Getting personal with Chris Miller

Chris Miller is a new author. He has a self published book called A Murder of Saints. It is an amazing read and one that you don’t want to pass up. I have had the honor of reading his next novel that he is working on and trust me when I say it is even better than the first one. He has an awesome sense of humor that you will love.  He is married and has 3 Adorable kids that are the sparkle in his eye. Chris also is a very good guitar player and singer. He even has a YouTube channel. Look him up! Make sure that you get to know him and read his book you won’t regret it!!!

 

Please welcome Chris Miller to Roadie Notes……………….

 

 

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

—I was about 10 or so. I thought I was going to write some new Narnia books, though I’d only read the first one at the time. I had Mr. Tumnus in it and everything. It was terrible, and I didn’t get very far, but I found I really liked telling stories.

 

 

2. How many books have you written?

—Only one published at the moment, but I’ve got a total of three novels completed in various drafts, two novellas, and an epic-length book almost finished. Plus a short-story or two.

 

 

3. Anything you won’t write about?

—Probably wouldn’t write anything about a world overrun by spiders. I’m not a romance writer either. Or Zombies. Unless I could stumble upon a super original way to do a Zombie story. But I doubt it.

 

 

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

—I’m 35 years old, happily married to a gorgeous and sexy woman, three children, and I work at my family owned water-well company, C. Miller Drilling as Service Superintendent, but I also oversee other departments. Just whatever’s needed.

 

 

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

—Probably The Damned Place, which is the epic-length one that’s still unfinished. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s the only time I’ve written about kids, which I’ve found great.

 

 

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

—Oh, lots of people and things inspire me. Stephen King is my biggest inspiration. Favorite author, and I’ve read most of his work. I’m also a big fan of Robert McCammon, Dean Koontz, Jack Ketchum, Clive Barker, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, and a hundred others. Inspiration comes from all over the place, be it the news, interactions with people, ect. You just have to keep your eyes open and keep the creative engine running. The ideas will just come.

 

 

7. What do you like to do for fun?

—I enjoy going to the movies, a nice dinner out—especially sushi—seeing a live band, playing guitar. But writing is actually a lot of fun for me as well.

 

 

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

—Aside from grinning widely and pouring a gin and soda, not much. I geek all over myself and text a few friends to tell them like an excited school-girl.​

 

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?

—two main places I write are at my desk in the front living room of my house, or at my desk at work when things aren’t busy (which is rare). I can’t work to music. There can be background noise, like kids playing in the other room or something, but I just can’t focus on the writing with music. Probably because I’m a musician myself, I’ll start focusing on the lyrics and writing them in my WIP or I’ll start air-guitaring to a great riff. No, quiet is best for me.

 

 

10. Anything you would change about your writing?

—I’d like to be a little more literary if I could. Like the level of the writing in something like The Shining. That book isn’t just a ghost story or a fun novel, it’s genuine literature. I’d like to rise to that level one day. But the fast and fun stuff is also absolutely great to write.

 

 

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?

—My dream is to be able to make a comfortable living doing what I love: writing. I wouldn’t mind being a ‘famous writer’ persay, but I also don’t want to be someone who’s hassled on the streets or at the grocery store. “Hey, you’re that famous writer!” But that’s the good thing about authors, even famous ones (with a few exceptions), most people don’t have a clue what we look like. They may love our words, but our mugs are irrelevant. Which is nice.

 

 

12. Where do you live?

—Little town in East Texas called Winnsboro. Grew up near there, and ended up settling there as an adult.

 

 

13. Pets?

—We have two dogs, a French Bulldog named Socrates (Socs) and a Yorkie named Shoe Shoe Fontana.

 

 

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

—The escape of it all. It’s like inter-dimensional travel. We go into another universe and get to explore there, see what it’s like, how different or similar it is to our own world. And on top of exploring it, we get to build it…and sometimes destroy.

 

 

15. What is coming next for you?

—I just finished up a novel and a short-story, so I’m working on polishing those, but next I’ll probably go back to The Damned Place and finish it. I’ve been working on it for two years now, and it’s so close to done (first draft of course) and I’m ready to cross the finish line with that one. Then I need to figure out if we can sell it as a single book or if it needs to be two…I’m telling you, when I say epic-length, I mean it. It’s huge.

 

 

16. Where do you get your ideas?

—You name it. Conversations with friends, with my wife, my kids. News. Sometimes I’ll be inspired by someone else’s work. Like the inspiration for The Damned Place, I had just reread ‘IT’ by Stephen King, and also had recently watched the first season of Stranger Things on Netflix. Those two things had my head swirling and this idea was birthed from them, with nods to both, but also something uniquely its own. Those are sometimes my favorite forms of inspiration.

 

 

You can connect with Chris Miller here: 

facebook.com/chrismiller1383

twitter.com/CMWordslinger

Instagram.com/cmwordslinger

 

You can pick up Chris Miller’s book here: 

Texas Schlock by Bret McCormick

 

Usually used in reference to movies/music/art.

1. Crap

2. Of very poor quality, esp. as a result of being made with insufficient funds or too quickly.

Who was depraved enough to come up with this schlock?

B-Horror movies

 

 

This is my first exposure to Bret McCormick and definately not my last! This book is big and beautiful. So well put together. The tales about the movies inside are some of the best I have read in a long time. I can’t say enough that you want to read this! You need this book in your life. I had no clue that Texas contained so much talent but I sure am thrilled to know. Bret McCormick where have you been all my life? Seriously…..

There are 15 stories in this anthology and not a one of them are bad. They are informative and totally entertaining. Well written and I truly learned a lot that I didn’t know. They each deal with a different movie and the writer tells about making it and the cast and characters. Following this there is an interview and questions asked. As a blogger and interviewer I always enjoy seeing what people ask and the responses the writers give. While reading this I giggled, and cringed. I am a huge fan of horror as everyone knows and love a good movie. I have added a few that I have not seen to my now incredibly long list of things I want to do.

There is no doubt about it that writers do what they do for the pure love of it and not for the money or fame. I have nothing but love and respect for these men and women and they just amaze me with their talent and passion for what they do.

While I don’t want to elaborate on the contents of the book too much I do want to express how much I loved every word and I highly recommend it to any horror lover, movie buff or creative. You will be delighted with it!

 

You can pick up a copy here: 

https://www.amazon.com/Texas-Schlock-B-movie-Sci-Fi-Horror/dp/069206995X

Jeff Stand’s Newsletter

Posted with permission **

 

Contents

1. Introduction. Wherein I briefly welcome you to the newsletter.
2. Latest News. Wherein I encourage you to purchase my latest projects in a non-pushy manner.
3. Upcoming Appearances. Wherein I share my whereabouts with potential stalkers.
4. 10 Simple Ways To Further My Career. Wherein we investigate if you’ve really been doing all you can do to help me achieve massive success.
5. Short story. Wherein you read “Jigsaw Puzzle.”
6. Links. Wherein I share ways for me to be part of your life much more frequently than this monthly newsletter.

Introduction

This issue of the newsletter doesn’t have a new novel announcement, either. The next one probably will, so prepare yourself in whatever manner you deem most appropriate. I’m being super-secretive about it, but expect something quite a bit lighter in the wake of Sick House and Bring Her Back.

Lots of my books are on sale at this very moment, so keep scrolling to learn the details. This issue also contains the sinister tale “Jigsaw Puzzle.” My newsletter stories tend to veer toward shameless silliness, but this one is reigned in quite a bit. Is that good? Bad? I dunno. Feel free to let me know what you think.

This also contains “10 Simple Ways To Further My Career,” a helpful guide that’s been sort of buried on my website for about a decade, but I’ve dusted it off to share with a new generation.

Latest News

Sales! Sales! Sales! This week (July 12-19) a bunch of my Kindle titles are on sale for 99 cents each! (US/UK only; I explain the reason for this on my blog.)This is your chance to go click-crazy! Fill your Kindle! Fill the Kindle app on your phone! Buy them and don’t even read them because they’re just so cheap that it doesn’t matter! A dozen books for less than twelve bucks! Somebody shoot me with a tranquilizer dart before I do this again!

Everything Has Teeth

Cyclops Road

Blister 

The Haunted Forest Tour

Kumquat

Pressure

Dweller

Dead Clown Barbecue

Benjamin’s Parasite

Mandibles

Elrod McBugle on the Loose

And Gleefully Macabre Tales but that doesn’t start until the 14th.

But that’s not all! Dark Regions Press is offering a trade paperback bundle of Wolf Hunt, Wolf Hunt 2, Dweller, Dead Clown Barbecue, and Gleefully Macabre Talesfor only $45! There’s even a bonus–Christmas Horror Volume 2, which includes my story “December Birthday.” Get it right HERE.

August will bring two new anthologies with stories by me! A Sharp Stick in the Eye has my story “Bob the Necrophile” and Welcome to the Show has “Parody.” Expect full details on these in the next issue, though you can read an advance rave review of Welcome to the Show right HERE.

The Horror Aficionados group on Goodreads is currently having a Group Read of Bring Her Back. Thus far it has mostly been a Q&A, so if you’ve got any Q’s for me to A, stop on in!

Bring Her Back is, of course, available in both Kindle and paperback editions. The Thunderstorm hardcover limited edition should be announced soon (I’ve seen the awesome cover that Frank Walls did, and the signature sheets are on my desk at this very moment). I won’t be sending out a special newsletter when it goes up for pre-order, so be sure to follow me on Twitter (@JeffStrand) if you don’t already.

I wasn’t allowed to speak of it, but a chapbook of my 10,000-word story My Werewolf Neighbor was included in the very first Rue Morgue Coffin Box. It’s a bimonthly subscription box by the fine folks who do Horror Pack, featuring movies, shirts, toys, and various other horror-themed goodies. They’re unlikely to include anything else Jeff Strand-related anytime soon, but they may do other awesome chapbooks, so click the links and check it out! My Werewolf Neighbor has yet to pop up on eBay, but 750 of them went out, so I’m sure it’ll happen eventually.

My novella Cold Dead Hands finally has a publication date: December 2018. I’ll let you know when the hardcover limited edition goes up for pre-order.

Upcoming Appearances

July 19-22, 2018NECON. Bristol, Rhode Island. The most fun convention of them all! About as goofy and laid back as a horror convention gets. I’m on the Young Adult Horror panel, and also co-emcee with Nicholas Kaufmann of the infamous Necon Roast!

August 3-5, 2018SCARES THAT CAREWilliamsburg, Virginia. I attended in 2015 and it was one of the best conventions I’d attended…and then the next two years it was the same weekend at Necon, and I felt great sorrow. But now I’m BACK!!! I’m doing a reading, and also appearing on a panel discussion of the anthology Welcome to the Show.

August 24-26, 2018KILLERCON. Austin, Texas. The best barbecue I’ve ever had was in Austin. I’m not sure I’ll eat any that’s served at a horror convention in Texas, though… I’m doing a reading, moderating a panel on creating villains, and–foolishly–participating in the Hot Wing Challenge. So if you try to speak to me and I response with only hacking sounds, that’s why.

October 13, 2018MERRIMACK VALLEY HALLOWEEN FESTIVALHaverhill, Massachusetts.  An insane number of horror authors will be converging upon the Haverhill Public Library.

February 9, 2019CON-TAGIONCharlotte, North Carolina. I’ll be giving my talk “Stick With It: Sustaining Your Writing Passion in a Brutal Business” at this inaugural event.

Ten Simple Ways To Further My Career

If you’re reading this, no doubt you pre-order all of my new books in a flurry of “Oh, jeez, please don’t let it be sold out…please, please, please don’t let it be sold out…all I ask is this one small–oh, thank God!!! Woo-hoo! V for Victory! Yeeeeeee-ha!!!”

That’s cool. You have my utmost gratitude. Unfortunately, it’s been brought to my attention that many of you think that your role in the process ends with purchasing and subsequently reading the book. Well, that kind of lackluster effort puts a frowny face on my face. I thought we were in this together. I’m not saying that you should be as committed to my success as I am, but is a 65 / 35 split too much to ask?

The process should be: 1) I give you the precious gift of writing a new book. 2) You buy and read my gift to you. 3) You try to help me make it wildly successful. 4) I get paid more for giving you future gifts of writing new books. We’re good with 1) and 2), but 3) and 4) are a bit shaky. Perhaps it’s my fault. I haven’t provided enough guidance. Therefore, I’ve helpfully compiled a list of ten (10) ways that you can assist me in selling lots of books Please select three (3) tasks from the list and complete them at your earliest convenience.

1. Buy Extra Copies. This is the easiest way you can help. Order several extra copies (several = 3 to 7) and leave them in strategic points around your city, such as a bus stop or a Starbucks. This allows a stranger to discover the book, think “Here now, what’s all this then?”, read a few pages, and–BOOM!!!–I’ve just acquired a new fan. All for the rather effortless act of changing the number in your online shopping cart from “1″ to “7.” See how easy this is?

2. Spam. Spam like your frickin’ life depended on it. Look, when I spam, it’s spam, but when YOU spam, you’re merely sharing news about your very favorite author. Possible subject lines include: “OMG!!! Jeff Strand RULEZ!!!” and “STRAND HAS MAD SKILLS!!! LOL!!!”

3. Defend Me From Critics. Sometimes there’ll be a social media thread, and somebody will say “Gosh, I can’t wait until my copy of Jeff Strand’s new book arrives,” and some other cretin will say “I consider his work overrated.” Well, pardon my use of the f-word disguised with asterisks, but f*** them! Don’t allow those Whiny Walters or Negative Nellies to poison the populace against my work! When somebody posts something like that, reply back (in all caps) that you’re going to kick them right in the teeth. Include a picture of some teeth and Photoshop a picture of your foot kicking them.

4. Write Your Own Jeff Strand Fan Fiction. If it’s slash fiction, include relevant illustrations.

5. Act All Impressed And Stuff By Good Reviews. After you’ve read the review, print out 75-80 copies and post them around your hometown. Stand next to the flyer in the highest-traffic area, put on your most winning smile, and tell passing strangers that we roomed together in college.

6. Drive a Species To Extinction in My Name. This sounds ambitious, but I’m not talking about a major species, like manatees or humans. I just mean that if, maybe, you’re walking down the sidewalk and you see this weird-looking beetle, and you remember from some science documentary that only one of them remains, that you stomp on it and shout my name. No big deal.

7. Include the phrase “That’s all well and good, but what does it have to do with Jeff Strand’s fiction?” in all of your daily conversations. I think this one is self-explanatory.

8. Post videos of you gazing lovingly at my books. The key here is to figure out the tipping point where it becomes creepy, and stop recording a few seconds before that. If you can purr as you stroke the book’s spine (or your Kindle), even better. Do NOT make it look like you’re going to have intercourse with the book. That crosses the “creepy” line.

9. If You Still Use E-Mail Instead Of Texting Like These Damn Kids Today, Add Strand Promo To Your Signature Line. What does your current signature line have? A funny quote? A life-affirming statement? Promo for YOUR book? Sorry, but that me-me-me attitude isn’t going to sell more copies of Bring Her Back, now is it? Change your signature line to say something like “Buy Jeff Strand’s superb novel Bring Her Back or you suck!” Post often. Send a flurry of one-line e-mails with vapid content that won’t distract the recipient from your signature line. Bonus points if you create a flashy, obnoxious, eye-melting banner that links to my website.

10. Every Time You See a Computer, Visit My Webpage. At work? At your public library? At your local Circuit City? [Wow, I wrote the original draft of these rules so long ago that Circuit City existed.] Anyplace there are computers around, just pop the URL www.jeffstrand.com into the web browser and walk away. If they’re seated in front of the computer and try to slap your hand away, pretend to enjoy the physical contact a little too much.

Okay, everybody got it? Let’s get the Strand army into gear and RULE THE WORLD!!! March on, punks!

(Actually, just leaving a review on Amazon is fine. And maybe the occasional retweet.)

Short Story

“Jigsaw Puzzle”

Copyright 2018 by Jeff Strand.

Gabriel excitedly walked into his apartment and tossed the jigsaw puzzle box onto his kitchen table. It was Friday evening, Diane was out of town, and he was all psyched up to put in an all-nighter on this one.

He was thirty-six, and had never lost the love of puzzles he’d acquired in pre-school. Of course, back then he did six-piece Cookie Monster ones, but now he could put together anything the most devious minds could create. Puzzles that were entirely one color. 3-D puzzles. Puzzles without a straight edge. Puzzles that offered clues to a mystery story. He’d completed them all.

Gabriel wasn’t even sure what this one had to offer. The non-descript box merely called it “An Insanely Difficult Jigsaw Puzzle Experience.” Sounded like the perfect way to spend the evening.

He walked into what passed for his living room and started up his Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Blu-Ray to provide background noise. Then he returned to the kichen, sat down at the table, and opened the box.

He poured the 500 pieces onto the table and began the quick process of turning them all face-up. It wasn’t a double-sided puzzle and there seemed to be a wide variety of colors in the completed image, so he wondered what made this one so difficult. He hoped he wasn’t getting ripped off.

Gabriel sorted out the straight-edge pieces within a few minutes and found the four corners. The straight-edge pieces were mostly white with some brown, so he fit the brown pieces together first. Looked like wood. The white pieces weren’t much of a problem, and he soon had the entire frame of the puzzle completed.

He arranged the remaining pieces by colors. There were more white, the same wood-brown, some red, black, silver, and some flesh-tones and hair.

The red pieces almost looked like blood.

He decided to start with the white. This puzzle didn’t appear to be nearly as insanely difficult as the box had promised, so he might as well give himself an extra challenge.

However, it wasn’t that much of an extra challenge, because the lighting on the white made it easy to match up the pieces. He had a third of the puzzle complete before the Oompa-Loompas even had their first musical number.

He moved on to the red pieces.

It became quickly clear that it was not blood, but rather a shirt.

When he’d completed the puzzle, it depicted a smiling middle-aged man in a red shirt. While it wasn’t the easiest puzzle he’d ever put together, it was no more difficult than any other 500-piecer. What a disappointment.

His cell phone rang. A local call from a number he didn’t recognize.

“Hello?”

“Hello, Gabriel. This is the manager of Trystan’s Games. Congratulations on completing the puzzle.”

“How did you know that?”

“We were spying on you, obviously.”

“But how?”

There was a pause. “Uh, what year do you think this is? Don’t worry about it. I just wanted to call to congratulate you for finishing the first part.”

“The first part?”

“Yes, Gabriel, the first part. Check outside your door.”

Gabriel hurried over to his front door. He looked through the peekhole to see if anybody was out there, but the hallway seemed empty. He opened the door just a bit, until he saw a large cardboard box. He tried to lift it but couldn’t, so he dragged it into his living room and then closed the door.

“Got the box?” asked the man on the phone.

“Yeah,” said Gabriel.

“There’s an envelope on top. Open it.”

Gabriel tore open the manilla envelope and slid out the picture. Diane.

“Your wife is fine,” the man assured him. “That picture will be the puzzle for our next customer, but only if you fail to complete this one.”

Gabriel felt like he was going to throw up but forced himself to remain focused. “What do I have to do?”

“Treat the puzzle you just completed as the box lid for this one. That’s who you’re putting together. All five hundred flash-frozen pieces of him. You have until he thaws. Good luck.”

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Links

If you want our relationship to be more than a once-a-month thing, here are your various options short of peeking in my windows:

My website, http://www.jeffstrand.com, which is also my blog.

You can, of course, follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeffStrand

I have two Facebook pages, and I’ll be honest, I haven’t quite figured out how to differentiate them. In theory, one is for friends and one is for fans, but, c’mon, you’re all my friends. Friend me at https://www.facebook.com/JeffStrandAuthor and “Like” me at https://www.facebook.com/JeffStrandAuthorFanPage/.

Yep, I’m on Goodreads! https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/207708.Jeff_Strand

And Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/jeffstrandauthor/

Copyright © 2018 Jeff Strand, All rights reserved.
At some point in your past, you made the odd decision that you wanted to subscribe to the Jeff Strand newsletter. I can’t explain it.

Our mailing address is:

Jeff Strand

Getting personal with Stephanie M. Wytovich

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

The first story I wrote was in middle school and it was about a rogue vampire clan who killed a young girl’s parents, which then caused her to spend the rest of her life tracking them down so she could avenge her family. It was super violent, and my teacher actually sent the story, and me, to the guidance counselor. *smirks*

 

How many books have you written?

I’ve written five poetry collections with Raw Dog Screaming Press (Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, An Exorcism of Angels, Brothel, and Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare) and my debut novel, The Eighth, is published with Dark Regions Press.

 

Tell me about you.

I’m 29 years old, obsessed with dogs, and recently married to my best friend. When I’m not writing, I work as an Adjunct Professor at Point Park University (Composition, Literature, and Creative Writing) and then I teach/lecture in two graduate programs: Western Connecticut State University’s MFA Program for Professional and Creative Writing and Southern New Hampshire’s MFA Program for Creative Writing. Also, if I can spare a few hours here and there, I work as a writing tutor at Point Park as well.

 

What’s your favorite book you have written?

This is a really tough question for me. I think I’m most proud of The Eighth because it was my life’s goal to write a novel, and Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare was my bravest foray with writing. But honestly, writing Hysteria was so much fun that it’s hard for me not to show favoritism towards her. I mean, that book allowed me to explore abandoned lunatic asylums, sit in the jail cells of prisons, and walk through the hallways of a haunted geriatric hospital. It doesn’t get much better than that!

 

Who or what inspired you to write?

I’ve always been a voracious reader, so in a lot of ways, it seemed natural to start to want to tell my own stories. Furthermore, as a kid, I was obsessed with mythology, particularly Greek and Egyptian history, and reading stories about the underworld and Hades and mummies buried in decorative tombs was clearly a gateway drug to me when it came to writing horror and dark fantasy.

 

What do you like to do for fun?

I love to travel, read, and be in nature, take pictures, garden, and write every chance I get. I’m a big wine fan, and Dennis and I are total foodies, so trying new cuisines and cooking is high on my list as well. I also really enjoy art, music, and theatre, and I collect rare copies of Alice in Wonderland.

 

Any traditions you do when you finish a book?

I like to buy/do something that represents either the theme or the research I did for that particular project. For instance, when I finished writing Mourning Jewelry, I went out and bought a gorgeous 19th century Romanian Gypsy portrait of two children that hangs in my office. I researched and looked through a heavy amount of wake photography while working on that collection, so this seemed appropriate, and to this day, it’s one of my favorite pieces of art I own.

 

Where do you write? Quiet or music?

For the most part, I write in my office at home, but sometimes I’ll write on campus between teaching classes. Regardless though, I always write on my laptop and I have to have music on, sometimes even a movie playing in the background. I work better in chaos, and if that’s not enough, when I’m home, my dogs are usually in my lap or asleep on my feet, too.

Anything you would change about your writing?

I’ve spent the bigger portion of my writing career writing poetry, which is something that I will always do no matter what, but I made myself a promise last year (my new year’s resolution) to write and concentrate more on prose, so that’s what I’m aiming for moving forward. Once I tied up the few projects I’m working on now, I’ll be diving back into the sequel to The Eighth.

 

What is your dream? Famous writer?

My dream is to travel. My husband and I have a huge list of places we want to explore, and I pretty much want to go everywhere and see everything, all the while writing, drinking good wine, eating great food, and taking fabulous photographs. Plus, I think traveling and going to places you aren’t familiar with is good for the soul, not to mention good for your writing.

 

Where do you live?

Pittsburgh, PA.

 

Pets?

Oh yes! I have two dogs: an English Bulldog named Edgar Allan Poe and a Pit bull named Apollo. They’re my world.

 

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love the world building. To me, it’s so much fun to create the landscape, history, and rules of a place that only I know about and control. It feels a lot like playing pretend as a kid, and I like to think I have an even bigger imagination as an adult.

 

Where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere. Music, art, other stories, conversations I have with people, the weather, an injury I might get, nightmares, death, birth…there are stories all around us just waiting to be picked out of the sky and grown into something. It’s all about finding what calls to you.

 

What is coming next for you?

I’m about halfway through with my next poetry book, an apocalyptic science fiction collection titled The Apocalyptic Mannequin. I’m also finishing up a weird horror novelette that I’m been working on for about three years now. Aside from that, I have a story titled “The Girl with the Death Mask” coming out in Fantastic Tales of Terror, and another story “The Monster Told Me To” appearing in Tales from the Lake, Vol 5, both out this year from Crystal Lake Publishing.

 

 

Author Bio:

Stephanie M. Wytovich is an American poet, novelist, and essayist. Her work has been showcased in numerous anthologies such as Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, Shadows Over Main Street: An Anthology of Small-Town Lovecraftian Terror, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror: Volume 2, The Best Horror of the Year: Volume 8, as well as many others. 

Wytovich is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, an adjunct at Western Connecticut State University and Point Park University, and a mentor with Crystal Lake Publishing. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, and a graduate of Seton Hill University’s MFA program for Writing Popular Fiction. Her Bram Stoker Award-winning poetry collection, Brothel, earned a home with Raw Dog Screaming Press alongside Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, An Exorcism of Angels, and Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare. Her debut novel, The Eighth, is published with Dark Regions Press. 

 

 

You can connect with Stephanie M. Wytovich here: 

Follow Wytovich at http://stephaniewytovich.blogspot.com/ and on twitter @SWytovich​.

Social Media:

Website: http://stephaniewytovich.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author page:

https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00DTKIN2K?redirectedFromKindleDbs=true

Latest release: Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare

Facebook: Stephanie M. Wytovich

Twitter: @swytovich

Instagram: @swytovich

 

Some of Stephanie M. Wytovich‘s books: 

 

Marge Simon Interview

I’m pleased to have Marge Simon on board for an interview. Marge’s story will appear this year in Tales from the Lake, edited by Kenneth W. Cain, Crystal Lake Publishing.

 

Where did you get your concept for “The Midland Hotel”?

 

The Midland Hotel began as a poem. The poem was inspired by a trip my husband and I took to meet up with some friends in Tampa, FL. They booked us rooms overnight at a hotel.  

 

Several stories high, It looked okay from the outside, but once in our room we were less than pleased.  Rather than a pile carpet, it had tile floors. The bedspread was thin, with one flat pillow per bed. The bathroom offered a used bar of soap and half a toilet paper roll. There were no amenities — not even paper cups, no phone, no remote for the TV. It was so bad, I wrote a poem about it, imagining the guests who’d have visited such a place. What sort of travelers would they be? But then, I got to thinking –why not make it the opposite sort of accommodation?

 

And then?

Then I wrote from a different perspective, refined and obliging to guests. Or rather, obliging certain guests with what they need rather than what they had once wished for. Eventually that morphed into “The Midland Hotel”, a very fine old hotel indeed – set in England. A good friend of mine from Manchester helped a great deal with the details, including the name of an actual “haunted” hotel, The Midland.  My unpleasant but simple trip to Tampa, Florida turned into an account of five different sorts of people spending the night in the old Midland hotel outside of London, England.

 

About me:

 

I’ve sold and published at least twelve collections of poetry or short fictions, or a mix in the past decade or so. I find that prose poetry and flash fiction are my forte. I’ve never wanted to be a novelist. I used to say that this was because of a short attention span. But actually, writing an excellent short fiction  — whether telling OR showing or both, whether or not with dialog, and whether or not with naming the protagonist(s) is my kind of challenge.  

 

Aspiring writers’ advice:

 

What kind of degree would I have wished to pursue if I were in my twenties? Today, I would avoid an MFA like the plague. You don’t need an MFA to be a good writer, IMO – and of course, that also depends largely on having a good teacher. College courses in writing can screw up your mind. Attending an excellent writers workshop like Clarion or Borderlands Boot Camp would be a good start after or while pursuing a general degree in the arts. Don’t ever expect the world to come to you. The world is under no such obligation. I also suggest joining the Horror Writers Association, which provides so much for writers just getting started – the only element for your stories needed is one of darkness, which – if you think on it, is contrast needed for all kinds of stories including fantasy and science fiction. It doesn’t have to be gore. I don’t write zombie stuff. You don’t have to include violence. I prefer psychological horror, myself.

 

Generic Advice:

 

If you marry or hook up with a lifemate, hopefully it will be someone with like interests who supports you – as you support their needs/interests in your own way. Some idioms I advise: 1. Never marry a musician. 2. You get what you pay for. 3. Don’t postpone today what you could do tomorrow. 4. Show up, preferably on time. 5. Do a job good enough to do what it’s for. (This applies to your own stuff OR depending on the job and your salary.) Say like washing your dirtycar when it is very hot or very cold or you are tired.  I am tired just thinking about it. 6. Finally, to your own self be true. To me, this means avoid deception. There are too many fake people as it is. This also applies to what you chose to write. You need to believe in it, if it is to have merit.

 

Thank you so much Marge for taking the time to speak with me! It has been such a pleasure getting to know you.

 

You can keep up with Marge here:

http://www.crystallakepub.com/

South Southwest Wales by David Owain Hughes

Now, it is no secret that I love David’s writing. His stories are absolutely amazing. Most all of what he has written has been horror. There was one previously that was one of my favorites and still is that was not horror. He will scream when I say it was one of the best he has written. That book is Collision Course. I also have a copy of it in my bookshelf. That being said this book definitely shows that David can write in any genre he wants to dive into. That folks take true talent. Trust me you want to read this book. It is a real barn burner. Don’t wait…. go get it right now.

 

The story starts with a washed up detective named Sampson Valentine. He use to be the best of the best until booze got ahold of him. He is twice widowed he find himself embroiled with the mob in a hair-raising battle of wits, twist and plenty of real gut wrenching gun fights. There is never a dull moment in this book.

This story is set perfectly in the 1940’s. The vivid descriptions will pull you right into the story and you will not want to put it down. I didn’t. I read this in one sitting and didn’t even answer the phone.

The characters, like all of them in David’s books, are full and you come to love some of them and even feel like you know them. The entire feel of this book is brilliant. I don’t care if you like crime novels or not you will absolutely love this. The bad guys in the story will make you cringe and want to hide. They are evil and you feel this with every word you read.

There honestly isn’t anything negative I can say about this book except it ended. Of course that just means that it was good.

Im always afraid to say to much about the story line for fear that I will ruin the experience for another reader but trust me when I say get this book! Thank you David for another awesome read! Here’s to many more my friend!

In my humble opinion David has a real winner here!

 

You can buy the book here: 

Getting person with David Tamarin

David L Tamarin writes extreme and brutal hardcore horror with a jet black sense of humor. He also writes in the crime genre, and is fascinated with the concept of snuff films. He is also a non-fiction writer whose work has appeared in publications such as Rue Morgue, Girls and Corpses, Serial Killer magazine. He is a student of true crime and incorporates his knowledge of crime and killers into his fiction. At least three people have suffered fatal heart attacks reading his fiction so beware and read with extreme caution. He uses words to assault the reader. He is married with a young son, five cats, one gecko, and a poltergeist. Aliens watch his every move.

 

Please welcome David Tamarin to Roadie Notes………….

 

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

I started writing pornography when I was a fetus in the second trimester in my mother’s stomach.

Actually, I was probably six or seven, and I wrote obscene parodies of The Brady Bunch, involving incest, abuse, rape, murder. When I was 13 or 14 I wrote my first book. This was mid 1980s so I wrote it on a Brother word processor not a computer. I no longer have it on disc but do have a print out of it. It involved a schizophrenic man who believed he was god and wanted to recreate the universe- the same plot I used in my first book, Hurting My Toys. The first time I submitted a story to a horror magazine I was in my teens. I wrote a lot back then. In high school I wrote for both school newspapers and in my free time wrote for various punk rock fanzines, so I am always writing something. Before I started getting my fiction published I published a legal article (my day job is as an attorney) on the use of torture in US prisons. The article went up on several sites and was quoted on several more. I wrote an article on refinancing homes, one on legalizing drugs, I started doing book reviews, and finally started submitting fiction on a regular basis. About ten to twelve years ago I started writing seriously for publication. I first started submitting a lot of stuff and getting published in 2006. I also write non-fiction, and write for Girls and Corpses magazine, and have written for dozens more. Some of my favorite publications have been in Rue Morgue, Diabolique, Serial Killer magazine, Cannabis Culture magazine and many more. After writing for a short time I self-published some short story books and had a small press release a short collection of short stories by me called Let Them Eat Snuff.

2. How many books have you written?

My most famous book is called the Bible and I am working on a Third Testament.

I self-published a few books when I started writing full-time in 2006, but won’t count those books. My first publication was Let Them Eat Snuff, which was released by Meat Hook Press, it is a short collection of my short fiction, it is only about 30 pages. In the last few years, I have had three books published. Hurting My Toys: Spiritual Suicide is a novella. BOLO: Sociopaths on a Rampage is a novel and This Book Hates You is a short story collection. I have also had a lot of short fiction published in a lot of anthologies, magazines, websites, etc. I am more of a short story writer than a novel writer. I have been published in at least 100 fiction publications, I am in about a dozen anthologies. I will name just a few I can remember- Rue Morgue, Red Scream, Verbicide, The Independent, New England Horror Writers, Serial Killer magazine, The Dream People, bloodcookies, deathbus, corpsefuck, wretched and violent, Chimeraworld 2, Chimeraworld 3, Insidious Reflections, Purpleverse, The Unholy Biscuit, Sinfully Twisted, GOREmet cuiSINe, the Death Mook, Trails of Indiscretion, Escaping Elsewhere, VividHues, Diabolique, Girls and Corpses, Bizarro Central, Butcher Knives and Body Counts, Sex Drugs & Horror, withersin, Whispers of Wickedness, Dark Karnival, Scars, horrornews.net, alt.sex.stories, Justus Roux, Bust Down the Doors and Eat All the Chickens, Other Things Other Places, Splattered, Stabbed Tortured Dismembered, Splatterpunx, prisonwall.org, Cannabis Culture, Night to Dawn, two of the Six Word Memoirs books, Blood Reign, Cyber-Pulp’s Halloween Anthology 3.0, Theatre of Decay, Sinfully Twisted, Project Contagion, Night to Dawn and many more that I cannot remember.

In addition, I have helped write several screenplays, and I have several screenplays I wrote that I have been trying to get made for years.

3. Anything you won’t write about?

No.

I will write about anything. I used to have a rule about not writing about animal violence, as I write what I would like to read and I do not like reading about animal violence. However, in my latest book BOLO there is a lot of extreme cruelty to animals which I included because it was essential to the story line, which involves an abusive father who makes his son torture animals to death. So that was my one taboo and I not only broke it but through it out the window as the descriptions of torturing of dogs is absolutely revolting. It was hard to write it, and then hard to re-write it through a dozen or so drafts.

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

If you change the letters in my last name they spell Martian. That is my true identity. I came to your planet many of your centuries ago. As for David L Tamarin, he is 43 years old and his day job is an attorney, focusing on both entertainment law and disability law. I have been married 14 years and we have a 21-month old baby. I also volunteer at an animal shelter, working with the cats. I have five cats and a gecko. A lot of my recent fiction involves child abuse, because I deal with my fears through writing. I am terrified something bad will happen to my son, that he will be kidnapped and tortured. So for the past few years I have written a lot of short fiction involving those fears. The results are often brutal. My day job is as an attorney representing disabled individuals, although I practice all types of law including entertainment law and have worked on several films in that capacity. For my job, about half of it is representing the disabled and the other half are all types of cases- criminal cases, contract disputes, tenant rights.

I write and I am a lawyer but I am not like John Grisham and don’t really write about the law, although if I get a good idea I might, like a lawyer hired to investigate a snuff movie ring or something.

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

Hurting My Toys: Spiritual Suicide. The book evolved over the course of ten years. It began as a short story of about 4,000 words which was first published around 2007. Then I re-wrote it as a longer story of about 10,000 words, which appears in my short story collection This Book Hates You. I sent the story to Comet Press, and they said if I could turn it into a 40,000-word novella they would publish it, so I did that in 2014 or 2015. It was hard getting it down to 40,000 words because I had originally envisioned it to be about 100,000 words. So I am not completely happy with the ending, and would like to write the sequel at some point to give the story closure. It is the story that has gotten me the most infamy, including death threats and accusations of me being a serial killer, etc. The book deals with schizophrenia which I find to be a fascinating condition. Also, as I mentioned it is somewhat based on a book I wrote when I was fourteen or so and I have never forgotten that book and the ideas in it and the specific scenes and after 30 years percolating in my head I finally got it down for Hurting My Toys. I have to write a sequel to it, because my awesome publisher, Comet Press, wanted a novella of 40,000 or so words and I had about 100,000 words worth of writing, so I need to write the sequel to tie things up. The book has a scene where a man rips a fetus out of a woman and uses it as a crack pipe, – and then things get sick! It is one of my favorite scenes I wrote and a favorite of my readers, I can’t tell you how many people have commented on the fetal crack pipe scene. The story I am working on now, about Pornocchio, actually has a scene that out does the fetus crack pipe scene in Hurting My Toys. I won’t give it away, but something much much worse happens to a fetus in my Pornocchio story, so if you liked the fetal crack pipe scene in Hurting My Toys you will love the even sicker fetal destruction scene in Pornocchio.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?

A few years ago my parents were kidnapped and I got a note saying they would be killed unless I started writing the most unimaginably grim, gruesome, negative, nihilist, brutal violent fiction, so everything I do is just to keep them alive. I hate what I write, but they’ll kill my parents if I stop- and then they’ll come after me. It’s really a touchy subject for me. Would you like a serious answer? There is something in my head, not unlike a tumor, that is always creating stories and coming up with ideas, and if I don’t write them down my head may explode. Writing is a compulsion. I have tried to stop at times when depressed and found I could not. So part of the reason is this inner need or desire I have to write, which probably results from my lifelong love of reading

There are a couple of answers to that but answer number one is Stephen King. When I was in fourth grade I read Christine, which was my first ‘adult’ book, and I fucking loved it! It had me hooked, and I have been reading King since then. I used to be able to say I had read all of his books but I fell behind with the last volume of the Dark Tower series, and have not read his last ten or so books. I recently started Mr. Mercedes which was creepy as the villain drives his car into a crowd of people, killing many, and I read this the day when that really happened, when that maniac mowed down all those innocent people with his vehicle. This is the second time something like this has happened to me while reading a Stephen King book. In one of his novels, I forget but think it was Insomnia, someone goes on a shooting spree in an abortion clinic, and as I read it, a guy in the Boston area, where I live, John Salvi, went into a Planned Parenthood and murdered and injured a bunch of innocent people. He later died in jail but this is Boston I heard he was murdered in jail. People who commit suicide don’t shove urine soaked socks down their throat, then tie their hands behind their back and then hang themselves without the use of their arms.

The relates to my second inspiration, my fascination with true crime, violence, serial killers, abnormal psychology and abnormal behavior, and behavior and drug-induced bizarre and threatening behavior, and mental illness and personality disorders, snuff, and torture. Around the time I read Christine I read a book about terrorism and torture tactics used by terrorists. I read about terrorists who put insects into women’s vaginas and I was freaked out and disgusted but couldn’t put the book down. I have been reading true crime books for over thirty years. I have written about serial killers for many publications including Serial Killer magazine. I am fascinated by serial killers, mass murders, killing sprees, abnormal psychology, sexual sadism, sociopaths, schizophrenics, the effects of hard drugs like crack and meth, and also drugs like LSD that mimic schizophrenia.

Another thing is events that have happened in my own life. I have seen and experienced a lot of pretty insane things in my life. I started writing my autobiography but certain parts got too intense for me and I stopped writing. I have seen death up close, and that informs my writing. When I was younger I found my best friend’s dead body. I’ve met a lot of crazy people and witnessed a lot of crazy things, many of them illegal. And I’ve had my own problems and still do have problems, and I feel the need to write about these things, in the form of either horror stories or stories of very dark humor.

Then there is the fact that I have a pretty strange imagination and a lot of ideas, and I am always coming up with story ideas. I tend to have pretty odd thoughts and I think that is clear in my writing. I look at things in a different way than other people. Some people see Octo-Mom and think of the beauty of childbirth. I look at her and want to hang her from a tree and use her as a piñata, smashing her stomach open with a bat while little candy babies fall out of her. I even have a story, Octo-Mom and the Projectile Birth Contest. I always thought projectile birth should be an Olympic event.

I am a huge movie fan, in particular horror and transgressive films, and have been as long as I can remember. The first movies I remember seeing that shocked me included Videodrome, A Clockwork Orange, Last House on the Left, which I saw when I was very young. Horror films have definitely influenced my writing. However, I enjoy zombie movies but don’t write zombie fiction. There’s too much of it and too much of it is the same. I do have an idea for a zombie story, but it is slightly different from the typical zombie story, it is about a guy with a sexual fetish for zombie chicks and dead girls.


7. What do you like to do for fun?

Unauthorized surgery. Basically I carjack ambulances, abduct the patient, take him or her home and then perform procedures on them with no anesthesia. I torture them and perform experiments like how loud a man screams when you cut his penis in half. I like to pick random people and follow them for months, stalking them, recording their every move, before killing them then posing as them.

As for reality, the first answer is writing, but besides writing, my favorite thing is playing with my son and my cats and spending time with my wife. Which I know is pathetically normal. I know a lot of people think I am a monster and I think they would be disappointed if they observed my life. But that’s what I like. I like horror movies, my family and pets, true crime, bizarre and weird information, reading and writing, punk rock and grunge and stoner metal and death rap.

There’s nothing like spending a few hours curled up around the latest Amnesty International report of torture worldwide, or the FOIA declassified FBI files on snuff films, drinking coffee, vaping, watching movies with head explosions in the background while blasting Slayer and taking notes on my next torture scene.

I love film, and I love music, and I love art in all its forms. I didn’t mention reading because to me that is implied. I read, therefore I am. I have spent more time in this life reading than doing just about anything else. I remember reading my first Richard Laymon book, Endless Night, and how much I enjoyed that.

I like sex but that’s a given.


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

No. I do have one interesting tradition though. For people I particularly hate, like Jerry Falwell, I buy a bottle of champagne and write their name on it, then drink the bottle when they died. I recently had some champagne to celebrate the death of Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia. I write a lot of things at once so when I finish a book I just turn to the next project.

I’m thinking of starting a new tradition that when I finish a book I chose a slave from my dungeon- just one- and let him or her escape- but just as they get out the front door I shoot their kneecaps out and drag them back to the dungeon.

Actually it is hard to tell when I’ve finished, as I always feel like if I give it another read I will find ways to change the story and improve it. Even when it is done I think of ways to change it to make it better.

If I do think I am done I try to use the three-week rule, where I do not look at what I wrote for three weeks, and in that time try not to think about it and work on other projects. Then, when three weeks has passed and I do read it again, I get a fresh perspective and pick up on mistakes that I would miss if I had just written it, because at that point you are seeing what you want to see, often blind to blatant errors. So I try to go a good time and forget about the story or book and then when I read it later it is like reading it for the first time and I pick up on a lot of ways to improve the story. I don’t always do this, for example if it is a flash fiction story.

9. Where do you write?

I have a great writing space. I live in a 100-year-old house, and the basement looks like a dungeon from a torture movie or snuff film. The walls are rock, making it feel like a cave. Behind my computer are my speakers, writing instruments, a plastic skull, a skull candle, an old-fashioned bottle of embalming fluid, pictures on the wall of JFK’s corpse and Lee Harvey getting shot, a South African spear, Godzilla and Leatherface figures, my autographed poster for Bloodsucking Freaks, and a lot of drug paraphernalia.

Unfortunately, my work room is also where we keep the five boxes of kitty litter for our cats, so sometimes it stinks down here. If you read my work a lot of the stories have people with captives in their dungeon like basements, which are modeled after this room I write in. It is also storage space for all my books.

But I write whenever I get a good idea. Before the smart phone, I always carried several notebooks and pens with me and was always writing wherever I was. Now I use an app on my phone and I write when I am stuck in traffic, when I am in line, and any other spare time I have. A lot of my stories began on napkins or things like that when I would be out at a restaurant or something and didn’t have my notebooks and an idea would hit me. So I literally write anywhere and everywhere I go. One of my more recent short stories was written entirely on an iPhone mostly while stuck in traffic.

But if I have my choice I write in my dungeon where I have my computer set up and my slaves tied up and my speakers.

10. Quite or music?

Music. At the end of This Book Hates You I list all the music I listened to when writing the book, which ranged from Ministry to GG Allin to Triple Six Mafia to The Beatles to Black Sabbath to Primus, Melvinsand Slayer.

Sometimes I put on a YouTube documentary on crime or torture and listen to that.

Right now I am listening the Misfits, the album 12 Hits From Hell.

I get so into writing that I sometimes go into a trance, and when the album I am listening to ends I don’t even notice and just write in silence.

11. Anything you would change about your writing?

No, nothing. I have written some garbage but have learned from the experience so I can’t say I would change anything. I would like to change how many people buy my books, and how publishers felt about me, but won’t change my writing to sell more books- and besides, I don’t think if I made my writing tame my few followers would still appreciate what I do. What I write makes me an outcast, gets me criticized, banned, harassed, etc, and none of that bullshit will change how I write. If anything it encourages me to think of new ways to make my critics and enemies sick, to go with words as far as one can go. I use my words as weapons, and they are lethal. I would never want to change that.

12. What is your dream? Famous writer?

Being a famous writer is not my dream. I attended a writers’ boot camp about a decade ago and the teachers were best-selling writers like David Morrell, who created Rambo, Douglas Winter, F. Paul Wilson, and all three had serious day jobs. One was a doctor. Douglas Winter, like me, is an attorney. So what I took from that is that writing does not pay the bills except in extreme cases like Stephen King. I fully acknowledge my writing is too brutal and extreme to ever become mainstream. I have been told I write for a ‘niche audience’ that is very small. The writers in my genre for the most part are not famous like Clive Barker or Peter Straub, but writers like Wrath James White and Monica J O’Rourke. They are the fucking best, and their books have very limited commercial potential. People who write extreme writing like I do know that we will never be rich or famous. I have been involved in the film industry for some time, and have co-written a few screenplays. My dream is to write screenplays and get paid for it. My dream is to sell enough books that people in the horror community know who I am so that maybe I can’t get rich but maybe I can make even a small amount of money writing.

I love anthologies. My goal is to be in an anthology (or a magazine) with Stephen King, Clive Barker, Peter Straub, Ray Garton, John Skipp, Gregory Lamberson, Bentley Little, Thomas Ligotti, John Shirley and a few other authors I admire. I have an essay in the book Butcher Knives and Body Counts, and there is also an essay in the book by Gregory Lamberson, so I can check that one-off the list.


13. Where do you live?

North Andover, Massachusetts. It is right near Salem, except that my town actually executed more witches than Salem during that era. I am about an hour from Fall River where Lizzy Borden is from, and about a half hour from Boston, home of the Boston Strangler. For various films and television shows I have traveled to Montreal, Buffalo, NY, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut and most frequently Rhode Island.

I grew up in the Massachusetts area. I am a movie extra, and Adam Sandler is from my area and frequently shoots his films here. I have been an extra in four of Adam Sandler’s films. Mark Wahlberg also makes a lot of local movies but I have not been able to get an extra role in any of them. The closest I came to success was a recent Boston-based film THE FIGHTER, in which Christian Bale, who plays I think the brother of the main character, plays a crackhead. Anyway I auditioned for the role of Bale’s crackhead friend, and I actually got a callback. I impressed the casting lady by telling her I grew up in a crackhouse. When she believed I admitted I was lying and she was very impressed and told me to come back for a second audition in a week. She told me, come back here in a week. Do not shave, shower, sleep or eat. Watch YouTube videos of people smoking crack all week. You are playing a crackhead, you need to look like one and know how one acts. A little later I got a call that someone else had been cast in the role.

I lived in Colorado for a few years when I was in college and like it there much better. Better skiing.

14. Pets?

Absolutely! Five amazing cats! One eleven-year-old gecko. The cats own the house, not my wife and I. Three of my cats are seven years old and two are about 18 months old. I also volunteer at an animal shelter where I work with the cats. I don’t have a dog because my backyard is pretty tiny and dogs need a place to run around in. Eventually I would like to move to another house with a bigger backyard so I can get a dog or two. I have a young son and I think it is important he have a dog. He is really great with the cats, very gentle, but all but my little black cat isscared of him. One of my geckos got sick and the vet showed me how to force feed him for two weeks. This was right before my wedding. When force-feeding the little guy, he closed his mouth with my finger in it, accidentally biting me. My finger blew up grotesquely, like nothing I had ever seen. The day before my wedding I had to go to the doctor. The day after my wedding, it got even bigger so I had to go to the doctor, who literally went and got a bunch of other doctors and a camera to show off my swollen finger and take pictures of it. They had apparently never seen anything that fucking swollen! I looked away as they slit it open and drained it and drained it and drained it. During my marriage ceremony I had a band-aid over the big swollen lump, and the next day when I removed the band aid to change it I was shocked to see how much it had grown. That type of shit freaks me out and grosses me out. It is the BODY HORROR of David Cronenberg and Clive Barker, but it was my real life. I wrote about the incident in detail in some document I can’t find. That, and the multiple tumors that have been discovered in my body, has made me fear and feel disgust towards my body, my flesh- as I said I feel like a character in a Cronenberg movie. I think that is why I love him as a director. His films like The Fly remake detail the human body breaking down. I think he is a genius, I already mentioned Videodrome as a huge influence on me.

I do not currently own any snakes, but since college I have owned several snakes, all ball pythons. Unfortunately, they seem to have a short life span of maybe five years or so. I have probably had seven snakes, and when my son is older would love to get another one. My favorite was Pretzel. I took him with me everywhere. I kept him in my shirt pocket. He was called Pretzel because he would wrap himself tightly around my hand. He never ever bit anyone but died tragically. I used to sleep with him and in my sleep I crushed him. Even when he was dying he did not bite me. That was one of the most upsetting moments in my life. People have no idea how sweet a snake can be. I cried like a baby for months when I killed Pretzel. I haven’t been able to get a snake since him. But I would like to again. I feed my snakes frozen mice because to feed them live mice is fucking barbaric. When I first got the snake we fed him a live mouse. He bit it and wrapped himself around the mouse, squeezing him so tight that his eyes burst out of his head, and the death was prolonged and awful and the little guy was twitching. Before the snake struck the mouse was just shaking in fear. It was awful. After that we only fed him frozen mice.

My first snake was named Drexel, after Gary Oldman’s character in the Quentin Tarantino-written film True Romance.

I have six pet midgets who are lethal assassins.


15. What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Exorcising these crazy thoughts in my head.

Being God, literally creating universes the way I want them to be.

Having total creative control, creating crazy new worlds, really exorcising my imagination and having fun. I love grossing people out, making them sick, making them pass out, or cry, or just say they were seriously disturbed by my writing. A review by a reader on Amazon saying my book is the dirtiest thing she ever read or by a guy that thinks it is more brutal than Peter Sotos or Ed Lee means more to me them some highbrow review trashing me for my allegedly misogynistic violence and excessive torture.

Also, I love to make people laugh. I have been writing for Girls and Corpses magazine for over a decade and many of the articles are humor or parody. A lot of my short stories are funny or comedic horror. The great writer Elizabeth Massie called me “the rising star of horrific humor” at Borderland Boot Camp where I had her as a teacher. On the other hand, David Morrel, creator of Rambo, and someone I deeply admire, told me of my story, “I hate that splatterpunk shit” but he gave me some helpful criticism. I recommend all horror readers to read his short horror stories and his horror novel The Totem.

If I can make people laugh (or puke or cum or all three) I am doing something right. But what I really love is to make people laugh and cringe or maybe even vomit at the same time, or make people laugh but at the same time scare them a little, that isn’t easy to do but it is great if you do it right. Or make people laugh but make them feel guilty about laughing.

16. What is coming next for you?

I don’t want to give away too much, but the story is about Pornocchio. When he lies, his nose doesn’t grow but something else does, which can be lethal if he is having sex. It is a true gross out story. I wrote it to submit to the Rejected for Content series but did not finish it in time and it looks like it will be too long for them anyway, as they were looking for stories under 10,000 words.

Besides that short story, I am working on several non-fiction articles and interviews, and have written the first few chapters of a book dealing with extreme high school bullying and school shootings. I am working on a ton of short stories that I have started over the past few years but never finished.

I am seeking a publisher to release two of my books in paperback.

I have a script I wrote, that I put aside about two years ago. I want to shop it around and see if I can find a director and a studio to make it. It is a violent crime noir with psychedelic aspects called No Man Standing.I also want to finish and shop around other scripts I have written or almost finished writing.

I would like to write at least one sequel to Hurting My Toys.

I have been working for five years on the extreme international anthology film THE PROFANE EXHIBIT and hope that it will be released soon. I think it will be the last film I work on, as it has been five years of hell, and I have had tried to get several films made including a sequel to Bloodsucking Freaks written by Joel Reed and I was unable to raise money to get the film made. I also ran an Indiegogo campaign for Russian horror director Andrey Iskanov and we failed to raise enough money. He illustrated the cover of the book Hurting My Toys.

 

You can connect with David Tamarin here:

https://www.amazon.com/David-L-Tamarin/e/B00A9HMXF4/

www.severed-cinema.com/uglyworld

www.facebook.com/davidltamarin

www.twitter.com/davidltamarin

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2622717/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

a few free online short short stories:

http://threeminuteplasticmag.blogspot.com/2012/01/gravity-by-david-l-tamarin.html

https://bizarrocentral.com/tag/side-effects/?iframe=true&preview=true

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR INTERVIEWING ME!!!

Some of David Tamarin’s books: