Monthly Archives: August 2022

Michael McCarty Interview for Non-Fiction Spotlight

Here is the link:

Non-Fiction Spotlight: More Modern Mythmakers: 25 Interviews with Horror and Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers by Michael McCarty | Cora Buhlert

Here is the interview, cut & pasted:

Non-Fiction Spotlight: More Modern Mythmakers: 25 Interviews with Horror and Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers by Michael McCarty

Posted on July 17, 2022 by Cora

After the Hugos is before the next Hugos, so I’m continuing my Non-Fiction Spotlight project, where I interview the authors/editors of SFF-related non-fiction books that come out in 2022 and are eligible for the 2023 Hugo Awards. For more about the Non-Fiction Spotlight project, go here. To check out the spotlights I already posted, go here.

For more recommendations for SFF-related non-fiction, also check out this Facebook group set up by the always excellent Farah Mendlesohn, who is a champion (and author) of SFF-related non-fiction.

Interview collections have long been a part of SFF-related non-fiction, therefore I’m thrilled to welcome Michael McCarty, author of More Modern Mythmakers: 25 Interviews with Horror and Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers to my blog today:

More Modern Mythmakers by Michael McCarty

Tell us about your book.

MICHAEL McCARTY:  More Modern Mythmakers features Horror, Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy’s most influential writers and filmmakers interviewed about the art and craft of their genres.

The 25 interviews include Steve Alten, Reggie Bannister, Terry Brooks, Charles de Lint, Dennis Etchison, John Everson, Alan Dean Foster, Ray Garton, Sephera Giron, Owl Goingback, Charles Grant, Nancy Holder, Paul Kane, Ronald Kelly, Joe Lansdale, Bentley Little, Jeff Long, Jonathan Maberry, Elizabeth Massie, Larry Niven, William Stout, Jeff Strand, Harry Turtledove, J.N. Williamson, Connie Willis. The foreword is by Gerard Houarner and the afterword by Jeffrey Thomas

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

McCARTY: I’m from the Quad Cities (Iowa/Illinois along the Mississippi River). I am a 5-Time Bram Stoker Finalist and author of over 50 books. I did win the David R. Collins’ Literary Achievement Award from the Midwest Writing Center. I am married to a lovely lady named Cindy and we have a pet rabbit named Yeti.

I was a freelance writer for about twenty years working for such magazines as “Starlog,” “Fangoria,” “Cemetery Dance,” “Filmfax,”and eventually became a staff writer for “Science Fiction Weekly,” the website of the Sci-Fi network, which eventually became the Sy-Fy network.

What prompted you to write/edit this book?

McCARTY: I do apologize in advance because this is a long answer.

My first pro sale was in 1983 for a regional music magazine. My first national sale was in 1993 to Starlog. And my first book was in 2003.

In 2015 , Crystal Lake Publishing, published Modern Mythmakers, a collection of 35 interviews with the likes of Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, John Carpenter, John Saul, Dean Koontz, Elvira, Whitley Streiter, Forry Ackerman, Timothy Zahn and more. It was ten years of my life boiled down to 90,000 words.

Modern Mythmakers

At this point, doing hundreds of interviews for over four decades, I decided to retire from interviews.

I hadn’t done a nonfiction book for a while, but when I hit Haunted America up with the idea of doing a true ghost book called Ghosts of the Quad Cities they eagerly agreed. For that book, I had to do several interviews with paranormal investigators, librarians, and local historians.

Of course, I did a sequel called Eerie Quad Cities in 2021.

I got bitten again by the interview bug. And although it was about five years after the original Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews with Horror and Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers it contained to sell well over the years.

I decided to leave retirement for doing interview behind and hit Joe Mynhardt (the editor and publisher) about doing a sequel and he said yes.

Why should SFF fans in general and Hugo voters in particular read this book?

McCARTY:  I have some great interviews with some great science fiction and fantasy writers such as Alan Dean Foster, Harry Turtledove, Terry Brooks and Charles de Lint and Connie Willis. Plus, a slew of horror and dark fantasy writers and filmmakers as well.

The book is bursting at the seams with great interviews. You’ll walk away knowing more about the interviewees but also about the horror and science fiction publishing and film industry the art and craft of writing books and doing movies.

I hope the reader comes away more knowledgeable and inspired and will write a terrific work after they finish the book. No thanks needed.

Do you have any cool facts or tidbits that you unearthed during your research, but that did not make it into the final book?

That would take a book length to answer to be honest. Each interview really was like travelling a dark and mysterious river and by the end, I seen the light and discovery and joy and knowledge.

I’ve read tons of interviews by my interviewees in the book, for example Ray Garton, Jonathan Maberry, Alan Dean Foster and Connie Willis – and they were even a bit surprised at the questions, and I was equally surprised with the answers/

SFF-related non-fiction is somewhat sidelined by the big genre awards, since the Nebulas have no non-fiction category, and the Best Related Work Hugo category has become something of a grab bag of anything that doesn’t fit elsewhere. So why do you think SFF-related non-fiction is important?

Winning awards are nice. Super nice, the icing on any cake. But I don’t write books to win awards, I write books to educate, entertain and for the reader to be hopefully inspired to also write a terrific book or screenplay as well.

Are there any other great SFF-related non-fiction works or indeed anything else (books, stories, essays, writers, magazines, films, TV shows, etc.…) you’d like to recommend?

 The Writing Life by Jeff Strand, How to Write Horror Fiction by William F. Nolan, Let’s Get Creative  also by William F. Nolan, Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing by David Morrell, How to Write Horror, Fantasy & Science Fiction edited by J.N. Williams and Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury. Every writer listed here has been interviewed by me one time or another, these books are close to my heart.

Also of course, Stephen King’s On Writing.

I’d also highly recommend the book On Writing Horror edited by Mort Castle for the Horror Writers Association. This book is terrific, it is eight sections and has essays about writing from Harlan Ellison, David Morrrell, Jack Ketchum and Ramsey Campbell (who, also, at one time or another I interviewed too).

The thing about On Writing Horror, I am most proud of is this, like I said, the book is in eight sections. Section One is “Horror, Literature and Horror Literature,” and consist of two essays and a speech by Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King and Michael McCarty (yup… that’s me).

Where can people buy your book?

AmazonBarnes & Noble if your favorite bookstore isn’t carrying it, they could order it.

Where can people find you?

Facebook: and

Twitter:  MichaelMcCarty7

And I have a monthly blog at:

Thank you, Michael, for stopping by and answering my questions.

About More Modern Mythmakers: 25 Interviews with Horror and Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers:

More Modern Mythmakers features Horror, Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy’s most influential writers and filmmakers interviewed about the art and craft of their genres.

The 25 interviews include:
Steve Alten
Reggie Bannister
Terry Brooks
Charles de Lint
Dennis Etchison
John Everson
Alan Dean Foster
Ray Garton
Sephera Giron
Owl Goingback
Charles Grant
Nancy Holder
Paul Kane
Ronald Kelly
Joe Lansdale
Bentley Little
Jeff Long
Jonathan Maberry
Elizabeth Massie
Larry Niven
William Stout
Jeff Strand
Harry Turtledove
J.N. Williamson
Connie Willis

Foreword by Gerard Houarner
Afterword by Jeffrey Thomas

If you’re interested in books on writing, the horror genre, science fiction, famous authors, or even becoming a full time author, this book is a must-have.

More Modern Mythmakers is the sequel to 2015’s Modern Mythmakers by Michael McCarty, published by Crystal Lake Publishing.

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.

About Michael McCarty:

Michael McCarty has been a professional writer since 1983, and the author of over fifty books of fiction, including I Kissed A Ghoul, Frankenstein’s Mistress, Dark Cities: Dark Tales, A Little Help From My Fiends, Liquid Diet & Midnight Snack, Dark Duets, Dracula Transformed and Other Bloodthirsty Tales (with Mark McLaughlin), Lost Girl Of The Lake (with Joe McKinney), the vampire Bloodless series: Bloodless, Bloodlust and Bloodline (with Jody LaGreca). He is a five-time Bram Stoker Finalist, and in 2008 won the David R. Collins’ Literary Achievement Award from the Midwest Writing Center.

His nonfiction books include: Esoteria-Land: The Authentic, Eclectic and Eccentric Nonfiction of Michael McCartyGhosts of the Quad Cities (with Mark McLaughlin), Eerie Quad Cities (with John Brassard Jr.), and Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews With Horror and Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers which features interviews with Ray Bradbury, Dean Koontz, John Carpenter, Richard Matheson, Elvira, Linnea Quigley, John Saul, Joe McKinney, and many more.

Michael McCarty lives in Rock Island, Illinois with his wife Cindy and pet rabbit Yeti.



★★★★ “As the majority of the authors are genre living legends, this book also has a wide range of tips and advice from those who have been there already, sampled success, bought the t-shirt and are kindly willing to share their sage advice.”—Horror DNA

★★★★★ “As an interviewer, Michael McCarty knows his stuff. His questions are well respected and thoughtful, and they always keep the focus on his subjects”—Romie Scott, Reflections Edge

MORE MODERN MYTHMAKERS features Horror, Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy’s most influential writers and filmmakers interviewed about the art and craft of their genres. The 25 interviews include Steve Alten, Reggie Bannister, Terry Brooks, Charles de Lint, Dennis Etchison, John Everson, Alan Dean Foster, Ray Garton, Sephera Giron, Owl Goingback, Charles Grant, Nancy Holder, Paul Kane, Ronald Kelly, Joe Lansdale, Bentley Little, Jeff Long, Jonathan Maberry, Elizabeth Massie, Larry Niven, William Stout, Jeff Strand, Harry Turtledove, J.N. Williamson, and Connie Willis.

MORE MODERN MYTHMAKERS ebook and trade paperback on Amazon…

(Michael McCarty holding a copy of MODERN MYTHMAKERS on WVIK radio)


The ebook is only .99 cents And it includes in-depth interviews with Forrest J. Ackerman; C. Dean Andersson; Adrienne Barbeau; Ray Bradbury; Ramsey Campbell; John Carpenter; Dan Curtis; 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; Fred Olen Ray; John Saul; David Snell; Darce Stoker; Peter Straub; Whitley Strieber; Timothy Zahn;

Foreword by Alan Dean Foster

Afterword by The Amazing Kreskin.

Whether you’re an author looking for career advice, a fan of classic films and authors, or looking for true stories of inspiration, this is the book for you.



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The Most Influential Horror Movies During The Pre-Code Era (1929-1933)

By Michael McCarty

The Pre-Code Era – movies made between 1929-1933 where made before the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code. There was still censorship, but not to the degree after the Code. Before the code, there was freedom for filmmakers during that time in terms of violence and sexuality and adult content.

The 1930s in general, was a great decade for Horror and Science Fiction.

These are my picks for movies in this time period, which still, has an enormous influence for modern films today

(King Kong on Skull Island with Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong ….

Fay Wray and King Kong)

  1. KING KONG (1933) – a love triangle between Ann Darrow (Fay Wray), Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) and The Eight Wonder of the World – King Kong (stop motion special effects by William O’Brien). The story stretches from New York City, to Skull Island and ending with a battle of Kong versus a squadron of biplanes. I have a feeling if this film was made after the Code, the scene when Kong examines Fay Wray on the ledge of his cave (removing most of her dress) wouldn’t have made the cut. KING KONG was a big success when it came out and of course there were several sequels and remakes over the years.

(Frankenstein & Dracula at the theaters)

2. FRANKENSTEIN (1931) Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) discovered the secrets of life and death and with this dark knowledge, he reconstructed a dead man made up a patchwork of various corpses and with the help of Fritz (played by Dwight Frye who was also in DRACULA), who digs ’em or cuts them off the noose of a hanging rope. The doctor is engaged to Elizabeth (Mae Clark), but that is put on hold after his man-made monster (beautifully played by Boris Karloff) is brought back to life and runs amuck. Of course, the film doesn’t really follow Mary Shelley’s story that much, but is still a masterpiece of early horror. One of the masterpieces of that era, it is hard to top this one.

3. DRACULA (1931) Transylvanian and vampire Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi) decides to move from his homeland to England with the help of agent Renfield (played by Dwight Frye). There is Mina (Helen Chandler), Lucy (Frances Dada) and of course the vampire’s nemesis Dr. Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan). Like FRANKENSTEIN, there were countless sequels and remakes, but Bela Lugosi is still the benchmark of a great vampire performance (and he doesn’t even wear fangs for the role). This one follows Bram Stoker’s novel closer than Shelley’s book to screen transition does. Universal also made a “Spanish” DRACULA, which is even more creepier, which was shot at night after the day production closed up shop.

4. DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE (1931) Dr. Henry Jekyll (Fredric March) experiments in his lab and when he drinks his chemical formula cocktail it turns him into the monstrous Mr. Hyde. There were plenty of scenes with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde both enact with prostitute “Champagne” Ivy Pearson (Miriam Hopkins) that probably won’t have passed the after Code, about three years later. The first Dr. Jekyll movie was made in 1920, a silent feature with John Barrymore. And eleven years later with Spencer Tracy and several others over the years as well. But having matinee idol March and transform monster and have his dark side take over (make-up by Wally Westmore). March an Academy Award for his role and well deserved it, because it had to tell that both roles were played by the same person.

Fredric March’s Academy Award winning performance in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

5. ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (1932) Richard Arlen (Edward Parker) survives the sinking of a ship, but after he is rescued, he ends up being tossed off his rescue boat before it makes a delivery to Dr. Moreau at his isolated island. Arlen, ends on Dr. Moreau’s estate and is imprisoned there by the doctor (played by Charles Laughton), where is doing experiments on a hybrid of human/animals. Besides the mad scientist, you have The Sayer of the Law (Bela Lugosi) and the beautiful and mysterious Lola The Panther Woman (Kathleen Burke). This film had trouble before the Code, it definitely would have had more problems after the Code. My favorite scenes are with The Sayer of the Law and Dr. Moreau. “What is the Law?” the doctor would say. And The Sayer would respond, “Not to eat meat, that is the law. Are we not men?” and the other human/animals would repeat. The chant “Are we not men,” would be used years later in a Devo song.

6. THE MUMMY (1932) Egyptian high priest Im-Ho-Tep (Boris Karloff) is condemned and buried alive. Over 3,000 later the tomb is discovered and he is brought back to life. The Mummy tries to reunite with Princess Ankh-esen-amun (Zita Johann) whom he believes has been reincarnated as Helen Grovsuenor. The movie has dream-like qualities that are followed by nightmarish horror – a great balancing act for the audience. Has had several sequels and remakes, but the original is still the masterpiece.


FREAKS (1932)


DR. X (1932)


THE GHOUL (1933)




(Author’s note … this list a little bit heavy on Fay Wray films, but I always had a big crush on her)

(Please buy Michael McCarty)

Glenn Strange as Frankenstein, Bela Lugosi as Igor, Michael McCarty praying for readers (Michael McCarty photo by Raymond Congrove, photoshopped by Bruce Walters)

If you like this or my other blogs, please consider buying my books ….

ESOTERIA-LAND by Michael McCarty
Ebook is only .99 cents

Interviews with Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues, Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong, Terry Pratchett, Mojo Nixon, Bobcat Goldthwait and many more… Plenty of great interviews and movie and books reviews too

Frankenstein and Dracula fans

Frankenstein’s Mistress by Michael McCarty
Dracula Transformed by co-written by Michael McCarty
Trade Paperback:
“It’s Alive … and in love!!!”

“Michael McCarty is given full rein, and off he goes on a bizarre trip of the imagination, all stops out, no limits, hell-for-leather,” – William Nolan author of Logan’s Run

This collection of horror and science fiction stories includes a sequel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – with Victor Frankenstein, the monster, and a blind fortune teller named Rose Blackthorn. In other tales… even the apocalypse won’t stop Leonard Cartwright from searching for his wife in the ruins; after getting struck by lightning that left him in a coma for twenty years, Jackson Heyward awakens with the ability to talk to the dead; will the discovery of the power of invisibility help save Dr. Nick’s failing relationship with his soulmate, or will it aid in its destruction? And many more twisted tales. Sometimes love is a monster …
And there is no escape from Frankenstein’s Mistress: Tales of Love & Monsters.

DRACULA TRANSFORMED: by Mark McLaughlin & Michael McCarty
Vampire tales & Dracula stories: Throughout history, people have been fascinated by the seductive allure of vampires. We read about them in books, watch stories about them on television and in movies — but do we know all there is to know about them? Of course not. These creatures of the shadows have kept their most shocking secrets hidden . . . until now. Paperback: US Kindle:
UK Kindle:

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 have unearthed many of the secrets of the bloodthirsty dead. In the novella Dracula Transformed, Dracula 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

If you like vampires, werewolves, mummies … please check out I KISSED A GHOUL .. this book was on the Bram Stoker Final Ballot for Young Adult

You would think that being the mayor’s son would automatically make Tommy Wharton popular. If only! This horny, overweight high-school geek is the diametric opposite of popular — but that doesn’t stop him from trying to score with the chicks. After all, his dad’s position does lend a few sweet perks: use of his campaign van and credit card. The only thing that can — and does — get in the way of his raging hormones is the supernatural. Vampires. Werewolves. Succubi. Mummies. You name it, Tommy faced it. And walked away with his life and virginity intact. Will Tommy finally hook up with the girl of his dreams, or will his love-life remain thoroughly zombified?

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