Hello and welcome to the latest issue of The Ghoulish Times. My name is Max Booth III and this is my spooky newsletter. There is a lot to talk about since the last proper newsletter, and frankly I am a little overwhelmed by it all. The only way to get through everything is to just begin, so let’s just begin.
Two weekends ago was our Ghoulish Book Festival in San Antonio. It was our second year hosting the festival, and Lori and I were a little terrified of what to expect. Last year’s inaugural fest was an unexpected success, but we secretly assumed it was some kind of fluke and this year would end up being this huge embarrassing failure. Thankfully this was not the case, and we had an even better turnout and sales record than last year. Several of our vendors told me it was their best-selling event of all time, which honestly is a huge honor. As someone who has vendored books at events for over a decade, the happiness and satisfaction of our vendors has always been a top priority.
I did not personally have much time to attend any of the panels or readings, so I don’t have much to say there. Over the next couple weeks/months, however, I will be uploading the audio from the panels to the GHOULISH podcast feed and the video from the live readings to the GHOULISH YouTube channel, so stay tuned for that as it all becomes available.
When I began writing this newsletter, I actually thought I would have thousands of words to say about it, but it turns out most of the weekend is this chaotic blur in my head. I met many friends I’ve only known online, and I hung out again with friends I haven’t seen in years. It was a fun time. A stressful time, but very fun. Also, Lori and I got married on Saturday night during the fest. We had ourselves our very own Ghoulish Wedding. Here was our spooky wedding cake, which we officially finished eating last Thursday:
And here is a photo of the two of us attempting to use a knife for the first time in our lives.
Our friend Andrew Hilbert dressed as a cowboy dracula and officiated the wedding.
He read a very funny, heartbreaking speech comparing marriage to dressing a hot dog. People wept mustard.
And now we are married.
I wish I had more to say about the fest other than how excited and relieved we are about how it went. We are definitely going to do another one next year. First we need to decide on a date, then we will make some announcements. We actually already have three ghouls of honor who have given us a tentative yes, assuming the dates work out for them.
If you would like to see many, many more pictures from both the wedding and the overall festival, I encourage you to join our discord and find the #festival-pictures channel.
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The weekend after the fest (this last weekend) I drove up to Tulsa, OK for the Tulsa LitFest. It was about a 9-hr solo drive mostly through I-35, which is a miserable depressing highway if you’ve never driven it. Thankfully the drive was boring and uneventful, which is the most one can hope for while traveling on I-35.
On Saturday, I had a table at the incredibly cool bookstore Whitty Books for their Small Press Fair. We sold a shit ton of books and had a lot of fun hanging out with the Horns & Rattles crew (Victoria Moore, H.V. Patterson, and Jes McCutchen). Although they also attended the Ghoulish Book Festival, I did not have much time to talk to them while I was hosting the fest, so it was nice to kick back and get to know all three of them a bit more. My verdict is they are very cool people and are doing some awesome things in Tulsa.
I also got a chance to hang out a little bit with Teresa Ardrey, who gifted me this awesome coffee mug (at the request of her friend, who thought I should have a cryptid mug, since I am now considered to also be a cryptid called the San Antonio Ghoul!).
Teresa also introduced me to some other Tulsa lore about somebody (or something?) called “the Golden Driller” which I refuse to google or learn anything about. Disgusting.
This Tuesday (tomorrow), April 25th, the Ghoulish Show returns. It will be hosted at Radio Coffee & Beer in Austin, TX. The book market begins around 6pm-ish and the show kicks off at 8pm. If you’ve never attended, it’s basically a variety comedy show that I host which features humorous performances from several local authors. It’s a fun time. Here’s the Facebook event page if you want to check it out.
There is one more upcoming event I must share here, and it is perhaps one of the most exciting and important events we’ve ever hosted.
The grand opening of our new bookstore.
On Saturday, April 29th (aka Independent Bookstore Day), we will officially open our brick & mortar Ghoulish Books store in Northeast San Antonio.
Truthfully, we did a bit of a soft opening last week without really advertising it much, and we have already had four customers. I admit Lori and I squealed with excitement for every one of those four people who came in. We don’t know what the future will hold for this store, but we are pumped up to begin a new journey as bookstore owners. It is something we have fantasized about the whole time we’ve known each other. It’s a little surreal to think we are actually doing it.
We have big plans for this store. Not only will we be spotlighting indie horror books, but we have a lot of fun events in the works. We will be doing a monthly movie night. We will be expanding our Discord book club for some in-person meetings. We will be launching a little horror writing club. We will be doing a weekly “read a spooky book to your kids” afternoon. We will be doing craft nights. We will be doing a lot. This newsletter is the best way to keep track of everything as we announce our schedule.
If you’re in the Central Texas area and want to come check out our grand opening, here is a Facebook event page. Share it widely!
We will have a better website for the store soon, too, where ghouls from out of town can order direct. It’s on our list of 1,000 other things to accomplish. Stay tuned.
Before I leave you, I wanted to remind everybody that Bound in Flesh came out officially last week (if you pre-ordered through our webstore, copies have officially been shipped). If you were considering buying a copy, why not treat yourself to some beautiful, gross body horror?
Plus, next week will see the official release of Jessica Leonard’s Conjuring the Witch. If you haven’t already pre-ordered a copy, now is the time!
Okay, that’s it for this week. You can support us on Patreon, browse the books in our webstore, and follow us on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter (PMMP | Ghoulish Tales | Ghoulish podcast | Ghoulish Books | personal).
Or just click on our LINKTREE for all relevant links.
You can also join us on the Ghoulish Discord.
See you next time, ghouls.
Congrats to the both of you, on the wedding and the bookstore!