Max Booth III is the Editor-in-Chief of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and a columnist for LitReactor.com. His novels include: Toxicity, The Mind is a Razorblade, and How to Successfully Kidnap Strangers. Follow him on Twitter @GiveMeYourTeeth.
Lori Michelle is the co-owner of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and the editor-in-chief of Dark Moon Digest. Her novel, Dual Harvest, is available online and her short fiction has appeared in several acclaimed anthologies. When she isn’t formatting for different publishers, she is typically trying to keep her seven year old from chasing the dog.
When and how did Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing form?
Lori Michelle and I were working on a horror magazine together called Dark Moon Digest—which, back then, was published by Stan Swanson’s Dark Moon Books, although the digest was just recently bought out by Perpetual Motion Machine. Our interest for running our own small press grew until we could no longer hold it in, and Perpetual Motion Machine was born. Looking back, we probably shouldn’t have started our own press. We were dumb as shit. We had no idea what we were doing. But we’ve gained a lot of experience since our first year. We’ve kept at it. We’ve learned from many, many mistakes. True, we’re still new at this, but we finally feel like we have our heads on our shoulders. Which is a major improvement, considering where our heads were last week.
What attracted you to the horror genre?
The horror genre comforts me. I grew up devouring horror movies with my older brother. It’s all I knew. Horror makes me feel safe. Horror makes my brain swell and my heart throb. Fear is the strongest emotion a human can experience. It drives us. Horror fuels our decisions. We pretend to hate it but in fact it’s the closest thing we have to a soul mate.
What type of horror does Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing publish?
We want our horror to push boundaries. Our books have a raw edge to them. Remember that nausea you felt after watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the first time? That’s what we look for. Not necessarily all gore and blood mind you, but if you think gore and blood is all it takes to make a person sick with fear, then you haven’t read enough horror.
Talk us through some of the key authors at Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.
Every author we publish at Perpetual Motion Machine is a key author. We cherish each and every one of them. They are practically our family. I would definitely suggest keeping an eye out on John C. Foster, whose debut novel, Dead Men, is coming out toward the end of July. He’s new on the scene and quickly making a name for himself. If you claim to love horror, then Foster is someone you need to add to your reading list.
What are your upcoming releases?
For the rest of 2015, we have Foster’s Dead Men, which is the first instalment of a planned trilogy. Then we’re looking at David James Keaton’s humorous zombie collection, Stealing Propeller Hats from the Dead. After that, look out for T. Fox Dunham’s Destroying the Tangible Illusion of Reality; or, Searching for Andy Kaufman and Rafael Alvarez’s Crabtown, USA.
What are you most proud of thus far, and why?
Our entire body of work. Every year, we continue to improve as a company. The work we publish says everything there is to say about who we are and what we can do. Together, with my partner, Lori Michelle, Perpetual Motion Machine has gone from “just another fucking small press” to “a publishing company producing quality titles”.
Do eBooks threaten or complement the print industry?
I think it’s safe to say that readers are buying more eBooks than they do print editions, but I don’t see it as much of a threat. If a person likes paperbacks, then he or she will still buy a paperback. If anything, eBooks are allowing readers to discover new writers they never would have taken a chance on with the expensive price of paperbacks.
Are you currently open for submission?
Yes indeed! We close for full length manuscript submissions on 08/31. We are also after flash fiction for our newsletter and short stories for an anthology titled Lost Signals.
Which authors would you love to commission for Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing?
Stephen Graham Jones, Paul Tremblay, Craig Clevenger, Lauren Beukes, and Jack Ketchum, to name a few.
Who is the most influential horror writer of all time and why?
I know a lot of people probably answer this question with Stephen King, but that’s because it’s a damn good answer. King has opened up so many teens to horror who would have otherwise never explored the genre. He’s a gateway drug of the best sort.
What does the future hold for Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing?
More books! More authors joining our team. Kickass cover art. Plus, as I mentioned in the beginning of this interview, Perpetual Motion Machine is now the new publisher of Dark Moon Digest, so our hands are definitely full at the moment. We’ll also be at ArmadilloCon and Alamo City Comic Con later this year, so if anyone reading this plans on attending those cons, come stop by and say “hi”.
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