Too Spoopy

Too Spoopy


  • Category Archives Random-Ass Interviews
  • Random-Ass Interview: Autumn Christian

    Do you think we’ll ever reach the singularity?

    Duh. Where have you been?

    Favorite swear?

    Fuck. The word that powers the universe is Fuck. It is the perfect word – it is noun, verb, adjective, and adverb. The fucking fuck fucks fucks is a gramatically correct sentence. It touches the tip of the tongue like the power word of the gods reverberating through the whole mouth sending fissions down the throat and earthquakes made out of nerves down into the spine and stomach. It is the word for every occasion, event, and mood. It can be sexy. It can be angry and vulgar. It can be used both to celebrate, and to express displeasure. It can be used casually. It can be used to make people jolt out of their daydreams and pay attention. It is a word that is both shapeshifter, and indelible. It will leave its mark like a thumbprint inside your brain.

    If your dog’s could talk, what do you think they’d say?

    “For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”

    Who do you think would win in a fight, Bukowski or Poe?

    It depends on what age they’re fighting each other at. What most people don’t know about Poe is that he was quite the athlete in his youth – he swam 7 miles upstream of the James River when he was a teenager. Only later did he begin to suffer poor health from drinking and possibly diabetes or head trauma. Bukowski was a mean son of a bitch but I mean if I had to put money on it I’d have to go with Poe just because that lithograph of him with the wry smile looks like he’s probably killed a motherfucker before.

    Last cereal you ate?

    This is an unacceptable question and cereal is unacceptable.
Acceptable breakfast foods: breakfast tacos, breakfast bagels, fried eggs, hash browns, scrambled eggs on avocado toast, cinnamon buns, leftover birthday cake, beer, kratom tea, coffee and an omega 3 pill, jelly-filled doughnuts, a ham sandwich.

    You’re working on a novel right?


    You ever seen that video of the like floating pants cryptid?

Are you talking about the Fresno alien? I just typed it into google. Now I’ve seen the video. It just looks like someone walking around while wearing pants.

    On average, how many Red Bull do you drink a day?

    I’m down to one or two Red bulls a day. I didn’t start drinking Red Bull until I met up with Robert (my current boyfriend) in Austin and we drank Red Bull in his car one night while talking about Bigfoot. When I went back home in Seattle I drank Red Bull just because the taste reminded me of him and I’m a hopeless romantic. Then a month or so later we were reunited and every time I drink Red Bull I’m reminded of how much I love him. So really what I’m trying to say is that Red Bull taught me about the love between a man and a woman.

    What’s the longest you’ve ever played a game, as in hours logged?

    Around 19 hours I think, but I rarely log that much anymore. Yes I’m a filthy casual, I know people who have stayed up playing for days. In an attempt to be health conscientious the game I was playing, Lineage 2, decided to post an update every hour that you were logged in and reminded you that you should probably take a break because you’ve been playing X amount of hours. Most of the people I played with just laughed at this warning message and took it as a point of pride to keep score for how long they’d been playing.

    Do you think loggers have a lot of shitty jokes about wood?

    It’s possible, but I imagine most loggers want to distract themselves from their day jobs when they’re out having fun.

    Where does love go when it dies?

    Okay, it’d take me a book to explain this but let me try to condense it down into a paragraph: Love isn’t just an emotion. It’s the byproduct of what powers a universe that seems to have a propensity toward creation. When we love it’s because in us is an appreciation of what powers the universe and what exists around and inside of us. Love cannot die – it can only change shape and form and when we no longer feel love it doesn’t mean the love no longer exists.

    You like cartoons?

    No. I only watch live-action movies about serious things.

    Three wolf moon is in the running for best t-shirt, in my humble opinion. Do you think there are better t-shirts?

I actually own a three wolf moon t-shirt and it glows in the dark. If there are better t-shirts I haven’t seen them – the three wolf moon conveys a primal power and raw courage that is rarely seen in lesser t-shirts. The three wolf moon wearer is instantly marked as an alpha by their peers. The brazenness required to wear a three wolf moon t-shirt

    Is Autumn Christian your real name? If you were to use a pseudonym, what type of name you think you’d use?

    FOR THE LAST TIME AUTUMN CHRISTIAN IS MY REAL NAME. It’s on my birth certificate and everything.

    I’ve used a pseudonym before when I was writing SEO stuff. I went by something like April Lee because I thought it sounded bland and immediately forgettable. Another contender is Winter Heathen.

    If I was a robot, would you really know?

    I try not to pry into people’s personal lives.

    You ever drank a 40?

    No, why would you even ask that question? Do I have the demeanor of someone who would willfully let a 40 touch my lips, with its awkwardly large size? I only drink beer that has been made by blind monks and poured over a playboy model’s gracefully aging nude body and blessed by a forked-tongue gnostic Christian. And no IPAs.

    I mean, obviously. Of course I’ve drank a 40 before.

    Favorite paint color?

    It’s a toss up between Gray Owl, Clouded Vision Gray, Cape Cod Gray, Whispering Waterfall Gray, Granite Gray, Drizzling Mist Gray, Plumett Gray, and Web Gray.

    Khakis or jeans?

    Jeans because they have a long history of being the clothing of the working class. Khakis were first worn by the British military. It seems like the choice is obvious here. But if I’m being honest I usually wear jeggings (A cross between jeans and a legging) because I want my pants to be as skin tight as possible so I can show off my ass. My physical therapist the other day told me I had strong glute muscles so you know, I’m pretty sure he was hitting on me.

    Thanks for taking part. Got any plugs?

    I think you’d really enjoy this claymation horror short:

    I also have books and a website:

    Autumn Christian Site

    Autumn Christian Amazon

  • Random-Ass Interview: Gwendolyn Kiste


    Gummy bears or Swedish fish?

    Gummy bears, for sure. When I was around four years old, I couldn’t quite fathom how Swedish fish candies and those paper fortune telling fish could both exist simultaneously as separate entities, so to this day, I always expect a Swedish fish to start curling up in my palm like an evil red sentient thing. *shivers*

    Fortunately, my Gummy bears have formed a substantial army that is prepared at any time to go to battle against the Swedish fish, on land or by sea, so the world is safe… for now.

    Do you like living in Pennsylvania?

    Can anyone truly like living in a state founded by uptight Quakers? To this day, the government holds our booze hostage. It’s sad too, because we live in Pennsylvania and if anyone needs booze, it’s definitely Pennsylvanians.

    Booze melancholy aside, I do like Pittsburgh, even if the weird crisscrossed roads were designed by an angry sober Quaker who wanted to punish drivers everywhere because he couldn’t buy beer on Sundays. And I also like my house and little stretch of land, which I always bill in my bio as “an abandoned horse farm,” both because that’s true and because that description makes it sound weirder and creepier than it probably is.

    Has anyone ever told you “go fly a kite, Kiste!”

    No, but seriously, I’ve been waiting my whole life for someone to say that, so thank you.

    What excites you about horror fiction?

    I love the possibility. With speculative fiction in general, you can explore anything—on this world or in the universe at large. Plus, my personal life is big on the existential dread, so horror is a good outlet for that.

    What annoys you about horror fiction?

    Stories that rely on overused tropes. I’m all for incorporating the old standbys, but try something new with them. I imagine if you could dig deep into the primordial collective unconsciousness of storytelling and conjure up a physical representation of a vampire or werewolf, the first thing it would tell you is, “Help me. I’m bored.” Killing hapless villagers is great, but it only gets you so far.

    Fortunately, what I’ve seen lately in horror fiction is a complete overhaul of these tropes as well as the development of entirely new creatures, so this criticism is probably more directed at horror cinema, in particular studio projects. Silly Hollywood.

    Do you have a preferred time of day, or day of the week you like to write?

    As long as it’s not super early in the morning, I’m good to go. And by super early, I mean before noon.

    How often do you personally shop a story before you give up?

    It depends on the story. If I really believe in it and I’ve gotten positive feedback from my beta readers, I’m like Don Quixote, sending out that story and fighting windmills all over the publishing industry. The piece could get a dozen rejections, but I’ll keep going.

    There have been other stories, though, that I’ve quit after one or two submissions, if the editor provides feedback that confirms what I thought might not be working is indeed not working. Malfunctioning stories can happen; I do my best to learn from the experience and move on.

    Are you offended in the new Muppets show Kermit and Miss piggy get divorced, and Kermit starts dating a younger pig?

    Personally, I have little opinion on the new Muppets, but my husband has a background as a puppet designer, and he’s so generally offended by the new show that I feel like I should say “yes, I am offended,” just to show solidarity.

    If you woke up, and you had extra eyes on the back of your head, what do you think you’d do that day?

    Visit a doctor.

    Boxers or briefs?


    Boxes of briefs?

    Set them on fire.

    Boxers in briefs?

    Briefs atop boxers atop briefs atop boxers. Like dirty nesting dolls.

    You ever had stitches?

    Yes, in my foot and in my gums. Basically, there have been times when stitches have been the only thing holding my body together.

    What story you’ve written scares you the most?

    Probably “Audrey at Night.” The concept—about a woman trying to appease the vengeful spirit of the friend she betrayed—always gave me the creeps. Then last year, Dan Foytik adapted it for The Wicked Library. Thanks to his awesome narration and all the fantastic music and sound effects, I think he totally dialed that creep factor up to eleven.

    For me, there’s nothing better than collaborating with talented people and watching something you already love become even better. The original illustration by Jeanette Andromeda completely put it over the top for me. A great experience all the way around, and certainly one of my scarier stories.

    Who would win in a fight, Joe Pulver, or his mustache?

    I ALWAYS put my money on mustaches. It has to do with my religious beliefs.

    If you could be a Muppet, which one would you want to be?

    I’m going to go expanded Jim Henson universe on this, and say any of the castle goblins in Labyrinth. Oh, if only we could all magic-dance with David Bowie!

    Favorite food?

    Gas station pizza. The greasier, the better.

    Favorite dude?

    It’s a total copout, but I have to go with my husband. He coddles me when I need it but also knows when to call me out on my bullshit. It’s a perfect balance, especially for a moody artist like me who needs coddling and tough love in approximately equal measure.

    What you got coming’ out?

    Stories! All my work will be short fiction for the foreseeable future, though hopefully there will be a novel joining the mix at some point soon. I’m always updating my blog and published fiction page, so check me out at as well as on Twitter (@gwendolynkiste).

  • Random-Ass Interview: Mike Griffin


    Are you in fact a Griffin, the magical beast or lore?

    I’m not a creature of myth, but I do possess a lion’s courage and fearsome power, plus the vision of an eagle. Also wings.

    Has anyone ever called you Micheal Michael motorcycle?

    Every Christmas and birthday card I’ve received from my brother Colin, for at least the past 20 years, has been addressed to Michael Pichael Motorcycle, or sometimes he writes MPM and we both know what it means. I think when we were really young, he started calling me Michael Pichael, because little kids think it’s really funny to change a word by one letter. He repeated that over and over, trying to drive me insane. Michael Pichael, Michael Pichael, Michael Pichael, Michael Pichael, until I’d hurl a Coke bottle at his cute little angelic head. Somehow later that nickname crossed with the more familiar Michael Michael Motorcycle rhyme, I guess.

    Do you like Cheez Its?

    I’ve always believed you can tell a lot about someone by the choices they make, especially about really important things. Cheez Its or Cheese Nips? I’m willing to fistfight over this. Cheez Its are so much better.


    I think about caffeine a lot. I’ve formulated a caffeine strategy. In college I overused the stuff, the way college kids are inclined to find something they like and overdo it until they almost poison themselves. Like, you know, four Super Big Gulps per day. One time right after college, I entered a Three-Day Novel contest and drank two cases of Coke during that spree. I still depend heavily on caffeine but I’ve become wary of it. I think the stimulant effect is desirable, but for me, it comes with an edginess or anxiety which is counterproductive to my writing. I find I’m often better being a little undercaffeinated. Give me enough coffee to wake up, then some sugar, and no more coffee the rest of the day. This is completely the opposite of how I always did it before, but it seems to work better.


    Nah, I don’t even mess with the stuff. I’m mystified why people want to get themselves hooked on a drug with such nasty downsides. Of course, that’s what we all think about OTHER people’s drugs. We’re defensive and protective about our own.


    I don’t know, man. In the olden days, people had to put oil in their cars. Now with synthetic oil, it’s like you drive around for the entire life of the car with the oil that was in the engine when you bought it. That’s how it’s supposed to work, right?

    Do you think of yourself as a weird fiction writer?

    I don’t exactly think of myself as a weird fiction writer, but I realize other people think of me that way, and I’m not arguing against it. After a while it’s hard not to think people expect a certain something from you. You can defy it, go along with it, or something in between, but no matter what, you’re aware of the preconception so it affects you somewhat. I also recognize these categories can be a useful shorthand, like if you meet another writer and they ask what you do, and you don’t have time to go into all your influences and what your work is like. You can just say “Weird fiction, quiet horror” and they get it well enough.

    How’s Oregon?

    Oregon’s pretty great, really. I’ve lived here almost my entire life. It’s funny, growing up in a place and feeling like it’s distinctly minor league, too small, too quiet, too far removed from everything cool in the world… then to grow up and find it’s maybe the coolest place in the country. I’d like to believe part of this blossoming of Portland’s worldwide reputation is related to my own coming of age. When I was a dorky little kid, Portland halfway sucked. Now that I’m grown up, I’ve made Portland cool. This seems like a pretty good working theory to me.

    You ever written a story that was just bad, and tried to fix it, but just gave up?

    I think everyone comes out with clunkers every once and a while, they just don’t admit it. Not only do I gladly admit that this has happened to me, but some of my best work has grown out of the rotting, abandoned corpse of a story I’d tried and failed to write years before. I first began doing this as a kind of exercise in discipline, and trying to study what worked and didn’t work by examining the deficits in these busted half-stories. While I certainly have dozens of aborted stories to which I never returned, I’ve found that the ideas that have stuck in my head for years after I gave them up, the characters or settings or plots that seemed too compelling to forget, have formed the basis for some of my most interesting work.. It just took a second try, or third, or even more. Sometimes an idea just needs an extra layer, or a change to a character, or requires the story to start in a different place on the timeline. A given story seed can become something else, something quite different and much better.

    Do you like hats?

    I admire men who can wear a hat well, and I have heaps of scorn for men who wear hats badly. I hate few things as much as young guys who wear baseball caps everywhere they go. Sorry, dudes.

    Do you like bats?

    No, but I dig the part of the interview where we fall into a cool kind of Seuss rhythm and rhyme.

    Do you have any particular type of music you listen to when you write?

    Lots of ambient music, some electronica and film soundtracks and jazz. I almost completely avoid writing to music with lyrics because I find the words draw me out of the story and cause distraction. For most stories, I design an iTunes playlist to create a certain mood, either a feel I want to inhabit while I create, or something that suggests the world or the psyche of the story. Sometimes the playlists are several hours long, sometimes they’re short. Not long ago I finished writing a novel that took something lke five months of listening to nothign but Wardruna. I guess for the rest of my life when I hear Wardruna I will think of the settings and characters of that particular story.

    If Scooby Doo was a blood-thirsty murder dog, would we even know it? Like, what if his bumbling persona is just to cover up that he’s been killing indiscriminately for years?

    I got nothing, here.

    You ever had wrist trouble? I wear these tennis wrist wraps, they look silly but actually work well for days I have to write a lot.

    Remember back when everyone had carpal tunnel syndrome. It was like 1999 and everybody had an ergonomic keyboard and all that. I had really sore wrists then. Somehow I manage it now by being careful to face my keyboard squarely, and not at an angle. I think I screwed up my right wrist by sitting so I had to angle that wrist a bit in order to hit the keyboard.

    Are you a morning person?

    Nah, the opposite. After 23 years of the same day job, I’ve found that you can force yourself to get used to waking up fairly early, but I’ll always be wired to feel more comfortable at night, in the dark. I get more creative work done after the day is over, not before it begins. I’m sitting here typing this in the dark, knowing I have to wake up in six hours for work, but I’d rather do it now than go to sleep and wake up earlier to type these answers. I used to think morning people must be pretty stupid and untrustworthy but I’ve softened this view.

    Do you write at night or in the morning, or in the afternoon?

    Most of my writing happens during a day long “door’s shut, leave me the hell alone” binge every Sunday. So morning, afternoon, and evening. I might do 9-14 hours straight. Other than that, I grab 60 minutes whenever I can, either right after work, or late at night, several times per week. I definitely feel different, writing at night. I never write with the lights on, and most of the time when I’m writing, it’s in Scrivener in the “distraction free” full-screen mode, a black background and grey-green text. So the room is DARK, nothing to look at but the words. That’s when I really get submerged in the story and feel the rest of the world disappear.

    Got any pets?

    Yes, a cat. We love the cat but I have to shut her out of the room or else she keeps running into me and yowling for food nonstop. This happened three minutes before I typed these words.

    You got a record label, right?

    I do. In the mid-nineties I took a break from writing, or maybe had a breakdown and couldn’t do it any more, and spent my creative energy working on ambient electronic music. I started a record label called Hypnos and it actually did really well, became a big thing, kept me busy, and it’s been lots of fun. The world is changing, as far as how feel people about buying music. Most of the people I knew who owned indie labels around the same time gave up. Hypnos is still going strong. My wife does a great job running the mail order. I just need to dedicate more time to putting out new CDs on the label. Life is busy!

    I got this song I just wrote “Pissin’ out my ass.” It’s about the struggle of the poor in a classist society.
    No, it’s about diarrhea.
    Oh, right, a question…
    Do you watch college basketball?

    Not much, but I watch a fair amount of college football. In fact, I watch every Oregon Ducks football game without fail.

    Who do you think would win in a fight, Ross Lockhart or Justin Steele? Follow up, do you think if they fought tag team style they could beat up a paring if Peter Straub and Stephen King, but a somehow younger straub and king?

    As much as I think beating people up is pretty important, it makes me sad to think about these two swell guys fighting. Steely wins the tale of the tape, but Lockhart’s got grit. Ross is the kind of guy who’d slice the guts out of some fool who said the wrong word, Ross smiling the whole time, then immediately afterward, sit back with Elinor in his lap, savor a fancy brew and post a picture and some tasting notes to Twitter as if nothing outlandish had ever happened. Justin’s got another decade more seasoning at least before he attains that level of badassdom. Now, just because Steely doesn’t quite match Lockhart as a threat, I have to say these two would easily dro the hammer all over Straub and King even in their heyday-est of heydays.

    You like bananas?

    I eat a banana every morning. Bananas are fundamental.

    Got any plugs?

    Just one, but I think it’s a big one. My collection The Lure of Devouring Light is coming out in April. The book includes eleven stories, more than half the word count previously unpublished. It also has my novella Far From Streets, which many people seemed to want to read, but they missed out on the original out of print release. I feel very lucky to be involved with Word Horde, to work with Ross Lockhart, and also to joint an incredible roster of talented writers.

    Thanks for the interview, Sean!

  • Random-Ass Interview: Kristi Demeester


    Kristi Demeester is a writer to keep your eye on.

    Cats or dogs?

    Dogs forever. Somehow I ended up with three, and I’m constantly covered in dog hair.

    Does this look infected?

    Maybe don’t stick your pecker in everything.

    Pumpkin pie or apple?


    Have you ever written a story you had to edit for so long you lost any sense of it?

    Not that I necessarily lost sense of it, but so long that I scrapped it because I couldn’t ever see it working.

    Can anyone pull off velour?

    Tom Hardy probably could. But he’s the only one I’d ever want to see in it.

    Tea or coffee?

    Coffee. Black like my soul. Tea should only be had over ice and sugared to the point of diabetes.

    Do you think there’s a paint color that could make your eyes bleed, and make you hallucinate?

    If there is one, I want some. For my enemies.

    If Hell is repetition, does that mean that by default life is often Hell?

    This question is too smart for me.

    On longer projects, how do you stay motivated?

    I set a goal for myself last year that I would write 1,000 words a day with a day off here and there. Eventually, it became habit. On days I don’t write, I feel itchy. So keeping that itch away keeps me motivated.

    Do you listen to music when you write?

    Music has to either be something I know so well that it fades into the backdrop or ambient. I listen to a lot of Lull when I write. Last summer, I listened to the It Follows soundtrack over and over while I finished my first novel.

    You find a hidden room in your house. What’s in it?

    Lots and lots of bottles of expensive whiskey.

    Have you ever broken a bone?

    I haven’t. I’ve also never been stung by a bee.

    Do you think a human femur makes a good bludgeoning tool?

    Anything with the appropriate heft makes a good bludgeoning tool.

    Thanks for taking part.

    Thanks so much, Sean!

    Got any plugs?

    My chapbook “Split Tongues” is currently available from Dim Shores Press. My story “All The World When It Is Thin” is in the newest issue of The Dark Magazine. Find me online at

  • Random-Ass Interview: Wayne June


    Wayne June is an awesome audiobook narrator. Check him out at his Soundcloud, or his official website. Also, he was kind of enough to make this an extra special random-ass interivew. 😉

    Do you ever record in your pajamas?
    Since my studio is in my home, I often brag about being able to work in my bathrobe. I have yet to actually take advantage of the opportunity. And as horrifying as the visual may be, for some reason I feel compelled to confess that I don’t wear pajamas.

    Heads or tails?

    I haven’t really put much thought into it, but in an effort to devise an ad hoc probability distribution with which to consider a procedure of statistical inference, we must realize that if there is a finite number of exhaustive and mutually exclusive events Ak, k = 1, 2, …, K, with nk being the number of favorable outcomes in Ak then P(Ak) = nk / N, where N = n1 + n2 + … + nK.

    If, in remembering our childhood studies in thermodynamics, we further factor in entropy (the measure of the number of specific realizations or microstates that may realize a thermodynamic system in a defined state specified by macroscopic observables) we understand such as a measure of disorder; a lack of order or predictability; a gradual decline into disorder within a closed system (one in which there is no work being performed). I therefore find that leveraging expectation by entertaining a preference for one alternative over another tends to introduce a proclivity for disenchantment by virtue of the absurd assignation of teleological mediation to the collective normative void. As with all indicative propositions expressive of propositional knowledge, we are left with the same question Jürgen Habermas failed to answer in his 1979 essay: “What is Universal Pragmatics?”

    That said… six o’ one, half a dozen of the other.

    Tales or tails?


    Did you ever watch that cartoon, Tailspin?


    Do you like cartoons?

    I do. I like the stuff I grew up with on TV from the so-called “Golden Age” (the 1920s to 1960s). It was mainly produced for theatrical release to be shown before feature films. The older stuff can be really surreal, both in execution and content. I tend to lose interest with the later introduction of limited animation styles.

    Have you ever had a hard time performing a book?

    Some projects are harder than others, but, yeah; …each book presents its own set of challenges. Generally, the pre-read and any necessary research will make a production easier. You’ve got to get a handle on what the author wants to accomplish, what he’s actually “saying” with the story. You’ve got to make performance choices for characters, ensure faithfulness to the backstory, identify the subtext and make decisions while paying attention to the arc of the story. When you work alone you’re wearing a lot of hats: Producer, director, engineer, actor; each comes with its own responsibilities and skill sets. Getting it all together requires preparation, focus, consistency… but if you enjoy the process the hard work can be a lot of fun.

    That’s not news to you; you’ve done some audiobook stuff yourself, as well as your podcasting. How’s that going?

    Oh, wow, well, this is unexpected. The story readings are going okay. As you said before, wearing a lot of hats is tough when you do it all on your own. When it comes to the acting/engineering part I’ll admit I’ve still got a lot to learn. But I love the process, and have always enjoyed performing my stories for people.

    As for the pocasting, Miskatonic Musings is going great! My solo podcast I only update now maybe twice a year, but that’s okay, as it’s turned into more of a place to work on performing my stories. Sadly, without a separate editor, I fear I no longer have the time to do interviews. My desire for audio quality has become stronger in the last few years.

    How’s the writing going?

    It’s going is usually my set answer. I don’t know that people even realize I’m a fiction writer. On my end I feel like I’m incessantly babbling about it, but to someone who say, only reads these interviews and might listen to Miskatonic Musings, you’d probably just assume all I did was non-fiction stuff like interviews and reviews.
    I shop a story maybe once a month, and I plan to self publish my first fiction collection this summer of 2016. So, in that regard, it’s going good.

    Who are some of your current favorite authors?

    Top of the list is Jason Brant. I’m privileged to be producing some of his stuff on audio, great writer! In Weird Fiction, H.P. Lovecraft is my perpetual favorite. Gawd, there’s a whole “laundry list” of contributors to the genre: William Hope Hodgson, Lord Dunsany, Arthur Machen, M. R. James, Algernon Blackwood, Ambrose Bierce, Sheridan LeFanu, and Edgar Allan Poe, of course… Robert Bloch, Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, Ray Bradbury. I’ve recently discovered Thomas Ligotti, he’s a hoot.

    How much would I have to pay you for you to do my voice mail? Do a lot of people ask you that?

    I’ve done anything and everything related to the voice industry over the years, voice mail included. (When I was a volunteer recording for the blind and dyslexic I even voiced a microwave oven owner’s manual!) These days I use a premium pricing strategy which tends to be most effective in achieving my preferred profit structure.

    Speaking of homicidal turkeys, how did you like “Thankskilling”?

    Haha! Dude, that movie is so bad. Also, sorry to hear your email got hacked. (When I wrote this interview, it was around Thanksgiving. But due to email issues, I only found out a week ago Wayne actually never got this interview when I first sent it!)

    I’ve since seen “Santa’s Slay” and am torn which of the two films was worse. I do love the cartoonish elements of each, as I love cartoons.

    How goes the drumming?

    Well I’ve been officially off the road for a while now. I do a pick-up gig once in a while for giggles, but my drums primarily reside in the studio now, where I do informal projects for fun. I’ve got some junk on SoundCloud.

    So you have a home studio, huh? Cuz, I have this radio play about balls of dust that grow sentience, and start a dance group…

    Can’t wait to hear it! I don’t believe you’d find dust in my studio… Or sentience, either, for that matter. As for dancing, Lovecraft said it best: “Almost nobody dances sober, unless they happen to be insane.”

    Who do you think would win in a fight, Bram Stoker or Clive Barker?

    I think I’d have to give it to Clive; Bram’s idolization of Walt Whitman and admiration of Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, (who harbored intense opposition to the opium trade) make me suspicious.

    Thanks for participating. Got anything to plug?

    Always. I’ve been working with the great team at Red Hook Studios on a Lovecraftian dungeon crawler video game they’ve created called “Darkest Dungeon”. It’s described as being about “the psychological stresses of leading a team of flawed heroes against unimaginable horrors, stress, famine, disease, and the ever-encroaching dark.” HA! Way cool! I’ve got a new audiobook series by author Jason Brant. Book 1 is called “Ash: a Thriller”, and I’m currently producing Book 2 in the Asher Benson Series, “Madness”. You can find most of my audiobooks on Audible and Vibedeck:

    Wayne June on Audible | • Wayne June on VibeDeck

    And if you contact me anywhere online and butter me up I’ve been known to give a free download code for one of my audiobooks.

    If you do any of these, hook up with me here:

    Wayne June on FaceBook | • Wayne June on Twitter | • Wayne on SoundCloud
    Wayne June on Vimeo |• Wayne June on YouTube |• Wayne June on Instagram
    Wayne June on Google+ | • Wayne June on Pinterest | Wayne on LinkedIn |

  • Random-Ass Interview: Molly Tanzer


    Molly Tanzer writes stuff and things. You can find her in places.

    Do you like techno music?

    I once owned a copy of that Orbital album with the samples from Star Trek:

    If you made a suit of armor, would it be Molly Tanzer panzer?

    Y…yes? Maybe?

    You seem to be drawn to writing about certain time periods, as many
    authors are. What were/ are some of your favorite time periods to
    write about?
    (I like writing about the near future, as I can make stuff up, and no
    one can say I’m wrong!)

    Well the 17th and 18th centuries are obviously huge for me… my Master’s
    degree is in 18th century English literature and culture, basically, so yeah, I mean, it’s easy for me to just go there and feel comfortable. Plus I love using especially the 18th century as a lens through which to focus on our

    Favorite cheese?

    Chao is really good, and the new Follow Your Heart blocks and slices are
    great. Uh, I’m vegan! Anyway, I home culture and cure my own cashew
    cheese so that’s actually my favorite but that’s a tough one to recommend.

    Who would win in a food fight, Kelly Link or Neil Gaiman?


    Favorite animal?

    My cat?

    Favorite manimal?

    M… my husband?

    Do you like animal from The Muppets?

    He’s the red one?

    Do you wish you could just walk away from anyone who asked you
    “where do you get your ideas from?”

    Someone just asked me this on a cruise I took with my mom, but no, I
    didn’t want to walk away because I would have fallen into a river.

    Do you like tea?

    Yes! English breakfast tea is my favorite. Milk first.

    Do you climb trees?

    No. As a kid I fell out of a tree and scraped half my face off, or at least
    that’s how it felt, and I’ve never wanted to since.

    Now, climbing mountains or ruins? All the time!

    Have you ever drank tea in a tree?


    Have you ever worn a suit?

    Yes, naturally! I had an Ayn Rand thing in high school and I had this totally
    Dagny Taggart blue suit I wore to speech and debate tournaments and felt
    so slick.

    Who would win in a shoot-out: Clint Eastwood from The Good, the
    Bad, and the Ugly or Clint Eastwood from Unforgiven?

    The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

    I liked your story from Cassilda’s Song, the new Joe Pulver edited collection of King in Yellow stories. Have you ever
    visited New York, and was “Grave-Worms” an easy story to write, or
    did it take you a while?

    Thank you; Yes; Kinda; Yes

    Do you believe there are other realities from this one? And in that
    reality, do you think you are in fact interviewing me about my book?
    Follow up: did you like my book in that alternate reality, and keep in
    mind I’m the one who can edit your answers when I post this. 😉

    I loved it!

    Got any special plans for the holidays? You know, like Festivus and

    My mom is coming up!

    Any pluggy-plugs?

    Yes, please buy everything I’ve written but most especially my debut novel,
    the weird western Vermilion, my historical crime novel The Pleasure
    Merchant, every anthology I’m in, and keep an eye out next year for my
    debut anthology Swords v Cthulhu as well as the standalone reprint of my
    novella Rumbullion: An Apostrophe.


    Pleasure Merchant

    Thanks for taking part in el interview. Muy bueno.

    It was fun! Thank you!

  • Random-Ass Interview: John Langan


    What’s it like to be the spokesman for horror bears everywhere?

    It doesn’t pay as much as you’d think.

    Favorite monster movie?

    It has to be the original Godzilla, right? Except, what about the original King Kong? And then there’s THEM, and even The Relic had its moments. So, maybe Gorgo. Or Hellboy.

    Favorite swear?

    Lately, it’s been motherfucker.
    (John bleeped this out with %^&* but I chose to make the executive decision to leave it un-&*^%-ed.)

    What do you think of the genre which is apparently all genres known as “slipstream”?

    I think objects in the mirror are not where you think they are.

    Do you have an evil twin, and if so, where does he live?

    He isn’t–oh, who am I kidding. Of course he is. He rides the roads in a ’68 Plymouth Fury. There’s a duffel bag full of cash on the passenger’s seat. There’s a samurai sword lying unsheathed on the back seat.

    Favorite secret agent?

    James Bond?

    Who do you think would win in a fight, Neil Gaiman or Neil Gaiman’s hair?

    The milk.

    Would you ever write a straight crime story/ Sean didn’t do a great deal of research, have you ever written a straight crime story?

    I haven’t yet, but yes, I would.

    How much coffee do you drink a day?

    Two cups of regular in the morning, then decaf if I have any more later in the day.

    Cats or dogs?

    Dogs. (Cats.)

    Rats or hogs?


    Moats or bogs?


    Stones or logs?


    Where’s The Fisherman?

    I hope to have some news about that in the very near future.

    Have you ever gone fishing?

    If serving as my younger son’s tackle carrier and fish-spotter counts as fishing, then hundreds of times.

    If you had to defeat a monster made of cheese, which kind of cheese would you hope he was made out of?

    Fresh cheese. If he’d been sitting out for a while, he’d get that hard, crusty way cheese gets when you forget about it on the kitchen table overnight, and it would be harder to slice him with your samurai sword.

    Have you ever broken your glasses?

    So many times…

    On the rocks or neat?

    Seriously? Neat.

    Name a story you’ve read recently which you really enjoyed.

    Ray Russell’s “Sardonicus.”

    Do you have coyotes around where you live? They’re a pain around Massachusetts: we have a whole lot of them.

    We do. We don’t have many, but they’re around. We also have a bear.

    Why is my cat so clingy?

    What have you done?

    Favorite story of the sea?

    Moby Dick. Or The End of the Tether. Or Typhoon. Or Lord Jim.

    Is Michael Cisco a real person, or is he an amalgamation of several people, like Shakespeare or Tom Clancy?

    He is a projection of something that sits beyond the rim of space, on a throne made of the bones of dead planets.

    Pistol or revolver?


    Math or science?

    Well, you need math for science, don’t you? So, neither.

    Do you know someone nice named Eddy?

    Eddy Eder, who’s a fabulous artist.

    Night writing or day writing?

    Night writing, then all day writing at the end.

    Anything coming down the road?

    A new collection, Sefira and Other Betrayals, from Hippocampus early next year. Stories in Chris Golden’s Seize the Night and Ellen Datlow’s The Monstrous.

    Thanks for taking part in the interview.

    Thanks for asking me to.

  • Random-Ass Interview: Philip Gelatt


    Phillip Gellat is the screenwriter of Europa Report, and wrote a film adaptation of Laird Barron’s short story 30. I’m sure you’ll be hearing his name a lot in the coming months.

    What’s been the hardest thing for you to write so far?

    The hardest thing was a screenplay I was hired to write. An adaptation, though not of a short story or of a comic or a novel. I’ll leave it at that. The experience was – it was like having a bunch of nails fucked into my eye holes, while I slowly inserted rusty wire hooks under my fingernails so that a team of maniacs could manipulate my typing without my seeing.

    What’s the most challenging part of adapting a short story into a screenplay?

    The dread is the most challenging part. Dreading that.

    Shaken or stirred?

    Are you trying to get me to talk about Bond? I’d love to talk about Bond. Because listen to me here and now: George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton might not have been the best Bonds but they are in two of the best Bond films ever. Living Daylights does globe-trotting so god damned well. Bond and the Mujahadeen! It’s amazing.

    And On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is such a special movie. A Bond movie that ends with emotional devastation! It’s incredible.

    And also stirred, please.

    Do you like oatmeal?

    Yep. I eat it every morning. I’ve developed various ways of making it. I used to put a ton of powdered ginger in it. Now I put peanut butter. I like to think of it like my morning witch’s brew. Strength for the coming day.

    How do you like your coffee?

    Dark roasted and black. Two cups a day.

    Favorite short story?

    Oh sweet Jesus. Favorite of all time?! This interview is sadistic. The first short story I remember loving is The Lagoon by Joseph Conrad. Though, in all honesty, I remember very little about the story itself, just the feeling of having loved it.

    Lovecraft’s short stories are probably the ones I’ve re-read the most. Though I’ve also spent a lot of time with Barker’s Books of Blood.

    I can say that over the last two years I’ve been reading a lot of short fiction most of it in the weird and horror vein. I recently found myself floored by Robert Aickman’s work.

    Ever fired a gun? I haven’t, unless you count one of those tiny little rifles they let Boy Scouts shoot at camp. That’s more like a pellet gun though, I think…

    Yep. I have. I grew up in Wisconsin farm country and there were guns around. So I got to fire them. I have one particularly crazy story of getting taken to a weird little one room shack somewhere over the hills that bound my home town explicitly to fire guns. The shack was, at the time, covered in right wing propaganda (Limbaugh photos, anti-Clinton slogans, this was the mid-90s) and guns. Lots of guns.

    I spent the afternoon firing said guns with a bunch of hunter types, all of whom were there to both shoot and get drunk.

    One of them told me that the only way to ensure a hand gun is accurate is to dry fire it constantly. Like I should buy one and just walk around the house pretending to shoot things with an empty gun. Then he told me about how he’d accidentally shot a hole in his fridge that way.

    It’s a very strange memory.

    How did you get into writing comic scripts? Was it hard for you to get your foot in the door with that?

    Compared to the time other people have breaking into that world, I had a relatively easy time. The artist on my first comic was also working on The Venture Brothers. When you say that to publishers, they perk up a bit and listen.

    Have you ever actually got your foot caught in a door?

    I haven’t! But I have knocked my two front teeth out on a bathtub.

    What would you do if you came home, and there was a severed foot stuck in between the front door to your place?

    Ask it politely to leave.

    Who do you think would win in a fight, Robert E. Howard, or Howard the Duck?

    I… I… I’d love to say “The duck” and justify it in some epic fashion. But I’d have to say the Robert would win. Then again, I don’t actually know that much about Howard the Duck… except that he’s trapped in a world he never made.

    If trees scream, does that mean grass would too when you mowed it?

    One cannot assume such, no. They’d be entirely different species. Perhaps the grass suffers silently. Perhaps it weeps. Or perhaps it just bides its time, cataloguing every blade we trim, and waiting for its moment.

    What’s your favorite part about living in Providence? You do live in Providence right? I hope I didn’t just pull that out of my ass…

    I do live in Providence. I’ve been here for about 5 years. Providence is a weird city. It’d be a weird city even if it didn’t have the Lovecraft connection going for it.

    My favorite part is my house. We moved from Brooklyn so having a house felt really special. I have my office in the attic. When we moved in we found old chiropractic back braces under the eaves. It made the whole thing special.

    What kind of comics have you read which inspired you? What kind of films have inspired you to write films?

    I am and will forever be an Alan Moore apologist. From Hell is my favorite comic of all time and it is something I am always coming back to as a high watermark of storytelling. When I was a teen, I was all about Dark Horse’s “Legends” line. So the Mignola, Chadwick, Miller, Allred, Byrne stuff. Then in college I was all about the Vertigo books of the ‘90s and ‘00s (Preacher, TransMet, The Invisibles, Sandman). Lately I haven’t been reading many comics, sadly.

    As for film, I’m not exactly spouting a radical theory when I say that American film of the 1970s was something special. I find myself constantly inspired by that era. It was radical and philosophical and poetic and felt hand-crafted. Each of those movies, even the bad ones, is special in some way.

    Clowns, why?

    Because if there is a god, he hates us all. And if there isn’t, then it’s just us and our luck versus the clowns down here and isn’t that an upsetting thought.

    Go anything to pluggy-plug? Do it now!

    Well, I started shooting that adaptation of a Laird Barron short story last week, so everyone should keep their eyes peeled for that! Feel free to follow me on twitter (@pmjeepers) or instagram (philipgelatt) where I’ll be posting pictures and things from behind the scenes.

  • Random-Ass Interview: Scott R. Jones


    Scott R. Jones wrote a bunch of goodness, so Google him, but also check out When the Stars are Right, and Tales of the Resonator, which he edited.

    Does the R stand for “Rocker”?

    Perhaps at one point it did? I think it probably stands for “Raunch” now. That, or “Random”, because I feel both these days. Randomly raunchy? Yup. Oh wait, no, neither. It stands for “Really Tired All the Time Because Toddlers”.

    Dogs or cats?

    Man! The hardball questions right outta the gate! Lessee. I’m gonna go with neither. As mentioned, I’ve got two kids ages 4 and 2 and the idea of cleaning up the feces of a third thing, and one not directly related to me, or even my species, is just… just no. No. Also (and I don’t know if they have this in the US) here we are required by law and, I dunno, civic duty or something, to pick up the dog’s waste while out on walkies. With the little plastic bag on your hand, sure, but friends. Friends, that’s still warm canine dookie you’re wrapping your digits around, and I am not down with that. I guess if this writing thing begins to ever pay and we end up living on a ranch, I might think about having a dog. That way it can run around in the woods and poop where it likes, as the Elder Things (and Nature!) intended. Ditto for the cat.

    Favorite swear?

    Hoooo, I tend to wander all over the board for this one. But one phrase I’ve become recently enamored of is “Go die in a fire” or “Die in a fire”. My wife introduced it to me, and it’s just really special. Succinct, punchy. It’s got a nice element of horrible torture in it, and the possibility of surviving it (by having someone put out said fire) is introduced, kinda? But also removed. Hope is offered, between the lines, and then taken away. Which I like. It’s certainly not a general purpose insult, but we’re using it more and more.

    What’s the most annoying thing you encounter when people found out you’re a Canadian?

    Oh, we’re not allowed to be annoyed up here. I do nod my head and put on a thin-lipped smile when I get the “say, do you know Dave Whatsisface from Canada?”

    What do you think the role of genre is in fiction?

    Y’know, genre is a basic template. It’s a skeleton. Writers get to slap wads of flesh on the thing, and make it live and move and, hopefully, breathe. I think (and this is just my take, personally) that if your genre piece comes outta the other end of that process just looking like a fleshy skeleton, then you’ve done it wrong. Or wrongish. Because then all you’ve done is, like, a facial reconstruction? When it comes to the horror genre, or weird fiction specifically, I think it should be difficult to tell what the bones of the thing are.

    If you could be any kind of monster, what kind would you be?

    Oh, I think anything that could fold in and out of dimensions would be just super-keen! Go anywhere. Live in the walls. The FX budget would be a killer, though. So, I guess a Dimensional Shambler? You could call me “Shambles: The Intersectional Man”! I wouldn’t fight crime, though. So don’t ask me to.

    What’s the grossest Lovecraftian sex scene you’ve ever read? Have you ever written a really gross Lovecraftian sex scene?

    Well, I did help Justine Geoffrey put together and edit the climactic chapter in her first BLACKSTONE Erotica book, Red Monolith Frenzy, in which a small eastern European town’s worth of rabid sex-mutants, at the urging of their high priestess and under the influence of a dread worm-deity straight outta Robert E. Howard, merge into a vast pulsating column of flesh before disappearing into a vagina-portal. Not your momma’s orgy, lemme tell ya. The weird thing is, it turns out that kind of scene is actually hot? I mean, after a fashion. I think we’re going to see a lot of much weirder stuff in the coming years, as transhumanism becomes the norm. Come, Armageddon! Come!

    You told me you sculpt a bust of Cthulhu about once a year? Have you ever thought about doing one where Cthulhu has a sign that says “R’lyeh or bust!”?

    But can I put it on a t-shirt for the Big C to wear, instead? I can? YAY! Thanks Sean!

    Would you ever go full Alan Moore and live in the middle of nowhere and grow a huge beard, and generally look like a crazy homeless man?

    I thought he lived in Highbury. There was that album he did up as a séance. Or Northampton? Anyway, smack dab in the middle of Old England. Is that Nowhere? Maybe? Anyway, no to the nowhere and yes to the beard, though I doubt it will ever get to epic proportions on my face because a) the wife wouldn’t allow it and b) I have, I dunno, a depletion in testosterone or something that makes it ridiculously hard to grow facial hair (what I have now took me literally months to build and it is scraggly as eff, son!) and maybe to the crazy homeless man thing, on all three counts. Crazy is as crazy does, for one thing, and I’ve always felt kinda homeless everywhere I’ve lived for another, and if I perform the rituals correctly, I may not be A MAN at all by the time I kick it, so… SUCK IT, MOORE! #THUGWIZBIZ4LIFE

    If using a stapler is stapling, why is putting a paper clip on something not called paper-clipping? Or is it?

    It is in Canada. But only because we’re so progressive and right-thinking.

    Follow up, if you have a a paper clip in your pocket, would it make sense to say you had a “full clip”?

    Ummm… is this question to do with the NRA, or the like? I’ve only ever fired a gun once, at a shooting range in Las Vegas. It was weird and uncomfortable, and not at all like playing Halo. Horrible way to end the honeymoon, too.

    You ever had a root canal?

    I seem to recall some kind of dental work in the deep past. But I was seriously drugged. Surgery is always disturbing.

    You ever had a route on a canal?

    Paper route? Mail route? I guess you could ask me again in a couple months, as I live around major waterways and tributaries and I’ve just started a day-job with Canada Post as a new-fangled “Delivery Agent”. I can now go postal and have an excuse!

    What do you think of root vegetables?

    I don’t think of them at all. They certainly don’t think of me, so.

    You ever gotten really lost before?

    Oh, sure! We have this coming-of-age thing in Canada where they just leave kids on the tundra, blindfolded, with a Trapper Nelson packed full of bannock, pemmican, and a beat-up Walkman with the greatest hits of The Guess Who on tape. Took me five months, but I returned to my village a man. I think it’s the same thing in Alaska, but I don’t know, maybe ask Laird Barron about the American version. Seriously, though, yes. Yes, I’ve spent one-too-many nights in the woods. Never again, it’s super-gross and distressing.

    Who do you think would win in a fight, Ramsey Campbell, or Clive Barker?

    You’re not asking for details for this, so I’ll just say Ramsey Campbell. I think he’s just more robust. And I’m not just saying that because Ramsey liked that story of mine that one time very recently.

    Favorite type of pie?

    Key Lime. No contest.

    Got any plugs to plug, then plug ‘em?!

    Oh yeah?! Why I oughta… I’ll plug you! (Oh wait, you mean promo stuff…) Well, I’m fairly proud of the work we’ve done at Martian Migraine Press with our 2015 anthology, RESONATOR: New Lovecraftian Tales From Beyond (available direct from MMP in both electronic and RealBook™ formats, or on order from most fine retailers) and of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t direct your readers to my own auto-ethnographical work of Cthulhu Mythos-based spirituality/self-help, When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality. I won’t stop with that biz until there are at least 23 Cthulhusattva’s walkin’ around out there. Kinda like the Hebrew’s 36 Tzadikim but y’know, with more eldritch chutzpah! We could all use a little more #KeepingItRlyeh in our lives, anyway. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Thanks, Sean!

  • Random-Ass Interview: Ted E. Grau


    I hate to judge a person based on fiction, as it’s an easy way to mistake fiction for reality. However, I get a sense you might have had some partying days in you? Anything you care to share?

    As a kid growing up in Middle America who idolized people like Hunter Thompson, Samuel Coleridge, Jack Kerouac, and Jim Morrison, I’ve clocked my late night hours on the weird end of the dial, but I don’t really care to share anything specific, as I find that sort of conversation so incredibly boring. Anyone who constantly talks publicly or romantically about drinking or drugs probably hasn’t had any experience with either.

    Favorite mixed drink?

    A rocket strength Jameson Irish coffee with a splash of Baileys. Remove the “mixed” and it’s Jameson neat. Keep the “mixed,” and I like this concoction called a Thirsty Crow, served up at this little hipster dive of the same name in Silverlake. They make them with a dank Rye, ginger beer, lemon juice, bitters, and mint. Kind of like a cowboy mojito. Refreshing as hell, with a nice warm kick. Cadillac margaritas in the summertime are also nice. I’m not too snooty or macho when it comes to a quality cocktail.

    What scares you?

    What terrifies me more than anything else is the thought of my wife and daughter being in danger, threatened, or scared. I would rip through walls and take on armies to make sure that never, ever happens. I think and worry about it daily. Either of them becoming seriously ill also scares the shit out of me.

    Moving down the priority list a bit, I personally don’t like the idea of imprisonment or being immobilized and at the mercy of others, squeezing into small, enclosed spaces, and humanoid figures with unnaturally long appendages. Things with large, unblinking eyes. An unexpected knock on our front door. Marionettes, old masks, and unintentionally bizarre clowns also rank in there somewhere. As I’ve gotten older, and after several recurring dreams of falling from buildings several miles high, I don’t like great heights anymore, either.

    In a general sense, people scare me. Males of the human species in particular. The made-up horrors I tend to write about pale in comparison to what has been unleashed by human beings. Aside from a very close circle, I don’t trust a one of them. How can you? It’s not like the monsters amongst us wear placards.

    Favorite monster?

    Godzilla as a child, and probably Cthulhu as an adult (I think you can see the running theme here in terms of size, dramatic aquatic entrance, etc.). Victor Frankenstein’s monster in Mary Shelley’s book is quite fascinating, and from a purely visual perspective, Slender Man is pretty spooky, what with the featureless white face, long proportions, and watchful total silence.

    Favorite swear?

    “Horseshit.” Old timers and football coaches use it with such aplomb. I also like a good non-specific “cocksucker,” perfected by Al Swearengen on Deadwood. Personally, I use “motherfucker” way too much. I’m pretty trite with my own expletives.

    If you could ride an elephant to work, would you? It seems like it’d be a real pain to park the thing/ keep it from trampling people to death.

    Hell no. No proper turning signals and shitty handling in LA traffic. I’d let my daughter name it, then take that beautiful beast out into a protected wildlife area and set it free, posting up with a .306 in case poachers got some ideas.

    What if the Dark wasn’t actually Nameless, but had a really lame name like Bartholomew?

    Then Bartholomew Dark would get his own self-titled show on the CW, starring nine people that all look way too much like actors.


    What do you think of the term “torture porn”?

    I think the term is accurate, as it appeals to a base, apparently popular desire to see relatively innocent human beings – primarily women – endure terror, pain, and a gruesome death. People are fucked up like that. I don’t think it’s very interesting, though. WHY these twisted individuals are doing what they do is far more fascinating than HOW they do it, or the end result. If I was hired to write some stupid torture porn movie, it would be all background, lead-up, and counterpunch, with the gore happening entirely off-screen, sometimes heard but never seen. Your brain will construct an infinitely more horrifying death scene than any filmmaker can ever stage. Hitchcock understood that.

    I’m more of a fan of “revenge porn” than “torture porn,” as I do have a soft spot in my grayish heart for bad things happening to bad people who truly deserve it. And there are so many who do.

    Do you think William S. Burroughs ever really did use his bare hands to dig into the dirt, hence being a Burroughs who burrowed?

    I think Burroughs was rather soft in the underbelly, being a man born of great means and devoted as he was to shooting junk into his veins. He’s no doubt buried a few bodies, but probably either hired out, or used a shovel. Guys like him don’t do the heavy lifting. They just write checks and watch.

    Pistol or revolver?

    Bazooka. The old timey kind that all my green Army men used. Or that classic Russian-made RPG. The kind they used in Red Dawn, and are the favorite weapon of jihadists and insurgents of all stripes around the world. Those things are like souped-up bottle rockets. I’ve had daydreams about shooting one of those for years.

    Do you like spicy food? It hurts me stomach.

    I do, indeed. Although I have a pretty sensitive stomach, the irony of which is never lost of my wife when I toss back raw peppers and then wait for my night to be ruined.

    Worst job?

    Detasseling corn at age 14. Child labor laws didn’t really exist out on the Upper Plains back in the 80s, and so my first “corporate” job other than working for other farmers (walking beans, bailing hay, scooping animal waste of every kind, etc.) was a forced march through endless rows of seed corn alongside a motley crew of inner city kids, migrants, and ex con hard cases who couldn’t get hired on anywhere else. Getting up at 4 am, being bussed across the river to Iowa, then herded into fields of wet, razor sharp green sword blades while line bosses with bad prison tats degrade you like drill sergeants for every tassel you miss – that’s not the way you want to spend your summer. I forgot to bring gloves the first day, and still have the scars all over my fingers. I don’t mind hard work, but that was pure hell.

    Favorite fruit?

    Rainier cherries. Thank goodness I married an Armenian girl.

    Dogs or cats?


    You ever had a story you wrote you hated, but everyone else seemed to like?

    Not really, as I wouldn’t try to sell or publish a story I hated. It is interesting to see which stories get the most response, and why.

    Shower, or bath?

    Shower. I grew out of baths when I grew out of my Toughskins.

    Granite counter tops, or marble?

    Granite. Slate gray, rough hewn, hopefully containing the petrified remains of many ancestors.

    If you got any plugs, let the readers know, Ted.

    Well, my first collection of short fiction, The Nameless Dark, is available through Lethe Press.


    A novelette, “MonoChrome,” that doesn’t appear in my collection, can be found in the anthology In The Court of the Yellow King, published by Celaeno Press. It’s a Los Angeles tale and introduces Henry Ganz, a character that I want to revisit in future work. I’m presently working on a few novellas, the first of which has sold (announcement coming soon) and the second of which might come out through the same publisher, as they have interest in publishing both. I also have some novels that are piecing themselves together in the back of my mind, and dozens of short stories I either need to finish or start. Once completed, one of my upcoming fiction collections will be titled Salt Creek: Tales of Prairie Horror and will feature horror and dark fiction that all takes place in the Midwest, primarily Nebraska.

    As always, there are too many ideas and projects spinning in the ether, with so little time to pull them in and clean them up.

    Thanks for participating.

    Thanks for having me, Sean. It’s been fun.