Tag Archives: horror

02Jul/21

Michael G. Williams

July 2, 2021

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Michael G. Williams as the guest on Season 6, Episode 26 – Probably Selectively True!

Michael G. Williams joins us to discuss relating the queer experience through horror, science fiction, and urban fantasy. We dive into empowering queer voices rather than exploiting queer identities, and laugh about some of the joys of writing queer stories.

Follow Michael and support his work:

Mentioned in this episode:

Bio:

Michael G. Williams writes queer-themed science fiction, urban fantasy, and horror celebrating monsters, macabre humor, and subverted expectations.

Michael is an avid podcaster, activist, and gaymer, and is a brother in St. Anthony Hall and Mu Beta Psi. He cohosts Arcane Carolinas, a podcast about the strange and unexplained found on the backroads of North & South Carolina, and Data at Rest, an information security podcast. He also hosts Social Distancing Radio, a podcast intended to recreate the experience of author readings at science fiction and fantasy conventions. Michael lives in Durham, NC, with his husband, a variety of animals, and more and better friends than he will admit he deserves.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or Listen Right Here:

OR Watch on YouTube:


26May/21

Review – The Called by M.D. Neu

M.D. Neu was interviewed on WROTE in February 2021. To find out more about him and his work, check out Episode 308 – Oh God What Was I Thinking?

I read The Calling back in 2018, so I had to play a bit of catch up to grasp The Called, which is the second book in the series. Duncan, as referred to in the blurb for The Calling, is now Chris, as he had to leave his old life behind once becoming one of the Immortals.

This is an enjoyable second instalment, with Chris finding out who his real friends are and his burgeoning relationship with Kirtus happening quietly in the wings. In fact, the whole book is subtly done, without the brash colour of the first novel. The plot could also have been tightened up a little. It could be confusing at times and when that happened, I struggled to remain engaged with the story.

The story is much more character- than action-driven, and the characters are very likeable, with chemistry between the leads and a strong sense of the practicalities of being a vampire, without a sparkle in sight.

Although the tension could have been ramped up more, and it all felt somewhat low-key and a bit dour in parts, there’s a wry sense of humour running through the book, again so subtle some might miss it. I can’t help help thinking the author needs to shake loose a little and allow themselves to go all out, as the overall tone felt restrained. However, I’ll be very interested to see what happens next.

BLURB

The world is changing quickly for Chris now that he’s part of the Immortal Community. With the events of his past finally behind him, he’s still having visions and true magic is gradually taking hold in the world. Chris is still new and has no real standing in the Immortal Community, but he is learning that nothing is what he thought.

Old enemies must work together and longtime friends may not be trustworthy. With Juliet, Amanda, and Kirtus by his side, they have to prevent the immortal and witch community from being exposed.

New friendships are made, and longtime alliances are called into question. How will The Called defeat these latest threats, and what does it mean for the world?

30Apr/21

Damian Serbu

April 30, 2021

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Damian Serbu as the guest on Season 6, Episode 17 – Loyal, Humorous, and Passionate!

Damian Serbu joins Vance and Baz for a great discussion of his latest release, The Vampire’s Witch. This leads to discussing queer representation in the horror genre and how a queer perspective can provide some unique perspectives.

Follow Damian and support his work:

Mentioned in this episode:

Bio:

Damian Serbu lives in the Chicago area with his husband and two dogs, Akasha and Chewbacca. The dogs control his life, tell him what to write, and threaten to eat him in the middle of the night if he disobeys. His love for gay vampires led to his series, The Realm of the Vampire Council.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or Listen Right Here:

OR Watch on YouTube:


16Apr/21

J.P. Jackson

April 16, 2021

It gives us great pleasure to welcome J.P. Jackson back as the guest on Episode 316 – We Have To Do This As A Threesome!

J.P. Jackson returns with his latest release, Summoned, and then we discuss his involvement in the FREE writers convention from NineStar Authors – IQARUS Book Con (online May 8th, 2021).

Follow Jeff and support his work:

Mentioned in this episode:

Bio:

J.P. Jackson is an award-winning author of dark urban fantasy, paranormal, and even paranormal romance stories, but regardless of the genre they always feature LGBTQ main characters. He works as an IT analyst in health care during the day, where if cornered he’d confess to casting spells to ensure clinicians actually use the electronic medical charting system he configures and implements.

At night, the writing happens, where demons, witches and shapeshifters congregate around the kitchen table and general chaos ensues. His husband of 23 years has very firmly put his foot down on any further wraith summonings and regularly lines the doorway with iron shavings and salt crystals. Imps are most definitely not house-trainable. Ghosts appear at the most inopportune times, and the Fae are known for regular visits where a glass of wine is exchanged for a good ole story or two. Although the husband doesn’t know it, Canela and Jalisco, the two Chihuahuas, are in cahoots with the spell casting.

J.P.’s other hobbies include hybridizing African Violets (thanks to his grandma), extensive traveling and believe it or not, knitting.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or Listen Right Here:

OR Watch on YouTube:


June 22, 2018


It gives us great pleasure to welcome J.P. Jackson as the guest on Episode 169 – Put Strange Things in Your Mouth!!

This week JP Jackson returns to the show to give us a behind-the-scenes on his new novel Magic or Die, explains the continued percolation of the apocalypse, and encourages you to try new things!

Follow JP Jackson and support his work:

Bio:

J.P. Jackson works as an IT analyst in health care during the day, where if cornered he’d confess to casting spells to ensure clinicians actually use the electronic medical charting system he configures and implements.

At night however, the writing happens, where demons, witches and shape shifters congregate around the kitchen table and general chaos ensues. The insurance company refuses to accept any more claims of ‘acts of the un-god’, and his husband of almost 20 years has very firmly put his foot down on any further wraith summoning’s in the basement. And apparently imps aren’t house-trainable. Occasionally the odd ghost or member of the Fae community stops in for a glass of wine and stories are exchanged. Although the husband doesn’t know it, the two Chihuahuas are in cahoots with the spell casting.

J.P.’s other hobbies include hybridizing African Violets (thanks to grandma), extensive travelling and believe it or not, knitting.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or right here:


July 7, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to announce J.P. Jackson as the guest on Episode 119: I Like Flirting with the Darkness!

This week JP Jackson joins us to discuss his first novel, what happens when you flirt with darkness, finding your genre, and the year of too many projects.

Follow J.P. and support his work:

Bio:

J.P. Jackson works as an IT analyst in health care during the day, where if cornered he’d confess to casting spells to ensure clinicians actually use the electronic medical charting system he configures and implements.

At night however, the writing happens, where demons, witches and shape shifters congregate around the kitchen table and general chaos ensues. The insurance company refuses to accept any more claims of ‘acts of the un-god’, and his husband of almost 20 years has very firmly put his foot down on any further wraith summoning’s in the basement. And apparently imps aren’t house-trainable. Occasionally the odd ghost or member of the Fae community stops in for a glass of wine and stories are exchanged. Although the husband doesn’t know it, the two Chihuahuas are in cahoots with the spell casting.

J.P.’s other hobbies include hybridizing African Violets (thanks to grandma), extensive travelling and believe it or not, knitting.

 

This Podcast Episode is
AVAILABLE NOW!
itunes-logo-300x112GooglePlay-logo-300x112stitcher-logo-300x112

Or on Soundcloud:

12Apr/21

Review – Summoned by J. P. Jackson

J. P. Jackson will be interviewed by WROTE in the very near future. In the meantime, I received an ARC of his new novel, Summoned, in return for an honest and fair review.

Is it wrong to say my favourite character was a twig? Bear with me…

This was a fun story which grips from the first page. Full of sexy times, gory bits and terrific world building, I’d go so far to say this is his best book yet. Daimonion and Magic or Die were fun, deliciously dark reads, but this is on another level.

The main character, Dev, has had a lifelong wish to join the Shadow Realm and become a witch, but he gets more than he bargains for when he buys a summoning board and persuades his best friend, Cam, to have a go with him. The moral to take from this story is a) be careful what you wish for and b) never meet your heroes. I could also add c) don’t fall head over heels in love with a friendly, sexy redhead who seems perfect. He won’t be. And d) don’t rely on your best friend not to say something stupid. They will.

I made the mistake of picking this up ahead of every other book I’m supposed to review, just to have a peek and see what I was letting myself in for. Of course, I ended up reading the whole damned thing.

There are some great spell-casting scenes, a lovely burgeoning relationship between Cam and a grumpy werewolf after they find themselves trapped in the same dungeon, and some sexy, hairy scenes between husky Dev and the ginger bear-ish man of his dreams. Or is he? On a side note – these aren’t ripped, model-gorgeous, no-hair, twinky guys but normal men with hair and bellies and morning breath. They felt real.

I also loved Byron and Addas, his partner, who he is trying to save from being infected with werewolf venom. The methods an increasingly desperate Byron resorts to in order to save him are disturbing to say the least, made more so by their early domestic scenes, which are lovely.

Top marks for world-building and great side characters, including Cam’s mum, who is hilarious even though she only has a small part to play. And the twig. If you don’t have a lump in your throat after discovering the fate of the Spriggan, you’re a psychopath. End of.

All the dialogue runs smoothly and feels natural, and the characters are convincing to the max, with all their human frailties and foibles, as well as their strengths. The story didn’t end on too much of a cliffhanger, although there is another book to come. It could be read as a standalone, I guess, but my bet is no one will be happy with just one helping of these great characters.

It was a great read and I can’t wait for the next one!

BLURB

Devid Khandelwal desperately wants to experience the supernatural. After years of studying everything from crystals to tarot to spellcasting, nothing has happened that would tell him the Shadow Realm is real. And that kills Dev. As a last-ditch resort, he purchases a summoning board, an occult tool that will grant him his ultimate desires.

Cameron Habersham is Dev’s best friend. Cam loves Dev like a brother and will do anything for him, as long as he looks good doing it. So when Dev asks him to perform the summoning board’s ritual, he reluctantly agrees, but he knows nothing will come of it. Nothing ever does.

However, within a day, Dev and Cam’s lives are turned upside down as wishes begin to come true. They discover the existence of a supernatural world beyond their imagination, but peace between the species is tenuous at best.

Dev finally gets to see the Shadow Realm, meets the man of his dreams, and is inducted into the local male coven. But for all the desires that were summoned into existence, Dev soon realizes the magical community dances the line between good and evil, and Cam ends up on the wrong side of everything.

The old adage is true: Be careful what you wish for.

05Mar/21

Kim Fielding

March 5, 2021

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Kim Fielding back as the guest on Episode 310 – Pew Pew!

Kim Fielding unveils her latest release, The Muffin Man. As part of the Magic Emporium series, it’s a comedic fantasy with sentient sourdough! Yikes! We also have fun discussing writing grand space operas and more!

Follow Kim and support her work:

Books Mentioned in this Episode:

Bio:

Kim Fielding is the bestselling, award-winning author of over 60 novels and novellas. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, horror, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

Having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls California home. She lives there with her family, her cat, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or Listen Right Here:

OR Watch on YouTube:


May 1, 2020

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Kim Fielding as the guest on Episode 266 – Marry In A Cemetery!

Kim Fielding shares her current releases, The Bureau 2 and Hallelujah, and the necessity of quality research when writing about anything to do with the Criminal Justice System.

Follow Kim and support her work:

Books mentioned in this episode:

Kim’s Criminal Justice for Authors:

Bio:

Kim Fielding has migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States and currently lives in California. She’s a university professor who dreams of being able to travel and write full-time. She also dreams of having two perfectly-behaved children, a husband who isn’t obsessed with football, and a house that cleans itself. Some dreams are more easily obtained than others.
Kim donates 100% of the royalties from her self-published stories and audiobooks to Doctors Without Borders.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or right here:


December 27, 2019

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Kim Fielding, LA (Lori) Gallagher Witt & FE Feeley Jr as the guests on Episode 248 – 2019 Authors Roundtable!

LA (Lori) Witt, Kim Fielding, Frederick Feeley, Jr, and SA “Baz” Collins are herded by Vance Bastian as they reflect on their careers, struggles writers face, and what we look forward to in the future. A great discussion for rounding out the year!

Follow the authors on Twitter:

Follow the authors on Facebook:

Bio:

Kim Fielding has migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States and currently lives in California. She’s a university professor who dreams of being able to travel and write full-time. She also dreams of having two perfectly-behaved children, a husband who isn’t obsessed with football, and a house that cleans itself. Some dreams are more easily obtained than others.
Kim donates 100% of the royalties from her self-published stories and audiobooks to Doctors Without Borders.

L.A. Witt and her husband have been exiled from Spain and sent to live in Maine because rhymes are fun. She now divides her time between writing, assuring people she is aware that Maine is cold, wondering where to put her next tattoo, and trying to reason with a surly Maine coon. Rumor has it her arch nemesis, Lauren Gallagher, is also somewhere in the wilds of New England, which is why L.A. is also spending a portion of her time training a team of special ops lobsters. Authors Ann Gallagher and Lori A. Witt have been asked to assist in lobster training, but they “have books to write” and “need to focus on our careers” and “don’t you think this rivalry has gotten a little out of hand?” They’re probably just helping Lauren raise her army of squirrels trained to ride moose into battle.

F.E.Feeley Jr is married to his wonderful husband, John. Freddie is an avid reader of Mysteries, Horror, and Suspense, and biographies. He’s also a gamer. His favorites include Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Star Trek Online, Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed, Fallout, and Civilization Five. He LOVES to cook and dives into trying new recipes. He’s an avid music junkie from POPular music to Opera, to Showtunes, Gospel, Rock, Rap, and Hip Hop.

SA “Baz” Collins hails from the San Francisco Bay Area where he lives with his husband, and a kitten named Taki. A classically trained singer/actor (under a different name), Baz knows a good yarn when he sees it.
Based on years of his work as an actor, Baz specializes in character study pieces. It is more important for him that the reader comes away with a greater understanding of the characters and the reasons they make the decisions they do, rather than the situations they are in. It is this deep dive into their manners, their experiences and how they process the world around them that make up the body of Mr. Collins’ work.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or right here:

14Aug/20

J Warren

August 14, 2020

It gives us great pleasure to welcome J. Warren back as the guest on Episode 281 – A Minor Character Named Sharkey!

J. Warren is a scholar, an author, a comic book reader, a lover of all things science fiction, a drinker of Belgian beers, and transgressive fiction fanatic.

Follow J. Warren and support his work:

Books Mentioned in this Episode:

Bio:

J. Warren is a scholar, an author, a comic book reader, a lover of all things science fiction, a drinker of Belgian beers, and transgressive fiction fanatic.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or right here:


July 21, 2017


It gives us great pleasure to announce J. Warren as the guest on Episode 121: So That’s a Thing!

This week J. Warren joins us to discuss his latest novel, Remains, the allure of transgressive fiction, and the echoes of Greek myth in his horror.

Follow Joe and support his work:

*** At one point in the interview, Joe said “The Lost Boys by Burroughs.” It should have been: “The Wild Boys by Burroughs.”
*** At another point, Baz said “Brian Fischer” while referencing Star Trek Discovery on CBS. It should have been: “Bryan Fuller.”
All three of us apologize for missing it before the audio went live! ***

Bio:

J. Warren is a scholar, an author, a comic book reader, a lover of all things science fiction, a drinker of Belgian beers, and transgressive fiction fanatic.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or right here:

22Jun/20

Borderland by F E Feeley Jr and Jamie Fessenden

F. E. Feeley Jr will be on WROTE to talk about Borderland later in the summer, so don’t miss it!

Okay, so on first reading the blurb, this book doesn’t sound like a whole barrel of laughs. Borderland is the story of a young married couple, but of the MC’s has a one-way ticket to the next realm, via a terminal cancer diagnosis. Their final journey to George’s home town is hindered by their car breaking down in a ferocious storm, just outside the gates of an old hotel, the Borderland. This hotel has all the elements of “don’t go there or you won’t come out,” but George and Jason have no choice. George is sick and needs looking after.

In less accomplished hands, this premise could turn into a horrible, excruciating mess, but the authors are none other than F E Feeley Jr (author of the majestic When Heaven Strikes and Hallelujah) and Jamie Fessenden, whose genres include the searing (Violated) and the cheeky (Bigfoot Hunters In Love.) That mix of spirituality, horror, gut-wrenching emotion and dark humour is just what a story like this needs. Cancer is a serious subject, and it is treated with respect., but it is married with a good dose of black comedy and genuine creeps.

After a slightly muddled start of their stay, George and Jason begin to twig that All Is Not As It Seems. There are some great visuals, from the pristine hotel turning to a cold dusty wreck and back again, to the guests being alive one moment and very dead the next. There is a hall of mirrors feel about the place, and a garden maze that never seems to end. The genteel owner of the hotel, Rebecca Thibault, is part-Mrs. Danvers/part-Mary Poppins, and Harry, the gardener, is a deceptively simple man who misses nothing. There are tiny dramas occurring amongst the staff, from the young couple who want to be together to the torrid three-way affair of a travelling theatre troupe. The way this story plays out is hideously sinister, with the two MC’s running down endless corridors filled with unearthly screams, being pursued by a demon whose goal is endless misery for guests past and present.

And yet… just read this.

It had been months, and now he needed this man—his lover, his husband—more than ever. He needed him to suspend time. Here in this moment, he wasn’t dying. Here in this moment, as they made love touched by the silver moonlight from the window, he was immortal.

It’s a tiny taste of which tells you all you need to know about the beauty of this book. The prose is beautiful, elegant, poignant and heartbreaking at times.

There are nods to the Eagles’ classic, Hotel California, and the plot also weaves in the Spanish Flu epidemic from 1920, together with colourful characters from the Jazz Age. It’s a glorious technicolour chase for the truth through a haunted house where the walls come alive and yawning pits will swallow the unwary. George and Jason are the unwitting witnesses to a drama which has been going on behind the fetid walls for decades, but their presence, their love and their sexuality is unnerving the inhabitants of the hotel and encouraging them to let go of the narratives they have held onto for a century.

I’ve never read a ghost story quite like this one before, but I’m so glad I took a chance on it. Despite the unlikely premise, the ending is curiously uplifting. Fessenden and Feeley make a formidable writing team and I hope they collaborate on another novel soon.

BLURB

They were young.
In the prime of life and recently married.
And then the diagnosis came.
Cancer.

George and Jason make arrangements to travel back to George’s home state of Vermont so he may pass away in the town where he grew up, but a terrible storm diverts the couple into the gates of an out-of-the-way hotel called Borderland.

Sure, the employees are well dressed and polite. Sure, the food and entertainment are old-time fare. But it’s all a schtick, right?

Or is there something far more sinister at work here?

Welcome to the Borderland Hotel, where you may check in, but you’ll never, ever leave.

12Jun/20

Jo Quenell

June 12, 2020

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Jo Quenell as the guest on Episode 272 – Transgressive Trashy Stuff!

Jo Quenell joins us for a fun look at their current release, The Mud Ballad, their current anthology, Bleak Friday, and a talk about various subgenres of horror.

Follow Jo and support their work:

Books Mentioned in this Episode:

Bio:

Jo Quenell uses They/them and She/her pronouns. Their short fiction has been featured in Zombie Punks Fuck Off, Dark Moon Digest, Bleak Friday, When the Sirens Have Faded, and LAZERMALL. They are the author of THE MUD BALLAD.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayiHeartRadioSpotifyStitcherTuneIn

Or right here:

17Jul/18

Magic or Die (Inner Demons 1) by J P Jackson

J. P. Jackson has recently been on our show to tell us about Magic or Die. To find links and support his work, check out Episode 169: Put Strange Things In Your Mouth

Nice bit of world building from J.P. Jackson, author of Daimonion, and a great addition to the horror/fantasy genres. This is his second novel and it shows, with a surer hand and confidence in the writing. It’s unfair to compare the two books because they are so different. Daimonion was a good, gory read, but with Magic Or Die, the self-assured plotting, scene-building and dialogue make for a book that is more accessible to people unused to the demon genre.

In a nutshell, we have James who has his own demons, namely guilt, grief and alcohol. The blurb describes him as an alcoholic, but I wouldn’t have gone that far. Yes, he uses drink to numb his pain, but he seems to function perfectly well once he has his five students on-side and they are fighting for survival. He only has a few months to get them under control and able to use their powers in a way convenient to a sinister organisation (CMRD – read blurb). If he fails, it’s curtains for all of them. I won’t say more because this is a review, not a synopsis, but you get the idea.

I love the way the author has made everything very clear. From the start, I knew what the modus was, and the problems James has to overcome in order to achieve it. I understood the difference between Arcanes and Elementals because all that information is right there, and so often in these genres it just isn’t. He manages this without patronising the newbie or alienating readers experienced in the genre. In short, it’s a bloody good, enjoyable read.

The students all had their own demons (surely an allegory for real life.) I was waiting for the poison pill, the one to screw things up for everyone else. There is a candidate, but I won’t spoil it. The real boo-hiss villain is Miriam, a cross between Cruella de Ville and that evil witch from The Emperor’s New Groove. Maybe she is a little too much of a caricature, but it’s a small point in a book of interesting characters and curious dilemmas, all set within the confines of a strange, maze-like building without any obvious means of escape. The students are a lively bunch, honey-toned Isaiah and his lascivious, blue-eyed demon, enraged Chris, unable to fully control his inner fire wolf, the anime-like Ning and ethereal Camila and Annabelle. All have spectacular skills which, if not harnessed, are a threat to civilisation. The atmosphere is eery, with beautiful descriptions as each display their power. The sexual tension between James and Isaiah is subtle rather than full-on. It was a fun, spooky, tense mix, with a good building of atmosphere and an exciting finale. A solid start to a promising series.

BLURB

James Martin is a teacher, a powerful Psychic, and an alcoholic. He used to work for the Center for Magical Research and Development, a facility that houses people who can’t control their supernatural abilities, but left after one of his students was killed, turning to vodka to soothe his emotional pain. The problem is he still has one year left on his contract.

When James is forced to return to the CMRD, he finds himself confronting the demons of his past and attempting to protect his new class from a possible death sentence, because if they don’t pass their final exams, they’ll be euthanized.

James also discovers that his class isn’t bringing in enough sponsors, the agencies and world governments who supply grants and ultimately purchase graduates of the CMRD, and that means no profit for the facility. James and his students face impossible odds—measure up to the facility’s unreachable standards or escape.