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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
Richard 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.
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.
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.