Who has influenced you the most as an author?
I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, I was raised on Dr. Suess and comic books. I grew up with my parents reading Stephen King and Dean Koonz to each other on long car rides. So, they were probably my earliest horror influence. In high school I found Clive Barker and H.P. Lovecraft and I think both of them played a huge part in the development of my style. Also, David Lynch (most notably Twin Peaks), Quentin Tarantino, and the Coen Brothers have all been important influences for me as well.
What is your favorite thing about the Horror genre?
Monsters. I love the different shapes and faces ‘monsters’ have in horror. From Cthulhu to Pinhead, from the Trikoloptikon to The Crater Lake Monster, and from IT to Mr. Brooks they all fascinate me. Strange unstoppable beasts stir that deepest darkest fear I hide so well.
How do you feel reviewing books has helped you as an author?
Reviewing books has exposed me to a very wide range of styles and authors. I think reviews are important so I try to do decently in depth reviews that focus on what I love about the work. I’m not a critical person so I have a hard time tearing someone’s work apart. Before I review anything I read it more than once, so I catch anything I might have missed, so I dig deeper than I did before reviews. Please, leave reviews for your favorite books on places like amazon, barnes and nobles, and goodreads!
What is the strangest story you have ever read?
Since I like my strange twisted, I’ll say Carlton Mellick III’s Apeshit. It is a B-grade slasher story that honors old traditions at the same time it pushes every limit you can think of. It is the first book that has ever had me speechless at the halfway point. As a fan of Bizarro and old school slasher flicks it is right up my dark alley. If you got the stomach for it, it is well worth the ride.
Bizarro fiction is becoming more and more popular. Why do you think that is and why do you enjoy writing and reading it?
It is gaining popularity because it is damned entertaining! For so long people have only read what has been feed to them from big name publishers who specialize in formulated hackneyed stories. Bizarro follows only the rules the author sets and is only limited by their creative mind. You never know what you are gonna get when you dive into some good bizarro. In general, the characters are more memorable, the plots more twisted, and the stories far more interesting than what has been popular for the last twenty years. Movies have been reaching ‘cult status’ since the early sixties and Bizarro is the literary equivalent to that.
The genre itself is immense and it grows every month as more and more talented writers get their weird on. The men and women spearheading this fiction revolution are life long readers and movie fans and it shows with the quality of their stories. While Bizarro may not be for everybody there is a Bizarro author for everyone. Often times people get stuck on the crass element of Bizarro and that only cheats themselves. Out of the last 20 books I’ve read 16 have been Bizarro titles. And while they all shared weirdness each was unique and boasted its own twisted characteristics. There is heartfelt-Bizarro, gorefest-Bizarro, pulpy noir-Bizarro, cartoon-Bizarro, comedy-Bizarro, and a half million other kinds of Bizarro. I personally believe every writer (regardless of what genre they practice) should have some Bizarro on their bookshelves.
As far as writing it, that’s an entirely different ball game. There is a freedom in setting your own rules and ignoring the status quo. Good Bizarro isn’t just weird; it sticks with you like hot tar on your brain. However, each and every Bizarro writer steps out on a limb when they share their work with the world because it isn’t the cookie cutter novel fodder and therefore more open to doubters and critics.
If an author wanted to try to write a Bizarro story, what suggestions would you give them?
READ some Bizarro! I highly recommend the three Bizarro Starter Kits (Orange, Blue, and the AWESOME Purple) as a good starting point. Each features ten very talented authors. Also, swing by bizarrocentral.com to learn more about it. Bizarro is the genre of the weird but at the same time it is much, much more than just weird. READ, READ, and then READ some more before you unleash your literary wild side.
If you had to pick one thing out of the stories you have written that was too 'off the wall' even for you the author of the story, what would it be?
This is a hard question for me. I become desensitized to things once I write them so nothing seems too weird. Most of HEINOUS (my first novel, currently being re-written for The Library of Horror) is strange in the sense that it is twisted, relentlessly violent, and pushes more boundaries in that way than anything else I’ve written.
The Apocalypse and Satan’s Glory Hole is ‘off-the-wall’ from beginning to end. I still can’t read a single page without giggling.
You co-authored a book with Timothy W. Long called The Apocalypse and Satan's Glory Hole. How was it to work with him and would you consider co-authoring a book with an author again based on your experience?
Tim is awesome to work with! The process behind Apoc was fun, fun, and then a little bit more fun. We clicked in the perfect way and I KNOW we will work together again. Tim is a whirlwind of talent and I’m proud to call him one of my best friends.
As far as working with other authors, yes. Definitely. I enjoy working on collaborative efforts. I actually have a short list of writers I plan on working with over the next two years on a number of different projects. This year I am part of the massive Collaboration of the Dead, a monster project featuring (I think) me and nineteen other writers.
One of the things I’m doing this year with The Library of Bizarro Horror is a few two author Bizarro books. The first will feature Jordan Krall and William Pauley III and they are hard at work on it now. These two are not only phenomenal talents but funny guys with an honest friendship forged between them. I think it’ll be one of the coolest collabs ever!
Can you tell us a bit about Mr. Moon's Nightmares?
Mr. Moon’s Nightmares is my first collection of short stories. It contains two novellas, a serial story, and several other stories of varying lengths. It is stuffed with monsters of every shape and size just like I like ‘em. There are werewovles, demons, ghosts, witches, vampires, and many more! I base most of the stories in the same fictional region and I mix beauty and horror till they become entwined. I have something in here for everyone and, seriously, everyone should own it.
Doc Pus (owner of The Library of the Living Dead) is gonna do a Mr. Moon’s Podcast full of my dark stories. That should be out sometime within the next few months. Then, there will be darkness for your eyes and your ears.
Where can people find Mr. Moon's Nightmares?
Where can people find more out about you?
The brave ones can find me at my Monkey Faced Demon blog at www.mrmoonblogs.blogspot.com where they can keep up with upcoming releases like HEINOUS, Six Bloody Bags of Gold, and Mr. Moon’s Nightmares Vol 2. As well as read reviews and the interviews I do that feature the DEATHMATCH QUESTION!
I can also be found on facebook and twitter as well as lurking on the Library of the Living Dead Press forum and the Bizarro Central forum. I swear I get border-line social anxiety even on line sometimes but I love meeting new fiends…hehehe.