TIH 440: Max Booth III on Maggots Screaming!, Ghoulish Book Fest, and What To Do When Bombing

Max Booth looks at the camera as part of the podcast cover image for episode 440 of This Is Horror Podcast. Max wears glasses and a hat. The photo is shot in black and white and Max has a knowing smirk that complements his personality.

In this podcast Max Booth III talks about Maggots Screaming!, Ghoulish Book Fest, what to do when bombing, and much more.

About Max Booth III

Max Booth III is the author of Abnormal Statistics, Maggots Screaming!, We Need To Do Something, and Touch The Night. He is the publisher of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and Ghoulish Books. His podcast is called Ghoulish.

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Michael David Wilson 0:07

Welcome to This is Horror, a podcast for readers, writers and creators. I'm Michael David Wilson, and every episode alongside my co host, Bob Pastorella. We chat we're masters of horror, about writing, life lessons, creativity, and much more. Now, today's guest is max booth. Third, and this is the second of a two part conversation, but as volunteers listen to them in any order. In this episode, we talk a little bit about his brand new book festival, ghoulish book fest. We talk a little about his new novel magnet screaming, we talk about forthcoming release, not the skin off. And then apropos of seemingly nothing, get into some baseball talk at the end. I say we get into it, it's more than a match decided to take it in that direction. There was no real input for me and Bob, but if you like hearing kinda soliloquy on baseball, you might enjoy that part too. But before any of it, a little bit of an advert break.

Bob Pastorella 1:49

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Michael David Wilson 3:03

All right, well, with that here it is. It is Mac spoof third on This Is Horror. So recently, you launched and ran your first ever horror convention ghoulish festival. So talk us through how this idea came about. And then, I mean, how did it go?

Max Booth III 3:29

Yeah, so the ghoulish book Fest was something Lori Michelle and I have been talking about for quite a while. Because I mean, any answer I give is gonna sound super smug. So I'm just gonna say, we've done lots of conventions in the past. And we always see ways they all run in the organized, that we don't think is great. And we usually sit behind the table we have at these conventions, and we say, well, I mean, if only they did this differently, they would probably have more success. And finally, we just that led to us just kind of like spitballing. And like, what if we began one ourselves, and we had that same conversation for capital yields, and COVID happen? And you know, I think we just kind of got like, impatient in that scene, like friends and stuff. And we just thought, Well, why don't we just do this? Because things will opening up again. Why don't we just say fuck it. I mean, otherwise, we're just going to always talk about doing it and we won't do it. So let's just do it. The ghoulish book fests it was something like the thing what the main the main thing we always said that we wished adult fest would do, and they did it was local promotion. All these conventions, they don't like promote locally. They just assume somehow people will find out about it. And also they don't promote to fans of the genre, they seem to just promote to sue Ethel Reynolds. And that spike, the only people who show up and the people who show up it will just like friends who already know about the books we have will sell and have already, like done pity buys online. So it's like for the people who have fandel tables. It's like, why am I doing this? If the people who show up are the ones I've already tagged on social media, it doesn't make any sense. The whole purpose of doing an event is the half people to schedule you, right? But I don't know for some reason, you just don't see a lot of local promo, like I recall going to Stiffel con in Salt Lake City like a decade ago, and we walked outside the hotel and went across the street to a coffee shop. And they were like, What is going on across that street like no one knew about it. To peel can peel that to like ghoulish book fests. And like a couple days before the event, we went and had lunch or that fried chicken place down the street from the venue. And they saw my tattoo, I have a tattoo that says ghoulish on it. And the waitress immediately said, Oh, I can't wait for that event next week. Like she just knew about it so much. We didn't even know. And we did just a shit ton of local promo, we printed up postcards and files, and we did Facebook ads. The San Antonio like subreddit, we hit up, we just did a we focused on local advertisement. And it ended up paying off. I mean, it was one of the, if I had just gotten into like, as a as a book vendor than that, that's it. That's the most I've ever sold at any event, book wise, it was just crazy. And like every other event, North also told me, it was able the best they had sold, or the second best. And the the top one being the convention that Brian Keene just did a couple of months ago. off or con and, like, I won't say his name, but someone told me at that event, he had sold 200 books. Until Until that event, the most you they will sold was 50 books. At my event he sold 82. So it's like what the hell. They just people, people show that the people who showed up came to buy books. Mainly, I think, because the buildin book wasn't the name of the fest. It wasn't like something say like kill con, which doesn't really advertise what it is. But if you go to the ghoulish book fest, you know, it's a book fest. So the people who show up read books, and they want to buy books and everyone who showed up, they bought not only books, they bought books from pretty much every table, some usually milled in one book from every table, they came ready to read.

Michael David Wilson 7:56

Yeah, yeah, so some of that. And it reminds me of a conversation that I had a few years back with David moody, when we were talking about conventions in the UK. And it just seems that the vast majority of book and literary conventions are geared towards the writers and the publishers, but not geared towards the fans and the readers. So if you want to sell books at a convention, and that is your aim, rather than to just network with other professionals, then it's actually better to go to film cons or comic cons in the UK, you know, even for selling your books. Because these are the places where you're going to see fans, you're going to meet people who are interested in the genre who want to spend their money on cool things. So I think David said that years ago, he just decided he wasn't going to go to any of these literary conventions unless they were geared towards the readers because there's no point because time is finite. It's like if he wants to meet up with some friends, and some professionals, then he can do that in another setting. They'll need to spend a lot of money, go into these cones and then becoming out of pocket. But but but again, it depends of course on your purpose. If you do want to network with people, if you do want to learn about Kraft, then you're gonna go to these cons, but I think I mean from the way that you're talking, it sounds like it's a similar situation in the US to the UK. And so really, you've identified a kind of gap in the market here. There aren't that many that are geared towards the readers. So I think

Max Booth III 9:53

maybe it's also a con and then Rhode Island called Necronomicon. And I think that might also be a real spin cific convention I'm hoping to have a table at it. This year I applied for a table and but they haven't gotten back to me. But like awesome what you said about panels. That was something else I was fairly specific about. Because much like my podcast, my podcast is not a craft podcast, the episodes we do typically will not about how to write. They all about fun topics related to the genre. I wanted to do that with the panels as well to like get interest from people who will not just writing and like when I announced the panels I was doing, and I sent the the list out to those who will attending the fast so they could tell me if they wanted to be included or considered to be included in some of the panels. I got a few people kind of a little pissy with me, they will like, while they'll know craft panels, and I had to explain what I just said like this isn't a crafts convention. It's if it's a convention celebrating the genre, why would we spend the whole time talking about how to write doesn't make any sense? Go to Stoeckel? Con if you want that it makes sense. That convention is such craft oriented, because the people who will go into it will try to figure out how to make a career out of this industry. But that's not what I was doing. It's something different.

Michael David Wilson 11:23

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You saying that? I mean, I guess when we spoke about ghoulish podcast, we didn't talk so much about the content. And you know, people who aren't familiar with it might be thinking, well, you know, what makes ghoulish unique from every other horror fiction interview show? And I mean, you've just kind of nailed it there. It's, it's subject specific. So I mean, just looking at what you've had relatively recently, you had secret government agencies who have Qian foster Bigfoot with Alfred alley. Strange encounters with Shane.

Max Booth III 12:10

Daily Show that oh, it was mostly about Bigfoot. And also, just, that was a fascinating one. He was just telling me crazy shit, like his grandparents have told him. Yeah, he's, he's native. So you know, they have like, really cool, like, stuff like, they've like witnessed and whatnot. Like a lot of them. Spill up and down. They've spotted aliens and UFOs is really fascinating episode. But yeah, I mean, it's not only like, topic, specific base house. So I think maybe tone specific, it's fairly much I hope to be a comedy podcast, not not always is because I don't have I don't always have comedic guests on the show. So I think sometimes it just doesn't translate as well. But also like, say, like a Evel Knievel comedy podcast, they typically have mostly just like improv people that come on. So every episode is comedic. But I typically have people who will doing stuff in this genre. And sometimes those folks can be really funny. And sometimes they can be really silly. So it just depends on who it is. Usually, we have a fun time, regardless of who it is. So yeah, I like it. I like doing it, Bob, I mean, you will at the convention, but we shall take from it.

Bob Pastorella 13:28

Well, and I loved it. I thought it was great. Of course, you know, got to see some some people that you know, my friends got see, you know, you and Laurie. And people that I've seen and killer con, I got to meet some friends for the first time in person, which was, you know, a real treat. But the one thing that amazed me is like in the dealer room, I got to see what Max was talking about firsthand. We had wave after wave after wave of people who were not there to see panels, who were not there to go to readings, who were there to buy books, and they bought books. You didn't have a single person in that place that I that I know of who said why just don't read. They knew why they were there. No. So it's an adventure to say and I hate asking this question and you don't have to answer it if you don't want to. But because I know a lot of people are gonna say well, golly, man, it costs money to kind of even do local advertising. You know, did you have to spend a whole lot of money in local advertising. Do you think that it paid off? I mean, obviously I feel like the your answer is gonna be yes. But yeah, you know,

Max Booth III 14:50

I'll answer that in just one second because I something else just came to mind that I think is different than a lot of us will fast. And the the bookshop room was free to the public. So anyone could have came in off the street, we have signs outside advertising what was going on. And that was free to the public. If you wanted to see like the panels and the live readings, then you had to buy a badge. But a lot of I mean, almost any convention I can think of, even if you want to go browse, what books will sell, you have to have a badge. And I feel like like all the money goes till that and no one has money to buy books. So I think that was a big hit as well. We spent a lot of money doing local advertisement. We bought 10,000 postcards, and 250 actual, like postal size files, and that was several 100 bucks total for those two. And not only money, but just time because we drove all throughout San Antonio, Austin, and some other small places, Michael would have no idea about like new brownfields in San Marcos. And we just went to every establishment that we thought might let us hang some stuff in. And we went in and we did the whole prep. I mean, the process is exhausting. Because you go in, you find someone who isn't busy, who's employed Phil, you explained what you will try and promote or you ask if you can sometimes they say no. Sometimes they say yeah, and then you have to like get you know, the tape and the thumbtacks out and find the spot. And traffic in Texas, specifically San Antonio. sucks ass. So mean, this was like several weeks, it will it will look like every weekend, we would go out and just spend the whole weekend both since Saturday and Sunday, sometimes Fridays trying to just spread the news about this fast.

Bob Pastorella 16:48

But it was it sounds like it was worth it.

Max Booth III 16:51

Yeah, absolutely. I don't quite know yet if we made a profit from it, because like we sold a lot of books, but but we will not like counting that against the cost of the fast. Because it's basically two different companies. Right. So it's the book fest. And then also coincidentally, we also have had a table at it selling books. That's two separate things. It's like the money we made from the fest itself with like the venule tables, and the badges and the sponsorships for the program book because we also do a program book and that was 1000 bucks just for those. I mean, it added up. I doubt we made a profit from it, but also a lot of the stuff we bought, like the signs. We keep those now. So next time we have those and that cost doesn't repeat itself.

Michael David Wilson 17:49

Yeah. Well, I was going to ask about that, how you financed it and wherever the sponsorship and the vendor tables and stuff covered the advertising and promo costs but from what you've just said, it sounds like you haven't calculated yet whatever. Yeah, you did come on out on top for that one.

Max Booth III 18:10

Not quite yet. As both of you can testify, we only just now sent royalties for the publishing company like two days ago. And we will like a month behind that because of the fast so like we will slowly trying to figure out you know, banca thing keeping up no bookkeeping stuff. We will get to it eventually. But yeah, I mean, it was successful enough to definitely want to do it again. And I hope you do. Yeah, it was it was fun. I hope it becomes an ongoing thing. I mean, we know I was maybe we will talking about this off Earth record. But we will talk in about like a worlds and stuff. We did that introduce this, this reading competition called? Well, I don't know, I can't tell you the complete name because it's really long, and I don't have it memorized. But it's like the spooky cap file, reading contests or something. And it was a lot of fun. And we had a trophy that we gave out to the Pilsen who had the spooky camp finals. Really. I hope to make that like a tradition every year. You know, people sign up to be the spookiest Rydel they do a live performance and win the trophy. I think that's fun. I want to I want to keep doing that. I don't think everybody quite understood what their setup be. And we had like 10 people who signed up to read write, and when they all walked in and saw what the setup was over half of them immediately said oh, I'm not going to do this level nine. So what we had was we had seats arrange the giant Silikal to imitate the camp final thing. We had mostly every light in the room shut off. So it was pretty a joke and mill and we have this Halloween prop that we made a few Halloweens ago, which is like a bye have plastic skeletons and skulls that we melted together on this odd like mass of melted plastic and we like spray the styrofoam on it. So it looks like it's all like conjoined and icky looking. And we threaded the red Christmas lights through it. So it will look like a odd camp file. And the person who reads they get a big ol flat big ass flashlight, but they have to shine on their face. And they just walk around in this open the Oh, yeah, reading with fairly limited lighting. And yeah, not one of the people wanted to do that, despite signing up, which is totally okay. I did explain what it was. But I don't think people quite understood that I was being Caelius. And that was what they would have to read with. Yeah, yeah.

Michael David Wilson 20:59

So who were some of the people that did read?

Max Booth III 21:03

Yeah. Dang, Phil Slagle read. Shane McKenzie, Brian azmin. And Andrew hillbillies. Andrew, one of Phil's. Well, he slipped me the most money ahead of time. So Oh, yeah, that makes sense. It's funny. Halfway through the event, I realized, oh, I have not decided the way to judge this at all. So but Andrew was the last one to read. And it was the funniest and the best I thought, so I just decided, I'm the host. I'm just gonna pick. I could have had some type of system or the crowd also helped vote. But I didn't want to do that. It just sounded like a lie. I just said, I think it's me. I'm the host since no voting ghoulish book fest. Yeah, funnily enough, someone after the event, I sent out Silver's to all the folks who had a buck badge. And one of them said, and the section below I said, Is there anything we can improve on? They said, You shouldn't have the volunteer fields also be involved in the programming. So I think someone was a little pissed that he won. Because Andrew was a volunteer for the fast as well actually mentioned that he was helping out with, like sound equipment and whatnot.

Michael David Wilson 22:27

Right? Right. Well, we're What is something you didn't do at ghoulish book festival that you'd like to do next time.

Max Booth III 22:39

This time I want to schedule a lunch break fill people because I kind of jam packed the programming and a few people on the Sylvanus which is I think it's justified for them to be a bit consumed about was they had no time to go eat lunch if they wanted to see all the programming. So next time I need Well, I'm also going to expand it from two days to three days that way we can have a lot of programming but also time to like, leave and go eat. So I'll do that. Um, besides that, I'm not positive yet. Different panel ideas different different guests have annual they'll some conventions will they just have the same guest over the Lenovo and I think that's really strange. I think it should always create something else that I mean, I can I can probably say it on the podcast we recently decided this um, I felt lonely Michelle and I are going to officially tie than that. I think the next one we're going to do a little ghoulish wedding. So that should be fun. I mean, I've often surgeries my wife but it's more the common law type of thing because we've just have lived together for over a decade but we're gonna make it official I think of them next convention and do like a big spooky wedding like a probably like sandal the night of the convention. That should be fun.

Michael David Wilson 24:07

So as a man, I don't think I can do that. He'll be officiating. ating. Yes, yes. Yeah.

Max Booth III 24:20

Yeah, he asked me if he could this it'll use license. He said that I have time to get licensed. I said well

Bob Pastorella 24:30

yeah, like take he's gonna take the hit to get licensed and do this. That's yeah. That's awesome.

Max Booth III 24:38

Well, now it's official. I guess if it's on the podcast, it was something Yeah. And talking about so. Yeah, yeah. Why not?

Michael David Wilson 24:45

Yeah. Yeah. This is how these things become official.

Max Booth III 24:51

We all get to spend our wedding day stressfully just running around the convention. Making sure like people play everyone's okay and like books will been sold.

Michael David Wilson 25:03

Yeah, yeah

Max Booth III 25:07

Excellent. Excellent. I thought we it probably won't happen this way but I thought it might be funny if we do it as a panel and like Andrew was the mother it'll we will sitting at a table

Bob Pastorella 25:24

they don't love that you should actually do that that's that in but don't announce it like have it like you know like a different type of panel

Max Booth III 25:32

yeah I like boy I thought like should I should it be a surprise? But then like but if someone with like a friend that's pistol something because like we didn't like advertise it as an actual wedding. But maybe like on the programming book. It just says ghoulish wedding. Like I don't elaborate with that. It's

Michael David Wilson 25:51

yeah, yeah.

Bob Pastorella 25:55

Yeah, almost attend ghoulish wedding.

Michael David Wilson 25:57

Well, if they were a true friend, they would listen to this interview. So now they see you as a good friend. They should listen to absolutely every appearance you have on everything so only themselves to blame.

Max Booth III 26:13

Well, not everything not like not like get lit with Leza they shouldn't listen to my on.

Michael David Wilson 26:18

Okay, so there'll be a link in Catlett

Max Booth III 26:27

Something I've noticed, and maybe you guys can relate it since I've begun hosting like interview podcast whenever I'm a guest on someone else's show. Like I have to fight this instinct that also take over as a host. Do you guys have that?

Michael David Wilson 26:43

I mean, if you've listened to any of my podcasts on over shows that haven't that does happen. Well, fair enough. I do start interviewing the people who are supposedly hosting and I mean, when I was on unprintable, the late reactor podcast with Rob Olsen, supposedly the host stand. Brian Keene, we were all almost hosting guru just throwing questions in because it's a it's a podcast about asking questions, and well, I guess, show don't tell. So that was a real three furrow?

Bob Pastorella 27:25

Bow, Bob. Oh, it's just a green

Michael David Wilson 27:29

smoothie. Do you find when you're on another podcast? Are you trying to ask questions? Or are you? Are you a better guest than me and Max?

Bob Pastorella 27:39

I mean, yeah, I think it's normal to ask questions. Banana, I don't, you know, I don't never feel like I'm going to, you know, like, turn the tables on anybody or anything like that. But I mean, you know, you do want to have a conversation, sitters give or take, you have to answer questions, ask questions, things like that. You know, so I mean, but I don't ever feel like you know, I haven't I guess I haven't had enough appearances out there to where, maybe if I had like a shitty host, or something like that, and didn't realize it, then yeah, I would probably try to take over.

Michael David Wilson 28:11

Yeah. So you have you haven't used anyone yet then?

Bob Pastorella 28:16

anymore, but I would dominate the conversation at that point and be like, hey, yeah, you had me on the show. So and you don't know how to ask good questions. Sorry, when said out loud, but they'd be thinking it

Michael David Wilson 28:26

in some psycho. Dominator. Dominator,

Max Booth III 28:31

I mean, mostly at zoos if we're being honest. Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 28:38

And this is why you hadn't been on the podcast for three years. We came back into territory.

Max Booth III 28:44

That why that makes that makes sense. Yeah. I've definitely I've gotten podcasts we feel well, like, the guests was surprised when I asked them a question. Like I caught them off guard. Yeah, I say guest. You did.

Bob Pastorella 29:10

You've already you've already dominated conversation at that point, if you start calling the host.

Max Booth III 29:16

I think of anyone now like not even on a podcast, like if I'm in line at like a coffee shop. Someone in front of me. I'm like this guest. I mean, I just can't I also came from a hotel job that I had for eight yields, and they will our guests as well. So it's like everybody I know who was not me as a guest.

Michael David Wilson 29:36

Yeah, so you've known? Well, on the other end for girlish Book Festival, what is something that you did that you won't do again? And not just reversing the answer to the previous one by by using lunchbreak analogy again?

Max Booth III 29:59

I think I didn't buy as much physical promo. Like we bought 10,000 postcards and we still have like a box of them that we didn't get to use because a we ran out of time. Well, actually, that's just the only reason we just ran out of time. And yeah, I don't think we would buy as much. And we'll some places we will waste time trying to advertise that like, what's really odd is we had a difficult time advertising at places that sold books, like so many of them, like, wouldn't let us leave anything out or they will just like suspicious service. I don't know. It was odd. Like places like tattoo shops. That was a good place those will good places to go like comic book shops, like they will like Oh, hell yeah, man, leave as much as you want out. Like classic Bush classic books, book shops, they will not so into it, which seems so strange to me.

Michael David Wilson 30:53

Was this more kinds of corporate and chain bookshops? I'm wondering if it was something to do with corporate bullshit and bureaucracy?

Max Booth III 31:02

It was. Yeah. And I'm sure that's why it's just so stupid. Like, come on. Someone local in your community is trying to raise, like, interest in reading this will benefit you as well.

Michael David Wilson 31:15

Yeah, I found that like local, not local, but like local chain bookstores have that attitude, like when I was advertised and events in the UK, but libraries don't know, you know, they were so up for you promoting and leaving stuff. So the libraries were were very encouraging of it.

Max Booth III 31:40

Yeah, I think we hit up about 15 different libraries. And only two or three will like, well, we have to get approval from someone and then they never contacted us again about it. But most of them will pretty like yeah, go fill it. I don't give a shit. I'm aligned. Brilliant. I'm gonna go home and drink whiskey, though. This means anything to me.

Michael David Wilson 32:02

What do you mean?

Bob Pastorella 32:09

librarians do because it seems like they kind of just go home and drink whiskey. But just the corporate mindset is on the bookstores. It's it's, I don't know, it's just like corporate America is just so fucked. And it's like, it's worldwide. It's beer out, you know, bureaucratic red tape. But it's like, why don't you have the coolest finish here at the Barnes and Nobles? My answer to that would have been sure we'll get kicked out in about 10 fucking minutes. Yeah. You know, like those types of things time someone like like an Andrew and fucking Brian Asman together. Fuck, you know, in a Barnes and Noble would be the greatest fucking thing I've ever seen.

Max Booth III 32:52

I mean, yeah. Andrew and I to the live reading at the ghoulish book Fast from a book wheel reading call that it eats dick, which is about a a Honson sock that eats a child's penis. That adds

Michael David Wilson 33:05

some context as to why I saw some photos of you and Hendry with socks on. Yeah, I just didn't question why you were wearing your socks on your hands. I know. Yeah. This is just felt like something new. And you would do

Max Booth III 33:21

my verse further as well also posted on Instagram. And my mom saw that. And she called me asking about the fast. And she was like, Oh, by the way, why don't you have socks off like that? What were you doing? I was just like, oh, we will just doing a reading. She was like, What will you really and I was like, trust me. If I tell you, you'll just gonna be in Bayless. So let's just not do it. And then she said, I was afraid. We've had this type of conversation long enough for me to know what to explain and what to say. You don't want to know.

Michael David Wilson 33:54

Yeah. Oh my god. Fuck yeah.

Max Booth III 33:59

I don't know what that was gonna say now.

Michael David Wilson 34:01

Well, well, I certainly do want us to talk about is your new book. Maggots Screaming. So to kick off. Why was your film agent Ryan Lewis, a little reluctant for you to even write this?

Max Booth III 34:17

I don't think he was reluctant for me to read it. Basically, I think what you might be talking about is when I sent him the book, I told him I don't think this is something I should waste my time trying to find a book agent with. Let me know if you agree. And he read it. He said he loved it. And then he said he definitely agreed that in the way it was right now. No agent would look at it but like he was like Phil's definitely a way you could rewrite this to be mil mainstream. But that's not what you want to do. And I said correct. So I just so that's why I just put it out myself. because there's no point in wasting my time trying to go through a big mainstream press or getting the attention of a book agent with this. It says this filly. I don't know how because I don't know if you guys have read it, but it's really just I guess strange and white in the same has the same vibe as something maybe like the greasy string or maybe it will. It's just Philly.

Michael David Wilson 35:29

Yeah, yeah. And it's certainly an intriguing entry point, you know, a father and his son discovering these bodies. But the twist being and the twist, you know, in the first five or 10% of the books are not really a spoiler that is their own bodies. Yeah. Like, I can't remember seeing that in, in a film or a book before.

Max Booth III 35:55

Yeah. And then like, the rest of the book mostly takes place like in the house, as they just attempt to figure out what's going on. And you know, from the very beginning that they don't succeed, because I tell you a lot. And like, I know, the like, lack of explanations tend to piss off people. So like, there's no way this was ever going to be like a big popular book. But it was fun to write and I think is probably my best book. I'm glad I did it. And I'm glad I put it out myself, because it just seemed like the right way to go. I mean, fuck sakes, the book hasn't the title has an exclamation milk. Gonna be a best selling book.

Michael David Wilson 36:35

Yeah, and I think it's got the most attention grabbing cover that I've seen from your works as well. I mean, that's gonna fucking stand out on a bookshelf.

Max Booth III 36:50

Yeah, I did a reading last night at the Alamo Drafthouse and they put the front Capitol up on the big screen. It's like a backdrop. And God damn, it was beautiful. Just to look at that. It was so vibrant, and disgusting. I loved it.

Michael David Wilson 37:07

Yeah, well, how did that go at the Alamo?

Max Booth III 37:11

God dammit. Now great. So I hosted a Deadpool feature of basketcase and brain damage to great book movies. They're all similar similar in content to my book, which is why I suggested we program those two movies. And between those I did reading. I bombed, but that's fine. It happens. It wasn't the greatest audience. I guess it also I don't think I chose the best thing to read. It wasn't comedic enough. Usually I do nonstop comedy when I do a routine. But this one I had some jokes, but I don't think it was strong enough. There was some new content I hadn't read on a stage B film wasn't the best reaction. But you know, bombs happened. It's been a long time since I have just because of COVID. So like, I've done two live readings now since COVID. One of them was great. This one was not so great. But that's fine. Me that happens. But yeah, besides that people seem to like the movie. My sold, like 15 books. Actually. That was nice. Little signing booths with our books will sell and people came and bought some so that was nice. And you know, helps pay for gas on the way home.

Michael David Wilson 38:32

Yeah, yeah. Bob doesn't show

Max Booth III 38:35

up. I noticed.

Michael David Wilson 38:38

Like Bob was it a big audience?

Max Booth III 38:44

It was the biggest audience I've ever read that it was 85 people could sit in the theater long we sold out so yeah, it was good. It was fucking packed.

Michael David Wilson 38:54

Yeah, you you think they just kind of weren't resonating with your material or maybe it's like they just wanted to get on with and watch the film. They're like I'm not interested in a reading.

Max Booth III 39:08

I don't know man. I don't I don't think they will just like awake man. Like even with the second movie we watch the brain damage like they will not react in like you would think they would react to it like I was laughing my ass off most of the movie but I don't know they seem kind of just sleepy. I mean, it's not me it's not that like crazy of a thing. It's just something that happens. I mean, maybe it's good to talk about just so like people on like other folks who will planning to do readings. Not all of them are going to be good. Me I've done really ins to empty rooms. I did a coffee shop room with two Eveleigh right olds. And nobody was Phil and we just read to each level and it was one of my favorite readings of all time because we will just like well, fuck was trying to make each other laugh and since we have space anyway, I mean, you do pack means you do empty readings, sometimes the audience resonates with you. And sometimes they don't. It's just Yeah, to keep doing it. You have to practice and sometimes it works out well. And sometimes it doesn't.

Michael David Wilson 40:14

Yeah. And I'm wondering because this might be useful forever, right as listening, but at the moment where you kind of realize, okay, you're bombing or the sun landing or whatever, I mean, how does that kind of affect or, or change you? Because Because I think for me, like, it almost depends on the mood and the circumstances. But of course, like a more negative reaction is just gonna be like thinking, Okay, fuck this, and he almost want to just get it over with and you, you lose some of your passion. But then another is to just like, almost doubled down and be even more over the top with your delivery. So I'm wondering, you know, what your take is in such a situation.

Max Booth III 41:04

So when I realized that the audience isn't gonna laugh or give a shit about what I'm reading, I just can't I just kind of pray and hope like, Oh, I hope this is terrible, but soon, because I'm not gonna win them over. But something else that just came to mind. So this was in Katy, Texas, which is close to Houston, East East Texas, is pretty conservative when you say Bob,

Bob Pastorella 41:27

yeah. 100%. And that's, I was thinking of that too, because I realized it was Katie. They we have areas like that around here that definitely I would not when I was doing stand up. What years ago? Yes, years ago.

Michael David Wilson 41:52

I didn't react initially because it took me a minute to process. New shit, I need to see video of Bob Pastorella. Need in my fucking life?

Bob Pastorella 42:05

There's no videos.

Michael David Wilson 42:09

One hour with Bob.

Bob Pastorella 42:12

No, but I used to do I did stand up opened up for bands. Because

Michael David Wilson 42:19

metal bands,

Bob Pastorella 42:20

right, and I could grab a guitar and start playing. And I can incorporate that into my act. What?

Max Booth III 42:29

Used to find me.

Bob Pastorella 42:31

So but we my best shows. And you got to realize too, this was back in the 1980s and early 90s. And my best shows were done when bands would open up at I guess what we call gay bars. And the odd the audiences were amazing. Yeah, the best. But if I opened up like it, you know, some, you know, if we had a band that was playing an acoustic set at a coffee shop, even even in a coffee shop, you think hey, man, these people are probably going to be kind of, you know, kind of into some of the weird stuff sounds like that terrible shows. Because the audience is basically very conservative. Yeah. So when you see that kind of stuff, now me I kind of doubled down at that point, because it's like shit, if they ain't laughing, then I'm going to I'm going to try out, you know, this is the time you try out new stuff to see. Basically, like, you know, and I'm sure Max can appreciate where we're going with this. It's like, you kind of have the Andy Kaufman approach, you know, it's like, any coffin if he was bomb, and he didn't care, who fucking care he was gonna read. He's gonna read The Great Gatsby no matter what, you know, that was what he decided to do that that show. And so you just keep going. And it's in other words, like, Hey, if you're leaving, that's fine. I'm going to continue to read. I've got the stage. You know. And that's pretty much you know, what would happen. So, man, and I get where you come from, you know, it is kind of it is kind of bitter when you when you hit it, when you hit a low in a show, it sucks. But you just got to keep on going.

Max Booth III 44:19

So with the section I read the city I read in that being that most you know, like minded folks, I did well in my initial opening bits. Well, I can understand why maybe they didn't laugh. The only way to describe it is I could just read it to you this paragraph. You guys. Okay, I realized we'll probably almost out of time. So maybe this is a good way to wrap it up to you guys. So this is on like halfway down page one of my reading. And my reading is basically I am teaching the audience about the various stages of do decomposition while building this odd white lab coat, so this is halfway down it. Now the next stage of decomposition, it's probably the most universally agreed upon name and that is the Bloat stage. All of the gases found in the human body begin excreting as tissues. They'll self digested, causing a rattle obvious bloating. Did you know quiltss release flatulence. Hell they let it rip Milburn, those goddamn blue camo comedian dipshits, who used to be all over Comedy Central like 20 years ago, Jeff Foxworthy and Lily The Cable Guy. And that racist ventriloquist which I realized is redundant every because every ventriloquist who has ever lived is racist. That's why they become a ventriloquist in the fields place. But yeah, anyway, whatever happened to the Redneck comedians, anyway, mill until recently. We'll build a on January 6 2021. Dead silence. Of course, I read that middle like as a fulfillments on the stage, but it's difficult to do that part. Yes. He said that. And then Chris said that okay.

Michael David Wilson 46:25

Yeah, if you'd have read that somewhere more liberal than totally different reaction, but yeah, yeah. I can see why you got the reaction you did with the concepts. The way you were reading?

Bob Pastorella 46:44

We went to Maga, Texas and read. I'm so proud of you, man. God damn it. Fucking awesome.

Max Booth III 46:53

Thank you. I do I do acknowledge the second half of the thing. It's not funny at all. It's kind of a depressing rant about how much it costs to die in the US. But the opening half. Lots of jokes. No response anyway.

Michael David Wilson 47:10

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there's a lot of dark humor in the book, generally, like the bit near the start, where the dad is telling his son how to drown himself. That gets very, very excitedly and very,

Max Booth III 47:27

that's something

Michael David Wilson 47:30

Yeah, it felt it felt very authentic. It did feel like you'd had this conversation.

Max Booth III 47:36

Yeah. He just told me one day, it's impossible to drown yourself. I guess I won't do that then. Dad. He's awesome. You know that that song, there's Donnie Darko. It's mad was fun. Yeah. Yeah. I recall being a small child and being like, wheel driving someplace. And that was on the radio. Well, maybe I had it playing like on my like, iPod. Right? He just says randomly, you know, if you have to say the commit suicide, this would be a good song to have played. Alright, thanks, Dad. I'm a small child. Thank you for telling me this.

Michael David Wilson 48:20

Your dad talk about suicide quite often.

Max Booth III 48:24

Evidently. Yeah. I mean, I'm writing about this. In the book I mentioned. The beginning of something he would do a lot is when they would my mom and dad would be fighting while driving. He was just speaking joking about just spilling into incoming traffic and killing

Michael David Wilson 48:43

you. You told me about before? Yeah. I can't remember if you've told me on or off fair. But yeah.

Max Booth III 48:52

That was a frequent thing. Yeah, you know, it's it's crazy that I wasn't the victim of a family annihilation. Give it time, I guess.

Michael David Wilson 49:04

Yeah. I mean, there's no way to segue don't get away from that. I do. I want to. I want I want to ask you what the most unusual things were that you discovered in researching for maggots screaming?

Max Booth III 49:22

Yeah. So the big one I'd like to talk about because it makes everyone get grossed out is something called maggot Philippi. And that is basically hold on actually have that incorporated in the document I read. So let me see what I typed. All right. So when I said the reading at least I said, speaking of maggots, you guys know about maggot. Philippi. Right. And then I said, Now I'm not talking about one maggot sitting on a recliner with legs crossed, taking notes while listening to another little depressed maggot cry about its maggot mom. While sprawled out on a tiny maggot sized couch. maggot. Philippi is something different. So what it is, is maggots, they can't digest living things right. And sometimes it's proves helpful when the chronic flesh needs to be cleaned off of soft tissue wounds. So once the maggots, you know, they eat up what they need to, they move on leaving the rest of you unbundled. So that's something like they used to do, they would just put maggots in these wounds. Either way, the necrotic flesh. And if you go to the Wikipedia page for maggot Philippi, you will be embraced with one of the grossest furloughs I've ever seen in my life, I highly recommend, no one does that. But you can if you want focus folks listening, if you want to just be grossed out, that was a terrible thing I saw. And it's in my head for the rest of time now. So that was a big one. I guess just like one cool one cool thing I discovered is when a body dies, say her body decomposes and in a field, the pillage fluids and shit that come out of the body. It will destroy anything around the world by he'll kill plants and flowers. But like give it time, give it like 12 months and those plants will grow back stronger than they ever will have have in the past because of like the, the ammonia that accompanies decay in enriches the soil. I thought that was pretty cool.

Michael David Wilson 51:35

Yeah, yeah. All right.

Max Booth III 51:39

The book is called maggot maggot screaming, because in my research, I found out that lots of maggots close together, they make a noise. That sounds like rice krispies. And to me, that just sounds like what they might sound like. Well screaming. So that's how it came about.

Michael David Wilson 51:59

Yeah. And speaking of which, didn't, didn't you get for your reading? Didn't you effectively have some sort of Magha soundtrack during your reading? Did they play that?

Max Booth III 52:13

They did? Yeah. There was a 25 minute loop of maggots just like writhing together. It sounded pretty cool. Didn't seem to help anything, though.

Michael David Wilson 52:23

Yeah, it's such a good idea. It feels like you put you put so much into this reading and like the audience just like didn't weren't there for you and you know, all that you were saying? About what maggot therapy isn't was genuinely funny, but I bet they didn't fucking laugh at all.

Max Booth III 52:41

That's actually when I knew the audience was going to suck. That said I loved the audience. They bought books from me, but they weren't going to react well to my reading is when I write introduced the sound and I explained what it was and I explained the title of the book. I expected some like groaning right some audible groaning on anything any type of reaction, the talking about maggots and shit. Nothing. Then I thought, Okay, fuck, I guess I'm just gonna read this. See what happens. Nothing happens. I also said in the beginning, like I was I was doing a quick mic chat and I said, Can you guys in the top row you guys hear me? Say like, like shout if you can hear me and like one Pilsen raised a thumb and I said great as a grace just what I love silence

Michael David Wilson 53:36

Oh my god.

Max Booth III 53:41

That said I love that draft house. I love coming out I'm not talking shit about the audience. I love you all if you if anyone is listening, I just wish the rain had gone over or Ben light ha my own thoughts I should have chose strong or comedic reading

Michael David Wilson 54:01

Yeah, yeah, maybe if you had and they hadn't reacted it will be even more or

Max Booth III 54:09

I should have read from it stick to be honest that it's my go to and I shouldn't stray from it.

Michael David Wilson 54:17

Is it really your go to Yeah, okay.

Max Booth III 54:21

It's on YouTube. Now. I will show the the one that the ghoulish book fest. So my youtube channel if anyone wants to check it out. It Stick?

Michael David Wilson 54:31

Yeah. Will you be putting that up as a audio ghoulish podcast episode?

Max Booth III 54:36

No. You have to see the sock or does it make sense?

Michael David Wilson 54:40

Okay. You heard it here first. Unless Max said that on his podcast and you listen to it before?

Max Booth III 54:48

Yeah, can be I have one. Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 54:51

And you had it here. Second. Good. All right.

I mean, one thing I did wonder was with you now being a screenwriter, are you finding that you're being invited more to things specifically to do with film? I mean, was that part of how, you know you hosting the double feature came about?

Max Booth III 55:36

Yeah. So I have a connection with a guy who programs the Kayleigh draft house because he invited me to do a q&a. I thought we need to do something last, last real. So I knew him. So I had this. I knew I had this book coming out. So I emailed and said, Hey, I have a book coming out. Can we do like a thing? We show some movies and let me come out and he loved that idea. So I think I just have like an open invitation. It will happen now at this point. Maybe not now, but who knows. And besides that, the only like big thing I was invited to which was like, amazing. Is I was invited to the Sell, sell sell. Oh my god. I can't say sell sell you Lloyd. Film Fest in the UK. Yeah. Sheffield. Yeah. So I mean, they paid for my by traveling my lodging. And I got to go and see the UK premiere of a movie. That was amazing. I've never left the country until then. It was. It was quite the time.

Michael David Wilson 56:42

Yeah. Well, hopefully more international opportunities like that come up in the future.

Max Booth III 56:50

Yeah, maybe? I don't know. I mean, I tell it, I think it's kind of done now at this point.

Michael David Wilson 56:55

Well, I didn't mean specifically for we need your movies and

Max Booth III 57:04

yeah, I hope so. I mean, I hope I hope this isn't like the end of my movie career. It'd be cool to continue doing things. Yeah, that taking anything for granted. I mean, there's so many people who make one movie, and like to be filmed. Make this movie, I wrote it. I had some like, some control over things. But like at the end, it's not my my products only thing. But I hope to continue being involved in filmmaking. But it might not happen again. Who knows? I might die after recording this podcast.

Michael David Wilson 57:39

Yeah, that will be enforceable. Yeah, it would be final interview with you saying that could help increase the stock if this is our essay.

Max Booth III 57:52

Yeah, if anyone that's listening, and I die, please leave a negative review of this podcast. Because if I live, please leave a positive review.

Michael David Wilson 58:01

Yeah, okay. Well, now we've got a route for you to live. See you're dying, you're deaf can results in a doubly sad day. of respect to max fans, just leaving a negative review of this would be pretty funny. Final prank. I love it. Yeah. Yeah. So I mean, you've spoken about before, and you pretty explicitly alluded to at the start of the interview is you're not against piracy. And so much so that I mean, in terms of the promotion, maybe we use in promotion in inverted commas of the book magnet screaming a week before release, you put it out for people to download to pirate you encourage people to do so in fact, I wonder Have you been able to like measure? Do you have any metrics to see how well that's done? And how many people kind of picked it up that way?

Max Booth III 59:20

I have no idea. If anyone knows how to tell like kind of Google Drive how many people download PDF, let me know because I have no idea. I tried to fail that out and I did not succeed. So

Michael David Wilson 59:35

Nope. Yeah, no one of you leaked any of your other books.

Max Booth III 59:41

I'm not like that. I've definitely said in the past, but a certain book of mine that if they want it, just DM me and I will send them a email with it instead of having them buy it because I don't want money going to The Stilton press, which I'm not going to name right now. But it rhymes with dinette skate. I've also, like I've done one of the things like if someone donates to a certain chill day, I'll just send you a copy of one of my books. But that's the first time I've just like, uploaded a link randomly to a new book of mine 21 to take and download. And I don't even know if I, I wouldn't even say I'm doing it because I think, Ah, this is going to translate into a big Riedel ship. I just kind of think, if someone can't feel the read a book, they should just be able to have it anyway. It's just a book, you know, like, then, yeah, books will things that people spend a lot of time writing, and making sure they own good and, you know, readable, readable, that's not the right way to say that will let your goal get there. But at the end of the day, it's just books, folks, I don't think it's something that should be taken too seriously. And, I mean, I was a kid once. So will you make also will you bounce through, that's how he, that's all he happens. Phil's your baby, then you only kid and then you grow up, and let's wake you up Benjamin Button and then fills you on old man, and then eventually come a baby. I think that's the point of that movie was it is like, I certainly know what it's what it's like to like, be a teenager and want to read or watch something. But like, I don't have the money to do that. I'm just a normal kid, I don't have an income. And like, my parents aren't going to buy me a book. I don't think I ever will own the book until I was like in my 20s. And, you know, just, it's nice to be able to have access to cool stuff, I think. And I like the I think I think it's neat to give that apple to the to folks who can't buy a book. And I know, the sometimes the argument is like, Well, what about people? Now no one's gonna buy it because it's free. And I disagree. I don't think that's true. I mean, I think if someone is a fan, they will probably buy it if they can have filled it. And I think a lot of people just like buying books, you know, I do. I love buying books, if I can feel that if I have the cash. It makes it makes me happy to like spilled in the publishing and buy like a bunch of books from someone. I think it's great. Even if I have like no intention that really anytime soon. I still like spilling the in the publishing. And when I can fill it I do. Absolutely. And I don't think just because it's also available for free. That means no one's going to also buy it. I just don't think that's true.

Michael David Wilson 1:03:03

All right. Well, to round off we have a question from Thomas Joyce via Patreon. Of course he wants to know he would like to know Yeah. What if anything, can you tell us about your current work in progress, Knocked the skin off?

Max Booth III 1:03:24

Oh, yeah. I'm not gonna say much because I've discovered sometimes I talk too much about things I'm writing and then I abandon the project and then I feel like a dickhead. But it's about it's my spooky baseball book. It's about spooky baseball. Yeah, so I hope you guys like baseball because that's all I watch now and evidently is I write about so yeah exciting chill live events filmmaker real just reading baseball books now.

Michael David Wilson 1:03:55

Yeah, I mean you relatively recently got into baseball but holy shit did you get into it in a big way?

Max Booth III 1:04:03

Well, to add more context, I was always in the baseball as a kid it was all I was obsessed with it only as a teenager they drift away from it. But within the last like two years I kind of found my my passion again fill it I guess, although also to be filled. I mean, some of my Advil books have a lot of baseball content. Like my my debut novel toxicity. One of the main killed fields he used to pitch for the Cubs before we get arrested for selling cocaine and my novel touch the night. It takes place during the 2005 White Sox real sales leads. And it plays a huge thing in like the book itself. It was always like in the backdrop of what's going on. Just something that I grew up obsessed with. So there's always an imprint of baseball somehow in my mind, but I just went along with time without really watching it or paying attention to like the new the new seasons until recently, probably because I didn't have fucking time. It's only when I quit my job that I had time to pay attention to baseball again, right?

Michael David Wilson 1:05:15

Yeah. All right. Well, this has been awesome as always. Why are you laughing? They get by me

Max Booth III 1:05:29

I don't we will end in the podcast anyway, but it's felt so much like, yikes This is spilling baseball. Let's just end this okay, that's that's that's the show, folks.

Bob Pastorella 1:05:45

You asked me that question about baseball. Then you start going into your baseball, passion and Microsoft. Oh fuck I wanna hear all this bullshit.

Max Booth III 1:05:53

Flow. How did you do that with your voice? Michael? You said they kind of Texan. Oh, it was

Bob Pastorella 1:06:01

Michael impersonation

Max Booth III 1:06:04

was booked I don't know like Michaels impression that Bob do you say wow a lot. Right? You know, I Oh, wow. Oh, gee, Bob Pastorella. Wow, I

Bob Pastorella 1:06:15

want Michael to do is do your in person. I know. It's fucking glass. It's like a British guy doing Owen Wilson.

Max Booth III 1:06:30

I don't think either of you guys know what there's all the classic means.

Michael David Wilson 1:06:37

Jesus Christ. Well, where can I know, I know, I've got to be at least less abrupt the neck in front of the face.

Max Booth III 1:06:49

No, I think it's funny if it's

Bob Pastorella 1:06:53

near the bra. I also

Michael David Wilson 1:06:56

like I'm just gonna take the person be like, well, real interesting.

Max Booth III 1:07:02

Because I will just leave this in. I mean, it's I thought it was funny that I commented on the fact that you obviously didn't give us a bit about baseball.

Michael David Wilson 1:07:13

We could have spoken a little bit more about baseball. Very fascinating stuff. Unfortunately, we are out of time. So I'm wondering, where can our listeners connect with you?

Max Booth III 1:07:25

Yeah, you can hit me up on the White Sox subreddit. My name is My website is Tales from the booth.com any relevant links can be found on that site.

Michael David Wilson 1:07:39

All right. Do you have any final thoughts for our listeners? Yeah.

Max Booth III 1:07:46

You know it's not looking like it's not looking great right now with the White Sox I mean, we'll defense for the fucking abysmal but I mean, it's only the beginning of May the season just began so like if anyone is feeling hopeless. Don't throw this we still have a chance. I mean, Lance land is on the DL right now he will come back.

That's it. That's the end.

Michael David Wilson 1:08:20

Thank you so much for listening to This Is Horror with Max booth and join us again next time when we will be chatting with Jason Parkin, also known as David Wong, the author of John dines at the end amongst other books. But if you want that ahead of the crowd, if you want every episode ahead of the crowd, and become a patron on patreon.com forward slash, This Is Horror. Not only do you get early bird access to each and every episode, but you can be part of the writers forum on Discord. You can submit questions to each and every guest and much more. And talking about the writers forum on Discord, we will be doing another one story per week challenge for it's going to be a kind of choose your own adventure because we'll be supporting each other for various challenges over the course of a year. So there's one story per week is writing a novel in 90 days, and novella in 30. So lots of interesting things going on. And that's all going to be kicking off in July. So if you want to be part of it, now it's the time to sign up to Patreon patreon.com forward slash, this is Hara I before I wrap up a little bit of an advert break.

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Michael David Wilson 1:10:59

As always, I would like to end with a quote and this is from the philosopher Epictetus The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you whose presence calls forth your best I'll see you in the next episode with Jason parging But until then, take care yourselves be good to one another read horror keep on writing and have a great great day

Max Welcome back to This Is Horror repack

Max Booth III 1:12:38

I didn't realize you would put me on the spot like that

Michael David Wilson 1:12:50

Jesus Christ, we've gotten an outtake.

Max Booth III 1:12:53

And this is an outtake.

Michael David Wilson 1:12:56

I don't know.

Max Booth III 1:12:58

I mean, it's a classic podcast.

Michael David Wilson 1:13:01

Oh, it's always good to reference off bad comments in the first minute at the show.

Max Booth III 1:13:09

How's it going fellas?

Now who can't respond? I put you on the spot.

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