Thursday, 19 September 2019

Interview with Kevin J. Kennedy by David Kempf


When did you first become interested in writing?

 Roughly, 5 years ago. Outside of English class in high school, I’d never written anything. One day I was on Facebook and seen an advert for a horror anthology that was looking for stories. It mentioned you didn’t have to be previously published. I had never really wanted to be a writer but I had always been an avid reader of horror and had made the comment on a few occasions that it would be cool to have a story in a horror book. I never planned to write one. It was just one of those general ‘it would be cool if’ comments but I had a little time, I wrote a story, sent it in and they accepted it. I’ve just never stopped from that moment forward.


How did you get involved in horror?

When I was a young lad, my uncle used to have a little corner store. It was back in the 80s and he used to have a few shelfs of VHS tapes that he would rent out. Every Sunday when we visited my gran, we would stop into his shop and I’d always borrow a horror movie. There were certain ones I wasn’t allowed but overall my parents were pretty cool and let me take my pick. Nightmare on Elm street movies were a no no but I don’t remember them telling me no to many others I picked. If we go back further, I suppose I started where a lot of people did with Scooby Doo. Loved the monsters, even though they always turned out to be people. I collected Monsters in my Pocket as a young boy too. I’ve just always been drawn to monsters and horror. I’m not sure why. It just appealed to me.


Tell us about your first publisher. 

The first publisher to accept a story by me was Alucard Press, run by C.S. Anderson, who I am still friends with and we often send each other stories for anthologies that we are running. The first publisher to put some of my work out there as it was published before the Alucard Press book, was Indie Authors Press in a title called Spooky Halloween Drabbles. I had never heard of a drabble before but fell in love with them as soon as I discovered them. I’ve now published 3 of my own drabble books called 100 Word Horrors and they have been pretty popular.


How would you classify the genre you write?

Definitely horror but within that, I cover most sub genres. I am a big reader as I said, and I love everything from post-apoc to bizarro to coming of age to comedy horror to extreme. The only horror sub-genre I’m not a fan of is the slow burn stuff. Just not to my taste. I have enjoyed a few slow burn stories but overall I’d prefer to read something with a faster pace.


Why do you think horror books remain so popular?

I wouldn’t say the horror genre is overly popular when you compare it to other genres, but I would say it has a strong following. I think it allows people a release from everyday life to focus on something that isn’t quite as scary as the things that are actually going on in the world. A lot of horror fans read gruesome stuff but on the other hand are some of the most empathetic people you could ever meet. Movie wise, I think the genre is going strong. Chart wise for novels, novellas and Anthos, I don’t feel that horror ranks as strongly as other types of books. It’s my main genre for reading, so probably the only genre I will ever work in, but I hope that it increases in popularity for readers, the way that horror movies have become more mainstream. When you look at horror authors who have been about for a while, that have good sales, their books are often released as thrillers.


What inspires your stories?

Everything. I find the world we live in to be a scary place. The fact that we have psychos in charge of countries, all over the world doesn’t fill me with hope. A lot of my stories are centered around people who are evil, but I do love monster stories and more farfetched stuff but sometimes I will be reading a kids book or watching a comedy movie and an idea springs to mind for a horror story too.
A while back I was re-watching loads of Tarantino movies and then I was looking through my books and the Wizard of Oz came on the TV. I thought to myself ‘what if Tarantino had done the Wizrd of Oz,’ and from that, I came up with an idea for a story that you will find in my solo collection, ‘Dark Thoughts.’ It borders on the extreme but that’s how Tarantino rolls so it had to. Some people love it and it’s one of their fave stories and others hate it because they don’t like the spin on the characters. I knew that would be how it would go before I put it in the book, but I love it. Every book I put out is really for me. That way, if I get a bad review, I can generally assume that the reader and I have wildly different taste.
Goodreads is a godsend. You can compare books with people who review you and I find that any negative reviews I get are from readers who have wildly different tastes from me. It’s all down to the readers personal taste so you can never expect to please everyone.


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

Not much to me. I was in a British VS American horror antho, and from memory, there was no real difference. I believe that the opinion is that British horror isn’t as extreme. I’m not sure if that is true anymore. What I would say is that America has more conventions, celebrates horror more, has more authors, and overall more readers. I think there is more opportunity in the US and I do a lot better sales wise there. I think the UK is also still stuck in a mainly reading mass market stuff and doesn’t go online as much to take advantage of a wider selection, but, to be fair, when I bought a lot of physical books from small presses in the US, the delivery charges are a killer if you are getting them delivered to the UK so that could play into it to. Amazon is the best bet for getting books from all over these days, especially if you have Prime and get free delivery.


What are your favorite horror books?

There are far too many to mention but here is a list of some that have stuck with me, off the top of my head:
Blood Crazy by Simon Clark
The Beast House, Island, Savage, Funland, Dark Mountain, The Traveling Vampire Show and Midnight’s Lair by Richard Laymon.
City Infernal, The House, The Pig & Header by Edward Lee
The Folks 1 & 2, Serpent Girl & Lot Lizards by Ray Garton
Hero by J.F. Gonzalez and Wrath James White
Yaccub’s Curse by Wrath James White
The Clicker series by J.F. Gonzalez and Brian Keene from book 2 onwards
Swan Song by Robert McCammon
Clusterfuck, Warrior Wolf Women of the Wasteland, Clownfellas & Cannibals of Candyland by Carlton Mellick
ASBO, Housemates & Sea Sick by Iain Rob Wright
Dead Sea, Terminal, Urban Gothic & An Occurrence in Crazy Bear Valley by Bryan Keene
The Killing Kind & Depraved by Bryan Smith
These are just a few of my favourite books that I love by authors that I have read almost their entire catalogue, but as I said, there are too many too mention.

There are very few books in here that I have read in the last few years as I feel that it should have stuck with me for quite some time to call it a favourite.

What are some of your favorite horror movies?

Growing up I loved the Friday the 13th movies, Demons 1 & 2, The Hills Have Eyes 1 & 2 and the Nightmare on Elm Street movies (Once I was able to get my hands on them, without my parents knowing). In more recent times, I loved the reimagining’s of the Hills Have Eyes movies, I like the Annabelle movies, Dog Soldiers was brilliant & I loved Train to Busan. I’ve always liked zombie movies too. I liked the 90s Night of the Living Dead and the remake of Dawn of the Dead too. The Return of the Living Dead movies were a lot of fun as well.


What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

Just being out there and having people read my work. It still seems weird. A few years ago, I had never written a story. Now I appear in books with a lot of guys that I have been reading for 20 years and my solo collection is doing really well.
             

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Get stuck in and write as much as you can. Sub your story somewhere then start something else. You will get rejections. Everyone does. Don’t take it personally. One publisher might not like it and another may accept it. Maybe the story needs some work. Try and get a few people to read it that will be honest with you rather than just telling you everything you write is brilliant. Keep writing and you will see your writing get better with each story as long as you take feedback. Oh, and read lots. I’ve seen a few authors say they don’t read. I don’t get that. If I wasn’t a reader, I wouldn’t write. I only do it because I love books.


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

Probably over 50% of the books I read are self-published. The big 4 lost touch a long time ago. Even going back 20 or 30 years, most decent authors complained about how their books were changed by them and now you see books being released as the author intended. Having an editor is one thing. Being told to rewrite large chunks of your book based on a publisher’s idea of what their market wants would never be something I could do. I don’t think mass market publishers really like horror anyway. It’s always thriller. I could never see one of the mass market guys releasing one of Edward Lee’s hardcore books for example. Some of the small press that are around are great but I’m impatient and I don’t want to wait for a year or more on my book being published. With self-pub, you write it, re-write it, get it edited, get some people to read over it to catch any errors that were missed then get it published. It suits me a lot more than the other options that are available, and you keep a larger cut of the profits.


What are your current projects?

I’m just finishing up the 4th Horror Collection book. This will be the White Edition which is Christmas themed. I’m waiting on the proof copy of 100 Word Horrors book 3 arriving but the Kindle version is already online. My second solo collection is in edits and the cover is being designed so that should be available in coming months. I then need to finish up Halloween Land which is a novella that was originally an 8K short that was really popular, and I got a lot of people contacting me and saying they wished it was longer. I’m also working on book 2 of Screechers with Christina Bergling. We are about 6K into it. After that I’m not sure. I plan to spend more time writing and less on Anthos for a while, but we will see what happens.


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

Kevin J Kennedy is a horror author & editor from Scotland. He is the co-author of You Only Get One Shot, Screechers and has a solo collection available called Dark Thoughts. He is also the publisher of several bestselling anthology series; Collected Horror Shorts, 100 Word Horrors & The Horror Collection, as well as the stand-alone anthology Carnival of Horror. His stories have been featured in many other notable books in the horror genre.

He lives in a small town in Scotland, with his wife and his two little cats, Carlito and Ariel.

Keep up to date with new releases or contact Kevin through his website: www.kevinjkennedy.co.uk

Monday, 16 September 2019

COMPETITION: Win Kaleidoscope on DVD


Kaleidoscope is out on DVD from 23rd September.

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis
GARNERING CRITICAL acclaim on its theatrical release, one of Britain’s greatest actors of today Toby Jones ‘glows’ (The Guardian) as the lead in Kaleidoscope, a bleak, nightmarish psychological thriller written and directed by brother Rupert Jones in his feature film debut.

A sparse, drab flat, on a housing estate in London, loud frantic knocking and a dog barking.  We meet Carl Woods (Toby Jones – Don’t Forget the Driver, Detectorists, Tinker Tailor, Soldier Spy), an ex-prisoner with dreams of starting a gardening business, as he’s abruptly awoken from his sleep on the sofa.  He goes to the door…no-one is there. Exploring the house, he notices lipstick traces on a glass, an ashtray full of cigarette butts,  he goes upstairs and finds a shocking discovery, a dead body in the bathroom. But is everything as it seems?

As the narrative twists and turns we follow Carl’s footsteps as he chats with his neighbour Monique (Noble), prepares for his first date in 15 years with someone he met online, Abby (Matthews) and gets a message announcing an impending, unwanted visit from his overbearing mother (Reid)…

With time running out, Carl’s relationship with his mother and the ramifications of his night with Abby now collide in dramatic, surprising, unforgettable ways.

Buy from Amazon by clicking here (Opens in a new window)

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who directs Kaleidoscope?

Send you name, address and of course the answer to competition@mastersofhorror.co.uk

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 30-09-19
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Monday, 2 September 2019

Competition: Win Double Date on DVD


Double Date is out on DVD & Blu-ray from 9th September.

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis
After its much-lauded theatrical release and fantastic reception on its Fright Fest premiere, the bloody hilarious comedy-horror Double Date – written by and starring Screen International/FrightFest Genre Rising Star 2017 award winner Danny Morgan – is set to arrive on digital, DVD and Blu-ray from Sparky Pictures.

Self-assured, and irritatingly cocksure, one thing Alex (Michael Socha – This is England, Chernobyl) can boast about is his loyalty to his dearest friend, Jim (Danny Morgan – On The Road). As Jim’s 30th birthday approaches, Alex promises to help get his best friend laid, so he won’t reach this unwelcome milestone a virgin.

They muster up the courage to arrange a double date with sisters Kitty (Kelly Wenham - Dracula: The Dark Prince) and Lulu (Georgia Groome – Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging), but little do the boys know, their partners have other plans for the night ahead…

With appearances from the inimitable Big Narstie (The Big Narstie Show), and renowned actor and director of the moment Dexter Fletcher (Eddie The Eagle, Rocketman), Double Date is fun, ferocious, and full of surprises.

The iconic Prince Charles Cinema will be hosting a special screening of Double Date on Thursday 5 September, followed by a Q&A with the director Benjamin Barfoot, producer Matt Wilkinson, and stars Michael Socha and Danny Morgan. Tickets are on sale now, and the film is out on digital, DVD and Blu-Ray from 9 September.

If you’re looking for the love of your life, be careful…Double Date could be the kiss of death.

Buy from Amazon by clicking here (Opens in a new window)

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED



Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 16-09-19
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Exclusive Interview with Actor Sean Dillingham


1. The Manson Brothers Midnight Zombie Massacre is a film that puts pro wrestling and zombies in the same arena, when you started out in your acting career, did you ever imagine yourself appearing in a wrestling film, a zombie film, or even a film that combined both?

No!  Hahaha!  But then again there are a lot roles and things I couldn’t imagine!  Being thrown out of a cave by a polar bear, playing a miniature worker that works inside a side machine, etc.  I was exposed to wrestling at a young age, in the 1970’s.  Before it was about big arenas and whatnot.  When tv shows held a studio audience of 100 and the ring was right there in the audience.  The wrestlers had to be not only great wrestlers and performers but had to have the big personalities to boot! The best one?  Ric Flair!  Wooooo! Zombie movies have always fascinated the public, and I’m a fan as well!  Night of the living dead, all the cult classics!


2. You star as a wrestler called "Big Wang", I hate to even think where that name comes from, what can you tell us about your character and do you know if it was based on a real wrestler, or does the writer just have a vivid imagination?

Well, here’s the story and then I will leave it up to your imagination and just tell people, you have GOT to see this film!  It’s not based on any real wrestler, and the truth is, I read for 3 or 4 characters in this film, the producers and director narrowed it down to a character named Big Wang, which originally called for an Asian actor, but since they had complete creative control, allowed me to bring to the character what I wanted and brother, it is funny!  I auditioned with heart shaped sunglasses a faux-hawk hairdo, no shirt with a black fur lined cape.  This movie will be a cult classic!


3. The film also stars two of history's legit toughest men, Randy Couture and Bas Rutten, what was it like to work alongside these two? Did you ever feel intimidated or are they the proverbial pussy cats in real life?

Well, I wouldn’t call them pussy-cats, but they were perfect gentlemen and professional actors.  Everyone on the crew and cast was just superb and super focused!


4. The "Zomedy" seems to be the route for most Horror Zombie films these days, and this film falls under that banner, as a zombie comedy, how much fun is it to be a part of a film that doesn't take itself too seriously? Or is the making of such a film very serious, despite the nature of what the film is about?

If the film turns out half as fun as it was to make, it is sure to be a hit!  I mean come on, pro-wrestlers past their prime and zombies??  What could be better?!?


5. Before acting in this film, were you ever a fan of zombie films, or pro wrestling?

Always liked the zombie flicks and was a fan of pro-wrestling.  Still watch it today with my family and even go to live events.


6. You have appeared in over 50 films in your career, with the exception of this film, which would you say was your favourite, and why?

I have a film coming out called “Space Munchies” about an alien encounter and a trailer dwelling hillbilly.  Hilarious story, great production, great script and it hits every angle, action, comedy, sci-fi you name it.  The production value was super high on it!




7. As an actor, you have appeared in films, TV series, commercials, performed stand up, as well as voice over work. Which do you enjoy doing the most, and is there any kind of work in the entertainment business that you have yet to try that you would be interested in? For example, could you see yourself appearing in a WWE Wrestling ring.

Film work by far.  A commercial you shoot in usually 1 or 2 days - its very rushed.  A tv show about a week, whereas in film, you shoot little chunks of dialogue, little bits of scenes, you really have an opportunity to dig deep into a character, story, scene, etc - the fact that it’s not rushed, and everyone is really shooting for perfection on every level in every aspect is wonderful!  Love it!  In a wrestling ring?  Hahaha - no, only to promote the film or do a sequel!


8. The Manson Brothers Midnight Zombie Massacre is due to be released in 2020, is there anything else you would like to tell us about the film.

See it!  Its got action, zombies, pro wrestling and it is going to be HILARIOUS!!


9. And finally the question that actors get asked the most, what is next for Sean Dillingham?

Tons!  A Better call Saul episode coming out, a Netflix feature called Rattlesnake, a terrific part in a video game called Wasteland 3 and several features including Echoes of Vengeance & Double Blind.



Links

Actors Access:
http://resumes.actorsaccess.com/SeanDillingham

LA Casting Link:
www.LACasting.com/SeanDillingham

IMDB:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0226936/

Bio:
As an actor, Sean Dillingham has appeared in over 98+ commercials and 50+ films and 17 national television series.  Sean has had network television appearances on Operation REPO, Discovery ID, Buried in the Backyard, The NightShift, Longmire, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, This is Us, There’s Johnny, Yellowstone, & Better call Saul!  He has acted alongside Kevin Costner, Tony Danza, Jane Seymour, Patrick Duffy, Roger Bart, Don Ameche, Stacy Keache, John O’Hurley, Andre Braugher, Andy Samberg, Milo Ventimiglia, Bob Odenkirk, and more.


THE MANSON BROTHERS MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE MASSACRE
Synopsis
Wrestling's most hated tag team, The MANSON BROTHERS, now in the twilight of their careers and relegated to doing smaller wrestling promotions, take a MIDNIGHT cage match on Halloween night, only to find themselves trapped in the arena with wrestlers and fans infected with a mutated rabies ZOMBIE virus. Armed only with their wrestling skills, and enchanted lucha libre masks, they must fight for their lives and ensure the virus is contained to prevent an all-out MASSACRE and pandemic.