Monday, October 6, 2014

I'm pleased to welcome Horror writer, Derek Ailes!

1. Hello, and welcome to my blog! To start off, what inspired you to take the plunge into the world of publishing?

 I've been writing since I was a kid back in the 80s.  After years of helping my brother get his books published, we decided to do a collection of horror short stories together called Journey Into the Unknown.  I came up with so many story outlines during that project, that I had enough ideas to write and publish my first solo project Zombie Command: A Horror Anthology.

2. Tell me about your book.
 Second Journey Into the Unknown is the latest collection of horror short stories by Mark Cusco Ailes and I.  Like the first volume, Mark wrote several short stories and I wrote several short stories.  Mark and I collaborated on the new updated version of my Night of the Living Redheads and renamed it Day of The Redheads.  I have one story about a real zombie outbreak happening at a convention for a zombie television show.  I also did a story called Claws which is a parody of Jaws and Godzilla using a mutated cat.  Being a big fan of Sharknado and after seeing the Catfurnado poster on April Fool's Day 2014, I wrote Furnado.  Furnado is an exciting thrill ride.  Mark wrote a thriller about a killer doll which he split into three separate short stories.

3. What inspired you to write this book?
I grew up being a big The Twilight Zone, Tales From the Crypt, vintage and 80s horror fan.  I wrote a couple of the short stories in the style of The Twilight Zone.  There is a lot of elements in my stories that are a tribute to the old horror films.  I throw in my political humor when I can.  I also come up with my stories from watching the news.  When I see something I think that would make a great story, I go to my laptop and write away. The story Zombie Con is actually what transpired at the Walker Stalker Con in Chicago this year.  The convention was so unorganized and just what I witness there was a real horror story in itself.  I wrote about it and threw zombies into the mix.

 4. Are there any books/authors that have had a profound impact on your life?
Like most authors, I was heavily influenced by Stephen King.  My commitment to writing can be attributed to an interview from Dean Koontz back in the 90s.  Back in the 90s, I  met the late R. Karl Largent (Black Death, The Red Series) at a writing seminar.  He was one of my first mentors in the writing field.

5. What was your favorite part to write (without spoilers, of course)?
Claws and Furnado were a blast to write.  When you can have a good time writing something in the horror field and crack yourself up while doing it, you have something that's worth reading.

6. What do you most hope to achieve with this novel?

A cult following.  I'm looking for an overnight success story.  I looking to gain fans that will sit back and enjoy the thrill ride I put them on.

7. What do you do when you're not writing?
 If I'm not on social media promoting my work, I'm watching movies or television.

Off-Beat Questions

1. I see you write horror. Have some fears/phobias of your own?

Writer's Block, just kidding.  Every writer is afraid of that.  I fear things I can't figure out. 

2. I have to ask. Do you watch horror movies? If so, what do you think was the best period for horror films (for example, my favorite was the 80s, with Jason and Freddy Kreuger)?  

I can go further back than that.  The old time horror films with Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi, and Vincent Price will always be my favorites.  I love the 80s horror films, but during that time frame they became all about the gory killing. Everything had to be set up for a sequel.  The studios just couldn't let the franchises end.  With the newer horror films, I'm seeing originality return to the horror industry.



  I am a science fiction & horror writer from Valparaiso, Indiana. I also love to write horror stories about zombies and evil cats. I am also a political satirist. In 1985 I wrote my first short story: "The Day It Rained Candy." I also started writing a science fiction series called "Power Force." In 1994 I published my first short story: "The Night Of the Living Redheads." My latest novel, Second Journey Into The Unknown, was written with my brother Mark Cusco Ailes.  I also write short stories for

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