|MAX BOOTH III|
Max: You fed my girlfriend to fire ants!
Johnny: Yeah, so? Whoa whoa, Uhm, hey, uhm. I thought that was a Texas thing? You know like big hats and long horn steers. I thought that fire ant bites would make her feel at home.
M: Barbecue tofurkey?
J: I have no excuse for that. I’m sorry.
M: What happened to your lawn?
J: Napalm. Fight fire ants with fire I always say.
M: Did it work?
J: I think so but my gardener’s missing.
J: So I read your book – True Stories Told By a Liar, let’s talk about that.
M: Okay, what do you want to know?
J: Tell me about it. Did you have to get permission from the magazines your stories first appeared in? What was the process?
M: True Stories Told By a Liar (published by Numen Books) consists of 10 previously published short stories and 11 original never-before-seen stories. Of the 10 that were previously published, only one of them had even been published within a year of the book’s release, so I didn’t really have to worry about copyrights or anything.
J: There. Feel better? Good. Now put the gun down there on the ground. Have an iced tea. Cool. We’re all friends now.
M: I think I’ll hold onto the gun for now.
J: What’s your relationship with Numen Books now?
M: I saw a call for single author horror short story collections and decided what the hell, wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot. So I pitched them a collection, with a few sample stories attached, and they ate it right up. They asked me to send the whole collection and within a month it had been accepted. Numen Books is an Australian publishing company, so obviously they know a thing or two about horror. If you don’t understand that comment, then obviously you’ve never read anything about the kind of creatures that can be found in their waters. I mean, they’re no fire ants, but still.
J: You moved from Lake Station, Indiana to Cibolo Texas. Why would you do that? For the free gun? Doesn’t every Texan get a free gun? Is that the one you got?
M: I was actually raised in Lake Station, then I lived in a bunch of different small towns around Northern Indiana before taking a bus solo across the country to San Antonio. And yeah, guns actually come in the Happy Meals over here. It’s crazy. Anyway, you’re asking a whole lot of questions for someone who just fed my girlfriend to fire ants. I don’t know the keycode to the garage door and I am sick of sleeping outside. She had the only house key! This is your fault, Worthen.
|Some people have pink flamingos in their yards.|
Texans often have Fire Ant mounds. Quaint.
J: What do you have against fire ants anyway? I mean you live in Texas, the fire ant capital of the country. Aren’t they the state animal?
M: When I first moved into this new house here a couple months back, I walked up to the park in a pair of flip flops. Within seconds my foot was completely covered with fire ants, and by the time I picked them all off me, it was swollen and blistered all over my skin. Those bastards haunt me until this day. And plus, you know, now they’ve eaten my girlfriend. Which isn’t the best thing to happen lately. Not the worst, but definitely not the best.
J: Your name, Max Booth III is interesting. Are you angry that your family couldn’t think of a different boy name for three generations?
M: That’s actually why I left everybody and moved to Texas.
J: Okay, we’re going to take this one at a time. Tell me about your relationship with Dark Moon Digest.
M: I am the assistant editor of the digest, which was founded by Stan Swanson. I story edit some of the submissions (as do the six other editors we have on staff), and make decisions on the really iffy stories about whether they should be accepted or not. I also help handle social media and other miscellaneous stuff. But really, Lori (serving as Managing Editor) does most of the work on it. Well, she DID. Thanks to your little fire ant friends I have no idea what the hell is going to happen now.
J: Tell me about Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.
M: PMMP is the publishing company I co-founded with Lori Michelle (hey, she gets around). I serve as editor-in-chief, which means I read all the submissions we get, edit most of the books we publish, handle social media, etc. Lori does the book formatting and designs, budgeting, back-up editing, and other fun stuff. Also helping out is Jay Wilburn, who keeps the blog alive, and T. Fox Dunham, who is our assistant marketing guru. Both Jay and Fox also have novels coming out through PMMP in the future. Keep an eye on them, if you manage to survive this interview.
J: And last on my list of things busy Max Booth III does in his spare time is Dark and Bookish. Now what’s got in your head?
M: Since this is Jay Wilburn’s idea, I will let him speak for me:
“5 authors are featured on a summer 2014 tour across the United States followed by a documentary crew. The tour promotes for the authors and publishers while serving as a stage for exploring the worlds of small authors, small publishers, and small bookstores.
"The tour would cover approximately 30 days from the beginning of June through possibly mid July of 2014. The tour would cover 8-10 cities including 4-5 horror, sci fi, and general fandom conventions. The tour would include events at local, independent bookstores in the convention cities and in cities in between conventions. There would be 5 featured authors traveling for the entire tour with guest authors included for short stints or single events. The documentary, Dark and Bookish, will focus on struggling/ rising authors in the horror and speculative fiction genre, the work and struggles of small presses within these genre, and the experiences and struggles of independent bookstores within the current age of publishing.”
We are currently doing an indiegogo campaign to raise funds to make this crazy idea a reality. We appreciate anything you can spare to give.
J: You edited So It Goes: A Tribute to Kurt Vonnegut. What was the genesis of that?
M: I’ve had the idea for a while to edit a series of anthologies that pay tribute to different authors I love. Vonnegut seemed like the obvious choice for the first volume. The second volume I’m putting together, Long Distance Drunks, will be a tribute to Charles Bukowski. It will be opened for submissions until December 31st.
J: My patented question: how did you go from writer to published author?
M: I spent a few years on a writing website called StoriesVille.com (it no longer exists sadly). It was basically a community for aspiring writers to post stories and poems online and people would comment and leave feedback on them. It was the best thing for me at that time, as the constant feedback and communication influenced me to write more and more. The amount of practice and experience I gained is incomparable. After the website died a tragic death, I began submitting to actual markets. I had about 5 rejections before my first acceptance. I’ve been lucky enough to get more since then, too.
J: And now you have a new book coming out, They Might Be Demons. Is there a chapter about a Triangle Man demon in it?
M: They Might Be Demons (published by Dark Moon Books) is my second book. It is kind of strange, really, as far as conventional books go. It is a mix between a novel and a story collection. The book consists of about 60 flash fiction stories, and each story is loosely connected, forming one big plot. However, you can still read them all out of order, and they’d make sense as stand-alone stories too. It is my first attempt at bizarro fiction and I have to say it was a lot of fun. I do have to caution future readers, however, that despite what some rumors may be claiming, this book is not actually edible.
J: You’re going to New Orleans for the Horror Writes Association/WorldHorror Convention with Lori, right?
M: Yeah. I’ll have plenty of copies of They Might Be Demons at the Dark Moon Books table ready to sign. I’ll also be on a panel about small press publishing. Oh, and the Dark and Bookish crew will be throwing a huge party Friday night of the convention, so that will be fun. Or it may be a disaster. Yeah, probably a disaster.
J: Yeah, I’m jealous. I'm kinda' wishing I had more ants now. Who do you like for the Bram Stokers’ this year. We’ll check your accuracy in June.
M: My predictions:
Inheritance by Joe McKinney (Novel),
The Legend of the Pumpkin Thief by Charles Day (First Novel),
Flesh & Bone by Jonathan Maberry (YA Novel),
Witch Hunts by Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton (Graphic Novel),
I’m Not Sam by Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee (Long Fiction),
“Bury My Heart at Marvin Gardens” by Joe McKinney (Short Fiction),
The Cabin in the Woods by Joss Whedon (Screenplay),
Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations by Eric J. Guignard (Anthology),
New Moon on the Water by Mort Castle (Fiction Collection),
Trick or Treat: a History of Halloween by Lisa Morton (Non-Fiction), and
Vampires, Zombies & Wanton Souls by Marge Simon (Poetry).
J: You hear about Crazy Ants? They don’t bite but they’re worse in many ways than fire ants. Guess where they live?
M: My answer to most strange questions is typically “my pants,” and this question is no exception.
J: Where on the internets can my peeps find you?
Max Booth III
They Might Be Demons on Amazon
DARK AND BOOKISH INDIEGOGO LINK
LINK FOR SUBMISSIONS TO LONG DISTANCE DRUNKS
|He just needs a little moisturizer.|
And maybe a raise.
J: Oh, there’s my gardener.
M: He looks angry. And burned.
J: But not ant-bitten.
M: I don’t think he cares.
J: Yeah, here, give me your gun.
M: I can’t. The ants took it.