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Edward Cardillo – Author Interview

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Edward P. Cardillo is an inventive author, coming at horror and science fiction from exciting and oblique angles.  His Automaton series is truly ingenious.  Personally, I’ve gotten to know Ed through our shared relationship with J. Ellington Ashton Press.  He never ceases to amaze me with his intelligence and wit.


Author’s Featured Works

Creeping Dead 1

The Creeping Dead, Books 1 and 2, published by Severed Press in 2015. The first book starts with a hurricane striking a small tourist town in New Jersey. As if this weren’t enough, the undead arrive on the scene.

Ed followed this very successful release with The Creeping Dead 2 in 2017.

I Am Automaton (Severed Press) has won three Reader’s Favorite International Awards and was also a selection for Zombie Book of the Month in 2014.  He has written two additional follow-up books.

His book, The Odd Tales of an Old Man (J Ellington Ashton Press), has received effusive praise from critics and readers alike.  Midwest Book Review gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

Why do you write about dark and scary things?

It’s just the way I’m wired. Some people like roller coasters, some like haunted houses. I like writing and reading horror…and haunted houses. Not roller coasters, though. As a clinical psychologist, I’m fascinated with fear. It’s an emotion that’s crucial to the survival instinct, yet in excess, it can bog down one’s life. Horror fiction is a safe way to feel the exhilaration of being the object of the hunt, the chased pray facing a superior predator.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer and how do you go about the writing process?

I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I’ve been a kid.

It depends on the genre. For my more sci-fi oriented horror, I like to plan plots and subplots, and outline. Plot twists and action scenes need to be choreographed and red herrings convincingly executed. Then, of course, there’s the research on technology, weaponry, military protocol, politics, etc.

My pure horror/dark fantasy tends to be more organic, the source of my most potent elements being actual nightmares I’ve had. I appreciate a good nightmare. When I wake up in a cold sweat, I write everything down for use later. My wife can tell when I’m “on the jazz” with a good idea because I toss and turn and cry out at night. But make no mistake…I actually love a good nightmare. Once again, it’s the way I’m wired.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Write, submit/query around. As you’re doing that, write and submit the new stuff while submitting the old stuff. Keep writing. Submit that new material, and so on and so on, ad infinitum. Unless you have aspirations to publish through a big 5 house, if you write genre fiction, don’t worry so much about chasing agents. Query publishers directly if they allow it, but make sure you follow their submission guidelines to the nine.

Don’t be afraid to submit your work to contests. You never know. What’s the worst that can happen—you don’t win? My first two books in the “I Am Automaton” trilogy won Reader’s Favorite International Book Awards as unpublished manuscripts, the first book finishing in the same category with a NY Times Best Seller. That got me attention and helped me land a book deal with Severed Press. Book 3 won as a published book, making it an award-winning trilogy. While promoting “I Am Automaton,” I attracted the attention of J. Ellington Ashton Press, who snatched up “The Odd Tales of an Old Man” and commissioned “Feral Hearts.”

What is your favorite zombie movie and why?

The original “Night of the Living Dead.” I loved the stripped down, realistic sensibility. The movie wasn’t overproduced with uber special effects-laden zombies with state of the art gore effects. The zombies looked very human, which I find terrifying.

What’s up next for you?

I have a novella coming out for J. Ellington Ashton Press titled The Dark is Full of Monsters.  It is a deeply psychological horror tale in which the characters find themselves an unsettling territory. It is filled with monsters of the human kind, which can sometimes be the most scary kind.

His Featured Works

The Creeping Dead

The Creeping Dead 2

I Am Automaton

I Am Automaton 2: Kafka Rising

The Odd Tales of an Old Man

Feral Hearts

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Claire C. Riley – Author Interview

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Claire C. Riley says she is best characterized as an old-school horror writer, creating unique modernizations of classic horror themes.  She likes fusing elements from different genres while making them cutting-edge and fresh.


I’m most familiar with her Odium series.  This is fantastic series with engaging ideas and settings along with real characters that you can care about.  It was my pleasure to interview Claire to get her perspective on horror stories and writing.

What are your works and what can you tell us about them?

My Odium The Dead Saga series is my most popular work so far. Of which there are currently 2 full books and 2 novellas, with both the third full length and novella in the making.

Think zombies, apocalyptic worlds, dystopian landscapes. It focuses more on realistic characters than just the blood and gore though. Though of course there’s gore a plentiful!

My other series is My Obsession Series – Limerence – that’s based around old school gothic style Bram Stoker-esq vampires.


I also have several anthology contributions under my belt such as, Fading Hope: Humanity UnboundState of Horror Illinois, and Let’s Scare Cancer to Death A charity zombie anthology.

Why do you write about dark and scary things?

I honestly don’t know why. Every time I have tried to write something, shall we say, normal (?) I end up killing someone or having them be a monster of some sort. I’ve no idea why it happens haha. From a young age I was fascinated with movies like The Lost Boys and Bram Stoker and Night of the Living Dead, so it’s obviously stuck with me through the years. I read pretty much any genre though, so I’d really like to be a genre hopper myself and branch out…whether I can do that without killing someone off is another matter though.


When did you know you wanted to be a writer and how do you go about the writing process?

I’ve ALWAYS wanted to write. I have notebooks and pads filled with horror stories that I wrote when I was only ten or eleven. (Seriously, why were my parents not more worried?) For my twelfth birthday, I got a typewriter but it only lasted a year because I went through so much ink for it my parents refused to buy me anymore and I went back to my trusty pen and paper!

My publishing journey actually only started in 2012 when I joined the writing site Authonomy. I put online a couple of chapters of the book I was currently writing – Limerence and got talking with other writers and learned a lot about my skill and how to mold it into something useable.

I normally find an image I like and from that image, I come up with the plot. I try to write an outline, and in all honesty, when I have done it’s made things so much easier. BUT I really struggle with writing them. I’m a seat of your pants writer and my plot changes as my characters become reckless assholes who decide to ignore my demands of staying on one plot path, so I have to constantly alter it as I write.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Keep going, keep writing. DO NOT under any circumstance, write one book and put all of your energy into promoting and pushing it for the next two years. You’ll waste your time and your readers. A reader wants to become invested in a writer and to do that they need more than one book. So write, write, write.

And I mean that literally. Write every day. I aim for a minimum of 2k a day regardless of if I’m at my boring day job, or my three kids are on school holidays and I have to work until midnight. Write every day, hone your craft and enjoy it. Because it shows in your writing.

What is your favorite zombie movie and why?

Well I have two. Night of the Living Dead because I love the old school zombies, and they are what I write about. But I also love 28 Days Later because it scares the crap out of me! I freaking hate that film, and 28 Weeks Later made me scream and run for my car after me and my husband went to watch it at the movies hahaha! Don’t judge haha, it was midnight and dark, and I would be dead within the hour if the zombie apocalypse began and they were fast zombies!


Her Featured Works


Odium II


Find Our More about Claire

Forget the Zombies Box – Coming Soon

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In August, I will be releasing a box set of my series Forget the Zombies. This set includes:

  • Forget the Alamo
  • Forget Texas
  • Forget America

It follows Grant, a reluctant hero and U.S. Marshall as he leads a harried band of survivors as the race across America with horde of zombies in pursuit.