Very pleased to be in such esteemed company alongside writers  John Paul Allen, William Meikle, Sandy DeLuca and Mark Allan Gunnell. The wonderful Horror Novel Reviews.Com website has just posted reviewer Drake Morgan's top 5 picks for the best recent Horror Novellas and graciously decided to include my ebook 'Devil Inside' on the list. Without further ado, here is the post in its entirety.


The Five Best (Recent) Horror Novellas

Written by: Drake Morgan

This list is by no means complete. There are so many fantastic novellas out there that one loses track fast. I don’t hold hard and fast to any literary rules on “novella.” Some of these pieces are short, but they’re published as independent releases. They count in my book. Rather than do a “best of” and try to search through decades of great work,  I’m passing along the five most outstanding that I’ve read lately.

1) Sandy DeLuca: Messages from the Dead
This is just a great read. Spooky, haunting, and disturbing, DeLuca’s tale travels through the corridors of time to bring past and present together. Ghosts haunt the shadows of both the mind and a former hospital and they come with dark secrets.

2) William Meikle: The Auld Mither
Based on an old Scottish legend, Meikle weaves a complex tale questioning that fine line between reality and those ancient tales still told late at night when the storms batter the windows. Disbelief in the modern world comes face to face with dark things from the ancient past.

3) Mark Allan Gunnells: October Roses
This is a great ghost story in the old-fashioned “around the campfire” vein. College students searching for the lost body of a long-dead serial killer get more than they bargained for when they find him. Spooky Halloween read.

4) William Cook: Devil Inside
William Cook is a man who knows his madmen. Here he explores the delicate balance between sanity and insanity, and the disturbing consequences when the walls between the two collapse.

5) John Paul Allen: House Guest
When does love become something dark and sinister? John Paul Allen explores this complex question through an incredibly bizarre narrative construct (no spoilers here). He examines that nebulous place between reality and the supernatural through the character of Chastity and her rather unique situation.

 Reposted from Horror Novel Reviews.Com

John Paul Allen, William Meikle, Sandy DeLuca, Matt Molgaard, Drake Morgan, Mark Allan Gunnells, William Cook, Horror Novella, Horror

Jack Ketchum Interview/s

As a self-confessed Jack Ketchum fan, I like reading interviews about what makes him tick as a writer and as a person. For those of you out there who like Jack Ketchum and his work, I figure you would probably enjoy them as well. Jack Bantry from the fabulous Splatterpunk zine, gave me permission to post this recent interview he did with Jack so without further ado here it is, plus all the available online links I could find to good text/audio/video interviews with the man himself. Enjoy.

Jack Ketchum interview by Jack Bantry from Splatterpunk Zine 

The following is an interview I did with Jack Ketchum for the first issue of SPLATTERPUNK.

How did you come about collaborating with Lucky McKee on THE WOMAN? Who approached who with the initial idea? Was it always going to be a film as well as a novel? Did the novel come before the script?

Andrew Van den Houten, who produced and directed my script for OFFSPRING, made an executive decision – instead of killing The Woman off as my screenplay did, he let her live. With a sequel firmly in mind. When I saw Pollyanna McIntosh’s work, I realized why and was glad he did. She clearly deserved a movie all her own. Andrew had always wanted to work with Lucky and knew that I already had, so we showed him OFFSPRING too, and he heartily agreed. Polly was ferociously good!

The idea to do both a film script and a book together was there from the start. I don’t recall who first suggested it – maybe it was just in the air. But we quickly agreed as to how to go about it. We instant-mailed. We’d do maybe an hour, hour-and-a half until we went brain-dead, discussing the characters first, then the themes, plot, dialogue, all kinds of things. We had a fine time together, almost always on the same page, absolutely always willing to bend to a good idea. We’d talk about how the book would differ from the movie, scenes of internal monologue in the prose version, point of view changes, etcetera. And we kept everything on file, even the goofiest ideas we knew would never made it into either version. So that by the time we were done we had “bibles” for both movie and novel. We agreed that Lucky would do the heavy lifting on the script and I’d do if for the novel. So Lucky would write ten, fifteen pages or so and e-mail them to me, and I’d revise and send them back, and we’d do this until we felt we’d nailed them and then go on to the next section. When it came to the book, I’d write maybe thirty pages and send him to him, and we’d go back and forth on that.

How did you collaborate with Ed Lee on the SLEEP DISORDER stories?

I’d only previously collaborated with Lee on the five stories collected in SLEEP DISORDER and one story, THE NET, with P.D. Cacek – Trish to her friends. Lee had this story called I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR YOU that he wasn’t happy with. He didn’t like the tone. So he asked me if I’d like to doctor it up for him. The first thing I did was change the title to I’D GIVE ANYTHING FOR YOU – more to the point of the story. Then, because Lee tends to write longer than I do, I did a lot of trimming, swatted down some of the sex scenes, zapped some adjectives and lines here and there, and sent it back to him. He fine-tuned and that was that. A couple of year later he sent me LOVE LETTERS FROM THE RAIN FOREST. Basically tonal problems again. Same thing – I edited, tinkered. Then I had a story called MASKS for which I couldn’t find an ending, and another called EYES LEFT. Lee found the right endings for both of them. We passed them back and forth maybe twice. I did have an ending for SLEEP DISORDER but it struck me as flat. Lee came up with one a whole lot much better.

The story with Trish was my idea. We talked it over at NECON, our annual writers-behaving-badly summer bash. The notion was, an e-correspondence between an older man and an underage girl, neither one of them being quite truthful, with disastrous results. It was based on a true story I’d read about. We decided to actually write the thing by e-mailing back and forth, playing our parts online – me the older guy, she the teenage girl – and with all the bare bones in mind, making up the dialogue as we went along. Then I did the final polish and the epilogue. It was great fun!

When working on the script how did you deal with some of the graphic details in the novel? I read the book first and wondered how you’d deal with some of the explicit details – pliers on nipples, the eyeballs, killing of Brian, the dog child, etc. – Did you think to leave some of the details out of the book because they couldn’t be shown on screen?

We discussed them at length, sure. Lucky’s a bold, even fearless film-maker, but he’s also a softie at heart. Believe it or not, we’re alike that way. We’re also very aware of the fine line between exposing hideous activity and exploiting it. It’s a balancing act perhaps harder to perform in a movie than in a book, because you can explain more in a novel, you can go deeper into the motives, the whys. But you’re going to be surprised at how closely linked book and movie are.

Will there be another book in the series?

Can’t say for sure at this point one way or another. But we’ve discussed some options. We’ve resolved that if we do a sequel, it’s got to be a story that’s as important to tell as the story in THE WOMAN, and it’s got to explore theme and character. Neither of us are even remotely interested in a Jason/Freddy franchise.

You have written other novels, like RIGHT TO LIFE and THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, where someone has been held in a basement or cellar, any reason for this? Have you had a traumatic experience in a basement or enclosed space?

When I was a kid growing up in the fifties, everybody had a cellar, and nobody had the bucks to light, heat, and convert there’s into a playroom. So that what you had was this room that stayed cold and usually damp, even in summer, and not a lot of light coming in through ground-level windows. They tended to be spooky places, dark, with bare bulbs handing from the ceiling. We had coal bins. Stone wash-basins with wooden washboards. There was a chute that collected our ashes from the fireplace. I’d open it and hide stuff there. On one occasion I found a dead bird inside, and on many occasions, bits of charred bone. Freaked me the hell out. When I was about ten or so, we neighborhood kids used to have meetings of our Horror Club down there, and pasted our favorite photos from FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND or CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN up on the cinderblock walls.

So, no traumatic experience, but I do associate basements with mystery and horrors. And in all those true-crime stories you read, where do they tend to keep their victims? Not usually on the front porch, in a rocking chair. It’s down in the cold dark depths.

Where did you and Lucky get the idea for having THE WOMAN become the captive when she’s always been the hunter?

That came right away, and it was a natural — a reversal that would immediately avoid the same-old-same-old. It was also a way to get at her character in a lot more depth, to show many more sides of her. Remember that we always had Polly in mind, and we wanted to showcase her skills as an actress, as well as tell a good yarn.

We’ve mentioned OFFSPRING and THE WOMAN, but the novel that started it all was OFF SEASON. Would you like to see it made into a film / Are there any plans / Have you considered writing a script?

I sold film rights to OFF SEASON quite a few years ago but thus far the buyer hasn’t been able to finance the movie. There’s new interest just this year, though, from a very reputable director whose name I can’t mention yet, but who I’d love to see at the helm. Should that happen, I suspect he’d want to write his own script and knowing his work, that’d be fine with me.

That sounds interesting!! Yes, indeed…

I got a kindle for Christmas, but I still prefer reading books: being able to hold the book; having the cover in my hand; with older books the smell of the paper, etc. But a lot of horror novels are very limited and expensive (mass-market paperback seem to be disappearing), and the Kindle versions are much cheaper so your work becomes more widely available. You’ve been a writer for over 30 years and will have noticed the changes much sooner. What are your thoughts on this?

I think very few people were prepared for e-books and I was not one of them. In fact it’s only within the last year that my stuff has been available in that format. I can’t feel too bad about that, though, since most of the publishing industry were and still are in the same boat. If I were to make a prediction about all this, it would be that things will settle down as the world’s economies settle down and perhaps even before then. That e-books will co-exist with paper formats and each will support the other. And though I’m not sure mass-market paperbacks will ever make a comeback, it’s not out of the realm of possibility either. Look at vinyl. What worries me right now is e-piracy. There’s a lot of it. And we writers work too damn hard to have a bunch of spoiled, entitled, low-level sociopath assholes steal away our living.

What would you write on your epitaph? Jack Ketchum…


All questions by Jack Bantry
Photo by Steve Thornton
(Originally published in SPLATTERPUNK, Issue 1, April 2012)



Available Online Interviews with Jack Ketchum (Text/Audio/Video):




Recommended LINKS for further reading:

Jack Bantry, Splatterpunk, Splatterpunk Zine, Jack Ketchum, Interviews

Interview with Publisher/Author James Ward Kirk

I'd like to give a warm welcome to author, publisher, and personal friend of mine, James Ward Kirk. He is the publisher and editor of the annual anthologies, Indiana Horror, Indiana Science Fiction and Indiana Crime. He has a collection of published short stories titled 'Insane Brain' and is the author of the novel 'The Butterfly Killer'. He resides in Indianapolis and has a Master's Degree in English from Indiana University at Indianapolis. James also produces and publishes themed anthologies via his exciting new imprint, JWK Fiction


Interview with JAMES WARD KIRK

James Ward Kirk
You are currently publisher and editor of three anthologies. Let's start with the first of these anthologies; its origins and the first authors to be published within.

I’ve been publishing anthologies as far back as the 2011 edition of Indiana Horror. The 2012 edition of Indiana Horror was published recently. I also have a 2011 edition of Indiana Science Fiction and the recently published Indiana Science Fiction 2012. I also have a 2012 edition of Indiana Crime and Indiana Crime 2013 is in the submission process. My first endeavors involved providing a medium to publish and promote Indiana writers. This love and respect for Indiana writers continues. Contributors to Indiana Horror include James S. Dorr, A.J. French, Murphy Edwards and Lee Forsythe. Indiana Horror 2011 has some excellent content. As it was my very first venture in publishing, I had a lot to learn. I made mistakes. The best thing I learned is how important it is to connect with writers on a personal level. When I did Indiana Horror 2011, my only intention was to do one annual anthology. I discovered that I loved the process of putting together anthologies, from reading the stories to placing content in what would become the master document. But most of all, I enjoyed the contributors. I have made some excellent friends. I’ve watched them grow as writers, to publish their first novels. I am proud of my writer friends.  My three current anthologies, Hell, Grave Robbers and Serial Killers Iterum, started out with Static Movement.  They ran into some problems with their publisher.  I asked for and received permission to publish the three anthologies under my logo.  Their cover art didn’t migrate.  I had to come with covers for the anthologies.  I turned to William Cook, a fellow writer, and he created the most amazing covers I’ve seen to date.  I was building the interior file for the anthologies as work was accepted.  A fellow writer friend, Mike Jansen, added some final touches to the interior files with some special fonts he has access to.  At the end, I had three beautiful anthologies filled with excellent poetry, flash fiction and short stories.  But still I wasn’t satisfied.  I called for and received some excellent art to decorate the interior of the anthologies.  This art came from relationships I had built over the years with some wonderful people.  Facebook has been invaluable in developing these relationships.  I have four pages on Facebook other than my main account: James Ward Kirk Fiction, Indiana Horror, Indiana Science Fiction and Indiana Crime.  The number of followers of these pages has helped me build and maintain relationships with my artist and writer friends.

What was your earliest inspiration to start a publication series for Indiana based authors? How long had you been a fan of horror novels beforehand? Name the authors whose work you most often read and why you preferred their work.

The inspiration for Indiana Horror 2011 resulted from meeting some local horror writers. They were arrogant, smug and condescending toward writers that had not reached their level of perceived success. Not all of them, but a lot of them. I thought, “Who made these assholes the guardians at the gate?” So I created Indiana Horror 2011 as a medium for new writers to earn publication credit and have their visions appear in print. I wanted to create a home for these good people, a home for their poetry and prose that they could be proud of. There’s nothing like being published to keep writers working on their craft. So JWK Fiction evolved.  As time passed, I’ve added writers and artists from around the world.

The 2011 edition of Indiana Horror is your first published anthology. How well was it received by reviewers? What were the mistakes you learned from around the time this edition was compiled and published?

The contributors to Indiana Horror 2011 were quite pleased with the publication. At the time, that was enough for me. As time passed, I learned how better to promote the work of authors that are gracious enough to choose me as their editor and publisher.  Indiana Horror 2011 is in the process of receiving a make-over, with new cover art and a fancy interior file.  Mike Jansen is helping me with this.  As my knowledge regarding promotion has improved, I expect Indiana Horror to be more well-known and better received.  I’ll be able to promote the new version and attract a wider audience.

Explain how James S. Dorr, A.J. French, Murphy Edwards and Lee Forsythe heard you were seeking submissions for your Indiana Horror anthologies. Name the fictional pieces they submitted and describe the potential you saw in them?

I advertised on Ralan and Duotrope and Facebook. James S. Dorr’s “Ballet Of The Dolls” amazed me. He required no editing. At the time, I did not realize he was an established writer. Same for “The Dead Girls” by A.J. French. And Murphy Edwards. I think they may have been drawn to the idea of an “Indiana” anthology”. I was lucky to get them.  A.J. French later put together a very well received anthology called Shadow of the Unknown.  He included one of my short stories, and this led to an invitation to join the HWA.

How many working relationships have you gained since entering the publishing field? In what ways has connecting with authors on a personal basis helped your anthologies along?

I have developed dozens of excellent relationships through my publishing work. These people are excellent.  I care about them.  I do everything I can to promote them and their work. And not just in Indiana; I’ve made friends from Holland to New Zealand. The authors also help promote the anthologies. JWK Fiction really is a family. Developing friendships with such great writers as William Cook and Mike Jansen have led to more friendships with great people and writers.  William lives in New Zealand and Mike lives in Holland.  That makes for an interesting work day.

Contact James and JWK Fiction:

Twitter: @jameswardkirk
Facebook: Friend Me
GoodReads: Become a Fan
Make sure to check out the vast range of James Ward Kirk publications here on Amazon.

James S. Dorr, A.J. French, Murphy Edwards, Lee Forsythe, James Ward Kirk, James Ward Kirk Fiction, Indiana Horror, Indiana Science Fiction, Indiana Crime, HWA, Ralan, Duotrope, Facebook, GoodReads, Twitter, Hell, Grave Robbers, Serial Killers Iterum, Amazon

Back to Top


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...