Author Grady Hendrix gives us the recap of his wonderful live spoken word event”Summer Land Lost” which opened at Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. Hendrix also shares with us a nice snippet of himself as a writer and unique individual.
Grady Hendrix is hosting a film event called “In the Mood for Gore” at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Tickets are still on sale for the curated film collection playing ALL WEEKEND. To purchase tickets and learn more visit the website
Splats of Blood: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and all of the diverse places you’ve written for?
Grady Hendrix: I’ve written about the confederate flag for Playboy, terrible movie novelizations for Film Comment, about the history of Chinese wuxia movies for the British Film Institute, both Jean-Claude Van Damme and ninja death swarms for Slate, I was a film critic for the dearly departed New York Sun for years, and I’ve written for everyone from the New York Post to the Village Voice, covering terrible temp jobs, comic books, machine gun collector conventions, and direct-to-video flicks. I’ve written some films that never got made for a couple of Hong Kong filmmakers, and for five years I wrote the script for the live broadcast of a movie awards show on Chinese television.
My stories about UFO cults, killer Chinese parasites, Cthulhu dating your mom, and super-genius apes have appeared in Lightspeed Magazine, Strange Horizons, Pseudopod, and “The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination.” My best friend from high school and I co-authored a YA series for Little, Brown, and my wife and I co-wrote an award-winning graphic novel cookbook called “Dirt Candy: A Cookbook.” I’ve self-published a few novels, and written a traditionally published novel, Horrorstör, about a haunted IKEA, which has been translated into 14 languages and is being made into a television series for FOX, and also My Best Friend’s Exorcism, which is out in hardback now. It’s sort of like Beaches meets The Exorcist. It’s an annoying amount of stuff.
Splats of Blood: How was the event for Brooklyn horror festival and what did you enjoy most about the “Summer Land Lost: A Ghost Story” experience?
Grady Hendrix: It was a blast! I love doing this show, but it’s hard to judge the audience reaction when I’m up there because the lights keep you from seeing anything. So if people aren’t laughing or walking out the door, I don’t know how they’re feeling. In the middle of the show, everyone got really quiet, and I thought maybe they’d fallen asleep. Then the story took a turn and everyone gasped at once. It was the coolest thing to hear and to realize that they were quiet because they were listening.
Splats of Blood: Is there anything you would have done differently?
Grady Hendrix: Everything! I’m working on staging this show for a run sometime next year and I need to get some production value into it, really milk some of the moments more, rewrite a few small sections. I will fiddle with this thing until someone chops my hands off and seals me in a trunk.
Splats of Blood: What are you currently working on? Anymore stories in the works?
Grady Hendrix: I’ve got a live show I want to do that’s similar to “Summerland Lost” all about conspiracy theories. I’ve spent a lot of time with folks on the political fringes and I think conspiracy theories are fascinating, heartbreaking, and All-American. And I’m currently finishing a new book that’s a non-fiction history of the boom in horror paperback publishing in the Seventies and Eighties.
Splats of Blood: Are there any tips you can give for aspiring horror writers?
Grady Hendrix: Horror writers have a challenge that writers in other genres don’t: we have to figure out what scares us and then put it on the page, with complete and total honesty. So if you want to write horror, stop thinking about the genre, and spend time really examining what scares you, and why, even if it’s embarrassing and gross. Then you have to figure out how to make other people feel as upset and uncomfortable as you are when confronted with the thing you fear. It’s a lot of work, but that’s the job.
Splats of Blood: Last but not least, what is your favorite piece of Horror literature and why?
Grady Hendrix: Right now, it’s an out-of-print book called The Voice of the Clown by Brenda Brown Canary who only wrote one other book. It’s from 1982 and it’s about a six-year-old girl and her clown doll. As she says, early on, “Her clown hated her mother.” And her clown knows how to fix the people it hates. So much clown horror. It’s the first book I’ve read in a long time that actually made my jaw drop at one point.