Interview: James Aquilone on Shakespeare Unleashed

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cover of Shakespeare UnleashedShakespeare 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. Continue Reading

The Cemetery Dance Interview: Feeding the Ending with Aaron Dries

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Aaron Dries
Aaron Dries

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.Continue Reading

The Cemetery Dance Interview: The Homegrown Horror of Elizabeth Massie

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Elizabeth Massie
Elizabeth Massie

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.

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The Cemetery Dance Interview: Richard Chizmar Talks Button Boxes and Boogeymen

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Richard Chizmar
Richard Chizmar

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.Continue Reading

The Cemetery Dance Interview: Ride or Die with James Newman

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author James Newman
James Newman

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!Continue Reading

Interview: Editor James Aquilone Kickstarts Kolchak

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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.Continue Reading

Story Structure: Dancing with Tombstones by Michael Aronovitz

College professor, rock critic and horror author Michael Aronovitz discusses his approach to story structure in his new Cemetery Dance short story collection, Dancing With Tombstones!

Dancing With Tombstones is available in paperback on Amazon and available as an ebook at the special preorder price of 99 cents.

Origin Story: Dancing with Tombstones by Michael Aronovitz

College professor, rock critic and horror author Michael Aronovitz discusses the origin of his new Cemetery Dance short story collection, Dancing With Tombstones!

Dancing With Tombstones is available in paperback on Amazon and available as an ebook at the special preorder price of 99 cents.

The Cemetery Dance Interview: Adam Nevill

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British horror is on fire right now and there are some authors whose work is just meant for adapting for the big screen. Adam Nevill is certainly one of those people. The hard-working, sea-loving master of fright was able to sit down and answer some of my burning questions.Continue Reading

The Cemetery Dance Interview: The Hopes and Miracles of Tyson Blue

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Tyson Blue
Tyson Blue

Attorney by profession, editor by passion, Tyson Blue’s name may not ring everyone’s bell, but his mark on the legacy of, arguably, two of the best film adaptations in cinematic history is here to stay. With Frank Darabont’s scripts for The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile in hand, Tyson Blue put together a commemorative masterpiece that’s built to act as a literary time capsule for these two endearing films.  

Sitting down with Tyson, we discussed his journey since he first wrote for the Castle Rock newsletter, an unlikely venture which began his trajectory towards the eventual publication of Hope And Miracles: The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile (Two Screenplays By Frank Darabont) decades later. Touching on his first-hand experience working on set of The Green Mile, his connection to Frank Darabont, the massive efforts required to put it all together and everything in between, it’s time to discover why the latest specialty release from Gauntlet Press is worth its considerable weight in hope and miracles and what it means to the legacy of the films it represents. Continue Reading

Going to the (Creep)show with Joe Lynch

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Joe Lynch

I’m an avid believer in serendipity and I will never forget excitedly switching on Shudder to watch the latest episode of one of my favorite series, Creepshow, and seeing the segment was called “Pipe Screams,” which is the name of my own independent press. Joe Lynch is someone who I could talk to for hours about horror, his passion runs deep. And I was lucky enough to do just that!Continue Reading

The Cemetery Dance Interview: John Shirley

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John Shirley

A renaissance man of ink and design, John Shirley has seen over 40 of his novels and almost a dozen short story collections published to date, spanning from 1979 with Transmaniacon and Dracula In Love to present with Stormland and The Feverish Stars. He’s written for television on such classics as Robocop and The Real Ghostbusters, as well as for major films like The Crow staring Brandon Lee. No genre border can contain him, but he’s probably best know as a cyberpunk OG. He can blend sci-fi and dark fantasy like no other and not only supports The Blue Oyster Cult with lyrics to rock out to, he’s still going strong with his own punk band, The Screaming Geezers.

Sitting down with John was the perfect opportunity to pick the brain that masterfully knows how to pluck the chords of our deep subconscious while bringing to light creations of humanity which are as apt to save us as they are to bring us to our eventual doom. Join the conversation as we discuss his latest collection, The Feverish Stars, his recent novel, Stormland, and what a day being John Shirley looks like, and beyond.Continue Reading

The Cemetery Dance (Video) Interview: Richard Christian Matheson

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cover of Scars and Other Distinguishing MarksRichard Christian Matheson is a multi-faceted creator best known for his screenwriting achievements. Even if you’re unfamiliar with his work, I all but guarantee you’ve experienced it at some point in your life, either directly or by proxy. RC has written for such classic television properties as Knight Rider (1982), Three’s Company (1978), Tales From The Crypt (1991) and The A Team 1983-1986) as well as films like Three O’Clock High (1987), Sole Survivor (2000), Bid Driver (2014), and Nightmare Cinema (2018) to name but a scant few. According to his Wikipedia page, RC has published short stories across 150 anthologies, with more coming out each year, and is often listed in best of the year themed anthologies. His own collections, Scars and Other Distinguishing Marks, Dystopia and Zoopraxis are highly praised with Zoopraxis having since been released as an updated, expanded edition. Continue Reading

Rising Icons of British Horror: A Chat with Catriona Ward and CJ Tudor

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Horror is happening right now in the UK and women are right there on top of the book charts. I was honored to chat to two absolute icons, Catriona Ward and CJ Tudor, and find out if it is all heaving bosoms and beguiling men in cloaks or if these British babes are breaking the mold?

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Celebrating OCTOBER NIGHTS with author Kevin Lucia

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This October, Kevin Lucia fulfills a dream with the release of a new collection of Halloween-themed short stories, October Nights. Crystal Lake Publishing will be releasing the collection on October 22, so this seemed like the perfect time to ask the author a few questions about his work, and to pick his brain about his — and our — favorite holiday, Halloween.

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