The Cemetery Dance Interview: The Little Hurts of Aaron Dries

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photo of author Aaron Dries
Aaron Dries

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.Continue Reading

The Cemetery Dance Interview: Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke to Eric LaRocca

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photo of Eric LaRocca
Eric LaRocca

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. 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: 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

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

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

Review: The Feverish Stars by John Shirley

cover of The Feverish Stars by John ShirleyThe Feverish Stars by John Shirley
Independent Legions Publishing (March 2021)
306 pages; $22.35 paperback; $5.90 e-book

Reviewed by Rick Hipson

A kaleidoscope of stunning visuals, The Feverish Stars delivers a bullet of an experience which ricochets off every nerve and fiber of the imagination. Firing its trajectory on a one-way collision course with any expectations you might have, Shirley grabs your senses by the roots and coaxes with a lust for more. Against the maelstrom of a sci-fi punk master’s deliberate muse, every word strikes down like a hammer of poetic reckoning, smashing down gates to portals of fantastical realms. There can be no return without alteration, but isn’t that what we’re all here for?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

Interview: Ride or Die with James Newman

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photo of author James Newman
James Newman

James Newman is that rare breed of storyteller where reading him is akin to being transported to the other side of his kitchen table as he recounts his latest experience. You can just about feel a cool breeze blowing in from an open window to carry his voice far beyond the written pages they were intended for. His natural, intimate writing style easily pulls in all who read him so that they’re not just enjoying his tales, but made to feel a part of them. 

From his critically acclaimed debut novel, Midnight Rain, to several novels and novellas since including Ugly As Sin, Animosity, and Night of the Loving Dead, to the film adaptation based on his novella The Special (co-written with Mark Streensland), Newman continues to prove why he’s worth keeping a sharp eye on. Continue Reading

Interview: Barry Hoffman on his Silent Scream

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photo of Gauntlet Press founder Barry Hoffman
Barry Hoffman (photo by Dara Hoffman-Fox)

Barry Hoffman is a veteran author who isn’t afraid to speak or write his mind when it comes to the darker, more troubled side of society’s core. Founder of the Bram Stoker award-winning specialty press, Gauntlet Press, Barry is well known for his Eyes series and several outstanding stand-alone novels such as Track of My Eyes and, most recently, Silent Scream. Never one to shy from controversy, Hoffman often pushes the envelope on the personal turmoil of his characters while navigating them through the streets of Philadelphia, whether it’s to track down human monsters or fight to survive a force that’s not quite human at all.Continue Reading

Review: Silent Scream by Barry Hoffman

cover of Silent Scream by Barry HoffmanSilent Scream by Barry Hoffman
Gordian Knot Books/Crossroads Press (May 2021)
298 pages; $14.99 paperback; $4.99 e-book

Reviewed by Rick Hipson

Inspired (or most likely angered) by the real-life public murder of Kitty Genovese, Barry Hoffman delivers another character-driven novel in which we’re forced to ask tough questions about our own morality and values. Each character is dissected and examined with surgical precision, and long-time readers of Hoffman should recognize some familiar names in the crowd.Continue Reading

Interview: Brian Keene Sinks His Teeth into the Vampire Genre

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photo of author Brian Keene
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

Interview: Ray Garton on Re-releasing Ravenous

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photo of author Ray Garton
Ray Garton

Ray Garton is a World Horror Convention Grand Master award-winning author with over sixty books and approximately a ton of short stories to his credit — so far. Although I have been hearing about Ray’s work for the past twenty years, I only first got around to reading him earlier this year with his monumental vampire novel, Live Girls. Man, have I been missing out and clearly have much reading to catch up on. Suffice to say the hype is real and if you haven’t read this man’s work yet, do yourself a favor and don’t wait as long as I did.

Most recently, I was lucky enough to get a hold of his werewolf novel, Ravenous. Originally published in 2008, Gauntlet Press is giving it the limited signed hardcover treatment, complete with gorgeous cover artwork by the always outstanding Harry O’Morris. With the same treatment being given to its sequel, Bestial, this is a great time to jump on board the beast train and find out what nightmarish thrills Ray Garton has in store for you.

Get ready to whet your appetite as Ray and I discuss his werewolf novels, revisiting old haunts, the danger of censorship, and so much more.Continue Reading

Review: Necronomicon – A Manual of Corpse Eating by Martin Llewellyn

cover of necronomicon by Martin llewellynNecronomicon: A Manual of Corpse Eating by Martin Llewellyn
Biting Dog Press (December 2019)
42 pages; Limited Edition (35 copies)

Reviewed by Rick Hipson

Welcome to a grotesque and fascinating journey into the historical depths of the Book of the Dead and its curator, the mad alchemist, Abdullah Alhazred. Martin Llewellyn, who provides translations from Alhazred’s ancient texts, proclaims he obtained the pages in error when they fell from another book he had requested from the Rare Books and Music in the British Library. Knowing he shouldn’t scour the third century torn, scorched and barely illegible texts, how could he resist? His translations now remain for your eyes only. Or, at least for those lucky enough to own one of only thirty-five copies produced.Continue Reading