Today I’ve conned….er, asked…I mean asked Max Booth III to stop on by for a chat. Funny, but I thought he’d be taller.
E: So Max, welcome to my lair…er, blog. That’s what I meant. Blog.
M: Blog? Then why all the torture devices? Wait, whose blood is that? What? No, I’m not going to put that on!
E: You’ve got a ton of things going on at the moment. Why don’t we start with Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, what you do there, and the latest collection you released, So it Goes: a Tribute to Kurt Vonnegut.
M: I am the editor-in-chief of PMMP, and the co-founder (along with my partner, Lori Michelle). It is mainly a two-person operation, with some additional assistance by Jay Wilburn, T. Fox Dunham, and Laramore Black.
Lori’s duties involve bookkeeping, layout design, book formatting, and other various odds and ends. She does an amazing job—if you want proof, you need to check out our upcoming title, Sirens by Kurt Reichenbaugh. The interior of that book rocks. As for me, I read all the submissions, do most of the editing, maintain our various social media outlets—stuff like that. But really, it’s a company that could not exist without both myself and Lori doing what we’re doing. It’s like a seesaw, you need both sides to balance the weight.
So it Goes: a Tribute to Kurt Vonnegut is the first volume in a series of anthologies that we are publishing through Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing. It is a book composed of 22 short stories by a ton of great, talented authors who just wanted to honor one of their favorite authors. And let me tell you, their stories—they blew me away. We are actually currently holding a contest for the book: if you review it in a specific style, you will be entered in a raffle to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Click here for the details.
E: Have you done any other tribute collections? Do you have any planned for the future?
M: Actually, right now I am accepting submissions for Volume 2 in the Tribute series—Long Distance Drunks: a Tribute to Charles Bukowski . The deadline for submitting isn’t until December 31, so there is plenty of time to get a story in. I hope to do one of these every year. They are a lot of fun to put together.
E: You mentioned before that you have a bizarro book coming out in June. What the heck is bizarro, and what’s the name of your book?
M: The book is called They Might Be Demons, and it isn’t being published until this June by Dark Moon Books. I actually didn’t know that it was classified under the “bizarro” genre until after I finished it and someone else told me, so now you understand how important genre titles really are to me. But basically, bizarro is bizarre, weird, humorous, crazy-ass fiction that no normal human being should ever have to consume.
They Might Be Demons can be considered both a story collection and a novel. It is a series of short flash fiction stories with interconnecting plot-lines and characters. It all takes place in the same town, on the same day. The stories can be read in any order and they would stand out on their own, but if you read the book in chronological order, it forms a loose novel. The basic question that is behind the book is: what if Hell one day decided to take a vacation—and what if their vacation spot happened to be a small, unsuspecting USA town in the middle of nowhere?
E: Any other projects in the works that we should know about?
M: Oh, yes. Too many, in fact. Seriously, I am dying of work overload here. But let’s see. On the editing front, I am reading submissions for two anthologies: Long Distance Drunks and Truth or Dare? An All Hallows’ Eve Anthology. The latter book won’t be released until October 2014 (through PMMP), but I am already really freaking excited about it. It’ll be featuring original stories from people like Ray Garton and Benjamin Kane Ethridge and Richard Thomas, along with other prominent names in the game that I can’t talk about yet. I will also be co-editing an all horror poetry anthology soon with Stan Swanson for Dark Moon Books; look for the open call within the next couple weeks.
As for my own personal writing, I have They Might Be Demons coming out in June. My debut book, True Stories Told By a Liar was released last November. I have a nonfiction book called The Ultimate Survival Guide for Humanity (co-edited with Stan Swanson) coming out early 2014. I have two other novels finished and being considered by publishers: Black Cadillacs Outside a Funeral and The Mind is a Razorblade.
I am currently working on four different novels, each one at a different stage of completion. Drinking Whiskey with Dead Pretentious Authors is my main focus at the moment. It tells the story of a night auditor and aspiring author who begins hanging out with famous deceased writers; like Charles Bukowski and Ernest Hemingway, for example.
Light Chasers is the first and possibly only zombie novel I will ever write. Think of it as Dawn of the Dead meets Deadwood. It’s a little over halfway finished, but I’ve taken a break until I can bring myself to write about zombies again. I find them exhausting sometimes.
I am also in the process of co-authoring two books. One of them is basically The Amazing Race if Christopher Moore was the host and it featured mythological gods. That one I’m writing with Araminta Star Matthews.
The other book, Figment, I am co-authoring with ‘Anna DeVine. I don’t want to say much about that one at the moment, except that it will most likely be the most intense book I’ve ever been attached to.
E: PMMP just released a poetry book. I just finished a poetry book. Isn’t that…interesting?
At this point, Max just shifts uncomfortably in his chair and remarks about the wonderful weather we’re having today.
E: I can take a hint. Sheesh. So, outside of horror and bizarro, are there any other genres you like to dabble in?
M: I really like crime fiction. Elmore Leonard is my god. I’ve been writing a lot of neo-noir stuff lately, which translates to “new black”. I also have 17 erotica novels published under my penname—“Johnny McSex, Esquire.”
E: Who are some of the authors who have influenced you?
M: Well like I previously mentioned, I am a big fan of Elmore Leonard. Same goes with the usual suspects—Stephen King, Joe Hill, Kurt Vonnegut, John Steinbeck, Jack Ketchum, Chuck Palahniuk, etc. Other writers that are still making a name for themselves that constantly influence me in my own writing would be Joe McKinney, Stephen Graham Jones, Richard Thomas, Craig Wallwork, T. Fox Dunham, and Jay Wilburn. Including a ton more I don’t have time to name. They are all great.
E: Since you’re on both sides of the publication fence, are there any pet peeves of yours as a publisher that you’d like people to stop doing?
M: If a publisher has any specific guidelines on their submissions, it is most likely for an actual reason. If you ignore the guidelines and just blindly submit, you’re not doing yourself a favor. So—just start paying better attention to submission guidelines. Oh, and for the love of God, stop putting two spaces after every sentence. We no longer live in the dark ages, people.
E: One last thing before you go: pie or cake?
M: This question has left me emotionally drained, so I am going to choose cheesecake, since that is sort of a combination of both. I just can’t pick between the two. They are equally delicious and they both stand the chance of giving me diabetes.