RW Spryszak- Author Interview (2018)

I am so pleased and honored to introduce you great readers to an astounding writer by the name of RW Spryszak. I have a few interviews under my belt but have never felt like I was reading literature when reading answers. Mr. Spryszak has done that for me here. So eloquent and illuminating that they are a joy to read, I hope that you will enjoy them as much as I did. His book Edju was very hard for me to put down. So without further ado, please enjoy and here is a small bio to get you started.

Bio- RW Spryszak’s recent work has appeared in Peculiar Mormyrid, A-Minor Magazine, and Novelty (UK), among others. His early work is archived in the John M Bennett Avant Writing Collection at the Ohio State University Libraries. He is editor at Thrice Fiction Magazine* and recently produced “I Wagered Deep On The Run Of Six Rats To See Which Would Catch The First Fire*,” a collection of contemporary surrealist and outsider writing from around the world for 2018 under that banner, which is also available on Amazon.


Who are some of your favorite authors, or authors that have inspired you?

What inspires me to work is work that isn’t produced. I go into a bookstore just to browse and leave without buying anything. You could ask my wife this. She would verify what I’m saying. This happens a lot. And a long time ago I asked myself, well, what did you want to find that you couldn’t find? And maybe that is what you should write. Write what you’d like to read but can’t find. This is how I work. So, it isn’t what authors have written that inspires me, as you say, it’s what they haven’t written. It’s only a void I’m filling. In my own universe anyway.

Now, as an example of writers whose work has influenced me I have to go back to when I was young and didn’t know what I liked but found things that stayed with me. Gogol’s Dead Souls, first of all. I still have that old worn Penguin Classic copy from when I was in high school. The pages are quite yellow now. Of course, everybody who is a reader discovered Kafka as a teenager I think. But it was people who wrote things that made me go – “You can do this??” I mean when you’re young or naïve you expect a story to go from A to B to C, and twists and unexpected things make your head snap. So, there are the poems of Dylan Thomas and Guillaume Apollinaire. Thomas creates these spiraling images and ideas that blend and weave in and out of each other until you find yourself trapped in his crazy tornado. And Apollinaire writes the kind of things that make you say – “you can do that??” His work is one hundred years old and a lot of it reads like it was done yesterday.

But there’s Robert Walser. Naguib Mahfouz. Jan Potocki. I’m saying these names but I’m quite sure no one is going to look them up or anything. Still, I don’t think – for your audience – you can call yourself a true fan of horror if you haven’t read Potocki’s A Manuscript Found in Saragossa. Just saying. Maybe kitsch horror, but not gothic horror. Dracula, Frankenstein, certainly. But if you haven’t read Manuscript you have a missing part in there. An aspect that would make you say – “you can do that??”

When did you start writing, or what prompted you to start writing?

So how do I answer your question? I don’t know. I used to make up stories in my head as a little boy. Full technicolor epics before I would fall asleep. Wash up. Brush teeth. Go to bed. Roll around making up movies in my head.

And my first rejection letter came from Stan Lee. I wrote a story that pitted Doctor Strange against The Hulk. I was 10 years old. I sent it in and, with the innocent expectations of a kid I also sent along 12 cents to buy the issue my story would appear in. Well, of course, Marvel Comics would never use a hand-written story from a 10-year-old who didn’t know the highway from a footpath. So, here’s my Stan Lee story. 1963 or 4. I got a hand written note back from Stan Lee saying he enjoyed the story but could only use their own material. And – get this – the 12 cents I included with my submission was taped to the blue card he sent back with his note in an envelope. Was he the coolest guy ever? Yes, he was. By the way, Doctor Strange did face The Hulk in one adventure eventually, I think, sometime in the 1990’s I believe. I ought to sue, don’t you think?

How would you describe your style of writing?

I don’t think I think like a writer. I’m influenced by the visual. I look at things like a painter or a sculptor but I couldn’t paint or sculpt to save my skin so I write the form. Writing and acting were always easier than painting. Concepts. Visuals. I think probably because I was influenced by TV and movies when I was small. In Edju, in particular, I used something I learned from my long-ago acting days. How to stay in character from start to finish. Edju is a first-person story, so it’s vital you don’t “break character,” as actors would say.

Though I’m not in the Surrealist camp, so to speak, and never claimed to be, I do use the techniques they’ve developed. They try to bring the unconscious truth to things and so Arp’s ideas about Chance often come into play. Then there’s the process of automatic writing or even sentence collage. These are things I’ll utilize. Take for example in Edju, I used automatic writing as prompts. The start of some chapters is in italics. That was straight from the back of the brain and unedited automatic writing. Then I connected them. I left the strictly Surrealist process when I connected these prompts with a willful, consciously-produced narrative – which makes me not a Surrealist, I think. I don’t know. You’d have to ask them if I’m one of them or not. I mean, several Surrealists, people who have been with that worldview for decades, have supported my work – Max Cafard, J. Karl Bogartte, the New York Surrealist group – but I think that’s because I love the work they produce and have spoken up for their movement – which never went away, contrary to what the New Yorker may think – for years.

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And, really, I think this is a question better asked of my readers than of me. There are people who like my style and people who can’t stand it. Folks who tell me they can’t put it down and folks who can’t get through the first two pages without screaming and burning the damn thing. I know my stuff is difficult sometimes. So, what do I say?

Do you set a certain plot, or go where your writing takes you?

I could never work from an outline. I tried when I was younger. I couldn’t do it. It was like – I’ve written the outline and so the book is done, right? I have nothing but a vague idea and I’ve never known how things were going to end. Not ever. In Edju, I was going along and going along and wrote If I didn’t need to eat I would never trust your world again, and I would stay in these rooms till the spiders wept.” And I stopped and looked at it and said – Okay. That’s the last line. I’m done, now for the edits. And that line will lead into the first line of the next book because Edju, conceptually, is a trilogy. I have two vague notions about the two next pieces but I have no idea where they are going to go. The second book has been started at least five times and I think I only just settled on what to do last week. So, I guess my answer is I go where it takes me after a vague notion, or something like that.

If, while writing, I can’t visualize a title for the thing? I know I’m onto something. Whenever I’ve had a title first, nothing ever works. I don’t understand that. When I get to the point where I can’t come up with a title no matter what and it comes down to I don’t even care what anybody wants to call it, just get it away from me, you decide – it gets published. When I start with a title, it never even gets finished. It’s weird.

What are some of your favorite works of literature?

Well, yes, I mentioned these. Dead Souls, The Manuscript Found in Saragossa. Mahfouz’s The Journey of ibn Fattouma. Walser’s Jakob Von Gunten. But also, from a writer’s viewpoint, there’s technical aspect too, that you have to have. I’m not a big fan, but even if you don’t like him you have to say that Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is the perfectly executed novella. And it’s good to have a grounding. In fact, I’ve always felt you need a grounding in the classical and traditional before you can go off “experimenting.” You’ll find Picasso’s early stuff more traditional than you’d at first think it would be, being Picasso. Then, when he “got it,” so to speak, he created his own world and his own rules. But I’d say he couldn’t do it until he understood the starting point. I think that’s true for everyone to some degree. So, until you can read Dickens and explain why he’s a lousy writer, and he is, you should keep reading the traditional until you “get it.”

What is the most important aspect of writing for you?

Well it’s a compulsion that has to be fulfilled, isn’t it? When I was in my twenties I used to worry about getting published. Have to get published. It must happen. And so on. Of course, that’s when nothing ever happened. It wasn’t until I finally said, you know what, it doesn’t really matter if it gets published or not because I’m going to sit here and write anyway because I have to or I’ll just explode or go crazy. I would write because it was going to happen whether anybody was ever going to read it or not. That, of course, is when people started to accept and publish things.

Oddly enough, after that, I got this crazy notion that I wanted to bust into the mainstream. I had all this alternative work done and it was archived and I had a tribe and – for some reason – I said I’m going to try to break into the big time or something and – poof. Came the drought. I wanted to get published. I needed to get published. And nobody wanted anything I was doing. A couple of the bigger wigs even laughed at it. Because it was actually pathetic stuff, to be honest. So, okay, I went back to just doing what I’d always done and forgot about “trying” so hard and… what do you think? All of a sudden (to use a term that should never appear in anything you ever write), there I was back in print.

That’s the long way around the barn to say the most important aspect of writing, for me, is to not only be yourself, but if it’s working there’s nothing that needs to be fixed. If it ain’t broke. Stay true to your own voice, no matter how trite that may sound. Find your tribe and dance with them.

Do you put any of yourself in your writing?

Yes. There are dozens of things that happened to me, mostly filtered by metaphor, in Edju. Shards of dreams I had. People I’ve met. Or aspects of them. There’s even a scene in the book that I wrote forty years ago for something else. Something I wrote, never kept, but never forgot. It goes on for pages as if I was copying out of an old notebook. I never forgot the scene and it just came into the book on its own. That scene came from a particularly intense part of my growth as a writer. But, yes, they are all over the place. However, well-disguised. And this is all I will say about that.

What led you to write in this genre?

This is crazy because I didn’t write Edju to a genre. I just thought – a book. Maybe Literary Fiction. Maybe Dystopian. I didn’t have a target. When Spuyten Duyvil*, the publisher, first put it on Amazon they listed it as “Gothic.” To be honest, I didn’t even know what Gothic was. Gothic Horror – sure. I’d heard of that. And I didn’t know if there was a difference. Then a few people contacted me and said “Horror,” or “Speculative.” To tell you the truth, I don’t know what it is, exactly. So, my approach is like that old song – “any world that I’m welcomed to.” I’m becoming convinced it belongs in that Gothic category that the publisher listed it in. But you’ll have to believe me when I tell you I seriously didn’t have any kind of thing like genre in my head.

Do any movies or TV shows influence your writing?

Not off hand, no. I don’t watch a lot of TV anymore. My TV is mostly old movies and Baseball. Baseball is my escape hatch. Outside of that it’s just all noise. I suppose, growing up in the late 50s and 60s there were influences that happened then, but I couldn’t specifically tell you one thing or another.

Any future writing projects you would like to talk about?

The plan is to complete a trilogy with Edju as the lead before I croak. I have no idea what to call it, and that’s a good sign I think. But – you shouldn’t take anything for granted. I’m doing this but there’s no guarantee anyone will take it. Life in the small press universe is like that and you have to expect it. Unless you’re a best-seller you don’t make much money in writing. All the writers I know have a regular job somehow. Teaching, editing, or anything. Every one of them. You have to stay real.

I want to thank RW Spryszak so much for his valuable time and marvelous answers to my questions. For more information or to read his works please check out the following links:

Edju is at https://www.amazon.com/Edju-RW-Spryszak/dp/1947980890

*Spuyten Duyvil is at http://www.spuytenduyvil.net/

* “I Wagered Deep, etc.” is at  https://www.amazon.com/Wagered-Which-Would-Catch-First/dp/1945334045

*Thrice Fiction Magazine is at http://www.thricefiction.com/

http://www.rwspryszak.com/



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Dan Klefstad Author Interview (2018)

Radio host, Podcaster, and Author. This amazing man that I have befriended on Twitter is so inspiring. His novel Shepherd and the Professor offers fascinating plot lines and many twists and turns that make it a must read in my book! I am very glad to get to introduce him here to my readers at Chills From the Quill, so lets get to the questions!

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do for WNIJ News and NPR?

I’m the morning host for NPR station WNIJ, and the newscaster for two other NPR stations covering the length of Illinois.

How did you get into podcasting?

The president of the Rockford Writers’ Guild, Connie Kuntz, launched the “Guildy Pleasures” podcast one year ago, and Connie invited me to be the first guest. She read my first novel, Shepherd & the Professor, and was reading my more recent stories about humans who work for a vampire named Fiona. So I went into the studio with Connie and her husband Jesse who engineered the podcasts. During these sessions, I used my experience as a radio announcer to deliver the kind of recordings Connie and Jesse were looking for. We did the first five of my Fiona stories, and they got a great reception — I’ve heard nothing but good things about them.

Are you a horror lover?

I love to be frightened, I love Gothic atmosphere, and I enjoy stories that play up erotic tensions between monsters and humans. I’ll admit I’m not into splatter or torture. But I’ll never refuse a challenge to write this if I think gore can lead to a truly great story.

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Where did the idea for Fiona come from? And are you a fan of vampire fiction?

I’ve always been fascinated by vampires because they work on different levels. As mythical creatures, they transcend human limitations. They’re stronger, sexier, and live forever – who doesn’t dream of this kind of power? But they’re also rich metaphors for things that suck our life force. Your emotionally insecure neighbor is the vampire hidden in plain sight, ambushing you with questions when you return from work, draining whatever energy you have left. The vampire might be your lover, mother or pusher. I guarantee you: somewhere, somehow, a hidden thing is latched to your neck, taking from you and never giving back. When you finally see it, and admit your role in these encounters, I hope you have the strength to put a stake in it.

Favorite or inspiring authors for you?

Anyone who writes vampire fiction owes a debt to John Polidori, Bram Stoker, and Anne Rice. As a horror fan, I also owe much to Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson and Stephen King. In college, I was fascinated by Albert Camus and his treatment of the absurd – where humans desperately seeking meaning are confronted by a universe that offers none. There’s a connection to horror in absurdist philosophy that Jean-Paul Sartre brings home with No Exit. The final line of this play is: “Hell is other people.”

 What are some of your favorite books or works of literature?

To the above, I’ll add John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel, Let the Right One In.  Lindqvist also wrote the screenplay for the 2008 movie of the same name, but the book contains an entire plot thread involving Eli’s caretaker, Håkan, that’s gripping and absolutely terrifying. Best horror novel I’ve read in many years.

Do you have a favorite quote?

I’m tempted to repeat that one by Sartre but I’d prefer something more hopeful. With your permission, I’d like to quote a character, Daniel, from my story “The Remains of the Daylight”:

“Because if one person thinks you’re good, you are good – right?”

(That line gives me hope)

What would you really like people to know about you?

I’m an optimist. Readers are often surprised to hear me say that.

DanasDaniel

 

What inspires you to write?

Wow, that stumped me. I’ve done several interviews, but nobody asked me that before. The most truthful answer I can give is: I don’t know. I simply must.

And lastly can you tell us a little about your work and do you have any writing works set for the future?

I’m gathering all my Fiona the vampire stories that appeared in Dark Dossier Magazine’s Halloween issue (11 of them) and will add nine or ten more. These will be chapters in a book called The Guardian which I hope to finish this summer.

Thanks so much, Jaye, for the opportunity to share my thoughts, inspirations, and stories with you. You’ve been a wonderful host!

I am eternally grateful to Dan for taking the time to answer my questions and I hope we have inspired you to read some of his works! You can find links here for podcasts and readings:

The Caretaker” http://bit.ly/2lx3HyD 

“The Interview” http://bit.ly/2m9HKpX 

“Solstice” http://bit.ly/2D47OJg 

“Wolf at Fiona’s Castle” http://bit.ly/2GCZAKt 

“Hauptsturmführer Fillennius” http://bit.ly/2E6OSNL

You can also find him at Twitter at: https://twitter.com/danklefstad?lang=en

And on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/dan.klefstad

And at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dan-Klefstad/e/B01IC5A1XK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roger Jackson-Author Interview (2018)

Roger Jackson another friend from Twitter was kind enough to let me ask him some questions about his writing. He is a Whovian and a self-proclaimed proud geek and an intelligent and fun one at that! So lets get to the questions!

What do you love about horror?

Its flexibility as a genre. We can have Horror stories so many elements, romance or comedy or social truths and yet the core ideals of the Horror story remain undiluted. It rarely plays well in the other direction. I can have a love story about werewolves and it still works as a Horror story, but throw a lycanthropy grenade into the middle of Verona and Romeo and Juliet’s asses are mine.

Why do you write horror?

All of the above, but I think the most straightforward answer is that my brain is wired to embrace the darkness. I didn’t have any parental or familial influence as a child, which rather wonderfully meant that I was left to my own devices, and I was always drawn to the forbidden, the scary movies and books and comics. They’ve always been the most comfortable and natural way to process the world around me, and in the end that’s what writing is, processing the internal and external worlds through one’s own personal filter.

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Who are some of your influences?

I’ve been influenced more by concepts and events than by individuals, I think. Certainly, the more media I consumed, the more I saw what worked and what didn’t. I remember seeing my first dead body when I was perhaps five or six, a child a little older than me pulled from the mossy waters of a local river, and almost at once making the link between the fear and queasy excitement of the assembled onlookers and my own feelings when I watched a Horror movie. I saw that bridge between the real world and fiction, and I suppose that was a key point in terms of an influence.

Favorite books, authors, and films?

My favorite book would have to be Pet Sematary, if only because it’s so unrelentingly bleak. The pages are soaked in death and futility. I don’t really have a favorite author, though, because everyone brings something to the table. I have a least favorite author, but let’s not go there! Favorite movies? So many! The Devil’s Rejects, most likely, because the ending makes me cry.

Tell us about the art that is your heart-kintsugi?

Well … most people know that Kintsugi is the art of repairing ceramics or pottery with a lacquer dusted with powdered gold. Rather than throwing a broken object away, Kintsugi means to extend its life and make something beautiful out of its scars. A few years back, I was ill and at the same time experienced from someone close to me a level of coldness and cruelty that I didn’t think they were capable of, and as a result there was some emotional breakage. I picked up on the Kintsugi thing because that’s how I am now, proud of the scars I’ve been left with. Everyone should be proud of their scars. They’re symbols of survival. 

What do you prefer British or American horror and why?

I’d have to say British. There’s a weird kind of glamour to a lot of American Horror, whereas the British stuff is often realistically ugly and decaying.  Movies like Death Line or Mum And Dad or even Human Centipede 2 (set in London) have this wonderful texture of griminess and threat that’s often lacking in American stuff.

What are some of your favorite weird things, or what do you like to do that is weird?

Weirdness is subjective, but I love art like Goya’s Witches’ Sabbath, because I like things that subvert expectations or accepted morality. I don’t know if I personally do anything weird, but … if I pass a dead animal in the street, a crushed cat or slaughtered bird, I always take a snapshot on my phone. I have quite the collection, but I think that when the corpse has been removed and the last of the blood dispersed by the rain, it’s important to remember that the animal had lived at all.

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What do you want people to know about you?

Probably that I’m not as scary as these answers make me sound!

Do you have a personal motto or mantra?

“Get Better, Not Bitter.”

I want to thank Roger so much for taking the time to answer my questions and you can read more of his work here:

https://jabe842beyond.wordpress.com/

https://www.instagram.com/jabe842/

Kelli Maroney-Actor Interview (2018)

From Fast Times at Ridgemont High to the Chopping Mall, and from Night of the Comet to True Blood, and many other great roles, Kelli Maroney can do it all. I became a huge fan when I first saw Night of the Comet. So many films at the time had women tripping and falling and basically being helpless and here come this blonde cheerleader who gave as good as she got! She was not a victim and there is nothing better then a bad ass female kicking ass and driving off into the sunset! I was very excited to be able to ask Kelli a few questions and being the kind and gracious actor that she is, she kindly answered them. So without further ado lets get to the questions!

I know you were headed to the National Shakespeare Company in New York but you immediately got cast in Ryan’s Hope, did you get any formal acting classes?

Yes, I had a whole season at the conservatory the summer before, plus I was an apprentice at the Guthrie Theater before attending that school. We, the apprentices, were “extras” in the productions, and visiting rep actors like F. Murray Abraham, Steven Lange, and William H. Macy taught us classes in lieu of paying us for performances, because there were so many of us that the LORT theater couldn’t pay all of us. Or, any of us, for that matter.

You started young and I know you wanted to leave acting for awhile but you are still huge today. How did you stay grounded and do you have advice for young girls and women coming up in Hollywood and or the movie industry?

It’s not really that I wanted to leave acting, it’s that I was in-between “Young Babe” and “District Attorney” roles, so was starting to get a lot of victim roles, which I hated playing, because as I found out much later, they go against what we call now my “brand.” So I started looking around for other things to do with my working life to put food on the table. I wasn’t making enough money during that period to support myself properly and I was tired of compromising and trying to be what I thought they wanted, so acting became not fun for that period of time. My advice is always, “Be true to yourself. If something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Don’t sell yourself short because you think it will get you somewhere in the end. You’ll be torturing yourself unnecessarily. Focus on learning your craft and being professional. Meet people as human beings and not as “connections.” They notice that. You won’t feel powerless as long as you remember that you have something to offer others, so focus on what you have to give and not so much on what you want to get.” That’s about it.

Do you enjoy doing horror films and what are some of your favorites?

I love horror, I love making movies, and every role I do is my favorite for one reason or another. I love paranormal horror and possession stories but haven’t gotten any of those kinds of scripts yet. I loved what Vera Farmiga did with THE BATES MOTEL, creating the role of Norma Bates and producing the series as well as starring in it. It was fantastic.

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Why do you think it is important to have more women in film?

Well, we are at least half the population of the human race, so it’s likely that we have pertinent things to say about it. The “boy’s club” is in the process of being dismantled, but it’s difficult to change things when they’ve always been a certain way forever. So, it’s a process. Some of the covers are being pulled as to the way it’s operated previously, and hopefully people will speak up more now, and not be silent when things are unjust. Everyone will be happier if/when that happens. The industry is evolving as we are evolving.

What was it like working with John Hughes and Alan Ball (I know it was a shorter time with Mr. Ball)?

I never worked with John Hughes, although people often think I was somehow involved in his films for some reason. I auditioned for him once, and Molly Ringwald was reading with the other actors. She absolutely towered over me in a not-great way. I It was actually very funny, but not going to work for those scenes.  Alan Ball was wonderful He loves the genre films of the 80’s and treated me like a queen. I was very honored. It went by too quickly for me, and I wish I’d gotten to work with him more. There had been talk of making my TV Evangelist a recurring character, but they had so many potential story lines that it never ended up happening. I’d have been so delighted  to do that, as I LOVED the show.

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Can you tell us about Rick’s Martini Bar? 

It’s a podcast that I was interviewed on for FAST TIMES. The episode went well, and the podcast host and creator, Jerry McCarty, invited me to co-host. I’ve been doing it for around 8 years now. Not every show, but I book celebrity guests and Jerry and I bounce off each other for a nice contrast. It’s syndicated and available for free on iTunes. I believe it’s winding down now, and I’m thinking of doing another podcast, but don’t have any details on that yet.

What are some of your upcoming projects?

I was just a judge for the film festival SHRIEKFEST, which is a great honor. The film festival opens tomorrow evening! EXORCISM AT 60,000 FEET will premiere pretty soon, but no hard date at the moment, as It’s just coming out of post-production now. I’ts a horror/comedy with me, Lance Henrikson, Bill Mosley, Adrienne Barbeau, Bai Ling, Kevin O’Connor and more. It’s sort of a cross between AIRPLANE! meets THE EXORCIST meets SNAKES ON A PLANE. The comedy is just..wrong– is the best way I can describe it! I’m sure people will have a lot of fun with it. 

And  I was thrilled to work with Tyler McIntyre (SUICIDE GIRLS) on BLOWING UP EVERYWHERE, a festival short that will be making the rounds. I’m looking forward to having a few films on the festival circuit. Next year I’ll shoot TO AVENGE, A crime-thriller set in Ocean City, MD. Of the things that I can speak about, that’s all the info I have, so far.

If you could play any role, what would it be and why?

I’m more of a gun-for-hire than an actor who has dream roles, honestly. It’s what I’ve done my whole career so far. One thing I know from experience is that my “brand” is Survivor and Final Girl (Woman) and I dislike victim roles. That may change as I work and grow. We are always growing. Plus, that could be an over-reaction on my part to the really ridiculous number of  “victim” roles I’ve come across, and it could be that I’ll snap out of it eventually. 

Do you have a personal mantra? Is there anything you would like people to know about you?

Always raise the vibe of any room you enter, every time. You’re there because you have something to contribute that is needed, even if you don’t know what that is at the time. Ask, “How can I help? What can I do to support you?” 

I want to thank Kelli so much again for taking her valuable time to answer my questions. To learn more about her or to follow just go to:

kellimaroney@aol.com

http://www.kellimaroney.com

Badass Cheerleader Productions

contact@kellmaroney.com

kellimaroney@gmail.com

 

Erik Henry Vick: Horror Author Interview (2018)

I had the good fortune to meet Erik on Twitter and he quickly became a favorite of mine with his wit and intellectual comments. After reading his book Demon King I was thoroughly intrigued and had to learn more about him, his wife Supergirl, their rottweiler named after the thunder god and their two crazy cats. Erik has done so many amazing things. Erik has a B.A. in Psychology, an M.S.C.S., and a Ph. D. in Artificial Intelligence.  He has worked as a criminal investigator for a state agency, a college professor, a C.T.O. for an international software company, and a video game developer. Whew I am tired just writing all of his accomplishments! So let us find out more about this talented man!

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Why horror/fantasy?

~My fiction has always had a dark streak. When I was young, I heard the adage: “Write what you read.” At the time, I was reading a lot of science fiction, with a smattering of horror, so I thought I should write science fiction—dark scifi, granted, but scifi. I wrote some cyberpunk and tried very hard not to recognize that as much as I love reading scifi, I’m wasn’t that great at writing scifi. Let me put it this way—my “scifi” was frequently compared to Dean Koontz or Stephen King 😊

 

When I returned to writing fiction after being disabled, I first had the idea while re-reading one of my favorite authors, Stephen King—specifically I was reading the Dark Tower series and thought it would be cool to write something with the same depth, with the same “Epic Quest” quality. I had been playing around with an idea in my head about a serial killer that was a wendigo, and the Blood of the Isir series was born. It was so easy to write dark fantasy, and even easier to write straight horror, I was sure I found the right genres. Having said that, I do have plans for a scifi horror novel at some point.

What and who are some of your favorite horror films, books, and authors?

~I love Stephen King, Dan Simmons, Robert R. McCammon, Anne Rice, Ambrose Ibsen, Joe Hill, Walter Jon Williams, and many, many more.

As for films, I seem to be drawn heavily to scifi horror like the Aliens franchise and Pandorum, but I also love original movies like the Babadook, Gerald’s Game, A Quiet Place (I love, love, loved this movie!), The Others, etc. Having said that, I almost never turn down a horror movie.

What I dread in either setting is formulaic, repetitive stuff. You know what I mean… “So-and-so has sold a gerbillion books writing about butterflies, so my next book will be about butterflies. I’ll call it ‘Butterflies on a Train!’” Yech.

Can you tell us a little bit about your work in A.I.?

~I spent most of my time trying to make artificial characters into something more than talking heads. My Ph.D. explored building synthetic personalities by basing character drives and emotions on trait-based personality theory (from psychology). I also did some work in Natural Language Understanding and machine learning.

Also can you tell us about some of the video games you helped develop?

~I worked on Madden directly, and as a character AI adviser on many others under the Electronic Arts umbrella. Probably the most fun I had in the game industry was working on a project that never made it into production—an MMO concept set in Frank Herbert’s Dune universe.

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I love the Hank & Jane IRL, would Supergirl like to comment on you and or your work?

~Direct from Supergirl:

Erik is one of those people who is good at everything he tries. This amazes and annoys me in equal parts. At the time he got sick, he was a professor at a private university. We had moved thousands of miles from family a few years prior so he could take the job. It was a difficult time and eventually, even with all the help and support the university provided, he had to stop working. I remember the day I filled the car with the contents of his office. The next few years are a blur to both of us, him due to pain and medication and me due to working and handling the family and house stuff. I do remember that we started to go for drives as a way for Erik to get out of the house and for us to chat.  We have always been the kind of couple who enjoys spending a lot of time together.

At some point Erik began talking about wanting to write a story with a character that had RA. I encouraged (or nagged, potato/potahto) him at every turn because I wanted him to have something of his own again and be more than the RA. I told him we didn’t need to worry if it ever got published or how long it took to write but that the writing was what he needed to do. We set up the office with a recliner and a swing arm for his monitor and keyboard so he would be able to sit long enough to write more than a sentence or two. There were flares that interrupted and the writing went in fits and starts for a while but eventually he had something.

Any interesting stories (that you can tell) from your criminal investigative days?

~I can’t say much from the investigative days, but my experiences drive my writing, to be sure. There are far more horrible things in the world than we give it credit for. One of the scariest moments in my life was an interview with a homeless man when gradually realizing the depth of his paranoia and persecutory delusions, then discovering he was armed with .45 caliber pistol.

My years working on a psychiatric intensive treatment unit also fuel my work—in fact I am developing a concept for a novel or two pulled directly from my time there, and parts of Demon King came from this part of my life, as well (and not just the obvious bits 😊).

What would you like people to know about you?

~I have a so-called invisible disability. It’s not really invisible—it must easy to see based on the glares I sometimes get when Supergirl pumps the gas, holds the door open for me, or cuts my steak in a restaurant. It’s especially not invisible for my family and friends. It has changed me-physically, but it has not conquered me, and it has not changed who I am at the core (a big, dumb, stoic Viking). For more about my pointy-stick collection, please see:

https://erikhenryvick.com/2017/06/11/how-can-you-do-that/

https://erikhenryvick.com/gear/

Even with this stupid disease, I love life. I’m a positive person most of the time, and I try to have fun with whatever I’m doing because that’s the best sharp, pointy, monster-poking stick I can find. I love to laugh, and I love meeting and talking to people.

How do you combat writers block?

~I don’t really suffer from writer’s block. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I shouldn’t write, and most of the time, I’m bright enough not to waste time on those days, I just go relax with a good book or movie. I mostly have the reverse problem. I have far more ideas than I can write in the time my Personal Monster™ allows me. I’m rapidly filling up a digital notebook of ideas, beginnings, endings, characters, etc. Hopefully, I’ll be able to figure out a way to write faster (or develop implant technology that sucks the stories directly from my head while I sleep).

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Any advice for other writers facing their own “personal monsters”?

~Push that monster out of the way and get to work. Find a way to do what you need to do. Experiment, take notes—whatever is necessary. DO NOT LET THE MONSTER WIN.

Do you have a personal mantra?

~If I do, it involves Personal Monsters™ and sharp, pointy sticks. Or maybe something funny.

I want to thank Erik and Supergirl so much for taking the time to answer my questions and give us such a personal look inside this amazing authors mind!

You can learn more about Erik and his books here : https://erikhenryvick.com/

 

 

Edmund Lester Author-Interview (2018)

I had the extremely fun chance to interview author I.E. Lester for my site. I enjoy his books immensely and I hope that you will check them out and read them also! This is going to be fun so lets get down to the questions!

In a Parallel Life you got the music scene down, are you a musician? Do you play an instrument? Any fun stories?

~Thanks for the praise on the music part. But no, I’m not a musician. Although I am married to one. My wife is a saxophonist in a jazz band. I did try my hand at playing guitar… and bass guitar… and drums when I was younger but I was completely terrible at them all and decided the world would be better off without me polluting the air with my pitiful attempts at making music. Trust me, it was bad.

I am however a lifelong fan of music, of rock music, folk music and most especially progressive rock and have music playing at all times when I’m working/writing.

Hmm, funny story? First one that comes to mind was back from my school years. A number of my school friends formed a band, as teenagers do, and did actually play a number of gigs around the Birmingham area. Being my size, I’m more than two metres (between 6’7″-6’8″) tall and back then played rugby so was well built, I used to help out with the band, carry the instruments and help work the door, collecting the moneys on behalf of the band.

Before each of these gigs I would have the usual conversations with the venue’s regular door security team and it one key topic would be the age restrictions. Depending on the type of venue this was either 18 or 21. We could not allow anyone in if they were under that age at it could risk the publican’s license. All makes sense, except for the fact I was 17 when we were doing all this. My being there broke the conditions. I guess being my size they just assumed I was old enough. No one ever checked.

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What are some of your favorite bands and what music helps inspire your writing? (I listen to a lot of John Carpenter 😉)

~The first band I ever listened to seriously back in the late 70s was the Who. I saw a documentary about them on TV and liked the music. I badgered my mother after seeing it to take me to a music shop so I could buy an album by them, and came away with a double LP compilation of the first ten years of the band. I absolutely loved it and was hooked on music from that point.

The Who are still a favourite although they have been joined by many others over the years. Here’s a sampling – Rush, Dream Theater, Bruce Springsteen, Yes, Frank Zappa, King Crimson, Metallica, Tom waits, Iron Maiden, Jethro Tull, Fairport Convention, Pink Floyd, It Bites, Tanita Tikaram, Suzanne Vega

I could go on.

I find any of these excellent music to inspire me when writing. But there are some artists I struggle to listen to when writing. I quite like the surreal pop/rock of They Might Be Giants but as the lyrics are such a stand out part of each of their songs I find they get in the way of my own words.

I’m listening to Neal Morse’s Testimony 2 as I complete this interview. I find his music, his solo work, and in the many bands he’s been part of, absorbing – well maybe his prog work. His non-prog, more singer-songwriter isn’t quite my thing, even though I do like a lot of singer-songwriters.

Why write horror?

~The first adult books I ever read were horror books albeit by accident. I was reading Roald Dahl’s kids books borrowed from the school library and with Christmas coming up my mother decided to buy me a couple as a present. Only she didn’t realize Roald Dahl wrote adult horror stories as well as children’s books and that’s what she bought. I was nine… and I loved them. That was my fate sealed.

Add to this the fact I watched more horror films over the years than I think I can count, most of which were truly terrible, and I have this repository of horror-ness lodged into my brain so I guess it’s natural that when I think of ideas for stories a significant number of them are going to be dark.

Horror also fits well for someone who lives in a country like England. There are just so many places here that seem a little spooky. This country is filled with castles, prehistoric sites like stone circles, Gothic churches – history wherever you look. To me old places naturally go with the idea of ghosts and other supernatural creatures. Just take a look through any of the folk tales from all over Europe and you’ll find a lot of supernatural

The town where I live (Ashby de la Zouch) has hundreds of years of history, traces of which you can see by walking around if you just take the time to look.

That and the other reason – if someone annoys you in life you can write them into the story then make them suffer.

What are some of your favorite horror movies, books, and authors?

~My favourite horror writer has to be Stephen King, the Stand, admittedly not a straight up horror book, being my favourite of his. But add in Misery, It, Carrie, Salem’s Lot, the Shining (plus, plus, plus) and you have an incredible body of work.

But I also love Dean Koontz, Richard Laymon (the Stake is brilliant), Brian Keene, Phil Rickman, Graham Masterton (has to be Tengu or Manitou) and James Herbert (Secret of Crickley Hall, Fog, Rats).

I do tend to find British horror differs a lot from American. As mentioned above I find creepy in history. But a lot of American horror, given the shorter history, has it in people. There’s a lot more tales of teenagers with freaky powers, puberty seemingly being a big bad switch on in US horror, maybe it’s something in the water, and lot more of the hicks in the middle of nowhere horror. The UK doesn’t have enough space to have towns and villages that cut off from the rest of civilization so I don’t think those stories would work here.

With films I have an all-time favourite – the original Halloween. Absolutely brilliant film. I thought Saw was great and have enjoyed the rest of the series although none are a patch on the first. I enjoyed the latest version of It although find it falls short of being a great on one count. It doesn’t have Tim Curry. I think if I’d not seen the TV mini-series and Curry’s performance I would consider it great. Bill Skarsgård was great but Tim Curry is one of my favourite actors.

What inspires you?

~Anything and everything. I know it’s a trite answer but it’s true. I’ve found ideas reading science papers (yes, I’m that sad), history books, visiting odd places, reading about other cultures, antiques I’ve bought at antique fairs (the Intersection is based on an old movie projector), and watching movies, especially bad movies.

My novel the Stairs Lead Down came from one movie session. I was watching a particularly terrible horror movie with my wife and at the end I went on a rant about just how bad I thought it was and how I’d have done it different. So she said, ‘Ok, do it’. Well I went through the plot of the movie (I wish I could remember which one it was) and started making changes. Pretty soon I’d thrown away everything single aspect of the film story – the location (I moved it from the US to the UK), the characters (the original had adults, my leads are teenagers), the basic story (I think it was zombies or something like zombies in the original, mine has ghosts and a necromancer), and pretty much everything else besides. The film, in the end, was a catalyst to get my mind going, and for that I can thank it. Still wish I could remember which film it was, but having watched thousands of horror movies I lose track.

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How do you get past writers block?

~This is a tough one. To be truthful I don’t know. I do know that when I’m not in the mood for it forcing it is a bad idea; or at least with regards ending up with anything publishable. I have a file on my hard drive of random typing. If I’m stuck I open it and start putting words down. Not words in a random sense, I do form them into sentences which tend to be linked. But I don’t worry about characters, plot or anything like that. I just go for stream of consciousness rambling. It’s led to more than one story.

It doesn’t always work, though. When I’m truly stuck I find getting away from the keyboard is the best idea. When it comes to starting a new story, there’s something far easier about doing it with pen and paper. And I find it works even better when I’m not able to do anything other than scribble down thoughts. If I’m in a writing funk and there’s a TV nearby it’s hopeless. I’ll spend an entire evening skimming through YouTube watching total rubbish.

But put me in a car in the middle of nowhere for several hours with a notebook and pens (always take a spare) and great things can happen. I’ve whiled away many hours filling pages with my barely legible scrawl and by the end of these hours usually found I have a new story underway. My current work in progress, a Gothic horror novella called Alabaster started in just such a way two weeks ago.

Why write a YA book and was is hard for that mindset?

~When I was creating the plot for the Stairs Lead Down I wasn’t thinking about writing a ya book. I just wanted to come up with a story I liked enough to try writing. When I’d molded into the plot I liked I found my focus was on a pair of fourteen year old twins. With that focus it felt kind of natural to aim it at young adults.

As for hard, not really. My thoughts about ya fiction is there should be little difference between it and adult fiction, once you take out the obvious no-nos for ya books. So no erotica, no over the top violence or language and all should be good. Well it would as long as the content of the plot isn’t outside the life experience of your average teenager. I’ve often said that (apart from the erotica I mentioned above) the only subject I don’t think would be suitable for younger readers is political intrigue. But I am happy if someone proves me wrong. Young adults are on the cusp of being adults. They should not be treated all that differently, so a good young adult book should be readable by all age groups from then up.

But it’s an odd thing, classifying a book as young adult. My two novellas, the Intersection and a Parallel Life, feature no content more obviously adult than the Stairs Lead Down; maybe the occasional curse word but that’s it. But the main character is a 49 year old accountant and the things that happen to him are in the “odd” category so it probably wouldn’t appeal to a younger reader.

What do you want people to know about you?

~I’m tall. I may have mentioned that – Two metres, one centimetre, or a little over six feet seven in old measure. But I’m friendly, so don’t get scared. And I’m not as pompous as I seem to be.

What scares you?

~I used to say nothing did. But after my wife’s serious illness at the start of this year I know that was just a flippant reply. My biggest fear, one I came too close to experiencing, would be to lose her.

Do you have a personal mantra?

~I have a couple of thing I try to live by. Enjoy life and be nice to people.

I want to thank Mr. Lester for taking the time to answer my questions because there is nothing better for me then getting to probe the minds of the people whose works I enjoy! If you want to learn more, we have included the following links:

@ielester on Twitter

Books:

In the UK

Stairs Lead Down

A Parallel Life

The Intersection

And in the US

Stairs Lead Down

A Parallel Life

The Intersection

 

 

 

Susan Leighton: Interviewing the Interviewer! (2018)

Writer, interviewer, podcaster, Susan Leighton does it all. It has been my distinct pleasure to have been speaking with Susan on Twitter for quite awhile now and she is so genuine and extremely entertaining and just a pleasure to speak with. I have read so many of her amazing articles and interviews that I thought it would be fun to interview the interviewer. So lets get to it!

Do you even sleep you have so much going on? 😉

~LOL. Yes, I do. I just keep weird hours for now because it is the nature of the beast. Since I am not a “brand” name I have to hustle to get my work out there. Plus, I am branching out of the niche world and going full throttle into pop culture. I have always been an entertainment person so I am fortunate to have different venues that want to hear what I have to say.

Why horror? And how did you get into it?

~From a child on, I have always been intrigued with realms that are beyond our current frame of reference. I wanted to be an astronaut so I studied the planets which fostered an interest in the concept of other worlds. The paranormal, science-fiction, horror, these are genres that I have always loved. However, that being said, I am more of a pop culture person. While I am predominantly known for what I have done at 1428 Elm, I am now writing for sites that fuel my other passions like Heroic Hollywood and TV Series Hub. I can also be found every Friday night espousing or ranting depending on the topic at Nerdrotic Podcast with Gary Buechler and Dennis Bithoulkas. I have started my own podcast with my buddy, Abby Fagan called Unrestricted Content. I try to keep my options open and also, I love challenges. Anything that is going to push me, I am going to want to try.

What are some of your favorite horror films and books?

~Wow. Where to begin. I got my first taste at a young age when my Mom introduced me to Vincent Price in The Oblong Box. From there, Psycho, The Shining, The Dead Zone, Bubba Ho-Tep….oh, yeah and this thing called Evil Dead. And the book Duma Key by Stephen King.

What are some of the best things to do on Halloween?

~Turn the lights down, throw on a decent horror flick or psychological thriller, grab some popcorn and a Patron martini. And if you’re in the mood, maybe a costume. You know, for later.

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How did you get involved with covering Bruce Campbell?

~Man. You are asking the tough questions, Jaye. I asked my editors at 1428 Elm if I could write a little something up for Bubba Ho-Tep’s 15th anniversary. I didn’t know if they would be into it. They were very enthusiastic. In the meantime, we created an Ash Wednesday thing plus I was on the Ash vs Evil Dead season 3 beat which turned into something else entirely. I knew he had a book coming out (Hail to the Chin) so I decided that I was going to interview him. No one had tried it before at the site and I thought what the hell? He is a hard cat to track down but I gave it my best shot, he responded and my first chat went live in September of last year.

Have you met him? Any fun stories?

~Yes, I have met Bruce on several occasions. In February, we sat down for an on-camera interview and then for a print interview during the PR party for Ash vs Evil Dead S3. My last time conversing with him was at HorrorHound Weekend in Indianapolis. As for fun stories, none of them involve him but more about me and logistics, bad makeup and comedy of errors. Part of those experiences will be in a book I am writing. Fiction, of course.

What are some of your favorite tequilas and any suggestions of pairings with horror films?

~I am strictly silver tequila although I have had my share of Anejo and Mezcal in the past. Yes, I have had the worm and nothing trippy came out of it. As for drinks, I love Patron Martinis and Espresso Martinis with Patron. I think if you are going that route, then by all means reach back into the past and grab Rosemary’s Baby, The Tenant or the Exorcist.

Any great horror festival stories?

~Well, up until now, I was a con virgin. Since HorrorHound Weekend, I am no longer one. Let me just tell you, logistics are a bear. The festival was held in a terrific venue in downtown Indy which I remember from 15 years ago when I attended a business conference. However, the panel discussion room felt like it was a secret passageway and I could never quite get there. On Friday, which was the very first day of the con, I was at the hotel bar kicking back with a few friends and some drinks. Panel time for Evil Dead 2 rolled around so I split. Even though I had a map, I kept pulling a European Vacation thing with this policeman. Me: Hey, Officer. Insert laughter. Officer: Didn’t I just see you? Me: Yep. Officer: Evil Dead, right? Yeah, it was that kind of night. I did manage to find the room though.

-BCJ0Gnb

Any favorite interviews?

~Joe Lansdale was a proud moment for me. I have always enjoyed his writing. Dee Wallace was another coup that I was happy to score since she is in the pantheon of scream queens. Dana DeLorenzo, Lindsay Farris, Ray Santiago and Arielle Carver-O’Neill were the best. I had so much fun chatting with them. Oh, and one more. Damn it. I wish I could remember his name. 😉

Do you have a personal mantra?

~Keep it classy or I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

I wanna thank Susan for taking the time to speak with us and say what fun it was, such great answers! If you want to learn more about Susan you can find her at:

https://www.facebook.com/SusanontheLedge/

https://1428elm.com/  for horror genre news and commentary

And on Twitter @SusanontheLedge

Also @heroichollywood  @tvserieshub  @content_podcast @Nerdrotics

Clarissa Jacobson Interview (2018) Lunch Ladies

Clarissa Jacobsen is the wondrous writer of Lunch Ladies a short horror film touring the film festivals now. Lunch Ladies is about two burnt out high school Lunch Ladies who do whatever it bloody takes on their quest to become Johnny Depp’s Personal Chefs. I highly recommend it and can not wait for it to become a feature length film. The film is directed by J.M. Logan who worked on visual effects for Apocalypto and Production Manager for The Circle starring Tom Hanks. The films two main stars are Donna Pieroni as Seretta and Mary Manofsky as LouAnne our intrepid lunch ladies. The ladies have shared a miserable existence as high school lunch ladies serving up rubbery chicken parts, ammonia-treated government meat and whatever else the cash-strapped national lunch program sends their way. This year is going to be different: The twin’s Cheesy Burger Bites recipe is the Grand Prize Winner of Johnny Depp’s Cook for Kid’s Charity Event. Convinced this is their ticket out of high school hell town and that “The Depper” will hire them to be his very own Personal Chefs, their dreams are shattered after a snotty head cheerleader pushes them one step too far. This forces the Lunch Ladies to ask themselves – WWJD? What would Johnny do?

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I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Clarissa previously for the House of Tortured Souls, but now that I have my own site I wanted to check in with my friend and see how she is doing with the movie on the circuit:

You have been doing a lot of traveling for promotion and awards, any fun stories?

~I have been having the time of my life attending festivals and every single one has something wonderful or crazy that happened. One of the funniest situations happened at Mórbido Fest in Mexico City where I traveled 1,850 miles to see the Lunch Ladies for our international premiere and never got to see the film.  The first screening I got stuck in a Day of The Dead Parade trying to get to the theatre.  You’ve never seen traffic like you’ve seen in Mexico City, now triple that for the Day of The Dead.  I left an hour and a half early to get to the film – the theatre was only 10 minutes away.  I thought I had enough time.     I didn’t know about that parade.

The cab driver I had dropped me off on the side of the freeway because we were at a standstill and said “Go that way” he pointed to a park telling me to cut across to get to the theatre.  I was in a dress and it was about 100 degrees and I was running through the park, lost –  my Google Maps wasn’t working and there were Day of the Dead floats coming at me.  I was sobbing trying to find that damn theatre with people from Mexico City stopping trying to help but no one seemed to know where it was.   Finally another poor cab driver took pity on me but that ended up being a fiasco as well, because he tried to avoid traffic and we went all over the city ending up in an Uber accident.  Once again I got out of the car, and ran – this time, I don’t know how but I found the theater – I made the Q&A soaked to the skin from sweat with mascara running down my face.

The second time the film played I got there three hours early only to find out after sitting for two hours that it had been canceled.  So, I decided to go see my friend Catya Plate’s movie – Meeting MacGuffin and then Gisberg Bermudez’s movie The Whistler.  That ended up being a massive fail also as the Uber driver who was taking me got in another accident.  I left the next morning for home only having seen two shorts the whole festival.  Yet,  in the funniest way the whole thing was perfect.

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Favorite place you got to go and why?

~The favorite place I’ve been to would be Clermont-Ferrand. Though Imagine Fest in Netherlands was amazing too, and Nightmares Fest in Ohio was a joy.  All of the fests that I’ve attended have been great, and have had really wonderful things that happened.  But so far, my top is Clermont-Ferrand.   The thing about Clermont-Ferrand is the audience loves short film so much that every single screening has people lined up around the block.  There’s just a lot of passion for short film there.  Opening night the film played to 1000 people and every seat was filled.  The programmers at Clermont have also been incredibly kind to me and have since taken the film to two more festivals, one in Marseilles and one in Korea.  Imagine they treated me wonderfully too… and Nightmares was the first place the film won an award and I met so many great people there.

How are plans for the feature film going?

~I’ve just been plugging along with the feature – that is trying to find that financier to take the project. It hasn’t happened yet, but there’s a lot of amazing things happening on the horizon and I’m hopeful.

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Any new projects on the horizon?

~I haven’t had time to write much because Lunch Ladies has taken up so much of my time, but I have many other projects in the wheelhouse, two of them – Stella by Starlight which was optioned by Bev Nero Productions and Norman Stephens is picking up steam and Psalm Du Sang – a story about Elizabeth Bathory – was optioned by the director, Gisberg Bermudez. The same Gisberg I met at Mórbido Fest.

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Have you got to discover any new fave horror films or books?

~The discovery I had was “Don’t Look Now” – Joe Bratcher, my writing mentor had recommended it to me a while back and finally I was able to see it. They call it a thriller, but I think it’s pretty horrific – it was fantastic and terrifying.  I had nightmares.
~How do you like the horror fans?

I love horror fans so much – these are my people – they are smart, supportive, artistic and non-judgmental.

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~Have you got any rest at all?-hehe

Rest? Actually things are good right now – because my job ended and I’m taking a few months off to do things with the film – so life is good right now – I’m getting 8 hours!

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I want to thank Clarissa again so much for taking her valuable time to speak with me and let us know how her short film is going. Please check it out you will be really happy you did!

https://www.lunchladiesmovie.com/

You can also follow the film and Clarissa at @LunchLadiesFilm on Twitter and https://www.facebook.com/lunchladiesmovie/

And to check out my previous interview on the fantastic House of Tortured Souls just click on http://houseoftorturedsouls.com/lunch-ladies-2017/

 

 

 

 

 

Tra Cee Horror Hostess Extraordinaire.(2018) Interview

Tra Cee is a singer, songwriter, COO of Terror Records Inc. and owner and hostess of the amazing SCRM Radio. Rarely do you get to interview someone whose answers mirror your own in so many ways, but I actually got that fortune. I have known Tra Cee from our Twitter #horror family for awhile now and she is a true joy to converse with so I wanted her to be my next interview here at Horrormadam.com. On Twitter she can be found at @TraCee_tr and the fantastic SCRM Radio can be also found on Twitter at @SCRMRadio and the link to listen into some of the most amazing people in horror is at https://www.scrmradio.com/ So please read on to some fabulous answers to my following questions.

Tra Cee you are a singer, songwriter, COO of Terror Records Inc., SCRM radio, and raising 3 daughters-how do you find the time?

~That’s easy – I don’t sleep, lol. In all honesty though, it is challenging. I am finding myself having to really schedule my time. I never thought that SCRM Radio would take off like it did. And while I don’t have hundreds of thousands of monthly listeners (yet), it appears that there is a niche for what I provide, and I am happy about that. Add to that my music (I’m releasing a new song this fall and I am going to London to shoot two videos next year), my record label and my girls – plus my full time job – time management is going to be the way I stay sane!

Why the horror genre?  ~

I love horror, I have ever since I read the spine, then the back and then the introductory excerpt of a John Saul book – Suffer The Children. After that I saw my first real horror movie – Night of the Living Dead – and from then on I was hooked. I won’t lie, during those years, when I was discovering both my love of horror, the authors who so eloquently put my fears into print and seeing it acted out on the big screen, my life mirrored some of the things I read and saw. So, seeing the bad guy get dispatched onscreen, seeing good triumph over evil (sometimes) and feeling like I was not alone in what I was going through, helped me make it through some tough years in foster care.

 

What are some of your favorite, movies, TV shows, musicians and authors?

~ That’s hard, there are so many!!!!!

Okay, let’s start with movies:
Thir13en Ghosts (original and remake, though I like the remake more)
NOES – because Freddy!
Halloween (all of them, even the bad ones, lol. Because, Michael)
F13th
I Saw The Devil – though not categorized as horror, I feel it was a horror/thriller
Train to Busan
NOTLD
Carrie
Lost Boys
Fright Night
Psycho
The Exorcist
Pet Cemetery
Cujo…gosh, there are too many to mention!

TV:
Slasher
Supernatural
Grimm
Sleepy Hollow
Hannibal
The Exorcist
Bates Motel…just to name a few

Musicians:
John Carpenter – his scores are amazing!
Calabrese
In This Moment (more goth, but she rocks!)
Shakespeare’s Sister (90’s goodness)
Marilyn Manson – is he really horror? I like him though 🙂

Authors:
Stephen King
John Saul
Dean Koontz
Anne Rice
Daphne du Maurier
Shirley Jackson
Mary Shelley
V.C. Andrews
Octavia Butler
Clive Barker
Tamara Thorne
Alistair Cross
Kealan Burke – so many more!

 

I know you are a wine person like I am, what are some of your favorites?

~? Fave wines and best music/ horror pairings? I love wine, though I am not rich enough to be an expert!! Lol. Red wine gets me in trouble, but white wine is what I love when reading a good book! My favorite has to be Prosecco when watching a good horror movie, followed by Moscato when listening to music.

What do you want people to know about you?

~That I’m not a witch or serial killer – I’ve been accused of being both, so I just want to set the record straight (laughs). In all seriousness, I just want people to know that I love what I do. I love this genre, and the people I’ve met in the horror community are more like family than friends. Also, I love to write and sing, so if you have time, please be sure to check me out. My music is everywhere music can be bought or streamed. My girls love horror too, so it is indeed a family affair over here! Also, I love bacon, green olives, cheese and cheesecake – so if anyone who reads this feels led to send a care package… 🙂

 

Why should people listen to SCRM Radio?

~Because it is horror theater. Much like buying and listening to a book through audible, it is a way to hear some awesome horror stories, and being able to move around and work while you do so. You don’t have to be stuck in front of your TV or computer screen to get your horror fix. Bonus: there are some really talented people on my station bringing you these awesome narrations. If you tune in, you won’t regret it.

What are you promoting right now?

~Besides SCRM Radio, my music is what I would like for people to check out, and support. My song that is on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and anywhere you can find music to stream or download is Favorite Song – by TraCee ft. Da General. The official video is on YouTube, and as I wrote earlier, I will be releasing my next single and video this fall, as well as two new songs and videos next year.

I want to thank Tra Cee so much for taking the time to answer my questions and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. I can not recommend SCRM Radio highly enough or her wonderous music, so I am including some links below so you too can have as much fun with Tra Cee as I have!

https://music.amazon.com/artists/B01DVBH81I/CATALOG?ref=dm_wcp_artist_link_ad

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/favorite-song-feat.-da-general/id1100284404

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