of my head!”

Still, he loves horror which is “kind of an odd [choice] because [he is] a goody two shoes that doesn’t like getting scared by much – [Merrifield likes] an easy life, [he’s] not a big risk taker and hates roller coasters – so horror is [his] way of getting an adrenaline rush and being taken out of my comfort zone in a controlled way! [He] grew up on Hammer Horror and Doctor Who which had lots of Gothic horror style stories. Both series might have been low budget and considered a little cheesy now, but [Steve thins] it was sometimes the need for [him] as the viewer to fill in the blanks in the plots or to cover the poor effects with imagination that got [him] thinking about [his] own story lines. It’s the escapism side of it most of all though.”

Frequenters of Steve’s website will recognize the names of his up and coming books: The Room, Mable’s Grave, Projections, Wychaven, Nocebo. Keep an eye out for the release of these projects and many more! “This list of future titles is on my site in the hope that people will see me as someone to keep an eye on; knowing that there will be one or two titles coming out every year for a couple of years. I am champing at the bit to write The Room as it’s going to be set partly in my home town, and I can’t wait to get back into writing for DI Carter in Projections and Nocebo, as they connect with The Pack to make a loose trilogy. I will be very proud to have my own trilogy. The Darkwood Mysteries have really caught my imagination and I already have about twenty ideas and I have written and completed four already. I have plans for an initial run of fifteen and am going to release them in batches of three as audio readings through my site. The episodes will only be available for short periods and when they have run their course I will release them as an ebook and I might have a go at doing some art to go with each story for the book.”

For more information on Steve Merrifield or his work, check out these sites:

http://stevemerrifield.blogspot.com/

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/viralebooks

http://www.manybooks.net/authors/merrifields.html

13 Questions with Nathanael Munn

Welcome back Horror Addicts! To kick off our 6th season we have Nathanael Munn as our featured author for episode 59: 1500’s. This is Nathanael’s first time to be on HA and according to him, he is “honored to be here.”

While Munn wouldn’t tell me the name of his short story for the episode he did, however, give a short description. “Well I decided to do something different for Horror Addicts. Lets just say I hope to put the fear of god in you. I have written a Historical Horror fiction based around John Dee and Edward Kelly (who claimed to have the ability to transmute base metals into gold).”

Nathanael’s life revolves around writing. “[He] left the corporate life style, founded his website A.A. (Arcanum Axiom) and has never looked back.” Inspiration for Nathanael comes from anything and everything. To quote him, “I would guess that 80-90% of the horror you read is based off of something in real life and the rest is just embellishment.” Nathanael then added this little known fact about himself. “I look forward to having nightmares when I sleep. They serve as ideas.”

Back to Arcanum Axiom, I had to ask, “Why start the site in the first place?” Munn explained to me that [ A.A. is an ever] changing thing… At first I wanted a place that was just a strange mix of things to from Magic, Myths, to real world Science. Mix in some stories, good horror stories, along with some cool pictures. But this is all going to change as Arcanum dives deeper in the Indie Publishing World. I currently have someone behind the scenes redesigning the site. I think the new look and feel will be awesome.”

And for those of you wondering, the name Arcanum Axiom “just popped in my head one day. I don’t really know why but it just stuck with me. Plus I like saying A.A., people don’t forget that.”

As Horror Addicts you’ve most likely heard of the Horror Zine that Arcanum publishes. The two issues currently out are Vampires and Angels & Demons. “The Horror Zine is [Nathanael’s] concept. Right now [they] are doing about 1 zine per quarter each with its own theme i.e. Angels & Demons.”

Interested in learning more about his work, I asked if he has any short stories or novels we could check out. Sadly, there isn’t…yet. “This is a sore subject for me. My first book has been delayed so many times that I have begun getting sick… I have now found what I hope to be my last editor so I expect it to be out really anytime in the next couple of months.”

When asked why he chose horror out of all the genres out there, Munn responded with “It just comes to me naturally – like it was somehow hard coded in my brain.”

Be sure to be on the look out for these up and coming projects: “the latest issue of the Horror Zine titled Ghosts & Haunts. Our lead writer for this issue Dan Dillard that just released another book. It is filled with great interviews, great art and great writers you can get a copy at the Arcanum Axiom website. Coming soon A.A.’s very first Horror Anthology: Paranoid Delusions – Webs of the Mind. Also in the fall, Arcanum Axiom will be releasing it’s first novel Lord Enoch.”

For more information on Nathanael Munn or Arcanum Axiom check out these sites:

www.arcanumaxiom.net
http://asylumproduction.ning.com/profile/NathanaelLMunn
http://vampirefreaks.com/NLMunn
http://www.myspace.com/510840772
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001827025640

Season 4 Best In Blood: Chris Ringler

Best In Blood for season 4 is none other than Chris Ringler.

“I am really excited and utterly surprised to be voted Best In Blood. It was such a strong season and there were such good stories and I am just thrilled that the readers really connected to the story so it feels great. Sorta speechless, actually,” Chris told me.

He then added, “This really is a great honor for me. While I have been writing for some twenty years now it is always great when a story connects with the audience. As much as I am a writer, too, I am a huge nerd, and I find when I read things I know what I want from that story and I know whether or not it delivers and it is great to get an honor like this because it means you did something right. It’s not often that a self published author gets much acclaim or acknowledgment and that your readers dug the story means the world to me. Sometimes you never know if people are getting into what you are writing and winning Best In Blood is a great boost to my confidence.”

This is the second time I’ve have the honor of interviewing Chris. The first time being for the 13 Questions series. I did my best to get new information for all you Ringler fans out there.

Did you know: “I started really early with horror movies, seeing Friday The 13th at a drive in when I was six so I have always loved horror. I was into horror movies, seriously into them when I was around ten and that built the base of my movie nerd status. As a writer it was Stephen King, Clive Barker, and H.P. Lovecraft that got me into horror stories. It seems like everyone cuts their teeth on King these days and I am no different – that is probably why I am drawn to the occasional grim ending to a story. The three big books for me when I was a teenager though were At the Mountains of Madness, The Shining, and The Damnation Game. Great, great stuff.”

Also, “when [Chris] was eighteen some friends and [him] were making a horror movie. [He] was scouting a cemetery location with [a friend] and little did [they] know but a local serial killer had hidden two bodies near where [they] were scouting. [The bodies] and him were discovered not long after [they] had shot our scenes there.

Ringler’s goals for the future are “oddly enough, split between [his] local artistic endeavors and [his] writing. [Chris] will always write, and [he intends] to keep getting the work out there one way or another, but [he is] also active in the arts scene here in Flint, Michigan and [is] getting art shows and other funky events going here. [Ringler] definitely wants to be able to do more conventions and get [his] books out to more people and to get all of [his] books fully converted for e-books. Beyond that it is just about writing and art for [him] and working to get better at both. Oh, and [he wants] battle some manner of cryptozoological creature in a cage fight. [He needs] to train but [he] can do it.”

Fans, be sure to keep an eye open for Chris’ upcoming projects. “I just finished work on a couple new stories that are foran anniversary issue of a ‘zine some friends and I did in the 1990s. I am also working to finish a couple stories that will be part of a collection coming out in Spring of this year. It will be called The Kreep Sheep and is another collection of stories connected to my book The Meep Sheep. I have several art shows happening here in the Mid-Michigan area. Putting together a top secret show for late in the year around here that will be fun. I have my novel A Shadow Over Ever in a friend’s hands for editing and will release that in 2012. I am going to try to do a couple conventions in my area. And finally I am supporting my previous books as well as Red Dreams, which came out the first of 2011 and which has Pyramids and Butterscotch in it (under the title From Distant Temples).”

Chris had some parting words for everyone, “I am just so honored to receive the Best In Blood, it’s hard to tell you how great it feels. And honestly, what people need to remember is that whatever their passion is they need to pursue it. Even if you don’t make a living at it, if it makes you happy then you have to find time to pursue it. If you follow your passion you will find people that will appreciate it because people will always connect to things done with passion. Oh, and floss, which I hear is very good for you, despite my not doing it myself.”

For more information on Chris Ringler check out these sites:

www.meepsheep.com (You can order his books here, as well as view his art)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chris-Ringler-writer-artist-semi-professional-weirdo/174544945917426

The Oval Portrait: A Tale of Dark Love

For our Dark Love episode of Horror Addicts, I wanted to tell you a little about one of my favorite Edgar Allan Poe stories, The Oval Portrait. Now you may not have known this but the first publication of the story was an extended version titled, Life In Death. Life In Death first appeared in Graham’s Magazine in 1824. This version explained that the narrator had been injured in a run-in with bandits. It also went on to explain that he had taken opium to alleviate the pain. Some believe Poe removed the opening to keep readers from being under the impression that the story was all just a hallucination. The shortened, more popular version The Oval Portrait came out in 1845 in the Broadway Journal.

The story starts out with the narrator and his man servant, Pedro, breaking into a chateau for shelter. The narrator, whose name we are never told, is fascinated by the paintings on the walls. Later he finds a small book, on the pillow of his bed, filled with descriptions and criticisms. While reading the book in the candle light, he is startled to see an unbelievably life-like portrait in the room with him. He is so shocked he shuts his eyes to ensure they are not playing tricks on him. The narrator soon finds the story of the painting within the book, it is told as follows:

“She was a maiden of rarest beauty, and not more lovely than full of glee. And evil was the hour when she saw, and loved, and wedded the painter. He, passionate, studious, austere, and having already a bride in his Art; she a maiden of rarest beauty, and not more lovely than full of glee; all light and smiles, and frolicsome as the young fawn; loving and cherishing all things; hating only the Art which was her rival; dreading only the pallet and brushes and other untoward instruments which deprived her of the countenance of her lover. It was thus a terrible thing for this lady to hear the painter speak of his desire to pourtray (sic.) even his young bride. But she was humble and obedient, and sat meekly for many weeks in the dark, high turret-chamber where the light dripped upon the pale canvas only from overhead. But he, the painter, took glory in his work, which went on from hour to hour, and from day to day. And be was a passionate, and wild, and moody man, who became lost in reveries; so that he would not see that the light which fell so ghastly in that lone turret withered the health and the spirits of his bride, who pined visibly to all but him.”

“Yet she smiled on and still on, uncomplainingly, because she saw that the painter (who had high renown) took a fervid and burning pleasure in his task, and wrought day and night to depict her who so loved him, yet who grew daily more dispirited and weak. And in sooth some who beheld the portrait spoke of its resemblance in low words, as of a mighty marvel, and a proof not less of the power of the painter than of his deep love for her whom he depicted so surpassingly well. But at length, as the labor drew nearer to its conclusion, there were admitted none into the turret; for the painter had grown wild with the ardor of his work, and turned his eyes from canvas merely, even to regard the countenance of his wife. And he would not see that the tints which he spread upon the canvas were drawn from the cheeks of her who sate beside him.”

“And when many weeks bad passed, and but little remained to do, save one brush upon the mouth and one tint upon the eye, the spirit of the lady again flickered up as the flame within the socket of the lamp. And then the brush was given, and then the tint was placed; and, for one moment, the painter stood entranced before the work which he had wrought; but in the next, while he yet gazed, he grew tremulous and very pallid, and aghast, and crying with a loud voice, ‘This is indeed Life itself!’ turned suddenly to regard his beloved: — She was dead!”

This wicked love triangle causes the death of a young woman. The painter of The Oval Portrait was so in love with his painting that he gave it her life. And the wife, so in love with her husband, sits there diligently for him though it literally kills her.

I want to hear your opinions: How could she love a man like that? How could he not notice her illness? Was the painter mad? Or just obsessed? What caused the painting to steal her life away?

You can read The Oval Portrait online at this site:

http://poestories.com/read/ovalportrait

Latex Valentine

Once again Horror Addicts, lets give a warm welcome to our Horrificly amazing Wicked Women Writer Heather Roulo. As you probably know this is the third time for me to interview H.E. so this interview won’t be as long as the first two. But I was able to get new information for all you Roulo Addicts out there.

“Every time I’m on Horror Addicts, it’s to create something new. I write because I love to do it, but crafting and selling my stories, uncertain whether they will ever reach people, wears me down. Being on Horror Addicts, and delivering something without constrained requirements but intended for an audience with specific tastes reminds me how thrilling it is to experiment and hope it blows people away.”

This time around Heather’s theme for episode 56 is Valentine’s. The story she had prepared for the episode is entitled Stripping the Zipper. “[The story] won’t remind you of anything else I’ve written. Writing it was uncomfortable—sometimes even a desperate struggled to get it right, but I achieved something hot, sexy, and horrible. I may never write like that again, but this is the audience that can appreciate the risks I took. It’s always great to be on Horror Addicts, and I love any excuse to work with Emerian Rich. I’ll keep coming back as long as she and the Addicts will have me.”

For those of you wanting to know more about Stripping the Zipper here’s a sneak-peek. “Stripping the Zipper is the tale of an everyday woman who submerges herself in a world of latex and hidden obsessions only to discover that once she sees beyond prescribed normality even she isn’t what she thought. In this story, you don’t blink at the behind-the-scenes of a fetish show. It doesn’t feel alien because it shouldn’t. But her issues go way beyond that.”

And if that doesn’t have you dying to hear the story, this will: “After a bunch of versions, the ending finally exploded. My test readers were stunned, and I turned one non-horror reader’s stomach, so I was happy. For the audio recording, I didn’t even add music. It’s just the heroine’s voice—and I got that when I realized that the women who do the makeup tutorials on youtube have the same breathy, hesitant way of speaking. Nothing else could fit so perfectly. Story titles flummox me. I can brainstorm a dozen and not know which is best. This story started out as Valentine in Vinyl, but she doesn’t wear vinyl just latex. I liked Ripping the Latex Bandage, as if her dress were a band-aid, but ultimately Stripping the Zipper had sex appeal and for me, her zipper is pivotal.”

Valentine’s Day as we all know is the holiday of love. So to write a horror story built around the holiday, I was curious how H.E. feels about the day…She said that “[she] thinks it’s a great excuse; an excuse to go out, an excuse to stay in, an excuse find someone, or the reason you choose to stay home. Make it what you want it to be.” Roulo also added, “[she loves] dancing, so that’s what [she plans] to do. Nothing’s ever bad if you can go dancing.”

While chatting with Heather, she mentioned to me, that she was thrilled with the overall results of the Wicked Women Writers challenge (that she headed). “The ladies delivered! Listening to the different stories showed me how varied these women and their styles could be. I tried to be as impartial as possible, but I can’t deny being thrilled when the final tally came in for Rhonda R Carpenter. She’s my Podioracket.com partner and we support each other. We joke that we’ll have to have an all-stars in a few seasons so that we can put it to the test! Rhonda will run next year’s contest, and I think she has big plans.”

An All-Star challenge huh? A great idea in my opinion, the competition would be fierce and the stories enthralling. What do you think about having an All-Stars challenge in a few seasons?

Roulo fans be on the lookout: “The next Podioracket Presents anthology is in the works. [They are] currently accepting stories from Podiobooks.com authors that take place in their book’s world. It’s called Podioracket Presents-Glimpses. [H.E.] be writing a short story to accompany my book Fractured Horizon. The anthology will be podcast and available as an ebook.”

Heather is also “selling short stories, including a vampire one that would work for Horror Addicts if I hadn’t written Stripping the Zipper. Maybe they’ll get a chance to check it out somewhere else soon. And [she is] also finishing up a medieval fairy story for a romance anthology.”

For more information on Heather Roulo check out these sites:

http://www.twitter.com/@hroulo

http://www.fracturedhorizonnovel.com

http://www.podioracket.com

13 Questions with Angels On Acid

Today Horror Addicts, I have a very special guest for you, Angels on Acid! It was exciting to talk with founding member Michael Banks. This is the band’s first time to be on HA, Michael mentioned that it’s “great to sit down and talk with [Horror Addicts].”

Angels On Acid is a dark electronica band “with a heavy influence in everything from EBM, industrial, metal, synthpop, psychedelic, and old school goa.” “[Banks] started Angels On Acid as a solo project in 2003. After years of experimentation with guitar sampling [he] decided it was time to find a permanent guitarist in 2005. That’s when [he] started working with The Omen. The partnership was a perfect fit because [they] both had similar backgrounds in production and in bands. Later that year [they] put out [their] first EP “The Dominate EP” and the rest is history. Soon after, [Michael] added Jessica as [the] permanent live keyboardist/backing vocalist. She is also responsible for a lot of managerial duties since [Michael] tends to focus on song writing.”

If you’re a curious person, like the interviewer writing this right now. Then you probably wondered where the name Angels On Acid came from. Let me tell you a little story that was told to me by Banks. “Spiritual awakening and self discovery have always been very personal for [Michael]. Unfortunately, [he] grew up in a very conservative environment so [his] self discovery didn’t start until [he] was able to to experience life outside the safety of family. Through many years as a musician [he has] met alot of great people and have experienced things than can’t be explained as normal phenomenon. LSD was one of those outside influences that showed [him] how to think outside the box. Angels On Acid is a very tongue and cheek title. However, as you look deeper you can see where the name came into existence.”

If you didn’t know already Angels On Acid will be the featured band for episode 56: Valentines. Their song Haunt Me will be played on the show and believe me, you want to hear this band. “Haunt Me is a dark, romantic, and slightly twisted look at love. A love that extends beyond the grave. So in some ways it’s beautiful. But in my story one of the partners was killed by the other. The slain loved one comes back from the dead to haunt their lover. We also shot a video for Haunt Me that explains more about the inspiration behind the lyrics. Theatrical elements for the video we’re inspired as an ode to The Shining. For fans who would like watch the new video here’s a link Haunt Me.”

AOA’s first full length album was released in 2007. Eyes Behind The Curtain was 100% conceptual. “[Michael] hand picked each track with the intention of taking [their] fans through a full spectrum of styles which helped to develop [their] unique sound. The song Misery Loves Company was an underground success when it was selected for the Alpha Matrix compilation Endzeit Bunkertracks III. Another favorite that  fans always love for [them] to perform live is the Industrial Metal track The Vile. Fans really seemed to appreciate the dynamics of both melodic and harsh vocals as well.”

Their newest album Blood Sweat and Tears, “reflects on the mortality, love, hate, politics, religious oppression, spiritual awakening, the paranormal, and struggle of humanity to find order in the chaos. As we all face uncertainty in our future the dark theme is quite fitting for current events happening around us. There is still a heavy dance influence in the darkness. Haunt Me has proven to be a big hit for fans along with tracks like Blood Sweat and Tears, Now You Know, Epitaph, and Possession. The album is released digitally through all major sources along with physical distributors such as Amazon, IsoTank, Storming The Base, Shinto Records, and more.”

The writing process, for Angels On Acid, begins “much the way any songwriter does. In [AOA’s] case in front of a piano/keyboard writing out lyrics and chords. The most important part of the process is the inspiration behind the music. The soul and time you put into music should should be able to connect with the listener. Once [Michael has] arranged all the parts and recorded, then it’s time for Damien (The Omen) to come in with his guitar work to give it some special touches.”

As with, seemingly, everything these days, the hardest thing about being a musician is the economy. Banks shared with me, “Every method of recording, the industry, and how much is distributed has been turned on it’s heels. For me more than ever it’s all about being a renegade and putting yourself out there by any means necessary. There are no rules anymore. With the technology available to us today everyone has equal opportunity. Some things never change though. Unfortunately it’s all about who you know and how much money you can get you hands on.”

Now since this is Horror Addicts, I had to ask Michael about his favorite horror monster. “I would say probably Pinhead from Hell Raiser for several reasons. First, Clive Barker does an amazing job at depicting a mortal demon who has an almost “rock star” quality. His fashion sense, his dialect, his dark energy. It has become an inspiration to me a musician. There are so many great horror villains. Obviously Dracula is another great classic. If we go back far enough the greatest legend of the dark is Satan. He is the most used name in the history dark literature and film.”

Fans, be on the look out! “Angels On Acid goal is to be touring internationally by 2012. We just got back from doing shows and LA and San Francisco this month and we will be headlining the Terabyte Festival along with God module, FGFC820 and many other great bands February 26th. Also we are very excited to announce that Angels On Acid will be releasing their 3rd album later this year…while recording we will continue to tour. Our fans can stay connected on up to date info through our website http://www.angelsonacid.com”

AOA had some parting words for all the fans and readers out there. “As always I would like to thank our loving fans who give us the inspiration to move forward. Thank you to all of the fans, bands, djs, radio, magazines, and promoters who have brought our music to the public and supported us through the years! Thanks so much to anyone who has taken the time to read this interview to learn more about Angels On Acid. And last but not least thank you to Horror Addicts for allowing our voice to be heard!”

And thank you Angels On Acid for a great interview! For more information on Angels On Acid check out these websites:

www.angelsonacid.com

www.facebook.com/angelsonacid

www.twitter.com/angelsonacid

www.myspace.com/angelsonacid666

www.youtube.com/angelsonacidvideo

www.reverbnation.com/angelsonacid1

www.vampirefreaks.com/u/angelsonacid

www.last.fm/music/Angels+On+Acid

Horror Musician Dean Farnell

 

The featured artist for Horror Addicts 55: Slasher is none other than Dean Farnell.

By day he’s a Royal Mail Postman and by night…or really whenever inspiration strikes, he’s a musician. “The music is purely just a hobby, I send the tracks off to various sites and sit back and see what happens. I like to write about the macabre, the old horror films were a favorite of mine and I wanted to add a quirky feel to the tracks. I do not class myself as a serious musician, this is reflected in the lyrics. I get lots of emails daily regarding the songs, some negative but mostly positive feedback; even though the songs are one take demos they have had plenty of radio airplay.”

Now the writing process is different for everyone, but here is a little look into what goes on with Dean. “The tunes comes first and the lyrics second. I usually play a number of chords in various patterns to get a tune together. Then I think of a subject matter, whether it be horror related or any other subject, and just scribble the lyrics down. I do change them around to fit the tune depending on which lyrics work, then its practice to make the finished song ready to record.”

Farnell shared with me that his inspiration comes from several bands. “Anything from the 1976 – 1980 Punk Rock New Wave scene bands such as The Ramones, The Clash, Sex Pistols, and his personal favorite The Damned.”

Simon Cowell, Why Won’t Christmas Go Away, Ghost on the Stairs, Halloween, 666 and A Man From Japan are all available for download on various different sites such as iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody and Napster.

Dean’s fun tunes have been increasingly gaining popularity. Simon Cowell and 666 topped the UK Unsigned Artist Top 40. And his song Ghost on the Stairs was featured in Stacy McArdle’s new novel Rock and Roll Ghost Stories. Another one of Farnell’s songs, The Monster’s Ball, was “used as the theme tune on the TV show Late Night At The Horror Hotel.

His goal for the future is to “promote the songs he’s written and recorded by sending them off to various Radio shows etc. and see what develops.” But be on the look out for his new song Graveyard Robbers, which he hopes to record in 2011.

 

For more information on Dean Farnell be sure to check out these websites:

 

http://profile.typepad.com/ustvcop666

http://deanfarnell.typepad.com/blog/

http://www.unsigned.com/deanfarnell

http://www.tourdates.co.uk/dean-farnell

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dean+farnell&aq=f

 

13 Questions with Emerian Rich

I have a surprise for all you Horror Addicts out there. Our featured author for this episode is none other than our amazing hostess Emerian Rich.

Emerian has been featured on HA before, when the show first got going. “My intention for starting Horror Addicts was to have my short stories mixed in with some stories from friends, but once I started meeting authors who podcasted and wrote horror, I had so many people involved that my work didn’t seem mandatory for the fans to enjoy themselves. I like giving authors an avenue to share their work to fans who will enjoy it and I love to give newbie authors/podcasters a chance to get some exposure. It’s always been my goal to share new and exciting stuff with my readers.”

“Though I do like having authors on the show, it feels good to feature my own work from time to time,” Rich added.

Our lovely hostess will be revealing her new work titled Hammersmith House for HA episode 54: Classic. Here’s a little sneak-peek from Emz, “Hammersmith House is a new piece I haven’t shared or published anywhere. I am in love with it. I hope the listeners enjoy it as well. Hammersmith House is a tale, told in letters, from the time of the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. It is close to my heart because of my love of the city and because I love to read letters and journals. I have always been interested in the 1906 event. The pictures of devastation and the stories of those who survived effect me as the Titanic does to some people. When I came across a book called A Most Dreadful Earthquake — A First-Hand Account of the 1906 Earthquake and Firewith Glimpses into the Lives of the Phillips-Jones Letter Writers — by Dorothy Fowler, I was so enthralled with the story of this family that I read the whole book in one night! A few days later, it occurred to me that a horror story set in the midst of this great tragedy must be written. I wanted to make it very time-period and authentic. I also wanted it to be a subtle sort of horror, one they may have read back in those days. This was a big change for me when most of my writing is very graphic and show-all…I also liked exploring a new monster in Hammersmith House. I wonder how many listeners can figure out what sort of classic monster I was portraying in that?”

Horror Addicts, will be familiar with Night’s Knights, which is actually her first “stab at adult fiction.” Emerian shared with me that she “had most of Jespa’s story out before I discovered Anne Rice’s books. She seemed to be able to break open my heart, make it whole again, and change my view on life all in one book. I strive to do that in my own writing. One thing I felt unfinished in my mind after reading her books was the religious cult aspect. She always spoke about vampire cults, but I wanted to know what happened after they kidnapped the vampires. Thus Severina was born and through her I was able to weave a tale of the vampire cult with all their rules, ceremony, and twisted beliefs. Being the child of ministers, I had a lot of knowledge in religion to help me. It wasn’t until I wrote all of the vampires and decided on the plan of creating children that Jespa’s story was added into the mix. Once she was in, there was no way to stop her from taking over the entire book. She’s demanding like that.”

And you will be pleased to know that “[t]he first chapter of Dusk’s Warriors (the sequel to Night’s Knights) should be out in podcast form by the end of January.” She then added that, “I’m a little late on my target date, but I think the fans of the series will be happy with the new story. There are four types of vampires for them to indulge in as well as gods, goddesses, a look inside the vampire investigation headquarters and hell. The theme song music will be provided by Factory of Dreams and I have a full cast helping me out this time including the podcasting voices of: Mark Eller, Mike Bennett, MJ Hahn, Rhonda Carpenter, H. E. Roulo, Arlene Radasky and a few others I’ve yet to confirm. Also some new voices such as: Camellia Rains, the voice of Jez in the Horror Addicts mini-soap GothHaus, and Ariel DaWintre who has done some voice work for Horror Addicts in the past. I’m very excited to get this project off the ground and can’t wait to bring it to the Biters because they have been waiting such a long time.”

ALSO: *Biters should keep posted to Emerian’s personal blog where she is about to announce contest where fans could have their name as a character in Dusk’s Warriors.*

Sweet Dreams just recently became available in print. I was curious to find out how Emerian feels about her novel. “I have mixed feelings about Sweet Dreams. Since I wrote the series in high school, it’s almost like the characters are friends rather than fictional entities. The fact that I podcasted this series still amazes me. I didn’t ever think I would share it with anyone past reading it aloud at slumber parties. But now it has a following that comes close to rivaling my horror fans and I am just stunned with the feedback I’m getting. I think this book fills a void for all of us who once believed (or still do) in the possibility of true love. Even though I now write horror, I still believe in the possibility of a love that will conquer anything life (or unlife) has to throw at you. After all, the undead can still love each other, despite the mucus and dead flesh. Sweet Dreams is a monster of a series. I have three books already podcasted, the first out in print. I have plans for two more at least in podcast format. But I have eight more waiting in the wings.”

Some of you fans may have heard of a little project of Emz’s…a coloring book. “Really, the coloring book is something that was requested by a fan of my art and something that has been on the back burner for quite some time. If you’ve seen my art, you will know that it lends itself to coloring book format wonderfully. I can’t tell you when this project will be ready, I hope to get a few more prints created before it debuts.”

Now it’s time to get a little more personal with our Horror Hostess. “[M]y life is a never ending rush. As most people know, writers in this day and age can not just write. I have a day job just like everyone else and a five year old autistic boy. So, the main difference is that I am constantly busy. I have little vacation time and every second of my day is planned out. It’s really rather tiring. Perhaps some independently wealthy person can support my dream of writing/creating as a career? Until then, I’m a mad maniac trying to get everything done.”

As the Horror Hostess that she is, I had to ask what actually got Emerian into the horror genre in the first place? “Horror and dark beauty inspire me to create, to live, to be. It sounds like a rather strange thing to say, that things usually involving death or terror inspire you, but I think it is the key to horror culture that outsiders will never really understand. I think it is a true test of the soul when someone is tortured or brought to the brink or death. There is a beauty when a character decides to accept the darkside or when they conquer it through personal strength. I am not a fan of mass murder or child abuse or terrorism in our real lives. However, I am a fan of the child or wife or soldier who battles through and shows that our human spirits can endure pain and still prevail.”

And her favorite horror story growing up? Well surprise for all you fans…Emerian was not a fan of horror as a child! “I wasn’t a horror fan growing up. I was the child of ministers and not allowed to watch many things because of violent or “evil” content. In fact, my favorite Disney animated movie, my husband had to buy me. Sleeping Beauty’s art and style is so amazing. As a child I wanted to watch it, but wasn’t allowed because of the witch in the film. Pretty funny considering now I am the queen of podcast horror, right? What scared me as a child were real things, which is probably why the scariest things to me in film are not vampires and zombies, but child abusers and twisted family situations. I don’t find those horror tropes pretty or inspiring.”

Well fans it’s that time again, be on the look out for Emz’s future projects. “Let’s see… I have the sequel to Night’s Knights, Dusk’s Warriors in podcast production, I am working on the 4th book in the Sweet Dreams Series, Season 5 of Horror Addicts is still in full gear, I want to get my horror/romance Artistic License out to the public in some format, and next? I am writing a modern rewrite of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. I also have a modern rewrite of Sleeping Beauty and a goth girl thriller screen play I’m working on. I’m really tired. Hehhee.”

Emerian had a message for me to pass on to all you readers: “I hope the Horror Addicts enjoy Hammersmith House! They should not be afraid to email me with comments about any of the stories, authors, or bands we have on the show, and if they want to help out, come on aboard. We have tons of stuff to do! And don’t forget to tell all your friends that you listen to HorrorAddicts.net even with our wide audience, you’d be surprised how many horror fans haven’t heard of us!”

 

For more information on Emerian Rich check out her website:

http://www.emzbox.com – There you can find links to many of her projects

13 Questions with Cal Miller

For our second Holiday episode I had the chance to interview, first timer, Cal Miller. Cal was really excited to be apart of the show and told me he “loves the site.”

The story Miller has written for HA episode 53 is titled Santa Claws Is Coming To Town. The story is “about an undead Santa who goes around “collecting” bad people and making them “elves”, or more specifically one of the bad people who gets “collected”.”

Calvin is well known for his “Zombie Perspective” books. His first book was Het Madden A Zombie Perspective Book One WRATH 2012. He shared with me a little background on his novel, “I have been a fan of the Zombie genre since I was a kid. I had watched the movies, read the books, and I always wondered what they were thinking. What it would be like to die and come back. A lot of stories touched on it, usually quickly or in a totally humorous way, but I felt it would be an amazing experience. And a terribly horrific one as well. Especially if you were in the (probably small) percentage that retained some intelligence. And what would it feel like to have society trying to blow your brains out when you probably thought you were sick and needed help? And I also felt that there would be a highly spiritual aspect to the end of the world. Not merely zombies killing people. So I stuck a demon or two in there for good measure. I wrote the book I wanted to read, and the movie I wanted to see. It truly is the story of someone who has gone through life as the person he became… So many of us get out of school, get a job, and become the person who does that job. We lose ourselves along the way. Het Madden is that story, on steroids. Yet he still tries desperately to set things right, with himself and with his son…”

Miller “also donated about 100 copies of Het Madden, A Zombie Perspective to Operation Paperback. They send books to troops overseas.” “Anyway one of the soldiers emailed me and asked if I would sign his copy if he sent it to me. He enjoyed reading it on that particular deployment. I sent him a new one and that really felt great.”

His next novel The Zombie’s Survival Guide Thrive In The Zombie Apocalypse After You Turn, “was sort of a natural extension” of his first. “I noticed that there were plenty of books written to help you protect yourself against zombies in the upcoming Zompocalypse, but none on how to protect yourself once you turned. And it’s a pretty safe bet you will turn, so you really should be prepared. What exactly IS a Mortuus Sapien? What can you expect, from being bitten to your first kill? What is Reanimation Shock? How Smart Will You Be? How Strong? Will “You” Be “You”? Will You Be The Kind Of Bastard That Eats Families? (Hint: Yes) Is there a Cure? (Hint: No) Where should you “live”? What about a pet? These are all things you’ll need to know in order to be a productive and effective member of the Undead Nation. A lot of people think that all zombies are dumb shufflers that are devoid of any sort of true sentience or consciousness. I feel that if there are smart and dumb people, and even smart and dumb dogs, there must be smart and dumb zombies. The smart ones just wouldn’t be out in the open begging for a shot to the head. They would be hiding and plotting.”

The Zombie fan base is continuing to grow and I have no doubt that Cal’s unique “Zombie Perspective” will continue to grow as well. Already, Miller has also written Cold Blood, The End for The Undead Nation Anthology I did with Alan Gandy, the artist who did the illustrations for The Zombie’s Survival Guide Thrive In The Zombie Apocalypse After You Turn. It’s also available as a novella. I also did two short Zombie stories. One is Santa Claws is Coming to Town in The Undead That Saved Christmas anthology (and the featured Podcast on Horror Addicts 12/23 show) and Zombie World, Death Perception in the upcoming Rhonny Reaper’s Creature Features Anthology.”

When writing Cold Blood, The End, Miller wanted to have some spiritual twists. “[It]takes a look at what would happen if at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve the cycle of life just stopped. All babies would be born dead, and all people who died, well, wouldn’t stop walking and talking. It takes place in a hospital, and the young woman on the cover is Dr. Christine Wells. She is new Doctor and new to St. James Hospital . On the 7th floor her mother is about to die after a long battle with cancer. On the 4th floor, her best friend is about to have a baby. And everything changes at midnight. I wanted to write more of a thriller but the Undead are right there up front. There is a second plot line that runs along parallel about a news anchor whose wife is about to give birth.”

Calvin also shared with me that he “really enjoyed writing this one.”

Also, “[his] Anthology, The Undead Nation Anthology, has stories by [Miller] and 13 other authors. 100% of the royalties from the sale of the book go to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and [they] have donated over $700 since it came out in August. [They] are all really proud of that.”

If you enjoy web comics, be sure to check out Ted Dead, Just Your Everyday Zombie. “I thought it would be funny if a zombie worked retail. Plus I wanted to do something fun after writing Het Madden. It also let’s me get out my slight distaste for overexposed Hollywood Celebs. Ted eats them sometimes when they come in the store.”

I was was able to check out the comic and it’s just what Miller wanted. It’s a fun comic that will have the reader laughing as Ted eats celebrities, meets aliens, and sings at concerts. All that and much much more. Cal explained that “I created Ted and I do all the “artwork”. You’ll understand why I put that in quotes if you read Ted Dead. My buddy Greg Bogle and I share the writing duties. There more bizarre ones are mine. I just put all the Ted Deads into a book called Ted Dead, Just Your Everyday Zombie and it’s up on Amazon, too.”


Curious, I asked what Calvin liked so much about the horror genre. Now when I asked this question I wasn’t expecting the answer I got. He told me that “his Grandma once told him that monsters are everywhere.” Then he continued, “I think the horror genre brings that to life. Whether it’s a hoard of zombies, or someone foreclosing on the house you live in life is horrific. Hoards of zombies make the other of life’s horrors a little easier to handle, and it’s also FUN TO BE SCARED!” And I couldn’t agree more…

Well Horror Addicts, be sure to look out for “Het Madden, Lord Of This World. [Which Cal plans] to be huge and amazing and too big to be contained inside a book cover. Besides Het Madden, Lord Of This World I’m working on a concept series called Dead on Earth complete with Aliens, Zombies, and the end of everything. I’m also publishing some other books that are going to be truly amazing including Alan Gandy’s books Voyeur Dead, My Little Brother is a Zombie, and Sister of the Walking Dead. I’ve only been doing this for about a year or two so it’s been a great ride so far!!!”

 

For more information on Cal Miller be sure to check out these websites:

www.CalvinALMillerII.com

http://teddead.com/

Also, all of Miller’s books are available at http://www.amazon.com/Calvin-A.-L.-Miller-II/e/B002ZKXNS4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1264536687&sr=8-1



13 Questions with Cesar Cruz

This time on 13 Questions, I have a little surprise for all the readers out there. Instead of having an interview with an author; I had the chance to interview Cesar Cruz. Emerian “and I have been in touch for about a year since Julie Johnson from Grave Concerns got us connected. But this is the first time that an actual interview has taken place, and I’m very excited!”

Cesar is a full time director/editor/cinematographer. “I work on many different types of projects on a daily basis, so I am always very busy. Running Outworld Entertainment is my second full time job, and on top of those two things, I am also a part time dog trainer too! So yes, things get very hectic and sometimes cross over into one another. As much as I want to focus 100% of my time on Outworld Entertainment, it doesn’t pay the bills. So when I am working on a project for a client or other studio, Outworld stuff has to be put on hold. As for the dog training is concerned, it relaxes me and lets me do something good for the community. I really like working with shelter dogs and getting them a permanent, loving home. When I see a dog that has gone through some severe trauma come out of it’s shell and overcome the psychological and physical damage it went through, it really lifts my spirit.”

“For Outworld Entertainment [Cesar has] produced and/or directed 15 short films, features and music videos. On top of that [he has] done hundreds of other projects including TV shows, commercials, industrial videos, etc. [Cruz has] never done a wedding video though!”

Wanting a little look into the work that Cesar does, I asked him about several of his projects. You may have heard of the up and coming feature film Dark Passages, the tv series The Rule, and many other Cesar projects.

Dark Passages: “the main project that we are currently working on. Dark Passages is a feature length, anthology, horror film that has been inspired by multiple horror genres. The three connecting stories take the viewer through an uncompromising journey of pain, anger and betrayal. The story will feature many different creatures/demons and characters that will please many types of horror fans.”

The Rule: “an outdoor show for the Sportsman Channel that I directed, shot and edited. Although I only worked on the first season of the show (I left so that I would be able to focus more of my attention on “Dark Passages“), I really enjoyed it. I was able to travel to remote locations where many people don’t ever get to see, and I was also able to get some great camera footage.”

The Frappinos: “a no budget comedy film that I wrote and directed last year that revolves around a New Jersey crime family that is falling apart. The film is very raw and was actually inspired by Family Guy, The Simpsons and South Park, and not by The Sopranos like most people would guess. The film received an award at this year’s Indie Gathering Film Festival in the feature comedy category. The entire 98 page script was shot in less than seven days, and it was made for only $500.00! The entire cast and crew worked for free and half of our equipment was donated to us by supporters, clients and co-workers that I have met over the last 12 years while working in the industry. We really wanted to showcase that money isn’t the only thing needed to make a film; 90% of it is dedication, communication and sacrifice.”

After the Fall: “an award winning thriller short that we shot in two days out in the woods of Sussex, New Jersey. The film was about coming to terms with dying and leaving the living world behind. The main characters Jack and Lacy are a young married couple that seems to have lost the “spark” in their relationship. Lacy comes up with a plan to go camping for the weekend so they can just focus on their relationship. During a hike through the woods, Lacy trips and falls down a cliff and dies. The entire short film takes place after the fall (hence the title) as she discovers that she is dead and never got the chance to fix her relationship. The film was the first indie film project that I directed that wasn’t my own original concept. I enjoyed working on it because the script left it very open for visual style. With a six man crew and a three person cast, we marched into the woods. Two days later, we emerged with an award winning short.”

Cruz also did a music video for the band Leather Strip and their song Love Me or Die. “The video for Love Me or Die was a way for me to say thanks to Claus for his work on the Dark Passages film score. Not to mention, I had always wanted to direct a Leaether Strip video! So I took the song, used it as my script and put together these images that came into my head from listening to it and studying the lyrics. I really wanted to make something that actually fit the song, instead of just some video that makes no sense to the song itself. We shot Love Me or Die in a few hours with no budget. Three weeks later the video was released and we end up winning an award at this year’s Indie Gathering Film Festival in the Alternative Music Video Category. As well as receiving 3 nominations at this years World Music and Independent Film Festival. We made the video for the self titled song for our film Dark Passages as a promotional piece for both the film and the soundtrack. It also gave me the opportunity to create a sort of prequel to the film. The Dark Passages video showcases four main characters that you will see in the film. However, the way you see them in the video is not the way they appear in the film! I did this because I didn’t want to give too much away before the film is released. So I created a “dumbed-down” version of the characters for the video. In the end I am proud of the way the video came out. For something that had absolutely no budget, it has a high end feel to it.”

I have always wondered what it’s like in the film industry. Cesar shared with me what it is like, a day in the life of a director and producer. “Very hectic, stressful and fun. You work six to seven days a week and at least 15 to 18 hours a day. It is definitely something that you have to be extremely passionate about because of how much work and sacrifice you go through. There is still a large number of people out there that don’t understand the hours, man power, and money that goes into this industry. The public only gets to see the final product and judge a cast or crew on only a third of the entire experience of that project. Every day I am writing, editing, in pre-production meetings, post production meetings, updating websites, hiring/firing cast/crew, etc. The days are always extremely busy.”

And according to Cruz the hardest part about being in the business is “funding/selling the project, especially in this current economic climate. There are a thousand projects like yours getting made everyday, but you have to find a way to make yours different and stand out. That way you get a better chance at finding funding and getting some sort of distribution. It’s a very aggravating process that is key to the industry. There is no magical way of getting it done. Especially at an independent level.”

Crazy enough Cesar is “the first “artist” in [his] family. [His] parents, aunts and uncles do not do anything creative in the arts so it was always a bit of a struggle to find [his] place. Especially since [he] saw the world in such a different way then the rest of [the] family.”

“Luckily,” he added, “they all support what I do no matter how many times they tell me I am crazy!”

Be sure to be on the look out for Cruz’s upcoming projects. “We are about to release the “Dark Passages” Leaether Strip video and working on the “Dark Passages” film. I know there has been a great want to see both these projects.”

For more in formation about Cesar Cruz and Outworld Entertainment, be sure to visit these sites:

http://outworldentertainment.com/

http://www.facebook.com/outworldentertainment
http://www.myspace.com/outworldentertainment

http://www.youtube.com/outworldowe

http://twitter.com/outworldent

13 Questions with Jack Mangan

Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is on the way. So it should come as no surprise that the theme for HA episodes 52 and 53 would be Holiday. And the man with the honor of being the first featured author of the festive season is Jack Mangan.

Jack’s story for this episode is, “Santa Thing, featuring vocal performances by Justa J0e, Ryah Deines, Lejon Johnson, Jack Hosley, and myself (sic).”

“It’s an extremely dark redefinition of the classic Christmas mythos, replacing “Jolly Old St. Nicholas” with an army of volatile, monstrous creatures. The story centers around a rather disgruntled North Pole Elf who’s out in the field, trying to catch one of these things before it kills again.

And the inspiration for Santa Thing? “Alas, I don’t have a great anecdote here. It’s interesting that I wrote this story at all, because I have some serious Scrooge-icidal tendencies. How does Santa Claus hit every house on earth in one night? One theory could be that there’s a fleet of thousands of Santas, all working in coordination to cover all regions of the globe. I thought it might be fun to put a horror spin on that idea. I’m pretty pleased with the outcome and the reactions from its early readers – – and the performers all did amazing jobs. I hope you enjoy.”

For those of you who didn’t know, this is actually Mangan’s second time to be on Horror Addicts. “I’m honored and shocked to be asked for a second interview. Emz is always up to innovative and exciting new media things – – she and Kirk are great people. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to talk to you here.”

You probably recognize Jack as the author of Spherical Tomi. But in case you haven’t read his novel, “Spherical Tomi is a deep space/cyberpunk story about a highly-skilled combat programmer, caught up in a conflict between two scheming warlords, struggling to balance her revenge agenda with grief over her murdered samurai lover. She’s forced to make some tough decisions when a warlord’s assassination attempt involves the satellite where she’s been hiding. Most of the positive feedback I’ve seen has focused on the characters (especially Tomi) and the Spherical Combat Programming concept. It was heavily inspired by the writings of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Dan Simmons’ Hyperion books, and Eiji Yoshikawa’s Japanese Historical novels. A Spherical Tomi sequel is long overdue.”

Spherical Tomi isn’t Mangan’s only body of work, he “also had a solid number of novella and short-length stories come out in various markets over the past few years, including two (Fractura and Creature of God) alongside Emerian Rich in the Dragon Moon Press anthology, Podthology: The Pod Complex.”

Jack was also a columnist for Beyond Infinity Magazine, where he “wrote occasional book reviews from a Skeptic’s perspective, weird news articles”. He even started “a segment called Mythological Idol, which was sort of like a primitive precursor to Duel of the Fates, comparing notable figures from well-known world mythos. It was my first legitimate writing gig; I even received one or two miniscule paychecks.”

Now you may be wondering what Duel of the Fates, (as mentioned above). Here is what Mangan had to say: “I’ve run three Duel of the Fates tournament seasons, two for the Wingin’ It! Podcast, one for Deadpan. An individual duel compares two iconic speculative fiction characters head-to-head in five silly categories to select a winner. It’s highly irreverent and has been a lot of fun. The first two seasons are available at Podiobooks.com, and the third can be found in Deadpan episodes throughout the 140’s.”

You can read about Mangan at his blog: Distracted From Distraction By Distraction (jackmangan.blogspot.com). But be warned, it’s no longer updated. “Distracted From Distraction By Distraction is a line from T.S. Eliot’s epic Four Quartets, which [Jack] actually quoted once before in the lyrics to the Matt Mango song, Asteroid Speed Highway. [He thinks] the concept gets more and more poignant every day. [Jack] switched from the Blogspot site in 2006 because [he] wanted to use a WordPress site for the Jack Mangan’s Deadpan Podcast.”

The reason for creating the Deadpan Podcast, was as “a minor-minor name for himself as cast member and contributor to the Dragon Page Wingin’ It! and occasional Slice of Sci-Fi shows.” “I jumped at the chance when those guys invited me to create a podcast of my own for their new Farpoint Media network. I thought it’d be a chance to make a little money and have a fun creative outlet to promote my work. It’s been going without interruption since March 2006 now; Deadpan has made basically no money, but I’ve had a great time and made some fantastic friends and connections. A great community of wonderful people has gathered around this podcast, and it boggles my mind that we’ve even had a few successful Deadpan Meetups, with listeners traveling from all over to meet and record together in person.”

As mostly a Sci-Fi writer, I was curious if Jack would ever transition into the horror genre. Here’s what he had to say…“The genre and I are acquainted. I’ve published quite a few stories with horror elements, notably Creature of God (in marvelous audio drama format at Variant Frequencies and in the Podthology print book) and Sixteen Pieces at a Time (in print at SFReader and also in wonderful audio drama format at Wander Radio), and I wrote quite a few more during my formative author days. I have a deliciously wicked idea in my story queue right now, that will probably end up classifiable as horror when it’s written. Sorry to give the writerly cliche, but I try to just work with the story ideas that I find intriguing and not think much about genre. If the end result is horror, then so be it.”

And just a tidbit for all you Mangan fans out there. Jack’s favorite horror story growing up was “Stephen King’s It. [He] was freaked out by the sink drains in [his] house during the time [he] was reading [the] book.”

Jack has been, for the past few years, very family focused (that always has and always will come before anything creative). “For now, [his] goal is to recreate some balance in [his] life, so that [he] can see to all of [his] family’s needs AND push [his] music and fiction output to higher and higher levels. It’s a slow process, but ultimately, [he hopes] to someday release complete, tracked-out professional recordings of [his] songs, and more importantly(?), release high quality works of fiction that do [him] proud and that reach sizable, enthusiastic audiences.”

Be sure to be on the look out for Mangan’s future projects! “Look for my short story in the upcoming “2020 Visions” anthology, edited by Rick Novy and Christopher Fletcher of M-Brane SF, as well as some flash fiction and original music collaboration with Michelle M. Welch in her podcast anthology: Theme and Variations, Opus 2. Additionally, I hate it when self-important hacks talk about secret projects, but. . . . well, yeah. Otherwise, we’re always up to something fun and new over at Deadpan, so check in on current episodes to hear what community events are happening or what’s coming up.”

For more information on Jack Mangan check out these websites:

http://www.jackmangan.com/

http://twitter.com/jackmangan

http://jackmangan.blogspot.com/

 

13 Questions with Jeff Carlson

Excited for Horror Addicts 51: Thriller? I am…our featured author this episode is Jeff Carlson.

Jeff shared his thoughts on being back at Horror Addicts. “I love you guys! Rhonda Carpenter’s rendition of my vampire story “Caninus” ranks among my all-time favorite podcasts of my short fiction…“Monsters,” my story before that, earned Season One’s BEST IN BLOOD Listener’s Choice Award. If Horror Addicts had only come along sooner, you guys might have tipped the balance in my career. Instead of writing from dark sci fi thrillers, maybe I’d be a pure horror novelist! I grew up on a big dose of Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz. That’s who I first wanted to be until science fiction claimed my mind.”

The story Carlson will be sharing with us is titled Pattern Masters. “It’s among my first published stories and originally appeared in a semi-pro magazine called “Tales of the Unanticipated.” What’s unique about this piece is it’s something of a sister story to my short story “Meme.” That one is a sci fi mystery. “Pattern Masters” is more of an anti-social paranoic’s dream.”

“The two have nothing in common except that the inspiration for both came from the drug store where we used to drop off our film to have it developed…Yes, Dorothy, once upon a time people used FILM in their cameras, ha ha. And I always wondered what it was like to be the guy behind the counter who got to peek into so many passing lives.”

Readers, you may be familiar with Jeff’s “Plague Year trilogy.” Which includes the three novels Plague Year, Plague War, and Plague Zone. Carlson was kind enough to share with us a little information about the novels.

Plague Year: “Disturbing but fun. Ha ha. Plague Year is about a medical prototype nanotechnology that breaks loose before it’s ready. It’s designed to fight cancer. But what happens is it devours all warm-blooded life across the planet below 10,000 feet, where it self-destructs at low air densities due to a hypobaric fuse (sic). The only safe places on Earth are the Sierras, the Rockies, the Alps, Andes, Himalayas, and a few scattered bumps like Mt. Fuji and Kilimanjaro. Obviously there’s a strong science element, but talk about your basic horror story! There’s nothing in the highest mountains but ice and rock. No food. No buildings. No electricity. It’s the Donner Party everywhere. The shit hits the fan in a very big way and it was great fun to write. Cannibals. Civil war. Paratroopers in hazmat suits. Let the games begin.”

Plague War: “There are two tricks with any sequel. First, it has to work as a stand-alone for anyone who comes along and finds it first. Second, the stakes need to escalate — it has to be a “bigger” book than the original with new demands on the cast of characters. Given that in Plague Year there are five billion people dead and the world map is completely obliterated, outdoing myself was a challenge. Fortunately I have a taste for nuclear war, so top of the nano plague in Plague Year, Plague War features a limited first strike on North America and an invasion by hungry, desperate foreign armies.”

Plague Zone: “Same deal. How do you top an apocalyptic nano plague and World War III? Aha ha ha. Well, what if *our* scientists weren’t the *only* scientists who were working to turn off the nanotech? What if some of our enemies learned to harness that technology and developed a new plague — a mind plague that spread like wildfire through America’s survivors?”

In my opinion Jeff has the ultimate dream job…full time author. Of course, everything has it’s “ups and downs”.

“The main thing is it’s lonely work. I spend most of my time by myself in a room with a laptop listening to the voices in my head. That sounds like a joke, but it’s the first rule in [writing: Keep Butt In Chair.]”

According to Carlson, the hardest thing about being an author is patience. “The wheels in New York and L.A. turn veeeeeeery slowly, so patience and persistence are the watchwords of any pro.”

I was curious to find out what Jeff preferred to write…novels or short stories? “Short stories are fun to write *because* they’re short. Unfortunately, there’s no way to make a living on short fiction, and I have kids and a mortgage and a taste for things like sushi, DVDs, and ski tickets. At this point I’m barely writing a short story a year, usually in between novels. It’s a relief to bang through a project that only takes two or three weeks…But the truth is I prefer to *read* novels because they’re more involving, and I have to confess I prefer to *write* novels for the same reason. The long, deep haul of creating a full-length book is more gratifying in the end.”

His goals for the future is “[t]he total conquest of the New York Times bestseller list. Fat movie deals. You know, the usual. Bwah ha ha ha ha ha!!!!”

Here is a little info about Jeff you may have not known…

“I’m a zombie man. There’s something about the implacable, faceless, unstoppable mob that really gets my paranoia jumping. Even so-so zombie movies like the original Romero films are surprisingly powerful. What I mean is that some of the characters in Dawn and Day of the Dead are complete morons. They do stupid things just to get themselves in trouble. That’s bad, lazy writing. I prefer stories about smart people doing smart things… but even so, some of the scenes and personal drama in Day of the Dead are especially fascinating. I’ve always wanted to do an intelligent remake.”

“The remake of Dawn of the Dead was only partway more intelligent. There were still a lot of idiots doing idiotic things just to introduce tension to the plot. I’d rather root for someone with brains. My favorite zombie film remains the Dan O’Bannon-scripted Return of the Living Dead, which is the smartest zombie movie of all time except possibly for 28 Days Later. Great stuff.”

Carlson’s favorite scary story growing up was“Stephen King’s “The Long Walk.” If you haven’t read it, it’s an obscure, early novel and it’s lean, well-written and original. And very, very dark.”

And speaking of being scared, did you know that Jeff is afraid of heights? It’s actually a very common fear called Acrophobia.

Be sure to keep an eye open for Jeff’s up coming works. “These days I’m eyebrow-deep into my fourth solo novel, a big new high concept tech thriller that we’re excited about. I feel like it’s better than all three of the Plague novels put together, larger in scope, larger in character, more ambitious. I recently posted a sneak peek on my blog at http://www.jverse.com. There will be more of this soon — stuff like “deleted scenes” and other teasers. Come by and say hi!”

 

For more information about Jeff Carlson be sure to check out his website:

 

http://www.jverse.com – Come check it out! Readers can find free fiction, free audio, a zillion videos, contests, and more.

 

13 Questions with Jennifer Rahn

In an interesting turn of events our newest featured author for Horror Addicts hasn’t been on HA before…but she has interviewed Emerian. http://magnix.blogspot.com/2010/03/big-heart-big-smile-big-voice-interview.html

“I’m loving it! I love interacting with other creative people, regardless of their form of expression, and I’ve always been drawn to gothic art, music and books.”

Jennifer Rahn’s theme for Horror Addicts episode 50 is Outer Space. The story she has written for this episode is titled Fallen. Jennifer told me “[she] took some liberties with the subject, so it ended up being more science fiction than space opera.”

Want a little peek into her story? Well here you go: “It’s told from the perspective of an alien, Tharn, who finds himself cast into the company of a psychotic human, who decides he needs part of Tharn’s body. Tharn comes up with some pretty creative notions of how he might exact revenge . . .”

If you have read The Longevity Thesis, then you’re familiar with Rahn’s work. Jennifer shared with me that, “[the] tag line is “Apprenticed to the Graduate Supervisor from Hell”, which amuses my friends who have also gone through graduate school. It’s about a new medical doctor who decides he wants to write a graduate thesis on longevity. He unwittingly ends up the student of a *very* old professor, whose methods of prolonging life are rather unethical. It also has multiple subplots woven into it, which deal with racism, political machinations, the devastating impacts of low self esteem, and the power of interpersonal connections.”

Another novel of Jennifer’s is Wicked Initiations, which in fact is the prequel to The Longevity Thesis. This particular novel is very special to Rahn…

“It’s all about love, but presented as a rather twisted and non-traditional vampire story, where death is no impediment to being manipulated and controlled. As it is dark *fantasy*, there is a king, who bears a curse, and must fight against a mysterious priest who controls a supernatural army. What determines the success or failure of the characters, is their ability to understand life energy, and how to use it to balance personal power. There are, of course, all sorts of magic users and undead running around and causing trouble everywhere they go. It’s release has been delayed due to my publisher’s server crashing with the book on the harddrive, but I’m happy to report that it has been reconstructed and should be heading out to the printers very soon.”

The inspiration for these novels is something I think almost everyone can relate to. “The first one (The Longevity Thesis) was inspired by my need to purge my own negative emotions and examine them thoroughly. It might seem like it’s a story about grad school, but it really isn’t. It’s about growing up and accepting that life will never be fair, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find our place in it.”
“The second one (Wicked Initiations) was just pure creative expression. I suppose it was inspired by the first novel, since it is a prequel, but the only driving motivation I had in writing it was the joy of putting together a really great, multi-leveled story.”

In Rahn’s opinion, the hardest thing about being a writer it “rejection letters and bad reviews. Especially when the reviewer didn’t “get” it. I try to still take something from what they say, because the fact that someone didn’t understand the point I was trying to make, means that I did not write effectively. However, I get so hyped and excited about what I’ve written that it really hurts to hear that someone hated it.”

Return readers will notice that I like to find out what our authors day jobs are. It’s always interesting to see that just your everyday, average Joe can be an author. You just have to put your heart into it. But, before I get off track let me just tell you…Jennifer has one of the most interesting day jobs out there.

“I am a scientist, currently researching brain tumors. I did a stint in the biotech industry after my Msc (sic) in Pharmacology and then did my PhD in breast cancer, so I’ve got quite a wide range of experiences that I could use to build up a story environment. I think it all gave me a lot of background fodder for the first novel, and I have an idea for a scifi whodunit, so it probably will provide me with background again, but the nice thing about writing fantasy is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be scientifically accurate!”

And on a scientific note, little known fact about Rahn: she carries “a blonde gene.”

Fans of Jennifer need to be on the look out for her future work. “I’ve got a short story coming out in the Strange Worlds Anthology, and I’ve been stuck about halfway through a werewolf novel for over a year. However, after talking and listening to writers at ConVersion26, I am now unstuck. I know how to fix it and make it really good.”

For more information on Jennifer Rahn be sure to check out these websites:

http://www.longevitythesis.ca
http://www.myspace.com/jjrahn
http://magnix.blogspot.com/

http://spaceshipsandsorcery.mevio.com/
http://jjrahn.mevio.com/

13 Questions with The Wicked

This week’s Horror Addicts interview is a special one, with interviews from several wicked ladies. That’s right, it’s time for the Wicked Women Writers Challenge!

The theme for this season’s challenge is 7 Deadly Sins. The contestants had a month to prepare their short story and interpret their sin. The women participating in the challenge are ones you’re sure to recognize: Michele Roger, R.E. Chambliss, Laurel Anne Hill, Rhonda Carpenter, Kimberly Steele, and Hollie Snider.

As last year’s winner Heather Roulo (H.E. Roulo) was the one to organize the contest this time around. And of course, our very own Emerian Rich will be working with Heather on the commentary for each story.

Here’s what Emz had to say about the contest, “I’m excited to see what the ladies come up with. They are all very talented. We’ve got Michele Roger, the one who created the Wicked Women Writers and the mastermind behind making Santa a werewolf! Laurel Anne Hill, who helped judge last year is an awesome writer and very involved with helping women in the writing community. Renee has been in our group for some time, but this will be her first story for Horror Addicts so I’m excited to see her step into the horror box. Rhonda Carpenter is a veteran of Horror Addicts and the Wicked Women’s Challenge. She’s also helped host Horror Addicts and has done little cameos here and there when I need her. Last Season, Kimberly Steele was our first woman to win the Best in Blood award for HorrorAddicts.net. Hollie is a newcomer to our group but has been writing for years and has been involved with writing groups as a mentor. These are all awesome writing women with strong voices. This contest will be rad to hear. I am especially eager to see how the fans react. Last time it was just 4 ladies. Now it’s harder with 6.”

Heather explained to me a little about the voting process. “The voters will decide how well each of the ladies have interpreted their theme. We suggested that the entries be quicker, since we were lucky enough to have so many people participate and we want to make sure that listeners have time to hear all the stories, but really they were encouraged to try whatever they wanted. And it’s great that we get to air in the Halloween episode!” Emz, also added that, “[i]t’s really too tough to judge. That’s why I’m making the listeners do it. With such awesome women involved, the competition is steep.”

I was able to have several “mini” interviews, including one with WWW creator Michele Roger (who, as mentioned above is a contestant as well). Michele’s theme this year is “Gluttony.”

“Last year, I participated in the challenge as well, but my story was the longest. It was as if I’d forgotten how to write short fiction. I had just come off of writing my first long novel, “Dark Matter” and I think I was still stuck in the very serious mode. This year, “Gluttony” is much lighter, faster paced and tongue and cheek. I grew up attending a Catholic school in the suburbs of north Detroit as a kid. I couldn’t resist going back to those memories and basing a horror story based on a deadly sin in my old alma matre.”

Be sure to note that Roger’s new novel, “The Conservatory” is due to be released this November. For more info checkout http://www.micheleroger.com/.

R.E. (Renée) Chambliss is a writer and podcaster who lives in northern California. Her highly-rated podcast novel, Dreaming of Deliverance, can be found on itunes and at podiobooks.com. To learn more about her writing, podcasting, and voice work, visit REChambliss.com. Renée’s theme this year is “Pride.” Her inspiration, surprisingly comes from a well known tv show.

“Years ago, I watched Survivor Amazon on t.v. Each episode, the losing tribe has to vote someone out of the game. Well, this time the tribes were divided by gender: there was an all-male tribe and an all-female tribe. One thing that really interested me (and kind of horrified me, to be honest) was that in the all-female tribe a couple of the younger women were very proud of their youth and beauty and were also certain that the older women must be extremely threatened by them because of it. Whenever there was a negative interaction with one of the older women, the young women always assumed it was because the older women were jealous. That seemed incredibly ridiculous to me. And it popped back into my head when I learned my sin would be pride. I decided to model a character after one of those young, pretty girls, and see where the story would go!”

“[Laurel Anne Hill is] looking forward to pouring a glass of wine, curling up in [her] favorite overstuffed chair and listening to the submitted stories. Oh, and [she’ll] also dim the lights to create the appropriate spooky atmosphere.”

Her theme turned out to be “Sloth,” which she told me was “a challenge in itself. After all, exciting main characters take action and overcome obstacles. How would I write from a couch potato’s point-of-narration and still maintain forward momentum? Then I came across a true “medical horror” case and the fuzzy pieces of my story puzzle sharpened at the edges…I started writing, and the result was Beyond Her Reach, a tale of sloth.”

And just a little FYI for all you Hill fans out there: “My award-winning novel, Heroes Arise (KOMENAR Publishing, 2007), is available in hard cover, trade paper and electronically through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Thar be Magic, my pirates and magic short story, appears in the Rum and Runestones anthology (Dragon Moon Press, 2010), also available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In 2010, I’ve had two additional short stories accepted for anthologies, and also had an op-ed (Support your Local Hero Rat) published by AOL News in August. To reach my blog and podcast, go to http://www.laurelannehill.com/.”

“Lust” was given to author Rhonda Carpenter, which found out some pretty interesting things while researching. “While researching the sin lust I found a very cool story about how god created Adam’s partner but that first partner was not Eve it was a woman named Lilith. She did not accept the subservient position of Adam being on top during sex. She refused to be on the bottom. I found this fascinating. She was rejected by Adam because she would not accept his dominance. God threw her out and she then had hundreds of babies in defiance. Then God created Eve she was the perfect subservient partner for Adam, Well I guess until she gave her partner an apple.”

For more information on Rhonda, go to: http://www.rhondacarpenter.com

For Kimberly Steele and her sin, “Greed,” things got off with a rough start. “I completely messed up this challenge. I was assigned to do a story on Greed, so I began to write a character who is pretty much the male archetype of everything I hate about American society: a hard-drinking, wife-cheating, money-obsessed salesman in that loathsome bland herd of executives who lunch (and golf). Then there was the demon tongue that ruins the aforementioned character’s life. The tongue was even more fun to write then the slimy salesman! The spigot flowed free and fast–only problem was that I wrote 10,000 words or roughly one hour of audio story! Only once the audio was recorded did I realize I was supposed to keep it to a pithy 10 minutes of audio. I had no choice but to write another story, so I spun a yarn that was heavily influenced by EC Comics; a Tales From the Crypt sort of thing about a doofus idiot who burns a volume of Shakespeare and gets owned for his stupidity by his recently deceased grandmother. I only entered the shorter story in the contest, but audiences will be the winners here as I will release both audio stories free from ForeverFifteen.com.”

Steele’s story for the contest is “about a greedy person has no appreciation of what he has, even though he lives a life of privilege and luxury compared to most. He abuses everyone around him, wastes every opportunity by being listless or lazy, takes everything for granted, then has the gall to blame others for his own ineffectualness.”

For more information on Kimberly check out her website at http://kimberlysteelemusic.com/.

“Good writing and lots of fun.” That’s what Hollie Snider is looking forward to for this challenge. “Since I’ve never really been part of the Wicked Women Writers, I am looking forward to getting to know everyone. That’s the big thing for me this year.”

Her plans for the challenge, “[t]o win, of course. Seriously, I didn’t even plan to be part of the challenge but Emz mentioned it to me and it sounded like fun. This is the first one I’ve done for Wicked Women Writers.”

Snider’s story for the challenge is titled, “Mirror, Mirror and was inspired by Snow White.”

“[It’s] definitely more toward the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales rather than Disney. The sin I wrote it for is “Envy.” It’s been called “gruesome” by those who proofed it for me. I hope it’s gruesome enough to get under people’s skin.” For more information on Hollie, go to: http://www.holliesnider.com/

To quote Michele, “It just seemed to me that the sci fi and horror genres are a bit of a “boy’s club”. There are real marketing reasons why many female writers publish under their initials or a pen name in this area of literature.” Or as Emerian put it, “[O]ur community is more about being a woman in a writing genre that is dominated by men. We support each other, share tips, and even help each other. It’s kind of like a secret society. We don’t have a strange handshake, but if another WWW asks for help, we all chip in.”

Everyone I interviewed had their own opinion of what they believe a Wicked Women Writer truly is. But, they all had one thing in common: she will “leave the listener with a satisfying chill in the bones.” 

All I know is this Wicked Women Writers Challenge is going to be Horrific!

Happy Haunting Horror Addicts!

13 Questions with Jeri Unselt

Hey, Horror Addicts are you ready for episode 48: Urban Legends? As someone whose art final was based on Urban Legends, you know I am.

Our author for this week is Jeri Unselt. Growing up, her favorite scary story (or in this case urban legend) was and still is: Bloody Mary. Her story for this episode is titled, Remember Me. The story is about “a woman who did research on the supposed real story behind Bloody Mary and escapes with her life only to have her past come back and haunt her.”

To keep us hungry for more Jeri gave me only a bit of information on the story. “[The main character] gets a phone call from a friend who is about to be murdered by someone or something.”

On Jeri’s 31st birthday, she was diagnosed with Ataxia, but she doesn’t let that slow her down. “I have noticed that people with disabilities aren’t taken very seriously so that’s why I write. The main character of Inner Demons, Adrienne has Ataxia and uses a walker as well.”

By day Jeri is a receptionist and by night an author. As mentioned above, Unselt has a podcast novel titled, Inner Demons.

“[The novel] is about a haunted house called Hawley Manor that was the scene of a brutal massacre that claimed the lives of a progressive rock band. Eighteen years later a psychic investigation [goes on] there to find out just what really happened.”

Unselt shared with me, the inspiration of Inner Demons. “I have always been a fan of the haunted house stories, paranormal in general. When I was eleven I used to ride my bike to an apartment building that for some reason reminded me of a haunted house and slowly the story took form. I wrote my first draft in the summer of 1997 and it’s been a part of my life since.”

As of now, Inner Demons is only available in podcast form. Luckily, for all you fans out there she does have plans to attempt to self publish the novel.

If you would like to contribute to her cause check out this link: http://www.indiegogo.com/Help-bring-Inner-Demons-and-its-sequel-in-progress-to-print

Jeri has a sequel in the works so be on the look out for it! Currently, Unselt is “editing an anthology of stories inspired by the music of Asia Featuring John Payne and GPS called Different Worlds.”

According to Jeri, the hardest part about writing is the revising and editing. Still, her goal is to one day make writing a “full time gig.”

Unselt shared with me that her favorite part of the horror genre is “the creative ways it scares people.”

Be sure to keep a look out for more of Jeri’s work. “I’m currently working on the sequel/prequel to Inner Demons and then after that I do have a few stories in my head I hope to get out on paper. One thing is an adaption of HP Lovecraft’s, The Shadow Over Innsmouth.”

For more information on Jeri Unselt, check out these websites:

http://www.innerdemonsnovel.com/

http://www.jeriunselt.org/

http://twitter.com/wdmusicfan

http://www.differentworldsanthology.com

13 Questions with Dan Shaurette

This week on Horror Addicts, our theme is: B-Movies. For those of you not familiar with B-Movies, the definition of a B-Movie is a low budget genre film. Their “Golden Age” being the 60’s and 70’s.

Featured to tackle this theme is author Dan Shaurette. His story for HA episode 47, is “entitled Hunter’s Moon and is an old story of [Dan’s] that [he] dredged up and dusted off for the show.”

“It is told by Bill Johnson, a vampire hunter who went out on patrol one cold October night. That night just happened to be Friday the 13th and a full moon to boot. Dark things and darker deeds were naturally afoot.”

Though you may have heard Shaurette’s promos and name mentioned; this is Dan’s first time to be “ interviewed and featured on Horror Addicts.” I asked Dan how it felt to be here for the first time and this is what he had to say. “This is wonderful. I’m a huge fan of Horror Addicts (and Night’s Knights!) and have nothing but admiration for Emz and everyone who puts together this podcast. I am honored to be here.”

Many of you Horror Addicts may have heard of Shaurette’s novel Lilith’s Love. Dan explained to me that, “[it] is a modern vampire story (set in 1993, which is when I wrote it) that tells the tale of Lilith, our female vampire protagonist, and her search to find a new home. The hunters have found her in New Orleans so she and her friend Anna need to leave. They decide to go to Phoenix, AZ, hoping that no one would expect to find vampires in the Valley of the Sun. There they find Donovan and Christian and a couple of romances blossom. There’s action, romance, reincarnation, Wiccan magic, and ominous foreshadowing. I think it has something for everyone.”

I wanted to know what had inspired Lilith’s Love, this is what he had to say. “To be honest, it was kind of a knee jerk reaction to reading Anne Rice’s novels in high school. I love her books, but to compare them to food, if I may, they are like eating rich, heavy foods. Great on special occasions but you can’t eat that way every day. I wanted to write a story that was leaner, smaller, more balanced, and local. The idea of vampires coming to Arizona, which is where I live, I thought was a great hook and it grew from that idea.”

Even though Shaurette was reading Anne Rice in high school. The author grew up on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving and The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. He jokingly added, “[y]eah, that probably explains a lot.”

Not only is he an author, Dan has a “day job” as a software developer. Of course, I was curious to see if being a software developer affected his writing in any way. “The character Donovan in Lilith’s Love is based on me, so he’s a programmer and he created a diary program that he used. Some of his journal entries are in the novel. But, other than draining my free time like Dracula on a bender, not much.”

Since, this is HA I had to ask what got him into Science Fiction. “Seriously, I’m a romantic at heart. Science Fiction is just something I grew up watching, reading, and loving. Vampires embody whatever we want them to, and frankly that is why they are hip now and are always in fashion.”

Vampires are a reoccurring theme in Shaurette’s life. “[Dan and his fiancée] hosted La Bal Masqué Nocturne, a vampire-themed masquerade ball, in 2006 to raise money for charity. [They] spent more to hold the event than [they] raised, but [they] still made a donation out of [their own] pockets.”

Still, they didn’t let that get them down. Shaurette explained to me that, “[they] learned a lot and hope to host another event in the future. Hopefully with sponsors or with the help of a group to bear the costs.”

With all the talk of vampires, growing up on Anne Rice and Edgar Allen Poe, will Dan ever transition into the Horror genre? “I’ve dabbled with horror in my short stories, like Hunter’s Moon. Lilith’s Love has elements of horror, but it would probably get classified as Urban Fantasy instead. I might write a novel that is more horror, but as I said before, I like to balance my stories, so it would probably also be a comedy of errors kind of thing as well as horror.”

If you are hungry for more Shaurette stories check out his blog (DanShaurette.com). There you can find several short stories. Also be on the look out for more of Dan’s work in the future. “[C]urrently, my fiancée and I host The Out Of The Coffin podcast all about vampires, so that is something you can enjoy now. Plus, as I said I have sequels and prequels to Lilith’s Love that I’m working on. Nothing immediate to release there, so that’s the long view ahead. I have started a new blog at SteamJunk.com all about Steampunk and there’s plans for a podcast there soon. That will discuss not just steampunk but gaslamp horror and fantasy as well as weird westerns. Gear-filled genre goodness.”

For information about Dan Shaurette, be sure to check out these websites:

http://www.OutOfTheCoffin.com

http://www.Liliths-Love.com

http://www.SteamJunk.com

http://twitter.com/dans42

http://www.facebook.com/danshaurette

http://www.DanShaurette.com

13 Questions with Alex White

Well addicts, it’s that time again…time to start the new season of Horror Addicts!

To kick off this new season I got to interview author Alex White. White revealed that he was “honored…to get on such a well-known podcast…it’s great!” Though this is his first time on Horror Addicts, this isn’t his first time to be interviewed by a Horror Addict. White has been featured on PodioRacket.com which, if you are a return reader, you know the hosts long time Horror Addicts, H.E. Roulo and Rhonda Carpenter. Alex told me, “[it was a] little nerve-wracking, actually! When [he does] live interviews, [he doesn’t] have a predilection for brevity.”

The Dead Thread, which Alex wrote for HA episode: Crime Noir, “[is] a hardboiled gangster story with a supernatural bent and a truckload of 20s and 30s slang.” White couldn’t tell me very much, worried that he would give away the plot. But I was able to get a little information out of him.

“The narrator, a bootlegger, murders two prostitutes for talking about him to the feds. Thereafter, he finds each step forward dogged by the ghosts of his victims. It’s racy and somewhat foul, and I would definitely give the story an “R” rating.”

Alex is well known for his “episodic podcast novel” The Gearheart. “It’s the story of Jonathan Andrews, Initiate (sic) in the Seekers of the Arcane Unknown, who joined the society two years ago with the hopes of protecting the secrets of magic from the greedy world beyond. However, a ravening shadow appears with a hunger for Seekers and Jonathan finds himself out of his depth. When Jonathan’s friend is attacked and the young initiate is assailed with apocalyptic visions of the future, he must find a way to uncover the past and stop the beast before it tears his group, and the world, asunder. It’s a ripping tale of magic, adventure and gunfights!”

“There will be other books in the setting; I’m writing them right now. Hopefully, I can get my first novella out into the feed soon. It will have its own album, and it’s quite long. I’m expecting at least six or seven episodes out of it.”

What inspired this 1920s-style world you may ask, “That’s a question that goes back a very long time. When I was in high school, a friend and I were both deeply in love with manga. We especially liked all of the romantic comedies, like Oh! My Goddess! and Ranma ½. Long story short, he came up with a really great story about a high school ghost, and I was so jealous that I set about trying to come up with something better. The Gearheart started out as a romantic comedy, but eventually evolved over the course of a decade. I lost interest in most manga, and I wanted to write something more serious than just another Love Hina.”

If you’ve ever been to the Gearheart website, then you’ve seen the Gearheart wallpapers. (If you haven’t, then go check them out!) I wondered where White got the idea for them…here’s what he had to say. “I think many authors dream of seeing their work realized in a visual medium, but don’t have the resources to make it happen. I live a charmed life—I have a great camera, hot friends and a day job as a visual effects artist and graphic designer. The hero of the wallpaper project is our producer, Brooke Fox (though you may know her as the face of Cog). She is heavy into cosplay, and when I asked her if she’d be interested in posing as Cog, she told me she had already collected the costume! It was meant to be.”

As mentioned above Alex is a graphic designer and visual effects artist. “[He] also did a lot of industrial videography, and [has] a host of weird certifications that came from that job, like deepwater survival, oil rig fire safety and exit procedures, OSHAA forklift operation and helicopter safety. Photoshop and After Effects are [his] primary tools, though [he does] a lot of work in Adobe Flash.”

Alex shared with me that it’s his fans that “makes it possible to keep going when [he feels] lonely or under appreciated.”

“It’s nice to know that, when I finish a story, I’ll have an audience ready and waiting to hear it! I don’t think many other writers have that pleasure unless they’re already well known in the print world. Basically, the fans of The Gearheart keep me on track when I feel beaten down or overwhelmed by life. They make it impossible to give up.”

Even though this is Horror Addicts, White is a Science Fiction writer. So, I was curious as to what got him into SF. This is what he had to say, “Video games! I was a Nintendo addict as a child, which in retrospect, may have played a part in my computer-bound lifestyle today. I loved all of the accoutrements (sic) of science fiction: the costumes, the colors, the sounds… It’s the most visually exciting genre there is. I just wanted to be a part of that.”

Since this is for a horror podcast, I had to ask, what is his favorite horror story. “As a kid I liked survival action horror, like Alien and Predator. I would also say The Terminator qualifies as horrific. I think everyone has had the dream about running from something you cannot escape. I continue to love the American version of The Ring. I know it was just the little girl from Lilo and Stitch, but holy crap did she scare the heck out of me. That movie, in addition to being beautiful, had everything I want in a horror movie, including a dynamite performance by Naomi Watts.”

For those of you not familiar with the movie The Ring. It is a story about a video tape that kills you seven days after you watch it. Actually, the video tape doesn’t kill but instead it is the little girl who dies on the tape. Rachel, (Naomi Watts) leaves to try and solve the mystery of the video to save her life. Some of the images seen on the tape are of a girl falling into a well, a woman brushing her hair, a burning tree, and a beach covered with dead horses. Speaking of horses, a little known fact about Alex is that he has a fear of them. He said that he couldn’t feel safe around such a large animal.

For all of you fans, old and new, you can look forward to a couple of projects that White is working on. First, “Maiden Flight of the Avenger– a novella set in the world of The Gearheart, complete with its own album.” As well as “Festival of the Bizarre– A full-length cyberpunk podcast novel, with a print version to be released next year, complete with its own album (which will hopefully be a rock album).”

For more information about Alex White, check out his website:

http://www.thegearheart.com/

13 Questions with Kimberly Steele

Hello again and let’s welcome back Kimberly Steele. Though this is her first time to be on 13 Questions, this isn’t Kimberly’s first time to be on Horror Addicts. Kim said that, “I feel that my pathetic, obsessive lurking around Emerian’s fabulous site and community becomes slightly more legitimized because I’ve been asked to interview twice.”

For Horror Addicts episode 28, Steele wrote a short story titled the Butterfly Collector. “I wrote Butterfly Collector in a weird, feverish, and angry haze over the period of two days. I am half-Japanese and adopted (raised by white people) and from time to time I have agonized over the acute otherness of being exoticized (sic); usually by accidental perpetrators. One facet of Butterfly Collector is my seemingly inexhaustible anger about the fetishization (sic) of women in general, utilizing the classic Asian woman “Madame Butterfly” stereotype for poignancy. Steve, the chauvinist vampire character, doesn’t see females as human. They’re beguiling, sexy, and silly, but in the end he views them in much the same way a natural carnivore views a juicy steak. When he falls in love with one of his victims, he’s forced to confront his suddenly authentic feelings for her–the butterfly is the Ancient Egyptian metaphor for the soul–and he finds himself delaying his urgent plans to rip out her throat and dump her in a ditch somewhere.”

Speaking about Horror Addicts, you may have heard the rumors going around that Emerian and Kimberly hate each other. After you read what Steele had to say about the rumors you’ll see what’s going on. “She’s my sister by a different mister, I love that chica. Emerian and I share Criss Angel. We get at each other, but it’s really Criss is to blame. He’s a slut.”

“[She] started writing during a terrible period of my life when [her] husband and [her] bought a house in the country and he remodeled it.” Kimberly said, “I’m not handy, so there I was sitting in an empty room with nothing to do. I began writing to avoid going crazy with depression. I wrote Forever Fifteen, my first novel, mostly by hand into a red 3-ring binder. It was Forever Fifteen that made me decide I wanted to write for the rest of my life. Even though the home remodel was a disaster that didn’t end well for us, I feel like it was kismet. I’m not sure if I ever would have started writing had it not been for the period of isolation in that awful house.”

You may have heard of Steele’s novel Forever Fifteen. Kim revealed to me that, “…the number one question I get every week is, “When are you going to finish the sequel to Forever Fifteen?” I do plan on finishing it–there is no intention to pull a Margaret Mitchell and not write a sequel–but I need a great groundswell of fans to demand that Forever Fifteen be brought to film. The fans of this book are so sweet. One fan, Ashley, actually asked me if there was anything she could do to help me write a sequel! Forever Fifteen has a wonderful filmmaker behind it right now, but it needs a producer. Once that is attained, I’ll write the sequels fast and furious, I promise. The primary issue is that right now there isn’t time to write the sequels because I’m consumed with owning a music teaching business. There isn’t enough movie interest to justify writing a sequel, but it’s building. I’m convinced that massive exposure of Forever Fifteen will be what it takes to get it to film. Word of mouth is integral–if you love that book, I implore you to spread the word to any friends you think would like FF. I think the fans will cause the tipping point with FF someday but it will only be because of the extreme power of word-of-mouth recommendations from sources like Horror Addicts.”

With that information, I just had to ask how the popularity of FF has affected her. “The popularity of Forever Fifteen never fails to astonish me. I wrote it six or seven years ago and I still get fanmail about it every week, all of which I save. It is Forever Fifteen that gave me the much-needed confidence that I was a “good” writer and could continue with other stories and eventually novels.”

Not only does Steele love writing but she also loves music; like many other Horror Addicts I’ve interviewed this season. She even has an alter-ego named Queenie. “Queenie used to be a name I used as a singer-songwriter. As I stopped performing live, I began to see Queenie as a ghost. She’s my doppelganger who was once a nineteenth century courtesan. She gave up her posh life as a courtesan for true love.”

“I love writing music and yet it is writing fiction that I love more, at least for now. The goal of both my music and fiction is the same: to bring you into my twisted, morose, and occasionally disgusting version of reality. Fiction is an easier medium to work with than music because there are less steps. I write it and you consume it. All I have to do to distribute new fiction is to throw it up on a blog somewhere. Done. The trouble with music is is there are more steps. In music, there’s the composing, the lyric-writing, the practicing, the playing, the high-resolution multitrack recording, the mastering, and finally the music arrives to you in convenient MP3 form. If any one of those steps is not well and expertly executed, the music will suck. Writing is more talent-only. It’s either there or it’s not.”

A little story about Steele, that she shared with me after I asked about any embarassing moments she may have had. “I wear thong underwear. Not all the time, but I’ll wear one if the pants or skirt is formfitting because I’m of the generation that considers visible panty lines the epitome of personal tackiness. Before we bought a washing machine, I used to have to go to the laundromat every week. My black thong underwear fell on the front porch on the welcome mat of the house. I was teaching lessons out of the house at that time. The whole day, students and their parents tramped in and out of my house with my black thong underwear laying on the mat. If you were a student and/or parent who had to wade through my underwear that day, I apologize to you now. My husband found the underwear on the mat at the end of the evening and asked, “Are these yours?” It’s not the first time I’ve dropped my underwear out of the laundry basket in a public place. For some reason when I lose underwear, it makes its way to a public arena (which is quite often). Said underwear will eternally be a racy black lace thong, never the innocuous white bikini briefs.”

With everything that’s going on in her life, I wondered what it was like in a day in the life of Kim. And she gave me a little sneak-peek into her life. “I am a music teacher blessed with my own private Studio. Piano and guitar lessons are my full time job. My day is weird: I start and end late. I never wake before 10am if I can help it. I feed Kiki [her cat] the moment I get up if I don’t want to be assaulted.  I drink Earl Grey tea in the morning, no sugar. I’m not a breakfast fan so I usually skip it. I do email things before noon and try to write before I go to work. I make myself a big lunch around 1:00 and go to work around 2:00. My work is very pleasant: I spend my day bringing happiness to people and I am somewhat of a goofball when I teach. Nevertheless, it is hard work and I usually don’t get home until after 9.”

Being such an important part of Steele’s life, I just had to know more about Kiki. “[She] is a shelter kitty. She’s about a year and a half old–we got her at about three months. She was very skinny and sickly because she had an infected spay scar, so she had to wear an Elizabethan collar (seriously, that’s what the vet called it) for several weeks. You should have seen the joy when we finally took that thing off. I believe that Kiki enjoys being a spoiled momma’s girl–she gets a great deal of attention from me with my frustrated maternal instincts. When you are over thirty and you don’t have kids, your cat will end up in a sun dress.”

Kimberly has a blog titled “Two Black Haired Girls.” Which features information and pictures of herself and Kiki. “2BHG was just a weird and ridiculous blog I made on WordPress to post pictures of Kiki and chronicle the annoying beast that is my hair. I have giant hair. Other than that, Kiki is a natural model. She’s always striking new and bizarre poses when she isn’t napping on my shoulder. I post very infrequently. There’s only so much information about my oversized hair and Kiki’s vogueing one can take. The surreal thing about 2BHG is that people actually read it, usually 100 or more views per day, sometimes up to 300.”

“Beside Forever Fifteen it’s only short stories right now. I’m halfway through a new vampire novel called River’s Heart. It’s about a Native American girl named Ann who is turned into a vampire at age thirteen. How horrific would that be? was my exact thought. River’s Heart is just a little bit reaction to the cringeworthy depiction of Native Americans as werewolves in Twilight. Not wholly, but I’d be lying if I denied that I wasn’t retaliating to Stephenie Meyer’s superficiality in dealing with that chapter in American history. As for my alter-ego, Queenie, she’s got a fourteen song album coming out this month called the Dream of Flight.”

For more information on Kimberly Steele check out any of these many websites:

http://www.facebook.com/kimberlysteele

http://kimberlysteele.wordpress.com/

http://foreverfifteen.com/

http://queeniemusic.com/

http://twitter.com/queeniemusic

http://www.myspace.com/foreverfifteen

13 Questions with Phil Rossi

This time around I was able to interview Phil Rossi for Horror Addicts.

Episode 45: Squidman, is his first appearance on Horror Addicts. The name of his story just happens to be Squid Man. “The story is about a father and daughter who are vacationing in the Outer Banks while a persistent low pressure system churns up the waters off the North Carolina coast. The tide drags in a little more than shells and sea weed. It’s a love story on several different levels. It’s a survival story.”

I asked Phil what it was like to write the story, compared the type of stories he usually writes. “The Squidman is strictly a monster story, certainly inspired by some of the iconic classics. It’s territory where I haven’t really tread before, but I had a great time with the experience. How does it differ from my typical writing? Generally, the “evil” in my stories deal with forces than transcend flesh, blood, and bone (or cartilage). While, the Squidman is as biological an entity as the story’s protagonist.”

“[Rossi has] been into horror for a long time. [He] fell in love with HBO’s Tales from the Crypt series back in 1989 when it still aired. [He] was at a very impressionable age, and [Phil thinks] some of those episodes (and the classic comics) really shaped [his] take on horror. A lot of seeds were planted then. At the same time, [he] was introduced to Alien and Aliens. [Rossi] could perform Aliens as a monologue, near verbatim. Horror is a fun experience–a rollercoaster ride for the mind.”

I decided to ask Rossi about his well known novel Crescent. What his inspirations were and of course if we could have a little sneak-peek.

“There was no one single inspiration for Crescent, but rather a fairly diverse list of things I was into at the time. I was watching Joss Whedon’s Firefly for the first time, I was rediscovering Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, and I had just stumble into the world of podcast fiction as a listener. Needless to say, my gears were spinning in strange and wonderful ways. Podfic seemed like a great fit for me. I’ve always been one for instant gratification and I realized I could write a story and get it out pretty quickly to a potential audience. Crescent was intended to be a Sci Fi/Horror series, but not a novel. Within a few chapters, I realized I had a book on my hand.”

Crescent is a ghost story. Crescent is an adventure story. Hell, it’s a love story. The novel is about sin and greed—it’s the human experience. It follows Gerald Evan, a smoking, drinking salvage pilot and anti-hero with no small amount of self-love, who comes to Crescent Station seeking a small fortune and early retirement. He lands a lucrative contract with Crescent’s corrupt mayor, Ezra Kendall, only to get caught up in the mayor’s devious machinations. But, in the shadows, Gerald soon discovers that the evils of man are the least of his worries. An ancient malevolence is stirring within the bowels of the station; it’s hungry as hell, and it’s coming for everyone.”

Phil also told me a little bit about his second novel Harvey. “With Harvey, I took the opportunity to stretch my legs a bit. There’s no science fiction element. The book is all paranormal horror. The story follows Calvin Hubbard, an ex-signing competition star who heads out to a little backwoods town called Harvey where he plans to write the next great rock and roll album and resurrect his career. But Calvin doesn’t know that a man has just been buried alive in the woods outside of town, and that this quiet murder is just the first in a string of macabre events. As the town goes silently mad around him, Calvin is unable to abandon the record of his dreams. Drunk on inspiration and blinded by an inexplicable lust, he careens headlong into the maelstrom, only to discover that he may be the town’s only salvation.”

Another one of Rossi’s stories Eden (which hasn’t been released yet). “Eden leans closer to straight science fiction than horror. The vibe was heavily inspired by Arthur C. Clark with respect to the ambiance and mystery of Eden, but with hopefully more focus on the characters and their experiences. Eden is a giant tree discovered orbiting Uranus. There she changes humanity’s very concept of extraterrestrial life. Dr. Malcolm Green is sent to Eden to audit a science team studying this extraordinary tree. But with unexplainable accidents plaguing the research program, tensions are mounting between scientists and custodial staff. Only Malcolm can determine if there is a future for the project. But from the second he is close to Eden, Malcolm’s own future becomes at stake. He soon finds that love, friendship, and his own mortality tremble like a leaf at the sound of Eden’s call.”

Phil has been compared to such authors as Stephen King, Philip K. Dick, and HP Lovecraft. He told me, it was flattering and humbling, it was also a little intimidating. “Considering those are some of the biggest names out there, the bar is set pretty high. At the same time, it’s something that inspires me to constantly improve as a writer so some day I can feel a little better about the comparisons being accurate.”

As well as being a writer, Rossi is also a musician. I asked him if his writing affects his music in anyway or vice-versa. “In the past, my music and my writing resided in separate spheres. More and more lately, these worlds seem to overlapping. For example, with Crescent, I composed a soundtrack that was directly inspired by the book. With Harvey, the impact was more intimate. The story directly inspired the songs on the soundtrack and at the same time, songs on the soundtrack really shaped some of the scenes in the book. In a way, composing songs in the head of Calvin Hubbard made the story a very real experience for me.”

“I’m fiercely passionate about both. I could never decide between the two. It’s been suggested in the past that I put my focus in just one or the other. But any time I’ve tried that, it’s only ended in heartbreak.”

Curious about his “fame” from his music and books. I asked Phil how his life has changed. “Well, I’ve been famous in my own head for a long time, so I was prepared going into to the maelstrom. In all seriousness, this little brush with “fame” (and I use fame in the sense that complete strangers know my name and who I am) has made me work harder, both to maintain the modest but loyal following I’ve developed, and to continue to put work out in a way that satisfies my appetite to create and tell stories.”

A little known fact about Phil is that he hates the telephone. “I don’t like talking on the phone and I dread making phone calls. I only do so when there is no other way to communicate with someone or any other means of communication would be inappropriate. I suppose that makes me a bit of a freak. The advent of text message was a godsend. Honestly, I’m trying to get over this. I’ll call and let you know how that goes.”

Keep an eye out for Phil Rossi’s future work and the fall release of Eden. “In terms of podcasting, I just started releasing a flash fiction anthology–Phil Rossi’s Fiction in Five, and I’m editing my next novel, A Prayer for Rain, for podcast sometime in the late fall (god willing). As far as music, my new band is hitting the studio in the next month or so to work on a record with the intention of a late Summer release.”

For information on Phil Rossi check out these websites:

http://www.philrossi.net
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Phil-Rossi/7699204257
http://twitter.com/philrossi
http://www.thephilrossiexperience.com/crescent


13 Questions with H.E. Roulo

I was lucky enough to interview a well known Horror Addict for this week’s episode 44: Death. So please welcome back Heather Roulo also known as H.E. Roulo. You might remember her name from the Horror Addicts website as the Most Wicked Women Writer of 2009. She has written two stories for H.A., her horror/sci-fi story Undergrowth. As well the story that won her the Most Wicked title, Graveyard Shift (and Reshift).

This week Heather’s story for Horror Addicts is titled Great Asp and Little Death. When I asked Roulo about her story she told me, “Death is an introspective theme, often quiet and full of double meaning on life and its ending. I thought about the many interpretations of death in literature, including Hades and the Grim Reaper. There are endless movie interpretations, like the famous chess game in The Seventh Seal or the endless Joe Black. Death appears in the middle of battles and of gatherings, such as in Poe’s Masque of the Red Death or Peter S. Beagle’s story about Death as a 16 year old girl. Death has no trouble getting invited to cocktail parties.”

Here’s a little information about Great Asp and Little Death: “Death stalks a woman-warrior of near mythic proportion fresh from battle and dealing with her husband’s death and her own imminent demise. Will she achieve hero status and be made immortal? Or will the wounds to her heart and body give her over to Death first?”

I asked Roulo what got her into horror and how she became a Horror Addict. Heather said that, “Rhonda R Carpenter and I were releasing our books at the same time on Podiobooks.com and became friends. She released a short story through Horror Addicts and ended up introducing me to the show and the host, Emerian Rich.”

Heather “was thrilled to win” the title Most Wicked which, “comes with the responsibility to organize the next year’s contest. The weight of the crown (Robe? Cauldron?) is heavy indeed.”

H.E. moved from one Podcast to another, her very own. She explained to me that, “[o]nce Rhonda and [her] finished releasing [their] books, [they] created Podioracket.com to support the authors and give fans somewhere to turn for more information. [They‘ve] settled into a nice pace where [they] release a 20 minute show every two weeks, with two interviews and a little news and contest information. Through Podioracket [they have] also added a live Blog Talk Radio show and released an anthology, Podioracket Presents-Visionaries.”

What got the website started was Roulo’s uncertainty of what to do after she released her book, Fractured Horizon. “I wasn’t sure what the next step was for promoting it and I wanted to hear other author’s approaches. All the writers were so interesting. I realized they just needed a way to connect immediately with their audience and a central place that listeners could go. Podioracket caught on instantly because it had that ready-made audience.”

Not only was Heather the winner of the Wicked Women Writers but she was also “a finalist for the 2009 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction Story (novel).” H.E. revealed to me that she thinks it’s “nice to be able to say that Fractured Horizon was recognized as, arguably, one of the top five podcast novels last year. It looks pretty on my query letter to publishers.”

“Actually, one short story that I wrote for Horror Addicts, Undergrowth, has been nominated for a Parsec this year, as well as Podioracket.com and the anthology I put together, so I’m currently preparing samples for the Parsec Committee’s consideration.”

Speaking of Fractured Horizon, Heather gave us a little more detail about her novel. “Fractured Horizon is about Kay Downs, a contemporary woman who discovers that her absent father guarded a rift in time, but her accidental conception broke all the rules. Kay must travel through time by living through it, correct the changes her existence has caused, and ultimately heal the rift and save her father. Much of the book is spent in the near future, where a divided world teeters between bio-engineered warriors and mystical rulers who sense the future. In a world built on utter predictability, Kay’s misplacement in time makes her a dangerous wildcard. As if traveling forward through time weren’t hard enough, she is pursued by an enemy with a simpler way to protect the sanctity of the timeline—her destruction.”

Heather decided to share a little of her writing background and how she got into writing in the first place. “I always liked making up stories. In the third grade I was selected for the Young Authors program and attended a convention where I met professional writers and read my work. That pretty much solidified it for me. I wrote every summer, for hours on end, but I didn’t consider it something that I needed to work on. My plan was to work, pay off college debt, and then stay with my children and pick up writing. I’ve stuck with the plan, and my life looks the way I always thought that it would, except that I didn’t realize how much I still had to learn about writing. It isn’t just putting in the hours but also about understanding the business, the market, and being willing to promote yourself. I have this small window to make my dream successful, and I’m grateful for it.”

I was wondered how writing about death compared to stories of the future? Was one more challenging than the other? Roulo had this to say, “Once you have a great idea, writing a story in a particular genre isn’t any more difficult. However, I do find that many of my ideas naturally turn to sci-fi. I always want to be growing and trying new things. I had already given Horror Addicts a sci-fi piece and a contemporary piece. I’d used sound effects. So for the new story I chose a historical fantasy setting and, for the first time, added another voice and a musical score.”

Look forward to “an audio drama from Necropolis Studio Productions in the works that [Roulo] think[s] Horror Addicts would really enjoy.” But she isn’t sure when it will be released it. Also, “Podioracket.com is going on summer hiatus so that [Heather will] have time for more writing. Perhaps another book?”


For more information about Heather Roulo be sure to visit these sites:

http://www.twitter.com/@hroulo

http://www.fracturedhorizonnovel.com

http://www.podioracket.com

13 Questions with Michele Roger

Hello, Horror Addicts and welcome back to another installment of 13 Questions. This week’s author is Michele Roger. “She is the creator of the Wicked Women Writer’s group on emzbox.ning.com.” This is Michele’s second time on Horror Addicts. “Emz was very gracious when I first started writing short stories and podcasting. She gave me feedback and hosted my first story, “Taste of the Dead” the first year I started out.”

“Wicked Women’s Writing Group was a group I created because it seemed as if the genre for sci fi and horror was dominated by men. To my suprise there are a boat load of talented women who write horror and have joined. Its a place to network and help one another. Admittedly, I’ve not been working with the group due to fighting some legal battles (writing is intellectual property I discovered). But the group has really taken off and I hope it will be a hub for new talent as well as established writers.”

For Horror Addicts episode 43: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Roger has written a story called Hyde. “It’s meant to be a play on sound like a homonym. It’s a post apocalypse story about the entity of Death. He has evolved along with humanity after surviving WWIII and all of its fall out. He is the reason for a new plague spreading throughout the city of Detroit. Victims are found often screaming “Hide”(Hyde). A famous doctor, Jake Hayle is said to have the cure and that’s where our heroine comes in to seek him out to help her lover who has fallen victim to the sickness.”

Here’s a little sneak-peek into Hyde:

The average person might think that the sight of the inflicted is what one first notices. But in all actuality, it’s the smell. Since the Third War, heightened senses and the ability to see both real and dark

matter are not the only evolutionary leaps humanity has made. Those victimized by the Madness can survive even though their hearts have literally been torn from their chests by those they love most. The body clings to its genetic past and begins to rot but only up to a point. That’s where the evolutionary leap comes in.

There is a young woman sitting at the pie counter. She’s wearing a black mini skirt and fishnets like most college age girls at Wayne State university wear. Her hair is fashionably tied back in a loose pony tail. She is or rather ‘was’ a beautiful twenty something with the world by the tail. Tonight, the corners of her mouth show the signs of the Madness setting in. The outline of her lips and corners of her mouth have begun to turn black. Her tear ducts are grey and the color is creeping to the lids of her otherwise, sparkling blue eyes. I walk in and sit down next to her, accidentally letting my oversized hand bag bump her. That’s when the seeping starts. Just above the third button hole in her white cotton shirt is the black inky liquid that was once her blood. It soaks a 3 inch diameter spot like breast milk from a new mother. In my haste, I grab nearly half the contents of the chrome napkin holder and hold them to her chest. The slight movement of my hand just above her breast reveals the gaping hole where her heart once beat. All that remains is its empty socket.

“I’m new,” she explains apologetically. “They tell me that my body just hasn’t learned to stop sending my blood back to my heart?.or where I once had a heart.?

I choke back tears as I try to hide the depth of my sympathy and admiration for her. She refuses to give up, dressed in the latest styles, searching for the doctor who might give her the humanity back that she once knew.

“Do you remember anything?”

“One minute I was walking from the bar on Anthony Wayne back to our apartment and the next thing I knew I was in the side alley.”

“Do you remember anything of the attack?”

“It was a man, I remember that much. At least he had the face of a man. He was wearing some kind of long dark coat and a red scarf. Not a winter scarf though, it was more like a silk one, something out of the Victorian era. I saw the flicker of the blade of the knife and started running. Then it comes back to me in flashes. There is the sound of my feet in the puddles as I headed back to the closest street light. Then, the sense of falling overcomes me and I am surprised to land on the top of a garbage can. I tried to get up but his giant hand held me fast down over the can. At

this point, I was sure he was about to rape me. His other hand reached into my blouse. And then,,” the girl chokes a bit and black tears pour down her thin, onion skin like face.

“And then the pain like I’ve never felt before.”

She looks at me and yet she looks past me as she relieves the scenes in her head. Her eyes meet mine again.

“The days that followed, it was clear that I had it. I lived without a heart. And with it, all of the misery that comes with it. I can’t feel anymore. I don’t care for anyone. I struggle just to care enough about myself to keep on living. But each day, I wither away. Everyone I’ve ever loved has given up and I don’t care. My last hope is Dr. Jake Hayle. I need him to cure me if I’m ever going to get my life back.”

I was curious as to how Roger got into horror and became an Horror Addict. “I’ve been a Horror Addict since the time I could read. My mother hated that I read horror. She would buy me teen romance novels. So I didn’t keep hurting her feelings, I cut the covers off of the romance novels and glued them onto my Stephen King, Andrews, Rice and Koontz novels. That solution made us both happy. When I moved out to go to college she discovered my deception and just gave up on me. She likes my writing though now that I’m an adult.”

Michele’s novel, “Dark Matter is her first full length novel. It’s recently been published as a book as well as in digital format for the Kindle. It’s still and always will be a free podcast as well. Dark Matter is the story of a woman who finds herself one of the undead in the world that we as humans cannot see….the world made of anti-matter or rather by its popular name in science, Dark Matter. She gets thrown into the mix with a vampire and a dead librarian in a last ditch effort to save the world from its final end and in the mean time discovers she has a lot more to offer the world than just music lessons. Its cosmology, its sci fi, its horror and its a bit of romance and erotica (sic).”

She is a music teacher who enjoys playing the harp. “Before I was a teacher, I was a parent. I used to make up stories to tell my son when he was in the hospital with asthma problems. Thinking up the plots kept me awake and helped take his mind off of everything that was going on around him.”

“My harp’s name is Aiden. He has a soul all his own. I’m not sure if I was a harpist in another life, but I know Aiden has lived many lifetimes. I’m just a vessel for the stories he has to tell.”

Roger believes that, “[m]usic and writing are completely different avenues and outlets for what’s going on in my life. One does not influence the other. They CAN work together though. I’ve written and recorded some of my won music for my latest work, “The Conservatory”. In Conservatory, the main character is a music teacher who takes a job at a private music school infested, unbenounced (sic) to her with monsters who feed on flesh and are controlled by the headmaster with an evil plan to make the school famous as well as rich. The setting is based on the real haunted school experiences of the Oakland Community College, Highland Lakes campus, not far from where I live.”

When asked which she enjoys more, music or writing, she replied, “They both have a place in my heart. I like writing because I can hide away somewhere and get lost in my own world where I am in complete solitude. I like music because I get lost in the energy of my audience as I play. In both aspects really, I like the exchange of sharing my world whether it be made of notes or words and in return knowing that I’ve taken at least one other person away from the mundane, even if its just for a little while.”

Not only does she write horror stories, but Michele also has a published children’s book titled Winter Solstice and the 1,000 Pancakes. “[It’s] a children’s book that I wrote and illustrated myself. It’s based on a true story of a winter solstice night where people from all kinds of walks of life and religions got stuck in a bad Michigan snow storm and headed to the only light they could see…my old farm house. Everyone who came had different food, different beliefs and it was the best “Christmas” my family and I ever had. The story is told from my dog, Lulu’s perspective so the creative side of this book is that all the illustrations were done from her perspective…meaning I walked on my knees for weeks to get the right angles!”

I wanted to know what differences did Michele notice in writing a children’s book compared to your novel Dark Matter? She told me that, “[w]riting children’s books is way more stressful. You’d think it would be easy but one must think of every word and how it relates to picture without being complicated. With a novel like Dark Matter, I could wear a bunch of different hats, become the characters, write from their perspective and never have to worry about offending anyone. It was great.”

Look forward to Michele’s current projects: “I’m presently finishing The Conservatory for my editoring the hopes that it will come out in print for Halloween. I’m trying to finish a music CD as well over this summer (one I started writing and recording nearly a year ago). Then, in the fall, after the CD and new book are released, I’d like to finish to write a sci fi play called “Portrait” that combines high tech, digital props with a series of inter-connected short stories. There isn’t much live theatre that has horror or sci fi for its audiences. I’d like to change that…and of course, score the music for it while I’m at it.”

For more information on Michele Roger please visit these websites:


http://www.micheleroger.com
http://www.myspace.com/micheleroger


13 Questions with Linda Ciletti

This week’s Horror Addicts featured author is Linda Ciletti. For HA episode 43: Werewolf, she has written a story titled The Hunger.

Linda told me that “I originally wrote it for a writing class I took at a local college “Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror”. It really opened my eyes at the genre range I could write, and it was good practice…Basically it’s one kill scene told from the introspection of the werewolf who is hunting for a meal. There’s no dialog…just his thoughts and actions.”

This is Ciletti’s first time on Horror Addicts, “horror isn’t typically a genre [Linda writes]. But it’s good to write a little in every genre because even though [she doesn’t] write horror novels, the ones [she does] write could have horrific parts in them.”

“The Hunger is my first Podcast. My ‘getting my feet wet’. I hope to podcast my other short stories as well.”

When asked to compare writing horror to what she usually does. Linda replied, “I normally write romantic adventure…medieval, fantasy, time travel and some contemporary. [But] it was fun to write this werewolf piece in his introspection. However, even these stories have horrific scenes or characters. It was only different in that the entire story centered on one horror character.”

As a day job, Linda is a Educational Programs Coordinator. “[She] set up programs for small business people to attend. A reservationist (sic) of sorts…arrange a speaker, a room, food, materials, etc. I also do the marketing for the programs, marketing materials, and other various duties. I like it..most days.”

On Linda’s website she mentions that she used to play guitar when she was younger. She also mentioned her hopes to start up again. I wondered what had started the hobby? What ended it? “It was the thing to do at that time. Everyone was playing guitar. I was 13. I have a creative side that must be satisfied, so that was one of the many ways I’ve done that. I really enjoyed it and still pick it up on occasion and play a bit. Last year I wrote a poem/song and performed it at a conference I went to, so I wouldn’t say it ended. I just don’t give it top priority.”

Another hobby of Ciletti’s is to craft porcelain dolls. “..I started doll collecting…the whole HSN (home shopping network) thing. Then thought, I should make my own dolls. I had done ceramics years earlier, so porcelain doll crafting wasn’t too far from that. Finally I found a shop that taught porcelain doll crafting and I started a very expensive habit. But I really enjoyed it.”

I was curious what process one has to go through to make a doll. “I didn’t pour my own porcelain…so I bought clay molds already poured and shaped, cleaned them smooth, cut out holes for eyes…then they were fired. Then you paint, and paint, and paint, then they are fired again. After the porcelain is done, you put in glass eyes, chose a wig, and buy or make clothes. Before the shop closed, I got into making dolls that represented my book characters. I love them. Unfortunately, the shop closed and my dolls days came to an end. So the book dolls I have now are all I’ll have.”

Linda had a very interesting experience to get her into writing. “I found a book lying on the road in the rain, picked it up, took it home, and began to read it…wet. Then I dried it out and finished reading it…and thought, I can do that and better. I was always a reader. After that I began reading voraciously. Loved the happily ever after endings of romance. That’s what starting me writing. It’s been a long growing and learning experience.”

Linda has been on Second Life (3D virtual world where users can socialize and connect) since April of 2009. On her website she wrote Second Life! Not just a game. Linda told me, “I say “not just a game” because as Fayre, I’m not roleplaying a character. Fayre represents me as a writer. I’m making writer contacts, making writer friends, and gaining opportunities I wouldn’t have gained had I not been in second life. Such as meeting an editor who said to send her a submission…and meeting the Podcasters and podcasting. SL can definitely work side by side with RL. Who knows what can happen.”

Draegon’s Lair and KnightStalker are the novels currently published by Ciletti. “What inspires any of [her] books are the characters that enter [her] head. It escalates from there. [She’s] sure other books [she’s] read are some inspirational influence. But mostly, the character shows up and [Linda] just start[s] writing.”

“Draegon’s Lair is about a woman who, betrothed for political reasons to the very cruel and sadistic lord, Bastion of Worthingshire, flees to escape abuse. She knows the price she’ll pay (a public flogging and possibly death) if she’s caught and brought back…she’d attempted running before. But this time she’s running not only for her own life but for that of her unborn child. After missing two menses, she knows she’s pregnant and she does not want her child raised in Bastion’s household.

It’s also about Draegon, a reclusive lord who keeps his face hidden from all but his second and steward, Diminimis. Draegon had suffered abuse in his early years and understands the fear it instills in a person. His earliest years are lost memories to him but for one; and because of this one memory, he knows the blood of a murderer runs in his veins and that he must hide his face so that others cannot see this innate evil in his eyes. He fears this evil and considers himself unworthy because of it. He is content in his world of shadows until he rescues a wounded Alys from a band of pursuers. Soon he realizes the truth of living in hell. Suddenly he yearns for a love he is unworthy of. But how can he convince Alys of his unworthiness? This spirited and persistent woman who believes him to be more than what he is.

It’s also about Bastion of Worthingshire. He wants Alys back at any cost and will kill anyone who gets in his way.”

“KnightStalker is about a struggling young mother, Rachael, raising her five-year-old son alone. She had never married, but had lived with her boyfriend for several years. Until he walked out on her and their toddler son. Because of this, she has trust issues and is afraid to let any man into her and Timmy’s lives.

It’s also about Michel of Banesford, a late 12th Century knight who vows to stop a serial killer even if he must follow him through time itself. Little does he know, that’s just what he would do. Michel follows this killer into present day. He knows he can never return to his own time, but after meeting Rachael and Timmy, he knows he has found his home in this new world. But his vow to stop the killer knight must be fulfilled. The story is about Michel’s adjustment to a future time and Rachael learning to trust. It’s also about love and family and commitment, whatever the cost. And keeping one’s vows and promises.”

Currently, Linda has two novels in the making. “One, Dream of the Archer, is being submitted. It takes place during the days of Robin Hood and the Archer is one of his men. She is also revising a Faerie Fantasy about a faerie prince who is determined to save a human child the faeries are going to tithe to hell. [Linda hopes] it will be ready for submission soon. [And she’s] now working on its sequel.”

For more information on Linda Ciletti visit these websites:

http://www.myspace.com/larici
http://www.lindaciletti.net


13 Questions with Hollie Snider

This week’s featured author is Hollie Snider, long time listener but first time (Horror Addicts author). You may recognize the last name from earlier on in the season. Hollie is married to HA author Henry Snider and is one of the founders of the Colorado Springs Fiction Writer’s Group as well.

For Horror Addicts episode 41: Headless Horseman, Hollie has written a story titled “More Than Kin.” When I asked if we could have a little sneak-peek into the story she had this to say. “I could, but I’d hate to spoil it. Suffice it to say that the Headless Horseman isn’t.”

Hollie can sum up her excitement for being on the show “[i]n two words, Woo Hoo! Seriously, this is a great opportunity to share my stories with fans. I just hope that the Horror Addicts enjoy listening to this story as much as I did writing it.”

I wondered what had gotten Snider into the horror genre. “I blame my husband. But then, it’s only fair as I have introduced him to fantasy. I’ve always liked horror, but what scares me is not what scares most. I find cloning scary. Movies and stories that have to do with cloning are horror to me. There’s not much scarier than meeting yourself face to face and neither of you know which is the real “me.” As for the genre as it is defined, I’ve always preferred the supernatural horror as opposed to the serial killers.”

Though she is a long time listener to podcasts Hollie doesn’t have her own…yet. “I have been wanting to start one for all the fantasy and sci-fi writers. Horror is experiencing a tremendous resurgence in popularity. I would like to do for fantasy and sci-fi what Emz is helping to do for horror.”

She has her own website but currently it is under construction. “[She is] hoping to add more content in the near future. [Hollie wants] to have some links there for other authors as well as bits of my own stories.”

Along with the podcast Snider is also “hoping to start a blog soon, but have no idea what to blog about. The very idea that complete strangers want to read about me and my life when I merely famous in my own mind is odd.”

Like her husband, Hollie loves photography. “[But] I much prefer creating with words, though I have tried my hand at painting. That was an interesting experiment. I definitely proved to myself that the image I see in my head is better represent with words than a paintbrush.”

Hollie has several stories as well as a published novel titled “For the Rank of Master.” “Which, is a dark fantasy tale. On the surface, it appears to be the traditional save-the-world quest novel, but as the reader gets into it, the story changes. It has elements of sword and sorcery fantasy, but magick (yes, with a K) has its limits. It has rules, and those rules cannot be broken. Toward the end, horror fans will see some influence from HP Lovecraft as well.”

I read that Snider has a “background in mythology and historical lore” and asked if she could explain a little about it. “I have always been fascinated with history. I love cultural anthropology and mythology as well. I took quite a few classes in college and just chose to continue learning through books and on the Internet – cheaper than college, that’s for sure. I love working in obscure bits of history into my works, or taking history and twisting it around to see it from another perspective. Not so much alternate history as simply a different point of view. Twiddling with events is how “More Than Kin” came to be. Not to mention, using obscure history or mythology is a great way to “hide” your creative sources.”

Hollie also has 15 plus years in editing experience, and “though most of her editing work has been freelance. She has helped several authors get ready for publication.”

“As a matter of fact, an author I have been working with for several months just got a partial request for his novel from an agent. My favorite houses to work with have all been small presses though. I really enjoyed working as an acquisitions editor for Gardenia Press. If Elizabeth Collins hadn’t passed away, I’d still be there. Unfortunately, due to her death, the house closed.”

As a founding member of the Colorado Springs Fiction Writer’s Group, Snider had some advice for all the writers out there. “Don’t spend your time trying to fix grammar and mechanics. Worry about creating a cohesive, compelling story. Punctuation, grammar, etc – that will all come with practice and help. But creating an intriguing tale is a talent that cannot be taught. Find a good writer’s group or creative writing class too. Friends and family are great ego boosts, and all writers need them, but friends and family are going to hesitate in telling you anything negative about your story, or in making suggestions. These people are more worried about sparing your feelings than in helping you grow as a writer.”

Be on the lookout for more works from Hollie. “[She has] several more short stories in the works and a few novels started as well. There are a few more samples of [her] writing on the Colorado Springs Fiction Writer’s Group website. The works on the member pages.”

And she had these last words for readers, “I look forward to hearing from anyone who reads or listens to my work, even if the reader or listener doesn’t like it.”

If you would like to contact or learn more about Hollie be sure to check out these websites:

Her website – www.holliesnider.com

The Colorado Springs Fiction Writer’s Group website – www.csfwg.org


13 Questions with M.J. Hahn

Horror Addicts episode 40: Ghosts’ featured author is M.J. Hahn. A man who’s profession is a bit surprising for a horror author. “I’ve been a hair stylist for almost 20 years. Yipes!! It’s still a fun gig because I get to be creative at work.”

But don’t let Hahn’s profession fool you; the man loves the horror genre. “It’s a lifestyle baby! I’ve been dressing in black since I could pick my own clothes! Any fiction I produce in the future will likely have some sort of supernatural aspect. It’s just how my brain works.”

M.J. was excited to be the featured author of this week’s HA episode. “It feels great! I’m honored to be included in season 4. Especially for the ‘Ghost’ episode. I started listening to Horror Addicts around season 2. I love it! I try to never miss an episode.”

“[T]his is my first time. I suppose there is a teensy bit of trepidation involved with the process of putting my work out there. But, it’s all good.”

The story he has written for all you Horror Addicts is titled The Black House. “[It] is a cautionary tale about the evils of Homeowner Move-in Eviction (which was especially rampant during the dot.com boom years here in San Fran.) Cindy & Chase Burnham are a yuppie couple who think they’ve found their dream home. The place seems perfect, except for the tenant living on the first floor. Cindy wants him out, and steps are taken. Then spooky things start to happen.”

Hahn went for “an old time radio mystery feel.” He admitted that “[t]he drama is, admittedly, a little “pulpy.” [But it] was a lot of fun to write.”

Readers beware that the extra details of The Black House, provided by M.J., contain spoilers.

The Black House. A real location in San Francisco that used to occupy 6114 California Street (same address in the story…although they no longer use that number now). It was notorious!”

“The home of Anton LaVey and his Church of Satan. After LaVey’s death in ’97, his finances were a mess. LaVey’s family fought to keep the house, but the City finally had it condemned. It was torn down in 2000. And a HIDEOUS modern condo was built in its place.”

“That was my jumping off point. How would Anton feel about what had been built in place of his former house? Not to mention that it was occupied by Yuppies!! (he was famous for his views on yuppies! lol)”

*fun fact*

“Anton LaVey spent his formative years working in Carnivals as a lion tamer, and Burlesque houses as an accompanist on the organ. In the course of the story, Cindy is tormented day and night by the downstairs tenant’s keyboard playing. I’ve included actually recordings of LaVey’s musical stylings to set just the right mood. He was also reported to have kept a young male lion named “Niro” on the premises. I’ve included him in the story as well.

I asked Hahn what it was that inspired him to write The Black House. “When Emz gave me ‘ghosts’ as a topic, I had the kernel for the story in mind. Then, as I continued to research, the details about Anton LaVey’s life and character shaped where the story went from there. I enjoy this kind of organic process of writing. Keeping as much as I can anchored in truth seems to make those scary bits all the more effective.”

M.J. admits to believing in ghosts, “[t]here have been times when I’ve had that weird feeling that something was hanging around.”  He shared with me the story of moving into his house. “My present house is over 120 yrs. old. We moved in on Halloween night and had an unusual housewarming. There was a definite cold spot in one of the bedrooms, and the windows in the back of the house would not stay shut!”

Other than The Black House, he also talked about The Bellefaire Podcast.
“A 15 episode serialized version of [his] first novel:
Yuki O’Malley & the Bellefaire is a horror drama aimed at the Harry Potter crowd. Yuki, the biracial, semi-psychic, anime-esque teen heroine and her phantasmic ass-kicking sidekick, Tina, face villains who wreak of greed and vanity at a spooky salon for women of a certain age. Did I mention that this all happens on the streets of San Francisco?
The sequel:
Crowley Golden & the Isis Heart is almost ready to go. Crowley is the “boy next door” who keeps his nose in old musty books full of arcane knowledge. He had a supporting part in Bellefaire, now Crowley takes center stage in an adventure that will have a more steampunk flavor.
I’ll be starting new episodes in May.”

I was curious about the strange skull logo Hahn has. He explained to me that it’s a “sort of a coat of arms for the villains in the story. There are injections of arcane compounds to extend life and preserve youth. The screwdriver and screws on the skull relate to one character who’s opted for a more invasive beauty procedure. mwahahaha!”

Fans of M.J. Hahn keep an eye out for future episodes of the sequel of Bellefaire. Which “will begin in early summer this year!” Also be on the look out for “The Isis Heart Podcast…more Victorian spooky goodness w/ a steampunky flavor!”

For more information on M.J. Hahn be sure to check out these websites:

The Bellefaire Podcast – http://bellefairepodcast.com/

The Bellefaire Podcast on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bellefaire-Podcast/81640676817?ref=nf

13 Questions with Mark Eller

Hello again Horror Addicts!

This week for 13 Questions I was able to interview returning Horror Addict Mark Eller. The interview was interesting and a lot of fun. Mark gave me so much to work with and after cutting things down I still had so much. So I tried to squeeze things together the best I could but it still came out as long as it did. But not to worry you are in for an array of entertaining stories and a great interview.

Long time Horror Addicts might recognize the name of his last featured story: Hunt Night. Which, “revolves around a teenager who wakes up in a barn with his hand cupping a dead woman’s breast. He does not know how he got there, or why, but a shadowy figure soon informs him that he was killed, his soul was jerked out of his body, and then put back in. Now, in a time when many humans had been changed into monsters by a rouge scientist using nano tech, he is the night’s prey. However, unknown to the hunters, Reed is also a part of the scientist’s newest game. The nano he has been infected with works in ways the hunters had never seen before. Hunt Night was published in Bewildering Stories before its appearance in Horror Addicts, and was later added to my Mercy Bend horror podcast.”

Mark didn’t reveal the title of his short story for Horror Addicts episode 39: Blob & Ooze. But he did give me some background into it. For this week’s story Mark was able to “use one of [his] characters from Mercy Bend, Miss Twill, a woman who can assume any shape or form if she is empowered with her special needs. Miss Twill gained this ability while in the gentle hands of Dr. Wise, the scientist mentioned in Hunt Night. Far from being a nice protagonist, Miss Twill is a bit cruel, having a penchant for murder and torture and a few other delightful things.”

“To give you an idea into her psyche, when she was thirteen she plucked out her own eyes to see what it felt like to be blind. However, before this story Miss Twill was never before able to become fluid. This [gave Eller] a [few problems] and opened a few interesting doors. The previous sentence doesn’t make sense. It allowed [him] to bring in two other Mercy Bend characters that needed places to go, moved things along with Dr. Wise and her grandson, and brought the first manufactured vampire to planet earth.”

Having been on HA before I wondered how Mark and Emerian had met. Eller explained to me, “The question should not be how I met Emz. It should be how can anybody avoid meeting her. Seriously, the woman is a dynamo. She bounces all over and talks to everybody. One week after I introduced her to Second Life she knew more people and had more friends than I managed in three months. However, there was a first meeting, and in this case it is entirely the fault of her husband, Kirk. Kirk, the author of Darkage, contacted me about cross promoting. We shared a couple letters, and shortly after Emz contacted me. After that I landed on a roller coaster ride, one that I found enriching and earned me one of my very best friends.”

That also got me wondering what sort of projects Mark and Emz may have worked on together. “Well, there was my previous appearance on Horror Addicts, of course. She was one of my guests on The Hell Hole Tavern. In fact, she was the guest that pretty much closed up the show once the trilogy was ended. We have worked together every year in Second Life’s Horrorfest, have done mutual interviews that we put on our podcasts, reviewed each others books, run over a whole slew of interesting places in Second Life, nagged at each other, and I don’t know what else. We’ve known each other for a couple years now. There’s been a lot of things in a lot of directions. Let’s see, what else. Oh yeah, we have also done interviews together on other people’s shows, and she was my first author interview on my short lived blogtalk show, Chronicles with Mark Eller.”

Speaking of Second Life’s Horror Fest, “the first Horror Fest took place not too long after people started asking to interview [Mark] as a horror writer…a lot of [his] work was appearing in dark places.”

Mark shared with me the story of how Horror Fest got its start. “[O]ne of the people who became a permanent part of the Tavern was a fan who spent time in Second Life. He brought me into the sim, then built me a tavern. When I bought land he rebuilt the tavern, then built a town, then built an entire hell. It was a great place. Emz thought so, so she suggested it would be a great place for a horror meeting…Before I knew it she had an entire Horror Fest going, much but not all of it taking place on Tavern grounds. We had animated zombies, a horror fashion show, reps from a horror game, graveyard poetry, readings, interviews. In short she exhausted me so much that I had to kill her with my watermelon gun. I did learn, however, that my one joy in life is skewering Emz every chance I got. That year I skewered her in an interview. Last year I killed her a few times during a presentation, and again this year. I must defend myself by mentioning that Emz sometimes has the habit of doing a presentation, then dropping out for a few minutes after dropping the ball on unprepared me. Fortunately this year I had the strong shoulders of Rhonda Carpenter to lean on when Emz took off for ten minutes after asking us to answer any questions people have on podcasting.”

Eller also had some parting words for Emz, “Thanks Emz. I already have plans for next year’s Horror Fest. You are going to wish I only killed you.”

“2008, I think. Yeah, 2008. That is when I came out with The Hell Hole Tavern podcast, presenting a dark fantasy trilogy called God Wars that I wrote with a partner, Elizabeth Draper. Not having a clue what I was doing, instead of just reading the story and calling it quits, we set up the tavern by presenting a short skit, the story, and an ending skit. In the skits I played Baron Von Smelterhoffen, a short five hundred and sixty pound creature that is only three feet tall. Liz is the Lizard, a creature from hell, half succubus, half something else. In short we were stuck in the tavern and forced to entertain tourists by telling them stories of the God Wars. Along the way we had several guest stop in. Some left, a couple died and were eaten, and a couple stayed for a very long time. It was a lot of fun to do,” and Mark has been podcasting ever since then.

Moving on to his published work, I asked how Mark had felt when Traitor came out. “Tired. Relieved. Proud, and then tired again. I had worked on Traitor for a very long time. The thing is Traitor had three very long sequels that then needed to be worked on. Then there was the God Wars trilogy, and I had a blogtalk show starting and I was helping with a smaller reality show on writing which has since fallen on troubled times. Getting Traitor out was a long process with lots of editors and lots of go overs (sic). I only thought I knew how much work writing was before. After Traitor I knew, and I had it all to do over again at least six more times.”

With all this going on in his life I was curious as to what made him want to become an author. “I think I decided when I was around twelve while reading Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat series. I started my first story then. Fortunately it stayed started and never saw finished. About that time my sister was expected to write a few stories for school. Now mind you, she was four years older than me, but she did not like writing, so I wrote them. She got good grades and I got my ego stroked.”

“Even so I did not write my first books until I was in my twenties. They were fantastically wonderful books that were going to change the entire direction of the writing world. Knowing that all things improve with age I put them in boxes so future generations would learn from my mighty pen. Those boxes subsequently got wet in floods or lost during moves. My next books were put on floppy disks that, well I don’t know what happened to them. Then I quit writing for several years because of small things like parenthood and marriage and work. When the marriage ended I started writing again. I joined writing crit groups, wrote stories and books that I forgot to lose or destroy, and had a great good time putting words down that very few people read.”

He then added, “Alas, all good things have to come to an end. I met a woman online. She thought I was an idiot for not pursuing publication. To make sure I met my full potential she married me and then started nagging about that publication thing again. Having no choice in the matter I began submitting. The response was overwhelming…I found pursuing publication to be almost as much fun as the original writing. I got hooked, and then I got published.”

While we were on the subject of being published; Mark has had many of his short stories published in “Demonminds, Bewildering Stories, Scared Naked Magazine, Anon Literary Magazine, Talespinner’s Tavern, Planet Relish, and a few other places.” Eller told me a little about how it felt to be published.

“Well, when I first was published I smiled. I smiled a lot. My wife told me several times that I was now a published author, and never mind that many of those stories appeared in For The Love Of It sites that did not pay. In fact none of my shorts have landed in one of the big magazines. There may be several reasons for this. Perhaps they forgot to read my stuff or maybe they were not ready for true greatness. Personally I think it has more to do with the fact that I haven’t really submitted anything to them. Despite having a lot of shorts published over the years I think of myself as a novelist. Okay, so I have a lot of shorts out there and only one book, but it’s a darn good book, and so are the ones following it. Now, I will admit that I was thrilled the first time I was paid, and every time after that, but I liked novels so I quit submitting short stories. However, some things are fated to be. I did some live readings in Second Life before a crowd of twenty or thirty people a few times. After about the third reading I was approached by an editor/publisher who asked me to please submit material to her magazine. From this I ended up with seven or eight shorts published by Anon. They loved my Mercy Bend stories which were strange since they had things like sex and murder and dysfunctional people and did I mention having a twisted mind. Apparently it is from these stories that people got the impression I am a horror writer.”

Yet with all these short story publications, Mark himself has said he doesn’t consider himself a short story writer. “Well, I like to write. I like to write a lot, and I mean a lot. The shortest book of my Turner series is one hundred and thirty thousand words. The longest one is presently one hundred and seventy thousand words. It’s hard to write short stories that are over one hundred thousand words. Hell, some of my shorts run over ten thousand words, and most are over five thousand. All that being said, writing shorts has done a lot for me. Short stories require tight focus. Every word should have a purpose, should move the story along without pulling the reader into side issues. That was difficult for me to do, but I learned. Even so, if you want to hear me scream ask me to write a story in only two thousand words.”

Like every installment of 13 Questions, I end the interview asking about current projects for all you fans out there. “Betrayed, book two of The Turner Chronicles is presently at the publishers. Unfortunately my publisher is closing her doors so I have to find a new home for books three and four, as well as for the God Wars series. This means chasing down a new publisher, or even finding an agent. That failing, I will self-publish the Turner Books because it is not fair to the reader to only put out two books in a four book series.I have a few ideas I am bouncing around for a new book that will tie Mercy Bend and God Wars together. In a few weeks I will begin podcasting Betrayed, otherwise known as book two.  A member of my local writing group wants to work on a group tween book, for which I have written one short story (yes I said short story, but I still insist that I’m a novelist, damn it).”

“I am also working on starting a new blogtalk radio show. My last one revolved around author interviews. It was starting to do well. Several people contacted me independently for interviews, and even a couple publicists, but an insect got in the way. The dang thing bit me. The bite landed me in the hospital for a while, and the show died.  I may revive it again, but not yet. The new show should be a lot of fun. It will be called Convince Me because on most things fantastic I am a skeptic. I am surrounded by people who believe outside the box. Friends, co-workers, my wife…well pretty much everybody but me, which makes me wonder if I am the one on the outside of the box.  So I want to talk to people who believe different from me, people who believe in ghosts and psychics and aliens landing on earth. Conspiracy theories are great, and hey, if somebody wants to convince me their particular take on religion is correct, I’m willing to listen. Tell me crime is good for society, or that every parrot is meant to be shot, although I’m not sure where I stand on that one. I own six parrots and love them all dearly, but sometimes, when they are all screaming, I have doubts.”

For more information on Mark Eller you can check out his website:

http://www.hellholetavern.com/

13 Questions with Arlene Radasky

I hope all you Horror Addicts out there had a great St. Patrick’s Day! This week our author is none other than returning Wicked Women Writer, Arlene Radasky.

For HA episode 38: Devil / Possession, she has written a short story titled The Nibblers. “My story about the devil is not as scary as some of the other stories you have had on, but I hope it makes you wonder what will happen…It was not easy to write, I don’t really believe in the devil but I do believe some people are very evil. That is the route of my story.”

When asked for a sneak-peek of the story Arlene told me, “Imagine the devil and his demons creating an evil person from a very nice young man.”

It was interesting to learn that Radasky co-hosts Free Audio Bookshelf with fellow Wicked Women Writer (and HA episode 37 featured author) Rhonda Carpenter. I asked Arlene if she would share with us a little information about their blog-talk radio show. “We talked about where else we could get our books seen and heard and came up with this Free Audio Bookshelf (FAB). She walked me through the steps, and now her book, The Mark of a Druid is in archives there and I am playing my book, The Fox. We want listeners to come and talk to us live. We are there to answer questions about our books, writing and/or recording. I am happy as it is another place I can play The Fox and have people hear the music I used from Steve McDonald. When I am done with my book, we will invite other authors and play our recorded short stories as well.”

For many years Arlene has been working with nonprofit organizations to help her community and countless others. She mentioned how “lucky [she has been] to have had the time to help in many ways.”

Radasky explained to me that, “The Red Cross was a big part of [her] life for 15 years. Now Hospice of Santa Barbara is where [her] heart is. It is where [she is] supposed to be and without what [she] learned there, [she] could not have written The Fox. [She has] been a CASA working with foster children and the court system, and years with Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. Each added to [her] life in many ways.”

Arlene has also “been fortunate to have walked upon each of the seven continents on the earth.” I wondered if those experiences had affected her writing in any way. She replied, “Yes [it] certainly has affected my writing. Because I have traveled I met many wonderful people and early came to realize the govts (sic) we see on the news are not anything like the people walking the streets. Everyone has the same needs and cares. That is what I remember when I write.”

Though, she has the title of “a scholar of ancient history,” Radasky “did not receive formal training in history. [H]owever ancient history and its mysteries have been a passion of [hers] for a very long time. [She has] read much and studied on [her] own for many years.”

Now on to the novel that has been said to be “so accurate of Celtic life” that it has been used by historians to teach their students…“The Fox”.

The Fox is about two couples who have to overcome difficulties. The ancient couple, who live in Scotland in the first century, have to overcome the Roman invasion. A modern archaeologist who finds where they lived, has to find herself after an abusive marriage. It is the story of how they make life changing decisions.”

For those of you that have heard that you can read The Fox online for free. You were right…Arlene explained to me about this decision. “Yes, this is very true. I decided early to give the story away in as many ways as I can and have never regretted it. I only decided to get it printed by a self-publisher after I had recorded it for Podiobooks.”

“Through them I am also available in the Barnes and Noble ebook catalog and found a new fan/friend through that list. He is going to paint a picture for me for the cover of Sea Hawk! One of the first places I put my book up was on FreeEBooks.net and that is where I have found so many worldwide readers. The best thing to do to find where my book is posted would be to visit my website.”

Speaking of Sea Hawk, (the novel Radasky is currently working on) the story “is about a woman’s life journey in Great Britain about 2400BC.” She said she wanted “to write her struggle to live and love in those times. Civilization was changing and moving and many great things happened then.”

Being me, of course I asked for a little preview of the story and Arlene was gracious enough to let us read the first page of Sea Hawk.

Chapter 1

Skara Brae, The Mainland

Orkney Islands, Scotland

2400 BC

 

Waves crash against the cliffs. I stand on the brim of the outlook, leaning over the edge, my white hair drips sea spray. There it is, the rock ledge where the nest had been. My mind spins and I step back to regain my balance, memories beating their wings in my head.

It was here my life changed. This is where I stand in my dreams and watch as my home is destroyed. My dream. My vision.

The storm is whipping and dark, the wind strong, one that would sink our boats if the fishermen did not know their craft. I stand as tall as a henge-stone, buried to my ankles in the wind-blown sand and face my village. I see my home is there, on the edge of the circle, one of the last to be built on the side of the sea.

Something is out of place. The roof is not secure on my home. It blows up and away. I try to call out but my mouth is rigid and does not move. Helpless, I watch as the wind- carried sand fills my empty bed and removes all traces of my life. The black sea-waves finish the destruction by spinning the wall stones out to the depths where the whales play.

On my travels as an adult, after a sleep filled with pictures and sounds, I would awake after my vision, breathing hard and skin salty with sweaty fear deep in my gut, I knew it was real. My childhood home was being lost.

So I came back, to feel the stone walls of parent’s home. The stone walls still stand but the village is empty, my bed not slept in. My people are gone. The corridors outside the rooms echo with forgotten laughter and tears of my childhood, and now, the cry of baby gulls that nest in the rocky nooks.

My life is almost over. I do not walk on steady feet, chewing is a chore and my bowels do not behave as they should. And I am alone.

My love is dead. My son is dead. All but one of my daughters left behind.

I have lived more years than are remembered in the memories of those still alive. I have lived five times two hands and more. I am old. I am tired.

It is time and so I shall go to the tomb of my grandmother and mother, rub their skulls with my fingers and die.”

 

Being known as “a scholar of ancient history,” I was curious as to what sort of research Radasky has done for Sea Hawk. “In my research for The Fox, I came across two finds that were fascinating to me, Skara Brae and the Archer, a body found near Stonehenge. Both are of almost the same age and my mind started working on the story.”

“My library of research books and articles is just a big or bigger than for The Fox and I was able to take a trip to the Orkney Islands, have an archaeologist show me Skara Brae and ask her questions. That was very important to me.”

I also wondered “what sort of difficulties she had to face while writing 2,000+ years in the past.” Arlene said, “Two things come to mind, the first is the difference in language. I didn’t use contractions in the ancient conversations because that is what my ear heard when Lovern and Jahna were talking to me and the second was to be extra careful not to use modern words for things. I had to put myself there and describe in the terms they would have used, for instance no steel-grey colors and the like.”

Look forward to many poems and short stories from Radasky while she continues working on Sea Hawk. “I get inspirations all over the place, for poetry and short stories so I am usually doing something. I usually post them at my website in my blog. I really have to buckle down on Sea Hawk, and have promised myself to have the first draft done this year.”

To learn more about Arlene Radasky or read some of her work visit these websites:

Her website – www.radasky.com

Twitter – @aradasky

Second Life name – Imarad Breen

The Fox can be downloaded at this site – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/3039

Her poem Foreverhttp://www.radasky.com/Site/Blog,_poetry_and_short_stories/Entries/2009/4/19_Forever_released_again!.html

and short story Farmer’s Markethttp://www.radasky.com/Site/Blog,_poetry_and_short_stories/Entries/2010/1/16_Farmer’s_Market.html

13 Questions with Rhonda Carpenter

Welcome back to 13 Questions, this week I had the chance to interview Clinical Hypnotherapist and author, Rhonda Carpenter.

“It is always fun and exciting to be on Horror Addicts and I had a blast writing this piece. Horror is always a challenge for me as it is not my normal genre,” Rhonda said when asked how it felt to be the featured author of Horror Addicts episode 37: Sea Serpent.

The story she has written for this episode is Scotland Burns. “It is a story of the leviathan from the book of Job in the bible. Nope not what god did right in this one, but what god did wrong during creation and how his creations suffer then and what could be now because of those mistakes.”

Not only is Carpenter an author and Clinical Hypnotherapist, she is also a Dream Analyst, Professional Psychic, and Reiki Master. With such an interesting background I had to find out how she was able to make the transition to author.

Rhonda was happy to share her story, “Author was a natural progression of a love of writing, teaching and helping others. Honestly, my first novel The Mark of a Druid was an experiment in what can I do as a writer instead of a continuation of writing for myself. I would always have written the challenge was putting it out there for others to consume. I am exceptionally pleased with the outcome. Writing is something I need to do to be happy.”

She was also kind enough to share her secrets that inspire her to write. “I am inspired by many things to write. Music is a big part of my writing experience. But the funniest thing that inspires me are my sleeping dreams. I often put a thought about my writing out before sleep and see what happens in my dreams.”

Having such an intensive background in psychology it’s easy to see why Serial Killers are Rhonda’s favorite horror monster. She told me, “I think I am most fascinated by the serial killer. I tend toward the philological and spiritual needs of the human condition. Why one person would perceive one thing and someone else perceive something completely different in the same situation is fascinating. How the mind works and what will break one person and not another makes my mind spin with stories.” Then she asked her own question, “Serial killers are often the most brilliant and demented individuals don’t you think?”

As one of Horror Addicts Wicked Women Writers, I wondered how it felt to be back. Carpenter mentioned, “[she] so wish[ed] there were more hours in the day…[w]hat a wonderful group of women writers who are always willing to support each other. It feels great to be back from hiatus. It has been a long time coming. But the break was much needed.”

Speaking of Wicked Women Writers Rhonda co-hosts Podioracket.com, “an informational podcast for anyone who wants to get a glimpse of podiobooks.com authors and what they are doing;” along with Heather Roulo (also known as H. E. Roulo) WWW Most Wicked 2009. Carpenter decided to share with us a little information about Podioracket. “We do a bi-weekly short show with 2 or 3 interviews, news, contest info and promos for the authors of Podiobooks.com. Then we have a live show every other Thursday opposite the short show on blog talk radio. We get to take some time and have some fun with the authors of Podiobooks.com in this hour long live show on Blog Talk Radio. We also turn out 2 to three blogs a week on the website.”

“Brand new to Podioracket.com this season is H. E. Roulo & Brain Hotlz are cranking out the first season of Podioracket Presents! This season’s title is Visionaries because it features podiobooks.com authors in a short story venue of their genera. It is a 16 week release schedule this season or volume. Podioracket is a labor of love for the authors of Podiobooks.com. There is a very special breed of people out there in podcasting and we give the listener a heads up into what is coming up, what has just completed and everything in between. Don’t know what to listen to on Podiobooks.com? Then we are your gals. You can hear about my novel and shorts or head over to Podioracket. I am also one of the founders of Free Audio Bookshelf on blogtalk radio where we, Arlene Radasky another WWW writer play full books for a live audience in weekly shows that air every Friday.”

Rhonda also has her own website, Lifefirst, which is a “a complete informative online hypnotherapy and hypnosis website dedicated to you. [They] cover all areas of hypnosis for knowledge, training, and for personal growth.” I asked if she could give us a bit more information about the site.

“Lifefirst was the brain child of myself and an associate that has sense left to do other things. We wanted to create an in depth look at hypnosis for the lay person. From there it expanded to include handwriting, and dream analysis as will as many other non-traditional mostalities (sic).”

Lifefirst has gained some fame since it’s creations. “Some years ago Google picked [Lifefirst] up as an authority site in the field of hypnosis. The site has many online interactive aspect to help anyone find out about who the mind works and how you can change what is not working for you in your life. There is a free audio library of hypnosis sessions anyone can use for free. There is also an interactive certification course and a downloadable dream analysis book. Certification courses for hypnosis are done in person but [Rhonda is] working on a level one course that could be done online.”

I was interested as to how Carpenter’s experience as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Dream Analyst, Professional Psychic, and Reiki Master has helped with her writing. Rhonda stated, “I believe all my life experience has added to and helped my writing. Hypnosis gave a vehicle for the story of The Mark of a Druid as did my love of all things Celtic. Dream Analysis even made an appearance in the first book. My belief system certainly has effected my writing and I think the things I do as a day job will always be a part of my writing in one way or another. Funny now that I think of it horror is so far away from what I do in my day job maybe that is way it is a stretch for me. But Scotland Burns has that one question I always asked myself about the one god religious belief. How could the one great and powerful god be so merciless?”

The Mark of a Druid, Carpenter’s first fiction publication and the first of what’s sure to be a great trilogy, “is about reincarnation and the idea that energy never dies it simply changes. It is also about honor and revenge and how those qualities can follow a soul from life time to life time.”

Book two of The Mark of a Druid, titled When Ethers Descend, “is about what the knowledge of past lives can do to a person in this lifetime and it is the continuation of Aileann and Adaham’s (sic) connection to a prophecy.” You can listen to the prologue for the book in Podcast episode 34 on Podiobooks.com.

Look froward to Rhonda Carpenter’s future works. “Besides the sequel When Ethers Descend [she] am working on a novel that takes place between 1890 and 1914 about a murder called Truth Slithers and [Rhonda has] a 3rd called From Mother to Daughter about a family of female psychics and the struggles of having the gift.”

For more information on Rhonda Carpenter check out these websites:

www.themarkofadruid.com/novel/press-room/ – Links to her Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks (as well as her mailing and email addresses)

www.podiobooks.com/title/the-mark-of-a-druid – Link to the prologue of When Ethers Descend

 

13 Questions with Henry Snider

This episode’s featured author is Henry Snider, who is well known for his work with the Colorado Springs Fiction Writer’s Group as well as his photography. He has a background in the occult and parapsychology, which is the study of psychic abilities and various other paranormal happenings.

Mr. Snider is such a fountain of interesting and useful information, I had a difficult time cutting our interview down to 13 questions.

So lets get down to business…I asked Henry how it felt to be the featured author of Horror Addicts episode 36: Frankenstein. He said , “It feels fantastic…and fitting. I have an artificial knee and the body/not my body concept strikes close to home.”

The title of Snider’s featured story is Thump, the reason which he wouldn’t share. But I was able to get a little information about the story from him. “…[M]idgets in tutus sporting chainsaws, what else is there? Seriously, I’d have to say I hope I’ve envisioned a slightly different view of the mad doctor, though I made sure the monster makes an appearance. I mean, what would Frankenstein be without the monster?”

Though he may relate to the concept of the Frankenstein monster. Good ‘ol Frankie is not Henry’s favorite monster. “While zombies are my favorite movie monster (and for the record I was a fan since the original Dawn of the Dead was in theaters), I’d actually have to say children are my favorite horror monster. I realized this a few years back while on vacation with my family. Hollie and I were road surfing. Now for those of you who don’t know what road surfing is, try picking a direction and just start driving…then let everyone in the vehicle take turns picking which way to go when you get to an intersection.”

“So, we were surfing and ended up a few miles out of Guilford, Indiana (cue banjo music), and came across this amazing abandoned house. We explored a bit and took a few pictures. Once around back I looked into the basement and saw seven pairs of silver eyes looking back at me. Now, this was late August but I could’ve sworn November just set in. I looked closer and seven gray children looked up from the gloom, some blinking. I prepared to do my best impersonation of Disney’s Ichabod Crane, but dared one last glimpse. Seven pairs of eyes all right, only they belonged to a family of raccoons nesting in the piles of who-knows-whats left in the cellar. From that point on, children, especially those that stare, give me an icy chill. I think it’s the purity of their emotions that hits a raw nerve.”

Henry was one of the founding members of the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group. In which he has held the position of President, Secretary, Webmaster, and Vice President, the position he continues to hold today. Interested in the CSFWG, I asked Snider to explain what it is they do. He replied, “You mean aside from act the literary equivalent to A.A.? Believe it or not, in many ways that statement’s not a joke. Think about it, red eyes, disheveled hair, unbathed (if we were in the middle of a really good scene), smelling of alcohol (if we were in the middle of a really bad scene). Readers enjoy writing, but often don’t understand writers. We’re quirky, opinionated, cranky (we mustn’t forget cranky), and those are just the good days. Writers need peer interaction, be it snagging a beer and complaining about the latest project to editing each others work in the hopes of helping create the best prose possible.”

Then he continued, “With that in mind, each of the three CSFWG groups meets once per month for three hours. Physical submissions are given and the previous month’s critiqued works are returned to authors, followed by oral critiques given by each member. This is the core of what we do – peer fellowship, literary twelve step program (“To Be” verbs are number six) and holding the occasional class or contest.”

Well known for his tasteful semi-nude photography, I asked Snider what got him started taking the photographs? He told me that “…believe it or not it was the customers. Many want a photo to show the world they’re incredibly desirable, but don’t have the Elle magazine figure. Once they saw that I could enhance their “concern” areas through posing (that’s the real secret) and completely remove others through digital wizardry word of mouth had me shooting 30% boudoir. I personally believe what you don’t show entices the critic more than what you do.”

I wondered if Henry took the photos for purely artistic reasons or if he took them for paying customers or a little of both. He said that it was all of the above, then added, “Often it’s people wanting to still look like themselves, only the “best” version possible. So after a photo shoot’s done I’ll soften wrinkles, digitally remove a few pounds, put curves where they were a couple of years before, etc..”

Curious, I asked what he enjoyed more…writing or photography? His response was interesting and thoughtful… “Oh, what an unfair question. Prose is creating a story through words and photography is telling a story through one single second of life that will never be repeated. I believe them two sides of the same coin. However, since you’ve pressed me on this one I’d have to say writing. I’ve loved the written word my whole life and only discovered photography in recent years.”

Snider’s publications include Penny For Your Thoughts “…one of [Snider’s] many salutes to H.P. Lovecraft. The tale revolves around a typical nerdy kid – every school has one – quiet, glasses, often carries forgotten demonic tomes around. Well this particular child comes across a way to resolve his bully issue.”

As well as Crossroads, which, “is actually a spin off from actual events that happened. I was visiting family in the back hills of Missouri (cue banjo music again) and passed the same model car I was riding in. Now at the time the car couldn’t have been over five years old, yet this one was in the weeds at a crossroads and rusted to the point of appearing decades older. One legal pad later Crossroads was born. A side note for authors, don’t watch television while you write. I had Peg and Kelly, ala Married With Children, running a restaurant.

Mr. Snider was in a two wrecks not that long ago. I asked if he would share a bit of the story and if it the experience has affected his writing in any way. “In both [wrecks] my vehicle was stopped and obeying traffic laws. The first cost me a knee, though now I have a shiny new one with a warranty, and the second scrambled my egg a bit. So it’s taking me a bit to get back into the literary swing of things, but I’d have to say it’s definitely affected my writing. Mechanically I’m brushing up on things I taught a couple of years ago and stylistically I’ve learned to relax and just let the story create itself. Now if you meant from a personal perspective I realized that writing a story means nothing if not shared, so beginning in 2010 I’m writing for publication (finally).”

Since Henry is apart of the CSFWG and since he is a published author I figured he would have some great advice for all you writers out there. To keep the interview short (I had already gotten to 24 questions in our interview) I asked, what I thought to be the two most asked questions out there. Do you have any tips for writers trying to get published? And, do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Snider had plenty of useful information to share…“be true to your characters. Don’t be afraid to let your characters be what they are, warts and all. Dudley Doright was annoying as a cartoon hero – you don’t want him as your protagonist. Let readers have revelations alongside the characters. It builds a bond that keeps people coming back for more. In retrospect, let evil characters have a human side, something that makes the reader identify with him/her/it. A sense of unease is what you create because the reader glimpses themselves in the very thing they despise. To me, at least, believable characters are the key to getting work published for others to enjoy.”

And his advice for aspiring authors was this, “Write like you speak. If not, your prose, especially your dialogue, will sound stilted. Take a while, go to the mall where people of all ages are and just listen. You’ll hear “salt and pepper” dialogue (speakers interrupting themselves, or others cutting in for inane reasons), slang, dialects, manipulations, flirtations…and if you plant yourself too near the bathrooms – constipations, all there for you, the writer, to sponge for your prose. Let those around you be your teachers and inspiration. Just listen. Remember – no one ever learned anything through an open mouth.”

As well as having a My Space profile, Mr. Snider has his own website, which, is “currently in the middle of a rebuild.” Henry stated that “[o]nce completed the site will feature a bit of prose, my photography and a little imagery. The writing could be anything from some previously published religious nonfiction (no folks, that’s not a joke – how’s that for scary?), basic rants, publications and, of course, horror. Photography offers an outlet for me that doesn’t involve a computer, a dark room and my horrific muse – the visage of Rush Limbaugh in a hot pink thong. My photographs encompass everything from landscapes to models posing for specific projects. As for the Imagery – find me on Flickr or Second Life and enjoy the vampiric crack whore images. There’s nothing like having friends with equally twisted imaginations who like to model.”

To end our interview I asked the question I always do to wrap everything up. Do you have any projects that you’re currently working on that your fans can look forward to? Snider had this to say, “I have a few irons in the fire. Every short story ends up running at 10,000+ words. Even this story is the third attempt at a Frankenstein story for Horror Addicts. The first two were shelved at 15,000 and 8,600 words respectively. Each is a different vision of Shelly’s characters and will be completed in due time. Future works include a Lovecraftian novel I’ve played with for a few years, monstrous babies, haunted homesteads, Colorado mines and, of course, children.”

If you would like to learn more about Henry Snider you can visit him at these sites:

Henry Snider’s personal website – www.henrysnider.com

My Space profile – www.myspace.com/nightmarescribe

Second Life – http://slurl.com/secondlife/Sukotraz/152/176/68

And the Colorado Springs Fiction Writer’s Group website – www.csfwg.org

13 Questions with Chris Ringler

 

 

This week, I had the privilege of interviewing Horror Addict Chris Ringler.

 I asked Chris how it felt to be featured on Horror Addicts, he had this to say, “I am pretty stoked to be the featured author. I am friends with Mark Eller, who has been featured here in the past and he really pushed me to try to get onto the show. I am still shocked. Any time you can take part in something that promotes and respects Horror and genre stuff, and heck, the weirder aspects of art and literature, it’s pretty great.”

 His short story Pyramids & Butterscotch will be featured in Horror Addicts episode 35: Mummy. Here’s a sneak-peek, “Basically Pyramids & Butterscotch is my homage to the mummy with a bit of re-tooling. The mummy is such a scary mix of the ghost and the zombie but over the years has become a bit of a joke so I wanted to really get back to the idea of the mummy being something scary, and which doesn’t need to run after you to harm you. I tried to take the story at a different angle and hope people dig that.”

 Ringler’s first book Back From Nothing is a collection of short stories. I wanted to find out what had inspired the creation of the book. Chris was eager to share with us, “Back From Nothing came together out of years of writing short stories and having nothing to do with them. I had all these stories that I believed in and there weren’t as many outlets in ’99 for me to get the stories out there so I lucked out and found a publisher willing to take the book on and that was what got it going. The book is a lot of dark stuff and some things that feel as if you are peering into someone’s emotional bedroom window.”

 His newest book, This Beautiful Darkness is, like Back From Nothing, a collection of short stories. “This Beautiful Darkness is sort of a best of collection of some of the stories I have done in the last few years. I tried to capture a range of dark stories that were closer to horror and a couple that were just emotionally dark. This is definitely some of the best stuff I have written.”

 Ringler also added, “I wanted to put This Beautiful Darkness together because it had been so long since I had gotten Back From Nothing published and it felt like it was past time to get a new book out…[b]asically, this book was about re-committing to myself as a writer, and I am utterly thrilled with it.”

 A question many aspiring writers ask is, “What gets an author in the writing mood?” When asked, Mr. Ringler said he didn’t know. “I usually just have something – a person, something I see – that starts a pebble to roll and then bit by bit it picks up speed and I am compelled to really sit down and try to do something with that idea.”

When he was younger, Ringler worked on and published a horror magazine titled Ghoulash. “[It] was a short lived magazine I did with some friends when we were twenty. I had been doing ‘zines with a friend for a few years and we had gotten better (and stranger) with what we did and Ghoulash was the one where we got a chance (via writer and comic creator Joe Monks) to get the book out nationally for an issue. It was a mix of art, cut and paste weirdness, movie reviews, stories, and was not really like anything you saw on magazine racks but was a bit too much for everyone to get a handle on.”

Ghoulash survived one issue nationally but the numbers were just not there to really keep it out there. It broke our hearts at the time but that is the business. It was great to be able to work on it. From there I worked on another local ‘zine for a few years and then just started focusing on my personal writing and doing movie reviews for a website called Jackasscritics.”

Not only is Chris an author, he is an artist as well. You can find many of his pieces of work on a few of his websites. With all his different pieces of work, I wondered what Ringler enjoyed more…writing or art? His response was honest and very interesting.

“I don’t think anything will ever top writing for me. It is what I have loved longer, and feel like I am better at but I really have come to fall back in love with art as well. I am lucky enough that I love art, writing and photography and if there is something I want to say, a story I want to tell that I cannot tell in another way then I have three ways to choose how to tell that story. Each of the three has its benefit and drawback but it is great to have the options.”

I was curious to know whether he had always wanted to be an author and artist. Chris revealed to me that he “actually started out as a kid wanting to do the special effect noises in movies – thinking that people made them with their mouths and other random things. From there [he] wanted to be a cartoonist, then a make-up fx artist and then [he] got really serious about writing and it just clicked. [He has] been deeply in love with writing for most of my life, and while it can stress me out to try to find a publisher or an audience, the writing has never been in question. [His] art, [he] got back into over the last three years. [He] would doodle, and did [create] the cover for Back From Nothing and [his] chapbooks but it took a friend giving [him] a starter acrylic set to get [him] to really start doing art more seriously.”

Chris has a popular blog, Visions of Darkness, in which he posts samples of his writing, pictures of his artwork, photography, and movie reviews. You can “get an idea of who the guy behind everything is. It’s a fun place to get new work out there and to let people see some of the things [he is] doing.”

In his blog he mentioned the release of a new book in May of this year. Interested, I asked if he could give us some information about the book. “The plan is for [it] to be out in May for the Motor City Comic Con, which is about an hour from where I am and I am hoping to get the book there to sell alongside all my other work.”

“The new book is a collection of fairy tales I have been working on for a few years that deal with three characters and the journey – emotional and physical – that they go on to discover who they are. That’s sort of a copout general explanation but that’s about the best I can give for now. It is some of the best stuff I have written and is really different than what people will be used to if they have read anything by me before. Essentially I wanted to create a fairy tale world and to present a story that arches over several short stories but which takes the reader and the character someplace organic and honest. I love the heck out of the stories and cannot wait to get this out to people.”

Besides the release of his book, I wanted to know what his fans could be looking forward to. Jokingly, Ringler said, “Heck, me having fans by May would be pretty awesome to me!”

Then he added, “I am gonna get the new book out in May and then just spend the summer promoting the new book and the other two books as well as my art. After that I want to focus on getting a publisher for a novel I have written that is about a pumpkin-headed hillbilly and the part he plays in a heavenly war to end all wars. Anything that I do will be posted in my blog though and people can always reach me there if they want to get in touch.”

If any of you Horror Addicts out there will be attending the Motor City Comic Con, be sure to keep an eye out for Chris and his work.

To learn more about Chris you can visit any of his websites:
www.grimringler.wordpress.com – story and art blog

www.myspace.com/pumpkinpete – My Space

www.myspace.com/grimringler – stories and art on My Space

http://www.facebook.com/grimringler – Facebook

www.jackasscritics.com – movie reviews

You can also purchase his book This Beautiful Darkness at https://www.createspace.com/3386414

13 Questions with James Cheetham

Hello again to all you Horror Addicts out there, welcome back to 13 Questions. This time I had a chance to interview ‘Zombie Master’ and Dark Fiction Author, James Cheetham. He is the featured author for this week’s Horror Addicts episode 34: Zombies.

Cheetham is all about the zombies, “They are simply ‘us’,” he said, “I think of them as our innermost primordial evil. They are the simplest form of society. Greedy, relentless gluttons. The only difference between the living and the walking dead is the fact that zombies don’t make excuses for their actions. They show up, they tear you to shreds and then move on to the next victim. They don’t stop and say…’I couldn’t help it, I quit smoking last week and my kids are driving me crazy….’”

When asked how the former Corrections Officer, at a psychiatric ward, transitioned to a zombie creator; Cheetham replied, “I have always had this inner creative guy trying desperately to claw his way out of me. If it wasn’t music it was writing. When my daughter was born in 1998 I had a lot more down time as baby became priority. I really fell in love with reading but like movies a lot of books I read, at least darker books, kind of let me down or just weren’t written very well, so I decided to try writing one myself. In 2007 Fade To Pale was published while I was working at the jail. I took a year off to pursue the writing and haven’t gone back.”

In 2008 James needed “to find ways to keep [his] readers’ interest, especially after many of them pre-ordered Prairie Frost at a McNally Robinson book signing so [he] started turning their photos into zombies. Two years later, no book, no multi-billion dollar movie deal, but 600 zombies in the collection and counting, and a business ironically called ‘Prairie Frost’.”

I was curious about the process he went through to make a ‘zombifide’ picture; Cheetham didn’t share any of his secrets but had this to say. “…[I]t all depends on the photo. I always say ‘send me a color mug shot over 1 MB’, but I still get a lot of photos I can’t work with. When we take the zombies on the road I bring photographer Doug Ritter with me and he gets the exact photo we require to really make them gruesome. The higher the quality of the photo, and of course the general zombie pose the subject is creating will make for a kick-ass zombie makeover, which we can then transfer over to portraits, posters, t-shirts, calenders…you name it. We require no makeup or special effects prior to sending your photo, keep it simple.”

Fade to Pale, a story which was “born from a reoccurring dream,” was James’ first novel but there was no major spotlight that came with the cult following. “I was just happy to hold that book in my hands. I guess the most appealing part of Fade to Pale was confirming I could pull it off. I received lots of email from people telling me how much they loved it or that it affected them in one way or another. Putting out a book like Fade To Pale is scary in itself, especially when you’re new to the scene. I was terrified that people might think because I forced my characters to live such horrible lives that I was some kind of monster too. I had a woman approach me once and insist I had written about her life, right down to the names of the characters. She was truly bothered by the coincidence and I thought, wow…my words messed her up…that’s some eerie validation. I’m a pretty normal guy to be honest, pretty boring for the most part. I think a spotlight is scary….”

Mr. Cheetham’s short story, For the Love of Josephine, will be featured on Horror Addicts episode 34. For the Love of Josephine is about the “wife of the farmer Glenn Laliberté, who is one of three main characters in Prairie Frost. Josephine spends a lot of time watching CNN and has become rather depressed as the world comes apart at the seams but Glenn is too busy with the farm to notice, and believes Josephine is overreacting. From the perspective of a farmer out of reach of major cities, nothing has changed in their lives. Josephine thinks otherwise, and soon makes this apparent.”

James novel Prairie Frost is volume one in his series Seasons of the Brittle Harvest. “Volume two is called Prairie Flood and it is half finished. Prairie Fire and Prairie Funeral are dwelling in [his] mind waiting patiently.” James decided to give us a sneak-peek into his ideas and plans for the series. “Basically the story is about one American woman, a Canadian Corrections Officer (ironically), and a Canadian farmer, who fall into each other’s company as the world struggles with a plague of the walking dead. To make matters worse they are stranded in one of the worst snowstorms any of them have ever seen while they attempt to get back to the prison, which is ironically the safest place in the city now. What was once a building used to imprison the bad has been turned inside out, and is now a safe haven. The series of course is far wider than that. The farmer character is in fact the same man from the story ‘For The Love of Josephine’. The short story is written from his journal, which was originally going to be at the end of Prairie Frost.”

SNM Horror Anthology’s Bonded by Blood, features Cheetham’s The Wilting May Flowers. I asked James to tell me a little about the anthology, “…Bounded by Blood takes place in St. Norbert, Manitoba, a rural neighborhood of Winnipeg where I grew up. We used to have bush parties in the summer where we’d gather in the woods as teenagers and do all those things we weren’t supposed to do. The story itself is basically about a teenage boy who for the most part is a good kid that gets caught up in a very bad predicament when he finally receives the attention of his high school crush. It is sadly, a blessing in disguise.”

Mr. Cheetham was voted SNM Author of the Year. When I asked how it felt to have the title; he had this to say, “It’s great. It’s nice to know I have that kind of support from readers. Trying to make it as a writer is the hardest thing I have ever done. Every tip of the hat counts and I really appreciate Steven Marshall’s support, as well as his fantastic magazine.”

As well as his series Seasons of the Brittle Harvest, James has been working on another project called Ballad of a Bought Farm. Mr. Cheetham mentioned, “[He was] ninety percent finished [with] Ballad of a Bought Farm which is the story about a heroin addict who stumbles upon a strange farm family and soon discovers they play an imperative part in his destiny.” He wouldn’t say anything else other than “[i]t’s been a tough write…”

For more information about James Cheetham’s zombie photos or novels, be sure to visit his website at www.jamescheetham.ca