Hello my Freaky Darlings,
Today we have Michael McCarty in the interrogation seat.
Michael has been a professional writer since 1983, and the author of over thirty-five books of fiction and nonfiction, including I Kissed a Ghoul, Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews with Horror and Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers, Laughing In the Dark, A Hell of a Job, A Little Help From My Fiends, Dark Duets, Monster Behind the Wheel (co-written with Mark McLaughlin), Lost Girl of the Lake (co-written with Joe McKinney), Conversations with Kreskin (co-written with The Amazing Kreskin), The Scream Queen series Night of the Scream Queen and Return of The Scream Queen (co-written with Linnea Quigley), The Bloodless series Bloodless, Bloodlust and Bloodline (co-written with Jody LaGreca), and Liquid Diet & Midnight Snack.
His latest book is Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirsty Tales (co-written with Mark McLaughlin) and published by Wildside Press.
He is a five-time Bram Stoker Finalist, and in 2008, won the David R. Collins’ Literary Achievement Award from the Midwest Writing Center. He lives in Rock Island, Illinois, with his wife, Cindy, and pet rabbit, Latte.
- What drives you to write?
What drives me to write? My car? Alcohol? My legion of fans? I am a very driven person with or without an automobile or booze or fans. LOL.
Actually, I have this driven desire to write books because I like the process of writing: I like creating a story from scratch, I like having characters you care about and a book you’ll remember for a long time after reading it. I enjoy doing book signings. I also like getting good reviews on Amazon, GoodRead and Barnes & Noble – so please keep them coming too. And any pocket change left from the sales is always a plus. LOL.
- What attracted you to writing horror?
I think horror was attracted to me, like the alien popping out of the space egg and attaching itself to my face.
I like the dark side – don’t be afraid of the dark. I also add a twist of dark humor to horror like any good martini, you always add a twist to it.
- Who are your favourite horror writers?
You want me to get in trouble, huh? If I tell you 10 names, I make 500 enemies.
Well, I can include the ones I interviewed in Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews With Horror and Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers published by Crystal Lake Publishing: C. Dean Andersson, Ray Bradbury, Ramsey Campbell, Elvira, Rusty Fischer, Neil Gaiman, Mick Garris, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jack Ketchum, Dean Koontz, Thomas Ligotti, Bentley Little, Graham Masterton, Richard Matheson, Joe McKinney, Christopher Moore, William F. Nolan, John Saul, David Snell, Darce Stoker, Peter Straub and Whitley Strieber.
I suppose it is safe to name my collaborators too: Mark McLaughlin, Sherry Decker, Linnea Quigley, Stan Swanson, Jody LaGreca and Joe McKinney.
- Which horror novels do you think every horror fan should read?
That’s easy: Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirtsy Tales by Mark McLaughlin & Michael McCarty.
In the novella “Dracula Transformed,” Dracula is brought back from beyond the grave in a manner that gives him startling new powers. Using these powers, he begins a bloody campaign of vengeance. In “Lucy Transformed,” you will learn of the relationship between Dracula and his daughter Zaleska, as well as his growing fondness for Lucy Westenra — a fondness that will seal Lucy’s doom. Even more vampiric horror awaits you in the remaining nine tales.
You might want to read that other Dracula book too, Dracula by Bram Stoker.
- Ebooks or paperback?
Paper or plastic? LOL …. Paperbacks of course.
- What would make you pick up a novel by a new author?
The storyline, the character, the cover, the blurb.
I stumble onto a lot of new books and buy them. My fans say the same thing about my work. If you find an interesting new book, please check it out.
- Who is your favourite fictional character?
Of the ones I have written probably Tommy Wharton from I Kissed A Ghoul. I also have a fondness for Daniel Peck in the Bloodless series: Bloodless, Bloodlust and Bloodline (co-written with Jody LaGreca)
Of all time? Too many to list.
- Do you plot your stories or does it just unfold before your eyes?
Both. My writing is really more organic; the story dictates how it is written and what happens. For example Night of the Scream Queen (co-written with Linnea Quigley) had an outline. The sequel Return of the Scream Queen (co-written with Linnea Quigley and Stan Swanson) didn’t.
Monster Behind The Wheel (co-written with Mark McLaughlin) had an outline. Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirsty Tales (co-written with Mark McLaughlin) didn’t have an outline.
I Kissed a Ghoul had an outline, but I ended up not using it. LOL.
- Do your characters take on a life or do they do things you didn’t plan?
Both, really. In Monster Behind The Wheel (co-written with Mark McLaughlin), I did a 22-page interview with the protagonist Jeremy Carmichael. Mark said, “How would the antagonist Frank Edmonson answer those same questions?” The novel became three-dimensional after that.
With I Kissed a Ghoul the character just came to life and it was my job as the author to put the beast back into the box. LOL.
- Do you listen to music when you write or do you need silence?
I listen to music when I am writing. Silence when I edit.
- Do you do a lot of research for your stories?
Yes! Yes! And oh God, yes! For Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirsty Tales (co-written Mark McLaughlin) Mark and I did a lot of research on the original publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula what was cut out and why. Plus we did a lot of investigations into the Vlad Dracul family and found it interesting that the Prince of Darkness did indeed have a daughter, which led us to the story, “Lucy Transformed.”
In Bloodless (co-written with Jody LaGreca) and published by Simon & Shuster. I researched the hell out of the sinking of the Lusitania and the Hindenburg explosion disasters.
Sometimes I spend more time researching fiction, than I do nonfiction.
- Facebook or Twitter?
I have both, but like Facebook a lot more than Twitter. Personally, I find it difficult to post links and photos to your books on Twitter.
- What really pisses you off about writing?
Maybe pisses off isn’t a good expression, but what I find heartbreaking about the publishing industry in general is this: so much attention and sales is spent on the 1%, the Stephen Kings, the J.K. Rowlings, the James Pattsons, the Harlan Coburns, the Nora Roberts, and so on, that the rest of the 99% of us; have to fight tooth and nail to get attention and sales.
So please go out and support the Mark McLaughlins, the Jody LaGrecas, the Joe McKinneys, the Terrie Leigh Relfs and Michael McCartys out there.
Please check out my books! All of my work is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or ordered at your local bookstore or library. You can find me on Twitter, GoodReads, FaceBook, and my blog site. And of course, I love to hear from my fans, so you can snail mail me at this address: Michael McCarty, P.O. Box 4441, Rock Island, IL 61204-4441.
Thank you, God Bless, and Godspeed.
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