Bram Stoker Award winning author Grady Hendrix chats to Kendall Reviews.

Grady Hendrix writes fiction, also called “lies,” and he writes non-fiction, which people sometimes accidentally pay him for. He is the author of Horrorstor, the only novel about a haunted Scandinavian furniture store you’ll ever need. NPR selected it as one of the best books of 2014 and it has been translated into 14 languages and is being turned into a television show by Gail Berman (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and Josh Schwartz (Gossip Girl). They have never met Grady, but that is their loss.

His last novel was My Best Friend’s Exorcism, about demonic possession, friendship, exorcism, and the Eighties, out now from Quirk Books. It’s basically Beaches meets The Exorcist and it caused the Wall Street Journal to call him “a national treasure” and received rave reviews from everyone from Kirkus to Southern Living.

He also wrote Paperbacks from Hell, a history of the horror paperback boom in the Seventies and Eighties that followed the success of Rosemary’s BabyThe Exorcist, and Thomas Tryon’s The Other. It is so popular it won a Stoker Award, and while you may not know what that is, trust me when I say that it is a big, big deal that gets Grady 20% off all purchases at the Franklin Mint.

His next novel is We Sold Our Souls, a heavy metal take on the Faust legend, hitting bookstores on September 18, 2018.

Grady Hendrix used to be a journalist, which means that he was completely irrelevant and could be killed and turned into food at any time. He is one of the founders of the New York Asian Film Festival, but he is not responsible for the bad parts of it. He is also not Asian. For years he was a regular film critic for the New York Sun but then it went out of business. He has written for Playboy MagazineSlateThe Village Voice, the New York PostFilm Comment, and Variety. He has a hard time making up his mind.

There is a science fiction book called Occupy Space that he is the author of, and also a fantasy book called Satan Loves You which he wrote as well. Along with his BFF from high school, Katie Crouch, he is the co-author of the YA series, The Magnolia League. He co-authored Dirt Candy: A Cookbook, the first graphic novel cookbook in America, with his wife and Ryan Dunlavey. It’s now in its seventh printing which means that at least 24 people have bought a copy. His fiction has appeared in Strange HorizonsPseudopod, and the anthology, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination.

He is very, very beautiful, but if you ever meet him, please do not let this make you uncomfortable. He does not judge.

The New Yorker once ran a short profile of him, and this means that when the time comes and they are lining people up for the Space Arks he will be guaranteed a seat ahead of you.

The tea’s brewed…

KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?

I’m a writer who lives in New York, but I’m originally from South Carolina. I lived in Hong Kong for a little while, and spend many years of my life running the New York Asian Film Festival with some friends, which was a blast.

KR: What do you like to do when not writing?

After all that time with the New York Asian Film Festival, I stay off the streets and out of trouble by holding screenings. I love programming marathons, and I’ve been doing about one or two a year for the past three years. It’s always six movies, all on 35mm or 16mm, and no one knows the titles before they appear on the screen. It’s been a blast: I’ve done two Eighties marathons, one Seventies marathon, and a Hong-Kong-a-Thon (a few times).

KR: What is your favourite childhood book?

O.T. Nelson’s The Girl Who Owned a City, which is Seventies-era Objectivist propaganda disguised as a book about a world where everyone over 15 dies and an eleven-year-old girl raises an army and bends everyone to her will.

KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?

Right now, the Devin Townsend Project’s Transcendence is getting a lot of play, but I’ve spent a lot of time listening to Metallica’s Master of Puppets, Mastodon’s Leviathan, and a lot of Manowar’s “Fighting the World”. Needless to say, my novel coming out in the Fall is a heavy metal horror novel.

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KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director? 

Return of the Living Dead isn’t just one of the great horror movies of all time, it’s one of the best movies ever made. Period.

KR: What are you reading now?

I’m re-reading Joan Samson’s The Auctioneer so I can write an introduction to Valancourt’s re-release.

KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?

Authors didn’t really inspire me to write. I got way more influence from theater directors like Robert Wilson and Charles Ludlam, for some weird reason. The idea of creating an entire world with its own language the way they did really appealed to me, and books are where I was able to do that without having to yell at people to show up on time or making them learn lines.

KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?

Yes.

KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I write as an excuse to do research. I get outdoors and talk to lots of people, take notes, visit the locations, and generally spend months, if not years, doing research before I start to write. I usually start a book when I’ve done so much research I feel like I’m not faking it anymore.

KR: Describe your usual writing day?

I try to keep 8 hour days and shoot for 3,000 – 5,000 words per day.

KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?

Mofongo Knows” in the Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination. That great ape makes me very happy.

KR: Do you read your book reviews?

Never ever.

KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?

Quit. That way there’s more opportunities for me.

KR: What scares you?

Being poor.

KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?

Paperback.

KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?

My next book is We Sold Our Souls, a heavy metal horror novel coming out from Quirk this fall.

KR: What are you working on now?

My novel after We Sold Our Souls, and a couple of screenplays, all of which must stay mysterious and nameless.

KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?

You can choose…

a) One fictional character from your writing.

b) One fictional character from any other book.

c) One real life person that is not a family member or friend.

The most edible people possible, please.

KR: Thank you very much Grady.

You can follow Grady on Twitter @grady_hendrix

To find out more about Grady please visit his official website www.gradyhendrix.com

Please visit Grady’s author page here

Take a tour through the horror paperback novels of two iconic decades . . . if you dare. Page through dozens and dozens of amazing book covers featuring well-dressed skeletons, evil dolls, and knife-wielding killer crabs! Read shocking plot summaries that invoke devil worship, satanic children, and haunted real estate! Horror author and vintage paperback book collector Grady Hendrix offers killer commentary and witty insight on these trashy thrillers that tried so hard to be the next Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby. Complete with story summaries and artist and author profiles, this unforgettable volume dishes on familiar authors like V. C. Andrews and R. L. Stine, plus many more who’ve faded into obscurity. Also included are recommendations for which of these forgotten treasures are well worth your reading time and which should stay buried.

You can buy Paperbacks From Hell at Amazon UK & Amazon US

The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries—and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

You can buy My Best Friend’s Exorcism at Amazon UK & Amazon US

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.
 
To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

You can buy Horrorstor at Amazon UK & Amazon US

From Victor Frankenstein to Lex Luthor, from Dr. Moreau to Dr. Doom, readers have long been fascinated by insane plans for world domination and the madmen who devise them. Typically, we see these villains through the eyes of good guys. This anthology, however, explores the world of mad scientists and evil geniuses—from their own wonderfully twisted point of view.

An all-star roster of bestselling authors—including Diana Gabaldon, Daniel Wilson, Austin Grossman, Naomi Novik, and Seanan McGuire…twenty-two great storytellers all told—have produced a fabulous assortment of stories guaranteed to provide readers with hour after hour of high-octane entertainment born of the most megalomaniacal mayhem imaginable.

Everybody loves villains. They’re bad; they always stir the pot; they’re much more fun than the good guys, even if we want to see the good guys win. Their fiendish schemes, maniacal laughter, and limitless ambition are legendary, but what lies behind those crazy eyes and wicked grins? How—and why—do they commit these nefarious deeds? And why are they so set on taking over the world?

If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, you’re in luck: It’s finally time for the madmen’s side of the story.

You can buy The Mad Scientist’s Guide To World Domination at Amazon UK & Amazon US

Money, beauty, power, and love — the youngest members of the Magnolia League have it all. Some may call them lucky, but the truth is they’re charmed. Armed with spells, potions, and conjures from the powerful Buzzard family, the Magnolias have bought their luck…at a price.
Ensconced in the League’s headquarters on Habersham street, golden girl Hayes Anderson would never dream of leaving Savannah, where there’s no problem that can’t be solved with a cup of Swamp Brew tea. But when danger lurks and family secrets are unearthed, Hayes learns that magic can’t fix everything.
Across town at an old mansion on Forsyth Park, recent California transplant Alexandria Lee is on a quest to free her mother’s spirit from a hoodoo spell. As dark magic sweeps through Savannah’s historic squares and misty backwaters, will Hayes and Alex have the strength to save the people they love — and themselves?
Katie Crouch’s second Magnolia League novel is a beguiling story about family, friendship, and the magical ties that bind.

You can buy The White Glove War at Amazon UK & Amazon US

Creepy boyfriends! Scarlett fever! Poverty! Writer Grady Hendrix (Satan Loves You) and cartoonist Ryan Dunlavey (Action Philosophers) translate Louisa May Alcott’s 185,644 word required reading perennial Little Women into a snappy comic strip collection you can read at your locker in-between lunch and 3rd period English!

You can buy Little Women at Amazon UK & Amazon US

Amanda Cohen does not play by the rules. Her vegetable recipes are sophisticated and daring, beloved by omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan diners alike. Dirt Candy: A Cookbook shares the secrets to making her flavorful dishes—from indulgent Stone-Ground Grits with Pickled Shiitakes and Tempura Poached Egg, to hearty Smoked Cauliflower and Waffles with Horseradish Cream Sauce, to playfully addictive Popcorn Pudding with Caramel Popcorn. It also details Amanda’s crazy story of building a restaurant from the ground up to its success, becoming one of the most popular restaurants in New York City—all illustrated as a brilliant graphic novel. Both a great read and a source of kitchen inspiration, Dirt Candy: A Cookbook is a must-have for any home cook looking to push the boundaries of vegetable cooking.

You can buy Dirt Candy at Amazon UK & Amazon US

Managing Hell is the worst job ever invented and after several millenia of listening to the constant whining of damned souls, the Lord of Darkness is completely and totally burnt out. But there are no holidays in Hell, and now, in the face of a power grab by the officious and smarmy Heavenly Host, Satan’s got to reach deep and find a way to save his home from corporate takeover. 

Featuring hat-wearing chihuahuas, hyper-violent nuns with poor impulse control, and metaphysical wrestling matches, Satan Loves You is the book for everyone who hates boring books. Do you love romance? Do you adore fantasy epics about anorexic elves who sing? Is your idea of a perfect evening curling up with a cozy mystery and a nice cup of tea? Then go away! Satan Loves You is a high-octane injection of literary adrenaline that annihilates romance, kills elves, and makes hot tea explode into a massive fireball that will melt your face!

You can buy Satan Loves You at Amazon UK & Amazon US

Melville, SC was out of money, it was out of jobs, it was out of hope, and now it was out of astronauts. There’d only been two to begin with, and one of them was currently stuck up on the International Space Station, abandoned to his fate as both the American and Soviet space programs were cut to the bone due to budget problems. If you’re going to get anything done, you’ve usually got to do it yourself and so Melville’s burned-out, bored, and economically body-slammed residents decide to build their own rocket to bring their boy home. As they attempt to reach low earth orbit, they defy insurance regulations, shred international missile launch treaties, step on the toes of the FBI, and ultimately show that everyone’s got the right stuff, even if their house is underwater, they love beer a little too much, and they never graduated from high school.

You can buy Occupy Space at Amazon UK & Amazon US

 

Author Photo by Charlston City Paper

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