Tuesday, September 01, 2015

SuperGhost September!

Well, folks... It’s time for one more big blowout SuperGhost promo.  

It’s time for SuperGhost September!

Two things:

1. I need to move some books. Like most writers, I want to find new readers. Plus, I'm nearing the end of my year in the New Bizarro Author Series, and I need to get SuperGhost into more eyeballs if I want to continue putting out weird books with my publisher.

2. I want to do some good in the world. I think most people do. And since I’m not raking in millions over here, I’ve got to explore my options and get creative.

So with those things in mind, here’s what’s happening:

For the entire month of September, I’ll be giving 100% of my author royalties from the sales of SuperGhost to charity.

Those of you who have already read the book know that several characters are amputees, suffering from phantom limb syndrome. So I've chosen to donate all my September royalties to the LIMBS FOR LIFE FOUNDATION, an organization that works to provide prosthetic limbs to amputees who cannot otherwise afford them.

(Read more about LFL and their Mission to help those who have lost limbs to disease, accidents, birth defects, and warfare, here).

And, of course, I'm going to try bribing you with some prizes. Such prizes!

So here's the deal: Buy SuperGhost (available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble), and email proof of purchase (a screenshot of your receipt, for example) to drgriffinrains@gmail.com, and you'll receive 2 entries for the drawing of prizes. (By the way, if you buy via smile.amazon.com, you can ensure even more money goes to Limbs For Life).

Have you already purchased SuperGhost? Why thank you, beautiful person! Maybe it's time to review it for the masses! Put your thoughts into words and post a SuperGhost review to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, your blog, etc., and earn 1 entry per review posted (meaning you can post the review to multiple sites for multiple entries - although I would stress that Amazon and Goodreads are the best places for this, as more reviews on those sites make books more visible to more people). Of course, you'll need to email me the link(s) to your review(s) to earn those entries.

And finally, lets say you're one of the cool kids who's already read AND reviewed SuperGhost. You are a glorious individual, and deserve everything every fortune cookie has ever promised you. In the meantime, why not buy copies of SuperGhost for your friends and neighbors? Surely you know someone with a birthday in September. Or maybe you want to get your winter holiday shopping done early.

Or just help spread the word! Share the link to this post on social media. Tell your friends. Scream it from your roof. Or your neighbor's roof.

Okay. If you've read this far, you probably want to know what you can win. So without further ado, onto the prizes:

A plush SuperGhost keychain 
(3 available)
Custom-designed and made by Killin Me Softly. Andrea at KMS does some killer work - If you like horror movies and things that are adorable, I highly recommend checking out her wares.

A piece of Limited Edition SuperGhost Phantom Limb Candy 
(3 available)
Individually numbered. Only 25 of these exist, and these are the last 3 pieces I’ll be giving away as prizes.

A print copy of The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction #11 
(3 available)
Featuring my story “Violins For Sale”, along with work by Ryan Harding, Garrett Cook, Robert Devereaux, Michael Allen Rose, Alan M. Clark, Andrew Goldfarb, a profile on Edward Lee, and more.

A set of chapbooks by yours truly 
(3 sets available)
Each set includes 3 Stories, 2 More Stories, and the Dates minicomic (with art by Amze Emmons).

The Mega-Bizarro Book Pile
A mystery stack of 5 bizarro books by other authors, all from my own collection. The titles will remain a mystery until you receive the box, but trust me, it's good, weird stuff.

That's 13 (count 'em, 13!) prizes. And I'll ship them anywhere in the world.

Once all the entries have been collected, I'll choose names randomly and start distributing the prizes. The first name picked gets their choice of the lot, the second person gets to choose from the remaining 12 prizes, and so on down the line.

Good luck everyone! Hope you enjoy SuperGhost!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

20Q7A: An interview with Michael Allen Rose

20 Questions, 7 Answers is an interview series for writers of bizarro and horror fiction. Each writer receives the same batch of 20 questions...but they may only answer 7.

This week's guest is Michael Allen Rose…


What's your latest book, and how does it differ from your previous work?

MAR: My newest book is called Boiled Americans (from Bizarro Pulp Press). It's an experimental book, pulling from a whole bunch of different forms. Meta-fiction crossed with surrealist prose, scripts, shape poetry, journalism and autobiography all wrapped up in a series of case studies based on actual shootings. It's a literary reaction to living in a major American city at a time when everything we're inundated with is steeped in violence. This, obviously, differs quite a bit from the comedy that I'm normally known for. There are definitely moments of humor in this one, but they're sandwiched between layers of all sorts of other things. The text is meant to unfold like a puzzle box. I'm hoping it'll be a real trip for people to read.

Do you listen to music when you write, and if so, what? Is it different than what you listen to when you're not writing?

MAR: Music has always been a really important part of my creative process. With most my work, even from a decade ago or more, I could probably remember what song or artist inspired the work or helped birth it by giving me a background soundtrack. That said, because I'm such a music geek, I have to be careful that whatever I'm listening to doesn't take over my conscious attention. When that happens, I write like, a word an hour. It's sad. My musical tastes tend to veer all over the map. Industrial, metal, punk, alternative, rap and experimental top my charts, but there's some jazz, country, classical, reggae and all sorts of stuff on my "personal mix".

If you could survive on one food for the rest of your life with no health repercussions, what would it be?

MAR: I think I might already accidentally be doing this. I eat pizza about 5 days out of 7, most weeks. Keep in mind though, I live in Chicago, which is a pizza lover's fantasy land. I like to switch it up, going from deep dish to fire baked European style to a nice malty hand tossed pie, depending on my mood. I'm a sucker for pepperoni, especially when it's spicy. Salami and other sausage type toppings will do in a pinch. Generally, I stay away from vegetables though. Ever since a green pepper stole my car, I've been wary of them. An onion also makes lewd comments at my mother on a regular basis, which I think is just rude. So give me cheese and carbs, with a little meat and some heavy herb and spice coverage, and I'm happy.

If you could be reincarnated as a sentient but inanimate object, what would you like to be?

MAR: This question could go so many ways. The pervert in me would like to say "a pair of panties" but I'm a rationalist, and realize how horribly wrong that could go. I mean, think of all the people who wear panties? What if I ended up on a hairy, sweaty dude on a European fashion runway somewhere? I think I'll be safe and say: a stapler. Staplers are kind of badass. The job of a stapler is literally to shoot two metal spikes through something. That's pretty rock and roll, if you ask me. Plus, that would give me at least a decent chance of being in the creative arts. Unless of course I end up in some dull cubicle farm somewhere. I think the best answer would be, I would like to come back as a pair of panties that has been stapled to a pizza. Someone will call me "art".

What is your writing environment like? (Are you out in public or in seclusion? Is there noise? Is there coffee? Do you type on a laptop or write longhand on lined notebook paper?)

MAR: If I could figure out what my ideal writing environment would be, I'd probably get a lot more writing done. I have found that the best progress happens when I'm situated in public, but not terribly noisy... a quiet, local type coffee shop maybe. I can definitely get more done at my desk at home, but there the constant threat looms large of being distracted by a handsome cat, or a cool video game, or my cat challenging me to beat his score at a video game. I can't write anything of substance in long-hand. I keep notebooks around for ideas and sketches, lines of dialogue, and short bits of ideas, but to really have something done, I need to type it out. My brain works at the speed I can type, whereas a pen and paper slow me down and get me all jumbled up.

What happens when you die?

MAR: Several things occur when you die. First, you stop breathing. The electrical activity in your brain ceases. Your pulse stops and the heart no longer pumps blood through your system. There is a reduction in body temperature and the remaining blood settles into the lower portion of the body. The face becomes pale and the limbs stiffen. Soon after this, the body begins to decompose into simpler forms of matter, which often involves unpleasant smells. After that, the indefinable energy that makes us human beings, consisting of our thoughts, feelings and personal attributes beyond rational explanation, floats out of us in a tiny glowing ball of light we call the soul. This soul takes on the form of whatever animal we like best, such as a panther, or a cougar, or some other awesome jungle cat. Then, the soul cat eats anyone who is nearby at the time of decease. Once the soul cat is fed, it dons a business suit and a jaunty hat, and goes out into the world. It applies for jobs, or, depending on the economy, unemployment benefits and social services. One week from the time of death, the soul cat begins to attract a number of birds. The birds sing old Irish drinking songs, but they keep time poorly and cannot harmonize to save their lives. This is called the "Bird Discord." Once this happens, the estate of the deceased can legally be dispersed to any Vikings listed in the "Skardswill". If no Skardswill is present, the deceased's belongings should be buried at a crossroads by a licensed haberdasher no later than midnight of the second Thursday after this time has been marked by a Justice of the Peace or other certified officiant. At this point, the "ghost" which is basically the refuse left over from the soul's emergence from the corpse, is considered "debt free" and can apply for credit at most major agencies in the greater continental area.

What's your secret?

MAR: Love. Really. Play the long game. Be nice. Don't expect anything from anyone, but be grateful and show your love to those who you love. Don't be entitled - none of us deserve anything - but be thankful when something goes your way. Make art happen.


Michael Allen Rose is a Chicago-based writer, musician and performance artist. He loves cats, tea and good beer. Sometimes he gets naked for artistic purposes. You can find his writing, music and stage presence in various places.

Store / Website / Facebook

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

20Q7A: An interview with Christoph Paul

20 Questions, 7 Answers is an interview series for writers of bizarro and horror fiction. Each writer receives the same batch of 20 questions...but they may only answer 7.

This week's guest is Christoph Paul…


If you could have chosen your own name when you were born, what would it have been?

CP: Angelhair Apocalypse. No relation to JRJ’s cool collection. It is more about my love of X-Men and Italian food.

Who or what is your favorite movie monster, and why?

CP: Good question. The Blob. I have had the most nightmares about the Blob since I was a little kid. Jason Voorhees is second.

What's the best movie, new or old, that you've seen for the first time in the past 3 months?

CP: Spring.

Are you most afraid of ghosts, aliens, or clowns, and why?

CP: Aliens. Ghosts are definitely not real and honestly, do people really think most clowns are in good shape or know Karate? An alien, who knows what it would try with you. Fuck aliens, they are interstellar terrorists.

If you could be reincarnated as a sentient but inanimate object, what would you like to be?

CP: A raspberry tree in a nude colony.

What is your writing environment like? (Are you out in public or in seclusion? Is there noise? Is there coffee? Do you type on a laptop or write longhand on lined notebook paper?)

CP: I have been trying a new thing where I write on the couch with a laptop on top of a pillow on my lap. I also write a lot at my phone cause I once worked at RadioShack and they encouraged us to fuck around on our phones. I owe a lot to RadioShack for helping me learn to write on a smart phone.

What's your secret?

CP: I see myself is being only moderately above average at the things I’m passionate about. It gives me just the right amount of confidence to do stuff but the humility to try to be the hardest worker to make up for being only moderately above average.


Christoph Paul is an award-winning author of 6 books that cross different genres: humor, poetry, satire, bizarro, horror and non-fiction. He played in rock bands Moses Moses & The Only Prescription, but still wishes he was a gangsta rapper. He hosts The Passion of the Christoph Podcast and writes Bizarro Erotica under the Pen Name Mandy De Sandra.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Recent reviews

I’m normally not one to call attention to myself. It would be far more desirable to just write stories and make art and have people magically find them. But being a creative person—particularly an indie writer who doesn't have the reach of a big New York publishing company and their marketing department—means that calling attention to oneself from time to time is a bit of a necessity.

Plus, who doesn't like to share good news? So, with that in mind, I'm happy to say that I've received some very nice reviews of SuperGhost recently. Here are a few choice quotes, with links to the full reviews for anyone who might be interested:

“Horror junkies who crave a quick-fix reading experience akin to watching Re-Animator or Bruce Campbell in the Evil Dead movies will likely enjoy Scott Cole’s foray into the bizarre and blissfully bonkers subgenre called Bizarro Fiction.” —DIABOLIQUE MAGAZINE (full review here)

“a clever and intelligent farce” —THE NOVEL PURSUIT (full review here)

“I can certainly guarantee that no one has told a story like this before. It never goes where you think it will and always keeps you guessing…” —HORROR UNDERGROUND (full review here)

...and, ya know...if you still haven't picked up a copy of SuperGhost, Amazon currently has the paperback on sale, at 11% off the regular price (EDIT: Now 20% off!). So feel free to click riiiiight heeeeere.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

20Q7A: An interview with Nicole Cushing

20 Questions, 7 Answers is an interview series for writers of bizarro and horror fiction. Each writer receives the same batch of 20 questions...but they may only answer 7.

This week's guest is Nicole Cushing…


What's your latest book, and how does it differ from your previous work?

NC: My latest release is a novel called Mr. Suicide. It’s my first novel (all my previous works were pieces of short fiction or novellas). It’s also my first book with Ross Lockhart’s small press, Word Horde.

Who or what is your favorite movie monster, and why?

NC: Lately, I’ve been quite taken by Claude Rains as the invisible man. If you watch the movie, you realize that all the dude really wants is to be left alone to work in peace. I can totally relate to that. He only gets violent when people won’t leave him alone. Also, he’s the most sarcastic of all the classic Universal movie monsters. I mean, granted, he’s kind of a dick. But there’s something charming about him, I think.

I like Frankenstein’s monster, too. I even have a collection of Frankensteins in my office. But more and more, I’m taking a shine to the invisible man.

What's the best movie, new or old, that you've seen for the first time in the past 3 months?

NC: Okay, so this takes a little explaining. Several years ago, some former members of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 cast formed a new movie riffing venture called Cinematic Titanic. Unfortunately, it never quite took off in the same way RiffTrax did, but it left behind at least one real gem: a riffed version of an early ‘70s horror film called Legacy of Blood. It features John Carradine and an ensemble of little-known (and overacting) co-stars as a dysfunctional family murdered by a mysterious assailant, one at a time. It’s part-sleaze, part-whodunit, and one of the funniest movie riffs I’ve seen in a long time. Seriously, it’s up there with MST3K classics such as Manos: Hands of Fate and Cave Dwellers.

Are you most afraid of ghosts, aliens, or clowns, and why?

NC: I don’t believe in ghosts (so, obviously, they don’t scare me). And I’ve never really understood the fear of clowns. I mean, they’re strange—I get that. But I’m not necessarily frightened by people who are strange.

So I suppose, by default, I’ll have to say that I’d be most afraid of aliens. Unlike ghosts, there’s a scientific basis for thinking they may exist. Unlike clowns, there’s a possibility that they could be inherently menacing.

We’re accustomed to an ecosystem where we’re a dominant predator. The introduction of another highly intelligent species into our ecosystem would, at the very least, destabilize the current arrangement. At worst, we’d find ourselves reduced to ingredients in E.T.’s stew.

What happens when you die?

NC: It’s not exactly a mystery: you start to smell, you draw flies, you start to shrivel at the ends, and then you rot. For a clear illustration of this, leave a slice of baloney out on your front porch for a few weeks. See what happens to it? That’s what happens to you, too, after you die. And it will happen to me as well (unless I choose cremation).

You live on in the memory of those whose lives were closely linked to yours. That goes on for five or ten or twenty or fifty years. But eventually, we’re all forgotten. That’s inevitable. No one is immune to the permanent erasure brought on by the passage of time. Given enough years, even Shakespeare will be forgotten. (It may take several millennia but it will happen, eventually.)

I know that sounds bleak, but—at least for today—I’m not too upset by these ideas. I’m at peace about the whole thing.

If you could share a beverage with any fictional character, who would it be, and what would you drink?

NC: I’d invite Eleanor from The Haunting of Hill House over to my place. I’d have a glass of water, but I’d let her drink a few glasses of wine. At the end of the evening, I’d sneer and say to her: “Hey, Eleanor, are you sure you’re okay to drive.” Then I’d cackle madly.

What's the most disgusting thing about the human body?

Vomiting. I think it’s even more disgusting than defecation (maybe because it’s happening right in front of your eyes, whereas shit has the good manners to literally exit out the back door).


Shirley Jackson Award finalist Nicole Cushing is the author of the novel Mr. Suicide, the forthcoming short story collection The Mirrors, and multiple stand-alone novellas. 

She has garnered praise from various sources, including Thomas Ligotti, John Skipp, S.T. Joshi, Jack Ketchum, Poppy Z. Brite, and Ray Garton.

Mr. Suicide can be purchased directly from Word Horde here...
...or from Amazon here.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

20Q7A: An interview with David Bernstein

20 Questions, 7 Answers is an interview series for writers of bizarro and horror fiction. Each writer receives the same batch of 20 questions...but they may only answer 7.

This week's guest is David Bernstein


What's your latest book, and how does it differ from your previous work?

DB: Actually, I have two books releasing within a couple weeks of each other. Weird, but they are with different publishers and it just worked out that way. Skinner was released July 21st, and is an '80s throwback style survival horror novel, part supernatural slasher and part psychological horror. It's quite different from my last novel, The Unhinged, which was extreme horror, took place in the real world and was more character driven. Skinner is all about the story and the villain. It's along the lines of my novel, Witch Island, for anyone that's read it.

Goblins, released August 4th, is an action-horror, gore-filled, supernatural tale. It's much more straight-in-your-face horror. Lots of death and carnage, but there's a character-driven story too. Goblins involves a real-life legend/occurrence—Roanoke and the lost colony—something I haven't done in any of my other books. It was interesting researching and bringing a fantastic spin to the Roanoke legend.

Do you have any creative endeavors other than writing fiction (art, music, knitting)?

DB: Writing pretty much takes up all of my spare time. I used to practice martial arts. I started with Karate when I was young, then Aikido, and then moved on to Kung Fu (White Crane, Wing Fu, Hung Gar, Choy Li Fut) and Tai Chi—the combat Tai Chi—which uses inner strength and energy, making it a far deadlier art than many others, in my opinion. But it's also very good for the body. Great exercise for anyone at any age.

I also spend a lot of time (too much probably) watching television and movies.

Do you listen to music when you write, and if so, what? Is it different than what you listen to when you're not writing?

DB: I do not listen to music when I type. I like quiet. When I was in high school, I was a metal head. I listened to Anthrax, Slayer, Exodus, D.R.I. Testament, Megadeth… You get the picture. But I also liked my 80s and classical. Today, I still listen to a lot of 80s and metal. Metal helps get ideas flowing. I don't know how, but it works. 

What was your greatest Halloween costume?

DB: When I was younger, I always wore store-bought scary masks, really expensive, intricate ones. Then one year, I decided to buy makeup and made up my face with cuts and blood and a third eye coming out of my forehead. I won first prize in the local Halloween contest and got my pic in the paper.

What is your writing environment like? (Are you out in public or in seclusion? Is there noise? Is there coffee? Do you type on a laptop or write longhand on lined notebook paper?)

DB: I like to write at home, but I've learned to write almost anywhere. I write longhand at home for hours at a time, but also in 5 or 10 minute increments at work. I can write with nothing by my side, or I can have a soda or cup of tea. I used to drink coffee, but for some reason it doesn't agree with me anymore so I stopped drinking it.

What's the most disgusting thing about the human body?

DB: Nothing really, it's all natural. But if I had to say, it'd be balls. They're just so ugly.

What's your secret?

DB: Keep writing and make sure to finish the book before I start the next project. Keep reading because it will make me a better writer. Take criticism and learn from it. Take rejection and move on without making a fuss. Keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing. Keep, you get the point.


David Bernstein is originally from a small town in Upstate New York called Salisbury Mills. He now resides in NYC and misses being surrounded by chainsaw-wielding maniacs and wild backwoods people that like to eat raw human flesh. He’s grown used to the city, though hiding bodies is much harder there. He is the author of Amongst the Dead, Damaged Souls, The Tree Man, Witch Island, Relic of Death and the forthcoming Apartment 7C. David writes all kinds of horror, from hair-raising ghost stories to gore-filled slashers and apocalyptic tales of terror. He loves hearing from his readers.

You can reach him on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/david.bernstein.3
Visit him at his website: davidbernsteinauthor.blogspot.com
or email him at dbern77@hotmail.com
and follow him on Twitter at @Bernsteinauthor

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

20Q7A: An interview with Jeremy C. Shipp

20 Questions, 7 Answers is an interview series for writers of bizarro and horror fiction. Each writer receives the same batch of 20 questions...but they may only answer 7.

This week's guest is Jeremy C. Shipp...

Do you have any creative endeavors other than writing fiction (art, music, knitting)?

JCS: Once in a blue Smurf moon, I enjoy designing and hand-sewing little monster plushies. They rarely come to life and attempt to devour my spleen, so that’s a plus. Most of the time, they simply sit on the shelf, blinking chthonic messages in morse code.

If it was socially acceptable to wear anything as clothing, how would you dress?

JCS: I would most likely dress as Pizza Bear every day of the week. Pizza Bears are beautiful, graceful creatures, strong enough to crush an aluminum can, and fast enough to outrun a diseased tortoise. To dress as Pizza Bear is to embrace the beauty of life and to display to the world your love of pepperoni.

If you could invent a new sport, what would it be like?

JCS: My favorite sport would be where two people get possessed by as many ghosts and demons as possible, and then they battle it out in the ring. The world might not survive such a sport, but at least it would be a fun way to go.

What are your 3 favorite comic books (standalone novels or ongoing series) of all time?

JCS: Can I list 10 of my favorites instead?

*takes out Scott puppet constructed out of dust bunnies and twigs* “Yes, that sounds good to me.”

Oh, thanks, Scott. Anyway, 10 of my favorites are: Saga of the Swamp Thing, Fables, Persepolis, Watchmen, American Born Chinese, The Sandman, Saga, Hyperbole and a Half, and The Encyclopedia of Earth Earth.

*the puppet stares* “Jeremy, that’s only nine.”

Quiet, you.

If you could be reincarnated as a sentient but inanimate object, what would you like to be?

JCS: My choice would have to be an anthropomorphic spork. I’d travel from town to town, performing a vaudeville act in an inflatable theater. My partners would be a tap-dancing hedgehog in a top hat and a troupe of sentient shadow puppets.

What's the most disgusting thing about the human body?

JCS: I think the most disgusting thing is when the holes in your back open up and withering fingers start to push out. Tiny lipless mouths open where the fingernails should be. The mouths scream and the fingers snap and your mind swirls with thoughts of ripped cuticles. This happens to everyone, right?

What's your secret?

JCS: The secret is to bounce ideas off your cats, stick your hand in a barrel of beans, pop bubble wrap, paint cute demons on the ceiling, trip on nothing, drop your phone in the toilet, tickle your inner demons, dress your inner child in Jedi robes, dip your ego in chocolate, and convince your id it’s a chicken.


Jeremy C. Shipp is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Cursed, Vacation, and Sheep and Wolves. His shorter tales have appeared in over 70 publications, the likes of Cemetery Dance, ChiZine, Apex Magazine, Withersin, and Shroud Magazine. His twitter handle is @JeremyCShipp.

Website / Amazon

Monday, July 27, 2015

Double-Scoop of Giveaways!

Here in Philadelphia, we’ve got a pair of the coolest ice cream shops around. Little Baby’s takes crazy ideas and turns them into frozen magic, with flavors like Peanut Butter Maple Tarragon and Earl Grey Sriracha and Everything Bagel. They sell ice cream in their stores (with a different assortment of flavors pretty much every day, in both dairy and non-dairy varieties), but also from big tricycles. And they have a series of delightfully bizarre commercials, like this one:

Well, for those of you who’ve read SuperGhost, now you know where the inspiration for the Happee Freeze Ice Cream Company came from.

Anyway, the point of all this is... I’m extremely excited to announce that Little Baby’s and I are teaming up for a couple of cool giveaways. You'll have to act fast, though. Here’s the deal:

Want to win a Gift Card for Little Baby’s Ice Cream? Of course you do! Well, just email XXXXXXXXXXXXXX@XXXXX.XXX by Noon EST Monday, August 3, and one very lucky person will win $10 worth of free frozen goodness. I’m guessing you’ll probably want to be relatively close to Philly for this one, or at least be planning a visit, but the giveaway is open to everyone.

Want to win a signed copy of SuperGhost? The answer to that is also a resounding YES! Well, the fine folks at Little Baby’s are giving one away. To win that, head on over to their blog, and check out the SuperGhost post for details.

So that's the scoop. Good luck everyone!

***UPDATE: The deadline has been reached! The winners have been chosen, and will be contacted shortly. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

20Q7A: An interview with Jamie Grefe

This week's edition of 20 Questions, 7 Answers features the extremely talented and extremely vengeful Jamie Grefe. Enjoy...if you dare...

What's your latest book, and how does it differ from your previous work?

JG: My latest published book is Domo ArigaDIE!!!. It was published in March of this year by Rooster Republic Press, edited masterfully by Arthur Graham, though it took shape two years prior or thereabout, I can't be sure, though I am sure that its genesis lies within a literary obsession that possessed me quite vehemently, an obsession of names, those being the various pseudonyms a certain author (an author now deceased) used to publish a series of novels on desire under, that writer, the one which I am discussing, being Michael Hemmingson, though that doesn't account for the novella's Japanicity, for Hemmingson rarely touches upon all things Japan, while I did and still do in some veiled way, yet had never tried consciously before the writing of this book, and that makes this book different, for beyond my obsession with Hemmingson's work, it was a longing for Japan that crept itself into the work. That said, when those two strands intertwined (Hemmingson and Japan), I had a narrative, a reason to continue writing, a reason to rewrite vengeance, the strand of which I had already expanded in The Mondo Vixen Massacre, but a strand that I will probably continue to keep wiggling and retelling in further works to come like the short novel I recently completed and am editing, in which a post-apocalyptic performance artist struggles to comprehend the death of his wife, but I hope to speak more on that book if it ever becomes publishable, which I am currently willing it to be.

Who or what is your favorite movie monster, and why?

JG: The creature of Anna's desire in Zulawski's Possession, because it perfectly embodies the incomprehensibility of a fragmented relationship, of her husband, Mark's, feverish jealousy and struggle to understand the kind of lover she seeks. This physical manifestation of her desire—the monster—exists as the ultimate unknowable Other, presented to us without explanation, yet firmly rooted as a consequence and cause of their failed marriage. It is horrendous. It is terrifying.    

Do you listen to music when you write, and if so, what? Is it different than what you listen to when you're not writing?

JG: If I listen to music when I write, I do so intentionally, knowing that the music will infiltrate the fiction in some way. For the piece I am currently editing I listened to a heady mixture of Rudolf Eb.er, Tibetan chants, Sunn O))), and Nurse With Wound. The result is a highly condensed meditation that results in characters battling each other in a psychically-oriented liminal space between reality and illusion while their physical bodies mutate into monsters and Wilhelm Reich's mouth becomes a portal of orgone energy. For an earlier work—Mutagon II—I listened only to Sun Araw through the entire process, which resulted in the idea of the mirroring that occurs halfway through the book, a kind of melting dread that pops and snaps, smears and sludges much like the music itself. When I work on screenplays, though, I tend to prefer silence, at least until I get stuck. At that point, I'll listen to John Carpenter. He always saves me from the murkiness of my own thoughts.

What is your writing environment like? (Are you out in public or in seclusion? Is there noise? Is there coffee? Do you type on a laptop or write longhand on lined notebook paper?)

JG: I write on a blue velvet sofa that I bought from someone on Craigslist. The sofa has spanned three states and many posteriors (or so I am told), for it possesses just the right amount of firm springy softness that allows me to sink into it, and be able to rise immediately if need be. If the sofa is being used, I write in a tiny bedroom filled with my daughter's toys—stuffed animals, a plastic kitchenette, a trampoline, little cups, children's books—and the presence of my daughter using her own tiny computer, repeating over and over to herself that she, "has to do some writing." Usually, though, she's just banging on the keys to no real end other than the act itself. I write on an Acer computer, because, when I chose to buy a new computer, I didn't have enough money for a Macbook, but the Acer has grown on me, has allowed me to write and for that, I'm grateful. I also have a damaged black notebook that I received from one of my students. I use it to plan out ideas. I write with a Uni-ball Vision Needle pen. Its precision compensates for all my inadequacies.

If you could share a beverage with any fictional character, who would it be, and what would you drink?

JG: I would gladly share a cup or two of black coffee at the Double R Diner with Special Agent Dale Cooper.

Have you traveled outside your home country, and if so, where? Where would you like to go that you haven't been yet?

JG; I lived outside of the USA for ten years—one year in South Korea, six years in Japan, and three years in China. I would like to visit Connecticut, Maine, Virginia, Guam, and certain parts of Los Angeles, namely Los Feliz, Silverlake, and Burbank, but really, I'll go anywhere for the right kind of work.

What's the best movie, new or old, that you've seen for the first time in the past 3 months?

JG: Eyes of a Stranger (1981) exceeded my expectations in every way. I was genuinely frightened and intellectually satisfied. It's a cat-and-mouse thriller for horror lovers, especially those among us who appreciate a good slasher. Herbert's a real human monster. Also, that ending—man, it uses silence and vision (or lack thereof) in such an effective way. I've been wanting to re-watch it ever since, but won't watch it at night. I don't trust the locks on my house.


Jamie Grefe is the author of the DECKER: CLASSIFIED novelization (with Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington), Domo ArigaDIE!!! (Rooster Republic Press), The Mondo Vixen Massacre (Eraserhead Press) and more. He is currently earning his MFA in Creative Writing degree through New England College. He's on the web at: http://jamiegrefe.com

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Scares That Care Weekend

This weekend is Scares That Care! And I’ll be there!

(That rhymed. I didn’t intend for this to be a rhyming post. Consider that a bonus, I guess.)

Anyway, if you’re plan to be anywhere near Williamsburg, VA this weekend, stop in and say hi. I’ll be the guy in the horror t-shirt.

Eraserhead Press will be there too, with copies of SuperGhost on hand for me to defile sign. If you're so inclined.

(Damn. Did it again.)