The Ghoulish Times | 01/22/23
How to Burn in Hell for All Eternity
Hello and welcome to the latest issue of The Ghoulish Times, a free spooky newsletter written by me, Max Booth, an entity who may or may not be undead.
Last weekend we sold books at the Wonderland of the Americas shopping mall in San Antonio. We sell books at this mall usually every other weekend at this point. Basically, there’s a company called Kings of Horror and they specialize in hosting horror-themed pop-up markets. Within the last year they’ve focused on mostly hosting these markets at the mall. They aren’t book-themed, just horror, so most of the vendors sell things like paintings, baked goods, jewelry, T-shirts, funko pops, stuff like that. It’s just a whole lot of people who appreciate the horror genre, and we typically have a pretty good time together.
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So, rewind to last weekend. Saturday, specifically. Lori headed back to the house to pick up her laptop, since she had a freelance project due later that day and it had to be done, so it was just me at our table, unsuccessfully selling anything, when I was involved in…uh, an altercation.
This dude comes up, a white guy in his 40s or 50s, grey hoodie with the hood tight around his balding head, holding a cell phone against his ear as he studies our inventory. He’s talking low and fast, and it’s far too incomprehensible for me to make anything out, until he finally looks at me and starts asking about the prices for several items. I answer him, and he nods and tells me he has to go find his wife, then he’ll return. Without another word, he hurries away from our table, and that’s when I notice a strange piece of paper wedged between a stack of our books. I pull it out and discover it’s a hardcore evangelical pamphlet promising its reader that they will burn in hell for all of eternity.
I quickly tracked the guy down on the other side of the mall, shouted, “Hey, you forgot something,” and threw the balled-up pamphlet in his face.
He looked at me, then the pamphlet at his feet, then back at me in complete shock. Finally he said, “Did—did you read it?”
I responded with a question of my own, which was, “Why don’t you go fuck yourself?”
And he responded by running away like a little coward.
Running a horror press in Texas for a decade means I have crossed paths with these ultra religious “horror is a sin!” dipshits many times. They live their lives trying to make others afraid, so it’s only natural to scare them even more. In the end, they are all spineless. I have zero patience for these bozos. Crawl into a hole and die.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to burning in hell for publishing spooky books.
Loyal readers of the newsletter will already know about the Kickstarter campaign we launched back on January 3rd. Well, I have some quick updates I’d like to cover:
As of today, we are officially 300% funded.
$20,000 was our third stretch goal, and we hit that just a couple days ago. This means that writer payment for our new horror magazine, Ghoulish Tales, will now increase from 7c per word to 10c per word. We are still open for submissions until February 15. We have already received 700+ submissions.
Also, we will probably reopen for Issue 2 sometime in the summer, so if you can't make this deadline, don't sweat it.
Our next stretch goal is only $3,943 away. At $25,000, we will produce audiobooks for every single-author 2023 publication (so, this excludes the anthology Bound in Flesh and our two magazines).
Anyone who subscribes to our $300 or $600 bundles will receive them for free as they become available. They will also, of course, be for sale across various audiobook distributor websites (note: we will not be Audible-exclusive. We will never be Amazon-exclusive anything).
We have also added one final stretch goal of $30,000, which I will tease here and get into more details about in a future newsletter:
Um, we may be signing a lease and paying the deposit on a place tomorrow (Monday) morning, regardless of hitting this stretch goal. But it sure would help us if we hit it!
Thank you for your ongoing support. Please continue sharing this campaign with your friends and family. Assuming they also like spooky books. If they do not like spooky books, consider cutting them from your life forever.
We still have 10 days to go until the Kickstarter ends. I honestly have no idea where we will be then. I certainly look forward to finding out, though.
GHOULISH BOOK FESTIVAL UPDATE
Unfortunately, Hailey Piper will no longer be able to attend this year’s Ghoulish Book Festival as a guest of honor. We will be sad to miss her, and hope to see her at a future event! Either way, we highly recommend you consider pre-ordering her latest novel A Light Most Hateful. It looks incredible and we can’t wait to read it!
Without Hailey, we still have the following guests of honor lined up to attend April’s San Antonio festival: V. Castro, Josh Malerman, Johnny Compton, and Trevor Henderson.
Have you secured your badge yet? Badges are available HERE.
THE GHOULISH SHOW - JANUARY 2023
That’s right, baby! It’s almost time for another live episode of The Ghoulish Show. If you live in the Austin, TX area, consider stopping by Radio Coffee & Beer on Tuesday, January 31st. We will host a lil’ spooky book market beginning at 6pm, and the main show beings at 8. This month’s performers include: Marty Shambles, Robert Dean, Andrew Hilbert, John Baltisberger, Michael Louis Dixon, and Ryan C. Bradley. I will, of course, host the event and make a fool out of everybody—especially myself. Facebook event page can be found HERE.
UFOS & CURSES
On the most recent episode of GHOULISH, Grant Wamack joined me to discuss UFO sightings and his experience with curses.
If you do not share this podcast with 10 people you know within the next 24 hours, you will suffer a terrible fate.
THE DOGG ZZONE 9000
I recently guested on an episode of The Dogg Zzone 9000, which is the podcast of the last comedy website on the internet: 1-900-HOTDOG. The website and podcast were founded by Seanbaby and Robert Brockway, two very funny people who most might remember from having written and edited for Cracked.com back when it used to actually be a good site. As a teenager, I was obsessed with Cracked, especially with the work of Seanbaby and Brockway. My Twitter handle—GiveMeYourTeeth—is literally a Seanbaby reference. Specifically, from this article:
So, yeah, going on their podcast felt like a huge honor, and I admit to being incredibly nervous being we started recording. Thankfully, everything went pretty smoothly, I think, and we all had a very fun time. We talked about an absolutely insane movie called Shrunken Heads. Here’s more about the episode from the podcast’s shownotes:
This week on the Dogg Zzone 9000, we’re talking with horror author and publisher Max Booth, of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and Ghoulish Books. Max is the author of perfectly bizarre horror books like Touch the Night and Maggots Screaming!, so obviously we needed to talk to him about the 1994 shrunken head movie, Shrunken Heads.
I know what you’re thinking: Is this really about shrunken heads though? The answer is yes, and then several more yeses!
There are shrunken heads, way more than you want, but there are lightning powers and voodoo cops too, and some second base action and nerd zombies and holy shit, there are multiple Elfmans including, briefly, Danny, there’s a Fonzi Meg Foster, there’s some war crimes but they PROBABLY didn’t mean it, there’s a maidenhead, an intact maidenhead! I’m not explaining this right, 1994’s Shrunken Heads, do you want to take over for me?
I highly recommend reading the rest of the episode description (and viewing some incredible images) on the 1-900-HOTDOG website HERE.
And listen to the podcast HERE.
Also, if you happen to be a 1-900-HOTDOG patron (which I highly recommend), you can listen to a bonus episode we recorded HERE.
Brockway plays a WikiWhy with Seanbaby and horror author Max Booth. It's an impossible mystery about leaving markers, spreading pain, and writing poetry, will they solve it and win Brockway's magical amulet? Of course not. The game is always rigged.
RECENTLY, ON PATREON…
Hey, speaking of Patreon, we have one of those things too! And sometimes we even update it, like we did last night! Here’s what you might have missed:
DAILY GRINDHOUSE COVERAGE
The kind folks over at Daily Grindhouse wrote up a nice piece about our publishing company and the Kickstarter campaign we’re currently running. Here’s an excerpt:
Though he’s been around for a while, in recent years, it’s been Max Booth III who’s been one of the big figureheads of the horror indy pub world. His Perpetual Motion Machine/Ghoulish Books imprints aren’t quite like any other publishers in this arena: You’re just as likely to encounter the expected Mothmen (Laurel Hightower’s BELOW) and cursed snuff films (Todd Kiesling’s SCANLINES) as you are, say, Georges Méliès-inspired romps about Victorian-era space missions (Danger Slater’s MOONFELLOWS) or Jean Rollin-esque psychosexual sagas about amnesiac women going to battle against pervert psychiatrists (Betty Rocksteady’s graphic novel SOFT PLACES). PMMP/Ghoulish, then, is less a standard horror publisher and something more akin to the literary equivalent of the grindhouse operations of 1970s Times Square: If it’s off the wall, dark, mordant, strange, weird, and most importantly interesting, they’ll deliver it. To open a Ghoulish book is to take a magic carpet ride into the unknown.
What’s more, Ghoulish can boast not only a publishing house but its own dedicated literary convention, The Ghoulish Book Festival, which became a resounding success in its inaugural year and which is coming back in 2023 with an even bigger slate. Currently one of the few genre writing cons dedicated to the Southwest (alongside Killercon), it also serves as demonstration of the power and talent of the writing scene here. Not content to rest on his laurels, Booth is looking to up the ante in ’23, and to that end, he’s dubbed this the Year of the Ghoul and launched a kickstarter (check it out here) to help level the company up, so to speak, to become bigger, more exciting, and more diverse than ever before.
Read the rest HERE.
Thank you, Daily Grindhouse! We were very touched to read that.
Finally, to close this already very late newsletter, I will spotlight a stupid joke I tweeted earlier today:
I only mention this tweet here due to the many equally terrible yet also amusing responses it received. Here are a few that especially made me laugh:
And, finally, the tweet that made me block Brian Keene:
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.
Reserve your ticket for Ghoulish Book Fest 2023.
You can also join us on the Ghoulish Discord.
See you next time, ghouls.
Thanks for reading The Ghoulish Times! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.