Monthly Archives: February 2013

2012 Bram Stoker Final Ballot

Lost Girl of the LakeI Kissed A Ghoul


2012 Bram Stoker Final Ballot

      I am happy to announce that two of my books have made it onto the 2012 Bram Stoker Final Ballot:

LOST GIRL OF THE LAKE by Joe McKinney & Michael McCarty (Long Fiction)

(Kindle & trade paperback)


and I KISSED A GHOUL by Michael McCarty (Young Adult)


(Trade paperback)

Thanks for all the support from the HWA members.




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A Blog About BLOODLESS by Jody R. LaGreca

BloodlessBLOODLESS co-author Jody R. LaGreca wrote an incredible blog about our vampire book at:

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Monster Behind The Wheel gets 5 Star Review


Keith Milstead did a 5 star review of MONSTER BEHIND THE WHEEL … which is awesome. Keith’s review of MONSTER BEHIND THE WHEEL by Michael McCarty & Mark McLaughlin joins good company of other reviews such as:
“A lyrical powerhouse of a story. Vivid as road burn. Sexy as a hot rod.” ~ Simon Clark, Bram Stoker Award–Nominated Author of NAILED BY THE HEART

“. . . bizarre, amusing, unsettling, and just outright weird. . . .” ~ Don D’Ammassa, Horror Reviews
“The authors… go from zero to insane in the space of a few mere words, leading the reader on a master hell ride . . . a kind of Fellini-esque horror story, giving the reader a world in which one does not know whether to laugh or cry. . . .” ~ Cristopher DeRose, Cemetery Dance Magazine and the novel TO CAST A VIOLENT SHADOW
“Watch your rearview mirror, because a hurricane of street thrills, weird sex, graphic horror, and big laughs is roaring up your tailpipe!” ~ Judy Comeau, Creature Feature Tombkeeper
“This novel is a surreal helter-skelter ride of thrills, humor, lust, gut-wrenching horror, and cosmic awe.” ~ Dave, Hellnotes

BTW, here is Keith Milstead’s review:

Monster behind the wheel is a carnival ride…fun and scary February 10, 2013

After completing MONSTER BEHIND THE WHEEL by Michael McCarty and Mark McLaughlin, all I could say was wow! This book has it all, zombies, possession, a Texas setting and living dead women as well as a pitch black Barracuda. This book and the talent of the two authors take the reader on a wild ride. Instead of a haunted house, you have a haunted car, possessed by the spirit of a demonic, murdering, graft taking, drug dealing, pimp police officer, Frank Edmondson who committed suicide. Jeremy Carmichael is the poor soul that buys the car. Jeremy is a man that has been victimized all his life. From childhood, when he fell from a carnival ride, killing a carnival attendee through losing his parents and then to add insult to injury, he is mangled in a car wreck, where he meets the aforementioned Barracuda and with some interesting payment agreements, takes possession of the car and found that he is able to crossover to the Land of the Dead, where the world goes horribly wrong but the characters Jeremy meets are quite interesting. McCarty and McLaughlin combine humor and terror to take the reader on a rollercoaster ride from HELL.
This book is set in Texas where I was born and raised and it brings me back to the days of cruising the back streets of the Dallas and surrounding settings. The authors bring this setting to life in my mind due to the accuracy of their prose. Mike and Mark are both incredible authors who are capable of taking your imagination to its limits and then thrusting you a few more feet beyond. This is a tale of horror and fantasy, of life and death and of, wait for it…man’s inhumanity to man and beast. The story takes you to a place you would never want to go in reality but if you have that dark side, like I do, relish in the opportunity. I enjoyed every freaking page of this story. It is a tale you won’t want to put down. It gives you a look at the potential of being able to start over in your life with all the knowledge you attained through your previous life. After reading this book, you will definitely feel the need to grab up all the works of these two guys. I cannot recommend this book enough for a fun romp through life, purgatory and Hell.

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Joe McKinney Interviews Michael McCarty



(Photo of Joe McKinney)

Lake Livingston: August, 1961. Mark Gaitlin is 15, the son of one of the wealthiest men in Texas, and on the most boring summer vacation of his life. His days are filled with the pomp and circumstance of country club life, while his nights are a parade of one embarrassment after another at the hands of giggling teenage girls. But the piney woods above Lake Livingston are dark at night, and hold many secrets for an impressionable youngster on the cusp of becoming a man. And one night, after skinny dipping in the lake with a mysterious local girl, Mark Gaitlin’s life takes a crazy turn into the fire and brimstone religion of backwoods snake handlers and abandoned villages haunted by old family secrets.

LOST GIRL OF THE LAKE by Joe McKinney & Michael McCarty

The new cover for LOST GIRL OF THE LAKE by Joe McKinney & Michael McCarty, Grinning Skull Press)

(The Bad Moon original cover)

If Mark can survive the snakes and the ghosts and his own family’s dark history, he just might make it out of the woods alive. And something else…he just might become a man.

Joe McKinney and Michael McCarty are also the author of Lost Girl Of The Lake which was published in the summer of 2012 from Bad Moon Books as a trade paperback, ebook and hardcover. Eventually, the book went out of print.

In 2018, Grinning Skull Press, republished the book.


By Joe McKinney

JOE McKINNEY: Lost Girl of The Lake is, among other things, a coming of age story. What drew you to this kind of tale, and what unique challenges did it present to you as a writer.

MICHAEL McCARTY:  What drew me to the tale was easy. I always loved Stephen King’s novella The Body (from Different Seasons) that was turned into the movie Stand By Me and Robert McCammon’s Boy’s Life. Lost Girl of The Lake is the closest I was ever going to get at those giants of the genre’s masterpieces.   

       I always wanted to write a coming of age story, so when I was offered a chance to collaborate with Joe, on this story, I was quick to say yes.   I am also a big fan of the 1960s; the whole Mad Man era, that was such a turbulent and pivotal time in the 20th Century. I see it as more of a coming of age story of a boy from a man. I almost see it as a time in America that we were still trying to hold onto our innocence; before the technological age would sweep us up as a country; before we landed on the moon and the digital age. So much has happened in the last half century, it is really mind blowing.

  JOE McKINNEY: Jokes run throughout Lost Girl. As a stand up comedian, what do you think about humor and horror?  Is it a form of whistling through the graveyard?

MICHAEL McCARTY:  I know there are some horror purists who think humor and horror don’t belong together. However, I think they work together perfectly. It is about timing and atmosphere and there is a lot of tension in comedy and terror.

Laughter and screams both are involuntary responses – you can’t make people do either, they just do it and you feel better after doing both. There is a lot of tension in comedy and terror of course. I’ve been writing books with both horror and humor for over 15 years now.

(Michael McCarty on the radio show WVIK 90.3 FM “Scribble” show hosted by Don Wooten and Roald Tweet, Michael McCarty promoting the book APOCALYPSE AMERICA! by Michael McCarty & Mark McLaughlin

Here is a link to the radio interview:

JOE McKINNEY: In addition to jokes, there are lots of snakes. Tell us how you feel about snakes.

MICHAEL McCARTY:  And I thought you were going to ask me about skinny-dipping (laughs). When I was about ten years old, my brother and sister and I all collected a ton of garden snakes, we filled up a fish aquarium with them. Our mom, of course, made us get rid of them.

That same summer, I guess, it was my snake summer. My family was vacationing down in Missouri at my grandma’s pig farm and I was walking down this gravel road and this rattlesnake slithered in front of me and started shaking its rattle and I trekked as fast as I could in the opposite direction.

Those are my snake stories, I hope you liked them.

(Kristin Lopez with the first edition of LOST GIRL OF THE LAKE)

 JOE McKINNEY:  Mark Gatlin, the main character of Lost Girl, comes to at least two surprising realizations about what it means to come of age over the course of many decades. Why do you think it takes him so long to finally put it all together?

MICHAEL McCARTY: Sometimes the truth stays hidden in the heart for many decades. Sometimes the soul will hide us from the darkness only shedding light when the time is right.

(Artwork by Bruce Walters)

JOE McKINNEY: Race relations, rock and roll, and backwoods religion all come into play in Lost Girl of the Lake. How different is Mark Gatlin’s world from ours, and why, if it is that different, is Mark’s story relevant for today’s readers?

MICHAEL McCARTY:  Great question. Over a half-century later, all of these things are becoming more and more relevant every day. Lost Girl of The Lake takes place in 1961; two years before Martin Luther King Jr. would give his “I Have A Dream;” so in reality a storm of change in race relations was brewing and we’ve come so far since that time. This is also about three years before The Beatles came to America, so a musical revolution was slowly cooking too and some backwoods religions are still in this country today.

I think the readers in 2018 will enjoy Lost Girl of The Lake even if they were born much later than the 1960s, because it is a time that has affected generations of the future and will continue to do so for many years to come.

(Original promo for the book)

How to get Lost Girl of the Lake by Joe McKinney & Michael McCarty:



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