I met Tom last spring, after a few of us tackled the Found Footage Month challenge with Angel, and had a livestream (check it out here) discussing our thoughts on some of the films and the genre as a whole. We all had a great times sharing our love for a sub-genre that seems to be pretty hit or miss with a lot of people, and he and Angel have since started covering found footage movies every Friday on YouTube - I include a reminder at the bottom, so check them out! Tom is a wonderful guy, very friendly, and enthusiastic about his passions, which of course makes him a fantastic member of the indie horror community. Check out his interview answers below, go read the review for Odious Ghouls and get your hands on a copy, and make sure you're following him!
1. What is your earliest memory related to horror?
My earliest horror-related memory would probably be watching the 1987 movie The Monster Squad from behind a corner while my older cousins (who were actually allowed to view it) sat unaware of my presence. As far as an early horror-book memory, I can remember being in absolute awe of Stephen Gammell’s artwork in the Scary Stories series. The first book I ever bought new with my own money was R.L. Stine’s One Day at Horrorland. That one, in particular, made reading feel like a cool thing to me and, after that—I guess—I never looked back.
2. Which would be more terrifying to you – zombie apocalypse, or alien invasion?
To me, it’s always seemed like a far-fetched idea and, frankly, unbelievable that the governments of the world would be unable to manage a zombie apocalypse. Unless there was truly something in the air that was infecting people, I feel like we’d be able to get that kind of thing under control. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if an advanced alien species decided it was finally time to do away with our planet… what, realistically, would we be able to do to stop them?
3. If you were to be involved with the filming of a found footage movie, what would be some of the biggest things you’d want to address? (Things that tend to be the common “issues” we run into as fans)
Hmm. Good question. Well, most importantly, there’s got to be a reason—a good reason—that the filmmakers are holding on to their cameras. I think the most effective thing to do—and what I’ve seen work well in many movies— is to have cameras that operate and film independently of any human. Door cameras, security cameras, cameras left filming alone in rooms on tripods. That kind of setup. I say this because, if I’m in a found footage movie and the stuff starts hitting the fan, I’m dropping my camera and getting the hell outta there.
4. Have you always been interested in writing, or is something you took on more recently?
I’ve been writing since I was a kid. That said, it’s only been a few years now that my work has been out in the world and actually getting read by others.
5. Since you’ve expanded to include a YouTube series with Angel as part of your horror activities, has that made you want to try branching out into anything else as well?
For the most part, I think I’m happy sticking to writing scary books and talking about found footage movies on Found Footage Fridays. That said, part of me thinks somewhat seriously about the ins and outs of writing (and maybe directing?) my own found footage movie. I think that’d be fun.
6. What would be your dream project?
All of my books are quite literally my “dream projects” as they all are inspired by actual dreams—and nightmares—that I’ve had.
7. As a kid, what was your “monster under the bed”? Was there any particular boogeyman that scared the hell out of you?
The only thing that stands out was this movie called Mr. Boogedy. At least, I think that was what it was called. Came out at some point in the 80’s. Without a doubt a kids movie, but it definitely freaked me out for some reason.
8. What’s the best thing you’ve learned from the indie horror community?
I’ve learned that making connections—with other spooky creators and fans of spooky stuff—is the best way to build readers. And it doesn’t just have to be other horror authors or horror readers. Any and everyone who wants it to be Halloween year-round will do just fine. There are so many amazing people in the indie horror community and I feel like I’ve made so many friends just through my writing.
9. Who is your favorite horror icon, all across the board?
This is an incredibly difficult question to answer. I actually skipped this one a few times and took a while to come back to it. There are so many right answers, and not many wrong ones, but—I’m just going to say Mary Shelley and leave it at that.
10. It’s movie night – what’s on your snack list?!
Milk Duds, Skittles, Mr. Goodbar… and then something salty because, holy moly, that’s a lot of sweet.
Find Tom here:
Check out his Found Footage Friday series with Voices From the Mausoleum on YouTube!