Friday, August 16, 2019

COMING SOON: PINK TRIANGLE RHAPSODY



LVP Publications is excited to announce Pink Triangle Rhapsody, to be released in October 2019!

EDITED by Andrew Wolter
COVER by Joe Phillips
INTERIOR ART by Aaron Dries

Pink Triangle Rhapsody highlights and explores gay male cultural experiences and is dedicated to and in celebration of gay men and their cultural history. The non-themed anthology is a collection of short stories written with “effusively rapturous or emotional expression.” We asked the writers for unrestrained and emotional writing, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in this rhapsody. The mixed genre volume includes horror, sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, and pulp mystery stories written by:

Hal Bodner — Golden Boy
Jacob Budenz — Trial
John Peyton Cooke — Electric Pink
Aaron Dries — The Acknowledged
Robert Dunbar — Full
Ryan Field — The Bibble, The Babble, The Bible
David Gerrold — Companions
Darrell Grizzle — Squatch and Behr
Greg Herren — Whisper from the Grave
Adrik Kemp — Lightning Fingers
Corey Niles — What Lurks in These Woods
Gregory Norris — Heliotrope and The Art of Naming Houses
Norman Prentiss — Boardwalk Thrill Ride
Rick R. Reed — Will to Live
Andrew A. Sutherland Robertson — Sick is the New Black
J Daniel Stone — Patterns in the Sky
Lee Thomas — Murderer’s Milk

Thursday, August 1, 2019

SUBMISSIONS NOW OPEN!



Public submissions for Volume 2 of the Pulp Horror Book of Phobias are now open. Details will be updated after the invite-only submission period. Full details and submission instructions can be found at Submittable here.

As the graphic above suggests, the theme for this volume is domestic phobias - anything you might find, or come into contact with, inside or around a house or home. This very broad theme covers many common phobias such as arachnophobia, claustrophobia and agoraphobia, but for your story to be accepted it must bring something new! We suggest taking a look at the stories in Volume 1 for a general idea on theme and style.

Send us your best and good luck!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Pulp Horror Author Interview Z: Kerry Lipp

Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications


Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Kerry Lipp who explores the fear of jealousy in his short story "The Catalyst to Grow Some Guts" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.


LVP PUBLICATIONS: What draws you to horror, both as a writer and as a reader?  Who is your favorite horror creator?  Who are your inspirations or influences?

KERRY LIPP: In a word, versatility. What I love about horror is that it can scare you, break your heart, make you think, make you laugh out loud, and everything in between. The true beauty is when an artist can create a spectrum of emotions within a single work. My favorites and inspirations work in tandem with a couple of the heaviest hitters being Richard Laymon and Jack Ketchum. As far as the living and active, my favorite writer is probably Kristopher Triana.

LVP: What were your biggest fears as a child?  Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?

LIPP: One of my mom’s favorite things to tell people is that when I was about 4 years old and we went to the video store to rent movies I would stand in front of the horror section studying each box, captivated by the covers. To her credit she never rented one for me, but who knows, maybe if I saw something like Friday the 13th when I was five it would’ve killed that devilish voice that’s lived in the back of my head for 35 years. Speaking of 35, I just had a birthday and my new phobia is the realization that I’m basically half dead and I’ve already been through the easy half.

LVP: Horror has a million sub-genres, from psychological to splatterpunk.  Which sub-genres have you written in?  What's your favorite flavor of horror?

LIPP: I like it all as long it moves at a rapid pace. As a long time student of the game via Richard Laymon, I feel like my biggest strength as a writer is keeping the pace moving with a kind of energy or sense of urgency that I hope translates to the reader. I still don’t know how he pulls it off, but there’s something about him that makes his books incredibly hard to put down. I hope I’ve harnessed a fraction of that and put it to use in my own way.  I try to employ that no matter the tone or sub-genre I’m attempting. As true answer to the question though, I think writing giant monster animal stories is the most fun.

LVP: Is there any sub-genre or area of horror that you won’t go anywhere near? Any one area that is completely off-limits?

LIPP: Not really. If I felt like writing it, I’d write it, but I’m not the biggest fan of slow burn or stuff that leans too heavy on the supernatural/allegorical. That kind of stuff usually makes no sense to me. I don’t like reading or watching it so it’s probably not fair if I tried to write it. And I would most likely suck at it.

LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?

LIPP: Four or five years ago I wrote a pretty tongue in cheek story called “Desensitized” about a mass shooter shooting up a mall and live streaming the whole thing. I wrote it to be both chilling and over the top in a kind of funny way. Considering how things have moved since then and will likely keep moving, that story has become infinitely scarier, at least to me.

LVP: Have you ever had an idea for a story so scary or disturbing that you couldn't bring yourself to write it down? Tell us about it.

LIPP: Haha, no way. I’ve got plenty of stuff that I’d say is probably “unpublishable” but I still wrote it. One of these days my hard drive might summon the devil.

LVP: Are there any ways that your interest in horror bleeds over (so to speak) into other areas of your life?  Do you throw legendary Halloween parties, do you dress like Alice Cooper when you go grocery shopping, do you have a pet albino snake named Nosferatu?

LIPP: I refer to my youngest nephew as Chuck because he bears a striking resemblance to a certain famous doll. I sell stuff on the internet for a living and have pretty good instincts on what kind of horrorish type stuff is likely to turn a profit. Outside of that I’ve been a lifelong metal head and horror fan but never had any friends, at least within close physical proximity, that shared the same interests, so I just bottle it all up and let it go on the blank page.

LVP: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try dabbling in horror writing for the first time?

LIPP: Sit down and write words. Don’t wait for inspiration or for the perfect time, both of those are largely bullshit and I don’t think the two have ever been seen together in the same room. Play around with all kinds of styles to find your voice and what clicks with you. Recognize that you are probably nowhere near as good as you think you are and be conscious of that. It sounds like I’m being a jerk, but it’s probably true and being aware of that, especially early on, will help you get better faster.

LVP: What would you like your legacy to be?  Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?

LIPP: This is going to be a pessimistic and nihilistic way to end this, but there’s truth and motivation here if you read it the way I do, and I can’t think of a better place to read this than on a tombstone.

“Everything suffocates in the dust of past fortunes squandered.”
It’s a lyric from a Lamb of God song titled “Break You.”

LVP: Anything else you'd like to say or add? Any final thoughts?

LIPP: Not really. I’m sort of semi-retired from writing these days and this is one of few things I’ve written and published within the last couple years. I hope I still have whatever small piece of “it” I ever had and that readers enjoy it. One of the scarier things I’ve seen in recent years was watching the Brian Kil or Plainfield Massacre story unfold on Facebook in real time. That story shook me and most people probably have no idea what I’m talking about. Look it up, it’s scary as hell and is the genesis for my story “The Catalyst to Grow Some Guts” in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias. Thank you to LVP for hosting me this time around!


~ Kerry lives in Louisville, Kentucky. He hates the sun and loves making fun of dead people. His parents started reading his work and consequently booted him from their will. His stories have been featured in numerous anthologies including Intersections: Six Tales of Ouija Horror. He and co-author Ken MacGregor will release their debut novel in the near future.


Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!

Pulp Horror Author Interview Y: Jill Hand

Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications


Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Jill Hand who explores the fear of yoga in her short story "Too Hot in Boilertown" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.


LVP PUBLICATIONS: What draws you to horror, both as a writer and as a reader?  Who is your favorite horror creator?  Who are your inspirations or influences?

JILL HAND: Horror grips readers like no other genre. Get a group of people sitting around a campfire telling stories and chances are the stories will be scary. That’s because, deep down, we love being scared. Even people who say they won’t watch horror movies watch a TV news report about women being burned alive in cages because they refuse to have sex with ISIS fighters. We slow down and look when there’s a bad accident being cleaned up on the highway. Writing horror involves being aware there’s a lot of darkness involved in being alive and showing people that darkness.

As for my favorite horror creator I’d say it’s Michael McDowell. His short story, “Miss Mack,” is guaranteed to give you nightmares.

LVP: What were your biggest fears as a child?  Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?

HAND: As a child I was mostly afraid of my parents dying, which they eventually did. I have one phobia now: trypophobia, which is fear of clusters of small holes. Don’t laugh. It’s bad.

LVP: Horror has a million sub-genres, from psychological to splatterpunk.  Which sub-genres have you written in?  What's your favorite flavor of horror?

HAND: I like to mix humor with horror. Is there a name for that? Funny horror?

LVP: Is there any sub-genre or area of horror that you won’t go anywhere near? Any one area that is completely off-limits?

HAND: I’m not a fan of any horror that involves rape.

LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?

I wrote a story about a woman whose house ate her.

LVP: Have you ever had an idea for a story so scary or disturbing that you couldn't bring yourself to write it down? Tell us about it.

HAND: No. I wish I did.

LVP: Are there any ways that your interest in horror bleeds over (so to speak) into other areas of your life?  Do you throw legendary Halloween parties, do you dress like Alice Cooper when you go grocery shopping, do you have a pet albino snake named Nosferatu?

HAND: No, I do my best to feign normality. People expect horror writers to drive a hearse and sleep in a coffin. I drive a vintage Mercedes and sleep in a bed. I do, however, have a room in my basement that’s filled with enormous crickets, like really unusually large crickets, but I don’t throw parties down there.

LVP: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try dabbling in horror writing for the first time?

HAND: Don’t imitate other writers. Find your own voice.

LVP: What would you like your legacy to be?  Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?

HAND: My legacy will be lots of short stories in lots of anthologies. I’m cool with that.

LVP: Anything else you'd like to say or add? Any final thoughts?

HAND: Read my work. Leave reviews. Writers need reviews the way vampires need fresh blood. Oh, and I have a Southern Gothic thriller coming out on May 30, 2019 from Black Rose Writing. It’s called White Oaks and it’s funny and weird. You should read it.


~ Jill Hand is an award-winning fantasy author and a member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers. Her Southern Gothic thriller, White Oaks, is available for preorder now from Black Rose Writing, and on Amazon after its release date of May 30, 2019.


Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!

Pulp Horror Author Interview X: Steven M Vance

Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications


Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Steven M Vance who explores the fear of razors in his short story "Halfpenny" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.


LVP PUBLICATIONS: What draws you to horror, both as a writer and as a reader?  Who is your favorite horror creator?  Who are your inspirations or influences?

STEVEN M VANCE: As a reader, I want to be entertained. Immersed in the world of the characters, the author’s vision.

I didn’t expect to get my start as a writer of horror. While taking care of my family and working. I always assumed fantasy would be my primary genre. When I finally took up the pen in late 2016, horror was what ended up on the page. My experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom were a definite influence. War has to be one of the worst ideas humanity has ever come up with.

Inspirations, influences, favorites? Lovecraft’s “The Statement of Randolph Carter” was the first horror story I read, in my elementary school library. Opened up worlds for me I hadn’t been aware of. King’s “Salem’s Lot” in junior high. Still the scariest vampire novel around. So plausible…if vampires are real. Also, his story, “The Boogeyman”. Horror story as morality tale, as they so often are. Big fan of Caitlin Kiernan, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz (I know some would argue that one). “Canavan’s Backyard” by Joseph Payne Brennan. Sticks with me 30+ years later. Michael Moorcock’s novel “The Black Corridor”. More recently, Rachel Caine’s “The Cold Girl” (in “Carniepunk”) and “Noble Rot” by Holly Black (“Naked City” anthology).

LVP: What were your biggest fears as a child?  Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?

VANCE: The pallid, sinewy arms that were going to grab me and pull me under the bed in a dank, rubbery grip of steel. I got my feet under the covers quickly when the lights went out. I try to remember that one once or twice a year. Its good to revisit old friends now and then.

One of the few souvenirs I brought back from my time in Iraq was a healthy dislike for feeling cornered or trapped. No spelunking for me. Ever.

LVP: Horror has a million sub-genres, from psychological to splatterpunk.  Which sub-genres have you written in?  What's your favorite flavor of horror?

VANCE: Favorite flavor? I like variety. Stephen King’s classic Maine-centric horror; well-written ghost stories; Cthulhu mythos and the King in Yellow; pieces set in different cultures – Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, etc.

My first published story, “It is the Sweetest”, masquerades as a noir detective story. “The Pickman Revival” and “Secret Santa” are squarely in Lovecraft territory, though with my particular take on it. I think banal 21st century suburbia, in its soul-numbing sameness is a better setting for cosmic horror than rural New England. I also find a little dark humor creeping in here and there. In “Halfpenny”, I give a nod to the work of the late, great Robert W. Chambers.

I’m certainly not done with the characters appearing in my Cthulhu Mythos stories, and I’ve had requests to return to my P.I., Sam Kavanagh. Stories waiting in the wings run the gamut from ‘mainstream’ horror (think early Stephen King) to sci fi/horror crossovers, dark fantasy and ghost stories.

LVP: Is there any sub-genre or area of horror that you won’t go anywhere near? Any one area that is completely off-limits?

VANCE: Splatter. Been there, done that, didn’t want the t-shirt (Google “2004 Forward Operating Base Marez bombing” sometime).

The really bleak stuff. If I wanted to feel grim and hopeless, I could binge-watch mainstream news.

LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?

VANCE: Its early yet, but I’ve noticed a bit of a theme in my writing. Bad things tend to happen in my stories to people who prey on children. I’ve known a number of people who lived through hell on earth growing up. When someone in a position of trust hurts (or kills) a child, that’s real horror, and truly terrifying.

LVP: Have you ever had an idea for a story so scary or disturbing that you couldn't bring yourself to write it down? Tell us about it.

VANCE: I have a novel (in its first draft) that mocks, to a certain degree, the urban fantasy genre. Vampires, werewolves, and the like, are predators. Predators very rarely fall in love with their food. I don’t want to say too much. I want the shock value to be there for readers. I want their skin to crawl. Let’s just say I’m offering an alternate interpretation to why vampires’ victims are drained of their bodily fluids, and have a couple holes in their necks. Elongated incisors are not the likeliest explanation for such wounds…

LVP: Are there any ways that your interest in horror bleeds over (so to speak) into other areas of your life?  Do you throw legendary Halloween parties, do you dress like Alice Cooper when you go grocery shopping, do you have a pet albino snake named Nosferatu?

VANCE: Not so much. When my wife, Gina, and I were first married, we had a Tabby/Siamese mix named Lizzie Borden. Later, it was Pennywise, an American Shorthair sitting on a mountain of attitude. Presently, I am domestic staff for a Snowshoe Siamese named Lucifer. As a kitten, he would literally run up walls and hang there, glaring at everyone with crazy eyes.

LVP: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try dabbling in horror writing for the first time?

VANCE: Employ the KISS method (Keep it simple, stupid). Read Stephen King’s “On Writing”. Take it to heart. Never hesitate to kill your children.

LVP: What would you like your legacy to be?  Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?

VANCE: With four published stories under my belt, it's too early for me to worry about my legacy. I hope people remember my stories years later. I hope they feel things, reading my work, whatever that means for them.

LVP: Anything else you'd like to say or add? Any final thoughts?

VANCE: As a writer, I think heart (feelings) and gut (intuition) count for more than brains (craft).

May horror be something that entertains you, and not something you live through.


~ Steven M. Vance is a long-time husband, father and grandfather. Served as a combat medic with the infantry in Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. Loves Southeast Asian martial arts and eating kao soi, satay and nasi goreng. He has a Snowshoe Siamese named Lucifer. Lives and works in the greater Denver area. Find him at https://www.facebook.com/StevenMVance3/


Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Pulp Horror Author Interview W: Edward M Erdelac

Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications


Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Edward M Erdelac who explores the fear of time warps in his short story "A Bolt of Lightning" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.


LVP PUBLICATIONS: What draws you to horror, both as a writer and as a reader?  Who is your favorite horror creator?  Who are your inspirations or influences?

EDWARD M ERDELAC: I’d be hard pressed to say what draws me to horror. I could repeat the oft-said thing about confronting mortality cathartically or something, I guess. I would say I actively avoided horror as a kid, but even then I was into old black and white monster movies, whatever came on Son of Svengoolie. I feel like when I’m reading or watching something, if life and death isn’t on the line, I’m not quite as engaged. I like to see characters in upheaval, and nothing quite makes that happen so quickly and in such a literal sense as the introduction of some horrific event or supernatural threat. In the horror field, my biggest writing influences are Robert E. Howard, Lovecraft, Richard Matheson, Cormac McCarthy, Alan Moore, and Stephen King.

LVP: What were your biggest fears as a child?  Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?

ERDELAC: As a child, my fears mainly revolved around my parents being lost to me or somehow turning out not to be who they were. I remember having a nightmare where they were mummies, of all things. I used to suffer from night terrors as well (still do, if I get overheated), which I always imagined as sort of, not being entirely in your body. Sort of being stuck halfway and not being able to settle or entirely control yourself. The Exorcist and the idea of demonic possession terrified me as a kid too. I developed mild claustrophobia from being piled on at a birthday party and being locked in a trunk once. As an adult, my biggest fear is existential. Just the possibility of oblivion.

LVP: Horror has a million sub-genres, from psychological to splatterpunk.  Which sub-genres have you written in?  What's your favorite flavor of horror?

ERDELAC: I’ve written cosmic, occult, psychological, psychosexual, monster, slasher, religious, ghost, action, comedy, sci-fi, body horror, and folk horror. I tend to enjoy folk horror the most – stuff like Curse Of The Demon, The Wicker Man, Kill List, and Hereditary, and The Devil Rides Out. Things with cults.

LVP: Is there any sub-genre or area of horror that you won’t go anywhere near? Any one area that is completely off-limits?

ERDELAC: Up until a year ago when I actually sat down and watched the Hostel movies, I would’ve turned up my nose at torture porn. I still don’t know that I’d read or write it, but I’m no longer averse to it. Never say never. I don’t like nastiness just for the sake of nastiness. There has to be a compelling story or characters.

LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?

ERDELAC: My novel Monstrumfuhrer is probably the most terrifying. It takes place during the Holocaust, and I believe the real-life human horrors of Auschwitz I depicted are worse than anything supernatural I’ve done.

LVP: Have you ever had an idea for a story so scary or disturbing that you couldn't bring yourself to write it down? Tell us about it.

ERDELAC: Never. If something in my mind becomes off limits I’m not being honest as a writer.

LVP: Are there any ways that your interest in horror bleeds over (so to speak) into other areas of your life?  Do you throw legendary Halloween parties, do you dress like Alice Cooper when you go grocery shopping, do you have a pet albino snake named Nosferatu?

ERDELAC: I think I’ve transferred an affection for horror to my kids which my wife doesn’t really share. My eldest daughter loves J-horror and sci-fi horror, my middle daughter likes monsters, and I think my son is a fan of Jason Voorhees. All of them love Halloween and dressing up, pumpkins, the whole schmeal.

LVP: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try dabbling in horror writing for the first time?

ERDELAC: Write the kind of thing you’d like to read yourself. Don’t worry about catering to an audience. If the writing is honest the audience will feel it and come back for more.

LVP: What would you like your legacy to be?  Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?

ERDELAC: It would be nice to affect the world or someone’s life in some positive way. I think my kids at least will remember me. I’ve love to have a positive effect on a broader swathe of people through my work, maybe leave the world a little better than I found it. Not sure how. I suppose entertainment can be an alleviation of one’s ills, so if I create something that people remember, that’d be great. I don’t think I want a tombstone. I’d rather be fondly remembered in peoples’ hearts.


~ Edward M. Erdelac is the author of twelve novels including The Knight With Two Swords, Monstrumfuhrer, and The Merkabah Rider series. His fiction has appeared in over two dozen anthologies and periodicals, much of it collected in Angler In Darkness. News and excerpts from his work can be found at http://emerdelac.wordpress.com


Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!

Pulp Horror Author Interview V: Ray Garton

Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications


Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Ray Garton who explores the fear of beautiful women in his short story "Beautiful Women" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.


LVP PUBLICATIONS: What draws you to horror, both as a writer and as a reader?  Who is your favorite horror creator?  Who are your inspirations or influences?

RAY GARTON: I’ve always been drawn to horror because of its honesty. It’s a genre that refuses to sugarcoat things. I don’t have a favorite horror creator, but there are some whose work stands above everything else, I think. Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, William Nolan, anyone in that group. I’m a big admirer of King’s work, of course. Matheson was probably my biggest influence when I was coming up and still remains influential.

LVP: What were your biggest fears as a child?  Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?

GARTON: My biggest fears as a child were mostly religious. I was terrified of the Last Days, the Second Coming, all that happy crap you find in the book of Revelation. These days, my fears are much more realistic and down to earth.

LVP: Horror has a million sub-genres, from psychological to splatterpunk.  Which sub-genres have you written in?  What's your favorite flavor of horror?

GARTON: I think I’ve written in most of them. I like the kind of horror that doesn’t reveal itself as horror for a while. It’s just telling a story and people are going about their lives and business when suddenly something that simply should not be is introduced into the story. And that can happen in any of the sub-genres.

LVP: Is there any sub-genre or area of horror that you won’t go anywhere near? Any one area that is completely off-limits?

GARTON: No, I don’t think so.

LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?

GARTON: It would be individual scenes rather than whole books or stories. Like the scene in The Loveliest Dead when the ghost slowly rises up out of the floor of the little boy’s bedroom. Or the jar scene in Shackled. That sort of thing.

LVP: Have you ever had an idea for a story so scary or disturbing that you couldn't bring yourself to write it down? Tell us about it.

GARTON: No, that’s never happened and I doubt it would.

LVP: Are there any ways that your interest in horror bleeds over (so to speak) into other areas of your life?  Do you throw legendary Halloween parties, do you dress like Alice Cooper when you go grocery shopping, do you have a pet albino snake named Nosferatu?

GARTON: It has certainly affected the decor of our house. Dawn is a horror fan, too, and our house shows it. We used to have a black cat named Boris.

LVP: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try dabbling in horror writing for the first time?

GARTON: Read everything. Don’t stick to one genre. Read everything you can find. Try to learn how other writers handle various kinds of projects, pay attention to what they do and how they do it. If you’re not writing, you should always be reading.

LVP: What would you like your legacy to be?  Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?

GARTON: I would like to leave behind a lot of books that can be enjoyed by people long after I’m gone. My work is my legacy.


~ Ray Garton has been writing novels, novellas, and short stories for more than 30 years. His work spans the genres of horror, suspense, and even comedy. His novel LIVE GIRLS made a permanent mark on vampire fiction. He received the Grand Master of Horror Award in 2006. He lives in northern California with his wife Dawn, where he is at work on his next novel. https://www.raygartononline.com


Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!

Pulp Horror Author Interview U: Mehitobel Wilson

Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications


Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Mehitobel Wilson who explores the fear of utopian societies in her short story "True Confessions of the Happiest Pistachio… In The Most Perfect System… In The Whole Wide World" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.


LVP PUBLICATIONS: What draws you to horror, both as a writer and as a reader?  Who is your favorite horror creator?  Who are your inspirations or influences?

MEHITOBEL WILSON: I’m trying to remember, or imagine, how I would have answered this when I first got hooked on horror. When I was a kid and young adult, horror seemed transgressive. I was thrilled by gore and wanted to run with the monsters.

Nowadays, I’m more compelled by the empathy required as a reader/viewer, the emotional connections we have with the characters.

I can’t even begin to name influences, though. Everyone!

Current favorite creators? If there’s a new book from Mo Hayder, Paul Tremblay, Sarah Pinborough, or Christopher Golden, I’ll preorder it. And I pounce on movies by Ben Wheatley or Lucky McKee. Right now I’m really obsessed with Liam Gavin’s A DARK SONG.

LVP: What were your biggest fears as a child?  Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?

WILSON: As a kid, I covered my bedroom ceiling with glow-in-the-dark stars so I could watch them in the dark. I was sure something would blot out the stars someday, something crawling on the ceiling, or looming in the night.

As an adult I simply fear running out of time.

LVP: Horror has a million sub-genres, from psychological to splatterpunk.  Which sub-genres have you written in?  What's your favorite flavor of horror?

WILSON: I’ve written body horror, cosmic horror, monster stories, ghost stories, comedy—but whenever I have to describe my work overall, I sum it up as psychological horror.

LVP: Is there any sub-genre or area of horror that you won’t go anywhere near? Any one area that is completely off-limits?

WILSON: I tend to avoid extreme horror these days, though I used to be really into it. I’m not opposed to it, just burned out on it, I think. But fuck knows what that even means—my bell curve is pretty skewed. Like, THE WOMAN is one of my comfort movies, and a lot of people would say that’s extreme. But I won’t ever watch A SERBIAN FILM. Also, I’m not cool with suicide stories.

LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?

WILSON: This is a brutal question! I guess right now I’d say my novella, LAST NIGHT AT THE BLUE ALICE, is the scariest, or should be, because there’s just so much human disconnection in it.

LVP: Have you ever had an idea for a story so scary or disturbing that you couldn't bring yourself to write it down? Tell us about it.

WILSON: Well, if I told you about it, wrote it down here, I may as well write the story! But no, not really.

There was one real-life murder/kidnapping case that I followed intensely while it was unfolding, and it really fucked me up. I wanted to work through that in fiction, but it took years and years before I finally found the means to confront it. I don’t really want to mention the murderer—I don’t want to contribute to his lore—but I wrote “The Remains” for DEEP CUTS to pull the thorn from my paw.


LVP: Are there any ways that your interest in horror bleeds over (so to speak) into other areas of your life?  Do you throw legendary Halloween parties, do you dress like Alice Cooper when you go grocery shopping, do you have a pet albino snake named Nosferatu?

WILSON: I’ve been a creepy ol’ goth all my life. I’ve started to add a pop of color to my black wardrobe—I’m partial to mouse grey. My office walls are completely encrusted in horror artwork, my décor sense is Weird Old Attic, and I collect vulture stuff. For a while there was a trend in gift stores for “over the hill” birthday party kitsch; that was a great time for stuffed vultures!

LVP: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try dabbling in horror writing for the first time?

WILSON: Don’t bother trying to play clever tricks on readers. Emotional honesty is key to horror, for me. And read very, very broadly. There’s horror in every genre, every scenario.

LVP: What would you like your legacy to be?  Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?

WILSON: Epitaph? I don’t know—I’m bad at short pithy things (hence being bad at Twitter.) Legacy? I just hope that people who read my work got to step outside of themselves while reading it, and afterward, when they return to themselves, they’re satisfied.

LVP: Anything else you'd like to say or add? Any final thoughts?

WILSON: These were very difficult questions to answer. Thank you for asking them!


~ Mehitobel Wilson has been a Bram Stoker Award nominee, and many of her stories have been granted Honorable Mentions in the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. Recent short stories have appeared in Apex #75, Deep Cuts, Zombies: Encounters with the Hungry Dead, Psychos, and Sins of the Sirens. Her dark fantasy novella, Last Night at the Blue Alice, is available from Bedlam Press. Selected stories have been collected in Dangerous Red. Visit her at mehitobel.com.


Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Pulp Horror Author Interview T: Max Booth III

Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications


Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Max Booth III who explores the fear of poison in his short story "Manchausen" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.


LVP PUBLICATIONS: What draws you to horror, both as a writer and as a reader?  Who is your favorite horror creator?  Who are your inspirations or influences?

MAX BOOTH III: Nobody’s safe in horror. When done right, nothing is predictable. I love the sensation of being dragged out of my comfort zone. I love Halloween decorations and cheesy spooky music and monster cereal. I don’t feel like a human being unless I’m hanging around skeletons and ghouls. My favorite horror creator is David Cronenberg. I’m inspired by everything. I’m influenced by everybody. I want to be buried in a Halloween Spirit Store.

LVP: What were your biggest fears as a child?  Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?

BOOTH: Abandonment, for sure. I often paced around my house, alone, terrified my parents had been killed in a car accident. I was also afraid of being taken away by Child Protective Services. Current phobias consist of probably everything. I live in a constant state of anxiety.

LVP: Horror has a million sub-genres, from psychological to splatterpunk.  Which sub-genres have you written in?  What's your favorite flavor of horror?

BOOTH: I don’t focus much energy on what sub-genre I’m writing in. It’s all horror, as far as I’m concerned. The moment I start giving a shit about what genre or sub-genre I’m falling in, is the moment the writing starts to weaken.

LVP: Is there any sub-genre or area of horror that you won’t go anywhere near? Any one area that is completely off-limits?

BOOTH: No.

LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?

BOOTH: Probably The Nightly Disease, a novel about a man who works the night shift at a hotel. Seeing as I still work the night shift at a hotel, I feel this pain the most.

LVP: Have you ever had an idea for a story so scary or disturbing that you couldn't bring yourself to write it down? Tell us about it.

BOOTH: Nah.

LVP: Are there any ways that your interest in horror bleeds over (so to speak) into other areas of your life?  Do you throw legendary Halloween parties, do you dress like Alice Cooper when you go grocery shopping, do you have a pet albino snake named Nosferatu?

BOOTH: Halloween is a big deal in our house. We create a little graveyard in the front yard, cover the house in decapitated heads and spider webs, etc. I like to sit on the front porch and write a horror story from beginning to end while handing out candy to kids, spooky music blaring throughout the neighborhood. I don’t really dress up, though. However, we do have a skeleton dachshund hanging around the house named Bones, and a tiny wolf-man child named Chad II.

LVP: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try dabbling in horror writing for the first time?

BOOTH: Read contemporary titles from small presses. Learn what real horror is doing these days.

LVP: What would you like your legacy to be?  Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?

BOOTH: I hope I die in a hilarious manner that people will laugh about for years and years.


~ Raised in Northern Indiana on an unhealthy diet of horror movies and Christopher Pike paperbacks, Max Booth III now lives in San Antonio, TX where he is constantly trying not to get shot. It is harder than you think. He is the author of several novels, including Carnivorous Lunar Activities, which was published in early 2019 as an original Fangoria Presents! paperback. His non-fiction has been published on websites such as LitReactor.com and CrimeReads.com. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of Perpetual Motion Machine, the Managing Editor of Dark Moon Digest, the book reviewer for the San Antonio Current, and the co-host of Castle Rock Radio: A Stephen King Podcast. Visit his website TalesFromTheBooth.com to learn more and follow him on Twitter @GiveMeYourTeeth.


Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!

Pulp Horror Author Interview S: Gabino Iglesias

Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications


Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Gabino Iglesias who explores the fear of society and people in his short story "Feeding the Orishas" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.


LVP PUBLICATIONS: What draws you to horror, both as a writer and as a reader?  Who is your favorite horror creator?  Who are your inspirations or influences?

GABINO IGLESIAS: I think fear is one of the purest human emotions. It makes people act strangely and pushes us to do things we never thought about or considered ourselves incapable of doing. I think those elements keep me glued to horror as a writer and reader. As for favorite creator, there are plenty. In terms of writing, I grew up with Stephen King, Poe, Richard Laymon, and Lovecraft. Nowadays I’m a huge fan of the work of Paul Tremblay, Brian Keene, John Langan, and CV Hunt. I’m constantly inspired by my fellow writers. People like Matt Serafini, Stephanie Wytovich, John Edward Lawson, and many other keep me going, keep me trying to get better.

LVP: What were your biggest fears as a child?  Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?

IGLESIAS: I collected monsters as a child. Early on I had the same fear of the dark most kids have. Then my fears became more elaborate because I read horror constantly. I feared demons for a while. Aliens creeped me out. As an adult those fears were replaced by real things. I fear not being able to afford food or a roof again. I fear things like cancer because it has taken too much from me already.

LVP: Horror has a million sub-genres, from psychological to splatterpunk.  Which sub-genres have you written in?  What's your favorite flavor of horror?

IGLESIAS: I currently write barrio noir, which bring crime and horror together. I’ve written science fiction with a touch of horror, a bit of splatterpunk in the vein of the great John Skipp, some Lovecraftian stuff, and a healthy amount of body horror. I love all of it. I don’t have a favorite. Give me possession and haunted houses and strange creatures in the woods and parasites and mutilation and ghosts and… just all of it!

LVP: Is there any sub-genre or area of horror that you won’t go anywhere near? Any one area that is completely off-limits?

IGLESIAS: I don’t think any area is off-limits, but there are a few things I won’t write about. One of them is rape. I don’t need rape to scare people. I think it’s used way too much as a device by horror writers who don’t have much to say. Some folks write about it effectively and with the respect it deserves as one of the most horrible things that can happen to a human, but most throw in there for shock value. Rape, sadly, happens everyday, so it never shocks me. What shocks me is how so many authors don’t have more to offer.

LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?

IGLESIAS: I think the mother in Coyote Songs who holds her son as he dies of asphyxiation. That’s real pain. I’ve had at least a dozen people write me messages saying they cried. That means they felt it, they feared something like that happening to them. Something as real as losing a child can be scarier than a thousand monsters.

LVP: Have you ever had an idea for a story so scary or disturbing that you couldn't bring yourself to write it down? Tell us about it.

IGLESIAS: Yes! I’ve had several ideas for stories involving alien visitations and abductions, but none of them have been as unique as I would like them to be. I also don’t think I have the skills yet to sustain creepiness for pages on end. One day soon…

LVP: Are there any ways that your interest in horror bleeds over (so to speak) into other areas of your life?  Do you throw legendary Halloween parties, do you dress like Alice Cooper when you go grocery shopping, do you have a pet albino snake named Nosferatu?

IGLESIAS: Horror is part of everything! I used to throw legendary Halloween parties. I don’t have much free time, but about 90% of the movies I watch are horror movies. I’m also a photographer and I think the horror aesthetic has influenced my photography, especially in the last two or three years.

LVP: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try dabbling in horror writing for the first time?

IGLESIAS: Read. Read everything and everyone. Read body horror and classics and contemporary stuff and literary horror. Read like your future career depended on it, because it does.

LVP: What would you like your legacy to be?  Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?

IGLESIAS: I’d like to leave behind books that entertain but also deliver a message. And I want to be remembered as a writer who used his (hopefully!) successful career to promote the work of minorities.

LVP: Anything else you'd like to say or add? Any final thoughts?

IGLESIAS: I’d like to add that I’m stoked about being part of this project!


~ Gabino Iglesias is a writer, professor, and book reviewer living in Austin. He is the author of ZERO SAINTS and COYOTE SONGS. His work has been translated into three languages, optioned for film, and nominated for the Bram Stoker Award and the Wonderland Book Award. His nonfiction and reviews have appeared in NPR, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Electric Literature, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Collagist, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, and many other print and online venues. Find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias.


Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!

Pulp Horror Author Interview R: Sheri Sebastian-Gabriel

Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications


Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Sheri Sebastian-Gabriel who explores the fear of being beaten with. magic wand in her short story "The Toxic Magician" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.


LVP PUBLICATIONS: What draws you to horror, both as a writer and as a reader?  Who is your favorite horror creator?  Who are your inspirations or influences?

SHERI SEBASTIAN-GABRIEL: I’ve always been fascinated by the dark side of life. When I was about four, I swear I saw one of my plastic toy dinosaurs come to life and move around. I wasn’t scared, but I was curious. There’s probably a reasonable explanation for this phenomenon, but the image has stuck with me for almost 40 years! I think all humans experience scary things, but horror fiction is a safe space to explore those feelings.

My first love in the horror genre was Ray Bradbury. I discovered Bradbury’s work in my elementary school library in the second grade. The librarian wouldn’t check out books in that section to “little kids” (there was some rule or another, but it has been lost to the mists of time). I’d sit on the stool in the aisle and read, and I was entranced instantly. That summer, my mother took my brother and me to the Bookmobile, and I was finally able to bring those books home. I think the first thing I ever read from him was The Halloween Tree, which I introduced to my children when they were quite young.

I am constantly inspired and influenced by so many women writing horror today. Elizabeth Massie is such an amazing writer—and a lovely, lovely person. Same for Linda Addison, whose sultry poetry leaves me wanting a cigarette, and I don’t even smoke.  Mary SanGiovanni has made cosmic and weird horror her own, and I really admire that. I’m also blown away by my contemporaries like Cat Scully, Michelle Renee Lane, Morgan Sylvia, doungjai gam, Nadia Bulkin, and Mary Hart. Other writers who have inspired me over the years include Michael Bishop, Christopher Golden, Jeffrey Ford, Stephen King, Joe Hill, and George Alec Effinger.

LVP: What were your biggest fears as a child?  Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?

SEBASTIAN-GABRIEL: I was terrified of thunder. I mean, hide under the blankets, shivering terrified!

As an adult, one of my worst fears is something bad and beyond my control happening to my kids. I think when you have children, you come to understand just how little control you have over your bubble. For some reason, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a pretty bad fear of being trapped. I wouldn’t say I’m claustrophobic, as cramped spaces don’t bother me, but being in a locked room alone with no way out sends me into a panic.

LVP: Horror has a million sub-genres, from psychological to splatterpunk.  Which sub-genres have you written in?  What's your favorite flavor of horror?

SEBASTIAN-GABRIEL: My novel, Spirits, is quiet horror. It’s been compared to the works of Rick Hautala. I’ve done other things in the quiet horror vein. I’ve also written noir, dystopian horror, and cyberpunk.

I love psychological horror. I love stories that get under your skin and nestle there. Blood and gore are fine, but those things have never disturbed me on the level that psychological horror has. I like stories that make you question reality––and ultimately your own sanity. I like stories that mirror the real world and show it for the ugly place it can be, but I also like to see some hint of hope. I don’t think we’re doomed, but, dammit, we’ve got a really big hole to dig ourselves out of.

LVP: Is there any sub-genre or area of horror that you won’t go anywhere near? Any one area that is completely off-limits?

SEBASTIAN-GABRIEL: I don’t believe there’s any sub-genre I won’t read or haven’t read. I love Jack Ketchum’s work, but I always feel emotionally drained when I finish one of his books. His stuff can be daunting, but you can’t deny the amazing talent he had. Same for Skipp and Spector. I don’t write splatterpunk, but I enjoy it as a reader.

LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?

SEBASTIAN-GABRIEL: Spirits, my novel set for release in July, terrifies me. I managed to creep myself out on a few occasions, and I’m pretty hard to creep out. There are some brutal scenes, but I find a quiet sense of dread way more terrifying.

LVP: Have you ever had an idea for a story so scary or disturbing that you couldn't bring yourself to write it down? Tell us about it.

SEBASTIAN-GABRIEL: Certainly I have ideas I want to explore down the road, but I don’t think any of them have been too disturbing to write down. If anything, I find writing down the disturbing things cathartic.

LVP: Are there any ways that your interest in horror bleeds over (so to speak) into other areas of your life?  Do you throw legendary Halloween parties, do you dress like Alice Cooper when you go grocery shopping, do you have a pet albino snake named Nosferatu?

SEBASTIAN-GABRIEL: Every day is Halloween at my house! My taste in decor is, shall we say, a little offbeat. There are a lot of skulls. My cookie jar is a large skull. I have a skeleton sitting on my bookshelf. Skelly Bones came to live here for Halloween, but she was decorated for Christmas, too. And now she is an everyday skeleton. There are demon masks and other assorted weird things. My Conquistador lamp is probably the most peculiar thing I own, but I love him! My kids swear he’s haunted––and they’re probably right! He does have vacant, soulless eyes.

LVP: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try dabbling in horror writing for the first time?

SEBASTIAN-GABRIEL: I would say just go for it. Read extensively and not just in the horror genre. Write the things you want to read. Writing in general is all about persistence, so don’t get discouraged by rejection. It happens to all of us.

LVP: What would you like your legacy to be?  Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?

SEBASTIAN-GABRIEL: My tombstone will probably read: Holy shit! What a ride!

My legacy, I hope, will be about pushing myself, not just in writing but in life. Life is an adventure. The only way to refill the creative well is to get out there and live!

LVP: Anything else you'd like to say or add? Any final thoughts?

SEBASTIAN-GABRIEL: I’m just so thrilled to be included in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias! I hope everyone enjoys my story, and I look forward to seeing some of y’all on the book tour circuit! Spirits comes out in July, so I’ll be out and about this summer. Drop on by and hang out with me!


~ Sheri Sebastian-Gabriel’s short fiction has appeared in a number of publications over the past decade. Her first novel, Spirits, is scheduled for release in July from Haverhill House Publishing. She lives in the Northeast with her partner, the writer Matt Bechtel; her three children; and an 80-pound lapdog named Nya. www.sherisebastiangabriel.com


Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!

Pulp Horror Author Interview Q: Sephera Giron

Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications


Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Sèphera Girón who explores the fear of numbers in her short story "Five in the Six" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.


LVP PUBLICATIONS: What draws you to horror, both as a writer and as a reader?  Who is your favorite horror creator?  Who are your inspirations or influences?

SÈPHERA GIRÓN: I came to horror as a reader. I was a teenager when Stephen King burst onto the scene. When I finished reading The Shining by Stephen King, I closed the book and decided I wanted to be a horror writer so that I could scare the crap out of people how King had scared the crap out of me.

LVP: What were your biggest fears as a child?  Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?

GIRÓN: Child: cats, bridges, heights, driving a car, birds.

Adult: Birds still unnerve me. If there’s a bird in the room, it comes to me for some reason. It’s quite disconcerting and doesn’t quell my fear. I boiled my fear of them down to the idea that my reptilian brain still thinks they are dinosaurs with those creepy unblinking eyes.

I’ve mommed five cats in my life and loved them all. I got my first (black) cat as a way to face my feline fear when I got my first apartment. It worked!

I still am afraid of heights. I worked at “the world’s highest disco” at the top of the CN Tower when I was in University for a couple of summers to try to get over my fear of heights. Nope. I will never do the Edgewalk. I LOVE LOVE LOVE rollercoasters but hate the first hill so much, but I have to get up that hill in order to do the rest of the coaster. The Yukon Striker has been unveiled for this year at Canada’s Wonderland, the world’s highest, fastest, longest dive coaster. I’ll be riding it, likely by the time you’re reading this, but truly hope I don’t stroke out on that first horrible hill! And no, riding those giant coasters multiple times still doesn’t help me with that initial first hill terror!

I love to drive my car, I can’t believe I was ever terrified of driving, I love driving so much! But I didn’t get my license until I was pregnant with my first son at twenty-five. I can’t imagine life without hopping into my car and driving wherever I want, whether to the store or to a convention two days away!

LVP: Horror has a million sub-genres, from psychological to splatterpunk.  Which sub-genres have you written in?  What's your favorite flavor of horror?

GIRÓN: Lots. I don’t have a favourite.

LVP: Is there any sub-genre or area of horror that you won’t go anywhere near? Any one area that is completely off-limits?

GIRÓN: Nothing off-limits but some of the new-fangled genres I don’t really understand, like Bizarro.

LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?

GIRÓN: I always try to scare myself when I’m writing. So, I guess, all of it?

LVP: Have you ever had an idea for a story so scary or disturbing that you couldn't bring yourself to write it down? Tell us about it.

GIRÓN: Nope. I write all of them, though I don’t always send them out for professional publishing.

LVP: Are there any ways that your interest in horror bleeds over (so to speak) into other areas of your life?  Do you throw legendary Halloween parties, do you dress like Alice Cooper when you go grocery shopping, do you have a pet albino snake named Nosferatu?

GIRÓN: When I’m working at a real-person job, like patient acting at the college, I have to remember that my dark sense of humour doesn’t amuse everyone, some people think I’m creepy! Imagine that!

LVP: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try dabbling in horror writing for the first time?

GIRÓN: Dive in and write. Write from the heart, and don’t second-guess yourself in a first draft. Just Do It!

LVP: What would you like your legacy to be?  Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?

GIRÓN: I hope to leave behind a body of work that people can enjoy for generations.

LVP: Anything else you'd like to say or add? Any final thoughts?

GIRÓN: If you want to be a writer, you have to write. If you wait for the “perfect time” it will never come. Scribble your ideas on napkins between baby feedings; it worked for me and JK Rowling. Jot down ideas when you can, or a paragraph; these days we have technology (such as cell phones that will translate voice to text), that makes it super easy, unlike when I was starting out.

One page a day will give a complete first draft of a regular-sized novel in one year! So keep on writing…and READING!


~ Sèphera Girón has written over twenty published novels and numerous short stories. She has published with Leisure Horror, Samhain Horror, Conari, Thunder's Mouth, Macabre, Riverdale Avenue Books, and more. She is the current astrologer for Romance Daily News. Sèphera lives in Toronto where she edits books for other writers and works as a background performer. You can find her at sepheragiron.ca


Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Pulp Horror Author Interview P: Richard Chizmar

Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications


Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Richard Chizmar who explores the fear of children in his short story "The Hunch" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.

LVP PUBLICATIONS: What were your biggest fears as a child?  Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?

RICHARD CHIZMAR: I was definitely scared of things that went bump in the night when I was a kid. I've always had a big imagination, and there were times when it overwhelmed me as a child. A lot of sleepless nights after Creature Double Features on television. A lot of breathless sprints home after dark from my friends' houses so the Boogeyman wouldn't jump out of the shadows and grab me.

These days, my fears or phobias are much more mundane. I'm always terrified something bad will happen to one of my loved ones. I'm not a big fan of flying or extreme heights. Nothing terribly exotic or exciting, I'm afraid.

LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?

CHIZMAR: Hmmm. Without going back and sifting through my bibliography, I'd have to say either "The Man Behind the Mask" or "The Box." Both stories feature human monsters of the live-next-door variety and tragic endings that were pretty difficult to write.

LVP: The Hunch addresses pedophobia in a unique way. Do you share any of Rutherford's past experiences or fears regarding children?

CHIZMAR: Actually, quite the opposite. I've always loved kids. I'd rather eat a holiday dinner at the Kid Table instead of with the adults. Much more interesting. If I'm attending a cook-out, you can usually find me playing whiffle ball or kick-ball with the kids. Again, much more fun than talking business or politics or religion.

When it came time to pick a phobia for the anthology, I thought it would be interesting to turn the tables on myself.

LVP: Which character in The Hunch do you most personally identify with and why?

CHIZMAR: Well, I'd like to say I'm most like Detective Ben Crawford -- steady and wise with an abundance of common sense. But, if I'm being honest, I probably most resemble his partner, Frank Logan. Stubborn, emotional, curious to a fault, and a little mischievous.

LVP: What would you like your legacy to be?  Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?

CHIZMAR: I'd be pretty darn happy with "Good Husband, Dad & Storyteller".

LVP: Anything else you'd like to say or add? Any final thoughts?

CHIZMAR: Just a big thank you for inviting me to contribute a story to The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias. It's a great concept for a collection of dark tales, and I can't wait to read it!


~ Richard Chizmar is a New York Times, USA Today,Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Amazon, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author.


Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!

Pulp Horror Author Interview O: Michael Bailey

Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications


Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with Michael Bailey who explores the fear of opening one's eyes in his short story "White to Black" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.


LVP PUBLICATIONS: What draws you to horror, both as a writer and as a reader? Who is your favorite horror creator? Who are your inspirations or influences?

MICHAEL BAILEY: Horror offers escape. As long as writers are creating dark fictional worlds, our sad and lonely not-so-light nonfictional world seems more bearable. Jack Ketchum taught me that people are the only monsters, that there’s nothing else to be afraid of; so, I guess that makes him one of my favorites, as well as one of my inspirations / influences. Besides Poe and King and Shelley and Gaiman, I draw mostly from outside the horror genre: writers such as David Mitchell, Yann Martel, Barbara Kingsolver, Raymond Carver, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Cormac McCarthy, maybe even a little Chuck Palahniuk, Mort Castle, Susan Collins; some of their work dips into the dark.

And the women … there are so many brilliant female writers of dark literary fiction, so I’m always on the lookout for new work by Emily B. Cataneo, J. Lincoln Fenn, Tlotlo Tsamaase, Lucy A. Snyder, Erinn L. Kemper, B.E. Scully, Rena Mason, Alma Katsu, Linda D. Addison, Gwendolyn Kiste, Meghan Arcuri … I could go on for pages. I wouldn’t necessarily tag those writers as “horror,” but they write about the dark. And since I’m name-dropping, how about Victor LaValle and Josh Malerman; those two know what they’re doing. Inspiration and influence comes from everywhere.

LVP: What were your biggest fears as a child? Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?

BAILEY: As a child, nyctophobia. I feared the dark, like most kids, like most adults. Let’s be honest, everyone is afraid of the dark in some sense because darkness hides the unknown. And I guess I always worried about becoming lost in some way, either literally or metaphorically, because most of my earliest and memorable dreams were about isolation. My childhood fears developed into what is now my biggest concern, losing the mind: memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer’s, everything winking out of existence, in other words. I’ve written close to a quarter-million words on the subject. And most recently, I discovered I have a fear of immobility, or cleithrophobia, the fear of being trapped. It makes me all sorts of anxious. Perhaps those two phobias are connected, or the same.

LVP: Horror has a million sub-genres, from psychological to splatterpunk. Which sub-genres have you written in? What's your favorite flavor of horror?

BAILEY: I am probably most known for psychological horror, but my short fiction often bends toward dark science fiction and speculative, sometimes near-future stuff. Some of the stuff I’ve written about in the past has come true, so perhaps some of what I’m writing is “science future-fact.” Occasionally, I write dystopian and gothic, and poetry, but I always avoid the tropes whenever possible: demons, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, serial killers, “monsters” of not the human kind, and if I do cross that line, the blur is subtle or in the mind.

My story “White to Black” in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias could be considered a “witch” story, if it needs to be categorized as anything specific for “horror,” but it’s much deeper than that. As far as favorite flavors of horror, I don’t read much horror, in all honesty (maybe 1% of what I read, maybe less), so I don’t have a favorite. I have more “least favorites” than “favorites” (see the next question / answer), so if I have to pick only one, then perhaps “psychological horror,” because I like exploring the mind, which is where all the magic happens anyway.

LVP: Is there any sub-genre or area of horror that you won’t go anywhere near? Any one area that is completely off-limits?

BAILEY: Here’s a list (won’t read it, won’t write it, won’t watch it, won’t remember it), and in no particular order: slasher, found footage, urban legend, cosmic (unless done well), body horror, torture porn, anything gore-heavy, splatterpunk, bizarro, Lovecraftian / Cthulhu mythos, tropy stuff (from that earlier list, unless done well and / or incredibly subtle, such as Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist or I Am Legend by Richard Matheson), possession, religious, anti-religious, gross-for-the-sake-of-being-gross, dinosaur erotica, and the list goes on and on and on.

Basically, if the cover or the title screams horror, I won’t touch the book. Entire publishing companies are overlooked on my part, some authors avoided. Yes, I judge books by their covers. Anyone who says they don’t are lying. And, for the most part, people seem to hate the term “literary fiction” or “literary horror,” but that’s the stuff I’m looking for if I’m looking for anything in the horror genre at all. The same goes for all genres, science fiction especially. Sorry, but it’s true.

LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?

BAILEY: For fiction, it would be a tie between “White to Black” (since some of the fear involved is autobiographical), and Darkroom, a novelette that sort of works as an older sister to that story and hits similar nerves. For nonfiction, I recently finished Seven Minutes, a book about surviving a California wildfire that completely changed my world. The agent is currently shopping that one, and it’s a tear-jerker / page-burner (pun intended because fire can go fuck itself). It could be sold as fiction if the story didn’t really happen, but it happened. So, that’s perhaps the scariest story I’ve ever written, Seven Minutes, since it’s something real in this nonfiction world of ours. Horror fiction becomes less scary when something real (something bad) happens in its place.

LVP: Have you ever had an idea for a story so scary or disturbing that you couldn't bring yourself to write it down? Tell us about it.

BAILEY: Our Children, Our Teachers used to be that beast, a novelette about the dire state of the education system, which is about a lockdown / active shooter situation at a school, involving children. I was originally going to co-write it as a novella with Jack Ketchum and we were going to call it Our Children, Our Futures, and we tossed around some ideas where it would go, but when his health fell the last time, he asked if we could collaborate on something else instead, a little later down the line. He urged me to finish the story solo as a novelette, though, told me it was something important that needed to be said, only that he couldn’t be the one to say it with me because I was the one with kids, “still a kid” myself. I didn’t want to write it, not alone. I also didn’t want to later write the book about the fire, but he convinced me to finish both. “Write the story about the fire,” he’d said. “It wants to be told.” Those were some of his last words to me. So, I guess the long answer is no, I’ve written the scariest, most disturbing things already.

LVP: Are there any ways that your interest in horror bleeds over (so to speak) into other areas of your life? Do you throw legendary Halloween parties, do you dress like Alice Cooper when you go grocery shopping, do you have a pet albino snake named Nosferatu?

BAILEY: The only bleeding from my interest in horror is in the form of editing and book design. While I don’t read a lot of published horror fiction, I read and edit a lot of unpublished horror fiction. As a freelancer, I work with writers to slim down manuscripts, as well as offer book design services. On average, I probably edit two or three book-length manuscripts a month, and design five or six books annually. I do have a cat named Bram, which is short for “Bramble,” and could be a nod to Mr. Stoker.

LVP: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try dabbling in horror writing for the first time?

BAILEY: Learn the art of self-editing. Attend a workshop or two or three (not online, unless you’ve gone to a few in person first) and learn how to slice and dice your own words until all that’s left on the page is what’s important. Avoid tropes. Be original. Listen to offered advice. Write what no one else is writing. Be your own voice, not a mash-up of others. Read outside the genre in which you want to write: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, whatever, as long as it’s good. However many words you want to write, first read at least a hundred times that amount; maybe a thousand times that amount… and either do it or don’t do it. Don’t just talk about doing it, or write online about the things you haven’t yet accomplished. And once you do write something you think is good, either throw it away or let it marinate in a drawer for six months before you ever touch it again. Then write something new. Rinse and repeat, until the drawer is full, and then go back to that first story. You’ll hate it. You’ll probably throw it away, or start slashing the thing apart with a red pen (hopefully after you’ve learned some self-editing tips and tricks). And, if you want to write a novel, write at least three before ever considering publishing one. You can always go back to fix the “drawered” manuscripts later, or permanently tuck them away, or let them burn when your house catches fire.

LVP: What would you like your legacy to be? Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?

BAILEY: Here lies Michael Bailey, professional liar / truth-teller (because, if you’re doing it right, they are one in the same), creator of originality (until copied). Note that prior to cremation (and later poured haphazardly into) this golden book / urn you are holding / observing (or have stolen), his body was found hollow and dry, and so what was found left of him after he died burned rather quickly, as he had first bled everything he had onto the page to tell his lies / truths. And please, feel free to open this unsealed container and breathe in the ashes herein contained, for they are stories made of stardust. And yes, this headstone is rather lengthy because it must contain all these words, lest an editor— (the rest is chiseled away, as if in anger, and unreadable)

LVP: Anything else you'd like to say or add? Any final thoughts?

BAILEY: Support creatives. Buy books. Read them. Review them.


~ Michael Bailey is a freelance writer, editor and book designer, and the recipient of over two dozen literary accolades, such as the Bram Stoker Award and Benjamin Franklin Award. His novels include Palindrome Hannah, Phoenix Rose, and Psychotropic Dragon, and he has published two short story and poetry collections, Scales and Petals, and Inkblots and Blood Spots. Edited anthologies include The Library of the Dead and about a dozen others. More at www.nettirw.com.


Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Pulp Horror Author Interview N: JG Faherty

Illustration by Luke Spooner, © LVP Publications


Welcome to The Pulp Horror Author Interview Series. Today's interview is with JG Faherty who explores the fear of dead things in his short story "The Cemetery Man" in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias.


LVP PUBLICATIONS: What draws you to horror, both as a writer and as a reader?  Who is your favorite horror creator?  Who are your inspirations or influences?

JG FAHERTY: I’ve always been drawn to horror as a fan—my parents used to tell me that as early as 1st grade I was enthralled by monster movies on TV. I think I just like losing myself in the story. It’s an escape from the real world, and let’s face it, monsters are cool!

For fiction, I cut my teeth as a kid on authors like Mary Shelly, Bram Stoker, Jules Verne, and HG Wells, while at the same time enjoying lighter fare such as the Hardy Boys mysteries. Later, I moved on to Alan Dean Foster, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Blish, Robert Bloch, Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, and Peter Straub.

Among today’s authors, I count Michael McBride, Chantal Noordeloos, Preston & Child, Joe Hill, David Morrell, and F. Paul Wilson among my favorites.

LVP: What were your biggest fears as a child?  Do you have any current phobias or fears now as an adult?

FAHERTY: Oddly enough, my fears/phobias that I have now are pretty much the same as the ones I had as a kid. I’m not too fond of heights, spiders, leeches, and ticks.

I think the big change is that at around 40 or so, I developed a fear of death. Not the pain, not the loss, but rather the idea that I could die. “I want to live!” So that’s led me to becoming a much more careful driver, I no longer take risks like I did when I was younger, I eat healthier, and I visit my doctors regularly. My goal is to live forever, and I’m counting on science to make that possible. I have too many things left to do, and too much to learn.

LVP: Horror has a million sub-genres, from psychological to splatterpunk.  Which sub-genres have you written in?  What's your favorite flavor of horror?

FAHERTY: I’ve probably written in all of them, although some far less frequently than others. I’ve done a couple of splatterpunk/extreme horror short stories, and some of my novels have had splatter scenes in them, but that’s not my main area to write in. I tend toward very traditional horror: supernatural occurrences and monsters, psychological horror, suspense, even paranormal romance. The one type of horror that I stopped enjoying in my college years is the crazy killer/torture porn horror. Stories about masked psychos (Saw), tourists in remote areas stalked by mutant killers (Wolf Creek, Hostel), or people trapped in houses (The Purge) are not only repetitive, but they have no real plot other than “kill!” and thus there’s no suspense. Great stuff for teenagers, but not for someone who’s been there, seen that, wants more.

My favorite kind of horror is the kind that evolves as the plot moves, it’s complex, it has twists and turns, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. And there’s no specific genre for this. The Haunting of Hill House, Insomnia, the Repairman Jack novels, It, Ghost Story, Untcigahunk, Wolf’s Hour, Sunglasses at Night, The Watchers, and Heart-Shaped Box are all radically different types of stories, but they all have one thing in common: They keep you reading.

LVP: Is there any sub-genre or area of horror that you won’t go anywhere near? Any one area that is completely off-limits?

FAHERTY: When I write, I simply put down the story that is in my head. If it’s quiet terror, Lovecraftian, supernatural romance, urban fantasy, or splatter, that’s how it’s written.

The only things off-limits for me are animal abuse/torture and pedophilia.

LVP: In your opinion, what is the scariest or most terrifying thing you’ve ever written?

FAHERTY: Wow. That’s really hard for me to say. I’m not a good judge, because I haven’t been scared by anything in a book or movie since King’s Pet Semetary came out (the book). I read that my junior year in college, and I couldn’t go to sleep until I finished it—and I had to read it with the lights on!


I’ve made myself cry, laugh, and feel creeped out by things I’ve written, but never out-and-out scared myself. However, my readers say I write some scary stuff. So I guess it’s me being jaded to horror. Some of my more creepy works include Castle by the Sea, The Cold Spot, and a short story I wrote, The Lazarus Effect.

LVP: Have you ever had an idea for a story so scary or disturbing that you couldn't bring yourself to write it down? Tell us about it.

FAHERTY: No, that’s never happened. Like I said, nothing written or in movies scares me. I can appreciate the horror of things, the scare effect, but I don’t get nightmares or anything. At worst, a shiver goes down my back during a particularly good scene. If I came up with something so terrifying I thought people would faint from it, I’d drop all my other projects and write the sucker!

LVP: Are there any ways that your interest in horror bleeds over (so to speak) into other areas of your life?  Do you throw legendary Halloween parties, do you dress like Alice Cooper when you go grocery shopping, do you have a pet albino snake named Nosferatu?

FAHERTY: Ha. For the most part, I’m a pretty ordinary person. I do have a snake, a ball python named Severus, but he’s not an albino, and he’s pretty shy. I have Halloween tree I put up every October, and a big collection of horror books and movies. I built 2 guitars last year and painted them with stencils of the Frankenstein monster and Dracula. I’ve got some funky skeleton and skull statuettes in my office, and some t-shirts with skulls on them. But I don’t wear that stuff all the time; usually if you see me, I’m in jeans and a sweatshirt.

LVP: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try dabbling in horror writing for the first time?

FAHERTY: Know your genre. Be well-read and see a lot of movies, otherwise you’re likely to write something that’s already been done. Don’t try to cash in on trends; write the story that you want to write, in your own voice. Avoid clichés. And most of all, make sure your story has a beginning, middle, and end. Nothing is worse than reading a book, or seeing a movie, that has such an ambiguous ending that it ruins everything.

LVP: What would you like your legacy to be?  Or alternatively, what should your survivors engrave on your tombstone?

FAHERTY: Well, like I said earlier, I’m going to live forever! So hopefully my tombstone will read “Be back soon.”

As for a legacy, I’d like to be known as someone who produced consistently strong, entertaining work. Because at the end of the day, that’s really what books are: entertainment.


LVP: Anything else you'd like to say or add? Any final thoughts?

FAHERTY: Yes. If you’re a fan of horror, please remember that the genre is huge. Read different types of horror. Expand your horizons. There are a lot of specialty and small presses today putting out books that are as good or better than the big NY publishers. Discover new writers!


~ A resident of New York's haunted Hudson Valley, JG Faherty has been a finalist for both the Bram Stoker Award (The Cure, Ghosts of Coronado Bay) and ITW Thriller Award (The Burning Time), and is the author of 5 novels, 9 novellas, and more than 60 short stories. He writes adult and YA horror, science fiction, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. His next novel, Hellrider, comes out in August of 2019. Follow him at www.jgfaherty.com.


Pre-order The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (paperback or hardcover) from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound, from Barnes & Noble or Amazon now... or come see us at Crypticon in Seattle, WA and StokerCon in Grand Rapids, MI to read this story along with all the other madness contained in The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias (including limited edition autographed phobia card sets, available at conventions only)!