Interview with Cult/Bizarro Author Robert Devereaux

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I’m delighted to have the awesome author Robert Devereaux on my blog this month. He’s the author of a series of very strange novels featuring Santa Claus, as well as Slaughterhouse High, Deadweight, and Walking Wounded. I first met him at World Horror in Portland where we did a panel on erotica and romance in the horror genre. I instantly found him knowledgeable and friendly; he’s also quite the novelist to boot. Check out the interview below.

LUCAS MANGUM: Your novels have appeared in what are arguably the most important horror imprints of the last 2 decades (Dell/Abyss, Leisure, Deadite). What are some of the biggest changes you’ve noticed in the genre over the years?

ROBERT DEVEREAUX I’ve fallen away from horror over the past many years. I’m grateful to have made my debut there, though I’ve been pigeonholed as a horror writer because my first published novels (not the first ones I wrote), Deadweight and Walking Wounded, clearly belong there. These days, my writerly passions take me less and less into the dark regions of the human psyche. They are in fact quite wide-ranging. I offer in evidence my Santa Claus novels which—though troubling in some passages—aren’t horror novels at all. Call them instead novels of the fantastic, if labels there must be. So in answer to your question, I’ve been paying little attention to changes in the horror genre as such and so am ill-equipped to give a useful response.

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LM: Your work, particularly the Santa novels, was ahead of its time in a lot of ways. Now with the advent of Bizarro over the last decade, has it gotten easier to place pieces that are more outside-the-box with respect to genre?

RD: It has. Mainstream publishers tend to reject books that straddle genres, because they present a problem about bookstore section placement and can therefore be a hard sell from sales reps to bookstores. Two novels I had been unable to place at Dell or Leisure found a place at Deadite Press, those being Slaughterhouse High (at one time called Ice Ghoul Daze) and Santa Claus Conquers the Homophobes. With the advent of e-book publishing and POD, I have also chosen to focus on self-publishing as well as small presses, and I expect to start releasing original works within a year or two on a regular basis, both fiction and non-fiction. I don’t plan to be pursuing agents or editors in the mainstream houses, preferring to focus on creating and polishing new works and bringing them to my readers straightaway, either through small presses or via a publishing company of my own.

LM: At the 2014 World Horror Con, you and I did a panel on Romance and Eroticism in Horror. What are some examples of this crossover between the erotic and the horrific which have been most effective? Why do you think horror and erotica can work so well together?

RD: What immediately springs to mind are two ghost tales, Henry James’ novella The Turn of the Screw and Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House. Both books feature repressed female characters, whose repressions cast doubt on their perception of supernatural phenomena. In the ideal, the realm of erotic connection ought to bring out the most intimate, the most tender way two or more people can relate to one another. It’s also then a realm of potential violation of the most damaging sort, setting up vast disturbances at the intimate ground of our being.

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LM: Who are some authors who inspired your earlier work? Who are some authors that continue to inspire you?

RD: For earlier works in horror, my inspirations were Stephen King, Clive Barker, and the splatterpunk authors, specifically Rex Miller, David Schow, Richard Laymon, John Skipp, and Craig Spector. But I have always loved gifted, quirky writers, so let’s add into the mix Vladimir Nabokov, Tom Robbins, John Irving, Nicholson Baker, and Terry Southern. These days, I read more non-fiction than fiction, but distinctive writing of any kind always thrills me.

LM: Do you have a favorite of all your novels?

RD: Not a favorite exactly, since all my babies come into the world as fully-limbed and perfect as I can make them. But if anyone asks which novel to begin with, I usually suggest Santa Steps Out: A Fairy Tale for Grownups, a book that takes no prisoners, speaks truth about the three nocturnal creatures we allow into our homes, and pays due homage to the Greek mythology near and dear to my heart.

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LM: What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

RD: When receiving feedback, either in a workshop setting or from your editor, ponder the changes suggested, give them due weight, then make only those that truly resonate with your desires. Push back on changes you disagree with. Be sure—and this can be difficult—to separate sheer ego stubbornness from standing firm for the integrity of your narrative.

LM: What’s a fun, little-known fact about yourself you’d like readers to know?

RD: I am a trained clit stroker. I’ve been stroking clit for more than two years, thanks to a practice called Orgasmic Meditation. I trained in Boulder and now OM with a number of women who come to my home on a somewhat regular basis. Now, from the outside, this practice may strike one as odd and as most definitely sexual in nature. But in fact, while the stroker and strokee are playing with sexual energy, they are not “having sex” in the understood sense. The fifteen-minute practice is without a goal, beyond narrative, beyond the commercial model of male-female interaction. The partners focus on the point of connection, moment by moment. That alone. It becomes a life changer, and it becomes that in every relationship of any kind one enters into. Those interested can go to www.onetaste.us to watch a video and find out if there’s an OM community near them.

New Interview

Hi all,

I was interviewed by the awesome Tiffany Scandal on her blog. We discussed the forthcoming FLESH AND FIRE (forthcoming August 14th), my lifelong love of Stephen King, dinosaurs, bizarro, and horror.

Check it out on her website tiffanyscandalsucks.com

OR

If naked girls are your thing, it’s also featured on Suicide Girls blog.

Thanks for having me, Tiffany!

Interview with Bizarro Author MP Johnson

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One of the most fun books I read last year was the bizarro Sword and Sorcery epic, DUNGEONS AND DRAG QUEENS. I appear alongside the author, MP Johnson, in the Fall 2014 Issue of Blight Digest, and got to meet him at Bizarro Con this past November. I’m thrilled to have him featured on my blog this week for an interview, where we discuss the book, drag, bizarro, punk, and upcoming projects.

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LM: Tell us about your latest release, DUNGEONS AND DRAG QUEENS.

MP: It’s an epic fantasy book. Except, instead of having a boring, shirtless muscle dude wielding the sword, this book has a badass drag queen taking on dragons and other creatures. Oh, the things she has to do to keep her makeup right and tight!

LM: Based on our conversations at this past year’s Bizarro Con, I gathered that the novel had a lot of your passions in one place. What were some of your primary influences during the writing of DUNGEONS AND DRAG QUEENS?

MP: First, I love the whole sword and sorcery genre. I lean toward the gritty, blood-soaked books of Robert E. Howard, rather than the magical elf shit though.

Second, I love drag queens. I love the art of drag. I love that drag represents a subversion of the gender concepts that so many people hold dear, concepts that are complete bullshit. One aspect that’s really exciting to me is that most queens don’t come into this art with a political agenda. It’s like, “Oh hey, I’m going to make this fabulous dress and do the fiercest makeup and dance my fucking heart out and, oh yeah, I guess if I totally destroy your concept of what makes a man a man and a woman a woman that’s pretty cool too.”

I didn’t go into the writing process with any overt influences in mind, but I think a bit of Conan slipped in, and I’ve always got Troma and John Waters on my brain, and I was listening to Sharon Needles a lot.

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Photo by Gabino Iglesias

LM: You’ve spent a lot of time writing and publishing short stories. Do you prefer writing longer or shorter pieces?

MP: My preference is to make sure I never get bored. That means mixing everything up. I’ll work on a longer piece. Then I’ll set it aside and work on a short story or some flash fiction.

That being said, I’m putting more of an emphasis on books lately, because it’s a bit more fulfilling on the publication side of things. Markets for my type of short stories are rare. If a story does get published, a few people will read it and then it will more or less disappear.

There are so many more markets for my books than for my short stories, so I feel like my luck with books has been better. If all goes according to plan, I’ll have three new books out this year. That’s a lot more fulfilling than short stories, because I can take those books and have release parties and sell them at readings and sell them at tables at conventions. Books give me more of an opportunity to bring my writing out into the real world.

LM: Where can we find some of those short stories?

MP: Check out the bibliography section of my website, freaktension.com. It contains a constantly updated list, which is currently 50 strong. I recommend starting with “The Songwriter’s Fingers” at Revolver, which I consider one of my best pieces, and a quick read too.

LM: As a reader, do you prefer one length over the other?

MP: I tend to go back and forth between everything. I’m trying to work more poetry into my reading routine, but that’s not going very well.

LM: What’s a favorite passage from DUNGEONS AND DRAG QUEENS you would like to share here?

MP: How about just one word: “Slopulating.”

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LM: DUNGEONS AND DRAG QUEENS was definitely one of the most fun books I read last year. I understand it’s the first of a series? When does the next entry come out?

MP: I’ve been telling people it’s the first in a series, but it’s not really. I’m going to continue to write books featuring drag queens as protagonists. Characters may pop up in multiple books, but ultimately each book will stand alone. The next drag queen book is tentatively titled Drag Queen Dino Dance-Off and is tentatively scheduled for October release from Eraserhead Press.

LM: I read somewhere that you do readings at punk shows. What’s the response been like? Do you sign books at these shows as well?

MP: Generally speaking, my MO is that I will do readings whenever and wherever. Just ask. I’ll do a reading in your bathroom if you can cram five people in there to listen to me.

I grew up in the punk scene. I’m familiar with that crowd, and to some extent, that crowd is familiar with me. The first writing that I put out to the public was in my zine, Freak Tension. It was filled with spiteful music reviews, awkward band interviews and fucked up fiction. I used to give copies away at shows and people loved it.

Anyway, I’m friends with a lot of people in bands. Once in a while, someone will ask me to read between sets at a show, and I’ll say yes. The response has been really good. I’ve been to shows where people have done poetry or political spoken word between bands, and that often sends people running to the door. But I do fucked up comedy stories about people summoning demons with vagina mouths. Punks dig it. I’m practicing my hand-eye coordination though, because someday I’m going to get a bottle thrown at me. It’s inevitable.

When I do readings at shows, I’ll usually stake out a spot at the merch table. I’ll sell a handful of books and sign them if people want. I think punks want to read more, but have trouble finding stuff that fits their aesthetics. I’m trying to get bizarro fiction into their hands.

LM: What’s a fun fact about yourself you would like readers to know?

MP: I recently beat a guy up at a bar because he tried to steal my pretzel.

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For more info, check out MP Johnson’s site: https://freaktension.wordpress.com/

Interview with Author Tiffany Scandal

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You may remember the last time Tiffany Scandal showed up here. If you don’t, go read her short story Trembling Hands right now. A lot has happened since then. Her first year as part of Eraserhead Press’ New Bizarro Author Series came to a close. She started working with the excellent Living Dead Magazine. And she wrote a new novel, called JIGSAW YOUTH, which will be released this March through the female-author press Lady Box Books.

Amid all this, she found the time to do an interview with me. Check it out.

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LM: First, tell us about your upcoming release JIGSAW YOUTH.

TS: JIGSAW YOUTH is the story of a woman told in fragments. What makes her, what breaks her, and what helps her find the strength to keep going despite constantly being expected to fail. I had initially set out to write a fun, punk rock novel about young women who don’t give a fuck, but ended up with something stronger, heavier, more powerful.

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LM: What was your process like writing it? How was it different from writing THERE’S NO HAPPY ENDING?

TS: Terrible. (kidding!) When I pitched the concept to Constance, I was confident that I would be able to whip up a workable draft in a couple of weeks. Man, I couldn’t have been more wrong about anything ever. Even though I had a decent outline and the entire book mapped out in my head, once those first two chapters were typed out, I had to take a break because I was so emotionally exhausted. Now, I’m not meaning to imply that I wrote another bleak book. I mean, parts of them are to a certain degree, but I wrote a book that could very well be someone’s story. Life isn’t always laughter and roses. Writing about the uglier parts of existence can really fuck you up. If I’m not feeling the heartache, anger, frustration, or happiness that my characters are feeling, chances are, whoever reads the book isn’t going to either.

There were moments where I felt the same exhaustion with THERE’S NO HAPPY ENDING, but I had also managed, I think, to majorly desensitize myself because of all the research I had done on plagues and rotting processes. So by the time I got to the emotionally heavy hitting spots, I was already like, “killing off a likeable character? Ha. Whatever. I just spent two hours studying photographs of people infected with the bubonic plague.”

LM: How did you decide on Lady Box for a market?

TS: Oh, man. I don’t even know where to start.

First off, Constance Ann Fitzgerald is super ace. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since reading Trashland A Go-Go and meeting her at a Bizarro Con a few years back. It’s been nice to talk with someone who shares so many interests.

Now, two Bizarro Cons ago, she invited me to contribute to a project she wanted to put together. She was collecting chapbooks/zines from strong-voiced women and putting them together for a limited edition box set. The original Ladybox. The invitation was very flattering, and it was a total honor to have some of my work alongside powerhouses like Violet LeVoit, Rios de la Luz, Laura Lee Bahr, Spike Marlowe, Rae Alexandra, and, of course, Constance. It was a fun project, and Constance did such an amazing job spearheading the whole thing. So that was my glimpse into what it would be like working with her.

Because Ladybox was so well received, it became apparent that this project needed to go beyond a limited edition box set. Ladybox needed to be a press. A venue for female-identified writers to have their work be part of a catalogue that includes some of the fiercest voices in contemporary literature. And who better to run this than Constance herself. Thus, Ladybox Books was born.

Now this is where I might get super long-winded.

Before Ladybox Books was officially announced, there was a lot of bad press making the rounds about indie lit not being female-friendly. Allegations about rape and abuse and coercion. People who were told that they could be published if they _______. It was awful. And there’s also a massive disparity between pitches subbed by men and women. Having had conversations with people who publish books, I’d hear numbers like one to every twenty, and that’s just in the small press world. Ladybox Books will hopefully bridge and band-aid a lot of that. I see it as a movement that will help give female-identified writers a voice and venue to be heard. It’s not for women, it’s BY women. And shit like this gets me excited. So it seemed natural to want to be a part of this

LM: Do you have a favorite passage from JIGSAW YOUTH that you would like to share here?

TS: Here’s a short excerpt from the first chapter:

We went to three different strip clubs. Throughout the night, Hope seemed more and more distant. She drank so much she could barely stand. The cigarette breaks with her friend got longer. I felt foolish, and I chose to ignore it.

We were there with a group of friends. Each time Hope and Los Angeles got up, the others would shoot me a glance. I don’t know if they actually looked sad, or if I just saw them that way. I looked away at the stage. Fake blonde. Fake tits. Fake face. The dancer flirted with the audience. I imagined her smiling that same forced smile, perfect teeth, carving “I hate everything” into my skull.

 When they came back, Hope and Los Angeles were giggling and holding hands. I tried to focus on another conversation in the group. They sat, leaning into each other. Los Angeles whispered in her ear. Cold blue eyes locking on mine. Los Angeles mouthed the word “ugly.” Then they stopped whispering, and she told Hope I was fat and unattractive, and that she needed to ditch the zero. I was watching them, now. Hope finally looked at me and laughed, resting her head on Los Angeles’ shoulder. Hand on her thigh. Hope cracked a shit-faced smile.

I imagined carving “I hate everything” into their skulls. Like a mantra or a curse.

The woman on stage stopped dancing. She stared at me, through me, past me. I became deaf to the sound. Everyone stopped talking, as if frozen in place. Shades of red, smoke filling the room. I walked to the stage and reached into my pocket and held out a ten-dollar bill for the lady. She crouched and took it, knees cracking. Face inches from mine. She had heavy bags of disappointment under her eyes that looked like they lived several hard lives. Lines of her face obscured by the lights of the club. I told her she was pretty. She touched my cheek and mouthed Thank You.

 When I turned around, I saw Hope kissing Los Angeles. Everyone in our group just watching them blankly. I turned to the neon red EXIT sign and walked under it, hands in my pockets, not looking back.

LM: From all the pieces I’ve read from you, I can see you have a very diverse skill set. What are some of your influences?

TS: Oh, all over the place. RL Stine is the author that really got me reading when I was very young and served as my gateway into horror fiction. By junior high, I was reading the likes of Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, HP Lovecraft, and Richard Matheson. In college, I really got into magical surrealism and feminist literature. My favorite authors to go back to these days are Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, Sylvia Plath, Amy Hempel, Michelle Tea, Roberto Bolano, Thomas Pynchon. And lately, I find myself reading a lot of Violet Levoit, Brain Allen Carr, Sam Pink, Brian K. Vaughn, Jeremy Robert Johnson, and Cody Goodfellow. I’m also super obsessed with practically everything that Juliet Escoria is putting out.

LM: Where can we find some of your short stories?

TS: The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction issue eight, Strange Sex 2 Anthology, Wishful Thinking Anthology. This may be expanding in the very near future. I’ve also had non-fiction published in The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, BizarroCentral.com, Living Dead Magazine. There’s also stuff posted on blogs. Like (cough) yours (cough).

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LM: You recently finished up your year as part of the New Bizarro Author Series. What was that experience like?

TS: Great. I learned a lot through this experience. The main thing being that selling books is fucking hard. I remember thinking that selling a few hundred copies could be a piece of cake. If I could get thousands of strangers to vote for a photoset on Suicide Girls, surely, I could get a few hundred to buy a $10 book. Nope! Hahaha. My first month, I sold almost a third of my projected sales for the year. If I had a couple more months like that, I would be set. But then that drop off happened, and it got progressively harder to hit double-digit sales. Never gave up on trying though.

The Bizarro community has been the warmest group of creative persons I’ve ever encountered. And I feel so fortunate that not just my NBAS brothers and sisters were tremendous support systems, but also other authors, editors, and publishers. I came in as a fan and have never felt so welcomed by a community in my life. I would highly recommend/encourage any new author to try it out.

LM: Last year I went to World Horror Con and Bizarro Con and saw a lot of the same crew. Some of that was likely due to the fact that both were based in Portland, but I also think there’s a lot of crossover between both communities. Do you agree?

TS: Absolutely. I feel, in general, that a lot of bizarro fans are also horror fans. And when you’ve got authors like John Skipp, Robert Devereaux, Brian Keene, and Shane McKenzie (just to name a few) who regularly attend, and sometimes teach workshops at, Bizarro Con, the crossover seems almost seamless. I attended my first World Horror Con because of some of the people I met through Bizarro Con.

LM: What’s a fun fact about yourself that you think readers would like to know.

TS: Believe it or not, I actually used to be a social worker. For seven years, I provided counseling and case management services to at-risk youth/young adults. I’ve worked in residential facilities, drop-in centers, therapeutic schools. I’ve seen my fair amount of horror with these jobs. I was almost stabbed with a syringe; I’ve physically broken up fights, witnessed hostage situations and had to negotiate for people’s safety, and basically had local law enforcement on speed dial. I was also a certified drug and alcohol counselor, and worked with people who were actively struggling with addiction. The job was intense, but I loved it. Had a supervisor not stumbled across my Suicide Girls profile and deemed my involvement with that site inappropriate for the agency, I’d probably still be a social worker and not a writer. So I guess her browsing at naked ladies on the internet was kind of a blessing. Because I fucking love to write.

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Thanks for the interview, Tiffany!

Readers, find out more at http://tiffanyscandalsucks.com/

Interview with Author/Editor Jeff Burk

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I’m psyched to interview Jeff Burk. He’s the author of SHATNERQUAKE, SUPER GIANT MONSTER TIME, and CRIPPLE WOLF, Head Editor of Eraserhead Press’s horror imprint Deadite Press, and enthusiastic collector of DINOSAURS ATTACK trading cards. I first met him at World Horror Con in Portland where I watched a clown staple a copy of one of his novels to his back during the annual Gross-Out Contest. Don’t let the kill-rock star antics fool you though. In conversation, he’s one of the genre’s most articulate voices and as a publisher provides a venue for those who prefer their horror fiction rare, bloody, and crawling with maggots.

Read on for the interview.

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LM: Deadite Press has already done a lot during the five years since its launch, what can readers expect from you as a publisher in 2015?

JB: Other than lots of new books from Deadite authors you know and love like Brian Keene and Edward Lee, there will also be a few brand new authors having books released through Deadite. Bryan Killian will be the first new author you see in March with an awesome, intense, and violent zombie novel titled WELCOME TO NECROPOLIS.

Later in the year will be the first Deadite Press anthology – HARDCORE FUCKING HORROR. I promise the contents earn that title.

LM: In your essay, “You Sick Fuck, Or Why I Love Extreme Horror,” you talk about how hardcore horror, with its often realistic elements, scares you—which is, of course, what horror should do. Was there ever a piece of quiet horror that really got under your skin?

JB: Not really. Quiet horror just doesn’t do anything for me. I’m not sure I can even name a quiet horror story that I really enjoyed. I can get into a few quiet horror movies – the remake of THE WOMAN IN BLACK and the original THE HAUNTING stand out in my mind – but I greatly prefer horror that goes straight to the throat and doesn’t let up.

To compare it to punk music (what I mostly listen to), the type of horror I like would be equivalent to the Dead Kennedys or Leftover Crack. Most quiet horror comes across to me as Blink-182 – an attempt to water down and pander a chaotic form of art/expression to a more mainstream sensibilities.

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LM: I recently read a post by Rose O’Keefe that said you thought ghosts were going to be the next big trend in horror. Did anything specific lead you to that conclusion?

JB: I believe quiet horror (which ghosts stories dominate) is going to be the main trend in the genre for the next few years. Horror is a pendulum that swings back and forth in how it expresses itself. On one side you have the more splattery, visceral stories and on the other you have the more subdued, psychological side.

For most of the past decade, torture porn and extreme horror dominated the genre. This started right after 9/11 in America with the release of HOSTEL and SAW. But now the pendulum has swung back. The SAW series was replaced by PARANORMAL ACTIVITY as the annual horror franchise and Eli Roth can’t even find a distributor for his new cannibal flick THE GREEN INFERNO. The most celebrated and praised horror film of 2014 was easily THE BABADOOK – which I found to be a rather generic and forgettable family drama with some supernatural elements.

This is far from the first time we’ve seen this change. In the eighties splatterpunk and slashers defined the genre and then in the nineties were got endless meta-teen comedies and things-that-go-bump-in-the-night ghost stories (we have SCREAM and THE SIXTH SENSE to thank for that terrible decade in the genre).

LM: In the same post, she said you were interested in seeing horror manuscripts featuring mummies. What would you like to see done with mummies that hasn’t been done before?

JB: Hahaha. That was more of an off-the-cuff remark I made to Rose while we were on a cigarette break at the Eraserhead Press office about what “topic” I would like to see someone address in a Deadite book.

The horror genre can be so varied but we get book after book and movie after movie focusing on the same topics – zombies, serial killers, rednecks, and vampires seem to completely dominate the genre. And I know that I’m guilty of assisting with that as Deadite has put out multiple books focusing on all those things.

But there are so many other cool topics and tropes that creators rarely touch. Mummies was just an off the top of my head example. But we could do with a lot more variety. Where are the mummy stories? Where are the stories about kaiju or dinosaurs or killer robots? I know there are some out there but they make up the fringe elements of the genre.

Horror has always had the problem of taking the same concepts and just doing them over and over again – just look at the found footage craze as a perfect example of this in current horror films. But horror can come from anywhere and anything. I just would like to see more creativity, imagination, and variety in the genre.

LM: I think what sets Deadite apart is that although the books are extreme, most of the titles didn’t strike me as “gore for gore’s sake.” For example, the work of Wrath James White is loaded with deeper social and philosophical messages and Edward Lee’s stuff is pretty damn funny, as well as grotesque. Am I right in this assessment or am I reading into the works too much?

JB: Thank you. That is what I try to do with Deadite. I like my horror to be filled with sex and violence but just sex and violence without a grander agenda becomes boring.

One aspect of Deadite Press that I think most readers – both fans and haters – miss is that there is an overarching political agenda with the titles. You will never find a Deadite book that promotes sexism, racism, homophobia, religion, materialistic greed, or blind patriotism. While many Deadite titles explore these themes, at the end of the book it is clear that these are the evils of the world and far worse than any fictional monster.

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LM: I’m going to shift to bizarro for a bit, since you also do some work for Eraserhead Press. What’s on their publishing agenda for 2015?

JB: I know there’s a bunch of things in the works but I’m not quite sure what all I can talk about. One of the upcoming titles that I’m looking forward to is a new collection from David Agranoff titled AMAZING PUNK STORIES. It’s made up of stories from various pulp subgenres (post-apocalyptic, horror, fantasy, western, etc…) but presented with all the mohawks, steel-toed boots, and Ronald Reagan bashing that is normally missing from those types of stories.

And some guy named Carlton Mellick III has some books coming out.

LM: Why do you think the horror and bizarro communities seem to work so well together?

JB: Bizarro got its start in the horror scene because of one simple reason – horror fans are actually some of the most open minded people in the world. They fully embrace creators like John Waters, David Lynch, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and others who aren’t explicitly horror but work in genre-related material. Horror fans are welcoming to anything that truly tests their senses in ways other genre fans aren’t – of course, this is all just my opinion.

LM: Anything new on the writing front for you?

I am currently trying to finish my long-awaited (by someone I’m sure) new novel, HOMOBOMB. It’s about a bomb who is attracted to other bombs instead of people and buildings. Hopefully, you’ll be seeing that sometime this year.

After that will be LORD OF THE LARPERS – a sort of rewrite of LORD OF THE FLIES but with warring groups of LARPers (live action role-players) instead of kids. A group of civil war reenactors led by Robert E. Lee will be the main villains.

I’ve also started working on my first horror novel. Its current working title is A SNUFF FILM IN A HAUNTED HOUSE. It’s about, well, you can probably figure it out from the title.

And I have a new novella in progress called MY CAT IS A CAM WHORE.

I just gotta sit down and finish writing these fuckers.

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LM: Tell us a fun fact about yourself that you would like readers to know.

JB: I’ll give you three:

1: I’m banned from the Monroeville Mall (where DAWN OF THE DEAD was filmed) for shoplifting a DAWN OF THE DEAD DVD. It was the only time I ever stole anything and I got caught. I’m a terrible criminal.

2: I love playing Magic: the Gathering and chess.

3: I probably own more DINOSAURS ATTACK trading cards than any other living human being. I buy them by the case.

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Thanks for stopping by, Jeff!

For more info, check him out at https://jeffburk.wordpress.com/ or follow him on Twitter.