I am proud of MODERN MYTHMAKERS! Bursting with joy! Imagine the late, great John Hurt in ALIEN, but instead of a monster jumping from my chest, it is happiness…
MODERN MYTHMAKERS is my greatest hits of interviews: the best of the best I’ve done. Besides CONVERSATIONS WITH KRESKIN which I co-written with The Amazing Kreskin, it is one of best books of nonfiction to date.
Here is a low down the book:
Modern Mythmakers is a collection of 35 interviews from horror and science fiction’s most influential writers and filmmakers, including Ray Bradbury, Dean Koontz, Richard Matheson, John Carpenter, John Saul, Joe McKinney, the Night of the Living Dead crew (including John Russo, Kyra Schon and Russ Streiner), Elvira, Whitley Strieber, Christopher Moore, and many more.
Delve into the minds of civilization’s best horror and science fiction authors and filmmakers. The best interviews of my journalism career….
Line-up: Foreword by Alan Dean Foster; Forrest J. Ackerman; C. Dean Andersson; Adrienne Barbeau; Ray Bradbury; Ramsey Campbell; John Carpenter; Dan Curtis; Elvira; Rusty Fischer; Neil Gaiman; Mick Garris; Laurell K. Hamilton; George Clayton Johnson; Jack Ketchum; Dean Koontz; Herschell Gordon Lewis; Thomas Ligotti; Bentley Little; Graham Masterton; Richard Matheson; Joe McKinney; Christopher Moore; Night of the Living Dead Crew: John Russo, Kyra Schon, & Russ Streiner; William F. Nolan; Ingrid Pitt; Linnea Quigley; Fred Olen Ray; John Saul; David Snell; Darce Stoker; Peter Straub; Whitley Strieber; Timothy Zahn; Afterword by The Amazing Kreskin.
“Interesting interviews, masterfully compiled…” – Horror News
(Author Michael McCarty and Modern Mythmakers)
“Modern Mythmakers is a horror-fiend’s dream – a bubbling cauldron of genre info straight from the mouths of the madmen and women we fans worship.” – Kristopher Triana, author of Growing Dark and head of Tavern of Terror
“I was struck by the skill with which Michael McCarty conducts himself. He should have his own nightly talk show or at least a radio program dedicated to his work.” – Zero Signal Magazine
“… beware the dark, and what lurks in the minds of those you read and watch in the wee hours. Highly recommended.” – Hellnotes
“Modern Mythmakers is a healthy-sized bowl of horror-themed Wheaties coated with inspiration that’ll fuel your writing and filmmaking passion. And for the straight up fan boys and girls, it’s full of spoonfuls of trivia regarding classic horror and science fiction film and literature.” – Horror Novel Book Reviews & Promotion
Reviews on Amazon:
“What a fun and enlightening read”
By Matthew S. Drinkwineon April 2, 2015
What a fun and enlightening read.. You’ll be searching for books, and movies you never knew existed.. I loved it.. I may just read it again.
From the Minds of Giants
By Holly A. Zaldivar on March 12, 2015
No matter where you open this book, a rainbow of information bursts from the pages. This is not your normal interview book of some of the greatest writers, actors, filmmakers and entertainers. Insightful, unusual and personal questions are poised in a conversational manner, prompting the most fascinating responses from those interviewed, all included in this one-of-a-kind book. In addition are pictures rarely seen by the public. Several of those interviewed have passed away since the initial publication of this book, so it’s an amazing collection that belongs on every horror lover’s bookshelf, whether you’re a connoisseur of the genre or a hard core aficionado.
(Photo of Neil Gaiman by Michael McCarty)
By Book Loveron March 7, 2015
Why read nonfiction? Does it really matter where an author gets an idea? Does it matter what drove the inspiration for a novel, a story, or a film? After reading Crystal Lake Publishing’s Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews with Horror & Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers, the answer is a firm yes. It does matter. Why? These people are bizarre yet normal. They are just like us, but they are somehow different. These are the people that can see into that place, interpret it, and hand us back some of our most frightening nightmares.
The first interview features the science fiction/ fantasy master Forrest J Ackerman. His perspectives over the decades give the reader a strong sense of where we’ve been in genre, and where we might be headed. When he talks about scaling down his valuable memorabilia collection, it’s not with a sense of loss, but a sense of priorities. His enthusiasm has not dimmed a bit, and we could all use that reminder. This is fun, people! C. Dean Andersson’s interview opens with the same: “I find it fun.” Adrienne Barbeau’s contribution was one of my favorites. From her role in The Fog to Carnivàle, she’s never been afraid to tackle the bizarre and make it her own.
(Photo of Adrienne Barbeau and John Carpenter)
Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews with Horror & Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers works so well because it doesn’t confine itself to one side of the artistic fence. Writers and filmmakers bring their craft alive, and complement one another. We see the intersection of these two art forms, and how they bring stories to life in different, but equally powerful ways. John Carpenter, Dan Curtis, Neil Gaiman, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jack Ketchum, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Bentley Little, Kyra Schon, and the many others interviewed for this collection tell us that this creature that we love, horror, is one and the same no matter its form. Celluloid or paper, beware the dark, and what lurks in the minds of those you read and watch in the wee hours. Highly recommended.
(photo of Modern Mythmakers)
Modern Mythmakers – Rungs in the Ladder Leading to the Brass Ring
By Bruce J. Blanchard “Darkenwulf” on March 4, 2015
We all have dreams and ambitions and look to finding out secrets of success, the steps leading up the ladder, and the private inner thoughts in the psyches of those who have made it. Step inside the theater pictured on the cover and go back to their origins, the pains of fame, and what drives them onward from Forry Ackerman (Deceased, Rest His Soul) to the major writers we have come to love and know through their works of horror to those involved in the production business and the reality of being there. The questions posted by Michael McCarty are insightful and conversational. The stories told in the interviews both inform and surprise. No guarantee in the span of a short interview you will come to know the whole person (that would be ridiculous), but you come to understand the path leading to their success. They are the modern mythmakers, the names we’ve known, the books we’ve read, the acting we’ve seen, and the films we’ve come to adore. The interviews are windows of insight into their journey.
One thing must be mentioned and that is the effect of the interviews on those of us who read them. All 35 are on a kind of Red Carpet, posing for pictures and having their say. We who are trying to get out there, anywhere, in our ambitions will be learning what it takes to make it on the Red Carpet ourselves. Yes, we look for book and film lore, natch! Also, we are looking for a kind of advice helping us on our own journeys based on those who made it and grabbed the brass ring. Whether you are looking for that which you have never known and would love to discover – or – just finding what comes next for yourself, Modern Mythmakers is the book you are going to want to read and delve into when that brass ring of yours appears to bear illusive dimensions. Let the past teach you and your experience might yet teach others. Or, just enjoy it for itself and what it says, that too is enough.
(Photo of Elvira & Cassandra Peterson)
By Angelaon February 27, 2015
The interviews in Modern Mythmakers are fabulous. They are both informative and entertaining. While reading this book I saw a few questions that I want to add to the interviews I do for this blog. Any fan of the horror or sci-fi/fantasy genres will find something to love about these interviews. And the advice from the authors and filmmakers are pure gold for anyone who is trying to get started in these careers. A solid 4 star read.
By Chad Lutzkeon February 25, 2015
“Love is the answer to everything.” Not exactly something you may expect to hear coming from Ray Bradbury, but Michael McCarty manages to dig in and bring out such sides to otherwise seemingly dark individuals. As the subtitle suggests, Modern Mythmakers picks at the brains of thirty-five different contributors to the horror and science fiction genres: Writers, actors, producers, and directors. Many of whom you will undoubtedly be very familiar with, and others, not so much. Nevertheless, I found a great interest—and even encouragement—in most of the interviews within.
The interviews with those I wasn’t familiar with made the reads no less entertaining; Joe McKinney, for example—a name I was unfamiliar with—a well-read police sergeant turned author, with quite a story to tell, had me literally laughing out loud at one point in the interview when answering McCarty’s question: “If you could be a monster, what would you be?”
With those I was familiar with (which includes nearly every name on the roster), I found great satisfaction in hearing tidbits of little-known facts and trivia. There’s something about hearing this type of stuff straight from the horse’s mouth that tickles pink the fans of movies like Halloween, Night of the Living Dead, Blood Feast, and Return of the Living Dead and books like Ghost Story, Logan’s Run, Manitou, Intensity; the list goes on. You’ll hear stories like the filming of Trilogy of Terror’s Zuni fetish doll (if you’re anywhere near my age you know you’ve had a nightmare or two with those giant teeth chasing you) and read the extensive resume of Herschell Gordon Lewis, only to find out he’s got a lot more up his sleeve than just ridiculously bright red blood and bushy eyebrows.
Being not just a reader and a fan of film, but a writer, I found quite a bit of encouragement from the testimonies of so many who have paid their dues and earned their place. Jack Ketchum’s advice on what to do next after a writer has published their first novel I found quite inspirational, if not just plain humorous: “Don’t be afraid of writing the second one. Don’t get worried that you’re a one-hit wonder. That can really mess with your brain—I know it did for me. Chances are that if you gave birth to one decent novel, your hips are wide enough to give birth to another. “
And right when I’m feeling good and inspired about my future in writing, Peter Straub comes along and strikes my spine with some chills: “Ghosts accompany us everywhere, and the longer you live, the more of them are following you around.” Thanks, Mr. Straub.
It’s not so much the questions that are asked, as the responses. Some of the same inquiries are made to many of the interviewees but with obviously varying answers from the minds of those who have fed your nightmares and imaginations for decades. Yet even redundant questions—like asking William F. Nolan what the F in his name stands for—leads to an answer revealing a great bit of trivia concerning part of the creation of his own swan song, Logan’s Run. And, of course, Whitley Strieber. When given the floor, Mr. Strieber doesn’t hesitate in reminding us all that his alien abduction was indeed very real, he’s not lying, and he would appreciate some slack here.
Modern Mythmakers is a healthy-sized bowl of horror-themed Wheaties coated with inspiration that’ll fuel your writing and filmmaking passion. And for the straight up fan boys and girls, it’s full of spoonfuls of trivia regarding classic horror and science fiction film and literature. If I have anything negative to say about Modern Mythmakers, it’s that some of the interviews are dated. So here and there you’ll find things that have long since passed—books that have been out for years, movies that have long since left the theater, or even video store. By no means does this take away from the meat of the book, and by knowing that going in I think you’ll enjoy it all the more. But if you’re looking for interviews that reflect upcoming recent news on the interviewees, this is the wrong book. If, however, you’re looking for inspiration and trivia on your favorite contributors to the various fields concerning horror and Sci-Fi, then you’ll feel right at home with Modern Mythmakers.
(Photo of Kyra Schon from Night of the Living Dead)
By pvlimbaughon February 24, 2015
Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews with Horror & Science Fiction Writers and Filmmaker, is a brilliant read, so informative, so entertaining!! Michael McCarty is a stellar interviewer, knowing all the right questions to ask and eliciting some real gems of information.
Within these pages you’ll find film stars, authors, TV personalities and even film crew members all with anecdotes regarding their field. Advice is given, secrets are spilled, it doesn’t get any better than this. A few of the “Mythmakers” are no longer with us but their words will live on forever.
There’s both an entertaining Forward written by Alan Dean Foster and Afterword written by The Amazing Kreskin, they should not be ignored. As an added bonus ebook readers will be treated to additional interviews by Jeffrey Thomas, Frederik Pohl, Kim Newman, Kathryn Leigh Scott and Lara Parker from Dark Shadows, and lastly Surprise, Surprise, Charlee Jacob interviews Michael McCarty, how cool is that?!!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this ‘behind the scenes’ book and highly recommend it.
Reviews on Barnes & Noble:
(The late, great Richard Matheson)
Reviewed by Suzanne Cowles for Readers’ Favorite
Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews with Horror & Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers by Michael McCarty is an entertaining anthology of some of the most creative minds to conceive horror, science fiction and fantasy fiction. Follow this published freelance writer who has been nominated for the Bram Stoker awards into the minds of Ray Bradbury, John Carpenter and the like. For McCarty, the anticipation of asking a famous legend questions to delve into their psyche is exhilarating and scary. Yet his probe into the unknown is conversational and objective. Each great author, director and actor has a story to tell. They unabashedly deliver insight into a complicated industry and reveal the secrets that have led them down the path to success. In addition to the 35 interviews, there is an introduction by the sci-fi legend, Alan Dean Foster who has authored at least 20 books. Some of the insightful interviews are reprints from magazine articles that McCarty wrote. Learn what is success to people who envision monsters, UFOs, weird science and conspiracies. Is it a surprise that Ray Bradbury wants to live on Mars? Probably not, but I was amazed to find out that Elvira once dated Elvis.
If you are looking for something other than tabloid celebrity fodder, then grab a copy of Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews with Horror & Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers by Michael McCarty. Every interview will inspire and delight, even if you are unfamiliar with the books or movies cited. It is a great way to discover new material and explore what makes story creators tick. For me, John Carpenter is the greatest and I was thrilled to know that he is scared by the same things that scare the average person. Without McCarty’s interview, I would have never known that the creator of maniac killer Michael Meyers was cut from the same cloth.
Barnes & Noble Link: