The Ghoulish Times | 06/20/22
Ghoulish Book Festival Returns!
Hello and welcome to the latest issue of The Ghoulish Times, a newsletter written by me, Max Booth III, a person who once wrote a book about a family stuck in a bathroom because I thought it would be funny, and then somehow it got turned into a movie. I am the co-founder of Ghoulish Books, the host of the GHOULISH podcast, and the co-founder of the Ghoulish Book Festival. If you are interested in any of the things I just mentioned, then you will find something worth reading in today’s newsletter. Otherwise, godspeed.
These newsletters were originally intended to come out once a week. This is a goal I set for myself because I know people tend to appreciate consistency. I am beginning to come to terms with the fact that I am not a very consistent person, and that’s okay.
I think, especially with indie creatives, it’s very easy to fall into this trap of tricking yourself into thinking that an anonymous crowd of strangers are constantly expecting something from you. Fans exist, of course. Sometimes fans are eager for new material. But I think it’s only under rare circumstances when someone is actively disappointed or angry with you for not putting something out at a steady pace.
I think the reality actually is everybody is drowning in new stuff every single day that they probably don’t even notice when someone falls behind a little. But man. It sure is easy for our brains to convince you that you are a disappointment to someone, or to many people, which only serves as a slippery slope into deeper anxiety and depression. The threat of “disappointing someone” is so goddamn overwhelming sometimes—not just for myself, but probably for everybody. I don’t know if creatives feel this more than others. I kind of doubt it. We aren’t as special as we like to pretend to be.
This feels more like a universal problem, probably intensified with the invention of social media, where we are constantly seeking approval from thousands of strangers we wouldn’t otherwise give a shit about. None of this stuff can be good for us. But then again, I doubt Diet Coke is good for you either, yet I keep draining room-temperature 2-liters directly into my anus through a car funnel in front of my neighbors, so what do I know?
BADGES & VENDOR SPOTS NOW OPEN FOR GHOULISH BOOK FESTIVAL 2023!
Back in April, we launched the debut Ghoulish Book Festival. People visited from all over the country to celebrate everything spooky with us. Check out Teresa Ardrey’s delightful write-up of the event over on Ladies of Horror Fiction.
Also, ICYMI, we’ve slowly been uploading the panels and readings to our YouTube channel. Check them out HERE.
It was one of the best weekends of our lives, and we are desperate to repeat it. Not only repeat it but make it even better. And longer. Two days simply were not enough, we think. Which is why we’re bringing the festival back next year, and this time we’re expanding it to three days.
Three days and three floors of horror, baby!
The Ghoulish Book Festival is RETURNING! Tell your friends. Tell your enemies. Tell your lovers. Tell your neighbors. Tell everybody. Scream it from the rooftops. Post about it on social media. Call your congressmen.
Our spooky book festival will be occurring on April 14, 15, and 16 of 2023.
We will be located at the same venue as last time, in downtown San Antonio.
We will have new guests of honor, new panels, new events, and other fun surprises–all of which we will announce in due time.
Note to vendors: Due to limited space, we will be taking applications for tables through
July 30, 2022. ** EDIT: Due to an overwhelming amount of vendor requests the last two days, we will be closing for requests earlier than originally stated. The cut-off date is now this Friday, June 24th. Sorry for any inconvenience. Remaining open any longer would just result in disappointing more people with further rejections. Those accepted for vendor space will be contacted in July.
Also, just like last year, the bookstore section of the festival will be free & open to the public. Badges are only necessary for those interested in attending panels, readings, and other fun events. Plus, they go a long way to helping us fund the actual festival. These things are, uhhhh…not cheap!
Follow us on Twitter for future updates.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can’t wait to see y’all in person again!
WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING RELEASES ON DVD & BLU-RAY
My gross lil’ bathroom horror movie, We Need to Do Something, came out last week on DVD and Blu-Ray. It’s also streaming on Hulu if you hate physical media for some reason. The movie is for sale at the usual places you buy Blu-Rays. I know most Best Buys have them in stock. Some Walmarts? It’s also on Amazon, but I’m not going to link to Amazon in this newsletter. Think of it as a treasure hunt. If you come upon one for sale in the wild, take a pic and tag me on Twitter. I find these sightings very exciting.
Here’s a pic of me holding my copy:
Someone on Instagram tried to share the above picture in their stories, and Instagram removed it for violating their “sexual solicitation” guidelines—which is of course very flattering, thank you.
Unfortunately, the physical media editions do not contain any bonus content, despite recording a DVD commentary track with the film director, editor, and myself, plus several very fun deleted scenes that we offered to provide. I was not told the official reason as to why nothing was included, but I imagine it has to do with literally nobody in charge of producing the discs giving a single shit about the project.
Ah well! Maybe I’ll just leak all of the bonus material myself…
RECENTLY, ON GHOULISH…
ICYMI, here are the latest episodes of the GHOULISH podcast:
THINGS I’VE ENJOYED LATELY
The Card Counter, now on HBO Max. Paul Schrader might be my real father. I’m not saying there’s been an official blood test, but I’m also not saying I haven’t secretly obtained a sample of his blood from eBay. This movie blew me away, which wasn’t much of a surprise. The soundtrack is also excellent, scored by one of the members of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Highly recommended.
RRR is, of course, one of the greatest movies ever made, but you already knew that by now.
Cha Cha Real Smooth is the second movie from Cooper Raiff (Shithouse), and I enjoyed this one even more than his first one. It’s rare for movies with genuine, non-ironic emotion these days, I think, but Cooper’s tapping into something special with his work. I can’t wait to follow his career.
On the Count of Three is one of the darkest comedies I’ve seen in a while. As someone who frequently wants to kill himself, this movie really connected with me. I’m going to be returning to this one often, for sure. Seek this out immediately if you haven’t already. I can’t stop thinking about it.
I haven’t had the best luck reading lately, probably because I’m deep into slush for our novella open call, so any other reading has kind of taken a timeout. That said, I’ve been slowly dipping my toes into Joe Koch’s Convulsive, which I’m enjoying. Same goes for Joan Samson’s The Auctioneer and William Boyle’s Shoot the Moonlight Out. All three of these are worth checking out, absolutely.
Columbo. To be honest, I mostly just watch Columbo now. Here is my dog, Frank Columbo, doing his best Columbo impression:
WHAT I’M WORKING ON
I finished a novella called Indiana Death Song. I’ve probably been attempting to write this story, in some form or the other, for the past 15 years. The current version that I finished was started almost 2 years ago. It’s no exaggeration to say this was probably the most difficult and more personal thing I’ve ever attempted to write. And now it is done. It will be included as the opening story for my debut collection, Abnormal Statistics, coming March 2023 from Apocalypse Party. The collection will also include two other original stories I’ve recently completed, titled “Abduction (Reprise)” and “List of familicides in the United States (by decade)”, along with ten reprints. The theme of the collection is familial horror. All I need to do next is give the collection one final proof, finish the story notes, maybe write an introduction, then send it in to my editor. Very excited about this book.
I’m also deep into a vampire novel called She Creeps. I’m having fun with it. Especially after coming off of something so goddamn emotionally draining like Indiana Death Song. That novella was brutal to work on. I’m so glad it’s over haha.
Besides that, I’m mostly focusing on various publishing tasks for Perpetual Motion Machine, Ghoulish Books, and Dark Moon Digest. A lot of behind-the-scenes work. I know I owe some articles for my other newsletter, Dog Ears, so I’m going to be busting my ass on getting several new pieces pumped out before the end of the month. Depression really fucked me the last two months. I don’t know if it was related to being in the final stretches of Indiana Death Song, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that somehow factored into my mental health. It’s no shock that suddenly I’m feeling a lot better now.
I also haven’t been the best about scheduling new recordings for the GHOULISH podcast (thankfully I have a bit of a backlog already recorded due to the live episodes from the book fest), so I’m going to hop back on the podcast train here soon. I feel a bit rusty, to be honest. Not sure I remember how to do one of these. Where’s the RECORD button again…?
I’m trying to eat better. I’m trying to exercise more. The sun in Texas is melting all of us alive and everything is disgusting and sweaty and I’m so hungry. But at least there is Columbo.
APPROACHING WRITING DEADLINES
Bound in Flesh: An Anthology of Trans Body Horror edited by Lor Gislason | Deadline July 31st | GUIDELINES
Night Frights Issue #3 (YA Horror) edited by Lori Michelle | Deadline August 1st | GUIDELINES
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, and Twitter (PMMP | DMD | Ghoulish podcast | Ghoulish Books | personal). Reserve your ticket for Ghoulish Book Fest 2023. You can also join us on the Ghoulish Discord.
See you next time, ghouls.