Tuesday, May 8, 2012


BLOOD LITE: AFTERTASTE edited by Kevin J. Anderson (Gallery Books)

The third book in the hilarious and horrifying national bestselling anthology series from the Horror Writers Association—a frightfest of sidesplitting stories from such New York Times bestselling authors as Jim Butcher, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Heather Graham, L.A. Banks, Kelley Armstrong, and many more!

Horror fiction explores the dark side of human nature, often pushing the limits of violence, graphic gore, and extreme emotions. Blood Lite III: Aftertaste puts the fun back into dark fiction, featuring a wide range of humorous and highly entertaining horror-filled tales.

After my interview with Kevin J. Anderson, the Blood Lite editor, I tapped a bunch of the authors to talk about why humor is so important in the horror genre, and what inspired their horrifically hilarious tales. This is part two of four.

What’s the most horrific thing you have seen, heard, or read that made you laugh even though you weren’t supposed to?

  • Lisa Morton: I once laughed at a nutcase who was threatening me. Probably not my smartest move, but it just came out...and it was worth it for the look on the whackjob’s face (who did leave me alone).

  • JG Faherty: Well, I know I’m not alone in my habit of laughing at funerals and wakes. Again, it’s an unconscious need to release tension, to make the horrific more palatable. Not unlike my habit of cracking a joke or wise comment when driving past a terrible accident. People often call it a morbid sense of humor, but it’s simply a defense mechanism. Make it funny and you don’t have to think about the reality of a situation. It also happens in bad movies, like the Saw series, where the gore is so outlandish and over the top that it simply stops being scary and just ends up being stupid. Although I have to admit, years ago while working as a photographer I did accident scene photo work for the local police and one time I had to take pictures after someone was run over by a train. There was a single eyeball sitting on a rail. I still have that photo someplace, and it still makes me laugh. I love bringing it out at parties.

  • Mike Baron: A tale. I was talking to Snake yesterday. He said, some years ago he was riding with his club, when the lead bike struck a deer. The rider struck the deer in such a way that the antler pierced the forehead of the unfortunate. It entered his forehead and protruded from the top of his skull. Snake went to the aid of his fallen bro. Grabbed hold of the deer which was thrashing about with the impaled in tow. Snake reached for his knife and wrestled the deer down and slit its throat. The rest of the gang then hog piled on the deer as it went through its death throes. They then decapitated the deer. The ambulance arrives, is stunned by the blood and gore, not to mention the pierced biker, saws off the antler and transports the wounded.

  • Jeff Ryan: My younger brother was in second grade. He had a mean lunch lady who I’ll call Ida. None of the kids liked her. One morning the principal announced that, sadly, Ida had died last night. Silence, then...a cheer. Then another, from another classroom. Soon the entire elementary schoolful of young children was celebrating an old lady’s death. The principal was stuck saying “this isn’t an appropriate response.” A teacher friend of mine said that was the worst thing he’d ever heard.

  • David Sakmyster: I know I’m not alone, but I thought what was supposed to be so horrific about The Human Centipede was actually hilarious. I guess for me there’s just no conceivable way to depict the consumption of human waste and not leave a… (ahem)… funny taste in the mouth.

  • John Alfred Taylor: The last words of vulcanologist David Johnson watching Mt. St. Helens March 20, 1980:  “Vancouver!  Vancouver!  This is it!”  Pyroclastic flow isn’t anything to laugh at, but how right he was.

    The First and Second Defenstrations of Prague: the first bunch out the window were saved by a convenient dung heap below, the second bunch years later died because of improved sanitation.

  • Adrian Ludens: I’m glad you asked because I need to get this off my chest. When I was a junior in high school, we watched a documentary about Nazi Germany in a history class. This documentary focused on the atrocities of the concentration camps. The images and footage really shook me up. And the feeling of sadness and horror continued to mount. On the TV screen, we’re watching Nazi soldiers tossing bodies into a mass grave. Just a tangle of limbs down a massive hole. Then they’re carrying what is obviously a little kid and they stop on the lip of the hole. As they let the body slide down the side of the pit someone in class audibly said: “Wheeee!”

    That someone was me. Several other students gasped and looked at me with disgust. But I don’t think any of them understood what made me do it. I couldn’t take the horror any more. I HAD to lighten the mood. A person can only take so much sadness before they start joking around. That’s what happened to me that day.

  • Chris Abbey: Cop Rock

  • Christopher Golden: I’m sure the list is long and...just wrong.  I can’t even begin to come up with the number one thing on that list, but just yesterday I cracked up when I saw video of one of the assholes who rioted in Vancouver after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Bruins.  Thanks to riot police, the poor bastard got a flashbang to the crotch.  Essentially a small explosion, followed by fire.  It shouldn’t be funny, but it so is.  Though I laughed much harder watching this video, mainly because of the scream and the commentator’s amused sympathy.

  • Jeff Strand: When I laugh inappropriately, it’s usually over something immature rather than something horrific. Though when I was in high school I was at a friend’s house watching BLOOD FEAST, and when the woman got her tongue ripped out my friend’s little brother let out a horrified “Oooohhh” which I thought was absolutely hilarious. The poor kid is probably traumatized to this day. I’m a bad person.

Part 3 coming next week!

Related Articles
- Kevin J. Anderson interview


Lisa Morton has written six movies, four books of non-fiction, two novellas, one novel, and somewhere around fifty short stories. She’s a three-time Stoker Award winner, a recipient of the Black Quill Award, and her cats think she’s awesome. She lives online at www.lisamorton.com.

JG Faherty is an Active Member in the Horror Writers Association. His first novel, CARNIVAL OF FEAR, was published in 2010. His second book, GHOSTS OF CORONADO BAY, was released in 2011, and his third will be coming out in late 2011 as well. His other credits include Cemetery Dance, Shroud Magazine, and several major anthologies, among them Appalachian Winter Hauntings, Legends of the Mountain State 3 & 4, Bound for Evil, Dark Territories, Horror Library IV, and the upcoming Beast Within 2 and Best New Zombie Tales 3.

A freelance writer with over 15 years of experience, his varied background includes working as a laboratory manager, accident scene photographer, zoo keeper, research scientist, and resume writer. When it comes to humor, he enjoys teaching bad words to small children, watching Married with Children, wearing ugly Hawaiian shirts, and trading insults with his friends.

Mike Baron broke into comics with Nexus, his groundbreaking science fiction title co-created with illustrator Steve Rude. He has written for Creem, The Boston Globe, Isthmus, AARP Magazine, Oui, Madison, Fusion, Poudre Magazine, Argosy and many others. Nexus is currently being published in hardcover by Dark Horse. Baron has won two Eisners and an Inkpot for his work on Nexus, now being published in five languages including French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Baron’s revamp of DC’s The Flash continues to garner great reviews. Marvel recently published two collections of Baron’s Work, The Essential Punisher Vol. II and The Essential Punisher Vol. III.

A prolific creator, Baron is at least partly responsible for The Badger, Spyke, Feud, The Hook, and The Architect. The latter is available as a graphic novel from Big Head Press. www.bloodyredbaron.net

Photo by
Mikkel Paige

Jeff Ryan is the author of Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America. He first got interested in mixing comedy and horror when a clown murdered his dog.
twitter.com/#!/dailymario | supermariobook.com

David Sakmyster is an award-winning author and screenwriter whose short stories have appeared in The Writers of the Future Anthology, ChiZine, Horrorworld, Black Static, Talebones, Abyss & Apex  and others.  THE PHAROS OBJECTIVE and forthcoming THE MONGOL OBJECTIVE are the first two novels in a series about psychic archaeologists. He’s also written the horror novel CRESCENT LAKE, and the historical fiction epic, SILVER AND GOLD. You can step into his mind at www.sakmyster.com.

John Alfred Taylor is a retired professor of English in Southwest Pennsylvania, and has been writing science fiction and horror for years. He has been published in GALAXY, GALILEO, GRUE, OCEANS OF THE MIND, and ASIMOV’S, and had stories reprinted in YEAR’S BEST HORROR STORIES. A collection of Taylor’s horror stories, HELL IS MURKY, is available from Ash-Tree Press.

Adrian Ludens is a radio personality and program director for a classic rock station in the Black Hills of South Dakota. His fiction has appeared in Morpheus Tales, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and a number of small press horror anthologies. Recent appearances include stories in Made You Flinch 2: Two For Flinching (edited by Bill Tucker, Library of Horror Press) and in Zombie Kong (edited by James Roy Daley, Books of the Dead Press). Adrian first short story collection is available on Amazon.

Chris Abbey was created in the 60s during a bad thunderstorm and someone’s bad trip. His hobbies are grave-robbing, sewer-lurking, and macrame. He is considering a job offer from a major magazine, and will consider it further if the offer ever actually happens. The picture is a still from a YouTube video in which he discusses how to tell a joke (true).

Christopher Golden is an award-winning, bestselling author of novels for adults and teens, as well as a comic book writer, screenwriter, and editor.  He was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he still lives with his family, and his original novels have been published in more than fourteen languages in countries around the world.  His is not funny.  Please visit him at www.christophergolden.com

Jeff Strand: Stories by Jeff Strand have appeared in all three BLOOD LITE volumes. He’s written a bunch of novels, including stuff like WOLF HUNT and FANGBOY, and he’ll give you a great big hug if you visit his website at www.jeffstrand.com.

Kelley Armstrong: Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write.  Her earliest written efforts were disastrous.  If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay.  All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.  Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon.  She's the author of the "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series, "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, and Nadia Stafford crime series.  She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets. www.KelleyArmstrong.com

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