ED- We are excited to be sharing our interview with author Michael McCarty with our readers today. Mike we understand that you have been a Bram Stoker Finalist three times, along with a David R. Collins Literary Achievement Award from the Midwest Center in 2008. This is quite a feat. Tell us something about your work.
MM - I am a writer. Short enough? (Laughs)
ED – It can be longer than that. Go on. For our readers love stories in your genre. How many books have you written along these lines so far, and what are the titles?
MM – I am a writer and I write many different types of books.
I am the author of three novels: Liquid Diet: A Vampire Satire (Black Death Books), Monster Behind The Wheel co-written with Mark McLaughlin (Delirium Books, but is going to be re-issued from Medallion Books as a trade paperback sometime in 2010) and Out of Time (Lachesis, in Canada) co-written with Connie Wilson.
I am the author of four short story collections: Dark Duets (Wildside Press), All Things Dark and Hideous co-written with Mark McLaughlin and published in England (Rainfall Books), Little Creatures (Sam’s Dot Publishing), A Little Help from My Fiends (Sam’s Dot Publishing.) My fifth short story collection A Hell of A Job is going to be published this summer from Damnation Books.
I’m the author of four interview books Giants of The Genre (Wildside Press) and More Giants of The Genre (Wildside Press), Modern Mythmakers (McFarland & Company) and Esoteria-Land (Bear Manor Media). My fifth interview book Masters of Imagination should be coming out sometime late 2010 from McFarland & Company.
ED – What does Esoteria-Land mean?
MM - (Laughs). It is a word I made-up.
Esoteria-Land is a weird and wild world. You won’t find it on any map, but you will find it between the covers of that book. Esoteria-Land is the realm of the best my nonfiction for the last 25 years.
In the book you will find interviews with Tommy Chong (of Cheech & Chong), Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues, Boris Vallejo, Bobcat Goldthwait, Mojo Nixon, Terry Pratchett, Alan Dean Foster, Tina Jens, Marlene Bush (from the movie “Alien Resurrection.”) and more.
The book has an introduction by scream-queen Linnea Quigley who has appeared in over 100 include movies including “Return of the Living Dead,” “Night of The Demons,” “Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers” and many more. And an afterword by The Amazing Kreskin which rounds out this amazing collection.
But be warned … you might enjoy Esoteria-Land so much, you may never leave! (Laughs).
For more info on the book go to the website: http://bearmanormedia.bizlandcom/id461.html
MM- My characters are just as quirky as I am. I really liked writing about Jeremy Carmichael in my novel Monster Behind The Wheel (co-written with Mark McLaughlin). I also enjoyed writing about Tommy Wharton in I Kissed A Ghoul which should be out late 2010 from Skullvines Press.
ED- Are your stories based on any particular time period, or do they vary?
MM- Most of my short stories and novels are set in the present time period. But time does jump around in my time traveling novel Out of Time. And I did set I Kissed A Ghoul set in the present, but it is about my time in high school – with monsters thrown into the mix. My upcoming Rusty the Robot’s Holiday Adventures co-written with Sherry Decker and set for publication from Sam’s Dot Publishing is set in the near-future.
ED- Do you have another story ‘waiting in the wings’ at the present time, and can you tell us a little about it?
MM – There’s Rusty the Robot’s Holiday Adventures, I Kissed A Ghoul – which we already talked about. I also have Professor LaGungo’s Classroom of Horrors (Bucket O Guts Books) which is a sequel to Professor LaGungo’s Delirious Download Of Digital Deviltry And Doom (Delirium Darkside a digital download available only at www.horror-mall.com) both were co-written with my frequent collaborator and friend Mark McLaughlin.
ED – What can you tell us about Monster Behind The Wheel?
MM – The automobile is the most dangerous weapon in our society. Cars kill more people than wars do. More than 50,000 people will die this year in car accidents.
During his childhood, Jeremy Carmichael falls from a Ferris wheel, landing on and killing a beautiful woman. Years later, as a young man, he is involved in a horrific car crash. Soon he finds himself transported between the worlds of the living and the dead on an all-too-regular basis.
Jeremy strikes a bargain with an older woman and purchases her car (a 1970 Barracuda), exchanging sexual favors in return for a reduced payment plan. Then, all hell breaks loose— literally. We learn the shocking aftermath of that long-ago fall from the Ferris wheel.
This novel is a surreal helter-skelter ride of thrills, humor, lust, gut-wrenching horror, cosmic awe and oil changes. I hope the readers will enjoy it. It took five years of my and Mark’s life to finish it.
ED – How would you describe your protagonist, Jeremy Carmichael, from Monster Behind The Wheel in ten words or less?
MM - He’s a young man desperate to outrace his own demons.
ED – Why did you choose a 1970 Barracuda as the haunted car?
MM – The 1970 Barracuda was completely restyled and re-engineered. It was considered then and remains to this day one of the finest muscle car designs from Chrysler Motor Company. The high-performance ‘Cuda model came standard with the high-performance 426 Hemi engine. The car also had the shaker hoodscoop that sat atop the 426 six-barrel. It was, and still is, a real monster on the road. It could eat Christine for breakfast.
ED – You have interviewed many literary legends for your Giants of The Genre, More Giants of The Genre, Modern Mythmakers, Esoteria-Land and the upcoming Masters Of Imagination. How does one arrange to interview so many authors? Are there authors you still wish to interview?
MM – For me, the hardest thing is to get these interviews lined up. Sometimes, they take years to set up. I deal with a lot of people: book publishers, agents, editors, writers, writers’ friends, writers’ spouses. There are a lot of phone calls, e-mails, letters, etc. I have been very, very lucky. Some of the interviews take a while to put together. It took me about three years to land the interview with Dean Koontz and Harlan Ellison. It took me about two years to get Richard Matheson to agree to be interviewed.
Other interviews surprised me at how fast they happened: Ray Bradbury, Peter Straub, Frederik Pohl, Laurell K. Hamilton, The Amazing Kreskin, Harry Turtledove, Terry Brooks, Michael Romkey, Whitley Streiber, Poppy Z. Brite and Dan Curtis.
I always wanted to interview Stephen King and George Romero. I actually came close with George. We played phone tag for a while. I’d love to do an interview with Jennifer Tilly. I was supposed to do an interview with her last year, but she won a big poker tournament and couldn’t do the interview. I like talking to the buxom babes of horror. So far I have interviewed Elvira, Adrienne Barbeau, Kathryn Leigh Scott and Lara Parker (The Dark Shadows ladies) and Ingrid Pitt.
I would also love to interview David Cronenberg. I’m a huge fan.
ED- Mike, it is a pleasure to have introduced you to our readers, and I am sure that they will seek out your work for their reading pleasure. Please keep us well informed so that we can add updates of your work to our future issues. We wish you much luck in all that you do.