TIH 500: Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella on 500 Episodes and 10 Years of This Is Horror Podcast, hosted by Lisa Quigley (Ladies of the Fright) and Robb Olson (The ARC Party)

TIH 500 Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella on 500 Episodes and 10 Years of This Is Horror Podcast, hosted by Lisa Quigley (Ladies of the Fright) and Robb Olson (The ARC Party)

In this podcast, Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella celebrate 500 episodes and 10 years of This Is Horror Podcast. Hosted by Lisa Quigley (Ladies of the Fright) and Robb Olson (The ARC Party).

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Lisa Quigley 0:28

Welcome to This Is Horror a podcast for readers, writers and creators. I'm Lisa Quigley, the co founder and CO hosts of ladies of the fright Podcast. I'm also a horror writer. And today I'm here with

Robb Olson 0:43

I'm Robb Olson, formerly of the books podcast. And now currently with my podcast is the Ark party. This is a little bit of a special episode of This Is Horror, as you can already tell from our non British voices, where it's the 500th episode of This Is Horror, a huge, incredible event. And Michael has invited us on to kind of flip the script and interview them for a change.

Lisa Quigley 1:08

Yeah, and I'm so honored, Michael invited us and speaking of we should introduce our guests, which are Michael David Wilson, and Bob Pastorella. You guys get to be in the hot seat today. How are you doing?

Michael David Wilson 1:23

Yeah, pretty good. Thank you. This is gonna be a surreal experience. And of course, I've spoken with you both on podcasts before but it was your podcast. So I know that we've had crossovers, but it hasn't been to the extent that you're going to be the ones leading the conversation and interviewing us. So I'm excited to do this. And 500 episodes, one decade of This Is Horror Podcast, feeling pretty good.

Bob Pastorella 1:57

Yeah, it's pretty exciting. I mean, it's, you know, a decade of a podcast, you don't you don't really see that too much. And to be involved with this. I'm just very, very grateful. And I'm glad that we have these two hosts today to host us as guests. This is going to be very, very fun.

Michael David Wilson 2:17

Yeah, yeah, you're absolutely right. But I can't think of many podcasts that go a decade. However, if I want to recall one, it will be booked podcast, which, of course, is what Rob was formerly the host of now of the arc ponte. And you're the reason that we chose you to host these this episode. said these episodes. Don't worry. Like we haven't roped you into like

your two of the best interviewers the best podcasters I think ladies at a fright and booked podcast when I look back. Yeah, who are the standout horror fiction and writers podcast for the last decade. It's booked and ladies of the fright. So I guess no pressure there from opening the conversation with that.

Lisa Quigley 3:18

Well, on that note wasn't booked a big inspiration for you when you were starting? This? Yes. Was Yeah, like, yeah, you wanted to kind of do the same thing. Not the same thing. But like you wanted a version of that for horror. Was that what it was?

Michael David Wilson 3:35

Yeah, yeah. I mean, when I was starting to This Is Horror Podcast, the free big inspirations, were booked podcast, horror, etc. And the geeks Guide to the Galaxy. And I really admired all free podcasts. But there was something that wasn't quite there. And I could see like, this is the gap to fill this Venn diagram. So I wanted you to the conversations, and the kind of book coverage of booked and I mean, my favorite book episodes are always the interviews as well. I wanted more of that. Yeah, that was like a little, a little treat that would turn up periodically. And, of course, the Guide to the Galaxy. They were interviewing people every week still are in fact, I believe, but that was more sci fi, fantasy and horror. And honestly, like a lot of things that market as sci fi, fantasy and horror, the horror is normally a small percentage, and then horror, etc. It was a horror podcast, you'd be disappointed with that name, if it was more, et cetera. It was more horrid than it was etc. But that was more for movies and cinema. So I know that there's a gap app in the market hear here for for a horror fiction podcast. And like when I started this as hard a website and like when I started the This Is Horror account book line that later became, you know, publishing novellas as well, if I see something that I want to have in the world, particularly, you know, surrounding fiction and literary events years, if no one's doing it, then I create it. Similarly, that is also why I kind of took the, I guess I took the foot off the gas a little bit with the, This Is Horror, republishing. And by took the foot off the gas a little bit. I mean, I haven't submitted anything apart from my own things with good old Bob Pastorella. They're Watching you can buy it today. Also an audiobook, right by RJ Bailey. But the reason that I stopped doing this is how republishing was there were so many great publishers doing novellas and doing kind of short versions of books. And pitches are actually in the valleys. Look, I haven't had that much coffee going into this. But great question. Anyway. Move on to the next bit.

Bob Pastorella 6:27

I was listening to booked. And I didn't know about this as hard. Sorry. And I didn't know and when ra i think Robin Livius were the ones that told me about this tour. And in that's when I started listening to it. And I was like Wow, man, it's like this is just strictly dedicated to horror. And I liked it that you cast a wide net. And you know, because horror is is vast, it's a broad, you know, subject, broad genre. And so it's not just extreme horror, spider punk, as you know, it covers Gothic covers, weird, you know, mystery, crime, anything really kind of dark fiction, you know, what they call, you know, horror adjacent, quote, unquote. And it was I started listening to the podcast in but it's, you know, booked was really like the first podcast that I ever listened to. I think that, you know, we had a couple of episodes with the velvet that are on, but they they weren't very consistent in releasing episodes, I think that there was maybe like, five or six. And then they're probably gone into the ether. So they're, you know, and it's, it's on Facebook, I've seen what is booked, I was like, What is this, you know? And it's like, oh, it's, it's one of those, it's one of those cast things, you know, so it's like, we started listening to it. And that's how I became, you know, that I found out about This Is Horror, and I started listening to them. And, you know, to realize that now I'm like, you know, a co host of This Is Horror that, you know, to me, it's just, it's just on, some things are always kind of fascinating. And that's one of them right there.

Michael David Wilson 8:27

Yeah, yeah. And I think it we should point out, too, that, whilst I can't categorically say, there will be no, This Is Horror, without booked because I don't know, whatever mad ideas I might have had, or what might have inspired me. But that would definitely be noticed as horror with Bob Pastorella Without booked, because the way that I got to know you was free to booked anthology. So we read that we decided that we would review it and like back in the day, we did have a review component and it was a little bit brutal, because we would sometimes invite the person on while we're live reviewing it. And also, we had John Costello as a host only for about the first 12 episodes. And John Costello. I don't know exactly what to say about that dude, but he doesn't mess about he.

Robb Olson 9:32

He will not know how to pull punches.

Michael David Wilson 9:35

No, no like, and it may have been for the best for all concerned. No longer.

Lisa Quigley 9:46

We were not super tactful when it came to, you know, bringing doing a live review.

Michael David Wilson 9:53

Yes, an honest direct deed and I'm still friends with him. To this day. But like, I mean, yeah, I decided to move away from reviews too, because I just felt like I wanted to throw more positive energy into the world and to talk about the things that I really enjoy and not perhaps like trip people up in terms of this is the kind of stuff that I, that didn't really work for me. And also, I think I've become more nuanced, probably more empathetic to and just realizing that like, look, just because a book wasn't for me, that doesn't mean that it doesn't have value that it isn't for somebody else. And you know, John's a straight talker, a literary critic, a scholar of fiction, and he would just tear apart anything that was that was just not correct. That was not doing it on a certain level. And I just, that's not really what we're about. That's not what This Is Horror is about. This is like, inadvertently, almost like a like a you taking the 500th episode to slag off John No, I like John is a more discerning reader and a more discerning critic than I am. John is someone that I looked up to for, for a long time, he's a dear friend, but to have invited Robin Livius on and be like, we're going to review your book now. And like, we did the same to Joseph De Lacy. And there were some stories where John will be like, this one, just it just didn't work for me. And here it is that it was the Bob was not PA. Oh, man. So it was just a review. It was just rob and Livius of the book podcast. But but at the time, there were two stories that really really stood out in the book dental ology. I mean, generally, it was a great anthology. We don't need to rehash and review it now. And Rob, get some pastoral notes.

Robb Olson 12:22

I'm starting to think this is like a book 500th episode, we're talking about it so much.

Michael David Wilson 12:30

But the two stories that really stood out were the opening story by Fred Venturini. And in Bob Pastorella story, and I know, I need to find out more about this Bob Pastorella, dude. So I looked him up. He had a little Kindle edition of a short story to watch his madness. I read that and I was like, shit, the dude can really write. I bet it better talk to him on This Is Horror Podcast and invited him on you can listen to that episode. Now. I mean, don't listen to it. Now listen to this one. But so that it's really it's really interesting, because this is our podcast literally is documenting my friendship with Bob Pastorella. That is the first time that we spoke together. Then Then Dan Howarth, who was the co host, at the time, when he became a parent, it was harder to podcast as you know, it, it is for everyone when they become a parent, and so then Bob came in as a as a co host. And then he really never left. This has been like, this has been a long temporary cohost gig from something like about episode 5500. Might have to remove that temporary labels. Yeah,

Bob Pastorella 14:07

I feel like I feel like Kirk Hammett Metallica now just to find out that was just a second banana on a temporary basis. They date the saints coming back. We just don't know when. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 14:24

I was saying on that. No, it's interesting. And I sometimes think about the fact that you know, This Is Horror Podcast is kind of documenting my life even even though it is presented as an interview and a conversation show. But I mean, I have I have been through a lot of things in these last 10 decades and obviously there's no writing activity 10 years I'm actually a vampire If you look so

Bob Pastorella 15:04

this podcast is sucking the life out everybody. That's why you can maintain decades.

Michael David Wilson 15:12

Invite people on. But yeah, it's been documenting my life for the last 10 years, I've been through a lot, both good and bad. I mean, like, I, I got engaged, I got married, I had a child, I'm, I then split up, Ron, my wife, I'm going through a divorce, there's, you know, been some horrible things like being not being in contact with my daughter for 18 months. But then I, I got reconnected with her, I'm now seeing her again. That's fantastic. And, you know, I'm seeing the light things getting better and better on that front. And it's just strange in a way to think I've got this podcast where you've got these weekly conversations, and I share these little bits in terms of how I'm feeling personally. So in a bizarre situation where somebody wanted like a historical document of Michael David Wilson, his life it kind of is this podcast. And it's so surreal, but a really a really great thing, really. And I sometimes think to you know, if, if my daughter were to wonder what what happened, what was Michael feeling in those 18 months that we are apart? Then if you were to subject yourself to multiple episodes, or just read the transcripts, now, it'll be quicker, although there are some interesting things because AI is not perfect. Then, you know, she could find out a little bit about that. It's just fascinating. For me, there's no real further question attached to that. But luckily, as I'm not the one interviewing, I don't need to have a question. Asian.

Robb Olson 17:28

So, something that was mentioned, probably like 10 minutes ago, because Michael Michael talks a bit was, that's a dig, I can do that. Because we're old friends, I can do that. And also, it's five minute we're celebrating you, all the love in the world. Something that was mentioned that I think it's interesting to analyze, maybe maybe not, is like when your podcast started, or when my podcast started by Bob called out like it was the first podcast you listened to the landscape of podcasting was entirely different back then. So I mean, like when I made a podcast that weren't services that just like did all in one package it up, we had to figure out like 10 different things to like, know how to get the final product where it needs to go. So like, the landscape of podcasts of podcasting is like ret, like, vastly changed from what it was when we were trying to just do a thing. And so in my personal experience, it's I stepped away for a little bit and came back I kind of almost have this like impostor syndrome, where I'm like, everybody's doing this now and is the thing that I'm doing that I have been doing really valuable. And so kicking the question to the two of you in the way that podcasts are now versus what it was when you were you know, getting established and stuff. How do you feel like what do you feel like your places in the overall like podcasting sphere, like, has that changed? Or is it something that it's so ingrained in you that you don't even really think about that?

Michael David Wilson 19:07

When to begin with? As this tradition with me, I'm gonna not answer that question for the first few minutes and say that you should not have any sort of imposter syndrome or worry because, as I said, before you on the most accomplished and best conversationalist and interviewers that I know now, we're not gonna turn this into a complete robots in celebration, so I'll leave it at that. I've said enough already, but I don't think you should be feeling any doubt or worry. And, I mean, like people's stories. People can worry like, oh, you know, am I contributing or there's there's enough good right so good podcast is good. out there, what am I adding, but what we're always adding is our own unique voice our own unique story, our own unique spin on things. So there's always room. Yeah, yeah. Oh, thank you. Yeah, there's always room for other podcasts and other writers because what we bring as individuals is, is individually us. You can't replicate that. You can't imitate it. You know, Bob tries to imitate British people. He just sounds like a knockoff of Michael Caine. That's what will happen. So don't do that. But if people can see the video then maybe involves disagreeing. Yeah. You do you Bob the fence. You want to be about, but in, in terms of like, where This Is Horror fits in terms of the landscape. I mean, obviously, when, when we were starting out, as anyone, we had to establish ourselves. And I feel, you know, from the feedback that we get, and the articles that I see that This Is Horror Podcast, is seen up there with the best kind of interview shows talking to horror writers. So so that's, you know, really great, obviously, for us to, to hear that. But I think one one thing, where, you know, we're near the top now, I guess, is to never get complacent. Because there are always really, really good podcasts that, that show up that deliver amazing content and amazing conversations. So if I were to think, oh, you know, This Is Horror Podcast is near the top, we can phone this in. For them, we disappear, people would stop listening. And, I mean, we've seen kind of time and time again, that'd be amazing. Podcasts, like, I always, like see different kinds of periods as to when we had like, oh, that's who we're competing against, in inverted commas. I mean, obviously, at the start, it was booked podcast, you know, and geeks guide to a certain point or the white. Yeah, realistically, geeks guide, I think to begin with had a much bigger audience than us. So if I would like we would compete with you. Who the fuck are you again? So I'm not deluded. And then Lovecraft ezine has been around for a long time, too. I'm not I'm not sure when they started. Could have researched that beforehand. But this isn't a Lovecraft he's a fan podcast, so I didn't. And you know that then then, like, around the time of ladies of the fright, we also had the horror show with Brian Keene. And I think for for a long time, it was like an ad free podcast that people were talking about. And they were like, the conversation for if you wanted to check out you know, horror fiction writers, podcasts. And then right now, I mean, that the big one as well as This Is Horror is talking scared, and talking scared of doing amazing work to the there's also a relatively new podcast, I really hope I don't butcher the name, I think it's good, she wore black. And that looks to be a fantastic podcast to I need, I need to listen to it more, in fact, to comment on that forever. But the point is, that if we didn't continue to always strive to better ourselves, then we would get lost. So I guess in a sense, we've, we've gone from, you know, trying to prove ourselves to being like, Okay, now you've proven yourself, you've got to, you've got to kind of defend your position, as it were, you've got to make sure that you keep you keep towards the top and I hope that it doesn't sound like terribly arrogant or egotistical because because I'm also very aware that you know, compared to the grand scheme of the podcast sphere, with podcasts like Tim Ferriss podcast, and Marc Maron and James altijd here the the audience that This Is Horror has is is minute, you know So that kind of keeps you humble, as well. And even within horror, particularly with horror fiction shows like no sleep. And then you see the rise of old gods of Appalachia, and they now have over eight sounds and patrons. It keeps you humble, it keeps you aware of, of your position. And, you know, I think, I think a problem, probably not just with podcasts, but perhaps with ego in general is when you get a self inflated worth of yourself when you get main character syndrome, when you think that the world is kind of revolving around you. So in a way, that this is a tricky position to be in and to be even be having this conversation because we're meant to be celebrating This Is Horror, but I also have to make people aware that it's like, look, I don't think that I'm that great, I, I can recognize some accomplishments, but at the same time, I'm aware of my position as just a little speck in the cosmos. About you, Bob,

Bob Pastorella 26:19

well, I mean, it, I feel exactly like you, it'd be real easy to say, you know, that, that based upon what's out there that, you know, we're at, you know, the top of the crop. But I believe that if you're going to be there that you have to have a responsibility. And in other words, you have to be consistent, you always have to be, you know, striving to improve, there's always room for improvement. In, you know, that that's how that's how you that's how you get better. It's like you can't you can't be satisfied with where you're at, you have to improve. There's some really good podcasts for a while there, there. There wasn't the ones that you mentioned talking scared, you know, she wore black, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Agatha, who runs that podcast at ghoulish fest. They're, they're doing incredible work. It was just, it was very refreshing, because I had, you know, I was had an opportunity to be on a podcast panel was some great podcasters there. And you know, and I gave, I gave props out to, you know, to other podcast, because it's the more the merrier. And the ones that are that are good and are taking it seriously that hat they're taking responsibility for it. They're going to they're going to continue to rise to. So I feel like the more that we have the merrier it's going to be it's going to, you know, you're going to have a lot of differentiation between the different styles of podcasting and in different formats and things like that. So I'm all for it. I'm for more I don't see it as competition, I see it as community I see it as as the way forward. And as long as you as long as you're taking it seriously and doing and responding to it and being responsible.

Lisa Quigley 28:14

I always thought of it as a, as a network, not like in the sense of like, Oh, I'm networking, but like network as in, say you have a channel, and there's all these different shows on it that are all that all and people come back to that channel for these different shows. Like, it's like more as like, you know, every podcast could only put out so much and you know, maybe a podcast does a show a week or every two weeks or you know, you know, twice a week or something like that. But people listen to podcasts all the time. It's a really primary way a lot of people get their information. And yeah, so I always thought of it as you know, the fact that there were more meant that they keep coming back to mine. And they would, because there would be you know, they wouldn't get distracted by something else. When my show was on a Like, it wasn't the week the episode was coming out, then they would have something else to listen to. And then they'd be excited for mine when it came out. Kind of and that's how I listened to podcasts. I cycled through them as they come out and and then the new and then by the time I get done, I'm like, ooh, new episode of this one. And you know, yeah, so and I always think like, oh, I don't have room for any more podcasts. And then I hear another one. I'm like, damn, this is good. Got at it. Yeah, I was thinking though, about the the whole trajectory of This Is Horror and how you guys really? I don't know like you started off how you started off and you started off actually as a website, right? Like before the podcast was there. And then there's just this whole trajectory of you start the web Like I started the podcast, and I'm just wondering, other than Bob joining as the temporary co host? What do you feel have been the biggest ways? Like How have you grown? Or how has the podcast grown? During too many questions for Michael? Because he's going to answer all of them. How have you grown out the podcast grown? What do you feel like has been other than also the the change in the podcast climate itself? Like what for you has been the biggest way that you've seen the evolution of the show?

Michael David Wilson 30:34

Yeah. So I mean, I've said before, but I think one big standout moment was episode 100, with David moody. And he was very open and transparent about mental health struggles. And as soon as he did that, that there was like, almost like, a switch. And I realized that like, we can go to these dark places we can talk about, you know, these really, I guess, like unpleasant aspects and the struggles and this trauma. And it's something that, you know, I talk to people about in, in everyday life, it's just the way that I am I see, I seem to have something where people open up to me, and we'll talk about these kinds of things. And maybe it's because I'm non judgmental about everything. And I'm just listening, and I'm letting people talk. But I realized that we can do this on the podcast, too. And not not only can we do it, but actually, I think we should do it. Because in talking about struggles of people listening, realize that they're not alone. And I think when, when that happened, that was like a big moment to, in my opinion, at least really improving. Not just the quality, but the authenticity and the realness of these conversations. So that that would certainly be a point, in terms of the evolution at This Is Horror, I think to like, I'm always conscious of becoming a better conversationalist, and getting better conversations and insights from guests. So I think, you know, that there's no specific moment where I realized that that is a constant. I'm always trying to improve in that area. I, I think, I think too, like early on. We were perhaps more structured or rigid with questions, and it's like, I've got my list of questions I'm gonna go in, I'm going to ask those now. Every time I'm interviewing somebody. I'm very prepared. I have a list of talking points and questions, and little bits of trivia from their life. And, you know, sometimes they get a little bit worried, like, how did you know that my mother used to buy me the Guinness Book of Records every Christmas as a present? And it's like dangerous later if it's on the internet, I found out. Yeah, yeah, I think being not being afraid to go where the conversation takes you. So I may have all these notes. But sometimes, it's just one or two notes that we even cover. But having having these, these backups or these topics, so that you know that the conversation will continue to flow because you don't want you don't want dead air is not good. That is the death of the podcast and of the audio format. Maybe that's why we've branched into video too soon. If you got something extra, you can just look at Bob in his lovely blue t shirt or something like that. silence. I think like a big moment that I always mention, is talking to chuck folinic episode 365. Just one of these writers that I always admired and had been reading for throughout my life and then to get to talk to him that was surreal. Also surreal was earlier this year when Dean Koontz added us apropos of seemingly nothing on Twitter. Uh, you know, a few. A few days later, we're having a conversation about getting him on the podcast. Like, some people ask me, you know, how did you get Dean Koons on the show? Or have a podcast is asking how do I go about getting Dean Koontz on this show? And it's like, well, in truth, as weird as it is, it's like, he kind of came to us. I don't know how that even happened. But, you know, that was a fantastic moment. And then, when we had the conversation with him, I put that up there in the best conversations that we've ever had on This Is Horror. And, you know, fingers crossed, we should be getting him back on the show. To talk to him again, later this year. I mean, he said, like, Yeah, I'd love to do this again. And any time. Anytime. Okay, Dean, let's go. We got the microphones plugged in. Right? Yeah. Like, Oh, yeah. Yeah. Just add him to the cool. Yeah. Dean Kurtz and check, Paul and Nick, are two very big moments. That's like, I guess people are paying interest to what what it is we're doing here. Bob, do you want to talk about any moments that you see as the the evolution at This Is Horror? Because I'm meandering into another question right now?

Bob Pastorella 36:47

Well, I mean, I see if I look at it from my own personal growth, I know when I came home with the, with the podcast, one of the things that that I have found over the years, that I have become a better listener. And I was probably a lot more chatty, at the beginning of my tenure, that I've shifted that around, because I've wanted to become a better listener. You know, and Michael, Michael has his questions. And I have found that a lot of times our questions would overlap, because I would have questions, and he would he would get to him. So I'm like, Well, I'm gonna ask that same question. So how do you do that? You know, and so I'm not going to do that. But I found that one of the things I can do is that I can take a topic and I can, I can help expand it. And sometimes Michael doesn't get to his questions, but oh, well, because I have taken, you know, our guest, and expanded conversations into areas that expanded even further than that. And so it's like, hey, this turned out to be a great conversation. To me, I think one of the best moments that that really comes to mind was when we had Dean Koontz on and he said, You guys have asked me questions that no one else has ever asked me for.

Robb Olson 38:25

Multiple times. Yeah, and

Bob Pastorella 38:27

yes, and Dean, and here's a guy who's been interviewed, interviewed, multiple, you can search his name and put the word interview and you'll get pages. And so and he seems like the type of person is not going to hand out a compliment very easily. He's genuine and he's very nice. But I don't think I think he was being very genuine in that. And that, that made me feel really good. When we have one of the best in the business say, Hey, guys, you're asking me questions. No one's ever asked me before this is great. And I, I love that. And to me, that's when you're doing you're doing the job. You're doing it right. You know, and that to me, that's, that's that's a big highlight. I missed the Chuck Palahniuk conversation because I was I didn't have any power. I just come back from a hurricane. And like, the story of my life, my power comes on with the internet, literally. And you can ask Michael we can confirm this literally five minutes after they ended the conversation. Was that Yeah, I think so. And yeah, cuz it was just, you know, it's just like, what, two years ago and so or maybe in probably about probably about a year and a half ago so Michaels problems we he's, he's gonna get Chuck back on so I'm hoping to that promise part, as well. So one of my favorite writers You know,

Robb Olson 40:02

I'm gonna chime in a little bit about what I think an evolution of the podcast is. And maybe this is just something that I'm thinking about recently. But there was definitely a moment where Michael, you had kind of switched from really not talking about the personal stuff you were going through to having a moment where you really went into it. And so it's hard, it's hard to like, talk about things like that, that are even hard for you to think about. So the idea of sharing them has to be even more difficult. But I feel like from that point, going forward, you felt a little different to you felt a little bit more like you're making eye contact with me when you're talking like, you know what I'm saying, like, I felt like it was a little bit more intimate or personal than maybe it had been in the past. And, to your credit, now, when I'm doing my podcast, I feel more comfortable to talk talking about some of the kind of big struggles I've had in the last few years. So if I'm talking as, as a listener or a fan of the podcast, I would say that one of the things that would definitely be an evolution point would be when it became comfortable to get a little more personal and be a little bit more more open and vulnerable.

Michael David Wilson 41:26

And in terms of talking about that, I use specifically referencing the Jonathan Jan's episode. Are you talking before that? The Jonathan Jan's Yeah, so I mean, to that point, I would say, or at least my perception of myself, which is inherently going to be flawed that year, for four years, before that moment, I had developed you being honest about struggles and being authentic. And, you know, when when I became a parent, and I had some struggles, and I had some health concerns, I was very direct and upfront about that. And then, you know, what, when I split with my, my eggs, I, you know, I said about, I mentioned that, but I didn't go into specific details, then when things got very complicated in terms of custody, and there were legal proceedings going on legal proceedings that are still going on, I was very mindful that I didn't want to talk about them, for numerous reasons, you know, number one, don't talk about a legal situation that is ongoing, you know, that that is rule number one, but also just like kind of being respectful to everyone's privacy and to people involved. Also plainly, like, it's not, it's not really anyone's concern, apart from the people involved. But I, I did have this struggle, because it's like, you know, that there was a point where it's like, I am going through the most pain I have ever gone through in my life. This is such a difficult moment to be very British about a difficult moment, you know, to be blunt, like, I don't know, I don't know how many people could have gone through some of the things that I did, and then still still be here. still be alive, I might do that. If if there were different things in terms of my, my wiring and who I am, then I could have been a point where it's like, you know, what, I'm kicking out that I'm done, said that there was a real struggle in terms of being on the podcast as well as somebody who who, who encourages transparency who prides himself on his authenticity. And you know, that there's like a silent scream that I can't get out. And that was difficult, because it also there was also a point of me that felt like, you know, to say that I felt fake or insincere. It's not. That's not quite true. But like, you know, I knew that it's like the there's something that I'm holding back. It's probably when people get caught in a situation and they say like, Oh, I did. lie to you. I just didn't quite reveal the truth and it light. Yeah. But that's not gonna get you out of a number of situations. It's like you didn't ask the direct question. And it's like, so if people ask me a question, and I will, I will answer it as best as I can. Now, I wonder what was what was the moment with Jonathan Janz? That led me to be that honest, and I got it, I got to try and take myself back to it. So it was about I think we recorded it about September or October of last year. Yeah, and that was relatively little progress. You know, for the past year before I think I just got tired of holding in and exhausted and like, I am like Jonathan, Jan's is an incredibly kind, compassionate, wonderful human being. I think he makes people feel safe. And it was it was does it was him prompt you. That was not planned. It was not like, today is the day. But I just, I just felt there was a little bit more that I could say. And I'd obviously seen, like how things were proceeding. I just felt like if I say this, I'm not impacting the case in a negative way. Right? It's like, what are they gonna do? They're gonna, they're gonna quote me in a legal document saying, I miss my daughter. Oh, no. Oh, God, don't use that against me. But But like, even when I talk about things, you know, I'm trying to be respectful to everybody involved. Yeah, even now, it's like, thinking like, what do I want, don't ISA is difficult as you as you can see, I mean, I've, I've been through, I continue to go through some things, but then like, I don't hold myself up on a pedestal or thing to, you know, be people. I don't really want even people to feel like, bad for me, it is what it is. And I mean, as reading some philosophy, the other day, as I am want to do is we really read my fiction and probably hear all the quotes at the end of the episodes now that I like to do. A night. It was, I think, some sort of Taoist Master, he kept having things happen to him. And, and, and like, you know, people would either say, Oh, that's really good, or that's really bad. So one of them was his, his son broke his leg. And they're like, Oh, this is really bad. I'm so sorry to hear that this has happened. And he said, Well, you know, it's neither good nor bad, we don't know. And then a few months later, people of his son's age were called to battle. Well, he couldn't go. So if if he hadn't broken his leg, then he would have gone to bat or gone to war, a high probability that he would have lost his life. So I think when these things are happening to us, when anything happens to us, we cannot see the bigger picture. So we do not know whether something is good or bad. And I mean, I tried to be an optimistic person, I tried to see the light. And I think that is one of the things that kept me going in those really dark moments, because even if I couldn't see a light, I believe that there was a light out there. I just can't see exactly where it is. But but it's there. And I had that hope. And I had that belief. And I mean, at the moment, I could hold on to the fact that I didn't see my daughter for for 18 months. I could dwell on that I could see that as a really negative thing. Or I could concentrate on the fact that as of now. I am seeing her every month and I I'm having a video call with her every week. And yeah, there was a time where I was really concentrating on like, you know, I've gone from from fifth 5050 Like seeing her half the time not seeing her, do you ever and, and I'd gone from that to zero. And I could now like, see like, Oh, well I see her a small percentage, let's say is, is 5% Paul Tremblay is not here, we're not about quick maths right now. So, so if I'm seeing her 5% Then there's two ways I can look at it. I can say, oh, that's 45% less than I was two years ago and be really negative. Or it's like 5% is so much better than zero. That's what I look at. And also, you know, see seeing her 50% of the time you know, that the parenting can be can be harder. But if I'm seeing her 5% of the time, here we go Daddy is here we are gonna have fun you can make every single moment count I just realized if someone in a room or a

recording a podcast what kind of data we can use Jesus Christ. I knew he got on with Bob Well I might have to explain that one later. Anyway that that after the Jonathan Jan's episode, after that moment, it gave in sharing what was going on with the This Is Horror audience. It gave me strength to make bolder, more compassionate choices, in general, and with the legal situation and then so this is a point where it's like, I'm not even sure how much I can now say, like, I'm not I'm and then again, that's that battle with authenticity and transparency. And it's like I when things are over, I am happy to talk at length about these things. But but in in October or so, we add the episode with Jonathan Jan's we got some very positive very kind feedback about that vulnerability. And then there was and then the next month, I had a court case. And then that was a switch in the UN I, I took a chance with something it was kind of like a movie moment actually in the court. And since then, things have been better I saw I saw my daughter for the first time in in February I had a call with her in January for the first time and so you know, every single month I'm seeing her you know that there was That's That's all I'll say for now that so a lot of safer now but think things have got so much better. And I think you know, try and see the light in difficult situations. That's yeah, that's about it. This is why I talk so much because as a podcaster Yeah, you got to feel that silence so I can moment still reflected light oil we got another MD Wu tangent I can take

Lisa Quigley 54:20

thank you for letting me that's thank you for sharing what you can and what you're able and I don't think anyone sees it as you not being authentic. I don't feel that way. Anyway. There's certain things you just especially when you're in a situation like this, it's just not wise you know, so I don't think but I also feel like maybe on your part it might be like, but I want to talk about this. I want to think something about it is like when you can talk about it. You get to have that. That release and that sharing and that it's almost like witnessing people are in it with you and so I feel like there's that understandable feeling of separate Question in some way. But, um, but I think we all appreciate that you share what you can as you can. But I'm also curious for Bob, what has that been like for you being in this and like being the partner and all this? You know? And also like with that with that moment with Jonathan Jan's, and then the trajectory from there.

Bob Pastorella 55:24

The thing with that was that, no, I knew a lot of what was going on. And so and I would, you know, me and Michael would would confer by email. And I don't have children. So I can't, I can't imagine. I can't imagine what it would be like, I'm not even going to say that I'm in a position to where I could even begin to imagine it. But the only thing that I could do was to try to give Michael as much support as I possibly could. And I hope that he could see that in my email, I was trying to be as, you know, as supportive as I could in Yeah, and we, you know, we had conversations, it's, you know, talked on Skype and things like that. Because some things can't translate well on on the page, you know, they have to be in context, they have to be, you know, you have to hear someone's voice. And so, it, we, you know, me and Michael, we've been, we've been friends for a long time. And even though I can't even relate to that, I can relate to terrible things that that have happened to me. And, and I know that sometimes, you know, it's like Michael said, sometimes if you're wired differently, it's easy. It's like, you know what, fuck this, I'm out. And I'm not gonna ever say that, I didn't feel like that when I was going through my stuff. But there's a light at the end. You may not see it, it may be a pinprick in that tighten it, you know, in that tunnel, but it's gonna get brighter. And you just have to push through it and you have to, to, to be, you know, authentic to yourself, and believe in yourself, and believe that there's a better outcome. When we had Jonathan Jonathan is so easy to talk to. That's that's the key, he he has a very calming effect. And he, I love it when he's on the podcast, because we're gonna get, you know, we feel like we're getting the real him. Not that there's like a fake Jonathan Janz, where he's like, hey, yeah, party guy, Jonathan janss, with his pants, you know, but nothing like that. But you know. So, listen to the podcast and what we're talking about. But anyway, he, he just very, he's very authentic. And he's very easy to talk to. And I had, you know, I had no idea that it was we were gonna go there, but it was a moment. And that I mean, we were all choked up. It was it was a very vulnerable moment. But I feel that that lifted a weight off of Microsoft honors. That was that was that was pulling him down. And weights not off his shoulders yet. But it would they've taken they've taken some weight off the off the off the bar. You know what I mean? There's still some weight there. But they took they took 240 fives off. So now he's down to like these little tins. You know, if you're looking at it from a weightlifting thing, they took the 40 fives off the 40 fives or so that does that make sense? Michael? Maybe you feel that? Because I can tell I can tell the difference. I know that Rob can and I think Lisa can't do but we can. Do you feel that?

Michael David Wilson 59:03

Yes. Yes, I do. But I think the thing, the thing that happened? Post Janz sounds like some sort of weird genre. I listen to some toast. Yeah. And you know, when I took that risk, and there was a moment that happened after that moment, it literally felt like like there'd been this anxiety that been this tension. Every time I got an email from my lawyer. Up until that moment, I was consumed with dread and anxiety. And I've definitely never said that on the podcast before. But it wouldn't matter. What the email was, it could even be like, Oh, confirming your be at this meeting at this time, seeing the name in my inbox just sent this wave of grant and anxiety. And when this post Jan's moment occurred. I didn't feel it anymore. And there was, there was certain triggers, there were certain things that would cause this anxiety and endless pain. And then it was like, it's, it's gone. And it hasn't came back. It hasn't came back. That's good. It is miraculous, really? Yeah. So I feel it, but I, yeah, I am still so reluctant to talk to talk about this too much. Because I don't want to be, I don't want to be disrespectful to anyone. I don't want to get over inadvertently be disrespectful to my eggs. answered that. And, you know, it's like is, is even talking about things is, is that disrespectful, and like it, you know, it doesn't matter whether whether my axe does that publicly, on or not just for me, it's like, I don't want anyone to hurt. And it doesn't matter whether I've, I've been, I've hurt or not. Like, I don't even like using the language like, you know, someone has done something to me or some one has hurt me. It's like, one can feel pain. We cannot control what happens externally, but we can control an internal reaction to it. And so even saying, like, you know, someone hurt me, it's like, did they? Or did my reaction to the situation? cause pain? And of course, there can be things where it's like, well, yeah, a lot of people are gonna feel pain, if that happened, or they're gonna think, Oh, that was like a negative thing to occur. But what why? Why did you know intentionality? Why did a person do a certain thing that is a big factor. And I don't believe that many people do things to hurt other people. And some people disagree with me on that. But that's not what I think. I think most of the time, even if people do things that people could be, could perceive as actions that hurt other people. And even if they do have people, they probably didn't do it to hurt the person, they did it to protect themselves or to selfishly benefit themselves in some way. And that, it may be a subtle distinction, but I think it's a vitally important one. And I think that is one that keeps us human. And I think that's why it's kind of dangerous. And we're going off on another tangent here. But to create this society, where everything is there so that you're on that side, or you're on the other side, it's good, or it's bad. That's not reality. That's not how humans are. So we're nuanced. There are shades of grey, we're a multitude of colors. We're a fucking rainbow. We're complicated. And I don't think tribalism and I don't think it's saying that that is good. That is bad is is going too far for us. And actually, if we talk to people more, then we're going to realize that we had more in common than we thought we did. That's, that's a big topic. That's hours of conversation right there. But it's something that I think about a lot. Me too. Yeah. And the funny thing as well is when you dare to see, when you dare to see the point of view or the perspective from two different schools of thought. Then you run the risk of ostracizing everyone and everyone fucking hates you because you didn't choose a side or you know, it It's a tough one. And but I think it's okay to say, you know, this is the side that I'm on for this issue. So you pick a side, but to say, I can maybe see some points from the other side, or even if I, even if I disagree with it on on such a level, I can see how some decisions or some of your logic, even if I think it's twisted, got you to where you are, you know, today, we're not really talking about my personal situation anymore. And I'm not even talking about a specific thing. But we are talking about any issue where there is absolute division. Let's just, you know, let's, let's, let's get every every one turning off with with Episode 500, let's just piss everyone off. This is, you know, we started with John Costello, we end with the spirit of what we do.

Robb Olson 1:06:10

So what you just kind of led my mind to, and what I think that we've been kind of saying without seeing a lot of ways, has to do with empathy. And I would have to say that empathy is something that horror, kind of naturally evokes in people. So, I know this is just a very rough thought, but like, and this isn't me ham fisted ly trying to get things back on track. It's legitimately like the thought that was inspired by what you were saying. I think that understanding other perspectives is like, very much an empathetic thing. And I think that experiencing horror, anything about horror, reading horror, watching horror, helps you to analyze different perspectives. So there's almost like, it's almost like, maybe that's a muscle that you've been building, by being so immersed in stories that inherently play with empathy.

Michael David Wilson 1:07:13

Yeah, and I think, too, you know, we were talking about the evolution of the podcast. But if we're to talk about the evolution, or at least the changes in terms of horror fiction as a whole, for for the last 10 years, I feel that there is there are more, I'm trying to think how to even put this I like, initially, I was gonna say there's been a bigger push for diverse voices within horror. But a bigger push. That doesn't quite sound the phrasing that I that I exactly wanted to put across here. But what, what I'm saying is, there is an environment now, where more diverse voices and perspectives are welcomed. And that is a very, very good thing. And I think, Oh, we are seeing more interesting stories. Because if I think about the kind of 2000 and 10s The biggest thing, probably at that time, was zombies. I think about David moody and Brian Keene. And yeah, that was so great. But like, it felt like a lot of what was popular, was more kind of traditional tropes and things that you'd easily fit within the horror genre. Whereas now, like, I think that I think that stories that kind of crossover horror with another genre, make for more interesting stories. And, I mean, I know that we were talking our family in bulk via email. And, you know, Bob, Bob was talking about the stories of a V. Castro, and that is a completely unique voice V is a completely unique voice that we are I don't feel that we had hear stories like that to, you know, 10 or so years ago. And, you know, even if you see what's going on with children of Chicago, and Sienna Palacio, did you know would that have been as as well received? Would that have even been published 10 years ago? I'm not sure.

Robb Olson 1:09:53

I had conversations recently with Cassandra, CA and Daniel through Sony and this kind of idea came up and both of those and especially especially with Cassandra caught their idea was essentially like, because I said something along the lines of like, it's not like suddenly, you know, things changed. It's always been this way. And their point was marginalized voices have, you know, more attention? And, you know, more, I guess, opportunity to reach audiences then than they did in the past? So it's not like a sudden quality change. It's an access change kind of, in a way. Yeah. So yeah, that's kind of like, what I've been kicking around in my head lately is the playing field is a little bit different. It's not like suddenly, there's so many more of this type of voice. It's things changed. In the in the industry. Yeah. And

Lisa Quigley 1:10:51

that actually makes me think of, at the beginning, Michael, you were talking about how you, you recognize and like, the spirit of This Is Horror is like kind of recognizing that you have there, like you have a taste when you read a book. And someone else might have a certain tastes, and you might read a book that you're like, I don't really get it, or it's not really for me, but that doesn't mean it's bad. And I actually, it relates everything we're talking about, I'm gonna bring it back. But I actually really think that when we look at what taste is, and what our taste is, our taste is informed by what we've already experienced. And a lot of what we've already experienced is the is from like, the dominant perspective of like, who holds the power and what have you. And so I think it's really interesting. The way that like, as these stories are given that the platform like, like you said, like, it's not like, they just appeared out of nowhere, these people have been here and writing these stories. And there's artwork that's been underground that maybe didn't get as much spotlight or platform capacities in the past. And now that these different types of stories are coming, I do kind of almost notice, like a how do I want to say this? Like there's a when people do critique things, or say, like, Oh, this isn't I don't like this isn't very good. Like, it does feel to me, like a lot of the time. That tastes it's there's no consideration of how that tastes might be informed by what you haven't been exposed to. Do you know what I'm saying? And do you have thoughts on that?

Robb Olson 1:12:42

Great point, by the way? That's an excellent point.

Michael David Wilson 1:12:46

Yeah, I mean, I completely agree with what you're saying. And in a rare moment of restraint, I don't think there's much that I need to add to it. You know, I've always I'd just be reiterating exactly what you've just said.

Robb Olson 1:13:05

I mean, it's like if, if you had if you just ate peanut butter and jelly your whole life, and suddenly you're reading like, like Indian food. It's not that the Indian foods bad is that your palate is not ready for something like that, like you haven't you haven't been exploring, like, all these flavors or something. So.

Lisa Quigley 1:13:23

And then there's this tendency to be like, Oh, it's not good. I don't want and it's like, well, what on what level of on? What merit? Are you? Are you even you? What barometer are you using? And I'm not saying that this just happens with, with voices that haven't been as much in the spotlight. But even when somebody does something that's, you know, I don't know, if you've read the carrier bag theory of fiction by Ursula Lygon. Ursula K Legon. And there's a or linguine I never can figure out how to say her name. So I'm very sorry. But she kind of talks about like, it's like a alternative to like the hero's journey and like the and I and I'm going to botch it, because it's been a while since I've read it. But how in the carrier bag theory of fiction, your, your kind of collecting things as you go. And it's more of a meandering story. And it's not necessarily following a specific type of structure. And so I don't know, this just has me thinking about like, what happens when we try experimental things that maybe don't fit? Like a certain all these different plot points, and then this Oh, it's not good. And then also like, that, it just for me, brings us back to where does that that version of good come from? And not saying that it's not good, but can there be other versions of good and I think that's something that is really exciting to me about horror right now is that there's so many people doing really just cool things and not feeling limited by it. I have to I have to fit some set type of narrative or whatever. Right?

Bob Pastorella 1:15:07

I think what we're seeing is a lot of people saying that things and I see this on social media. And I think it's more like a social construct when people say that something's bad. They're simply saying that they didn't like it, but which is fine not saying yeah, in other words, like, they have to say it like pools like, hey, you know, it's like, oh, I didn't really didn't like it. So I'm going to type in this was bad. Like, no, you just didn't like it. And that's, that's okay. I don't, I don't like a lot of things either. Okay, but you have to be willing to try it. And I think that's what's changed the landscape. It's like, you know, there's a push for diversity. No, there's more diverse voices in horror fiction now than there ever has been before. The door has been kicked open. And it's not going to close anytime soon. And this is the kick in the ass. That horror needed. It has been going, it's been coming on for the last probably 10 1215 years. Zombie started it. But we've killed the zombie. Sorry, David. But I mean, you know, and you're still making zombie stuff. But you know, David, David's probably going to try to kill me now. But David moody, but

Michael David Wilson 1:16:24

it's only book coming out. He's not for I know, he's

Bob Pastorella 1:16:27

gonna throw it at me. It'd be Bob now. But we're seeing now it's, this is going to propel Hora for probably the next 10 to 15 years because things are cyclic. And so this is a good thing, we need to ride the wave, the door has been kicked open, it's not going to shut anytime soon. And I'm all here for it. And I think that if more people would simply if they don't like something, to maybe try something else, instead of sticking with the same thing, then we'd have a lot more fans, a lot more people are interested in. And that's that's, you know, to me, it's that's where it needs to be. Yeah,

Robb Olson 1:17:15

talking about the I don't like it part of it, too. This is really quick. I'll point to Sadie Hartman, who doesn't do reviews anymore. She does responses to books. And I think that something that I evolved to, and one of the reasons I moved away from books was because we were a book review podcast, and I got tired of saying, This is what quality that this story is because it really was more kind of a judgment on me than on the book, like it was saying, this is what I liked. This is what I didn't like. So I think that the move away from evaluating something, and the move towards saying like, hey, this type of story would be good for this type of audience, I think, also helps to elevate people and their work to,

Lisa Quigley 1:18:06

you know, speaking of Sadie one time, I think it was like, as she started to move into the like less of a reviewer and more of a responder is she put out a tweet one time, and she was like, I'm not a critic. I'm a curator. And I just love that like not being and I actually feel that way about This Is Horror. I feel like that's what I like when you interview the authors, you're talking to them. You're saying you're learning about their lives, you're going into their stories, you're asking them vulnerable questions, and not just for the sake of being vulnerable. But I feel like there's a real genuine sense that you actually care and you want to you want to know and you want to give him a space to share. But what I've always loved about your show, and what inspired me even in the way I McKenzie and I did ladies with a fright was just that it wasn't about like, Are you a good writer or not? You know, it's like, Are you are you who are you? And what do you care about? And what do you write about? And in that sense, you're you're curating for the listener, because there's so many times that I would have seen the books you were talking about on the show, and seeing them on Instagram or somewhere and like was like, I don't know if I'll be into that. And then I listened to your episode with the author. I'm like, I really like that author. I think I'm gonna really like their book, I might read the book, or I get the book. So it's like, you're, it's like that scent. The vibe I get is that you're curating for the listener. Rather than just providing them with a this is good. This is bad. Like it's curating your print. You're giving the author a platform to share about themselves and then you're in that sense, you're almost Cure. Reading. For the listeners tastes are for the listeners, what the rest listener will resonate with? I was just gonna say I just want to say that was not a question. It was just me saying how awesome you?

Michael David Wilson 1:20:15

Well, thank you. I think a lot of This Is Horror, particularly these days and again, talking about the evolution is like we're finding out the story behind the story, because people want the story or you can buy the story, but we want to find out what what's behind that, what were the inspirations, but it's like we're getting to the core of each individual. So actually, my favorite conversations with offers are usually the first conversation I have with them. Because then I can find out like kind of about their life about these life lessons that I always like to talk about. And, you know, find out what, what is it that makes them tick, what is it that has shaped them and made them become the person that they are now. So in many ways, it's almost like a kind of, this is your life. And other people, sometimes kids will go to these painful places have said like, wow, this is like therapy. But that's, you know that that's what is kind of interesting. But it's been interesting that even though that that is the kind of mode that we're in now, because we're having some repeat conversations were fantastic offers like Max spoof and Eric La Rocca, it means that we're then almost going back to the beginning and deep diving into their books in a row recently with with Jordan Harper's latest book, of course, we've robbed for abnormal statistics by Max booth. So it is a little bit like we we've gone full circle. But But now, I mean, the way, the way that a conversation will often happen, because it's typically two hours and you the first half will be right, this is about you. And then the second half, this is about the specific book. And, and that is probably the format that kind of strikes that balance. And it's like if you want to find out about the person and their life lessons, then you'll listen to part one, if you just want to kind of dig in to the book, then part two is probably for you. So I don't know, part one is Tim Ferriss, and part two is talking scared if you want some comparisons of, of a podcast. You know, I think when when I kind of tripped over the word about like a push for diversity. Why I didn't like that. It's like I don't want I didn't want people to feel incorrectly and to misconstrue that. It's like, oh, you know, now it's like only diverse voices that are being published. And it's like, no, it's like diverse voices as an addition. There's nothing being taken away from the voices that we had before. We're just adding more. And that is an amazing thing. And also, you know, diverse voices are not published solely because they are diverse voices that is tokenism. That is bullshit. The stories that are published are really good fucking stories. And you know that that's the same with like, you know, what, why we interview who we interview, we interview people where we like their books, there's something about the book, there's something about the person. I'm probably articulating this really clumsily. But am I articulating this badly? I think you probably get the sense of what I'm trying to say if I'm not saying it quite correctly.

Robb Olson 1:24:31

Absolutely. I think recently for me, I have been really reveling in the idea of taking chances on people that I have not talked to you before but also have not heard other people talk to so I'm really liking the idea of just approaching new voices that are completely new to me, and just kind of taking a chance on just kind of expanding my my reach. And so far it's been fantastic. And that like so to me, I used to feel like the safe thing is to talk to the people I know and the people, I know that we're gonna have a conversation. And now it's more of like, Who Who am I doing myself a disservice by not talking to

Michael David Wilson 1:25:19

ya, let's say what are your thoughts on this?

Lisa Quigley 1:25:22

Oh, man, um, just the whole topic in general? Or? Yeah, I think, um, yeah, I understand why the word push doesn't feel right. But sometimes when you're reaching for the word, it's like, it's not there. And, you know, I think it's just the hesitation of, like, not wanting it. I don't know, how do I want to say this? Push almost sounds like it's a it's a grab, like, oh, let's just reach for Let's push for some diversity, you know, but really, what it is, is that the field is open, it's opening. And, and it's what people want. And I think, honestly, this, the stories that are coming from what we would call diverse voices are so rich, and so considered, and I think a lot of the times it, you know, it can be because, you know, thinking of that dominant narrative type of idea, or like the, you know, we're talking about when we're talking about voices that have been historically marginalized, we're talking about people who've had to put themselves in other people's shoes who've had you know, and offense, oftentimes at a detriment to themselves. So there's a nuance to stories from people who've had that experience. And I, I think it I would say that, you know, for myself, who's been in this field for about the last five years, I think that seeing this expansion of horror, and the richness of the stories that we're getting has been one of the things that has made this genre so good. You've been with this podcast for 10 years. I mean, that's a and 500 episodes. In podcast world, and terms, that's a really long time. So yeah, I'm wondering what I know, you both allow the podcast to naturally evolve as, like, I don't think you sit down and we're like, well, in the future, we're going to evolve this way, like things happen, and moments happen that allow the podcast to, and your approach to the podcast to change evolve. But I am wondering how you, how do you both keep it so it's something you want to show up to? That you're excited to show up to? So you're not because you talked earlier about like not wanting to phone it in and not wanting to just be like, well, we've been around 10 years, we could just whatever, like you keep that care, you keep that? That sense of responsibility? And so yeah, how do you how do you go about like keeping it fresh for yourself, so that you're still interested in that showing up?

Michael David Wilson 1:28:34

I think one way that it is kept fresh is simply having these new, amazing stories and writers. And so as long as there are good books, and a good writers, then there is a reason to keep showing up for these conversations. And I mean, as we're seeing there are more and more great offers and stories, then you know it for yours, like than there have ever been. And so I mean, what one of the kind of problems and it's a good problem to have is that I literally can't speak to all the people that I want to speak to. And I feel more so than ever. Not only are we have an incredible releases from the major, the big five publishers, but we're having so many fantastic independent presses, places like ghoulish places like tenebrous, cemetery gates, Crystal Lake publishing, have been doing things for, you know, a long time now almost as long as This Is Horror has been about. And so as long as these writers are showing up, and there are conversations to be had, and it's kind of like I was saying, at the start of the show when Rob was suggesting there might be some say have doubt and it's like, well, your unique voice is what makes, you know, the podcast special. And so their unique story makes these conversations and these books special. So, you know, who keeps us showing up the writers? The stories, that's what keeps showing up. And I should add to that, too, I mean, this idea of like, you know, there's so many people that I want to talk to, like, I sometimes feel like, you know, does someone think I'm snubbing them? Because I haven't interviewed them yet. And it's like, that's not the case at all. It's just that there are so many people. And also, you know, when I talk to somebody, I want to make sure that I have read a lot of their work that I have thoroughly researched them. One issue that I sometimes have, maybe even semi regularly have, is a publisher will contact me or a writer about a book and they're interested in coming on the show. Well, when's the book out? Two days, or it just came out? And it's like that. I, I wanted, do you and your book justice, and I can't, if that's happening. So I mean, in those cases, is probably going to be like, Okay, I'm interested, I want to read the book, I'm going to what's your next release? Let me prepare to talk to you in a year. Because I, I don't want to sit down and not have a proper conversation that you deserve. I want to be respectful of your time and respectful of your book. And, you know, II, This Is Horror, conversation is different, some will go heavily into the book. Some will barely talk about it. But you better believe that each conversation I'm prepared to talk about the book, and I have read it. And I don't know how this translates for listeners. But I would hope that even in the conversations where we barely mentioned the book, that there's something that allows you the listener to know that I am familiar with the book that I am familiar with that writer.

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