Welcome to Day 2 of these most ludicrous and horrific days of Halloween! Today, I have a written interview for you, where I interrogate genre author and publisher at Mirror World Publishing, Justine Alley Dowsett! You can see my Facebook Live promoting this post HERE!
Regan: Hello and welcome, Justine! Would you give me your personal summary of Mirror World Publishing?
Justine: Mirror World Publishing is a small independent publishing house based in Windsor, Ontario. We publish quality paperbacks and ebooks of escapism fiction for all ages that feature other worlds, times and versions of reality.
We pride ourselves on our originality and 'outside the box' thinking, while taking a good look at the question, 'what if?' Our stories are never ordinary, the dialogue and action engaging, the characters believable, and there will always be some element of romance, adventure, science or magic. We are dedicated to bring our readers novels that will not only entertain them, but also teach them something about the world they live in by showing them one that mirrors it. We hope you’ll consider picking up a novel from our collection so you can see for yourself what we’re all about.
You'll find a wide variety of our wonderful titles in our bookstore and you can also purchase or review them through most major retailers worldwide.If you want to know more about us, feel free to contact us. We are very active on Facebook and our blog as well.
Regan: Tell me about some of your favourite horror or genre stories/short stories published by Mirror World?
Justine: We’re not supposed to pick favourites, but the funniest book in our whole collection is This Night Sucks by Elizabeth J.M. Walker, hands down. This Night Sucks is a novella for teens, set in a small Canadian town where nothing exciting ever happens. In fact, although Vampires are a very real threat in this world, they are so mundane and commonplace that there’s a high school course on how to deal with any bloodsuckers you might come across. As the author puts it, Vampires are a lot like other scary things that supposedly exist but you hope you’ll never come across: nudist colonies, mad cow disease, and your parents’ sex life.
I know the Vampire thing has by now become a tired trope, but I urge you to try Elizabeth J.M. Walker’s novella because it knows Vampires are overplayed and somehow it still manages to make them hilarious.
Regan: I love the line you mentioned from This Night Sucks! Tell me, if you can…is the story going to take the reader to a surprising place? The kind of thing where they think they know where the story is headed, but little do they know…?
Justine: I don’t want to spoil anything. Suffice it to say, this *is* a story about what happens when vampires come to an small, unsuspecting Canadian town. But the vampires aren’t much more competent than the self-styled ‘vampire hunters’ and it all kind of goes sideways.
Regan: I’d like to know about the genre stories/novels you’ve written and/or published…what are the elements of humour?
Justine: Personally, I write fantasy romance and a little bit of sci-fi, but I always make sure to include humour, whether in the form of funny scenes/moments, or a character that’s primarily there to provide comedic relief. In fact, my most recent novels written with my sister, Murandy Damodred, Unintended and Uncharted are basically romantic comedies set the fantasy world of Ismera. They’re a lot of fun to read and they were a lot of fun to write.
Regan: You mentioned you always make sure to include some humour in your stories—tell me why you think comic relief is so important, especially in genre tales?
Justine: For me, fiction is escapism. So what better way to escape the doldrums of reality than to laugh?
Regan: Agreed! Do you have anything new coming down the pipe in the genre-comedy vein (as a writer and/or as a publisher)?
Justine: We have a few comedic books in our collection already. I definitely recommend you check out David McLain’s time travel comedy, The Time Traveler’s Resort and Museum or Rob Gregson’s literary mashup, Shelf Life. Coming up in March 2020, we have The Demons of Wall Street by Laurence Brothers which is a noir-style detective novella, with a paranormal twist that also manages to include some comedy and some romance.
Regan: Name and tell me about some of your personal favs as far as horror novels/stories that also contain the element of humour?
Justine: I can’t say that I’m a fan of horror, so I’m not wide-read in that department. I can recommend an author friend I know who writes short horror fiction. Christian Laforet of Adventure Worlds Press has some surprising and at times funny twists in his horror anthology, The Space Between Houses.
Regan: And what about your favourite horror-comedy movies?
Justine: I would have to say Cabin in the Woods was my favorite. As I mentioned, I’m not much for horror, but I do like Joss Whedon’s stuff. If Buffy the Vampire Slayer counts, then you can add that one to the list also!
Regan: What is your favourite moment from Cabin in the Woods? And yes, Buffy most certainly counts! I’m glad you brought that up…horror comedy television series cannot be ignored!
Justine: The scene that sticks with me from Cabin in the Woods is when the facility with all its monsters is revealed. It hints at a larger world and implies ties to Joss Whedon’s other works and I think that’s neat. I loved Buffy, the TV series, and Angel, of course, but I also have a fond spot in my heart for the old Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie with Luke Perry.
Regan: Do you enjoy B-movies? If so, which ones? And what is it about them that you enjoy?
Justine: I tend to watch B-Movies with friends, not because they are good, but specifically because they are bad. Some movies are fun to watch for how terrible they are, especially in a large group with commentary.
Regan: I love that you get together with friends to basically have a running commentary on especially bad but fun B-movies! Would you tell me a couple titles that stick out for you, and maybe a moment or two that may have caused a laugh out loud moment?
Justine: Oh, there have been so many… Um, well my group of friends and I like to roleplay and we started out where most roleplayers do with Dungeons and Dragons, so a particularly cringe-worthy B-movie would have to be Mazes and Monsters featuring a very young Tom Hanks. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you check it out, it is hilariously bad and was originally intended to warn people about the dangers of fantasy role playing games.
Regan: How do you celebrate Halloween?
Justine: This year we’re bringing back an old tradition of holding a feast on Halloween. Each person brings a dish and once candy has been handed out for the evening, we feast. It’s something we used to make time for that kind of fell to the wayside as we became busy adults, but we’re making the effort to bring it back.
Regan: That Halloween feast sounds awesome! Does it include “proper food” in addition to candy?
Justine: It’s mainly proper food, actually. It’s intended to be a bit fancy. Sure, we have dessert, but also break out the wine and appetizers.
Regan: Thank you so much, Justine. It was terrifyingly terrific talking to you!
If you’d like to check out Justine's romantic comedies, sci-fies, or darker fantasy romances, you can do so here: https://www.amazon.com/Justine-Alley-Dowsett/e/B004MNQAUA?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1570733485&sr=8-1
Or you can visit Mirror World Publishing’s store to see all of their titles here: https://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/
And, of course, here’s This Night Sucks by Elizabeth J. M. Walker: https://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/young-adult-fiction/products/this-night-sucks-paperback
If you're looking for a picture book of MINE that is also published by Mirror World Publishing, Mixter Twizzle's Breakfast stars a little Halloweenesque Monster! Check it out here: https://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/adventure/products/mixter-twizzles-breakfast-childrens-picture-book
Here are some links to some of the movies and TV series we chatted about...
And if you're interested in my genre-comedy novellas, the "Trilogy of Horrifically Half-baked Ham," here are the links:
Space Zombies! (or Amazon)
They Suck (or Amazon)
Horror at Terror Creek (or Amazon)
You can buy them individually, or get the entire Trilogy!
And don't forget to sign up for my new email list for B-movie/horror (and genre)-comedy aficionados!
Sign up and you'll get a free copy of the online live script of characters from my novella, Horror at Terror Creek, as they interact during the book's online launch party. The characters' dialogue was written live on Facebook during the launch party by a number of writers and actors from my production company, Triple Take Productions.
My interview with Christian Laforet of Adventure Worlds Press (whom Justine mentioned in our interview above) is Day 7 of my 13 Horrifically Silly Days of Halloween...
Want to see my first post, Day 1 of my 13 Horrifically Silly Days of Halloween? Click HERE...
CHECK OUT DAY 3 OF 13 HORRIFICALLY SILLY DAYS OF HALLOWEEN, WITH ACTOR AND WRITER SUSAN BERGER, WHO PLAYED THE REAL BUTCHER IN AMERICAN HORROR STORY ROANOKE!