Friday, September 29, 2017

Witches of Wildwood: Cape May Horror Stories and Other Scary Tales from the Jersey Shore by Mark W. Curran Interview & Excerpt

Witches of Wildwood: Cape May Horror Stories and Other Scary Tales from the Jersey Shore 

A Collection of Contemporary Horror Fiction

Mark W. Curran 

Genre: Horror/Speculative Fiction

Publisher: NMD Books

Date of Publication: Sept 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-936828-51-7

Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 83,365

Cover Artist:  Robert Gonzales

Book Description:

Werewolves... vampires... swamp beasts... zombies... even a Jersey Devil... all of these chilling creatures and more await you in this haunting collection of 11 contemporary horror fiction stories by Mark Wesley Curran.

Uniquely set 'down the shore' in South Jersey's Cape May County, these scary tales are sure to terrify and entertain both adult readers as well as young adults.


There was no doubt among the sisters that the murders were increasing their power. Each felt the surge of energy that coursed through them with each kill.
“I feel so alive!” Zoey exclaimed on the morning after they’d tied Harlan Clemmons to a chair and stabbed him multiple times through the heart, “like I’m 
plugged into some bitchin’ electrical source!” she marveled.

The other girls felt it too. Both Jaz and Ali would lay awake at night and feel it running through them - bringing them even more vitality and strength than even their young ages provided. 

About the Author:

Mark Wesley Curran is a writer of contemporary fiction, specializing in the horror and suspense genre. Born and raised in Suburban Philadelphia, he spent many summers living and working in Wildwood, New Jersey during its heyday. He now resides in Los Angeles where he enjoys creative pursuits as a writer, filmmaker and musician.   


1.     What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? - The main pilgrimage I made for this collection of short stories were my years living in Wildwood, New Jersey in Cape May County back in the 1980's. It's a really fascinating carnival-ride party  town that was actually the birthplace of Rock and Roll in the mid-fifties. There was a cultural and economic shift in the late 80's that dramatically affected the town and as such it became a sort of abandoned oasis. I thought it would make a good setting for some horror stories.  
2.     What is the first book that made you cry? - It was a picture book of Puff The Magic Dragon. Tore me up real bad.  
3.     Does writing energize or exhaust you? - It's exhausting till I finish what I'm writing . Then I feel energized. I actually write in short bursts, only about 15-20 minutes really early each morning. After that I have trouble concentrating. I don't know how some writers can sit for hours and write, I've tried it and it's torture for me.
4.     What is your writing Kryptonite? - The internet. It's the greatest distraction known to man.                                         
5.     Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?                                                                                                                 Yes, I have considered it. I plan to do a series of horror novels under a pseudonym but I am not certain what it will be yet.
6.     What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer? - I have no friends who are authors at the moment, or at least they haven't  admitted to it.
7.      Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?                                                                                          
For this project, each story stands on its own but all the stories share a common element. They are all set in the 1980's in Wildwood and Cape May New Jersey.
8.     What authors did you dislike at first but grew into? - Dickens is one I hated as a kid. Later I grew to appreciate him as a master storyteller. Most of the authors they made us read in high school I disliked at first, but as you get older and you realize how much those stories influence you, you go back and re-read them and rediscover what made them so effective, so evergreen. For instance I just re-read A SEPARATE PEACE by John Knowles, which I hated in 8th grade. It was such a great read I've gone back and started re-reading some of the others I used to dislike.  
9.     What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?                                                                                                         
I don't know about under-appreciated, but one of my favorite novels is Norman Mailer's AN AMERICAN DREAM, which the critics disliked when it came out but is now recognized as a classic.
10.                        As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal? Animal? Probably a cat of some sort, cats are cool. Something exotic like a Black Panther. As far as a mascot? Yoda, I think. He was wise beyond his 'ears.'  
11.                        How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? - I wrote a horror novel back in the late 1980's and years later found it in my storage unit. I actually threw it away, thinking I'd never write again, that it was no good. That night I felt guilty so I went down to the trash dumpster where I had thrown it away and they had already taken the contents to the dump. Who knows, maybe it could have been a best-seller. Then again it probably deserves its fate. My advice to writers is never throw away what you've written, no matter how much you hate it. As for unfinished books, I don't have any at this point because I haven't written any. 
12.                        What did you edit out of this book? - There was quite a lot of editing. I had six different beta readers go through the final draft and take line by line notes. From those notes I did another final draft, then had an editor read it, and she gave me extensive notes, and I then finished a final-final draft and that was the one that got published. I cut out a lot of descriptions that slowed down the narrative.  
13.   If you didn’t write, what would you do for work? - I don't write for a living, I write as a hobby. My regular job is top secret, if I tell you they will come and kill me.   

14.                        Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find? There may be secrets I'm unaware of, the subconscious is a powerful thing. 
15.   What is your favorite childhood book? The Outsiders by SE Hinton, and if you want to go farther back than that, The Night Before Christmas by Samuel Clement. That book was magical. 

No comments:

Post a Comment