The Nightmare Engine Podcast

Jay Bower's Exploration: Heinous Creatures, Haunted Houses and Historical Horrors

November 07, 2023 David Viergutz Season 1 Episode 2
Jay Bower's Exploration: Heinous Creatures, Haunted Houses and Historical Horrors
The Nightmare Engine Podcast
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The Nightmare Engine Podcast
Jay Bower's Exploration: Heinous Creatures, Haunted Houses and Historical Horrors
Nov 07, 2023 Season 1 Episode 2
David Viergutz

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๐ŸŽ™๏ธAbout the Episode
Strap yourself in as co-host Jay Bower and I take a wild ride through our latest projects and writing processes in a thrill-packed episode that's sure to send shivers down your spine. How did Jay manage to become a TikTok sensation overnight with his unique vampire-zombie horror novel, 'Dead Blood,' and what can we expect from his new historical horror piece? Tune in to find out!

In a deep-dive into our creative worlds, we peel back the curtains on our upcoming novellas and the intricate process of collaborative writing. Get a sneak-peek into our co-written novella set featuring the ghastly Conservator of Horror, and listen in as we unravel the web of three interconnected stories, future plans of the series, and our experiences of joining forces with other authors.

In a spine-chilling finale, we crack open the coffin of Jay's haunted house project, exposing the painstaking details of choosing a time period and the daunting challenge of stepping out of his comfort zone. Plus, we're dishing out some tantalizing tidbits on our upcoming book, 'Big Fucking Spider' - a horror creature feature that promises to leave your skin crawling. So, hold your breath and step into our terrifying world of horror and suspense - you're in for a scream of 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 Jonathan
๐ŸŒŽ Website |

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

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
Strap yourself in as co-host Jay Bower and I take a wild ride through our latest projects and writing processes in a thrill-packed episode that's sure to send shivers down your spine. How did Jay manage to become a TikTok sensation overnight with his unique vampire-zombie horror novel, 'Dead Blood,' and what can we expect from his new historical horror piece? Tune in to find out!

In a deep-dive into our creative worlds, we peel back the curtains on our upcoming novellas and the intricate process of collaborative writing. Get a sneak-peek into our co-written novella set featuring the ghastly Conservator of Horror, and listen in as we unravel the web of three interconnected stories, future plans of the series, and our experiences of joining forces with other authors.

In a spine-chilling finale, we crack open the coffin of Jay's haunted house project, exposing the painstaking details of choosing a time period and the daunting challenge of stepping out of his comfort zone. Plus, we're dishing out some tantalizing tidbits on our upcoming book, 'Big Fucking Spider' - a horror creature feature that promises to leave your skin crawling. So, hold your breath and step into our terrifying world of horror and suspense - you're in for a scream of 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 Jonathan
๐ŸŒŽ Website |

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

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™

Speaker 1:

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the nightmare engine podcast. It has been a little bit as I'm recording this. We are recording this in the past and launching in the future because we have a very special guest. We want to be our first episode back. We'll announce that later, but for today, you know, just like we started, we start again this fine day in October with my good co host, my good friend here, mr Jay Bauer. How are you, sir?

Speaker 2:

Hey man doing. Well, man, how are you doing, David?

Speaker 1:

I'm good man. It's good to hear your voice and to catch up. I've been really excited to just start this again because of how much fun it was. And you know, life happens and I'm sure people listening to this are totally understanding that life does have a way of getting in the way of things. You know kind of what was was that quote from Jurassic Park? Life will find a way. Exactly, life will get in the way, that's right.

Speaker 1:

Man, let's, let's just, let's just catch up. Man, like I know we talk a little bit in the background, but let's, let's, let's figure out what's going on on your end. There's been some cool changes. I've seen some cool stuff happening on on on your end and I'm really excited for you to be able to share that with everybody, because it's fun to watch from my perspective. So let's, let's hear about it. What's going on in Jay Bauer world?

Speaker 2:

All right, well, gosh, how much time do we have on this? So let me start off with my new releases. I'll start there, so on Friday, october 13, which I believe this episode will have already, will air after it, so everybody will should know about it. But I'm releasing a book with John Durgan and John Lynch called the conservators collection derelict. It's kind of got a crypt keeper type character called the conservator and we each wrote a novella based on a theme of derelict and abandonment. And earlier views have been amazing. We got an introduction by the one and only Mr Tim Wagner. We've got custom interior artwork. I just we've thrown everything at this. And on top of that, crystal Lake picked us up to do a limited edition hardcover as well as an audio book, and that's in development right now. And then also with foreign language rights, and we've already signed off on our very first one, which is Portuguese, for the Brazilian market. So it's going to be super cool to see this book in Portuguese and and have it translated, because I will get some copies of it. So that's, that's pretty exciting, and that's coming out on Friday the 13th. So we've been super excited about this for months now and to finally get it out is is pretty exciting for us.

Speaker 2:

And on the same day I have a short story in this anthology that's called House of Haunts and it's put together by her maiden. It was was Heather Miller, but it's Heather Doherty, I believe it's pronounced. Now she's edited this collection and it's 20. It's about a haunted house and it was a 23 rooms, 23 authors, 23 stories and we had 200 years span to work with, and so we got to choose what year we wanted and kind of develop a story based on that, all in the same house. So it's got. Ronald Kelly is in here, gauge greenwood I'm blanking on some of the names, I know it's an introduction by Josh Mailerman, so it's that's coming out on Friday the 13th as well, so I'm really excited about that piece and that's that's going to be a lot of fun.

Speaker 2:

And then a short story should be coming out in December for a Christmas horror anthology with Kevin J Kennedy. So I'm still got to get that to him. But and then also gosh, I forgot. So the Try Not to Die series. Or Mark Tullius, the Try Not to Die deathfest, which is a lot of fun and it's about. These are kind of like a choose your own adventure type books, and deathfest is all about this heavy metal festival, and so I got to write a short story based on one of the 12 bands in the book, and so there was 12 of us selected. Steve Strad is one of the authors, duncan Ralston myself Again, I'm blanking on names because there's just been so many, so many different ones, but that should be coming out any any day now, and that one was a ton of fun, and I got to actually do a crossover with my book Cadabra is.

Speaker 2:

So my deathfest short story is tied into deathfest and Cadabra is, which is really really cool. I had a lot of fun with that. That's kind of what's what I've been working on since last we spoke, and those are the things coming up for the rest of this year. So a lot, a lot of fun. I got a lot of great things planned for next year, so so I'll start with that, I'll throw it to you and then we'll. Then we'll go, go, go back to some other stuff. So how about you man?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, definitely gonna want to go back, because there's a lot there and I and there's some cool ideas that I want to, I want to ask you about, and so, yeah, we'll definitely re approach it, so I'll just. My last updates have been pretty simple. I finished a thriller and I started a system where I reach out to my super fans. I called them the Nightmare Riders, and so I re-branded everything under this idea of the Nightmare Engine. That's what I call it. So I am terrified of trains. We've already talked about this.

Speaker 2:

Right and.

Speaker 1:

I thought what better way to use that? And I created this entity which was my publishing wing, which is the Nightmare Engine publishing. And then I've got we've got the Nightmare Engine podcast, and now I've got the Nightmare Riders, and these are my super fans and they get to do some really cool stuff. And it really motivated me to, number one, produce short stories, which I didn't really have any place to publish them. I could write them, but I wouldn't really have a place to anybody to give them, to, any readers to give them to, and so I really wanted to write short stories and get practice with it, and so I committed to writing one a month, and now my readers actually get to vote on the aspects of the story. So it makes it very unique, and so I lose a little bit of creative control, but also I also I stop having to think so much about what am I going to write next, and so I get it's a really cool interaction between me and the readers, and so I'd say over the last probably about nine months, I've been getting closer and closer with the people that support me, and that's been really important.

Speaker 1:

They followed me as I finished my MFA. I finished that two months ago. I've already got a part-time job where I'll be teaching some English courses. I did that for my readers, I did that for me. I paid for it with royalties, which was really cool, but I finished that, that was. That took over a year and so that was very cumbersome for my time. I did finish a couple of stories along the way and I finished writing up the nightmare, the nightmare writers. But I've also got two half-fitness manuscripts. So I've got Mr Wicker, which is one of the most challenging books I've ever written and I'm still. That was part of my thesis project. So I submitted a horror book to a Christian university which was quite interesting to make it fit.

Speaker 1:

But, but it happened, they published it and it's it's. It's available now in their, in their library. So that's. However, it's only a half a manuscript, so I do need to finish the other half of that. It's just taken a little bit because it is. It is taxing on me. It's a very complicated story from both the person, the people I'm writing about and the story structure. So I've got that I'm working on.

Speaker 1:

I've got a half a novel with my friend, boris Basic. We've had him on the show here. He's a great guy and we've been writing our book, astrophobia, which we are already talking about books two and three on which is our homage to Event Horizon, which is a, I think is a classic favorite of cult fit. It's got a cult following, you know, but that is our homage to that and the old alien movies. So there's no aliens in this, but we want that feel of the old Nostromo spaceship with Ellen Ripley. So that is our, that is our picturesque setting that we're, excuse me, going to going for.

Speaker 1:

So that that is over. It's about halfway, a little bit over halfway, so we hoped to gotten that one done sooner, but you know we decided to take it slower and have a little bit more fun with it, and it's turned out to be for the better. So, as far as what's in the chopping block, I am launching another one of my thrillers this month and then moving into finishing up a couple of projects, including a project with you that we were just talking about before this, for the live stream here, for the stream here, and big fucking spider. So we've got a how many words written on that.

Speaker 1:

Um let me look 200 for the, for the blurb, I think maybe, if that so we got a little work to do. We have a little work, but we got plenty of time. We got five months to get this thing into y'alls hands, but I can tell you that it's. It's going to be cool and what's it going to be about. David, I think a big fucking spider.

Speaker 2:

There you go, there you go?

Speaker 1:

I think so. I think that's, I think it's. I think it might be something to do with the title, and but it's. I mean, I can't think of a more fun horror novel to write than the giant giant spider. Um, and it's not going to be. Uh, I think. If we're going to, what are we? What are we aiming more towards? Like arachnophobia, less like eight legged freaks, is that? Is that a pretty good assessment? Yeah, I think so. I think so. I think we were trying to steer away from the funny horror.

Speaker 2:

But you know, in that that's the intent, but of course, when we started with slaughter lake, we weren't, we didn't, we didn't plan for it to go where it went either. So who knows, you know, who knows, the story will go where it goes.

Speaker 1:

I just know, like our our thoughts on this. So this is October 8th for recording this. Give us a month and we'll see what happens. Things might change a little bit between now and then.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Maybe, uh, but it'll, it'll be fun and I'm looking forward to to that it's going to be a good one.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I'll be finishing out this year. Um, I'm I've been writing and which is kind of nerve wracking, but it's also forcing me to write clearer, because I write pretty sloppy first drafts, what I know, right, yeah, you have inside a look. You're not supposed to talk about the writing group. That's the first rule the writing group.

Speaker 2:

We don't talk about all right, I already broke it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I've been writing this new. I've always wanted to write, um, and I'll let my my, my super fans pick this. Um, uh, I wanted to write an insane asylum story a true one. I've written a short story before, but not like a true one um, a full length novel. And so they picked that and I've been releasing that weekly and then I bumped it up to biweekly, so they get a new chapter twice a week.

Speaker 2:

Oh nice.

Speaker 1:

Um, and it's forcing me to write it clearly, so that'll actually be done in a few months instead of an entire year. So that'll be pretty interesting. Um, but that story I am pantsing that one. So I'm writing that without any outline, I'm just letting the story roll and see what happens, and it's been a lot of fun. It's challenging, but it's also really cool because I have characters that I would never have picked. I've got a seven, 76 year old woman and a and a 12 year old girl that that are my two main characters.

Speaker 1:

And then I've got a pair of twins, um to uh, two men who are uh, uh, remodelers, construction remodelers and those are my characters that I get to work with and those are the ones that the, the, the, my super fans picked, and so now it's going to be really interesting and what I can do with them. But that's kind of the fun in it, so yeah that does sound like a lot of fun.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so that's what I got. Um it, it, it definitely it doesn't. It may not sound like much, but it is. It is quite a bit and it's it's different than just writing a novel. It's a little bit different styles of writing, but still writing and still giving, giving uh listeners and the readers cool stuff. So let's, um, let's backtrack a little bit, Jay. I want to talk about, I want to talk about this, this, uh, novella set. So it's, it's a little bit different. We got, not, it's not a, uh, a co-written book, it's like a tri-co-written book.

Speaker 1:

So, you got three of y'all who've written, I guess, with a familiar character. So tell me about this, this familiar character between the three novellas, and remind me again, how does the full name of this much dross? Yeah?

Speaker 2:

So it's um, it's called the conservators collection, derelict. So the really actually there is no um, our stories are all completely separate. But we have, uh, the book is introduced by this conservator of horror character, um, and so we've got artwork for him. He's in the in the book, um, he's actually on. We did a set of book plates so that all three of us could sign it, cause unfortunately we're not really close to each other, uh, we live kind of far apart so we couldn't like get together to sign a bunch of them. So we did do a bunch of book plates and we had a uh like I went through and signed all of them. I sent them off to um John Durgan. He signed them all. He sent them off to John Lynch. He signed them all. That he split them up between the three of us. So we have these um, we all have them to to send out to anyone that buys our books. But the conservator is in on that book plate so he's kind of like this uh, he's kind of a distinguished looking type of Crip Keeper looking kind of character, um, super cool, a lot of fun. So he's kind of like that introduces the book to everybody.

Speaker 2:

Um, but then we each wrote a story based on the theme of, uh, derelict or abandonment, in in in very different ways. And so we you know, that was the only stipulation was we wanted it to be a novella, and then we wanted it to be um, based on that theme. And so we each kind of pitched our ideas to each other and we're like, yeah, that sounds cool. And then we just we rolled with it and they are very three different stories, very different stories, um and it. I think that really adds a lot to it, and some of these early reviews that we've been seeing, uh, have just been um, it's just been so overwhelmingly positive.

Speaker 2:

You know about how um the stories are, are so different, but yet they just flow together really well because of the theme and and everything that we've done with it. You can clearly see our different styles, which I think is is really good, but, uh, because I think they they compliment each other really really well, and so it's been a ton of fun, and we've had a lot of people ask if it's some, especially those that have read it already. The early reviewers have asked him like are you guys going to keep doing this? Are you? Are we going to get more of this from the conservator, and the short answer is we think so. We went into it, um, with the idea that we wanted to do more in the future. Um, it also may be a somewhat um, I don't want to, I don't want to say too much about, but our plan is to possibly do more in the future. We would love to.

Speaker 1:

And what was the experience like working with not just a co-author but Three, three, I mean, there are three of y'all. I mean, did you have? Did you bounce ideas in a group chat or did you just like? Yes here's a theme, roll with it and we'll see what do y'all produce? Or how did no?

Speaker 2:

no, we, yeah, we, we're in a group chat and we chat every day and we, we threw some ideas off of each other about what we were wanting to do as far as the content of the book, you know, the story ideas and and where we were going with our stories, and we would send each other samples of it and send each other the our finals, so we can read it and know what, what's in it and get some feedback from each other. So that was really cool. And then just bringing in the three of us together and doing, you know bringing, you know we've all released books on our own, you know, and we've all got our different ways of doing things. So the bringing the three of us together to Build this, you know from scratch, and you know going from like who do we get as a cover designer? Who do we get for editing? Who do we? What else can we do for this book that will set it apart and make it special? Because we wanted it to be as special as we could.

Speaker 2:

You know, I wanted to give it our best, our best foot forward on this, and so we, you know, we Went with Matt Sif Barnes for a cover. Who's done some for John Durgan in the past and Nick Roberts and others. We hired Candace Noah to do our editing for us and we found an Artist to do the character art for the kind of the main characters in our books, and so we each Got our character and then we also had the conservator conservator done. So there's this consistent look on the inside with the character art. I will say our initial plan was to do full color on the paperbacks. Oh my gosh, when I put that in Amazon and saw what the author copy cost was on that, there's no way we could sell that, no way. Yeah, it was. I think it was gonna cost us like I don't know, like 28 bucks.

Speaker 1:

Holy cow.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it was like no way like that's. So we had to make a compromise on the paperbacks, and so we still have our art and we've all used it in different ways. I think we all created our own bookmarks with it. I've got a sticker with mine. I actually have a t-shirt on my website with my character and, and so it still has, and it'll be in the ebooks. Of course, it'll all be in full color, so anyone that reads it, like on a Kindle fire or something, will be able, or a Tablet, they'll be able to see the color artwork, which is really cool and it looks actually really good in black and white. And the paperbacks it's got a lot of detail to it.

Speaker 1:

So I guess what you could say is that there's a little bit more to writing a book than Writing the book. I mean we're we're talking. I mean we're talking project management. Here. We've got cover designers, we've got artwork designers, we've got the three of y'all collaborating. Then we've got Reviewers. I mean there's a lot to manage this kind of stuff. I mean it. But but look what you get out of it, right. I mean it all paid off. It all paid off, right.

Speaker 2:

Well, so far it hasn't released yet, so Well, you like it.

Speaker 1:

I mean you like in the early reviews say it's great.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, yeah the earlier views have been just Overwhelmingly positive, you know, especially with some, some reviewers who say that you know they don't read short story collections which this isn't a short story collection, that's a little different. But they loved our story because they had some length, you know. They had some, some meat to it, like they were. Originally our plan was to have three stories that were 15 to 20,000 words apiece. That was, that was the, the goal. That's kind of what we we set on.

Speaker 2:

But then as we started writing it, especially John Lynch, his story just was taken off on him and it blew up to almost 30,000 words, which is great, you know. And and you know he kept asking, you know, or he asked John Durgan and I like is this gonna be a problem? What do you guys think? We're like no man, the story is what the story is, you know, just let it go and and we're, you know, whatever it takes Is whatever it takes, you know. So I Think readers are gonna benefit from that because they get a really fully fleshed out story from him and it's some of the best work that he's done, you know, and I'm pretty Proud and excited to be Alongside him and and Durgan in this, this collection, because both those stories are just amazing.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome man. So really, you know, that's a really cool experience and I don't you know you and I can share in that and we've done the co-written thing and we didn't go nearly as in depth as it seems that you guys did to kind of create the back end of this, to create the artwork and the overarching theme. I mean, you and I had a story idea and we ran with it.

Speaker 1:

It's a little bit different than yeah, you know combining three different authors and saying, let's, let's see what your mind comes up with and we'll see if we can connect them all together and in some new you know, some new way, and I think you guys did that. So I'm I really am excited to to read that from y'all. I get a taste of all three authors, you know, without having to invest in a massive book from all three, which is great, you know, especially when people's you know, two-year-old piles, kind of limited or expansive but limiting at the same time. So, yeah, I want to talk about something else is kind of a new development, and this is and. And the reason I want to talk about is because the story is what did this for you is your your new tick-tock fandom, your new Fame that you have developed. You are now a tick-tock star. I think you can pretty much stop writing and just do dances and stuff. Right, is that correct?

Speaker 2:

Man, I don't dance at all in in real life on tick-tock.

Speaker 1:

I don't do that at all and nobody wants to see that go to author J Bauer on tick-tock and look for him doing this most most recent dance. It is there. J Bauer author. Get J Bauer author. Yeah, for him doing the the tick-tock dance.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, no dancing, but Like literally, with it's not even been a week yet as we're recording us, it has not even been a week yet, but, yeah, tick-tock, tick-tock oh my gosh, I can even speak has blown up on me, it's gone. It's gone places I'd never expected it to and I'm so grateful for that, you know, and it's it can be overwhelming, you know, trying to just keep things in perspective, but it has blown up. I Guess I can go into more of the story if you, if you want.

Speaker 1:

What is the? What blew up? Hey, yeah, wasn't. And what story? Because it's obviously a book related. So what happened? You weren't dancing, so it's got to be a book.

Speaker 2:

No, no, I wasn't dancing. So at the end of September, I guess I I Posted a video about my book dead blood and it was just about book one, you know, about a vampire and a zombie apocalypse is kind of my shorthand for it and it got some love on tiktok and I had to get in like 76,000 views and I was a full. This is. This is crazy. You know, this is kind of cool. I know people seem to like the idea. I'm reaching a whole new audience. It's a lot of fun. You know this is I'm reaching. People have not heard of it and this book's been out for well over a year and a half, you know, and so I'm pretty excited about that. So then a week goes by and I was like I'm gonna do another one, but I'm gonna use the hardcover that has it's the complete series, all three books in one. So I do a similar video nine seconds long, super short video Just showing the book and you know, about a vampire trying to survive in a zombie apocalypse, and it Just started taking off.

Speaker 2:

I don't know, and I guess I just hit hit at the right time with the right people and I posted like a four o'clock on Tuesday and by the nine Little after nine o'clock at night when I went to bed, it was like at 121,000 views and I was like, holy crap, what is happening, you know? And I I remember going to bed thinking, man, it'd be nice if I hit 150,000 by the time I wake up. Right, yeah, it was like over 300 when I woke up and I was like, oh no, this is wasn't not knowing what is a bad thing, but I was like what is going on, you know? So it just kept going and going and A lot of people were interested in it. A lot of people like the idea. You know. A lot of people were also bringing up a couple other authors that had a similar idea, which I, I'm all in for, you know, mark Tufo and oh my gosh, I'm drawn a blank the other author, he's Chuck Wendig. Both of those guys wrote a series, you know, of similar thing with a vampire and a zombie apocalypse, and it was A lot of people bringing that up.

Speaker 2:

But it got so much love that by Thursday I hit over a million views on this thing and just blew up. It was just unreal and I have found a whole new audience, man, and it's super cool. I'm so grateful for all those folks and I went from. I added probably about 4,000 followers and again, it's not even been a week as a time that we're recording this, and so thankful for that. You know, hopefully I can continue giving them some cool things to To look at it with some of my, my books and even with other people's books, you know, because I like to share books of those of other authors that I've read and things like that. So hopefully I can kind of bring some more attention to some others. But it's just blown up on me, man.

Speaker 1:

And and I want to think it's it's got to be partially because the story right? I mean that that was the whole point of dead blood. Is that you and I? We've talked about this, we both. You know, part of being a horror author is you've got to one write zombies. Number two write short stories, vampires.

Speaker 2:

I think that's pretty set in stone for any anyone that needs to be a horror author. No, I'm kidding, but short stories for sure. Part yeah, yeah. But yeah, you know, I that a zombie story. You know and I've mentioned this before of where I came up with this idea, you know, with that horror writing workshop back in 2020.

Speaker 2:

My original plan was a soul-eating demon in a zombie apocalypse, like where they get souls if they're all zombies, right, you know, that was my plan. But the for that writing workshop, that wasn't. We had a week on tropes like overused tropes, and it was. We had to write a short story on a vampire or a zombie or a Werewolf. So I took a day to think about it and I was like, well, what if I changed the demon to a vampire and Put him in a zombie apocalypse, so I can take two of those tropes and combine them.

Speaker 2:

Going back to my original idea of the demon, you know, and so I wrote a short story and it went over really well because it was just a Different take. You know, there's others I've known now, I didn't know it then but others that have written something similar, but not a lot of them have written something like that, you know. So having that just a slightly unique twist on a common idea Really just caught a lot of people's attention in the writers workshop. Those that critiqued it really enjoyed it and encouraged me. They're like you know, you could do a whole book off of this. This would be really cool. I would absolutely read it. So I always kept that in mind. And then you and I talked a lot about a different series and trying to do a horror series and I know that you had done your Zerviral. Did I get it? They get it right.

Speaker 1:

Yep, that's right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, your Zerviral series With your zombie series and you're with your unique take on it.

Speaker 2:

You know well, maybe I can Finally put my zombie series you know, zombie idea to a series, because I felt I could do a series with that. So I'd have my first horror series and that's it's what we did, that's what I did anyway, and but it's that idea, you know, that uniqueness, is what caught everyone's. And the video, it's what caught everyone's attention was like, oh, this is cool, you know, like I Didn't even thought about that, you know, and that's that was really cool to see. And and you know, it was so unique for a lot of people that hadn't come across that before that I was seeing comments about people like, you know, I haven't read a book in 20 years, but I'm gonna probably do that now by checking this out and like so that's a lot of pressure on me to make sure I deliver, but also, at the same time, really rewarding that I can get Folks inspired to read again. You know, off of this kind of unique premise of a vampire in a zombie apocalypse.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think you'd mentioned too. There were some, some people commenting that you know they were wondering, like they don't normally read that genre. So that's a different type of reader. They someone versus someone who hasn't read before, which is great. It's always great to inspire people to come back to reading. But what about the folks who are in different genres? I mean that's kind of interesting too, that you, you have such an interesting premise that you know it creates a conundrum. Everybody knows that a vampire is, everybody knows that a zombie is, so you throw the two together and that that must create all kinds of turmoil and people love that. I mean that seems to be what people love. So you, it seemed like some, even some folks who don't read the genre said they were gonna read this one or at least give it a try. Is that, is that sound right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, a lot of comments on that too, about like I don't normally read this genre or you know, is it have romance in it, and things like that and I will say, no, it has no romance in it. It's definitely a horror and and I've you know, I've shared with you before that when I wrote this series, it was all about it was horror first and zombie second was my thought as I wrote this. I wanted it to feel more horror like versus, like dystopian or you know, like a Post-apocalyptic or something like that. I wanted it more horror feeling. It definitely has more of a like early seasons walking dead vibes to it, definitely. And some readers picked up on it because they said it felt like I took a vampire and put him in the walking dead. I was like, well, that's, that's true. That's a lot of where my zombie inspiration came from. You know the horror aspect of it. So, but it but because of the vampire.

Speaker 2:

You know there's a lot of associations with vampires and Dorian Wilde. My vampire in the series isn't your classical vampire. I was envisioned him as a little bit more like, more like a biological creature, kind of like in the strain, where it was just more, not so much. You know all these separate Tropes about vampires, just a little different. Although Dorian, my character, he always likes to dress nice. He's always, you know, wants a button-down shirt, would wear a vest you know it's still a zombie of August but he wants to dress nice and so I did have some of those, those Characteristics of him. But so, but I think that vampire association, maybe the romantic vampire association, maybe drew some people into reading a zombie book. So hopefully I don't disappoint them because it's not gonna be, you know, a traditional vampire story. It's not gonna be a A romantic story. It's definitely more horror focused. So we'll see how they respond to that, hopefully favorably, but you know it's you never know.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think when I Feel like we probably broached this topic before. But what interests me about Anything zombie because the zombies themselves to me are a bit overplayed it's what happens, what the characters do, what people do when Social order is gone, I mean, when it's when. It's that's what makes them interesting. The zombies just create kind of a barrier that force people to interact in certain ways in order to do the most basic things like survive and eat and and be safe and and live a life of some sort. So the zombies just force that scenario and, of course, what I think is really interesting about them is that they're in every book you read. They're always, they're always moving, so it's never a stagnant sign. There's a wall around you, it's a moving wall and it's. It's different.

Speaker 1:

You know it's not like you're just trapped in a courtyard. You'd be trapped in a courtyard but you know, at any point the courtyard walls could come down because there's too many bodies stacked up against it. I think that's what that makes it. It's a very fluid situation. Zombies make that happen, so it makes it very, very interesting.

Speaker 1:

You know, I think I think any kind of I think right now, on the opposite end, like a some sort of Pandemic story would be quite boring, because everybody's solution to that was to just stay inside, stay away from each other. So it's only, you know, if you're by yourself, you have one character by himself in their pandemic. That wouldn't, that would give, kind of give you the opposite effect of of, of, you know, a Colony of people trying to survive a very fluid situation that were forces them to interact with others. So I think that's where where zombies have an interest for folks is what do the characters do, what do people do when they're pushed to their limits and forced to survive? And in the end it I think you've said this and I know I've said it is that in the end, the bad things aren't really the zombies. They're just there, they're doing the one thing they know how to do, it's the people who end up terrible and that's where the horror really comes in.

Speaker 1:

It's not from the zombies. It's what the people do to each other.

Speaker 2:

Yes, you know, that is definitely a big part of the the series as well is you know, how do the humans play in this world where vampires exist and has also turned into this Zombie apocalypse? You know how to? How does that order break down? What it's it, what's it look like? You know what do they do.

Speaker 2:

So it's I try to explore some of those things and you know, as a series in it's a three book series and and they're short books, they're All three of them are just under 200 pages, so they're pretty short. But you know, as you progress in books two and three, you kind of see more of the humans and more of that world and more of the vampire Dorian navigating his way through this and and how the humans interact with him and how those relationships go. So but it's, it definitely is much more about those people than it is the zombies. You know the zombies is just the constant threat that everybody has to deal with. And how do you navigate your other social relationships when you're having to Constantly deal with that threat that is always there and in your face? You know.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and vampires themselves. I mean, especially when you're talking in the more of a classical sense, that they Tend to seek out Relationships of some sort. They're not really recluses. They always seem to have somebody there with them, which is kind of interesting because most of the time you would think that they're either they, I guess, that turn somebody if you're talking, you know, if you're talking, I don't know, within the lore and hypotheticals they would turn somebody to be with them. But oftentimes they they don't. They find a human to be with right, and which is weird because you know, if you stick to the Lore which most people do, that vampires are, you know they're, they can't die, so Pairing with some sort of human that can is so very, very weird. But I know in your story, I think, that that does happen. Is that I remember correctly?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, dorian, he's. He's been around since Before the Civil War, so he's got some experience and he's got you know, some history. And then he also, of course, finds himself in this zombie apocalypse world and he has to One. He's got to find food and then so that definitely is a big part of book one is just him coming to grips with what's going on and Finding food and making that your priority, which I think it would be any of ours, you know, if we, if we find ourselves in a situation like our, first thing is how am I gonna survive?

Speaker 2:

How am I gonna get you know, what am I gonna eat? How am I gonna continue moving forward? And that that's definitely a lot of book one and book two it gets. He starts branching out into more about humans and more about the survivors and you know, not necessarily as sources of food, but as survivors, you know, and he's. It ties in a lot with his past and with his, his family. And then book three kind of continues that but also brings in that some more of that, that human enemy side of it as well.

Speaker 1:

So so you talked a little bit about you know past and history and stuff like that. So I want to change gears a little bit and talk about this other collection that you mentioned, that you're a part of, which I thought was kind of interesting because of the shared element which was a haunted house yep, with 23 rooms, with 23 authors across 200 years. So you were given a, I'm guessing you. Were you given a 200 year section, or were you given a section of those of those years that, to work with that your story had to fit in? Or tell me more about that, that project?

Speaker 2:

yeah. So that one was really cool. So basically you got to choose whatever room. If it wasn't taken, you got to choose it and then you got to use whatever year you wanted to use.

Speaker 2:

So I think you know, initially I want to do something more modern, just because it's a lot easier to write, you know, thinking of it that way. But then I was like you know what there's, let me try something older, let me see if I can do something that is more of a time period piece and see if I can do that justice, you know. So more of a challenge for myself. So I mine was from 1818 65 I believe is when I did mine. So it was like at the end of the Civil War is basically how mine kind of starts. So I it's the first time really doing a history well, not quite the first time, I guess, but one of the first few times of me doing like a historical horror piece, you know, a time period piece. Most of mine tends to be more modern, but I wanted to just kind of challenge myself a little bit and I wanted to try a haunted story, like a ghost story, because I hadn't really done one of those and I'm still considering doing that as a series at some point, but I wanted to use this as a way to challenge myself to do that. So when I joined the project, so some of the rooms were already taken, some of the dates were already taken, but I wasn't necessarily given a date and time or a date and room. It was just, like you know, first dibs. Basically if you, if it's open and you want it, it's call it and it's yours. So I chose the secret room on the third floor and 1865. So those are the two must-haves of it.

Speaker 2:

I will say the editor, heather she had one hell of a project on her hands as far as making sure that all these stories work together, because it was for this one house. It was, it's a hail house and so all the stories had that happen at hail house. And so some things like if an author wrote a story about a particular ghost in, let's say, the bedroom or something, and we could tie things together, historical things within the story, so like all of them are tied to the house but also tied to a bigger part of it. It's it's hard to describe, but I know she had to put a lot of things together to make sure that they'll fit, and suggest changes for all of us. That to make it fit, you know, which is perfectly fine and that's as what the project was.

Speaker 2:

But it turns out it's it's over 400, it's like 440 pages. It's a massive, massive wow. But when you have 23 stories for 23 different authors, it's it that it'll get that way on you, you know, but it's, it was so much fun and it's just very, very unique. So I'm really excited to see and that that's coming out the same day. I was looking to see if I had a list of those authors here, because it's a lot, yeah well, that's, um, that's really interesting.

Speaker 1:

So I was not expecting, you know, when you told me about these projects. I know you've done a lot of short story submissions in the past and it seems like more you've got more collaborative efforts. You know we're us authors are working closely with each other. We're seeing a lot of the same names you know in the same circles, which is great. There's nothing wrong with that. I think that's, I think that's it's a lot of fun and it should be that way.

Speaker 1:

You start to recognize folks, especially in in this job, which is so isolated, so sedentary, and so any effort you can make to, you know, connect with another author and even even produce something, even though it's a very solitary task of writing. And so I mean I think that's that's why I enjoyed this, these, these podcasts so much is because it goes a step beyond the page. You know we're we're going beyond our laptops. We are reaching out to each other and to, to, to readers. You know, I think that's why you and I said you know, let's write another book. You know, I mean that's a huge commitment to write one book but then to collaborate with another author and says, let's do it again. You know, I think that's. I think that says something that says it was fun and and we enjoyed it and we're looking forward to more of it, and I think that's something that it's kind of hard to find, because it is collaborative and you know, you're an artist, I'm an artist and we have our, our tastes and our styles, and trying to mesh them together is just such a challenge. So I don't take anything away from y'all at all when you say you put together these, these tomes, these stories of interconnected worlds, and and found some sort of collaborative environment where everything matches up, because in the end, it's not going to be us that finds the mistakes, it's going to be the readers. And if they you know the people who listening to this I mean they're the ones who are going to point out the little things. And if they can't find anything, you guys did something good, you guys did something great, so that's, that's really awesome.

Speaker 1:

So let's um, we only got a few minutes left, man, so let's um, let's waffle just for a minute here about our collaborative books and we're staying there talking about the collaborative process and, and though I think we have a choice to talk about the first one, slaughter like, but I think the second one we can talk about just for a minute is is big fucking spider. So what? What do you want to see and what do you not want to see? And this is kind of revealing for me too, because we've talked about it, but it's been a little bit so. We wrote slaughter lake with, without the intention of it becoming a slasher, so, but we liked what we produced anyway. So where, where are we heading with big fucking spider? What do you want to see that become?

Speaker 2:

definitely of a. You know, obviously it's gonna be a big creature feature, something that I've never written, something I don't think. You have a little bit, maybe, like with the when to go, but this is definitely gonna take this to a whole nother level. Right, it's gonna be a big spider, so it's. But I also kind of like what I do with dead blood, right is, I want, I want horror to be the first thing, like that's, if I go into it, the mindset of horror you know the word choices, the, the plot, you know the, the scenes, all of that stuff will kind of filter through that first. So I want it to be horror. But I also, you know, want to give it some character. You know, I don't, I don't foresee us doing this as like horror comedy. I mean, there's probably gonna be some funny moments. I mean, you know, I think we both have talked about like this, somebody's gonna like it's a big spider, like that's, you know, and that's gonna be funny, say I gotta say it.

Speaker 2:

I mean you gotta say the title of the book yes, that will be funny, but I also, you know, don't think that that we're gonna live in that comedy area. We say this now. It may end up being that, you know, but I don't think either one of us are wanting to go that direction, and I think we'll probably be able to keep each other in line as we go through that. You know, if, if I submit something to you and you're like dude, this is just, this is, this is too much on the campy side, we can't do this. Or if you send it to me and I say the same thing, you know, we're really good about taking feedback from each other and and being able to critique each other and and make sure that we're on the same page, so I don't see that as a problem. But definitely horror first and and everything going through that lens, you know not not a big monster first, definitely horror first, if that, if that makes sense yeah, yeah, I definitely agree.

Speaker 1:

I I like to think. I love the atmosphere, so I've been on a Nick Cutter kick lately and I love the atmosphere of the troop, the.

Speaker 1:

It was a creature feature at heart. There were creatures in it I'm not gonna spoil it for anybody, but there were creatures in it. But it primarily it was the atmosphere in the horror that was created by the creature's presence, and I think that's where that's where things get interesting and that's where that's where true horror comes out, and I think that's, I think we'll find our home there. You know, that's what happened with my book when to go. It was the atmosphere I created that was part of the lore that was part of the creature itself at its presence and the, the privacy of people when confronted with such a thing that they you know they're, they can't comprehend. So I think I definitely agree with you about the direction that we want to go and now it just comes down to, yeah, five months to write this thing. So we should, we should probably get on it we.

Speaker 2:

We probably should put a word or two down yeah, just a couple yeah but alright, man, well, that that's our time, man it's.

Speaker 1:

It's been great catching up. I missed this. I think you and I can pretty much commit now to saying, hey, we're, we'll be a little bit more regular. I won't say how regular, but regular, more regular than we have been yes that's.

Speaker 1:

That's mainly because of my schedule. I've had a long key schedule due to my day job and you know, I think people are forgiving of that. So we're back. We're back with the vengeance. We've got a very special guest the next go around. So this will not be the first episode you hear of the nightmare engine podcast. It will be the second episode for this season, and what perfect timing, right around Halloween. So, unless you got anything else, man, that's, that's what I got for the day you got anything no man, that's, that's it we.

Speaker 2:

We kind of hold everything back up and and let everyone know what's going on yeah, it feels good.

Speaker 1:

It feels good to be back, feels good to talk about it. So, ladies and gentlemen, you've been listening to the nightmare engine podcast. I'm your host, dave for goods, with my co-host here, mr J Bauer. Mr J Bauer, sign us off alright, man.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for listening to the night managing podcast. We will see you again soon. Check out my website for all my books.

Speaker 1:

J Bauer author, calm David and you can find me at David. Very good, calm, alright, folks have a good night.

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