Taylor Grant, a interview with a visionary artist

I had the pleasure to ask the creative soul from Web Toon a few questions.. Taylor Grant, a modern renaissance man !

Don’t forget to download the Webtoon app free!!!

Check out his books on Amazon!

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/author/ref=mw_dp_a_ap?_encoding=UTF8&author=Taylor%20Grant&searchAlias=books&asin=B006OTHJPU

1.Tell me a little bit about the making of a comic for Webtoon. (please feel free to elaborate)

Well, I’m a big fan of author Jonathan Maberry, as well as his zombie series Rot & Ruin, so adapting it into a comic for Webtoon is definitely a dream project for me.

Of course, like all creative projects, it hasn’t been without its challenges.  While the novel is filled with amazing backstory and incredible world building, the pacing of a Webtoon comic is much different than a novel—and comic reader’s expectations are different.  In fact, the narrative format (a vertical scrolling format designed specifically or phones and tablets) is quite different even from print comics. So, there was definitely a learning curve to a Webtoon comic’s structure, pacing and format.

I also factored in that this particular platform (in the US) doesn’t offer a lot of this genre.  So, I had discussions with David Lee, Head of Content at Webtoon, on how far to push the horror right out of the gate. I did my best to amp up the emotional and relationship story elements right away, as these are aspects that really resonate with Webtoon readers.

In other words, there was a lot of thought on the best way to tell this story for this particular audience, while staying true to the original novel’s plot, characters, and of course, the spirit of the book.  I’m happy to report that the launch was a smashing success.  In our first week online, we are pushing near 200,000 subscribers. That’s incredible engagement for any web comic in its first week online, much less a horror comic. 

2.Who’s your favorite character from Rot & Ruin?



Tom Imura, the older brother of the protagonist, Benny Imura. Tom is patient, caring, trustworthy, and quietly confident. At the risk of sounding terribly pretentious or grandiose, these truly are qualities I admire in others and strive for in myself. But let’s face it, Tom is also a trained swordsman, bounty hunter and zombie killer—so I’ll leave all the badassery for him. 

3. Is there a comic book character that influenced your decision to work in this creative area?

Absolutely. I own a complete 45-year run of Captain America, starting from issue #100, published in 1968. I suppose my admiration of Cap really drove my love of the medium as a kid (though I own over 50,000 comics in my collection, so my interest in the medium spans many genres, not just superheroes).

Cap is the guy you know you can trust- who always has your back.  Sure, I love darker characters like Batman, Wolverine, Ghost Rider, and the Punisher—but with Cap you always know where you stand. You know at heart, he’s a selfless man who wouldn’t hesitate to jump on a grenade to save a stranger. In fact, I’d say he some of the traits of Tom Imura as well.

4.If you could talk to any author dead or alive who would you pick?

Rod Serling. If only to thank him for inspiring me to become a storyteller. There is no question his work (The Twilight Zone, The Night Gallery—even the original Planet of the Apes, which few realize he co-wrote) had the single greatest impact on me growing up.

I admire that Serling explored the darkest aspects of humanity with a grand imagination and an earnest social conscience. It is obvious in his work that he cared deeply about the plight of his fellow man. And in my own small way, I have tried to keep some of that alive in my own fiction.

5.Your own writing style is dark and mysterious, leaving a lot of open questions, do you ever consider turning some of your short stories into novels?

Currently, I run the film/television division of Webtoon. I have always been wired for writing for the screen. However, I grew up reading novels and short stories, and have a deep affinity for the short form. Growing up, I loved reading the short fiction of greats like Richard Matheson, William F. Nolan, Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, Ray Bradbury, and more.

For the larger part of my career, 95% of my ideas were either for a film or a short story—and almost nothing in between. But that has changed the past couple of years. In fact, I just signed a contract (literally today) with a wonderful publisher for my first novella called The Many Deaths of Cole Parker.

It’s a horror fantasy with a sci-fi twist and will be published in either September or October, 2020.  You can check out my website at http://www.taylorgrant.com for updates.
I also have a novel called Middle of Nowhere that’s been in the works for quite some time. It’s a dark suspense thriller that dances on the edges of horror. Depending on who reads it, some might say it’s a psychological thriller, some might suggest its psychological horror. I’ll let readers decide.

I believe The Many Deaths of Cole Parker is the best thing I’ve ever written. I hope my readers agree.

6. What is the first horror movie you ever watched? And how did it influence your creative self?

Well, the first horror film I ever saw was on TV when I was 5 years old. It was the original black and white Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney.  My mom teased me about it for years.  Apparently, I didn’t want to leave her side, and fell asleep on the floor next to her—with my hands literally cupped over my ears.  You see, it wasn’t the visuals that scared me as much as the MUSIC. That haunting score! Ha ha.

I have vague memories of seeing a Vincent Price double feature The Masque of Red Death and The Abominable. Dr. Phibes at a drive-in theater at a very young age Those lavish technicolor images are still burned indelibly into my brain.

But it was watching Ridley Scott’s Alien during its first run in the theater that was life-changing for me.  While all of my friends were fascinated by Star Wars or Star Trek (which I also loved, of course), I was completely OBSESSED with Alien.  I saw it something like 9 times in the theater during its first run. I was still underage for an R-rated movie, so I literally rode my bike to the theater every weekend (you have to remember that movies stayed in theaters up to six months back then) and BEGGED strangers to buy a ticket for me.  While the movie terrified me, I just couldn’t get enough of it.  I bought every magazine that even mentioned it for the next couple of years.

That film’s brilliant merging of sci-fi and horror is now part of my DNA.  In fact, if you read through my horror short stories, I’d say that probably 25% of them have some sort of sci-fi element.

7. A cliche question, do you have a favorite monster?

See above.  Ha ha.

8. This being mostly a zombie lit related page, here’s the Zombie question. Do you prefer the idea of the slow shuffling zombie or the fast ravenous infected?

I suppose the purists won’t agree, but I actually prefer the fast, ravenous infected.  Now, hold on, before you get all judgy.  I have loved the slow-moving zombies all the way back to 1943’s I Walked with a Zombie from Val Lewton, through George Romero’s oeuvre, and straight into Robert Kirkman and Jonathan Maberry’s zombie universes. They are classic, wonderful, and a huge part of horror history. But something about the fast-moving ones is just so much more terrifying to me, so much more unpredictable. So, for that reason, I have to give them the edge.

Interview with author Scott M Baker

1. When did you become fascinated by vampires?
I’ve been fascinated with vampires most of my life. My mother loved horror movies, so I grew up watching the old Universal and Hammer horror movies. I’ve always been intrigued by the dynamic between Peter Cushing as van Helsing and Christopher Lee as Dracula; they were more like action movies than straight vampire films. Peter Cushing running along a table to tear down the curtains in front of Dracula or jumping on a burning windmill to turn the blades into the shape of a cross to kill the vampire. When you watch that as a ten-year-old it has a huge impact on you.

2. Why did you choose to write about classic dark vampires?
When I started writing The Vampire Hunters trilogy there were not many contemporary bad-ass vampires in bookstores. Vampires were more sympathetic and human, like in Anne Rice’s or Stephanie Meyer’s books or the True Blood series. I figured there were many fans out there who felt the same way I did, so I decided to write the type of vampire book I wanted to read.
One thing I wanted to do was develop my dark vampires. In most books/movies, they are two-dimensional characters, creatures there only to be destroyed. That’s why I created two vampires – the bad-ass monster types that kill to feed (snuffies) and the masters. My masters can take human form and are driven by their emotions and experiences. Each has their own backstory about how they were turned and how that impacted their vampiric future. Each has their own motivations for why they want to take over then planet. Rather than just monsters, my vampires are protagonists.

3. What’s your favorite vampire story?
30 Days of Night. It’s so dark and the vampires are so feral the movie is visceral. I’m not sure what scene clinched it for me: the battle with the child vampire or the scene when the young woman being used as bait pleads to God for help and Marlowe looks to the sky, back to the woman, and says “No God.” 

4. Favorite vampire TV show, and did you watch V Wars (opinions on it)?
My favorite vampire TV show is Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. Joss Whedon is one of the best writers around. His plots are intricate and his characters perfectly developed. I was blown away by the Season Two finale. I also admire the way he can blend horror and heart-breaking decisions with humor and make it work. Buffy had a major influence on how I wrote The Vampire Hunters.
I did watch V Wars. Twice, which says a lot since I rarely watch an entire season of a TV more than once. I loved the concept that the vampires are infected and could possibly be cured, which makes them not just creatures of the night to be eliminated. I’ve read the graphic novel and am about to read the novel so I can compare them. My only criticism is that not all of us who worked for the government and evil. Having said that, however, Calix Niklos has made my top three bad guys list (right behind Hannibal Lector and Hans Gruber).

5. If you could do a dream cast for The Vampire Hunters who would be in it?
Nathan Fillion would make the perfect Drake; I wrote the character imagining him in the role (although the iced coffee drinking, whiskey swilling, cigar smoking wise ass with a pet rabbit is me living precariously through my character). As for the other characters, I haven’t put a lot of thought into it but, if given my choice, I would choose Scarlett Johansen as Alison Monroe, Peter Sarsgaard and Arabella Morton as the vampires Ion Zielenska and Antoinette Varela, and Brent Spiner as Dr. Reese from Salem State.  I’m not sure who I would pick to play Jim Delmarco.

6. Would you like to be turned into a vampire?
I’m not sure. I would never willingly be turned if I had to live as feral vampire unable to blend in with humans. As I get older, there is a part of me that is attracted to the aspect of eternal youth and of letting my instincts and passions take control over morality and reason. And who can say no to an unsatiated sex drive? If I could be a vampire who can control his urges, like Eric Northman or Michael Fayne, then I would say yes.

7. If you could pick one vampire book to live in, which one would you pick?
Tough choice, but I would have to go with the Brian Lumley books. Intelligence agencies battle vampires controlled by the former Soviet Union as part of Cold War politics. It’s almost as if he wrote those books with me in mind.

8. What are your vampire must read books for your fans?
Two of my favorite vampire series are Brian Lumley’s Necroscope series and Guillermo del Toro’s and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain trilogy. Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot is a classic. Three books with interesting takes on the genre are V Wars by Jonathon Maberry, Vampire$ by John Steakley, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. A unique novel is Roses of Blood on Barbwire Vines by D.L. Snell which is about vampires and zombies battling over the few remaining humans left in a post-apocalyptic world. And, of course, the vampire novels of Rhiannon Frater and Laurell K. Hamilton.

9. If you could talk to any author dead or alive who would you choose and why?
I’ve been very fortunate to have met and chatted with many contemporary writers and have become friends with several of them. I would choose the one who I have not met and who had the greatest on my life: Graham Masterton because he was the one whop got my hooked on modern horror. When I was a kid, I read the classics – Wells, Verne, Poe, Shelley, Stoker. When I was ten, my mother bought me The Manitou for Christmas. It was the goriest and most intriguing novel I had ever read up to that moment and got me hooked on modern horror. The Manitou was once of the influences that made me want to be a horror writer.

Did you love Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Is action horror your thing? Did you miss vicious vampire masters that can be turned to dust with a stake? How about a action hero with a snarky attitude? Meet Drake Matthews a real life vampire hunter . Drake got lucky until now, especially because he has his partner Alison Monroe to watch his ass.. The fact that he has a cute… Everything and that Alison has a not so secret crush on him doesn’t hurt either. The action scenes are very realistic and the fact that the story actually takes place in the early 2000s will make you remember how it was when connecting your computer to the internet took long enough to get a coffee…https://www.amazon.com/Vampire-Hunters-Book-One-Trilogy/dp/0996312145/ref=mp_s_a_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=Scott+Baker+The+Vampire+Hunters&qid=1557065511&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

Interview with the lovely Amanda Sebring

1.When did you become fascinated by vampires?

I was something of a late bloomer, comparatively. Having been raised Christian, I was a bit sheltered from any brand of darkness that wasn’t, well, Christian. So I was around 18 or 19 before I stumbled on Anne Rice and her work, and of course there was no turning back after that.

2.Why did you choose to write about classic dark vampires?

I suppose technically, I didn’t. The vampire genre is a bit saturated, after all, and I never planned to write vampires until Zane’s story was born. The real life events that inspired the Sin City Sanguines demanded to be told as a vampire story, but I still didn’t want to write inside the box. So I found my own niche within the genre, and it seems to have worked out pretty well.

3.What’s your favorite vampire story?

Definitely Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Her ability to weave a deeply personal -dare I say human -story with the threads of the supernatural is absolutely unparalleled.

4.Favorite vampire TV show, and did you watch VWars (opinions on it)?

I haven’t watched VWars yet. I don’t watch much TV at all, actually, and when I do, it’s the same stuff on loop in the background while I’m working.

5.If you could do a dream cast for The Vampire bride who would be in it?

6.Would you like to be turned into a vampire?

Sometimes I think I would. If I could be an Anne Rice vampire and live both within and outside human society, not have to deal with everyday human drudgery, and really be privy to the Big Picture of human history, that would be ideal. I’d make meals out of rapists and drug dealers and take all their money and go travel everywhere.

  1. If you could pick one of your vampire books to live in, which one would you pick?

Ryker (Sin City Sanguines Book 2) is my best work to date, so I think I’d pick that one. I choose this one over Zane (book 1) because Ryker is still my favorite SCS character, and we don’t meet him in book 1.

  1. What are your vampire must read books for your fans?

Obviously the Sin City Sanguines, the Vampire Chronicles, and also JR Ward’s series.

  1. If you could talk to any author dead or alive who would you choose and why?

Probably Thomas Harris, because Hannibal Lecter is one of my favorite characters in American literature, and I would want to talk to him about how Lecter was formed in his mind, how much he himself relates to the character, that kind of thing.

Find Amanda Sebrings book on Amazon!!!

Dacre Stoker, a chat with the descendent of Bram Stoker

Dacre Stoker, descendent of the creator of Dracula, Bram Stoker took some time to answer a few of my questions. It’s always a pleasure to share his thoughts with other vampire fans. Dacre Stoker is the first of the Stoker family to pick up the Dracula legacy and add new literary creations to the genre. I am personally a huge fan of his work.

1.Do you think that you would have been fascinated by vampires even if Stoker would not be your last name?

Probably not, my fascination with vampires has been a result of my overwhelming desire to understand my famous relative Bram Stoker and to figure out what inspired him to write Dracula. 

2. What are your future book projects?

I am working on the continuation of Dracul. Turning some of Bram Stoker’s short stories into Graphic Novels. 

3. From all the versions of Dracula which one is your favorite?

1. BBC mini Series Dracula in 1977 with Louis Jourdan (most faithful adaptation) 

2. 1992 Bram Stoker’s Dracula Directed by Francis Ford Coppola 

4. Did you see VWars on Netflix? 

Absolutely, loved it. I actually wrote the introduction to the first book in the series back in 2012. I have been a fan of Jonathan Maberry ever since. He created a very original take on modern vampires. I love the way he integrated different world wide vampire myths into a story set in the US. 

What do you think about the adaptation of Jonathan Maberry’s idea? 

Very original concept to have the vampires activated based on their DNA backgrounds. 

5. Your 5 must read books. I am cheating a bit, as I mentioned some book series. 

Ken Follett Pillars of the Earth (Series)

JD Barker Fourth Monkey (Series)

Bram Stoker The Mystery of the Sea

John Irving The World According to Garp

Pat Conroy My Losing Season

6. You picked up the religious conflict in Northern Ireland in your novel Dracul, how “political” are vampires nowadays?

Vampires are not oblivious to the societies in which they are living in at the time. So to be successful predators they must be aware of political and cultural issues.  It is hard to escape political issues, vampires are no different. 

7.If you could live for a few days inside a TV show or book, what would it be and why?

“Game of Thrones”, riding, sword fighting, drinking and attractive women….what is not to love for a few days,  if one is lucky enough not to die! 

8.What is the last book that you read?

London Underground: A Thriller by Chris Angus. I like historical based fiction.  

9.Will the Stoker on Stoker be available for people online too?

Telos Publishing has recently released a Stoker on Stoker on  paperback companion book to my presentations. It is available on Amazon and on the Telos Publishing website . I am currently working on having my presentation filmed with locations visits and turned into a short documentary. 

Find Dacre Stoker on Facebook and his work on Amazon and bookstores.
Bio

Dacre Stoker is the great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker and the international best-selling co-author of Dracula the Un-Dead (Dutton, 2009), the official Stoker family endorsed sequel to Dracula. Dacre is also the co-editor (with Elizabeth Miller) of The Lost Journal of Bram Stoker: The Dublin Years (Robson Press, 2012). His latest novel, Dracul, a prequel to Dracula, released in October 2018 co-authored with JD Barker, has been sold in over 30 countries. It was the UK’s # 1 Bestselling Hardcover Novel in Horror and Supernatural in 2018 with film rights purchased by Paramount Studios.   

My review on BBC Dracula

“It’s nice to be understood” I want to start my review on Bbc’s Dracula with this quote from episode 2..Dracula was longing to connect in a real way. He was thirsting for blood and a higher level of understanding.. How lonely must a being feel after 400 years of not finding the intellectual nourishment he needs to flourish.
“Blood is lives” I will draw here a parallel to the Bene Geserit nuns from Dune.. With each drop of blood Dracula was sharing not only life energy but also the knowledge of each and every one of his victim.. I finished watching the mini series today and like Dracula is thirsting for blood I want to know more… The connection between Dracula, Sister Agatha and then Zoe van Helsing was obvious.. We can compare the search for answers of the two.. Sister Agatha wanted to find God, Zoe wanted to find the truth in science and they both connected through their DNA after partaking in Dracula blood.. Like wine is turned into the blood of Jesus.. Draculas blood contained so many lives, it is rich in knowledge .. He absorbed the experience of peasants and of  the people of high birth alike . Dracula woke up to a new world after a sleep that lasted 123 years. Instead of feeling lost and outcast he uses the new technology to his advantage. The extremely charismatic count Dracula finds Lucy.. Renfield is funny. I enjoy his acting. Now what I don’t know is who Jonathan Harker was that kept calling Jack.. Lucy’s transformation was heartbreaking.Another question that I have is who or what are the sufferers, are they zombies, ghouls, we don’t know . Being robbed of her beauty she refused the gift of a eternal life, even a eternal life of clarity and strength. The modern adaptation of Dracula was fascinating. I honestly believe that they kept the soul, the spirit of the story and added a modern touch to it. I won’t comment the ending, I let you discover it for yourself.. The ending is open from my point of view, because as with many other myths connected to the vampire Dracula, we don’t know exactly what is fact and what’s legend. Same as sister Agatha I would ask whiseass questions, why not?!? How often does one take the chance to chat with a undead creature that is longing for some flavor in its existence….