Chatting with the men of In Darkness Peering

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The new gay horror fiction anthology In Darkness Peering: Tales from the Bent Side, edited by David D. Warner, is available now and features a story by yours truly! In my tale “Unholy Matrimony,” a gay couple’s meeting with a wedding planner takes a dark turn. The story even features characters from my novel Rise of the Thing Down Below!

But what about the other authors and stories in the collection? Well, a bunch of the guys took the time to answer my probing questions about their stories and their love of scaring and being scared. Thanks for the responses, men!

 Author: MICHAEL MANSCHOT mikey lee manschot

Boys, Bears & Scares: Tell us briefly what your story is about?

MICHAEL MANSCHOT: “The Angler” is about a young gay college man who returns to his secluded Texas home for the summer. While he’s looking forward to returning home, he’s quickly realizing that there is unfinished personal business waiting for him, as well as a dark entity that is trying to draw him out of his home and into the woods.

BB&S: What other horror fiction, if any, have you had published?

MICHAEL MANSCHOT: “The Angler” is my first attempt at writing.

BB&S: Who are your favorite horror authors?

MICHAEL MANSCHOT: R.L. Stine, Brian Keene, Laurel K Hamilton.

BB&S: What horror subgenre scares you most?

MICHAEL MANSCHOT: Anything religious. Growing up Catholic, I was raised and taught that spirits, demons, and evil are all too real… If you want real scary stories go ask a Mexican grandmother!

BB&S: Horror mixed with comedy. Yes or no? 

MICHAEL MANSCHOT: Definitely, who doesn’t like to laugh? Of course it has to actually be funny. 

BB&S: Sex and nudity in horror. Yes or no?

MICHAEL MANSCHOT: Sex and nudity create vulnerability, which is a key component for horror. Of course there are many writers that create amazing stories without sex and nudity.  

BB&S: Top 3 favorite scream queens?

MICHAEL MANSCHOT: Jaime Lee Curtis, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Danielle Harris.

BB&S: Favorite iconic horror baddie?

MICHAEL MANSCHOT: Michael Myers.

BB&S: Top 3 favorite horror TV shows?

MICHAEL MANSCHOT: Are You Afraid of The Dark? Bates Motel, Paranormal Witness.

BB&S: What songs or artists would be at the top of your Halloween party playlist?

MICHAEL MANSCHOT: Blue Oyster Cult and Rob Zombie.

BB&S: Finally, do you have any other horror projects in the works, fiction or otherwise?

MICHAEL MANSCHOT: I am in the early stages of turning “The Angler” into a novel. I really love the characters and feel the story is unfinished! People want more Aunt Marge!

Author: PATRICK RAITH patrick raith xan

Boys, Bears & Scares: Tell us briefly what your stories are about?

PATRICK RAITH: “Worst Day Ever” is about how a day at a girl’s shitty job goes from a normal, mind-numbing one to complete hell when the zombie apocalypse begins. “Moonlight” is a story about the first moments and experiences a woman has after her lover turns her into a vampire.

BB&S: What other horror fiction, if any, have you had published?

PATRICK RAITH: “Worst Day Ever” and “Moonlight” are my first published works.

BB&S: Who are your favorite horror authors?

PATRICK RAITH: Stephen King, Clive Barker, HP Lovecraft.

BB&S: What horror subgenre scares you most?

PATRICK RAITH: Zombies. Definitely zombies.

BB&S: Horror mixed with comedy. Yes or no?

PATRICK RAITH: Yes.

BB&S: Sex and nudity in horror. Yes or no?

PATRICK RAITH: Definitely.

BB&S: Top 3 favorite scream queens?

PATRICK RAITH: Jamie Lee Curtis, Linnea Quigley, and Danielle Harris.

BB&S: Favorite iconic horror baddie?

PATRICK RAITH: I’ll be the oddball and say Mrs. Voorhees.  RIP Betsy Palmer.

BB&S: Top 3 favorite horror TV shows?

PATRICK RAITH: I’m really digging Fear the Walking Dead so far. So that, Forever Knight, and Tales from the Darkside.

BB&S: What songs or artists would be at the top of your Halloween party playlist?

PATRICK RAITH: I doubt you would hear anything beyond something by John Carpenter, Harry Manfredini, or whatever horror DVD is playing at one of my Halloween parties. lol.

BB&S: Finally, do you have any other horror projects in the works, fiction or otherwise?

PATRICK RAITH: The short story “Worst Day Ever” is actually a snippet of my (almost finished) zombocalypse novel, Necropolis.  I am also working with an artist on a demonic horror graphic novel set in the Victorian Age. 

Author: PETER SAENZpeter saenz

Boys, Bears & Scares: Tell us briefly what your stories are about?

PETER SAENZ: I have three stories in this anthology. The first is a ghost story about a psychic who is going home to bury his father and finds something else waiting for him. The second story is about a science experiment gone wrong. The third is about a dying man who decides to sell his soul to the devil, where you find out the devil isn’t exactly what you think he is.

BB&S: What other horror fiction, if any, have you had published?

PETER SAENZ: I have a book series titled Coven of Wolves, which follows the adventures of Devin Marshall, a male witch on the run from his former witch coven and a pack of deadly werewolves. I’m actually in the process of pitching Coven of Wolves as a potential television series under the Tri-Wolf Entertainment company.

BB&S: Who are your favorite horror authors?

PETER SAENZ: The first horror writer I savored as a kid was Stephen King. I loved reading his early works like Carrie, Firestarter, and Cycle of the Werewolf.  Later I discovered Anne Rice and completely fell in love with her.

BB&S: What horror subgenre scares you most?

PETER SAENZ: I find that it’s not the genre that scares me but the way the writer or director presents their product that does it. I love werewolf stories/films, but as long as it’s presented properly, any area of horror can give you a good scare.

 BB&S: Horror mixed with comedy. Yes or no?

PETER SAENZ: YES! Going back to Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and Hold That Ghost, comedy has always been a great addition to horror. Now with films like Shaun of the Dead and Wolf Cop, being able to laugh immediately following a shriek is a wonderful experience.

BB&S: Sex and nudity in horror. Yes or no?

PETER SAENZ: Yes, but only if it fits the context of the film. Audiences today are not only very smart but also very sophisticated. If you throw in a sex scene just to have one, your audience will pick up on the desperation immediately.

 BB&S: Top 3 favorite scream queens?

Megan Follows (Silverbullet), Elvira (Elvira: Mistress of the Dark), and Mark Patton (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2).

BB&S: Favorite iconic horror baddie?

PETER SAENZ: Freddy Krueger, followed closely by Pinhead from the Hellraiser series.

BB&S: Top 3 favorite horror TV shows?

PETER SAENZ: I was obsessed with Charmed when it was on the air. American Horror Story: Coven was fun. True Blood rocked, too.

BB&S: What songs or artists would be at the top of your Halloween party playlist?

PETER SAENZ: My sister’s song, “Coven of Wolves” by Amanda Saenz, available on iTunes.

BB&S: Finally, do you have any other horror projects in the works, fiction or otherwise?

PETER SAENZ: Once I have the Coven of Wolves TV pilot submitted, I’m going to work on book 3 in the Coven series, which will be the last in the series. Then I’ll start on a new writing project that I’m developing that has my creative juices flowing. More to come on that later. 

Author: MICHAEL VAN LONDONmichael van london - theghostofmvlandtheboys

Boys, Bears & Scares: Tell us briefly what your story is about?

MICHAEL VAN LONDON: “Under the Dock” is kind of a weird one. It is a true story. A real horror story. I think it’s sort of about facing the darkest parts of yourself or maybe it’s about the Harbinger of death.

BB&S: What other horror fiction, if any, have you had published?

MICHAEL VAN LONDON: This is my very first published story. I am a songwriter so I’ve published hundreds of songs, but this was a totally different ball game.

BB&S: Who are your favorite horror authors?

MICHAEL VAN LONDON: I could be unoriginal here and say Stephen King cos obviously he’s awesome. But I won’t. Honestly, I should read more.

BB&S: What horror subgenre scares you most?

MICHAEL VAN LONDON: Reality TV.

BB&S: Horror mixed with comedy. Yes or no?

MICHAEL VAN LONDON: Honestly, I thought parts of The Shining were hilarious. So sure.

BB&S: Sex and nudity in horror. Yes or no?

MICHAEL VAN LONDON: If it’s like Friday the 13th then yes. If it’s like anything else, no.

BB&S: Top 3 favorite scream queens?

MICHAEL VAN LONDON: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. If she ever screamed. Which I think she did. No one else would even come close.

BB&S: Favorite iconic horror baddie?

MICHAEL VAN LONDON: Regan from The Exorcist or maybe Pinhead from Hellraiser.

BB&S: Top 3 favorite horror TV shows?

MICHAEL VAN LONDON: Tales from the Crypt, Keeping up with the Kardashians, and American Horror Story.

BB&S: What songs or artists would be at the top of your Halloween party playlist?

MICHAEL VAN LONDON: “Prelude (the family trip)” by Marilyn Manson, “The Banishment” by Jex Toth, and maybe “Black Sabbath” by Black Sabbath.

BB&S: Finally, do you have any other horror projects in the works, fiction or otherwise?

MICHAEL VAN LONDON: Not that this is horror related, but I’m finishing my new album, SONG OF SKULL, hopefully due out in fall. I also recently contributed my song, “Baby I’m Here For You” to an amazing and soon to be released short film, FRONTMAN, directed by Matthew Gentile.

Author: DAVID WARNERdavid warner

Boys, Bears & Scares: Tell us briefly what your stories are about? 

DAVID WARNER: When I first had the idea to put together this anthology, I thought my unpublished short story “Blood Will Tell” would be my sole contribution to the project. It’s an early 20th Century historical about a reluctant spiritualist medium and an unexpected visitor. Once the project got underway, however, I was inspired to write two additional original contemporary shorts—“Ellie” is the story of two men dreading the arrival of the enigmatic and dangerous Ellie, and “Moving On” is the story of a middle-aged man struggling to come to terms with the death of his other half.

BB&S: What other horror fiction, if any, have you had published?

DAVID WARNER: I have not previously published any straight-up, but most of my writing tends to be darker in nature. My published stories, to date, have been two gay-themed holiday romances and one gay-themed fantasy/horror/farce that I wrote back in the golden olden days, i.e., my college years.

BB&S: Who are your favorite horror authors?

DAVID WARNER: Of course, I love the classics like H.P. Lovecraft, Poe, Mary Shelley, and Bram Stoker, but I also adore more contemporary horror authors like Clive Barker, Richard Matheson, Anne Rice, Rick R. Reed, Jordan Castillo Price, Lee Thomas, and Douglas Clegg. I’m also a very big fan of the unique brand of quirky horror that embodies the best of Shirley Jackson’s work. I could go on all night.

BB&S: What horror subgenre scares you most?

DAVID WARNER: I find that the subtler, more psychological horror stories scare me the most. Fiestas of gore and things that pop out and go “boo” kind of bore me at this juncture, and I don’t find them all that appealing. I much more appreciate the unseen horror, the thing lurking in the darkness, the horror within.

BB&S: Horror mixed with comedy. Yes or no?

DAVID WARNER: Definitely yes, but only if it’s done well (a la Cabin in the Woods by Joss Whedon). There’s a very fine line between clever humor and cheese.

BB&S: Sex and nudity in horror. Yes or no?

DAVID WARNER: I have no problem with sex and nudity in horror stories, but it has to be integral to the plot and not there just to be provocative or to piss off your momma. If you’re looking only for man-on-man-on-man-on-man action, there’s plenty of free porn on the Internet.

BB&S: Top 3 favorite scream queens?

DAVID WARNER: Of course, no one can compete with the Queen of Scream Queens, Jamie Lee Curtis, but I’ve always been quite fond of: Adrienne Barbeau, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Sissy “you let the dead get in” Spacek.

BB&S: Favorite iconic horror baddie?

DAVID WARNER: A tie between the xenomorph from Alien and The Thing (from Outer Space) – I liked the original James Arness characterization, but it was John Carpenter’s re-imagining (true to the original novel, “Who Goes There”) that really grabbed me. A monster that could be anyone—what could be scarier than that?

BB&S: Top 3 favorite horror TV shows?

 1) American Horror Story, 2) Penny Dreadful, and 3) Dark Shadows (the original ABC series).

BB&S: What songs or artists would be at the top of your Halloween party playlist?

DAVID WARNER: Give me a solid mix of Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus (Peter Murphy), Siouxsie and the Banshees, Switchblade Symphony, and the Schubert trios.

BB&S: Finally, do you have any other horror projects in the works, fiction or otherwise?

DAVID WARNER: I’m currently working on 3 unrelated horror novels or novellas right now – one is a hybrid horror/sci-fi dystopian future piece, one is a Depression-era period piece inspired by a vivid nightmare I had last summer, tentatively called “The Machine,” and the third, “Under the Ivy,” was inspired by a recurring nightmare that I’ve had since I was in college. I also have at least a dozen other horror projects circling around in the back of my mind waiting for just the right time and place to manifest.

Author: DAVID WOLFHAVENdavid wolfhaven

Boys, Bears & Scares: Tell us briefly what your story is about?

DAVID WOLFHAVEN: My short story “Steamed” bubbled out of the ether at a surprising pace. I had an idea of a haunted bathhouse years ago, and when I was approached about submissions for a compilation, I jumped at the chance to flesh it out. Although I’ve actually never been inside a bathhouse, I’ve passed by some and heard scary yet intoxicating sounds emanating from behind open windows and seen shadowy figures in sexual positions, so I’ve always been curious. I also worked for the YMCA and remember curiously and “accidentally” stumbling into an old sauna one day, and two older gentleman bears were jerking each other off and making out. I think I was 13. It was shocking and hot and a little gross. LOL. They at first looked scared then could tell I was curious, so they kept at it. I ran out of there. I remember the flickering green lighting blipping above me as I ran, like it was yesterday.

BB&S: What other horror fiction, if any, have you had published?

DAVID WOLFHAVEN: I’ve had some of my poetry published in FANGORIA and have been featured on my famous author friend Anne Rice’s website for her Memnoch Ball extravaganza. It’s the 20th anniversary this year. We plan on doing something special. Maybe I’ll share a bottle of wine in West Hollywood with her son Christopher, who is a famous author in his own right. I styled him for his last book tour, actually.

BB&S: Who are your favorite horror authors?

DAVID WOLFHAVEN: Charles Dickens. Anne Rice.  Clive Barker.  Edgar Allen Poe.  V.C. Andrews.  Laird Koenig.  J.K. Rowling.

BB&S: What horror subgenre scares you most?

DAVID WOLFHAVEN: Anything that has to do with kidnapping, or torture. Realistic situations. Texas Chainsaw Massacre manufactures this perfectly.

BB&S: Horror mixed with comedy. Yes or no?

DAVID WOLFHAVEN: Oh, yes. I enjoy terrifying and making my readers laugh at the same time. I was also an actor growing up and did theatre Off-Off Broadway and remember being told that crying and laughing are essentially the same thing when trying to convey (the) emotion. 

BB&S: Sex and nudity in horror. Yes or no?

DAVID WOLFHAVEN: ALWAYS sex, and as much nudity as possibly. LOL. I saw a movie called The Editor recently and thought it was bloody fantastic. It divided this topic well. I like creating and wondering and watching art that makes you ask the question “Are they really going to GO there?” When they do, it’s like an orgasm of excitement for the eyes and heart and groin. LOL. That’s what I base my reviews and writings on. The intelligence of the shock.

BB&S: Top 3 favorite scream queens?

DAVID WOLFHAVEN: Jamie Lee Curtis. Tippi Hedren, whom I’ve met and partied with at “The Magic Castle” in Hollywood. The epitome of elegance and fun. And Neve Campbell, who I have a “straight-man” crush on.

BB&S: Favorite iconic horror baddie?

DAVID WOLFHAVEN: Gotta be Freddy.  I remember watching Elm Street as a teen with my younger brother, and when he pulls Nancy’s mother through the door at the end, I was stunned. It was such a movie of raw terror and magical brilliance. I met the dearly departed Wes Craven when I first moved here to Hollywood at an anniversary screening of A New Nightmare, and he was so gracious and down to earth. He told me some stories about the making of the film and where the actual house is. I IMMEDIATELY went there after the event and now, every Halloween, I go there to snap a pic and then two blocks over and up to the babysitters’ houses from the movie Halloween.

BB&S: Top 3 favorite horror TV shows?

DAVID WOLFHAVEN: Well…I enjoy American Horror Story.  And The Simpsons Halloween specials.

BB&S: What songs or artists would be at the top of your Halloween party playlist?

DAVID WOLFHAVEN: “Monster Mash,” “Thriller,” and anything by composer extraordinaire Danny Elfman.

BB&S: Finally, do you have any other horror projects in the works, fiction or otherwise?

DAVID WOLFHAVEN: I’m currently working on a few projects. My children’s book for adults is about a boy who is a pumpkin—the whole town is pumpkins, and every morning when the boy wakes up, his father holds him down and carves the “emotion” onto his face before he goes to school. I also have two independent horror movies in the proverbial *fire*.  One is based on a haunted mattress from the slavery days, and the other is about a boy with a hair-lip who is made fun of, has never been kissed, and can’t blow or speak properly. It’s all very exciting.

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IN DARKNESS PEERING: TALES FROM THE BENT SIDE now available in paperback and ebook format on Amazon.

 

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES.

I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at www.facebook.com/BoysBearsandScares.

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