With the film Renfield staring Nicolas Cage as Dracula and Nicholas Hoult as Renfield having recently made the rounds in theatres worldwide, I figured what better time to into the truth of who Renfield really was. Renfield has always been such an enigmatic character portraying a once good man, a brilliant man, gone insane under the weight of an all-consuming manipulative force of evil personified. But what of his roots? What did Renfield stand for? What did Bram Stoker intend to convey through this most fascinating character within the most iconic gothic tale of horror ever told? These are the questions I posed to none other than Bram’s great-grandnephew, Dacre Stoker, a best selling author himself who works tirelessly to bring to life historical pieces of the puzzle within the Stokerverse. As the pieces Dacre has gather click together, so to does our understanding of Bram Stoker, his work, and what Bram was really trying to tell us through his words and life.
Philip Fracassi recently appeared on the Citywide Blackout podcast to talk about his novel Gothic, available now from Cemetery Dance. Host Max Bowen introduces the interview, which you can listen to below:
A haunted item is a familiar element in horror novels, but a haunted desk? That’s a new one to me and I am here for it! Continuing our series of interviews with authors on Cemetery Dance, Philip Fracassi joins me to talk about his recent novel Gothic.
On the heels of reading Cemetery Dance’s recent publication of Stephen King: Revisited Volume One, I was loaded up with tons of questions, the first of which was who would be daring enough to go back in time and re-read every Stephen King book in order of publication? Richard Chizmar, that’s who. As a best selling author and publisher of Cemetery Dance, Chizmar has published several King stories and books over the years and would not only become a friend of King’s but also a collaborator who’s written books with King — the Gwendy trilogy. So yes, I was curious to chat with Rich about his take on King over the years given his unique perspective.
I was super pumped to be able to sit down with none other than Stephen King historian and scholar, Bev Vincent, who provided his fantastic historical contribution to Stephen King Revisited Volume 1 from Cemetery Dance. The book is the culmination of author/Cemetery Dance founder Richard Chizmar’s decision to revisit every single Steven King book in order of publication. This first volume discusses King’s work between Carrie and Eyes of the Dragon and includes tons of special guests to go along with Rich’s interpretations from the first time he read each book to his most recent. But of course this conversation is all about Bev Vincent who is kind enough to provide a fascinating glimpse into Stephen King throughout the years. Without further ado, let’s get this ball rolling, shall we?
Founder of Gauntlet Press Magazine, which dealt with many controversial topics of its time, Barry Hoffman is also the Bram Stoker Award-winning publisher of Gauntlet Press, a specialty publication focused on signed, limited books both classic and modern. Through Gauntlet Press, Hoffman has published some of the most acclaimed writers in dark culture such as Robert Bloch, Richard Matheson, Jack Ketchum, Ray Bradbury and so many others.
Most recently, Gauntlet Press published a massive book titled Phoenix 451 by Ray Bradbury, available in three collectable editions. Weighing in at over eight-hundred pages, the publisher has claimed this could be their last signed Bradbury title. If so, what a way to go considering the enormous effort and amount of content which went into this book, including various drafts of Bradbury’s timeless classic novel, Fahrenheit 451, various scripts and plays of the novel, personal letters to and from Bradbury, plus several of Bradbury’s drawing and photos from his home presented here for the first time.
A literary treasure, a celebratory work of art, an important achievement in culture and entertainment; all these and so much more, this is a book I was eager to sit down and discuss with Barry Hoffman, who was kind enough to open up about his time publishing the work of Bradbury and getting to know the man behind the words we’ve all come to cherish.
Aaron Dries, Australian phenom, youth addiction counselor, pervasive author of dark fiction and all-around superhero, dissects his collection of little hurts: Cut To Care.
Each story in this book hammers home polarizing lessons in caring, whether by choice or by circumstance, and provides a stark look at the terrors of both caring too much and too little.
Tune in as we discuss the finer points of the realities within from a man who lives life on the front lines and has seen the faces that breed there, and those which become the culmination of its tragic circumstances.
Eric LaRocca is an American author who burst onto the horror scene with his debut publication, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. The novella quickly went viral and forced many a reader to give pause and find out for themselves if all the hype was for real. Not only was the hype well earned, but in subsequent publications (We Can Never Leave This Place, The Trees Grew Because I Bled There, You’ve Lost A Lot Of Blood, They Were Here Before Us) LaRocca proves he is hardly a one-bolt-strike of polarizing lightning. The man writes as if possessed by a storm of collected maladies rendered by the universal subconscious of our darkest fears and twisted perceptions. What LaRocca does with the source of our lamentations is nothing short of brilliant. His artistic muse easily transcends the very label which defines genre and offers instead a peeled-back look at our bare selves in a world where showcasing what’s truly inside is often controversial at best, feared and shamed or downright hated at worst, whilst compassion and understanding become virtues most discarded.
With a bravado that is both rare and refreshing, LaRocca writes from the heart even as it bleeds everything he has to offer until we’re moved to think in uncomfortable ways because the author understands discomfort is necessary for forward motion, for progress.
I was lucky enough to sit down with LaRocca and dive into the makings of what makes him tick, what makes his work so damn infectious and, perhaps most importantly, what’s next in line to stir our mind and heart.
Ricardo Delgado grew up obsessed with monsters and has turned his childhood love into a career. He’s worked as a conceptual artist in Hollywood, published The Age of Reptiles graphic novel series, and is coming out with books on Dracula. After the success of his illustrated novel Dracula of Transylvania, his The Art of Dracula of Transylvania was put on Kickstarter where it quickly earned its goal. The Kickstarter continues until November 9, and Delgado spoke to Cemetery Dance about his early interests, his career in conceptual art and graphic novels, and why Dracula has obsessed him for so long.
Bev Vincent is living the life that most Constant Readers can only dream of.
Bev has written volumes documenting Stephen King’s work, from career-spanning books like The Illustrated Stephen King Companion to more focused works like The Dark Tower Companion. He co-edited an anthology with King called Flight or Fright. He gets early copies of King’s books, which he reviews for us here at Cemetery Dance as part of his “News from the Dead Zone” column. And soon he’ll have a new book out: The Stephen King Ultimate Companion: A Complete Exploration of His Work, Life, and Influences.
Recently, I fired off a few questions about this new project, which Bev graciously took the time to answer.
Shakespeare Unleashed, edited by James Aquilone, is the follow-up to Classic Monsters Unleashed and is currently being funded on Kickstarter. While the word “horror” might not be initially associated with Shakespeare, a quick read through his plays shows many horrific incidents. Aquilone spoke to Cemetery Dance on turning The Bard’s work into a horror anthology, how it will take on Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets, and what stories are already lined up.
Aaron Dries is an Australian powerhouse of an author and filmmaker. His debut novel, House of Sighs, was first published with the title Disunity for Leisure Books/Rue Morgue/Chizine Publications’ FRESH BLOOD Contest and had been influenced by a local murder that took place in Aaron’s teen years.
Aaron has been compared to the late great Jack Ketchum and, considering the intricate beauty laced throughout the grotesque underbelly of the human condition explored in both men’s work, this is not an unfair comparison.
Other titles from Aaron Dries include The Fallen Boys, No Place For Sinners and Where the Dead Go To Die (with Mark Allan Gunnels) among others.
In this conversation, we discuss the correlation of Aaron’s writing and his background as a youth addictions counselor, his newest coming-of-age novella, Dirty Heads, his upcoming collection of short stories, Cut To Care, and a whole lot more to convince you that Aaron Dries is here to influence your nightmares long into the night. Sit back and enjoy as we peel back the layers of humanity at it’s most horrific and redeeming levels.
Elizabeth Massie is a modern master of horror, thrillers, and all things spooky, not to mention just about every other genre known to mankind. With her new collection of short stories, Madame Cruller’s Couch and Other Dark and Bizarre Tales, she reminds fans how a forty-year career is still improving. Yes, she’s won a pair of Stoker Awards, one for Best First Novel (Sineater) and Novella (Stephen), but she’s always gone beyond the expected, spinning her tales with a homegrown voice. She’s an eighth-generation Virginian and has incorporated an Appalachian flavor to many of her stories. While many of her tales hail from the Shenandoah region, she is familiar with many an era and local folklore. Novels such as Hell Gate and her Young Founders series, not to mention her new historical The Great Chicago Fire display her love for the the past.
Yet it is her success of the Ameri-Scares series, which focuses on folklore horror from a different state in every book, that shows the breadth of her love for dark tales for all ages. Optioned by Warner Bros, the series embraced fascinating stories while educating young readers.
When she was a little kid in Waynesboro, she wanted to be either a writer, actress, or horse when she grew up. The last two didn’t pan out (although she did perform in a variety of local theater shows back in the day and she could cut loose with a fine whinny), but the first finally came true. She juggled teaching middle school life science during the day and typing (no computers for her until the mid-1990s) books and stories at night for nine years before taking the scary plunge into full time writing.
Now Beth juggles writing and life with her wonderful husband, illustrator Cortney Skinner (she tried juggling him, too, but…), in their country home in Augusta County. She’s had more than 30 novels and collections published as well as countless short stories in anthologies and magazines and is constantly bombarded by ideas for new tales. She and Cortney like to place and find geocaches, spend time at Starbucks, and drive around, seeking roads they’ve never traveled before. Beth is fascinated by abandoned amusement parks, hospitals, and houses and always keeps an eye out.
If I have to tell you who Richard Chizmar is, it’s possible you fell down a worm hole to arrive in this place of unknown origin and are now understandably questioning every major life choice you made that brought you screaming to a halt to this exact moment in time and space.
Of course, not only is Rich the founder and editor extraordinaire of Cemetery Dance (yup, this place) but he’s also the publisher of several books via the CD banner. Oh, and he also happens to be a best-selling author himself. Recently, Chasing the Boogeyman, a metafictional masterpiece of a thriller, has been and continues to be extremely well praised by readers and critics alike. On the heels of that success, Rich also saw the light of publication for the third and final instalment of the Gwendy trilogy with Gwendy’s Final Task, which he co-wrote with his pal and yours, Stephen King.
James Newman is the author of a diverse array of horror and suspense tales told with a Southern twang and a hint of pitch-black humor. Newman’s publications include Midnight Rain, The Wicked, Animosity, Ugly as Sin, Odd Man Out, Scapegoat (co-written with Adam Howe), Dog Days O’ Summer (co-written Mark Allan Gunnells) and In the Scrape (co-written with Mark Steensland) along with a feature film adaptation of The Special (based on Newman’s novella co-written with Mark Steensland). His newest release is a lean mean novella called Ride Or Die, available now through Silver Shamrock Publishing.
Here, we cover a plethora of in-depth topics like how the man finds time to write, his process when collaborating with other authors, writing convincing dialogue, his lifelong heroes, and a whole lot more. Enjoy!
Moonstone Books and editor James Aquilone recently took to Kickstarter to launch Kolchak: The Night Stalker 50th Anniversary Graphic Novel, featuring 11 original stories based on the series featuring monster-hunting report Carl Kolchak. Participating authors include Jonathan Maberry, Kim Newman, Peter David, and more.
While the initial Kickstarter campaign has finished after reaching its goal, the creators are still accepting late pledges.
Danica Davidson recently sat down with Aquilone to discuss the project for Cemetery Dance.