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Guest Blogger – Vince Churchill

22 December 2014 5 Comments

My first introduction to Vince Churchill was via The Funky Werepig, way back in 2009, and then in the Undead anthology series when I got my hands on them. I’m eagerly diving into Goodnight, My Sweet this weekend.

Very pleased to welcome Dark Recesses Press author Vince Churchill into the mirror – welcome, Vince!

Into the Blender
© 2014 Vince Churchill, all rights reserved

Blender Imagination by MAGOTZCORE via deviantart.

Blender Imagination by MAGOTZCORE via deviantart.

Okay, so, let’s get a couple of things straight right from the get-go. I consider my books to be movies for the written page. I really do. The second thing is what many readers consider a carnival trick when it comes to blending genres comes second nature to me.

Despite growing up in my local public library, movies and television have been my biggest inspirations. I believe it’s from many of my favorite movies that my knack for blending genres sprang. So often when I was younger, and reading the likes of Robin Hood or The Three Musketeers, I found myself wanting to do my own versions, but sometimes the ideas twisted into weird variations. It was just how my imagination worked, and all kinds of cool stuff often fused in my mind. It’s like, why write a book about Vikings, and then an outer space adventure, when you could just write something like “Outlander?” Bingo!

As a drive-in baby, one of my earliest movie memories was delighting at the cool wild west/dinosaur adventure, “The Valley of Gwangi.” For a young boy, nothing was cooler than combining cowboys with dinosaurs in the same movie. Or what about the Sinbad flicks with high seas adventures littered with monsters, skeleton warriors, and magic? Who doesn’t want to create stuff like that? In the mid-70s, Clint Eastwood’s minor classic “High Plains Drifter” branded my brain forever, and was the primal force behind my second novel, the outer space western The Blackest Heart. As a writer, I take the responsibility of entertaining my readers very seriously. I’ve always felt when I please myself during the creative process, then I’m onto something fun. Twisting and blending two or more genres together is certainly one way to deliver a more unique vision for horror, erotica, action, and space opera. And the truth is, I often play the “wouldn’t it be cool?” game. I remember doing it back when I was in high school. Wouldn’t be cool if I wrote a book that combined Star Trek with “Dawn of the Dead?”

Sounded way cool to me. And long before Brian Keene kicked off the current zombie lit avalanche, I wrote the first draft of The Star Dead, which would later turn out to be my first novel, the sci-fi zombie tale The Dead Shall Inherit The Earth. The premise was simple – a group of mercenaries are hired to bring back the remains of plague victims back to Earth for scientific study and along the way a freak space storm re-animates the bodies and mayhem ensues. I got to make up E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. No research for me – no scratch that. I’d been doing years of research sitting in front of my TV watching Captain Kirk, Space 1999, and Battlestar Galactica. My brain had already absorbed the likes of “Night of the Living Dead” & “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things” (two more brain branding drive-in classics) and I was still having nightmares from a recent viewing of “Dawn of The Dead.” And there I was, a high schooler with the coolest idea ever. I was going to write a story combining the wide open adventure of deep space with the terrifying horror of zombies. Nearly 30 years later, X-Box Magazine recognized my childhood creation as one of the top zombie triumphs in books, film and games.

Genre blending seems so natural to me, but then again, why did it take so long to combine soft serve ice cream with favorite candy bars to create a Blizzard?

I do think some genres are tougher to blend successfully. Horror and comedy is probably the toughest to balance, but it can be done. For me, Don Knotts’ The Ghost and Mr. Chicken stands as the perfect example of a comedy blended with a haunted house tale. If there’s an equivalent novel, I’m not familiar with it.

So, I put zombies in outer space in my first book. For my second book, The Blackest Heart, I was inspired by revenge driven creations such as Batman, The Crow, and the aforementioned “High Plains Drifter.” I wanted to create a gun slinging hero with otherworldly powers, but only the vastness of futuristic space travel offered me the opportunity to create a murderous cyborg and a vicious gang of mutants. Injecting the western elements felt natural. And again I used outer space as a blank canvas to allow my imagination to have free reign. I’m sure when I was mulling over the idea for my book, “The Far Frontier” by William Rotsler was a great influence on me, as were “The Outlaw Josie Wales” and “Mad Max.”

All my books have genre swirls, though it was never my deliberate intention for them to be that way. That’s just how they turned out, and all for the better. My novel The Butcher Bride is a delicious blend of erotic horror. Is there anything better than sex and horror? Really? That opened up the door for Hyde, which is equal parts thriller and Story of O. My latest, Goodnight, My Sweet, is an end of the world love story. One lone genre just isn’t interesting enough for me to write.

And even though I recognize the overwhelming influence of film and television, my book shelves are full of awesome genre blenders that fed into my own vein of creativity. The Hot Blood erotic horror series, the Razored Saddles anthology, Steve Perry’s magnificent Matador novels, Robert McCammon’s The Wolf’s Hour, and Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead.

Some say genre blenders. I say really cool.

VinceChurchillVince Churchill has six published novels: The Dead Shall Inherit the Earth, The Blackest Heart, The Butcher Bride, Pandora, Hyde, and Goodnight, My Sweet. The Dead Shall Inherit the Earth was featured in XBOX Magazine’s ZOMBIES! Collector’s Edition as one of The 37 Greatest Zombie Triumphs.

Vince’s short fiction has appeared in anthologies such as The Undead, The Undead II, The Horror Library – Volume One, The Beast Within, and the Black Quill award winning Midnight Walk. He was also a list contributor in the Book of Lists: Horror. Vince’s novella, “Condemned,” anchored The Butcher Shop Quartet II anthology.

In the pipeline is the illustrated superhero shocker, Midnight Eternal.

Vince invites you to visit his website: http://www.vincechurchill.com
and his blog: http://dr-jekylls-laboratory.tumblr.com/