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SECRET GHOUL MYSTERY BOX???
The Ghoulish Times | 11/18/23
Hello and welcome to the latest issue of The Ghoulish Times. My name is Max Booth III and this is my spooky newsletter. Here are some things I want to share with you:
Introducing the Secret Ghoul Mystery Box, a Curated Surprise Perfect for Horror Fanatics
We are pleased to finally reveal the Secret Ghoul Mystery Box, a curated surprise perfect for horror fanatics. Maybe that means YOU, or maybe that means the weirdo cousin in your life you never know what to gift them for the holidays. Don’t worry, we have you covered.
The Secret Ghoul Mystery Box is a bundle of horror books curated from your personal preferences in the genre1. We will have you fill out a survey about your favorite and least favorite authors, books, and tropes so we can put together a collection of books we believe you will enjoy. Our surveys will also include a space for you to give us your Goodreads/Storygraph/etc link so we can double-check you haven’t previously logged anything we might send you.
The titles will remain a mystery until you physically open the package we mail you. The number of books we send you will depend on which monetary tier you choose. We have the following pricing options available: $50, $100, $150, $200, $300, $500. We even have a gift-wrapped option, along with the ability to leave a message for the special ghoul in your life. But also, it’s totally fine and even encouraged to treat yourself to a curated bundle. Don’t you think you deserve it? Don’t you think you’re owed something nice and spooky?
Saint Grit / Satanic Puppet
ICYMI, our latest publication, Kayli Scholz’s Saint Grit, is finally available through Ghoulish Books. You can order it directly from our GHOULISH.RIP webstore, or anywhere else books are sold. Here’s a fun reader photo from @billiamhollon over on Twitter with the book posed next to some sort of satanic puppet:
Note: I really, really want this fucking puppet. Someone needs to tell me how to get one immediately. Also, I’m fully aware this puppet might be some universally known character from something like Sesame Street. I am mentally prepared for the public backlash caused from my own ignorance.
The Horror Punchline
Over on Dog Ears (my publishing/writing newsletter), I published an essay of mine about something I like to call “the horror punchline.” Here’s a brief excerpt:
[The horror punchline is] the same thing as a comedy punchline: the third and final part of your standard joke structure. Your typical joke can be constructed out of three sections: the framing, the telling, and the punchline. Within each of these sections, you can still fit in other, smaller jokes, but it’s all leading to the punchline, right? The Big Joke.
The horror genre can be approached in the same way, I think, only you need to replace the word “jokes” with “scares.” Every horror book, every short story, every movie, they all contain their share of small scares and big scares, right? And the big scares usually aren’t effective without first experiencing the small scares. They all work together, crafted into one ongoing structure, subtly leading its audience to the punchline. The small scares usually exist to establish the story’s atmosphere. They’re trying to prepare you for the punchline. Even the coolest Big Scare in the world isn’t going to work if you aren’t already in the right headspace. Before a story can hit you with that ultimate punchline, it has to lure you into its world. Only once it gains your trust can it then go on to trick or surprise you.
The Odd Jobs of 7 Famous Writers
Also on Dog Ears this last week—a list breaking down some odd jobs of 7 famous writers. Potato chip inspectors, oyster pirates, cruise directors…you name it, and one of these authors have probably done it. Read the article here.
Dog Ears Q&A
Every month on Dog Ears I’m trying to do a q&a for subscribers. I’m answering questions about writing, publishing, any anything else you might be interested in knowing. Leave a question HERE.
Linda Blair Teaches You HOW TO GET REVENGE
On this week’s episode of Decayed Tapes, we’re talking about the utterly unhinged 1989 educational video HOW TO GET… REVENGE, hosted by Linda Blair from THE EXORCIST. How does this exist? Who is this for? How many of these tips would land you in prison? All questions we badly attempt to answer.
Susan Snyder Confesses to Having Never Watched THE HUNGER
This week Miguel Myers is joined in The Confessional by noted marine biologist, author and sharksploitation expert Susan Snyder. They discuss Tony Scott’s 80’s goth infused extended music video disguised as a vampire movie, The Hunger. Why don’t more people talk about this movie? Have Susan and Miguel figured out why? They also discuss Susan’s debut novel Nympho Shark Fuck Frenzy written with Christine Morgan, due out in 2024.
The Ghoulish Show - Halloween Special
The Halloween episode we recorded for The Ghoulish Show is now up on YouTube.
It features myself, Andrew Hilbert, Ryan C. Bradley, and Zach Chapman. It was filmed & edited by Michael Louis Dixon. I think it’s pretty fun. Not perfect by any means, but we enjoyed ourselves.
Also, I’m not making any kind of official statement right now, but I’m pretty sure that was probably the last episode of The Ghoulish Show we’re going to do, at least for a while. It might return as something else sometime in the future, but the way it currently exists is probably finished. This would be my decision. Nobody is shutting us down, or anything. I have reasons, but all of them make me sound like a gigantic baby, so I’m not going to bother getting into them right now.
Why Didn’t You Just Leave
The table of contents for Why Didn’t You Just Leave was recently revealed, and I am pleased to say that my story “AITA for setting my dad’s trailer on fire” is one of the stories included in the anthology.
Edited by Julia Rios and Nadia Bulkin, it will be published by Cursed Morsels sometime next spring.
Violet Prynne Reviews Rainbow Filth
Small Town Creepy Reviews Saint Grit
The Small Town Creepy site posted a cool review for Saint Grit. Here’s an excerpt:
So often when we see movies or read books about evil witches, possession, demons, etc we see it through the eyes of the victims. Here we get it through one of the “baddies” and in such a way that she never sees herself as evil or wrong which, to me, is even better.
Read the full review HERE.
I’m mostly drowning in editing projects right now, but I’m also finally reading Jason Pargin’s If This Book Exists You’re in the Wrong Universe, the fourth installment of his John, Dave, and Amy series, and—like all of his books—it is endlessly entertaining. I also recently finished Yellowface, which I enjoyed for the most part (maybe not bold enough for the premise, though; it could have gone much, much harder imho).
I watched David Fincher’s The Killer. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but it’s one of those movies where the more you think about it, the more you end up liking it. At least that’s my experience with this one. At some point, it finally clicked that it’s meant to be a comedy—specifically, about that one guy everybody knows at work who’s always saying shit like, “If I quit, this company wouldn’t be able to survive without me,” but in reality he’s terrible at everything and nobody actually likes him. That’s The Killer, I think.
I also watched the Albert Brooks documentary, Defending My Life. I’m a massive Albert Brooks fan, but I thought the doc was only okay. It didn’t need so many (or any) talking heads pieces. If it’d just focused on the dinner sit-down between Brooks and Reiner, I would have liked it a lot more. But it did inspire me to go back and revisit Real Life, which remains a classic. Not as great as Modern Romance, but still a really good time.
I’m hoping to catch The Holdovers soon.
The world might be utter shit, but at least there’s a new Nathan Fielder show on television, baby. And it’s a collaboration with Benny Safdie? Goddamn. Two episodes into The Curse, and I’ve never felt more anxious in my life. I’m loving it.
The latest season of Taskmaster has also been hilarious. It introduced me to a new favorite comic—Sam Campbell. Go check out his standup special, Companion, on YouTube. I’ve watched it twice already. Really funny dude.
Aesop Rock has a new album out called Integrated Tech Solutions and that’s mostly been on repeat lately. Plus, Poe released a new song (first new song in 20+ years, I believe) for Alan Wake II, and it’s so fucking good I can’t stop listening to it.
Speaking of Alan Wake II, I have become somewhat obsessed with the Alan Wake world.
Because I often seem to live under a rock, I only first learned about these games last month. The trailer for II looked really cool, so I bought the remastered PS5 version of the first game and immediately found myself sucked into it.
I have since beaten Alan Wake Remastered (along with both DLC episodes) and have started Alan Wake II—although, I’m only about 30 minutes into it, since I’ve promised my stepson I wouldn’t play it without him present; he’s enjoying watching it from a safe distance on the couch.
I’m not even much of a gamer, but there’s something about these games I find irresistible. I’m a total mark for weirdo horror shit inspired by Twin Peaks, Stephen King, and In the Mouth of Madness—the creator, Sam Lake, has never mentioned John Carpenter’s film as inspiration, as far as I could find, but to me the comparison couldn’t be more obvious.
Alan Wake rules and I love it so much.
I think maybe that’s everything for now. Goodbye.
Buy some horror books at the GHOULISH.RIP webstore. We have that good spooky stuff you’re always craving.
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