Happy Thanksgiving

There are many things I am thankful for this year. So I decided to make a short list of several of them. I have always thought that people should look at things and make the best of every situation. Now I know that this isn’t always easy or fun at the time but everything that happens in our lives make us who we are and define us so if I look at things in a positive light no matter how bad I have managed to gain something from it all.

Here is my list…..

1. Christy Thornbrugh– she taught me that there is always someone who loves me. Not to give up and to keep pushing no matter what.

2. My other mother and “brother”– they have always loved me no matter what I’m doing or where I am and that I’m ok.

3. XTina Marie– who had given me unconditional support and loads of laughs this year. Has kept my spirit high and reminded me often I could do this,

4. James Longmore– he has taught me that people will like what I write and that I have a voice and to use it. He has also had incredible patience with me when I screw up the newsletter or have to redo a meme 100x’s because I didn’t listen the first time. For letting me be part of the amazing HellBound Books Publishing family. Thank you

5. Jaap Boekestein– who I had the honor to write my very first published story with. It was an awesome journey and I never would have done it without you.

6. Thomas Gunther– such a good friend who made my year when he asked me for a book that my stories were in and told me he wanted it signed. You sir have mad talent.

7. Richard Chizmar– just an incredible man, author and one of my idols who I can’t believe wanted me to read and review his amazing books. I can’t tell you how touched I am.

8. Ray Garton– your friendship means the world to me. You are a joy in my world and I couldn’t think more of you and Dawn. You are my hero.

9. Lemmy Rushmore– who convinced me that I should share my poems with the world. I am nowhere near as wickedly talented as you are but I am thankful for all the times you read my crap and gave me pointers on how to make it better. To me you are our generations Poe.

10. For all the unbelievable talented and amazing writer friends that I have you are my light in the darkness. You make me strong, you keep me going. You will never know how much you all mean to me. I truly love you all.

Now, this short list barely covers all the people who have made my life a better place this year. Thank you all for being a part of my world and letting me be a small part of yours.

 

With many Thanks,

Becky Narron

Roadie Notes 💗

Mike Thorn has overtaken Roadie Notes

Recently I was asked by Mike Thorn if he could do a guest blog. After talking to him I thought why the hell not! So with much respect I give you Mike Thorn……..

Please welcome Mike Thorn to Roadie Notes!……..

 

Mike Thorn is the author of the short story collection Darkest Hours. He completed his B.A. with honors at Mount Royal University and his M.A. in English Literature at the University of Calgary. His fiction has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Dark Moon Digest, Turn to Ash and Straylight Literary Arts Magazine. His film criticism has appeared recently in MUBI Notebook, The Seventh Row and The Film Stage. For more information, visit his website, mikethornwrites.com, or connect with him on Twitter @MikeThornWrites.

Now that I’m looking back, it might be easier to identify who and what was influencing the things I’ve written. In the moment, I’m very rarely conscious of inspiration; I let my stories take me where they take me, and I don’t allow myself time for questioning. Darkest Hours, scheduled for a November 21 release with Unnerving, collects 16 pieces that I wrote between 2015 and 2017. I like to think the collection reflects a range of my interests and fixations. This post provides a brief insight into the books, authors, movies and situations that fueled the contents of my debut collection.

 

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Hair
In the case of “Hair,” I wanted to reflect on addiction through a genre-specific lens. At the time that I wrote it, I was reading Eugene Thacker’s Horror of Philosophy trilogy (2011-15) and Dylan Trigg’s The Thing: A Phenomenology of Horror (2014). Though I wasn’t fully conscious of it at the time, I think these philosophers’ reflections bled into the fiction. Specifically, “Hair” picks up on Dylan Trigg’s study of alien anteriority within the human body—Trigg’s uniquely unhuman phenomenology works nicely with the metaphorical function of hair. Part of protagonist Theodore’s fixation on hair comes from its weird and seemingly paradoxical nature—something that is seemingly both dead and alive. This story is also all about the corrosive power of obsession, which is a topic I find myself returning to time and again. That probably stems in no small part from my love for Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (1851), fiction’s ultimate study of monomania.

Mictian Diabolus
I feel a deep affection for slasher horror films, and with “Mictian Diabolus” I set out to put my own occult twist on that subgenre’s framework. I wanted to translate some of the things I love about movies like A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and The Funhouse (1981) while also incorporating the relationships between drugs, horror and metal music. I lifted the title incantation from Anton Szandor LaVey’s listing of “Infernal Names” in the “Invocation to Satan” section of the Satanic Bible (1969). “Whether all or only some of the names are called,” LaVey writes, “they must be taken out of the rigidly organized form in which they are listed here and arranged in a phonetically effective roster.” Paul The Peeler MacFarland, this story’s villain, picks up on LaVey’s instructions in a warped, misguided and profoundly evil way.

A New Kind of Drug
I had recently read and been devastated by Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door (1989) when I dove into “A New Kind of Drug.” Ketchum’s novel is a brutal realist account of actual events involving the processes of social complicity and violent conditioning; by contrast, “A New Kind of Drug” depicts teenagers who discover creature-induced dimension-hopping as a method of getting high. Hardly realism. But still, this piece involves violent coercion of an innocent being, and I think I was influenced by Ketchum’s empathy and painfully exacting descriptions. I also wanted to write in an abstract way about the ways that humans regularly and systematically exploit nonhuman animals. It’s a dark, nasty, unpleasant piece of fiction, but that’s where it took me and I couldn’t see it going any other way.

Party Time
This piece came out fully formed after a couple of quick and hyper-focused writing sessions. I wanted to use indirect narrative discourse to write from a toxic protagonist’s perspective; I also wanted to reflect hyperbolically on the ways that parties can quickly become menacing and even terrifying situations. Whenever I’m tapping into a scary or violent psyche, I think back to Hubert Selby Jr.’s techniques, especially the epic inner-monologue that comprises his novel The Room (1971). That influence was definitely clattering around in my brain when I worked on this story… as were Don Robertson’s The Ideal, Genuine Man (1987), Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me (1952) and Robert Bloch’s The Scarf (1947).

Mired
After I’d produced several consecutive horror stories, “Mired” came from a deliberate effort to write something satirical. I was just beginning my graduate degree in English literature, and was already suffering from a bad case of impostor’s syndrome and perpetually increasing anxiety. I can’t say with all honesty that the anxiety has passed, but at least this story provided me with some kind of genre-codified catharsis. What are its influences? The countless philosophy/theory texts that I’ve hopelessly tried and failed to understand. It’s supposed to be a humorous and exaggerated reflection of actual fears. I hope that it does its job.

The Auteur
In my mid-teens, I worked for a while as a video store clerk. For the most part, I loved that environment and experience. I wanted this story to function as an ode to that time while also exploring my love for horror cinema. As with many of this collection’s pieces, I was influenced by a number of the stories in Thomas Ligotti’s Songs of a Dead Dreamer (1989) and Grimscribe: His Lives and Works (1991)—specifically, one of the characters I allude to herein is inspired partially by Ligotti’s story “The Night School.” “The Auteur” also serves as an homage to Kathe Koja’s The Cipher (1991), which is not only one of my favorite horror novels of all time but also one of my favorite books, full stop.

Choo-Choo
I love the final, often terrifying revelations that close out so many episodes of The Twilight Zone. I also love the ways that R.L. Stine updates that tradition for his Goosebumps books. With “Choo-Choo,” I intended to write a considerably darker Goosebumps-inspired story about adolescents in peril. I aimed to produce something fast and narratively concise with a gut-punch of a spooky ending. As brutal as it is, I also wanted this to be a fun read. Think Say Cheese and Die! (1992), the R-rated version.

Fear and Grace
This is an enclosed and intimate story about a woman dealing with trauma and a success-laden, sociopathic friend who has left a trail of destruction in his wake. While it’s a very particular, insular and character-focused piece, I think I was also working with bigger ideas about power, hierarchies and the corporatization of radical thought. I wasn’t conscious of any specific influences, but I was probably inspired to varying degrees by Stephen King’s 1982 novella Apt Pupil (from the collection Different Seasons), Joyce Carol Oates’s Daddy Love (2013), excerpts from Eden Robinson’s Traplines (1996) and Simone de Beauvoir’s A Woman Destroyed (1967).

Long Man
Along with the final story in Darkest Hours (“Remembering Absence”), “Long Man” came out of an abandoned novel I was writing from the perspective of a sleuthing ghost. While dealing with a part of the narrative that finds two friends connecting over childhood trauma, I was definitely conscious of Gregg Araki’s 2004 film adaptation of Mysterious Skin, a novel by Scott Heim (1995). For whatever reason, I listened to Cher’s “Believe” on repeat while writing the horrific climax. In my mind, that’s the song playing in the van when hell breaks loose.

Economy These Days
I wrote this story as a deliberate counterpoint to the book’s persisting darkness… which is not to say that it doesn’t feature its fair share of pessimism. This is a satirical and deliberately blunt narrative about late capitalism, which takes cues from the tonal acrobatics that Eli Roth puts to work in his Hostel films (2005/7). I don’t read a lot of overtly humorous fiction, and certainly not a lot of it in the horror genre, so it’s difficult for me to pin down the influences for stories like “Economy These Days.” I certainly admire the balance of humour and profound insight in books like Zadie Smith’s White Teeth (1999), Hari Kunzru’s Transmission (2004) and John Irving’s The World According to Garp (1978), but I can’t see any explicit connections between those novels’ uses of comedy and mine.

Sabbatical
Here, as elsewhere, I was influenced by Thomas Ligotti’s fiction and philosophy… I was definitely working through some of the most unsettling and antihuman revelations in The Conspiracy Against the Human Race (2010). I was also reading a lot of cyberpunk fiction at the time, which is way outside of my usual wheelhouse… some of the more conceptual and less plot-specific stuff in William Gibson’s Neuromancer (1984) probably had some kind of effect on this story, even if I’m not completely sure how.

Satanic Panic
This story stems in large part from my fascination with the anti-Satanist Christian propaganda films of the titular era. I’m talking the Geraldo Rivera Show’s floodgate 1988 special “Exposing Satan’s Underground,” but also Cults and Ritual Crime (1990), Devil Worship: The Rise of Satanism (1989), Exposing the Satanic Web (1990) and Law Enforcement Guide to Satanic Cults (1994), to name a small handful of many. Even more than “Mictian Diabolus,” this story is very clearly about the ties between metal music and horror films; as a fan of both, the mostly normal and innocent protagonist personifies a perceived Satanic threat. I took inspiration from specific moments in the aforementioned propaganda documents; for example, Exposing the Satanic Web features a long and paranoiac analysis of the Satanic messages imbedded in Slayer’s Reign in Blood (1986) album cover. So yes, I listened to some old Slayer records while writing this, but I mostly played the Possessed album Seven Churches (1985) on repeat. There’s a lot of straight-up horror here, but I hope that the dark humor also finds its way through.

Speaking of Ghosts
Probably more than any other story in this collection, “Speaking of Ghosts” was explicitly influenced by a specific text. I had just read David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (1999) and wanted to reinterpret the modus operandi driving some of those stories. I set out to write a comically dialogue-driven, old-fashioned ghost story – I took notes from Robert Aickman, Edgar Allan Poe and even Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (1843).

Lucio Schluter
Yet again, I’m mulling over a lot of Ligotti’s terrifying explorations of mannequins and dolls; but this story is grounded in its own distinct world. I wanted to say something about power, academia and art. Under the pseudonym Rosamond Smith, Joyce Carol Oates wrote Nemesis (1990), an extremely disturbing novel about abuse in academia—that book is operating on a crushingly realist register, but I think some of its concerns worked its way into “Lucio Schluter,” which directly and openly announces itself as horror fiction. I suspect I was also unconsciously inspired by Kathe Koja’s masterful Skin (1992), a psychological body horror novel set in the world of art.

Fusion
I wanted to replicate that particular outdoorsy sense of mounting dread that Algernon Blackwood achieves in his novella The Willows (1907)… but then the dread was pushed past its threshold and this became a gruesome tale of body invasion. Some of the grotesquerie might stem from my unapologetic love for things like Stephen King’s visceral, trippy alien novels, The Tommyknockers (1987) and Dreamcatcher (2001). Although it bears no clear resemblance to Harlan Ellison’s writing, I was reading the collection I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (1967) at the time that I wrote this. I remember my writing soundtrack clearly, too: Posthuman, by JK Flesh (2012).

Remembering Absence
“Remembering Absence” came from the ambitious but obviously doomed idea of writing an entire long novel from a ghost’s point of view (I’m sure it has been done before, but I couldn’t seem to wrap my head around creating a protagonist with no agency). Plain and simple, this story arises from two main ingredients: a period of depression and a James Joyce seminar. Turns out I couldn’t put down Ulysses (1922) without feeling completely intoxicated and attached—I really wanted to try my own hand at the kind of free-wheeling, interior style of narration threading through so many of that novel’s best sequences. I also wanted to write something personal and cathartic. This is the result.

 

 

Getting personal with John J Tuite

John J Tuite is a delightful man to talk to about anything. Get him talking on Horror and be ready for an amazing discussion. He has a great sense of humor that I love and is very passionate about his writing. At the moment he has pulled his two books off Amazon to include them in his collection that he hopes to have out very soon. He loves heavy metal rock when he is writing horror. It seems to drive him. He has several nieces and several nephews  that he loves very much. So if you have t gotten to know him I highly suggest you take a few minutes and introduce yourself……..

 

Please help me welcome John J Tuite to Roadie Notes……………

 

 

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?

Thanks for having me! I’m excited! I enjoy all the interviews that you do and feel special to be a part of it! To answer the question, the earliest memory I have is in third grade. Third grade is where I got the desire to read just about anything I could get my hands on, and write. It’s interesting, because the teacher read The Hobbit, which gave me the love of Fantasy, but, reading Goosebumps by R.L. Stine, and growing up with horror movies gave me the love for writing my own scary stories.

2. How many books have you written?

I haven’t yet written a book. I’m very undisciplined in my writing. I tend to come up with more ideas than actual completed projects, but I’m working hard to correct that. However, I have two short stories, The Intruder and Last Call, published under the name J.J. Tuite on Amazon. I’m thinking I will be removing them, revisiting them, and eventually publishing a collection of short stories.

3. Anything you won’t write about?

Well, probably not. I think that writing outside of the comfort zone is an awesome way to write an amazing story. I found this out when I wrote a scene in, The Intruder. I know that Amazon is extremely picky on what they allow to be published and on one side of the coin, I suppose I understand, but on the other side of the coin, I think it’s total BS. I feel it’s censoring authors from creating some of their best works.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…

I’m 33, single, no kids, and my day job is doing small jobs at a non-profit organization that assists in helping developmentally delayed adults become more independent.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?

I love all the stories I have written and hope I figure out exactly what I’m going to do with all of them, so others can hopefully enjoy them as well.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

I would have to say, first and foremost, my family. My parents were always encouraging me to do what I wanted and to go after my dreams. My friends are always asking me what I’m working on and when they will be able to see the project, so it’s awesome that they support me and encourage me to do what I love. As I stated above, R.L. Stine was probably the first horror writer I read, then I progressed onto Stephen King, who my mom read a lot.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

Cliché as it is probably, I enjoy reading and writing. Hanging out with friends and having adult beverages, lol. I enjoy watching movies, horror being a favorite genre, of course. I’ve met so many wonderful folks in the independent author community and enjoy supporting them in any way I can. I hope to continue meeting more and support them however I can.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

None that are exciting, lol. After I’ve published the project, I focus on spreading the word around. Then I get right back to work on something else.

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?

Anywhere I can. I use my cell phone to write at the day job, so that’s fun. My big fingers cause problems, but it’s still fun, lol. I don’t really use music, but if I’m at home, the TV is most likely to be on in the background. Too much quiet might drive me more insane than I already am, lol.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

I would love to fix my discipline and complete all the projects I have.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

I would love to be well-known and travel the world promoting my works.

12. Where do you live?

Born, raised, and currently reside in Lakeland, FL. Popularly known for having scenes in Edward Scissorhands. Lakeland is also home to the Detroit Tigers during spring training. For being a lesser known place in Florida, we have a lot of interesting history.

13. Pets?

None right now. Can barely afford myself, lol.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Being able to create something for folks to use to escape reality.

15. What is coming next for you?

I’m currently working on a project titled, Desires, that I hope will be longer than a short story. Also, I think I will be using my weekends to write short stories to either submit to anthologies, or for collections to release to my fans.

16. Where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere to be honest. I watch people. I pay close attention to conversations and ask myself how I can use it with my own personal spin. Life experiences. Everywhere, lol

 

 

You can connect with John J Tuite here:

http://johntuite28.wixsite.com/jjtuiteauthor- Website

http://www.facebook.com/johnjosephtuite- Facebook

https://twitter.com/JJTuite28- Twitter

https://www.amazon.com/J.J.-Tuite/e/B00G9524JK

 

Getting personal with Jason Nugent

Jason Nugent was born in Cleveland, OH in 1974. He moved to rural Southern Illinois in 1992 and lives there today with his wife, son, and mini-zoo of three cats and two dogs.

Jason is the author of three collections of dark fiction short stories: “(Almost) Average Anthology,” “Moments of Darkness,” and “The God’s Eye.”

He’s also the author of the young adult scifi novel “The Selection” for which he won the 2017 Reality Bites Book Awards “Best Author: Scifi.”

Jason has written for Sum’n Unique Magazine and game missions for an independently produced video game titled “Status Quo.”

 

Please help me welcome Jason Nugent to Roadie Notes……..

 

1. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No, not in fiction anyway. When I was in college I studied history and wanted to teach Medieval history.
2. This question feeds the curiosity of other authors: If writing is a full-time career for you, do you have other streams of income (i.e. editing, cover design, etc.)?
I’m not a full-time author (yet!) I work as a sales rep for a screenprinting company. Need ay t-shirts?
3. Why did you choose to write your genre?
It’s the genre I’m most comfortable with because I’ve read a lot and watched a lot.

4. What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written?
How to cut an eye out. 😉

5. What are you currently working on?
I’m working on the sequel to my young adult scifi novel “The Selection.” I’m fairly close to the end of the first draft.
6. What motivated the plot for either WIP or current published book?
For my novel “The Selection,” I wanted a story my teenaged son would love. I wanted him to identify with the characters and experience the world I created. The basic premise of the book was an idea I tossed around with him and my wife before I wrote a word of it.
7. What was the hardest story for you to write?
Probably the one I’m working on now. I wanted to explore more of the world I created and bring more of the characters to life. It’s been a much larger undertaking than I imagined.
8. What process do you use to plan your novels?
I’ll let the idea simmer in my head for a few days before I begin organizing it. I’ll write a loose “outline” just so I have guard rails to keep me on track when I get too far away from where I want to be.
9. Who has been your favorite character? Why?
I’d say Timo from “The Selection.” There’s so much to him that readers don’t know yet. But they will!
10. Do any of your character reflect facets of your personality?
I think so. I’m a trusting person and believe others have the best intentions. Eron, my protagonist in “The Selection” is kinda like that. Of course, people aren’t always nice and we tend to get hurt.
11. Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?
Not really. I use different techniques to keep the creativity flowing. I’ll use random photos or music to get inspiration and off I go!
12. If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? Why?
Maybe Thrillers. The action in some of those is so intense!
13. Which authors inspire you?
Stephen King. I love how his writing is accessible and scary! John Scalzi has a similar style, though with a scifi bent. I’m also inspired by some fellow authors like Aaron Hamilton, Thomas Gunther, and Brent Harris to name a few. They are so talented and make me work harder at my craft.
14. What novel would you read multiple times?
I’ve read “The Shining” a few times. Love it!
15. If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? (Person could be a fictional character)
Mr. Snuffleupagus. He’s real!!! Big Bird was right!
16. What is your favorite quote?
“Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.”
17. What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary?
Gimme a cat any day.
18. What is your favorite color?
Blue

 

 

Links:
Website: jasonjnugent.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lailokenri
Facebook: facebook.com/jasonjnugentwrites
Books:
(Almost) Average Anthology: mybook.to/almostaverage
Moments of Darkness: mybook.to/momentsofdarkness
The Selection: mybook.to/the-selection

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jason-J.-Nugent/e/B01A2R18UG

 

 

Some of Jason Nugent’s books: 

Getting personal with Donna McCarthy

Donna Maria was brought up in the idyllic surroundings of rural Oxfordshire, where adventures were spent, on hazy summer days that seemed to last for an eternity.
Always a great reader, Alice in Wonderland was her bible, and her copy was always neatly stashed away in her bag, wherever the promise of magic and discovery sent her.
The youngest in a family of six brothers she grew up with a scholarly knowledge of both girls and boys, her best friends of all her two nearest siblings.
Her imagination is limitless, and when she said farewell to Oxfordshire, heart-breaking though it was, the bustling and forever changing demographic of Southampton and its urban creatures of both good and more questionable forces, proved a treat for the dark and fantastical realms, in her mind.
Epic poetry, lengthy school assignments, and tales around urban campfires filled her days. At school-leaving age she decided that even more knowledge, of our beautiful language, was exactly what her hungry mind required.
She went to a City College, studying English Literature, English Language, Sociology and Spanish, finding the Sociology ripe with tales from folklore and beliefs, to her absolute delight, and the Spanish, a wonderful addition to stories that brewed in her fertile mind.
She excelled at all, the English subjects especially, and upon leaving college decided that there were so many other ways to fill her note books with worthy subjects, and became gainfully employed working for the MOD, no less! On applying for a job as the Receptionist for an engineering company, part of the MOD, her talents for attention to detail and a fantastic memory were discovered and soon her role was finely tuned for somebody of her scope.
Enough said! Obviously she has signed the Official Secrets act, and can never disclose more, and although this was an incredibly exciting time in her life, she maintains that each and every episode so far has been equal in excitement; the mind is a strange and un-tamed beast, and in some is all-consuming. The produce can sometimes be really quite spectacular.
Biddy Trott is Donna’s third literary work, Gothic in nature (as is her passion) saying that she finds the language and taboo subject matters tantalising and exquisite.

 

Please help me welcome Donna McCarthy to Roadie Notes………💗

 

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?

I was around 8 when I wrote my first story. It was for a school project and the subject was ‘The power of suggestion.’ I wrote about a windy night and being in bed with branches of a tree scratching against my window. It actually had a massive impact on how I would write later in life as my story was read before the assembly (sounds pretty scary and weird in itself 😂)

2. How many books have you written?

I have written 3 books ( plus one I am working on)
Biddy Trott, soon to be released by Hellbound Books
A tragic Gothic Horror set in 18C England ( my favourite so far ☠️)
The Hangman’s Hitch
Gothic Horror, Satan and how he lays waste! Set in 18C England
The Meddler
A Gothic Fairytale purely for adults

3. Anything you won’t write about?
I don’t judge, but can’t and won’t write anything involving children or abuse. I just haven’t got the words.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
I am 46, six older brothers no sisters! Brought up Roman Catholic which is strange considering my writing material ( I’m not practicing)
I wanted to be a nun for so many years , Haha, I think I thought they had an easy life 😉
I work for the Ministry of Defence
( enough said😉)

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
Biddy Trott, I really enjoyed mixing horror and tragedy and creating a quandary, do you feel for her?

6. Who or what inspired you to write?
I was inspired by Lewis Caroll. Alice in Wonderland was my Bible as a child.

7. What do you like to do for fun?

I like to eat out, adventure holidays, writing and watching really good historical dramas. I also have a joint blog ‘Scream Hard Reviews’ with CHenry Roi
We review short stories and post awesome stuff!

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

A big whiskey! chill out for a few months, wait to be inspired.

 

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?

I write best in noisy atmospheres, I think it drowns out other thoughts and makes me concentrate.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

I wish I could edit as I go but write to quickly and frantically to do this.
It would save a lot of time and I know a lot of author’s do

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
famous writer, yes! But only so as I could reach hundreds of people with my stories, I’m a great storyteller.

12. Where do you live?
Oxford England

13. Pets?
no pets

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
losing myself in a character so as they become my Alter ego

15. What is coming next for you?
I am currently working on my fourth novel which I hope to finish end of December.
Biddy Trott is due for release through Hellbound books at the beginning of December

16. Where do you get your ideas?

from the classics, from people and characters I meet, from true crime tv ( psychopath watching at a safe distance)

 

You can connect with Donna McCarthy here:

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Donna-Maria-McCarthy/e/B00Q3465VA

Twitter: @roast914_k

Hellbound Books: http://www.hellboundbookspublishing.com/authorpage_mccarthy.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Potion666/

 

 

You can pick up a copy of Donna McCarthy’s books here:

Biddy Trott
http://www.hellboundbookspublishing.com/biddytrott.html

The Hangman’s Hitch

The Meddler

Scream Hard Reviews
https://m.facebook.com/Scream-Hard-Reviews-1092214474243552/

 

Some Of Donna McCarthy’s books:

Getting personal with Andy Rausch

Andy Rausch has written more than a dozen books on the subject of popular culture under the name Andrew J. Rausch. In addition, he is the author of the novel Mad World and the novella Bloodletting: A Tale of Revenge. His third work of fiction, Elvis Presley, CIA Assassin, was released in 2014 by Burning Bulb Publishing, his newest releases are Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties available now.

How old were you when you first wrote your first story?

I remember writing a short story for school when I was in the fourth grade. When I was in the seventh grade I thought I tried to write my first novel. It was a crime novel, which is humorous considering that’s primarily what I write now. It was about a cop who goes undercover in the Mafia and ends up becoming a Mob boss. It was a big idea for a young kid. Of course it was flawed in just about every way possible since I was hadn’t written very much previously and at that age knew absolutely nothing about the crime world.

How many books have you written?

Twenty-nine, I think, maybe thirty. Most of those are nonfiction books about popular culture, with a few novels and novellas in there for good measure.

Anything you won’t write about?

There is absolutely nothing I won’t write about. My mind tends to go to those places that are the most taboo, so I have to leave the possibility for anything on the table or I won’t end up getting any writing done. In my first novel, Mad World, there was a gay phone sex operator who unknowingly found himself naked in bed with his father. In that same book, there was a priest who murdered people. So yeah, anything’s on the table with absolutely no limitations.

Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…

I’m 44 years old. I have four daughters (and a stepson I sort of lost in my divorce). I live alone. I have late-stage congestive heart failure and use an implanted device called an LVAD to keep me alive. (“Grey’s Anatomy” fans will remember that this was the device Denny used until his untimely demise.) I am awaiting a heart transplant. I spent about three weeks in a coma two years ago. I worked all my life assisting people with retardation and head injuries, but am now disabled. So now I just write novels, novellas, short stories, essays, movie reviews, and celebrity interviews for magazines.

What’s your favorite book you have written?

I wrote a horror short story collection titled DEATH RATTLES. It has something like 26 stories in it. I’m very proud of that book because it has a lot of great stuff in it. Of course it’s my favorite of my books, so it’s the one that the fewest people have read. It tends to work that way sometimes. I’m also quite proud of my new crime novella collection RIDING SHOTGUN AND OTHER AMERICAN CRUELTIES, which just recently came out. I think I like them both for the same reason – because they showcase a variety of writing styles and story themes.

Who or what inspired you to write?

Stephen King, Elmore Leonard, and Quentin Tarantino have inspired every single thing I’ve written. Without the work of those three, I’m not sure where I’d be now. In my younger years, I read a ton of Don Pendleton’s THE EXECUTIONER novels and Sapir and Murphy’s THE DESTROYER novels. Those kind of ignited the earliest interest in writing.

What do you like to do for fun?

I like to write and spend time with my seven-year old daughter Josslyn. She likes to play video games and she thinks she’s a ninja. We have a lot of fun.

Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

Not really. I’ve thought about this. I really should have some sort of tradition, but I don’t have one.

Where do you write? Quiet or music?

My computer desk is in my living room and I do all my writing there. I’ve tried to go to parks and to the library with my laptop, but that doesn’t really work for me. I have to be at home. And no music. I know that works for a lot of writers, but I need it to be very quiet when I’m writing or else I can’t concentrate.

Anything you would change about your writing?

I imagine my answer is the same as everybody else’s; I would like to write more and write better. Always more and always better, no matter how much I put out or how good it is. And maybe secretly I wish it would sell more, but what writer aside from Stephen King doesn’t feel that way?

What is your dream? Famous writer?

Given my health issues, my dream is simply to live as long as I can so I can see all my daughters get married and have families.

Where do you live?

I live in Parsons, Kansas. It’s very quiet here. I hated, hated, hated that fact when I was younger, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to appreciate that.

Pets?

I’ve had a lot of pets through the years, but don’t have one right now. I live in a small apartment on the sixth floor, so taking the dog out would be kind of a pain in the ass for me, and should I go into the hospital for anything on short notice I wouldn’t have anyone to care for the animal in my absence. So no, sadly, no pets for me.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

It gives me an escape from real life. I also love the feeling of creation. It’s a wonderful thing, better than any drug on the market. It’s a real high.

What is coming next for you?

As I mentioned, my crime novella collection RIDING SHOTGUN AND OTHER AMERICAN CRUELTIES is just out now. For the moment it’s only available on Kindle, but the publisher says a paperback will be available in the fall. I have a new nonfiction book out now (that I cowrote with a handful of other writers) called THE 101 SCARIEST MOVIES EVER MADE. I also have a new novel coming out sometime (hopefully sooner than later) called M-COMPANY IN THE AXIS OF EVIL. That book, which I cowrote with David C. Hayes, is about monsters such as Dracula and Frankenstein who are recruited to fight Nazis during World War II. So I’m staying pretty busy.

 

You can connect with Andy Rausch here:

Email: cruelkingdom@gmail.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Andy-Rausch/e/B005IETECI

Facebook: Andrew J. Rausch

Twitter: @writerrausch1

 

Some of Andy Rausch’s books:

 

Kevin J. Kennedy’s Collected Halloween Horror Shorts review by: Mandy Tyra

A horrifically fun, top-notch Halloween anthology! This is Kevin J. Kennedy’s 3rd holiday themed anthology series and I sure hope he continues it on, he only accepts the highest quality stories from the finest crop of new writers, so I always know I’ll be pleased and thank you’d when I pick one up.
First he tinseled and lit our asses with his festive Christmas collection, then he had us hare-raised and hopped-up on his Easter shorts, and now it’s only apt that we get this BOOeautiful and darkly HELLarious Halloween assortment.
Tricks and treats that are bittersweet and hard to beat, just look at all that deadmeat ~ ok oookkk I’ll stop. Jeeez…tough crowd..

Cutting back on the quantity but never skimping out on the quality, he goes from 20 something stories down to 16 scary tales in this volume, yet it’s still over 300 pages.
With potential for a 17th terrifying entry if 3rd time resident forward guy Nev Murray cared to elaborate on “the troubles” of Northern Ireland that plagued his childhood.
I’m so intrigued!

And at only 16 tales, there is a good chance that this review of mine may not succumb to article status length this time.
Well, a fair chance anyway.

As always, the page counts are approximate. It’s not that I can’t count adequately enough, but depending on format and device, results may vary.
I’m most likely right though…. 😛

Black Widow ~ Christina Bergling 28pgs
College is a time for self discovery and growth but the only thing Dane cares to evolve is his libido and every Halloween he strives to love and leave a new slutty-costumed-up conquest.
He’s got a bucket list he’s trying to work his way through but wonders if there are any untapped get-ups left for his disposal. A random party invite sounds promiscuously promising. Oh the tangled webs to be wove..
I loathed that Dane character and loved what the author put him through. I’ve enjoyed all of Christina’s short stories in these collections, she’s a luminously bright new writer.

Mister Parker ~ Richard Chizmar 15pgs
Benjamin Parker is a middle school teacher, he’s also a bit of a loner and leads a very solitary, yet content, life. He detests Halloween due to a miserable and rotten childhood. He normally just locks himself away in his library and reads every Halloween but this year, this year…something is off.
This story was so sad, the build up was perfect for its short length, it kept me guessing about what it was really all about, leading to an ending I did NOT see coming.
It had a very non-fiction vibe to it which can be the most horrific of stories.
The first I’ve read from this author and reading his bio at the end, he co-wrote Gwendy’s Button Box with Stephen King. Wow!

Girlfriend ~ Andrew Lennon 19pgs
Simon is taking a lazy day, he was just dumped by his girlfriend Susan but is already looking towards the greener grassed bright side of it all. Ironically, he’s being harassed via mobile by said ex-girlfriend, begging for a 2nd chance. Baffled and annoyed, yet also kind of amused, he does his best to just let-it-all-hang-out and enjoy his new-found bachelorhood. Until things take a plunge to the shocking and stiflingly surreal. “Happy Halloween!”
I’ve always enjoyed Lennon’s imaginative writing style. I’ve read quite a bit of his work and he’s terrific.

Coffin Man ~ Mark Lukens 12pgs
Doting boyfriend Dennis accompanies his grieving girlfriend Tara to her hometown on Halloween, because her grandmother has died. They do not traditionally celebrate the fun holiday in that town but they do still decorate with an odd array of ornamentation. For preservation or…preparation, dunno but it is a very uninviting little town with an eerie Halloween legend.
The 2nd short I’ve read from Lukens, he says so much with so few pages. I see he has some highly rated/reviewed novel length books out there too. Read the synopsis for Devil’s Island ~ HOLY!

The Devil’s Fruit ~ Suzanne Fox 18pgs
Apple bobbing for bedpost notches…..?? It’s a real game, for Josh and Sam anyway, who have the point system and handicaps all worked out in their favor. It could have been and most likely would have been a sure thing if only they….well, let’s just say…did their own shopping; how bout them apples. But hey, either way it’s still destined to be one killer paaaarty!
Suzanne has a lot of class, and sass. Her stories are thrilling little page turners. She fondles…errr I mean dabbles in erotic fiction too. Her story in the X-mas collection….wheeew hot Hot HOT.

The Halloween Playground ~ Christopher Motz 20pgs
Marty is a drunk, the belligerent and intolerant kind that is annoyed by anyone and everyone, which only makes him drink more. So, it’s all their fault, obviously. Looking to make some changes, not within himself so much as at the expense of others, he’s planning the Halloween yard display to end all Halloween yard displays. He’s tired of being a background bit player, he’s gonna be the star attraction, talk of the town.
Oh man what a wicked wicked tale!
And Motz’s Pine Lakes should be required reading for any lover of the creepy and captivating edge-of-the-bed vivid dream inducing page turner. To quote myself in that review “Mind blowingly EXCELLENT!!”

Jenny Greentooth ~ James Matthew Byers 6pgs
What a catchy and extremely well versed poem about a witch going about her own witchy business. James writes such elaborate, hilarious, and demented poetry, his jelly bean one from the Easter collection was amazing!

Don’t Fear the Reaper ~ Steven Stacy 53pgs
This story was a love letter homage to John Carpenter’s Halloween, it read like a sister companion piece. Michael Myers is an iconic badass fictional character with many fans, so it’s not outside the realm to believe that a diehard fan (who is unbalanced and deranged enough) would turn copycat. Amber is tired of the wait, she’s ready for the 3rd act reveal and her friends really should be taking this all a bit more seriously. Pfft teenagers…
Steven Stacy is a name I remember vividly from the Easter collection. Not only was his story, The Echoes of the Bunny-Man, fantastic but it was made even more powerful when tied in with his bio. Two excellent stories that keep a similar tone; the strong and empowered female heroine who’s had too much heartache in her young life but still refuses to be the victim and the overall page length with many characters and much development ~ and that’s where the similarities end. A popcorn flick of a good time read!

A Story of Amber ~ Mark Cassell 23pgs
Brothers Chuck and Dillion were farm kids who experienced an unexplainable freakish event in their fields one Halloween. They are all grown up now and have unfortunately drifted apart. You’ve heard of gemstones having healing properties, well, what if the opposite was true…
Oh that antagonistic Amber, a beauty to be wary of as it unifies and evades.
So damn unique, I had NO idea what was going on here I just knew that I was digging it.
Mark is a very highly regarded indie author with quite a few highly regarded works out there. I have only read two short stories of his, so far, but I can totally see why. His writing is like alternate (yet not bizarro) dimension kind of stuff, multi layered with precise attention to detail. I really need to check out more from him. His Shadow Fabric Mythos series is….yep, you guessed it, very highly regarded.

Trick Turned Treat ~ Briana Robertson 36pgs
Incredibly vain and over-empowered…yet insecure…Chicory, fears aging. She has a sure-fire skin care regimen recipe for that though. And lucky for her, ingredients aren’t too terribly hard to come by for a woman of her cold and calculating feminine wiles.
So brutal, so…unnerving. I think I’m in mourning.
I went absolutely baby-bat-shit crazy for her Easter antho tale Baby Blues, it was so real and raw, I very much related. I could actually relate to certain elements of this one as well.
Briana is in my head, anxious to find out what we’re thinking next.

Pumpkin Rex ~ Lisa Morton 12pgs
High Schooler Devin loves Halloween and has saved up to buy the best, most traditional and distinguished, costume he could manage. His friend Maxx talks him into going to a rave, not overly enthused about it but hoping he’ll at least meet a cool girl, turns out it’s morphing into the rave of the millennia and some old traditions never die.
Lisa is a bonafide Halloween enthusiast expert, she has a nonfiction book out called Trick or Treat that explores the origins and pop culture fusion of this feared and revered, whimsically macabre holiday.

The First Shot ~ J.C. Michael 17pgs
Jealousy, scorn, and indifference lead a young woman to play a spiteful prank on Halloween. Encouraged by the voice of her racist and bigoted (aaand very deceased) grandfather, she watches from afar to see how her little show will play out.
It wasn’t until the end that I saw Oh Wow, this is a prequel to the grippingly awesome You Only Get One Shot novella that J.C. co-wrote with Kevin! So of course I had to go back and read it again with that in mind. YES, great story and I loved learning a bit of backstory for that big bad bitch. I hope he writes some more tales, adding even more layers to her mysterious and cold-blooded character.

Hallowed Be Thy ~ Stuart Keane 48pgs
Venturing back to the ominous Lake Whisper (that other S.K. has Castle Rock, this S.K. has Lake Whisper) yet again, we met sweet-natured Jack. He’s stoked cause he’s got a hot date with a gorgeous gal named Emma. It’s the sweetest Halloween treat he could possibly imagine….buuut this is Lake Whisper where salty and sour are the more predominant essences.
I’ve read almost everything by Stuart Keane, he is a brilliant writer with a BIG future ahead of him.

Dressed For Success ~ Peter Oliver Wonder 11pgs
Troy finds a mysterious and untouched make-up kit tossed by a trash can at a local novelty stop. He’s oddly drawn to it and enjoys the different characters he can create and perform. You know how you feel like a different person when in costume, just unabashedly uninhibited and game for anything?? Well, Troy surpasses that infantile feeling when he dons his custom-made costume. Playing dress-up is so out-of-this-world euphoric.
Peter writes sharp and fun little stories. He’s been in all 3 anthologies and all 3 of his tales were stand-out memorable. He also has a new novella out called Puckered that he co-wrote with one of my very favorite writers, David Owain Hughes. I must read that soon!

The Halloween Phantoms ~ John R. Little 22pgs
Forlorn and damn near despondent Ellen is just going through the motions while still trying to take good care of her daughter. Halloween holds no fun or excitement for her and she’s especially not in the mood for any neighborhood boo games.
Oooh this was such a terrific and highly emotional story, very sad and disturbing. This is one that sticks with you…

Halloweenland ~ Kevin J. Kennedy 30pgs
Zak and Wendy are a couple of 13-year-old long time best friends that are on the cusp of a burgeoning and quite adorable little bout of puppy love. A Halloween carnival is coming to town and they are beyond excited, it’s very much their favorite time of year. This ain’t your family fun time kind of operation though; the carnies are weird, games are rigged, prizes are scant, and the stakes are high!
An action adventure coming of age tale with a dollop of pumpkin spice. Yep, it was a blast to read
and Kevin says it’s going to be a whole carnival series with different authors putting their spin on it. How interesting, I can see this going in many different directions.

That’s all of them and I did try really hard to pick a top 3 but even with my standard inflation, I still couldn’t manage to narrow it down to single digits. They are all pretty damn fantastic and top 3 worthy!

Ok Kevin, sooo….I have a proposition for you. 😀 😀
If you continue to do these 3 holidays collections yearly (inviting back your usual suspects as well as introducing us to new 1st time offenders), then I will continue to read and review them. However, and this is a dealbreaker, you must also add in a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day anthology ~ that’d really make for some killer family fun time stories!
Yea…cause I can’t really think of any other UK/US crossover holiday’s, well, unless….hmmm do you guys celebrate Thanksgiving and Independence day??
Perfect, so, it’s settled. A cyber-shake (…down) deal, that is contractually binding. 😉
You made the right decision.
Cheerios!

Oh and completely off topic but still quite pertinent, it seems Cadbury creme eggs are not just for Easter anymore!! Screme Eggs are all the rage aaas my willpower whimpers, I’m just not strong enough to resist. Boo. :/

 

You can buy the book here: