TIH 552: Gwendolyn Kiste on Looking Forward to The Haunting of Velkwood

TIH 552: Gwendolyn Kiste on Looking Forward to The Haunting of Velkwood

In this podcast, Gwendolyn Kiste talks about The Haunting of Velkwood in a special book preview episode.

About Gwendolyn Kiste

Gwendolyn Kiste is the three-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens, Reluctant Immortals, And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, Pretty Marys All in a Row, The Invention of Ghosts, and Boneset & Feathers. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in outlets including Lit Hub, Nightmare, Tor Nightfire, Titan Books, Vastarien, Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, and The Dark among others. She’s a Lambda Literary Award winner, and her fiction has also received the This Is Horror award for Novel of the Year as well as nominations for the Premios Kelvin and Ignotus awards.

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House of Bad Memories by Michael David Wilson

From the author of The Girl in the Video comes a darkly comic thriller with an edge-of-your-seat climax.

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.

Will Denny defeat his demons or be perpetually tortured for refusing to answer impossible questions?

House of Bad Memories is Funny Games meets This Is England with a Rosemary’s Baby under-taste.

Buy House of Bad Memories from Cemetery Gates Media

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The Girl in the Video by Michael David Wilson, narrated by RJ Bayley

Listen to The Girl in the Video on Audible in the US here and in the UK here.

[00:00:28] 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 Pastor, we chat with the world's best writers about writing life lessons, creativity, and much more. Today we are chatting with Gwendolyn Heist for the second part of our conversation, I.

[00:00:59] And she is the author of a number of books, including Reluctant Immortals, the Rust Maidens. And as of next month, the haunting of this is a special preview episode in which we will look forward to the aforementioned the Haunting of Vel Wood. And if you like what we do in this episode and you want to see more episodes in this format, then do let me know either on social media or via email, michael@thisishorror.co.uk.

[00:01:35] So before we get into the episode, a quick advert break, house of

[00:01:40] Bob Pastorella: Bad Memories. The debut novel from Michael David Wilson comes out on Friday the 13th this October via cemetery Gates Media. Denny just wants to be the world's best dad to his baby daughter, but things get messy when he starts hallucinating.

[00:01:53] 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. Will Denny defeat 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.

[00:02:15] Pre-Order, house of Bad Memories by Michael David Wilson and paperback@cemeterygatesmedia.com or an ebook via Amazon. It

[00:02:24] Michael David Wilson: was as if the video had unzipped my skin, slunk inside my tapered flesh, and become one with

[00:02:31] Bob Pastorella: me. From the creator of this horror comes a new nightmare for the Digital Age. The girl in the video by Michael David Wilson.

[00:02:39] After a teacher receives a weirdly arousing video, his life descends and a paranoia and obsession, more videos follow each containing information no stranger could possibly know, but who's sending them and what do they want? The answers may destroy everything and everyone he loves the girl In the video is The Ring Meets Fatal Attraction from iPhone Generation.

[00:02:59] Available now in paperback ebook and audio.

[00:03:03] Michael David Wilson: Okay, with that said, here it is. It is part two of Gwendolyn Ki on This is Horror.

[00:03:15] So I wanna talk about the haunting of Elkwood and. This episode, we're doing things a little differently. This is the first attempt at this. What we're going for is an almost lookout for preview. So ordinarily, Bob and I will read the book, we'll analyze it in depth, but now we're going into this cold. So this is a preview of the haunting of Vel wood.

[00:03:48] And then we're hoping near at the time of release, we will give you the in depth discussion. So I want you to pitch the haunting of Elkwood to us. What is it that this book is all about? And why should we be excited? Yes,

[00:04:07] Gwendolyn Kiste: yes. So the haunting of Elkwood is about a ghost neighborhood. There are three girls.

[00:04:14] They, 20 years ago, escaped this neighborhood and the very next morning, the entire block of houses just became like this ghost neighborhood. It's behind this impenetrable veil that is mostly impenetrable except to the three girls who escaped. Now. They all left and they, they've sort of scattered over the years.

[00:04:34] And now Talitha Vel Wood, the, the, uh, the street was named after her family is now going to go back. A group of researchers is trying to unravel the mystery of this ghost neighborhood, and she has agreed to go back in hopes of reaching her little sister who's still trapped inside.

[00:04:56] Michael David Wilson: Now, I have a confession to make, even though I said we would go into this cold, I did read.

[00:05:05] The blurb and then I thought, I just wanna read a few pages of this. And then immediately I thought, oh, why? Why did I decide to do this? This is so good. I'm so intrigued already. And I mean that the whole concept is so exactly what I'm in for it. It kind of reminds me of an almost silent hill style concept.

[00:05:35] There's something Silent Hill, there's little bit Twin Peaks, there's even a little bit Wayward Pines going on and that, I

[00:05:44] Gwendolyn Kiste: dunno, wayward Pines, but Twin Peaks definitely. And a couple other people had brought up Silent Hill. It wasn't like in my mind at the time, but I can definitely see that. That like connection.

[00:05:55] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. And just this idea of almost inverting. The, the haunting and, and, and like playing with the idea of what a ghost is. Mm-Hmm. Is, yeah. It's just so fascinating and I can't wait to properly read and to discuss this, but I mean, where did this idea come from? What was the genesis of this?

[00:06:26] Gwendolyn Kiste: You know, in, in a way this was like a weird kind of roundabout.

[00:06:29] So my first three books were all period pieces. Uh, the Rust Maidens is mostly in 1980 Bone Set and Feathers is in like a fairytale kind of long ago land. And Reluctant Immortals is in 1967 California. And I was like, I can't do another period piece, even though I love kind of historical horror. But I kept pushing at this idea that I wanted to do something like that.

[00:06:50] And I got this book called Suburbia. It's a photography book that actually influenced, uh, the neighborhood because all just pictures of these sub suburban neighborhoods, but there's a lot of like malaise. It's really, they're really interesting black and white pictures. And the book influenced the Virgin suicides and Edward Scissor hands.

[00:07:09] So those neighborhoods were like, influenced by this book. And I Oh, so to like. Create a whole neighborhood that's sort of stuck in time. And so in a way it was almost my way of kind of cheating and still having a modern day novel, but having it be almost a period piece at the same time. 'cause the neighborhood is sort of the period piece.

[00:07:28] So that was kind. Where it started. And from there, I love ghost stories. I've written a number of them. I will write many more, I'm sure. And I love the idea of how haunting so often reflect, you know, our own fears and our own secrets and the traumas we can't get away from. And I thought about like, if these girls escaped this neighborhood, what are the traumas left behind?

[00:07:49] How is it maybe crystallized from those secrets, you know, that they're trying to escape? And so that was really kind of the, the pathway I took in terms of kind of creating this world. Plus, I don't feel like I've ever seen a neighborhood become, uh, a ghost. I've seen like ghost towns, you see houses, people can be haunted.

[00:08:08] But I'm like, I don't know that I've ever seen like an allotment or a suburban neighborhood. And I'm like, okay, this can be mine. This can be my thing that I did.

[00:08:16] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. And in terms of like suburbia and having a neighborhood disappear. I mean, like you say, it, it is difficult to think of like, when has that ever been done before?

[00:08:32] We mentioned Silent Hill, it touches on it, but this is like a section, this is, it's not even a complete town. So I, I think, you know, you, you've hit upon an original idea here.

[00:08:47] Gwendolyn Kiste: I hope so. I hope that that's how people feel, like whenever they, they read it. Yeah.

[00:08:53] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. But it, it is so difficult to hit on our holy original idea here.

[00:08:58] And, and now that we're talking about kind of creepy neighborhoods, I'm, I'm now thinking of some of Sarah LAN's work as well. Like, she's very much like put herself into that kind of suburban horror space.

[00:09:14] Gwendolyn Kiste: I think that my editor used good Neighbors as a comp title for this in some of the, the early promotions, because that, I think is like, you're right, she does a lot of those kind of interesting, creepy, unsettling neighborhoods.

[00:09:27] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. And then, then there's almost something, I guess Ira Levine or Ira Levi, how, how's that pronounced? Bob will know.

[00:09:38] Gwendolyn Kiste: Yes. I, I, I agree.

[00:09:40] Bob Pastorella: I've heard it pronounced either way.

[00:09:44] Michael David Wilson: Okay. Bob didn't know you, you failed me there.

[00:09:49] Bob Pastorella: Sorry. But you mentioned, and so there's a research team. Mm-Hmm. Yeah. So, and, and, and obviously that they, is there like any type of, of like recorded stuff that that, that this research team got in, you know?

[00:10:09] That peaked their interest. So like in other words, like from, from this, this neighborhood.

[00:10:15] Gwendolyn Kiste: Yes. So like there's been a lot of people trying to research it over the years, but because nothing can kind of get inside. Like they try to send things inside, but like if they send a drone or anything, like a little rover, it just kind of breaks down and they're not, they get a few photos at the very beginning that she gets to look at.

[00:10:34] And so that kind of starts everything sort of like the inciting event. Is this researcher coming to Talitha with these photos and Yeah. But there they go. They don't have a lot. They need to get somebody to go in there to, to find out what's happening inside.

[00:10:49] Bob Pastorella: Right. Because it, that kind of gives it kind of a, an urban weird.

[00:10:53] Feel to it. Mm-Hmm. Because, you know, usually the way that that that goes is there's some type of, of, you know, analog tech or something like that recording or something like that, that kind of ties, you know, time and history together. Mm-Hmm. And, uh, so yeah, you're, you're really kind of tapping into something that, uh, that I, that I'm super interested in because, um, most people think urban weird is like, oh, it's folklore in the city.

[00:11:20] Um, it can be, uh, but that's, that's not it. It's, it's a lot more involved than that. Mm-Hmm. And I think a lot of people actually write. In that mode. It is. They don't, they just don't realize it. Um hmm. You know, I mean, if you look at, you know, the, the Vincent and Morehead films and, and things like that, they're, they're definitely, you know, in that arc, you know, they, they did, you know, some episodes for Archive 81.

[00:11:46] So I mean that's, and that was definitely urban weird. So, yeah. Yeah, yeah. I wanna, I wanna read this book. I wanna, I wanna read now, you know, so

[00:11:57] Gwendolyn Kiste: that's what a writer always wants to hear. Yeah. And some people have described that there's a little bit with the research team is kind of being a little bit XFiles, which I loved the XFiles growing up.

[00:12:06] So like, you know, I'm Mm-Hmm. I'm fine with those comparisons. I'm a huge fan. So,

[00:12:11] Michael David Wilson: yeah, I think Archive of 81 is an interesting one to kind of bring up if we are looking at kind of investigating something kind of bizarre and disquieting happening and then. Of course, you know, now I'm thinking of like, it is, is is, it is a little bit more of a jump, but then like, well there's almost something Blair Witch about the concept.

[00:12:35] And even session nine, I

[00:12:38] Gwendolyn Kiste: mean, I haven't seen that in years. I haven't seen that

[00:12:41] Michael David Wilson: in so long. It totally stands up to, to how you would've remembered it because we recently rewatched and analyzed it. When I watched it, when it came out, it was one of the most unsettling, disturbing experiences. When I rewatched it, it was possibly even better.

[00:13:03] And I think, you know, just like we say, you never step into the same river twice. You never watch the same film twice because you know, with age you've got new perspectives. Absolutely. New experiences. So. Please rewatch session nine. Okay.

[00:13:21] Gwendolyn Kiste: Okay. And I like that. I like what you just said about how we like come back to things and it's different.

[00:13:25] And that's something that I like to do with my husband. He and I have been together now for like almost 19 years. So there are things that we watched when we first got together and now when we rewatch them, it's interesting to see, like sometimes you have the same opinion on something and then sometimes it has really, it, it, it's evolved.

[00:13:41] Sometimes you really have a very different opinion of it. So I always do like to do that. I'm like, do I still feel the same way about this? And there's movies that I'll really like, then maybe not like, and then go through a period that I like it again. And that's always such an interesting evolution.

[00:13:54] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. Yeah, I think so. And I mean, you, you said yourself that there was something twin pizza about, about what you're doing here. So I mean, I wonder in terms of when you have. Influences. I mean, how, how does that factor in to the writing, to the planning, to the overall process? I mean, do, do you watch things to get in a head space or, or to get a vibe?

[00:14:27] Do you more kind of just like they, they influence you, but from memory, I'm wondering almost in, in an esoteric way, how do you set yourself up to be in the mindset to be writing the specific book? Yeah, so

[00:14:45] Gwendolyn Kiste: that's interesting. I, I sometimes do it both ways of like there are, there are things, I don't think I went back and reread Dracula or Jane Eyre for reluctant Immortals because it was like Dracula meets Jane Eyre in the 1960s basically.

[00:14:58] And I don't think I actually reread either of them because I didn't wanna be so heavily influenced by, by that, even though I obviously was heavily influenced. Right. But I did watch some of the film adaptations of them again, 'cause I like the vibe of it. I sometimes think that film is really good to get that vibe.

[00:15:15] And so I feel like with Twin Peaks, the influence on this, and I would say more so than anything, probably Fire Walk With Me is probably out of the whole Twin Peaks universe would be. Kind of the most in influenced on Val Wood. And that was definitely, I, I can't remember if I went back and re-watched it or not possibly, but it was definitely more the kind of vibe and some of the themes of like, you know, trauma and how that can create these weird experiences and, and this weird horror.

[00:15:43] And then also just kind of the unsettling vibes of, of so much of David Lynch's stuff. I'm a huge David Lynch fan.

[00:15:49] Michael David Wilson: Oh yeah. I mean, David Lynch is up there with one of my favorite directors. There's, yeah, you, you mentioned the vibe. That's the thing. If you had to explain David Lynch film to somebody who had never seen one like you, you can't just describe the plot because it's so much more than that.

[00:16:11] It's the whole experience and I mean. David David Lynch films. They're the type of films where you absolutely, you need to concentrate on just that. You need to immerse yourself in it. You kind of need all the lights off, just focus on the screen. You, you can't take any breaks. You need to be in that head space because it, it is, it is a mode.

[00:16:39] It's, I'm gonna say it's almost a way of being. It sounds like I'm describing a religion here, but it, but, but it really, it really is. There are a few directors quite like David Lynch. Mm-Hmm.

[00:16:55] Gwendolyn Kiste: Yeah, it's true. And I, I, I like that about, you know, you really do have to pay attention and they are so much more than just their plots.

[00:17:02] Some movies and some stories are just really their plots and they're straightforward, and that's fine. We need, we need all kinds of different stories. But that is something I always like about, about stories that you could describe the plot, but it doesn't come anywhere close to kind of giving you the feel of, of what it's, I also think it's interesting that you said that you really have to pay attention because I think, I remember when Twin Peaks, the return came on that am.

[00:17:27] Who played Shelly in, in the series. Um, actually told people, 'cause she's also in Riverdale, she told people like Riverdale, we live Tweet it. That's great with Twin Peaks. You need to just watch it. We're not gonna live Tweet this. Like, go watch the episode, we'll talk on Twitter or whatever afterwards. I think I remember her talking about that in an interview and I thought it was interesting 'cause some shows there can be a really fun vibe of like, you know, let's live tweet this or let's talk about it while it's going on.

[00:17:54] But I do think with David Lynch's work, there is that focus you need to kind of pay attention to those vibes and, and what's what's going on in every, every single frame really.

[00:18:03] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. I'm gonna start sounding almost like, like an old man here, even though I'm really not. But I do think in a way that like live tweeting, I is kind of spoiling cinema and spoiling TV shows.

[00:18:19] I mean, because you know that that's not the way. In which they were intended to be consumed. But as I'm saying that, I do wonder if there will be a shift and, and perhaps there already is that things are deliberately being created in a way where, where they can be live tweeted, because that is the nature of the way in which people are, are, are living.

[00:18:47] But I, I don't know. I feel like you're, you're missing something. I always find it odd when somebody is live tweeting what, what it is they're watching. And I mean, the, the other, the other day I saw somebody live tweeting, uh, they were watching the Ari Asta movie B Is Afraid. And I thought, if ever there is a film, not the live tweet, it is that one.

[00:19:15] I dunno if either of you have seen it. So, no,

[00:19:21] Gwendolyn Kiste: I,

[00:19:21] Michael David Wilson: I saw yet it recent recently. I, I have opinions on it, but, um, as neither of you have seen it, we will keep those to myself for the time being, but it, it, it, it's very different to anything that Ari Asta has done before. Hmm. Okay. Okay.

[00:19:46] Bob Pastorella: I seen some people, I also wonder, oh, I'm sorry.

[00:19:48] Go ahead. Go ahead. No, I was just gonna, I was gonna say, I've seen some people recently, it looked like they, they typically try to live tweet stuff or talk about it on Blue Sky or whatever, and then like watching certain movies that they don't, it's like that they, they don't have time. To do it because they're so engrossed.

[00:20:05] Like, uh, somebody who would typically would live tweet something, decided they were gonna watch, talk to me, and then, and then they at the end, you know, three hours later, like, loved it, you know? And I was like, where's the, where's the live tweets at you? You got, you got thrown off your game. This movie done messed you up.

[00:20:25] Gwendolyn Kiste: I wonder now that Twitter is kind of fragmenting more, I wonder if, because Facebook and Instagram and even TikTok don't really lend themselves to that kind of live engagement quite the same way. So I wonder, like you say Blue Sky and that's a kind of similar Twitter platform, right? I haven't really used Mm-Hmm.

[00:20:43] Yet. I've seen it. Yeah. But I wonder if that is something just so unique to the Twitter era and if we're moving out of the Twitter era, will that continue or will that really just of a moment? I dunno.

[00:20:55] Michael David Wilson: That's an interesting. Comment, because I guess each social media platform has a way in which we can discuss art and we can discuss literature.

[00:21:07] And so yeah, the live tweet, I mean, the clue is in the name is very specific to Twitter or of course, other platforms like, like that Blue Sky. And I presume, uh, Instagram's threads that are, are a very kind of live text based social media platform. But I mean, yeah, I, I started laughing when you mentioned the idea of live tweeting or doing something similar on TikTok, because that would be so ridiculous because you'd hear the movie in the background, you're holding your phone.

[00:21:46] Yeah. But, but yeah, like TikTok, it would, it is a case of like, you know, I've just come out the movie. Here's a few minutes as to what I thought. Yeah. YouTube is more, here's a kind of longer, more considered analysis of the film. And I suppose Instagram, if you're going for a video, it would be similar to TikTok.

[00:22:10] If you're going for an image, it's like, here's a picture of the cover, bloody loved it. Or whatever the review happens to be. Yeah.

[00:22:18] Bob Pastorella: Mean it's

[00:22:18] Gwendolyn Kiste: so people, some people use the post to write things that are longer, I guess, on Instagram, kind of the same way you could use Facebook, I guess. But yeah, I mean, sometimes somebody will do like a block on Instagram and they'll have like several things, like if they're talking about a book, it might be like, you know, here's a few things that, you know, family, you know, or found family or something like that.

[00:22:37] Like little like catch phrases, you know, that help you know what it's about. But yeah, Twitter is, is such a unique kind of ecosystem that nothing has ever really kind of, I. Mimicked it quite in that way. I mean, I know Blue Sky and I, I forgot about threads. You brought up threads and I was like, what? I'm like, oh, that's right.

[00:22:55] Like that was a big thing for like a, a quick minute.

[00:22:59] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I, I've never even used threads, but I, my understanding is that it, it is essentially like Twitter, not Twitter, like Blue sky, essentially a copycat of Mm-Hmm. Twitter. Mm-Hmm. Um, I, I, I've said ever since the whole kind of Twitter debacle started that whatever the new of the moment social media platform is.

[00:23:27] It will be nothing like anything that we've experienced before. Mm-Hmm. Because it, it's never a copycat that becomes the next big thing. I, I think whatever is going to take off, yes. It, it, it doesn't exist yet. Or if it Exactly, it does. It hasn't taken off yet. So this is why there's such a panic because there is no dominant social media platform right now.

[00:23:55] And that's why, as you said in, in the first hour, that people are returning to the newsletter because that is something that they've got control over.

[00:24:05] Gwendolyn Kiste: Yes. Yes. And I, I think you're right. I think that is a lot of it. It's like, okay, this is something that like, you know, I, I know I can keep doing if I choose to, and I know kind of the rules of this.

[00:24:16] I mean, I don't necessarily because I've never had one. But the idea of it is you control it a little bit more. It's not something that, you know, somebody's gonna come and take over and completely change. Although I guess they could, right? Somebody could always do that anytime you're using a third party.

[00:24:29] But chances are author newsletters will be author newsletters, you know, for as long as we want to have them. And again, that's why I never stopped using my blog. And I'm glad now because I'm like, at least that's a place that like, I can post things and I can get out there and, you know, 'cause I remember at one point I, I remember thinking like, nobody's really using a blog anymore.

[00:24:48] And I kind of was like, oh, I'm like one of those people, like a relic of another time. But now that I'm not on Twitter and now that it's fragmenting so much, I'm like, I'm happy I've got my blog. I kind of just see it as being like a subset of my website. And I, you know, I think a lot of authors still have websites, so I think that that.

[00:25:03] That works. But yeah, it's interesting. And I do think your point is well taken. Um, whatever is gonna be the next thing, it's probably not gonna be a copycat. You're right. It's almost never that kind of repla generic replacement becomes the big new thing. It's something that we, and I, I, as you were talking, I'm like, what will it even be like, you know, TikTok is the videos and Instagram's, the pictures and Facebook's mostly text, like longer blocks of text a lot of times, or, or article sharing or something.

[00:25:29] And then tweets were like these small little kind of like compact, like I always feel like people who could be really, really pithy did really well on Twitter. And I'm loquacious and I'm not as pithy, so I never felt like I kind of got into the rhythm of Twitter because I'm like, I don't know, I don't feel like I can be as clever in like, what 140 Was it 280 characters?

[00:25:50] By the end it was 280 by the end, right? Is it still

[00:25:54] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. They, they, they definitely, they increase the amount of characters by, by the end of it. And I. I think that blue sky, their limit is something in between the original count on Twitter and the new one because I mean, I often duplicate content between the two and I can always fit just a little bit more on a tweet than I can a blue sky post.

[00:26:21] Mm-Hmm. But, but only a little bit more. So yeah. Might get that extra word. There might be an article either or an Ann just for people to enjoy that and, and, and uh, they, username on Blue Sky, they're slightly longer 'cause they have the dot B Sky social or whatever. Mm-Hmm. Yeah. So that kind contributes to it.

[00:26:49] But yeah, I. What it will be. So if people were tuning in and they were hoping I would reveal the new social media platform, sorry to disappoint, but I, I think it will have to be something that is very quick to do. Yeah. You know, to sustain people's interest and, Mm-Hmm. Like I said before, I think that video is having a moment and I think it is taking off.

[00:27:17] And so I do think for people who have the time that TikTok is like a, a growing and an expanding platform, but you, you know, that, that caveat to having the time, that's why it's not going to be for everyone. Also, like in, in an era where anonymity has become scarce, I think we are, I. We are maybe going to shift more towards that and there's more awareness and of people not wanting to give so much about their private life out on the internet.

[00:27:57] I mean, gone are the days where, you know, over a decade ago, after a night out, you'd photo dump all your pictures on Facebook. Um, and, and, and we know that, you know, that there is a danger in sharing so much personal information. So there's a shift. And I think that makes people reluctant to be on video also, like that there's just so much more involved.

[00:28:26] You wanna make sure that you look presentable, you wanna look at what's out, what, what's going on in the background. It, it's too much hassle. So whatever it is, it's going to be kind of quick. It's going to be snappy. TikTok has video covered, Instagram has images covered. Mm-Hmm. There's probably going to be something text-based, but it's not going to be like Facebook.

[00:28:56] It's not going to be like Twitter. Yeah. It can't just be lung form content, so I dunno, I dunno what it's going to be. Yeah.

[00:29:08] Bob Pastorella: Yeah. It's probably gonna be a mix of, of all three types of media. Maybe and it's gonna get, yeah, that's, that's the way I see whoever's, whoever's creating the next new thing, it's gonna, it's gonna be, you're gonna be able to do short videos, you're gonna be able to do photos in, in such a way that it's gonna be different than Instagram.

[00:29:29] And you're gonna be able to do, you know, somewhat, probably a little bit longer form text. They're not gonna just like, give you like, hey, yeah, you can just type whatever you want. You have like whole, you know, screeds of rants. Um, I can imagine if I got pissed off about something, how long I can go on about it, but, uh, you know, so it'd be like, I need more characters.

[00:29:51] Um, but you know, it, it's, it's gonna be because there's nothing else, you know, other than, you know, it's like, it's like, yeah. Have you been to the news site? They actually reach out and touch you. Yeah. You know, that's now that's fucking creepy. And that would make this

[00:30:06] Gwendolyn Kiste: story. There is something I, I do wonder about that.

[00:30:09] Of like some kind of virtual reality thing. Something like that kind of taking like this AI stuff to some other level. I don't want that to be clear. That's like a horror story to me. But I do wonder if it's going to be something like that. Because I feel like in the eighties or the nineties, I feel like that was a thing that you would see that people thought was coming.

[00:30:30] That you'd be like standing in some virtual reality box. Mm-Hmm. Or something. Or have some kind of headgear on and it would like a total recall kind of thing, right? Like, is that what we're heading toward? Like sometimes I think like the science fiction possibilities of all of this, like science fiction becoming like science fact, it's kind of scary sometimes.

[00:30:48] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. Mm-Hmm. Yeah. I mean, I, I won't be surprised if there will be some sort of like, hologram esque way of communicating, but, you know, it's like, I, I don't need that. It's like, if you wanna convey a message to me, Gwendolyn, just, I can watch the video. I don't need you standing in my living room. Right. So, bizarres ai, that's, I agree.

[00:31:12] Bob Pastorella: Yeah.

[00:31:13] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. Just, just on the video is fine. That's, that's enough. Same for you, Bob.

[00:31:22] Bob Pastorella: So you, you don't want me to come in your, uh, living room and, and, and talk to you about that movie I just watched.

[00:31:29] Michael David Wilson: Not, not in terms of a virtual representation of you. If you're ever over in Japan, you're most welcome to see me in person, old school, but I, I don't need a, a robot computerized version of you.

[00:31:44] Yes. Just like the real deal. No imitations, no substitutes.

[00:31:51] Bob Pastorella: I can't imagine if you have like a really weak signal, you'd end up like max headroom or something, you know, just all glitchy.

[00:31:58] Gwendolyn Kiste: So true, so true. Oh,

[00:32:00] Michael David Wilson: the, yeah, the, the glitches. I mean, can you imagine it is like, it's max booth's head, but on like, I don't know.

[00:32:08] And your all's body, it's like

[00:32:10] Bob Pastorella: this just weird. This is glitching.

[00:32:13] Michael David Wilson: This is not like, it starts malfunctioning and I start getting angry messages that were meant to be directed to Elon Musk. It's like, it, it wasn't me. Mm-Hmm. I didn't do

[00:32:26] Bob Pastorella: anything. Are you, are you, are you, you're talking to somebody and you, and you have this, you know, too many fingers, you know?

[00:32:33] Yeah. Then the other day, you know, and you're like, what the fuck is that? Yeah. So AI glitches, eh, eh, yeah. Ugh. Yeah. William Gibson is just shaking his head going, this is not what I envisioned at all. It's not, it's just really not. Yeah. But maybe it was,

[00:32:57] Michael David Wilson: but returning. I mean, we, we spoke before about your general writing process and how it differs from book to book, so let's get into the specifics as to how this one came about in terms of the actual writing and the structuring.

[00:33:19] Gwendolyn Kiste: Yeah. You know, it was, it was an interesting process because this one, like I said, there was a, there was a less of a clear outline when I started, and so like a lot of the fine tuning came more in the editing process and that that was different. Like reluctant, immortals had developmental edits and actually I think there were more developmental edits from my editor on that one than this one.

[00:33:41] So I guess I got like this closer by the time I sent it to him. So I guess it worked out. But yeah, so. As I was working on it, it, it was thinking about ghost stories, thinking about what I liked about Ghost stories, thinking about what I felt was overdone in ghost stories that I didn't wanna lean into, and then kind of bringing in those different inspirations, you know, like kind of a Twin Peaks vibe, a Shirley Jackson vibe.

[00:34:08] And the, obviously the Haunting of Elkwood is, is a nod, of course, to the haunting of Hill House. And so, yeah, just thinking about those influences, thinking about what I, what I love about those and you know, how to kind of, you know, make it my own, but still have those influences there and developing the characters and, and everything.

[00:34:29] So. Yeah. You know, it, it, it was, it was emotionally draining because again, it's a story about these, these survivors of this, of this traumatic neighborhood that then turned into a ghost. Then, then it's haunting them, you know, both literally and, and metaphorically. And so it, it was heavy. It was heavy. And I feel like that this was probably the hardest book I've ever written.

[00:34:53] And it's interesting because like, talking about it, I'm always like, I don't remember a lot of it, right? Because I feel like a lot of it was just like, at the end of the day, I'm exhausted and tired, and now I need to take a self care day. And I don't feel like that was necessarily true for anything else I've ever really written.

[00:35:09] That it was like that draining that at the end of like every chapter, I'd be like, okay, I, I can't, like, it was like the well was drained. Like there was nothing, there was no more creativity there for like a day or so before I could kind of go back and like, okay, let's, let's take, take on the next, the next chapter.

[00:35:27] Michael David Wilson: Do you think it was possibly more draining because it was set in the modern time and the characters were closer to your own age and current experience?

[00:35:41] Gwendolyn Kiste: You know, one of the things that I, I did think was interesting is I, I was dealing with a lot of my own, you know, background, not obviously everything I don't come from, from a ghost neighborhood and, uh, but I

[00:35:52] Michael David Wilson: mean, you mentioned ghost horses before, so

[00:35:56] Gwendolyn Kiste: That's true.

[00:35:56] I love that you remember the ghost horses. That makes me so happy. That's true. That's true. But that, that's like rural ghosts. Rural ghosts are different than suburban ghosts we'll say. But it was something that I think I did bring up to my husband at some point that I'm like, you know, it's interesting when I started really kind of unpacking some of, some of my own experiences so, so much in this book that it was the first one that was modern day and it was kind of like, you know, that that was this kind of more accessible place that when you do historical horror.

[00:36:28] It is removed. It's removed by time. Like, you know, you are in your era that people aren't going to have the same experiences that you had because of that. And I do think that there, there's probably something there that it did end up making it feel more immediate in a lot of ways. And maybe I said it in that time period because I wanted to deal with those things.

[00:36:46] I'm not, I'm not sure, it's kind of a chicken and an egg thing. Is it, did I want to explore something more immediate to me? And that's why I said in a modern day, well, did it kind of go the opposite way? I always say, I still think writing is magical sometimes. Like after you're like, oh, okay, this was the issue I was working out when I was writing this.

[00:37:03] I didn't even know that until it was done.

[00:37:07] Michael David Wilson: And I mean, if you think of Elkwood specifically, is there a personal issue of yours that kind of comes to mind, or do you think, I mean, to make it less specific, if easier, is there anything that you kind of learn either about yourself or the world through the writing?

[00:37:29] Gwendolyn Kiste: It's a good question. That's a good question. I feel like, so this is relevant, so I'm bisexual and coming out was not a good experience when I was young to the point that I just stopped talking about it for a really long time and I will give it to Twitter, that I did finally start publicly talking about it there because it was such a good avenue of like, okay, if I'm gonna do this publicly and just talk about being bisexual publicly, like this is a place of like a point of no return.

[00:37:57] It's not just like telling one friend, it's like telling the world. And so that was like a really, like I will always give Twitter that credit, that it was such a good avenue for that. And in writing this book, that was really something that I kind of. I started writing it, not realizing I was writing about my sexuality until I was about a third of the way through and on a deadline, because I think if I had realized I was writing about that, I would've been like, oh, I'm not gonna write about this right now.

[00:38:24] And I would've started another book, but I was not deadline. And I'm like, I'm stuck writing about this now. And it was not something that I necessarily was like, eager to write about, but it was necessary and I'm, I'm happier because of it, but I, I remember saying to my husband and. I'm like, this book, I, I hope it's a success, but like how it's changed my personal life, even before it was published was like so huge because I'm like, I have to deal with this.

[00:38:49] And also in the idea that like, it's a very queer book. There's a, there's a central relationship in the book between, between two of the female characters and it's very central to what, you know, the, the heart of the story. And there was no way I could put this out there and not be out. I felt like somebody could, by the way, anybody out there, you do not have to come out.

[00:39:09] That's a really important thing that I think needs to be said. You can write queer characters and not be out. But I was actually worried because I was still on Twitter and sometimes people could like bully writers if they were writing queer characters, but not out. And I thought like, oh, if I, if I do that and I write this book and then somebody bullies me for not being out when I already had trauma around not being out, I'm like, oh, I don't know how my mental health will respond to that.

[00:39:33] So I'm like, I need to just be out before this book comes out so that I can feel like, okay, this is, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm at a safer place in promoting this book. And so it was like this. Forced my hand in coming out. 'cause I didn't wanna deal with some of the repercussions. Which again, the irony is not long after I came out, people really started having more discourse on Twitter of don't bully people if they're not out.

[00:39:58] And writing queer characters, you don't know their experience, which I think was a discourse that was really, really important to have, because you don't know what's going on with somebody. Some people aren't safe in coming out and this is their only place that they can talk about it. So I was always horrified that anybody would do that to begin with.

[00:40:15] And then the grandest irony is I'm not even on Twitter anymore, so I wasn't gonna be bullied on Twitter when this book came out. So it ended up being this kind of funny, like kind of like circle, this book took. But that's really the big thing for me that this book is sort of all about and dealing with in a lot of ways.

[00:40:31] So, yeah, that was a long answer.

[00:40:36] Michael David Wilson: No, but an important one. And you know, I'm, I'm so glad that the experience of publicly. Coming out and talking about it was a positive one because, I mean, yeah, you said it was, you know, a good thing and it ultimately was, but it, it is also obviously not a good thing that you felt pressured, that you had to do that to, you know, um, kind of avoid potential repercussions later on.

[00:41:08] 'cause no one should ever be forced to, or bullied No. Or, or, or, or made to come out, um, that, that's a very personal decision. Yes. Mm-Hmm. And, and, you know, for, for some people they, they decide, you know, that they only want to talk about it. Um, you know, we, we with close friends and absolute, with close family or, or sometimes not with absolutely.

[00:41:33] Family, depending on the family members.

[00:41:36] Gwendolyn Kiste: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. No one should, no one should ever feel that way. And I, I actually, I was glad to see before I left Twitter, that there was a lot more discourse of people saying, don't ever do that to people. And I was really happy to see that because it's, that's a really horrible thing to do to people.

[00:41:52] And no matter what, like, you know, you people have to come out on their own terms. And like you said, some people just wanna be out to the people in their immediate, immediate circle, and that's fine. Whatever works for people. But it did ultimately, you know, it wasn't from the, it wasn't the way made me, I wanted to, that I kind of felt that my, I, my hand was forced and it, but since then I've been very happy about, about having done it.

[00:42:15] And it was something that was, like I said, it was like a point of no return. Then I felt like I had a real sense of community because a lot of other bisexual writers, you know, came out or talked to me and it was like, Hey, you know, this is the thing that, you know, we didn't have a great sense of community specifically about, you know, bisexuality.

[00:42:31] And then this last year at Stoker Con, I did the first ever bisexuality and horror panel. And so it was really neat to kind of like, literally in a year's time to go from being like, oh, I'm not out publicly, to actually, you know, hosting this panel and moderating it and having like a really nice crowd and a really nice discussion.

[00:42:48] So it ended up being, it's been a positive thing. It's been a positive thing, definitely. And I'm, I'm glad that, that, that's been the journey for this book. But it is odd talking about this book now 'cause it's been like almost two years since I sent it in. And now, like things are so different. Like when I first wrote this, it was like, oh, I'm never gonna come out publicly.

[00:43:07] I don't think that I'm comfortable with that. Like I said, there was like a history of a lot of not great stuff from, from people in my life. And then to be where I'm at now, it's at such, such a different point, just like less than two years later. So that's been, that's been interesting. That's an interesting experience.

[00:43:22] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. And I mean, in, in terms of the history and the bad experiences when you first, you know, a, a attempted to come out or, or that you did come out. I mean, we don't have to talk about the specifics if you don't want to, we can if that's somewhere you're comfortable to go. But I, I wonder in now having had this positive experience and in coming out and it, it feeling like a, a safe environment, has that helped you to kind of.

[00:44:02] I, I, I'm reluctant to know whi which verb to even go for here, like to, to deal with, to, um, have some peace or to, to maybe not hold onto all of the trauma and negativity Yeah. That you previously had.

[00:44:19] Gwendolyn Kiste: Yes, definitely. And that, that's been such an interesting thing because it's like, you know, the trauma is still there, right?

[00:44:26] Like it's still there to some extent, but it's less than, and there's something to really be said that Twitter, coming out on Twitter was safer and happier considering how we've just been talking about how Twitter can be so toxic. So it's interesting to me that like this, this toxic platform had this really, really positive experience for me.

[00:44:43] And so, yeah, it definitely has helped and it's kind of taken away a lot of the, the lingering fears from, from childhood, from growing up in this very small, very. Backwards town in Ohio, and I love Ohio by the way. Like I don't blame the whole state. I'm, I'm very proud of Ohio in general. But there were a lot of, you know, not good experiences and not really a lot of role models in terms of, you know, any kind of positive outlook at, at not being.

[00:45:11] Not being straight at being queer and being young in, in that environment. So it, it has been really nice to find community and it's been really wonderful for it to be something that is just positive that I don't, I don't really see a lot of, you know, negative input from anyone. I'm, I'm sure you know, there's always people out there Right.

[00:45:29] That aren't very nice. But like it has been, I have been able to surround myself with a lot of really positive people and that's been a really good thing.

[00:45:36] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. That, that's fantastic. And in terms of like the panel that you were on, are there any kind of overarching takeaways or messages that you might want to share from that panel for people who weren't there?

[00:45:54] Gwendolyn Kiste: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, one of the things we were talking about is there's, there tends to be a lot of, like by erasure, the idea of like bisexuality, like the bisexual characters or bisexual people either being labeled as straight or gay and lesbian and that, you know, talking about bisexuality as a kind of unique.

[00:46:13] You know, experiencing a unique identity. And one of the things we also said is that almost none of us, I think, I don't think any of us had ever used the word bisexual in any of our writing and how it's almost like we can delete ourselves and erase ourselves. So it's like something I keep challenging myself.

[00:46:28] Like it's not, the word bisexual is not in vel wood, even though it's clearly telegraphed that these, these characters are bisexual. And so that's something I'm kind of moving forward with of like, okay, you've got, you can't complain about people erasing bisexuality if you're not kind of talking about it more overtly.

[00:46:45] And so that was really interesting to just sort of realize and have this kind of conversation with other people about like, what, what does this mean? What does it mean to us? And what does it mean kind of in the horror genre? Because there's actually a lot of bisexual representation in horror, like we talked about, like Jennifer's body is clearly a representation of bisexuality.

[00:47:03] That horror is a good place for it, and sometimes it's done for shock value. But you know, and we were talking about basic instinct earlier, like about the kind of like sleazy kind of nineties, and she's bisexual in that. She's like a great villain. She's fantastic. So it's like, you know, that this kind of idea of like, there is a lot of representation in the horror genre already of bisexuality and just kind of teasing that out and having more discourse

[00:47:26] Michael David Wilson: around it.

[00:47:28] Yeah, and I certainly agree with, you know, the, the array. Yeah, and I mean, I agree with your point. Let's be clear on that. I don't agree with that. I mean, it was, it was obvious, but just in case the, the soundbite came out rung and I mean unfortunately too often, you know, you, you see like some somebody who's bisexual, they are in.

[00:47:54] A relationship with an opposite gender partner. And then there'll be people who will try and belittle that, or will be like, oh, well, you know, your bisexuality doesn't count. And it's like, what, what, what, what the hell are you, are you talking about doesn't, doesn't count. That's ridiculous. I mean, if you were to apply that to any other kind of attribute, then it would be ridiculous.

[00:48:22] You know? It's like, oh, if, if you're in a relationship with, with somebody who has brown hair, that means you're not attracted to someone with blonde hair ever. Yeah. It's just silly. It's, it's,

[00:48:34] Bob Pastorella: yeah. I mean, that's the whole meaning of the word. It, it's, I mean, it's like, and I've seen that on social media and I, you know, I'm, I'm.

[00:48:45] Those are arguments I'm not gonna get involved in, but I see that and usually just kind of roll my eyes and move on. But my, my, my, if I had a comment, I'd be like, do you not understand how one definitions work? And two, have you looked at the definition of the word that you're disparaging on social fucking media right now?

[00:49:05] Yeah. Yeah. But you know, hey, you've also, you give people enough rope, they'll hang yourselves with it. So, you know, it's like someone else is gonna school your ass.

[00:49:21] Michael David Wilson: And that's kind of a good point in general, Bob, in terms of when people make a. I don't wanna use the word idiotic, but it's too early for me to come up with anything else. When people make an idiotic comment, it is like, instead of responding, if you are just silent, they'll just keep going and going and going, uh, until mm-Hmm.

[00:49:45] They've dug such a whole, or they've reached such a point of absurdity. And also often the point of people saying such a ridiculous thing is to get attention and to get into a fight. Yes. So if you don't respond, then they don't get what they wanted

[00:50:02] Bob Pastorella: anyway. You need to get fire away from 'em, your, the ability for them to start a fire.

[00:50:06] Yeah. Which is, as I've gotten older, that and, and a lot of times too, I won't even scroll, I'll just close the browser. I'm done. Yeah. And it's like, so it's time, it's time to listen to a podcast. Yeah. Uh, it's time to write, it's time to just to close the whole browser, hit that X at the top and you're done.

[00:50:27] You know, and just move on. Um, but I, I don't, I don't see, a lot of times I just don't see myself in, in a position to argue over something, especially if I'm not one. I'm not, I'm not of that community. So I really have no voice to speak there, you know? Um, it's kinda like, um, you know, like if I, if I, if I wrote a queer character, I would not write from the queer.

[00:50:53] Yeah. But I would be, you know, uh, write it with respect and reverence that it deserves. Mm-Hmm. But I would not write it as, you know, I guess the, the POV of the queer experience, because that's Mm-Hmm. That's not what I am. Uh, same thing with some writing a character of a different race or different nationality are, are different.

[00:51:14] Gender. Um, Mm-Hmm. You know, I'm not saying I can't do it, do it. And I, not saying I haven't done it, and, but I think that the times I have, I've, I've done it respectfully. It's like what Colson White has says, you can write about anything you wanna write about, just don't fuck it up. You know? So that's, you know, and that, and that to me, I, I take that to heart.

[00:51:34] You know, I don't, I don't have the ability to speak on something that I'm not familiar with.

[00:51:39] Michael David Wilson: Mm-Hmm mm-Hmm. So, of course, we're previewing the haunting of VE Woods, so. Who is this book for? Who are the types of people or readers who should absolutely pick it

[00:51:53] Gwendolyn Kiste: up? I would definitely say fans of Ghost Stories for sure.

[00:51:59] Fans of Queer Horror. I think that there's some feminist horror in there. So fans of feminist Horror, you know, fans of like weird horror, like horror, you know, uncanny things, you know, I hope David Lynch fans would like this. I did see at least one person talk that it's got on Lynchian vibe, which I was excited that somebody, you know, not me, picked that up.

[00:52:20] So that made me happy. So definitely kind of weird horror ghost stories, you know, stories about, you know, kind of reckoning with the past queer horror, feminist horror. I feel like those are like the really big ones.

[00:52:34] Michael David Wilson: And so on that note, and I'm totally going to put you on the spot here, but let's say in the last five years.

[00:52:44] What have been the most impactful ghost stories, queer stories and lynching and s stories for you?

[00:52:55] Gwendolyn Kiste: Wow. Wow. Oh yeah. You are putting me on the spot. Like, I feel like a CY does some really, I mean, she does some fantastic, uh, queer horror as well, and she also does such fantastic ghost stories. I feel like out of everybody who's writing ghost stories right now, you know, she's just incredible.

[00:53:15] So definitely, definitely her. And, you know, JAW McCarthy has done some great queer horror. I really like her short fiction. She's just a fantastic writer and I just love everything. She's, she's been writing lately, so that's definitely, definitely her And, oh, what was the other one? Lynchian. Oh, wow. Yes.

[00:53:39] Lynchian work. That's really specific. I'm trying to think. What has like struck me as had David Lynch vibes? I don't know, but I wish I had an answer. And I'm going to think on this because like I, there's gotta be something out there that I feel like has had like kind of lynch and horror vibes the last few years.

[00:53:58] 'cause that, that would be really

[00:53:59] Michael David Wilson: good. Yeah. Yeah. I, I guess like, like as we say, Lynchian is almost impossible to define. You just feel it. But in terms of literature that has something a little bit lynching and about it, the first person who comes to mind is Eric La Rocker. I think there was something Lynch, or Lynch and adjacent about his.

[00:54:33] I think it's his latest, but he puts out so many books. It might not be anymore, but everything The Darkness Eats, which was published by Clash Books, that there's something of a Lynchian flavoring. I don't know if Bob would agree there as both someone who's read the book and a connoisseur of David Lynch.

[00:54:55] Mm-Hmm.

[00:54:56] Bob Pastorella: I, I, I, I, I feel that vibe. I, I would say it's there. Um, but I mean, I think Eric is also like, he, like I always, I, I joke that I, I'm like a disciple of, of, of the, the School of Cronenberg, Fincher and Lynch. Mm-Hmm mm-Hmm. Uh, the three Davids. And I think that, that Eric, you know, he, he gets in there too.

[00:55:16] Um. Because, uh, those three, Davids, they kind of cover like a spectrum of, of, of the dark, you know, um, where you have, you know, you have ex existential, you have visceral, and you have, uh, a psychological component, and all three of them do each one at their own, at their, at their leisure. And so to me it's like, you know, those, that, that, that's the vibe.

[00:55:45] And, uh, and Eric, Eric captures it. So I mean, if, if, if, but if they're, if they're saying that Belwood is gonna be, you know, lynching and, and you know, I'm definitely interested, um, the whole thing that you mentioned about like the, like a veil that's covering this neighborhood and you have a research team.

[00:56:04] It, it, it's, I, when you said that, I, I, I couldn't put my finger on it. I was like, damn, man. But that, that's an annihilation, Jeff Vandemeer. Yeah. You know,

[00:56:14] Gwendolyn Kiste: I haven't read it or seen it,

[00:56:16] Bob Pastorella: but it's probably not said that, that, yeah. Oh, there's other people that said that connection.

[00:56:21] Gwendolyn Kiste: Yeah. People have made that connection.

[00:56:22] Like I said, I haven't, I, I shouldn't even admit that at this point in time. I feel like I probably should have read or seen it, but yeah, I, like, I, I haven't, and so that has come up, like from what I understand of it, there, definitely what's inside is very different, but the idea of there being this kind of like separate, also Wand Avi, wand Avi came up, which I haven't seen that, but I was aware that there might be like a, um, comparison there of like the idea of how there's like, kind of like a separation in that.

[00:56:49] So. Mm-Hmm.

[00:56:51] Bob Pastorella: Yeah. I like that concept. And I know, I know what's inside of your veil is gonna be different than what's inside the shimmer. Um, yeah. Uh, there's no doubt. Uh. But it, it's, I don't know. It's, when you get into that, there were some very creepy things that happened in the shimmer as well, that, not necessarily the visceral stuff and the, the trans, the transformational stuff, but there was some also some creepy, uh, kind of leaning into the ghostly.

[00:57:22] And it's just like, man, you know, uh, oh man, I'm, I'm, I'm, I can't, I can't wait to read this book. I'm just like, I'm excited. I'm freaking excited.

[00:57:34] Michael David Wilson: Me too, Bob. Like, I, like, I'm, I'm not just saying it, but when I started to read the first few pages, I did think, why have I decided to experiment with this preview?

[00:57:49] Right format with this new idea when this is so good and I just want to spend my entire night reading it. But mm-hmm. You know, we, we said we were going to do this and also, you know, Bob would be like, what the hell You told me we were going into this cold and you read the damn thing last night. One,

[00:58:12] Bob Pastorella: one, you, you, you, you cheated two, you got it.

[00:58:16] And I don't, so hey, something

[00:58:23] Michael David Wilson: I need to send you a copy of it. Then

[00:58:27] Bob Pastorella: you wanted to keep it all to himself. See, I see what he's doing there. I see. To that way he can go check what I discovered.

[00:58:35] Michael David Wilson: Well, I mean, normally you are the person to discover good books months before me, Bob. So I had to do an intervention. But you know, when, when we're talking about.

[00:58:48] The veil as well that then makes me think of Stephen King's under the Dome. Mm-Hmm. Ah, ah, yeah. And another kind of suburban, like small town horror. Like I'm, I'm sensing a small town horror vibe from this too. Mm-Hmm.

[00:59:05] Gwendolyn Kiste: Yeah, definitely, definitely. I love small town Horror. Like I, I came from small town horror there.

[00:59:11] A lot of them came from small town horror. So,

[00:59:15] Bob Pastorella: and then that definitely covers the Wayward Pines, uh, as well. I

[00:59:19] Gwendolyn Kiste: don't know that show. It's a, it's a TV show, right?

[00:59:22] Michael David Wilson: It, it's so also, uh, series by the Alpha Blake Crouch.

[00:59:27] Gwendolyn Kiste: Mm-Hmm. Okay. Okay. I need to look this up. Like, I feel like there's only so

[00:59:31] Bob Pastorella: much time. Watch a watch couple episodes.

[00:59:34] I, I don't dunno where it's at though anymore. Uh, I thought it, it may still be, I originally, I think I watched it on Hulu. Oh, okay. It may still be there, but I got, and it was very interesting. Um, I just got, had other stuff that I wanted to watch and so I probably should go back and, and look where I can find it.

[00:59:52] Yeah, that's really good. But what I watched was like, wow, uh, this is actually pretty good. So now, now I've got a mission. I'm gonna find it.

[01:00:01] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. Well, I mean, you, you said as well that this was a more draining book to write than anything else that you've read. And we, we spoke a little bit about as to why that may, but I wonder, did you put anything in.

[01:00:21] Place to be protective of your energy and your mental health, just to try and mitigate, I guess the, the energy sucking nature of it and to make sure that you were Well,

[01:00:34] Gwendolyn Kiste: no, not really. Not really. Like I said, the most I really did was in between like chapters, so I was like, I am very exhausted for a day and like giving my time myself that time to at least be like I'm at least taking a day off to like, you know, try to recover.

[01:00:48] But yeah, like I, I keep saying I hope I don't ever have a book that draining again. I hope I can do something, you know, very deeply affecting and moving and emotional without it being that draining. But we'll see. Fingers crossed. Right. But yeah, I do think there needs to be more self-care built in the next time of like at least some meditation, some deep breathing.

[01:01:09] Something.

[01:01:11] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, not only can you go to David Lynch for great films, but you can go to the David Lynch Foundation for some meditation and breathing. So he is got you covered in all aspects of life. It's

[01:01:26] Gwendolyn Kiste: so true. I love that one book he did that It was like, was it catching the Big Fish?

[01:01:31] Catching There's something about catching the fish. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

[01:01:33] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. It's a, it's a fantastic book. Mm-Hmm. And, you know, a lot of on writing and on creativity books, they'll, they'll kind of give you like takeaways or exercises, but I felt with that it was, it was more just inspiring and musings upon creativity.

[01:01:56] There was no kind of easy do this. Yes. Would, you know, I mean, it would be, it is kind of ridiculous anyway, because he. Creatives journey is their journey. It is individual. I think it may have been, you know, with you, when we talk about the caveat of your mileage may vary when it comes to writing advice.

[01:02:21] And so yeah, that is just a, a book of inspiration. It is a very slender read as well. It.

[01:02:34] Yeah, when I first read it, I'd just like start the day with a few pages from it. 'cause e each chapter or each section, I mean, it can be consumed within a few minutes. So just, uh, you know, start the day with David Lynch and you know, it'll set you right. And if you, if you need even more lynches as well as the films and the meditation and the creativity.

[01:02:59] Doesn't he sometimes give like weather updates? Can't you get that as well? Yes. You can watch a video of him telling you what the weather is. He does, uh, the Fridays

[01:03:09] Bob Pastorella: too. It's, it's another Fred. It's hilarious.

[01:03:14] Gwendolyn Kiste: That's great. That's so great.

[01:03:16] Michael David Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. Well, you said it was around two years ago that you wrote so.

[01:03:27] I mean, I'm curious as to not only what is next, but I suppose what was next is, I suppose, with it having been two years, you weren't like, right. Well, we'll wait for this interview before we write again, because I, I'm so curious as to whether. You continue to write about something in the more modern setting or if you've, you've gone back to the, the classic Gwendolyn period piece.

[01:03:53] So what, what's

[01:03:54] Gwendolyn Kiste: happening? Oh, I actually love this because right now I'm working on a novela and a novel and the Novela is a period piece and the novel isn't. And so that's like great to me that you asked that question because that's like, so since, you know, I turned in Vel, what I think I was writing it about two years ago.

[01:04:11] I turned it in I think in July of, what would it have been in 2022. And since then, like I, after that, like I needed to take a break from novels. Like that book took it out of me. I'm like, I just went to short fiction and only really wrote short fiction for over a year, like short fiction and short nonfiction.

[01:04:26] I do some nonfiction writing as well, like about the genre and things. And so like, it was only kind of after last summer that I got back to like writing lone fiction. And so now I'm making my way through a novella and a novel. And so like, it's not taking it out of me quite as much and like trying to do more like, okay, like leave it there if it's getting to be too much.

[01:04:47] But yeah, so that is interesting. One is set in the 1950s and the other one is set in modern day. So yeah.

[01:04:56] Michael David Wilson: So despite it draining you, you've come back for more in terms of the modern day. So I I I, I love your answer too, because I mean, if there are certain people who they gravitate more towards your period pieces, then you've got them covered.

[01:05:14] If there are, are people who actually like, they like the, the kind of modern day stuff, you, you've got that as well. And if you like both, then happy days. Christmas has come early.

[01:05:28] Gwendolyn Kiste: I like that.

[01:05:30] Michael David Wilson: Well, thank you so much for joining us for this and for us previewing Vel Wood. We absolutely do need to talk again in a couple of months to to get the kind of deep analysis.

[01:05:45] I want listeners and viewers of the podcast as well to let us know what they think to this format. Has this got you excited for the haunting of VE Wood? Do you want to see more of these, or would you rather we just go for the in-depth analysis, so right to us and let us know. But for you, Gwendolyn, where can our listeners connect with you?

[01:06:13] Gwendolyn Kiste: So on my website, so gwendolyn kees.com and on Instagram and Facebook. So just at my name at Gwendolyn

[01:06:21] Michael David Wilson: ke. Okay. Do you have any final thoughts, any final requests, any final musings to leave our listeners and viewers with?

[01:06:34] Gwendolyn Kiste: Just keep loving horror, which you all do, so I know everybody is going to be able to do that because it's a great genre and I'm so happy that like it's really having a good moment right now, so, yay.

[01:06:45] Long live horror.

[01:06:47] Michael David Wilson: Okay. Thank you very much for joining

[01:06:50] Gwendolyn Kiste: us. Thank you so much for having me.

[01:06:57] Michael David Wilson: Thank you for listening to Gwendolyn Ki on this as horror. Next episode, we will be welcoming back Dean Koontz to talk about his brand new book, the Bad Weather Friend. Now, if you would like that and many other episodes, then do consider becoming our paton at patreon.com/this as horror. We are putting new Patreon content out almost every day, and even if you can't financially afford to support us there, then you can still sign up as a free non-paying member of Patreon for a number of public posts that we will be doing each month.

[01:07:38] Now, before I wrap up an advert break, it was as if the video had unzipped my skin, slunk inside my tapered flesh, and become one with me.

[01:07:50] Bob Pastorella: From the creator of this horror comes a new nightmare for the Digital Age. The Girl in the video by Michael David Wilson. After a teacher receives a weirdly arousing video, his life descends and a paranoia and obsession, more videos follow each containing information no stranger could possibly know, but who's sending them and what do they want?

[01:08:09] The answers may destroy everything and everyone he loves the girl. In the video is The Ring Meets Fatal Attraction from iPhone generation. Available now in paperback ebook and Audio House of Bad Memories. The debut novel from Michael David Wilson comes out on Friday the 13th this October via cemetery Gates Media.

[01:08:28] 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. Will Denny defeat his demons or be perpetually tortured for refusing to answer impossible questions?

[01:08:49] Clay McLeod Chapman says, house of Bad memories hit so hard. You'll spit teeth out once you're done reading it. Pre-Order, house of Bad Memories by Michael David Wilson and paperback@cemeterygatesmedia.com or an ebook via Amazon.

[01:09:04] Michael David Wilson: If you can, we would love you to leave us a review on Apple Podcast. We just got a new review from Albuquerque, doctor who, among other things said in 2024, this is still the best podcast for horror literature interviews.

[01:09:26] Well, we couldn't ask for a better review than that, so thank you very, very much indeed. Okay, I will see you in the next episode with Dean Koontz. But until then, take care of yourself. Be good to one another. Read horror, keep on writing, be slow to anger, and quick to forgive the ones you love. And have a great, great day.

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