AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Jamie Lee

Meghan: Hi, Jamie. Welcome to Meghan’s House of Books AND our annual Halloween Extravaganza. Thanks for stopping by today. What is your favorite part of Halloween?

Jamie: The uptick in horror movies, which is odd considering the number of streaming services that I subscribe to. But I have fond memories of getting my schoolwork completed and taking a long nap, all so I could stay up obscenely late to watch late showing of Hammer movies.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween tradition?

Jamie: It’s one that I’ve let lapse, sadly, but want to pick up again. I used to read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, every year, for Halloween.

Meghan: If Halloween is your favorite holiday (or even second favorite holiday), why?

Jamie: Halloween is the time of year I pick up my new, home décor.

Meghan: What are you superstitious about?

Jamie: Opening an umbrella. I was eight the first time I did this and my mother informed me that it was bad luck, so I proceeded to do it several more times. Later that day I was chased down the road by several feral dogs, which my grandfather intercepted by swinging a cane like a club. Since then, I haven’t felt the need to test the validity of bad luck, with a repeat performance.

Meghan: What/who is your favorite horror monster or villain?

Jamie: I love Sam, from the movie Trick R Treat. He’s the perfect gentleman, if you’re celebrating Halloween appropriately; otherwise, he tends to get a tad stabby.

Meghan: Which unsolved murder fascinates you the most?

Jamie: The Torso murders. It’s what Elliot Ness did, when he wasn’t chasing Al Capone.

Meghan: Which urban legend scares you the most?

Jamie: The ankle slicing, car thief. Because, ouch!

Meghan: Who is your favorite serial killer and why?

Jamie: Mine is fictional, Hannibal Lecter. He eats the rude.

Meghan: How old were you when you saw your first horror movie? How old were you when you read your first horror book?

Jamie: I saw The Exorcist when I was five, which is probably more a statement about parenting. It gave me waking nightmares all-night, so much that I couldn’t tell, if I was awake or dreaming.

I believe I was twelve, when I first read The Stand, by Stephen King. I couldn’t put it down, so much so that I finished it in a day.

Meghan: Which horror novel unsettled you the most?

Jamie: I remember the Splatterpunk genre and had an anthology of short stories, entitled funnily enough: Splatterpunk. I had to read it in small doses and don’t know if I ever completely finished it.

Meghan: Which horror movie scarred you for life?

Jamie: See The Exorcist, above. Although, Creepshow is a contender, after I saw it when I was six or seven.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween costume?

Jamie: I bought one of the “paint your own” Halloween masks when I was in college. It was a red skull. I spent days working on it and didn’t think the brushes were good enough, so I started using some of my Warhammer brushes for detail work. Anything that allows me to mix hobbies is just magical.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween-themed song?

Jamie: I am listening to “I Am Halloween” by Midnight Nightmare, as I type this.

Also, the Munsters theme song!

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween candy or treat? What is your most disappointing?

Jamie: Caramel apples, even if I’m such a fastidious eater now that I’d cut one into slices before eating.

Smarties: they are colored chalk, but that never stopped them getting used as a staple of Halloween bag filler, as a child.

Meghan: This has been great fun. Thank you again for participating. One more thing before you go: What are your go-to Halloween movies and books?

Jamie:
Movies: Halloween (original), Trick R Treat
Books: Dracula


Boo-graphy:
Jamie Lee has been writing fiction for 30 years. His debut release, Harmony, has been 25 years in the making. While he holds a degree in Microbiology and welcomes comparisons to a mad scientist, writing has always been his first love and interest.

After a successful private release in 2019 of short stories, Harmony was finally ready to debut in March of 2020.

However, life had other plans.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the release, rollout, and convention travel in support of Harmony to come to a screeching halt.

With an unexpected year-long hiatus, Jamie chose to work on final edits and begin to focus on the second book in the Harmony series, Cacophony.

When not writing, Jamie is a fervent, life-long gamer. He can be found every Friday night with long time friends playing any number of online RPGs and, during the week and weekend, building and painting his countless Warhammer armies, playing any chance he gets. He also enjoys health and fitness, reading, music, traveling, searching or the best bar-b-que and being fueled by endless coffee and kombucha. He is forever searching for the perfect haunted home to live in since his condo is simply not large enough for a proper library or laboratory.

GUEST POST: Christine Morgan

Your Move, Martha

After my appearance on an episode of his Bizzong! podcast, the esteemed Mr. Frank described me as “the Martha Stewart of extreme horror.” Now, there’s a moniker I never would have expected, but, nonetheless, gleefully embraced.

(The invariable immediate follow-up question is usually “so then who’s your Snoop?”, the answer to which is equally invariable and immediate: Jeff Burk, forever one of my favorite people in the world!)

Anyway, this came about because of my propensity to bake creepy cookies and cupcakes, and make creepy crafts, many of which I like to bring to events or present to my fellow creepy creatives. They’re great for book launches, readings, conventions, surprise gifts.

Many of these demented experiments spring from my own imagination, or are inspired by the works of others; I’ve done doll-mods, crafts, and baked goods inspired by book covers, characters, concepts, etc. I made death’s head moths for the fine folks at Death’s Head Press, sent the publisher at Bloodshot Books a giant painted ceramic bloodshot eyeball, and gave Brian Keene a batch of handmade “clickers.”

But, for the purposes of this post, I’m going to focus solely on weird shit I’ve made based on some famous horror films. Doll-mods, mostly, with a few other odds and ends (mainly odds) thrown in.

The earliest of these, chronologically speaking, was this nut-people version of Carrie at the prom, which I made for my daughter:

Also from the nut-people line, a nice little nightmare I like to call the Pecan Centipede:

Which, by the way, had a much larger cousin one year for Halloween:

Now, at some point along the line, I’d ordered a bunch of craft supply ‘book boxes,’ which aren’t boxes to store books but boxes shaped like books. A DIY Necronomicon was, of course, a must!

The doll-mods, though, always provide the biggest challenge, and tend to be the most fun. I’ve included pics from the movies I used as my reference in most cases, to see how close I was able to get with little more than a hot glue gun and paint.

Whenever I’m asked my favorite horror monster, the answer has got to be the classic Gill-Man. He was my daughter’s fave, too; while other kids were checking out cartoon movies from the library, she would beeline right for Creature From The Black Lagoon every time. So, naturally, I had to make a doll of him for her!

And who doesn’t love that lunkhead, Jordy Verrill? Portrayed in Creepshow by none other than Stephen King himself?

Now, sometimes there are moments in movies maybe meant to be horrific, but turn out more hilarious instead. For me, one such moment is in the original Fright Night; hello, Amy!

If some of your friends are so obsessed with a franchise they even have a Friday the 13th themed wedding, well …

Speaking of things providing challenges, by the way, the hardest part of this build was having to make the damn tricycle!

One challenge, however, I did not undertake was my roommate-at-the-time’s suggestion to make this one spew green goop:

Occasionally, I will make something that creeps even me out, so I am very glad the awesome Mary SanGiovanni agreed to give this one a good home:

As terrific and fun as was Cabin in the Woods, I think we all agree the by-far best bits came when we got to see all the other options, and dream of the alternate versions of the movie that could have been. Like, say, either of these two:

Hail to the king, baby. ‘nuff said.

And, to finish with a drastic departure from crafts into cooking, who’s hungry for some SHARKTATO MEATNADO?

Yes, that is a bacon-wrapped meatloaf tornado with potatoes carved into sharks. Life is too short to make plain old boring loaf-shaped meatloaf. I could do a whole other post about those culinary experiments too.

Do I deserve the title Mr. Frank so graciously bestowed upon me? I am far from an expert, far from having my own entire multi-million-dollar brand name and empire. But, for now, I can just say — and after seeing her as a judge on Chopped, I know she’s one of the scariest people alive — your move, Martha!

Christine’s Crazy Cat-Lady Stuff


Boo-graphy:
Christine Morgan recently quit her night-shift job and moved from rainy Portland to sunny Southern California to help out her mom and hopefully make a plunge as a full-time writer. Several months later, she’s still reeling from the culture shock of adjusting to daytime life, but finally has a real office/library full of bookshelves and critter skeletons, as well as a dinosaur-themed bedroom. Because she is a) a grown up and b) a professional.

Christine Morgan’s World of Words
Amazon