The Passion of Covers: Tribute to Bauhaus (CD Review)

By Michael McCarty

1. Bela Lugosi’s Dead – The Electric Hellfire Club
2. The Passion Of Lovers – The Shroud
3. Slice Of Life – Ex-Voto
4. Hollow Hills – Faith & The Muse
5. The Three Shadows (Part II) – Fahrenheit 451
6. Dark Entries – Kill Switch…Klick
7. Muscle In Plastic – Black Atmosphere
8. King Volcano – Two Witches
9. In The Flat Field – This Ascension
10. She’s In Parties – Ikon
11. Lagartija Nick – Wreckage
12. Terror Couple Kill Colonel – Eleven Shadows
13. All We Ever Wanted Was Everything – Blade Fetish

Cleopatra, 19962
Rating: ****

The Passion of Covers lives up to its name – the CD features passionate covers of the Eighties Goth-metal band Bauhaus.
Bauhaus had only a brief stint together, but they were one of the most influential Gothic rock groups ever. Vocalist Peter Murphy and band-mates David Ash, David J. and Kevin Haskins (the latter three collectively made up the group Love and Rockets) have inspired many groups ranging from The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, Type O Negative, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, and Alien Sex Fiends.
Passion features thirteen remakes of Bauhaus songs. The disk kicks off with the cult hit “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” redone with a more contemporary industrial beat by The Electric Hellfire Club.
One of the most surprising elements of the tribute is the number of female singers being able to pull of Murphy’s deep, rich and baritone vocals. All the women do a superb job, including Faith and the Muse’s haunting remake of “Hollow Hills,” The Shroud’s dead-ringer cover of “The Passion of Lovers,” and This Ascension’s punky version, “In the Flat Field.”
The rest of the covers are also awesome, with Ex-Voto’s “Slice of Life,” Kill Switch…Klick’s “Dark Entries,” Ikon’s “She’s in Parties,” Wreckage’s “Largartija Nick,” and Black Atmosphere’s “Muscle in Plastic.”
Eleven Shadows introduces a techno-industrial take of “Terror Couple Kills Colonel,” Blade Fetish’s “All We Ever Wanted was Everything” is very well done, while Fahrenheit 451 with Eva Q does a more acoustic cut with “The Three Shadows (Part II).”
The only beef about this record is the “King Volcano” cover by Finland band Two Witches (featuring Shade Factory) – the music is dead-on, but the vocals are a little too over-the-top Murphy style, and he didn’t even sing on the original.
Overall, this is a great CD. The 3D artwork from the movie Nosferatu is an added bonus. A Tribute to Bauhaus is a must for all Bauhaus and Goth-rock fans.

If you like this review or any of the other interviews or articles on this blog.

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The ebook is only .99 cents!!!!

Kindle & Trade paperback)

(Nook & Trade paperback)


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RIP 2018

(A photo of Cindy & Michael McCarty’s 9th anniversary at Igor’s Bistro in Rock Island)

I was so damn happy to rip the 2017 calendar off the wall last year and toss it in the trashcan because how bad of a year it turned out to be. So many horrible things just happened in 2017:

My mother died
Kicked out of my apartment after 20 years
two horrible automobile accidents that caused me over $2,000 out of pocket expenses

When 2018 rolled in, I thought, it has to be better than 2018. It turned out to be about just as horrible as 2017 … maybe even worse:

After getting kicked out of my apartment by the new landlords, Cindy & I buy a house.

I leave pest control to work at Group O in Milan. I do customer service for AT&T, Michelin Tires and DirecTV … I have a nice boss, the job is okay … but I am making about $3.00 less an hour.

In 2018, the house turned out to be like the movie “The Money Pit” … but without the laughs:

Need new furnace
Dryer needs repairman to fix it
Refrigerator dies and needs new one
Garage door dies and needs repair

The steps were in bad shape, so we replace them and added a deck

Total spending on house repairs for 2018:


Latte (my pet bunny), was very sick in 2018, had to be taken to the vet on 3 different occasions, but the little fella is doing well now

Mike & Cindy take Cindy’s folks: Carma & Roy to Chicago to see the Chicago Cubs. The whole trip it rains and The Cubs play in the rain and lose

I end up getting dropped from my insurance company after 20 years. Ended up with Bill Douglas and Tracy Naab from State Farm.

But it gets even worse … my wife is laid off from Augustana College after 25 years. The college did the same thing to me in 2013 … (I was laid off after 15 years).

There were two good things that happened besides getting the new deck:

1) Grinning Skull Press published LOST GIRL OF THE LAKE by Joe McKinney & Michael McCarty as a trade paperback and ebook

2) and I get a new car … a 2011 Chevy HRR (thanks to my sales man Matt Truitt)

The Lost Girl of The Lake signings in 2018 were incredibly fun. Did one in June at The Book Rack in Davenport and one in December (tied in with my mom’s memorial) at the Midwest Writing Center in Rock Island.

(A photo of my mother inlaw Carma Hulting & Michael McCarty)

The movies of 2018 were a mixed bag, some of them really good, most of them mediocre. This is my list:
Mike’s Likes for 2018:

(Michael McCarty in front of Solo poster)

Top 10 Films of 2018

1. Bohemian Rhapsody (about Freddy Mercury and Queen)

2. The Nun (prequel to the Annabelle and Conjuring series)

3. Hotel Transylvania 3 (third in the animated horror comedy series)

4. Vice (about Vice President Dick Cheney)

5. Halloween (remake of the original with Jamie Lee Curtis returning)

6. A Quiet Place (loved the plot and acting, wasn’t that crazy about the special effects at the end of the movie)

7. Solo (Han Solo prequel … I liked it a lot, the critics and general public, not so much)

8. Dead Pool 2 .. (a lot funnier and dirtier than the original, but still needs more of a story line. I know, I am asking a lot for a comic book motion picture)

9. Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom (the second Jurassic World film, lost count at how many Jurassic Park films there are. Okay special effects. Wish Jeff Goldblum was in it more than 5 minutes at the beginning and end)

10. Overlord (Nazis and monsters… okay film)

The celebrities and politicians who passed away in 2018 include

Penny Marshall
Burt Reynolds
Verne Tryoer (Mini Me)
Scott Wilson from “The Walking Dead” and “In Cold Blood”
Harry Anderson
Anthony Bourdain from “No Reservations”
Nicholas Roeg director of “The Man Who Fell To Earth”
Stan Lee
Sandra Locke
Stephen Hillenburg creator of Sponge Bob Square Pants and is also mentioned in my
Stephen Hawking


Aretha Franklin
Dolores O’Riordan From The Cranberries
Roy Clark


Senator John McCain
President George H. Bush

Hopefully 2019 will be better … I have 3 books in the works. Stay tuned for more details.

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Dracula Transformed & The Amazing Kreskin

The Amazing Kreskin’s kind words about DRACULA TRANSFORMED & OTHER BLOOD THIRSTY TALES by Mark McLaughlin & Michael McCarty

DRACULA TRANSFORMED & Other Bloodthirsty Tales by Mark McLaughlin and Michael McCarty.


US Kindle:

UK Kindle:

Introduction by The Amazing Kreskin. Afterword by C. Dean Andersson.

DRACULA TRANSFORMED & Other Bloodthirsty Tales’ features eleven vampire stories by Bram Stoker Award-winning author Mark McLaughlin and Bram Stoker Award finalist Michael McCarty. In these stories, they reveal many of the secrets of the bloodthirsty dead. The novella ‘Dracula Transformed’ is a modern-day sequel to Bram Stoker’s DRACULA, in which the vampire is brought back from beyond the grave in a manner that gives him startling new powers. Using these powers, he begins a bloody campaign of vengeance. In ‘Lucy Transformed,’ you will learn of the relationship between Dracula and his daughter Zaleska, as well as his growing fondness for Lucy Westenra … a fondness that will seal Lucy’s doom. Even more vampiric horror awaits you in the remaining nine tales.

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Top Ten Reasons Why These Two Americans Love Red Dwarf

Top Ten Reasons Why These Two Americans Love Red Dwarf
by Mark McLaughlin and Michael McCarty

For those of you who haven’t seen Red Dwarf, this U.K. science-fiction comedy concerns the adventures of Dave Lister (Craig Charles), the last Earthman alive, and his pals – the hologram Arnold Rimmer, BSC, SSC (Chris Barrie), a humanoid feline simply named Cat (Danny John-Jules), ex-girlfriend Christine Kochanski (Chloe Annett), and square-headed android Kryten (Robert Llewellyn). Their home is the enormous space vessel Red Dwarf, which is operated by the computer persona Holly (Norman Lovett & Hattie Hayridge), a floating head who spouts witticisms from the ship’s monitors. The program is shown in America on public television and BBC America.
Here are the top ten reasons this show has become a firm fan favorite….

1. The Anti-Heroes
Most American science-fiction heroes are glamorous and self-confident, with perfect hair, looks, and teeth. But the cast of Red Dwarf–! Basically they’re misfits, but lovable misfits, in touch with their misfit-ness. They know they are substandard and they’re proud of it. That brings them closer to the common man. Lister’s a slob, Rimmer is neurotic, and the Cat’s completely egotistical – but so what? Those faults make them what they are. They are defined more by their flaws than their virtues.

2. The Outrageous Storylines
Most science-fiction fans would never admit that they might not understand a convoluted storyline with detailed, up-to-date scientific concepts. However, that’s not a worry with Red Dwarf. The show’s science concerns itself with pulp concepts taken to their wackiest extremes. For example, in the episode “Pete, Part 2,” they took the idea of birds evolving from dinosaurs and turned into a screwball misadventure, where a tiny sparrow is transformed into a rampaging T-Rex.

3. The Monsters and Aliens
Science-fiction and horror fans love aliens and monster, and when it comes to science-fiction comedy, the more outrageous they are, the better. In Red Dwarf, we are treated to a bumper crop of bizarre creatures. There’s the Pleasure Gelf, who can be anybody’s dream date, but is in fact an eyestalked mound of what looks like moldy Jell-O. There’s Legion, a composite creature who is the perfect host: he never wants his guests to leave. There’s the Polymorph, who can look like anything from a chicken to a huge, slime-streamed monstrosity. Even the crew members are somewhat monstrous. Cat has bulging fangs, Rimmer is a ghost-like hologram, and Lister’s sloppiness puts him on a par with Neanderthals.

4. Curry
Curry, the crew’s favorite dish, offers viewers the mysterious allure of exotic cuisine!

5. Holly
Who doesn’t love a wisecracking computer? Americans remember with fondness the deadpan comic stylings of B9 from Lost in Space – the seven-foot-tall, bubble-headed, arm-waving, “Danger! Danger!”-shouting robot who constantly drove finicky space-traveler Dr. Zachary Smith (Jonathan Harris) into cosmic hissy-fits.
The earthly nature of both the male and female Hollys of Red Dwarf makes a welcome departure from the more mechanical entities of other science-fiction epics. Both pasty-faced floating heads are simply likeable – how we wish all computers would be! They don’t bog down their human colleagues with complex technical mumbo-jumbo: they simply state their case in easygoing slang, with a few jokes thrown in for good measure.

6. The Space-Bug
Who wouldn’t love to have a sporty little space shuttle for tooling around the universe? The fact that it looks like a big, friendly green ant makes it seem more like a pet than a form of transportation.

7. Duane Dibbley
In a few episodes, the Cat (coolness personified) is shown to have an alternate personality – or perhaps anti-personality: Duane Dibbley, the ultimate nerd. Duane has it all: huge buckteeth, lunch pail, thermos, a Moe Howard haircut – and loads of plaid clothes. This walking sight-gag always gets a laugh.

8. Space Vixens
The Red Dwarf universe is peppered with beautiful young females – and they’re not always human. The show appeals to typical male fantasies, but it also points out that women are more than just male playthings. Remember the episode where Rimmer is constantly annoyed and pursued by his alternate-universe female-counterpart and Lister is impregnated (via the logic of that alternate universe) during a one-night stand with a She-Lister? The show’s writers use the concept of sexual fantasies to explore the role of gender in society and in space.

9. Future Sex
With all those space vixens, can sex be far behind? Red Dwarf is a kooky variation on the concepts found in The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and Lost in Space – and sometimes, one thinks it should have been Lust in Space. They may not always have a warp drive, but they’ve definitely got a sex drive!
Kryten has a red-hot romance with a space blob – too bad he doesn’t have the equipment to consummate the affair. Cat has a virtual-reality affair with an unlikely mermaid (fish above the waist, lady below) and Marilyn Monroe. Lister has sex with a female version of himself, almost has a honeymoon with a hairy gelf maiden, and constantly pursues Kochanski through space and time. Various versions of Rimmer have sex with other versions of Rimmer on a planet populated by male and female clones of the hapless hologram (millions of Rimmers copulating with each other – that concept could replace syrup of ipecac as the number one vomit-inducer). Rimmer is the most neurotic creature in the universe – but he does manage to find his heart’s desire every now and then. For example, on a ship with a hologram crew, he meets up with a lovely young crew member who actually finds him attractive! Even Holly finds love, albeit with a female Holly – and eventually, he becomes her.

10. Kryten
We’ve saved the best for last! Kryten is alternately tough and tender – and constantly struggling with what it means to be both a machine and a living creature. Who can forget the time when, like Pinocchio, he became a real boy? But with Kryten, it wasn’t his nose that grew. The fact it was a vacuum cleaner that jump-started his libido truly emphasized how much trouble he had figuring out his true nature.
Kryten is always a true friend to Lister, no matter what – the ultimate science-fiction sidekick. Loyal, supportive, and ingenious, he comes with amusing groin attachments (he uses them to vacuum or stir tea).

Red Dwarf, the longest-running BBC2 comedy, was created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. Now rumors are circulating about a feature film in the works – and deservedly so. It would be great to sit down to a full banquet of Red Dwarf adventure, as opposed to the smaller hors d’oeuvre episodes.
Basically, these two American love Red Dwarf because it is funny, eccentric, well-written, and well-acted. If we have any complaint at all, it would be that there aren’t enough episodes to enjoy – and a movie would certainly help to correct that matter.

Michael McCarty, Mark McLaughlin & their book DRACULA TRANSFORMED

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Unmasking Joan Mauch

Interview by Michael McCarty

Joan Mauch’s background ranges from teaching and working for nonprofit organizations advocating for the poor, selling real estate to a career in marketing and public relations. Over the years, her nonfiction has appeared in a variety of publications. She has bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s in urban studies.
She is the author of five novels: Halifax, The Mangled Spoon (later renamed Unmasking Miss Jane), The Waterkeeper’s Daughter, Escape from Ambergris and Leon’s Wall.
When she isn’t writing, Joan enjoys visiting her son in Tampa, Florida or just hanging out with family or friends.
Visit her website:

Myself (as Jason) and Joan Mauch with LAUGHING IN THE DARK

MICHAEL McCARTY: Why did you decide to become a novelist in the first place?

JOAN MAUCH: As a lifelong lover of reading, from an early age I wanted to write a novel but when I first sat down (under a tree by Lake Michigan) to write, after the first page, I ran out of words and discovered there was more to it than I thought. Years went by, life intervened and I put that desire on the back burner. Finally, after retiring, I had some free time and my desire to write a novel resurfaced along with the realization that I didn’t know the first thing about novel writing. At the time I was living on Chicago’s North Shore and found out about a fiction-writing class in which I promptly enrolled. The rest is as they say, history.

MIKE: Your book “Halifax” is set in both Florida and Canada. Was there any particular reason from going to extreme hot to extreme cold locations?

JOAN: Before even thinking about writing the novel, I had gone to Nova Scotia on vacation and visited all the locations mentioned in the book. When I came up with the idea for the novel, and the protagonist was going to flee, I thought Halifax would be the perfect place for her go. Like me, I assumed most of my readers had heard of Halifax but were unfamiliar with where it was or what it was like, so, in my mind at least, the setting added an element of interest to the novel. By the way, when we were there, which was in the fall, the weather in Nova Scotia was similar to autumn weather here, which is to say, delightful.

(Joan Mauch at the Book Rack, Davenport, Iowa)

MIKE: Why did you change the name of the title from “The Mangled Spoon” to “Unmasking Miss Jane”?

JOAN: Truthfully, I never cared much for the title, “The Mangled Spoon”. Although it reflected a key element in the novel, I didn’t think it reflected the true nature of the book the way the new title and book cover do. I don’t know about other authors, but for me, coming up with the right title and book cover is difficult because there are so many factors to consider.

MIKE: If we are unmasking Joan Mauch, what would we find?

JOAN: A person who is somewhat conflicted. I am a very private person who avoids the spotlight and enjoys solitude, but at the same time I love excitement. For example, I went skydiving with my son a few years ago, ran two half-marathons and someday would like to go bungee jumping. On a more normal scale I enjoy hanging out with family and friends.

MIKE: What is a waterkeeper? And why did you choose to write about that profession?

JOAN: A Waterkeeper is someone who is a member of the Waterkeepers’ Alliance, an international organization solely focused on clean water. It is dedicated to preserving and protecting water by connecting local Waterkeeper Organizations and Affiliates worldwide. Their goal is drinkable, fishable, and swimmable water everywhere. They achieve this by monitoring our waterways and going after polluters often filing suit to stop them when they can’t do so by persuasion.
I had read a story in the Dispatch-Rock Island Argus about Quad-Cities Waterkeeper, Art Norris, and it captured my attention. The more I learned about it, the more I thought it would make a good subject for a novel since, like me, I assumed most people were unfamiliar with the term, “waterkeeper” and would find it facinating.

MIKE: Of all your books. What was the hardest to write? What was the easiest?

JOAN: “Escape from Ambergris Caye” was the most difficult because the book’s plot focuses on human trafficking. I had to do extensive research on that horrendous subject. There were times that it was so depressing that I didn’t think I could continue. However since the problem is so widespread and people generally unaware that it takes place virtually under their very noses, I felt it was worth any discomfort my research caused me.
“Halifax” was by far the easiest and most fun to write. Eleanor “Ellie” Hurley, the main character was so quirky and unpredictable, I often broke out laughing as I wrote about some of the things she said and did. It’s also special because it was the first time I was offered a publishing contract by a traditional publisher.

MIKE: You did a sequel with “Escape from Ambergris” and “Leon’s Wall”. Any thoughts of writing another book and making it a trilogy?

JOAN: I have considered writing a sequel focused on Zac Taylor, Jackson’s free-spirit brother in “Escape”. I think he would make an interesting subject for a novel since, like Ellie in “Halifax” he’s so unpredictable. Unfortunately it will have to wait because I’m currently in the middle of a stand-alone novel that I hope to release sometime next spring.

MIKE: You started out with a small publisher and went into self publishing. Why did you choose that route?

JOAN: I had three novels published by two traditional publishers and while I was grateful for the confidence they showed in publishing my work, I wanted more control in terms of promotion, editing and cover design. Self-publishing isn’t for everyone as in essence you become not only the writer, but also marketer and publisher as well. It’s a lot more work but, for me, it has also been more rewarding. In recent years, self-publishing has come into its own. With more well-known writers taking the plunge, it has lost the reputation for poor writing it formerly had. Also, Amazon’s KindleDirect publishing arm has made it easier for writers to self-publish, something I never would have considered without it.

MIKE: Any advise for beginning writers?

JOAN: Writing a novel is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. What I mean by that is, as a young woman I thought I could just sit down and whip off a novel. After all, in college I always got A’s in creative writing courses and was often told I was a good writer and should write a book. Well, as I mentioned above, when I sat down to actually write, I quickly discovered after only a page, I couldn’t think of anything more to say. So, if you’re a new writer just starting out, I would advise you to take a few courses or workshops on novel writing. If that’s not possible, read some books on the topic. Then you need to accept the fact that novel writing is a life-long pursuit, it is hard work that requires discipline. It’s not a weekend activity to pursue when you’re in the mood or have nothing better to do. Only then will you succeed. I hope this doesn’t discourage any of you who, like me, longed to write a book, but you do need to face the reality of what’s involved.

MIKE: Last words?

JOAN: Yes! Would-be writers who are reading this blog also need to know that most published authors are kind and more than willing to help struggling writers, so don’t be afraid to ask. I, myself, have emailed famous authors for their input on various topics and received responses. Authors are human too and most have at one time struggled to get their work published so they know what you are going through.
If you’re a reader, be sure to look up my work on my website at or on Amazon. And after you read any or all of my novel, please leave comments or reviews. They needn’t be more than a few words. Those are gold for writers at any level and much appreciated!
Thanks to Mike for the opportunity to participate in his blog.

(Joan Mauch’s book signing for Halifax, Joan on the left, Mike on the right, photo by Cindy McCarty)

If you like this interview or any of my other blogs, please check out my book MODERN MYTHMAKERS by Michael McCarty

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Written In Blood: A Fictional, Factual Vampire Interview with Michael McCarty and Mark McLaughlin by Professor LaGungo

(Professor Artemis Theodore LaGungo is known worldwide as an author, scholar, mystic, entrepreneur, and the proprietor of Professor LaGungo's Exotic Artifacts & Assorted Mystic Collectibles, a quaint shop filled with second-hand horrors and near-new abominations. He was first encountered by the world in a poetry collection by Mark McLaughlin entitled – what an incredible coincidence!

(Professor LaGungo)

Professor LaGungo's Exotic Artifacts & Assorted Mystic Collectibles.
Professor LaGungo is one of the world’s most renowned experts on … well, practically everything, from antiques to Egyptology to vampire lore. He is also a fictional character who has appeared in stories by that McLaughlin guy and his collaborator, Michael McCarty. The Professor hasn’t written anything in a while – he’s too busy being a fictional character – so he decided to return to the world of authorship by interviewing his old friends, Michael McCarty and Mark McLaughlin.)

PROFESSOR LaGUNGO: Welcome, gentle reader, to Professor LaGungo's Exotic Artifacts & Assorted Mystic Collectibles. I am Professor LaGungo, and today I will be interviewing my creator, Mark McLaughlin, and his frequent collaborator, Michael McCarty. I will now let them introduce themselves.

MICHAEL McCARTY: I’m Michael McCarty.

MARK McLAUGHLIN: I’m Mark McLaughlin.

Michael McCarty, Mark McLaughlin & their book DRACULA TRANSFORMED

PROFESSOR LaGUNGO: Well, that was easy! I’ll be talking with them about their story collection, Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirsty Tales, published by Wildside Press as a trade paperback, and also as Kindle and Nook ebooks.

Gentlemen, be sure to talk into this tape recorder so I can accurately capture each sacred word, each pearl of wisdom that falls from your lips! Now let me see, where did I put my interview questions?

MIKE: Maybe in that notebook? The one you’re holding in your hands? The one with the words INTERVIEW QUESTIONS on the cover?

LaGUNGO: Oh yes, so it is! I’ll try to get this interview wrapped up before my favorite soap opera starts. It’s the one about that witches’ coven – All My Cauldrons. Now, is Dracula Transformed your first vampire book?

Dracula Transformed

MIKE: It’s the first vampire book that Mark and I have written together. I’ve written the solo vampire novel Liquid Diet & Midnight Snack, which is actually composed of two short novels. I also co-authored the Bloodless series with Jody LaGreca: Bloodless, Bloodlust and Bloodline. They are available as trade paperbacks, as well as ebooks published by Simon & Schuster.

MARK: I haven’t written a solo vampire book yet, but I did write a collection of zombie stories entitled Beach Blanket Zombie: Weird Tales of the Undead & Other Humanoid Horrors, from Wildside Press.

LaGUNGO: What was your favorite story to write in Dracula Transformed?

MIKE: That’s a tough question, because I like all the stories in Dracula Transformed. I really liked writing all the collaborations with Mark: “Dracula Transformed,” “Lucy Transformed,” “Incident in the Back of a Black Limousine,” and “Dracula Has Risen From The Sofa.” I also enjoyed writing my solo stories, “Dracula, Inc.” and “Wanted: Undead or Alive.” But I can’t pick just one story. They’re like potato chips, you can’t have just one!

MARK: Like Mike, I love all the stories. But if I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be “Dracula Transformed,” since it presents an incarnation of Dracula that the world has never seen before. In the story, Dracula has been brought back to life by a Greek witch, who has given him some astounding new powers, straight out of ancient mythology. I’m half-Greek, so I’ve always been enthralled with those classic myths and monsters.

(Michael McCarty as Count Mike-ula)

(Mark McLaughlin seeing red)

LaGUNGO: What are some of your favorite Dracula movies?

MIKE: I’m a big fan of Dracula, so it’s a big list! I enjoy Dracula (1931), Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), and Dracula (1979). I’m also a big fan of Christopher Lee’s Hammer films about Dracula: Horror of Dracula, Dracula Princess of Darkness, Taste the Blood of Dracula, Dracula AD 1972, Scars of Dracula, and The Satanic Rites of Dracula. I also like Nosferatu and Nosferatu the Vampyre. For laughs, I like Love at First Bite and Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula.

MARK: I love all the movies Mike mentioned, but I have to say, I’ve always been especially amused by John Carradine’s quirky portrayal of Dracula in Universal’s House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula. He’s so polite and charming, and also so tall and skinny! And he has a mustache. Doesn’t he worry that he’s going to be walking around with blood in his mustache? Sometimes I get soup in my mustache. The struggle is real!

LaGUNGO: I have forty-seven other in-depth topics listed here, but it’s about time for my soap opera, so this is going to be my last question. Who is your favorite character in Dracula Transformed – besides Dracula, of course?

MIKE: That would be you, Professor LaGungo! You’re the one who helped the Greek witch in the beginning of the story, “Dracula Transformed”! If it weren’t for you, Dracula couldn’t have returned to the world of the living, to terrorize and slaughter innocent souls!

MARK: Yes, I would also have to say you, Professor LaGungo! You did a great job of betraying the human race – for cash!

MIKE: Thank you, Professor LaGungo, for doing this interview! It was certainly very thoughtful of you to– Hey, where did he go?

MARK: He’s in the back room, watching his stupid soap opera. Let’s sneak out and go get a drink!

MIKE: Sound good to me!

DRACULA TRANSFORMED & Other Bloodthirsty Tales by Mark McLaughlin and Michael McCarty.

US Kindle:
UK Kindle:

Introduction by The Amazing Kreskin. Afterword by C. Dean Andersson.

DRACULA TRANSFORMED & Other Bloodthirsty Tales’ features eleven vampire stories by Bram Stoker Award-winning author Mark McLaughlin and Bram Stoker Award finalist Michael McCarty. In these stories, they reveal many of the secrets of the bloodthirsty dead. The novella ‘Dracula Transformed’ is a modern-day sequel to Bram Stoker’s DRACULA, in which the vampire is brought back from beyond the grave in a manner that gives him startling new powers. Using these powers, he begins a bloody campaign of vengeance. In ‘Lucy Transformed,’ you will learn of the relationship between Dracula and his daughter Zaleska, as well as his growing fondness for Lucy Westenra … a fondness that will seal Lucy’s doom. Even more vampiric horror awaits you in the remaining nine tales.

Also check out this blog:


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Interview with Igor’s Bistro’s owner: Rick Lopez

By Michael McCarty

Igor’s Bistro is a Halloween-themed restaurant opened all year next to the Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island, Illinois at 3055 38th Street. The menu offers a tasty variety of entrees including The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, a chicken breast sandwich with ghost pepper sauce, melted provolone, Pico de Gallo and lettuce; The Goblin a 6 oz. brat burger; and Igor’s Italian Beef and Vampire Bite appetizers (mini pretzels). Plus they have wine and “spirits.”

Here is a link to their menu and website:

MICHAEL McCARTY: Why did you decide to open Igor’s Bistro?

RICK LOPEZ: Because the construction industry was giving me way too much stress and I felt that it was time to go back to what really makes me happy…cooking and all things creepy.

(Left to right: Rick Lopez, Michael McCarty & Cindy McCarty) (Photo by Mark McLaughlin)

MIKE: Ganson’s was a popular spot in Rock Island (2009-2016). What kind of feedback have you gotten from the old clientele from the old restaurant?

RICK: It has been a pretty positive transition from Ganson’s to Igor’s, but we still have our naysayers. Hell, we even have a neighbor who lives down the lane who really believes we are “Satan worshipers”. But she hasn’t even been in here to see what we are all about which is great service and good food made with love. But all in all, we feel the community likes us and we are slowly building up our clientele.
We have people who come in every other day, once a week, every two weeks and we’re proud of that. We take a lot of pride in what we do. We try to make everyone happy, so I hope people get a chance to stop by and enjoy our creepy atmosphere. You won’t be sorry! Your taste buds will thank you!

MIKE: You have many cool monster movie and horror posters and other Halloween memorabilia. Where did you acquire all that stuff?

Frankenstein Movie poster

(Photo by Michael McCarty)

RICK: This type of place has always been on the back burner while I was working in the construction industry and that was for twenty-five years. You can acquire a lot of stuff through the years! Just ask my wife. She was always asking why the hell do you need that. My answer always was you never know when we may need it…HA HA!!

MIKE: There is a story posted on the wall you wrote. Can you tell us more about that? And do you have any longer works of fiction in the works?

RICK: Well, that is the story of the jack-o-lantern and I was fascinated with the way Halloween progressed through the years, particularly the jack-o-lantern. I always had the painting that goes with the story in my mind as a mural but with the building we ended up being smaller than anticipated, so we commissioned the painting and there you have it…the story of Stingy Jack. As far as any works of fiction goes, I think I will leave that to you Michael, as you are the professional writer. My skills lean toward building stuff, cooking and scaring people!!

MIKE: Recently Igor’s Bistro had a run in with the City Council. Can you elaborate on this?

(Photo by Michael McCarty)

RICK: Yes, apparently we have some neighbors who absolutely hate life. They have been against us from the start. They did not like our little 18” x 24” signs in the yard so they contacted the city and we had to take them down because it was not in the special use permit or in the ordinance about signage on this particular building so we had to take them down. When I asked them to explain why, these little tiny signs were such an issue
(we were just trying to draw a little more attention to us so we may have a better chance to succeed.) I was told the special use permit only allowed a certain amount of square footage of signs on the property. I even asked them about the signs they put up when it is re-election time and if they had to go through the process of obtaining a special use permit to display their signs but was given no answer(imagine that). Needless to say there are plans in the works to remedy this.

MIKE: Is it true that if you mention, “The Monster Mike Discount,” you get .13 cents knocked off your bill????

RICK: ABSOLUTELY! You mention the Monster Mike discount and you will receive 13 creepy cents off your bill.

(Wouldn’t you give your hand to a fiend?
or those darn zombies are always asking for a “hand-out”…. LOL)

MIKE: Last words?

RICK: Like I said I hope all of your followers will come check us out and support us fellow horror fans who want to bring you excellent service and spooktacular food in a unique atmosphere. Who knows — you might even get to meet ‘Toby’ our resident ghost. Thanks for having me on your blog and I hope we will be seeing you and yours soon at Igor’s Bistro 3055 38th Street, Rock Island, Illinois.
Stay spooky my friends!!

Here is another link about Igor’s Bistro:

If you like this interview or any of my other blogs, please check out my book MODERN MYTHMAKERS by Michael McCarty

Available as Kindle or Nook for .99 cents …

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