Welcome to Day 7 of these most ridiculous and gorey days of Halloween. Today we have Christian Laforet, author and publisher at Adventure Worlds Press. Check out my Facebook Live promo for this post right HERE...
From the Adventure Worlds Press website: Adventure Worlds Press releases fringe titles including Horror, Science Fiction, Short Story Collections, Anthologies, Graphic Novels, and more. Our vision is to create not only quality books and enjoyable reads, but to make them cool products as well. Founded in 2016, we are based in LaSalle, Ontario, Canada.
Regan: Welcome Christian! Tell me about some of your favourite horror stories/short stories, especially those that have an element of humour, published by Adventure Worlds Press?
Christian: The kind of horror I gravitate toward is of the slow burn variety. I love when a scary story takes time to grow and build tension and dread. There has been a trend of late, with horror fiction, to add in unnecessary action early because the story might be *gasp* too slow. If a novel or short story has to add in cheap scares (or jump scares, to use a film term) to be frightening, then it is a failure.
Mixing humor with horror is like walking a tightrope. Lean too much either way, and you fall right off. We at Adventure Worlds Press have not released much (read: almost anything) that mixes the two genres. However, there is a short story in the No Light Tomorrow collection that I think strikes that balance mentioned above quite nicely. Uninvited Guest by Ben Van Dongen is both very sinister in its implications and somewhat absurd in the reactions of the characters. Ben would argue—and since he wrote it, I guess he’s right—that the story is science fiction, but to me, it is absolutely a horror story.
Regan: I’d like to know about horror stories/novels you’ve written…what are the elements of humour (if any) — and have you written in another genre with a generous dollop of humour?
Christian: The great thing about both comedy and horror is that they tap the same primal, extreme reaction in our lizard brains. Basically, to make a person laugh or shudder is a special ability and usually if somebody is gifted enough to do one, they can do both. Case in point: Jordan Peele. As a comedian, he is hilarious. But recently, and to much acclaim, he has jumped over to the dark side, and has been dropping grade A horror on us all with his last two movies. Another great example was the incomparable Robin Williams. A man that could put a smile on almost any face, turned in several dark performances in movies like One Hour Photo and Insomnia.
I have to admit, I do not put a lot of humor in my own writing. It goes back to my own tastes. I appreciate a good horror/comedy, but it isn’t something I personally strive to create.
Regan: Do you have anything new coming down the pipe in the horror or even horror-comedy vein?
Christian: I have the re-release of my first short story collection, The Space Between Houses coming spring 2020. Besides that, I also have a novel that I am shopping around to publishers at the moment. And a second novel is being written right now. None of these projects contain much in the way of humor, sadly, but I have a couple ideas for short stories that could be funny…in a sadistic sort of way.
Regan: Tell me a bit more about some of these projects.
Christian: I am working on a couple short stories at the moment, which will be used for submissions for upcoming anthologies. I like to have a small stockpile of material ready for when opportunity knocks. Unlike my longer work, my short fiction usually does contain some humor; whether it be a bit sadistic in nature, or, more commonly, ironic. A great example of this is a short I recently finished. It features a man that hates Christmas. Of course, through his holiday hating actions, he ends up knee deep in Christmas hell!
Regan: Name and tell me about some of your personal favs as far as horror novels/stories that also contain the element of humour?
Christian: This question is quite timely, as I just recently finished a great horror/comedy called Jam. The story follows a group of people living in an apartment in Sydney, Australia. One morning they wake up to discover that the entire city has been flooded with human-eating jam (strawberry to be exact). The whole thing has a strong Shaun of the Dead vibe…except replace the zombies with jam.
Regan: Where can you find Jam?
Christian: Question 4 – Jam is available through Dark Horse Publishing and can be bought at just about any bookstore or online.
Regan: And what about your favourite horror-comedy movies?
Christian: Well, since I just mentioned Shaun of the Dead, I might as well sing its praises. What I love about that film is that with just a few tweaks in either direction, it becomes an outright comedy or horror film. It truly walks that tightrope (I’m getting a lot of mileage out of that analogy). Anther great zom-com (zombie comedy for those who don’t know) is the classic Return of the Living Dead (“Send more paramedics.” If you’ve seen it, you know!). Moving away from the undead (but not the flesh eating), I also really love New Zealand film, Black Sheep. Oh! And, I have to mention this one, The Greasy Strangler. If you have not seen (or even heard of) this movie, you have to find a copy and give it a watch. Warning, it is very much R-rated, but quite funny (especially for those who enjoy movies like Napoleon Dynamite).
Regan: I love Black Sheep! Is The Greasy Strangler available on DVD?
Christian: I have a copy of The Greasy Strangler on Blu-Ray (bought from Amazon), but I believe the film is available for streaming.
My local movie store was having a sale—which they are wont to do from time to time—so of course, I was there to buy. One of the films that ended up in my hands was Black Sheep. I had never heard of it, but the premise was too good to pass up.
Regan: Do you enjoy B-movies? If so, which ones? And what is it about them that you enjoy?
Christian: I love B-movies! My favourite thing about a good B-movie is that it knows what it is. Let me explain. Once the restraints have been cast off (in this case, the pretense that the film is some form of art), the movie can live and breath in all its absurdness with utter abandon. And that’s what makes B-movies great; they know they are not good, and aren’t really trying to be (most of the time). It’s like, we’re all in on the joke, even the filmmakers, so it turns out to be nothing more or less than a fun time. Some of my favs are: Father’s Day (again, like Greasy Strangler, don’t let the kids watch this one), Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Piranha (original and remake).
Regan: How do you celebrate Halloween?
Christian: Since I have two children (girls, aged 6 and 8), my Halloween revolves around them. But there was a time in the past, when I still had a precious thing called freedom, where I would head out on Halloween night to partake in two of my favourite pastimes: drinking and wearing costumes. Nothing beats a house slammed full of drunken people in crazy outfits. I have fond memories of sweating profusely under a Leatherface mask, while watching two girls dressed at pirates make out with a giant banana. Ah, good times.
Regan: Please go ahead and self-promote!
Christian: Well, like I said above, I do have some books coming out (both sooner and later), and will be hitting a bunch of conventions and events all of next year. For more info, you can follow me on Instagram at ChristianLaforet, on Twitter @C_Laforet, Facebook Author Christian Laforet and my website ChristianLaforet.com.
As for Adventure Worlds Press, we will be re-releasing The Space Between Houses and Broadcast Wasteland (the former horror the latter sci-fi) spring 2020. For more on those, check out AdventureWorldsPress.com
Thanks so much, Christian for sharing your love of horror, with or without comedy!
Up next tomorrow, we have Bern Euler, Festival Director of the Canadian Film Festival! To view the previous day's blog, click HERE...
And as for some of the titles we discussed, you can find them here:
Don't forget to join my new email list so you can join a community of horror-comedy Frankenfiction aficionados! You'll get a free script, too!
And if you're interested in my series of 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)
Buy the whole Trilogy, or one at a time!