Trick or Treat! Kendall Reviews talks to Doorbells at Dusk contributing author Ian ‘Spooky’ Welke.

Ian Welke grew up in the library in Long Beach, California. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in History from California State University, Long Beach, he worked in the computer games industry for fifteen years where he was lucky enough to work at Blizzard Entertainment and at Runic Games in Seattle. While living in Seattle he sold his first short story, a space-western, written mainly because he was depressed that Firefly had been canceled. Following the insane notion that life is short and he should do what he wants most, he moved back to southern California and started writing full time. Ian’s short fiction has appeared in Big Pulp, Arcane II, the American Nightmare anthology, and the 18 Wheels of Horror anthology, amongst other places. His novels, The Whisperer in Dissonance (2014) and the Bram Stoker Award-nominated End Times at Ridgemont High (2015) were both published by Ominum Gatherum Media.

KR: Drink?

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

My name is Ian Welke. I’m a writer, gamer, and forever student from Long Beach, California.

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

Reading, gaming, learning… I think everything I like doing involves stories in some way. Television. When I was growing up, television was awful and sneered at. Now some of the best storytelling out there is on television, so I’m watching a lot more tv.

KR: Do you have any Halloween traditions?

I usually watch a horror movie a night in October. I’ve fallen behind on this the last couple of years, because I’ve gone back to school and always feel like I have to be studying something, but I like that tradition.

KR: Have you ever seen a ghost?

I can’t say it was a ghost, but I can’t say for sure what it was. It’s a common thing for people to see, a female figure draped in white. The thing that’s odd about it is that a lot of people who stayed in that house saw the same thing. When it was just my family I thought it was something genetic, something about my family that has a shared hallucination, but other people saw it and I haven’t seen it since I moved out of that house.

KR: Trick or Treat? Which would you prefer?

Treats. Tricks are too much effort.

KR: What is your favourite book to read in October?

There are a lot of books I re-read regularly, but they’re not related to the calendar. It’s more like, I’m depressed, I’m rereading Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy to cheer me up. I’m really depressed, I’m re-reading Lord of the Rings to escape reality entirely. Something Wicked This Way Comes is probably a good choice though if you had to pick one for October.

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

Music plays a huge role for me and writing. For longer projects I make playlists to help put me in the tone of the story. I have playlists for every genre I write in. As for favorite album… It depends on the moment. Here are a few favorites: Psychocandy by the Jesus and Mary Chain, Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, Red Roses for Me by the Pogues.

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

John Carpenter. The Thing, They Live, In the Mouth of Madness, Big Trouble in Little China (not a horror movie I know, but I love it).

KR: What are you reading now?

Right now I’m reading a book on Linear Algebra, so maybe not that exciting. I just finished reading John Langan’s The Fisherman and John Claude Smith’s Occasional Beasts, both of which I thought were excellent.

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

Tolkien was first. I learned to read properly because I wanted to read Lord of the Rings without being reliant on my father to read it to me. Later I think Philip K Dick was a huge influence, and then I didn’t really start writing until I was heavily influenced by Joss Whedon’s tv shows.

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

It seems like there’s a holy war between the outliners and the see where it goes people. I’m probably in the middle somewhere. I usually try and outline, it doesn’t work out. Then I write a bit, get confused, and wish I had an outline. The real trouble is, especially on novels, sometimes I outline, the plot changes as I go, and I don’t update the outline. Then life gets in the way and I don’t work on the project for a while and when I come back to it I’m horribly confused.

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

I’m addicted to researching. It’s really a problem. I started researching a physicist character a couple years ago. I’m currently enrolled in a Differential Equations class. I don’t even know what happened.

 

For my upcoming novel, Four Corners, I did so much research. The point of view character is a geologist. I took about two months reading textbooks on geology, researching tools of the trade, plus took two lengthy roadtrips to the area where the book is set. Then there’s the history of the region. I researched Uranium Mining, the Anasazi, the Pueblo Revolt, the Wild Bunch and Ann Bassett, Robert Oppenheimer, the writings of John Wesley Powell, offshoots of the Mormon faith, psychedelic westerns from the 1960s … much of this is only in tiny portions of the book but I put in like a graduate degrees worth of research for it.

KR: Describe your usual writing day?

If I have a full day I mostly write in the morning. I wake up early, do the caffeine regimen, and write until lunch. I write a bit after lunch as well. I’ve found I can extend that further into the afternoon if I take a twenty minute nap around two, but the morning is more productive for me.

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

For short story, I’d have to pick my story “Between” in Doorbells at Dusk. For novel overall, Four Corners. But my favorite bit of my writing are the Dean point of view chapters in my novel End Times at Ridgemont High, those chapters still make me laugh.

KR: Do you read your book reviews?

Yes. I know you’re not supposed to. I can’t help it. Maybe someday when there are more of them, or maybe I’ll seek the help I clearly need.

KR: Any advice for a fledgling author?

The best advice is probably read widely. But everyone gives that advice. Here’s some unique-ish advice: be careful of advice from authors. Listen to advice, it might help, but it might also only work for that author or at least not work for you.

KR: What scares you?

These days? What doesn’t scare me? I guess what scares me the most is that I won’t do something I should have. I won’t write a book I could have written. I won’t step up and say something when I should have. That’s frightening because it will mean I failed.

KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?

I prefer reading print. I retain the information better. That said, books have taken over my house and I’m running out of space, so if it’s something I’m not going to read again, I now prefer E-Book.

KR: Can you tell us about your story in Doorbells at Dusk Halloween anthology?

My story is called Between. It’s about a woman who is caught between two life decisions. She wants to ask the advice of the spirits of her parents, so she uses the date, the time between Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos and the uniqueness of Los Angeles (which is in many ways a city between realities) to try and conjure their spirits. Along the way… and I probably should’ve mentioned this story in the research question… she meets a host of spirits from LA’s past: Biddy Mason, Abbot Kinney, Darby Crash, Ruben Salazar… amongst others.

KR: What are you working on now?

Currently I’m finishing up fixes from the editor on Four Corners.

Once the semester is over, I’m eager to write this sci-fi in a fantasy setting book that I can’t stop thinking about. And then there’s a spy-fi series I’ve been doing research for the last six months on.

KR: You find yourself in a séance, which three people would you wish to be with you and why?

You can choose…

a) One fictional character from your writing.

Dean from End Times at Ridgemont High because he’d take anything in stride.

b) One fictional character from any other book.

Chrisjen Avasarla from The Expanse series because, particularly as this is the book version of her character, she’d know exactly what to say.

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

Henry Rollins because if the séance conjures anything scary, he’ll be there to scare it right back.

KR: Thank you very much Ian.

You can follow Ian on Twitter @mewelke

Ian’s author page can be viewed here

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About Doorbells at Dusk

Doorbells at Dusk, edited by Evans Light and from Corpus Press, is a treasury of brand-new short stories from both modern masters and rising stars of dark fiction, covering a gamut of horror, literary fiction and suspense that is sure to thrill both horror aficionados and casual readers alike.

Contributors include: Josh Malerman, Lisa Lepovetsky, Chad Lutzke, Amber Fallon, Curtis M. Lawson, Sean Eads, Joshua Viola, Ian Welke, Charles Gramlich, Joanna Koch and Thomas Vaughn, along with contributions from Evans Light, Adam Light, Gregor Xane and Jason Parent.

Halloween has always gone together with horror. The holiday gives many children their first taste of terror, and the discovery and overcoming of fears. For those who find they love a good scare, that first taste can grow into a voracious appetite.

That might be why you’re looking at this book right now. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find the thrills you crave, packed into a collection of stories that are pure Halloween.

After the successful release of the three-volume Bad Apples: Slices of Halloween Horror anthology series, co-creators Evans Light, Adam Light, Gregor Xane and Jason Parent of Corpus Press were driven by their love of the haunting season to use everything they’d learned to create the ultimate collection of Halloween tales.

Carve your pumpkins and turn on the porch light, the night of frights begins with the sound of…Doorbells at Dusk.

Praise for Doorbells at Dusk

Evans Light has pulled together a great collection of stories. There is not a disappointing one in the mix, and no two tales are alike.”One Legged Reviews

A delightfully rich collection, suffused with horror of many flavors and degrees, some subtle, some up- front. Whether you choose to sample one at a time, like bonbons, or devour the entirety, here’s a fine selection designed to keep you eager for (or fearful of) that special holiday, when leaves drop, woodsmoke scents the air, children quest for candy…and the Veil thins…”Haunted Reading Room

Doorbells at Dusk presents a fine sampling of tricks and treats for readers jonesing for some good and proper seasonal reads as the leaves turn color, a chill sets in, the world turns a little bit darker…”Michael Patrick Hicks, author Broken Shells

Available Now!

Doorbells at Dusk published on September 3 and is available NOW on Amazon in e-book and print and at book retailers worldwide. Add to your GoodReads shelf!

About the Contributors

Sean Eads and Joshua Viola are writers from Denver, Colorado. Sean has been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award, Lambda Literary Award and the Colorado Book Award. His first short story collection was published in 2017. Joshua is the owner of Hex Publishers. His latest anthologies include Blood Business and Cyber World: Tales of Humanity’s Tomorrow. His upcoming novel, Denver Moon, will also be released as a comic book.

Amber Fallon lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two dogs. A techie by day and horror writer by night, Mrs. Fallon has spent time as a bank manager, motivational speaker, produce wrangler, and butcher. Her obsessions with sushi, glittery nail polish, and sharp objects have made her a recognized figure. Amber’s publications include The Warblers, The Terminal, Sharkasaurus, Daughters of Inanna, So Long and Thanks for All the Brains, Horror on the Installment Plan, Zombies For a Cure, Quick Bites of Flesh, Operation Ice Bat, and more.

Charles Gramlich lives in the piney woods of southern Louisiana. He is the author of the Talera fantasy series and the SF novel, Under the Ember Star. His stories and poetry have been published in magazines such as Beat to a Pulp, The Horror Zine, and many others.

Joanna Koch is a fan of folklore, fairy tales, and anthropology. Her short fiction has been published in journals such as Dark Fuse and Hello Horror and included in several speculative fiction anthologies. Joanna is an MA Contemplative Psychotherapy graduate of Naropa University who currently lives and works near Detroit.

Curtis M. Lawson is a writer of unapologetically weird, dark fiction and comics. His work includes It’s A Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World, The Devoured, and Mastema. He is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, and the organizer of the Wyrd live horror reading series. He lives in Salem, MA with his wife and their son.

Lisa Lepovetsky has published fiction and poetry widely in the small press, professional publications and anthologies. Her work has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Cemetery Dance and many other magazines, and such anthologies as Dark Destiny, Blood Muse, and HORRORS!, among others. She earned her MFA from Penn State, and her most recent book is VOICES FROM EMPTY ROOMS, a collection of dark poetry.

Adam Light resides in northeast Florida with his beautiful wife and daughter, and their aptly, though perhaps not so imaginatively named Walker hound, Walker. He haunts a cubicle by day, writes horror stories at night, and virtually never sleeps. He is the author of several short horror stories, some of which have been published in his first collection Toes Up: Horror to Die For. He also has stories in the Bad Apples anthology series and Dead Roses: Five Dark Tales of Twisted Love.

Evans Light is a writer of horror and suspense, and is the author of Screamscapes: Tales of Terror, Arboreatum, Don’t Need No Water and more. He is co-creator of the Bad Apples Halloween anthology series and Dead Roses: Five Dark Tales of Twisted Love. Evans lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, surrounded by thousands of vintage horror paperbacks, and is the proud father of fine sons and the lucky husband of a beautiful wife.

Chad Lutzke lives in Battle Creek, MI with his wife and children. he has written for Famous Monsters of Filmland, Rue Morgue, Cemetery Dance, and Scream magazine. His fiction can be found in a few dozen magazines and anthologies including his own 18-story collection Night as a Catalyst. Lutzke is known for his heartfelt dark fiction and deep character portrayals. In the summer of 2016 he released his dark coming-of-age novella Of Foster Homes and Flies which has been praised by authors Jack Ketchum, James Newman, John Boden, and many others. Later in 2016 Lutzke released his contribution to bestselling author J. Thorn’s American Demon Hunter, and 2017 saw the release of his novella Wallflower. His latest, Stirring the Sheets, was published by Bloodshot Books in spring 2018.

Josh Malerman is an American author and also one of two singer/songwriters for the rock band The High Strung, whose song “The Luck You Got” can be heard as the theme song to the Showtime show “Shameless.” His book Bird Box is also currently being filmed as a feature film starring Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, and Sarah Paulson. Bird Box was also nominated for the Stoker Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the James Herbert Award. His books Black Mad Wheel and Goblin have also been nominated for Stoker Awards. Unbury Carol is his latest novel.

Jason Parent is an author of horror, thrillers, mysteries, science fiction, and dark humor, though his many novels, novellas, and short stories tend to blur the boundaries between these genres. From his award-winning first horror/mystery novel, What Hides Within, to his widely applauded police procedural/supernatural thriller, Seeing Evil, Jason’s work has won him praise from both critics and fans of diverse genres alike. His work has been compared to that of some of his personal favorite authors, such as Chuck Palahniuk, Jack Ketchum, Tess Gerritsen, and Joe Hill. Jason grew up near Fall River, Massachusetts, the setting for several of his novels. He has lived in New England most his life, currently residing in Rhode Island.

When he is not writing fiction, Thomas Vaughn is a college professor whose research focuses on apocalyptic rhetoric and doomsday cults. Most of his writing seems to stray through the realms of literary horror and dark magical realism. He has been fortunate enough to have stories accepted in four different magazines and anthologies in 2018 so far. He wrote the story in this one just for you.

Ian Welke grew up in the library in Long Beach, California. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in History from California State University, Long Beach, he worked in the computer games industry for fifteen years where he was lucky enough to work at Blizzard Entertainment and at Runic Games in Seattle. While living in Seattle he sold his first short story, a space-western, written mainly because he was depressed that Firefly had been canceled. Following the insane notion that life is short and he should do what he wants most, he moved back to southern California and started writing full time. Ian’s short fiction has appeared in Big Pulp, Arcane II, the American Nightmare anthology, and the 18 Wheels of Horror anthology, amongst other places. His novels, The Whisperer in Dissonance (2014) and the Bram Stoker Award-nominated End Times at Ridgemont High (2015) were both published by Ominum Gatherum Media.

Gregor Xane is the author of Taboogasm, The Hanover Block, and Six Dead Spots. His work has been featured in Stupefying Stories, Dead Roses, and the popular Halloween anthology series, Bad Apples. He is perfectly symmetrical.

About Corpus Press

Corpus Press is a publisher of Horror and Weird Fiction, specializing in modern pulp that emphasizes plot over gore. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, the press has garnered praise from SCREAM Magazine, Cemetery Dance, Horror Novel Reviews and Hellnotes for its BAD APPLES: SLICES OF HALLOWEEN HORROR series, the anthology DEAD ROSES: FIVE TALES OF TWISTED LOVE, and for its short story collections and novellas.

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