December, 2010

Interview with Michael Smolanoff

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

ED- The Eerie digest is extremely excited to present a living legend, Michael Smolanoff, to all our readers. Michael, You and I both grew up in the Bronx in New York, and at one point in our lives we both lived on Long Island. It’s something to wonder how many times our paths must of crossed during our lives. Tell us about those early years and how they shaped your career.

MS- The first sixteen years of my life I lived in the Bronx, in New York City, then the family moved to New Rochelle, New York. My introduction to music started in Junior High School, playing the trombone. I was always curious how all of the instruments were able to play different parts and yet they all fit together and sounded great. I was very fortunate that the music teacher allowed me to write original music and I was able to hear what I had written, and this enabled me to grow as a musician. The teachers at New Rochelle High School also supported my creative efforts.

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Interview with Tino Struckmann

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

ED- The Eerie Digest is proud to present one of Hollywood’s leading producers to all our readers. Tino Struckmann is one of those rare individuals who has worn many hats successfully in filmmaking. He also has a surprising background that most people are totally unaware of . Tino, tell us about your early military career.

TS- interesting enough my military career came after working as a bodyguard for many years, I worked security jobs since 17 and after working with many veterans I thought it time to serve my country, so I served nearly 10 years with the ARMY, started with the military police and ended up an instructor with a few fun games in the middle and oddly enough they are the ones who pushed me towards Hollywood by having me lead a recruitment commercial. I still did various deployments around the world but finally ended up making movies.

ED- You also had competed in many contest of physical strength. Please let our readers know about these and the championships that you had won.

TS-I started competing in bodybuilding at 18 and won several local shows in California, the nationals and placed in several European shows. But still find the best cardio is MMA, and train every week it’s a great combination of the different martial arts I have done and may even have a fight coming up..

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Interview of Author Richard Gazala

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

ED- The Eerie Digest is very pleased to present author Richard Gazala to all our readers. Richard, you were born in Ohio and moved to Beirut, Lebanon when you were young. Why did your family move there, and what kind of culture differences did you experience at such a young age?

RG- I appreciate the opportunity to enjoy this exchange with The Eerie Digest and its readers. My family moved to Beirut when I was a young boy because of my father’s job. Dad worked for an American bank, and in the mid-1960s was tasked with establishing the bank’s presence in the Middle East. At the time we moved there, Lebanon still was influenced heavily from being under French control until Lebanese independence in 1943. From its founding over 5000 years ago, Beirut had been dominated in succession by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, and over 400 years of Ottoman rule until the French took control of Lebanon after WW I. (more…)

Interview with Actor George Williams

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

ED- The Eerie Digest is extremely happy to present actor George Williams to all our readers. George, you moved to the Washington, DC area when you were young. Please tell us about this aspect of your life.

GW- I lived the majority of my life in the DC suburbs (Md. & Va.), from babyhood thru 1993. DC’s a wonderful city, full of the arts, especially music, restaurants, and theatre, and great people. It is THE typical 4-season climate. I loved it there! And still LOVE my Washington Redskins!

ED- You served in the Army and were wounded in Vietnam. You were also highly decorated. Please tell our readers know about your experiences during this period.

GW- Back in my day, the Army wasn’t all-volunteer, as it is today. You either went in, or ran and hid, or made up some scam reason to get out. I chose to go in and, as corny as it sounds, “do my duty”. After training in Ft. Bragg, NC, and Fort Knox, KY, I went to Vietnam in an armor unit (tanks) in ’70. And after 10 months, I came home with some pretty nasty scars from mortar shrapnel. It makes for an interesting conversation piece.

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Interview with Author Judith Graves

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

ED- The Eerie Digest is very pleased to present Young Adult (YA) author Judith Graves to all of our readers. Judith, your writing reaches out to an explosive segment of our writing industry. So much has taken place recently within the young adult audience to encourage this phenomenon, such as ‘Twilight’, that writers, and Hollywood, are turning to this new and captivated population of readers and viewers. What encouraged you to seek this genre for your work?

JG- I’ve been a keen reader of adult paranormal fiction since I was a teen. When I started writing and realized my voice matched the YA market, I knew I’d be writing paranormal YA fiction. As a Canadian and as a library technician (working in a school library), I noticed a marked lack of this kind of fun, sexy, commercial fiction set in Canada or written by Canadian authors. I wanted to change that. With the Skinned Series, I work in Canadianisms, lore from First Nations peoples and various creatures from different regions around the world, now settled in Canada. My characters are mixed-bloods, a “melting pot” of paranormals if you will – call it globalization for monsters.

ED- Tell us what influenced you the most to choose writing for your career.

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Interview with Author Eugene Nelson, Jr.

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

ED- The Eerie Digest is always on the lookout for new authors. Starting out fresh in the field of Sci-Fi is author Eugene Nelson, Jr. from Chicago. Eugene what drew your interest to this genre of writing ?

EN- Well ED, I have always been fascinated with Sci-Fi. I use to write my mother short Sci-Fi stories while my brothers and sister were at school. At that time I was too young to attend school yet. My father, Eugene Nelson Sr., did not wait for me to start school for learning. He taught me to read and write before I ever started school. When I was about 10 years old, I discovered AD&D. I was hooked from the beginning. I love the action, the variety of races, the many abilities, and especially the magic. Magic has been a love of mine ever since. It makes the hairs on my body stand up, if you know what I mean. Sci-Fi is a bottomless pit of possibilities, and that is what I love most about it. My mother, Carrie Lee Nelson, encouraged me to read and write everyday. She also loved Sci-Fi. We would watch Dr. Who together. I loved the way “The Dr.” would solve situations using Science and his mind. It thrilled me. We also watched a number of other Sci-Fi Series and movies. One of our favorites was Phantoms. It is a great movie. Every time it was on we would call each other to make sure we were both watching it. Sci-Fi gives you the freedom to be whatever you want and wherever you want. I am not saying that I am a control freak, but the aspect of creating my own universe was just to tempting to pass on.

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Interview with Author Victoria Roder

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

ED- The Eerie Digest is thrilled to introduce author Victoria Roder to all of our readers. Victoria, your writing is something that our readers live for. Ghosts, action thrillers, and mysteries are what we are about. What launched you into your writing career?

VR- I’m excited to be visiting on The Eerie Digest. I always enjoyed writing, but never considered becoming an author. I began having recurring dreams about a house that my birth family lived in for a brief period of time when I was a child. Even with the passage of time, in the dreams I remained a young girl. Each time I woke up I knew that I had experienced the dream before. The dream began to trouble me, so I discussed it with my sister Tammy. She suggested I write it down, in the hope that it wouldn’t bother me anymore. I began recording the details of the dream and then instead of it not bothering me, it consumed me. I continued to dream about the house, but now the dreams began to evolve and take on a life of their own. It became a movie in my imagination; the characters developed and demanded screen time. I placed a notebook, flashlight, and pen beside the bed. My husband would wake up to find me holding the flashlight and frantically scribbling in the notebook. Those dreams became the premise for my paranormal romance novel The Dream House Visions and Nightmares

ED- What made you choose the genres that you have excelled in ?

VR-In the paranormal realm I chose a ghost story because I am fascinated with the idea of troubled souls attempting to communicate with us. A ghost can give the character information they would not normally have access to. My second novel, Bolt Action is a detective mystery/suspense. I chose a detective story because I am addicted to true crime shows. I don’t watch much television, but when I do it is true crime on Discover ID®

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Interview with Actor William Bresch

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

ED- The Eerie Digest is please to introduce another new actor, William Bresch, to all our readers. William, how did you first get started in the acting field and what was your inspiration to do so ?

WB-I first got started in Acting when I was a kid in school back in the 1970’s. My very first role was one of the three kings in the play “Bethlehem” at Immaculate Conception. then I went on to Frosty the Snowman in Lakeview Elementary School and moved on from there. My Inspiration would be God. I wanted to change the world and people I work with around me, just like Jesus did. I enjoy working for God and have a lot of fun doing it.

ED- Where did you learn to ply your craft ?

WB-I started in Junior High School as Doctor Stevens in “VD” . I was the Dr. who came in and told the patient they have V.D. It was weird, I came on stage and everyone roared with laughter. I started to leave but remembered this is my stage and my show so I stayed right on through the production. I later asked why people laughed and my teacher told me that , people knew me  as a Rough and Tumble kind of kid. they never expected to see me in a Nurturing role. All the students later on told me how good I was and were Impressed with the way I pulled of the Role of the Doctor and should keep up with acting which I did.

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Interview with Author Ron Savage

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

ED- Tell us about your first publication and what it was about.

RS- Yeah, that one I did at eighteen. It was called “Digging it Up.” It was based on a true story. I had a parakeet that I would let fly around my bedroom. One day mother left my room, closed the door, and decapitated the bird. I was six or seven at the time. So I wrapped him up in a wash cloth and buried him in the backyard. I couldn’t leave the bird alone, though. I kept digging him up to see if the head had reattached itself to the body. Now in the story “Digging it Up” the boy’s parents were getting a divorce and the two parts of the bird became these separated parents. Symbolically, of course. So the boy was digging up the bird to see if the parents were going to get back together. Temple University published that, God bless them.

ED- Since that first work you have appeared in many periodicals such as the Baltimore Review, the North American review, G.W. Review, the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and many more. Please tell our readers about your accomplishments in these publications, and the type of stories that were printed in them.

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Interview with Woody Bavota

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

ED- In Hollywood there are some people that wear many hats. This is true for our guest, Woody Bavota. Woody, thank you for letting us interview you for all our readers enjoyment. Tell us how you originally started in the field of Cinema.

WB- I was enamored with filmmaking from the time I was eight. Watching TV shows like The Man From Uncle, The Andy Griffith Show and Candid Camera initially sparked my interest as to how they were made. But, what really opened my eyes to the power of film was seeing Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. By the time I was twelve I received my first super 8 camera.

As a young hippie in training, at fifteen, I went to a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young concert and the lighting just blew me away. Later that night at home I told my parents that I was going to be a lighting director. By the time that I was sixteen I received a $5000.00 loan from my parents to build a lighting board and purchase theatrical lighting. For the next two years I lit anyone that would have me. At eighteen I went to Photography School and at twenty-two I was touring the world. (more…)

Night Trains – Chapter 20

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

It was 2:45 in the afternoon when Jenkins and a small squad of heavily armed men arrived at the Twenty-eighth Street Station of Manhattan’s Broadway line.

They had trudged down the tracks from thirty-fourth street. They were to relieve the four patrolmen and the one uniformed sergeant already there. Billy was to be relieved there himself, once Harry and Mac arrived. He had been on his feet for fourteen hours straight, and he was looking forward to kicking his shoes off once he got home. Mac and Harry were half-way to the station at this time and would probably get there around three.

Coming up the end of the station platform stairs, the five men were greeted with nervous relief by their counterparts. The men on the platform knew they had another fifteen minutes and they were glad of the early arrival of the other officers. Out of comradeship they wouldn’t leave yet, and they would give the other guys a little company.

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John and Lon: The actors who tried to fill Bela Lugosi’s patent-leather pumps

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

The best Dracula movie to come from Universal is, in my opinion, Robert Siodmak’s Son of Dracula (1943). Lon Chaney drops the ‘Jr’ tag and dons the cloak for the role his father never got to play in this pleasing wartime pot boiler dreamt up by Curt Siodmak with a Screenplay by Eric Taylor.
While the second world war raged on in the real world, Dracula, hiding behind the alias Count Alucard for the first time, visited the quiet seclusion of Louisiana, to romance and marry a young girl (Louise Allbritton), who, like many cinematic Lucy Westenras, is obsessed with death and the more morbid side of life. Dracula is unmasked by the learned Professor Lazlo, a convincing performance by J. Edward Bromberg, a survivor of Transylvania.

Dracula gets to perform most of the tricks that are reported in the novel. He has amazing strength, and, with the aid of John P. Fulton’s cartoon animation, he is able to transform into a bat, but both he, and his new bride, seem to prefer wandering around as a floating  mist for most of the time. The Siodmak brothers give the Count his best PR in this film. Never hitting the atmospheric heights of their The Spiral Staircase (1945), the film does carry one or two unpleasant jolts and a couple of rather physical fist fights.

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The Club Car by Alex Knight

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

I leaned toward the window and watched the countryside speed by. While I detest train travel it seems that I’m always riding the rails these days.

The passenger across from me was obviously itching to talk to someone and decided it must be me. Pushing his eyeglasses up, he cleared his throat and began.

“Have you ever seen a ghost?”

I looked at him as if he must have lost his mind, yet I could see that he was quite sincere in his question. As I didn’t immediately answer, he took my silence to be a negative reply and continued on.

“I’ve seen a ghost; at least I’m pretty sure I have.”

I suppose I could have made it easy on him and said ‘do tell’ or something inane like that, but I didn’t want to encourage him. I should have realized that he needed no encouragement.

“It was last year. I had gone to the cottage for the summer to recover from an auto accident. My injuries weren’t severe, but emotionally I was a wreck. Gillian had died on the way to the hospital. We had been husband and wife for only two hours.” (more…)

Under The Hood by Austin S. Camacho

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Hannibal knew that John and Alana Graham intended to move into his neighborhood. He had met the young professional African American couple twice. The first time was when they first came to look at the rundown building two blocks from his own place. He spoke with them again three weeks later after they had bought the house and they were exploring their new acquisition. As he remembered it, they had found the place in worse condition than it appeared during their original exploration, and they were a bit disheartened by the amount of work it would take to make the place livable. They had talked about how an urban renovation property can look like more of a bargain than it really is. With only those two meetings behind them, Hannibal was surprised to be the first person John called on when tragedy struck. But Hannibal was used to being called whenever trouble arose, so he followed Graham through the twilight streets.

“This damned place absorbed every penny we had,” John said, slogging up the stairs to his front door, “and now it has taken her as well.” “Where’s Alana?” Hannibal asked. John opened the door and pointed up the stairs. Hannibal remembered the three rooms at the top of the stairs. Two were usable, but in the third the floor had been so rotted that it had fallen away completely from the door to half way across the room. Hannibal trudged up the narrow stairs with John close behind. At the top he was greeted by a note pinned to the door of the floorless room. It appeared to be written in haste, and simply said, “I’m sorry, it’s all just too much for me.” He turned to John.

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The Eerie Digest Travels to Hollywood

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

by Joseph J. O’Donnell

On November 7th The Eerie Digest traveled to Hollywood to catch the World Premier of Damian Chapa’s film, ‘Brando- Unauthorized’.

We had touched down in LAX slightly ahead of time on our American Airlines flight and caught the Super Shuttle service to our hotel on Wilshire Boulevard in the Westwood section of Los Angeles. Our home-away-from-home was the Hotel Palomar LA managed by Danielle DeHostos, and one of it’s in-house restaurant managers, Lucas Lazonick who both offered genuine hospitality and attention to detail, that I found very impressive. It’s close proximity to the UCLA campus and the goal of our visit, The Majestic Crest Theater where the premier was held, gave us easy access to our main destination. As a member of the Kimpton Hotels and Restaurant chain, it surely must be the jewel in their crown, as per this person’s experience. (more…)

The Eerie Digest Goes To The Movies!

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Damian Chapa

By Joseph J. O’Donnell

As the Publisher of this magazine I had the sincere honor of ‘Walking the Red Carpet’ at the World Premier of Damian Chapa’s film, ‘Brando- Unauthorized’.

It was a superb job that Damian had done on researching the life of Brando and how he focused the movie not on Brando, but on Brando’s son, Christian.

It was also a successful father/son collaboration as Damian’s own son, Ricco, portrayed the actor’s son in the film. A shaky start, caused by the loss of sound at the outset, was quickly overcome as the story unfolded. The audience became captivated as the true life of Brando revealed his troubled upbringing, flaws and triumphs, and his tragic end.

Damian Chapa stuck to his course throughout, and I found myself mesmerized by Ricco Chapa’s superb acting as he portrayed Christian Brando’s addiction and demise as his health deteriorated. So much history of Brando’s private life was kept from the public’s eyes, yet Chapa held it out for the world to see, and understand.

The house was packed and a goodly portion of the crowd could not gain entrance for good reason. Damian Chapa performed magic and opened our eyes to the heartache and triumph that many great screen names go through in their lives as we, the public scrutinize their every move. (more…)

The Rock Star- [BRËN]

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

by Joseph J. O’Donnell

During the second week of November I had visited Los Angeles to see Damian Chapa’s premier of ‘Brando- Unauthorized’ and attend it’s after-premier party in ‘The Warehouse Restaurant in Marina Del Rey. I also attended the American Film Market’s gala at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica, visit with actors, producers, and film studios. I also had the pleasure of meeting with recording star [BRËN] and his agent Margaret Guirard of the IMT Agency, in Century City, California.

[BRËN] is a unique musical talent and was interviewed by us in our October, 2010 issue. His music is in the style of Ozzie Osborne, yet I found him to be a sincere and down-to-earth person. We talked about his career and his goals, as well as the many doors that are magically thrown open before him. Magic is not the case, however, as it is his music that is paving his way towards his own stardom. (more…)

The Virginia Writer’s Club- Annual Meeting

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Mt. Vernon Inn

The Virginia Writer’s Club- Annual Meeting

by Joseph J. O’Donnell

As a new member of The Virginia Writer’s Club-Northern Virginia Chapter, I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner. The event was held on Saturday, November 13th, in the beautiful and historic Mt. Vernon Inn in Alexandria, Virginia.

Tables had been set up in the veranda room, just off the main dining area, to display, and sell, some of the members books. My son and photographer, Joe, joined me in meeting the membership and introducing our magazine, The Eerie Digest. Period music was performed in the George Washington room, where we also dined.

Normal business involved this years elections, a welcome by Matt Iden, invocation by Bernadette Geyer, and opening remarks by Jim Graves who is the President of VWC. A silent auction and door prize raffle was also held, with many prizes donated by Wal-Mart, Wegmens, Costco, and Friday’s restaurant chain. A number of side roundtable discussions were also held towards the end of the event. (more…)

IMTAgency Official Press Release

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

IMTAgency Official Press Release – Tuesday, 11/16/2010

Since the inception of The Great Unknowns Presents, TGUP has established partnerships with several record labels, an A&R company, PR companies, and indie magazines including ArtiSans Records, Arial Publicity, Blood & Ink Records, Bloodtown Records, Doghouse Records, Indie Bible, Indie Connect, Music X-Ray, Rama Music, Rise Records, Runaas PR, and Vigrant Records, plus several other labels and management teams.

As of November 15, The Great Unknowns Presents and All Indie Magazine are pleased to announce the newest affiliate partnership with none other then IMTAgency in their Music Division.

IMTAgency (International Models & Talent Agency) has been representing models and actors for nearly four years. With the addition of the new Music Division at IMTAgency represent musicians, the company has been in the process of expanding the division over the past year working with people in the Music & Entertainment Industry and in the recent months, Mikey Jayy of The Great Unknowns Presents and Margaret Guiraud of IMTAgency have teamed up to develop an action plan to help bolster the careers of musicians to help launch their careers.    (more…)

Press Release on ‘Adulterous’

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Joseph J. O’Donnell, Publisher of The Eerie Digest magazine, is set to produce the Anne Beyer play, ‘Adulterous’, in Los Angeles in 2011. The date and time for the play has not yet been disclosed, but Mr. O’Donnell is already at work lining up backers for it.

The play, by Ms. Beyer, is about a young couple and the effects the modern world has upon their marriage as they struggle to cope in establishing their relationship in a new living location. Ms. Beyer is very excited to have Mr. O’Donnell on her team and we can expect great things from this talented match-up.

“I am very excited to be part of this experience, and look forward to closely working with Anne on this project.” Mr. O’Donnell quoted. This magazine will update this story, as it unfolds, in upcoming issues. Filming of this play is also under consideration. Mr. O’Donnell is also putting together feature films for his novels ‘Walkers’ and Night Trains’ and has compiled his short stories to create a ‘Twilight Zone’ style show for them as well.

ED