Thursday, September 15, 2011
Mike McCarty Interview
In your novel, Liquid Diet and Midnight Snack (Whiskey Creek Publishing), it features a right-wing religious organization. Although they may be fictional, some religious groups frown upon the horror genre. What was your intent on this inclusion?
Michael McCarty: The Opposition to the Occult is a fictional organization (thank God), but they represent different groups who have targeted horror, heavy metal music, gay marriage, different religions and different cultures – anything that is outside the norm.
Your novels have been printed through various publishers. Do any of those publishers stand out in any specific way?
McCarty: My favorite so far are: Wildside Press (who have published Giants of the Genre, More Giants of the Genre and Dark Duets), Damnation Books (who have published A Hell of A Job and Partners in Slime), Whiskey Creek Publishing (who have published Liquid Diet), Sam’s Dot Publishing (who have published Little Creatures, A Little Help From My Fiends and Rusty the Robot’s Holiday Adventures), BearManor Media (who have published Esoteria-Land, Masters of Imagination and Modern Mythmakers), Medallion Books (who will be publishing Monster Behind The Wheel) and McFarland & Company (who published the first edition of Modern Mythmakers). I also enjoyed Delirium Books & Corrosion Press too.
We have a mutual friend, Joe McKinney. What was it like to work with him?
McCarty: I really enjoy working with Joe, he is a very hard working writer and is very imaginative, full of so many ideas and directions; it is a delight collaborating with him. Joe and I are both members of the Horror Writers Association and that is how we met.
When I was putting together my short story collection A Little Help From My Fiends, I asked Joe to write the afterword, which he wrote a great one for the book.
Joe asked me to look at a manuscript he was working on and asked if I wanted to collaborate, the project eventually became the novella Lost Girl Of The Lake, which is one of my best pieces of long fiction. It is set the early 1960s and has as many twists and turns as a rattlesnake slithering across a hot highway does. The book is set to release early 2012 from Bad Moon Books.
Joe and I just finished another novella called Terror Of Bristol Plains for the anthology Before Plan 9: Plans 1-8 from Outer Space.
Do you have any horror mythos that you haven't written about? If so do you plan on doing so?
McCarty: I’ve written about vampires in Liquid Diet and Midnight Snack and Bloodless (with Jody LaGreca) -- a novel I am currently shopping around and all the short story collections. I’ve written about werewolves. I’ve written about robots for the kid’s book Rusty the Robot’s Holiday Adventures with Sherry Decker. I’ve written about zombies with Mark McLaughlin with Monster Behind The Wheel. I’ve written about ghost with Amy Grech with Fallen Angel.
I’d like to write more about vampires because they are my favorite and zombies too. As for something I’ve never written about before, I’d love to write a book about Frankenstein’s monster, I have some ideas and might tackle that someday.
A comedian, a musician, a managing editor. Those are just a few of your previous jobs. So what made you pursue such a (successful) career as an author?
McCarty: Actually I have been writing since 1973. I sold my first newspaper article in 1983. I sold my first national magazine article in 1993. My first book was published in 2003. I did all the other things such as stand-up comedian, musician and editor between my writing gigs.
What can you tell us about Monster Behind The Wheel the novel you co-written with Mark McLaughlin and going to get published by Medallion Press?
McCarty: 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. Monster Behind The Wheel tells the story of Jeremy Carmichael. During his childhood he 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 returned 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 humor, lust, thrills and gut-wrenching horror and oil changes (laughs). I hope the readers will enjoy it. It took five years for Mark and I to finish this novel.
Sounds like an interesting book. How would you describe your protagonist Jeremy Carmichael from Monster Behind The Wheel in 10 words or less?
McCarty: He’s a young man desperate to outrace his own demons.
Why did you choose a 1970 Barracuda as the haunted car?
McCarty: Another great question. The 1970 Barracuda was completely restyled and re-engineered. It was considered then and remains to this day one of the finest muscle cars design from Chrysler. The high performance ‘Cuda model came standard 426 Hemi engine. The car also had the shaker hoodscope that sat atop the 426 six-barrel. It was, and still is, a real monster on the road. It could eat Christine for breakfast.
You have the same name as the acclaimed horror special effects artist, Mike McCarty. Has anyone ever confused you two?
McCarty: Oh yes, it happens from time to time. I met Mike at the World Horror Convention in Burbank, California when Monster Behind The Wheel was up for Best First Novel at the Bram Stokers. I wish I took a photo of the two of us, we will probably crossed paths again someday. I’m a big fan of Mike’s work. He is a very talented special effects guy and enjoy seeing is work.
What novels do you enjoy reading? If any?
McCarty: I am a book nerd, so I am also reading a ton of books. Currently I’m reading Bentley Little’s His Father’s Son, I also picked up his book The Disappearance (which I plan to read next, I am a big fan of Bentley Little). I interviewed Bentley in Modern Mythmakers and he wrote the introduction to my book Dark Duets.
I am also re-reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451: The 50th Anniversary Edition; I haven’t read this book since high school and am glad I am reading it again. I interviewed Ray for two of my books Masters of Imagination and Modern Mythmakers.
I am also reading Joe McKinney’s Flesh Eaters. I read the other two books in his zombie series Dead City and Apocalypse of the Dead which I really enjoyed both. He’s cranking the zombie books out faster than I can read them.
What about movies?
McCarty: I really want to see that remake of Fright Night. Recent genre movies I saw include Rise of the Planet of the Apes (which was great) and Cowboy & Aliens (which was okay) – I saw both of them at a drive-in this summer. My wife and I enjoyed the third season of TrueBlood. We also really enjoyed the last season of Futurama. I am looking forward to season two of Walking Dead. Other movies I enjoyed this year Paul. I also enjoyed the comedies Cedar Rapids, Hang Over 2 and Horrible Bosses.
If one of your novels was turned into a movie, which would you choose. Why?
McCarty: That’s a great question, but a tough one to answer. I always write in a very visual style, so all my novels would make great movies. But if I had to choose just one, I’d say Liquid Diet because vampires are so popular right now and there is a lot of humor in the book and the novel does feature cameos by real life people like The Amazing Kreskin, Joe Hill, Chris Alexander (the editor of Fangoria) – it would be fun to have them appear in a film version of the book.
The novel is set in Chicago, which is a very visually interesting city, and plot-wise it there is a lot of action adventure and biting in it, so that would also make great cinema.
Thank you Steven Foley for a great interview. If people are interested in getting my books, here are some links they can go to get most of them:
Most of my books can be found at:
Liquid Diet & Midnight Snack:
Monster Behind The Wheel:
Rusty the Robot’s Holiday Adventures:
Sam’s Dot Publishing:
Other Social Media: