Enter At Your Own Risk!: Kendall Reviews talks to Author, Filmmaker & Musician, Christopher Alan Broadstone.

Christopher Alan Broadstone is the author of the horror novel PUZZLEMAN. A re-release of the novel and serialization of the book (with updates) is now available for Kindle and in Trade Paperback. Broadstone’s new novella A CATCH IN TIME is now available and the relative film, his latest, A CATCH IN TIME: CHAPTER ONE is now showing on YouTube. His short story, NOTE-TO-SELF, is included in the anthology JOURNALS OF HORROR: FOUND FICTION (edited by Terry M. West). SUICIDE THE HARDWAY: AND OTHER TALES FROM THE INNERZONE is an in-depth collection of BROADSTONE’s never-before-released short stories, screenplays, and lyrics/poetry. Currently, he is completing his second horror novel, HEATHER’S TREEHOUSE.

Serving as writer and director, he has produced three award-winning short films to date, SCREAM FOR ME (Best Short Film: NYC Horror Film Festival, Best Underground Short: B-Independent.com), MY SKIN! (Best Horror Short: Shriekfest Film Festival [L.A.], Creative Vision Award: International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival [Phoenix, AZ], Best Film/Director: Cinema Edge Awards), and HUMAN NO MORE (Best Horror Short: The Indie Gathering Film Festival [OH]). Also, he has completed two feature length screenplays, COLOR OF FLAME, an erotic ghost story, and, with actor/writer John Franklin (Isaac from “Children of the Corn“), RETARD (Best Horror Feature Screenplay: Shriekfest Film Festival [L.A.]). In toto, C.A. Broadstone’s films have been showcased on several horror compilation DVDs, have screened at 30 international film festivals, and have won 15 “Best Of” awards. All three films are currently available on Amazon as the anthology DVD, 3 DEAD GIRLS!

KR: Coffee?

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

On good days I’m a self-proclaimed “glass is half empty”, E-A-Poe-esque type personality that is nearly certain he isn’t one of “The Humans”, is constantly wondering when the Mothership will return, and has absolutely given up on Scotty ever beaming him up. And judging by that last sentence, I’m also clearly badgered by endless cliches. If you’re really asking about the Me-Me-Me epoch, well…once upon a time I was a professional musician/drummer/lyricist recording a few albums and touring with my bands “About 9 Times” and then “The Judas Engine”, have spent all of those years (and many more) completing my horror novel “Puzzleman”––then eventually gave up on ever succeeding in the ever-growing white-noise world of literature in favor of the ever-growing white-noise world of filmmaking. During this filmmaking period I completed 3 short films as writer/director, “Scream For Me”, “My Skin!”, and “Human No More”, which have been showcased on several horror compilation DVDs over the years, have screened at 30 international film festivals, and have won 15 “Best Of” awards. I also completed two feature length screenplays, “Color Of Flame” and “Retard” (Best Horror Feature Screenplay at Shriekfest Film Festival in L.A.) and which was written with actor John Franklin, who is best known as the evil Isaac in “Children Of The Corn” and “Children Of The Corn 666: Isaac’s Return”. I also compiled my three short films into a single DVD titled “3 Dead Girls!” (still available on Amazon). This DVD also includes hours of extras, with multiple audio commentaries by Christopher Webster, who Executive Produced Clive Barker’s “Hellraiser” and “Hellbound: Hellraiser II”. In the last five years I’ve returned to literature, mainly because I just couldn’t get the stories out of my head…and, as cruelty would have it, I felt the world of readers out their deserved to be punished by my relentless hammering on their doors, even if they wouldn’t read me. So, I re-published my novel “Puzzleman”, completed my collection “Suicide The Hard Way: And Other Tales From The Innerzone”, and most recently my novella, “A Catch In Time” and a related short film, “A Catch In Time: Chapter One”. Currently I’m in pre-production on a feature film which will combine my three previous short films and is titled “Human No More: The Feature Film”. I’m also involved with internet video and music revivals of my old bands “About 9 Times” and then “The Judas Engine”.

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

Well, I don’t like doing it, but mostly I pack up boxes of drums & percussion in a warehouse so I can make a living and pay my debt to society for all the artistic crimes I mentioned in my previous, overblown answer. This, of course, is where the “glass is half empty”, E-A-Poe-esque, guaranteed sociopath and likely psychopath-in-the-making kicks in. If I’m not working on projects or doing the box-stuffing thing I try to watch movies and read a little, before usually collapsing into sleep in the middle of said movies or reading, and then waking up before the sun and doing it all…well, doing the same for one more day. I think it was Einstein who said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. Yup, that about sums it all up for me. Other than to say that, not unlike Einstein, who was endlessly seeking a Unified Field Theory to combine weak and strong, gravitational and electromagnetic interactions, I seem to be forever bogged down with my own unified theory of music, literature, and film. If I were only focused on one thing I might be speedier. And in this world, quantity does seem to prevail over quality––part of the modern white-noise problem.

KR: What is your favourite childhood book?

When I was very young, I was deep into “The Great Brain” series of books, “Harriet The Spy”, “21 Balloons”, “Peter Graves”, and “The Phantom Tollbooth”. Those sort of books––the fantasies and esoteric adventures of social pariahs. After that I really got into Jules Verne, the “Dune” series, and Tolkien. I thought for a long time that I was a fantasy and sci-fi guy. But I was always fascinated by world religions and the occult and realized that my own attempts at writing were genuinely in the vein of the macabre. Once I embraced the dark side of myself, my writing flowed with greater ease, I relaxed creatively overall, and I bled grim philosophical tales into a rivulet that seeped straight into the backwaters of hell. I’ve felt very at home in that black, sometimes flaming, swamp. Even more so today. And I’ve also come to realize I’m very much like the characters in the earliest books that enraptured me. I’m not only a social pariah, I’ve become an outcast among outcasts. This is especially true for me in the category of horror. I work out on the fringes of what is genre fiction. I rarely venture into the popular municipalities of Vampirville or Zombie Town or Monster Mashup City. They hold little interest for me. Although, in contradiction, I love the classic horror films and books, such as “Frankenstein”, etc., as well as the show “Penny Dreadful”, which is an amazing monster mashup. The writing, dialogue, and performances are spectacular, in my opinion. Most scribblers can’t write with the emotional intensity, intelligence, and eloquence that John Logan can.

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

I can’t really say that I have a favorite album, but I’m a huge fan of Kate Bush (and similar), Rush, Slipknot, and jazz greats like Buddy Rich, Miles Davis, Coltrane, and too many others to mention. As a musician myself, my tastes are fairly eclectic. Mostly, however, I listen to film scores and have a large collection. I love the more emotive and melodic scores and often write to them. I heard Clive Barker once say that listening to soundtrack music while writing was misleading, as the music would make me believe the words had more emotion within them than they really did. I’ve never agreed with that thinking, and from the responses I’ve had to my cinematic and emotionally intense writing style, I’m positive the film scores I’ve exploited while writing have only served to put me in the proper mood and make the emotions explode from my pen…ermmmm, keyboard.

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

Yes, that would be myself. Just kidding. Like with music, I appreciate many directors, although my favorites are the more intelligent thriller directors like Hitchcock, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, and Kubrick.

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KR: What are you reading now?

Although my reading has lapsed quite a bit due to my limited time, I’m currently in the middle of “The Room” by Hubert Selby Jr. (which better get somewhere soon or I’m giving up on it) and “Breaking The Chains Of Gravity” by Amy Shira Teitel. On the latter note, I’m a bit of an outer space junkie, as well as a history junkie.

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

I was originally inspired to be a writer when I was in 5th grade, reading the books I mentioned above. Then Verne and Tolkien, primarily, and eventually Clive Barker and Umberto Eco. I appreciated Anne Rice for a while––me getting into all her historical infusion of the macabre. At a certain point, however, she just began to ramble-on page after page to me. Endless descriptions that went nowhere, so I stopped reading her after “The Witching Hour” and “Memnoch The Devil”, both of which I liked quite a lot. And I did find “The Tale Of The Body Thief” outstanding in regard to personalization of story and body philosophy. I suppose I should mention Stephen King, but he has come to bore me to tears. I prefer his earlier works up through “Tommy Knockers”. But overall, to me King is primarily a soap opera writer who decided the shadows were a bit more interesting than the sunny places on the street––I’m sure I’ll be further ostracized for saying that. Ultimately, regarding myself, I believe my writing is more in tune with Edgar Allan Poe, Clive Barker, and even Rod Serling. I am a devoted “Twilight Zone” fan.

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

I’m often inspired by a title or word I become obsessed with. Something I can’t get out of my head. I still have titles floating around my brain I can’t erase. But once I set myself to the task of writing I usually have a beginning and then a very definite ending. From there I make extensive notes, various outlines, and bits of inspired prose to be incorporated––all this to get me from A to Z. I even do this when writing the few short stories I’ve created. I prefer toiling on longer works though, as a general rule, but in many ways I don’t consider myself a “writer”––certainly not a “writer’s writer”––I’m more of a “story designer”, which very much plays into screenplay writing. I find too many literary authors to be terrible story designers. I can see very quickly that all they do is plop down everyday and tap-tap-tap on the keyboard and let out whatever comes into their heads. They meander and get bogged down in details that are unnecessary and ignore others that should be expounded upon. Too many don’t spend enough time “thinking” and far too much time “writing”. Often their endings are disappointing and it’s obvious they’ve written themselves into a corner––and yet oceans of readers seem to be OK with that. I’m not. Also, so many are blinded by getting to a bigger word count and not very concerned with the value of the content on each page. This is very true of new or wannabe writers. I care very much about every word and, thus, I write in a compressed––or dense––style that has multiple layers of information in single sentences and, ultimately, paragraphs and pages of prose that can be read again and again for more and more depth. I’ve had many readers read my novel and stories multiple times because they keep finding more and more in the writing. I’m extremely happy about that, because there are years and years of me in those pages.

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

My stories are often based on history or some occult or obsolete technology––such as the astrolabe in my short story “Note-To-Self” (Journals Of Horror: Found Fiction). I reinvented the astrolabe for my tale and it required a huge amount of research to do so. I really should have done more, but this was a project I was already late on deadline for (fortunately, deadlines are rare occasions for me). Sucking up much time is very true for my novel “Puzzleman”. In the beginning I put a solid year, or more, into researching world and religious history to write Part-4 of the book, one of the main characters being a professor of Classical History. My research can seem endless to me at times––and it can wear me down––which is also why it takes me a long time to complete anything. I am a very slow writer. Of course the density and economy of my prose contributes to this also. I’ll never be a story-a-day or a novel-a-year kind of writer. And that “www.nanawrimo.org” sort of thinking makes me want to commit murder far more than write anything.

KR: Describe your usual writing day?

I don’t have a usual writing day. I’m often working on my film projects or related band videos, websites, promotions, graphics, you name it––there is much that distracts me from writing and I go for long stretches without writing anything but a bit of notes here or there. But when I do finally get to my writing, I’m usually at it hard-core and for long stretches. The hours always vary. Again, I am not a sit-down-everyday and write kind of writer. Which, of course, is frowned upon by people who proclaim themselves to be “real writers” and “professional writers”, and also by all the memes and writing posts I see on social media. Uhgggggg, is all I have to say to all that. Actually I could say a lot more, but I’m going to be polite today.

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

I have a couple favorite short stories I’ve written, but I haven’t written many. My favorites are “Little Jimmy Combat” and “Roseblood”, which are included in my collection “Suicide The Hard Way: And Other Tales From The Innerzone”.

KR: Do you read your book reviews?

Yes, I read my book reviews. But I don’t get many and I struggle to get what I have. I do admit that I truly dread reading a new review, because I fear I will be emotionally demolished. But so far I’ve been very lucky. Although I have few reviews, they’ve all been outstanding and they cause me to continue laboring under the illusion that I’m actually worth reading. I wish more people would give me a chance. Really, just a chance is all that I ask. It’s fine if readers don’t like my work––I’m well aware I’m not everyone’s cup of King––but people actually need to read my books to like or dislike them. I am sadly under-read at this stage of the game (which is now in the decades range).

KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?

Well, my first advice would be the same as guitarist Billy Gibbons of “ZZ Top” once told me while backstage when I was a fledgeling rock musician. I asked him what wisdom he could bestow on someone like me. He said, “Get out while you can.”, which was preceded by “Where’s the pot, kiddies?” My first advice would be the same as Gibbons’ to any wannabe writers. And it would probably be more fun and profitable to simply pursue a career as a pot dealer. And that’s just speaking the honest truth, because if you really want to write––are truly serious about your writing––you will face many long hours of hard work, endless frustration, countless disappointments, begin to think the hangman is really your best friend, and you might still not ever be published or even read, except by a handful of friends. So, my genuine advice is simply this: ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK! And if it’s truly inside of you to write, you will do it no matter what. So get to it, if you must. And if you actually find you must, you should consider seeking psychiatric help, because you are a guaranteed masochist.

 

KR: What scares you?

The real world scares me. Real people scare me. The fact that most of the human race is obsessed by “eat, crap, screw and sleep” scares me. The “ball in hole” or “through hole” fascination of most people terrifies me. And that people pay tremendous amounts of money to watch it and make it happen––over and over again. The fact that life seems to really only be about “balls and holes” is one of my greatest nightmares. Getting balls into holes, that is. The Humans are genetically obsessed with holes. Which is very likely why the world is perpetually in one. And to add insult to injury, it seems now that every galaxy in the universe has, at its center, a voracious black-hole that is sucking gas, plasma, and every ball-like planet into it. I can only draw the conclusion that all of this is why sports are so popular and allow so many doubtful-intellects to make millions––they’re all about balls into holes––which is more petrifying than anything to me. Because those millions and billions spent could be used to further so much that is more interesting and even mind-blowing. All that energy and cash could cure cancer and feed the world, even. But no, much better to get a ball into or through a hole. Uhggggg…thus, therefore, and uh-huh, I guess it’s all a befitting end for “The Humans”. Score! And that’s the way the ball bounces, when the ball has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel anyway. Possibly a global-killing asteroid will give the ball a much needed push.

KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?

All of the above works for me. I’ve had very bad eyesight since I was in elementary school, so I’ve truly come to appreciate reading on my recently acquired Kindle. It’s easy to view in any low lighting condition, which is a great strain off my eyes. But I most definitely love real and tactile books, certainly hardbacks, which I enjoy having stacked around here and there just waiting for me to read them someday. They make me feel comfortable and at peace. That is, when they aren’t making me feel like garbage for not working on my own books.

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

My most recent book release is my novella “A Catch In Time”. It’s a great way to get into my work and other darker writing. The novella takes place in 1938, with the world on the brink of WWII, and is an alternative history a la the “Twilight Zone”. It’s also a very macabre, Poe-ish tale that suggests the rise and fall of the Third Reich happened a little differently than what is commonly accepted. The book is available on Amazon: A Catch In Time

As well, I spent most of 2017 creating a companion short film titled “A Catch In Time: Chapter One”, in hopes of inspiring readers to dive into the novella for the whole story. It’s a hybrid reading/film and has received some excellent response from critics and is up on YouTube. It’s also currently in submission status with quite a few film festivals. As a brief aside, and allusion to crossing over between film and writing, I was recently thrilled to have Frank LaLoggia (writer/director of “Lady In White” and “Fear No Evil”) read “A Catch In Time” and give me a superb comment. Please follow this link to other comments and to view the film: A Catch In Time: Movie

It costs nothing to watch, so please check it out, rate, and leave a comment on YT. Thanks.

KR: What are you working on now?

Currently, I’m working on pre-production for my feature film “Human No More”, which will combine all three of my short films and expand on the characters in the third film, of the same name. Detective Nemo will again be played by actor Tony Simmons, who has prominently appeared in all of my films. This will be a very different experience for the viewer, however, than any other anthology style movie. The thread of story and characters will be intense and focused on furthering an even larger plot for another film. As well, the ideas behind the other two relative shorts (“Scream For Me” and “My Skin!”) will be elaborated on, bringing to light new information with unexpected details. All the pre-production info and links to IMDb, the Teaser Trailer, and “Special CrashPalace(.com) Preview” can be found here: Human No More: Movie Page

The rest of the good news is I’m finally back to work on my second horror novel, “Heather’s Treehouse”. It has been packed away on page 300 for many, many years, as I’ve been distracted by my plethora of other projects. But I must finish it. It’s haunted me long enough.

Even so, it will be a challenge to do so while continuing work on my new film, which is scheduled to begin shooting this October. Other than that, I’m continuing to maintain webpages and process video for my bands, “About 9 Times” (≈9x) and “The Judas Engine”.

9x Online Store:

Vintage LPs & New Digital Downloads & T-Shirts

9x YouTube Channel:

Classic Videos: Please Subscribe

9x Facebook Page

Vintage Pics, Articles Trivia & More: Please “Like” & “Follow

The Judas Engine” Online Store: Coming Very Soon!

“The Judas Engine” Facebook Page

“The Judas Engine” YouTube Channel

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.

Hmmmmmm…can I hang out with a real person and one of my characters, since he’s my evil alter ego? If so, I choose my serial killer character Mr. Blight and Fiona Apple. Why you ask? Well, I understand Mr. Blight very well and he understands me. He’s also smarter than I am, which could be useful. In addition, Mr. Blight is one of the two main characters in my new movie “Human No More: The Feature Film” and we could discuss many aspects of story and character. We could also dream about the best ways to destroy all mankind. If we destroy each other, well that’s as good a way to go as any, I suppose. I’d like Fiona Apple along because I have a pathetic crush on her, I think my drumming would work well with her music, she’s a great lyricist and we could explore new musical prose, and I find her simply very sexy. Fiona Apple would also be outstanding entertainment in the “crazy department” because she’s clearly out there in LaLa World most of the time, which also seems to be a very shadowy place for her. If nothing else, she would be excellent observation material for me and Mr. Blight. The downside of Fiona is that she’s very thin and isn’t likely to last too long on a desert island. The upside of that is, I also have a fascination with bones. Mr. Blight and Fiona Apple is a win-win situation for me. Thanks for asking!

KR: Thank you very much Christopher.

To find out even more about Christopher please visit his official website www.blackcabproductions.com

You can follow Christopher on Twitter @BlackCabProds

Visit Christopher’s Facebook page here

Christopher’s Video/Film Post-Production Site can be found here

San Antonio Del Tequendama
Cundinamarca, Colombia
November 1938

‘My front door is broken, bleeding guts of shadows…’
‘…how do I find new skin…’
‘…among my desolate bones…’
“But this is nothing, right?” whispered Tatiana. “I’m still alive.”

These were her abstract thoughts as she stared like a saucer-eyed cat confronting a deluge––stared into her emerald green eyes in the large, heart-shaped crest-mirror hanging above the vanity table in her bedroom suite at Hotel “Bochica”, Salto del Tequendama.

Tatiana Marita Ospina has run away from her forced marriage to an aristocratic philanderer, and sought sanctuary at “Bochica”, a retreat for the rich and famous. The last thing she expected, however, was to discover a convoy of Nazi SS soldiers arriving at the hotel under cover of night, led by Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess.

In the darkest hours of the morning, Tatiana’s sleep is disrupted by strange, ghostly music and voices, which grip her imagination and compel her to explore the lower levels of “Bochica”, where she stumbles onto the true secret the hotel has been hiding: the occult mystery behind the rising Axis powers. Openly confronted by this insurmountable horror, she must decide if she can make the sacrifice necessary to accept her role in the secret history of World War II. But will it be destiny or damnation for Tatiana Marita Ospina, as well as for the rest of the world?

Weaving together psychological horror and alternative history with theater of the absurd, A CATCH IN TIME marks the triumphant and genre-defying return of dark fantasist Christopher Alan Broadstone following last year’s SUICIDE THE HARD WAY: AND OTHER TALES OF THE INNERZONE.

You can buy A Catch In Time from Amazon UK & Amazon US

SUICIDE THE HARD WAY: And Other Tales From The Innerzone –– collects 7 never-before-released stories of the macabre from Christopher Alan Broadstone, horror filmmaker (3 Dead Girls!) and novelist (Puzzleman). Each tale lures us down twilight byways instinctively sped-through and discounted by most, but never explored. Within these stories, however, we become lost, meandering onto backstreets and alleyways –– stumbling through the grim reality of introspection that always leads to a terrifying, nihilistic, and often brutal look into the soul: the Innerzone. –– Continuing this theme, SUICIDE THE HARD WAY also includes Broadstone’s 3 screenplays for his award-winning short films, Scream For Me (Best Short Film: New York City Horror Film Festival), My Skin! (Best Horror Short Category: Shriekfest Film Festival), and Human No More (Best Horror Short: The Indie Gathering). These films, anthologized as the DVD 3 Dead Girls!, are explored in-depth by film critic Matthew Sanderson in his original essay for this printing, titled: Madness And Meaning. To bring even greater insight to Broadstone’s filmmaking process, is the production diary kept by reviewer/filmmaker Lee Bailes, while working as Assistant Camera and BTS videographer on the set of Human No More. First published on the website The Rumour Machine, it is now available here, titled: The Making Of HNM: How An Englishman Spent His Summer In An L.A. Basement. –– Completing SUICIDE THE HARD WAY is a section compiling 32 of Broadstone’s previously unpublished dark, introspective lyrics and poetry, some of which are interpolated into his films, and many others of which are lyrics for music recorded and performed by his heavy grunge/rock band, The Judas Engine. Links to Downloadable Music are included in the content of this book. –– SUICIDE THE HARD WAY: And Other Tales From The Innerzone is an ambitious work that chronicles all facets of Christopher Alan Broadstone’s creative career: writer, poet/lyricist, musician, and filmmaker.

You can buy Suicide The Hard Way from Amazon UK & Amazon US

Fall into a world of Grumemonsters––hideous zombie-like creatures that thrive in a living hell created by the Puzzleman––”where no one is sane down a drain, and down a drain no one is sane.” Follow Amanda Zimmerman, a young sculptress despondently searching for understanding after the tragic death of her infant son… John Rainbow (a professor of classical history) and Jeannette Orfèvre (a beautiful French vintner) still longing for the love they shared during World War II… The legless man, seeking retribution and escape from a horror worse than death… And Ben Henfry, a retired detective itching to get back in the game… Disparate lives, yet each are meticulously woven together over time to play a special part in the Puzzleman’s twisted vision of eternal life. Into the black Cathedral Fleur du Sang and into the pipes they must go––into a terrifying world of Grumemonsters, where the inaccuracies of accepted history and the gruesome future of mankind are laid bare. For Amanda, Professor Rainbow, Jeannette, the legless man, and Detective Henfry, the Puzzleman is a personal demon awakened into a living nightmare––and it’s up to them alone to wage their fight for sanity and salvation. A fight that swells into a harrowing escape, spanning two continents and the supernatural perversion of time and dimension. Welcome to the Pipeworld. Welcome to truth and eternity. Welcome to the world of the Puzzleman… Where no one is sane down a drain. And down a drain no one is sane.

You can buy Puzzleman from Amazon UK & Amazon US

1 Comment

  1. Fun interview, Kendall. I enjoyed the frank answers given by Christopher Broadstone especially his advise to fledgling authors, wish I had this advise years ago, too late for me now, ha ha. I find that authors like Broadstone, who spend time researching and don’t just push books out every six months, end up giving us a much better book to read. Thanks to you both. Keep writing.

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