Hello and welcome to the latest issue of The Ghoulish Times. My name is Max Booth III and this is my spooky newsletter. If you’re new here, to briefly catch you up on who I am and what I do: I am the co-publisher and editor of Ghoulish Books (with Lori Michelle), the managing editor of Ghoulish Tales, the host of the GHOULISH podcast, the co-founder (again, with Lori) of the Ghoulish Book Festival, and the writer of several books (and, so far, one produced movie).
I live in San Antonio, which means right now I am drowning in snot due to something called cedar fever. It is…uh, not fun, but at least—much like my teenage years—I am doing my absolute best to keep the Kleenex industry in business.
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I am typing this newsletter close to midnight on the night of Friday, January 13th. In the morning, Lori and I will head downtown to the Wonderland of the Americas shopping mall to set up for a weekend-long horror popup market called Children of Horror.
We will be one of many spooky vendors selling horror-themed products over the next two days (our table’s speciality being, of course, horror books). If you’re local, consider stopping by and saying hi.
On January 3rd, we launched a Kickstarter for our 2023 Ghoulish Books lineup. As I write this newsletter, we are currently nearly 250% funded at $17,123 (we were over 250% but literally five minutes ago someone cancelled a massive $480 pledge, unfortunately).
This is very exciting. If you read my last newsletter, I mentioned being optimistic that we would hit our $15,000 stretch goal soon, and y’all did not let me down. This means The Book of Frank (a collection of flash fiction about my dachshund) is definitely happening. I even wrote a new story for it titled “Frank Launches a Kickstarter” celebrating our campaign’s success, which I’ll post in its entirety at the end of this newsletter.
Our next stretch goal is $20,000, which will increase writer payment for Ghoulish Tales from 7c per word to 10c per word. After that, we have another stretch goal at $25,000, which will help us produce audiobooks of our 2023 lineup.
If you can help us reach these goals, or at least spread the word, we’d sincerely appreciate it. Thank you, either way.
It’s been over a month since I’ve posted a new episode of the GHOULISH podcast, so I am pleased to announce we are back, baby! And with one hell of an exciting episode/guest…
Kyle Edward Ball is the writer & director of SKINAMARINK, out now in theaters worldwide and soon to be streaming on Shudder. On today’s episode of GHOULISH, he joined me to discuss nightmares. How do you recreate people’s nightmares into films? How important is atmosphere in horror? What the hell does the word “skinamarink” mean? All of these questions are answered in the episode, and much more. Tune in, ghouls!
LAIRD BARRON GOFUNDME
One of the best modern horror writers of our time, Laird Barron, is currently battling a major health crisis. Friends of his are seeking help with medical costs via GoFundMe. I donated some, and I hope you consider doing the same, if you’re able to. Every little bit helps. Donate HERE.
OH YEAH, WHO SAID SO?
In my last newsletter, I mentioned driving up to Wimberly with Lori for a live radio interview. Well, that interview has now been released in podcast form on the What We Know What We Don’t show, which you can listen to right HERE. The episode is titled “Oh Yeah, Who Said So?” for reasons that become pretty clear early on in the recording.
BOOKS IN THE FREEZER
On the latest Books in the Freezer episode, podcast host Stephanie Gagnon discussed some of her most anticipated books of 2023, and even gave some fun shoutouts to Ghoulish Books publications like Bound in Flesh and Conjuring the Witch.
7 RESOLUTIONS EVERY WRITER SHOULD CONSIDER
After taking a year break from writing for LitReactor, I’ve returned with a new article about writer & reader resolutions. Here is the first resolution discussed:
Read That One Author You've Been Meaning To For Years
Every reader has that one author they’ve wanted to read for years and years, yet for whatever reason they’ve never gotten around to it. For me, that writer is Philip K. Dick. I understand what kinds of books he wrote, and know a little bit about their plots, and there’s little chance I won’t love his entire bibliography.
So why haven’t I pulled the trigger yet? I’m not sure. I guess I feel the need to save his books—but for what? As a little treat, something for me to enjoy once I have more free time (on my deathbed). There’s really no excuse at this point. A couple years back, my now-late mother gifted me that Library of America boxset of his entire works for Christmas, and it’s just been sitting on my bookshelves since, collecting dust.
I’m sure everybody has a similar situation. Who is the author you’ve been meaning to read since forever? Are you going to finally break the streak and see what they’re all about? You really should. How much longer do you expect to be alive, anyway? Time’s ticking, buddy. Let’s go.
For me, this is the year I finally crack one of these hardcovers open. This is the year I treat myself to some Dick.
Read the rest of the article HERE.
I’d also love to hear in the comments if you have an author you’ve been meaning to read, and who that might be. Is this the year you finally read them? It better be.
RECENT PATREON POSTS
FRANK LAUNCHES A KICKSTARTER
And now, a new flash fiction for the upcoming The Book of Frank collection, featuring my dog Frank.
"FRANK LAUNCHES A KICKSTARTER"
by Max Booth III
WHO I AM
My name is Frank(enstein’s Monster’s Dog) Henenlotter Columbo Booth. I am a 2-year-old dachshund who has traveled all over the United States through various time periods. I was on Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. I was in Waco, TX on April 19, 1993. I was even taking the best dump of my life somewhere near 10050 Cielo Drive in August of 1969. I am not here to explain how I’ve managed to accomplish these feats; I am merely letting you know this is who I am, and this is what I’ve done. I am a dog who has accomplished more than you are likely to ever even come close to getting done. Do not be jealous. Simply accept that some dogs are better than you. It is an unpreventable fact of life.
I’ve decided to launch a Kickstarter for a couple reasons. For one thing, I need money, and it is famously difficult for dogs to earn an income without debasing ourselves by performing tricks on live television. Even then, by the time our management has taken out their cut, it’s barely worth the effort. More importantly, I have invented something every dog will want, and I suspect Kickstarter is the best platform to get it in front of as many eyes as possible.
WHAT I’VE INVENTED
Every successful and profitable invention is a solution to a universal problem. I know that. I’m no idiot. I’m a dachshund, one of the smartest breeds out there.
Recently I discovered a problem that I did not know existed. My human decided to take up a new and perverse hobby: placing his lips on my belly and spitting wet air. For reasons that still baffle me, he insisted on labeling this torture technique “blowing a raspberry.” Considering, like many dachshunds, I am completely bald on my underside, this whole experience was quite unpleasant. I tried to warn my human against continuing this act, but he only found my growls and nose-nips “adorable” and “hilarious.”
After Googling around various canine message boards, I learned that many other dogs have also faced this problem with their humans. Clearly more drastic measures needed to be taken, I realized, otherwise this hell would never end.
Which led me to invent the Raspberry Ricochet.
As demonstrated in my campaign video, the Raspberry Ricochet is a simple mesh belt that you strap over your stomach. It’s lightweight and does not get in the way of normal day-to-day activities. And, of course, under the belly section of the belt, hidden away in a secret compartment, is a tiny paw-sized pistol loaded with a single bullet.
Those familiar with Tom Savini’s Sex Machine character in From Dusk Till Dawn will recognize this device immediately. However, unlike Sex Machine’s crotch pistol, this stomach gun can only be activated by a strong enough gust of wind emitted solely from the mouth of a human.
I will not elaborate on the science, so do not ask.
What’s important is I have created the perfect self-defense weapon for unwanted raspberries. No longer do we have to be afraid of what might happen to our stomachs after rolling over. No longer do we have to live in fear.
If my Kickstarter campaign is successful, I will begin getting these Raspberry Ricochets mass-produced so that every dog on this planet can feel safe again.
RISKS AND CHALLENGES
I have already tested out my prototype with my human, and I do admit there are a few hiccups here every dog must decide if they’re comfortable risking before deciding to equip themselves with my Raspberry Ricochet.
The big—and perhaps obvious—risk pertains to what happens after the Raspberry Ricochet has been activated.
As previously stated, once a human blows onto the device, a tiny gun will pop up and fire one bullet. And, due to typical human biology, this bullet will most likely be shot directly into the human’s mouth, and then exit through the back of their skull. For most humans—certainly for my human, at least—this will result in immediate death.
Which means you will then have to figure out how to replace your human. As many of us know from experience, this can sometimes be a long and frustrating process.
However, I remain confident that after enough public reports of the Raspberry Ricochet demonstrating its use have been published, humans will finally understand the message, which is the whole point of my invention’s existence:
Stop blowing on our fucking stomachs, you creeps.
P.S. I apologize in advance for shipping costs to addresses out of the United States. Unfortunately the postal service has given me no choice there. Thank you for understanding.
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).
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Reserve your ticket for Ghoulish Book Fest 2023.
You can also join us on the Ghoulish Discord.
See you next time, ghouls.
And, let’s face it, also my adult years…
If you’re not local, it’s probably not worth driving all the way down here, unless you’re some kind of insane diehard Children of the Corn fanatic, I guess. Then by all means, make the trip down here!
This is actually based on a true story. I recently tried this on my dog Frank and he flipped the fuck out. Never give a dog a raspberry. It will not end well for anybody.
I absolutely love the works of PKD. Would be interested to know where you plan on kicking things of for your Year of Dick Treats!
As for an author I’ve yet to sample, it’s my mother’s favorite writer Dick Francis.
Good onya Frank! It's about time dogs reclaimed their dignity.