humor

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An Interview with Stuart R. West

Published April 30, 2017 by MommaCat

stuartwest

 

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

Hey, MommaCat, thanks for letting me yak away on your blog. Demon with a Comb-Over has just been released (it’d been out earlier, but the publisher went under) with a new prequel along for the ride. It’s a (pseudo-autobiographical) tale about a crappy stand-up comedian (that part is true; well, I at least bombed on open-mic night) who ticks off a demon with a comb-over (that part’s not so true).

Dread and Breakfast was released last month. It’s a terrifying (oddly amusing) tale about a bunch of people stranded at the world’s worst bed & breakfast during a Midwest winter storm. It plays heavily on my fear of guys named “Kevin” who constantly shove muffins at you at such places. And it proves the old axiom: fear antiquing.

I’m wrapping up a horror short story collection, starting a new thriller called “Chili Run,” and will soon dig into my third Zak and Zora mystery (the series about a vapid male stripper and his very put upon, no-nonsense detective sister).

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

Depends on what day you ask me, MommaCat. Hmm. Dick and Jane books. Elmore Leonard. Dr. Seuss. Chuck Dickens. Stephen King. Donald Westlake. John Farris.

Who would you like to have drinks with?

The above-mentioned writers would be a hoot-and-a-half to tie one on with at a round table drinkathon.

Maybe Trump. So I could get him liquored up, ruffle his awful hair and say, “Okay, Don…what’s REALLY going on? You’re joking, right?”

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

I’d say Willy Wonka’s factory. But now we’re being lead by an orange Oompa-Loompa, so that’s not fantastical enough. I definitely want to avoid Katniss’s world. My life expectancy kinda’ plummets there. Perhaps I’d like to live in Stars Hollow. Yeah. Everything there is cute and whimsical.

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

I did have a devastating, very short run as a stand-up comedian. But I euthanized that deal and everyone owes me a huge thanks for it.

For several years, I worked at a public relations firm where my duties included driving Whizzo the clown around town while he chain-smoked and hawked loogies out the window (he couldn’t drive because of his huge clown feet). I also got to see Dr. Joyce Brothers in her underwear (public relations is a dangerous and ugly job at times).

Joyce Brothers

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

Again, I’ve gotta’ pull the Trump card. I’d call a press conference, say “Just kidding” and grab the nearest person to me and declare him/her president.

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

Sorry, MommaCat, I never plan ahead. On anything. Writing or reading.

If you won a billion dollar Powerball all by yourself, what would you do after the check cleared? Would you say screw the bills and buy a solid gold kazoo? Or something else?

First, I’d buy a new house with certain requirements: swimming pool, Jacuzzi tub and theatre room. Then I’d toss some to charity and all that crap.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing or reading?

I love to watch terrible movies from the ‘60’s through the ‘80’s. The golden age of awful.

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

Easy! Andy Kaufman, Adolf Hitler, Salvadore Dali, Charlie Sheen and Phyllis Diller.

How do you want the world to remember you?

With clean underwear please.

Boxers-vs-Briefs-title

 

STUARTDARKFICTION(1)

Demon with a Comb-OvRer (featuring The Book of Kobal) available in Kindle format and paperback.

Dread and Breakfast: Kindle and paperback.

Stuart R. West Blog: Twisted Tales from Tornado Alley

Amazon author page Facebook Twitter

I read DEMON WITH A COMBOVER way back in the wayback when it was published by Samhain.  You can find my review by clicking on the Random Reviews link on the right hand side of the page.  I probably should have asked Stuart for an interview then, but, nooo.  I had to wait for them to go out of business! All of his books are well written, and combine horror and humor.  That’s really hard to do.  But, when it works what you get is a fun read. Sometimes we want gore and scares, but sometimes it’s good to sit back and relax a laugh a little.  Stuart is a sure thing if that’s what you’re looking for.  Check out his books and see what you think.

An Interview with David Whitman

Published March 1, 2017 by MommaCat

david-whitman

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

I have two upcoming books. The first is a short novel entitled The Witch, the Murderer, and the Devil in Black. Martin Kent can channel the souls of the dead into animals. He roams about his small town with his dead wife, who is in the body of a deer. When a tragic experiment causes the death of every animal in town, Martin embarks on an angry quest to get his wife’s damned soul back from God. He enlists the aid of an elderly woman, who can speak to the dead, and a murderer. It is set in the Victorian era. This novel is finished and I am currently waiting word on finding a home for it.

The second is a follow-up to my critically acclaimed novella Deadfellas. It is entitled Deadfellas 2: One Step Beyond. It is a surrealistic dark comedy that mixes The Wizard of Oz with Hitmen and zombies. I have been working on this for about a decade. It’s nearly complete, and so far I am very proud of what it has become. It is certainly not just a repeat of the first and it is quite epic in its scope and weirdness. The first Deadfellas can be found on Amazon Kindle and Apple Itunes.

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

Two authors that have influenced me the most are Philip K. Dick and Joe R. Lansdale. As a teenager, I read and re-read PKD’s work obsessively, even collecting obscure works from the 1950’s and 60’s. I think PKD is an absolute genius–a writer can get an idea for a whole novel in just one of his paragraphs. It is a joy to see that the world has embraced his work and that he is no longer just a cult writer.

I read Joe Lansdale’s work in my early twenties and his words just went through me like lightning. He rewired my brain and showed me that there were no rules as far as the imagination goes. The first work I found by him was his collection BY BIZARRE HANDS–it was like explosives went off in my mind.

pkdick

Would you talk about how you and Weston Ochse came to collaborate on SCARY REDNECKS AND OTHER INBRED HORRORS (and APPALACHIAN GALAPAGOS).

Weston and I met through an email message forum around 1998 and found that we both had similar influences. We were both young and eager and soon collaborated on a few short stories. We sent those stories to a publisher and immediately they wanted more. Scary Rednecks was born. Weston has gone on to win the Bram Stoker award and has become one of the most prolific writers in the business. I am very proud of him and so happy for any success he achieves. I still feel our novella “Up Shits Creek with a Case of Beer and No Fucking Paddles” (from APPALACHIAN GALAPAGOS) is one of the best creative projects I have ever been part of. I have faith that it will one day be made into an excellent film.

westono

I loved Harlan. That was a very different tale from REDNECKS. What brought that story to life?

I was heavily influenced by John Hughes films, such as The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. Also, a film called Pump up the Volume was very influential. I wanted to create a story that had the elements of those films, but also took a darker and more adult bent. I found the writing of that novel to be more emotionally draining than I had expected and I think it shows in the finished product. I am very proud of HARLAN.

Do you have any plans to turn one of your short stories into a novel or novella?

There are a bunch of short stories that speak to me and seem to want to be revisited. I very rarely write a short story with a solid sense of closure. I believe that style makes the reader ask questions and want more. My latest novel (mentioned above) was born from a short story. I also want to start writing screenplays and there are so many of my stories that seem to have potential to be bigger. I have a short story in my collection DELIGHTFUL AGONY entitled “Some of Us are Looking at the Stars”. It is a sort of science-fiction retelling of APOCALYPSE NOW. I think that it would be perfect for a longer tale.

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

I would probably choose someone with a lot of security clearances–a world leader or perhaps someone in the Pentagon. I am a huge conspiracy and UFO enthusiast. I would immediately seek access to the Roswell files.

roswell

FYI – They’ve been declassified recently. Whether everything is out or not remains to be seen.  MC

What are you reading now?

I am reading George Martin’s GAME OF THRONES. I also recently read some John D. Macdonald. I have been taking my time with the Travis McGee novels for a long time now–reading one every few years. It is like revisiting a long time friend.

gofthronestravism

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

I am a huge Star Trek fan. I will occasionally read a Trek novel because I can finish one in about five hours. I don’t really believe in the concept of guilty pleasures. I think you should proudly like whatever you want to. If it makes you happy, just own up to it.

startrek

How do you want the world to remember you?

I want to be remembered as a good father and husband. I certainly won’t mind being remembered as a writer. With a book, the author gets to live forever in a way.

David Whitman – Facebook
David Whitman (davidwhitman666) – Amazing Pinterest pins!
all David’s books are available on Amazon.  Check em out!
 bodycounting
 BODY COUNTING is a short story collection that is easily devoured all at once.  With so many collections I find myself reading a story here and one or two there an going back a coupe of weeks later for another dose.  Not so with BODY COUNTING.  With a mix of strange, weird, horror, sci-fi and one very odd (to me) story  there’s a great read just waiting for you.
I’m so glad that David agreed to this interview!  Thanks for visiting CAD today and please come back soon.

 

 

An Interview with Martin Mundt

Published December 16, 2015 by MommaCat

MartyMundt

 

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

    I’ve had one job since 1982, in manufacturing.  I would’ve taken on more freelance editing and proofreading work, but the opportunities have been rare, and so hardly count as jobs. I briefly traded commodities back in the 80’s, but I broke even, so in the end, that hardly counted as a job either.

Being an aspiring published author is …

painful.

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

     No. The concept of the story always comes first.

If you could write one person in history “out of the story” and change the future, who would you erase and how would you foresee the world according to Mundt?

    A difficult question. Counterfactuals lead to so many questions of their own. Say I want to erase Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand. What are the odds that the alternate heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne would be assassinated in the same way and start World War One and kick off the 20th Century? But probably something would, in some way, because the forces existed to do so. So say I think bigger, and erase Abraham, and try to get rid of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Maybe I succeed, but I don’t get rid of other religions, because people like religions; and anyway, I’m not even sure Abraham counts as a “person in history”. So, tricky stuff. But then, after two days of considering this question, it occurred to me that I’d written a story about just this topic, so I’m going to refer everyone to that: “The Magruder Film”, in an anthology called Gen F: An Anthology of Short Stories for the Comic Tragedies of Our Times, published in 2014. Who did I erase? Mick Jagger. And his death brought about a golden age of peace and love: the Age of the Hippies. Go read it. It might answer this question for you.

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

    Harlan Ellison and Dylan Thomas

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

    Dita Von Teese. Why? Go big or go home.

 

dita

 

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

    The First World War, John Keegan

    Billy Budd and Benito Cereno, Herman Melville

    The Monsters of Templeton, Lauren Groff

 

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

 Voltaire. Emily Dickinson. Albert Einstein. Mark Twain. Groucho Marx. Harlan Ellison. Mae West. More than five. I cheated.

 

How do you want the world to remember you?

 All or nothing, I guess. Either a bestselling author, or not at all.

Check out Martin on Facebook, the web and on Twitter @MartinMundt1..  If  you’re new to his writing, you’re going to want to grab all of the collections of his you can. Once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop.  His newest book, SYNCHRONIZED SLEEPWALKING is reviewed below.  Thank you for taking time from your writing, Marty, to visit with us!  

 

 

 

An Interview with Jeff Strand

Published November 15, 2014 by MommaCat

 

Strand Photo

 

 

1) What would your power be if you were a super hero?

I’d be Social Media Self-Control Man, the man who can read really dumb stuff on Facebook and 99.97% of the time resist the urge to comment on it!

 

2) If you could live during any era in any land, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?

I’d live in an imaginary version of Hogwarts, where you got all of the cool magic and stuff but didn’t have to deal with that Voldemort crap.

 

3) Tell us about your thought process when you sit down to write. Do you use an outline?

Sometimes the publisher requires an outline, though that’s never my preferred way to work. Usually I have kind of a general sense of where the story is going, though how closely I stick to that varies a lot from book to book. My preferred method is to know the ending, know a few stops along the way, and then know in detail where the next chapter or two is headed. Sometimes I’ve got it worked out further ahead, and sometimes I don’t know where it’s going from sentence to sentence.

 

4) If you were to have one wish granted, what would it be? (No wishing for more wishes!)

I would just crumble under the pressure and end up saying, “It’s too much responsibility! I don’t want the wish!” Because what I’d want is to be able to fly, but if I wished for the power of flight knowing that I could end world hunger, the guilt would haunt me for the rest of my life and I’d never be able to enjoy flying. But if I ended world hunger instead of being able to fly, I’d be bitter whenever I had a meal.

 

5) If you were stranded on a deserted tropical island, do you think you could survive?

I don’t know. Do I get to take one book and one movie with me?

 

6) What if you could trade bodies with one person for one day? Who would that be?

I don’t actually keep up with the sex lives of celebrities very well. Who gets the most in a day?

 

7) What are the next three books you plan to read?

Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman, Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick, and Horror of It All (a collection of interviews) by David Kempf.

 

8) Who would you like to co-author a book with?

F. Paul Wilson, JA Konrath, Blake Crouch, and James A. Moore. Wait–I already have! Sweeeeeeet!

 

9) What five people – living or dead- would you invite to a dinner party? (language & time are not problems)

Patton Oswalt, Jeff Probst, Dave Barry, Stephen Colbert, and Buster Keaton.

 

10) How do you want the world to remember you?

“He wrote some funny, cool books.”

 

Sounds like Jeff has met some of his goals. I’ll sure remember him for funny, cool books and not just because I keep my kindle in the refrigerator.  🙂   Maybe we can do this again sometime, Jeff? Will you come back? Huh? Will ya?  I know where you live – and I’m tellin’ everyone to go to Gleefully Macabre.

Facial by Jeff Strand

Published November 15, 2014 by MommaCat

Weird. Bizarre. Strange. That’s FACIAL. Jeff Strand has written strange stuff before – You read Kumquat, right? But that was simply unexpected. It was a romantic comedy from a horror author.  The story was a nice, normal story.  Who it came from was the odd part. And so we have FACIAL. It’s not a nice, normal story.  It’s a story about a face. It’s a story about murder. It’s a story about feeding said face. And that face? It lives in (on?) a basement floor. How did it get there? Why was a lion on top of it? Why was Greg’s wife cheating on him?

These questions and more are what FACIAL is all about.  Told as only Jeff Strand can tell a tale, I can think of worse ways to spend a couple of hours.  Projectile vomiting, passing a kidney stone and listening to a yodeling competition all come to mind.

This ranks up there as probably the most original story I can remember reading. Shame on me for not asking Jeff where he gets his ideas from.  But knowing him, he would have told me that he buys them in bulk at The Dollar Store.

You could buy this in bulk and gift it to all your friends. That would be the  thing to do this holiday season. Or you could be selfish and buy it for yourself  at Amazon. But, buy it you must!  FACIAL…only Jeff Strand could pull this one off.

Available at Amazon, of course.

facial-cover

 

 

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