Tales of Terror and Mayhem From Deep Within the Box, which contains my short story "Material Possession" about one man's obsession with the objects that share his living space, was recently unleashed upon an unsuspecting public in both e- and print formats. Mustering my bravery, I dared to give the Jester's box a few turns of the crank and ventured deep within for a better look at the many gems featured in the collection's Table of Contents. But first up, I spoke with the man behind the mayhem, the inimitable Charles Day.
Share with us the deets of your association with the Evil Little Jester—how did the two of you meet?
Well, I was walking through the woods one eerie and foggy night, and I happened to trip upon a small box, and….Hehehe! Just kidding my jesterly friends! Actually, the two of us met a few years back when I was first frequenting the small press forums, when submission calls for their anthologies were on fire. So, so many small presses to choose from, not enough time to write. Anyway, I needed a picture, an avatar of sorts, and I found the evil dude posing in a photo. And soon after it was love at first sight. From there, we bonded almost instantly. He became my alter ego, my muse, my best friend. I do have to add that it’s been a terrifying ride for me, but the stories my pal and I've created together have been worth it. Many times while reaching down into his box for a story, I was either bitten in the arm, the wrists, or a finger, until finally he warmed up to me. Well, that and because he began to recognize my aroma. Nonetheless, today we are inseparable, two peas in the same pod you might say.
Each of the stories in Tales of Terror and Mayhem From Deep Within the Box is prefaced by an introductory micro-story about how your alter ego came to know the author, which is fairly cool and original. Have any of the details been fictionalized? Or are those introductions completely straightforward nonfiction about meetings and greetings between editor and author?
First I have to say, I’m so damn proud of this book, all the authors, Jessica Weiss, and Wicked East Press for helping me bring my idea to fruition. And I feel the story written by the evil Jester and I, titled "The Gift," has got to be the best short story I’ve written to date. When you read it, you’ll see that our hearts and soul are in this one.
Getting back to your question, dear Gregory, I’d say some of the introductions are fictional, while others were from true experiences with a few authors who I was friends with early on. Now…the Evil Jester and I consider all the authors inside our collection writer friends. I’ve had the admirable opportunity to meet some at a few writer’s conferences, and now many will be attending the upcoming Anthocon, to be held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire this coming November 9-11. Hell, we’re all going to crash the Jester’s hotel room and bathe him in stinky beer and have a kick-ass Tales of Terror and Mayhem party. What, you don’t believe me? Well, just keep an eye out for the photos to appear on Facebook, shortly after the conference.
This seems a fitting one year anniversary hallmark for Evil Jester Press -- to release this particular book on your One Year Mark (the traditional one year anniversary gift is paper, you know). What have been some of the downs over the past year of being a publisher, and share with us the ups.
To be honest, there really isn’t that much on the “downs.” As with any business, the first year is all about sacrifices, investments, securing capital, throwing whatever profits and some of my own income I make back into the business so it can continue to grow. I’m fortunate to have a full-time day job and loving wife, otherwise, my wife may have changed the locks on the doors by now. But the biggest thing for me these last six months, and I know it’s personal, but I’ve been very limited on finishing up my own writing. My novel Deep Within is almost done. I’m applying the final edits from my editor Henry Snider, and then it needs to find a home. I currently have four publishers interested in it. So… talk about pressure. Yikes!
I also have some other projects, mostly Young Adult fiction that’s nearing completion. So, it’s been tough to get ample time to devote to getting these writing projects done. Nevertheless, they will eventually be done and off to find a publisher soon. No worries. I have more than enough accumulated vacation time from my day job, and I plan on using it. And I’ve started to apply the first round edits on my new YA western horror trilogy, Kyle McGertt, Destroyer of the Indian Curses: Book 1 the Hunt for the Ghoulish Bartender, which is being published with Blood Bound Books, Winter 2013. I’m real excited to get this first in the trilogy out. On the upside, being a publisher is rewarding because I get to work with so many authors and editors, meet new authors, and share some good times at conferences. I’m honored to have two great editors in charge,
Peter Giglio and Eric Shapiro, and equally grateful
for all the contributing editors and authors who are now, or soon to be a part
of our jesterly crew. I’m also thrilled that in one year, we have not stopped
in our growth or forward momentum, bringing out quality books and increasing
our readership each month.
What’s next for EJP?
Well, I’ll need to go knock on the Evil Jester’s lid and let him tell you what he’s doing. I’ll be right back! He’s a freaking work horse, to say the least.
Evil Jester here. Hello my jesterly friends. Where to start? Okay! We have more great titles on the way, and of course many are aware that we are humbly honored to have Joe McKinney doing a novel with us. Inheritance is due out in November, but the buzz around this book is incredible. Not only are our devoted readers and fans of the Evil Jester excited to get a copy, we have noticed many new readers are waiting. And then of course there’s Joe’s loving fans that can’t wait to read this.
Charles Day and I have always been comic enthusiasts as a kids, especially the EC comics and Tales from the Crypt, and Vault of Horror, and so much more. Well, I’m excited to announce that we’ve started a new division under the Evil Jester Press publishing company, helmed by David C. Hayes, who is both knowledgeable and a lover of comics as well. He’s also a damn great professional when it comes to script-writing, and he’s got the eye for artistic talent, and so together Charles, David, and I as co-creators are going to bring you the most amazing new series of graphic novels in the near future. You are in for a real treat. Evil Jester Presents Vol #1 will be filled with great stories from the big names you’ve come to love and respect, to the rising stars. Their stories will be adapted into comic form and our artists will have you fully engaged in the superior, full color art work. Now, bear in mind, the sky’s the limit on what we are going to do with this new division. Do I want to see more comic series develop? Hell yeah! Are we going to offer more variety in our choices? Yes. Stay tuned. The Evil Jester is building a bigger box and you’re all invited to come on in and play.
When next the Jester's box opens, the authors in Tales of Terror and Mayhem share a bit of backstory behind their stories. Stay tuned!