The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour and Me!


I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour and let me just say it was a hell of a lot of fun!  Martin, being a fellow horror author, was just a doll.  We spent about 90 minutes talking about writing, the macabre, publishing, and everything in between.

My introduction to Martin Lastrapes was in 2012 when I first read his novel, Inside the Outside.  I absolutely loved it and shelved the book with my other horror tomes (yes, there is a very special shelf in my house dedicated to this genre).  Then in September 2014, I watched Joanna Penn’s interview with Martin and remembered, “Hey, that’s the dude who wrote that awesome book with cannibalism”.  Disclaimer: I am not a cannibal (and not a fan of red meat), but I have been on a cannibal kick because my current novel-in-progress delves into cannibalism.  I enjoyed Joanna’s interview with Martin.  Much of what he said I found to be akin to my own writing process and thoughts on the horror genre.  It inspired me to write a review of his interview, which is titled “What’s for Dinner? Literary Horror, Cannibals, and Vampires“.

Well, Martin read that post, and my blog, AND The Sarcastic Muse!  Then he reached out to see if I would be interested in doing a podcast episode with him (to which I responded with an enthusiastic “YES”).

So without further ado, here is my episode of The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour:


You can also access this podcast episode at the following links:


The Healing of Dark Fiction

Joanna Penn, from The Creative Penn, interviewed J Thorn, author of Horror and Dark Fantasy, about the dark realm and how he thrives writing about the fear.  J Thorn’s best selling book has sold over 100,000 copies, which ranks him as a Top 100 Author in Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy.  He is a master of the craft and educated in the occult and mysticism.  The latter lends for excellent material for his numerous tomes.  He is driven by the macabre and within this interview, you can hear how passionate he is about his genre.

I always enjoy hearing how other authors feel about the darker genres.  As these genres can delve into the gore, terror, and ultimate evil, there is a serene sentiment that is echoed in the voices of all authors who dare to craft this somewhat “taboo” genre.  We all find dark fiction healing.  There is something to be said about being courageous enough to write worldly terror down on paper and share with others.  The fear of rejection, ridicule, and hatred are a few words that spring to mind.  It is something that all authors go through, but we of the dark arts probably experience it to a higher degree… well, maybe those of erotica do as well.  We push the boundaries set by social norms.  We bring into the minds of our readers thoughts and ideas and characters that could potentially scar them for life.  But once the story is out there, once it is accepted, once it is loved… It is liberating.  It is healing.

“I believe dark fiction can be healing.” – J Thorn

Without giving too many spoilers from this interview, I just wanted to point out one other thing that J and Joanna spoke about that really resonated with me:  dreams of dark fiction authors.  What are our dreams about and how do we even sleep at night?  To that, J answered “very well”, and I could not help to nod my head in agreement.  I enlightened one of my co-workers this very morning with the fact that what I write does not induce nightmares in my mind.  I truly have no fear of ghosts or monsters or cosmic evil.  What terrifies me is real life.  I recounted to her that I woke up in tears last night by a nightmare where our office moved to a riverboat on the Mississippi river in the state of the same name, we hired an employee that I was against, my boss cryogenically froze himself – alive, and another co-worker published her first novel (80,000 words, mind you) about her amazing ham and scalloped potatoes.  I was up the rest of the night with that one.  These are my darkest fears.

Now you can go ahead and laugh at me all you want, but I am serious.  Those who write in the realm of dark fiction have fears of the everyday things.  The things that are dubbed spooky and grotesque are the dreams we crave. We want our dreams to be haunted by madness and the macabre.

J Thorn hits home in this interview and I am sure if you write dark fiction, you will feel the same as well.  There is so much more that I want to discuss, but I don’t want to reveal everything within this post.  You will have to watch and experience it for yourself.

I am looking forward to what comes next from this fellow Pittsburgh native.


What’s for Dinner? Literary Horror, Cannibals, and Vampires

Joanna Penn, from the Creative Penn, interviewed Martin Lastrapes, author of Inside the Outside, about writing Literary Horror, Cannibals, and Vampires.

There is so much about this interview that I just adore.  The earliest topic that captured my attention was Lastrapes’ thoughts on where his novel, Inside the Outside, resides in the categorization of fiction:  Literature or Genre.  His pain point is one of my very own, which I wrote about on the Sarcastic Muse in a post titled Fiction is not Black and White.  The writing style of Lestrapes’ debute novel would be considered Literary, but the content is that of Genre (horror to be specific).  What a conundrum to be in!  However, Lestrapes seemlessly wraps up the discussion by stating that today you can  easily “take a crazy, far out story, but you can present it in a literary fashion”.  Thus, the categorization of fiction today falls well within that murky gray scale.

While watching this video, I sort of began to feel like Lastrapes was a male clone of myself (or would I be a female clone of him?).  His thoughts and fears of self-censorship and becoming inoculated to your story’s content are two of my biggest fears with my own work.  Lastrapes echoed the words that continually run through my mind, “if I write this, people that read it will know that I think these things”.  Self-censorship is a hard obstacle to overcome, but if one doesn’t, the writer will hinder his or her own work.  I have taken up the latest stance that if I really fear what people think goes on in my head, then I should be writing under a pseudonym — to which I am not.  I am knee deep in the realm of writing about cannibalism as well.  Hope you all have strong stomachs…

The conclusion to this interview is my favorite part.  I am not going to give away spoilers, but Penn basically asks Lastrapes the reason behind why nice people write about such dark material.  His answer was Earth-shaking, and not one concept that I had previously thought about for myself.

This interview can very well change, and potentially better, your self-perception of being an author in the realm of Dark Fiction.