#NanoInterview: Ben Eads

Ben is the editor of Tales from the Lake Volume 4, coming October 27th from Crystal Lake Publishing. The anthology includes my story "Snowmen."

DD: Thanks for plugging in, Ben! First, tell us about the upcoming TALES FROM THE LAKE VOL. 4, a Crystal Lake Publishing anthology you edited. What’s the history of this series, and where are you taking it with this latest entry?

BE: Thanks for having me! It’s my pleasure. Tales from the Lake has always been a play on words—Crystal Lake/From the Lake. Since Volume: 1, we’ve published writers we’ve already worked with as well as others we would like to work with in the in future. There was always a subtle theme of urban myths and legends from Volume: 1 to Volume: 3. I wanted to do something different with Volume: 4. I wanted to raise the bar quality-wise, as well as take it in a new direction in terms of theme. And that theme is this: Unique, emotional, and powerful stories that leave a lasting impact on the reader. I want the readers to feel as if they’ve been to Hell and back when they’re done reading. Some stories have a more literary slant, others have a more fantastical slant. Some will bring tears to your eyes, others will crank your imagination up. But all pluck at the reader’s heart strings. Once the blurbs and feedback came in, I was over the moon! I’m very happy to say I accomplished what I set out to do. The contributors made my job easy.

DD: As the editor of a diverse horror anthology, how do you decide on the story order?

BE: The CEO and Founder of Crystal Lake Publishing Joe Mynhardt and I worked on that. All of the stories are powerful and diverse, so we didn’t have that problem. You could put them in any order, really, but we chose the final order to reflect said diversity. There’s something in here for everyone.   

DD: You’re also an author. Tell us about your most recent projects.

BE: Thanks for asking! You can find my horror novella Cracked Sky, which was published by the Bram Stoker Award winning press Omnium Gatherum, on Amazon.com or their website: http://www.omniumgatherumbooks.com/ I’m very happy to say that book opened a lot of doors for me. I’ve had short horror fiction published in Shroud Magazine, The Ashen Eye, Tales from the Lake Volume: 2, and my short literary story Stardust appears in the anthology Between the Lines, edited by Bram Stoker Award Winning editor Michael Knost, and was published by Seventh Star Press. I’m finishing up my latest book, and that will be published by Crystal Lake Publishing in, 2019. I’ve just started another one that will hopefully be published before, 2019. Ha!

DD: Do dreams influence your writing at all? Do you keep track of dreams?

BE: I think I’m the only horror writer/author that doesn’t remember their dreams. I feel left out. Ha! It’s like I’m a radio station; I don’t know where these concepts come from. They’re like movie trailers in my head.

DD: Are you a zombie fan and, if so, what do you think the genre needs more (or less) of?

BE: If the plot/premise and voice is unique and powerful, yes! I fell back in love with horror that has zombies in it by reading your Empire series of novels. They were game-changers. So, much love and respect to you for doing that! Same goes for Jonathan Maberry’s work. What does it need more of? Uniqueness. Evolve the sub-genre. Do something no one else has done yet. What would I like to see less of in that sub-genre? “Hey! Zombies are attacking us!” I’d rather have a root canal without Novocain than read those stories. I sincerely mean that. Trends come and go. But if it’s unique, then it will stand the test of time and out-live the trend.  


FREE on Kindle this weekend: THE 3 EGOS

Starting now and running through this Friday the 13th weekend, apocalyptic dark fantasy THE 3 EGOS is free for Kindle! Give 'er a look - you'll never see the end of the universe the same way again.


George A. Romero: 1940-2017

I haven't been able to spend much time online lately, just checking in here & there, and have only this week learned of GAR's passing. George Romero gave us a modern monster archetype that stands tall alongside age-old classics like the vampire and werewolf. His walking dead and the world they rule speak that deeply to us on any number of themes. His ghoul will perhaps be the last member added to the all-time horror pantheon, and its creator is equally deserving of our veneration.

We'll always stay scared. Thanks George.


#NanoInterview: Gregory Hall

DD: Thanks for plugging in, Greg! You're known for writing both comedy and horror. What have you been working on recently?

GH: I love plugging in. I always make a room smell better. Today’s scent is ‘Mountain Drizzle’.

As far as what’s been keeping me busy lately, oh boy howdy, quite a bit. My personal policy is to not talk about projects in detail until they’re launched (because over a few decades I’ve learned plans sometimes change) but I will say the new novel is almost done. It’s a musical, which is really hard to do in book form. I’m eager about a nationwide gig dealing with my comedy past that looks like it might happen this summer. We’re just negotiating on whether I have to wear pants or not. And I’m working on the DEVIL MONKEY script. But I’m always working on the DEVIL MONKEY script. Because I can’t let it go. It’s so beautiful.  

DD: Tell us your thoughts on humor's place in horror.

GH: I definitely believe the two go hand in hand. A burst of laughter isn’t too different from a scream. All my favorite movies and writers combine both. It doesn’t have to be campy humor, although that’s fun. It can be clever dialogue between characters. I know writers who go out of their way to remove humor from a horror story, but I think it’s lying to your audience. People are naturally funny. Life is funny. Take humor away and it’s not a realistic character or story.

DD: We collaborated on an audio serial, DRACULA'S WINKEE, which you adapted from your story of the same name. What's the history behind it all?

GH: It’s all cold, shriveled winkees and carnivorous vulvasaurs, baby! That damn project has been alive almost as long as Drac! It started as a serial on an old horror website I ran back in the day. Then it turned into a bunch of short stories and a TV series (one of those plans that changed) and wound up as the audio serial. It’s one of the most giddy, stupid things I’ve ever written and it just keeps growing. I’ve been asked to write it as a book for years now but haven’t gotten around to it. To be honest, all the success is due to the amazing talent I had play Dracula—some Ryan Gosling twin named The Dunwoody.

DD: Do dreams ever influence your work?

GH: Oh yeah. I dream something weird and I try to grab it as soon as I wake up. Might only be a visual or piece of dialogue, but definitely. Actually, I do this half-awake deal when I’m stuck writing a story. I’ll concentrate on the road block and run it over and over when I fall asleep. Doesn’t always work but sometimes when I start waking up, the story will unfold for me while I’m still in a fog. I also mix a lot of Ovaltine and Zima so that might be the key.

DD: On the zombie front - is there anything you'd like to see more (or less) of in the genre?

GH: That’s tough. Every other horror movie or TV show is zombies. I think you either have to go one of two ways. Be Joe McKinney and write so damn fantastic that a ‘regular’ zombie storyline is riveting. If Joe wrote a grocery list, I’d buy it. Or you can do what you did, Dave, with EMPIRE. Dig to find any new idea left and go for it. Your novel is still one of my favorites, not just as far as zombies but in horror overall. Genius twists and so original in an otherwise tired genre. Would be nice if we saw more zombies on trampolines.

Thanks for inviting me to your nunu-hiney interview thingy, man. Let’s do more together soon!
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