AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Kristopher Rufty

Meghan: What is your favorite part of Halloween?

Kristopher: I’m in love with all of it. Have been since I was a kid. Now, I get to enjoy it with my own children, which makes the holiday even more fun. We’ll bake Halloween cookies, using spooky cookie cutters and carve jack-o-lanterns and all. It’s always a fun time in the Rufty house.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween tradition?

Kristopher: All of it. It’s hard for me to narrow it down. I do like a good Halloween party, though.

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

Kristopher: I guess because Halloween sparks that childlike fun and excitement in me. Usually, every day is a form of spooky season for me, but during the Halloween season, it’s all over the place, everywhere I look. Just makes my heart pump as it did all those years ago.

Meghan: What are you superstitious about?

Kristopher: Not too much of anything anymore. As a kid, I was superstitious about everything because my mother sometimes leaned that way herself. It’s just something I don’t put too much faith into anymore—superstition. I feel like if the day is going to be bad, it’s just going to be bad.

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

Kristopher: Jason Voorhees. I love all the iconic and not-so iconic slashers. Jason is my favorite, though.

Meghan: Which unsolved murder fascinates you the most?

Kristopher: I don’t know how many fascinate me over the other. My daughter reads and watches a bunch of true crime, so she tells me a lot about it. I’m curious about Jack the Ripper, of course. And the Black Dahlia, how her case exposed a side of Hollywood that nobody really knew about at the time.

Meghan: Which urban legend scares you the most?

Kristopher: I’m really not sure. There’s a few that are kind of terrifying. One that probably gets to me a bit, because I see it out here where I live, is the legend about the headlights. I’ve passed many cars with no headlights on. Not once have I felt obligated to flash them with my lights out of fear of being chased down and killed.

Meghan: Who is your favorite serial killer and why?

Kristopher: Ed Gein. Though he wasn’t technically a serial killer. I guess what sparked my interest in him was the fact so many of my favorite stories were based on his crimes. My own imagination began to run wild with Gein ideas and that was how The Vampire of Plainfield was born. To me, he seemed to be a very lonely, bored man who became consumed by his sick fantasies.

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

Kristopher: I was five and watched Friday the 13th on a summer Saturday while my mom was busy canning. I loved it. Friday the 13th part 2 aired that night and the following weekend, Friday the 13th part 3 was shown. It was all over for me after that. I was hooked on horror. Luckily, I had parents that were very vocal about explaining how its make-believe and the people in the movies were just pretending. I started drawing pictures of what I saw in the movies, using crayons and construction paper. My mom would hang them on the fridge. From then on, I spent a lot of time trying to turn my friends into horror fans. Most of the time, I succeeded.

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

Kristopher: I read a lot of children’s horror books like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, books like that. I read my first adult novel around the time I was twelve. It was King’s Gerald’s Game. From there, I read Night Shift. Then my father introduced me to John Saul. I read Nathaniel and Sleep Walk. Then my dad led me to Graham Masterton. I loved them all.

Years later, a friend introduced me to authors Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, and Edward Lee. I read Off Season and it changed my life. I’m serious when I say that. That book completely changed everything on how I viewed my own writing, and it let me know it was okay to have a good bit of gore and sex stuff in the story.

Meghan: Which horror novel unsettled you the most?

Kristopher: The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum. It’s truly terrifying because of how real it is. It’s based on a true story that Ketchum took liberties with. Yet, he somehow manages to capture all the intensity and brutality while writing it in such a way you can’t stop reading it no matter how awful it makes you feel doing so. He was truly a master.

Meghan: Which horror movie scarred you for life?

Kristopher: The Changeling with George C. Scott. That movie is just constant grim darkness for its entirety. Some of those scenes have stayed with me through the years. I’ve only watched it twice in all my life.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween costume?

Kristopher: In the third grade, I dressed up as Jason Voorhees. My uncle had a shirt that looked a lot like Jason’s shirt. I had a bald cap and a hockey mask. This was when you could still wear masks at school for Halloween. I showed up with fake blood splattered on my clothes, carrying a plastic sword that was supposed to be my machete, dressed in total Voorhees Cosplay. I was very popular that day.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween-themed song?

Kristopher: Monster Mash! I love it!

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

Kristopher: I know this candy isn’t the best candy in the world, but to me it’s not Halloween without Smarties. As a kid, I also enjoyed getting little paper treat bags filled with different goodies. Whenever somebody opened the door and held a large bowl with these small paper bags adorned with ghosts and witches, I knew I was in for something special. Sometimes there would be Halloween erasers or little plastic spider rings, fake eyeballs. All kinds of good stuff.

The most disappointing treat is that honey candy. I can’t remember what’s it called, but it’s basically like a small ruler made of sticky, honey-flavored puddy. Yuck.


Boo-graphy:
Kristopher Rufty is the writer and director of the movies Psycho Holocaust, Rags, and Wicked Wood, and also the author of Angel Board, PillowFace, and The Lurkers. He has a new book, The Devoured & the Dead, coming soon from Death’s Head Press, part of their Splatter Western line.

He used to host Diabolical Radio, an internet radio show devoted to horror fiction and film for five years and developed quite an archive list and following.

He is married to his high school sweetheart and is the father of two insane children that he loves dearly, and together they reside in North Carolina with their 120 pound dog, Thor, and a horde of cats. He is currently working on his next novel, script, or movie.

Angel Board
Not all angels are sane.

Someone saved David Barker’s life, but he doesn’t know who—or what—she is. Now he’s haunted by the image of that beautiful, nebulous vision with the features of a woman and determined to find out why she appeared when he almost died. David uses an angel board in hopes of contacting her, and unfortunately for him, he succeeds. This angel has loved him all his life, guarded him and protected him. And she’ll hurt anyone who interferes with that love. David’s guardian angel is obsessive, possessive…and homicidal. Her unyielding love for him will leave a trail of grisly “accidents” and murders as she eliminates all those who want to hurt David. Or love him.

Pillowface
Twelve year old Joel Olsen loves all things devoted to horror.

Movies, comics, books, and of course his true passion, special effects. Being raised by his older sister Haley after the sudden death of their parents Joel is in a world truly of his own. But at the launch of summer vacation Joel finds lying bloodied and near death in his backyard, a masked man that is the epitome of what he adores. A flesh and blood slasher maniac! When he invites the masked man into his home to recover from his wounds an unexpected friendship is born, but Joel quickly realizes he’s actually become involved in a true to life horror tale that he’ll be lucky to survive. This maniac known as Pillowface is not only an uncontrollable killing machine, but he also has others searching for him, and they will go to great and bloody lengths to find him.

The Lurkers
They’re waiting for you in the woods.

They’ve lived in the woods and cornfields for as long as anyone can remember. Small, humanoid creatures with sharp teeth and grasping hands. The people in what’s left of the nearby town live in fear. They’ve learned that if they let the creatures take what they want, they won’t be attacked. An uneasy peace has reigned. But no more. The leader of the creatures has decided his kind will be dormant no longer. To survive, they must kill. They will satisfy their unholy hunger with their favorite prey—humans. But some humans—females—will be kept alive in captivity…to breed.

The Vampire of Plainfield
Plainfield, Wisconsin. 1954.

Robbing graves to appease his malevolent desires, Ed Gein inadvertently sets loose an ancient vampire on the unsuspecting town of Plainfield. As the number of missing persons rises, Ed realizes the vampire’s ultimate plan has been put into motion, and to prevent his dastardly practices from being exposed, he decides to slay the vampire himself. But he soon understands that he’s all the hope Plainfield has. As the few people closest to Ed are sucked into the vampire’s realm, he’ll be forced to reach deep inside himself to bring the incredible nightmare to an end.

On this night, the Ghoul of Plainfield must battle the Vampire of Plainfield…to the death!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Christine Morgan

Meghan: Hey Christine! Welcome back. As always, we love to have you here. What is your favorite part of Halloween?

Christine: The weeks leading up to it, when all the good stuff starts hitting the shelves, the Halloween stores appear overnight like mushrooms, the various cooking channel shows like Halloween Wars and Halloween Baking Championship, the horror-themed episodes of shows such as Forged in Fire, there are horror movie marathons. Also, the half-off sales in the days after.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween tradition?

Christine: Trick-or-treating, seeing all the costumes, the fun and excitement, people really getting into it, the kids, the parents. These past few years haven’t been the best for that, partly because of living in the upstairs unit of an apartment complex that didn’t see much trick-or-treat traffic. This year, however, I’ve moved into what was my grandparents’ house, in an established neighborhood with community activities, so I’m optimistic (aside from the damn pandemic, that is).

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

Christine: Just always been a spooky weirdo at heart! Didn’t hurt that my dad was always a kind of closeted weirdo, with Halloween being the one time he could cut loose. Later in life, he’d come out and go nuts as a Civil War reenactor, but before that, dressing up and having fun on Halloween was his favorite thing. I remember one year, he went as Jesus — he already had long hair and a full beard — and we used red nail polish instead of fake blood for the wounds, which is a helpful trick I’ve never forgotten.

Meghan: What are you superstitious about?

Christine: I’m into folklore, so I’ve picked up several of the little habits over the years, if not to the full point of observing or following them, at least to the point of feeling uncomfortable letting them go unacknowledged. I knock on wood, I toss salt over my shoulder, when I first see the moon at night I say the little rhyme I learned somewhere as a kid, that sort of thing. Except for black cats crossing my path; I have no problem with that. Black cats got a bad rap, very undeserved.

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

Christine: Of the movie classics, always had a soft spot for the Gillman. He wasn’t bothering anybody, just swimming around in his lagoon, until arrogant know-it-all humans came along to interfere. Then HE got the blame. I tend to sympathize with those kind of “monsters,” who are just doing their own thing. Even sharks. We go into their environment, then get upset when they do what’s only natural? So bogus.

Meghan: Which unsolved murder fascinates you the most?

Christine: Unlike many in my middle-aged white woman demographic, I don’t seem to have as much obsessive fascination for serial killers, unsolved crimes, and murder shows. If it counts, though, I really want to know what’s up with all those severed feet that keep washing ashore. Why just the feet? Is it the shoes? Where’s the rest of the bodies? What’s happening out there?

Meghan: Which urban legend scares you the most?

Christine: After the previous question, this is going to seem even stranger, but, the one where gang members, as part of their initiation, would hide under a lady’s car in a dark parking lot and then slash her Achilles tendon and steal her shoes as proof. Maybe it’s that I can imagine it all too vividly. Even as I type this, I shifted my feet up onto the coffee table, though I know damn well there’s nobody under the couch with a straight razor. Also, that was the scene in the original Pet Sematary movie to freak me out the most.

Meghan: Who is your favorite serial killer and why?

Christine: See above, was never all that into them the way a lot of people are. The old-timey ones, though, like H.H. Holmes with his entire murder hotel, or the angel-of-death types, nurses who’d smother patients in the belief it was putting them out of their misery and doing the right thing.

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

Christine: It probably wasn’t the first I ever saw, but the first movie to scare the crap out of me as a kid was that old black and white sci-fi Invaders From Mars. The sand whirlpools were bad, but the people with the alien takeover staples in their necks… legit gave me nightmares. There was a DVD of it among my late uncle’s movie collection and I kept it for nostalgia, but have no intention of watching it! As for books, my grandfather kept a shelf of horror paperbacks in the garage (Grandma didn’t want them in the house), so I’d browse those whenever we visited. Lots of nature-run-amok books, killer critters, but I still have the copy of The Shining I found out there when I was ten.

Meghan: Which horror novel unsettled you the most?

Christine: I read, and dearly love, a lot of sick, sick, wrong, evil, grotesque, extreme horror. And yet, none of them have gotten under my skin a fraction so much as I Am Not Sam, by Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee. So subtle. So masterful. It lets/makes your own mind do all the work, with results far more traumatizing and horrifying than if the scenes were spelled out on the page.

Meghan: Which horror movie scarred you for life?

Christine: Again, see above, Invaders From Mars when I was little. Lately, I’ve been viewing too many cinematic masterpieces suggested by Edward Lee, and if “stabbed me in the eyes and gave me brain-damage” sheer WTF-ery counts as being scarred for life, well, I now have a whole list. Such as Birdemic and House Shark. Also The Greasy Strangler, though I can’t blame Lee for that one; if anything, he should blame me, even if it was Gina Ranalli who told me about it in the first place.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween costume?

Christine: One year, Dad went as Captain Hook and I was Peter Pan (the chonky little girl version) and my baby sister was Tinkerbell. I love it when people coordinate their costumes like that, and the whole family gets into it. My craft and makeup skills may be pretty good, but my sewing skills are basically nonexistent, so I am somewhat hampered in that regard.

Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween-themed song?

Christine: Forever a soft spot in my heart for Thriller, I gotta say. I am old enough to remember rushing home from school to turn on MTV and wait anxiously for the video’s world premiere. The Vincent Price bit is perfection. And, hokey though it is, I love how the zombie dance permeated the entire culture.

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

Christine: The fun-size 100,000 Dollar Bars. Full-size ones are too hard to eat before they melt and get all messy. Fun-size Twix, too. I’m a fan of the fun-size because then I can tell myself it’s not like I’m eating a whole candy bar, right? So I can then eat like six of them and it’s still all good. Also, because it seems to come up every year, I am pro-candy corn. Yes, it tastes like sugary wax and leaves a filmy coating in your mouth, but, you can tuck them under your upper lip like vampire teeth and that’s what matters. As for disappointing, anything with coconut or licorice is a hard NOPE from me.

Meghan: As always, Christine, it has been a pleasure. Before you go, though, what are your op Halloween movies?

Christine: I may lose some horror cred for this, but when I think of Halloween movies, the first place my mind goes is Tim Burton. The Nightmare Before Christmas, obviously. Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride. Even stuff like Edward Scissorhands (Vincent Price again, yay!) and Sweeney Todd. Okay, so maybe a mad crush on Johnny Depp has something to do with it — my own, I mean, not Tim Burton’s, though you know he totally has one. And as long as I’m losing horror cred anyway, I’ll go ahead and say I liked Halloween 3. It didn’t belong in the franchise, and should have had a different title, but on its own, it’s a neat premise/idea and lots of fun.


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

Halloween Extravaganza: INTERVIEW: Christine Morgan

I’ve known Christine for quite some time and absolutely love having her here on my blog. It’s interesting: every time we try to do this whole interview thing, something happens, and we fail to communicate. I think I’ve given her the same interview questions every time haha. Let’s hope THIS time we get it right.


Meghan: Hi, Christine. Welcome to the new blog. It’s been awhile since we sat down together. What’s been going on since we last spoke?

Christine Morgan: Overall, things have been going fairly well. Medical-wise, I’ve continued having my facial reconstruction after surgeries, and while the results are (and always will be) weird-looking, so far everything’s holding together. Seeing a new doc for more followups on other stuff, but still cancer free! Writing-wise, it’s been great; Lakehouse Infernal came out in May from Deadite Press and has been getting rave reviews (and Ed Lee’s not averse to me possibly doing a sequel), and my collection Dawn of the Living-Impaired and Other Messed Up Zombie Stories just debuted this month from Death’s Head Press.

Meghan: Who are you outside of writing?

Christine Morgan: After appearing on an episode of the Bizzong podcast, I was dubbed “the Martha Stewart of extreme horror” for my baking and crafts hobbies, so, I’m going to roll with that gladly and continue those pursuits. I also work the overnight shift in a residential psychiatric facility. The rest of my time is mostly spent sleeping and being bossed around by my cats.

Meghan: How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?

Christine Morgan: The awkwardness continues; my sister recently let my nephew take Lakehouse Infernal with him on a visit to his dad’s, and his stepmom remarked how nice it was to see a teenager reading for a change, while I’m sitting over here the crazy auntie asking if he’s gotten to the character made entirely of boobs. So, y’know, I’m THAT relative, but it’s fun.

Meghan: Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Christine Morgan: This is where we need that gif meme thing with the little girl saying “why not both?” I do think it’s both. A gift, because it is so much fun, being able to create characters and settings, experience adventures (or horrors) in a safe but still thrilling way. A curse, too, because for one thing we can never stop thinking about it, we’re always on the job. For another, when we see it done badly, it’s all the more maddening. But even as a curse, it’s one I wouldn’t trade.

Meghan: How has your environment and upbringing colored your writing?

Christine Morgan: I grew up the oldest of three siblings, the oldest of nine cousins, and one of the older kids in the neighborhood, so it often fell to me to come up with ideas for playtime. Even on my own, I was making up complicated storylines for my dolls and toy animals. Not sure where it came from. Just developed naturally, and then as a teenager I was introduced to Dungeons and Dragons (by my mom and her friends, no less). I tend to write about relationships a lot, not because of any big family drama but because I find them fascinating. Probably also part of why I ended up majoring in psychology.

Meghan: What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research for your books?

Christine Morgan: Last time I stopped by here, I mentioned working on my deep-sea chompy chompy and the bizarre stuff I’d been learning about life in the ocean … well, that manuscript’s done now, and let me tell you, nature is freaky and horrible. The sex lives of giant squids, for instance. How much is down there we still don’t know about. Never mind alien planets; just look to the depths!

Meghan: Which do you find the hardest to write: the beginning, the middle, or the end?

Christine Morgan: Endings. Always. I have a hard time with endings. My favorite writing projects are the ones where I’m having fun, and when I’m having fun, it’s hard to see that come to an end. I also still have a holdover from my gaming days where story hooks and continuation ideas automatically get built in – the campaign must go on! – which is why my project list includes several sequels.

Meghan: Do you outline? Do you start with characters or plot? Do you just sit down and start writing? What works best for you?

Christine Morgan: I only very rarely outline, and when I have to (for big complicated projects, or ones where plot details or timing is crucial), I whine and complain about it the whole time. I much prefer starting with a general idea, a situation or setting or character, and seeing where it takes me from there. Again, this even ties back to my gaming … more often than not, the sessions would take off in random directions on player whim, and end up being more fun than whatever I might have had planned. I’m a run with it, roll with it, see what happens kind of writer.

Meghan: What do you do when characters don’t follow the outline/plan?

Christine Morgan: See above … usually run with it, roll with it, see what happens. I like to give my characters a lot of free rein. I love it when they surprise me. I love going into it not knowing who’ll make it, who’ll turn out to be a good guy or not, etc. That’s how I went at Lakehouse Infernal, and again with the deep-sea one. I had this whole list of characters, some of whom I had a feeling would survive, some of whom I couldn’t wait to gruesomely kill … and, several times, they surprised me.

Meghan: What do you do to motivate yourself to sit down and write?

Christine Morgan: I have something of a routine or schedule … I do most of my writing at work, so, it often depends on how calm the night is. If the whole house is up and I actually need to do my real work, I may not get any words in. Even when I’m not actively writing, though, I’ve always got editing to do, or reviewing, or reading for reviewing. I keep a loose to-do list going, mostly stuff like anthology calls with deadlines, and fit them in around or on breaks during the bigger projects.

Meghan: Are you an avid reader?

Christine Morgan: For as long as I can remember. And even before that, if the snapshots from the family photo album of me sitting on a potty chair with Dr. Seuss are to be believed (don’t print that; ah no go ahead). I also read obnoxiously fast. Becoming a reviewer has been its own kind of god-send because suddenly people are bombarding me with free books! At any given time, I have two or three reads in progress – a print book, an ebook, and something via pdf.

Meghan: What kind of books do you absolutely love to read?

Christine Morgan: I have my favorite genres, such as extreme horror, but what I absolutely love is a book – of ANY kind – in which it’s clear that the author was having fun. I’ll forgive a lot of literary or grammatical sins if there’s just sheer joy and play and enthusiasm on the page. By the same token, I could read something technically flawless, but if it doesn’t have that sense of fun and enjoyment, I’m likely to find it a great big yawn. This is why Edward Lee is one of my idols, why I gravitate toward the extremes and the bizarros … whatever these folks are doing, you just know they’re having a blast, and that kind of energy really resonates with me.

Meghan: How do you feel about movies based on books?

Christine Morgan: Oh, there’s good ones and bad ones. I’m as guilty as anybody of being that person who sits there snarking about how such-and-such “wasn’t like that in the book,” (I do the same with history or mythology; one glimpse of a Viking with a horned helmet and it’s buckle your seatbelts time, I’m flooring it). I do think, sometimes, we’re better off with the cinemas inside our heads; sometimes even the biggest big screen and most lavish effects can’t do a book justice or cheapens it trying.

Meghan: Have you ever killed a main character?

Christine Morgan: Oh, yes. Sometimes even on purpose, but more often, it’ll be another of those surprises. I’ve had moments where I end up sitting staring at the screen, thinking, “well, (bleep), didn’t see that coming, now what?” More often than not, though, it’s what was right for the story all along. I think my muse knows a lot more of what’s going on than she tells me, the sneaky thing. But she’s good and she’s clever, so I’m glad to have her on the job.

Meghan: Do you enjoy making your characters suffer?

Christine Morgan: Isn’t that the whole point? Back to the gaming again, my motto always was “it’s easy to kill characters; making them WISH they were dead, now, that’s art!” And same holds true for writing. Especially in horror, where there are so many fates worse than death. Dying might be getting off easy by comparison. More, though, I think I enjoy taking the readers along with them in that suffering, making an empathic journey of it. I’m very into immersion, description, sensory experiences. Good or bad, I like to elicit that response in the reader.

Meghan: What’s the weirdest character concept that you’ve ever come up with?

Christine Morgan: I write a lot of demonic, inhuman, and Lovecraftian stuff, so, things get pretty weird. I get a kick out of those sorts of challenges, writing a relatable, believable character who’s so far from human. Many of the chapters in the deep-sea book are from the points of view of aquatic creatures, and how they interpret and react to the presence of man-made machines in their environment.

Meghan: What’s the best piece of feedback you’ve ever received? What’s the worst?

Christine Morgan: If we’re sharing adages, truisms, or what have you … a friend of mine always liked to say “don’t worry about getting it RIGHT, get it WRITTEN” … the worst finished manuscript is better than the best that never makes it onto the page. On the other end, I hate “write what you know” when it’s taken to mean only writing about external real-world things you are personally familiar with or skilled at; where’s the fun in that? When it’s “write what you know” about feeling and emotion and inner stuff, okay.

Meghan: What do your fans mean to you?

Christine Morgan: I’m still (and always will be) startled and shocked to HAVE fans. Even going back to the days when I was writing fanfic and had a reputation and following, I was just me, didn’t see why all the fuss. The idea that anybody reads something I wrote who didn’t have to for one reason or another (some poor slushpile editor for instance, or guilt-tripped friend) always amazes me. And humbles me. And makes me simultaneously giddy with gratitude and wonder what the heck’s wrong with them 🙂

Meghan: If you could steal one character from another author and make them yours, who would it be and why?

Christine Morgan: Pff, I’ve written tons of fanfic, already been there done that! And I’m arrogant enough to think that I did a better sixth Harry Potter than was canon, not to mention a better Gargoyles third season. I also do pastiches and mash-ups and wacky crossovers. So, really, no one is safe once the idea pops into my muse’s head.

Meghan: If you could write the next book in a series, which one would it be, and what would you make the book about?

Christine Morgan: More Infernal books as part of Edward Lee’s Mephistopolis series!

Meghan: If you could write a collaboration with another author, who would it be and what would you write about?

Christine Morgan: Edward Lee, Edward Lee, Edward Lee! Another Mephistopolis book! I want to play with some of the other-pantheon suburbs of his more classic biblical Hell, I want to do Niflheim and Tartarus and Xibalba in that universe!

Meghan: What can we expect from you in the future?

Christine Morgan: Dreadful Fancies, a steampunkish/gilded age/dark fantasy collection, should be out soon from Lycan Valley Press. I’ve got some short story commitments and other projects to catch up on, and then will be starting officially on Murder Girls 2: Eight Little Words.

Meghan: Where can we find you?

Christine Morgan: I’m almost always either asleep or online. Asleep, you’d have to get past three cats. Online, though: WordPress ** Facebook ** Email ** Amazon

Meghan: Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you’d like to say that we didn’t get to cover in this interview or the last?

Christine Morgan: Did I say (bleep) cancer last time? If not, (BLEEP) CANCER. If so, (bleep) cancer anyway, because it sucks.

Christine Morgan grew up in the high desert and moved to a cool rainy coast as soon as she could. Though anything but the outdoorsy type, she loves trees and water … preferably viewed through a cozy window or from the deck of a cruise ship. Alaska, Norway, Scotland, and Germany/Austria are her vacation destinations of choice. Seeing the Northern Lights in person is on her bucket list. She’s currently three cats toward her eventual fate as a crazy cat lady; yes, she does talk to them, but don’t worry, she draws the line at knitting them little sweaters (because she can’t knit).

White Death

January 12, 1888 

When a day dawns warm and mild in the middle of a long cold winter, it’s greeted as a blessing, a reprieve. A chance for those who’ve been cooped up indoors to get out, do chores, run errands, send the children to school … little knowing that they’re only seeing the calm before the storm. 

The blizzard hits out of nowhere, screaming across the Great Plains like a runaway train. It brings slicing winds, blinding snow, plummeting temperatures. Livestock will be found frozen in the fields, their heads encased in blocks of ice formed from their own steaming breath. Frostbite and hypothermia wait for anyone caught without shelter. 

For the hardy settlers of Far Enough, in the Montana Territory, it’s about to get worse. Something else has arrived with the blizzard. Something sleek and savage and hungry. Wild animal or vengeful spirit from native legend, it blends into the snow and bites with sharper teeth than the wind. 

Spermjackers from Hell

Let’s summon a succubus, they said. It’ll be fun, they said… 

I have some friends and we had a crazy idea: let’s summon a demon. Not just any demon but a sexy devil chick that will do anything we want—even butt stuff. It’ll be easy. It’s not like it’s going to work. Monsters aren’t real. 

We were wrong. Really fucking wrong. 

The demon is not what we thought and it’s making horrible things happen. People are cutting into each other’s junk, some guy is fucking his dog, and sex slugs from Hell are raping us and stealing our semen in order to build a goddamn hive! 

We didn’t mean for any of this. But we’re gonna fix it… Just after a few more beers and bong hits. 

From Christine Morgan, author of Mythic Lust: the Minotaur, and The Raven’s Table: Viking Stories, comes a sleazy and deviant satire about sex, occultism, and nerd culture.

Lakehouse Infernal

Lake Misquamicus was an unremarkable lake in Florida, unremarkable that is until suddenly it was filled with six billion gallons of blood, bile, pus, piss, shit and …things… directly from the pits of Hell. First the public was in shock, then the government built a wall, and as time passed it became another urban legend. But for some, it has become a travel destination. Spring-breakers, drug-runners, and religious nuts. But a weekend getaway on the shores of Hell, may not be the safest idea… 

With an introduction by and officially endorsed by splatterpunk legend Edward Lee, LAKEHOUSE INFERNAL is an official entree in Lee’s infamous INFERNAL series. Christine Morgan expands on this universe with her own twist of hardcore horror tourism. 

The Raven’s Table: Viking Stories

Listen…

The furious clangor of battle. The harrowing singing of steel. The desperate cries of wounded animals. The gasps of bleeding, dying men. The slow, deep breathing of terrible things–trolls, giants, draugr–waiting in the darkness. The wolf’s wind howling, stalking like death itself. The carrion-crows, avaricious and impatient, circling the battle-ground, the Raven’s Table.

Listen…

The skald’s voice, low, canting, weaving tales of fate and heroism, battle and revelry. Of gods and monsters, and of the women and men that stand against them. Of stormy Scandinavian skies and settlements upon strange continents. Of mead-hall victories, funeral pyres, dragon-prowed ships, and gold-laden tombs. Of Ragnarok. Of Valhalla.

For a decade, author Christine Morgan’s Viking stories have delighted readers and critics alike, standing apart from the anthologies they appeared in. Now, Word Horde brings you The Raven’s Table, the first-ever collection of Christine Morgan’s Vikings, from “The Barrow-Maid” to “Aerkheim’s Horror” and beyond. These tales of adventure, fantasy, and horror will rouse your inner Viking.