What first attracted you to horror writing?
Imagine if Norman Bates was raised in the hood by three mothers, one of whom was a religious fanatic. Throw in a little child molestation at gunpoint (not by a family member or anything), and years of therapy at a young age as a result, and there you have it.
Probably Dead Bitch Army.
What are you working on now?
A few things: the title story of my next book, Technicolor Terrorists; a novel called Fairy Dust; a Star Trek-themed graphic novel project with a well-known TV writer who’s written for such shows as Star Trek: TNG and DS9, and Law and Order; finishing up a documentary about my work by filmmakers Devin Gallagher and John Worth. You can check out the rough cut here; just signed the contract with Sideshow Press for a novella I did with author Wrath James White called Son of a Bitch, which has nothing to do with Dead Bitch Army, by the way. No word yet on a release date.
Who do you admire in the horror world?
80’s era John Carpenter – what a run he had from Assault on Precinct 13 thru They Live; pre-Land of the Dead George Romero; Joe Lansdale; Brian Keene and other writers who are able to regularly interact with fans online while still finding the time to keep up a consistent output of books. I can never find the time to do both, especially with a house full of kids.
Do you prefer all out gore or psychological chills?
I’m somewhere in the middle on this one. I’m all for gore when the story calls for it, however I like to explore the after-effects of extreme violence, how it haunts the people who might have witnessed the horrific event, or the friends and loved ones of the victim(s). I was a gorehound in my teens, during the height of the make-up FX era. I idolised people like Dick Smith, Savini (before he started acting), Rob Bottin, Mark Shostrom, Steve Johnson, Screaming Mad George, whose love for the genre is shown through in their work. But it was the psychological stuff (The Shining, The Exorcist, Angel Heart, Peter Straub’s Ghost Story, some of John Saul’s books) and the surreal (Lansdale’s The Drive in, Eraserhead, Jacob’s Ladder, Videodrome, Altered States, Fantastic Planet, Alex de Iglesia’s Perdita Durango aka Dance With the Devil, Phantasm, Infection) that really spoke to my weird horror sensibilities and left a lasting impression.
Why should people read your work?
Channelling Benny from Total Recall : “Because I got four kids to feed!”
On a more serious note – remember that feeling you had when you were a kid and the theatre lights dimmed on a movie that you knew was going to scare the shit out of you? Maybe it was the film’s trailer, or word spread among your friends, or maybe it was the deliciously ominous tag line that screamed from the poster:
- “In space no one can hear you scream.”
- “The night HE came home.”
- “To avoid fainting keep repeating, it’s only a movie …only a movie …only a movie”
You start to regret your decision to come see the movie, but when it starts you can’t peel your eyes from the screen. You’re haunted for days, sometimes years, by what you witnessed onscreen, but you find yourself longing to relive the experience, to reconnect with that feeling of dread that had your hands gripping the armrests of your seat and kept your eyes glued to the screen despite your mind’s attempts to make you look away. Well that’s the drug I’m slinging through my work.
Recommend a book.
Drop Dead Gorgeous by Wayne Simmons. And not just because he’s a friend of mine.
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