07/13/14 – WebbWeaver Books Internet Radio Program / Interview and Reading Chapter 3 of “Dead Kill Book 1: The Ridge of Death
On July 13, 2014, Thomas was briefly interviewed by C K Webb on the WebbWeaver Internet radio program. He also got to read Chapter 3 from his 2014 novel “Dead Kill Book 1: The Ridge Of Death”
Here is a link to the show:
Here are comments made during the show by C K Webb:
“I always get excited when I get Thomas Malafarina on the show.”
“You do something very, very special; something that I enjoy more than normal people. You kill people and I like that.”
“You kill ‘em so good it makes me happy!”
“I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad thing; but sadly Thomas I love your books.”
“You do something very special. A lot of horror nowadays is simply about gratuitous violence and gore. Right? Just throw that gore out there; slam them in the face with guts and gray matter and people think that’s horror. But that’s not true. That’s not what horror is. Horror, I say, comes from being afraid of the monsters. Vampires don’t sparkle!”
“That’s the thing I love about your writing. I love that you go with that pure form of this is the real deal; I want you to looking up under your bed when you’re walking towards it to make sure there’s nothing up underneath it. I just want to say I really do appreciate that about your writing.”
“Wow! That was really freaking me out! It’s giving me nightmares in the middle of the afternoon. Nobody else does that to me like you do.”
“As always, I now have another Thomas Malafarina book to add to my Thomas Malafarina stack; yes you have your own stack.”
“Get out there and check out Dead Kill Book 1: The Ridge of Death” it sounds absolutely incredible! No sparkly zombies here; all hard core.”
The following interview appeared on Author Chris Redding’s blog 6/27/14
The following interview appeared on Day Zero Blog for the 2014 Summer Of Zombie Blog Tour.
Summer of Zombie 2014 SPOTLIGHT ON: Why I Wrote Dead Kill -Thomas M. Malafarina
Posted on June 27, 2014
Summer of Zombie 2014: THOMAS M. MALAFARINA
The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 33 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.
Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #SummerZombie
It seemed like everyone and his brother was doing zombie apocalypse books as well as comics, TV shows and movies for many years. And I fought the urge to jump into the fray for a very long time, feeling that the genre had been done to death; so to speak. I decided if I was going to take the time to write a zombie-based book it would have to be different than anything else out there.
There was actually a time when I swore I would never write a zombie story. Then I broke down in 2010 and wrote a zombie short story, “Bright Of The Living Dead”. And then I wrote another called “Happy Valentine’s Day”. Then in 2011 came the humorously twisted “Call Him Maury” followed in 2012 by “Dinner With Andy And Meg”. Things got a bit sicker with “A Love Best Served Cold” and last but not least in 2013 I came up with the adventurous “Even The Great Will Fall”. In every one of these short stories I strove to do something original and I think I was successful. As such, I felt I might be ready to tackle a whole zombie-based novel.
So I gave the idea a lot of thought. Then as I usually do when writing a new story, I asked myself about a thousand questions. I looked at the world today and realized zombies destroying some of the world such as underdeveloped, third-world countries might be possible and even probable. But I seriously doubted that with the technology and the number of armed citizens we have in the US we could possibly be overrun by a bunch of shambling, walking corpses; no matter how many of them there might be. If you think about it, one single state in the US has more firearms and
ammunition per capita than the armed forces of many countries.
I chose to venture into what I believe is new and possibly risky territory from a literary standpoint. I knew zombie fans loved to see the world destroyed and civilization thrust into Darwinian chaos. However, I decided to write a story where the zombie apocalypse happened and where 60% of the world’s population was wiped out. But in developed well-armed countries such as ours the casualty count was much less. This story takes place in 2053, in the United States, ten years after the initial outbreak. Here zombies still exist and although deadly, are much less of a threat and more of a nuisance. (Think in terms of a deer wandering out onto the highway; but in this case if would be a dear that wants to eat you alive).
Newly reformed governments put bounties on the creatures and each citizen is rewarded $100 per zombie. This act of putting down the creatures became known as a Dead Kill. (Killing something already dead). This brought the population of undead down dramatically and for a few years provided a good way for many people to earn a decent living. There are new strict government regulations for dealing with the dead and dying since the virus lives in every human and is only activated at time of death.
Citizens now live in protected fortified cities which are constantly expanding and taking back more land all the time. They travel well-armed from city to city passing through what are called the “outlands”, which are populated by not only remaining zombies but by bands of wild and savage motor cycle riding renegades, who are often more dangerous than the zombies themselves.
The book is a thriller set in this post-zombie-apocalypse world. Zombies are not the main focus of the book. The main focus of the book involves a psychopathic character who makes his living illegally in the dark and perverse drug-infested underworld of the outlands. That being said, I still found plenty of opportunities for good old fashion zombie gore.
Books, Beer and Blogsh#t Summer of Zombie 2014: THOMAS M. MALAFARINA
Posted on June 26, 2014 By BBBS Blog
Summer of Zombie 2014: THOMAS M. MALAFARINA
Summer of Zombie 2014: THOMAS M. MALAFARINA
Posted on June 8, 2014 By Hobbes End Publishing in Author Outtakes, Guest Summer of Zombie 2014: THOMAS M. MALAFARINA
Originally published on “The Big Thrill” blog
By J. H. Bográn
Thomas M. Malafarina’s new novel—DEAD KILL—opens in the year 2053. It’s been ten years since the long-anticipated zombie apocalypse arrived with a vengeance and wiped out more than half of humanity. However, not only did the humans manage to survive but they also succeeded in destroying the seemingly countless hoards of the undead and regained their rightful place at the top of the food chain. Now living safely in fortified towns and cities, humans go about their daily lives with little concern for the greatly reduced numbers of undead remaining in the unprotected outlands and forests. These creatures have been reduced to roadside nuisances albeit deadly ones.
Beginning with these potent images, I had the opportunity to probe into the mind of one of today’s best and most prolific horror authors.
How did the idea behind the post–zombie-apocalypse for DEAD KILL come about?
Well, every one and his brother seemed to be doing zombie apocalypse books, comics, TV shows, and movies for the past way too many years. And I fought the urge to jump into the fray for a very long time, feeling that the genre had been done to death; so to speak. I decided if I was going to take the time to write a zombie-based book it would have to be different than anything else out there.
There was a time in my writing career when I swore I would never write a zombie story. Then I broke down and wrote a zombie short story, “Bright of the Living Dead.” And then I wrote another called “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Then came the humorously twisted “Call Him Maury,” followed by “Dinner with Andy and Meg.” Things got a bit sicker with “A Love Best Served Cold” and last but not least the adventurous “Even the Great Will Fall.” In every one of these tales I strove to do something original and I think I was successful. As such I felt I might be ready to tackle a zombie-based novel.
So I gave the idea a lot of thought. As I usually do when writing a new story, I asked myself about a thousand questions. I looked at the world today and realized zombies destroying some of the world—such as underdeveloped, third-world countries—might be possible and even probable. But I seriously doubt that with the technology and the number of armed citizens we have in the U.S. we could possibly be overrun by a bunch of shambling, walking corpses; no matter how many there were. If you think about it, one single state in the U.S. has more firearms and ammunition per capita than the armed forces of many countries.
I chose to venture into what I believe is new and possibly risky territory. I realize zombie fans love to see the world destroyed and civilization thrust into Darwinian chaos. However, I decided to write a story where the zombie apocalypse happened and where sixty percent of the world’s population was wiped out. But in developed, well-armed countries such as ours the casualty count was much less. This story takes place in 2053, in the United States, ten years after the initial outbreak. Here zombies still exist and although deadly, are much less of a threat and more of a nuisance. (Think of a deer wandering out onto the highway—that is to say, a dear that wants to eat you alive.)
Newly reformed governments put bounties on the creatures and each citizen was rewarded one hundred dollars per zombie. This act of putting down the creatures became known as a ”dead kill.” (Killing something already dead.) This brought the population of undead down dramatically and for a few years provided a good way for some folks to earn a decent living. There are new strict government regulations for dealing with the dead and dying since the virus lives in every human and is only activated at time of death.
Citizens now live in protected fortified cities, which are constantly expanding and taking back more land all the time. They travel well-armed from city to city, passing through “outlands” that are populated by not only remaining zombies but by bands of wild and savage motorcycle-riding renegades, who are often more dangerous than the zombies themselves.
The book is a thriller set in this post–zombie-apocalypse world. Zombies are not the main focus of the book. The main focus of the book involves a psychopathic character who makes his living illegally in the dark and perverse drug-infested underworld of the outlands. That being said, I still found plenty of opportunities for good old fashion zombie gore.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Not a whole lot, unless you count my entire life. I’ve been a lifelong fan of horror and have enjoyed zombie films (even the dumb stuff) for decades. Like vampires and virtually any other mythical monster, you simply can’t be a fan of horror for so long and not know virtually everything there is to know about them.
I’ve been hooked on zombies since Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” (black and white). And one of my favorite movies of all time is the original “Dawn of the Dead.” But I decided I would take the idea of a zombie virus to places where others have not yet gone. I’ve hinted about those ideas in this, the first of a series of Dead Kill books. Later books will go off in directions not yet covered in book one. My original idea was to do this as a single novel, but as I worked on the book more and more ideas popped into my mind so I plan on more.
What can you tell us about Jackson Ridge?
Jackson Ridge is the protagonist and a non-hero/hero. He is a freelance writer and reporter who covers news for a variety of news outlets. He is a husband and a father of a four-year-old daughter. He is not tough. He is not muscular. He’s just a regular guy living in a not so regular world. He’s racked up his share of dead kills just as any survivor has done, but he’s is about as far from anyone’s idea of a hero as you can get. He finds himself thrust into a role that requires he go outside of his comfort zone to help save the life of a kidnapped thirteen-year-old girl who was abducted and believed to be in the hands of a sick and twisted underworld psychopath.
Who is the antagonist in DEAD KILL?
The antagonist is a man who goes by the mythical name of Deimos. He is the insane leader of a gang of underworld outlanders that deals in a variety of drugs, prostitution, pornography, and some new really sick vices that can only exist in the world outside of the safe zones.
Will there be any presentations or signings for the book?
I’ll be doing appearances and interviews as they come up, but other than a future appearance on Webb Weaver Books Podcast (date to be determined, so check the website later) I have nothing planned.
What are you currently working on?
Right now I’m working on short stories for another future collection for Sunbury Press including a possible novella. And I’m also beginning work on the second Dead Kill book. I have short stories coming out in 2014 in about fifteen or more short story anthologies from such publishers as Thirteen Press (Horrified Press) and James Ward Kirk Publishing to name a few. I also just acted as curator and editor for a recently released Sunbury Press anthology of horror called Undead Living.
You’ve only been publishing since 2010 yet you’ve written so many books and short stories. When do you find time to write?
I write whenever and wherever I can. Since I work full time and play weekends in two different blues bands finding the time is always a challenge. Time management is essential. For example, I write after work and on the weekends. If I’m sitting on my patio in the summer, I’m usually writing or editing. If I’m snowed in during the winter, I’m writing. Before bed I often edit and rewrite. Sitting in my car over lunch during the week is a good place to write.
Waiting for a car repair at a garage or in the doctor’s office is also a good opportunity for writing. I have an hour commute to and from work and often use that time to imagine my stories and occasionally record my ideas on my iPhone voice recorder. I have tons of notebooks that travel with me everywhere. If I’m on vacation, sitting in a hotel waiting for my wife to get ready to go out sightseeing I write. In other words, whenever I can find a few minutes, I write.
Most of my stories start out being written on note paper then I type them into MS Word and fine tune them there. Using notebooks allows me the flexibility to write whenever and wherever I choose.
Thomas M. Malafarina is an author of horror fiction from Berks County, Pennsylvania. To date he has published five horror novels NINETY-NINE SOULS, BURN PHONE, EYE CONTACT, FALLEN STONES and DEAD KILL – BOOK 1 – THE RIDGE OF DEATH, as well as five collections of horror short stories; THIRTEEN NASTY ENDINGS, GALLERY OF HORROR, MALAFARINA MALEFICARUM VOLS 1 AND 2, GHOST SHADOWS and most recently UNDEAD LIVING. He has also published a book of often strange single panel cartoons called YES, I SMELLED IT TOO; CARTOONS FOR THE SLIGHTLY OFF CENTER. All of his books have been published through Sunbury Press.
To learn more about Thomas, please visit his website.
About the Author: J. H. Bográn
J. H. Bográn, born and raised in Honduras, is the son of a journalist. He ironically prefers to write fiction rather than fact. José’s genre of choice is thrillers, but he likes to throw in a twist of romance into the mix. His works include novels and short stories in both English and Spanish. His debut novel TREASURE HUNT, which The Celebrity Café hails as an intriguing novel that provides interesting insight of architecture and the life of a fictional thief, has also been selected as the Top Ten in Preditors & Editor’s Reader Poll. FIREFALL, his second novel, was released in 2013 by Rebel ePublishers. Coffee Time Romance calls it “a taut, compelling mystery with a complex, well-drawn main character.” He’s a member of The Crime Writers Association, the Short Fiction Writers Guild and the International Thriller Writers where he also serves as the Thriller Roundtable Coordinator and contributor editor their official e-zineThe Big Thrill. You can find him on his website, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter @JHBogran.
The following interview appeared in the April 2014 edition of “The Big Thrill” online magazine published by the International Thriller Writers organization.
In December 2013 Thomas was interviewed for issue #3 of Nightmare Illustrated Magazine from Horrified Press.
Here is a link to purchase the cool issue shown below:
TMM: I’ve been a fan of the horror genre for as long as I can remember; since childhood. And as such, I made it a point to surround myself with all the horror influences I could. Back in the early 60’s I collected and assembled all of the Aurora Universal Monster Models which were always present in my bedroom along with pictures cut out from horror magazines. They terrified me
as a child and I slept with the covers over my head. It was a love/hate thing; I loved to be scared but hated it at the same time. I also loved the Big Daddy Roth models of cars driven by oversized bug-eyed monsters such as Rat Fink.
I have been a life-long fan of horror movies. Growing up in the coal region town of Ashland, Pennsylvania we had a movie theater in town which although not first run, often got in great old horror movies. I also had a friend whose father owned an eight millimeter projector and who had a nice collection of silent versions of most of the classics such as Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Mummy, Dracula and The Creature From The Black Lagoon. When we were bored over the summer vacation, we would go to his house, pull down all the blinds and watch these in the dark. We also would make a haunted house in his garage/rec room and scare all the neighborhood girls.
Our whole gang of neighborhood kids would often spend lots of time telling each other scary stories at night. I was a big fan of all the horror magazines back in the 60’s and had another friend who did and still does collect such magazines as well as comic books. His house was a treasure-trove of horror information. It was there that I read about Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, John
Carradine and Peter Cushing not to mention Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Peter Lori and others.
These early influences made me want to create stories of horror with the hopes that someday they could be translated into movies that would influence other young creative minds to keep the genre alive and interesting. Really bad, mass produced horror movies was probably the biggest influence in getting me to finally sit down and start writing seriously. My horror movie collection is extensive and to be honest, most of what I own is crap; badly written, badly acted canned horror which is not only uninteresting but easily forgotten. These lousy movies motivated me to try to write stories that would make good movies which might have a memorable impact. The goal of my writing is to entertain and to stir some kind of lasting emotion; whether those emotions be terror, disgust, discomfort or even anger. I want my work to be memorable and if that means upsetting some people, then so be it.
To me there is nothing worse than watching or reading something and afterward saying “Yeah. That was pretty good.” I would rather have someone say “What’s wrong with that guy?”, or “How could he write such a thing.” I want my readers to think about my work long after the book has been read. I want them to wake up with nightmares months later. Nothing would please me more than having someone curse me in the middle of the night for having one of my scenes haunt them in a nightmare years after reading one of my stories.
As far as horror authors go, I am a huge fan of Dean Koontz and Stephen King. I love Clive Barker’s films but have not had time to read his books. Same is true for H. P. Lovecraft. This is sort of strange because my writing has often been called a cross between Lovecraft and Barker who I have not read, and is seldom compared with King or Koontz both of whom I have read extensively.
NI: When it comes to characters, which do you prefer to write about it?
TMM: I like to write about common people, normal everyday people who find themselves thrust in to horrifying and often impossible situations. I like to shatter our false sense of security. Whenever we watch an especially disturbing horror move we can always walk away with the assumed knowledge that because the circumstances surrounding the characters in the movie were so different from normal life, such a thing could never happen to us. But bad things happen to good people every day so why not have it happen in my books?
No one is immune from disaster in my books. And I do my best to paint my scenes with descriptive words that will provide enough detail so the reader can envision not only the scene exactly as I wanted it depicted, but the emotion of the situation as well. I strive for creating an atmosphere of discomfort; I want my readers to feel uneasy and tense at all times. Even when describing the contents of a room I want the reader to worry about what I am planning to do to him next.
When my sister read my last novel, “Fallen Stones” she told me she spent the entire novel worrying about if I was going to kill off one of the characters which she especially liked because of his innocence. I told her I wanted the readers to worry about that as well because I worried about it while I was writing the book. I didn’t know myself if the character was going to be killed off or not
until the end of the book. That is how I write. I write like I am watching a movie for the first time and more often than not, I have no idea how it will end until it does. That’s what make writing so entertaining for me.
NI: What advice would you give to new writers?
TMM: That’s easy. I get asked this a lot and usually get an equal amount of heat for my answer. I tell all young writers to find a job, a real job and write part-time. If you are not writing to put food on the table you’ll be less inclined to compromise your principals and to prostitute yourself for the almighty dollar. I work full time at a job that pays my bills. Do I love it? Not even a little. But it affords me the luxury of doing what I want to do with my spare time, for what I call stress relief. I play guitar and bass in two different blues bands on the weekends; I create cartoons and horror art and write horror fiction whenever possible in my spare time. Do any of these endeavors make me money? Not really, but I don’t care. My job pays the bills and my music, art and writing are something I do for me. And they are also things over which I have complete control. I live for my spare time and I work to pay the bills and support my family.
A woman wrote to me once telling me that her young son was a genius when it came to creative writing; God’s gift to literature if you will. She asked me for advice. I gave her the same advice I just mentioned. She was furious with me. She told me I didn’t understand the talent and gifts her young genius possessed. I told her she was doing her son a disservice by not pointing him in a direction that will earn him a living. I told her that every day thousands of talented artists, writers and musicians are living in squalor simply because they are undiscovered. I suggested that each year people with talent that rivals the masters die in obscurity and poverty. It may seem noble to starve for one’s art but that is only true in fiction. In reality it sucks.
NI: How has the internet affected your career, especially the social medias?
TMM: I find myself more and more using outlets like Facebook, even though I have no real interest in doing so. It is actually a great place to waste time. I tend to be an old school e-mailer. That being said, social media has not only allowed me to connect with old friends but to meet new ones as well. It has proven very successful in getting my name out there to people in places where I my books are sold, but where I am virtually unknown. It has become a necessary evil in my life. I wish I could afford to hire someone else to use it on my behalf so I could spend more time writing, but a man’s gotta do… yadda yadda.
NI: If you had the power to bring a dead celeb back to life, who would it be and what use would you have for them?
TMM: That’s easy. It would be Stevie Ray Vaughn. He was one of the most amazing guitarists I have ever heard. He was taken from us way to soon. I never saw him perform live and if I could bring him back long enough to experience that I would be thrilled.
I have only found one other guitarist/vocalist who I feel has the right to wear Stevie’s crown and that’s Joe Bonamassa. My wife and I make a point of going to see him whenever possible. He ain’t Stevie but he’s equally amazing. And if , heaven forbid any tragedy ever befalls Joe, (he tours constantly) I can say I’ve seen him perform live many times. I wish I could have said the same
NI: Name 5 horror movies that made an impact on you.
1) Night Of The Living Dead (the original) – First time I ever saw what was considered way back then to be over-the-top gore in a movie. Even in black and white it was nasty. Romero is a genius.
2) The Exorcist (actually the book more than the movie) – Revolutionary, ground breaking, disturbingly memorable. Creeped me out for weeks.
3) Poltergeist – I loved it because it destroyed the myth that haunted houses had to be old creepy places and such things could actually happen in newly built modern houses.
4) Hell Raiser (the first) – A masterpiece of disturbing gore. Now it looks dated but I still love it.
5) High Tension – I loved this if for no other reason, than that opening scene with the head in the truck. I knew that was instantly destined to become a classic.
NI: Tell everyone about your new books or projects.
TMM: In October Sunbury Press is publishing a short horror story collection I curated and edited called “Undead Living”. It is based on the theme “Contemporary Undead”. The title and cover is a spoof of all the local “Living” magazines which are prevalent in the US these days. Writers from all around the world have been chosen to be part of the anthology. I wrote the forward and have a story “Even The Great Will Fall” will be included as well.
In early 2014, Sunbury Press will be publishing my next novel “Dead Kill”. It is a thriller based in the year 2045, ten years after the zombie apocalypse almost wiped out mankind. Humanity has survived and managed to destroy most of the zombie population. There are still pockets of the creatures roaming about and although deadly, they are now more of a nuisance than a threat. The story is actually a murder mystery with lots of twists. Although there is still plenty of zombie related horror and gore the creatures are more of a backdrop for the story.
By the middle of 2014 I am planning to publish another short story collection yet to be named, also through Sunbury Press.
NI: What for you would you consider a career and a personal high?
TMM: I would say from a career standpoint was signing a three book deal with Sunbury Press in 2010 which resulted in the publication of my novels “99 Souls” and “Burn Phone” as well as a short story collection “13 Nasty Endings”. Every book published since then is a new high for me.
On a personal level, meeting and eventually marrying my incredible wife JoAnne was by far the best thing that ever happened to me. And of course the births of our children and grandchildren only added to the amazing life we have had together.
NI: How do you feel about writers publishing their work on their own, with no agent or publisher backing them?
TMM: I have mixed emotions about this topic. I don’t have an agent, but I do have a publisher, Sunbury Press (www.sunburypress.com). On one hand I’m glad that it has now become much easier for formerly ignored authors to get their chance to come to print. However that also opens the flood gates for a lot of potential garbage to be out there. Case in point; bad independent films and music. There is some really great music and some really amazing independent films out there but there is also a lot of really bad stuff. When you self-publish you are taking out what I consider a very important literary filter.
I personally chose to go with a publisher for a number of reasons. I was seriously considering self-publishing at one point a few years ago. But I remembered something my Mom told me when I was a kid. She said “To thine own self be true.” I knew I liked my writing; what author doesn’t. And a few people I showed my work to seemed to like it as well. Being truthful with myself I
realized that I could not objectively judge my own work and friends and relatives might like it simply because they are friends and relatives. I didn’t want to get caught up in that ego massaging thing where I refused to look at my work objectively and ended up putting out trash. So I decided I needed to find a publisher, someone who didn’t know me and would look at my writing
with a clear eye. I figured, if a total stranger who was looking to potentially make money off of my work felt it was good enough to sell, then I could feel confident enough to start to call myself a writer; a real author. The publisher would be the filter, preventing me from making a lot of mistakes and potentially embarrassing myself.
So I started the quest for a publisher on my own, submitting my first book and collecting rejection slips. Some of the rejection came with good constructive criticism. I made up my mind early on to listen to the editors and use what they said whenever possible to improve my writing style. So after numerous edits and rewrites I stumbled upon a new publisher, Sunbury Press. They were primarily a non-fiction and history based publisher but were looking to expand into other areas and grow. I figured it seemed like a good match. They were growing as a publisher and I too wanted to grow as an author. And maybe in some small way my writing might help the company grow which could only benefit me more.
So I contacted the publisher, Lawrence Knorr and asked him if he would ever consider adding horror fiction to his family of books. He offered to read a manuscript so I sent him the latest rendition of “99 Souls”. I was pleasantly surprised when he said he loved my writing style and not only accepted the book but asked me if I had anything else he could read. The result was the
three book deal for “99 Souls”, “13 Nasty Endings” and “Burn Phone” I mentioned earlier. Since then I have published seven more books with Sunbury, not counting the three I mentioned in my upcoming works.
Regarding self-publishing, Lawrence often says that it is now the easiest time in history to publish a book but the hardest time to sell one. This is because there is so much stuff out there now and so many authors clambering to be noticed that many authors simply get lost in the fray. As an author I like the idea of it being easier to get books published but as a reader, I wish there was
some better way to filter out the bad stuff. Note to budding authors: Rejection is not necessarily bad; you can use it to make you a better writer.
NI: Okay Tom, I was awaken in the middle of the night by this shadowy presence and he wanted me to ask you this: what is your favorite Jerry Lewis film?
TMM: I have to admit, that’s the first time I was ever asked that one. That shadowy presence must have been very evil indeed. I’m not a big Jerry Lewis fan. Maybe if I were French that apparently might be different. That being said, I did like “The King Of Comedy” but that might have been because it was so dark and also because of Robert De Nero and the fact that Martin Scorsese directed it. (I really should watch that again sometime and see if it stands the test of time). I never went for the Jerry Lewis’s goofy stuff anymore than I care for Jim Carrey when he is acting like Jerry Lewis. Carrey did a serious roll way back in his youth where he played an alcoholic. I can’t recall the name of the film but he was amazing in it.
On September 8, 2013, Thomas was briefly interviewed by C K Webb on the WebbWeaver Internet radio program. He also got to read the prologue from his 2012 novel “Burn Phone”.
Here is a link to the show:
Here are comments made during the show by C K Webb:
“I am stoked. I am a huge fan.”
“He is going to be reading from his novel Burn Phone and I have been waiting so long….”
“This is your fourth visit… you’re practically hosting the show with me.”
“It’s gonna be that creepy thing that you do, I’m sure. We talked about this and it’s one of my favorite things that you do.”
“For those of you readers and listeners out there, Thomas has very quickly, within the last year catapulted himself into my top five horror writers. And I’m a huge fan of horror.”
“I’m a big fan of yours… the way that you write is so in-your-face. I have been hooked on it since that first reading that you did.”
“Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! I have been wanting to hear that.”
“But I have this sneaking suspicion there’s going to be a lot of twisting and turning going on in there. “
“You have a tendency to do that. Get really bad, really fast.”
New York, NY — Book Expo America, the largest publishing trade show in North America, was held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City from Thursday May 30 through Saturday June 1, 2013. The exposition highlighted the latest technology and developments in the book publishing industry, and was a showcase for star and emerging talent. All of the big publishers including Simon & Schuster, Hachette, McGraw-Hill, Penguin, Random House, Scholastic and others, joined with leaders in publishing services such as Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Createspace, Sony, Kobo and many others. Notables such as Chris Matthews, Stephen King, Jim Carey, Ann Romney and Rick Atkinson were just a small number of the multitudes of well-known authors and personalities present.
Sunbury Press joined with the Independent Book Publisher’s Association (IBPA) and other independent publishers in aisle 2300. Sunbury had a slate of authors appear at their table. Several were photographed or interviewed by the media. Appearing at this year’s expo were:
Thursday May 30: Carole LaPlante, Robert Miller and Ernest Marshall
Friday May 31: Mary Dimino, Thomas Malafarina, Cathy Jordan and Margaret Meacham
Saturday June 1: Mike Sgrignoli, Shelly Frome and Joanne Risso
05/11/2013 Interview / Reading On “WebbWeaver Books” – “Bright Of The Living Dead” from “Thirteen Nasty Endings”
On May 11, 2013, Thomas was briefly interviewed by C K Webb on the WebbWeaver Internet radio program. He also got to read a short story “Bright Of The Living Dead” from his 2010 collection “13 Nasty Endings”.
Here is a link to the show:
Here are comments made during the show by C K Webb:
“He is the ultimate producer of individual downloads. He has more than anybody and that includes you big six publishing house people who have been on here.”
“Apparently you guys really like his stuff.”
“I wanna tell everybody, yeah I’m a little partial. You’re way up on my all time favorites. You’ve moved way up and I tell people that.”
“And the reason is because of your writing style; because of the impact you have.”
“I just want to let people know that it’s not just because I work with Suspense that I’m being partial about your interview. Thomas got front page billing and a three page spread in Suspense Magazine”
“And Suspense Magazine goes all over the world. So listen, it’s a big deal. Props to you.”
“And you got to share front page billing with Lisa Scottoline. And that’s really cool.”
“Finger-lickin’ good right there!”
“Man that was good! Ooo! Ooo! Ooo! That was so good!”
“I love that! I have to read all those stories! That’s so incredible.”
“Since you got more downloads than anybody. They’re gonna be clambering to hear this one too.”
“The fans are really loving your work and I know they’re going to go crazy over this.”
“Great, great story. So much fun!”
“Awesome, awesome, awesome story. I’m so glad you came on.”
“You have jumped way up there to my top five horror writers and that’s a big deal.”
The following article written by CK Webb appeared in Suspense Magazine on 05/05/13.
The following interview appeared in the April 2013 edition of “The Big Thrill” online magazine published by the International Thriller Writers organization.
On March 10, 2013, Thomas was interviewed by C K Webb on the WebbWeaver Internet radio program. He also got to read a short story “Double Yellow” from “Ghost Shadows”.
Here is a link to the show:
Here are comments made during the show by C K Webb:
“Man that’s wicked I love that!”
“He (Thomas) has had more downloads than anyone ever on WebbWeaver Books”
“Very cool, very cool. I’m excited about it.”
“That was awesome.”
“That was really, really cool. I like the way you pull everyone along.”
On January 12, 2013, Thomas was interviewed by C K Webb and D J Weaver on their Internet radio program. He also got to read an abridged version of the prologue
from “Fallen Stones”.
Here are comments from C K Webb after hearing Thomas’ reading:
“That is one hell of a prologue!”
“I don’t know how the hell somebody’s going to pick that up, read the prologue and not read that book!”
“I got it out sitting right here. I’m ready to go. I know what my Saturday’s going to consist of. It’s going to consist of “Fallen Stones” baby. That sounds awesome! Incredible!”
“I mean I was cringing big and I love horror!”
“Push it, push that envelope. I was cringing. An I was like ‘Oh God no!’ This is great!”
“Your descriptive passages are awesome! “Incredible read!”
“Your descriptive passages are so good it’s almost like watching a movie. So when you get that stuff in your head like that… it will stay in your head for a while. So make sure you’re ready to read this book.”
“I’m thrilled that I get to enjoy your book for the rest of the day. That’s awesome too. Woo! Woo! Yea!”
“Is that book fricken fantastic or what? I’m drooling on it.”
“I write thrillers. I love thrillers. But man, the nice thing about horror… it’s got a special place in my heart. Boy that was brutal.”
“Please, please, please stay in touch with me. And when you get ready to write another one of these jewels you’ve got to come on the show.”
The following article written by Nicole Patterson with photo by David Schrott, appeared in Fine Living Lancaster Magazine on 05/15/11. Reprinted with permission from Fine Living Lancaster and Virtual Media Group. All contents of this issue of Fine Living Lancaster are copyrighted by Fine Living Lancaster
Thomas M. Malafarina was born in Ashland, Pennsylvania, his influences include a hardworking family, the language of the hard coal region (which he lovingly calls “coal speak”), and the values of dedication. Today he lives in South Heidelberg Township, Pennsylvania, with his wife JoAnne. He also has three grown children and three grandchildren. He didn’t read much as a child. He was too busy playing with neighborhood kids, making forts, and using that imagination of his—which has, indeed, come in handy. With a television set that got three channels, he got pretty good at entertaining himself with everything from a stick to a walk in the woods. “As a very young boy, with an extremely active imagination, I could find terror in virtually every situation,” he says. Whether it was the old claw feet on his parents’ bathtub or the dark hallway leading to his bedroom, his love and hate for the genre has encouraged his writing. “My bedroom was full of Aurora monster models and scary pictures, but I slept with my head under the covers, just in case.”
After high school he became a voracious reader and today he almost exclusively listens to audio books, as he spends the better part of an hour driving each way to his day job in Lancaster. I think listening to audio books has enhanced his writing, as the cadences of his sentences and characters’ dialogs in his novels and short stories are well suited to be read aloud.
After being encouraged by his parents to pursue a more traditional path in school, Thomas put his art dreams on the back burner. He attended Penn State Schuylkill studying Business Administration, but dropped out a year later. In 1977 after a variety of jobs, he landed work with Rockwell International, in Wyomissing, as a CNC machine operator. About two years later, after moving to West Reading, he went back to school at nights and got an AS Degree in Business Administration (Industrial Management) from Reading Area Community College. Promoted into the engineering department, then five years later, after surviving layoff after layoff, he finally got the ax.
Now the Senior Manufacturing Engineer for ITT Industrial Process in Lancaster, he works manufacturing stainless steel valves for the pharmaceutical industry. He programs several four-axis CNC machining centers, develops technical manuals, training videos, standard work instructions, manages capital projects and develops manufacturing processes to improve existing processes. It’s quite the technical, left-brain job.
Published by Sunbury Press, Thomas is the author of Burn Phone, 99 Souls, 13 Nasty Endings, Gallery of Horrors, and Eye Contact. He has also contributed to a dozen anthologies, written more than two dozen short stories, and even published a curious cartoon compilation titled Yes, I Smelled it Too!.
“I’ve been writing my entire life, in one form or another. Writing takes creativity—whether it’s writing a story, drawing cartoons, creating a work of art, or writing a song,” he says.
When asked what reaction he wants from his readers, he says, “ I want some reaction—whether they are afraid or disturbed or disgusted. So many of us do our jobs and go about our days. The whole point is the release from that mundane work. One of the trickiest things about writing is creating a mood and image that is believable.” Of course there is a difficult balance between creating a level of reality and possibility, while still remaining in the realm of fiction.
“The biggest misconception is people assume that I’m someone other than who I am. There are a lot of people you meet at conventions and horror things who live this life where they dress dark and wear this makeup. For people who don’t know horror, they think you’re this dark, depressed, sad kind of person. For the most part I’m a very positive person. I’m a dad and a grandfather and a husband. That’s my favorite job. I’m a very normal, regular guy,” Thomas tells me.
Of the three works I read, 13 Nasty Endings was my favorite. His short stories are completely accessible to veterans and newcomers of the horror genre. There is a familiar, if not inviting, welcome extended to the reader to watch as he weaves characters in and out, builds backstory and continues leading them to their final, nasty demise. “I tend to use fantasy creatures and situations that are impossible. There are a lot of people out there who are wrongly influenced. I don’t want to give anyone ideas,” he says. “I try to keep it completely in the world of fiction, because I’d feel really terrible if someone read something that I wrote and did something bad.”
I suppose every writer fears the danger of being taken literally. “It’s just entertainment. I write strictly to be entertained. I’m not preaching morality. Sometimes the bad guy gets it. Sometimes the good guy gets it. It’s purely fictional entertainment,” he says. Thomas tells me that he’s never had an interest in slasher-type horror. “Any horror movie that involves a psycho killer cutting up sexy teenagers is not my idea of true horror. I grew up loving the universal monsters like Dracula, Wolf Man, and Frankenstein’s monster.” He continues by saying, “Every day the newspaper is full of man against man violence. I do not need to write about it—that is fact, not fiction.”
So what is this horror writer contributing to the world? He’s adding a release, a glimpse into the realm of fantasy and fiction—one where characters’ endings are totally unexpected, yet welcomed. Need a chill on those hot summer nights? Want a scary story to tell on vacation? Interested in a nightmarish read around a bonfire? Get your hands on one of his books and enjoy the escape!
The following article written by Jill Darr, appeared in the “Around Town” section of Berks County Living Magazine in the December 2010 issue.
The following article written by John Usalis, appeared in the Republican Herald Newspaper in the September 5 2010 issue. Photo by John Usalis.
ASHLAND – Thomas M. Malafarina likes to be scared.
The Ashland native hopes to deliver a chill to others with his books, “Ninety-Nine Souls” and “Thirteen Nasty Endings,” which he donated to the Ashland Public Library on Friday.
His first book, “Ninety-Nine Souls,” is set in Schuylkill County in the fictional town of Ashton. It tells the story three miners trapped in a cave-in, one of whom sells his soul to Satan to get revenge for the disaster. In turn, Satan turns the miner into an immortal soul-feeding demon that must remain trapped in the mine until he gathers 99 souls.
For the second book, Malafarina’s editor suggested the title because the 13 stories within all have very nasty endings.
A 1973 graduate of North Schuylkill High School, Malafarina landed a job at The Evening Herald after sending song parodies of a mine strike to editor William O’Brien.
“I loved writing, but the hours were long and I just left,” said Malafarina.
Malafarina got a job with Rockwell International in Wyomissing, later earning his associate degree in business administration. He currently works as a senior manufacturing engineer for ITT in Lancaster.
Over the years, Malararina wrote mostly technical and training manuals. He also teaches at vocational schools.
“In 2004, I started developing an idea for a screenplay. I played with that for a year and submitted it to various places, but I realized I had too much detail in it,” Malafarina said of “Ninety-Nine Souls.” “So I decided to turn it into a novel.
“In 2008 I started rewriting it, and started shopping it around in 2009. It’s set in Ashton, Pennsylvania, and is set in three time periods – 1965, when most of it takes place, then flashes back in 1865, then moves forward to 1985,” he said.
Malafarina has started his a third book, “Burn Phone.” He was contacted by Sunbury Press, Camp Hill, and struck a three-book deal with the company.
He has also signed an agreement with Sunbury Press for a fourth book that will not be horror fiction.
“I am also a bit of a cartoonist, and my cartoons are really warped and strange,” said Malafarina. “I’ve been doing those for about 20 years and I’ve collected about 300 cartoons.”
Malafarina performs with the Blues City Blues Band and plays solo acoustics shows on occasion at the Lazy Dog Coffee House in Minersville, where he will have a book signing at 1 p.m. Oct. 10.
Malafarina lives in South Heidelberg Township near Reading with his wife, JoAnne. He has three grown children and two grandchildren.
Malafarina enjoys visiting Ashland, noting that he misses the ABA Mummers Parade.
“We used to always try to get back for the parade. My wife calls it ‘our trip to Mecca,'” he said. “I would come back and visit my old house on Arch Street near the old high school. You can’t take the coal region out of the boy.”
The following article written by Kathy Ruff, appeared in the Carbon County Magazine in the August 2010 issue. It involves a group of touring fiction writers with ties to the coal regions of Pennsylvania.
… Learn more about how these authors turned inspiration into stories at the next meeting of the Black Diamond Writers’ Network.
Mike Breslin, a St. Vincent college alum, penned Robbing the Pillars, a tale of life in a Pennsylvania coal-mining town during its decline following WWII. The story captures the essence of the region including the dreaded Black Lung, the struggle of the poor and power of the wealthy and the dangerous mining practice of robbing the pillars.
Duane Fegley’s Black Emeralds, a political thriller based in Schuylkill County and in Washington, D.C., tells a tale of anthracite lobbyists, coal and corruption at the highest level of U.S. government that leads to a constitutional crisis. A former resident of the anthracite coal region, Fegley turned his captivation of the people and the region’s story into his first novel.
Thomas M. Malafarina, a horror fiction author, was born and raised in Ashland, Schuylkill County. Many of his popular stories have a coal region connection, whether they’re the short stories in his book 13 Nasty Endings, or in his novels 99 Souls, Burn Phone and Eye Contact. Malafarina’s other works include two collections of short stories, 13 Nasty Endings and Gallery of Horror.
Joseph Tarone of Schuylkill County’s Raven Run wrote his second book, Some Stones Shine, to tell the story of his father and uncles as they set off on their own as teenagers in the early 1900s. The book recounts tales of the joys and travails and provides a snapshot of life in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania at its peak.
Join this author panel to learn more about gleaning inspiration from your surroundings at the next meeting of the Black Diamond Writers’ Network. The meeting will run from 10 a.m. to noon, Sat., Sept. 17, 2011, at the Tamaqua Public Library, 30 S. Railroad St., Tamaqua. The conclusion of the meeting will include a writers’ roundtable for those present and a brief critique session for those interested in sharing some of their work. The meeting is open to the public.
For more information about the Black Diamond Writers’ Network, call Kathy Ruff at 570-645-3059 or visit the Tamaqua Public Library web site at http://www.tamaquapubliclibrary.com. For directions, call the Tamaqua Public Library at 570-668-4660.
The Black Diamond Writers’ Network invites anyone with a passion for writing to join us in learning more about the craft and business of writing.
The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focuses on offering educational programs and networking for all writers.