Discover more from The Ghoulish Times
The Ghoulish Times | 09/29/23
The Flesh Inherent | Bookstore Events | RIP Twitter
Hello and welcome to the latest issue of The Ghoulish Times. My name is Max Booth III and this is my spooky newsletter. A little bit about who I am and what I do: Along with my wife Lori, I run Ghoulish Books, which is both a small press and bookstore located in the Greater San Antonio Area. I write books and movies. I do podcasts. I organize book fairs. I rob graves and feast upon the dead. I watch Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune every night. I’m a big fan of dogs.
Hopefully that clears a few things up. If not, feel free to ask a question in the comments section and I’ll try to add clarity on any mysteries that might be plaguing you.
This is going to be a long-ish newsletter. I want to talk about a lot of things, including Fantastic Fest recaps and why I deleted my Twitter account after 12 years of building an audience there. But before I get into any of that, there are a couple important events and books I am obligated to share with you. Please don’t scroll past them! I know you are already thinking about it. Don’t do it!!!
THE FLESH INHERENT
Breaking news: we’ve just announced another book we plan to publish next summer: Perry Meester’s The Flesh Inherent.
Over on Twitter, here is what the author had to share alongside the Publishers Marketplace announcement:
My debut novella comes out with Ghoulish Books next year!!! It's a sticky sweaty body horror western about gay cowboys (one of whom is a trans guy!) who get their shit rocked out in the desert. Really can't stress enough how horny it is. I love it and I love the home it found!
I wrote the first draft of this book in the middle of figuring out what kind of man I wanted to be, and how to live in a body that didn't feel like mine. a lot of that is still in flux but this is a special one to me!
It's insanely cool that Max decided to give some gross cowboys a chance. I'm stoked for you guys to meet Sidney and Jamie and whatever else is out there.
I BELIEVE IN MISTER BONES
And, shit, since we’re sharing PM Announcements, this is probably a good time to post another one:
My next novel, I Believe in Mister Bones, will be published by Apocalypse Party next October. I’ve loved working with them on my collection Abnormal Statistics and it was a no-brainer to collaborate on another book. Really looking forward to this.
SEPT 30 - FREE HORROR MOVIE NIGHT
Saturday Night Spookies returns tomorrow night (Saturday, September 30th) at 8pm CST. Simply show up at our bookstore (Ghoulish Books, 9330 Corporate Drive, Suite 702, Selma, TX 78154) before 8 to secure your seat.
The event is free, although snacks and drinks will be for sale in our lobby. The movie we’re playing is a secret, and we won’t reveal the title until it begins playing at 8pm. But I will give you a hint: the movie includes one of the coolest novelist characters ever written into cinema. It’s also one of my favorite movies by one of my favorite filmmakers, and I can’t wait to rewatch it with y’all. (Optional) RSVPs can be done via the Facebook event page HERE.
OCT 7 - GHOULS NIGHT OUT: A Celebration of Spookiness
Come celebrate everything spooky with us at our bookstore Ghoulish Books in the Greater San Antonio Area. GHOULS NIGHT OUT will include 10+ local horror authors doing live readings & signing books, plus a scary costume contest with $$$ prizes, followed by a FREE MOVIE SCREENING of an infamous 1990s haunted house documentary.
The story readings will not all be kid-friendly, but you're welcome to bring your kid if you think they can handle it.
Authors lined up to perform (tentative list): Max Booth III, RJ Joseph, Celso Hurtado, Grace R. Reynolds, Michael Louis Dixon, Johnny Compton, Sanford Allen, LP Hernandez, R.C. Hausen, Ryan C. Bradley, Shane McKenzie, Lucas Mangum, Susan Snyder, and Andrew Hilbert.
View the Facebook event page HERE.
OCT 10 - LTWKOB RELEASE PARTY at LONGFELLOW BOOKS
This event is for all of our New England ghouls.
Come celebrate the release of E. M. Roy’s debut horror novel, Let the Woods Keep Our Bodies, at Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine on Oct 10th. View the Facebook event page HERE.
OCT 13 - FRIDAY THE 13th BOOK SALE
This October we are blessed with a rare Friday the 13th! What better way to celebrate than by offering 13% discounts on all purchases in our bookstore? Come on down to Ghoulish Books on the 13th for a fun, generous discount all day long! (Note: we will also have a 13% webstore sale active on this day for anyone who isn’t local.) View the event page HERE.
OCT 13 - WRITING CLUB
After our Friday the 13th book sale wraps up, we will then host a new writing club at our store. The current plan is for everybody to spend the first hour of the night quietly working on their own creative writing projects, then the second hour everybody will get a turn to read something they've recently finished or are still working on and receive critiques from the rest of the attendees. Bring something to write with (notebook, laptop, up to you) and something to read. You do not have to read anything if you do not feel comfortable, but if you do choose to read, please ensure you do not take more than 15 minutes. Snacks & drinks will be available to purchase in the lobby. This event is free. Event page HERE.
OCT 20 - GHOULISH BOOK CLUB
The October pick for our Ghoulish Book Club is BLACK HOUSE by Peter Straub and Stephen King! Come snag a copy directly at our bookstore while supplies last, then stop by Ghoulish Books on Friday the 20th @ 8pm for an in-person book discussion. Also, feel free to discuss the novel throughout the month in our Discord: https://discord.gg/cbtk7EdhSt
Event page HERE.
NEWS - “5 new Maine books to creep you out this fall”
The Bangor Daily News was nice enough to include E. M. Roy’s Let the Woods Keep Our Bodies on this list of five recent books either written by Maine authors or set in Maine that “scratch that autumnal itch.”
In another debut novel by a Maine author, Portland-based E. M. Roy spins a tale that’s equal parts mystery and horror with “Let the Woods Keep Our Bodies,” set to be published on Oct. 10 by horror imprint Ghoulish Books. Leo Bates, a young woman in the fictional Maine town of Eston, is wrongfully accused in the disappearance of Tate Mulder, and she must confront not just her own demons but also whatever supernatural thing is lurking in the woods where Tate was last seen.
Read the full article HERE.
“QUEER HORROR: A LITERARY GENRE IN FULL EXPLOSION”
Our very own Warren Wagner (The Only Safe Place Left is the Dark) was interviewed in this fascinating article on queer horror. It also references our Bound in Flesh anthology. The article is in French, so if you cannot read that language you’ll need to utilize your browser’s translation plug-in. Read it HERE.
MY HORROR CONFESSIONAL
Speaking of Warren Wagner—he is the latest guest on the My Horror Confessional podcast. Click HERE to listen to him discuss Night of the Living Dead.
And, in case you missed the previous episode, be sure to tune in to Kayli Scholz’s Maximum Overdrive discussion (and then go pre-order Saint Grit).
FANTASTIC FEST RECAP
The last week has been incredibly thrilling and exhausting. It was Fantastic Fest week in Austin, TX, which is the largest genre film fest in the country. I was lucky enough to have a badge for the entire week, which I was able to utilize Friday-Monday only—but still, what a wonderful four days of film watching!
Plus, on Monday afternoon we were lucky enough to host a spooky little book fair in the middle of Fantastic Fest, and it went extraordinarily well. Fingers crossed we can make this an annual tradition and host many more book fairs to come.
I managed to watch a lot of incredible movies during the fest, too. Here’s everything I saw: Property, You’re Not Me, When Evil Lurks, Blonde Death, The Coffee Table, Eileen, River, Crumb Catcher, Riddle of Fire, The Last Video Store, and The Last Stop in Yuma County. I didn’t dislike a single title. Some were obviously better than others, but all are worth your time once they become available. My #1 favorite was probably Riddle of Fire, but again, so many of them were such a fun time and I thoroughly enjoyed everything I watched. Check out my Letterboxd for ratings & brief reviews, if you’re interested.
FAREWELL TO THE CURSED SHITBIRD THAT IS TWITTER
So, I deleted my Twitter account last night.
Well, to be technical, I deactivated it. There’s not a simple way to straight-up delete it without first deactivating. Once 30 days pass without logging back on, then the account will be permanently erased. And let me tell you something—I cannot fucking wait.
Then I sat and stared at my post for a moment, and realized how desperate I’ve been for a real reason to delete it. So I decided fuck it, and five seconds later I’d deactivated.
I won’t lie. It feels weird, and a little…sad? Which only makes me embarrassed to admit. But understand that I’ve been on this site for…12 years now. At the time of my deactivation, I was a few dozen followers short of 10,000. I don’t think it’s inaccurate to claim I’d found some decent success there. It was significantly responsible for helping grow both my audience as a writer and Ghoulish’s audience as a publisher. It also, honestly, used to just be a fun, unhinged time on the internet.
But that’s all gone now. It was gone before I deactivated. It’s been gone for a while. There is nothing fun about Twitter anymore. Every day there’s another Musk temper tantrum that becomes the Main Focus of everybody’s attention, and it fucking sucks. I don’t want to think about this guy. But if you’re on Twitter in 2023, he’s all you’re allowed to think about. And you know what? I’m tired of being one of his products. He is a terrible human being, and every member of Twitter is someone he can sell and further profit from, and it’s a shitty feeling knowing this. I’ve tried to ignore the feeling, out of fear for how it’d impact readers discovering my books, but there’s only so many times you can log on to a website and think, Why am I doing this? Why the FUCK am I doing this?, before you go insane.
That said, I have no plans to delete the Ghoulish Books account, as I think it might be unfair to our authors not to champion their work wherever possible. But goddamn, man, it is so tempting to delete everything. What an absolute buzzkill.
Right now my primary social media will be Bluesky, which I’m sure is also engaged in highly unethical AI training operations. I doubt there is any platform at this point with their hands clean. I cannot stress how dumb it is that we even have to think about these things. It is such a waste of all of our time. We should be doing things that matter, like playing with our dogs and eating breakfast tacos and reading kickass books.
THE LAST HAUNT
My next novella, The Last Haunt: An Oral History of the McKinley Manor Massacre, comes out October 24th from Cemetery Gates Media. I am in love with the painting Trevor Henderson made for the front cover, and I am excited to finally share it here in the newsletter:
On the one-year anniversary of a young woman’s tragic death, an extreme haunted house attraction reopened its doors to the public. What happened next would forever traumatize a small Texas town. The Last Haunt is an attempt to make sense of the mysterious brutality that occurred on that fateful Halloween night. Constructed from interviews with the survivors, this oral history is the closest anyone has ever come to documenting the truth behind the McKinley Manor massacre.
Technically the book releases on Oct 24th, however if you happen to sneak a peek over at the Amazon page for the paperback, you’ll notice it’s actually available right now.
This “early sale” will only be active until Oct 1st, then Cemetery Gates will return The Last Haunt to its natural pre-order status. So, if you want to be a cool ghoul and read a copy before everybody else…don’t think, just click that PURCHASE button before it’s too late!
View our LINKTREE for ways to connect with us and support us elsewhere.