Interview: Brian Keene Sinks His Teeth into the Vampire Genre

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Brian Keene
(Photo by John Urbancik)

Brian Keene is a multi award-winning author of over fifty books in the horror, fantasy and crime fiction world. Heavily influencing the resurgence of current zombie popularity, he also writes comic books in the same DC and Marvel universes he grew up loving. He also organizes the charity event Scares That Care, is a family man who enjoys fishing along the borders of Casa Keene and routinely supports his fellow writers to usher in a new era of dark scribes to help keep this thing of ours trucking along.

Most recently, I sat down with Brian to discuss his newest novella, With Teeth, a breakneck vampire tale several years in the making. Along the way, we also discuss the inner workings and eventual conclusion of Keene’s own Labyrinth mythos, what he’s working on next, his favorite vampire, and a whole lot more.Continue Reading

The Cemetery Dance Interview: Illustrating the Necronomicon with George A. Walker

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NECRONOMICON illustrator George A. Walker (Photo courtesy Michelle Walker)

An Associate Professor at OCAD University of Toronto, George A. Walker is an award-winning Canadian wood engraver, teacher, book artist, author and illustrator who resides in Toronto, Ontario. Elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art for his contribution to the cultural area of Book Arts, George has exhibited his wood engravings and limited-edition books internationally for over twenty years through such presses as Cheshire Cat Press, Porcupine Quill Press, and Biting Dog Press. George has also created highly collectable, revered works such as The Mysterious Death of Tom Thompson (2011), Book of Hours: A 9/11 Story (2008) and The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe (2005) among many others. George continues to carve his visionary style and prowess into the woods of Canadian Maple, often making his paper by scratch, and inspires awe and wonder with every groove of his engraving tools.

Most recently, I sat down with George to discuss his design work on Necronomicon: A Manual of Corpse Eating, written by Martin Llewellyn. Originally published in 2019, it’s promotional push was interrupted by our current pandemic, but a proper launch party is planned for the near future. Sit back and enjoy as George and I discuss what drew him to this morbid and fascinating world of sacrifice and scientific controversy. Continue Reading

The Cemetery Dance Interview: Unearthing the Necronomicon with Martin Llewellyn

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Author Martin Llewellyn

Martin Llewellyn is a graduate of King’s College in London, UK, where he studied literature and earned his doctorate. His novels include House of the Missing and Necronomicon: A Manual of Corpse Eating, which I was fortunate enough to chat with him about.

Necronomicon is a metafictional representation of Abdulah Alhazred polarizing medical practices as he evolved into ritualistic religious practices which eventually drove him insane during his pursuit to communicate with the Old Gods and achieve life beyond death.

Join Martin and I as we discuss teachings and inspirations surrounding his newest book, poignantly illustrated by the award-winning wood engraver, George A. Walker.Continue Reading

The Cemetery Dance Interview: Max Booth III

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Max Booth III

Max Booth III is the editor-in-chief of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, the managing editor of Dark Moon Digest, and the host of two podcasts: Ghoulish and Castle Rock Radio. He’s the author of We Need to Do Something, Touch the Night, Carnivorous Lunar Activities, and several other novels. Bylines include LitReactor, CrimeReads, the San Antonio Current, Fangoria, and Film 14. Follow him on Twitter (GiveMeYourTeeth) or visit him at TalesFromTheBooth.com. He lives in Texas.Continue Reading

Interview: Douglas Wynne Talks Technology and Terror

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Douglas Wynne

Douglas Wynne wrote his first novel as a teen, but his creative path detoured through the music industry before returning to his literary calling. He now crafts dark fantasy that indulges the author’s curiosity in shadowy cults, conspiracies, and the occult, including his SPECTRA Files series (Red Equinox, Black January, Cthulhu Blues), The Devil of Echo Lake, and Steel Breeze, which pitted resilient characters against malevolent forces inciting catastrophe. Wynne’s work flourishes from a postmodern approach to eldritch tales, where elder gods and demons infiltrate the contemporary world and wreak havoc on twenty-first century life, often through song, a devilish way for the writer to remain connected to his musical roots.  Continue Reading

Interview: Discussing Damage and Dread with Kevin Quigley

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photo of author Kevin QuigleyMassachusetts pop culture scribe and novelist Kevin Quigley’s career began in 1996 at the age of twenty-one when he established his own Stephen King fan site, Charnel House. There he wrote about King’s work in all its various shapes and forms. From there he went on to pen articles and books on King (such as Ink in the Veins: Writing on Stephen King and The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Trivia Book, which he co-wrote with Hans-Ake Lilja and Brian James Freeman) for Cemetery Dance Publications. In addition, he has contributed essays to other writers’ works, such as Stephen Spignesi and Michael Lewis’ Elton John: 50 Years On, Brian James Freeman’s Reading Stephen King, and Anthony Northrup’s forthcoming Stephen King Dollar Baby: The Book, just to name a few. He has also written a book-length study of Blitzen Trapper’s 2008 album Furr. Despite these impressive accomplishments, Quigley’s true passion is writing fiction.

Quigley has only published two novels, I’m On Fire and Roller Disco Saturday Night, although he claims to have written another thirty that are unpublished. At this point in his fiction career, it’s his short fiction that he’s best known for. His short stories have appeared alongside the likes of Stephen King, Peter Straub, Ramsay Campbell, Richard Chizmar, and Clive Barker in the anthologies Shining in the Dark (edited by Hans-Ake Lilja) and Halloween Carnival: Volume Five (edited by Brian James Freeman). He has published two impressive short story collections (both with Cemetery Dance), This Terrestrial Hell (2012) and Damage and Dread (2020). His stories are masterful and cover a lot of ground in terms of scope and tone.

With this in mind, I sat down to talk with Kevin Quigley about his fantastic new collection Damage and Dread and all things writing.Continue Reading

Dead Air: The Company of the Mad – The Stand Podcast

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logo of The Company of the Mad podcast2020 was a hell of a year to be reading Stephen King’s 1978 novel, The Stand….never mind devoting an entire podcast to it.

Jason Sechrest thought the same thing — in fact, he was reading it when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. He took to Twitter with his thoughts about the book, and with a dream about examining it in detail in a podcast, and before he knew it he’d assembled an amazing lineup of co-hosts: director Mike Flanagan, author Tananarive Due, and journalist/author Anthony Breznican. The result is a six-episode podcast that is entertaining, informative, and incredibly timely. (You can WATCH The Company of the Mad: The Stand Podcast at TheStandPodcast.com, or LISTEN on Apple Podcasts here.)

With the final episode set to go live on January 20, Sechrest took a few moments to talk to Cemetery Dance about the origins of the project, and what he and his mad company learned along the way.Continue Reading

Interview: John Urbancik’s Dark Walk

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John Urbancik

John Urbancik has kept the ink flowing across the blurred lines of dark fantasy and horror with well over twenty books to date and counting. His rich style invokes a strong sense of cautious wonder even as you fear what lurks beyond the next page. From a book of poems and stunning photography (John The Revelator) to his non-fic book on the inner workings of his craft (InkStained: On Creativity, Writing And Art) to the recent release of the apocalyptic tale of terror he co-wrote with Brian Keene (Nemesai), Urbancik’s craft is limitless in its boundaries. 

Included in Urbanick’s body of work is a six volume DarkWalker series which kicked off in 2010 with DarkWalker (re-titled as DarkWalker: Hunting Grounds when re-published in 2017). The series follows the journey of Jack Harlow, a man who’s been kissed by a ghost and gifted the ability to walk among creatures of the night, untouched, absorbing the powers of each entity encountered. Barely understanding his own capabilities, Jack traverses through hell to save his soulmate before fighting every being imaginable within unimaginable realms until he encounters The DarkCrawler. The evil force is more powerful than anything Jack has faced and threatens to destroy everything he ever cared about. It’s this poignant series that brought Urbancik and I together for the conversation you’re about to read.Continue Reading

Interview: In Conversation with Gauntlet Press Founder Barry Hoffman

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Barry Hoffman (photo by Dara Hoffman-Fox)

Barry Hoffman is a former inner city school teacher who founded Gauntlet Press Magazine, which focused on topics of censorship and controversial subject matters of the day. Barry is currently the founder and editor of Gauntlet Press Publications, a Bram Stoker award-winning independent specialty Press with numerous titles from legendary authors such as Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King and Jack Ketchum., and is also an author in his own right with several titles to his name including the ongoing acclaimed Eyes series.

I recently sat down with Barry to discuss Gauntlet Press’s most recent title, Hope And Miracles: The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile (Two Screenplays By Frank Darabont). This signed limited book is due to release in December and, as of this writing, there is now a waiting list for the platinum edition signed by Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks, Frank Darabont and Stephen King, among others; the edition also comes with a replica rock pick carved from a tree felled from the very set of The Shawshank Redemption

Join us as we chat about this latest specialty release, certain to become one of Gauntlet’s crowning achievements. Barry details what it took to put this cinematic celebration together, what it means to have done so, and more. Continue Reading

Interview: Frank Darabont on Hope and Miracles, Redemption, and Walking the Mile

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Frank Darabont

From the Academy Award-nominated short film The Woman in the Room, Frank Darabont’s first writer/director effort, to The Blob, The Fly II, The Mist, the first season of The Walking Dead and, of course, The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile and several more in between, Darabont has spent over thirty years creating films to capture, scare, and otherwise stir the hearts and minds across multiple generations of film fans across the globe. I got to corner the man himself by way of the phone to discuss Gauntlet Press’s upcoming publication of their newest specialty title: Hope And Miracles: The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile (Two Screenplays By Frank Darabont).

Join us we chat about Frank’s contributions to making this book the highly collectable time capsule it’s destined to become. Get comfortable as we delve into the undertaking of this massive project, reminisce about Darabont’s experience during the making of these two iconic films, and the legacy of what this book has to offer for established and budding filmmakers alike.Continue Reading

Interview: Catching Up with Ronald Malfi

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Ronald Malfi

For me, an avid reader of horror who reads nothing but books in this genre day in and day out, Ronald Malfi is among the legends. He is the award-winning author of several novels, novellas, and two short story collections, and I feel like I have only scratched the surface of his work.

My introduction to his storytelling was the collection, We Should Have Left Well Enough Alone. The first story stood up and punched me square between the eyes, making me a fan for life! I highly recommend it. Later, I went on to read December Park (one of my favorite coming-of-age novels with an intense murder-mystery-thriller storyline) and Bone White (a creature-feature with heart, high-stakes, and themes of loneliness/isolation).

I’m excited that I have more Malfi books to look forward to both from his back catalog of fan-favorites and new releases. We talk about those books and more in this interview.
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Interview: Talking Paperbacks (and Pugs) with David Sodergren

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David Sodergren and Boris

I have been a Night Worms customer for two years and on their review team for one. The Night Worms have opened up a new world for me and introduced me to some incredible indie publishers and authors. And somewhere in my travels through the world of indie horror, I found a real talent: David Sodergren.

I have read all of his books: Night Shoot, The Forgotten Island, Dead Girl Blues, and his newest, Maggie’s Grave. What did I think of them, you ask? Well, I gave every single book five stars. His words leap right off the page and take us on cinematic horror adventures. It’s a unique writing style that I can’t get enough of! His stories are always perfectly paced, with plenty of gore, highly addictive, and tremendously fun to read. Gore, violence, graphic, uncomfortable scenes—it’s all there, and whatever your comfort level is, I promise you won’t want to look away until you reach the end.Continue Reading

Ronald Kelly Opens The Halloween Store

Cover of the book The Halloween Store by Ronald Kelly. Features three jack o lanterns that have been carved for Halloween. But one of them is a human face! GASP!

Ronald Kelly has been spinning his throwback style of horror since the early 1990s, blending the no-holds-barred sensibilities of Jack Ketchum with the quiet dread of Charles L. Grant. He’s recently dropped a themed collection, The Halloween Store and Other Tales of All Hallows’ Eve, just in time for our favorite holiday. With these stories (plus a couple of nonfiction essays), Kelly aims to invoke those wind-swept October nights when freedom and fear walked hand-in-hand.

Kelly, who has a long history with Cemetery Dance that he touches on briefly in this interview, was kind enough to answer a few questions about these new stories and more.Continue Reading

Interview: Into the Cornfield with Adam Cesare

cover of Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare, showing a red clown face in a field of cornAdam Cesare, author and Cemetery Dance columnist, has been a fixture on the horror scene for nearly a decade. Early books like Video Night and All-Night Terror made him an instant favorite among fans of horror fiction, and he’s continued developing his skill and style with books like The Con Season  and The First One You Expect.

His new novel, Clown in a Cornfield, is generating the sort of next-level buzz those of us who’ve been reading Cesare’s work since the beginning have been expecting. Adam was kind enough to take time during a busy book-launch week to talk with his old Cemetery Dance editor, who may or may not have taken the opportunity to press him relentlessly about writing for us again….but mainly asked him questions about the new book.Continue Reading

Dead Air: An Interview with the Creators of The Kingcast

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Not too long ago, journalists Eric Vespe (formerly of Ain’t It Cool News, among others) and Scott Wampler (formerly of birth.movies.death, among others), got together to discuss an idea that would evolve into “a Stephen King podcast for Stephen King obsessives.” The Kingcast invites guests from the entertainment industry to discuss the King novel or short story of their choosing, along with the film or television adaptation of that work.

Over the past few months, The Kingcast has hosted a variety of guests, including Mike Flanagan (Doctor Sleep) discussing 1408, Elijah Wood discussing MiseryKaryn Kusama discussing Carrie, and Damien Echols (who was wrongly convicted and jailed for murder largely due to his interest in heavy metal and horror) discussing the Dark Tower series.

Recently, the co-creators and hosts were kind enough to answer a few questions for Cemetery Dance.Continue Reading