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/

 

 

Gary Scott Beatty: Webcomic Designer Interview (2018)

Gary Scott Beatty has been coloring comics since 1999. He also writes and designs his own comics and books and has designed the Webtoons Webcomic the Gods of Aazurn. He also has does  book cover art along with digital painting illustrations and Jazz illustrations. I was very fascinated to find out about online comics being a comic book lover myself. So let us get to the questions so you can go out and start reading these amazing comics also!

Why a horror comic?
~When I began the Gods of Aazurn stories in the Indie Comics #1, #2 and #3 anthologies they were dark fantasy, positive myths cynically turned to despair.
There are horror elements in every genre of entertainment. Where would Shakespeare’s Shylock be without his demand for a “pound of flesh?” Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” without Cobain swearing he doesn’t have a gun? “Game of Thrones” without winter coming?

Horror is drama, that place in a story when you see that the dark places gaining the upper hand. Why not horror? It’s everywhere.

Who are some of your favorite comic artists and writers?

~I recently got halfway through a top 10 list of comics that most influenced me before writing and drawing Gods of Aazurn weekly on Webtoons.com took over my time.

That list included Enki Bilal, Philippe Druillet, Moebius and (later) Richard Corben in Heavy Metal Magazine #1; Barry Smith and Roy Thomas on Conan the Barbarian #7 (1971); Robert Crumb on Big Ass Comics #2 (1971); Gilbert, Jaime and Mario Hernandez on Love and Rockets (1982-1996); Jamie Delano, Garth Ennis, Paul Jenkins, Warren Ellis, Brian Azzarello, Mike Carey, Peter Milligan and more on the original run of John Constantine: Hellblazer (Jan. 1988).

How did you get into coloring and comic art?

~I just always wrote and drew stuff. I wouldn’t recommend anyone get into this if they intend to pay the rent. For me, it’s always been a compulsion to tell stories.

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Do you think there is higher intelligence out there?

~There’s certainly a higher intelligence than me

Where did you get your love for Lovecraft?

~I first remember reading H.P. Lovecraft and other Strange Tales magazine reprints in paperbacks in my early teens, most likely attracted by some trippin’ cover art. I’m not sure where I bought them, but I own a set of Arkham House hardcovers from 1963 that I’ve felt compelled to reread over the decades.

Why do webcomics and not physical copies?

~I have graphic novels readers can buy. They can find them from my publisher, Caliber Comics, by going to http://strangehorror.com/

That website is also a good way to get to the free webcomic. Webtoons.com has a pretty long URL for Gods of Aazurn, I usually just go through http://strangehorror.com/ because it’s easier to remember.

Tenacious readers usually figure out that online reading is just reading, and go back and forth without a second thought. Google Books, for instance, is where I go to read Lovecraft’s contemporaries and influences, like Clark Ashton Smith and Lord Dunsany.

Tell us about the new “Welcome to Dunwich” webcomic.

~They are frightful and dark and divine, and their subjects despair. Earth humans are lucky. So far, the Gods of Aazurn do not care about us, even enough to reach down a mighty hand to be cruel. That’s about to change.

As of this writing I’ve posted nine stories that could be read individually or as chapters. The Rescue is a story that begins to pull the others together.

The Rescue is in actuality a teaser for the bigger GOA story coming after the newly colored and formatted Welcome to Dunwich, beginning September 19.

Welcome to Dunwich is a nicely self-contained story with an eerie beginning and horrifying end illustrated by Mark Bloodworth. Unfortunately for me, I also like the characters, and they won’t leave me alone, so I may have to do more story in the town of Dunwich. After all, the twins have yet to be born.

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What do you want people to know about you?

~As little as possible. Mystery makes me interesting.

I’m not one to dwell on past accomplishments. I’ve been producing stories for decades, but the best ones are available to read now! My world is at http://strangehorror.com/

For more background and behind the scenes, people can sign up for my Fan List there. I usually post something engaging and entertaining once a week.

Do you have a personal mantra?

~I’m not a big believer in mantras, Horrormadam. There is so much that is true in the world and it’s the journey that leads to discoveries. There is no formula, other than stay sharp, keep thinking and be hyper-aware. Sort of the same skills it takes surviving the zombie apocalypse.

Such true words, I want to thank Gary Scott Beatty so much for taking the time to introduce me to webcomics and for taking the time to answer my questions. You can learn more here at : http://strangehorror.com/ and http://www.garyscottbeatty.com/

 

 

Damian Maffei: Interview (2018)

I had the definite joy of speaking with Damian Maffei from the new Strangers: Prey at Night but also from such films as Closed for the Season, Christmas With the Dead, Wildfires, and I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday.

The new Strangers is about a family’s road trip taking a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it weirdly deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive.

I really enjoyed the film and Damian’s performance in it but he does not consider that acting and he should know. He was born in Queens, New York on June 27th, 1977 and went to school for acting at William Esper Studio in Manhattan where they teach the Meisner technique and the “Reality of Doing” with such notable alumni as Christopher Meloni, Steve McQueen, and James Caan. So lets ask him a few questions :

Why do you love horror?

~Who knows. I’m sure there’s some psychological reason for it. I just know that when I’m searching for a new movie to watch, I’ll immediately browse the horror genre. Or if I’m trying to get something going creatively, push a project, it’s in the genre. Dark, brutal, most of the time. I just know that when I was a kid, and I was sneaking downstairs to watch something on TV… I’d try to find a horror movie.

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So I wanted to find out about some of his favorite horror films, films, and the actors and actresses in them.

~Fave Horror: Alice Sweet Alice (1976) with Paula Sheppard as Alice and also starring a young Brooke Shields, Jaws (1975), Alien (1979), Alien III (1992), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Christine (1983), and all time favorite is the original Black Christmas (1974). He is huge fan of the slasher sub-genre in horror.

He also for TV shows loves House of Cards and Glow.

Some favorite actresses- Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim VS the World, 10 Cloverfield Lane), Sigourney Weaver (Alien and Ghostbusters franchises), Amy Adams (Sharp Objects, and Nocturnal Animals).

Actors- Kane Hodder (Jason X, Victor Crowley, Hatchet , Jason Goes to Hell), Guy Pierce ( Memento, LA Confidential), Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko, Zodiac), Christian Bale (The Dark Knight Rises).

The Most fun I had talking to Damian is when he said Weekend at Bernie’s was his favorite horror comedy, I had never thought of it that way but he is right it was a very macabre film when you think about it. But we both agree it is actually time for a reboot of the film and in this day and age we would flip the script so that the roles played by Andrew McCarthy and Johnathan Silverman from the 1989 version would now be played by Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon with Damian as the new Bernie! I would definitely pay to see that!

What do you want people to know about you?

~Oh, I don’t know. That I’m out here just trying to do some quality work, make the most of whatever time I have in the things I’m lucky enough to be in. And when I’m not menacing people onscreen I’m usually being overpowered by my 3 sons and 10 pound dog. My favorite decade for movies, particularly the genre, is the 70’s. By far and away.

Any funny stories from sets?

~On Prey at Night I charged Lewis at the pool and swung so hard I lifted my entire body into the air and fell on my back. I was embarrassed, and pissed off, so I just laid there for a couple of seconds not moving or saying anything. But… I had the sack on my head, so everyone thought maybe I had knocked myself out. I’ll do another Strangers one, there’s a scene in a van where I get in, and the other character is sort of pinned to the seat via this wood plank that’s gone through the windshield. So I get in, and there’s all glass on the dashboard. Fake glass though. Looks real! Movie magic. So I sit down, and I get the idea to just… Play with the glass a little bit before I turn my attention towards the radio. Wipe some glass and blood off the dashboard. Little cleanup. So I do it. Johannes liked it, told me to keep it in. So I did it again on my next take. Take after that, I sit down in the car, start to wipe the glass off, and I feel my skin being penetrated and let out a yelp like a sleeping puppy being poked in the ass with a knitting needle. Apparently, during the other character’s shifting in his seat, the wood plank had shaved off a sliver of actual glass from the window, and it landed in the glass pile. You can tell the difference if you give it a real good look, but not when you’re in the zone, man! Anyway… For all that, the bit didn’t even make it into the theatrical cut. And to think I bled for it…

Do you have a personal mantra?

~A personal fave is Ray’s “I’m not going to listen to this, I’m not going to hear this now.” from The Burbs. I trot that one out often. Otherwise I like to bastardize Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night” and appropriate Galaxy Quest’s “Never Give Up, Never Surrender.

I want to thank Damian so much for taking his valuable time to speak with me. I am a fan of his and as I look on IMDB there is an upcoming film that he will be in called Haunt by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods both known for being writers for A Quiet Place and Nightlight. Damian could not tell me much about it except that it was one of the most fun times he has had shooting a film. IMDB’s description is as follows: On Halloween, a group of friends encounter an “extreme” haunted house that promises to feed on their darkest fears. The night turns deadly as they come to the horrifying realization that some nightmares are real. The film is still in post-production but it sounds like a lot of fun and I for one am looking forward to it and Damian’s performance in it!

If you would like to learn more about Damian I have included some links:

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0535541/?ref_=tt_cl_t5

https://www.instagram.com/damianmaffei/

David H. Thornton: Interview (2018)

 

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I have the unmistakable pleasure of being friends on Twitter with the amazing David H Thornton, who you might recognize as Art the Clown from the fantastic horror film Terrifier. The more I read about him the more intrigued I became. Art the clown does not speak yet David gets across every notion of Art’s intent and action, then I come to find out he is a  voice actor to with a wide range of voices and inflections. Color me curious to find out more about this compelling man and actor. Lets get to the questions!

How long did makeup take and was it really uncomfortable?

~ It took about 3 1/2-4 hours to apply uninterrupted, though usually longer since Damien was doing my makeup and would occasionally have to leave me to go film or set up shots. The mask itself was not uncomfortable since it was molded and glued to fit my face. The teeth were not bad since they were also molded to my teeth, but they did make me drool a lot. Because of this, Damien was constantly touching up my makeup around my mouth. The contacts were the worst for me since I don’t like things in my eyes. I truly suffer for my Art!

Art doesnt speak much, everything was expressed by your face or your body. Did you study improv or actual clowning?

~ I didn’t take professional classes on clowning, though I am a lifelong student of it and learned from the performances of those that perfected the craft before me such as Chaplin, Harpo Marx, Keaton, Carrey, and Doug Jones. My two biggest influences, however were Rowan Atkinson and Stefan Karl. I would watch Mr. Bean over and over when I was younger to learn from Rowan and applied that knowledge to many characters that I played. However, it was not until I understudied Stefan Karl (who you might know as Robbie Rotten) as the Grinch for 5 years, that I personally had someone that could mentor me and help me fine tune my skills in this area. Stefan was a master at physical comedy and I learned much from him over those years. Sadly, he recently lost his battle with cancer. I intend to carry on his legacy in my own way.

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Are you a fan of horror?

~Oh yes! Very much so! Though I was a little late to the game since I only got into horror when I was a senior in high school since my mom never liked those movies and would not want them played in the house. I was basically dragged to Scream 2 by my friends and discovered a love for the genre. I have not stopped watching since!

Favorite horror movies and or books?

~Movies: Top 5 (besides Terrifier) are; Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Nightmare on Elm Street 3, The Omen, The Exorcist, and Halloween. Books: I am a very big Stephen King fan and just finished “It”. Any of his will work here, especially The Stand or The Dark Tower Series. Also “Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark”, and “13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey!” Loved those books as a kid!

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How did you get into voice acting and how many voices can you do?

~ I discovered my first voice in the 1st grade during story time when a girl in my class passed me a note asking if I would be her boyfriend. I let out Goofy’s “Gawrsh! Ah hyuck!” and a new passion was born. Who Framed Roger Rabbit introduced me to the legend that was Mel Blanc. When I discovered that one man did all of those voices, I wanted to learn to do the same and took it upon myself to do so. Any time I hear an interesting voice, I feel compelled to learn how to mimic it. Now I do well over 200+ character voices (I lost count years ago) and have turned that into a career that I enjoy doing! I’d love to be the voice of Bugs Bunny or Mickey Mouse one day

Any great impersonations?

~ That is such a Sophie’s choice since I do so many! I’d say that some of my best are Bugs, Krang, Mickey, Shaggy, and Barney Fife though.

What style of acting did you study?

~Oddly enough, none. I actually have a degree in teaching and did not go to school for acting. I simply learned from watching my superiors and people in general and adapted to what worked best for me over the years.

What would be your ultimate role?

~ The Joker, bar none. He’s my favorite villain of all time and I love him dearly. I do play him on a web series called Nightwing: Escalation. However, I would love to play him on tv or on the big screen. I’ve seen so many great live action portrayals of the character, but not a single one of them was what I think is a true depiction of the actual character from the comic books. In my mind, Mark Hamill’s is the closest, and is what I base my version largely off of. I’d love to bring my version to the masses one day.

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Any other special skills?

~ LOL! I can put my feet behind my head. Ladies? 😉

What would you like people to know about you?

~That I feel extremely fortunate to have a career that I truly love doing and that I am eternally grateful to my fans for giving me this chance to live my dream. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

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Any personal mantra?

~It is a lesson that I learned 16 years ago when my mom passed away from cancer and also a similar mantra that Stefan Karl lived by: Live the life that you want. We only get one shot at this world, so why not live it to its fullest and pursue the dreams that you have? You never know what you may be capable of until you try. Life is now.

You can find David at https://www.facebook.com/david.h.thornton and https://twitter.com/DavidHThornton and https://www.imdb.com/name/nm7476686/

 

 

Upgrade Film Review (2018)

Like I said before I am not going to give stars or thumbs up but just tell you if I liked a film or not.Just watched the Blumhouse Upgrade movie and I loved it! It was like a combination of the Matrix meets Blade Runner meets the Six Trillion dollar man. Yes, I said trillion because in today’s market the kind of technology used would cost a pretty penny.

Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.

It is brought to you by Blumhouse the people that have brought us The Purge Series, Get Out, Insidious films, and the new Halloween and Glass movies coming out later this year. Written and directed by the incomparable Leigh Whannell who did Saw, Insidious, and Raze (just to name a few) it is a roller coaster ride of violence and retribution,

Starring Logan Marshall-Green from three of my other favorite films The Invitation, Prometheus, and Devil along with the great Betty Gabriel who you will recognize from Get Out and Purge Election Year. They were utterly fantastic in their roles and the film satisfied me completely. Great violence and even some good laughs I believe you will really enjoy this innovative and different film. Not gonna say anymore because I wouldn’t want to spoil a thing for you but I truly believe you will really love this movie!

Doctor Orange (2018) Horror Comic

I ran across this in development new horror comic Doctor Orange and it looked so awesome I asked the man in charge Joseph Duis at @heresystudiosll   to tell us a little about it!

DOCTOR ORANGE Psychological Horror Comic on KICKSTARTER

Doctor Orange Will See You Now

What would you do if you knew you had hallucinations but you didn’t know when they were affecting you?

That is the problem of Suhaila, the protagonist of the upcoming self-contained psychological horror comic DOCTOR ORANGE. Living in suburban Mississippi with her wife and dog, Suhaila’s life is isolated but quiet, and her schizophrenia is generally controlled when she takes her medication. But after carving a jack o’lantern for Halloween – one she names Dr. Orange – she begins having dreams that the doctor – who takes on the persona of a psychotherapist – is coming after her. When she awakens, things aren’t as she left them.

Things go downhill from there. In 22 full-color pages in which nothing is a given, she doubts her senses. Viewing events through Suhaila’s eyes, you won’t know whether she’s hallucinating everything – and is, therefore, a threat to herself and others – or whether a jack o’lantern is really out to harm her and her loved ones. And after a while, you’ll begin to doubt your own senses, as well.

There are only four days until Halloween. What will happen when it arrives?

DOCTOR ORANGE (written, created, and lettered by Joseph Duis; line art by Jose Raul Orte Crespo; colors by Maulana Faris; with a cover by Greg Woronchak and Maulana Faris; and published by Heresy Studios, LLC) is available through Kickstarter on August 14th through September 7th at drorangecomic.com. In addition to the standard PDF and print copies, there are several other rewards, such as a deluxe edition, stickers, art prints, a Dr. Orange latex Halloween mask, and even being drawn into the comic as a psychiatric patient. So check it out today!


Joseph Duis
Owner-operator
Heresy Studios, LLC

This is their site https://www.heresystudiosllc.com/

Kick Starter page https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2088467162/dr-orange-halloween-themed-psychological-horror-on?ref=513117&token=7aa65e3f

This looks amazing so get in now! I for one can not wait to see and read it!

 

 

Kathleen McCluskey (2018) Interview

I have been so lucky to meet so many great authors on Twitter and my next interview is another one of the greats. Kathleen McCluskey author of The Long Fall: Book 1: The Inception of Horror and The Long Fall : In The Midst Of Horror.

@KathleenMcClus4 Kathleen’s Twitter handle is also part of the amazing horror family just like my previous interview with @BlutengelDaemon . We are all great lovers of the genre and all of its aspects. It is my great pleasure to interview her, so lets get to the questions!

  1. Why the horror genre Kathleen?   ~I have always been drawn to stuff that would scare the shit out of me. I don’t know why. My mom and I used to watch Night Gallery and The Twilight Zone when I was a kid. Maybe that has something to do with it. I guess I just like the adrenaline associated with being scared. It’s quite the rush. When I was growing up my mom and dad ran a haunted house at a campground in July. I know, I know Halloween in July? Yep the kids got to trick or treat and then the haunted house for the adults. The locations were always creepy. They really did it fantastic. My father always played a Big Foot character and when I was old enough I played the dead crazy lady outside roaming around. So much fun. I’ve done haunted houses after that for a local amusement park. I do enjoy being scared and scaring people.
  2. When did you start writing?  ~ I wrote a story when I was about eight years old and it was called “The Monday Monster”. It basically was about a monster that lived under your bed. It would bite you on the ankle on Mondays and basically make them suck. LOL. I then wrote for my school newspaper. I wrote a short story once a month for it. It was always horror or thriller based. That was fun. After graduation I went to Penn State University and wrote for their paper once a week. It was articles about local bands. I didn’t last long, I had too much partying to do.
  3. Why the religious theme for your book?  ~ The religious theme for my books. Well, book one is the one with a lot of religion in it. But it also has battles with broad swords, hand to hand combat and an angel war. I wanted to write a vampire story. I wanted to make the main character the very first vampire. I needed to go back to the beginning. I thought about who it could be and came up with Satan’s son. Then I tried to figure out how he became who he became. I had to go all the way back to tell Satan’s story. THE LONG FALL series is about Lucifer. It’s also about his journey from being tossed out of heaven until the apocalypse. I intertwine the stories of Satan and his son. Book 2 is more about Satan’s son named William. Book 3, (soon to come out hopefully) continues with the anti-Christ and finally Book 4 is the apocalypse. They are all written but just the last two need editing.
  4. What are some of your favorite hobbies?  ~ Hobbies huh? Well, I am definitely not the knitting type. HAHAHA. I love to swim, I’m fortunate that my employment allows me to swim about thirty hours a week. I teach autistic and physically challenged children how to swim. On the weekends, when time allows I enjoy cooking and baking. Before it gets too hot here in the spring and summer I enjoy gardening. I put my headphones on with either something like Metallica or Zeppelin playing. I like to read and of course write. I have the type of brain that can’t sit still. I’m always doing something.
  5. What are some your favorite horror films and books?  ~ My all-time favorite horror movie is John Carpenter’s “Halloween”. It is so well done for the shoe string budget that he had. I adore the Michael Myers character. I think it gets a little silly after all the sequels but the first two done by Carpenter…..cinematic gold. I also like “30 Days Of Night”. The vampires in that film are so primitive and predatory. They are EXACTLY what a vampire should be. I loathe the “Twilight” bullshit. Newsflash: Vampires burst into flames in the sunlight. They DO NOT sparkle. LOLOLOLOLOLOL. I do enjoy some horror comedies like “Tucker and Dale VS Evil”. It all depends on my mood. My favorite author is Stephen King. I didn’t like the decade that he got sober and wrote a bunch of crap like “Dolores Claiborne” and “Rose Madder”. Don’t get me wrong I still read them and enjoyed them but they were just a bit preachy for me. He has made a comeback with the “Mr. Mercedes” series, though. I read other authors like Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Anne rice and Dean Koontz to name a few.
  6. Tell our readers a little bit about you.  ~ I am the youngest of five children. I have two older brothers and two older sisters. My heritage is Irish, Czechoslovakian and a dash of American Indian (Apache). I have a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and an Associates degree in English. My children are 20 and 17. I have a daughter and a son. I was a platform diver in high school and college. I have lived an adrenaline filled life. I rode horses and motorcycles. I’ve been sky diving a million times. The Human Slingshot and Bungee Jumping are both things I’ve done but only once. I live in the city of bridges and when I was young we would jump off one of the bridges into the river. That’s crazy shit, I’m surprised I’m not dead.
  7. What would your perfect day be?  ~ Oh, my perfect day. I would love to get up and have eggs benedict waiting for me already made. Plus I didn’t have to clean up after it. Have a bloody Mary or two and get a full body massage. Then lounge around my house with my children and man. Just being together and eating and drinking, getting in the hot tub, swimming and laying in the sun. That evening have steaks on the grill and again not have to clean up. Then spend the night away sitting in front of the fire pit drinking a few cocktails and relaxing. Yep, I could use a day like that.
  8. Give us one of your funniest stories.  ~8. A funny story: When my kids were small I had them at a wave pool. They were in tubes and I had my arms, elbow deep into the holes that they were sitting in. Y’know to hold them so they didn’t float away from me. We were waiting for the waves to come on. I was a little hung over so needless to say my lower stomach had the rumbles.  I was what I call “crop dusting” in the pool. I was farting here, farting there. Nobody noticed because I was waist deep in the water. I let a long one out and wouldn’t you know it. Here comes a kid up behind me with goggles on and he screams at the top of his lungs, “I saw you faaawwwttttin’!!” I was horrified… and said, “get away from me kid.” He says it again, louder this time. I must have turned fifty different shades of red. All the people around us in the water were laughing. I wanted to die. I push them away from that mess. After my initial embarrassment went away I cracked up. Sweet Jesus he must have seen the bubbles coming from the bottom of my bathing suit. Every time I think about it I giggle.
  9. Do you have a personal mantra?  ~
    My personal mantra (I have 2) “Never have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.”
    “It is what it is”
    Here are the two links to Kathleen’s books so that you might enjoy them  https://www.amazon.com/Long-Fall-Book-Inception-Horror/dp/1947605038?keywords=kathleen+mccluskey&qid=1533792188&sr=8-2&ref=mp_s_a_1_2
    Book 1
    And https://www.amazon.com/LONG-FALL-Midst-Horror/dp/1983244139?keywords=kathleen+mccluskey&qid=1533792188&sr=8-1&ref=mp_s_a_1_1
    Book 2
    I have also included an excerpt for your reading pleasure!From: THE LONG FALL Book 1: The Inception Of Horror
    Chapter 14 “The Great Deception”

    He pushed Raphael away and staggered out of his tent, Raphael close behind him. He was there to hold up his lord if he was going to swoon; they could not afford to have Lucifer pass out in front of the troops. Blood dripped from Lucifer’s hands as he held his head. Raphael finally got to him, holding his brother up under the arm.
    “I don’t need your fucking help. Don’t fucking touch me.”
    Raphael didn’t listen; he helped his brother, lifting his head and the sight that met his eyes was truly fantastic. Raqael ran over and tried to release Raphael’s grip on Lucifer’s jaw. She again was denied by an unseen entity.
    Raphael, still holding his brother’s face, went to one knee and said, “My beautiful brother, you should see what I see.” He drew his broad sword and said, “Look for yourself, my brother.”
    Lucifer grabbed for the blade of the broad sword, no care of the slicing consequence of grabbing the divine, mighty instrument of war. He pulled the sword towards his face and could see for the first time the symbol of what he would be known for throughout time. Past, present and future generations would fear him even more. His lovely, gorgeous, wonderfully fantastic ram’s horns burst through his skull. Lucifer was shocked at the display before him and gave a boot to his brother Raphael in the middle of the chest.
    He called for Raqael and said, “This is finally my crown for my kingdom. I will be called Lord Lucifer from this moment on by all. Anyone who defies this order will be promptly beheaded. Behold my kingdom and my queen.”

I want to thank Kathleen McCluskey for her kindness in taking the time to talk with us and give us some insight into her process and life!

 

The Mansion (2017) Le Manoir

The Mansion, originally titled Le Manoir is directed by Tony T Datis from Limoges France. Tony started out as a video editor and then moved to Paris to further that career which led to him becoming a director. He worked with Katy Perry and Skrillex amongst many others.

The film was a really entertaining horror-comedy. It starts out a little slow and then the deaths come rolling in! We have a group of friends that rent a beautiful mansion in Belgium with a questionable past. The friends are getting ready to celebrate New Years Day and have brought their various pharmaceutical accoutrements. As the drugs and drinks flow, strange things start happening and our group of friends are suddenly in a fight for their lives.

It reminded me a little of the British horror-comedy Severance, which will become very clear when you watch. I dont want to spoil anyone’s viewing pleasure. It was well acted by such actors as  Marc Jarousseau, Nathalie Odzierejko, Ludovik Day, and Jérôme Niel .

It is subtitled and on Netflix now and I recommend it. If you enjoyed Tucker and Dale VS Evil, Severance, and the Dead Snow series I think you will enjoy it.

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