TIH 521: Sadie Hartmann ‘Mother Horror’ on 101 Horror Books to Read Before You’re Murdered, Future Projects, and Horror Fiction Subgenres

TIH 521 Sadie Hartmann ‘Mother Horror’ on 101 Horror Books to Read Before You're Murdered, Future Projects, and Horror Fiction Subgenres

In this podcast, Sadie Hartmann talks about 101 Horror Books to Read Before You’re Murdered, future projects, horror fiction subgenres, and much more.

About Sadie Hartmann

Sadie Hartmann is an active member of the Horror Writers Association and a co-owner of Nightworms, a popular horror fiction subscription company. Sadie also reviews horror fiction for Cemetery Dance Online and Scream Magazine.

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Denny just wants to be the world’s best dad to his baby daughter, but things get messy when he starts hallucinating his estranged abusive stepfather, Frank. Then Frank winds up dead and Denny is held hostage by his junkie half-sister who demands he uncovers the cause of her father’s death.

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Michael David Wilson 0:28

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 with the world's best writers about writing, life lessons, creativity, and much more. Now today, we are counting with Mother Horror, Sadie Hartmann. It is the first time in over three years that we've spoken to Sadie. And it is for a brilliant reason because she has recently put out her debut book 101 horror books to read before you're murdered. And this is a book that, quite frankly, should be on everyone's coffee table. It is a fantastic compendium of the horror genre, collecting so many great books from the last 10 years and really giving you a kind of Encyclopedia of what to read. And it is broken down into a number of categories to there are also guest essays from authors such as Cassandra Khaw and Eric LaRocca. So it's a brilliant book and we are joined by Sadie to talk about it. We're also going to talk about what she's been up to, since we last spoke about three and a half years ago. And as always, we'd jump into some pretty meaty topics. Now before we get into this conversation, a little bit of an advert break.

Bob Pastorella 2:10

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Michael David Wilson 3:15

Okay with that said, here it is it is Sadie Hartman on desses hora. Sadie, welcome back to This Is Horror.

Sadie Hartmann 3:27

Thank you for having me.

Michael David Wilson 3:29

So I was looking at when we last spoke, and it was in fact, early 2020. Yeah, I'm wondering, what have been the biggest changes for you, both personally and professionally, since we last spoke in April 2020. Yeah, so

Sadie Hartmann 3:53

a lot actually, I've been I was invited to write a book in the early part of 2021. I took a hiatus from all of my writing platforms. So like screen magazine, and cemetery dance. So I haven't been reviewing as much since 2021. I wrote my book in 2022. So I pretty much dedicated most of that year to reading a lot of horror that I maybe have missed out on. And it was a great year I spent a lot of time reading instead of writing book reviews because I was writing for the book, my book and night worms was continuing to grow since then. So you know, we have a lot more subscribers since 2020. Although we grew exponentially in 2020. That was a great year for us because with all the COVID quarantine and shut downs and everything people really They needed those horror books delivered to their door because they weren't able to like go to physical bookstores and things. So we did grow quite a bit. And we thought the wheels would fall off of publishing. Like we thought just like everything else, like the publishing industry was probably going to slow down, but it kind of amped up as well. So that was good. It was a it was a good time for for publishing for horror Publishing. 2020.

Michael David Wilson 5:28

Yeah, yeah. And already, you've given me so many directions that I can go in. I want to know, what was the initial impetus for the hiatus in terms of reviewing because in terms of the non fiction book, you said that that came a little bit later. So why did you initially decide let's stop reviewing for a bit?

Sadie Hartmann 5:56

Well, I mean, I saw I don't know, I mean, when when you're just in your, you have your head down, and you're doing the work. Like, you don't really think that people are aware of everything that you're doing. And I do a lot like I during 2020, I had a Patreon that I was managing. I have night worms, I had several different reviewing platforms. You know, so I had a lot going on. And the reason why I took a hiatus from the reviewing is really just to focus more on reading and writing the book. Because I also write articles for different platforms as well like the lineup and lit reactor. And all of that takes a lot of time. Like I put a lot of extensive research and time into writing those articles. And so that would always detract from other things that I needed or wanted to do. And I just, I really have been back really lightly. I have written a few like articles for the lineup and and let reactor since taking a hiatus. But I haven't gone back to my reviewing publications, I haven't gone back to cemetery dance or screen magazine. I don't know it just kind of feels like conflict of interest at this point as well. Like I'm also working for a publisher, I'm working for Pandy press, which is owned by Casey Lansdale. So I'm doing social media work for them. I'm curating horror for my own imprint called dark heart through dark matter magazine, although that's experiencing a new transition to which I haven't announced yet, so I really can't talk about it. But yeah, just things move and shift and change. And then I have to make adjustments so that you know, all of the different things that I'm doing aren't in competition with each other, if that makes sense.

Michael David Wilson 8:02

Yeah. When are you going to make the Dark Hart announcement?

Sadie Hartmann 8:08

Very soon? Like, if not this week, then probably next week?

Michael David Wilson 8:13

Is this something we could talk about now? Because this will be airing after?

Sadie Hartmann 8:19

Oh, maybe so, yeah, maybe I should go ahead and talk about it.

Michael David Wilson 8:24

Yeah, so what what's happening is the big change.

Sadie Hartmann 8:29

Okay, so, um, Dark Hart is an imprint. And an imprint is different than being a publisher. So I think that sometimes that can be confusing for people. So when people saw that dark heart that I was the editor in chief of dark heart, I think they automatically assumed that that has something to do with publishing horror. And while it is an aspect of publishing horror, I am not the institution behind it. I'm not the money behind it. I'm not funding it. I'm not in the production part of it. I'm mostly just curating for a line of novels. And it was going really well. And you know, I enjoyed acquiring work for dark heart. Um, but other offers have kind of since come about, and I feel more suited for those. So yeah, we're just going to transition dark heart into more of a curated line that is similar to what I did with my dark library for cemetery gates. And so all the novel novels that I acquired and novel novelettes that I required for dark heart are going to be like my dark library, and then this new position that I'm taking on with something else is in the curation department as well. So I just just I felt like the confusion between like, oh, dark heart is a publishing company like it wasn't. And so I felt like there was some confusion there and that I'm more suited towards the curation part. That makes sense. I'm trying to be really careful with my words. But if that makes sense, if you have any questions like, let me know.

Michael David Wilson 10:19

Yeah, yeah, it absolutely does make sense. And we certainly see why you're still also taking a back seat with the reviewing, because now you have so much more. Yeah, you know, to take on but not only that, as you say, it's like the potential conflict of interest. And, yeah, I mean, it's a gray area, being a reviewer and a writer, or a curator or a publisher. And, I mean, it did the same with me. I guess I started out more reviewing. And then, as I'm getting things published, I was like I, that just felt it wasn't really working for me doing doing the two. But I actually aren't on the topic of reviewing I love what I've seen, you've been doing recently, which is if you mentioned something called Good Reads, there's no stars. So it's just here's the text. Here are some thoughts. And me and Bob have been saying for a long time, just how arbitrary the star system is anyway, because they like it like it almost. It just seems to be little, in a sense, the entire review, and how do you say, what is a three or a four? What is a four or a five? It's such a small scale, anyway, and even to stop hierarchically ranking these books? I mean, how would one possibly say, Whatever my heart is, again, so is better than a head full of ghosts. They're just completely different books doing different things. So I love that you've done that. And I think, you know, we want people to have our thoughts on a book rather than just focusing on this star system.

Sadie Hartmann 12:19

Yeah, I think that the reviewing, you know, just calling it even a review, has put like expectations on the person talking about the book that really don't need to be there, especially for Goodreads, which is just a very casual environment for readers to put their thoughts out there for other readers to enjoy. I feel like there's this distance and this, this sort of like animosity between the author and the reviewer, where there's even just like a lot of fighting and bickering that goes on and social spaces over, you know, well, this reviewer said this, and this author is behaving badly and all this stuff that goes on. And I really think it's because of all the expectations that come with the word review, and the star rating system. So instead of, you know, an author reading an entire review, and just understanding that this is a response to the book, which is totally valid, like, when we're listening to music, or we're watching a movie, like we all respond, like we all have thoughts that are going on in our head. And these are just a like a written kind of expression of what this person felt while they were reading or watching or listening, you know, to some sort of artistic expression. So to say that that's a review is just a, it's a stretch at the least. And then it's just so much more at the most because it's not a critical review. Oftentimes, it's not in a magazine, it's not trying to bear any way. It's not suggesting that there needs to be changes made. It's not calling into question the author's like ability, like, they might do all of those things. Sure. But I think that it just is creating this, like, over exaggeration of what these responses on Goodreads really are, which people are able to just respond critically to things that they're, they're listening to or be positive about like and, and they can just gosh, like all of my early reviews are really just gushing about things that I enjoy. There's no real there's no real thought or intention put into a lot of my early reviews. I'm basically just kind of telling my mom to read a book or not, you know, because I started in 2012 and would just be like, Mom, this book was so good. Oh my god read it. You know, that's not a review. That's a fucking response. Yeah,

Bob Pastorella 14:55

yeah. It's funny because you have these people that they write He's casual reviews, and a try to make him at the same level as somebody who's, you know, a professional critic. And there's, there's a difference there. And professional critics write for newspapers to news, and you know, and news outlets and things like that they do it for clicks, they do it for advertising, they do it for money, but they also have an opinion. And these people have seen or read hundreds 1000s of books, you know, and so they and they have valid interpretations, and things like that, and you don't necessarily have to agree with them. But the average reviewer sees that and says, I can do that, too. And usually it's like, no, you can't. Sorry. Sorry. And, you know, it's, it kind of goes back to one and reasons like, you know, what Mike was talking about? Why, you know, I don't write reviews, I'd love to, I would only review things I like, and I got tired of how trying to figure out how many different ways I can say you need to buy this book, you know? Because it's usually what it's what it amounts to, as I did you like it, you need to buy it. Do you want me to buy it for you? I mean, because I need you to read it. You know if you need me to buy it for you just say two words, and I can then I can get it okay. Yeah, I read it and I'm gonna hound you about it because I thought it was good. You know, I want I want that Arthur to be able to reap the rewards of that. But casually on Goodreads, you know, and then the star system? What are you going to give him a 3.47 stars? So how does that actually work? Was it a 3.64?

Sadie Hartmann 16:33

Well, and they don't need to have stars, you know, good reads don't even give you that ability. So yeah, like Michael was saying the difference between a three and a four, I was just starting to get really annoyed with the fact that I was even having to decide, like, is this a three or four. So I really just wanted people to read the words behind what I was saying. And it has really helped shape, the way that I think about books and the way that I think about writing, and able to just communicate to other readers how my experience went, like, I listened to an audiobook, here's how I felt about the narrator here's how the story made me feel, you know, mood wise, or what the aesthetics were like, or what I was doing when I was reading it. And, you know, other books and movies that, you know, came to mind while I was hearing the book or reading the book, like those are the things readers really want to know, you know, they don't really want to hear you. You know, Dragon author for whatever hot take is, you know, this book is conjuring up for you like, in my opinion. I mean, I'm sure there's some people that show up for that. But that's not what I was. That's that's not what I was doing.

Bob Pastorella 17:46

No books make us feel we should be able to express those feelings in a way without having some type of, you know, objective standard on a subjective medium.

Michael David Wilson 17:59

Yes, agreed, as happens quite a lot. In this podcast, I will have to respond to something Bob said suggesting that perhaps people reviewing on Goodreads can never be kind of as good as those who are so called professional reviewers. And I just disagree with that. And I know, as we've all had these times where I pedantically call out Bob, that this was not Bob's intention at all. But of course there are people who a so called not professional reviewers. And it's almost a silly distinction anyway, because there's no qualification that means you are now right, a pro reviewer. But there are definitely people who review on Goodreads and they put far more time and consideration and critique into the review. Then somebody who I don't know had a little column in a newspaper, and they were clearly just kind of reining it in. And I would even question did they actually read the book or watch the film that they seem to be attempting to review anyway? So I know what you mean, but I don't Yeah, certainly. Yeah. Yeah, I

Bob Pastorella 19:21

didn't want to sound like I was putting those professional, you know, people who actually do it for a living on some kind of pedestal and then be listening people there. It's obviously you know, people who can write, you know, really, really great reviews and be critical and, you know, hit the highs and lows, the goods and the bads and all that kind of stuff. I'm talking in general terms in broad, broad general terms. So that kind of, you know, I mean, it's that that was my intention on the statement. Yeah, I

Sadie Hartmann 19:57

agree. I agree to like you delve There, there is a distinction to be had. Because if you do look it up any any lookup book reviewer or whatever, like it does make a distinction about like something that's in like a newspaper or a magazine has like a critical slant. And it's not even about money being exchanged, because we know that some of the bigger platforms, you, the publishers, or the authors have to pay for those reviews. Like, it's not just those platforms, picking up whatever book and deciding to review it like it has to be paid for. Which, you know, could definitely muddy the water like and so it's a whole big thing. And I think that there are really good reviewers, both professionally because they are being paid to do so for a platform and unprofessionally on Goodreads who have wonderful reviews that I I take as gospel you know, like there are certain people that I follow where if they like something, I generally go and buy it, because I just love their recommendation, regardless of where it's published.

Michael David Wilson 21:08

Yeah, yeah. And I feel when I went from reviewing and not being paid to reviewing and being paid the reviews were pretty similar. Same here that I did have, or I have had two kind of incidents that showed the potential corruption that money can have. I mean, I was aware of this before I've not been living in this world. So naively, I'm like what money and power it used, disadvantage and advantage different people, but to separate incidents, one, I was writing for a publication. And I turned in my very honest review, as I often do, and they didn't want to accept it because the person had paid to advertise in the issue that this review will be going out. And then they're like, can you change the review? Can you make it more positive? And I was like, No, absolutely not. This is one of the worst books that I've ever read. I think as well, back in those days, I mean, over a decade ago now, possibly influenced by my old and not so long term co host John Costello, I would be very in your face with my negative criticism in a way that I would not do now. And it's like, probably a bit unnecessary to be so well, potentially rude about it. Yeah. But I just don't know, like, you've, you're paying me to write a review. So I'm writing a review. This is my honest opinion, this is what you're getting. And then on the other end, and this has happened a number of times, yeah, I've contacted publications about review. And then they've said, Well, if you take out our advertising, then we can also run a review of your book. It's like, no, no, that is, yeah, that was one time when a very reputable publication in the UK, did the hat to me, and it's like, we're not playing that game. You know, I'm here to see if you want to review it. But yeah, I mean, I, I almost respect more the publications that are at least honest. And say, you know, all our reviews are paid for, at least you're being transparent, rather than trying to package it in with advertising. Now, I still, at the moment, I wouldn't pay to get a review. And I wouldn't accept money to review something, either. And I mean, I'm very clear as well, when people take out This Is Horror, Podcast advertising, or they asked for reviews and we're having the same conversation. It's like neither are contingent on the other. So these are not related at all. If you take out advertising, that doesn't mean you're more likely to get a review or appear on the show. But if you don't, that doesn't mean you're somehow not going to be on the show, or reviewed either. These are separate things and I think, yeah, it can almost be it can muddy the waters when you're offering both so versus anyway.

Sadie Hartmann 25:01

Yeah, and I mean, just to make a distinction, like I do get paid for reviews. And it isn't to, to make the distinction, it's not being paid to review it in a certain way. So it's mostly just because you need compensation for the time and effort that you're putting into writing a review, just like an author gets compensation for writing. So that's the distinction. Yes, there are paid reviewers out there. That doesn't mean that they are being bought and sold, it means that they are being compensated for their time and energy to write the review is the difference.

Bob Pastorella 25:37

The compensation is coming from the publisher. Correct?

Michael David Wilson 25:41

I don't know if in my early morning, spiel, I misspoke there, but I'll clarify. Yes. So of course, I get paid to review. What I'm saying is I wouldn't take money to write a favorable review. Yes, yes. Well, I mean, we've all these publishing and publishing tangental ventures that you have, what is dividing up your time in the publishing sphere going to look like going forward? Because of course, you mentioned the work that you've been doing for cemetery gates media, for dark heart. Now the new venture? Is it Oh, shifting towards the new venture? Or are you dipping a little in a little bit here a little bit there. I mean, it is always remarkable and very admirable, just how many things you have going on?

Sadie Hartmann 26:46

Yeah, I mean, I think that sometimes from the outside, it might look like I'm just kind of like, trying everything and doing everything. But to be honest, from the inside to give you the inside scoop on how this all plays out. I need to try things in order to see how they fit like I need, if I'm having opportunities come at me, I don't want fear, or a wrong assumption, or, you know, a misunderstanding of the industry or what the business looks like to, you know, cloud, my judgment on whether or not something would be a good fit for me. So I just try it, you know, I just try to see what it's like. And if it doesn't really suit me, or I'm not having fun, or I don't feel like I'm contributing anything to the industry. In that capacity, then I just let that go. And I try something else. So I think that that was the lesson that I've learned with different things that I've tried, like, you know, reviewing, I will always read and write my response because I love sharing those with with other people. So whether or not I'm in a paid venue or not, I will always be sharing. Right now I'm sharing those first and foremost on Patreon. So my Patreon audience gets all my reviews first, and then I cross post, to Goodreads or Amazon. And I'm not currently being paid to do reviews unless I pitch something to lit reactor or the lineup. So that's what I'm doing on the reviewing front. And then in the publishing front, like, I just learned that the business side of the table is just not for me, like it takes up a lot of time, it moves very slowly. Like, I just wasn't having a lot of fun in that regard. Like I just don't want to be on that side of the table. So I decided to sort of let that lapse, let that go. And I'm in really good professional relationships with a lot of people where we have honest conversations about these things. So you know, Rob Carroll at Dark Matter magazine, and I just have conversations periodically, like how are you feeling? How does this working for you? Like, what do you like about it? What do you not like about it? And we just have these conversations openly and honestly. And we've just let that transition into, okay, she curated a line of novels, she acquired, you know, five, six novels for, you know, Dark Matter media. Now she's gonna move on and do something else. And this new venture is more in the line of curation. And, you know, night worms is always going to be a fun thing. Like the we're going into our fifth year of business, Ashley, and I love working together. We love curating the packages. We have a lot of fun doing that. So that's always going going to be there. I do love writing, like writing 101 horror books before you're murdered. I do love that. I would love to do that again. But it does take up a lot of time and it takes up a lot of you know, time that I like to spend reading so I mean, I'm not going to jump whole hog into an author role. But I will take opportunities here and there.

Michael David Wilson 29:54

You know you saying that you've been running night worms for five years. I'm almost surprised that it hasn't been longer in a very complimentary way. Because I feel that in those five years, night ones, it has become part of the fabric of the horror fiction community to a point where it almost feels like well, will night ones didn't didn't that always exist? Hasn't that been there since the dawn of time? And yeah, so it is remarkable to take stock and think, you know, you formed this five years ago, it if you'd have said it was 10 years ago, or longer than that, I would have believed you.

Sadie Hartmann 30:40

Oh, that's very complimentary. I mean, we do have a lot of fun with that business. And night worms, I'm really proud to say, is one of the largest purchasers of indie horror fiction, like there's just no one can compete. Like there's bookstores and brick and mortar stores. And sure Barnes and Noble makes some purchases here or there. But we buy a large volume of indie horror fiction at one time, and you know, it's a sizable purchase. And we believe in supporting indie fiction, and supporting indie artists. We, we, you know, custom, our custom requests our artwork, from various different artists for the bookmarks, well, we have an in house designer that we've had for quite some time who does all of our bookmarks, but for the stickers for the magnets, we go outside and try to find, you know, suppliers of tea and coffee, and they're always, you know, pretty much small mom and pop businesses, like we believe really firmly in supporting that. And so yeah, I'm we're really proud of it. We're proud of the fact that, like you said, it just seems like it's always been like a part of the fabric of the horse industry and just keeps those wheels turning. We we want to make sure that India is always an option for readers, and that there's not just a traditional market deciding what is available for readers.

Michael David Wilson 32:06

Yeah, I think the exciting thing, particularly about the day that we're living in, and digital innovations is that in the will now always exist, we have the tools, the gates are open, they ain't closing. And so we've now got, you know, so many routes to hear about these books to buy these books to publish these books. And I think it's so exciting. And I love that we have these two options, anyway. And we're seeing a lot of writers as well go that kind of hybrid off Route, which I think is really, really exciting, too. I mean, GM or more springs to mind. The UK or for David moody has been doing a kind of hybrid model for his entire career. At Adam Neville, I was going to include him as a hybrid offer, but Adam has really shifted towards in the these days, like Ray,

Sadie Hartmann 33:16

I love it for him. Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 33:19

And, I mean, he actually was, I believe, before being published, he was working within publishing he was working for, for Virgin. So he's seen the kind of inner workings and he's decided to opt for the indie route. Anyway, Chuck Wendig is is another almost OG of the hybrid model. And, you know, the more options we have as both writers and readers, the better everything is,

Sadie Hartmann 33:53

yeah, and there's really no difference in terms of purchasing to so like, just from a purchasing standpoint, we worked with Adam Neville to carry the vessel in one of our night worms packages, and it was just as seamless if not better, working with Adam to get his book in our package than it was working with a rep from a large Big Five publisher. I mean, it was we had custom service like you know, we were able to email Adam and talk to him about you know, ordering and, and the best possible way to ship it and you know, everything from from every point of production to getting here to my house, to him signing bookplates like the whole nine yards like he was his own best advocate for his work and to have that line of communication directly to the author and then bring it right to his audience. It was it was amazing and we would do it again in a heartbeat. So you know, he is definitely going like his his doing his part packaging horror in the way that he wants to. And he has the all the decisions of the covers in the production and everything is his and I think that's powerful.

Michael David Wilson 35:14

Yeah. And I mean, Adam Nevels books always looked very distinctive. But I think since forming rich, you're limited, he has taken the game to a whole new level. And every single book, it looks like an iconic kind of heavy metal black metal cover. And I know that that's exactly the type of music and what he's into. But it's so it's so fucking cool. Which is maybe not the most intelligent observation to make, but sometimes you gotta say, it's fucking cool man. Yeah, yeah, it's

Bob Pastorella 35:56

crazy, because it took it took traditional publishing to die in Hora for Andy to come back. And now traditional publishing is trying to emulate what what Indian small presses done. And I find that I always find that fascinating because everything shifts and morphs and things like that. We're on a, we're on a high that probably, if I had to guess we're probably right. At the peak of, of a long shift in horror fiction, this state is going to probably go out for a long time. How long? I don't know. I'm not an expert on that. There's other people who have guesses some lean to the negative some only to the positive, I feel me personally, that this is going to be a way that we're going to be able to ride for many, many years. And I just think it's to me, it's almost funny. How traditional publishing has is trying to copy something that they ruin. To begin with, you know, in the 90s is like, Guys, y'all screwed this up last time. Please don't screw it up again.

Michael David Wilson 37:07

Right, and think it will be screwed up, because we were seeing as well, just more on on filter word, but kind of sub divisions within bigger companies. So I mean, you look at tour Nightfire. And so then they're employing these really passionate, lifelong horror advocates and writers and editors. So I think if you put the right people behind the publishing house, and you put fans of the genre, people who love this, then it's not going to fail. The time when it starts to fail is when you put kind of for one of better phrasing, numbers, people, just people looking at the bottom dollar, they don't really care about the product that trying to just predict trends. And we've said time and time again, if you're looking at what the new thing is, it's going to be unlike whatever the past thing was. So there's no point being like, I don't know, let's make another Harry Potter may be a bad example, in his climate now. But it used to be a good example. And it's too early to think of another but yeah, say another kind of boy wizard book, that's not going to be the new thing. Because we've seen that already. The new thing is going to be completely original. So I knew. Yeah, but I don't think it's going to fail because of the people that we've got behind it. And you know, what if some of these big publishers, if they said, Well, we're closing, for example, tonight via let's just continue with that, then actually, it wouldn't fail, because the people who are passionate who are working there would say, Okay, we're going to form our own indie press. So I don't see it failing. I think that horror is on the app, and it's going to continue to be on the app. Also, because people like all three of us in this conversation, we won't let it fail. There are enough of us that if stuff starts happening, then it's like, no, we're going to resurrect it. We're going to keep it alive.

Sadie Hartmann 39:34

Yeah, that's exactly right. I mean, even the editor who approached me and wrote me an email inviting me to write this book. She works for page street publishing. And this was her first editing venture. And they, I mean, for lack of a better word, took a chance on her and her idea, she pitched it to the board. To Page street publishing is an in not an imprint, but they're distributed by Macmillan. So I mean, it had to find its funding somewhere. And here we are, you know, and the book is out. And we were able to work on this project together. And she has had been a longtime follower of my account, and is an avid horror reader. I'm an avid horror reader, the two brains came together. And we created this book for other horror readers. And it's being supported by a big five company in distribution. So, I mean, there's always as as long as there are fans, and eager people waiting to receive, you know, horror, then there's always going to be somebody to distribute it.

Michael David Wilson 40:51

Yeah. And let's jump in to 101 horrible books to read before you're murdered. So in terms of this email, so I believe it was Alexandra Murphy, who emailed you, how did you two first meet? Or was that actually your first contact with her?

Sadie Hartmann 41:12

Yeah, so I opened my night worms email, and saw that she had written this invitation. And I was just kind of in shock. And beside myself, I didn't really believe that. What she was asking was what she was asking. I was like, Is this for real? Like, somebody's asking me to write this book. And, you know, I wrote her back, like, Let me think about it. This is sounds crazy. Like, let me just give it a thought. And I sat with it and marinated on it for a while and thought, like, I don't know about this, because my big thing has always been like, I don't want to change my conversational voice, to write reviews. Like, I just kind of want to do what I do, I want to say Fuck this, I want to say, you know, read this book, before you're murdered kind of thing, like I want to be able to have by voice. And I thought, like, the idea of writing, like a book that would be published and distributed by Macmillan was really intimidating, I thought, I don't know, they're gonna ask me to be professional, they're gonna ask me to like, you know, put on this whole like, writer voice that I'm not used to. But they assured me that there would be a meeting and that we would be able to discuss these things. And during the meeting, Alexandra said, like, she was very protective of my conversational tone. She's like, I want Sadie to be able to write this, in her voice, the way that she does on Bookstagram. Like, we don't want you to have to change anything about your personality, or the way you pitch books to other readers. Like we really just want what you're doing already, in your reviews, and on Bookstagram and social media to just be packaged in a book for a wider audience. And once she said that, like I was sold, like, I was like, Oh, I can do that. Like I write reviews all the time, if I just have to take 101 of those and stitch them together with like, longer introductions, like I do for articles, like, yeah, I could do that.

Michael David Wilson 43:13

Yeah. And when you got the initial pitch, how much information in terms of what they were looking for? Or what they were suggesting was given? I mean, did you know at that point that it was 101 horror books? Or was it more? We like what you're doing? Do you want a nonfiction horror related book? What have you got? I'm wondering how, yeah, who came up with what? Or rules or guidance were you given? And, you know, was there much back and forth to get this right of it? And of course, what you've said about, you know, you've been clear that you needed to have your conversational tone that you've always had, and to of course, maintain, you know, what you're known for, and your stamp your authenticity.

Sadie Hartmann 44:08

Yeah, I mean, we in this meeting, we really did have like a meeting of the minds like there were expectations that they thought would be, you know, the most marketable and the most like, inclusive to all horror fans, like they wanted to make sure that this wasn't super niche like that this would be embracing of like, seasoned horror fans and new war fans, and like it would have meet everyone in the middle. So they had expectations for that. And then I really had a concern that there are so many lists out there on the internet, that I didn't want to replicate that in any way. So I thought that this should be a modern list of four, because I could already potentially see pitfalls that I would find like trying to include Rosemary's Baby and Psycho and Dracula that would squeeze out like horror books that I will wanted to include that were released, you know, this year. So I was pretty adamant about the fact that it needed to be current, like it needed to be from like 2000 to now. And they were really cool about that. I also felt like it was really important that there should be some author spotlights because I was already foreseeing myself trying to pick a book from like, you know, on one Alma katsu book or one Stephen Graham Jones book, and I was like, No, we're gonna have to have like some kind of, here's an author that really represents the genre that has a huge back catalogue type of thing. I also wanted this to be very like Stephen King, overarching kind of godfather of horror, but not necessarily list any of his books in the 101. Because how, like, there's no way I could never pick a favorite Stephen Graham or a Stephen King. So like, you know, I wanted to just be able to talk about him, but not really include him on the list. And so there were lots of things that we would just throw at each other like this, where it was like, well, it should kind of be like this. What do you think about that? Yeah, that's good. But what about this potential situation that could come up? So I mean, I don't really know who there were, there were things going back and forth in the meeting room that were their idea. And my idea, and then we really just listened to each other, and came up with a good guideline. And then they were called by my publishing team would send me you know, these like, outlines, like, here's, here's basically what we talked about, because there was so many ideas, like, try to fit this into an outline, and then we'll go over that, and then we'll talk about this. So there were lots of milestones, and markers along the way that I met during that time.

Michael David Wilson 46:58

Yeah, and I love that you made a point of not including Stephen King, but then, as you have done quite a number of things. In your introduction, you kind of included him by saying that you weren't going to include him and then mentioning a number of Stephen King's stories and books. Yeah, you know, like Salem's Lot and like the talisman, I believe, as well as mentioned. So, I mean, in a way, your book is little bit like Dan's McCobb in, you need to make notes as you're reading it, because you're going to reference books at any given time. That is, this isn't the featured book, but I'm just gonna make a reference that you might like this one, as well. And I would even argue that by mentioning that you weren't going to include House of Leaves on the right on in, because they didn't quite vibe with view that you kind of included them too, because there are going to be people who think, particularly if I haven't read them, like hang on a minute, Sadie is searching authority on horror. Why didn't she like that? I'm gonna have to check them out. And so you're going to get people who will read those, as well. So your anti recommendation became a recommendation.

Sadie Hartmann 48:20

Yeah. And also, I mean, that, yes, I definitely, there's probably like at least 150 to 200 recommendations in here, there's not just 101 Because I do mention a lot of other books. But also that was Alexandra's, like vision was to have kind of these like side boxes throughout to kind of break up long portions of text and have like little games or more recommendations or little asides that don't necessarily fit within like the larger conversation, just to make it like more engaging and interactive. So those were really fun to decide, like, what kind of little side boxes we were gonna do throughout the book. And then also, it was her idea to have it illustrated, like, I love an illustrated book. And so when she came up with that idea, I was just over the moon, I couldn't believe that that was going to be part of the budget, to have this whole thing illustrated, which I think horror and illustrations go together so perfectly like to just have that visual. Just really seals it in people's minds, I think.

Michael David Wilson 49:32

Yeah, yeah. And, I mean, when I was first speaking to your publisher about checking out a review, copy, they were insistent that it's like, no, you need to visually see it because I'm like, well, we can just have an ePub It's like no, you don't understand. You can't just have the text for this and yeah, yeah. Now the of course I've seen it that there's a physical copy. Maybe you can see it hanging out behind Carry On the video kind of in the center between. But I mean it, it looks, it looks fantastic. It's so great. And it is it is a book that I mean, you can kind of you can read it in any order. And you can just pick it up and flick through it for some inspiration. And to get like a kind of reading recommendation. And I mean, even if you're well versed in horror, you're probably going to find even if you choose a random a random page that there's going to be things that are referenced that you haven't read yet. So it Yeah, I guess when there's a book that's so visual, it probably can make you a little bit nervous because it like you've really got to nail it. Because if you get the aesthetic wrong, then it could destroy the book. But if you get it right, as you might certainly have, then it's like, oh, we're taking this to another level. And I mean even even like the the quality of the paper, the finish it's it's just so well done.

Sadie Hartmann 51:13

Thank you. I really just hats off to the artists Marco Antonelli, like he so when they hired him, and they showed me, you know, samples of his artwork, I was like, yes, all day, I love this guy's artwork, it's so good. And then, you know, there were different portions of the book that we wanted Illustrated, like obviously the like overarching, like main topics like supernatural, paranormal natural order. But, you know, there's these bigger chapters, and then there's like, smaller chapters within that. And we wanted big pieces of art for those. And they would send over all of the things that they wanted to have illustrations for, and then he would do sketches and send those back. And every time they would send me his artwork, there was never a time where his art didn't match what was in my mind for these chapters. Like, I don't we were just so in sync. And we would didn't even have one conversation. The two of us like it was just whatever was in his mind for demon possession was exactly what I would have wanted for it. So I mean, there's like, there's a few in there that are my favorites. Like the one for body horror, for example, when I saw that one, I was like, this is this is exactly what I would want for body horror. Like it was so weird, like I never rejected or sent back to the drawing board any of his illustrations, like they really are just so good.

Michael David Wilson 52:46

Um, so you were being sent, the illustrations kind of answered. They were being created. So you're getting a live kind of version of this book coming to life.

Sadie Hartmann 52:57

Yeah, I mean, the way that the cover looks is exactly the way it looked in the sketch, like for the first time when I first saw it, and it was all in blue sketches. It was all outlined. I saw I didn't see the color, but he had, you know, wrote in word he wrote in words like, Oh, this is going to be red, and this is going to be black. So they showed me the sketch. This is your cover, you know, what do you think about it? And he nailed it on the first time. Like there was no back and forth. Like I wasn't like, oh, I don't like the hand popping out of the ground. Or I don't like this little spider or I don't like the way the book looks like there. I had no notes for him. It was like yes, it's amazing. I love it. Like every time like he just really knocked it out of the park.

Michael David Wilson 53:42

Yeah, I mean, the cover is iconic evokes things such as night at the living dead and carry straight away.

Sadie Hartmann 53:52

Yeah, yeah. He understood the assignment.

Michael David Wilson 53:55

Yeah, if anyone sent that it's like, yeah, that's the one. Yeah. Sorry. Yeah. No notes. Completed.

Sadie Hartmann 54:06

First time every time. Yes.

Michael David Wilson 54:09

Yeah. Now, as we've said, there are far more than 101 horror books in this book. Why did you decide upon 101 horror books as the title and who came up with that?

Sadie Hartmann 54:29

I think it was Alexandra and the first title that we had for it for a long time, which is how it was announced in Publishers Marketplace was 101 horror books to read before you die. But then later on, she was like, I wish we could just do 101 More books to read before you're murdered. Like before you die kind of suggest that you have like ample time to read all of these books, you know, but murdered is like you could be murdered at any given time, like somebody could come in and, you know, take your life, and so we just kind of like kicked it around. And she was like, I'm just gonna ask if that would be appropriate. Like if we could do that. And then she came back and was like, yeah, they're fine with it. Like, we could totally run with that title, if you like it. And, of course, I thought it was, you know, great. So yeah, I'm pretty sure it was her idea. And 101 just sounds like 100 is just to round of a number. Like, you need something for horror to be a little off center. So 100 and one's like, extra?

Michael David Wilson 55:39

Yeah, yeah, yeah. 101 is off center. But 114 would be to

some kind of cemetery, though, it would be funny to call it 114. If like, actually, you counted it up, and it had 256. was going on? Why? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, the only really, the only way you could get away with a seemingly random number would be if it wasn't actually random. So you came up with like, you know, the door in the shining, for example, then yeah, now you've got a number that that has some sort of meaning.

Sadie Hartmann 56:25

Yeah, those iconic numbers that show up in horror a lot.

Michael David Wilson 56:29

Yeah. Yeah. But I mean, in terms of the sub categories, I mean, I love that too. Because not only have you divided it into these broader categories, like human months, that's for example, but then you've whittled it down into other sub genres. So at what point? Did that part of the process come up? And I mean, did you have a limit to the amount of sub genres you were going to include? Because this is another thing in horror, where it's like, well, we could almost have 101 sub genres of horror, but that's slightly overbearing.

Sadie Hartmann 57:18

Yeah, so this is kind of something that we do on Bookstagram kind of a lot. So when like Ashley and I are recommending books to people, on Bookstagram are doing a post, we kind of categorize things by like their vibe or tropes or sub genres, like already and automatically, just because that just seems to be a way to like, narrow down the focus because horror is so huge right now, there's so many books coming out that to narrow them down to like these kind of like, niche sub genres, like found footage, and you know, even more specific, like, you know, books that have creepy kids in it, or you know, a book that has Weijia boards in it, like if you start finding these little tropes and themes and sub genres, you can really like zero in on an audience that that seeks that out, and it becomes like a massive TBR for them, like a to be read pile. And so I really wanted to have it broken down from the top, you know, down the big things like supernatural and paranormal and then like zero it into like haunted houses and, and found footage and all that which found footage was a category but then once I made the list, there were only a few found footage books on it. So we ended up merging those books into other categories. Because not one horror book is just in one sub genre, which is why the icons were born in the beginning of the book, because a haunted house but could also be psychological could also be body horror could also have elements of this or that. So I really wanted to be able to filter these books down into several categories so that people who really like horror, but they really love it when the horror deals with like thriller or crime elements. Like those things could be filtered down into much narrower categories in order to find like a specific person who likes that particular thing. So because that's how I read, like, if somebody tells me there's creepy kids, and it's psychological, and there's a murder mystery, and there's like a fucked up slasher like then I'm like, oh, that's all the things I like, I'm gonna read that right now. Versus just like this is a haunted house book. You know?

Michael David Wilson 59:49

I remember when I first heard about the concept of a slasher story in book form, and I thought surely that some sort of con Introduction, then I read Stephen Graham can happen, but I love the I know, so found footage. It's like, well, how do you put found footage into a book but it happens gamma phi or its experimental film, there you go, there's your answer. And I feel that there are no limits to the possibilities and to the sub genres that can now be formed within horror. And it's such an exciting moment tonight. I wonder, and I'm completely putting you on the spot here. And this question is only formed as I've started talking, in fact, but are there any kind of sub genres or descriptions of a book where you thought there's no way that you can put that into literary form? I'm gonna read it and find out and then you were blown away. And you had that kind of moment, like I had with Stephen Graham Jones and slashes.

Sadie Hartmann 1:01:07

Yeah, I mean, well, like, let's just take your book, for example, the girl in that video, like, so I recommend that book all the time to people who are fans of like Black Mirror and like technology gone awry, or like technology paranoia, because we live in like a very specific time right now, where all of that is very fresh and on our minds. And I wouldn't have necessarily thought that a book like that was possible, you know, 1015 years ago, that's like, not something we really would have thought about, like, oh, social media could be this very scary place, or like, all of these people could be access to, you know, they could have access to you at a drop of a hat. Like, you wouldn't have necessarily thought of that that long ago. But now, right now, when somebody talks about the elements of that are in your book, that tap a very specific fear, like, that is so real for so many people who have had like internet stoppers, or have had somebody harassing them or whatever. And that is a very, like, you know, that causes a lot of things xiety for people, so I would recommend your book to them. Whereas 1015 years ago, or whatever, like that, probably wouldn't have been that visceral of a fear, if that makes sense.

Michael David Wilson 1:02:33

It does. And it's always difficult to know how to respond when someone's answer is recommending something goes down without sounding like terribly pretentious, or like, I set you up for that. I did not

Sadie Hartmann 1:02:50

know, I know, I know. I didn't even see it that way. It's just like, you know, like, that's just a book I was I just put in like a whole video for, for tick tock for people who like Black Mirror episodes, because that book is could be a black mirror episode.

Michael David Wilson 1:03:05

Yeah, and I love the you know, three years later, people are still recommending it that they were talking about it, it seems to have tapped into something in a way that other stories of mine haven't to that level, which is obviously not to belittle my other stories, but I think maybe there was something special about the crossover of the very specific technological fears and then throw in the Japan setting and people are like, oh, there's something Yeah, everyone's so I'm, I'm glad I did that. I'll try to do that again, sometime. But as we said before you, you can't force it, you can't fabricate it. If I had have said, you know, I'm gonna write something with this tick box, then it wouldn't have worked, it would have felt reined in. So it's like John Langan says in terms of story ideas, you just have to accept the story ideas that your brain or the world depending on how you like to think about it bring to you and then you write them. And if you didn't go well, I'm not sure if this one is, is working, or is going to work, write it anyway. Because if you're a writer, you're going to keep coming up with these ideas. So this, the more stories you write, the more liberating it becomes. Because it's like, well, if this one flops then then fine. There's gonna be another one and another one. After that. I mean, goodness, I just finished up writing a story that is kind of the greasy strangler meets a Dr. Lansdale high snow novel. There's probably no fucking Commercial Audio. But it was the one that my brain brought to me. So we'll we'll see you I have

Sadie Hartmann 1:05:01

I mean that. So I think that those very specific fears and those mash ups that that seem like, is there an audience for that? I guarantee there really is like, I mean, the only book on this list that was extremely difficult for me to categorize was I'm thinking of ending things by Ian Reed, because it is psychological. But I didn't have a psychological sub genre. So it's like, where else do I put that, you know, and then I really had to drill down and think of like the other elements that play into that book before I decided where it was gonna go. And Ian Reed writes a lot of books like that. And I find it so fascinating, because I just read his book we spread. And one of the major fears that everyone always talks about, like, if you have people on your podcast, and you say, what is something that scares you, you're a horror author, what is something that scares you? They almost always say like, oh, the death of a loved one, or, you know, like getting old, or, you know, dying, or some kind of existential like thoughts. And even read row, a horror book, to deal with getting old, like, it's such like a real fear for all of us. But there's not a lot of horror books that deal with just like getting old. Like that's, that's just not something that you would find massive amounts of books about. But he wrote this book that really taps a fear that so many of us have, like becoming irrelevant, like losing our memories, like dementia, like Alzheimer's disease, like going into a facility like being forgotten. Like he took all of these things that a lot of us think about, and made a horror book out of it. And it was, like really emotional and really good. Like, and there's just not, I don't even know where I would categorize a book like that. And 101 horror books to read before he murdered because there's not a lot out there like that, even though it's such a common fear.

Bob Pastorella 1:07:08

Right? It's like when you talking about Microsoft's about, you know, which boxes or you're going to tick, and books like that. There's like this other box that's right at the top that says all. And you click that box? Yeah. Because I mean, it's like, I mean, I haven't read that book, but I know what you're talking about. You really don't know how to approach some of these riders and you're doing things that are mind blowing, that it's like they make you think they make you cry, they make you scared, they know and so to me, that's like, you know, how many women what what if somebody said, what boxes does it take and all of them just select all?

Sadie Hartmann 1:07:48

Out there? Yep. And that's exactly his wheelhouse, like, his other book fo is the same thing. Like, it's just very hard to categorize. But I'd share was memorable. Like, I'll never forget it. Like it was a really weird, freaky, eerie experience. And I loved it. So I really enjoy like, there's just hard and fast rules in horror, where it's just like, oh, that's a zombie book. Oh, that's a this book. But I think is horror be, you know, evolves and becomes new and fresh. It's really blending a lot of different genres together and just reaching a wider audience that way. So people who, you know, strictly read fantasy or sci fi, or romance or whatever, can find all of those things in horror.

Bob Pastorella 1:08:34

And as society changes, we're finding more and more new categories societal horror. I was recently talking with someone to church just to try to find out if they have I know about conspiracy theory fiction, but specifically conspiracy theory, horror fiction. And that's, that's something that I'm really interested in, because our level of paranoia is at an all time high. So you know, it kind of go hand in hand. That would be something to probably click off, you know, select all, you know.

Sadie Hartmann 1:09:12


Michael David Wilson 1:09:12

yeah. I don't know how you'd possibly go about categorizing, you know, the likes of Pho and all of E and reading fiction anyway. Because it now almost like I just start listing words like existential, beautiful, poetic dread. Is that a category? There is now? Yeah, he made it. Yeah. Yeah. But I mean, Bob, you said that you haven't read his fiction yet. You absolutely need to I feel that even have that specific book. Yeah,

Bob Pastorella 1:09:55

right. Yes. But yeah, I have I have read Yes. Yeah.

Michael David Wilson 1:09:59

I feel though that like, in, in general, and I don't exactly know how I'm going to phrase this, but he's whilst he's got like a point of fame and notoriety, he's also underrated. There are more people who should be reading his work. And actually like, I should absolutely read it, reach out to him and see if we can have a conversation on this as our because, yeah, I don't even know if I've heard him on a podcast. Oh, no, I know. I haven't heard him on a podcast. I know. But I don't know if he's been on many podcasts. Yeah. Well, we happen

Sadie Hartmann 1:10:44

to hear an interview with him. I do think that he has a really fascinating storytelling style. I don't really think there's anything on the market quite like what he's doing. And it is horror, like, it's interesting. There were a few books that were sort of horror adjacent that I I just added to the list because it was horror to me. And I think that horror is kind of where you find it. And it's interesting, because there are books that I've picked up where I thought, well, this isn't a horror book, but I'm going to read it anyway. Because I really like it. And then I flipped it over and read the back of it. And it literally said horror on it. Like, yeah, I read the devil all the time by Donald Ray pollack. And I thought, well, this is just literary like, this is like a crime fiction, I think. But when I turned it over, it said it was gothic horror. So I just kind of like I find it all the time without even trying to you know, because because I think it's one of those sub genres, or I think it's one of horror is one of those genres. That is an emotion. You know, sort of like, horror of like romance, like you're gonna find romance in so many places, because so many books have people falling in love. It's something that we do. So, horror is the same way. Like, anytime you tell a story and something really terrible happens. Or maybe there's a paranormal or supernatural experience in the book, it can be horror.

Michael David Wilson 1:12:12

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I think a big horror misconception is that the mainstream tried to completely define it in narrow terms, but actually, if you look at horror properly, you can almost find horror, in everything. And there are certain aspects of horror within so many stories. And I feel, the more horror I read, and I watch the more, I find that it's apparent in stories that aren't categorized as horror. I mean, literally, last night, I rewatched American Beauty for pretty much the first time in decades. Now, obviously, with stuff that has happened with Kevin Spacey gave a whole new level to it. But even if you forget that, I mean, American Beauty is, on some level, a horror story because every single character is living a lie that pretending to be someone that they aren't where their real nature is completely different to the nature that they are publicly portraying. That's a horror story.

Sadie Hartmann 1:13:25

Yeah, I totally agree with you. Like I, you know, Sarah Lincoln's book, good neighbors is on my list. And Sarah Lincoln, you know, her roots are in horror, but I think when I found that book in the bookstore, it was just shelved in general fiction, but other times I've seen it in thriller. So it doesn't necessarily have like, a solid home of where it goes. So I like to just kind of like adopt those books for horror and be like, Listen, this book escalates, like from zero to 60, and it's terrifying. Another one is Hawk Mountain by Connor Habib, like, that doesn't necessarily say horror on it, but Connor calls it a horror novel. I call it a horror novel, like it is absolutely terrifying the way it escalates and the way that humans treat each other. So, I mean, I would put Hawk Mountain on my list had I read it, you know, prior to writing this book, but it's, it's scary.

Bob Pastorella 1:14:28

Yeah. It reminds me of an rivers Siddons the house, or Yeah, which always has this, you know, it looks like something you'd see like in a romance novel. Yeah, the book covers always so it's always so pretty, and it's full of color and, and all of that, you know, and I remember I was at a bookstore, and I seen I seen a copy of it. And I was I was talking with some friends and his girl was walking by Uh, and my buddy was standing here and I said this book was scared the shit out of you cheating and the girl looked at shields. That's a romance book. I'm like, Oh, give it a shot. If you're looking for her. Yeah. Are you saying that romance like horror? I'm like, No, I'm serious. This book is like a classic horror novel. And she's like, really? I'm like, yeah, she's given here. I'll get it. And we're like secondhand books. I'm like me, and she just got fucked up. She's like, Oh, my God.

Sadie Hartmann 1:15:26

I mean, look at the cover of Mexican Gothic, you know, like, it has this very beautiful woman in a dress with some flowers. You're like, oh, this is going to be you know, a romance or whatever. Even though it says Mexican Gothic right on it. I mean, that has that's a horror book, you know, like that, that has some very significant horror elements in it, you know, that will rock some someone's world if they're just looking for, you know, a sweet romance.

Michael David Wilson 1:15:56

Yeah, and I love that even through talking about different stories. We're coming up with other sub genres, too. I mean, yeah. When you mentioned Sarah Lankans Good Neighbor, is kind of part of that domestic horror sub genre brings to mind the Stepford Wives. I mean, that is another kind of horror genre. And I want to see more of that in the world, too. I love that kind of like, we've got domestic players, but actually, we're all living in a fucking nightmare. I lap that stuff up.

Sadie Hartmann 1:16:34

I do, too. Like, I don't know if you saw the movie that came out. I don't know. It wasn't this summer. So it was last summer. Don't worry, darling.

Michael David Wilson 1:16:42

I did. I did. I was I'm sorry to interrupt. But um, so I was watching that again, like literally the other week. And as I'm watching it, I'm like, is this a remake of The Stepford Wives because there was so much that it had in common. I mean, it was kind of like The Stepford Wives. But we've a little bit of black mirror in the matrix thrown into the mix. But yes, I thought so. Yeah, that was so many similarities that as soon as I had watched it, I was like, I need to read up to see like, Is this actually a kind of modern remake, but it turned out that it wasn't, in fact,

Sadie Hartmann 1:17:25

but I mean, that's a horror movie. You know, I mean, you're not, the cover looks very, like it's a romance or something in the title. Don't worry, darling. Um, it was like, so you know, sugar coated, but I mean, underneath the surface of that very beautiful candy aesthetic is this horrifying truth, like underneath it. And so those are the kinds of books that I find to be very fascinating. I love the crossover books, because I think that there are people who have the wrong idea about horror. And when you can turn them on to something through, you know, whatever little pet genre they are appealing to, like, you know, if they like, like, Ashley today did a whole recommendation about like, podcasts in horror. And they were kind of like Thriller Horror mashups that have to do with like podcasting. And so that's so fun. Like, I mean, you can find people who really love certain elements, and then you can bring them in and build this little bridge into horror and be like, Well, I really think that you would like this horror book, and then they can realize the pool is so much bigger and wider and deeper than they thought. It's not just slasher and gore, and whatever other like preconceived ideas they have about the genre. It's so much more than all of that.

Michael David Wilson 1:18:54

Yeah. And I love people who are creating podcasts like story podcasts and using that medium to tell a story. So I mean, of course, like no sleep is one of the most obvious ones but I'm thinking of things like Welcome to Night Vale and Lyme town where there's an ongoing story over not just episodes, but years and like talking about the mythology of the town or the specific incident is it's a really valid way to tell a story and in fact, Gemma are more worked on and adaptations of Dr. Laura in podcast form and that worked wonderfully.

Sadie Hartmann 1:19:40

That's so cool. That's one of my favorite stories by Gemma teal. And it's really fast and really easy to read. There are people all the time who sort of get in like a reader funk, if you will, where they just kind of like it's a slump or something. They just kind of feel like they don't want to read anything. I always recommend those little note novels or novelettes that are just you know, 80 to 150 pages where somebody could just read it really fast because it does keep that vibe going the whole time. So, you know, something like the house next door, it's like peaks and valleys. It's like, oh, we're at a barbecue we're hanging out. It's like marriage stuff. It's like this and then there's more and then it's like peaks and valleys again, where something like dear Laura really starts off with like an eerie vibe and keeps it going like the whole time.

Michael David Wilson 1:20:32

Yeah, and if we're talking about books that complement each other, it's like if someone's in a funk, read the Laura by GM or more and then if you like that reader things have gotten worse since we last spoke by Erica rocker pairing that was so you out. It'll fuck you up. But he won't be any fun. Kenny won't

Sadie Hartmann 1:20:52

be in a slump anymore. Yeah, you'll be looking for your next fix.

Michael David Wilson 1:20:57

Yeah. Thank you so much for listening to This Is Horror with Sadie Hartman. Join us again next time for the second and final part of the conversation. But if you would like to get it ahead of the crowd if you'd like every episode ahead of the crowd, and become our Patreon, a patreon.com. Forward slash This Is Horror. Not only do you get early bird access to each and every episode, but you can submit questions to the guest. And coming up soon we've got the likes of Keith Rosson, Chuck Wendig and Richard Gere, Smita name but three people. So go to patreon.com forward slash This Is Horror. Have a little look at what we offer. And if it's a good fit for you, I would love you to join us. Okay, before I wrap up, a little bit of an advert break

Bob Pastorella 1:21:52

house of bad memories the debut novel from Michael David Wilson comes out on Friday the 13th this October via cemetery gates media. Dini just wants to be the world's best dad to his baby daughter. But things get messy when he starts hallucinating his estranged abusive stepfather, Frank, then Frank winds up dead and tinny is held hostage by his junky half sister who demands he uncovers the cause of her father's death will then need to feed his demons or be perpetually tortured for refusing to answer impossible questions. Clay McLeod Chapman says house of bad memories hit so hard, you'll spit teeth out once you're done reading it. Preorder house of bad memories by Michael David Wilson and paperback at cemetery gates media.com or an ebook via Amazon. The handyman method the thrilling new novel from Nick cutter and Andrew F. Sullivan is on sale now. Best Selling Author of chasing boogeyman Richard chizmar says this book is nightmare territory cutter and Sullivan have created a modern masterpiece. The handyman method is available wherever books are sold.

Michael David Wilson 1:22:56

And so I'm want to do I would like to wrap up with a little bit of stoic wisdom. So here is a quote from Marcus Aurelius live your whole life on swayed by outside forces and with a holy Joyful Heart. I'll see you in the next episode for part two with Sadie Hartman. But until then, take care yourselves be good to one another. Read horror. Keep on writing and have a great, great day.

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