All posts tagged Hollywood

My Review of Nancy Bacon’s “Legends and Lipstick: My Scandalous Stories of Hollywood’s Golden Era”

Published September 25, 2018 by glgiles

Legends and Lipstick Cover

There are many remarkable attributes of Nancy Bacon. To start with, her warm, inviting personality shines throughout this memoir. She’s also insightful, nonjudgmental and funny! I wasn’t expecting to laugh as much as I did, but she’s humorous in an oftentimes unexpected way. Her natural optimism shines throughout, and it’s certainly admirable that she can laugh through adversity. Her ‘boob history’ (boob her-story? 🙂 ) recounting is hilarious—joking through the real life horror is quite praiseworthy. Wordplay abounds and her descriptions are delightfully detailed. Hollywood’s Golden Era is palpable as is her heartbreaking struggle with alcoholism.

She did more than merely rub elbows with some movie idols in Hollywood’s Golden Era. Yet, she was discreet, and it’s readily apparent that she deeply cared for them. But, this is no book of Hollywood fluff, for there are some stories which are somewhat scarring to hear (I listened to this memoir via Amazon’s Audible). A major female Hollywood star of the Golden Era who was into brutality comes to mind first, and one of Ms. Bacon’s abusive boyfriends next. Yikes! However, these examples aren’t in the same ballpark with the light BDSM that she experienced later on (but long before E.L. James’s “50 Shades of Grey” made BDSM more mainstream) with a love interest. Ms. Bacon was ahead of her time in some respects, yet she also had a finger on the pulse of the times she experienced. Plus, her life wasn’t filled with just movie stars, as she also spent time with famous men in politics. Impressive is an understatement!

In closing, the expression to ‘pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps’ comes to mind as her beginnings were modest, yet she achieved so much by her own ingenuity and positive outlook. In fact, she was also a magazine editor, co-author of “Whitney Houston: Good Girl/Bad Girl,” and she wrote 10 romance and adventure novels.

Highly recommended!

G.L. Giles


So NOT Another Mundane Memoir (Both Heartfelt & Hot!!)

Published May 1, 2017 by glgiles

My Review of “So L.A.:  A Hollywood Memoir” by Staci Layne Wilson

So LA Cover


Back of So LA


Right from the onset, Wilson reveals that she was “born in Hollywood to a rock star dad and a pinup model mom.” If anyone deserves the title of ‘Hollywood Royalty,’ then she most certainly does!

I had the good fortune of ‘cyber meeting’ Staci way back when MySpace was stylized just that way:  MySpace. Even before it changed to Myspace. I think it must’ve been circa 2005, as I don’t think Staci even had her trademark look blue-streak hair yet (Hmmm…I wonder where Blue Streak Productions got its ‘roots?!’). Speaking of hair, that’s what drew me to her  MySpace page, initially. Well, that and her wonderful sense of humor! She had a profile picture up on MySpace of her long locks (a la Cousin Itt, with her back to the camera) and the caption “Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” That still makes me smile even as I write this.

Her knowledge of ‘Old Hollywood’ is extensive (perhaps par for the course with her Hollywood Royalty Roots). Yet, it’s not just the famous names she honors that makes this memoir a captivating read, it is the city of Los Angeles itself. She breathes life into the buildings and landscapes of old and new with her detailed and richly layered insider knowledge.

Though she’s definitely the product of her parents’ journeys, she also, quite remarkably, forged her own more darkly delightful artistic paths while at the same time rescuing horses, rats, cats, ferrets, et cetera. But, that doesn’t mean her own journey was easy. It wasn’t. In fact, she struggled both emotionally and monetarily for years, but she overcame all with a non-judgmental attitude, even against those who’d caused her so much pain.

Her creativity is boundless, and in a society where much art has become homogenized from fear of social media backlash, etc., hers stands out for both its perfection and almost resistance to the mundane tide. I admire the hell outta that!


G.L. Giles

































































Interview with a Sultry Screenwriter and Film Director: Staci Layne Wilson!

Published July 9, 2014 by glgiles

Staci Layne Wilson is a screenwriter and film director whose artistic muses often lead her into the Twilight Zone. Some of the places you can find her darkly delightful work:

Keepsakes Book Trailer – https://vimeo.com/87879097

Self Portraits Book Trailer – https://vimeo.com/88459015

Fetish Factory Film Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZyr2iuaiDE

“Keepsakes” on Amazon Kindle here.

“Keepsakes” Audio Book here.

Q. Sincera Alexander’s voice draws the listener in from the first word of the audiobook “Keepsakes.” I especially loved “Mood Ring.” How did you know that Sincera Alexander, KK Rider, Kurt Lambert and others would be perfect for the parts?

A. Thanks. “Mood Ring” is one of my favorite tales, too. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea that objects can be imbued with evil… cursed, if you will. “Mood Ring” is a story that needed an unusually silky, sensuous voice, because the subject matter is highly seductive. Usually, I draw from my pool of talented friends and colleagues. But in this case, it had to be pretty specific so I sent out a public casting notice. You would be amazed at how many actors applied… whose voices were absolutely nothing like I’d specified in the casting notice! Instead of Barry White, I got a bunch of guys who sounded more like Betty White! Crazy. Fortunately, Sincera was one of the first actors to audition, and he nailed it. KK was the right choice for “Death-Sized”, because she’s got a snarky, plucky delivery which makes the dialogue really pop. She went the extra mile to learn a Cajun accent, and how to pronounce the provincial expressions I used in my writing. Although the story doesn’t take place in Louisiana, it’s all about happens when a tiny voodoo doll comes to life and has big, bad plans. Curt is an actor whom I’ve known socially for about a year – so, from listening to his hilarious impressions at parties, the way he quotes classic movie dialogue, and knowing he has a flair for the dramatic, I thought for sure he’d be great as the disturbed, disgruntled dental assistant who goes on a tooth-stealing spree. This story is especially tricky, because a lot of it is from the POV of an unlikable character. Thanks to Curt’s innate likability, you want to stick with him and see how it all ends.

Q. What was recording in KK Rider Studios like?

A. It was awesome. It’s actually a closet, but it’s all sound-proofed (mostly… it does happen to be near the Burbank Airport!) and KK has everything set up so we could access the stories on an iPad (no paper-rustles) and the actors could pause and record at will. (Sincera recorded his own story and sent it to me via email; and Leslie S. Osborne, who does the voice intros and outros on the audiobook, helped out with equalizing the sound and so on.) It was a great collaboration, getting all the little bits and pieces together to form one fun audiobook.

Q. Loved the “Self Portraits” Book Trailer with Egon, Leonor and Louis, so I’m looking forward to reading the novella. What made Diane Ayala Goldner, Andrew McGee, James R. Petix, Rochelle Moore and Camille Calvin the perfect casting choices?

A. Thank you! It’s not easy to cast actors who are based on real people – in this case, the spirits of surreal artists Egon Schiele, Leonor Fini, and Louis Wain were more interpretive than impersonated to the letter. Still, when you find the right actors some wonderful alchemy happens between what’s on the page and who’s in front of the camera. I’ve always had a knack for casting. I just kind of know who’s going to be right, and… I’m always right!

Q. Yes, Ma’am, you are! Awesome choices! “Keepsakes” is described as “a creepy novella…a triptych of tales focusing on three collectors of evil items–but which came first, the evil or the item?” Will the question be answered by the novella’s end?

A. What fun would that be? As Oscar Wilde famously said, “When a truth becomes fact, it loses all its intellectual value.” I love leaving things open for interpretation, and to provoke thought.

Q. I couldn’t agree more. You directed, shot and edited the book trailer for “Keepsakes.” How was it working with Brooke Lewis as ‘The Jewelry Collector,’ Mike Mendez as ‘The Tooth Collector’ and Alisa Burket as ‘The Doll Collector?’

A. They were wonderful. They are all my friends of many years, and so they stepped up to help me out. Brooke Lewis is a fabulous scream-queen and actress who’s usually cast in quite humorous parts, so it was a joy to see her seethe as an embodiment of evil. In the audiobook, her character is in the “Mood Ring” story. Mike Mendez, who’s a terrific horror and sci-fi film director (he did “Grave Dancers”, and the recent cult hit, “Big-Ass Spider”), provides the face to Curt Lambert’s voice as the creepy tooth-hoarder in “Misfortune Cookie”. Finally, Alisa Burket (a fabulous singer and songwriter), channels mystery and beauty as a doll collector. Not the same character KK reads in the audio book, but she exists in that same netherworld of “Death-Sized”.

Q. How was Mars of Dead House Music chosen for the score?

A. Again: I dipped into the deep well of my super-talented friends. I first met Mars when I was a journalist working for Horror.com. After I reviewed a film he did the score for back in in 2006 — and I noted that basically the only good thing about it was the music — he reached out to thank me and we became friends. We both love guitar-based rock, and synth film scores ala Goblin and Tangerine Dream. Mars has since scored nearly all my short films, and is currently working on the music for my feature-length directorial debut. The movie is called “Fetish Factory”, and it’s a sexy, saucy zom-com about burlesque dancers pitted against blood-thirsty zombies in Hollywood. He’s got amazing instincts, and he’s extremely dedicated to crafting the most striking theme to fit each scenario onscreen.

Q. What’s in the pipeline for the remainder of 2014?

A. We are in the editing room for “Fetish Factory”, of which I am very proud. I cannot wait to show it to everyone. It’s produced by up-and-comers Blanc-Biehn, so chances are good it will not only see the light of day — it’ll bask in it. Hopefully by Halloween, but there is no release date set as of yet. I’ve completed the script for “Fembot”, a sci-fi thriller starring Michael Biehn, and am about to begin on “The Lincoln”, a wild adventure which stars Jennifer Blanc and will also be directed by her. In other news, I’m novelizing a totally badass vampire comic book (as of now, I’m beholden to an NDA – can’t wait to share the good word in detail!).

Q. Where can readers go to connect with you and your amazing work?

A. Thanks for asking, Georgia. I’m pretty easy to find. Facebook/StaciWilson – Twitter/StaciWilson, and Instagram/StaciLayne

Thanks again, Staci. Always a great pleasure!

Interview with Artist Winston Blakely!

Published January 18, 2014 by glgiles

“Winston Blakely was born in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. He has a B.A. degree in Fine Arts…He worked with Jackie Robinson Center’s students to achieve 1st Prize in a City Wide Art Contest…His primary artistic influences include fantasy illustrators Frank Frazetta, Richard Corben and Fine Arts greats such as Salvador Dali, Romere Bearden and Jacob Lawrence. Mr.Blakely has also produced his own sci-fi character, Pozitron, the black cosmic hero who can be found in the anthology called Immortal Fantasy which features an introduction by award winning author Charles R. Saunders, creator of Imaro. Both Pozitron and Little Miss Strange are available at Amazon.com. He is also a book cover illustrator and interior 
illustrator…contact him at pozitronman@gmail.com for private commissions” (http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/winston-blakely.html). 

Photo Credit:  Luis Sierra

Photo Credit: Luis Sierra

GL:  I really enjoy your pieces at Fine Art America. In particular, your “Golden Dawn,” “Moonstone” and “Still Life Blue.” Please tell readers the inspiration behind each piece mentioned.

WB:  Ah, Golden Dawn is simply a tribute to Bob Ross, the happy painter. Now, when I did that piece his art kits was all over the place. I took an unusual road for this art chore, because I did it in acrylic paint not your traditional oil painting technique. My allergy to the turpentine and other solvents put me in a situation to show present my artistry in a different medium. I learned how to paint in acrylic like an oil painter while being inspired by another artist named David Hodge in his studio.

As I heard his words while working I could feel the art come alive and the finished product is one of my favorite fine art pieces.

Moonstone is a metaphysical piece laced with all kinds of occult themes that I won’t got into otherwise we will be here all day. This version is about the universe and crystal -like space ships passing by like the classic phrase two ships in a night. Still Life Blue is a homage to any of the great painters that you would know or heard of, like Salavdor Dali, Picasso , Romare Bearden or Jacob Lawrence.

During my experimentation with acrylics, I began to mix natural combinations of color to make the color black. The piece looks black but it’s really a carefully crafted hue that is blue, hence the obvious title.

So in a sense it’s a sly tribute to Dali the master of surrealism.

GL:  Very cool, and I like that phrase:  “sly tribute.”  Which mediums do you work in? Do you have a favorite?

WB:  Everything, acrylic, water based oil paint ( Love That !), color pencils, color markers, grayscale wash tones. There is one medium that I only tried once, years ago, and wasn’t too good at it:  pastels.

But now, I might tried it again, just for fun.

Whew, I haven’t done sculpture in very long time either, may give that a whirl as well.

I even made short animation films using my art with Dr.Martin watercolor inks. That was wild but it got me an A+ for a project. Maybe I got that mark because there was wine and cheese at the screening and they were bugging out from viewing the film and it became a part of their getting high experience.

Whatever… glad I got a good mark, makes for wonderful inspiration… don’t you think?

GL:  LOL! Yes, I’m all about some vegan wine & cheese, and my muses seem to like them, too. Now, you also created your own science fiction character named Pozitron. He appears in “Immortal Fantasy” (reviewed here: http://www.targetaudiencemagazine.com/uploads/2011/immortal_fantasy.php). Please explain why he’s an important role model.

WB:  Pozitron was the collaboration between me and co- writer Robert E. Fennel.

The hero is a person of color, so to speak, and probably one of the earliest science fiction characters created in that genre that is a black man.

Since the co-writer was also a musician who is well versed in 16th century composing and a studio session performer, he thought that a quirky twist of making Pozitron a member of a rock band would work, not to mention being a secret agent as well.

Fortunately, Mr. Fennel started reading pulp science fiction novels by the father of space opera:  E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith.

With this classic source material the character was able to move forward in a more logical way. Soon, we were able to create the story that you are referring to in the anthology named “Immortal Fantasy.”

Pozitron will be back in Immortal Fantasy 2; I already started working on that project.

Immortal Fantasy book review Target Audience Magazine www.targetaudiencemagazine.com

GL:  You also created Little Miss Strange and have illustrated for a number of books. Please tell readers about Little Miss Strange and other projects you felt strongly about.

WB:  Miss Strange, AKA Scorpia of Satu, was given shape and form after my leave from Valiant comics while working in Visage Studios headed by Rich Buckler of Marvel comics fame. It was a faithful call from a comic book promoter named Rusty Gilligan who got the ball rolling. He wanted the studio members to do female versions of their favorite characters and mine was Doctor Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts.

And so, Little Miss Strange was born with a hidden tribute to Jimi Hendrix as well. She is the first black alien sorceress and that is something that I will keep doing, making heroes out of persons of color. Scorpia’s abilities are of meta- level strength, reflexes and stamina.

You can find out more about her in upcoming projects not only from me but other comic companies who are planning to have her appear as a guest star in a special series of books. I will speak more on this and other assignments in a little bit.

GL:  If you were approached about your characters coming to life on the big screen, then which actors/actresses would you cast (given the choice)?

WB:  In a sense, I already had a brief encounter with Hollywood.

There was a website that was looking for properties to turn into film and Little Miss Strange was the topic of discussion. But they wanted to change too much about her and I decided it would be better to forget about it and move on. These were the same people who brought us Cowboy and Aliens.

But I digress….

Gabrielle Union is my first choice for a Hollywood actress. Mostly because she looks like my character. But I also know she is a great performer and I have seen snippets of her acting in certain indy films and she is definitely admirable. Sanaa Lathan and Erica Tazel of FX’s cable tv show, Justified, would be nice, too.

Garry Dourdan of CSI fame would make and excellent Ishtarr, after seeing him in Alien 4. Idris Elba, and my dark horse for this role is Blair Underwood. Regardless of his unfulfilling TV assignments, he is a fine and brilliant actor.

By the way Ishtarr is Scorpia’s husband…I have a whole history and plot for their meeting and his origin story as well.

Supporting characters can be played by numerous people and I feel confident about that without mentioning any names.

GL:  Great choices! Gabrielle Union is gorgeous and a Scorpio, I believe—-would be pretty cool if she were cast as Scorpia! And, IMO, Idris Elba is one of the finest actors out there! I would love to see that come to fruition. So, when you were growing up, who were some of your favorite superheroes/heroes? And, why?

WB:  I would say Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Green Lantern, Black Panther, Doctor Strange and The Flash. Of course, I have already mentioned the good doctor several times in this interview, so let’s take a look at the other heroes.

Batman was mysterious and dangerous and had a strong sense of purpose and all those cool gadgets.

Superman had some amazing abilities and that sci-fi vibe was interesting enough to keep me coming back for more.

Spiderman was so down to earth that it was hard not to like him and he was a misunderstood outsider and somewhat a loner in the super hero community and that fitted his persona along with endless wise cracking in the face of danger.

It was unique that Green Lantern was able to produce objects with his Power Ring and use them as weapons against his foes. And that oath he used to charge his Battery of Power was the coolest thing in the world.

It was an honor to read the first appearance of the Black Panther in the pages of the Fantastic Four. It was an uplifting moment to see a hero of color and his African background was inspiring to me.

The Black Panther certainly lived up to his namesake with a pulp-like origin and a super cool supporting cast. He was a master of all combat arts and a scientist as well. Plus, he was a ruler of a pseudo-African kingdom.

Now, that is very nice.

Speed and brains was the norm for scarlet speedster known as The Flash. His Rogue’s Gallery had some classic villains in it. Among them was The Trickster, Captain Cold, Weather Wizard and my favorite:   Mirror Master.

This particular enemy would create these elaborate traps for the speedster that only a Sherlock Holmes could escape from.

The Flash was intelligent as well as a superhero so the adventures were fantastic.

GL:  What are you currently working on?

WB:  I have been putting together my first art book. It will include a lot of my freelance assignments and some new original characters that I will publish in an upcoming anthology. As stated before, I am working on Little Miss Strange 2 and it’s more than half way done. But I would still be adding grayscale tones to the second volume of the sorceress of satu or Little Miss Strange.

General, I use art markers to tone copies of the original pages and it seems to fit—thanks to my fine arts training.

Once I have one of these project done, I will announce on my blog and other Social Media sites.

GL:  What’s in the works for 2014?

WB:  A bunch of stuff, but some projects have a gag order on them so I can’t even speak about [them] because it would ruin the surprise.

There is European interest in one of my characters for a special publication that is similar to Heavy Metal magazine. Also, I will be working with British writer Paul H. Birch on a collaboration for a new pulp hero. That should be fun.

One of my freelance gigs is about to show up on the radar. It’s from Bare Knuckle Press and features my illustrations of ancient Roman/Greek poems. I have Eddie Vega of Vegawire and Noir Nation to thank for that assignment.

Two children books are done:  “My Father Found Bin Laden” and “Jello Pudding Pops.”  Both deal with children who have abandonment issues…this is written by a client named Donna Matthews.

Personally, I would love to get a fine arts exhibition going this year. I miss seeing my paintings hanging on the wall with people making introspective comments about my work.

GL:  Where can readers go to connect with you and your wonderful work?

WB:  My blog is always available for comments and exposure. My website has some interesting pieces from various jobs for clients and links to other assignments.

It’s been a pleasure to share my experiences in the art world and I will continue to explore more with new and repeating clients, hope you check in on me from time to time.

Thank you and take care.






GL:  I’m sure many readers will be checking your sites out, too. Great having you here, and I’d love to have you back.



Little Miss Strange

Interview with John Palisano!

Published August 3, 2013 by glgiles

Introduction from Amazon:  “John Palisano is well known to readers of Horror Library, Darkness On The Edge, Lovecraft eZine, Phobophobia, Lovecraft eZine, Harvest Hill, Halloween Spirits, the Bram Stoker nominated Midnight Walk, and many other publications. NERVES is his latest novel.

“Available Light” was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award® in 2013.

John’s had a colorful history. He began writing at an early age, with his first publications in college fanzines and newspapers at Emerson in Boston. He’s worked for over a decade in Hollywood for people like Ridley Scott and Marcus Nispel. He’s recently been working as a screenwriter and has seen much success with over a dozen short story sales and his novel NERVES gaining critical and reader acclaim. There’s more where that all came from. Lots more.

You can visit him at


where you can learn about the writer and his upcoming projects” (http://www.amazon.com/John-Palisano/e/B007EEH9JA/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1375536252&sr=8-1).


GL:  Are you a pantzer or a plotter? Or, does it change—depending on what you’re writing?

JP:  A little of both, actually. I studied screenwriting and fiction in college, and spent many countless hours in story development working in Los Angeles. That means three act structure is burned into my psyche, for better or for worse. I don’t like to set out knowing too much, initially, because then writing becomes kind of a fill-in-the-blanks kind of thing. But structure is very important to most people who will read your stuff. My rebellion against traditional Hero structure in NERVES rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. It also helped add suspense to the story. There wasn’t a single clear hero. Everyone’s doing beautiful things and then horrible things. It’s messy. This isn’t Luke Skywalker blowing up the Death Star and coming home to a parade. This is more how life is. It’s jagged. It meanders. It goes down the wrong path. Things don’t often end well for people who we love. To me, that’s just a hell of a lot more interesting than following a structure that was outlined a thousand years ago.

I do write out plots, though. Very often. This gives me a starting ground. If I’m stuck on a particular day, I can refer to it, and I can move forward. Or, as is often the case, I can deviate from it and go exploring.

With my screenplay work, though, structure is everything. Setting up the payoffs can be highly rewarding for both writer and audience. It’s like solving a mystery and finding ways to surprise within structure is just as valid and artistically challenging as going off the map.

When I was young, my father told me, “You need to learn the rules in order to break them.” So very true.

GL:  You write fiction, screenplays and songs, so I’m very curious about which bands you listen to, if any, when writing your fiction and screenplays.

JP:  Having studied the Method during college, ever so briefly, those lessons and tools stuck with me. I often put on songs the character might listen to, or find something representative. Very often it’s not something I usually listen to on my own. In both NERVES and BiPOLAR EXPRESS, creating music was necessary. I wrote an entire album with music and lyrics for Minnesota Flatts, who is a semi-famous r&b singer we find playing in a mid-sized venue. There needed to be details. Same thing for BiPOLAR EXPRESS. Manic Clause has a big show-stopper in “I’m So Glad (The World’s Sad)” and that required actually writing the song.

Being a musician, another big tool I use is composition. For most of my projects, at some point, I’ll write music for them. And not just soundtracks for possible films. More like soundscapes. These often inform the writing. I look for rhythms in the words during later drafts. I try to find the melodies. Of course, that’s not always possible or appropriate or needed, but often I do.

I think most creative people create in multiple disciplines, and are talented at them all. It’s just natural. Think of Clive Barker, who is a phenomenal painter. Also, and I’m lucky enough to have played with them, Heather Graham, F. Paul Wilson, and Dave Simms all are musicians, and fine ones at that. How can that not inform their writing? I’m convinced it does.

GL:  You’ve been published by both big and small presses. What are some of the pros and cons of each?

JP:  Most my experience has been with smaller presses. The nice thing is that you’re getting your work out there to an audience that’s ready for just what you’ve got. It’s also very hands on, in most cases. Roy Robbins from Bad Moon Books was absolutely the best possible shepherd for me. He and Liz worked so hard on getting NERVES just right. The cover art was fantastic. The layout was top notch. We even had two very detailed passes on the writing, which is unheard of.

On the flip side, I’ve been in some really sketchy anthologies. Some of them just look so thrown together it’s embarrassing. Those were early on, and kind of came and went, which was kind of a bummer, because sometimes you wait a year or more for a story to appear, only to find…my God…I can’t tell anyone about this. It looks dreadful. So you live and learn as you build your bibliography.

The bigger presses I’ve worked with have been fine. Mostly, it’s been pretty anti-climactic. They take the story. The check or PayPal comes quickly, and then the book appears. Then there’s usually no contact after that. So it’s bizarre to me in that regard. You’ve got a top notch book you’re in, but it’s kind of isolating. There have been a few of those cases that panned out completely differently, though. Some of the editors and myself have become great friends. So one never knows. Hopefully I’ll be able to still work with both.

Two of my biggest goals I’ve yet to accomplish are to get a story into one of the national magazines, and have a story or book that is widely available at traditional book stores like Barnes & Noble. I’m kind of close with an interview I did with Robert Englund for Fangoria that should be in September. That’s a national magazine, certainly in big book stores, and it has a touch of my writing in it. That’s a dream I never thought possible, so I never pursued it, but luck dropped it into my lap.

GL:  How did NERVES and The BiPOLAR EXPRESS come about?

JP:  NERVES is part of a much larger mythology that began with a short story (still unpublished) over ten years ago. I had a vision one morning of a man with clear skin where you could see through inside, only his organs were not like ours at all. Then he raised his hand and his nerves shot out from his fingertips. From there, I wrote a novel (not published yet) THE DIVINE and moved on. There were other books written, but I had this nagging story in my head which was NERVES. That took over a year to write because of the amount of world building I needed to do. There is a side book, SPICES, set in the same world, but with very different things happening, but some of the NERVES people bleed over. Currently I’m about halfway through a prequel to NERVES, which I don’t have a title for. I tried several times to jump back into the world and failed, stuck, having gone the wrong way inside. Now I’m knee deep into it and it’s a pleasure hanging around these people again. And hopefully this will answer many of the questions people had about NERVES. That book truly is the middle of a much larger story, and I hope readers stick around and read the others.

BiPOLAR EXPRESS is quite different than anything I’ve ever done. It’s almost pure parody and a lot of fun, I hope. It’s also quite slim compared to my other massive stories and will be my first novella. While downing Shock Tops at the Frolic Room in Hollywood one night, someone asked how I was doing. I told them, “still riding the BiPolar Express,” and the phrase stuck in my mind. From there it was a quick, fun write. The editors who picked it up enjoyed my previous work, and I knew they’d be a good home for it. Should be out by the end of summer.

GL:  I recently had the pleasure of reviewing AFTER DEATH…, and there wasn’t a story  in the collection that wasn’t an excellent read, but I was particularly struck by your story, as it combined horror and hope—a pairing I haven’t seen that often. Please tell readers a bit about how your story came about.

JP:  I’d sent a story to the editor and he wasn’t that fond of it, so I licked my wounds and thought about why it might not have made it. Death is the heaviest of all topics (kind of like how D minor is the saddest of all keys, right Nigel?), so I knew I had to go somewhere special. In my case, whenever I really open a vein and bleed on the page, good things happen. If I try and shoehorn into some preconceived story idea, they just don’t work, and don’t sell. But when I get under the skin, and pour my soul out, then, Boom! That’s what works for me. FOREVER was very much like that. I was crying constantly while writing it and during editing it. I’m in animal rescue for my day gig, and have always had a special connection to animals, so imagining reuniting with one in the after life was magical. Who better to guide you into the next world?

Horror and Hope go hand in hand. That is what makes horror move. The final girls all have hope, and it’s 50/50 if they make it. In the deepest of our most horrific experiences, we have hope we will get through. As the Trade Centers fell, every one of us had hope they’d find survivors in the rubble. How amazing if they had. When my son was in the hospital, fighting a freak brain aneurysm, the absolute horror and uncertainty was coupled with tremendous hope he’d make it through. We’re blessed he has.

There is darkness ready to overtake each one of us. It’s a constant battle. Telling tales of horror allows us to confront our worst fears head-on, and hope we make it to the light on the other side.

GL:  Great answer! Switching gears, I had the pleasure of meeting you in person at World Horror Con in New Orleans this year. Will you be at WHC 2014? What other conventions are you attending the tail end of 2013?

JP:  I’ll be lurking around the Festival of Fear in Toronto at the end of August, KillerCon in Las Vegas in September, the West Hollywood Book Fair, and the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in San Pedro, also in September. Likely more during October, if the HWA LA chapter gets some things up and running. Definitely will be at WHC 2014 in Portland. Really looking forward to seeing that city.

GL:  Where can readers go to connect with you and your wonderful work?

JP:  I’m easy.