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An Interview with Kristopher Rufty

Published September 1, 2016 by MommaCat


Most authors have had many jobs to pay the bills in their quest to become successful. What are some of the the jobs that you have held?

Wow…so many. Let’s see—I washed dishes for a family-owned restaurant. That was my first job and to this day, I can’t stand washing dishes and need to wear gloves when I do it. I worked for a farm, sowing seed, picking crops. A lot of hard work. I was the cook in a gas station kitchen, and was told I was the best cook they’d ever had. Which I constantly bragged about. I also worked in a fabric store and was the only male on a staff of about fifteen women. Needless to say, I was a bit out of place, but I still enjoyed it. Worked in management at Circuit City for many years, and then worked in I.T. for a University/Hospital.

Would you talk about your upcoming books and their production schedule?

SOMETHING VIOLENT should be coming soon from DarkFuse. I believe the limited edition hardcover releases in December, with the eBook and paperback following three months later. I have three books coming from Thunderstorm this year, reprints of other titles, with one of them being the first ever print edition of A DARK AUTUMN. I’m VERY excited about that. Sinister Grin has a book of mine coming—hopefully—before the end of the year. 2016 has been…crazy to say the least, good and bad, so I’ve gotten very behind on my deadlines. I’m currently working on three books at once, not to mention three collaborations with other authors. I have a lot to finish. Next year will be very packed with Rufty releases.

Have you always been a storyteller? What is your earliest memory about telling a story?

That’s a good question. I suppose I’ve always been telling some kind of story. My earliest was probably after watching Friday the 13th for the first time. I was five years old, a young’un as my grandma called me. I drew pictures, gory crayon illustrations, of people being slaughtered. I remember laying them out in a row and explaining to my parents that it was about people in the woods getting killed. To this day, I am very surprised by how my parents handled that. Those violent kid drawings hung on the fridge for months. My dad kept them all his life and now I have them stored away. The first ever Rufty creation. Had my parents scolded me for it, I might have thought there was something wrong with trying to scare people. I’m glad they embraced my ideas, even though I know they had to be a little worried about me.

Have you ever devised a character and then written a plot around them?

I’ve tried to, but I don’t think I’ve ever been successful at it. I find that I work better without knowing too much about the character when I’m writing. I allow them to tell me who they are through the story. Whenever people used to tell me that was how they did it, I thought they were crazy. I used to spend a lot of time writing out who my characters were and why they might do this or that. It didn’t take me long to learn that I wasn’t programmed that way. I might have some ideas about what they do or where they live when I begin a story, but I never know how they will react, where they’ve come from, and what they might do next until I get there. Sometimes the characters really surprise me, other times they let me down. But they always keep me guessing.

What is your guilty pleasure book or movie? Is there a snack to go with it?

There’s always a snack when it comes to me, or at least a glass of strawberry milk. Guilty pleasure? I don’t know. I really don’t call many things ‘guilty pleasures’ and just kind of freely admit I adore them. I love cartoons and spend a lot of time watching them. Scooby-Doo is something I watch with a passion, always getting the new movies, investing my time in the new shows. I enjoy watching THE PIONEER WOMAN with my wife and, yes, I really like to watch DUCK DYNASTY. I’m a fanatic when it comes to wrestling and an open comic-book junkie. I read a lot of biographies from Cory Feldman’s to Dave Mustaine’s. I’m guilty when it comes to lots of things, I suppose.

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

Richard Laymon, Bentley Little, Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Wrath James White, Bryan Smith, Ronald Malfi, Brian Keene, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, and so many movies and their filmmakers should be added to that list as well: John Carpenter, Sam Raimi, George Romero, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Lloyd Kaufman, Roger Corman, and Trent Haaga…so many. I tend to take a little something from anything I enjoy, even areas that aren’t books, but that tell a great story.

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

Bodies? Hmmm…I don’t know if I’d want to trade bodies—well, maybe I’d take Ryan Reynolds’s body. But I think it would be neat to witness the creative process inside some other writers’ brains. Take Stephen King, for example. I’d love to experience how his mind works when a story is brewing. Same goes for Richard Laymon, when he was alive. Just to experience it all unfold into the words on the page would be absolutely amazing.

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

Just finished up Adam Cesare’s THE CON SEASON and loved it. I highly recommend it. The next three? I can tell you the next one, for sure. Hunter Shea’s THE JERSEY DEVIL. After that, who knows? I usually go back to my bookcases, sit on the floor and dig through books until one jumps out at me. I got a lot of books from some of my author buddies at Scares That Care III. David Bernstein’s THE SLUDGE keeps eyeballing me, so that may very well be the second book. And a third? I think I’ve ogled Pauline Dunn’s THE CRAWLING DARK on one of my bookshelves long enough and it might be time to finally read it. It’s the last Dunn book I haven’t read, so I’ve been trying to save it.

If you could be a character in a story (and know you could live through it) what book would you jump into and why?

Probably Laymon’s IN THE DARK. That book is packed with thrills and mystery as Jane receives these strange letters from somebody called MOG (Master of Games), and they lead her on some outrageous and terrifying adventures. It was so much fun experiencing that with her, trying to solve the clues and riddles. Knowing I would survive that ordeal would make me much more apt to give it a try.

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

Richard Laymon, Stan Lee, Stephen King, John Carpenter, and Bruce Campbell.

How do you want the world to remember you?

Kindly. Just that I tried my best at everything I did. I’d want my kids to remember me as a father who loved them, no matter what, and that he worked hard, even when he failed. That he never gave up and that the impression he left on them would help them in their own adventures and with their own families. I’d hope my wife remembered me as somebody who never stopped loving her and was constantly devoted to her and our family. My friends? I hope they’d remember that I cherished every conversation we ever had and enjoyed our time together.

Look for Kristopher Rufty…you never know what you’ll find!

Thank you so much for an awesome interview!  I can’t wait to read SOMETHING VIOLENT.  I just know that’s going to be incredible since it’s being published by DarkFuse!  You’ve had quite the busy year, Krist; you sent me three books to read – I can’t say enough good things about them!  And a western?  A horror-western, of course, whoda thunk it?  But, keep reading.  Here they are!



DESOLATION is a revenge story.  That’s the short version. It will suck you in and you’ll think be rooting  for one person but with one a few twists Rufty has you going around re-thinking your position and wondering if maybe you were wrong.  And then he gives you a few more details…Wait! Just who are the bad guys here?  Long time time horror fans are going to love this!

Buy VAMPIRE today!

Vampire of Plainfield

THE VAMPIRE OF PLAINFIELD pitted Ed Gein against a vampire.  Don’t know who Ed Gein was?  Open a new window to Google; we’ll wait.

Back now?  Great!  Doesn’t that sound incredible?  It was!  Krist put together the pieces of a story that made so much sense I couldn’t believe it hadn’t hit the major newspapers and World News. This is an absolute must read.


seven buried hill

Whoever said you can’t choose a book by it’s cover was wrong.  Dead wrong!  Now I’ve never been one for westerns, not the Zane Grey type of westerns at any rate.  I might have been with a Rufty cover, though.  And this book carries Krist’s distinctive voice.  You know that you’re reading one of his books as soon as you realize that this could happen.  The monsters are real.  Don’t let the fact that this is a western scare you. Or maybe you should.  Bwahahaha!


An Interview with David Bell

Published June 1, 2016 by MommaCat



Would you talk about your upcoming books and their production schedule?

My next thriller, SINCE SHE WENT AWAY, will be released on June 21st. It’s about a single mother and her teenage son and their involvement in a missing persons case.

Have you ever devised a character and then written a plot around them?

I think good stories start with characters. Character drives plot not the other way around. So the short answer is—“Yes!”

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

So, so many. But to name a few: Harlan Coben, Raymond Carver, Jhumpa Lahiri, Rosemary Sutcliff, Elmore Leonard, Ed Gorman. The list could go on and on.

Your publisher must love to see your manuscripts come in. Being an English professor, you have must have the ability to self edit, true? Would you talk about the importance of editing one’s work?

Over time, I think writers learn to step back from their own work and see it critically. But no one can be completely objective about their own work, which is why it’s essential to have good readers to help. My editor, agent, and my wife all read my work carefully and give me a lot of feedback. It takes a village to write a novel…

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

I’d like to hit a baseball like Joey Votto.

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

Who knows? Maybe NO ONE KNOWS by JT Ellison, SEE ALSO DECEPTION by Larry Sweazy, and COMMAND AND CONTROL by Eric Schlosser

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Alexander the Great, Shakespeare, and Rosemary Sutcliff

What if you were given a million dollars with the restriction that every penny must be spent to benefit others. If you got rid of the entire amount within one week, you would receive two million dollars for yourself or lose it all. How would you spend the money to benefit the most people? Limit $1000 per person.

I’d buy them books!

How do you want the world to remember you?

A hard working writer…who lived long enough to see the Reds win the World Series one more time.

Look for David Bell on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @davidbellnovels and on his website.

Look for his newest novel SINCE SHE WENT AWAY everywhere books are sold!. It promises to be a chiller of a thriller! All of Bell’s novels are thoughtfully plotted and character driven. This promises to be more of the same. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.



An Interview with Sean Costello

Published May 1, 2016 by MommaCat


I recently “discovered” author Sean Costello when I was browsing the Goodreads shelves of people that I follow.  One of his books caught my  eye and I looked it up on Amazon.  As I looked over his books, I was surprised to see that this unknown to me author had nearly all five star ratings on his books!  So I bought one and also downloaded SQUALL, which was free.  The rest, as it’s said, is history.  I went back and bought more; emailed Sean asked him for an interview; now I hope all y’all go check out his books.  I’ll talk about HERE AFTER after his interview, so stick around.

Please tell us about your upcoming books and their production schedule.

I’m currently working on the second draft of a novel called Terminal House. In many ways it’s a departure for me. I tend to write action-driven stories, but this one rides more on character and deeper issues, like aging, Alzheimer’s, euthanasia, and romantic love. At its core, though, it’s a tale of psychological horror. One man’s journey into oblivion.

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

Stephen Hunter, Elmore Leonard, Stephen King, Thomas Harris, and a host of other great scribes.

If you had the ability to bring one author back from the dead to write one more book, who would it be and why?

I’d resurrect Elmore Leonard and tell him to take his time . . . I mean really take his time finishing the novel he was working on when he died. The man was a genius, and when you met him in person he was just the sweetest guy. To end such a uniquely creative mind was a crime against humanity.

If you could live in any world, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?

It would be this one, but in the 1960s. I’d see Led Zeppelin again, and make damn sure I got to Woodstock this time. I’d start writing as a young man instead of an older one, and maybe—just maybe—I’d be doing it for a living now.

Most authors have held many jobs on their way to becoming successful. What are some of the jobs you have had?

Not counting a paper route, my first job was as a salad chef at a harness race track. I was 16. The kitchen skills came in handy for my next job, which was slinging hoagies at a place called Fat Albert’s in my hometown of Ottawa. I was a night watchman at a pulp and paper mill, a working musician and, briefly, a model. Then I hit med school, internship, four years of specialty training and a 35-year stint as an anesthesiologist. Now I wanna be a writer.

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

I guess I’d swap with Jack Nicholson—with all due apologies to Jack for the uneven trade—just so I could see what it’s like to be the coolest dude in the universe.     


What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

No plans right now. When I’m writing, I try to avoid reading fiction. I’m too easily influenced.

Do you have any guilty pleasure books/authors? You know the ones…stuff you don’t let your friends see you reading.

Reader’s Digest. But only on the throne.

If you were to give just one piece of advice aspiring writers, what would it be?

This brings up a fun anecdote. In the summer of 1985, I took a drive in my turbo Volvo to Lake Kezar in Maine to do some windsurfing. I’d heard the lake hosted some serious blows . . . and knew that Stephen King had a summer place in the area. I thought, Get in some epic surfing and maybe run into King in the village.

Well, upon entering the vicinity, don’t I see the man himself coming up this rural road in the opposite direction. He’s driving a champagne-colored Mercedes convertible—and he’s alone. He saw my head swivel as he passed and he smiled, accustomed by now, I’m certain, to the star-struck gawks of yokels like myself. So I pulled a U-ie, passed the man at considerable speed, and bailed out of the car at the next stop sign. He rolled up behind me, I said, “You’re Stephen King,” and he said, “I know that, who the hell are you?”

The long and the short? Steve got out of the car (he’s six-foot-six, so I was pretty sure I was about to get decked by Stephen King), chatted with me for twenty minutes, then signed the hardcover copy of Pet Sematary I happened to be reading at the time. Before he left—he was headed for a Red Sox game in Boston—I asked him the question you just asked me, and he said, “Read a lot and write a lot; it really works.”

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

Well, Jack, of course. And if we’re talking reanimated, deodorized and civilized dead: John Bonham, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and my maternal grandmother; she was a great cook.

How do you want the world to remember you?

The world has very little use for me, Momma. But I would like to be remembered by my son as someone who loved him more than anything else—ever—and wanted only good things for him, always.

You can find Sean on Facebook, on his website and on his author page. He’s on Twitter as SeanCostello51. Get on his Mailing List and grab a free copy of LAST CALL!

Thanks very much for giving me this opportunity.

 Buy HERE AFTER now at!

hereaftereHERE AFTER is an edge of your seat thriller in the style of very early Dean Koontz novels.  It’s a little bit paranormal, a lot mystery, and very heartwrenching.  There’s a kidnapper loose in Canada and the police aren’t having any luck tracking the person.  Two men meet in a victims group and become friends.  Can they find their boys when the cops have failed?  Check this and all of Sean’s books out at Amazon today.  He won’t disappoint.

An Interview with John McIlveen

Published April 1, 2016 by MommaCat

john mcIlveen

John McIlveen, Bram Stoker nominee for his first novel, HANNAHWHERE,  is Cat After Dark’s April guest. No foolin’!

You currently work for MIT. Would you talk about your position there?

I am an Electrical and Mechanical Designer and coordinator for the qualification and of certification cleanrooms, and for the toxic gas monitoring systems at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington MA. I work in FSD Engineering. We are a part of the US-DOD so I will mysteriously disappear if I say anything else.

Please tell us about your upcoming books and their production schedule.

I have recently finished a big fat mainstream novel titled GONE NORTH, which (from fly leaf) is the story of Thalia and Emma Holden, two sisters from the Lower Ninth Ward in 1961. Raised in a home of limited means but abundant love and happiness, life is as good as it’s ever been, despite the vicious battles for and against racial segregation across America, and right there in New Orleans. When nineteen-year-old Emma Holden accepts a job with a prominent white family outside of Boston, a job that would enable her to attend college, it seems a dream opportunity. And then tragedy strikes, claiming the life of her parents.

With her parents gone, her sister in Boston, and her brother in California awaiting deployment to Vietnam, Sixteen-year-old Thalia Holden suddenly finds her life in shambles, now living with her grandfather and her hard-drinking, lecherous Uncle Carl. She tolerates her new life until a late night encounter makes her realize New Orleans is no longer home. Home is with her sister Emma, and that was where she needed to be.

Carrying only a duffle bag packed with minimal necessities, forty-two dollars, two Steinbeck novels, and accompanied by her three-legged German Shepard, Thalia embarks on an extraordinary Journey from New Orleans to Boston. In her travels, Thalia encounters her greatest fears, going face to face with extreme prejudice, perversity, but also compassion, offered by a diversity of characters ranging from despicable to eccentric, to delightful. Each day Thalia fears for her survival yet hungers for life.

Meanwhile in Boston, Emma struggles with grieving her parents’ deaths and worrying for her missing sister, while caring for the Merrick family, a wealthy but sympathetic family of five, the youngest of which is a fifteen-year-old son with Down Syndrome. To top it off, Emma discovers she has unwisely but helplessly fallen for the boss’s oldest son, who only complicates things by sharing the infatuation.

GONE NORTH is a tale of family, love, humor, conflict, and ultimately hope, involving humanity at its best, and at its worst. A firm publication date isn’t set yet, but it’s in the not too distant future.

I am almost finished a thriller titled CORRUPTION, which is about a Boston drug cartel, babies falling from windows, and a “common day Joe” who is pulled unwillingly into the midst of it all to help the mother of one of the children.

I am ¼ of the way into another horror novel titled ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?, which deals with a new type of “Super Ecstasy” which has some very unnerving after-effects for one poor son of a gun.

I understand that you’re friends with Christopher Golden. How did the two of you meet? Are there any plans for a collaboration?

Chris is a mensch in every way. He has been a mentor and very instrumental in my (and many others) writing career. We met in 1987 at a convention called NECON ( which is the best convention – bar none. He was living in New York and working at Billboard at the time, and I was in Hudson, NH working in the semiconductor industry. Ironically, we both ended up in Haverhill, MA. As for collaboration…I’d like to preserve our friendship. Joking aside, I’m not opposed to the idea, but it’d be like the tortoise and the hare; Chris writes full time at high speed with an astronomical output…I’m rather sluggish, seeing as writing is my second career.

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

This list could take pages, but in my opinion, John Steinbeck was a master in every way. Stephen King of course, for story lines. Who hasn’t he influenced in one way or another? Margaret Atwood, because she’s a phenomenal stylist and so amazingly diverse. Harry Crews, who was the king of flawed characters and mastered black humor. John Irving, or more-so his earlier writing. Read A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY and you’ll understand. Rick Hautala, who passed away March 17, four years ago. I befriended Rick in 1984 and he introduced me to the writer’s side of books, and to NECON, and he kept at me to start writing. Finally, Chris Golden, who has been a coach, a teacher, a cheerleader, and most importantly, a fun and goofy friend.

If you had the ability to bring one author back from the dead to write one more book, who would it be and why?

William Shakespeare, especially to see his reaction to this modern world (400 years after his death in 1616), and how he would translate it into his writing.

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

My first thought was Kate Winslet, so I could stand naked in front of the mirror all day. Seriously, maybe Stephen Hawking (stressing the “one day”), so I could experience existence from his perspective. To understand what drives him, what keeps him positive, and to see the correlation between his genius and his handicap, if one exists.

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

I am currently reading and enjoying HAVEN by Tom Deady, which is due out later this year from Cemetery Dance.

Next in line are THE FIREMAN by Joe Hill, DEAD WAKE, non-fiction by Erik Larson, and THE GIRL YOU LOST by Kathryn Croft.

If you were to give just one piece of advice aspiring writers, what would it be?

Always believe in your art and always strive to improve it. (Okay, that was two, but it was one sentence.)

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

(Outside of family and friends)

Jon Anderson – (From the band YES)

Harry Crews – (author – deceased)

Martin Luther King

Stephen King

Marilyn Monroe

Would make for an interesting evening.


How do you want the world to remember you?


You can find John on his website, on Facebook, on Goodreads, on his author page and on Google+.  You can follow him on Twitter also – @jmcilveen.  Stop by any or all of those and say hello! I think he’d be delighted that you came by.

Thank you for reading and reviewing my books, and thank you for inviting me to participate in your blog and this interview.

Thank you to everyone who pimped HANNAHWHERE, which helped get it nominated for both The Bram Stoker and The Drunken Druid Awards.



HANNAHWHERE is the story of twin sisters Hannah and Anna whose mother is in an abusive relationship.  What she teaches the girls will amaze you and give you hope.  If you read only one book this year, make it HANNAHWHERE.

Norman Prentiss, An “Odd” Promotion

Published March 27, 2016 by MommaCat


 Two-time Bram Stoker Award-Winner Norman Prentiss has a new book, but it’s not yet available for purchase. ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER is currently on preview at Kindle Scout, hoping to win enough reader nominations to sway Amazon into offering the book a publishing contract. It’s currently halfway through the month-long campaign, so I thought we’d ask him some questions about this “odd” novel!


What’s different about this book, compared to your other books/stories?

I’ve written several novellas–INVISIBLE FENCES, THE FLESHLESS MAN, and THE NARRATOR (in collaboration with Michael McBride)–and have one collaboration that’s the length of a short novel, THE HALLOWEEN CHILDREN with Brian James Freeman… but I only had to do about a novella’s worth of writing on that one, with Brian writing the other half. For that reason, I consider ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER to be my first novel. Definitely my first big book “flying solo.”

More importantly, though, the content and tone of the book is different from my other stuff. It’s still horror, but it fits a lot of other categories as well. I call it a queer road-trip adventure with horror/fantasy elements, all wrapped up in a coming-of-age frame tale. It’s about an adopted daughter who learns about her deceased father by hearing the supernatural tales her surviving father tells her. The adventures should definitely please horror fans, with creepy scenes and some unusual monsters, but the daughter’s story is important too (and ultimately, I think, gives more meaning to the adventures).


Why try Kindle Scout to publish it? Can you explain the process a bit?

Mostly for the same reason I mentioned above: the book fits so many categories, so I thought I might have a chance to reach beyond the small-press horror audience I’ve aimed at previously. At the same time, it’s also so unusual that a conventional path to publication didn’t seem right, either. Kindle Scout seemed like a nice way to connect with different groups of readers, maybe build some momentum and buzz.

At Kindle Scout, authors post a description, cover, and 5,000 word excerpt from a book, and readers vote for stories that intrigue them. The nice thing is, if Amazon selects a book for publication, everyone who nominated it gets a free pre-publication copy of the eBook. The process seems to be going well so far, but I’m only halfway through the month.


What’s your favorite scene in the book?

I’d have to say the ending, because it was a tricky emotional moment that I worked really hard to pull off. Of course, I can’t be more specific without spoilers, so I’ll pick a moment from early in the book, when Jack has been abducted. Shawn has recently learned that Jack has a psychic way to communicate with him—and with him only—by projecting images into his boyfriend’s mind. It’s a shared bond, but also a kind of curse, since Jack can only project disturbing images. This excerpt also conveys some of the interaction with the daughter, Celia, while Shawn narrates the stories:


I crawled blind, scraping forward along my stomach, elbows out and legs bent to scoot me forward. I expected the roof of the tunnel to open up once I’d crawled and slid forward a few feet. The ground opened up instead.

I felt the drop-off with my hands, the slide of the tunnel breaking away along a rough ledge. I dug behind with my toes to keep from sliding further, then paused for my eyes to adjust to the limited light.

The ledge formed the lip of a small pit. The distance wasn’t too far—about ten feet or so, and if I twisted my body as I emerged from the tunnel, I could probably land without hurting myself.

Only one problem. Spikes pointed up from the floor of the pit. Blood gleamed from the sharp tips of two dozen wooden spears. The carcass of a possum was skewered on one post, through the bottom of its neck and out the eye socket. The body slid partway down the spear, but the eye jelly remained, blood gleaming on the tip.

It was impossible, like so many other things Jack had shown me in this haunted forest. But I thought about those strangers who abducted Jack. They beat him and dragged him off a parking lot and into the woods. Wouldn’t that be the same kind of people who’d set an awful trap, pretending to catch animals but hoping for human prey?

It’s too real, Jack. I can’t follow you. I can’t…”

I let myself fall.


(Let’s try an experiment, Celia. Pretend my finger is a sharp wooden spike. Now, you know it’s not, so there’s nothing to be afraid of.


Now, I’m going to bring it close to your face. Sit still. Try not to blink. I’m bringing this pointed spike right to your nose. There.

Did you feel it? I didn’t touch you at all. But you felt it, didn’t you? And not on your nose. In your eyes.

That’s what I felt as I dropped, head down, into that pit. Spikes coming towards me, toward my eyes, poking each of them, tearing through them, through my brain and out the back of my head.

A horrible sensation. Because your eyes always wince, don’t they?

Even at something false.)


What impressed me about the story was that I felt it could be about any relationship.  Was it your intention to point out that a gay relationship was just like any other?

I don’t know if it was my intention, but I’m very pleased you read it that way! Jack and Shawn’s relationship begins in the 80s, which is also when their adventures take place. They couldn’t get married at that time, so Jack’s psychic gift is a kind of “compensation.” It sets them apart, in some ways, but you’re right to pick up on the fact that every relationship is like this: a couple shares a private world that others don’t have access to (supernatural, in this case), and that brings them close.


Do you have anything else in progress? 

I’m planning a sequel to this book called HAUNTED PLACES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER–which I haven’t told anybody about yet, so you’re the first! I also have a short YA novel that’s almost ready to go, called LIFE IN A HAUNTED HOUSE. And Cemetery Dance announced a new mini-collection last week called THE BOOK OF BABY NAMES, and I was very surprised that the book sold out its limited run in less than 24 hours!


Thank you so much for letting Cat After Dark  help promote your book, Norm!  

Be sure to tell everyone you know  about this “ODD” Promotion!  You won’t find the excerpt from the book anywhere but here.  Then get yourself over to Kindle Scout and VOTE for Amazon to publish ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER!  My husband and I both read it, and it’s a must read for horror fans, for parents, for teens or for anyone in a relationship.  It’s damn good writing.



An Interview with Joe Hart

Published March 1, 2016 by MommaCat



Being an aspiring published author is_________________.

Not sure I like the term “aspiring” when describing a writer. You either write or you don’t in my opinion.

Would you talk about your upcoming books and their production schedule?

The next book I have coming out is a thriller called THE NIGHT IS DEEP. It is the second book in a series I’m writing about an ex-homicide detective who has a future waiting for him but can’t let go of the past.


Are books 2 and 3 of THE LAST GIRL written and what are the expected release dates?

Book 2 is finished and is the editing stage. It’s due out in September of this year. I’m about a third of the way through the first draft of the last book and that one should be out sometime in early 2017.

It’s clear to me that the world we live in is a misogynistic one. And that’s the premise, at least from the outset of TLG. And that just blows my mind! What made you come up with the idea that men were so destructive that they wouldn’t nurture and revere the few women that remained?

It’s funny because several people have asked that same question, “Why wouldn’t the remaining women be treated well?” When I first came up with the idea of the birthrate for female infants dropping to nearly nothing I asked some of the most important women in my life a question. It went something like this- If there were only a limited number of women left on Earth do you think they’d be treated like queens or like possessions? Every one of them answered (without hesitation) possessions. I’m not sure if even the threat of extinction would stop people (especially men) from trying to take what they want. Pretty sure history supports this.

Have you ever devised a character and then written a plot around them?

Absolutely. MacArthur Gray from WIDOW TOWN came pretty much fully formed into my mind and I built the plot around him. Zoey from THE LAST GIRL was pretty much formed the moment after I had the general premise for the book as well as Evan Tormer from THE WAITING.

Most authors have had many jobs on their way to a full time writing career. What are some of the jobs you’ve held?

Very true! I’ve worked as an auto mechanic, a line technician at an airport, a customer service agent for Northwest Airlines, an electric motor technician, a personal trainer and manager of a gym.

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

Mr. Stephen King would be at the top of the list. I was reading him around age ten or eleven. I wouldn’t be doing what I am without his work. Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, R.L. Stine, Blake Crouch, Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O’Connor, Richard Adams, Harper Lee, Clive Barker, Justin Cronin, Robert Frost, Shakespeare, Lovecraft, Poe, the list goes on and on.

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

My son who has autism. Since he can’t tell me, I would give anything to know what he’s thinking.

What scares you? Have you written about it?

I’ll have to echo King here. Everything. Everything scares me. Losing those who you love most. Leaving them alone. Whatever lurks under the bed at night even after you’ve checked it. Things like that. And yes, I’ve written about nearly all the things that scare me, but there’s a lot less to write about.

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

Oh wow. I just finished Robert Jackson Bennett’s CITY OF BLADES, which was excellent and I started reading THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE. Past that I have a few books waiting on blurbs and whatnot.

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, Stephen King, Jackie Onassis, and Michael Collins.


How do you want the world to remember you?

Someone who tried their best at what they loved.

Thanks very much for all the great questions, it was a blast!

Thanks for a great interview, Joe! THE LAST GIRL is available on and anywhere else books are sold.

You can find Joe on Twitter @AuthorJoeHart and on his website. Check them out! If you would like to read my review of THE LAST GIRL – click here!

An Interview with Benjamin Kane Ethridge

Published February 1, 2016 by MommaCat


Most authors have had many jobs to pay the bills in their quest to become successful. What are some of the the jobs that you have held?

Target (cart attendant, cashier, graveyard shift stock team), Substitute elementary school teacher, Environmental compliance inspector, Program/ Project manager

Being an aspiring published author is different for everybody.

How much did winning the Stoker Award so early in your career change your perceptions toward your writing and writing as a career?

The biggest thing I found was that I didn’t have to work as hard to be published. Trying to get published is probably just as much work, initially, as the writing itself. Once I won the award and started selling more books, I would be invited to anthologies and receive book deals (of widely varying degrees). Although rejection isn’t a thing of the past by any means, a new idea came to be: pre-acceptance. Publishers were willing to buy what I was going to write, and that was very strange; it makes you question the quality of your own fiction, whether it will ever really be judged the way it had been previously as a novice writer.

Would you talk about your upcoming books and their production schedule?

I am working on the first novel in a series for JournalStone books. SLAUGHTER MAN: MOON CITY TALE. It’s a SciFi adventure with a little hard boiled mood. It’s taking longer than I expected because dumb errors have cropped up and life has decided it needed to keep on happening. But the novel shall get done soon. It shall.

Have you ever devised a character and then written a plot around them?

Yes, my Slaughter Man novella from the Limbus INC anthology comes to mind. I worked with a lot of decent, blue collar guys in my day and I wanted to create a story about someone who reminded me of them. It’s great to have a character that will keep you excited throughout the writing process, a person that will not always make the choices that will make the story easy to write, and therefore the entire creation becomes that much more realistic.

THIS HOUSE… on the surface appears to be a haunted house story. At the very least it seems to question how a house gets haunted. But the reader learns something very different by the end. Would you talk about your thought process as you sat down to write and tell us how the writing flowed (or didn’t)?

I sat down to write a haunted house story that would be the Ethridge Haunted House story. I wanted it to be mine. With everything I write, there are those who may appreciate my intentions and those who may not. Some people can go on reading and watching the same types of books and movies and be completely happy with experiencing similar stories but with differently arranged dominoes that ultimately spill out to the same destination.

I’m not judging. For me, I’m the same way with some genres, but not for haunted house stories. I just cannot be worked up about them anymore, even if they’re well done. After Matheson’s HELLHOUSE and King’s THE SHINING, every other take felt like eating saltines with varying degrees of saltiness. Now, I know I’m discounting quite a bit of lore and literature here, and while there are some literary greats who have been absolutely innovative in the genre (enter Shirley Jackson), I cannot say I’ve really been affected by the “bad place” story since having childhood nightmares about Jack Nicholson limping through the snow with an axe.

The horror factor isn’t what compelled me, by the way, to remember such images. I was more interested in considering wow, what happened to that kid’s father? Can you imagine if one of your parents changed into such a violent manifestation of their former self? The guy was an abusive alcoholic and the end result of that flaw exploited to the horror-ith power really intrigued me. I was more interested in what haunted a human being, and I didn’t want to involve the supernatural in that study. I’m not believer. Not in the supernatural, or the natural though. This is fiction and so I don’t need to answer to other convictions or even my own. I don’t want to write about people who conjure up false mental demons and spirits. I want to write about mental demons and spirits who conjure up false people. THAT is fascinating to me. Is it scary? Yes, I think if you put yourself in the shoes of any of the characters in THIS HOUSE… it would be terrifying to have such little control over the parasitic chaos in your life.

I wrote this novella a couple years back, but I recall it flowing steadily from start to end. Back then I was averaging around three thousand words a day. So I probably had a draft in under a couple weeks.

Who are the authors that have influenced your writing the most?

James Joyce, Stephen King, Madeleine L’Engle, Robert Jordan, Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Matheson, Emily Dickinson, and Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

If you were able to trade bodies with one person for one day who would it be and why?

Somebody dying with huge regrets. I want to know where the thoughts go toward the end. I want to know how that process of acceptance feels. Coming out of something like that would give a person stronger psychological armor than anything else I can imagine. It’d be a blessing to live a life with such knowledge.

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

Oh boy. I should be incarcerated for the lack of reading I’ve been doing lately. I need to finish my Tom Savage novel (because he’s awesome and all his books are great books). I also need to read more of my fiancé Sara Brooke’s work, because she writes tight, wonderful mainstream horror, which I could stand to learn enormous amounts from. And I need to read the last Wheel of Time book. The series ended and I’ve still not finished it—and I’ve enjoyed Sanderson’s piloting of the conclusion thus far.

What five people living or dead would you invite to a dinner party?

Jesus Christ – not because I’m Christian, but because I want to see if he really looks like old school Kenny Loggins as all the cheap paintings portray, or if he looks like a Cro-Magnon Charlie Manson as the latest forensic anthropological studies suggests. I just want to know.

Jack the Ripper – so I can turn the bastard in.      Ripper


Michael Louis Calvillo – because he was a great friend of mine which I lost too early, and he always enjoyed a good party.

Shakespeare – just to see if twenty different people show up.

Henry Rollins – because he’ll help with turning over Jack the Ripper to the authorities and when he returns to the table he’ll keep the conversation lively.

How do you want the world to remember you?

As someone who lived, and then wrote stories about it.


I will remember your stories, Ben. And I’d like to thank you for taking time from writing to visit with us today.  Look for more on Benjamin at these links:


February 2 is the release date for THIS HOUSE…  this-house  As I said in the interview, on the surface it appears to be  haunted house story.  And that cover sure grabs your eye, doesn’t it?  Awesome artwork!

But, as you delve into the pages you’ll find much more than you were expecting…  You’ll be glad you read it. Available at Amazon, B&N and the usual booksellers.

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