Jeremy C Shipp-Author Interview (2019)

Hey readers! Just your Horrormadam here to bring you another amazing author Jeremy C Shipp! He is a writer of weird horror, adventurous fantasy, and idiosyncratic science fiction all combined into this wildly visceral and blood-curdling works of fiction. I was so glad he introduced himself and his works to me will always be a fan. Now let’s get to the questions!

Can you please tell my readers little about yourself?

My name’s Jeremy C. Shipp, and I’m an author of weird horror tales. My short stories have appeared in various publications such as ChiZine, Cemetery Dance, and Apex Magazine. My books include the Bram Stoker-nominated novel Cursed and the Shirley Jackson Award-nominated novella The Atrocities.

When I’m not writing, I’m butlering for cats in a semi-haunted Victorian farmhouse. The ghosts took the phrase “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” to heart, so they spend much of their time napping and rarely perform.

The main question I always want to know about, why horror? What drew you to the genre?

I have always been a fiend for horror. As a kid, I would play pretend with my brothers, and we would imagine ourselves as vampires and werewolves and grim reapers. I grew up watching dark and bizarre films like The Dark Crystal, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and House II. I’ve always been fascinated by monsters and magic and the darker mysteries of the universe. I can’t say why exactly. But, for me, writing horror feels right.

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What are some of your favorite horror films and or books?

As far as horror and gothic books go, I love The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin, Hell House by Richard Matheson, Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. And some of my favorite horror films are The Witch, Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, A Dark Song, The Love Witch, The Shining, The House of the Devil, Evil Dead II, Dead Alive, Audition, Trick ‘r Treat, Psycho, Ringu, Ju-on, The Happiness of the Katakuris, The Funhouse, The Thing, The Descent. I could probably go on forever, but I suppose I shouldn’t. Eternity is a long time.

What actually scares you?

I’m afraid of sadism and bigotry and death. I’m afraid that humans won’t do enough to stop climate change. I’m afraid of heights. I’m afraid of mimes with sharpened teeth. I’m afraid of the man with translucent skin who lives under my floorboards because he keeps spoiling the ending of movies that I haven’t seen yet.

If you could have a dinner or poker game with your favorite authors alive or dead, who would it be and what would you like to discuss with them?

For my dinner guests, I would invite Charlotte Brontë, Kazuo Ishiguro, Kurt Vonnegut, Arundhati Roy, and Shirley Jackson. At first, we would discuss world events, and the writing process, and the human soul. But rather quickly I’d realize that we were all a bit stressed about the state of the world and our fast-approaching deadlines. And so, during dinner, we would decide to play Santa Claus Conquers the Martians on the TV, and we would make fun of the film MST3K-style while we ate. It would be a good night.

Indeed!

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As an author, do you have a writer‘s kryptonite?

The entire writing process feels a bit like kryptonite to me. Everything is hard and frustrating, and I really wouldn’t have it any other way. I suppose my most potent kryptonite is my tendency to hyperfocus on one particular sentence or word. I can spend way too much time trying to compose the perfect sentence when I should simply move forward with the story and come back later. When will I ever learn? Probably never.

How much of yourself do you include in your writings?

I tend to only include some small bits of myself here and there. Perhaps a fingernail clipping or a pint of blood or a chunk of the spleen. In Bedfellow, for example, Tomas likes to hang out in a secret, leafy, magical space that exists between his neighbors’ fences. In reality, my brothers and I truly did play in such a gap. Vampires and werewolves and grim reapers crept among those fallen leaves.

What would you tell your younger self as a writer?

I first started writing short stories in 4th grade, so I would tell my elementary school self to invest all his birthday and yard work money in Apple stock.

When I was a teenager, I first started getting stories published, and I would tell my teenage self not to sell the Apple stocks, no matter how tempted he was to buy an electric guitar and a car with air conditioning.

I would also tell him that rejection letters are a normal part of a writer’s life and not to take them too personally. I would tell him that he shouldn’t stop himself from reaching out to other writers for advice and for help

When they make the movie of your life, would it be drama/comedy/horror and who would star as you?

I’d like a Jeremy C. Shipp character to appear in a Bill & Ted reboot in the distant future. In the movie, monsters overrun the Earth, and Bill and Ted travel back in time to get a monster expert to help them. They assume that I, as a horror writer, would somehow be able to deal with the vampires, werewolves, and other creatures. Ultimately, we end up befriending the monsters, and the world is saved. Jeremy C. Shipp would be played by a descendent of Sam Rockwell, because he’s an amazing actor, and he looks a bit like me, I think.

What do you do for fun or relaxation?

I enjoy watching great movies and excruciatingly terrible movies. I’m not much interested in mediocre films that exist somewhere in between.

I read books as if my life depended on it, and it probably does.

I like trivia games, even though I don’t have the mind for it. Ask me when the War of 1812 started, and I’d probably get it wrong.

One of my favorite things in the world to do is to watch The Bachelor or The Bachelorette or Bachelor in Paradise with my partner. Hard as I try, I still haven’t written a horror story as terrifying as those shows

What are you working on next or whatever other projects you are on that we should look out for?

I’m working on a currently untitled novel that will be published by Meerkat Press in 2021. Here are some details:

In Shipp’s newest novel, we will follow Seraphina Ramon into a once-abandoned amusement park now populated by a community of cultists. To our left, a dragon-themed roller coaster rests on the blackened earth, curled up like a dead snake. To our right, an animatronic Humpty Dumpty falls off a concrete castle and shatters on the ground, only to reform itself moments later. Up ahead, cultists giggle as they meditate in a hall of cracked mirrors. This is the last place in the world Seraphina wants to be, but at the same time, she will stop at nothing to investigate the cult that almost killed her sister. And the best way to find out the truth about this bizarre cult is to join them.

Also, I finished writing a horror screenplay a couple of weeks ago, and I’m hard at work on another.

In addition to all this, in my secret lab, I’m genetically engineering a miniature version of Cthulhu about the size of a dachshund. I’m hoping to create a couple hundred of them in my first batch. Gods, goddesses, and various other ethereal beings keep warning me not to do it, but I’m sure they’re just overreacting.

I would like to thank Jeremy very much for taking the time to answer my questions and for his amazing storytelling talent! If you want to learn more I have included some links for you to check out!

http://www.jeremycshipp.com

and you can find him on Twitter @JeremyCShipp

 

HELLARIOUS! Try Not To Die Laughing! Supporting Indie Film New Release (2019)

Hey readers! I Love to support Indie films, especially horror 🙂 So I wanted to help the rollout of a new horror anthology out just in time for the Halloween season called Hellarious! It is a rollicking good time that will also send chills down your spine. Seven great shorts that are new, creative, gruesome, and visionary. I asked Jason Tostevin the creator who is an American filmmaker, screenwriter, film festival director, and founder of Hands Off Productions, a boutique studio with a worldwide reputation for its short genre films. Why these particular films?

WHY THESE FILMS?
First, I love horror comedy, and I think most people do, too. But there’s not an easy way to see more of them. These seven films have been huge hits on the fest circuit, and they’ve had crowds afterward telling their friends, “you have to see this movie!” They’re also well-crafted and hilarious stories with unforgettable characters. So they were perfect to assemble in one place for the horror fans I knew would love them.

Here is the press release to tell you more:

NEW HORROR COMEDY COLLECTION “HELLARIOUS” SET TO SLAY THIS SEPT
Seven Legendary Horror Comedy Shorts Assembled in First Collection of its Kind

COLUMBUS, OH – A new, devilishly funny collection of horror short films is out to kill with audiences just in time for Halloween … and there’s going to be hell to pay.

The just-announced feature collection Hellarious will bring together seven of the most legendary horror comedy shorts ever made from some of the world’s best genre filmmakers. The tales include a hilarious menagerie of zombie wives, amateur satanists, reverse werewolves, maniac lunch ladies and more — along with gust-busting gags, gross-outs and gore.

“Hellarious is the perfect movie to celebrate the Halloween season,” said anthology creator Jason Tostevin. “There are scary stories, eww moments that will make you squirm, and even some weirdly sweet moments. And of course, they’re all absolutely hysterical.”

The seven shorts that make up Hellarious are: Lunch Ladies by Clarissa Jacobson and J.M. Logan, Horrific by Robert Boocheck (ABCs of Death 2), Death Metal by Chris McInroy, Born Again and ‘Til Death by Tostevin and Randall Greenland, Killer Kart by James Feeney, Bitten by Sarah K. Reimers.

 

 

Preorders are now open for a limited edition Blu-ray and VOD release by distributor Film Spawn. Order here.

“We’re so proud to help present this one-of-a-kind project,” said FilmSpawn founder Chris Ethridge. “These are iconic shorts people have been hearing they have to see, but couldn’t find. Now, for the first time ever, you can see them all in one place.”

Also included exclusively on the limited edition Blu-ray is the world premiere of Clarissa Jacobson’s A Very Important Film, a parody send-up of self-important festival films created as a promotional short for her film Lunch Ladies.

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TRAILER For HELLARIOUS!

PREORDER LINK
https://horrorpack.com/store/hellarious/

R. J. Joseph- Author Interview (2019)

In this interview I would like to present you with an amazing woman, a fabulous writer and intellect, and also an inspiration. Her name is Rhonda Jackson Joseph. She is a horror writer, a member of the Horror Writers Association, and a professor based out of Texas. Her analysis of gender, race, and, horror has really inspired me to look at all who indulge in this world of horror that we love so much. Primarily a man’s game, I want to look at the differences we all bring to the table. Male/female, black/white/yellow/brown, different religions, different countries, different sexual orientations… how we all see horror differently. So starting off my adventure, I bring you the great lady herself and her answers to my questions:

First, thank you so much for having me over for a chat, Jaye. I always enjoy talking with other women in horror.

Where did you get your love for the horror genre?

I grew up in a home always filled with books and magazines and the ones my parents didn’t think to hide were the horror ones. I’ve always had a dark nature, so I was drawn to these tales of monsters, weirdness and evil. My father was the one who collected these books and every now and then I would talk him into allowing me to watch the horror movies with him. I was really young, maybe 6 or 7 or so. The adult me is glad he didn’t have the best parenting judgement because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have gotten all that exposure to the things I love so much.

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What are some of your favorite horror films?

Some of my all-time faves are Blacula, the original Poltergeist, Pet Sematary, The Exorcist, Beloved and all the classic Universal monster movies. Recent additions to my list are Get Out, The Quiet Place, and Hereditary. Apparently, I’m drawn to sympathetic monsters and also utterly terrified by parenthood and societal horrors.

How did you get into writing?

Writing has always been how I best express myself. The written word never fails me, even when speaking does. I’ve been full of words since childhood, with a knack for telling stories. I also have a mother who always supported whatever I and my siblings wanted to do and she continuously praised my writing and encouraged me to continue the sharing of myself through words. My insatiable curiosity helps, too. I never run out of things to write about because I question everything, all the time. Everything that happens and my experiences are fodder for stories or poems. Even things that don’t happen are fair game. Writing is such a part of my being that I can just never quit.

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Who are some of your favorite writers?

So many faves! I read way more than I write, which is good in some ways but terrible in others. I love classic writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelley. I also like Shirley Jackson, Octavia Butler, and Tananarive Due. Stephen King is one of my favorites as is Linda Addison and Lori Titus. And L.A. Banks will forever be #writergoals.

Which books inspired you?

I mostly read Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and John Saul as a child, so I was heavily inspired by their works to write my own creepy fare. The works of Tananarive Due and Toni Morrison inspired me immensely because they showed that black women could write riveting horror. But the most influential book overall in my horror writing was the Bible. I was raised as a Southern Baptist and those stories and the ways preachers would impart them were horrifying! I also liked the hidden messages and the ways the words could mean various different things.

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I learned the word misogynoir while researching you. Can you explain it to my readers and how you feel about it or counteract it?

This is an excellent question! Misogynoir is a term coined by African American feminist Professor Moya Bailey to describe a specific hatred that is enacted upon black women. Misogynoir reflects an intersection of race and gender in the ways black women are victimized. I grew up feeling the weight of not just being black but of also being a woman, so the word feels right and encompasses the entirety of my experiences with such hatred in a way that the term misogyny ignores with its single focus on my being a woman.

One specific way I work to combat misogynoir is simply by daring to write black women’s experiences into the horror genre, as an unapologetic black woman. I write about black women being terrorized by monsters because so many experiences of black women are horrific. I write about black women being monstrous because we should be allowed to lean into this element and receive power and sympathy as other monsters do. I write about why we need these depictions, why the genre (really, the world as a whole) should embrace these characters and stories as relevant, lived experiences that encounter horror and monstrosity in various ways.

What drew you to writing in academia?

I often tell folks I’m an accidental academic. I attended graduate school primarily to get a degree that would allow me to work part-time teaching at the college level, where I would make more money than in any other part-time job. I also needed the flexibility so I could still care for my children. I didn’t know the pursuit of that degree and the people I would meet along the way would also create avenues for me to find a still growing corner of this discipline where I might be able to make valuable contributions. I honestly had no idea that writing about black women and horror from an academic standpoint was a thing. Then I met Dr. Kinitra Brooks at a horror convention and searched for everything I could find on her work about black women in horror and popular culture and I finally knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. My entry into academic writing may have unintentional, but apparently, this is where I need and want to be.

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What do you find truly horrific?

Ahour existence is immersed in darkness and overrun by monsters. If I had to choose the most horrific things I’m aching over in this moment, I’d have to say humanity’s lack of empathy and the assassination of intellectual curiosity. It scares me that human beings can deny other humans their right to basic personhood and exalt their cruelty. Now, I wouldn’t say there was ever a time in my lifetime when this empathy existed in abundance, anyway, but I just would have thought we’d be beyond this point by now.

And I grew up surrounded by people who didn’t have advanced educations, sometimes not even through high school, and yet they still sought knowledge and facts to make decisions about their lives in general. Now we have folks who have multiple degrees who disregard facts and make illogical and unsound arguments in bad faithand others blindly follow them. Critical thinking is pretty much dead, and it doesn’t seem it will even be resurrected as a zombie, so when it’s completely gone, it’ll just be gone.

If you could have a frank discussion with any five people in history: living or dead, who would it be and why?

This is a fun one! The chance to ask Mary Shelley about her writing process and inspiration for Frankenstein. I want to hear it from her without the filter of years of research. And meeting Edgar Allen Poe would be a dream. I often wonder how he managed to avoid ultimately succumbing to his demons before he did. I’d absolutely love to have a conversation with Margaret Garner, the enslaved woman whose story of matricide inspired Toni Morrison’s Beloved. As heart wrenching as it would surely be, I’d like to hear from her the desperation that drove her to murder one child and attempt to murder the others in an attempt to save them from slavery. I’d like to talk with Toni Morrison, too. I continue to be inspired by the way she uses words to make experiences immersive. I’d just want to shake her hand and hope some of her glitter rubs off on me. And James Baldwin seems like the kind of person I would seek out at a party, someone I could have stimulating conversations with while the world went on around us. 

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What are you working on now?

I work best when I’m juggling different projects, so I’m currently working on a few things. My main focus right now is an essay on the Netflix series “The Haunting of Hill House”, for a collection being compiled and edited by Dr. Kevin Wetmore. Also, I’m outlining two different academic book proposals for submission to publishers. In the background of these academic projects is a horror novella and a couple of chewed on and incomplete horror short stories that I hope to finally finish. By the end of the year, I’d like to have a collection of short stories to shop around to publishers.

I would like to yell three shout-outs. The first is to announce that I will be making an academic presentation at the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference at StokerCon in May, called the “Rendering the Invisible Visible: Black Femininity in Horror”. It would be great to have some folks come out to join the conversation.

The second is for Uncovering Stranger Things: Essays on Eighties Nostalgia, Cynicism and Innocence in the Series, a collection of essays edited by Dr. Kevin Wetmore that made it onto the final ballot for this year’s Stoker Awards. The third is for Sycorax’s Daughter’s. edited by Dr. Kinitra Brooks, Linda Addison, and Dr. Susana Morris, which appeared on last year’s Stoker Award final ballot. I’m super proud to have contributed to these amazing books and I look forward to more works from these magnificent writers and editors.

I’m currently accepting abstracts for multidisciplinary academic presentations at the Multiverse Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in Atlanta this October. Please see our call for papers on our website here: https://www.multiversecon.org/papers

I want to thank Rhonda so much for giving me her valuable time and insights! If you would like to learn more about her or her works, I have included some links for your perusal:

Twitter: @rjacksonjoseph
Facebook: facebook.com/rhonda.jacksonjoseph
Facebook official: fb.me/rhondajacksonjosephwriter
Instagram: @rjacksonjoseph
Blog: https://rjjoseph.wordpress.com/
Email: horrorblackademic@gmail.com

https://www.amazon.com/R.-J.-Joseph/e/B0722V9DQT

Uncovering Stranger Things on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C1DTQQ5/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Sycorax’s Daughters on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Sycoraxs-Daughters-Walidah-Imarisha-ebook/dp/B06W2FLLMB/ref=mp_s_a_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=sycorax%27s+daughter&qid=1552076025&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

HWA Poetry Showcase, Volume V:

https://www.amazon.com/HWA-Poetry-Showcase-Stephanie-Wytovich-ebook/dp/B07HPGQHXR/ref=mp_s_a_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=hwa+poetry+showcase+5&qid=1552076107&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

Monstrous Domesticity on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Monstrous-Domesticity-R-J-Joseph-ebook/dp/B016JAT5XC/ref=mp_s_a_1_fkmrnull_2?keywords=monstrous+domesticity&qid=1552076186&s=gateway&sr=8-2-fkmrnull

Black Magic Women on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Black-Magic-Women-Terrifying-Sisters/dp/0999852205/ref=mp_s_a_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=black+magic+women+saulsonn&qid=1552076358&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Anne Radcliffe Academic Conference at StokerCon 2019:

http://stokercon2019.org/convention/ann-radcliffe-academic-conference/

 

Erik Handy-Author Interview (2019)

My next author interview is with horror writer Erik Handy.  His stories are spine chilling and engaging, dark and imaginative and I really encourage you to check them out! So let’s get to the questions and find out what he says:

When did you first fall in love with horror?

I grew up in the VHS Boom of the 80s. My parents constantly rented just about everything horror and sci-fi. It was probably then.

 

Favorite horror films?

Fright Night, Predator, and The Fog.

Favorite horror authors and books?

I don’t really read anymore, but when I did, I liked Bentley Little a lot.

 

Favorite comic books?

Watchmen. It’s a well-told story first, comic book second, if that makes sense.

 

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Sometimes from my hyperactive dreams. Sometimes from a stray thought.

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Why are you the King of Horror and Suspense?

Because no one does it better than me.

 

You work and you write which probably doesn’t leave you with much time, but do you have anything else you do to decompress from these activities?

I’ll get all the rest I need when I’m dead.

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Is there anything that scares you?

Knowing there is probably nothing after death. NOTHING.

 

I know you write screenplays. If you had all the power, which of your books would you like to see made into a movie and who would direct and star?

Just one?! Noooooo . . . . I wouldn’t mind seeing some of the stories in Demonica being filmed for an anthology a la Creepshow. A different director for each segment . . . John Carpenter, Stuart Gordon, and Rob Zombie. It’d have to star Jeffrey Combs and Brad Dourif in multiple roles.

 

Lastly, what projects are you working on for the future?

I’m cleaning up my screenplays for publication. After that, I’m going to reissue and finish my Demon Hero series. After THAT, a new short story collection, then maybe a new Bad Boogeyman novel. 2019 is going to be a busy year!

 

I want to thank Erik Handy for taking the time to answer my questions. If you would like to learn more about him or read his works, just follow these links:

Official site: ErikHandy.com

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00476PH5G

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/erikhandybooks/

Twitter page: https://twitter.com/ErikHandy

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB2-bhZHAXtuMUNrwJHKsdQ

Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/erikhandy

 

Trembling With Fear: Year 1 Book Review (2018)

I will honestly say that I am usually not big on short stories because I like to get involved within a story and live there for awhile. But that being said, the book Trembling With Fear: Year 1 really changed my mind on this. Everyone of the stories were beautifully written and thoroughly concise in there execution. I got everything I expect from longer books with just many more stories to enjoy!

The book is an amalgamation of stories from the site the Horror Tree of which Trembling With Fear is a branch of. Horror Tree is a great resource for authors, whether they be established or new innovative and ingenious voices, as an outlet  for their written material. Find more out about Horror Tree here:

https://horrortree.com/

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I have borrowed the next information from the intro to the book Trembling With Fear: Year 1 so that you the reader can get an exact idea of what they do:

Trembling With Fear is a branch of Horror Tree which publishes original fiction every Sunday morning. In it, they have a minimum of one short story and three pieces of flash fiction on a weekly basis. They are not a static publication however, and have recently introduced serials as a new feature and no doubt there will be other developments. Please check the Trembling With Fear Submissions page for details on how to submit.

You can find that page here: https://horrortree.com/submissions/

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And please pick up the book, it is a real slice of horror entertainment. So many diverse voices and ideas that there is something for everyone in it and you will not be disappointed!

It is available here at Amazon on Kindle or in paperback form with a 5 star rating!:

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