The Nightmare Engine Podcast

From Reddit to Radio Tower: The Unique Journey of Boris Basic

January 05, 2022 David Viergutz Season 1 Episode 5
From Reddit to Radio Tower: The Unique Journey of Boris Basic
The Nightmare Engine Podcast
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The Nightmare Engine Podcast
From Reddit to Radio Tower: The Unique Journey of Boris Basic
Jan 05, 2022 Season 1 Episode 5
David Viergutz

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๐ŸŽ™๏ธAbout the Episode

Get ready for a chilling journey as we bring you a heady blend of horror, hope, faith, and creativity, alongside acclaimed Serbian horror author, Boris Basic. Boris, the mind behind the bone-chilling novel, Radio Tower, takes us through his unique creative journey - starting from a Reddit post and leading up to a fully fleshed-out horror masterpiece. He uncovers the power of platforms like Amazon and Book Funnel in connecting authors with their readers and shares his ongoing quest for the perfect reader.

Our conversation takes an intriguing turn as Boris paints horror as a genre of hope and delves into his writing process. He shares how everyday life experiences shape his chilling narratives and emphasizes the role of the unknown in horror writing. In a genre often seen as controversial, Boris gracefully navigates the complex intersection between faith and horror writing. He brings his Christian faith into the discussion, showing us how some of the most level-headed people can craft the darkest tales.

We wrap up our intense chat by exploring various aspects of Boris's craft. From character development and his unexpected love for the Harry Potter series to his struggles with balancing the art and business of writing, Boris candidly discusses it all. Our journey also ventures into the wide spectrum of horror, ranging from the mysterious to the downright gory. Finally, we end on a nostalgic note, reflecting on the influence and sheer power of horror movies. So sit back and prepare to face your fears, one chilling story at a time.

๐Ÿ”—Connect with David

๐ŸŒŽ Website | ๐ŸŽฅ Youtube | ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸซFacebook | ๐Ÿ“ธ Instagram |๐Ÿค Twitter | ๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธTikTok

๐Ÿ”—Connect with Jay

๐ŸŒŽ Website | ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸซFacebook | ๐Ÿ“ธ Instagram |๐Ÿค Twitter | ๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธTikTok

๐Ÿ”—Connect with Boris

๐ŸŒŽ Website

๐Ÿ”—Connect with David
๐ŸŒŽ Website | ๐ŸŽฅ Youtube | ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸซFacebook | ๐Ÿ“ธ Instagram |๐Ÿค Twitter | ๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธTikTok

โญ๏ธ Leave a Review

If you enjoy listening to the podcast, please do leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and let us know in your review who you want to see next on the podcast. Thanks!

You can also Tweet me @ViergutzDavid and tell me what horror author you want to hear from next, or what topics you want me to cover. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

How did you like the show? Text us and let us know.

โญ๏ธEnjoy the podcast? Do your good deed for the day and leave a 5-star review here ;) 

๐ŸŽ™๏ธAbout the Episode

Get ready for a chilling journey as we bring you a heady blend of horror, hope, faith, and creativity, alongside acclaimed Serbian horror author, Boris Basic. Boris, the mind behind the bone-chilling novel, Radio Tower, takes us through his unique creative journey - starting from a Reddit post and leading up to a fully fleshed-out horror masterpiece. He uncovers the power of platforms like Amazon and Book Funnel in connecting authors with their readers and shares his ongoing quest for the perfect reader.

Our conversation takes an intriguing turn as Boris paints horror as a genre of hope and delves into his writing process. He shares how everyday life experiences shape his chilling narratives and emphasizes the role of the unknown in horror writing. In a genre often seen as controversial, Boris gracefully navigates the complex intersection between faith and horror writing. He brings his Christian faith into the discussion, showing us how some of the most level-headed people can craft the darkest tales.

We wrap up our intense chat by exploring various aspects of Boris's craft. From character development and his unexpected love for the Harry Potter series to his struggles with balancing the art and business of writing, Boris candidly discusses it all. Our journey also ventures into the wide spectrum of horror, ranging from the mysterious to the downright gory. Finally, we end on a nostalgic note, reflecting on the influence and sheer power of horror movies. So sit back and prepare to face your fears, one chilling story at a time.

๐Ÿ”—Connect with David

๐ŸŒŽ Website | ๐ŸŽฅ Youtube | ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸซFacebook | ๐Ÿ“ธ Instagram |๐Ÿค Twitter | ๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธTikTok

๐Ÿ”—Connect with Jay

๐ŸŒŽ Website | ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸซFacebook | ๐Ÿ“ธ Instagram |๐Ÿค Twitter | ๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธTikTok

๐Ÿ”—Connect with Boris

๐ŸŒŽ Website

๐Ÿ”—Connect with David
๐ŸŒŽ Website | ๐ŸŽฅ Youtube | ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸซFacebook | ๐Ÿ“ธ Instagram |๐Ÿค Twitter | ๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธTikTok

โญ๏ธ Leave a Review

If you enjoy listening to the podcast, please do leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts and let us know in your review who you want to see next on the podcast. Thanks!

You can also Tweet me @ViergutzDavid and tell me what horror author you want to hear from next, or what topics you want me to cover. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

Announcer:

Welcome to the Nightmare Engine Podcast with your hosts, horror authors David Virgoots and Jay Bauer, where they discuss all things horror books, movies, stories. Nothing is off limits, nothing is safe, and neither are you.

David Viergutz:

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the fifth episode of the Nightmare Engine Podcast. Today is January 5th of the new year, So to avoid any of the usual crap about New Year's resolutions and how last year was horrible, we're just going to move quickly into it. So if you're listening to this, just know that we have pre-recorded a lot of this stuff, so the dates may not add up to the release, and that's all right. Ladies and gentlemen, i'm here alone. My name is David Virgoots, i'm the horror author and the co-host of the Nightmare Engine Podcast, and my other co-host It's not going to be available today as Jay Bauer. But besides that, we have a wonderful interview guest today Staples in the horror community, mr Boris Basic. So, boris, say hi man.

Boris Bacic:

Hi, how's it going?

David Viergutz:

Pretty good man. So I asked Boris to come on to the podcast just yesterday and the schedule's lined up pretty great And I think he's got an interesting story that both readers and authors would especially in the horror community could really stand behind. So Boris is from Serbia, right, but we kind of discussed it a little bit ahead of time that you know English better than you know Serbian.

Boris Bacic:

Right. I mean it's like we discussed it Kind of people learn the language over here, english language in the schools And depending on the school, how unlucky or lucky you get, you can really learn it well, you know. So some people speak it really well but others not so much. I just got really lucky, though. You know I watched a lot of cartoons when I was a kid. That kind of helped me to learn English And from there I just kind of, you know, improved it.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, awesome. And from what you told me, you just went full time in authorship. So tell me about your horror novel. So I assume that everybody who's listening to this does know that we are talking to other horror authors and about horror. So tell me about your first novel. Let's talk about that one. When did you publish it And what was it about And where did the inspiration come from?

Boris Bacic:

Oh, that's a long story. It actually started as a short story on No Sleep. The novel is called Radio Tower And it was a. the inspiration was basically, you know, like I was living in an apartment and every night at around 9pm or something, i would see like some red lights from a nearby radio tower just blinking, you know.

David Viergutz:

Or, as you were saying, about your first book, man.

Boris Bacic:

Right. So my first book was Radio Tower. It actually started as a short story on No Sleep And the inspiration came from the place where I used to live And this was an apartment where every night at around 9pm I think it was the exact time, 9pm or something, you know I'd see some blinking lights outside my apartment, you know, and I was like thinking this could be some good stuff, like related to either some MK Ultra or, you know, brainwashing or whatever, and I'm thinking like I'm going to write something about that. So that's where the inspiration came from, and since the short story got a lot of attention, i decided to just kind of make it like a full fledged novel. So it just kind of came on a whim, you know.

David Viergutz:

And this was posted on. You said a forum. Right, we talked about that as No Sleep, was that? where is that located? Is that like a Reddit forum?

Boris Bacic:

Yeah, actually right, That is a Reddit forum. It's very similar to those old creepypasta stories, you know, So like anybody can come there and they can post like a short story. So if you're looking for a quick, scary read, you can actually find some really good stories there. And there have been plenty of authors, like me, you know, who started there and then they published their books, either in anthologies or just you know their own novels And a lot of them are pretty successful now. So a lot of them started there and now they're actually, you know publishing their own books.

David Viergutz:

And did, do you think a lot of that readership came over with you Like they followed you?

Boris Bacic:

Honestly, not a lot, Yeah, not too many of them, Because people on No Sleep, they were looking for quick, free read. You know, And it's like from my experience, the stories on No Sleep, they were very different than you know what I do now And as much as I liked writing the short stories, my ambitions were kind of, you know, greater than that And I started focusing on writing, you know, like full fledged novels. And a lot of the people who just, you know, they just kind of stuck with No Sleep because they don't want to read a full book, You know, they just want to come back from work and just read maybe one short story in 10, 15 minutes And that's it, you know.

David Viergutz:

Right, well, that's, that's interesting man. So and so how have you reached your readers and who do you think they are? Do you like? I know my readers are primarily 35 plus. majority of them are women. So I mean, how did you find your readers?

Boris Bacic:

Honestly, i wish I could tell you I'm still kind of looking for them.

Boris Bacic:

What happened was they did a lot of Amazon ads, so I think I must have gotten some readers there And I do some newsletter swaps on Book Funnel, whatever, whatever it's called Book Funnel, and there used to be another one where I did some swaps, some Facebook ads, you know, and I think that kind of helped some people discover it. There were a couple of readers who came from No Sleep, who followed me, you know, and continued supporting my work, but not too many of them. I think it was just really luck that my ads somehow targeted the right people, who they are, I don't know. I get some emails from them from time to time. You know some nice people who send me, like you know, emails telling me whether they like my book or they didn't like my book, or you know how awesome this thing was or how the ending was, you know, kind of crappy or whatever. And that's totally okay, you know, i just like receiving any kind of email, emails from readers, yeah, who they are.

Boris Bacic:

However, who they are, i have no idea. I haven't really just kind of put them in a demographic, like whether they're mostly women or older people or whatever. I have no idea.

David Viergutz:

Well, that's, um, that's. I think that's a universal challenge we all have is helping to define who our readership is. So, anyway, our readers. If you're interested in my books or in Boris's books, just send us an email. Let us know a little bit about you so we can figure out who's going on. You know, boris, one of the things we have here is, um, we've got PO boxes which are run by the post, um, and so what I did was at the top of my um Facebook page, i actually have a slot where people can get my post office number and send me mail without having to come directly to my house. Um, so I can kind of keep a little you know and and an entity there, but at the same, time be able to to communicate with my readers.

David Viergutz:

So I do get fan mail, um, like the old school fan mail, because then normally the mail he gets bills nowadays. So I tried to try to just get something in that PO box other than a damn bill.

Boris Bacic:

But um yeah.

David Viergutz:

So let's talk a little bit about specifics on the craft man. So your books, um, so I bought, um, uh, how I ran into you was I've seen your stuff in the in the groups, i've seen your stuff in the in the, you know the author circles, and on um, recommended reads and, and and even on Amazon and some of my books pages, um, and so I did a little bit of digging and one of the books I bought when I did, i did a giveaway last year I bought apartment 401. So, um, i thought that looked great. Um, i love that it was right around the haunted house style book, is that right?

Boris Bacic:

Yeah, that's correct.

David Viergutz:

And so, with the haunted house, what other, what other style books would you say as far as let's say, let's say tropes, so haunted houses, one zombies or one, everybody kind of knows what the tropes are. So where do your books normally fall? online?

Boris Bacic:

Oh man, everywhere. It really depends on, uh, my inspiration. It's like I'm going to be writing some haunted stuff for a while, then I'm going to get tired of it and I'm going to move into a creature feature a little bit. You know, then I'm going to get tired of that and move back to haunted places. You know, then I'm just going to do some conspiracy stuff and thrillers, psychological thrillers, whatever. You know, it's pretty much anything related to scary stuff and horror. You know, i just kind of fall in that category. My books, i mean.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, and and so where do you think your inspiration comes from? I know the last time you had, since, you know, the first book you talked about was from a blinking light outside your window. So I worse where's the other inspiration, man? What? what do you think that? where do you think that's coming from?

Boris Bacic:

Everything actually comes from my life, from everything that happens in my daily life. You know, some some of the things that you read in books, in my books, you're gonna actually see that these are things that actually happen to me, like, for example, you know, there's this one scene where, in a book, you know, i, when I lived in my old apartment, every night There was music coming from somewhere and my fiance and I couldn't identify where it was coming from, you know, and we got outside to look for it and it sounded like it was coming from an adjacent apartment. We got to the door but then it sounded like it was coming from somewhere else. You know, we looked out the window. It sounded like it was coming from the street and we can never really identify. You know where it was coming from.

Boris Bacic:

But that gave me an inspiration to write, like one of the creepy scenes and, you know, one of the books I'm not gonna mention which one Other stuff just kind of comes from. You know, just ideas pop into my head, like, for example, i'm, you know, driving on the highway and I'm thinking, huh, what if this highway is on the loop and I have to keep driving until I'm out of gas and I'm just Somehow maybe transitioned into another dimension and whatever, and I haven't really noticed it, you know. So that kind of crap, just you know, pops into my mind from time to time.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, the I Think a lot of people will, especially especially horror writers, will, dive into their own experiences a bit. I try to keep my stuff a little on the vague end. So a lot of my when I say that I mean my inspirations might be there, but they're not not necessarily the specifics. You know, one of the one of the primal things that we, as horror writers, get to tap into all the time Is fear, and that's, you know, that's what horror is known for, you know There's is just being scared and exploiting what people, the average person, has to handle an ad, you know, an abnormal situation, so that it gives a feeling of powerlessness and and a feeling and that that fear that comes along with it, as you just, you know you've got something crazy going on, you've got a ghost in the house, and how do you handle that as a normal person, you know. And so that's that's why I love horror man, because it's it's the most basic of human, human emotion.

Boris Bacic:

Yeah, So yeah, at the same time you got to keep it like realistic, you know, because there's a lot of these cliches and horror movies and books where The main actor character just acts in a very stupid way, you know, like why would you go down the basement, you know stairs or whatever, and you just kind of really want to put yourself in that situation and think about, okay, if I were in this situation, well, they really do this when they really go down the stairs, i mean, i personally would, but normal people wouldn't, right?

David Viergutz:

so Yeah, i think we're a little bit different, but in a good way. And Somebody asked me, so I thought I went to this, i'm going to go pick up my kid, i've got a three-year-old I want to go, but my house? I was 17 year old. I took my 17 year old with me to go pick up my Three-year-old to the babysitting at a friend's house and when I went over there It was kind of a Christian group, you know. And so we got to this young lady started asked me you know, we talked a little bit and she said how, how do you write that kind of stuff as a Christian? and I'm like I told her, said man, some of the coolest people you ever meet, our horror authors. And here's why all of our, all of our fears, all the things that scare us, they're on the page. You know the yeah, we have come to grip with our fears, we understand them and we have, we have, we have turned them into stories that we don't have to live them.

David Viergutz:

So I like to think that that horror authors are some of the most level headed down to earth people. We're not all sitting in a dark basement, you know, with our, with our black candles and skulls and just writing something terrible. You know can't remember which horror author was, but it was recently. I listened to him. He said, you know, horror is the genre of hope. And I said that's, that's kind of interesting. You think about it and, and you know, you've got to have the upside Right of the scenario, the event, you've got to have the potential for everything to be okay, otherwise your characters don't seem realistic. I mean, would you agree with that, that horror is the genre of hope?

Boris Bacic:

Actually haven't thought about it that way. Now that you say that way, it does make sense, you know, because you're in this kind of gloomy situation And you're just trying to kind of at least for me I'm trying to get the characters out of that bad situation and all that, whereas for other genres it's probably gonna be that you're putting them, you know, in a sticky situation, you know, which is still not gonna be as gloomy as it is for horror. Haven't thought about it that way, but now that you say it does make a lot of sense.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, it's just um, i mean trying to understand some of the intricacies of horror Because there's they're so different. Every book is so so different. The tropes might stay the same but there isn't a whole lot of commonality unless you read like an author who's got a long series And you can kind of start seeing the patterns and stuff in the series. I mean it's really, it's really kind of interesting to read through a horror book or listen to a horror. You know audiobook and pull out. You know the, the specifics that make that one story scary. So do you, do you put any twists and stuff in yours like a little? You know? I think there's a. There's a commonality in horror too with having twists and turns and then horrific backstories and Terrible mysteries. I think that's all part of horror too right, i do that.

Boris Bacic:

I try to put as many twists as I can, because I really just love twists you know, To the extent that some of my books just have a lot of ping-ponging, you know, with like twist here, twist there until the readers Don't really know what hit them. So I really kind of like those kind of twists. It also really depends on the actual I think it's individual. You know, some people are gonna be scared of ghosts and that's gonna be totally fine, like my editor, for example.

Boris Bacic:

She's scared of the paranormal stuff and the things related to like, let's say, being Lost in some kind of unknown place or whatever. But when it comes to some creature stuff, you know there was a book I wrote about that some creature you know, haunting, hunting, sorry people in the woods. She just didn't find that scary at all, you know.

David Viergutz:

Yeah.

Boris Bacic:

I think it also depends on the person. You know what really scares them, and I think there may be some people who, just you know, firmly believe that this kind of stuff doesn't exist. And you know, they might kind of have the hairs Standing straight in for their neck while they're reading it, but they might not be scared actually of it. I don't really know.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, so Jason and I talked a little bit about our specific fears cuz I thought that was kind of interesting, like you know. And Jason's got this weird thing about. He's got two things that he pointed out. He pointed out he doesn't like things near his eyes. He doesn't like things going into his eyes, it's like touching his eyes. So we wrote a serial killer book about a guy that takes out eyes and He said he had to take him multiple times to to write it because to finish it, because he just couldn't, couldn't, get over his own fears with it. And then he doesn't. He doesn't like haunted houses, he's terrified of haunted houses and I mean like the play ones at Halloween, haunted houses, which I thought was kind of fun. Me, i. I don't like tornadoes And I don't like trains like little locomotives And I don't like the idea of black holes, like. I don't know if you ever seen that new Star Trek movie, one of the more recent ones, where that big old ship was coming out of the out of the black hole, do you remember?

Boris Bacic:

I don't know if you've ever seen that, but I actually haven't seen any of the Star Trek stuff. I'm sorry to disappoint.

David Viergutz:

No, I Don't think any of them are watching it either. I just I don't. I look at good sci-fi stuff, man, i like I'll watch and read a little bit of everything, except for maybe romance, right, but the, the but yeah, so I, those are my fears, man, and and and they're. Some of them are nonsensical, i mean black holes. Who that?

Boris Bacic:

So I mean it's not unsensical if you think about it really makes total sense to be afraid of black holes, right?

David Viergutz:

Yeah, yeah, just the unnatural, unnatural superpower that just You can't do anything against and everybody dies. I mean that's kind of scary, Yeah it's also the fear of the unknown.

Boris Bacic:

I mean, i think that's the most powerful fear, the fear of the unknown. And You never really know what happens in a black hole. I mean, technically you do, but you really don't right, just like you don't know in a haunted house What can really strike at you or whatever. So I think a lot of these fears come from the unknown. You know, and a lot of times have actually happened in my books. I try to. Usually, if I'm writing something paranormal, i try to keep whatever entity, creature, whatnot, i try to keep them hidden, you know, yeah, cuz it's kind of like a magician and once you reveal the monster or, in this case, a trick, you know It's like magic's gone and a lot of people told me like oh, now that I know what this is, it's not so scary anymore, right?

David Viergutz:

Yeah, and I tend to release the and I've written, i've written three books Four now going on with Similar idea of monsters and or ghosts, things in the, things in the dead of night, that sort of thing, where I think most of them are released and Obviously out in the open and it becomes a fight for survival. Near the end, and and that's when things really pick up I noticed that in my books too Is that my pacing? just it just goes off the wall for the last third of the book, as as as I'm trying to get all the details, the crazy stuff that's going on with this monster and these people just bail, you know, or Do these ghosts or whatever? they're just trying to survive. So let's, let's talk about craft a little bit, man. So So what's? what is your writing process? like you? Are you a pancer? Do you do or do you outline or something in between?

Boris Bacic:

I Used to write in a way that I just get an idea, i start writing, i see where it takes me and that's it. But a lot of times I just kind of quarter my corner myself that way and I had to do a lot of rewriting, which was not very efficient, you know. So what I do now is I just kind of I go for a stroll in the park at night We have, like these woods park, whatever and it gives me like a nice Atmosphere to focus on.

Boris Bacic:

So that's when I kind of go brainstorming, you know, and I start to kind of think about these ideas, of what I could write about. Once I have like a basic outline, i Write them as bullet points and then I just kind of work around that I start writing and then something, some things need changing. Most of the time they need changing, you know, but the important thing is I have like an outline and the more I kind of nurture that idea, the more it kind of comes to fruition, you know yeah, I'm definitely an outliner.

David Viergutz:

I and. But here's the thing is, my outlines are not Not Bible, so the ones, okay I. If I've written an outline, i don't stick to that if the story starts to adjust. So there is a bit of just. There is a bit of discovery in there, because I think there's a bit of rigidity that comes with Outlining that if you're not careful you will still, even with an outline, write yourself into a corner because you won't move away from that outline. Exactly exactly so a stroll in the park at night, that's awesome.

Boris Bacic:

I didn't write and it's like, like you said, for the outline. I totally agree with that, because There have been multiple times, you know, when I write an outline and I'm supposed to do one thing with a character and then they figure actually this is not gonna work, this is not believable at all. Why would you know he or she say or do this? It just doesn't make any sense. Then you got to change the whole thing. So I totally agree that you know outlines are great to have, but I don't think we should stick to them like a hundred percent.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, and there's still a bit of discovery that comes with with that I think I try to look for. My process involves finding a couple of cool moments and that's what I just call them. I don't. I don't know if you're. You said you watched a lot of cartoons. Do you remember You ever heard of like Dragon Ball Z? Do you remember that show?

Boris Bacic:

Of course I used to run from school so I could catch it in time.

David Viergutz:

Yeah. So Dragon Ball Z, if you remember at, the coolest parts were where you know the good guy wins or his hair goes yellow and that sort of Things. Those are cool moments and I try to find those Where were my cool moments be? and then I plug those into certain parts of the chapter. That way just keep certain parts of the story So that that there's always cool moments happening through the whole thing. And and I don't mean you know, i don't I mean versions of hair growing yellow.

Boris Bacic:

What exactly are cool moments in the horror stories?

David Viergutz:

Man, it's got to be the monster reveal It's got to be, the twist reveal.

David Viergutz:

It's got to be like the first encounter with the scary thing that everybody ignores. You know, i think in the first chapter of most of my books you'll probably In the first to second chapter you'll get a whiff of what the scary thing is right away, and then, and then you'll get bits and pieces of it. You know, depending on the story. From then on, i wrote a book called when to go, where I reveal the monster within like the first couple of two pages. It briefly, but that that makes it even more terrifying because you know what's coming for the whole book. So, yeah, i think those are the cool moments. I mean, what do you think? What do you?

Boris Bacic:

Yeah, i haven't thought about it as cool moments, even though we all probably haven't. When they write, when we write books, by the way, i'm a sucker, for when it goes, i'm probably gonna read that book. As for the cool moments, yeah, i kind of do it in a subtle way. You know, i just kind of do this very, very slow buildup and I do find that when it comes to the you know, quote unquote cool moments moments, i tend to Give it a little bit of extra attention, maybe too much you know, And it's kind of like an incongruous difference between that cool moment and the rest of the book, you know.

Boris Bacic:

So then I, then they just got a balance it a little bit. You know, like you said, creature reveal or or a twist or something you know, and it just needs to be done in a very, very, for me, perfect way, you know.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, that's, um, i think that's an expectation that readers have is to is that near That, whenever you finally give them the goods, when you finally reveal the monster, when you finally, you know, reveal the mystery, the thing that they're trying to figure out, that you do give them the details? Yeah, i, i would say I'm more of an underwriter. I like to write. My books are shorter. I like the 50 to 70 thousand word mark. I wrote it.

David Viergutz:

I wrote a dark fantasy series that was about a hundred K per book and I'll never do that again. But yeah, yeah. So that's. That was my first foray into writing. I thought I wanted to be a dark fantasy writer because that's what I read as a kid. I read a lot of dark fantasy. You know a lot of high fantasy, epic fantasy. You know Tolkien, sanderson, nix, you know that sort of thing. But I also rated my parents library. They had a small. They had a small library But I would dig into the library and I wrote. I read everything. I was 12 years old reading Michael Crichton and Reading all the Jurassic Park series. I read sphere, jaws, i mean just the Probably stuff I didn't need to be reading at 12 but I got bored with you know Harry Potter, you know Goosebumps.

Boris Bacic:

Right, right, well, kind of Harry Potter. Yeah, go ahead. Sorry, you go first.

David Viergutz:

You weren't. No, i was gonna ask you what you read. So talk to me about Harry Potter, harry.

Boris Bacic:

Potter was actually. You know, i was definitely not into Harry Potter before I started reading it. This was back when I was in the army. You know, i served the army for six months And there was a guy we called the ninja because he used to like kind of sneak around during the night and dodge the guards and Climb trees and whatnot and he just kind of got nicknamed ninja which is not really important for this story.

Boris Bacic:

He was also an avid reader, and what happened was, you know, he gave me the What's it called from George Martin, a song of ice and fire. So I read that and I was like I asked him do you have anything else? and he's like, oh, i just got all the Harry Potter books. I was like, oh man, come on, i'm not into that magic craft. But now, well, if you got nothing else, you know, i might as well read it. Right, and By the time I was finished, in there was like there was like I think he has four books on him.

Boris Bacic:

I finished three of them and there was one day remaining. We were supposed to be transferred to another base. And he was like, hey, so what do you think? I was like, wow, it's actually way better than I thought. So I'm gonna continue reading. Later on, he's like what do you mean? later on, i still have this one more book you got to read. I was like, yeah, but there is one day he's like, yeah, come on, you can do it. You got guard duty, it's only 600 pages, you can do it. Okay, okay, sure. So I actually read it. I skimmed through a lot of it, but I did manage to finish, you know, that book. That was, i think, the fifth book or whatever and What happened was then I finished the rest of the Harry Potter books and I became a fan after reading them, so yeah.

David Viergutz:

Well, i still admit I'm a fan too, man. I I'm not a one genre kind of guy and I think a lot of people will say that too. They pick, pick up whatever fancies them. You know, i don't just sit and read horror. In fact I read mostly horror to get an idea of the market and to get an idea of what people are doing and what's working. So But I like to take I like to take a well-known story, stuff that's been done before, and then just put a massive spin on it something crazy. And That's where because I think that's where the the, some, some of that artistic talent comes. Harry Potter did one thing very, very well and that was the they. You know, schools and Magic and academies and all that stuff had been around for a long time.

Announcer:

But Harry Potter.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, it was very unique and they did it very, very well And they left a lot of it open-ended. And then the author herself. I don't know she meant to do this, but as she wrote those books She was writing them to the age group that was following her first fan base. So as the books got older, you notice they got darker and creepier near the end.

Boris Bacic:

Yeah, yeah, i mean, you got the audience you got.

David Viergutz:

You got murder. You got people.

Boris Bacic:

You got people splitting their soul in half and you know There's nothing like that in the first book. You know the biggest problem was whether they're gonna be late for class or whatever. Yeah, that giant basilisk or what it what it was attacking them. But you're right, It was not nearly as dark.

David Viergutz:

As you know, the later books, Yeah, so that was um, That's that's try it. That's tends to be where I my direction. I go. I take something that's already been done, because every story has been already already been told, unless you come up with a monster that's never been seen before. But at the same time, is this, the way the story is told, has been done for Since the dawn of time. So it really is the same story. It's just. It's just putting your own artistic spin on it, exactly so. Do you, do you think you have? Do you think you you've got trouble separating the art and the business side of this?

Boris Bacic:

Sometimes, sometimes, especially, since most of my books are self-published.

Boris Bacic:

I have only one book, which is traditionally published by butter dragons publishing, which is a publishing house in the Netherlands. But since most of my books are self-published, i need to do everything. That means looking for an editor, looking for a cover artist. You know, doing the marketing, doing the newsletter, basically everything. And it is sometimes difficult to separate, you know, the art from the actual business section of it. But that's why I kind of try to have a strict schedule of when I'm writing and when I'm doing other things, you know.

David Viergutz:

And so what does that schedule look like?

Boris Bacic:

Usually I wake up in the morning, you know, sometimes nine, sometimes ten, very late, i know, but I'm just lazy, i'm not an early bird. I wake up, i write 5,000 words a day, which takes me until about 2 pm, and then after 2 pm I just usually spend some time. If there's any need for marketing, you know, adjusting my ads or whatever, or you know just browsing the catalog for the covers or whatever else is necessary for the marketing part. If it's not necessary, then I just kind of read some books or do whatever else. I also see that as a part of the business, reading so I can improve myself, you know. Yes, so that's pretty much how it looks, but I of course put the most emphasis on the writing part.

David Viergutz:

And where do you think your challenges are? What's your biggest struggle right now?

Boris Bacic:

Character development. This is one of those things which I'm really kind of struggling with, and have been for a while. Sometimes it just works, but it's like, for example, you know, for Radio Tower specifically. Many people have come to me and told me like, oh, this villain was so well done, he was so great. I really hated him, i really wanted him to die, whatever, and I was like that's great, but I have no idea what I did to make him like this.

David Viergutz:

You know Right.

Boris Bacic:

It just wrote whatever was natural for me and that was it. Then again, from some other books, the characters are totally boring, you know, totally bland. So that's like one of the challenges I'm still struggling with. I'm trying to follow some rules, but it's a progress, you know.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, we, i think we, as horror authors, character driven stories are. I think that's where the money is. You can have a cool monster, all you want, but if nobody likes your characters or if they can't relate to your characters, then they can't relate with the feelings that come with the characters handling the situation. Exactly. You know, i mentioned I only I don't mention them a lot because I try not to because there are plenty of other options out there, but Stephen King excels in this.

David Viergutz:

One of my favorite books is Salem's Lot, and right in the middle, i think what would be, you know, classified as the prologue, i guess the beginning There's just a paragraph of a lady who punches her baby in the mouth And I just wanted to know I'm like why? Why was that needed? And it turns out it's it's because it's the character that you know exists, that you don't want to, that you don't want to admit exists. There are people that do that And that's the sad part. Yeah, but it gave you a tone for the rest of the book. So those types of character development moments, i mean, sometimes are necessary. It wasn't so gory that I would classify it as like Splatterpunk, but it was really, really unnerving. Yeah, On the spectrum of, let's say, you know, if, if, if, paranormal Mystery is on the left, left hand side of things, on the very light horror, and then you've got Splatterpunk and Gore on the right. Where do you think you stand up with your books?

Boris Bacic:

Mostly, i try to focus on the left spectrum. In this case this will be paranormal stuff, because that's the kind of stuff that generally terrifies me more The Splatterpunk and the body horror and whatever else you know. recently, for example, i read the book called The Troop by Nick Cutter.

Boris Bacic:

It was really good. It was really good And there were so many disgusting details. They were just kind of making you squirm and making you kind of really itchy because of all the descriptives over there, which was really good. That was probably the effect of course he was going for.

Boris Bacic:

It wasn't scary, but it really made me feel uneasy you know, But I personally like scary And that's why I'm sticking to the paranormal stuff most of the time. You know, even, for example, with the creature stuff, creature books, there is a lot of gore there that they put into, you know, into the book, yeah, but there's a lot of tension before that actually happens, you know.

David Viergutz:

Sure, yeah, i've been a cop for six years And I'll go into. I've gone into. I've gone to buildings with guys with guns. I've, you know, fought with people who are bigger than I am. I've done some crazy stuff. But if you tell me that you know for a fact that this building is haunted and I have to go in there, i'm not doing it. I won't. Guy with a gun no problem, Haunted house, i'm not doing it.

Announcer:

I'm sorry.

Boris Bacic:

Okay.

David Viergutz:

Okay.

Boris Bacic:

That's. I think that's like how typically works. You know, the cops and those kind of military types. They aren't afraid of any kind of conflicts, even if it's guys bigger than them and armed to the teeth and whatnot. But if it's a ghost, nope.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, i don't, i don't, i don't mess with the paranormal man, and and I'm very careful too, because I I'm a Christian And one of the things I want to do to make sure is I don't step on spiritual toes, and what I mean by that is stepping off into stuff that, would you know, even open the door for any kind of, any kind of, you know, negativity. I don't know if this is even the right way to describe this, but let me. Let me give you context. One of the books I'm working on right now my fourth book in my, in my, my other word, our car series is called Old Scratch And it is a bit of a twist on a. I love occult, i love occult stories. I love, i love listening to stuff about like Heaven's Gate and Jonestown and all that stuff.

Boris Bacic:

Oh, I love that stuff.

David Viergutz:

Yeah. So I wanted to write one of those stories, you know, with the, with the extremists and the zealots. But one of the things I need I wanted was to have some you know some legitimate information about. You know Catholic priests as they're, as they're portrayed like in the movies. You know like you can watch the exorcist? you know, in the, the rites of exorcism. But I'm very careful that I don't start putting that kind of stuff into my books to where there's enough realism that you're actually you know you're reciting the rites of Exorcism. I don't want to do that.

Boris Bacic:

Reading something the wrong way and summoning the devil.

David Viergutz:

That's what I mean. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Boris Bacic:

Yeah, i, i'm totally like that too, you know, especially because my Parents and my grandparents my grandparents used to live in a very small village over here and have a ton of these stories. They were very superstitious, you know, about stuff. There were a lot of creepy stories, you know. So I kind of try, like you, not to really anger any, let's say, entities.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, and, and I totally believe in them. You know I talk about Christianity a lot, but I mean Christianity's got everything from demons to resurrection, to people turning into pillars of salt. I mean right, what what we call. You know what we call. Stuff is old. Why can't we accept that as stuff that's still going on today? You know, the Catholic Church does recognize exorcism and demons in people. I mean that's yeah that should say enough, right?

Boris Bacic:

if there's demons, what else is there, you know, and so yeah, yeah, that's the thing like, for example, you know, i've had so many readers who just don't believe in that stuff and hence, you know, they just, they just don't find it scary. And on the other hand, you know, for example, when they read my latest book, maria, which is about some psychopaths, they were like, oh, this is especially scary because it's something that can actually happen. But I believe that the paranormal stuff can also happen, you know.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, i think our perception of it's probably been twisted, but I think it happens, yeah, and and it's one of those things that I have to imagine, like especially for these Catholic priests who are or even just any kind of priestess doing exorcism. You know, think about Ed and Lorraine Warren. I mean, they made their lives, their careers off of doing this kind of stuff Haunted, cursed objects and you know, that's a really, that's a really big ruse to keep up for 50 years. You know, if that was the case. So I have to believe that there's a varying level of paranormal that's actually happening, you know, in our, in our world. Yeah, i may not be as in our faces as and Lorraine, but they went out to look for it. So If you look, for it you might find it.

Boris Bacic:

I agree, i don't think it's like in the movies, like you know, chairs being tossed and you know your door slamming shut. I mean maybe, but not to that extent. I Have had some run-ins with some people who believe in that stuff and there was even one Lady who actually, like you, drink a cup of coffee and she looks at it Coffee, and she looks into the cup and she just kind of is able to read something there. She says she sees these images and whatnot, and she explained that you know That she's it's like kind of a curse but also a gift, and it for a while. She stopped doing it because she was accompanied by something She didn't want to really say what, and that kind of intrigued me. Whether it was true or not, it's still a very intriguing concept.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, if even there's a shred of evidence there of truth to it, that's terrifying.

Boris Bacic:

Yeah, and on any level I. Would definitely not want to do something like Ed and Lorraine Warren, because I think you know, with that kind of job, if it is true, you kind of tend to probably drag something along with you, and especially if you're having this whole museum, like they had, of cursed objects.

David Viergutz:

Mm-hmm.

Boris Bacic:

Yeah, no, that's a big no for me.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, and and you're you're talking about a realm of the unknown here. I mean, lorraine was a was a psychic, and I don't, i don't, i, i don't, i like the idea of Her actually being a psychic. By the same time, i think I have the reserve, the right to be skeptical, but at the same time, you know, the media does a lot. Just put it that way the media can do a lot for somebody, they can make somebody Somebody when they were nothing, yeah, but I, i Would be hard-pressed to do that and just assume That everything's gonna be okay just by stashing all the stuff in my basement.

Boris Bacic:

Yeah, i mean, even if you just kind of Blessed with some holy water and all that, i still wouldn't want to be anywhere close to that stuff.

David Viergutz:

So yeah, yeah, that's um, that's kind of an interesting thought too is to think you know where, where the lines and where the rules. What rules are the? are the things playing by, and what rules do you play by? and And to keep yourself safe, to make sure you don't become the victim, i mean, it's just, it's, it's such a big, a big unknown there, and that's what I really love. You know, i don't know, sir, like the conjuring series I, i like the idea of the whole conjuring universe with Ed and Lorraine, but I don't necessarily like the movies. I'm more would rather, i'd more rather listen to the stories like the, their interviews and stuff like that on on YouTube.

Boris Bacic:

Right, right, because if there's truth, Sorry, go ahead.

David Viergutz:

No, you're just saying if there's truth to it, if there's any truth to it, that should be enough to scare you, because it doesn't take a whole lot.

Boris Bacic:

Yeah, yeah, i mean, for example, you know about the conjuring movies and all that. What I like is that it can happen, and that's the scary part. It can happen to anybody. You know, you can just kind of Move into house that you didn't know was buried Sorry, a burial ground or Or you know, it can just happen to any average Joe like you and me, and that's a terrifying part. You don't need to necessarily go looking for it. It can actually happen to anybody, right?

David Viergutz:

Yeah, and I think that's I mean. You mentioned character development. The one thing I'll say about character development is You take, we don't have to imagine these crazy heroes, right, we don't have to imagine the guy with the yellow hair. We take normal people and throw them into an abnormal situation and make them Counter and deal with the issue in a human way. So I I want to believe that our character development is a lot easier than, let's say, somebody who's a You know, a biomechanical Alien thing and has to figure out how to handle a planet-eating monster. I mean, i think I Think our jobs a little easier in that regard.

Boris Bacic:

Yeah, funny thing about that is actually, you know, back when I was younger I wanted to be a cop myself and one of the primary reason was I wanted to be kind of like ready for any situation, whether it was something paranormal or just you know, any kind of life threatening situation. But the more you think about it's like, the more it kind of just you know these. If we're talking about paranormal things, they happen to normal people who just kind of like lived their everyday lives, you know, and these are different kind of struggles But you know, just unique in the way that everybody it will be just new for everybody on how to deal with them, you know.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So let's talk. Let's talk a little bit about on the reading side of things, because we we, as writers, i think we must read. It's kind of the coolest business in the world because you can. You can Write to get better at writing and read to get better at writing. So what's that you said? you mentioned that you read the troop. What was another book that you read lately that had a good impact on you? and, and, and why that one?

Announcer:

One that I read was Hex You must have at least heard about that one. Yeah yeah.

Boris Bacic:

Yeah, it started really slow and I was actually very tempted to stop reading it. But once it started going it was like very kind of like a Stephen King-esque in a way that there's just, you know, a very slow flow until it, just, you know, picks up the pace. And the one thing that's really intrigued me about this book later, after I finished reading and after I looked up the author was he was actually he's from the Netherlands, he wrote this book and the entire time I didn't really have this feeling that this was written by someone who didn't ever live in America. You know, it was very, very convincing. The character development was really good, you know, and it just kind of goes to show that if you do enough research and all that, you can really write to any kind of market, any kind of you know country. You just got to know what you're doing, right.

Boris Bacic:

But generally about the book itself, the descriptives were really good and there it was amazing. You know, there were some spine-chilling moments which I really liked over there. Not too many, They were like used sparsely but exactly where they were supposed to be, you know. And when you're done reading it, it just kind of leaves you with a lot of questions to ponder. You know It doesn't just kind of serve everything on the platter, just like you know a lot of books do. It just makes you wonder about the whole thing, you know.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, i've seen that one floating around And I think it's on my 2B Red Pile. It's just past Christmas so my pile is massive now But it's probably on there I've seen. I love the cover on that one with the floating feet. That's pretty cool.

Boris Bacic:

Oh yeah, i definitely recommend it.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, the last book I read I just finished on audio. It was actually called Fantasy Land, and so that one was told from the perspective of all interviews, from a first person perspective. So it'd be like you and I are sitting here having a conversation and that's how it's written, which is kind of interesting. It makes me think that I could probably sit in my car and just narrate an entire story from a first person perspective of all the things that I did and all the crazy stuff that happened.

David Viergutz:

But I listened to an audio and that one there was no scary thing, there was no monster in the dark, there was no paranormal. That was all about human nature and that was what happens. And why did a bunch of 20-something year old kids who were locked in a theme park during a hurricane for a month, why did they go crazy and start killing each other? And so that was probably one of the first books I've read in a long time that didn't have that paranormal element. But I also thought the way that it was told was very cool. So it was all told from interviews, kind of like found footage, paranormal activity.

Boris Bacic:

Oh, yeah, yeah, i love that kind of stuff.

David Viergutz:

I love that genre. I remember the first paranormal activity came out I might be a wuss and I think there's a lot of people who won't say this, but they were terrified too. I was absolutely horrified. I had not seen anything like found footage, except for Blair Witch when I was like 13. So this was an awesome experience with paranormal activity. Now they got kind of weird near the end of the last few of them, but I still love the genre anyways.

Boris Bacic:

Yeah, this was one of my favorite movies as well. I do love found footage movies. My favorite one is the one with the Paris Catacombs Something below something, whatever.

David Viergutz:

As above, so below.

Boris Bacic:

As above, so below, that's the one Man that went wild near the end.

David Viergutz:

That is an awesome movie, man.

Boris Bacic:

Oh yeah, the pace just yeah, it just reaches this crescendo and it's just so damn good Paranormal activity. I also heard that back when it first came out. This is something my fiancee told me just yesterday that people were just rushing out of the theater and the movie director thought that there was a bomb in the movies. Wow, it turned out. They were really scared and that's why they were all leaving.

David Viergutz:

That's awesome. That was definitely one of the better done the first one especially One of the better done movies. So the one thing about I'll say as about so below was the claustrophobia. It wasn't there as much as I thought it was going to be. It's kind of like open caverns.

Boris Bacic:

Yeah.

David Viergutz:

But you ever seen, like the movie The Descent or The Cave? I mentioned movies a lot And the reason I mentioned movies a lot is because I did some research and there's a lot of crossover between the types of movies that people watch and the types of books that people read, definitely, especially in horror. So I like those types of stories because that's the kind of stuff that scares me, so I tend to watch those movies too. But there was no claustrophobia as above so below, but I still felt like I was kind of trapped in the catacombs?

Boris Bacic:

Yeah, I was just wondering the corridors and all that and that was actually. I think that was actually the claustrophobia feeling. They were trying to kind of implement The fact that they could move freely, but they were trapped. They didn't know where the exit was. That was the really scary part.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, and then I will say that I desperately wanted a pair of Google Glass after that movie. I thought that would be the coolest thing in the world. man is to have first person perspective of some crazy stuff going down. I actually caught it from my eye level of things that I got to see.

Boris Bacic:

Yeah, Definitely That's the kind of thing we kind of probably all hope for, but if it ever happened we would know out of there. Yeah.

David Viergutz:

Awesome man. Well, boris, it has been an awesome time talking with you. I'm so glad I got to our schedule's lined up and I'm so glad we got to meet, and I look forward to doing some stuff with you in the future. So, shameless plug, take the opportunity. What book you got coming out? What book do you want people to know about, and where can they find?

Boris Bacic:

you. There's too many books. I'm not going to advertise all of them because we're going to have to prolong the podcast for another hour. There's a book coming out in two days which is called They Came from the Ocean. I'm just going to say, if you have thalasophobia, if you're afraid of deep waters, you're definitely going to want to read this one. People can contact me pretty much anywhere. I have a Facebook page. I have an Instagram page Usually I'm called just scary stories with BB, so they can just send me a message over there if they have any questions or email, which I also have listed on my social media.

David Viergutz:

Awesome. All right, folks, i'll make sure that links to all Boris's information are below in the notes here so everybody can reach out to him. as you. Please Make sure you check out his new book coming out. I'm definitely a fan of Deep Water Horror. I love the. What is it? what is that movie that just came out? Underwater with Kirsten?

Boris Bacic:

Underwater. Yeah, with Kirsten, it was called Underwater.

David Viergutz:

Yeah, Kirsten. No emotions, Stuart, But yeah, I'll definitely take a look at that. Is that part of a series or is that a new release?

Boris Bacic:

It's well, all my books are kind of a part of a series. All my books I can't really say all my books Some of my books are part of a series, but none of them are connected. So you can just kind of read them individually and you won't really miss a thing.

David Viergutz:

Awesome. All right folks. Well, thank you for your time today. Thank you for listening. In My name's, dave Virgoots, i'm the host of the Nightmare Engine podcast, signing out with Mr Boris Bezos. Boris, have a good day, man.

Announcer:

Thanks you too. Thanks for listening to the Nightmare Engine podcast with your hosts, horror authors David Virgoots and Jay Bauer, where nothing is off limits, nothing is safe, and neither are you.

Horror Authors Discussing Books and Readers
Horror Writing and Inspiration
Fears, Unknown, and Writing Process
Writing Process in Horror Stories
Fan of Harry Potter, Art, Business
Character Development and Paranormal Themes
Discussion on Books and Horror Movies