1) I must start off and say I really enjoyed Pus Junkies. What I liked it about it so much and bizarro in general was it was such a morphed genre combo: horror, coming of age YA, and gross out comedy. I know you’re heart is in horror but would you ever sellout & write a straight up YA book? I’m doing it but I’m half Jew but fully worship money.
I think I’d like to try writing a YA book one day. A children’s book too. I love that stuff, but just haven’t had the right idea yet. Whenever I think I have an idea, I always end up twisting it into something fucked up. I don’t know if I’d consider that selling out. If I have a story to tell for that specific audience, and it doesn’t suck, then what’s wrong with making a little money at it? I’ll freely admit right now that I’ve written books because someone offered me some money first. I don’t think I sold out. I just had bills to pay, that’s all.
2) I talked to other writers about product placement in their books or marketing campaigns. Did you or Proactive reach out to you to have Kip (the boy with addictive pus filled zits) at least try their product Adam Levine himself endorses?
Using Proactive on Kip’s acne is like trying to disinfect an open wound with tap water. But hey, Adam Levine’s skin looks amazing! Good enough to slice off and wear. I wonder if there are any Maroon 5 concerts coming to town soon…
3) I remember at BizarroCon you wearing a t-shirt Leprechaun In The Hood: The Musical, and now I’m seeing teasers pop up on Reddit of this story. Tell me more about this awesome sounding project and the legality of it?
Actually, the book will be posted up on Reddit in its entirety. Every Monday we’ll be posting a new section of the novel. We currently have three parts up, with the fourth ready to go. This book was so much fucking fun to write. The whole thing was Cameron’s idea. He reached out to Adam and me and asked if we would be interested in doing a collaboration. I didn’t know how well that would work at first because of how different our styles are, but that turned out to be the biggest benefit. We all brought something to the table on this, and we are all very happy with it. It’s a ton of fun and completely fucking bananas. We struggled with how to handle the copyright issues. In fact, that’s the heart of our story. A group of people decide to make a musical based on the Leprechaun in the Hood film. The Leprechaun finds out and comes for them because they are stealing his copyright. The solution we came up with is this: use New Nightmare rules. In that film, Freddy Krueger comes to life and terrorizes the actors from the original films. It’s not the Robert Englund Freddy, but is supposed to be a “real life” Freddy. We figured our leprechaun isn’t THE leprechaun, but A leprechaun. It’s not Warwick Davis, but the mythological creature. Within the universe of our story, the films exist, the characters talk about them, even use them to try and figure out how to kill the leprechaun. The films are based on our leprechaun character. The filmmakers found his pot of gold, and their wishes were to make these films. When the leprechaun finds out about our main characters putting on the play without his permission, he ain’t happy.
“They had no gold, they had no wishes. And now I’ll kill those sons of bitches.”
4) Back to Pus Junkies, I will admit there is a strange pleasure to popping pimples; did you do any research on the Internet about any sexual pimple popping fetishes? Also, on a deeper level, do you think it’s true love if a couple is willing to pop each other’s back pimples?
I didn’t research that, though I’m sure that’s a thing. I struggled with acne my entire life. During high school, it was really bad. I didn’t know you could get acne anywhere else but your face, but I found out that’s not the case. It made me feel like a freak and made me extremely self-conscious. It was impossible for me to talk to girls because I was convinced they all thought I was gross. I eventually had to take pills, which cleared it up pretty good. But I always wanted to write a story about it. And it’s only true love if you’ll pop the zits on your loved one’s back with your teeth, suck the pus out, spit it into your hand, and then use it to moisturize your elbows and knees. My wife doesn’t love me.
5) That’s hardcore. I can definitely see splatterpunk, horror, & Kaufman in your influences but also saw the artsy fartsy film Perfume: The Story of Murder in Pus Junkies.
Have you ever seen it? What is your favorite art film that is not David Lynch?
I haven’t seen that, but it looks intriguing. I’m going to confess something right now. I kind of don’t know what an art film is. So I Googled that shit. Ain’t I resourceful? I think I’d have to go with Clockwork Orange. That movie just works on so many levels for me. I love rooting for the bad guy. We see the main character, how awful he is, how he thrives on violence and brutality. Then we see him go through hell. We start to root for him, feel sorry for him. Though I got a sense of satisfaction seeing his victims getting their revenge, I also couldn’t help but wish he would win in the end.
6) You have a new novel out “Parasite Deep”; what is that about? Chicks aren’t getting fucked by tentacles are they, cause there is enough of that shit on the Internet?
There is? Where? I mean…there is? Despicable! No, there is no tentacle fucking. I am so ashamed. I grew up fishing. It’s always been one of my true joys in life. It’s very relaxing to me, and when you’re fighting a fish, there is almost nothing as exciting. I knew I would write a story about fishing some day, and when I was approached by Severed Press to write another book for them, they asked if I had anything involving sea monsters. I jumped at the opportunity to write it, but I had to figure out what my monster was. Barnacles. What’s that now? That’s right. Barnacles are my monster! I was always curious about those barnacles that attach themselves to whales. Always wondered if they hurt the animal, if they were feeding off it. They attach themselves to the whale because they are immobile themselves. They have these feathered appendages that stick out of their shells that collect plankton. So I got to thinking. What if there was a species of carnivorous barnacles? They attach themselves to meat-eating animals, inject some kind of toxin into their system so that they lose their minds, become ultra-violent killing machines. And then the barnacles feed on the victims’ meat. So we’ve got extremely aggressive sharks and whales and dolphins, etc. All tearing each other apart. Then a deep-sea fishing boat finds itself right in the middle of the chaos…and bad things happen! It’s a lot of fun. Full of action and gore. The characters are loosely based on me and my buddies.
7) Cool! You’re freaking busy man, you are doing Kickstarter as well for a book you want to make it into a film. How did the idea making Muerte Con Carne into a movie happen and what can you tell writers who want to make their books a film & use Kickstarter for advice as you are in the middle of the process?
This was all John Skipp’s doing. He read my novel and reviewed it at Fangoria. In the review, he mentioned he thought it would make a good, fucked up horror movie. He met Gigi Saul Guerrero (the director) at a film festival shortly after, and she showed her film about zombies at the border. My book is basically about cannibals (and luchadors) at the border, and Skipp approached Gigi, told her he knew about a book she should read. She did, passed it along to the rest of the LuchaGore crew, and they all agreed they wanted this to be their next film. As far as advice, I’d say make sure that the filmmakers know what they’re doing. As I’m writing this, our Kickstarter campaign has reached its goal. There were some ups and downs, but we did it. And I’ll be honest right now and tell you it had nothing to do with me. It’s my novel and I filmed a little video of myself talking about it, but it was the LuchaGore crew that put everything together, edited it so it looked professional as hell. Just make sure you believe in whoever you’re working with. This shit can get stressful as hell.
8) I fuck around usually in this author interview series about writing and just bullshiting but a question that is hard to ask and answer is: do you want to be one of the few who can write full-time and have this be a way to support your family? Do you think writers can achieve this goal of being professional writers and not work jobs like teaching shitty writers, working at radio shack, freelancing bad books, sign twirling, managing porn stores or working the department to sneak in writing (not that I’ve done or am doing any of those)?
Most definitely this is possible. Keep in mind, I have a full time job right now, so I can’t really tell you how to make it happen, but I can tell you that I’m getting closer and closer to that goal. I’m knew to all this, and I’m always learning, but it didn’t take me very long to figure out that the horror genre is a tough market, and making a living writing horror novels would be pretty hard to accomplish. I think the key is to branch out and try your hand at some other things too. I now write comic scripts for Zenescope Entertainment pretty regularly. Along with Muerte Con Carne, I’ve got a few other possible movie deals in the works. I’m working on developing a cartoon show based on a concept from an upcoming novel. I’m experimenting with things like children’s books for adults. I’m now reaching out to video game companies to see if I can get a gig writing for them. There’s just so many possibilities. I’m trying to force my way into doing this for a living. You can’t just put your work out there and hope for the best.
9) I know you worked a little bit with author Carlton Mellick III on Pus Junkies. I hear he’s very into K-Pop music, and you are doing this Leprechaun in the Hood: The Musical. So I got a pitch, I’m just going to share it with you and all these readers. Zombies & Shit: The Musical….all K-Pop Songs. Boom. When do we sign the contract? Do we e-mail Rose? How does this work? When do we start?
We already did this, but it was so fucking powerful that it imploded and no longer exists. Carlton is very sensitive about it, okay? God…
10) Last Question, besides pimping your Kickstarter project, what are you working on now?
Fuck, man. So many things. I just finished up a new novel, but still need to edit it. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with this one yet. I’m working on three separate collaborations. I’m writing a new comic script for Zenescope, which is going to be fucking amazing. I’ve got a few experimental projects I’m about to start. They’re for nobody in particular, and I want to write them so bad that I don’t want to pitch it to anyone. I’m just gonna write the motherfuckers, then figure it out. I’ve been thinking about using a pen name for this kind of thing, but haven’t decided yet. I’m also working at creating another human! …think happy thoughts for me…
Definitely check out Shane’s Kickstarter Project
You can reach Shane at his website