Thursday 29 March 2018

Interview with G.A. Minton by David Kempf

When did you first become interested in writing?

Truth is stranger than fiction…so I’ve heard. I’m a believer in that adage, because it happened to me and it has changed my life! This is how my recently published novel, Antitheus, and my debut novel, Trisomy XXI, came into being. Antitheus, which was released October 16, 2017, is a dark, supernatural tale of horror that takes Good versus Evil to a whole new level. The way in which Antitheus and Trisomy XXI came into being is even more surreal than their storylines. Let me start from the beginning. A few years ago, I was rear-ended by a speeding, drunk driver, who totaled my car and landed me in the hospital emergency room with a closed-head injury. As a result of this devastating accident, I was left with memory loss and aphasia, resulting in problems with expressing my speech and communicating with others.

After numerous visits to a neurologist and months of taking medication used by patients afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease, my injured brain slowly began to mend itself. But when the damage to my brain finally healed, I noticed something very different in my thought patterns. Now, I had this overwhelming urge, this compulsive desire to put on paper a fascinating story that my mind had mysteriously created. I can’t explain it, but my thoughts were now primarily focused on writing this tale of horror. That’s how Trisomy XXI was born. One could only surmise that the damaged neurons in my frontal cortex had rearranged themselves into a different pattern, thereby enhancing the creative elements in my brain. God only knows…stranger things have happened! I didn’t choose to be an author…it chose me. Weirdly enough, it was a car accident that was responsible for my newfound passion for creative writing (a true story, even though it sounds like something conjured up from the twisted mind of Stephen King).

The definition of a savant is “a person who does not have normal intelligence but who has very unusual mental abilities that other people do not have.” Savant syndrome “is a condition in which a person with a mental disability, such as an autism spectrum disorder, demonstrates profound and prodigious capacities or abilities far in excess of what would be considered normal.” I do know that I don’t have savant syndrome, because I am not autistic, and my IQ has been measured at 161. Another form of savantism, known as acquired savant syndrome, is attributed to “a person who acquires prodigious capabilities or skills following dementia, a head injury or severe blow to the head, or other disturbance.” According to medical studies, acquired savant syndrome is an extremely rare condition, affecting very few people in the world. This is apparently what happened to me. I now regard my bizarre mishap as a gift, even though at the time I certainly didn’t, having concerns that I would be left with a permanent neurological deficit for the rest of my life. As long as I can retain this newfound ability, I will continue to write—especially since I do have a passion for it!

How did you get involved in fantasy/horror?

From my earliest recollections as a young child, I’ve always loved the genres of horror, science fiction, and fantasy, so that’s probably where Antitheus and Trisomy XXI were spawned—from the deepest reaches of my inner mind. As a result of my savant-like experience, I am now able to pen novels in a  freestyle fashion, almost in a stream of consciousness, relying on no outlines, formats, or templates for any assistance. Fortunately, the narrative is able to flow freely from my vivid imagination, ending up with a thrilling storyline that contains an ordered sequence of events for my readers.

Tell us about your publisher.

Both Trisomy XXI and Antitheus were published by World Castle Publishing, a traditional publishing press. I chose to traditionally publish my novels because I believe that a royalty-paying publisher is willing to invest their money in a book that is not only well-written, but also has an interesting storyline that will catch the attention of those readers willing to purchase it. A traditional publisher is in business to make a profit, so I felt that my book had the best chance of attaining success through the help of a publisher via their professional editing, financial backing, and marketing support. I’ve read horror stories (no pun intended) about authors dealing with their publishing companies, so I am very fortunate to have selected World Castle Publishing as my publisher. So far, my journey into the world of book publication is going smoothly and has been very enjoyable. All things considered, I couldn’t have asked for a nicer experience! Karen Fuller, award-winning author, book publisher, and owner of World Castle Publishing used her special artistic skills (along with some magic) to create the amazing covers for both Trisomy XXI and Antitheus.

How would you classify the genre you write?

First and foremost, I would consider myself a horror and science fiction writer, with my tales of terror containing anything of a dark nature. My novels are a combination/blend of genres that also contain elements of mystery, thriller, suspense, and the supernatural. Trisomy XXI is a sci-fi/horror/mystery/thriller story, whereas Antitheus is a supernatural horror/mystery/suspense novel.

Why do you think horror and fantasy books remain so popular?

Horror and fantasy books will always be popular with readers because they elicit emotions and feelings related to fear, horror, shock, surprise, and mystery. They also stir up a sense of wonder, awe, and interest in the reader by stimulating the imagination. Good horror stories tend to have one thing in common—fear—especially fear of the unknown. As H.P. Lovecraft, the master of the horror tale in the twentieth century once said, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” Horror is defined as an intense feeling of fear, great shock, disgust, and/or worry caused by something extremely unpleasant. A unique genre of fiction, horror has the capacity to frighten, scare, disgust, or startle its readers or viewers by inducing feelings of horror and terror.

The components of a good horror/fantasy story usually include fear, surprise, suspense, mystery, foreshadowing, and imagination. Fear is paramount to any horror story. Scaring the reader with fears they may or may not have (fear of the unknown) is key to writing a spooky tale. A strong emotion of fear sets horror apart from the other genres, and expanding on that fear can contribute to surprise. If an author is unable to elicit the feeling of fear in the reader, then the story probably shouldn’t fall into the horror genre.

What inspires your stories?

Prior to my accident, I had neither the desire nor the ability to write anything of a creative nature. It was only after my brain had healed from the closed head injury I sustained that a number of dark tales spontaneously erupted from my newly-acquired neuronal network. It’s hard to put into words, but these story visions came to me from out of the blue, much like an epiphany, or something spawned de novo in my mind. I’ve now amassed a long list of new concepts for tales of the macabre…I only hope that I’ll have the time to write them all! Antitheus, like many of my other ideas for stories, appeared to me while writing Trisomy XXI. As soon as I finished penning Trisomy XXI, I immediately started composing my second novel, Antitheus. Like Trisomy XXI, Antitheus was written in a stream of consciousness-like manner, taking me around three months to finish. I don’t use any outlines or notes, and my writing inexplicably flows in a freestyle fashion, starting with chapter one and ending upon completion of the novel. Coincidentally, when I finished writing Trisomy XXI, it ended up having 21 chapters…while the evil Antitheus has 13!

What do you think the difference between American horror and British horror is?

There are some exceptions (i.e., Clive Barker), but it appears that British horror hasn’t quite yet reached the level of violence, sexual content, gore, and sadism that American horror has attained, all things considered. British horror also seems to be based more on British culture, as compared to American horror, which includes folklore, superstition, and myths from all over the world. Presently, I think that the innate differences between the British and American cultures tend to drive their variances in horror, but in time, this will probably change as the two countries become more connected.

What are your favorite horror books?

They are too numerous to list, but generally any works by Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Shirley Jackson, H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, Michael Crichton, Mary Shelley, Jack Ketchum, Ray Bradbury, Dean Koontz, plus a host of other great authors.

What are some of your favorite horror movies?

From my earliest recollections as a young child, I have always loved the genres of horror and science fiction. I’ve seen so many amazing Sci-fi and Horror movies over the years that it’s hard to remember them all. Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Dracula, War of the Worlds, Psycho, Night of the Living Dead, Mysterious Island, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, A Nightmare on Elm Street, From Dusk Till Dawn, Alien(s) series, The Exorcist, Halloween, The Thing, Hellraiser, Star Wars, Star Trek, The Silence of the Lambs, Jaws, Planet of the Apes, The Shining, RoboCop, The Fifth Element, Blade Runner, The Matrix, Terminator, Predator, IT, along with so many other great tales of horror are only just a few of the great movies that have left a long-lasting impression on me.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

I am humbled that both Trisomy XXI and Antitheus have garnered several prestigious book awards and have been well-received by their readers and reviewers. I would also consider it a great accomplishment if I am fortunate enough to have Trisomy XXI made into a feature film…please keep your fingers crossed for me! If readers derive as much enjoyment out of reading Trisomy XXI and Antitheus as I had in writing them—and I truly believe they will—then I have accomplished my goal as a writer. Just being able to put your thoughts down on paper, creating an entertaining story that can both be shared and enjoyed by others, will give you an adrenaline rush that no amusement park ride can even come close to. For me, it’s all about pleasing the reader!

Do you have any advice for new writers?

In my humble opinion, there are three important things needed in order for a writer to become successful: writing talent, discipline, and creativity (a little luck along the way never hurts, either)! Language is how we communicate. If you don’t pick the right words to use in a sentence, then you risk not being able to connect with the reader. Words to an author are like colors to a painter—you have to choose the most effective ones in order to create a masterpiece that will be enjoyed and appreciated by its observer. Read, read, and then read some more—it’s all about learning and fine-tuning your craft. Select any pertinent information about writing on the web, in book form, or through a workshop that you think will be beneficial for you, and would help make you a better writer. In order to hone your craft, read as many books by different authors as you can.

Novice authors looking to get their work published by a reputable book publisher need to first write a great story, then compose a compelling cover letter and synopsis to catch the eye of the submission editor. If you truly have a love for writing, don’t allow yourself to get discouraged—and most importantly, never give up! Since the publishing industry is very competitive and constantly changing, it is extremely important that authors do their homework. Be sure to research any publishing companies or small presses that you are considering submitting your work to. Check to make sure they are reputable and that they will remain in business. Unfortunately, there are publishers and literary agents out there who are just lying in wait, ready to scam the unsuspecting author at the drop of a hat. Don’t ever forget the old adage, “a fool and his money are soon parted!” Approach all book dealings/contracts carefully, along with a healthy pinch of paranoia.

You’re probably never going to get rich as an author, so write because you love to. Authors, like all artists, should perform their craft because they have a passion for it, and not just for the money or fame. Like some other famous writers, Edgar Allan Poe wasn’t recognized as a great poet and horror author until after his death. Unfortunately, he died homeless and destitute, the exact cause of his death still unknown to this day.

What is your opinion of the new self-publishing trend?

Nowadays, it is very difficult to get your novel accepted for publication by a traditional publisher, especially considering the fierce competition involved. All authors have experienced their fair share of rejections by publishers, a reason why many choose to self-publish their own books. There are definite pros and cons involved with traditional vs. self-publishing, so learn as much as you can about each one before making your decision. One of the problems that I have with self-published works is that the formatting and editing of the text may not have been done properly or professionally.

Anyone can self-publish their work, whereas traditionally published stories are usually held to a higher standard of review. There are always exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking, (unless a reader is familiar with an author’s work), one who buys a self-published book has no idea whether or not it has been professionally edited. I totally understand the reasons why some authors choose to self-publish their work, but if you are a novice author, I would encourage you to initially seek out a reputable, royalty-paying publisher to submit your work to for consideration. If you are unable to traditionally publish or don’t wish to go that route, then by all means self-publish your books—just make sure that you have your work professionally edited. Some writers (both novice and established authors) are now choosing a “hybrid” approach by both traditionally and self-publishing their books.

What are your current projects?

I’m a horror/sci-fi author who has published two novels thus far (World Castle Publishing). My debut novel, Trisomy XXI, was published on June 6, 2016, and my second horror novel, Antitheus, was released on October 16, 2017. I’ve recently completed the screenplay for Trisomy XXI, and am presently working with a movie producer to turn it into a feature film. Currently, I’m busy at work writing my next novel, a story of the macabre with some bizarre plot twists that should both mesmerize and horrify its unsuspecting reader. One of my trademarks is that my novels contain an O. Henry or Rod Serling surprise ending—hopefully intended to baffle even the most astute of mystery readers! I have several other dark stories in mind, so hopefully I will be able to find the time to put them all down on paper…if only I could write faster!

Please in your own words, write a paragraph about yourself & your work. 

I write because it gives me the freedom to openly express my creativity—a way to transcribe my thoughts and allow my imagination to go into overdrive. I love the sense of fulfilment received while penning a story down on paper. Writing has allowed me to connect with others through my novels, hopefully stirring up those emotions that will bring excitement and entertainment to all of my readers. Writing also gives me peace of mind, a sense of accomplishment, and teaches me patience—a necessity for any author who wishes to write well. Just being able to put your thoughts down on paper, creating an entertaining story that can both be shared and enjoyed by others, will give you an adrenaline rush that no amusement park ride can even come close to. To me, that is what’s great about being a writer!

Quotes by G.A. Minton:
“Words give you power, so use them wisely.”
“Fear of the unknown is a horror writer’s best friend.”
“Try to live your life in the present and not in the past.”

G.A. Minton Biography 
From his early childhood, G.A. Minton has always been a diehard fan of science fiction and horror. Whenever a scary movie was playing down at the local theater, he was there in attendance with his friends, loudly screaming in terror alongside them. G.A. enjoys many hobbies, but the game of golf is one of his favorites, having lettered on his high school golf team. Besides writing, he also enjoys reading, traveling, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, working out, listening to hard rock music, and watching great movies—especially those genres that encompass horror, science fiction, mystery, and comedy.

Strangely enough, it was only after G.A. was rear-ended by a drunk driver and suffered a closed-head injury that he developed a newfound passion for writing (even though this story has the makings for a bizarre Stephen King horror novel, it is nonetheless true). After numerous visits to a neurologist and months of taking medication used by patients afflicted with  Alzheimer’s Disease, his injured brain slowly began to mend itself. When the damage to his brain finally healed, G.A. noticed something very different in his thought patterns. Now, there was an overwhelming urge, a compulsive drive to put on paper fascinating stories that had formed de novo in his mind. That’s how Trisomy XXI, his first novel and recipient of multiple awards, was born. One could surmise that the damaged neurons in G.A.’s frontal cortex had rearranged themselves into a different pattern, thereby enhancing the creative elements in his brain (a rare medical condition, known as “acquired savant syndrome”). God only knows… stranger things have happened! G.A. is now referred to as “the savant horror writer” by many of his friends.

G.A. has recently completed his second novel, Antitheus, a dark supernatural tale of horror that takes Good vs. Evil to a whole new level. Currently, his brain is busy at work, meticulously processing the text for another story of the macabre that will both entertain and horrify its unsuspecting reader. One of G.A.’s trademarks is that his stories contain an O. Henry or Rod Serling surprise ending that would baffle even the likes of the great Sherlock Holmes! G.A. lives in Texas with his wife, a son and daughter, and two Bengal cats named Phinneas and Shamus.

You can find out more information about G.A. Minton and his books at:
G.A. Minton Author Website:
G.A. Minton Author Webpage at World Castle Publishing Website:
Goodreads author page for G.A. Minton:
ANTITHEUS by G.A. Minton on Amazon: (Kindle), (Paperback), or (Hardcover).
TRISOMY XXI by G.A. Minton on Amazon: (Paperback), or (Kindle).
G.A. Minton Facebook Pages: and

G.A. Minton Twitter Page:

Barnes & Noble link for ANTITHEUS:

Barnes & Noble link for TRISOMY XXI: 

ANTITHEUS Book Trailer:

TRISOMY XXI Book Trailer:

Friday 23 March 2018

Interview with Richard Hochman Star of Bus Party to Hell

While his big TV break was a sitcom (FOX’s Grounded for Life), and the genre that encouraged him to follow his dream was action, it’s a full-on horror movie that’s putting Richard Hochman on the map. We speak to the scene-stealer who plays Alan in the April release Bus Party to Hell.

How did you get into acting, Richard?

I’m a rare Los Angeles native, and was surrounded by aspiring child actors and all of my friends were in acting classes and performing groups, and I wanted to be included, and became infatuated with portraying other people. I also was obsessed with movie watching, especially action movies, and I always knew I wanted to act.

And you did a lot of TV shows early on – what did you learn on shows like 7th Heaven that you found handy later on?

I did a lot of work as a child/ adolescent actor, and with these jobs, I really learned what is was to be a professional on set, and learned some of the things you can only find out by being on a real set, things like how far good energy goes on set, how important excellent craft services is to the cast and crew, and to always be prepared and present and ready to roll with the changes that are frequent on a TV shoot.

And during those early years did you work another job, too?

I worked a lot of temp jobs to keep my schedule open for auditions. I was one of those annoying kiosk guys selling to you in the mall when I was 18, I always made extra cash going to the pool hall in those days and playing guys for money.

And you’ve done quite a bit of web series and TV work in recent years. What appealed to you about doing the smaller-screen stuff?

I would say every genre has an appeal to me. I’ve always been a horror film lover but had never acted in one! I always imagined they would be a ton of fun to do, and surprisingly, after finishing Bus Party To Hell, not only was it a good time, but it was physically exhausting. Lots of running and yelling in horror films! It can get pretty tiring on long days, but well worth it!

But features are the goal, I imagine?

I started my journey in acting because of movies, and the movie theater viewing experience, and it’s always been the dream for me to act in the movies.

Give the readers an idea of what ‘Bus Party to Hell’ is?

The movie is just a wild ride from start to finish. It has very much an 80’s horror film vibe, with all the horror film essentials, gore, cheesy jokes, and nudity. It has jumps, sex, and a twist as well..

And what’s your character’s responsibility? 

Alan Armstrong generally is looking out for his own survival, and looks out for himself in general. All he wanted was to have a wild time in Burning Man, but he knew he couldn’t do that alone, and when things go nuts, he knows he can’t survive without the others on the bus as well.

What was your toughest day, as an actor, on this one?

Without giving any spoilers away, there was a 14 hour day with a lot of blood, running, and heat. Once again, horror movies can be physically exhausting to shoot! Coincidentally that was my last day on the shoot, so I was game to go as long and as hard as was needed. I had a celebratory cocktail right after.

In terms of creative choices, were there ever disagreements between you and the director?

Rolfe is very meticulous, knows every shot and is editing the film in his head as he goes. I couldn’t believe the details he was able to keep track of! After day one, I saw his attention to detail, and fully trusted every direction he gave me.

Any idea why the name was changed?

Search results! We gotta be in the ABC’s baby!

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Infection season spreads across Horror Channel this April

April on Horror Channel sees an INFECTION SEASON spread across Saturday nights with a highly contagious collection of outbreak action, headed by the network premieres of Danny Boyle’s 28 DAYS LATER and the equally impressive sequel 28 WEEKS LATER, starring Robert Carlyle. There are also welcome re-showings for Breck Eisner’s critically-acclaimed remake of George Romero's 1973 movie, THE CRAZIES, and M. Night Shyamalan’s boldly unsettling survival movie THE HAPPENING.

Giddy carnage, retro violence and touching romance rule in the UK TV premiere of TURBO KID, an outlandish romp through a pitch-perfect pastiche of hip 1980s popcorn flicks, and there’s also a UK TV premiere for big bug sci-fi thriller SPIDERS 3D, a glorious homage to the creature features from the 1950′s and 1960′s

Fans of Anthony Perkins and the Psycho franchise are in for a treat as Sunday nights at 9pm are devoted to the network premieres of PSYCHO II, PSYCHO III and PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING.

Other network premieres include Jeff Wadlow’s violent slasher CRY WOLF, which has Jon Bon Jovi playing a spectacled teacher, Tobe Hooper’s colourful horror ride THE FUNHOUSE and Asif Kadadia’s supernatural terrifier THE RETURN, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Full film details in transmission order:

Sun 1 April @ 21:00 – PSYCHO II (1983) *Network Premiere

Twenty-two years after the famous murder of Marion Crane, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) is declared sane and allowed to return to his now dilapidated motel. But, when the murders start up again, Norman realises an old friend is awaiting his return - Mother! Co-starring Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia, and Dennis Franz, this sequel to the Hitchcock masterpiece .is now viewed as a unmissable classic in its own right.

Fri 6 April @ 21:00 – SPIDERS 3D (2013) *UK TV Premiere

In New York City’s subway tunnel, a new species of poisonous spiders is discovered. To make matters worse, the spiders quickly begin to mutate and grow to gigantic proportions before beginning to wreak havoc on the entire city. It’s up to a few scientists and military personnel to stop the deadly creatures, end their reign of destruction, and reclaim the city.

Sat 7 April @ 21:00 – 28 DAYS LATER…(2002) *Network Premiere

A group of misguided animal rights activists breaks into a medical research lab and release virus-infected chimps. When London bike courier Jim (Cillian Murphy) awakes from a coma a month after, he finds the city deserted, save for zombie-like victims of the “Rage”. Jim stumbles upon a group of survivors, including Selena (Naomie Harris) and cab driver Frank (Brendan Gleeson), and together they embark on a perilous journey…

Sun 8 April @ 21:00 – PSYCHO III (1986) *Network Premiere

Troubled runaway nun Maureen (Diana Scarwid) seeks refuge in the Bates Motel, only to trigger Norman’s killer instinct, as she reminds him of someone from his past…Anthony Perkins makes his directorial debut and gives another chilling performance as the deeply disturbed Bates in the third instalment of the Psycho series.

Fri 13 April @ 21:00 – CRY WOLF (2005) *Network Premiere

In this terrifying thriller, a group of high school seniors decides to follow up a recent murder in the woods by creating a fictional serial killer they name ‘The Wolf’. It's all just a silly hoax until the real Wolf begins to hunt them. The cast includes Jon Bon Jovi and Gary Cole.

Sat 14 April @ 21:00 – 28 WEEKS LATER (2007) *Network Premiere

Six months have passed since the rage virus annihilated the British Isles. The U.S. Army declares that the war against infection has been won, and that reconstruction of the country can begin. As the first wave of refugees returns, Don Harris (Robert Carlyle) and his wife Alice (Catherine McCormack) are reunited with their children but the virus is not yet dead, and this time it is more dangerous than ever.

Sun 15 April @ 21:00 – PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING (1990) *Network Premiere

Released from a mental institution once again, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) calls in to tell his life story on a radio programme. Norman recalls his days as a young boy living with his schizophrenic mother (Olivia Hussey) and the jealous rage that inspired her murder. In the present, now living with his pregnant wife Connie (Donna Mitchell), Norman fears that his child will inherit his split personality disorder and "Mother" will return to kill again.

Fri 20 April @ 21:00 – TURBO KID (2015) *UK TV Premiere

In a post-apocalyptic future, The Kid (Munro Chambers) lives alone in his underground bunker, scavenging for relics from the old world and obsessing over comic books. But when he meets Apple (Laurence Leboeuf), it’s not long before The Kid has to face his fears and challenge the sadistic Zeus (Michael Ironside), who has declared himself leader of the “Wasteland” and taken control of the water supply. Armed with his ancient turbocharged weapon, he embarks on an incredible journey to rid the Wasteland of evil – and discovers the true meaning of justice and friendship.

Sat 21 March @ 21:00 – THE CRAZIES (2010)

Sheriff David Dutten (Timothy Olyphant) and his pregnant wife, Judy (Radha Mitchell), find themselves trapped in a once-idyllic town they can no longer recognise. On the run from infected neighbours, loved ones and friends, targeted by the ruthless military and terrified of getting sick, they are forced to band together with other survivors in a desperate struggle for survival.

Sun 22 April @ 22:45 – THE FUNHOUSE (1981) *Network Premiere

A trashy carnival has pulled into town and thinking it would be fun, four teenagers decide to spend the night in the campy "Funhouse" horror ride, However, when they witness a murder by a deformed worker wearing a mask, they find themselves trapped and must evade the murderous carnival worker if they are to survive the night.

Fri 27 April @ 21:00 – THE RETURN (2006) *Network Premiere

Joanna Mills (Sarah Michelle Gellar) begins having terrifying visions of a woman's murder, and it seems that she is the killer's next target. Determined to solve the mystery and escape her apparent fate, she follows her visions to the victim's hometown and finds that some secrets just do not stay buried. Also stars Sam Shepard as her estranged father.

Sat 28 April @ 21:00 – THE HAPPENING (2008)

M. Night Shyamalan’s first R-rated film centres on an apocalyptic threat to humanity, which arrives with a series of violent, inexplicable deaths spreading across the country. The cause of the terrifying phenomenon remains unknown, prompting science teacher Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg), his wife Alma (Zooey Deschanel) and his colleague Julian (John Leguizamo) to try to elude the invisible killer in Pennsylvania's farmland. Soon it becomes clear that no one is safe.


Tuesday 13 March 2018

Interview with Dylan Reynolds

The first-ever “stoner slasher” film 4/20 Massacre is released on VOD and DVD next month. We speak to writer/director Dylan Reynolds in this puff-y piece.

Now is 4/20 Massacre based on a true story? Something you’ve heard about?

Lol- not exactly based on anything I’ve experienced in my actual life but a couple elements were “inspired by” real world stuff.  For one- the concept of the “weed famer as a slasher” comes from the actual problem that exists in national parks where individuals known as “guerrilla growers” set up illegal marijuana farms that have been known to cause damage to the environment and in some instances these growers have attacked or killed unwitting hikers that have stumbled upon their “turf”.

The second “real world inspiration” is derived from the actual date of April 20th (4/20).  While doing research for the film I found that not only is the day the “official holiday for weed enthusiasts” but the 20th and “late April” have been host to some real-world tragedies- ranging from the birth of Hitler to the Columbine mass shooting.  It was these “coincidences” that got my imagination going and I built upon the concept of 4/20 MASSACRE as a “holiday set slasher film”- or “Friday the 13th… but with weed”.

Would you call it a straight-up horror film or is it a mixed bag of everything?

I like to think we went into making 4/20 MASSACRE with the goal of telling a good all-around story that is both “an indie drama…  but then a killer shows up”- or in other words- creating likable characters that you’d actually care about when they die.  But at the same time it is a fun/ campy/ gory throwback slasher flick.  However-  I didn’t want to make an overtly meta or self-referential film- instead I tried to take the “slasher formula” and actually treat it with some respect and reverence- which from my perspective isn’t often done- especially today.

What makes our villain tick? What gives him his motivation here?

Without getting too much into spoilers I’ll say that I tried to approach “the villain” as I would any other character and come from a place of positivity.  As far as I can tell humans all want one thing: “to love and to be loved”.  So the villain may be doing some awful and reprehensible things in the story- but in their mind they are doing all they can to protect their well-being and those that they love.

What was it about Jamie Bernadette that made her the right woman for the role?

I had seen Jamie in a number of indie films- especially in the horror genre- and I was always impressed with her work and “presence” on camera.  I ended up meeting her at a screening of my last film and over the years we ran into each other and talked while I was developing 4/20 MASSACRE.  She was always my first choice for the role of Jess and I was excited to create a “Linda Hamilton/ Sigourney Weaver”- esque role that I knew she would knock out of the park.

Where has the film been released so far?

On April 3rd folks will be able to buy the DVD on Amazon, Diabolik and a few other places on line.  The chain Family Video will have the DVD available for rent and it can be rented on various VOD outlets including Amazon Video.

Over the next few months we will be rolling the movie out onto other outlets- people can follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for future updates:

What do you think US audiences will get from the movie?

Hopefully it will be a fun “roller coaster ride of emotions” for audiences- you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll jump with fright- maybe get a couple surprises along the way- and maybe even gleam a little more insight into humanity.  We also set out to create a strong ensemble of female characters- something which I think is unique and therefore we will be giving something “a little new” to the genre. 
But mainly I just hope people don’t think it sucks.

Thursday 8 March 2018

Interview with Kim Cormack

When did you first become interested in writing? 

I always have been in some way or another. I used to write songs. I even produced a country cd many moons ago. (Almost twenty years ago) Now, I write Dark Paranormal Fantasy. I think it’s all relative but how I began writing again is a rather peculiar story. On February 28th of 2009, I had this dream about being in kindergarten holding a baby chick. I texted it into my cell phone in the middle of the night but didn’t remember doing it. Months later, I found the story while switching files over to a new cell phone. I’d written a children’s book about those little moments of joy that we only notice as a child. I had a publisher for Being Four rather quickly. I wrote my second children’s book, Shark Boots on a B.C Ferries ride from Vancouver to Vancouver Island as an homage to my hyper active toddler. This all happened in the year I was diagnosed with M.S.

How did you get involved in fantasy? 

Shortly after my M.S diagnosis, I had a messed up utterly brutal nightmare in the middle of the night and once again, I wrote it down. The terrifying dream began at a front door left slightly ajar, shifting in the wind and ended with a creepy lullaby. Even the words to that song were there and that’s how Sweet Sleep became book one in my series. I switched genres in a heartbeat. The story that formed around that nightmare was just too incredible to walk away from.

Is this a full time job? 

I prefer to think of it as a calling…I’d spent over sixteen years working in Early Childhood Education. I was a gym obsessed runner when I was forced to retire. Writing this series keeps me from losing my mind each time the M.S. Fairy resurfaces. (I refer to relapses as the M.S. Fairy giving me a shove because it adds some humor to an otherwise messed up situation.)

How would you classify the genre you write about? 

This is a tricky one…Let’s make a list.
Dark Fantasy
Paranormal Fantasy
Dark Comedy
Paranormal Romance
Science Fiction
I could keep going but I usually lead with Dark Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. The series fits in many genres.

Why do you think horror and fantasy books remain so popular?

Immortality is freeing. We live in a society with so much fear. Almost everyone has lost someone before their time. Most of us identify with the stages of grief for one reason or another. We can place ourselves into that character’s shoes as they struggle to survive and then applaud within ourselves as they stand back up whenever they fall. Throw in a little magic and the child we’ve lost emerges to light up our brains with renewed hope and deeper meaning. We all secretly want to believe in magic and something larger than ourselves when the reality of life makes us feel small. These books make our adrenaline rush. They may terrify us to our core, but they become the inner voice that prompts us to fight when we’re ready to give up. My series has brutal graphic violence. I had to be brave to release it. It would have been less upsetting if I’d altered the character’s ages. Yes, there’s a good chance you’ll be traumatized, but in the next breath, you’ll be laughing at something completely inappropriate. With Horror and Fantasy, it’s all about the rush.

What inspires your stories? 

My struggles through life and a gloriously messed-up imagination.

You put a variety of monsters in your work. What are your favorite monsters? 

Oh, there are so many. I always find demonic toddlers entertaining. I have one kick a character’s ass or skin them alive once in a while… It keeps them humble. My series covers both supernatural and reality-based deviants. I have Lampir, Lycanthrope, ghosts, demons, and even mortal serial killers. Anyone can be a monster on the inside.

What do you think the difference between American horror and British horror is?

I’m Canadian, I’ve read some impressively dark shit from both countries.

What are your favorite horror and fantasy books? 

I do love me some Stephen King. I also adore C.S Lewis.

What are some of your favorite horror movies? 

I’m a huge fan of cheesy B movies. Stuff like Snake Head Terror. Scaring me is next to impossible so I need some dark comedy in there. As Above So Below was upsetting because of the way they filmed it. I’m not a fan of enclosed spaces. I’m always most impressed when I can’t guess the storyline five seconds into the movie. I find myself frustrated when your three movies deep in a franchise and the main character doesn’t fight back.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author? 

Staying true to the original version of the story during the editing process without altering the ages or brutality of a character’s demise. During the Immortal Testing in Enlightenment, the characters die in thousands of increasingly brutal ways until their partially mortal minds can comprehend what it takes to be immortal. In Wild Thing, Lexy is only eleven when she’s drugged, kidnapped and held captive. The brutality she faces there is how she evolves into a warrior.

Do you have any advice for new writers? 

Stay true to yourself and the story you’ve written. It takes guts to release something seriously dark.

What is your opinion of the new self-publishing trend?

I really hate seeing new authors being suckered into paying to publish.

What are your current projects? 

I’m writing the third book in Lexy’s series. I have several other books almost completed that are not in the series. I definitely won’t have time to release one of those this year. Once I’m finished the book I’m writing now, I’ll be diving right into book five in Kayn’s series.

Please in your own words write a paragraph about yourself & your work. 

A little bit about me...

I began writing this series shortly after my M.S. diagnosis. I had many reasons to fight. I had incredible children, a wonderful family, and amazing friends but this series gave me purpose. Whenever things become dark, I use my imagination to find the light within myself. No matter what life throws your way, you are stronger than you believe. My hope is that the character's strength becomes an inner voice for the readers that need it. Stand back up and if you can't stand... Rise up within yourself.

We are all beautiful just as we are. We are all immortal.

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