Blogged by Wicked Run Press!

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Wanna crack open my head and see what’s inside? Click HERE to hop over to the Wicked Run Press blog which is hosting an interview with yours truly — subject matter: Double Barrel Horror Vol. 2! This extraordinary coverage appears courtesy of Mark Matthew, gentleman, scholar, and talented author who will scar you like he did me with his Milk-Blood trilogy of horror novellas.

 

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Romero Left His Mark on Me

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I’ve never met George Romero, but the man’s work left an indelible mark on the 41-year-old man I’ve become. I can say that about very few people, and that sort of influence–that sort of inspiration–is what most artists strive to achieve. So, to George Romero I say, congratulations on a job well done. May you find peace in the Hereafter.

Night of the Living Dead remains possibly my favorite horror film of all time. From the gooseflesh I get every time I hear Johnny tease his sister, “They’re coming to get you, Barbara” to the final montage of violence after the shocking, ironic climax, the movie is a model of quality horror entertainment.

But as a kid of the ’80s, I actually draw my strongest influence from the Romero-Stephen King mashup anthology, Creepshow. If you’ve never seen it, punch yourself in the nose as punishment and then go buy it and watch it hundreds of times. If I’m to be honest, virtually every line of every horror story I’ve ever written is my attempt to recreate in my readers the same giddy excitement this wonderful movie gives me every time I view it. It’s a perfect blend of shocks, suspense, creative gore and devilish humor that I endeavor to produce … and surely fall short of achieving … but dang it, I keeping getting closer.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Romero. You will be missed.

–  Matthew Weber

 

 

It Has Returned…

Sorry about my recent absence from the blogosphere. We’ve been busy having a baby and stuff. Seriously, my wife and I have a new baby daughter named Maribeth, and she is absolutely beautiful.

I’ve also been swamped at my day-job at Extreme How-To, as well as hard at work editing and formatting new Pint Bottle Press releases! (Cue cheers and applause.)

I’m still kind of buried but thought I’d drop in to leave a teaser of things to come. Over the next few weeks, Pint Bottle Press will get very busy, very fast, so keep your eyes and ears open for future exciting developments!

Coming very soon:

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Free Books this Week!

Dig in!

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THORAZINE DREAMS story collection by Vic Kerry

https://www.amazon.com/Thorazine-Dreams-Vic-Kerry-ebook/dp/B01M3UQM8Q/

 

DOUBLE BARREL HORROR story anthology by K. Trap Jones, J.C. Michael, The Sisters of Slaughter, Amanda Hard, Vic Kerry and Matthew Weber

https://www.amazon.com/Double-Barrel-Horror-Amanda-Hard-ebook/dp/B01G493P6G/

 

A DARK & WINDING ROAD story collection by Matthew Weber:

https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Winding-Road-Matthew-Weber-ebook/dp/B00O6B1Q20/

Five Minutes with the Sisters of Slaughter

Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason are the twin writing team known as “The Sisters of Slaughter” who are soaring in popularity after their well-received book Mayan Blue was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award “for Superior Achievement in a First Novel.” That’s the kind of publicity that some writers would kill for (an Kill, and KILL AGAIN!).

I first crossed paths with the sisters a few years ago when our stories ended up in a couple of anthologies together (Rejected for Content 3 & Fresh Meat). They had a ripping writing style that struck me as pulpy and brutal–a nice fit for the Double Barrel Horror project I was dreaming up. I was lucky enough to convince them to contribute a couple of stories to my anthology. And judging from the past year, it seems their star is rising quickly in the horror genre, because I now come across their names all over social media.

I bugged Michelle and Melissa for an interview and, gracious as always, they played ball. Here’s what’s new with the Sisters of Slaughter:

PBP: Please give us a brief author bio.

We are a twin sister writing team from Arizona. We’ve been published by Sinister Grin, Pint Bottle Press and Dark Fuse. Our novel, Mayan Blue, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award.

Who are some of the authors, artists, musicians or filmmakers that had the most influence on your approach to writing fiction?

Brian Keene, Ronald Kelly, Clive Barker, Stephen King, Tobe Hooper, The Misfits, Christopher Lee, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. There’s an endless list. Real life accounts of supernatural occurrences, serial killers and unsolved mysteries, also mythology!

What project(s) are your working on currently?

We just finished a short story for a promo zine but can’t name the publisher yet. We’re also tackling two novels and one novella right now. We like to keep busy haha!

Have you two ever used your appearance as identical twins for diabolical purposes?

We used to switch classes in school all the time.

Any advice for new writers?

Keep writing and reading. Also don’t give up just because you get rejected, that comes with the territory.

Do you have a blog or website where people can keep track of your work?

We’re getting a blog together but for now our Facebook and Twitter pages are where we post updates on upcoming projects.

If you could pick any three currently active bands/musicians, who would you like to play a release party for your next book?

It would be cool to have the Danzig-era misfits play for us, also Blind Guardian or Opeth.

Look for the sisters’ forthcoming novel Those Who Follow, coming this summer from Bloodshot Books.

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Kid, You Got Characters

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Know what bores me? Zombie movies. In my youth I couldn’t get enough of them, and still proudly claim to be a Romero devotee, but back in the early 00s the floodgates opened, and anybody with a camera, a couple friends and some bad makeup started churning the things out. Likely inspired by the box-office success of 28 Days Later or the Dawn of the Dead remake, zombies became the go-to movie subject matter for wannabe filmmakers because with just a few K-mart makeup effects, you could “make a zombie”, thus the films were super-cheap to produce. The downside, of course, is that with the increased quantity, the quality of zombie films plummeted, each new flick seemingly a cookie-cutter ripoff of finer films to have come before. The end result was that many longtime zombie fans like myself grew cold and callused and simply quit watching them.

This largely holds true today, but I will occasionally let down my guard and give one a chance if people who I respect recommend it. That’s what happened due to strong word of mouth with Train to Busan. Available on Netflix at the time I’m writing this, the movie did one thing glaringly RIGHT that most cheapo zombie flicks don’t bother with: STRONG CHARACTERIZATION.

The zombie action in Train is fairly slow to begin, but I was hooked nevertheless. Although the plot is foreshadowed, the opening scenes depict a family relationship centered around a sweetheart of a very young girl who pines for the attention of her father. The dad is a self-absorbed jerk, but the daughter is the center and the soul of the story. The dad’s one redeeming quality is his love for his daughter, so you can’t hate the guy but you sure want him to get his head on straight for the sake of young Soo-an. This family dynamic is established quickly but effectively.

As they board the train, Soo-an soon meets Sang-hwa as well as his pregnant wife Seong-kyeong. Sang-hwa initially comes off as a friendly but braggadocious and overly macho tough-guy, but the script-writers smartly upend the Hollywood cliche and make this strongman one of the most likeable an engaging characters on screen. This means that when Sang-hwa finally gets to flex his muscles to save his wife, his newborn baby–and even Soo-an–the audience is totally along for the ride and wants to stand up and cheer. Combine this band of travelers with a team of teenage baseball players, a schoolgirl with a crush, and two loving elderly sisters, and I found a cast of characters that I wanted to root for, that truly I wanted to survive the ghastly zombie ordeal.

The well-drawn characters and their ensuing interaction is exactly what sets Train to Busan apart from the thousands of similarly themed movies. The scriptwriters got it right, and other writers should follow their lead, because character depth should ultimately be what truly defines a story–and what makes it stand out from the masses.